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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Vanuatu Officials Reiterate Support For West Papua
Ties with Indonesia may be cut if no-confidence move succeeds

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 5, 2012) – Vanuatu’s next government, if a motion of no-confidence against PM Sato Kilman succeeds in Parliament, will work more with the people of West Papua and Vanuatu could cut diplomatic relations with Indonesia.

That was the message the dignitaries and sympathizers of the West Papua cause heard when the Morning Star flag was hoisted at Vete’s Headquarters in Port Vila to commemorate West Papua’s Independence since 1961.

Former Head of State Mr. Kalkot Matas Kelekele, Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP) President and former Vanuatu Prime Minister, Barak Sope, the President of the Graon and Jastis Party (GJP) MP Ralph Regenvanu, former Foreign Affairs Ministers MP Joe Natuman, MPP Malekula MP Sai Esmon, Dr. John Ondawame, West Papua outspoken leader Andy Ayamiseba, and members of the Vete hierarchy were all present on December 1.

Former President Matas Kelekele who reportedly told the President of Indonesia he still prayed for the Melanesians in West Papua said "colonization by the Indonesians of West Papua is a sin."

Former Vanuatu PM Sope said the MPP does not recognize West Papua as part of Indonesia and it will never do so and that "the struggle for West Papua must continue because victory is certain."

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Natuman said the relations between Jakarta and Port Vila must be "terminated" because he alleged that in the past two years Indonesia has provided funds to individual Vanuatu politicians and not the Nation.

Four government backbenchers moved to join the Opposition that Friday so when GJP President MP Regenvanu took the stage on Sunday he said the government that will be elected on December 10 will ensure that West Papua becomes a priority.

Members at the ceremony that was organized by former MP David Abel and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Mr. Alul Ravue heard that after the 51 years of struggle 600,000 West Papuans have died and 7 million Indonesians have migrated to West Papua and have diluted the cause for Independence of West Papua is coming.

Mr. Shem Rarua who has been mandated by the West Papuan Council to speak at the occasion announced that they have now decided to register West Papua cause to the International Court of Justice in Hague and they are confident Vanuatu’s brothers and sisters of West Papua will be free.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
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