Fifteen PNG citizens escape from Indonesian prison

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK, the National PNG

The National Papua New Guinea News paper
The National Papua New Guinea News paper

A GROUP of 15 Papua New Guinea citizens, including two women, serving terms in an Indonesian prison for drug-related offences are on the run, police say.

West Sepik Police Commander Chief Inspector Moses Ibsagi told The National that the 15 escaped with 16 Indonesians from Doyo Prison in Sentani, Jayapura, on Sunday last week.

“The prisoners, mostly from the East and West Sepik, were among the 31 prisoners who had broken out from the narcotic prison in Sentani last Sunday (July 22),” he said.

“Among the PNG prisoners are two women. They are believed to be travelling towards the PNG-Indonesia border. Indonesian officials have advised us to detain them if they came across the border.”

He said Indonesian authorities wanted the escapees sent back to Indonesia to be punished for escaping.
“We are now on the lookout for them at the main entry points along the border at the inland Skotchio border post and the coastal Wutung border post,” Ibsagi said.

“But it is about 120 kilometres from the prison to the border and is thick jungle with mountainous and swampy terrains.

“Also they have to cross the wide and fast-flowing Tami River to make it to the border if they are travelling by foot. The river is about 10 kilometres from the border.”

Ibsagi said there were in total 26 PNG citizens at Doyo Prison.

Meanwhile, Jayapura police chief Victor Dean Mackbon told reporters in Indonesia that the prisoners escaped by sawing through the iron bars of a window.

Powes Parkop kepada Pato: “Korbankan hak Melanesia-West Papua demi Indonesia adalah pengkhianatan”
PNG Prime Mniister Peter O’Neill and NCD Governor Powes Parkop
PNG Prime Mniister Peter O’Neill and NCD Governor Powes Parkop

Jayapura,  Jubi – Gubernur National Capital District (NCD) Papua Nugini (PNG), Powes Parkop, berang atas sikap Menteri Luar Negeri PNG, Rimbink Pato, yang ditudingnya tak beda dengan pengkhianatan karena lebih pentingkan kerjasama ekonomi dengan Indonesia ketimbang perjuangan serumpun Melanesia-West Papua.

“Kamis lalu (24/7) saya tanya Menteri Rimbink Pato soal pernyataannya pada rekan Indonesianya terkait rakyat kita di West Papua. (Karena) pernyataan dia tidak mencerminkan kemajuan yang sudah dikerjakan sejauh ini oleh Pemerintah (PNG) dalam merespon seruan rakyat kita di West Papua,” tulis Parkop dalam pernyataan persnya yang diterima Jubi, Minggu (29/7/2018).

Bagi Parkop langkah Menlu Pato tak lebih dari wujud ketakutan dan kelemahan serta tak punya keberanian moral dan etik serta keyakinan.

“Rakyat West Papua sudah dikhianati Belanda dan Amerika. Sebagai saudara dan tetangganya, kita tidak bisa dan tidak boleh mengkhianati mereka!” tegasnya.

Sebagai sesama bangsa Melanesia, Parkop menganggap tindakan Pato tersebut tidak menunjukkan sikap sebangsa.

“Tidak pantas kita sebut diri sebagai Melanesia, orang Kristen, dan tetangga sambil mempertahankan posisi tidak bermoral dan tidak etis itu,” ujarnya.

Bagi Parkop pernyataan Menlu PNG yang mengejar keuntungan hubungan diplomatik belaka dengan Indonesia telah mengorbankan hak-hak bangsa minoritas Melanesia West Papua di Indonesia demi kesejahteraan ekonomi Papua Nugini. “Dan tindakan itu adalah pengkhianata!” tegasnya.

Bangsa Melanesia-PNG, lanjutnya, telah dapat menikmati kebebasan penuh yang berhak dan telah mereka menangkan sepenuhnya, dan menikmati kesempatan melindungi warisan flora dan fauna tradisional mereka, nyanyi-nyanyian tradisi dan tariannya, serta semua ritual dan kebajikan nenek moyang. Dan meninggalkan saudara-saudari West Papua yang berjuang untuk hal yang sama adalah tindakan pengkhianatan dan penolakan sesama yang sangat menyedihkan.

“Itu sama saja dengan melawan nilai-nilai ikatan sosial, koneksi, tradisi berbagi, saling menjaga, dan memberi dari pertahanan terakhir sistem wantok kita, yang padahal selama ini telah membuat kita istimewa dari kebudayaan lain dan yang begitu kita banggakan dan promosikan,” ujar Gubernur yang telah lama memberi perhatian besar pada rakyat West Papua ini.

Pengkhianatan dan penolakan itu menurutnya sama saja dengan membuang saudara sedarah dan membiarkan semua warisan leluhur bahkan keistimewaan etnisnya dihancurkan atas nama kesejahteraan ekonomi.

Pernyataan Parkop ini menanggapi penegasan Rimbink Pato yang menegaskan dukungan PNG terhadap kontrol Indonesia di West Papua.

Dilansir RNZI (21/7), Pato menegaskan posisi itu sebagai salah satu poin diskusi bersama Menlu Retno Marsudi Kamis (19/7) di Jakarta.

Pato mengklarifikasi kepada Pemerintah RI atas apa yang ia sebut sebagai laporan yang salah terkait posisi PNG terhadap West Papua.

Dia menegaskan bahwa itulah posisi PNG sejak dulu dan selamanya terkait status Provinsi Papua dan Papua Barat di Indonesia.

“Keduanya adalah bagian integral dari Republik Indonesia,” ujarnya.

Pada kesempatan pertemuan bilateral lawatan PNG ke Indonesia itu, kedua Menlu mendiskusikan bantuan Indonesia untuk PNG dalam persiapan menjadi tuan rumah pertemuan APEC November mendatang.

Pato berterima kasih pada Indonesia karena telah sukses mengusulkan PNG menjadi tuan rumah APEC 2018 serta atas dukungan asistensi Indonesia pada kegiatan yang akan datang itu.

Seperti biasa, dalam kesempatan itu Indonesia memaparkan capaian-capaian pembangunannya di Papua. (*)

MSG tak akan lagi bahas persoalan politik West Papua
Fiji's permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence and National Security Osea Cawaru (left) with Director General for MSG Amena Yauvoli and Minister for Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during a break at the 2nd MSG Regional Security Strategy Working Group Meeting at Tanoa International in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH
Fiji’s permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence and National Security Osea Cawaru (left) with Director General for MSG Amena Yauvoli and Minister for Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during a break at the 2nd MSG Regional Security Strategy Working Group Meeting at Tanoa International in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Jayapura, Jubi – Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) tidak akan membahas isu politik terkait West Papua, demikian menurut Direktur Jenderal sekretariat, Amena Yauvoli.

Kepada Fiji Times saat berlangsungnya pertemuan kelompok kerja Strategi Keamanan Regional MSG di Nadi, 26 Juli lalu, ia mengatakan isu-isu Hak Azasi Manusia terkait kehendak rakyat West Papua lebih baik dibicarakan organisasi-organisasi internasional yang menangani hal-hal semacam itu.

“Peran saya sebagai direktur jenderal Sekretariat Melanesian Spearhead Group, mereka (Indonesia) adalah anggota asosiasi dan peran mereka dalam hal ini adalah sebagai anggota penuh kelompok kerja dan mereka berartisipasi secara efektif,” ujarnya.

“Kita punya musuh bersama yaitu kejahatan. Kesampingkan persoalan politik. Kita harus mengatasi musuh bersama ini dengan bekerja bersama Indonesia yang menjadi jalan masuk dari Asia. Dan dari persektif keamanan, hal ini merupakan sesuatu yang dapat kita kerjakan bersama dengan Indonesia agar dapat mengatasinya, dan tentu saja bersama mitra seperti Australia, Selandia Baru, dan pihak-pihak yang ingin melindungi kawasan ini.”

Yauvoli menambahkan bahwa perhatian terhadap isu-isu HAM West Papua lebih baik diserahkan pada organisasi internasional yang akan lebih baik membahasnya.

“Isu-isu HAM memiliki badan lainnya yang menanganinya. Badan ini (MSG) bukanlah untuk HAM, badan ini mengurus isu-isu yang dapat memastikan jaminan keamanan diseluruh kawasan ini,” ujarnya.

Yauvoli manambahkan bahwa HAM ditangani di Jenewa, Swiss, “Hal ini bukan bergantung kita dan prosesnya memiliki jalurnya sendiri sementara saat ini kita memfokuskan diri utamanya pada bagaimana kita dapat mengamankan perbatasan kita.”

Kritik Regenvanu

Sebelumnya, pada kesempatan terpisah, Menteri Luar Negeri Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu, mengatakan dirinya telah kehilangan kepercayaan terhadap Melanesian Spearhead Group karena kurangnya keputusan berbasis konsensus dan ikatan politik.

Dalam wawancaranya dengan Development Policy Centre, Regenvanu mengatakan MSG telah menjadi sangat mengecewakan dan semakin kurang relevan.

“Pendekatan konsensus untuk pembuatan keputusan telah gagal di MSG. Vanuatu dari dulu sudah mencemaskan cara pengambilan putusan itu yang tak lagi berbasia konsensus, dan terus seperti itu,” katanya seperti dikutip RNZI (23/7).

Regenvanu menilai jika MSG kembali ke tujuan awalnya, maka kelompok ini bisa kembali relevan. (*)

Pertemuan menteri keamanan MSG, strategi sub-regional topik utama
Direktur Jenderal MSG, Amena Yauvoli, dengan Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Nasional Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Pertemuan Strategi Keamanan Regional, Regional Security Strategy (RSS), MSG ke-2 di Hotel Tanoa International di Nadi pagi kemarin (26/7/2018). - Fiji Times/ Baljeet Singh
Direktur Jenderal MSG, Amena Yauvoli, dengan Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Nasional Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Pertemuan Strategi Keamanan Regional, Regional Security Strategy (RSS), MSG ke-2 di Hotel Tanoa International di Nadi pagi kemarin (26/7/2018). – Fiji Times/ Baljeet Singh

Nadi, Jubi Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Nasional Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, telah meminta para pemimpin Melanesia, untuk mengatasi dengan tepat dan sigap semua ancaman internal dan eksternal, yang dapat bereskalasi menjadi isu-isu yang lebih besar.

Ratu Inoke mengemukakan hal ini dalam pembukaan pertemuan Strategi Keamanan Regional (RSS) MSG ke-2, di Hotel Tanoa International di Nadi pagi kemarin (26/7/2018), seraya menggarisbawahi pesatnya pembangunan dan banyaknya sumber daya sub regional yang tersedia di negara-negara Melanesia.

“Dalam upaya untuk meningkat dan memperkuat kerja sama sub regionalisme, kita telah menjadi lebih rentan terhadap berbagai ancaman keamanan internal dan eksternal, karena lokasi kita yang merupakan pintu gerbang ke Asia dan Pasifik; dan jika ancaman-ancaman ini tidak ditangani dengan tepat, mereka dapat meningkat menjadi masalah yang jauh lebih besar,” menurut Ratu Inoke.

Ancaman atau masalah keamanan kompleks dan multifaset yang dimaksud oleh Ratu Inoke, termasuk penangkapan ikan yang ilegal, tidak diatur, dan tidak dilaporkan (illegal, unreported, unregulated/IUU fishing), kejahatan terorganisasi transnasional, penyelundupan narkoba, perdagangan manusia, keamanan dunia maya, perubahan iklim, serta ancaman-ancaman non-tradisional lainnya.

“Tantangan yang terus berkembang seperti ini perlu ditangani dengan upaya kolaboratif bersama, dan oleh karena itu sebuah dokumen yang menyeluruh untuk mengatasi masalah ini diperlukan di dalam RSS.”

Ratu Inoke menerangkan setiap negara anggota MSG, juga dalam proses menyusun strategi keamanan nasional mereka masing-masing. Proses setiap negara ini akan melengkapi penyusunan RSS saat ini.

Pertemuan dua hari itu dihadiri oleh delegasi dari Fiji, Vanuatu, Kepulauan Solomon, dan Indonesia, semuanya negara yang akan bekerja sama dalam mengembangkan strategi keamanan kolaboratif wilayah MSG. Namun, pertemuan itu tidak dihadiri delegasi dari Papua Nugini.

Sementara itu, MSG berencana untuk mengerahkan satu unit polisi, yang terdiri dari 30 personel dari negara-negara anggotanya untuk membantu polisi nasional PNG, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, selama KTT APEC November mendatang. (Fiji Times)

Biggest Melanesian festival underway in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands has welcomed 1500 participants to this year’s Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival in Honiara.

Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz/

The Solomon Islands has welcomed 1500 participants to this year’s Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival in Honiara.

The festival, held every four years, aims to promote and preserve Melanesian culture, as well as celebrate unique differences between participating nations.

This year’s theme is Past Recollection for Future Connections.

A Fijian cultural dancer at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands.

A Fijian cultural dancer at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

The Solomon’s director of government communication, George Herming, said hosting the event brings many benefits.

“Through cultural interaction and creating knowledge and understanding of different Melanesian cultures which has resulted in a common understanding between participants as well as governments of Melanesian countries.”

“So that’s one of the benefits and the other economic benefits of hosting the festival is that it generates revenue,” he said.

Cultural performers from Vanuatu at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands.

Cultural performers from Vanuatu at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

George Herming said the festival features cultural dance and music performances, as well as culinary arts and fashion.

The Solomon Islands was the first Melanesian Spearhead Group country to host the festival back in 1998.

Opening night of the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival held in Solomon Islands.

Opening night of the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival held in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

The festival, held every four years, aims to promote and preserve Melanesian culture, as well as celebrate unique differences between participating nations.

This year’s theme is Past Recollection for Future Connections.

A Fijian cultural dancer at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands.

A Fijian cultural dancer at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

The Solomon’s director of government communication, George Herming, said hosting the event brings many benefits.

“Through cultural interaction and creating knowledge and understanding of different Melanesian cultures which has resulted in a common understanding between participants as well as governments of Melanesian countries.”

“So that’s one of the benefits and the other economic benefits of hosting the festival is that it generates revenue,” he said.

Cultural performers from Vanuatu at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands.

Cultural performers from Vanuatu at the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

George Herming said the festival features cultural dance and music performances, as well as culinary arts and fashion.

The Solomon Islands was the first Melanesian Spearhead Group country to host the festival back in 1998.

Opening night of the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival held in Solomon Islands.

Opening night of the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival held in Solomon Islands. Photo: Today Solomons

Melanesian Spearhead Group failing – Ralph Regenvanu
Ralph Regenvanu [Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen]
Ralph Regenvanu [Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen]
RNZI: Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister says he’s lost faith in the Melanesian Spearhead Group because of a lack of consensus and political engagement.

The group had become especially contentious after including Indonesia in 2015, which had clashed with United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which holds observer status.

In an interview with Australian thinktank the Development Policy Centre, Ralph Regenvanu, said the MSG was disappointing and becoming less relevant.

“That consensus approach to decision making is failing in the MSG. Vanuatu’s been consistently saying that it’s not happy with the way that decisions are made, that they’re not made in the consensus manner, and that’s continuing.”

Mr Regenvanu said if the group returns to its purpose it could become relevant again.

– RNZI

LLG polls plan stays

By PETER WARI

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will confirm this week the date of the 2018 local level government elections after the Government sorts out “conflicting legal advices” which have been causing its delay.

He also told Parliament on Friday that allowances owed to local level government presidents and ward councillors would be paid before the Elections.

O’Neill said he stood by the undertaking he made in Parliament in February that the local level government elections would be held (initially in June or July) this year, and that any changes (to the laws governing the elections) should take place after the exercise was completed.

He said there was no point in creating uncertainty in the minds of our people while the election process was taking place.

He also stood by what he said in February in Parliament that council presidents be elected either by the people or directly by the ward councillors. He said it should be left to each province to decide.

He said there were provinces that wished to have the council presidents elected by the people, and there are provinces that want the presidents to be elected by the ward councillors.

O’Neill said the outstanding allowances claimed by LLG presidents and ward councillors should be settled before the country held the elections.

“I have made those statements in this House and they stand. Those instructions remains as I have stated. And those who do not like them have to find another job,” he said.

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird had asked O’Neill if the undertakings he made five months ago still stood or had they been “overwritten by people who work for the PM”.

Source: The National PNG

Minister launches Celebrations

Left to right: Commissioner of Police Albert Nalpini, Deputy Prime Minister Bob Loughman, Mayor Albert Sandy Daniel and Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat each with national flag in Victory Parade at Fatumaru Bay
Left to right: Commissioner of Police Albert Nalpini, Deputy Prime Minister Bob Loughman, Mayor Albert Sandy Daniel and Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat each with national flag in Victory Parade at Fatumaru Bay

“Hereby proclaim the establishment of the united and free Republic of Vanuatu founded on Traditional Melanesian Values, Faith in God and Christian Principles”.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, quoted the lines from the Preamble of the Constitution at the end of the Victory Parade at the Seafront yesterday.

Minister Napuat likened the meaning to the trunk of a tree which comprises of branches and leaves and fruits to become a complete tree – an Independent Vanuatu

The Minister paid tribute to the Founding Fathers of the Independence Struggle who, equipped with God’s wisdom, wrote the words of the Preamble to declare Vanuatu an Independent Nation on July 30 of 1980.

He also quoted the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Father Walter Lini who, in his first speech to mark the country’s Independence Day said, “In this and other tests, we shall need guidance not only from God but from our own custom and traditional values. We are moving into a period of rapid change, rather like a canoe entering a patch of rough water. God and custom must be the sail and the steering paddle of our canoe.

“From 1980 until today, I keep seeing the meaning of his words which keep unfolding before our very eyes. We are entering an era of many changes that are coming. So many times some of the challenges that we are faced with go against the very values we strive to live by.”

On the same note he said lest we forget the wise words of our Founding Father that when Vanuatu is faced by new challenges, we must guard against those challenges by having our faith in God on one side and our custom values on the other (to successfully steer our country through to its destination.

In conclusion, the minister said, “I can hear the sound of victory with the call to safeguard our sovereignty, our values and our very own principles on which we stand”.

Chairman of the Celebrations, Mayor Albert Sandy Daniel, said the world is changing and bringing on challenges for Port Vila City. “We must all unite and work hard as one family, one community, one Municipality, one Government, one country and one people, to face the changes that come”, he said in his opening address.

“And unity is the key to develop, to go forward despite the devastation by cyclone Pam, we work, we smile and we go develop and this is our testimony to the region and the world”.

Port Vila is one of the most beautiful cities in the region, thanks to the donor partners for funding the ongoing infrastructure development projects including the Seafront and Fatumaru Bay Beautification Projects.

The Mayor appealed to the people of Port Vila to take great care of the Capital’s achievements saying it it is everybody’s business to care for the beauty and cleanliness of Port Vila. “To improve the peace loving environment of Port Vila it is up to ‘yumi yet’ – a united effort to to achieve a safe, carefree environment for ourselves and our visitors to enjoy”, he said.

“We can effect change and make a difference for ourselves today and our children of tomorrow. May I take this opportunity to wish you all happy celebration”.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

Vanuatu Foreign Minister: Melanesian Spearhead Group “Failing”

By NEAL CONAN JUL 24, 2018

Earlier this year, Hawaiʻi joined the Polynesian Leaders Group, a sub-regional organization in the Pacific modeled on the Melanesian Spearhead Group. But the MSG is having its problems and the Foreign Minister of Vanuatu now says the organization is failing.

Back in 2015, the Melanesian Spearhead Group made what may prove to be a fatal compromise. At a summit meeting in the Solomon Islands, leadership agreed to admit the United Liberation Movement of West Papua as an observer and, at the same time, raised Indonesia’s status from observer to associate.

The deal papered over a fundamental contradiction: The ULM is fighting to establish an independent state in the western half of New Guinea, land that Indonesia regards as its sovereign territory.

The three small members of the MSG side with their Melanesian cousins; the two bigger members with Indonesia and the split keeps widening.

Papua New Guinea, which occupies the eastern half of New Guinea, supports Indonesia, but, earlier this month Prime Minister Peter O’Neill fudged that. In a speech in Fiji, he urged regional countries to take the issue of West Papua to the United Nations.

On a weekend visit to Jakarta, Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato clarified what he called misreporting. He said Papua New Guinea’s position on West Papua has not changed and, he added, “there is no intention of changing it.”


Ralph RegenvanuCREDIT MARKE LOWEN, RALPH REGENVANU / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Vanuatu is among the MSG countries that support the United Liberation Movement.

This week, Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu expressed his frustration and disappointment to an Australian think tank. “That consensus approach to decision making is failing in the MSG.” he told the Development Policy Centre, “Vanuatu’s been consistently saying that it’s not happy with the way decisions are made.”


Declared Port Vila land owners visit President

Back row L to R: Principal Private Secretary Peter Bong, Jean-Paul Virelala, Steven Kalsakau, Erick Kaltapang mo Ps. Russel Bakokoto, Assistant Private Secretary Yan Dapang mo long Front row L to R: Kalkot Kaltabang, Kalsef Tangraro, President Obed Moses Tallis and Chief Denny Nmak Kalmet.
Back row L to R: Principal Private Secretary Peter Bong, Jean-Paul Virelala, Steven Kalsakau, Erick Kaltapang mo Ps. Russel Bakokoto, Assistant Private Secretary Yan Dapang mo long Front row L to R: Kalkot Kaltabang, Kalsef Tangraro, President Obed Moses Tallis and Chief Denny Nmak Kalmet.

On Monday last week the declared custom land owners of the land Port Vila town has been built on met President Obed Tallis to officially inform him of the declaration.

The declaration was reportedly made in May last year by the Efate Island Court last year.

The declared custom land owners from Erakor, Eratap, Pango and Ifira assured that now the ownership issue has been decided, there will be no more disturbances on land issues within the central business district of Port Vila.

During the meeting with the Head of State, the delegation presented the green certificate for the land that was issued by the Customary Land Management Office.

With this assurance, the President told the delegation that the people of Efate have a good heart to allow people to settle on their land.

He said the development pace of Efate today is testament that reflects the good nature of Efate people.

The President thanked people of Efate for allowing people from other islands to reside in areas like Teouma and Etas.

Source: http://dailypost.vu/