ULMWP Media, 29 April 2016
MSG: BRING IN WEST PAPUA, KICK INDONESIA OUT
On 29 April 2016 a large peace rally in Port Vila concluded at the Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, with thousands calling on the inter-governmental summit to invite West Papua to become a full member in 2016.
The rally was led by the MALVATU MAURI NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, VANUATU CHRISTIAN COUNCIL, and VANUATU FREE WEST PAPUA ASSOCIATION, three influential organizations that also held a service for West Papua at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday 1 May, and a two-day meeting in Owen Hall on 2nd and 3rd May.
At the meeting, Pastor Allan Nafuki, Chair of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, recalled Vanuatu’s fight for independence, like West Papua’s, was the people’s fight led by their churches and traditional chiefs. The Hon. Johnny Koanapo MP, Special Envoy on West Papua, reiterated his government’s full support of West Papua’s independence.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) presented the Vanuatu leaders with boxes of petitions—a total of 55,555 signatures—as proof of the people’s undivided support for West Papua’s application for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Life has been grim for West Papuans since the MSG in May 2015, with 3,371 arrested or kidnapped and tortured, with many of them killed. Indeed, during the meeting in Port Vila, 1,828 peaceful protesters were arrested in five Papuan cities, as well as Makassar (capital city of South Sulawesi) and Semarang (capital city of Central Java).
Peter Arndt from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane, presented the meeting with a human rights report WE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING, which the Commission produced after its Fact-finding tour of West Papua in January 2016.
The meeting concluded with reaffirmations of Solidarity and Partnership between ni-Vanuatu and West Papuans in terms of
• the development and well-being of Melanesian people and their environments
• the Preamble of the MSG Constitution and Noumea Communique (2013) which supports the inalienable rights of the West Papuan people to Self-determination and independence
The meeting called on the Melanesian Spearhead Group to
• Accept and endorse the full membership of the ULMWP at the 2016 MSG Summit
• Denounce the ongoing genocidal policies of the Indonesian colonial government
• Initiate an appeal to Pacific Island governments and the international community calling for:
i) An emergency international intervention in West Papua;
ii) Recognition of ULMWP as the legitimate leaders of West Papua’s self-determination program
iii) The Netherlands and United Nations to challenge the legality of Indonesia in West Papua
iv) Sponsorship of a resolution that West Papua be re-inscribed on the UN Decolonization List
v) Sponsorship of an ICJ reading on West Papuan Independence and the legality of the Act of Free Choice