Tag Archives: Vanuatu Prime Minister

Vanuatu urged to be consistent with foreign policy

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015

Sato Kilman. Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

A Vanuatu opposition MP says the government should be careful to act consistently on foreign policy.

The comment from Sato Kilman, a former prime minister, comes after another call on West Papua by Vanuatu at the United Nations.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, current prime minister Charlot Salwai called for an investigation into alleged killings and abuses of the indigenous people of Indonesia’s Papua region.

Mr Kilman said the UN was the right place in which to raise concern on Papua.

But he questions whether Vanuatu takes the same stand on similar issues in other parts of the world.

“If Vanuatu has got to be able to show that she has credibility then she must be able to deal with all the issues in a consistent manner. Being members of the United Nations, while we are dealing with these issue, we are making comments, we are raising awareness on these isues, I think it’s only fair that we should be dealing with the others equally well,” he said

Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai

Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai Photo: Supplied

 

Mr Salwai’s statement in New York last week was the second consecutive year that he raised West Papua at the General Assembly.

He accused world leaders at the UN of turning a deaf ear to more than half a century of atrocities committed by Indonesia on West Papuans.

“We also call on our counterparts throughout the world to support the legal right of West Papua to self-determination and to jointly with Indonesia put an end to all kinds of violence and find common ground to facilitate a process to make their own choice,” said Mr Salwai.

Indonesian representative at the UN General Assembly in New York, September 2017.

Indonesian representative at the UN General Assembly in New York, September 2017. Photo: UNGA

In response to Mr Salwai’s statement, an Indonesian government spokeswoman told the assembly Indonesia categorically denied all allegations levelled against it regarding Papua.

She accused Mr Salwai and other Melanesian leaders concerned about Papua of being misled and of supporting separatism in a sovereign nation.

“These countries were foolishly deceived by individuals with separatist agendas to exploit the issue of human rights,” said the spokeswoman.

“If human rights are at the heart of the issue, why were these concerns not raised in the appropriate forum, namely the 3rd Cycle of the Periodic Review of Indonesia at the United Nations Human Rights Council,” she said.

Sato Kilman admitted the West Papua issue was one that ran deep with ni-Vanuatu, but he cautioned against cherry-picking foreign policy issues from a Vanuatu government perspective.

“Yes, you can raise the issues, but when there are similar problems around the globe, and Vanuatu, it doesn’t matter how small we are, we are one voice at the UN. Our voice is good enough to be heard in the UN about the other issues as well.”

When he was prime minister of Vanuatu in four brief tenures during a period of political volatility in his country between 2010 and 2016, Mr Kilman adopted a controversial policy on Papua.

He departed from standard Vanuatu foreign policy by forging closer ties with Indonesia, in spite of his country’s long-running support for West papuan independence.

He also advocated this softer approach with Jakarta in his various stints as Foreign Minister, although it was unpopular with grassroots communities in Vanuatu.

Ultimately, the Malekula MP advocated keeping communication lines with Jakarta open on the Papua issue.

“I’d be very interested to know those of us who have been advocating for West Papua, or New Caledonia for that matter,” said Mr Kilman.

“How many of us have actually spoken with the Indonesian government or the French government about these issues?”

Vanuatu urged to be consistent with foreign policy was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian Leaders

West Papua Liberation Army (WPRA) Secretary-General, towards the end term of his office before the secretariat-general office is being ended by its Commander in Chief, Gen. WPRA Mathias Wenda, made a public statement last night that “West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian leaders“, in reply to written questions sent by PMNews (Free West Papua News at papuapost.com via Email and Mobile Text Message.

PMNews: Hello, this is from PMNews again, we would like to ask some questions in relation to current development of West Papua independence campaign. It was reported recently that the Solomon Islands Prime Minister as the Chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has toured and met other Melanesian leaders, except the PNG Prime Minister. What do you make out of this development?

WPRA: We thank to God, Almighty, creator of our Melanesian Islands, particularly the home of Melanesians, the Isle of New Guinea, and to our Melnaesian leaders, who are already standing up for their own people and our common identity as Melanesians.

About the current progress of MSG Chair meeting other MSG leaders, we are really grateful that this is happening. About MSG Chair not yet met PNG Premier, please PMNews,do not worry about this. This is exactly we call “The Melaensian Way”. The most obvious feature of the “Melanesian Way” is: UNPREDICTABLE. Please not it, Melanesians are unpredictable, what we do always unpredictable. When Barack Obama, Donal Trump, T. May, Joko Widodo say something, then most of us will be able to predict what they mean and what they imply at the same time. But when Melanesian peoples say something, they can mean something totally different, it is just unpredictable.

PMNews: United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was promised to be accepted as Full Member of the MSG by early 2017, but this did not happen. Do you think this is also related to “The Melanesian Way”?

WPRA: You are absolutely right. You got it now. That is exactly why I said, we are Melanesians, and we are unpredictable.What we do is the same as the modern world do things. Melanesians are Melanesians. West Papua Issue is now Melanesian Issue, and we are now already dealing with it. Do not do things in Melanesia according to the Western mindset. It will have a counter-productive outcome.

PMNews: Does it mean Melanesian leaders can make promises but then it is OK if they do not deliver?

WPRA: You were already good in previous question, but now you got it wrong in this question. PLEASE: Do not focus on semi-membership and full-membership. That is western mind. Please focus on “membership”. Full stop. ULMWP is ALREADY a member of the MSG, full stop.

Be thankful, work on it, cultivate and nurture communication and collaboration with Melanesian leaders, our own leaders. Do not treat PNG Premier and Solomon Premier as different peoples. They are just one: Melanesian leaders.

West Papua just born into Melanesian family, a new born baby. Do not ask for food yet, milk first. Work first, cultivate first, nurture first, then things will evolve automatically and naturally. We are not talking about other peoples. We are talking about our own Melanesia and Melanesians. Think in Melanesian Way, Act in Melanesian Way.

PMNews: Elaborate more on the “Melaensian Way” that you are talking about.

WPRA: Just one short story. If you want a girl from another clan, what do you normally do? You must behave, you must show yourself capable man, know how to build house, make garden, and be a man, a husband. If your thinking and behavior is like a small kids, no woman will be willing to marry you, no clan will approve you to get their daughter.

You do not need to go around, you do not need to go to their men’s houses and put notice and distribute leaflets asking for support for your marriage with the girl. You do not need to ask other boys to join you in your demonstration. That will make the whole thing counter-productive, right?

What you should do is “behave”, do things that Melanesian peoples do in order to get attention, and in order to get support!

When we Melanesians live long time in the west, then we forget our own Melanesian Way. This is why we say we are Melanesians, but we do in western way. “Our Voice is like that of Jacob’s, but our skin feels like that of Esau’s”. What a game we are into now.

Get out from there. Be Melanesians, do things in Melanesian Way.

Everything is already on the right track. Nothing to worry about. Just TRUST….

  1. Trust in God and His miracles;
  2. Trust in Melanesia and Melanesian leaders’ wisdom
  3. Trust in Yourselves as Melanesians in West Papua.

And then…

  1. As far as possible, avoid to trust opinion from Non-Melanesian(s), because they have their own interests and we do not want them to change our course into their course;
  2. As far as possible, DELETE doubt in yourself, and in your own Melanesian peoples, because that is the deadliest disease that we can have in order to destroy us Melanesians and our future; and
  3. Only then, you can have the capability to absorb and comprehend ideas and suggestions from outside Melanesia, and then you can properly make use of things coming from outside.

PMNews: Your advice is not really easy, because we are in a globalised world, out West Papuan leaders now live in the West and we do not know what things they are getting from there and what things they want to use to Free West Papua.

WPRA: The right Melanesian leaders from West Papua will choose to live in one of Melanesian states, just like what Any Ayamiseba and The Late Dr. OPM John Otto Ondawame did. If they choose to live in the western countries, we will surely know that they dot not FULLY represent West Papuans, but they PARTLY represent non-Melanesians as well.

PMNwes: Any advice for Melanesian youths in West Papua and all over Indonesia?

WPRA: Not now, nothing to say for them right now.

Since 2004, WPRA has already been active in building bases for Free West Papua Campaign across Melanesian states. Since 2006, or ten years ago, we already have moved the Field  of West Papua Political Match from Western New Guinea to Eastern New Guinea. Therefore, the match now is happening in PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kanaky and Vanuatu, not in West Papua or Indonesia anymore.

There is no comment for spectators. When there is a match, people normally give comments on the match, not on the spectators. Thank you.

 

West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian Leaders was originally published on PAPUAPost.com