West Papuan leaders back MSG Chairman Sogavare against Indonesia; Decentralisation to get big push from Govt

MSG Chairman and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare (4th from the left), holding the West Papuan national flag next to West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda and other members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

MSG Chairman and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare (4th from the left), holding the West Papuan national flag next to West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda and other members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papuan in Honiara in November last year.

West Papuan leaders have rejected a statement from Indonesia’s Director General for Asia/Pacific and Africa protesting the MSG Chairman and Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare’s stand on Indonesia in the MSG. Sogavare said Indonesia’s MSG membership is only concerned with its own affairs and not with the human rights abuses in West Papua. Along with the long list of murders the West Papuans maintain as human rights abuses, a church in West Papua becomes a casualty after it was burned down last weekend. However, the Indonesian DG claims that what Sogavare says is against the MSG’s principles of sovereignty and non-interference. West Papuan leaders who have been here in Port Vila spoke to Len Garae of Daily Post, today. Indonesia’s daily, the Jakarta Post, yesterday reported the police and military activists as major perpetrators of human rights abuses.

Today’s Daily Post also carries a long interview with the Parliamentary Secretary for Internal Affairs, MP Andrew Napuat, on how the Vanuatu government intends to make sure the Decentralisation Programme is finally implemented. Enabling the provinces to perform better is going to need the knowledge and hard work of rural people themselves, Napuat says. He also stresses the need for MPs themselves to participate in provincial meetings in their constituencies and to be involved in the process of service delivery to the rural sector.

PM Charlot Salwai will attend the next ACP Heads of Government Meeting over May 29 to June 1. Prior to leaving office in 2014, the previous Secretary-General of the Africa, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) grouping, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, set up a working group to decide the future of ACP once the Cotonou Agreement ends in 2020. Their findings are likely the most important agenda items to be considered by the leaders in Port Moresby. (Daily Post, Tuesday)

Daily Post today reports the loss of long-serving police officer Gray Vuke. He has been commended and awarded for outstanding work and duty performance. Post yesterday reported the death of Former Police Commissioner John Holloway who re-structured the two forces at Independence to form the Vanuatu Police Force. Shirley Carter’s death in the UK is mentioned in the most recent issue of British Friends of Vanuatu’s newsletter Nabanga. Her passing came soon after the death of her husband, Jim. Their loss will be mourned by many who studied at BSS, now Malapoa College. Shirley Carter’s funeral is taking place today.