Pacific & West Papua Feed

Indonesia is turning Papuans into terrorists

West Papua armed group
West Papua armed group -Indonesia now labelling freedom fighters as 'terrorists'

YAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA - The Indonesian government has officially labelled the OPM (Free Papua Movement) and the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) as terrorist groups.

This came at the height of a string of shootings and murders  in Papua's highlands in recent months that last week led to the killing of senior Indonesian intelligence officer, General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha.

Continue reading "Indonesia is turning Papuans into terrorists" »


Pacific Media Centre still in limbo

Del Abcede  David Robie
Del Abcede and David Robie at the Pacific Media Centre

TEUILA FUATAI
| The Spinoff | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - Since 2007, the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology has built a solid reputation for its research and reporting on issues throughout the Asia Pacific region.

It has also been a productive training facility for Pasifika journalists and academics.

Continue reading "Pacific Media Centre still in limbo" »


W Papua leader pays tribute to Sir Michael

Morning star and kumul
Standing side by side - the Morning Star and the Kumul

BENNY WENDA
| Facebook | Extracts

OXFORD, UK – Grand Chief Sir Michael  Somare fought for the dignity of indigenous Papuans. It was an 84 year lifetime in which his story blessed freedom fighters in Melanesia. He was born for a purpose.

West Papua walked in the shadows and its independence leaders embraced the drama and watched with pride as Papua New Guinea surged ahead.

Continue reading "W Papua leader pays tribute to Sir Michael" »


Why that Lowy incident will be remembered

Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson - "Respect is taught and driven home in every aspect of our lives"

LAGIPOIVA CHERELLE JACKSON
| Medium

SAMOA - When the editor of the Lowy Institute’s, The Interpreter, called leaders of the Pacific Islands ‘toddlers’ and referred to the stance by Micronesian Leaders as ‘tantrums’, it could have easily been yet another condescending article by an Australian journalist who thought he knew better than all of us put together.

But this time, it was different.

Continue reading "Why that Lowy incident will be remembered" »


West Papua: living in constant fear

Benny Wenda
Independence leader Benny Wenda - "In West Papua, the whole essence of our humanity is being reduced to nothing”

STUART REES
| John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations

SYDNEY - Not far from Australian shores, a colonial-type genocide prompts silence.

Commercial and military interests plus preoccupation with a global virus ensure that colonisation continues, and human rights are ignored. Who cares?

Continue reading "West Papua: living in constant fear" »


Where is the ‘mana’ in our Pacific Way?

Maureen Penjueli top
Maureen Penjueli - Australia and New Zealand's absence at the recent crucial Pacific Islands Forum meeting challenges their commitment to the region

MAUREEN PENJUELI
| Pacific Islands News Association

SUVA - The decision by Micronesian leaders to withdraw from the region’s premier political body, the Pacific Islands Forum, is a move of tectonic scale whose impact will reverberate across the region.

The withdrawal comes on the back of a bruising leadership contest for Secretary-General of the Forum.

Continue reading "Where is the ‘mana’ in our Pacific Way?" »


Lowy feels heat over ‘tone-deaf comments’

Lowy Institute building
Lowy Institute building in Sydney

HERVEY FORSYTHE

CANBERRA - An Australian government supported think tank has been accused of racism and infantilising Pacific islanders following commentary on the departure of five Micronesian nations from the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Sydney-based Lowy Institute has faced a barrage of criticism over views expressed by the managing editor of its online The Interpreter magazine, Daniel Flitton, who compared a major regional dispute to a “toddler’s tantrum” and said Pacific island nations have “some growing up to do”.

Continue reading "Lowy feels heat over ‘tone-deaf comments’" »


Ahluwalia got too close to Fiji’s dark secret

Professor Pal Ahluwalia
Professor Pal Ahluwalia says his deportation is a case of  "let's to get rid of this man because he exposed too much corruption"

MICHAEL FIELD
| The Pacific Newsroom

AUCKLAND - When the University of the South Pacific’s vice chancellor Pal Ahluwalia was hauled out of his Suva, Fiji, home last week and deported, it had nothing to do with his views on education or tertiary management.

With his wife and nursing lecturer Sandy Price they were driven across curfew-locked down Fiji to be put on a plane to Australia.

Continue reading "Ahluwalia got too close to Fiji’s dark secret" »


‘They beat up the whistleblower’: Ahluwalia

Professor Pal Ahluwalia (Samoa Observer)
Professor Pal Ahluwalia after his deportation from Fiji (Samoa Observer)

DAVID ROBIE

| Asia Pacific Report | Pacnews

AUCKLAND - Deported head of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, says his expulsion from Fiji is “a classic case of beating the whistleblower up,” and has vowed to continue in the role from Nauru. Samoa has also offered him a home.

In an interview with the Australian ABC’s Pacific Beat, Professor Ahluwalia has detailed his sudden arrest and deportation.

Continue reading "‘They beat up the whistleblower’: Ahluwalia" »


‘Gestapo tactics’ against deported Fiji uni boss

Prof Pal Ahluwalia his wife Sandra Price escorted to their aircraft by Fiji officials at Nadi International Airport (Pacific Newsrooom)
Prof Pal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price (waving) are escorted to their aircraft by Fiji officials at Nadi International Airport (Pacific Newsroom)

WANSOLWARA STAFF
| Asia Pacific Report

SUVA - Staff, students and alumni of the University of the South Pacific have called on the Fiji government to immediately reinstate the work permit of vice-chancellor and president Professor Pal Ahluwalia, who was deported yesterday with his wife, Sandra Price.

The USP community also called on the government to issue a formal apology to Professor Ahluwalia for the violation of human rights.

Continue reading "‘Gestapo tactics’ against deported Fiji uni boss" »


Lurid attack again shows Indon racism

Natalius Pigai
Natalius Pigai - a prominent, outspoken and well-respected Papuan human rights activist and businessman

YAMIN KOGOYA
| Kurumbi Wone

CANBERRA - Natalius Pigai was born in Paniai, Papua, on 25 December 1975. He is a prominent Papuan human rights activist in Indonesia.

He has previously held several key positions in the country’s highest offices: special staff of the minister for manpower and transmigration ministry and one of 11 members of the National Human Rights Commission.

Continue reading "Lurid attack again shows Indon racism" »


Pacific turns to China as economies sink

AiibJONATHAN BARRETT & PRAVEEN MENON
| Reuters | Extract

Link here for the complete article

SYDNEY & WELLINGTON - Pacific island nations are turning to China-led agencies to plug funding gaps in their pandemic-ravaged budgets after exhausting financing options from traditional western partners, stoking fears the region is becoming more dependent on Beijing.

The Cook Islands, a tiny country of around 20,000 people, turned to the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) late last year after loans from the US and Japanese-led Asian Development Bank (ADB) and grant from close ally New Zealand fell short.

Continue reading "Pacific turns to China as economies sink" »


Unsnarling West Papua’s Gordian knot

Papuan protest
West Papuan youths carry a mock coffin during a demonstration in Jakarta. Indonesia won sovereignty over the former Dutch colony in 1969 after a referendum widely seen as a sham (Ahmad Zamroni, AFP)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While I don't endorse Geoffrey Luck's comments on Yamin Kagoya’s article, I do have concerns about what was written.

I think that any reasonable person would agree that the systematic oppression of West Papua's Melanesian population is shameful.

It reflects badly on Indonesia and a largely indifferent world generally.

Continue reading "Unsnarling West Papua’s Gordian knot" »


A climate for change in the Pacific

Biden harris
The election of Biden and Harris is seen as a beacon of hope by many governments in the Pacific islands

WESLEY MORGAN
| Griffith Asia Insights

BRISBANE - Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, was the first  to congratulate Joe Biden on his election as president of the United States.

There was little doubt what he wanted from the next leader of the free world. “Together, we have a planet to save from a climate emergency”, he tweeted.

Continue reading "A climate for change in the Pacific" »


The new US president & the Pacific

Biden
Joe Biden - hope that his victory will boost action on climate change

KOROI HAWKINS
| Radio New Zealand Pacific

AUCKLAND - Congratulatory messages continue to pour in from Pacific leaders to the US president-elect Joe Biden but what does the change of the guard in Washington DC really mean for the Pacific?

RNZ Pacific spoke with some political experts and commentators around the region about the potential impacts of the upcoming presidency.

Continue reading "The new US president & the Pacific" »


Melanesians & Australians must safeguard freedom

Transmigrasi village
A transmigrasi village in West Papua

JOHN GREENSHIELDS

ADELAIDE - In 1975 I went from Papua New Guinea, where we were working, to Irian Jaya and Indonesia. Nothing prepared us for the scene in Jayapura. The Melanesians were serfs in their own country.

We stayed in a nearby village, which had been the subject of recent transmigrasi, the scheme to populate Irian Jaya with migrants from heavily populated parts of Indonesia, especially Java.

Continue reading "Melanesians & Australians must safeguard freedom" »


Unjust Oz policy leaves Pacific people in limbo

Richard Brunton and fiancée Catherine Styles
Richard Brunton and his fiancée Catherine Styles

JOHNNY BLADES
| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guineans and Pacific Islanders are among many thousands of people stuck in limbo because of an Australian migration policy which appears to lack compassion.

Due to the pandemic, Australia closed its borders to almost everyone except Australian citizens, permanent residents, resident New Zealand citizens or immediate family members.

Continue reading "Unjust Oz policy leaves Pacific people in limbo" »


A rising tide of regional secessionism

West PapuaVLADISLAV GULEVICH
| Modern Diplomacy

ATHENS - Secessionist tendencies in Indonesia’s province of West Papua have recently been attracting a great deal of attention from experts and human rights activists.

The main reason for the international criticism of the Indonesian authorities is human rights violations and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of the indigenous people of West Papua.

Continue reading "A rising tide of regional secessionism" »


What do Papuans really want?

Not monkey
"The issue of racism in Papua is a serious failure and will end up costing Indonesia the very thing they are trying to hold on to"

YAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA - On Tuesday 14 July, Antara News in Jakarta published an article by Jaleswari Pramodhawardani of the Presidential Staff Office on President Joko Widodo’s approach in handling West Papua issues.

According to Pramodhawardani, lack of welfare is to blame for problems in West Papua. She concluded that Jokowi plans to resolve West Papua’s issues through various development programs.

Continue reading "What do Papuans really want?" »


Australian Pacific TV initiative lashed

CaptureKATE LYONS | Pacific Editor
| Guardian Australia | Judith Neilson Institute

SYDNEY - A move to broadcast Australian commercial television, including Neighbours, Border Security and Masterchef in Pacific nations could be counterproductive in promoting Australia’s relationship with the region, an expert media group has warned.

The new PacificAus TV program will allow Australian content to be aired free of charge by broadcasters in seven Pacific nations, at a cost of $17.1m, in a move seen as an attempt to combat Chinese influence in the Pacific region.

Continue reading "Australian Pacific TV initiative lashed" »


The battle for West Papua

West Papuan independence leader Victor Yeimo is in hiding (Greg Nelson ACS)
West Papuan independence leader Victor Yeimo is in hiding (Greg Nelson ACS)

SALLY SARA, ANNE WORTHINGTON
& VICTOR MAMBOR
| Foreign Correspondent
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Extracts

Link here for the full ABC story, complete with photographs

SYDNEY - In the highlands of Papua, in easternmost Indonesia, villagers are returning to the burnt-out remains of their abandoned homes.

A woman slumps on the grass, overcome with grief, as men dig a pit for the remains of those who could not escape the bloodshed.

Continue reading "The battle for West Papua" »


PNG must control its borders

Wutung
The Indonesian border at Wutung in PNG was closed two months ago because of the apprehended danger of coronavirus

HENRY IVARATURE
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society

CANBERRA - With a surge in Covid-19 cases predicted for Indonesia, the possibility of the dreaded virus entering Papua New Guinea from West Papua Province is a real concern amongst observers and the government.

Two months ago, the Governor of West Sepik Province, Tony Wouwou, closed the PNG-Indonesia border post at Wutung in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Continue reading "PNG must control its borders" »


Australia steps up Pacific medical support

QantasANTHONY GALLOWAY
| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - Australia will send charter flights carrying tonnes of urgent medical supplies and other support to Pacific island nations to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The deliveries come as the Pacific Islands Forum moves closer to agreeing on the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" to keep medical and food supplies flowing amid travel and movement restrictions, and China steps up its aid to the region.

Continue reading "Australia steps up Pacific medical support" »


Pacific tightens borders against coronavirus

Health staff screen airline passengers at Majuro  Marshall Islands (Hilary Hosia  RNZ Pacific)
Health staff screen airline passengers at Majuro Marshall Islands (Hilary Hosia RNZ Pacific)

NEWS DESK
| RNZ Pacific | Asia Pacific Report | Pacific Media Watch

WELLINGTON, NZ - Pacific countries have further tightened border measures to try to keep the coronavirus from gaining a foothold in the islands.

Six cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Pacific so far – the first three in French Polynesia and, on Sunday night, three were confirmed in Guam.

Continue reading "Pacific tightens borders against coronavirus" »


Australia’s Pacific missteps continue

VisaPETER KRANZ

MORRISET - If you live in a Pacific nation and are having trouble or being delayed in getting a visa to Australia, there are likely to be two reasons:

One - visa processing has been outsourced to a private UK company called TT Services.

Two - all visa approvals are now managed by the Australian High Commission in Fiji, even if you are from Papua New Guinea, the Solomons, Vanuatu or Tonga.

Continue reading "Australia’s Pacific missteps continue" »


Capitalising on the Indigenous connection

StockmenPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Some time ago I was sitting in the international departure lounge at Jackson’s Airport in Port Moresby waiting for the big balus to arrive from Brisbane.

It’s always interesting when a big balus lands because you can watch the new arrivals go past the glass doors on their way to immigration and customs.

Continue reading "Capitalising on the Indigenous connection" »


Australia deceives Pacific – again

Seizure_of_blackbirder_Daphne
The deceit began with 19th century 'blackbirding'  of slave labour to work in Australia - and it continues to this day in the form of denying climate change impacts on the Pacific

CHRISTOPHER KNAUS
| Guardian Australia | Extract

CANBERRA - The Australian government is fighting to keep secret draft versions of its strategy for helping the Pacific deal with climate change, prompting concerns it may be hiding changes that weakened the final report.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released its climate change action strategy in November, detailing how the foreign aid program would be used to help developing nations – particularly those in the Pacific – deal with global heating.

Continue reading "Australia deceives Pacific – again" »


Young Tess’s Pacific predictions 2020

Tess Newton Cain (2)
Tess Newton Cain

TESS NEWTON CAIN
| Devpolicy Blog

BRISBANE - As we enter not only a new year but a new decade, there is much to anticipate in the Pacific islands region.

Elections and domestic politics

A number of countries in the region will have elections during 2020: Kiribati, Niue, Palau and Vanuatu.

The lingering discontent in Kiribati surrounding last year’s switch in diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China may have an adverse impact on the incumbent government.

Continue reading "Young Tess’s Pacific predictions 2020" »


China tests Pacific’s fragile democracies

China-South-Pacific-InfluencePHILIP CITOWICKI
| Foreign Policy | Extracts

Link here to read the complete article

WASHINGTON DC - A decade ago, then-US president Barack Obama billed himself as the “first Pacific president” and announced, several years later, a foreign-policy “pivot to Asia.”

But the pivot proved largely illusory, and the region only grows more complex. The growing challenges faced by Pacific island countries requires significant reassessment as the region becomes one of the tensest political battlegrounds in the world.

Continue reading "China tests Pacific’s fragile democracies" »


Back to the future in Solomon Islands

Manasseh Sogavare
Manasseh Sogavare in his fourth non-consecutive terms as Solomons prime minister. Only one prime minister has survived a full term since independence

JON FRAENKEL
|East Asia Forum

WELLINGTON, NZ - One could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu in the Solomon Islands.

In elections held in April 2019, Manasseh Sogavare returned as prime minister for a fourth non-consecutive term.

In the aftermath of those elections, riots broke out in the capital, Honiara, just as they did 13 years earlier. In 2006, rioters targeted Chinatown and the Pacific Casino hotel.

Continue reading "Back to the future in Solomon Islands" »


The Pacific: strategic denial & integration

ImagesGRAEME DOBELL
| Australian Strategic Policy Institute

CANBERRA - Australia’s deepest, oldest instinct in the South Pacific is strategic denial, striving to exclude other major powers from the region.

As Australia can never achieve complete dominance in the South Pacific, the instinct is beset by a faint, constant ache.

Continue reading "The Pacific: strategic denial & integration" »


Australia's Pacific hypocrisy unveiled

Ben Bohane
Ben Bohane exposes the shallowness (and insincerity) of Australia's relationships with the Pacific

BEN BOHANE
| The Age (Melbourne) | Extracts

You can link to Ben Bohane’s complete article here

MELBOURNE - One of the reasons Pacific nations like Vanuatu are turning to China is because they fear Jakarta more than Beijing.

As previously reported in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, China is making a bold play for influence in Bougainville, the resource-rich PNG-governed territory that looks set to become the world's newest nation after its people voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence earlier this month.

Continue reading "Australia's Pacific hypocrisy unveiled" »


Pressure on South Pacific journalism

Dan McGarry
Dan McGarry - "The government refused my application to renew my work visa to silence me and warn other journalists in the country not to speak out”

GRAEME DOBELL
| The Strategist | Australian Strategic Policy Institute

CANBERRA - Journalism has always been a tough trade in the South Pacific. Living and working in island communities exposes editors and reporters to unusual political, personal and professional pressures.

A statement warning about ‘growing threats to media freedom’ from the Melanesia Media Freedom Forum, representing journalists from Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and West Papua, has been underlined by Vanuatu’s expulsion of a long-serving editor.

Continue reading "Pressure on South Pacific journalism" »


Pacific avoids debt-trap for now

Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese premier Li Keqiang (AP)
Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese premier Li Keqiang (AP)

ALEXANDRE DAYANT
| Nikkei Asian Review

SYDNEY - In October, the New York Times reported that China had leased the island of Tulagi, prized for its deep-water harbor, from the Solomon Islands, which lie northeast of Australia.

While the Solomon Islands government has said such a lease is illegal, it set alarm bells ringing internationally, coming less than a week after the country severed relations with Taipei and turned to Beijing.

Continue reading "Pacific avoids debt-trap for now" »


Vanuatu doubles down on McGarry

Dan_McGarry
Dan McGarry - "“It’s just plain cruel to make innocent children suffer merely because we printed an uncomfortable truth”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The government of Vanuatu, having previously blocked Vanuatu Daily Post senior journalist Dan McGarry from working in the country, has now doubled down on that decision by preventing him from returning home to Port Vila.

Mr McGarry had, of all things, been attending a media freedom conference in Brisbane when the Vanuatu government denied his right to return to Vanuatu to be with his family.

Continue reading "Vanuatu doubles down on McGarry" »


Dark day for media freedom

Dan McGarry (left) outside the offices of Vanuatu’s Daily Post in Port Vila
Dan McGarry (left) outside the offices of Vanuatu’s Daily Post in Port Vila

DAN McGARRY
| Guardian Australia

PORT VILA - Vanuatu’s Daily Post has always held the government to account and will continue to do so, with or without me as editor

Last Thursday, the Vanuatu government issued instructions that after 16 years living here and, despite having a Ni Vanuatu spouse and children, I will have to leave the country.

Continue reading "Dark day for media freedom" »


What does Vanuatu want to be known for?

Dan McGarry  Kora Nonu  Sean Dorney
Pacific journalists Dan McGarry, Kora Nonu and Sean Dorney at a media conference in Brisbane this week

TESS NEWTON CAIN
| Facebook

BRISBANE - I’m going to start with the disclosures. Dan McGarry is my friend.

We have worked together as colleagues in the past and my contributions to the Vanuatu Daily Post and Buzz FM in recent years have been at his invitation and with his encouragement.

So the recent news that the government is trying to force his departure from Vanuatu for what they feel is negative reporting makes me sad.

Continue reading "What does Vanuatu want to be known for?" »


Vanuatu gets nasty on journalism

Dan_McGarry
Dan McGarry -  After 16 years in Vanuatu, the highly respected Pacific islands journalist was harangued by the prime minister for “negative reporting” then had his work permit revoked

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – If a government is ever involved in something, anything, and it looks like a stitch-up, then you’re right to assume it is indeed a stitch-up.

And here at PNG Attitude we assume that the Vanuatu government is guilty of trying to remove Daily Post newspaper director Dan McGarry from his job and from the country on a pretext.

Why? Because the government knows his journalism is  telling the truth.

Continue reading "Vanuatu gets nasty on journalism" »


The genocide next door

‘Sorong Samarai'
For the last decade Rize of the Morning Star has been spreading the message ‘Sorong Samarai - One people, one soul, one destiny’ (illustration by Moale James)

MOALE JAMES
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited extracts

BRISBANE - “West Papuans are being denied their basic human rights. Human beings have a right to freedom,” says Richard Mogu.

“Freedom to be treated fairly like a human being. Freedom to be respected. To have your own dignity and pride. This is being taken away from West Papuans.”

Continue reading "The genocide next door" »


'Shameful silence' on West Papua attacked

David Robie
Professor David Robie - It takes "serious guts" to report on West Papua issues in the South Pacific

NEWS DESK
| Asia Pacific Report/Melanesia Media Freedom Forum/Pacific Media Watch | Extract

BRISBANE - Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie has condemned the Australian and New Zealand governments and mainstream media for their “deafening silence” over the West Papua crisis.

Speaking before next month’s Melanesian Media Freedom Forum at Griffith in Brisbane, Dr Robie said Canberra and Wellington needed to get behind the Vanuatu-led Pacific initiatives on West Papuan self-determination or face growing insecurity in the region.

Continue reading "'Shameful silence' on West Papua attacked" »


Report disputes China debt-trap claims

China expanionismELOUISE FOWLER
| Australian Financial Review

SYDNEY - The claim that China has engaged in ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ by offering loans worth hundreds of billions of dollars to strategically located Pacific island nations, leaving them vulnerable to China’s influence, has been hosed down in a new Lowy Institute report.

"The evidence to date suggests China has not been engaged in deliberate ‘debt-trap’ diplomacy in the Pacific," researchers at the foreign policy think tank concluded.

Continue reading "Report disputes China debt-trap claims" »


Violence in Papua could get worse

West-papua-riotsSIDNEY JONES
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute | Extract

Link here to Sidney Jones’ complete article

SYDNEY - Violence has swept across Indonesian Papua in the last six weeks, starting with racist taunts against Papuan students in East Java, and moving back to Papua where protests against racism turned into larger pro-independence demonstrations.

On 28 August, police opened fire on demonstrators in Deiyai, a remote district in the central highlands, after an Indonesian soldier was killed by an arrow. Eight Papuans died from gunfire.

Continue reading "Violence in Papua could get worse" »


China extends influence as Solomons ditches Taiwan

Flags
China makes another significant inroad into the Pacific as the Solomons abandons Taiwan despite strenuous efforts by the USA to persuade it not to

KATE LYONS
| The Guardian

SYDNEY - The Solomon Islands’ government has voted to sever its longstanding ties with Taiwan and take up diplomatic relations with Beijing.

The move is a huge blow to self-ruled Taiwan, which has lost six allies since 2016, and to Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is seeking re-election in January amid rising tension with China.

The Solomon Islands, with about 600,000 people, is the latest country to switch allegiance to China since Tsai came to office in 2016, following Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama and El Salvador.

Continue reading "China extends influence as Solomons ditches Taiwan" »


Truth will set free the people of West Papua

Parkop - Juffa Parkop lead march
Governors Gary Juffa and Powes Parkop lead the West Papua freedom march on Monday

GOVERNOR POWES PARKOP

PORT MORESBY - The right to self-determination is not just a universal declaration provided in Article 1 of the United Nation Charter, it’s also a right promulgated by God when he got Moses to tell Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go!’

Thank you Governor  Gary Juffa for your continuous support for our people of West Papua. You have never withered and I salute you. You are a champion of our people.

I thank prime minister James Marape for the brave stand he has taken. We are a manifestation of that stand that we won’t stand by and allow our people to be killed and oppressed.

Continue reading "Truth will set free the people of West Papua" »


A Voice for West Papua

VoiceDENNIS KIKIRA BELAS

Hey, l bet you look to the West
Beyond that mountain crest
And see far beyond that ridge
Do you see across that valley?
Smoke and flames rising?
Raging upon the western skies?

Hey, I bet you stop by and think
About what lies far beyond
Our shared mountain ridges,
Reflect upon the bond we share
And you shall feel yet for sure
They pain they cannot bear

Continue reading "A Voice for West Papua" »


Australia must ‘lead through kindness’ on refugees & climate

Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - "“Arrogance and a refusal to listen will isolate the big south island, leaving the smaller ones in the vast ocean with no choice but to turn to Asia"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A prominent Catholic priest in Papua New Guinea says Australia, as the region’s richest and biggest nation, should “lead through kindness” in the south-west Pacific and show “solidarity and inclusiveness”.

Writing in the PNG Catholic Reporter, Fr Giorgio Licini said the PNG government and civil society also have a responsibility because of their “central position among the family of nations in the Pacific [to] raise their voice regarding the current most pressing issues”.

Fr Giorgio enumerated these as Australia’s attitudes to offshore detention, refusing to acknowledge the negative environmental impact of coal burning and making “access and work difficult for other members of the Pacific family”.

Continue reading "Australia must ‘lead through kindness’ on refugees & climate" »


I support a referendum for West Papua. Will the world join me?

Raymond Sigimet
Raymond Sigimet - "West Papuans are not Indonesians. West Papuans are not Asians. They are Melanesians"

RAYMOND SIGIMET

DAGUA - When I was doing my third year at teachers’ college, during a course in post-colonial literature our lecturer gave an assignment on the topic of nationalism.

The task was to select two nations in our immediate region that were once colonised. The assignment was to look into their history and literature in the forms of poems, stories or quotes expressing nationalist or anti-colonial sentiments.

I decided to read about Indonesia and East Timor (a new nation at the time). Indonesia a former Dutch colony and East Timor a former Portuguese colony.

I decided on Indonesia because of its occupation of East Timor (as it was before independence in 1999) and the ongoing Papua Merdeka [freedom] movement in West Papua.

So I set out on my quest to read and discover the post-colonial and nationalist literature of these countries.

I searched the bookshelves and catalogues in the library and found little existing literature that would provide the information I needed. At that time, there was no internet and the books were irrelevant to my assigned task.

Continue reading "I support a referendum for West Papua. Will the world join me?" »