United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP) Interim President, Mr. Benny Wenda, arrived at Port Vila International Airport yesterday as the first ever ULMWP President to be elected by over 5,000 indigenous delegates from within West Papua.
He was welcomed on his arrival by a delegation of the Maraki Vanua Riki Council of Chiefs of SHEFA Province that displayed the West Papua Flag to confirm that West Papua’s adoption by SHEFA Province is safe in the powerful hands of the Chiefs of SHEFA.
His usual trade mark smile to the Chiefs and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Morris Kaloran and the Head of Foreign Mission Mr. Freddy Waromi, confirmed that President Wenda’s latest visit is not the same as his previous visits because his current visit carries the mandate of his people following his unanimous election in Jayapura during the ULMWP Congress from November 20-23 last year.
Mr. Wenda confirmed on his arrival that he is here to set up his Office in the ULMWP International Centre on the land provided to the people of West Papua by the Vanuatu Government. In fact, he has confirmed this time that he is not in a hurry to return to London as he has the necessary travel documents to set up his Office in Port Vila.
To the Chiefs, Churches, the Government and people of SHEFA and Vanuatu, President Wenda said he is confident that he has arrived with a mandate plotted by God to take his people in the direction that he is taking.
After his long trip from London, he rested at his hotel for the night.
President Wenda is expected to attend his official welcome ceremony at SHEFA Provincial Headquarters hosted by the President of SHEFA Province, Mr. Kalmer Tom Kalwatman this afternoon beginning at 3 o’clock this afternoon.
The ceremony also includes ULMWP’s Interim Prime Minister. However it is understood that travelling out of West Papua is not easy so it is likely that he would not be able to be present this time. But the Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Mr. Ralph Regenvanu has assured the Chiefs of SHEFA that he will also be present, an indication that is understood to be welcomed by the ULMWP President. Mr. Regenvanu has always been on the frontline to speak for the freedom of the people of West Papua.