Local Support for West Papua Gaining Momentum

Source: Papua New Guinea Today

HONIARA, 20 APRIL 2015 (SOLOMON STAR) --- A West Papua independence leader was in Solomon Islands last week to rally support for their inclusion in the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG).

Octovianus Mote, an exiled West Papuan who now lives in the United States, is the general secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

The movement has lodged its membership application to the MSG, which will be discussed when MSG Leaders meet during their summit in Honiara in July this year.

In Honiara, Mote met civil society groups, West Papua sympathisers, and prominent leaders.

Mote told the Sunday Star every single person in Solomon Islands is needed to support West Papua’s application to the MSG and their fight for freedom.

West Papua, whose people are Melanesians, was being ruled by Indonesia for the last 53 years.

“Of course, there are many ways to support West Papua’s freedom, especially our application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which is the main focus and objective for now,” Mote said.

“Solomon Islands citizens you are our wantok, your support in whatever form in the social media or whatever platform to mobilise information,” he added.

Mote said for the last 53 years, West Papuans have suffered under the brutal occupation of their land by the Indonesian government.

“What you can do is simply rally behind us as Melanesians; we want to be part of that MSG as brothers and sister with Melanesian heritage.

“It’s no use proclaiming your support if you did not cast papers into supporting West Papua’s application for MSG membership.”

He said other regional organisations have pledged their support for the West Papuan cause.

Mote also met West Makira MP Derick Manu’ari, a staunch advocator for the West Papuan independence cause.

Manu’ari said like most groups or movements supporting West Papua, “we all want West Papua to be granted MSG full membership status”.

“It is important to take note of upcoming events and make sure the rally and support we give our brothers and sisters are effective,” the West Makira MP said. 

“Solidarity amongst such movements regionally is important, especially amongst the Melanesian countries,” he added.  

Manu’ari said he’s intending to move a motion on the floor of parliament seeking support for the West Papuan cause from national leaders.