by Selpius Bobii in Abepura Prison, West Papua
21 December, 2013
Opinion / Analysis
In June 2013 the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto invited the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to send a delegation to visit Indonesia(1). At the 19th Summit of the MSG on 21 June 2013 the MSG leadership determined that the question of the application for MSG membership by West Papua would be decided at the latest within 6 months of that meeting, following receipt of a report on a visit to Indonesia by the MSG member Foreign Ministers.
It is now 6 months to the day since that decision was made and yet the MSG Foreign Ministers have not yet visited Indonesia due to the lack of certainty concerning the invitation from Indonesia. It is now clear that Indonesia’s supposed invitation was but a political snare to delay the MSG leadership’s decision regarding West Papua’s application for MSG membership. Meanwhile Indonesia has been busy throughout this 6 months lobbying and making offers to the individual MSG member states in order to influence the outcome of that decision.
Indonesia is extremely sly and cunning in the way it plays its ‘Indonesian puppet’ politics. It was with the very same slyness that enabled Indonesia to succeed in annexing West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia in the 1960s and which has enabled Indonesia to maintain its hold on Papua ever since. Indonesia has undertaken all possible means to influence the international community such that West Papua to this date remains within the region of RI’s power, and Indonesia’s invitation to the MSG in June 2013 was but one of RI’s political strategies to that end. It was an intentional ploy to cause Papua’s efforts to become a member of the MSG to fail.
From the time news was heard of Indonesia’s invitation to the MSG, the indigenous Papuan community already knew that Indonesia would not follow through in fulfilling its commitment to enable the MSG visit to Jakarta and Papua; and that has now become a reality. Meanwhile almost all of the member nations of the MSG have fallen right into the snares set by Indonesia, allowing themselves to be manipulated so as to meet Indonesia’s purpose of defeating Papua’s application for MSG membership.
Indonesia has not only tricked the Melanesian nations individually in this way and has tricked them as a united body in the MSG regarding the supposed invitation, but has at the same time deceived the international community in regards to the same. So many have been hoping and waiting for the outcome of this matter, many of whom have made sacrifices to uphold truth, justice and dignity of the West Papuan people.
Indonesia’s deceit of the MSG Forum in this way just serves to heighten the perception in the international community and for some of the MSG members that Indonesia as a state is chronically lying to the world. There have been endless occasions when RI has wilfully lied in order to maintain its hold on West Papua within Indonesia and so many have been deceived by Indonesia’s cunning and sly ways in this regard. The tragic consequence being that as a result many parties have chosen to ignore the urgent humanitarian problems in West Papua, problems the ramifications of which are most horrifying indeed. Problems that Indonesia for 50 years has gone to great efforts to hide from the world. And so determination of the legal and political status of Papua according to international law has also been delayed.
Discussions in relation to the human rights violations and the legal and political status of the West Papuan nation at the 19th Summit of the MSG in Noumea, gave a breath of fresh air and new hope to the indigenous community of West Papua. To a people who have been under the cruel colonial domination of Indonesia and its allies for over 50 years. It is dearly hoped that this new hope born of the 19th MSG Summit will not just elapse like the passing of time; and that it will not be brought down by the many offers made by the Indonesian government and its allies to the MSG member states. Rather the Melanesian people of Papua hope and pray that the stated commitment of the 19th MSG forum will be upheld and defended, seeing West Papua given full membership at the MSG and consequently of the Pacific Islands Forum. Such that in time the problem of Papua can be dealt with by the official mechanisms of the United Nations and the nation of Papua become independent and set free from all forms of tyranny, oppression and enslavement.
The commitment of the MSG Forum at this time is indeed being sorely tested. Will the MSG leadership have the courage to decide in the near future to make West Papua a full member of the MSG without having to wait for a report from a now much delayed visit of the MSG member Foreign Ministers to Indonesia? Or will the MSG leadership delay that decision and succumb to the influence of the cunning politics of Indonesia and its allies?
The indigenous community of Papua and those in the international community who care about the fate of West Papuans, are following the political wake from the last MSG Summit. All are awaiting a decision of certainty on West Papua’s application for MSG membership as a first real and effective step towards eventually bringing the problem of the legal and political status of West Papua to the mechanisms of the United Nations. As the people of Papua have not struggled for more than 50 years to take something that rightfully belongs to another, but rather to have the sovereign independence of the people of Papua recognised by the world.
1. That invitation was conveyed by Suyanto when he met with the Fijian Prime Minister (at that time the Chairperson of the MSG) in Suva, Fiji.
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA. This article is written from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia
- Planned MSG Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua lacks transparency (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesia’s Manoeuvres in West Papuan Struggle and the MSG (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- The Challenge of the MSG Delegation Visit to Jakarta and Papua (wikileaks-forum.com)
- Bobii: The Challenge of the MSG Delegation Visit to Jakarta and Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders (islandsbusiness.com)
- West Papua Report December 2013 – ETAN (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- The Challenge of the MSG Delegation Visit to Jakarta & Papua (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Commitment of the MSG regarding West Papua to be put to the Test (westpapuamedia.info)
- Contention between representatives of West Papua and Indonesia at the 19th MSG Summit (westpapuamedia.info)