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PM hints reason why WP not given MSG membership

By Len Garae

by admin

Port Vila – While Prime Minister (PM) Charlot Salwai is engaging with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Law Office on the historical demand for West Papua freedom, he said the question that needs to be clarified is that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is a political organisation and not a country to represent the people of West Papua.

The PM made the hint to the members of Vanuatu Free West Papua Committee (VFWPC) that met with him at his Office last week, to brief him on the West Papua issue.

He indicated that this seems to be the handicap for all member countries of MSG all voting to support ULMWP’s Application for full membership.

But he said the original stand for Vanuatu as declared by the late Prime Minister, Father Walter Lini, remains unchanged for West Papua to enjoy the same political freedom, that Vanuatu is enjoying today following its freedom which was achieved approximately 24 year ago on July 30 of 1980.

However following his presentation of the summary of the West Papua Struggle and where the VFWPC is, regarding its efforts to rally all member countries to stand for ULMWP’s Application for full membership of MSG, the Prime Minister replied that in line with the original spirit for full political freedom for West Papua, Vanuatu has its own position but that it would be the only member country to support such a stand (if it voted on it).

Vanuatu’s Special Envoy to West Papua, Mr. Morris Kaloran said ULMWP recognises PM Salwai for his outstanding contribution towards enabling ULMWP’s historic birth at the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs’ Nasara in Port Vila over nine years ago.

“We view your vital contribution to the birth of a West Papua boy in Port Vila going ten years ago with utmost respect,” Mr. Kaloran said.

“We made our appointment to meet you Mr. Prime Minister and you availed your valuable time to come down to our level to listen to us.

“We tried our utmost best to organise a similar meeting with your predecessor to meet with him just before the MSG Summit last year, but he was too busy to meet us.

“Now we take this opportunity to thank you for your positive response despite your busy schedule. We thank your Private Secretary, Mr. Victor Rory, for facilitating this meeting.”

The Special Envoy said the Legislative Council of ULMWP under Interim President, Mr. Benny Wenda, has set up three roadmaps for West Papua.

(a) ULMWP issue with MSG to become a full member.

(b) Importance of lobbying for Indonesia to allow the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commissioner to visit West Papua on a fact-finding mission to West Papua.

(c) For the issue of West Papua to reach the UN General Assembly to enable a Resolution to be carried on it and finally

(d) For the Vanuatu Government to furnish the Office of West Papua in Port Vila. Basically the office lacks relevant furniture and equipment to operate as an international office.

While PM Salwai “is holding the MSG spear still” until it is handed over to the Fiji PM, Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka, to host the next MSG Summit, the Special Envoy appealed to the PM to consider supporting ULMWP’s Application to become a full member of MSG or to support the call to suspend or cancel Indonesia’s Associate Membership of MSG.

In addition, the Special Envoy briefed PM Salwai on Mr. Wenda’s lobbying internationally with the West Papua International Committee in England and an increasing number of countries in Europe on reports of continuing alleged human rights abuse on the population of West Papua, and to support ULMWP’s call for the freedom of West Papua.

“It is most unfortunate that for the last 60 years or so, the Dutch who were the former colonisers of West Papua, had been silent on the issues of the Melanesian country,” Mr. Kaloran said.

“However it looks as if the Dutch parliament is opening up and International Parliamentarian for West Papua and ULMWP President, Mr. Wenda, have had the opportunity to meet with a (Dutch) body called Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee.

“Finally Mr. Prime Minister, ULMWP is a child of Vanuatu born at the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs in Port Vila in 2014.

“At the time when Mr. Joe Natuman was Prime Minister, he spent approximately Vt15 million to fund the arrival and formation of the ULMWP represented by different warring factions from within West Papua, on behalf of our Malvatumauri National Council of chiefs.

“ULMWP was born and Vanuatu achieved a historic milestone no one had believed possible because the warring factions ceased their differences and became united under the ULMWP umbrella.”

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