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The new Papua New Guinea: Where the intimidators drive Toyotas

PNG & West Papua must unite: We are a Melanesian brotherhood

Melanesian people from West PapuaFELIX BARAKA

WEST Papua is culturally part of the diverse Melanesian society in the south-west Pacific. Melanesia is not a country but a "culture area" - a term used by anthropologists to refer to a geographical region where people share many of the same traits.

In our case, these traits include family structure, marriage rules, social organisation and ways of surviving or making a living.

Melanesia itself is part of the larger Oceania culture area that includes Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Australasia.

Melanesians are characteristically dark-skinned with frizzy hair. They are sometimes referred to as "Papuans," from the Malay word papua meaning "frizzy haired." Melanesia includes the islands of New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and smaller neighbouring islands.

In Melanesian society people work collectively and you cannot see your brother defeated and tremble before you. It’s totally unacceptable in Melanesian society. If there is a division in the society or in the family, it is sign that defeat is invited due to no defence in a crisis.

That is why West Papua wants the rest of Melanesia. West Papua is longing to end its misery and exile. That’s what the Melanesian Spearhead Group should be all about.

One of the early objectives behind the establishment of the Melanesian Spearhead Group was to help the Melanesian people of New Caledonia, the Kanaks, get their independence from France.

While this is still a continuing process, the French government allowed the Kanak Independence Movement — the FLNKS — to take up full membership of the MSG

However, it seems to have a different attitude in the case of West Papua's request to join.

The issue of respecting the sovereignty of a nation that is accused of systematic human rights abuse against a group of people seeking self-determination is not an easy one to address.

Yet being respectful of another nation's sovereignty does not mean ignoring the plight of the marginalised and victimised people within its borders.

Concerns about human rights, indigenous rights and socio-economic rights can be raised, must be raised.

As human beings first, and also as Pacific islanders, we are called to be in solidarity with those who experience injustice and state oppression.

As a democracy, perhaps we in PNG will be able to challenge our elected leaders to ensure that, as a nation, we are not only sovereign and democratic but also compassionate and just towards our neighbours.

We are Melanesians and we are culturally blood related. We stand by each other, we fight together, we feast and celebrate together.

That’s why we should unite with West Papua. We must not call ourselves Papua New Guinea or them West Papua. No! For too long we have been segmented. We must reunite again, for we are not a segmented Papua, but a united Papua


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Issac Gela

Mr Baraka, you are correct very much. I think there are many others within country who share a similar opinion. I think this idea should be taken up politically.

We Melanesians were always here. PNG needs a step forward. Unite PNG and West Papua. It's time for a Greater Papua.

Andrew Nala

PNG established trade partnership with Indonesia, regardless of Oro Governers plea, for the Government of PNG, to rethink its decision and abstain from any trade relation with Indonesia until the issue of West Papua is being addressed...since our Melanesian brothers and sisters (West Papua) are going through Genocides,rape, murder, torture...

Almost 85% of Papua New Guineans are not aware or well educated with the fight for freedom in West Papua.

If they do, you will see 100% of Papua New Guineans and Melanesians will be marching up and down for a free West Papua, as Melanesians its not our nature to see a brother under these kind of treatment.

The Media Organisations (EMTV, thenational, post courier,...) in Papua New Guinea are not doing enough at all regarding the West Papua for freedom, and as a Papua New Guinean I am shameful of that...I am 24 years old, and just 2 years ago learnt of these Genocides in West Papua. Nobody in Papua New Guinea talks about West Papua and their fight for freedom, even we dont know whats happening in West Papua. All we know is, West Papua is Indonesia.

Please, to all media Organisation in PNG...50% of the West Papuan Fight for Freedom is in your hands...if you are not effective, 50% of the Battle is lost.

Try reporting about the Genocides and fight for freedom in West Papua and you will see...Papua New Guineans will RISE and ROAR like a Lion for West Papua...right now, the issue is only known by Politicians and few Educated individuals. The rest of Papua New Guinea are in the Dark. PNG is not like before where we have few educated people, the whole country can now read and understand...

What we need is:

1. Effective Media Reporting - to Educate the People
2. Strong Leadership - in the likes of NCD Governor Powes Parkop and Oro Governor Gary Juffa

Its time to make Noise with our People, Brothers and Sisters, One Ancestors, One Land, One tradition and as ONE UNITED PAPUA...

Tanya Zeriga Alone

Good question by Giorgio Licini? We can desire a union but how will that be done?

We have our own problems to worry about here in PNG, so the best thing we can do is to support their efforts for self independence.

I think, it is about time, West Papuans stop learning and speaking Bahasa. Boycott Bahasa. As long as West Papua speak Bahasa as their language of business, trade and communication, they will need Indonesia.

Bernard Yegiora

Chris considering the economic projections in Australia's Asian Century White launched during the Gillard era, Indonesia is set to be one of the top 10 economies come 2025. Its leadership role in ASEAN is also a display of its power. It will take a bloody revolution to liberate Papua.

Michael Dom

All we have to do is recognise them as a Melanesian people.

It would simply be stating the obvious.

Chris Overland

Felix Baraka is entirely correct that both ethnically and geographically West Papua is part of Melanesia and, by extension, what is called Oceania.

His call for self determination for West Papua is, to me at least, completely reasonable.

Unfortunately, politics and history are working against this.

As I understand it, there are now more Indonesians colonists (mostly ethnic Javanese) living in West Papua than there are Melanesians.

Unlike East Timor, which one Indonesian politician described as "a stone in Indonesia's shoe", West Papua is a potentially very resource rich and productive part of the Indonesian nation.

Consequently, the Indonesian government will certainly not give up its control of West Papua voluntarily, as it did in the case of East Timor.

Only war or the threat of a war, probably overtly or covertly supported by other powers, is likely to dislodge them.

It will take a lot more than rhetoric from the MSG or any similar body to cause more than irritation in Jakarta.

To free West Papua from its colonial yoke requires people who are willing to both kill and die for it.

Right now, I see no sign at all that the "great and the good" have the slightest inclination to support a fight for independence in, to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain's famous remark about Czechoslovakia in 1938, "a country far away of which we know nothing".

Looks like a home grown revolution will be needed.

Good luck with that.

David Kasei Wapar

People from afar may condemn the actions of Indonesia on indigenous West Papuans who have been struggling for over 50 years.

However I fear its closest neighbours, Aussie and PNG, will continue to approach Indonesia in compromise.

Rachel Tordoff

For so long the PNG government has been ignoring West Papua. These are our blood brothers and sisters of Melanesia.

Long before the white man took over our land we lived and moved freely in our land as people and tribes.

West Papua and East Papua are sister and brother. Our families are made up of East New Guinea and West New Guinea. The people of PNG are supporting West Papua. But the PNG government is turning a blind eye to West Papua.

God has given you, Mr Prime Minister, the job of governing this country PNG. To do good to help those who are in need.

PNG PM I ask you to used your power to save the lives of the men, women and children of West Papua dying every day in the hands of Indonesian genocide.

For god is watching you, PNG PM. Please help save West Papua.

Giorgio Licini

Be united. But how?

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