ULMWP says MSG officials' government sponsored visit belittles Papua's dignity

Suara Papua – June 28, 2024
Markus Haluk (centre) with ULMWP legislators Willem Rumasep (left ) and Ishak Samuel Rumbarar (right) – Undated (SP)

Elisa Sekenyap, Jayapura – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), which has observer status at Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), says it was not informed of a visit by two MSG officials who came to Jayapura, Papua, last week.

"The ULMWP as an observer member of the MSG was not informed of the visit by the director general of the MSG secretariat Dr. Leonard Louma", ULMWP Executive Secretary Markus Haluk told Suara Papua on Friday June 28.

Haluk said that ethically, the ULMWP as a representative body for the Papuan people in the MSG, should have been informed of the visit.

"We need to remind people that Indonesia's presence in the MSG as an associate member since 2015 is solely because it wants to contain the Papua problem in the MSG. Indonesia does not want the humanitarian crimes, the human rights violations committed over 61 years during the occupation of West Papua to be revealed and raised by MSG leaders", said Haluk.

Haluk noted that as it is known that the ULMWP is not a non-government organisation (NGO) but a Papuan political representative forum that was established through the Saralana Declaration at Port Vila in Vanuatu on December 6, 2014.

"So it must be known that we became an MSG observer though sacrifice and suffering. We bought it with blood, tears and lives. Where many Papuans became victims when fighting for the ULMWP's membership of the MSG. So once again we say that we didn't get a free ticket to join".

"[Therefore] the methods demonstrated by the director of the MSG secretariat was a part of opening the wounds and injuring the Papuan people's hearts".

Haluk said that the Leonard Louma's comment that Papua is in a "stable and conducive" condition is nothing more than sloganistic words placed in his mouth by Indonesia.

Because if the facts in the land of Papua are examined, said Haluk, up until now as many as 70,000 or more Papuans have been displaced and seven indigenous Papuan regions are still in conflict.

In addition to this, he said, the threat of ecocide is also real, where 13 million out of 34 million [hectares of] forest cover in West Papua has been taken over by the authorities and investors.

"The fact is that Papuans are experiencing slow motion genocide, ethnocide and ecocide. So what was conveyed by the director of the MSG contradicts the facts experienced by the Papuan nation over the 61 years of the Indonesian occupation in West Papua".

"But we know this visit was like the angel of death coming in the night. We heard that the entire trip was arranged secretly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Indonesian intelligence. This is all part of Indonesia's strategy to bolster its image amid the attention by the Pacific community over the West Papua situation", said Haluk.

He said the Indonesian government should have invited the prime ministers of Fiji and Papua New Guinea, so that they could visit Jakarta and West Papua in line with the decision by Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders in 2023, not a visit by the MSG director arranged secretly by Jakarta.

"This very much belittled the dignity of the Papuan nation", concluded Haluk.

Earlier, a team from the MSG secretariat led by Leonard Louma and MSG executive advisor Christopher Nisbert visited Jayapura on Monday June 17.

The Indonesian government through the chairperson of the Papuan Welfare and Public Communication Task Force from the Ministry of Communication and Information, Usman Kansong, said in a statement that they appreciated the visit by the two MSG leaders, which was considered to be a positive step because they could personally see the situation and developments that had been carried out by the government in Papua.

He said that in general the MSG team considered the situation in Papua to be stable and conducive in terms of both economic and social activities that were normal.

"This is a positive step and we appreciate the MSG because the two leaders can witness how the real situation is in the land of the Cenderawasih [as Papua is known]", he said in a statement as quoted by RRI.co.id.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ULMWP Sebut Kunjungan Pejabat MSG Ke Papua Melecehkan Harga Diri Bangsa Papua".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2024/06/28/ulmwp-sebut-kunjungan-pejabat-msg-ke-papua-melecehkan-harga-diri-bangsa-papua/