AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): The president of the self-styled republic of West Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut, has made an appeal to three regional political organisations in the Pacific for recognition of the "independence" of the Indonesian-ruled territory.
In a letter dated May 26, received by Pacific Media Watch, the president urges the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the African, Pacific and Caribbean group of states (AFC) to recognise his country.
In the letter, Yaboisembut addresses several human rights issues in West Papua. He also underlines that West Papuans are ethnic Melanesians, and therefore should not be a part of Indonesia.
Yaboisembut was imprisoned in March last year for peaceful protest when he was elected "president" at a public rally in Jayapura in a subsequent court case widely condemned as unjust by human rights groups.
The MSG meeting in Noumea, New Caledonia, next month is expected to welcome West Papua as an observer.
Below is the letter President Yaboisembut sent to the Melanesia Spearhead Group yesterday - exactly as written.
Honorable Mr.Peter Forau
Director General Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG)
My dear Mr Peter Forau,
I am a newly elected President of the Federal Republic of West Papua which was formed at the Third Papuan People’s Conggress on 19th of October 2011 in Jayapura, West Papua. My collegue and I that is the newly elected Prime Minister and three other staff Members referred to as “Jayapura Five” were arrested and imprisoned in 2011 and are still in the prrison up until today. We were arrested and jailed because We led our people and unilaterally declared indepdendence for West Papua on 19th October 2011.
More than 20,000 people came from the 7 regions of West Papua particiapted in the Third Papuan People’s Congress. The Third Congress is the highest forum in which our people were freely engaged in the political decision making regarding the future of Papua.
As the President, I on behalf of my people hereby extend our gratitute and appreciationin in advance for your government’s attention and concern on West Papua especially its human rights issues such as the human rights abuse of all forms in West Papua and our aspiration to be free and independent.This abuses and attrocities will never end for as long as Indonesian is still occupying West Papua.
The People of West Papua are of Melanesian stock / race and have closer affinity and or share common customs and traditions with the people of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands,Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.
We therefore strongly appeal to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and African,Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and other countries in the Pacific to grant West Papua full membership status and recongnition for our full Political independence from Indonesia.
The Secretariat of the transisional government of the Federal Republic of West Papua is now taking full resposibility to implement some of the resolutions passed at the Congress. We are now seeking for your support and recognition of our ambryo government and the full political independence issue at the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly. Please kindly read our Basic Guidelines Booklet on West Papua which consist of six Chapters and 44 pages. We believe this will help you to know and understand the wishess and aspirations of our people to be free and independent from Unitary State of Indonesia.
Finally and not the least we wish to remind you at this juncture not to forget that we all share the same island formerly known as New Guinea. Thank you for your highest consideration and positive response
Here is a link to the actual letter.
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