Solomons MP Calls Indonesia President ‘Arrogant’

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Widodo refused to meet MSG chair Sogavare

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 23, 2016) – Member of Parliament (MP) for West Makira Derrick Manuari has issued a statement on behalf of the Solomon Islands in Solidarity for West Papua.

He described such action by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to refuse to meet the Chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) shows how arrogant he is.

Indonesia president Joko Widodo has turned down Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s request for a meeting to discuss the West Papua issue.

Sogavare revealed this in Noumea, New Caledonia, Friday, during a meeting with officials of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanaket Socialist (FLNKS).

Mr Manuari said, as an associate member of MSG, Indonesia is obliged to meet the MSG chair. His refusal to meet is a slap on the face of MSG leaders and people.

This ignorant and arrogant call by Widodo calls for affirmative action by MSG.

"To me this is insubordination and warrants suspension or better an expulsion from MSG," Manuari stressed.

His refusal confirms that Indonesia's membership in MSG is only for their convenience.

"It has nothing to do with furthering the interests of the MSG block.

"Its time for MSG to act and uphold the principle of solidarity the binding principle of the establishment.

"Indonesia once again shows that it does not in any way consider itself to be Melanesian when it comes to adhering to the upholding the founding values of principles of MSG.

"Any lack of action by the MSG will be a great embarrassment for the organisation, and not only that but it will also set a bad precedence for the unity and cooperation of the MSG block and its members."

He argued on that the human rights abuses and violations in West Papua by Indonesia are inexcusable.

"The whole world is well aware of the issue but has turned a total blind eye to it.

"The geopolitical rhetoric surrounding this issue must not be used to cloud or justify Indonesia's ongoing broad daylight breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"The MSG, particularly Vanuatu, and more recently Solomon Islands and other countries within the region such as Tonga have consistently presented West Papua's case before the UNGA.

"Still world leaders have sidelined the issue for reasons and arguments based primarily on this geopolitical and economical rhetoric as well as on the sovereignty of Indonesia.

"Hardly is there a strong perspective backed by the global powers recognising the solidarity of the UN, if at all there is such a thing under the UNO charter, but have wrongly backed Indonesia's sovereignty despite all its consistent breaches of the very treaties and charters that define UNO's establishment as a global body.

"That is the reality and the global standing of the West Papuan issue. We have a lot of hypocrites and these are the same powers fuelling instability in the Middle East and the world over," the West Makira MP said on Sunday.

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