The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders must realise by now that the umbrella organisation, The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has the support of the West Papuan people in its bid for membership of the MSG.
In the past month civil society groups in West Papuan have held rallies throughout West Papua in support of the ULMWP’s application for membership. Many of the demonstrators were arrested and beaten by the Indonesian security forces during the rallies. The West Papuan people have also gathered a petition containing 150,000 signatures in support of the ULMWP’s application.
The people of the MSG countries are also calling on their leaders to support the ULMWP’s application, holding rallies of support in their respective countries.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, “this meeting is of historic importance in Melanesian history. The issue of West Papuan is not going away and by giving the West Papuan people a voice at the MSG, It will empower them in international fora, given them a voice in raising their concerns in the international community and with the Indonesian Government. The MSG leaders will be seen as helping solve one of the longest ongoing conflicts in the Pacific region”
Although the ULMWP has applied for full membership, the Solomon Islands PM has suggested observer status for the ULMWP. Joe Collins said, “whatever the status ULMWP receives the most important thing is that the ULMWP has a seat the MSG table”.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)