Time to take a stand on West Papua
|Hon. Michael Malabag|
A PAPUA New Guinea Government minister, speaking as a private citizen, has said it is time PNG made a bold stand for the independence struggle of the mostly Melanesian indigenous of the Indonesian province of West Papua, PACNEWS reports.
Health minister Michael Malabag posted on social media site, Sharp Talk, Monday that “sooner or later PNG has to ... bring it before the United Nations Assembly”.
“Enough is enough,” Malabag wrote, stating that he was making his comments in a private capacity.
“PNG has a number of advocates including Governor (Powes) Parkop.
“Indonesia is the biggest Muslim nation in the world and I can understand PNG diplomacy where it matters most but does it have to be like this all the time.
“Indonesia has encroached our homeland both in Western and West Sepik and that is a reality.“I am a government minister but I have my own views on this issue but sooner or later, PNG has to make a bold stand and bring it before the United Nations Assembly ... enough is enough.”
The official PNG government position on the West Papua freedom struggle is that it is an internal issue of Indonesia.
The struggle, however, has impacted PNG enormously in that periodically there has been rushes of refugees across the unmanned border into PNG.
The issues has again come to light last week with Governor Parkop speaking openly in support of the movement.
Also last week, Fiji prime minister Vorege Bainimarama received representatives of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation in Suva in their quest for membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Bainimarama heads the group as its chair.
The West Papua delegation was led by long time campaigner and vice chairman of the grouping, Dr Otto Ondowame, general secretary Rex Rumakiek and former prime minister of Vanuatu, Barrack Sope.