Indonesia Calls On Australia To Rebuke Pacific For Speaking Out About West Papua

Jakarta wants islands to stop 'interferring in the internal affairs of Indonesia'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 1, 2016) – Indonesia's Defence Minister has urged Australia to rebuke Pacific Island states who raise issues relating to West Papua in global forums.

Ryamizard Ryacudu met with Australian government representatives including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a meeting in Bali where the two countries reaffirmed security ties.

He pressed Australia to pass a message to Solomon Islands that it should refrain from interferring in the internal affairs of Indonesia, including the issue of West Papua.

Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in his role as chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, has been vocal about boosting West Papuan representation in the group.

He was also one of seven leaders of Pacific states who spoke out about rights abuses in Papua and on support for Papuan self-determination at last month's UN General Assembly session.

Ryamizard told media that he had implored Canberra to speak to Honiara on the matter because Australia contributes a big aid package in the Solomons.

Detik News reports the Minister saying Australia has accepted the request.

[PIR editor's note: On Nov. 1, 2016 RNZI reported that "A Research Fellow at the Australian National University's State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Stewart Firth, said Jakarta has misinterpreted Australia's relationship with Pacific countries. ... These are sovereign states. And in particular in the case of Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands has a right to do that [speak out about West Papua] as a sovereign country, and Australia's not in a very good position to tell them differently", Dr Firth said. ... "The one thing that Pacific Island countries really value is their sovereignty. ... Of course there continues to be big bilateral aid, but that doesn't mean you can then determine a country's foreign policy," he said.]

Ryamizard said friendly countries do not disturb each other by interfering in domestic issues.

He warned that Indonesia will not stay silent when its sovereignty is compromised. He described Indonesia as a tiger that can attack if disturbed.

The Minister urged Australia to pass on the message to Solomon Islands and other Pacific states that they should not invite West Papua to join the MSG.

The MSG accepted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua into the group with observer status last year and is considering whether to elevate it to full membership.

An MSG leaders meeting on the matter is due before the end of the year in Vanuatu.

Indonesia has associate member status at the MSG.

Radio New Zealand International
Copyright © 2016 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)


Indonesia has a history of interfering when other nations want to honour their legal obligations under the Charter of the United Nation regarding West Papua. -- When the US Congress in 2005 wrote a US law (Foreign Authorization Bill sec.1115) asking their Secretary of State to report on the validity of the Indonesian claims about the sovereignty and welfare of West Papua; President Yudhoyono denounced it and said he would have his friends to sway the US Senate to reject the bill, which they did. And so now Joko expects Canberra will act as his agent to interfere in the sovereign rights of the Solomon Islands. -- But our governments have a legal obligation (UN Charter article 76) to discover if there is a UN trust territory that the Trusteeship Council should be protecting (UN Charter article 85 part 2), and it is NOT Indonesia that gets to decide that issue. It is the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that has jurisdiction over the UN Charter; and our governments have a legal duty to inform Trusteeship Council via its agenda whenever a resolution like General Assembly resolution 1752 is made, it is a sovereign right & legal duty for the Solomons to inform the Trusteeship Council. For 54 years nobody else has told the Trusteeship Council about that resolution that our governments were forced to make sending UN forces to occupy West Papua against its will. -- It is long OVER DUE that some nation told the Trusteeship Council about General Assembly resolution 1752 so the Council can ask the ICJ for legal advice (General Assembly resolution 171 already directs the Council to ask the ICJ whenever there is a situation like West Papua) whether West Papua is a UN trust territory or not.

Dear Andrew; Grateful for your email address so that we can continue this conversation off the grid. Komol Tata kaivao

Add new comment