Oro Governor, Gary Juffa. (Img Loop PNG)

Port Moresby – Governor of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Gary Juffa said that the spearhead organization of the Melanesian group or often called the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) could be of no use.

According to him, if PNG and Fiji continue to turn a blind eye to the injustices committed by Indonesia towards Papuans in West Papua, then MSG is of no use.

Gary Juffa is the Governor of the Oro Province in PNG. He is known to be very vocal regarding his solidarity on West Papua issues

Nine New Zealand MPs head to Melanesia

Nine New Zealand politicians are preparing for a six day trip to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu next week.

Speaker Trevor Mallard, along with five women and three male MPs, will meet with parliamentarians, NGOs, businesses and women’s groups in both countries.

The visit will focus on New Zealand’s development programme, building relationships with parliamentary colleagues, and exploring trade and investment ties.

Mr Mallard said the women MPs will have discussions with local women leaders about the contributions they can make in Parliament.

Mr Mallard said the Pacific region is incredibly important to New Zealand and the travelling MPs have a wealth of parliamentary knowledge and experience to share.

He said he also expects the programme will help identify mutually beneficial business opportunities in the Pacific.

Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz

West Papua protest in Apia during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit.
West Papua protest in Apia during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Samoa will take the position of Pacific Island Forum members and support “constructive engagement” with Indonesia on issues relating to West Papua.  

Earlier this week, the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia called for Samoa to increase vocalisations of concerns against the reported actions of Indonesian military against West Papuans.

In a public statement, they expressed “deep disappointment” at what they described as the continued suppression of the first people of West Papua.

The Bishops said they are praying that the Indonesian authorities halt human rights abuses, and proposed a four-fold course of action for the governments within the Anglican Church’s jurisdiction—New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga Samoa, American Samoa and the Cook Islands—to take. 

Despite the call, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said he agrees with the consensus of the Forum, which can press the Indonesian government on moral issues.

In September, the Forum supported “constructive engagement” over human rights, and members of the Forum were asked to support a resolution to go before the United Nations General Assembly.

“On the moral issue, we hold the common stance of the Pacific Island countries.

“The Indonesians should deal with the issue appropriately of human rights abuses,” he said.

The Prime Minister continued that the government and the army of Indonesia may be acting independently of each other, and that should be taken into consideration.

The Anglican Bishops also called for governments to pay attention to the denial by the Indonesian government of the “first people’s right of self-determination and the abuse of their natural resources by foreign corporations.”

On the issue of West Papuan desire for self-determination, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said he does not feel he has the power to interfere.

“The more important issue for the people of West Papua themselves, that they have been pressing, is the issue of self-determination and that is where we have no power,” he said

“This is part of Indonesia.

“It is like telling New Zealand that the North Island should be given to another race of Maori, and that’s interference.”

However, he did say the United Nations are the only authority that can help West Papua gain independence, just as Samoa did in 1962.

“That is the road we travelled in order to become independent,” Tuilaepa said.

“We sought the approval of the United Nations. There was no other way, it was the U.N that granted us our independence.”

Samoa Observer

Salwai Government’s Motion Passed

A motion moved in Parliament yesterday by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and seconded by Deputy Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, was passed after it was unanimously supported by both sides of the House.

The motion sought to amend the Standing Order 14 of Parliament on how Parliament can be requested by the majority of members to sit in an extraordinary session.

As a result of the motion, a new Standing Order 14(1)(A) was inserted.

The new Standing Order 14(1)(A) reads: “A request made by the majority of members of Parliament under this Article must be signed by the majority of members at the same time in the office of the Speaker in the presence of the Speaker or the Clerk”.

Initially the Deputy Leader of the Opposition reportedly announced that the Opposition would abstain, but after the Government agreed to change the “and” to “or” in the phrase “in the presence of the Speaker or the Clerk”, both sides supported it.

The change with the unanimous support of Parliament means that a request by majority members of Parliament will no longer be signed at secret locations or nakamals as the signing will have to be made in the presence of the Speaker or the Clerk.

This change to the Standing Order was effective immediately after the vote to give effect to the amendment.

One of the reasons for the motion to be tabled is due to the issue of allegations that signatures of some of the Members of Parliament were forged.

The change is also expected to cut the unnecessary cost to the public purse of running to the Supreme Court to determine whether the signatures of MPs are authentic or not.

The mover of the motion, Mr Salwai, made particular mention of Constitutional Case No.3 of 2013 where the Chief Justice referred to the need to amend the Standings Orders of Parliament to minimize fraudulent practices.

According to Port Vila’s Member of Parliament and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ralph Regenvanu, the change done yesterday to Standing Order 14 does not affect the existing motion of no confidence deposited by the Opposition during the ordinary session.

Mr Regenvanu said the motion passed yesterday deals with how Parliament can be requested by the majority of members to sit in an extraordinary session, not how motions are lodged.


Motion of No Confidence Against Salwai Government Defeated

The Opposition-sponsored motion against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai was defeated by 36 votes against and 13 votes for, when parliament convened yesterday morning to debate the motion.

This was the fifth motion against Prime Minister Salwai, since he was elected Prime Minister and still heading the government and leading the country.

Some political commentators say the current Prime Minister will most likely continue as Prime Minister to the end of the term of Government and when the country returns to another parliamentary elections in 2020.

Just before the motion was debated yesterday, Vanua’aku Party (VP), a party in the coalition government made it public that it does not support the motion.

VP had to make this announcement following after allegations that the party was behind the fifth motion of no confidence.

However, VP Secretary General Mr Hosea Nevu stated that the party was against the motion and any party member would be disciplined if they support that motion that was defeated yesterday.

Source: http://dailypost.vu/


Immigration grants 40 foreigners citizenship

By ERIC PIET, the National PNG

A GROUP of 40 foreigners have been granted citizenship by the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority.

They were presented their citizenship certificates and passports in Port Moresby yesterday by Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas.

He said the increasing number of foreigners applying and being granted citizenship showed the confidence they has in the integrity and transparency of the process. It brings to 195 the number of foreigners awarded PNG citizenship in 2018. Many are West Papuans.

Of the 40, 32 were granted dual citizenship and eight naturalised citizenship.

The 32 people include 28 from Australia, two from New Zealand, one from United States and one from Fiji.

They are either married to Papua New Guineans, invested and built their businesses in the country or have worked and lived in the country for many years.

There are 17 former PNG citizens who have resumed their PNG citizenship, 11 long-term residents and four who became citizens by descent.

The eight who have given up their other citizenship to remain in the country include a missionary couple from Ghana, two former Bangladeshis, and former citizens of Malaysia, South Korea, Turkey and the Philippines.
Safak Deliismail, from Turkey, is the principal of Paradise High School in Port Moresby. He thanked the PNG Government for granting him permanent citizenship.

“Despite the country facing many challenges, it can do much better. There are things that the world can learn from PNG and vice versa. We have to do our job diligently and patiently. I am grateful for being a humble citizen of this country and to become part of PNG’s success story in the future,”

Deliismail said.

Speaker confirms receiving motion

The Speaker of Parliament, MP Esmon Sai, confirmed to the Daily Post yesterday afternoon that a Motion of No Confidence was received by the Office of the Speaker last Friday afternoon.

However, it is yet to be determined whether or not the motion is in order.

“We are waiting for the State Law Office to advise us, if the motion received, is in order.

“At this point I cannot confirm if it is order therefore cannot comment further,” Speaker of Parliament MP Esmon Sai, told Daily Post yesterday afternoon.

According to reliable sources within parliament, if the motion turns out to be in order, it will be debated on Friday this week, two days after the closing date of the second ordinary session of parliament which is Wednesday 19th December 2018.

This is the fifth motion of no confidence against current Prime Minister Charlot Salwai.

ligo@dailypost.vu,By Godwin Ligo

Vanuatu Daily Post

PNG’s Parkop pushes for referendum for West Papuans

The newspaper The National reported that Powes Parkop wants PNG to push for a legitimate independence referendum for West Papuans

He said this was needed because 1969’s so-called Act of Free Choice referendum, through which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia, was fraudulent.

Mr Parkop’s comment came amid escalating conflict between the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces.

The Liberation Army this month massacred at least 16 Indonesian road workers in the Highlands.

Mr Parkop said the crisis would only be solved by a properly supervised and legally conducted referendum in accordance with international law.

PNG’s government supports Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.

But the governor said conflict would continue unless West Papuans’ unquenchable desire for legitimate self-determination is met.

Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz/

Indonesian military to take over construction in Papua

Indonesia’s military will take over construction of a massive infrastructure project in Papua after a massacre of workers earlier this month.

At least 16 employees from state-owned company Istaka Karya were killed by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army, who accused them of being military spies.

At least 16 employees from state-owned company Istaka Karya were killed by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army, who accused them of being military spies.

The workers were building a bridge in Nduga regency when they were rounded up and later executed.

Antara News reported the military will resume work on the bridge, as well as on the 4,000-kilometre Trans-Papua Highway.

Combat engineers will carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

President Joko Widodo has pledged that infrastructure work in Papua will continue, despite the violence.

Kopassus denies reports of Papua deployment

A spokesman with Indonesia’s Kopassus special forces has denied troops have been deployed to Papua’s Highlands.

A major joint operation between Indonesian military and police in pursuit of the West Papua Liberation Army is underway in Papua’s rugged interior.

The Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the murders of at least 16 construction workers and a soldier this month.

With extra Indonesian troops deploying to the region, Tribun Medan reports that there’s been “clarification” after local media suggested President Joko Widodo had ordered a Kopassus unit to Papua.

But Kopassus Chief of Information Lieutenant Colonel Denden Sumarlin said the special forces, who are ostensibly involved with counter-terrorism operations, were not involved in the Papua operation.

Source: Radio NZ International

Pacific Anglican leaders call for West Papua action

The leaders of Anglican churches in New Zealand and four Pacific Island countries are calling for an end to human rights abuses in West Papua.

Protesters are resisting police using water cannons during a protest by mostly university students from Free Papua Organization and the Papua Student Alliance in Jakarta on December 1, 2016.
Protesters resisting police using water cannons during a protest by mostly university students from Free Papua Organization and the Papua Student Alliance in Jakarta. Photo: AFP

In a public statement on Friday, ten bishops and archbishops in New Zealand also said West Papua must put on the agenda at international forums.

The Bishop-Elect of Polynesia, which represents Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands, also signed the statement.

The Anglican leaders called on their governments to support bringing the issue of West Papua to the United Nations.

They said the sale of natural resources sourced in West Papua should be investigated and restricted or banned.

Attention on restive Papua in recent weeks has centred on the massacre of at least 16 Indonesian workers by the West Papua Liberation Army.

The Liberation Army claimed the workers were military spies.

New Zealand’s Archbishop Philip Richardson said Papuans had experienced state violence for more than 50 years and their concerns should be addressed.

But he said violence was never an answer.

“The history of change throughout the world, I mean the greatest and most effective change has been brought about through non-violent means,” he said.

“Violence is never a solution and it can never be condoned.”

Since the latter part of 2017, fighters with the West Papuan Liberation Army, or TPN, have intensified hostilities with Indonesia's military and police in Tembagapura and its surrounding region in Papua's Highlands.

Since the latter part of 2017, fighters with the West Papuan Liberation Army, or TPN, have intensified hostilities with Indonesia’s military and police in Tembagapura and its surrounding region in Papua’s Highlands. Photo: RNZ / Suara Wiyaima

In the statement on Friday, the Anglican leaders also endorsed a resolution by the Pacific Conference of Churches to send church leaders to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji.

Mr Richardson said the visits, which would commence next year, would part of an ongoing effort to draw attention to the concerns of West Papua.

“It’s less a matter of lobbying and more a matter of working collaboratively with Pacific governments to continue to draw attention, the world’s attention, the United Nations’ attention, to the human rights abuses in West Papua.”

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz