Statement by the Executive Director of the LP3BH
22 January, 2016
The Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Menasseh Sogovare who is also the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands has said that he is now considering a move to bring together the Government of Indonesia and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in order to hold a dialogue.
Mr Sogovare said in a press release that it was his intention to bring the two sides together to begin a dialogue and hopes that the MSG will be willing to sponsor the dialogue and hopes that the two sides will together draw up an agenda for this face-to-face meeting.
Mr Sogovare also said at a meeting with a delegation from the ULMWP on Thursday, 21st January in Honiara that he hopes that the MSG would also be willing to help tin making the preparations by finding several moderators to assist in the discussions between the two sides.
I myself, a Lawyer and Human Rights Defender in the Land of Papua, consider that the move that has been taken by the Chairman of the MSG, Mr Sogovare who is also the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands is a progressive movement that should be supported by all forces in the Land of Papua as well as in Indonesia and in the international community, in particular those states which are members of the MSG and the Pacific Islands Forum.
This is because the resolution of the conflict in Papua and an end to the many human rights violations that have been perpetrated would also resolve the differences of opinion regarding the integration of Land of Papua into the United State of the Republic of Indonesia which until now has resulted in a continuing conflict in which armed weapons have been used that has been going on for more than fifty years.
The idea of resolving this conflict peacefully by means of a dialogue is very appropriate to solving the problem and would put an end to the killings that have been going on between those who are armed with weapons.
Mr Sogovare also said that the results of this dialogue would help the MSG to understand the views of the Government of Indonesia regarding the issues that have been of very great concern to the Papuan People and the ULMWP up to this this very moment.
The offer to help that has been made by the MSG thhrough the intermediary of Mr Sogovare to resolve the social and political conflict in the Land of Papua would also be very much in accord with the wishes of Ir. H. Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia.
This will certainly get the political backing of the many countries that have good relations with the Republic of Indonesia, as has been stated by the US and British ambassadors during their recent visits to the Land of Papua.
Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH – Institute of Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid, Recipient of the John Humphreys Freedom Award in 2005 in Canada and Co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commission, Manokwari
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Awaard, 1995]