West Papua

Morning Star badge embroils West Papuan activist

Filep Karma, the most prominent pro-independence Papuan to have been incarcerated in Indonesia, was held up for questioning by military and police officers at Jakarta's main airport.

It is two years since Filep Karma was released from prison after serving 11 years for treason for raising the banned Papuan nationalist flag, the Morning Star.

Flying in to Sukarno Hatta airport from Yogyakarta, Mr Karma caught the attention of a military, or TNI, officer due to the customary Morning Star badge he wears on his shirt.

More rural villages access electricity in West Papua

Antara news reported the 74 villages are among 191 in the provinces supplied power by the state electricity company PLN.

It reported the PLN business director for Papua regions, Ahmad Rofik, had said the electrification is a special gift for people in remote villages.

Mr Rofik said the power supply cost US$11 million to establish and would benefit over 1000 families.

PLN's rural electricity development is one of the government's strategic programmes.

West Papua could compete in future Pacific Games

The PGC’s Forum held after its annual general meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu this week was to hear members on several key topics such as associate membership, bid process and management structure

The other names that were floated in general discussion that could be invited to become members of the regional games were Christmas Island, Bougainville, Easter Islands and Hawaii apart from Australia and New Zealand.

These countries could in future become associate members with certain voting rights.

Indonesia accepts Pacific's right to raise West Papua concern

According to Antara news agency, Retno Marsudi said Indonesia also had the right to explain.

This comes after last month's fiery response by Indonesia to speeches by some Pacific governments at the United Nations General Assembly.

Prime ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands called for an investigation into killings and various alleged human rights abuses against West Papuans by Indonesian security forces.

In response, Indonesia's representative accused the countries of being manipulated by Papuans with separatist agendas to exploit the issue of human rights.

UN committee rejects West Papua independence petition

The petition, presented by the independence leader Benny Wenda on Tuesday, asked the UN to appoint a special representative to investigate abuses and to put West Papua back on the decolonisation agenda.

But the UN decolonisation committee says the West Papua cause is outside its mandate, which extends only to the 17 states identified by the UN as "non-self governing territories."

The committee's chair and Venezuela's representative to the UN, Rafael Ramírez, says he had received no formal petition document, and his office had been "manipulated" for political purposes.

1.8 million West Papuans petition UN for independence vote

The exiled West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda presented the document to the C24, the special committee on decolonisation on Tuesday.

Dr Jason MacLeod from the University of Sydney is a West Papua expert who has just returned from the Indonesian territory to verify the petition.

He said it was fair and accurate representation of the West Papuan people's will and the UN needed to pay due attention.

Pacific churches unimpressed by Indonesia's comments on West Papua

The General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, said a protest that took place during the forum supporting West Papua's independence was nothing new.

Mr Pihaatae said it illustrated the strong support from some. But he urged all Pacific nations to express their concern as seen in Samoa.

RNZI reports Indonesia's Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, was at the meeting and condemned the protest and accused Pacific Islanders of being misled on a human rights situation that had largely improved.

Forum leaders call for open, constructive dialogue on West Papua

The leaders have called for dialogue to continue in an open and constructive manner.

When asked whether the language in the communiqué around the issue of West Papua was weak, Samoa Prime Minister and Forum Chair, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said, no.

“It’s the most powerful wording we could find. You know these issues are very sensitive, he said at a post-Forum press conference in Apia, Samoa.

Last Wednesday, a small but vocal group of the Free West Papua movement staged a peaceful protest outside the venue of the Leaders meeting in Apia.

Human rights abuses no longer happening in West Papua says Indonesian delegate

Franzalbert Joku from the Ministry for Political, Judicial and Security in Indonesia is at the 48th Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in Samoa.

“I’m saying it’s not happening to the scale like in the 60s, 70s, 80s and even as late as the 90s.”

“On the issue of Papua independence and human rights abuses allegations, we don’t think the forum is the appropriate place to address these issues."

Protesters gathered outside the Aggie Grey’s Sheraton Hotel in Samoa yesterday to address the leaders and delegates attending the forum.

Pacific Bishops discuss Climate change and West Papua

In their recent meet in Auckland, New Zealand, the ECFCB of Oceania (Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, New Zealand, CEPAC- the rest of the Pacific discussed their knowledge, awareness and impacts of climate change in the region.

In a statement together, all the Bishops of the Pacific agreed that the place of the sea in the lives of the people would be a central focus of their meeting.