Vanuatu defends boycott of Melanesian Spearhead Group delegation to Indonesia’s Papua province

Posted Thu 16 Jan 2014, 4:16pm AEDT

Vanuatu has defended a boycott of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) foreign minister’s mission to Indonesia.

The joint delegation was agreed to at last year’s MSG leader’s summit in New Caledonia, with the purpose of the meeting being to examine the status of the province of Papua, a mainly Melanesian and Christian part of Indonesia comprising the western half of the island of New Guinea.

Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister, Edward Natapei, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat he believes the agenda for the foreign minister’s meeting had been “hijacked” by Indonesia.

Mr Natapei says it was made clear to the MSG leaders and the Indonesian government that Vanuatu would only participate if the delegation was given the opportunity to meet civil society groups, pro-independence groups, church leaders and other groups concerned with alleged human rights violations in West Papua.

“Just one day before we were to depart Vanuatu to travel to Indonesia, we got the program of the visit, which neglected, it did not involve a meeting with civil society, it did not involve a meeting with the West Papuan people, the leadership in West Papua,” he said.

“We realised that in fact it was being hijacked by the government of Indonesia to work on another issue, which was to promote economic ties and development cooperation with the government of Indonesia.”

The delegation was also tasked with assessing what support there was from indigenous groups there for the Vanuatu-based West Papua National Coalition for Liberation to be given MSG membership.

The MSG brings together the leaders of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, along with New Caledonia’s indigenous political movement FLNKS.

West Papuan activists see membership of the MSG as a step towards international recognition.

Decision commended

The agenda for the mission included the signing of a trade agreement, with less than a day to be spent in Papua.

The West Papua Liberation movement has commended the Vanuatu government’s decision to boycott the visit.

The vice chairman of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, John Ondawame, says he’s disappointed the MSG mission is not getting the chance spend more time in Papua.

“Stay[ing] only half day in Jayapura without meeting with affected people, particularly [the] resistance movement, the church leaders, tribal councils, women’s organisations, the civil society at large.

“This says so clearly to the world that Indonesia is not serious [about] with requests by the MSG, but the Indonesian agenda – not to allow any MSG [foreign] ministers… to visit West Papua to monitor the current situation on the ground.

There are reports that more then 40 West Papuans were arrested during the MSG in Jayapura, either of people who tried to contact the MSG group or protested when the MSG delegates arrived at the airport.

Mr Ondawame says this is an indication of Indonesia’s “true colours” as a “colonial power”.

“[It will] become clear that Indonesia kills or suppresses people on the ground that want for political change,” he said.

Divided opinion

Mr Natapei says the MSG is split over the issue of membership for the West Papua Liberation Movement, and says it’s now unlikely the West Papuan separatist group will be admitted to the MSG as a full member.

But the Vanuatu government’s special envoy, MP Joe Natuman, says his government won’t be part of it, and any agreement signed in Jakarta between other Melanesian nations and Indonesia will have to be on an individual basis rather than on behalf of the MSG.

However, he says Vanuatu won’t give up on its efforts to have the West Papuans admitted.

“Vanuatu is still going to push…(the) agenda forward,” he said.

Mr Natuman says any agreement signed in Jakarta between other Melanesian nations and Indonesia will have to be on an individual basis rather than on behalf of the MSG.

“Because I think there will be a signing, according to this program, a joint statement to be issued by the Republic of Indonesia and also the Melanesian Spearhead Group… they will be signing this statement which has nothing to do with what we’ve agreed,” he said.

“It has everything to do with Jakarta developing its economic ties.”

Support within Vanuatu

Support for the plight of the West Papuan independence movement has grown in Vanuatu.

Editor of the Vanuatu Independent, Tony Wilson, says Prime Minister Moana Carcasses’ strong position on the issue since he came to power last March has resonated with the Ni-Vanuatu public.

“It’s something that’s been very much a part of the leadership of the current Prime Minister,” he said.

“At one stage late last year he even took the opportunity during a visit to the United Nations in New York to strongly talk about the future plans for West Papua and possible independence.

“His attitude and strong stance has met a real chord with the people here in Vanuatu.”

Mr Wilson says the current mission to Indonesia is unlikely to give the attending MSG member representatives any further understanding of whether the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation represents the people in Papua, and whether the group has their backing.

“As it stands though the government here is still strongly supporting this particular group and are rallying behind their application to join the MSG, and I think ultimately they’ll push for that membership,” he said.

“I know there’s some opposition, particularly from Fiji, but this particular mission is exactly what they said it was going to be here.

“It was the Indonesian authorities showing the MSG leaders exactly what they wanted them to see.”

The MSG Secretariat has refused to comment on Vanuatu’s dismissal of the Indonesian trip, saying it does not comment on the position or policies of its members.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-16/an-vanuatu-defends-msg-papua-visit-boycott/5203678

Comments

  1. I am glad to be one of the visitors on this outstanding web site (:, appreciate it for posting.

  2. Lauren Ogden says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Thanks for your write-up on the traveling industry. I will also like to add that if you are one senior considering traveling, its absolutely imperative that you buy travel insurance for golden-agers. When traveling, seniors are at greatest risk of getting a professional medical emergency. Obtaining the right insurance plan package in your age group can safeguard your health and provide you with peace of mind.

  4. Ian Parsons says:

    Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything done.

  5. Trevor Sharp says:

    I think that a foreclosures can have a major effect on the client’s life. Foreclosures can have a Seven to several years negative influence on a borrower’s credit report. Any borrower who has applied for a home loan or any loans even, knows that your worse credit rating will be, the more complicated it is to acquire a decent financial loan. In addition, it might affect any borrower’s chance to find a reasonable place to let or hire, if that becomes the alternative homes solution. Good blog post.

  6. Frank Dyer says:

    Good write-up, I am regular visitor of one’s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  7. Wow, amazing weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy. The total look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!

  8. I will right away snatch your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognise so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  9. Incredible story there. What happened after? Take care!

  10. Donna Newman says:

    I believe that avoiding highly processed foods will be the first step in order to lose weight. They can taste very good, but prepared foods contain very little nutritional value, making you eat more only to have enough electricity to get through the day. Should you be constantly eating these foods, transferring to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will let you have more vitality while taking in less. Thanks alot : ) for your blog post.

  11. Jan Ferguson says:

    Thanks for helping out, good information.

  12. I am truly eager of reading posts regarding building up new website, or even about SEO.

  13. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  14. Dan Skinner says:

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the thought of a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it. Therefore thatís why this post is great. Thanks!

  15. I am John, how are you everybody? This article posted at this website is in fact nice.

  16. Good write-up. I am a regular visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  17. Paul Manning says:

    Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  18. If some one needs to be updated with most up-to-date technologies afterward he must be pay a quick visit this web page and be up to date every day.

  19. Zoe Jones says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people don’t talk about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

  20. Joanne Baker says:

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  21. You are a very bright individual!

  22. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  23. wohh exactly what I was searching for, regards for posting.

  24. I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this fantastic article at at this time.

  25. You have to waste less time to search your necessary topic on net, because today the searching techniques of search engines are pleasant. Thatís why I fount this article at this place.

  26. I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for putting up.

  27. Olivia Grant says:

    I regard something really special in this web site.

  28. Austin Smith says:

    Definitely, what a great site and educative posts, I definitely will bookmark your website.Have an awsome day!

  29. Brian Berry says:

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  30. Ella Vaughan says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

  31. suba suba says:

    5rOsfx Muchos Gracias for your post. Keep writing.

  32. Jan Bell says:

    yay google is my king assisted me to find this great site! .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.