1st of April, 2015.
Suva, Fiji – Today the Youngsolwarans from the Pacific launched an online protest call, I am NESIA, affirming the Pacific as NESIA and not Indonesia.
Through its regional campaign, We Bleed Black and Red, the group is protesting in response to the Indonesian Government’s plan to have an application for full membership before the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
This call comes after recent media reports indicating the Indonesian Government’s intention to have five provinces in West Papua become a member of the MSG.
PNG LOOP reported that the Indonesian Government’s consultants on MSG and Pacific Affairs, Franzalbert Joku and Nick Messet claim that the unified approach to have five provinces as representatives of Indonesia at MSG is strongly supported by PNG, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
Spokesperson of Youngsolwarans Fiji, Vuetasau Buatoka Junior says there is currently an application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) before MSG for full membership, which has strong support by people in the Pacific.
“If this is the Indonesian Government’s counter approach towards the ULMWP’s application, we the Youngsolwarans are calling on our Melanesian leaders to refrain from supporting this proposal,” said Mr Buatoka Junior.
He said media reports stated that the Indonesian Government is currently considering Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s invitation for full membership in the Pacific Islands Forum, when its current observer status in the MSG is inherited by its five provinces with a new and elevated status as a full member.
He added that the current Indonesian foreign policy whilst very clever, demonstrates amnesia in policy making by claiming Indonesia as being part of Melanesia to secure a seat at the regional table.
A member of Youngsolwarans New Zealand, Tekura Moekaá protested that the Indonesian Government should not use the composition of the representative body for the Melanesians of Indonesia as a tactic to undermine ULMWP’s MSG application, which holds the aspirations and dreams for a free and independent West Papua.
“West Papuans are Melanesians of the Pacific, and the Indonesian Government should not use our Melanesian or NESIA brothers and sisters to buy their way into regional forum spaces, thus suppressing them at region,” said Tekura.
“We strongly urging our Pacific leaders and all of NESIA to stand in solidarity and recognize the United Liberation Movement for West Papua,” urged Tekura.
The online protest call is an affirmation of Pacific identity to reclaim West Papua as Melanesians and Pacific people.