Vanuatu renders Solomonic appointment for West Papua

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ULMWP Media, 27 July 2018


The Government of Vanuatu has appointed Ms Laura Lini as Special Envoy for West Papua. Laura is the daughter of Walter Lini, the founding father of the Pacific Island republic. We are pleased and impressed, and thank Foreign Minister Regenvanu for the appointment at this pivotal moment in our struggle. We are scheduled to meet Laura at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Port Vila at 3pm on Friday 27 July 2018.

Melanesian sovereignty runs deep in the veins of all ni-Vanuatu, and especially in Laura’s family. In the 1970s both West Papua and Vanuatu were struggling for their independence. Vanuatu got there first and it was Laura’s father, as Prime Minister, who pledged not to abandon West Papua or the Kanak of New Caledonia. He acknowledged our kinship and he promised solidarity with our struggle. Now, with this appointment of his daughter, we are reaping the harvest of his sagacity.

We know that Indonesia’s efforts to sever this loyalty has caused much suffering in Vanuatu. We know that the government has used millions of dollars, money so badly needed by its own impoverished citizens, to disrupt your political institutions, to tear families apart, to wreck the lives of good and capable people. But we know that your ancestors are from our homeland and that your chiefs would never abandon us; and that our faith and your faith in God’s preference for justice, peace, and love will, ultimately, prevail.

There is now just one more river to cross before West Papua rejoins the international community of nations, and that is to be listed on the UN Decolonisation Agenda. Laura’s life will be busy and stressful, maybe sometimes overwhelming. But with her passion and dedication lending strength to the determination of all West Papuans to be free, we will succeed in getting the job done. Then we will return her to her family and her country with the gratitude of a proud and independent nation.

God bless Vanuatu.

Jacob Rumbiak,
ULMWP Spokesperson

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