By Len Garae
West Papua freedom global campaigner, Benny Wenda, a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, has every reason to smile in Port Vila because he says he has received confirmation from his West Papua Campaign Office in London that the Scottish Parliament has passed a motion to support the West Papua campaign for self determination this week.
Speaking with a bright smile on his face outside the Chiefs Nakamal yesterday, the Novel Peace Prize Nominee gives credit to the Vanuatu Government for allowing him to address parliament last year on his global campaign for the freedom of his people from foreign domination.
Benny Wenda says the staunch support by Vanuatu has given him confidence to push on round the world. That is why Scotland has followed suit to support the campaign for the freedom of West Papua, he says.
However, he admits that in nearby New Zealand, its speaker of parliament declined to allow him to address the House like he did in Vanuatu. “This has not discouraged me even though I was rather taken aback by such a cold reception by one country in the Pacific so close to home,” he says.
Traditionally, New Zealand has been viewed as the most tolerant country compared to Australia, for allowing so many Pacific islanders to live with the ‘Pakeha’ (white) community.
Despite his brief experience in New Zealand, he appeals to the people of Micronesia and people of Polynesia to join Vanuatu to support the struggle of the people of West Papua to achieve their freedom from Indonesia.
The political activist who lives in England has been making waves in Europe in the recent past with his campaigns against the struggle and suffering of his Melanesian people of West Papua.
In the current arrangement Vanuatu has become the only beacon in the cold world to offer to facilitate the first meeting of its kind for representatives of all the pro independence movement in West Papua, to sit down in the Chiefs Nakamal in a spirit of unity to plot the way forward.
The National Council of Chiefs and Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs are sealing the outcome of the two day meeting at Saralana at midday today.
Source: Vanuatu Daily Post