Now is the time for Melanesians to stand as one people
June 18, 2015
Press Release – Statement – For Immediate Release
We come to Honiara today tasked with a mission from the people of a united West Papua to complete our journey for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)i. It is a journey that one day will deliver freedom for our people.
As five leaders of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) we have been handed the legitimate mandate of our people to serve their best interests. As requested by the MSG leaders in June 2014 we stand before you as the legitimate leadership of a united West Papua.
This union brings together the major constituent groups peacefully striving for a free West Papua: the Federal Republic of West Papua, the National Coalition for Liberation, and the National Parliament for West Papua.
This meeting of the MSG presents a critical moment in the history of West Papua and the Melanesian People as a whole. It is a test of the purpose and resolve of MSG members towards forging a just, solid and lasting solidarity between the Melanesian People.
The resolve of nations that long ago cast off the shackles of colonialism, must be solidly behind the people of West Papua, still chained under a black cloud of bloody colonial oppression. Ever mindful of the illegitimate invasion we suffered, our people continue to yearn for the basic Human Rights that other member countries have long enjoyed.
Everyday new stories of killings, torture, beatings and unlawful detention emerge from West Papua. In recent weeks over 480 West Papuans have been detained and beaten just for expressing support for this MSG membership bid. What kind of society allows such flagrant human rights abuses to continue under its watch?
This systematic oppression is directed and ordered right from the very top. The severity of atrocities since 1969 has been assessed by international experts as nothing short of Genocide. Needless to say West Papuan people have no recourse to justice. Security forces guilty of the murder of school-children in Nabire, December 2014, and countless other atrocities, continue to walk free under an atmosphere of complete impunity.
Honourable leaders seated around the MSG table please ask yourselves. Are you really prepared to sit shoulder to shoulder with the perpetrators of these crimes? Are you willing to vote to increase their membership rights so that they can decide the future of all Melanesian people? Above all are you prepared to deny West Papuans their rightful voice at the MSG table?
We believe there is but one clear choice which is to welcome West Papua to the MSG by fully endorsing our application for full membership status.
Any reassessment of Indonesia’s own membership status must surely take into account that it risks undermining the entire credibility of the MSG itself and its ability to act as a forum of Melanesians governing in the best interests of Melanesians.
We look forward to the solidarity and support of our Melanesian brothers and sisters.
Benny Wenda, spokesman for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua.
Contact Benny Wenda:
i The Melansesian Spearhead Group is a regional Pacific trade and cultural body that supports solidarity among the Melanesian People.