Press Release – West Papua National Coalition for Liberation
Officials from the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) have submitted an application for MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) membership yesterday (30/01/2013) at the Head Quarters of the MSG in Port Vila, Vanuatu.31 January 2013
West Papua National Coalition for Liberation Seeks MSG Membership
Officials from the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) have submitted an application for MSG membership yesterday (30/01/2013) at the Head Quarters of the MSG in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The WPNCL officials had a one hour meeting with the Director General Peter Forau of the MSG. The Delegation is consisted of Vice Chairman, Secretary General, Head of the Vanuatu Mission, a Women Representative and Students and Youth Representative. They were accompanied by former Prime Minister and staunch advocate for West Papuan independence, Barak T. Sope Maautamate and a Representative from the FLNKS of Kanaky/New Caledonia.
Director General Mr. Peter Forau received the application on behalf of the Chairman. He stated that as procedure he will send the application to the current Chairman, Hon. Frank Banimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji Islands. He added that his role is only facilitating the process but has no decision making power on the issue. It will be the Chairman and the leaders in the MSG who will make a decision on the issue. He wished WPNCL well in its pursuit of membership.
The Vice Chairman of WPNCL Dr. John Ondawame thanked the Director General and Staff for making it possible for the submission. He stated that this is a historic occasion that also marks the beginning of our concerted efforts this year to advance the cause. We hope this will encourage Indonesia to take necessary steps to resolve the issue. Being a member is also natural because we are an inseparable part of the Melanesian family. For years our efforts to take the issue back to the UN was hindered by lack of official support by the Independent States in Melanesia.
Head of the Vanuatu Mission of WPNCL, Mr. Andy Ayamiseba added that being a member is a confirmation of our identity as Melanesian people. We cannot deny this fact to our future generations.
Women Representative, Bernarda Edoway Douw made a compassionate plea for the West Papuan women, mothers and children who she said had suffered in silence year after year. The Papuan women are discriminated against in the market place in the employment sector and in education opportunities. Being a member will raise the profile of West Papua especially for the women.
Mr. Amatus Douw speaking on behalf of the Students and Youths highlighted the real life experience of marginalization in West Papua. He stated that population decline is caused by a deliberate policy of the Indonesian government.
Barak T. Sope Maautamate elaborated on the historical facts of the creation of the MSG. It was created at the time when there was bloody resistance in Kanaky and our efforts to address the issue did not receive a desired resolve by many governments. For the Melanesian countries it is a serious issue and the only way to find a solution is by members discussing it together and decide on the best way forward. He reiterated that the former New Hebrides had to seek help from another independent Melanesia country in this case Fiji to facilitate our efforts at the UN Decolonization Committee. Now we have more independent Melanesian countries that can do more for West Papua Mr. Sope said. Mr. Barak Sope T. Maautamate added that even the UN Decolonization Committee was established for the independent struggles. Countries who are members in the Committee are there because they support self-determination and independence for colonized or occupied peoples. If a member is against these objectives it must be in the wrong Committee Mr. Sope said.
The Secretary General, Mr. Rex Rumakiek stated that being a member of this sub regional institution carries heavy responsibilities which WPNCL fully understands. Even though not on the same level as governments, given the opportunity WPNCL will do its best to shoulder the same responsibilities with the other members to protect Melanesia against harmful external threats such as terrorism, illegal trade, distortion of social ecology and bio diversity, economic domination and unfair trade practices.