Vanuatu urged to be consistent with foreign policy

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015
Sato Kilman. Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

A Vanuatu opposition MP says the government should be careful to act consistently on foreign policy.

The comment from Sato Kilman, a former prime minister, comes after another call on West Papua by Vanuatu at the United Nations.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, current prime minister Charlot Salwai called for an investigation into alleged killings and abuses of the indigenous people of Indonesia’s Papua region.

Mr Kilman said the UN was the right place in which to raise concern on Papua.

But he questions whether Vanuatu takes the same stand on similar issues in other parts of the world.

“If Vanuatu has got to be able to show that she has credibility then she must be able to deal with all the issues in a consistent manner. Being members of the United Nations, while we are dealing with these issue, we are making comments, we are raising awareness on these isues, I think it’s only fair that we should be dealing with the others equally well,” he said

Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai
Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai Photo: Supplied


Mr Salwai’s statement in New York last week was the second consecutive year that he raised West Papua at the General Assembly.

He accused world leaders at the UN of turning a deaf ear to more than half a century of atrocities committed by Indonesia on West Papuans.

“We also call on our counterparts throughout the world to support the legal right of West Papua to self-determination and to jointly with Indonesia put an end to all kinds of violence and find common ground to facilitate a process to make their own choice,” said Mr Salwai.

Indonesian representative at the UN General Assembly in New York, September 2017.
Indonesian representative at the UN General Assembly in New York, September 2017. Photo: UNGA

In response to Mr Salwai’s statement, an Indonesian government spokeswoman told the assembly Indonesia categorically denied all allegations levelled against it regarding Papua.

She accused Mr Salwai and other Melanesian leaders concerned about Papua of being misled and of supporting separatism in a sovereign nation.

“These countries were foolishly deceived by individuals with separatist agendas to exploit the issue of human rights,” said the spokeswoman.

“If human rights are at the heart of the issue, why were these concerns not raised in the appropriate forum, namely the 3rd Cycle of the Periodic Review of Indonesia at the United Nations Human Rights Council,” she said.

Sato Kilman admitted the West Papua issue was one that ran deep with ni-Vanuatu, but he cautioned against cherry-picking foreign policy issues from a Vanuatu government perspective.

“Yes, you can raise the issues, but when there are similar problems around the globe, and Vanuatu, it doesn’t matter how small we are, we are one voice at the UN. Our voice is good enough to be heard in the UN about the other issues as well.”

When he was prime minister of Vanuatu in four brief tenures during a period of political volatility in his country between 2010 and 2016, Mr Kilman adopted a controversial policy on Papua.

He departed from standard Vanuatu foreign policy by forging closer ties with Indonesia, in spite of his country’s long-running support for West papuan independence.

He also advocated this softer approach with Jakarta in his various stints as Foreign Minister, although it was unpopular with grassroots communities in Vanuatu.

Ultimately, the Malekula MP advocated keeping communication lines with Jakarta open on the Papua issue.

“I’d be very interested to know those of us who have been advocating for West Papua, or New Caledonia for that matter,” said Mr Kilman.

“How many of us have actually spoken with the Indonesian government or the French government about these issues?”

PS Koanapo says issue of West Papua now gone beyond the region


  • By Jonas Cullwick
PS Koanapo says issue of West Papua now gone beyond the region
PS Koanapo says issue of West Papua now gone beyond the region

The issue of West Papua self-determination and violations of human rights has now progressed beyond the South Pacific islands region, says the Parliamentary Secretary (PS) for the Prime Minister’s Office, Johnny Koanapo. He said the issue that had Vanuatu as its lone advocator for many years and then Solomon Islands during the last two years now has the support of six other countries of the region from Micronesia and Polynesia.

PS Koanapo met the media with the intention of the government is to brief the people on how much work government has undertaken on the issue of West Papua.

“I wish to say that the government has done a lot of work on the issue of West Papua since the Charlot Salwai government came in in 2016 and the issue remains high on government’s international political agenda.

“There are a lot of arguments that government has not done enough on the issue of West Papua, but when we look at the events that government through the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers have endorsed Vanuatu’s participation, there were many.”

In March this year, the Council of Ministers under the leadership of Prime Minister Salwai, appointed Honorable Ronald Warsal (Minister of Justice and Community Services) to attend the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and Koanapo went with him when Vanuatu delivered a statement on behalf of the Pacific Islands Coalition for West Papua.

“May be, many people who have been dealing with the issue of West Papua, especially our former leaders like Barak Sope, Donald Kalpokas, the late Edward Natapei, Joe Natuman former Prime Minister now Deputy Prime Minister, have been walking with the people of West Papua for a very long time.

“And when we look at the political backup the people of Vanuatu give to the colonized people of West Papua, there’s only one country in the world that has been standing behind people who living under colonization by Indonesia. That country is Vanuatu. Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific that is standing behind the people of West Papua.

“And then at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ summit held in 2015 in Honiara, at that time Solomon Islands government through Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovareh came on board. And then as PM Sogovareh said to me when I represented government at that time when I was Director General of Foreign and also represented the country at the minister’s level that the position or stand the government of Solomon Islands is taking is inspired by the position and stand the Vanuatu government has taken since day one on the since to West Papua to this day.

“So, instead of just one I the Pacific, there was two. That’s the Vanuatu government and the Solomon Islands government. Then the Solomon Islands government spearheaded with the support of Vanuatu on the margins of the meeting of June July last year when PM Charlot Salwai attended the establishment of what we call the Pacific Islands of West Papua (PIWP) and then other countries of Micronesia and Polynesia have come on board. Altogether eight countries – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Tonga. So, Vanuatu, as the lone fighter, now has seven countries behind it for backup on the issue of West Papua.

“As a result in March this year, government through the Council of Ministers appropriated for Vanuatu’s participation at the Humans Rights Council meeting this year in Geneva. So, Minister Warsal and I went to the meeting where Honorable Warsal delivered a very strong statement. It was a political statement on behalf of BIGWIP members in the Pacific.

“I also wish to mention that when we have this coalition, Vanuatu’s strategy is for us to try shift advocacy for the issue of West Papua beyond the region. When we were introducing the issue at MSG, Vanuatu was the only country behind it.

“I am briefing us today as a former director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who has been behind much of the speeches and writings, to say that I’ve never seen before a government that has taken the issue of WP so strongly as the government of Charlot Salwai and Joe Natuman is making today.

“There are reasons for this. In the past governments tended to take different kinds of approaches. Some prefer for us to take a stronger diplomatic approach at the international level to lobby. Some prefer we have more dialogue with the colonizing power, Indonesia since 1962 to today that they continue to colonize the people of West Papua.

“So, the government of Charlot Salwai also appointed a special envoy. This special envoy was our Ambassador at the European Union, Ambassador Roy Micky Joy, to help lobby at the European Union jurisdiction and he also helped to lobby at the African Union. And he also helped to lobby at the Caribbean. We have divided this task and it is the first time.

“During my 16 years in office at the Foreign Affairs, I see that this government is very serious about the issue of West Papua.”

“Maybe the Opposition has some views that government may not be advancing, but I have not seen any opposition in the past with the credentials to advance this issue, except this government today has moved this issue on more than ever. I say this with a lot of confidence that the issue of West Papua today has already moved beyond the region,” the PS for the PM’s Office said.

“This government when it came in, it took this issue from being a bilateral issue just of Vanuatu, but a regional issue, which we have moved beyond the level of MSG in which we have differences of opinion on how we deal with the issue of West Papua because the diplomatic of Indonesia is strong. This made Vanuatu the only country in MSG to push the issue ahead. But the issue has now moved beyond the jurisdiction of MSG,” he said.

“It has moved to the level of the Forum and has become a regional issue. And if you see how the issue was listed in the South Pacific Islands Forum meeting last week to deal with out of 14 issues, one of them is West Papua.”

“I wish to take this opportunity to commend the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, a very proactive SG who understands the situation of the people of West Papua who are colonized and continued to face human rights abuses on the own land. I note too that when we were at the Pacific Islands Forum last year, PM CS made a lot of bi-laterals with many countries and he talked about the issue of West Papua, for it to come before the Forum Leaders retreat. And at the retreat, PM Salwai took the lead on the issue of West Papua. Because the PM of Solomon Islands was not present so PM Salwai had to do the lobby and he continued to put the issue on the table and he continued to advocate for the issue to come before the United Nations.

“On the level of the work that the government has done, PM Salwai also appointed me as his Special Emissary for me to undertake shuttle diplomacy in the region, starting last month when the Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers meeting was held in Suva, I went there special emissary of the PM to present a case at bi-laterals of member countries to talk about the importance of how PM Salwai and PM Sogovareh see the issue of West Papua.

“I also wish to mention to the people of Vanuatu to understand that when the government of today says that we are shifting the issue of West Papua beyond MSG and beyond the region, it simply means also the level of work government is making outside of the region. In around June this year, at the ACP Ministerial meeting in Brussels, the government assigned me to attend this ministerial meeting with Minister Ralph Regenvanu, and because Minister Regenvanu was engaged with other assignments, I undertook this assignment on behalf of Vanuatu where I tabled the issue of West Papua for the first time in history as an agenda at the ACP Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.

“I also wish to place on record for the people of Vanuatu to know that government also assigned Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy to do this work in his capacity at the Committee of Ambassadors at the process of ACP to table the issue of West Papua at the Committee of Ambassadors level. The Committee of Ambassadors is comprised of Ambassadors and senior officials of countries based in Brussels to continue to discuss the agenda and formulate resolutions to come to the Ministerial level and at the Ministerial they took up this agenda before it reached the leaders’ level.

“It was the first time too I lobbied with the Secretary General of ACP to continue to maintain this agenda item at the ACP.

“I believe strongly that the government will continue to participate at upcoming ministerial meetings and this issue continues to feature prominently in the agenda of ACP.

“At the same too, with the help provided by the Vanuatu government mission in Brussels, we see a website totally dedicated to ACP and European members to access information on what is happening in West Papua. We all know that today West Papua is a flashpoint, an area of conflict between Melanesia and the Asians, but not country is willing to take this up. We all know too that West Papuans today face a reality of genocide including cultural genocide where thousands of Indonesians everyday flock into West Papua with their immigration policy, which means that the Melanesians will find themselves already a minority in their own land. This is the reason why the people at the time of the New Hebrides were afraid of at that time pushed to have our independence because our land was alienated so much that we were afraid of losing it and our identify. This is an opportunity that the West Papuans have today.

“West Papuans continue to be exposed to human rights abuse and it is sad to see that not every country want to take up this issue.”

“I wish to assure the people of Vanuatu that PM Salwai is making everything necessary and we work under him, the PM assigns us with the mandate to make sure that the voice of the voiceless is heard around the world. And today for the first time, in the last two months the lobby pushed by Vanuatu has reached the Caribbean and today I also wish to say that seven countries in the Caribbean out of 15 are behind the issue of West Papua today. And we continue to lobby with the African Union and I believe that in the coming months the government of Vanuatu will continue to push in the African Union so the countries of Africa are more aware of the issue of West Papua.

“Interestingly, when I conducted a bilateral in June with the government of Belgium, they said they were never aware of West Papua. The issue of West Papua is an issue hidden under a carpet because the press was never allowed to go freely to see the people and to hear from them what happened and their views on the destiny they see for themselves. It is a sad reality that is there.

“The issue now has progress to the international stage and I say this with a lot of confidence that the issue has never taken so much international attention as it is today simple because the government is serious about, there is no second opinion on it as to whether the government will take up the issue or not.

“The government has taken on this role because it is a global country and we are global citizens with obligations to defend such things as human rights, which are parts of the rights of a human being.

In addition to all these, the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are organizing a side event at the UN General Assembly in New York next week to continue to lobby for West Papua, so that when leaders make their political statements at the GA these will reflect these efforts.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: Cell # 678 5460922


MSG Chair Dubs Meeting With PNG Prime Minister As ‘Very Fruitful’

The MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the PNG Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill.
The MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the PNG Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands has described his dialogue with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill as ‘very fruitful.’

The MSG Chair met with Hon O’Neill in the PNG Capital, Port Moresby yesterday, concluding his second and final round of consultations with MSG leaders since taking up the chairmanship of the Melanesian sub-regional grouping in June 2015.

The key issues of discussion included the following:

  • MSG Special Leaders’ Summit;
  • Outcome of the Meeting of the MSG sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues {SCLII) in Port Vila in December 2016. SCLII is the MSG sub-committee that makes recommendations to the MSG Governing Bodies- Senior Officials Meeting, Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Leaders’ Summit;
  • West Papua;
  • MSG Free Trade Agreement;
  • MSG Labour Mobility, Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat; and
  • MSG Chairmanship Handover from Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea.

Speaking after his meeting with Prime Minister O’Neill, the MSG Chair said “I had a very fruitful meeting with the PNG Prime Minister on the agendas of discussion as I also had with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu, Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji earlier on in February.”

On the issue of Special Leaders’ Summit, the MSG Chair said he expressed regret over his inability to convene any Special Leaders’ Summit in December 2016 due to the non-availability of colleague leaders.

He said a Special Leaders’ Summit was supposed to be held to approve the recommendations from various bodies of MSG including SCLII.

However, the MSG Chair said the various bodies of the MSG- SCLII and Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)- did meet and made a number of recommendations to the Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) for submission to the Leaders’ Summit for final approval.

He said the MSG Capitals’ visit was therefore important to consult with colleague leaders on various recommendations from the various MSG Bodies for final approval

“I have met with both Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu and Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS in Port Vila and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji in Suva as part of this second and final round of consultations earlier in February this year. I was supposed to travel on to Port Moresby to meet with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill but had to postpone the Port Moresby leg of the trip because the PNG Parliament was in session.

“I am now pleased that I finally met with Prime Minister O’Neill yesterday and my meeting with the PNG Prime Minister like my previous meetings with my other colleague leaders was very fruitful.”

On the Outcome of the Meeting of SCLII in Port Vila in September last year, the MSG Chair said he informed Prime Minister O’Neill that the meeting endorsed the proposed Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and was brought to the attention of the SOM and FMM in their meeting which immediately followed the SCLII meeting and were endorsed by the Governing Bodies in December 2016.

He said he informed the PNG Prime Minister that Prime Minister Salwai, FLNKS Spokesman, Mr Tutugoro and Prime Minister Bainimarama have all agreed in principle to the Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and during his consultations with them.

The revised guidelines provide a very transparent process for Leaders to deliberate on an application for membership whereby they enhance and protect the decision-making process and respect the reporting structure of the MSG at the Summit level as stipulated under Articles 7 (1) and (2) of the MSG Agreement.

The MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill in turn expressed support for the Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and as such, Leaders will meet and formally approve them at the next MSG Leaders’ Summit.

On the issue of West Papua, the MSG Chair said he told Prime Minister O’Neill that the United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP’s) application for membership of the MSG will be dealt with under the Revised MSG Membership Criteria.

He said Prime Minister O’Neill expressed the ULMWP’s membership of the MSG is not an issue to PNG but rather the ULMWP proving that it is a united body that represents the collective views of the people of West Papua just as the FLNKS is evidently a united body representing the collective views of the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

The MSG Chair said the PNG Prime Minister further stated that any discussion on the issue of sovereignty should be taken up appropriately with the United Nations Decolonisation Committee (C24) in New York and the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

On the issue of MSG Free Trade Agreement, the MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill stated that PNG will be signing up the agreement after sorting out some issues of concern with Fiji.

On the issue of MSG Labour Mobility, the MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill has expressed desire to see this opened up so that Melanesians from other Melanesian countries do not have to apply for work permit to work in PNG and vice versa.

On the issue of Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat, the MSG Chair told Prime Minister O’Neill that the purpose of the review, which started since January pursuant to the Governing Body decision in December for the review to be undertaken. Its bold objective is to ensure a wholly functional, resilient and robust secretariat that delivers on the mandates of leaders.

He said the PNG Prime Minister conveyed PNG’s firm support for the review and offered assistance to the secretariat to ensure the reform is undertaken smoothly and swiftly.

On the issue of MSG Chairmanship Handover, the MSG Chair said he had sought the view of Prime Minister O’Neill as to when should Solomon Islands hand over the chairmanship to PNG this year and the PNG Prime Minister said Solomon Islands should hold on to the position until after the PNG General Elections in June.

The MSG Chair and his delegation will return to Honiara tomorrow, Friday 17th March.

Gen. WPRA Mathias Wenda: Let All Beings Sing, Praise the Lord for PCWP Support in Geneva Last Night

In the morning of Thursday, March 2, 10`7, I woke up from my sleep, wandering why this morning, the birds and other beings on the ground, were making a lot and a lot of noise, not as usual. I was also visited by many guests during my sleep: all troops who dies in the fight against Indonesia came, having a big party all night; including my younger brothers the Late Gen. Kelly Kwalik and Brig. Gen. Hans Bomay were there.

I wanted to talk to them, but they all just waved and said, “celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, ….. so many times.”

When I reconnect back to the morning dancing and singing I was having in the West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA) Central Headquarters in the Jungle Of New Guinea this morning, I am then told that “We are also telling you, “celebrate, celebrate, celebrate…”

I did not wait, I went out and sing songs, dancing and singing and dancing for some 30 minutes, until all other troops woke up. Most of them joined into my songs, others were confused. They thought, “How come this old man is now drunk? He is a priest, carries the Bible on the right hand, and his gun on the left hand, but now he is drunk?” They thought “No, he is not drunk”.

I praise you the Lord, Almighty God, for your creation of this New Guinea Island, for the people of Melanesia, for our culture, for wisdom and understanding that you gave us, that make us unique in this planet Earth, that glorify your own power and presence. Today I praise you the Lord, for what you have done to me and to my struggle to free my people from the colonialism of Indonesia.

You have created us Melanesians and given us our places, starting from Raja Ampat of West Papua to Fiji, from Biak and Manus Islands to New Caledonia, this is what we humans ended up calling ourselves as Melanesian peoples, the peoples of the Black Archipelago, to pair with the Black Continent of Africa.

This morning I have a vision, that singing and dancing is the key towards victory, and together with the spirits of those who have died during this struggle, I now wake up, stand up, dance and sing, to praise you alone.

I pray that God bless West Papua governor, my Son Lukas Enembe, PNG Prime Minister my Son Peter O’Neill, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare Vanuatu Prime Minister Mr. Charlot Salwai, Kanak LeaderVictor Tutugoro, Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama so that they stand up united, strong and one voice, for the sake of their own Melanesian Identity and Integrity, for the sake of our unity and sovereignty, as we all came out from one father, and one mother, our father is Melanesia, our mother is Melanesia.

After praying all these, Gen. Wenda quickly went to lay down and slept for about 30 minutes, then he asked one of his staff to go to connect to the Internet and read if there is anything coming out.

He then realised, that just a few hours before his dancing and praying, Seven Pacific Leaders were speaking at the UN Human Rights Commission Meeting in Geneva, on behalf of the Pacific Coalition on West Papua (PCWP).

He then asked all his staff members to clap their hands, and again praise the Lord. He then bowed his head down to the Earth, and said,

Let All Beings Sing, Praise the Lord for PCWP Support in Geneva Last Night

West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian Leaders

West Papua Liberation Army (WPRA) Secretary-General, towards the end term of his office before the secretariat-general office is being ended by its Commander in Chief, Gen. WPRA Mathias Wenda, made a public statement last night that “West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian leaders“, in reply to written questions sent by PMNews (Free West Papua News at via Email and Mobile Text Message.

PMNews: Hello, this is from PMNews again, we would like to ask some questions in relation to current development of West Papua independence campaign. It was reported recently that the Solomon Islands Prime Minister as the Chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has toured and met other Melanesian leaders, except the PNG Prime Minister. What do you make out of this development?

WPRA: We thank to God, Almighty, creator of our Melanesian Islands, particularly the home of Melanesians, the Isle of New Guinea, and to our Melnaesian leaders, who are already standing up for their own people and our common identity as Melanesians.

About the current progress of MSG Chair meeting other MSG leaders, we are really grateful that this is happening. About MSG Chair not yet met PNG Premier, please PMNews,do not worry about this. This is exactly we call “The Melaensian Way”. The most obvious feature of the “Melanesian Way” is: UNPREDICTABLE. Please not it, Melanesians are unpredictable, what we do always unpredictable. When Barack Obama, Donal Trump, T. May, Joko Widodo say something, then most of us will be able to predict what they mean and what they imply at the same time. But when Melanesian peoples say something, they can mean something totally different, it is just unpredictable.

PMNews: United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was promised to be accepted as Full Member of the MSG by early 2017, but this did not happen. Do you think this is also related to “The Melanesian Way”?

WPRA: You are absolutely right. You got it now. That is exactly why I said, we are Melanesians, and we are unpredictable.What we do is the same as the modern world do things. Melanesians are Melanesians. West Papua Issue is now Melanesian Issue, and we are now already dealing with it. Do not do things in Melanesia according to the Western mindset. It will have a counter-productive outcome.

PMNews: Does it mean Melanesian leaders can make promises but then it is OK if they do not deliver?

WPRA: You were already good in previous question, but now you got it wrong in this question. PLEASE: Do not focus on semi-membership and full-membership. That is western mind. Please focus on “membership”. Full stop. ULMWP is ALREADY a member of the MSG, full stop.

Be thankful, work on it, cultivate and nurture communication and collaboration with Melanesian leaders, our own leaders. Do not treat PNG Premier and Solomon Premier as different peoples. They are just one: Melanesian leaders.

West Papua just born into Melanesian family, a new born baby. Do not ask for food yet, milk first. Work first, cultivate first, nurture first, then things will evolve automatically and naturally. We are not talking about other peoples. We are talking about our own Melanesia and Melanesians. Think in Melanesian Way, Act in Melanesian Way.

PMNews: Elaborate more on the “Melaensian Way” that you are talking about.

WPRA: Just one short story. If you want a girl from another clan, what do you normally do? You must behave, you must show yourself capable man, know how to build house, make garden, and be a man, a husband. If your thinking and behavior is like a small kids, no woman will be willing to marry you, no clan will approve you to get their daughter.

You do not need to go around, you do not need to go to their men’s houses and put notice and distribute leaflets asking for support for your marriage with the girl. You do not need to ask other boys to join you in your demonstration. That will make the whole thing counter-productive, right?

What you should do is “behave”, do things that Melanesian peoples do in order to get attention, and in order to get support!

When we Melanesians live long time in the west, then we forget our own Melanesian Way. This is why we say we are Melanesians, but we do in western way. “Our Voice is like that of Jacob’s, but our skin feels like that of Esau’s”. What a game we are into now.

Get out from there. Be Melanesians, do things in Melanesian Way.

Everything is already on the right track. Nothing to worry about. Just TRUST….

  1. Trust in God and His miracles;
  2. Trust in Melanesia and Melanesian leaders’ wisdom
  3. Trust in Yourselves as Melanesians in West Papua.

And then…

  1. As far as possible, avoid to trust opinion from Non-Melanesian(s), because they have their own interests and we do not want them to change our course into their course;
  2. As far as possible, DELETE doubt in yourself, and in your own Melanesian peoples, because that is the deadliest disease that we can have in order to destroy us Melanesians and our future; and
  3. Only then, you can have the capability to absorb and comprehend ideas and suggestions from outside Melanesia, and then you can properly make use of things coming from outside.

PMNews: Your advice is not really easy, because we are in a globalised world, out West Papuan leaders now live in the West and we do not know what things they are getting from there and what things they want to use to Free West Papua.

WPRA: The right Melanesian leaders from West Papua will choose to live in one of Melanesian states, just like what Any Ayamiseba and The Late Dr. OPM John Otto Ondawame did. If they choose to live in the western countries, we will surely know that they dot not FULLY represent West Papuans, but they PARTLY represent non-Melanesians as well.

PMNwes: Any advice for Melanesian youths in West Papua and all over Indonesia?

WPRA: Not now, nothing to say for them right now.

Since 2004, WPRA has already been active in building bases for Free West Papua Campaign across Melanesian states. Since 2006, or ten years ago, we already have moved the Field  of West Papua Political Match from Western New Guinea to Eastern New Guinea. Therefore, the match now is happening in PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kanaky and Vanuatu, not in West Papua or Indonesia anymore.

There is no comment for spectators. When there is a match, people normally give comments on the match, not on the spectators. Thank you.


MSG chair postpones PNG leg of Melanesia tour

The chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has postponed the PNG leg of his Melanesia tour.

Manasseh Sogavare
Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI


The tour, his second as chairperson, is to discuss the restructuring of the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu and the revision of MSG Membership Guidelines with other MSG leaders.

Earlier this week Mr Sogavare met with his Vanuatu counterpart, Charlot Salwai in Port Vila and also with FLNKS spokesperson Victor Tutugoro.

Today he is to meet with the Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in Suva.

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Government House in Auckland
Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama. Photo: RNZ/ALEX PERROTTET

Following that meeting Mr Sogavare was supposed to fly to Port Moresby to meet with PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill.

But this leg of the tour has now been postponed until February.

Mr Sogavare, who flys back to Solomon Islands on Sunday, said he would not be releasing a statement on the outcome of the tour until he completes the PNG leg in February.

The MSG secretariat in Port Vila has been plaqued by issues with funding and its overhaul was recommended by an independent review commissioned because of persistent funding problems and the review of membership guidelines has arisen over the issue of West Papuan membership to the Melanesian Spearhead group.

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu favour West Papuan Membership while Fiji and Papua New Guinea support Indonesia’s view that it should represent West Papuan interests in the group.


Indonesia is losing Melanesia

Indonesia is losing MelanesiaVanuatu Dailypost –  – On Sunday last week, New Zealand-based analyst Jose Sousa-Santos commented on Twitter that “Indonesia’s attempt at buying support from the Pacific region seem to have little to no impact on Melanesia’s stance on [West] Papua.

”That’s one of those pesky observations that’s neither entirely right nor entirely wrong. The truth is: Indonesia is winning almost every battle… and still losing the fight.

Conventional wisdom used to be that Indonesia had built an impregnable firewall against Melanesian action in support of West Papuan independence. Its commercial and strategic relationship with Papua New Guinea is such that PNG’s foreign affairs establishment will frankly admit that their support for Indonesia’s territorial claims is axiomatic. Call it realpolitik or call it timidity, but they feel that the West Papuan independence doesn’t even bear contemplating.

Widespread grassroots support and its popularity among progressive up-and-comers such as Gary Juffa don’t seem to matter. As long as Jakarta holds the key to economic and military tranquillity, Port Moresby’s elites are content to toe the Indonesian line.

The situation in Suva is similar. Fiji First is naturally inclined is toward a more authoritarian approach to governance. And it seems that the military’s dominance of Fiji’s political landscape dovetails nicely with Indonesia’s power dynamic.

Many argue that Fiji’s relationship is largely mercenary. It wouldn’t flourish, they say, if the path to entente weren’t strewn with cash and development assistance. That’s probably true, but we can’t ignore the sincere cordiality between Fiji’s leadership and their Indonesian counterparts. The same seeds have been planted in Port Vila, but they haven’t take root.

Until recently, Indonesia’s ability to derail consensus in the Melanesian Spearhead Group has ensured that West Papuan independence leaders lacked even a toehold on the international stage. In the absence of international recognition and legitimacy, the Indonesian government was able to impose draconian restrictions on activists both domestically and internationally.

Perhaps the most notorious example was their alleged campaign to silence independence leader Benny Wenda, who fled Indonesia after facing what he claims were politically motivated charges designed to silence him. He was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom, but a subsequent red notice—usually reserved for terrorists and international criminals—made travel impossible.

In mid-2012, following an appeal by human rights organisation Fair Trials, Interpol admitted that Indonesia’s red notice against Mr Wenda was ‘predominantly political in nature’, and removed it.

Since then, however, activists have accused Indonesia of abusing anti-terrorism mechanisms to curtail Mr Wenda’s travels. A trip to the United States was cancelled at the last moment because American authorities refused to let him board his flight. It was alleged that an Indonesian complaint was the source of this refusal.

Independence supporters claim that Indonesian truculence has also led to Mr Wenda being barred from addressing the New Zealand parliament. His appearance at the Sydney opera house with human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson received a standing ovation from the 2500 audience members… and an irate protest from Indonesian officials.

Not all of Indonesia’s efforts are overt. Numerous commentators made note of the fact that Vanuatu’s then-foreign minister Sato Kilman visited Jakarta immediately before his 2015 ouster of Prime Minister Joe Natuman. Mr Natuman, a lifelong supporter of West Papuan independence, was a stalwart backer of membership in the MSG for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, or ULMWP. He was unseated bare weeks before the Honiara meeting that was to consider the question.

Mr Kilman, along with Indonesian officials, vehemently deny any behind-the-scenes collusion on West Papua.

But even with Vanuatu wavering, something happened at the June2015 Honiara meeting that surprised everyone. Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare stage-managed a diplomatic coup, a master class in Melanesian mediation.

In June of 2015, I wrote that the “Solomonic decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to cut the baby in half and boost the membership status of both the ULMWP and Indonesia is an example of the Melanesian political mind at work. Valuing collective peace over individual justice, group prosperity over individual advancement, and allowing unabashed self-interest to leaven the sincerity of the entire process, our leaders have placed their stamp on what just might be an indelible historical moment.

”Since then, the sub-regional dynamic has undergone a transformation. Mr Kilman’s administration suffered a collapse of unprecedented proportions following corruption charges against more than half of his government. The resulting public furore seems—for the moment at least— to have catalysed a backlash against venality and personal interest.

If the rumours are true, and Indonesia did have a hand in Mr Kilman’s palace coup, the tactic hasn’t worked since. A pair of no confidence motions—not very coincidentally on the eve of yet another MSG leaders’ summit—failed even to reach the debate stage.

Kanaky’s support for West Papuan Independence has never wavered, but given their semi-governmental status, and their staunch socialist platform, Jakarta would be hard pressed to find a lever it could usefully pull.

For his part, Sogavare has survived more than one attempt to topple him. Hi sown party leaders explicitly referenced his leadership on the West Papuan question when they tried to oust him by withdrawing their support.

In a masterful—and probably unlawful—manoeuvre, Mr Sogavare retained his hold on power by getting the othercoalition members to endorse him as their leader. His deft handling of the onslaught has raised him in the estimation of many observers of Melanesian politics. Some claim that his dodging and weaving has placed him in the first rank of Melanesia’s political pantheon.

In Vanuatu as well, once bitten is twice shy. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai raised eyebrows when he not only met with the ULMWP leadership, but accepted the salute of a contingent of freedom fighters in full military regalia. The meeting took place at the same moment as MSG foreign ministers met to consider rule changes that, if enacted, will almost inevitably result in full membership for the ULMWP.

The MSG has traditionally operated on consensus. If these rule changes pass muster, this will no longer be the case. It is a near certainty that Indonesia will do its utmost to avert this.

Mr Sogavare has demonstrated an inspired approach to the situation: If the MSG won’t stand for decolonisation in the Pacific, he asks, what is it good for? This rhetoric has become a chorus, with senior politicians in Vanuatu and Kanaky joining in.

Mr Sogavare is, in short, embarked on his own march to Selma. And he is willing to allow the MSG to suffer the slings and arrows of Indonesian opprobrium. He is, in short, willing to allow the MSG to die for their sins.

Whether we agree or not with the independence campaign, there is no denying the genius of Mr Sogavare’s ploy. His willingness to sacrifice the MSG for the cause takes away the one lever that Indonesia had in Melanesia.

His key role in orchestrating an end run around the Pacific Islands Forum’s wilful silence is another trademark move. When human rights concerns were simply glossed over in the communiqué, he and other orchestrated a chorus of calls for attention to the issue in the UN general assembly.

Manasseh Sogavare and his Pacific allies have found a strategy that is making the advancement of the West Papuan independence movement inexorable. As Ghandi demonstrated in India, as with Dr King’s campaign for civil rights showed again and again, anything less than defeat is a victory.

Without losing a single major battle, Indonesia is—slowly, so slowly—being forced from the board.

Sogavare: Para pemimpin MSG wajib hasilkan keputusan positif

Ketua MSG, Perdana Menteri Sogavare (tengah) bersama para pemimpin MSG, Perdana Menteri Charlot Salwai (kiri), dan Juru Bicara FLNKS Victor Tutugoro - IST
Ketua MSG, Perdana Menteri Sogavare (tengah) bersama para pemimpin MSG, Perdana Menteri Charlot Salwai (kiri), dan Juru Bicara FLNKS Victor Tutugoro – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Manasseh Sogavare melakukan tur ke Vanuatu, Fiji dan PNG dalam rangka membangun konsensus dengan para pemimpin Melanesia lainnya terkait sejumlah isu penting dengan cara dialog dan persaudaraan Melanesia.

Menurutnya, dalam rilis yang dikeluarkan kantor Perdana Menteri Selasa (17/1/2017), tur tersebut menyusul pertemuan tingkat menteri Desember lalu di Port Vila, tur tersebut untuk membicarakan dua isu penting dengan para pemimpin MSG.

Isu pertama adalah restrukturisasi sekretariat MSG di Port Vila agar memastikan kesesuaiannya dengan prioritas-prioritas anggota MSG serta memberikan layanan mendesak pada warga MSG. Isu selanjutnya adalah Pedoman Keanggotaan.

Akhir tahun lalu pihak-pihak yang mendukung keanggotaan penuh ULMWP di MSG, seperti Pastor Allan Nafuki, Ketua Asosiasi  Free West Papua Vanuatu (VFWPA) mengaku kecewa karena para pemimpin MSG tidak memenuhi janji mereka mendorong keanggotaan penuh ULMWP pada di Port Vila akhir Desember lalu.

Sebelumnya, Nafuki pernah menyatakan Manasseh Sogavare mengatakan pada dirinya dengan maupun tanpa kehadiran PNG dan Fiji, KTT MSG Desember lalu akan tetap dilangsungkan dan menjamin masuknya ULMWP menjadi anggota penuh MSG.

Namun seperti diketahui, KTT para pemimpin yang berhak memutuskan status keanggotaan ternyata urung terjadi, dan pertemuan sebatas para menteri luar negeri anggota-anggota MSG membicarakan pedoman keanggotaan baru yang dibuat agar lebih berkesesuaian dengan prinsip-prinsip dasar Kemelanesiaan. Pedoman tersebut rencananya akan ditetapkan pada pertemuan KTT para pemimpin MSG yang hingga saat ini belum ditetapkan tanggal pelaksanaanya.

Tur Sogavare yang sedang berlangsung ke tiga negara anggota MSG tersebut hendak mendorong agar Pedoman Keanggotaan dan Aplikasi atas Keanggotaan Baru mendapat persetujuan.

“Kehendak saya semata-mata untuk memastikan agar Pedoman ini segera disetujui oleh para Pemimpin,” ujar Sogavare sambil mengingat kunjungan pertamanya yang berdampak positif dalam mendorong kesepemahaman terkait isu-isu di wilayah itu.

“Tujuan saya ingin mendorong dialog yang lebih sering antar pemimpin sehingga kita dapat membangun konsensus dan kesepemahaman terkait isu-isu penting di wilayah kita. Para pemimpin juga punya tanggung jawab lebih besar untuk pastikan keputusan-keputusan berdampak positif pada kehidupan warganya,” kata dia.

Sogavare mengapresiasi sambutan Perdana Menteri Vanuatu kepada delegasinya sejak tiba di Port Vila Minggu malam lalu. Pertemuan dengan Charlot Salwai dan juru bicara FLNKS Victor Tutugoro berlangsung Selasa.

Menurutnya kedua pemimpin beserta dirinya akan membangun level interaksi yang lebih erat dengan Perdana Menteri Fiji Bainimarama Jumat (20/1) dan Perdana Menteri PNG Peter O’Neill akhir Februari nanti.

Oleh sebab itu, delegasi Kepulauan Solomon dan Perdana Menteri Sogavare akan kembali ke Honiara, Kepulauan Solomon Minggu (22/1). Pertemuan dengan Peter O’Neil dipindah ke bulan Februari.

Ketua MSG akan membuat pernyataan hasil diskusinya dengan rekan-rekan MSG selama kunjungan putaran kedua, khususnya setelah menyelesaikan tur ke Port Moresby bulan depan. (*)

MSG considers West Papua membership

THE Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is considering full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.Indonesia currently has associate member status with the MSG and is strongly opposed to West Papua being granted full membership.

It is Indonesia’s view that West Papua already falls under their (Indonesian republic) representation in the MSG.

Foreign Ministers of the MSG member countries met in Port Vila last week to discuss guidelines which relate to the bid by West Papua for membership in the group.

Solomon Island’s foreign minister, Milner Tozaka, said the MSG leaders in July requested legal clarification on guidelines for membership.

“So that request has been attended to appropriately by the legal people and they have made a recommendation to be used for the foreign ministers to look at and then we will recommend it to the leaders for endorsement,” he explained.

Mr Tozaka confirmed that there won’t be a decision on the Liberation Movement’s application however he did say that they already have observer status.

MSG countries that have shown their support for the Liberation Movements full membership include Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS Kanaks movement.

Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have however leaned towards the Indonesian side on this issue.

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said his country’s foreign policy remained firm that Vanuatu is not completely free of colonial bondage until all of Melanesia is free.

– PacNews

PM Vanuatu: Kami ada untuk penentuan nasib sendiri West Papua

Delegasi para pemimpin perjuangan Papua Merdeka bertemu Perdana Menteri Vanuatu di Port Vila, Vanuatu Rabu (21/12) –
Delegasi para pemimpin perjuangan Papua Merdeka bertemu Perdana Menteri Vanuatu di Port Vila, Vanuatu Rabu (21/12) –

Jayapura, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai menegaskan kembali posisi negaranya mendukung West Papua tidak berubah sejak merdeka 36 tahun lalu. Vanuatu, menurutnya, akan selalu mendukung West Papua menyuarakan isu pelanggaran HAM dan kemerdekaan rakyat Melanesia di West Papua.

Salwai menegaskan posisi negaranya itu di hadapan sekitar 50 orang delegasi para pemimpin perjuangan Papua Merdeka yang saat ini berada di Port Vila, Vanuatu guna menghadiri pertemuan MSG, yang baru saja selesai. Salwai pastikan bahwa posisinya negaranya “tidak berubah dan tidak akan berubah”.

Seperti dilaporkan Daily Post Vanuatu, Rabu (22/12/2016), pemerintah Vanuatu bahkan memastikan bahwa seluruh masyarakat Vanuatu dari mulai para pejabat negara, gereja, kelompok-kelompok perempuan dan anak muda sudah memobilisasi diri untuk mendukung kemerdekaan rakyat West Papua.

“Kebijakan historis pemerintah kami tidak berubah sejak kemerdekaan 36 tahun lalu terhadap Kaledonia Baru, French Polynesia, dan West Papua untuk memenangkan penentuan nasib sendiri,”

ujar Salwai.

Mesipun MSG masih terpecah suaranya terkait posisi keanggotaan penuh terhadap ULMWP, Perdana Menteri Salwai, seperti dilansir RNZI (22/12) menegaskan dirinya merasa sangat senang atas kemajuan yang dicapai sejauh ini terkait kampanye internasional West Papua.

Benny Wenda, juru bicara United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) dalam kesempatan itu menyatakan bahwa mimpi besar para delegasi Papua yang hadir serta doa bagi para pemimpin Melanesia di MSG dengan ujung tombak Vanuatu, adalah memberi keanggotaan penuh pada West Papua di organisasi tersebut.

Wenda sangat optimis saat melihat bagaimana para pemimpin perjuangan untuk West Papua saling berjabat tangan dengan hangat dan bicara satu bahasa di Port Vila, “Itu menunjukkan bahwa mereka dan masyarakat Melanesia di West Papua terikat oleh satu semangat yang sama guna mengikat para pemimpin Melanesia di MSG untuk member keanggotaan penuh bagi kami,” ujar Wenda.

Pemimpin Vanuatu yang hadir mendampingi Perdana Menteri pada kesempatan itu termasuk Wakil Perdana Menteri, Joe Natuman, Kementerian Pertanahan Ralph Regenvanu dan Sekretaris Parlemen Johnny Koanapo. Mereka semua menyambut hangat delegasi West Papua.

Menanggapi ratusan penangkapan, termasuk anak-anak, di Papua yang terjadi pada protes Hari Trikora 19 Desember lalu, Benny Wenda mengaku sangat kecewa sekaligus heran.

“Entah bagaimana Indonesia mau jelaskan penahanan yang mereka lakukan, dan penghancuran sekretariat ULMWP padahal di saat yang sama mereka, kolonial itu, juga menjadi anggota associate di MSG,” ujar Wenda.(*)

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