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Papuans want in on MSG

March 29
21:42 2013

By MAIKELI SERU

A coalition of West Papuan groups says West Papuans want to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
This was revealed when representatives of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation visited the chairman of the Group and Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, in Suva this week.
The delegation was led by Dr John Otto Ondawame, the vice-chairman of the grouping and it included Rex Rumakiek, the secretary-general and Barak Sope, former Prime Minister of Vanuatu and adviser to the coalition.
The delegation presented their quest for membership to the Melanesian bloc.
Commodore Bainimarama acknowledged receiving the group’s expression of interest to join the Group and informed them that this was a process which would require extensive consultation among members of the organisation.
He said the coalition would be informed of the decision made by the Group.
Mr Ondawame thanked Commodore Bainimarama for meeting them and also for leading Fiji well during challenging times, and his leadership of the Group over the past two years which saw it gain prominence in regional affairs.
“Under Fiji’s Chairmanship, the MSG has advanced issues relating to the process for decolonisation in New Caledonia, trade, economic and cultural issues which have further strengthened the grouping and expressed their appreciation to the Prime Minister for acknowledging their application to be a part of this young and dynamic organisation,” Mr Ondawame said.
The coalition is the umbrella organisation of the West Papuan independence movement established in 2008 and is based in Port Vila, Vanuatu. West Papua is now part of Indonesia.
The objective of the WPNCL is to organise and co-ordinate programmes and activities to restore or reclaim Papuan people’s right of self-determination and independence. In their MOU signed during their last Summit in April 2008, they declared their motto to be ‘One People One Soul’ – different organisations bound by their Papuan identity.  Within the Liberation, there are 28 Papuan political parties and NGOs located in West Papua and others that are based overseas.
They claim to represent the 2.5 million people of West Papua. The delegation also congratulated Commodore Bainimarama on his assumption of the Chairmanship of the G77.

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