West Papua

Indonesia warns MSG states not to meddle in other countries' affairs

The warning was delivered by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry's Director General of Asia-Pacific and African Affairs, Desra Percaya, at this week's MSG leaders summit.

The summit was hosted by Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill in Port Moresby.

It was attended by leaders and officials from the other four full MSG members: Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia's FLNKS Kanaks Movement.

Indonesia, which is an associate member, was represented by Mr Percaya who endorsed the MSG's plan on regional co-operation and common prosperity.

Onus on O’Neill: West Papua activists

Today, activists of the Free West Papua campaign in Papua New Guinea called on O’Neill to set a record as the first PNG Prime Minister to officially address the West Papua issue and grant them that full membership.

“We thank Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for inviting the leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, to the MSG meeting, and granting him access into the country,” said Philip Kepan, General Secretary of the PNG Coalition of NGOs.

“However, we are disappointed that this significant meeting was not given enough publicity.

West Papua seeks full MSG membership

However, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is adamant on being granted full membership, hence campaigns to mobilise support has got all eyes on the PNG Government during the week-long (Feb 10-15) 21st Melanesian Summit in Port Moresby.

West Papua is seeking full membership in the MSG forum as a strategy to a peaceful resolution of the conflict it now faces with the Indonesian Government.

In a joint statement by spokesman Jacob Rumbiak and chairman Benny Wenda, the group is here to seek full MSG membership for West Papua.

Morning Star badge embroils West Papuan activist

Filep Karma, the most prominent pro-independence Papuan to have been incarcerated in Indonesia, was held up for questioning by military and police officers at Jakarta's main airport.

It is two years since Filep Karma was released from prison after serving 11 years for treason for raising the banned Papuan nationalist flag, the Morning Star.

Flying in to Sukarno Hatta airport from Yogyakarta, Mr Karma caught the attention of a military, or TNI, officer due to the customary Morning Star badge he wears on his shirt.

More rural villages access electricity in West Papua

Antara news reported the 74 villages are among 191 in the provinces supplied power by the state electricity company PLN.

It reported the PLN business director for Papua regions, Ahmad Rofik, had said the electrification is a special gift for people in remote villages.

Mr Rofik said the power supply cost US$11 million to establish and would benefit over 1000 families.

PLN's rural electricity development is one of the government's strategic programmes.

West Papua could compete in future Pacific Games

The PGC’s Forum held after its annual general meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu this week was to hear members on several key topics such as associate membership, bid process and management structure

The other names that were floated in general discussion that could be invited to become members of the regional games were Christmas Island, Bougainville, Easter Islands and Hawaii apart from Australia and New Zealand.

These countries could in future become associate members with certain voting rights.

Indonesia accepts Pacific's right to raise West Papua concern

According to Antara news agency, Retno Marsudi said Indonesia also had the right to explain.

This comes after last month's fiery response by Indonesia to speeches by some Pacific governments at the United Nations General Assembly.

Prime ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands called for an investigation into killings and various alleged human rights abuses against West Papuans by Indonesian security forces.

In response, Indonesia's representative accused the countries of being manipulated by Papuans with separatist agendas to exploit the issue of human rights.

UN committee rejects West Papua independence petition

The petition, presented by the independence leader Benny Wenda on Tuesday, asked the UN to appoint a special representative to investigate abuses and to put West Papua back on the decolonisation agenda.

But the UN decolonisation committee says the West Papua cause is outside its mandate, which extends only to the 17 states identified by the UN as "non-self governing territories."

The committee's chair and Venezuela's representative to the UN, Rafael Ramírez, says he had received no formal petition document, and his office had been "manipulated" for political purposes.

1.8 million West Papuans petition UN for independence vote

The exiled West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda presented the document to the C24, the special committee on decolonisation on Tuesday.

Dr Jason MacLeod from the University of Sydney is a West Papua expert who has just returned from the Indonesian territory to verify the petition.

He said it was fair and accurate representation of the West Papuan people's will and the UN needed to pay due attention.

Pacific churches unimpressed by Indonesia's comments on West Papua

The General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, said a protest that took place during the forum supporting West Papua's independence was nothing new.

Mr Pihaatae said it illustrated the strong support from some. But he urged all Pacific nations to express their concern as seen in Samoa.

RNZI reports Indonesia's Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, was at the meeting and condemned the protest and accused Pacific Islanders of being misled on a human rights situation that had largely improved.