Amid Concern, Vanuatu Government Clarifies West Papua Position Better relations with Indonesia will allow for direct dialogue on issue.
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 22, 2012) – The Prime Minister’s Office has stated through its First Political Advisor, Richard Kaltongga, that it sympathizes with the West Papua issue contrary to media reports and accusations.
“It is also important that when people make statements in the media, they should be well aware of the subject matter being dealt with.
“The Republic of Vanuatu cannot solve the West Papua issue on its own, contrary to what some may be led to believe.
“When taking into account the key factors in this conflict, it is clear that the only viable and long term solution to the West Papua issue is for:
All West Papuans must unite under one organization as has happened with many of other such movements around the world and all factions must be ready to make sacrifices to secure and ensure this unity;
The West Papua issue must be looked at and dealt with pragmatically in order that a realistic solution can be achieved and implemented;
The West Papuans must be able to sit down as a single group and conduct face to face dialogue with the Indonesian Government;
Both Parties must first acknowledge each other’s right to their view and be prepared to make sacrifices for whatever the result, geographical and social factors dictate that Indonesia and West Papua will always be intricately connected in a manner which defies the true meaning of independence.
“For the last 30 years, the Government of Vanuatu has been taking a stand on this issue which has not achieved the intended result.
“In so doing the country has made enormous sacrifices by not being able to establish relations and closer co-operation with Indonesia and being able to source aid and assistance from Indonesia.
“In Vanuatu, the West Papua issue has been politicized and used by different political parties and movements, not for the interests of the people in West Papua, but more so for elections and political campaign propaganda and fundraising.
“It is time that we as a people, and a nation, for our own honesty, integrity and self respect, started looking at the West Papua issue with the real interests of the West Papuan people at heart.
“By establishing relations with Indonesia, the Vanuatu Government can now have direct dialogue with them on the West Papua issue rather than making ineffective political support statements and adopting a isolationist approach which has proven to be totally ineffective.
“For mature countries and leaders, it is possible to have cooperation agreements whilst at the same time acknowledging that there are areas that there will be differences and both parties maintaining respective stances. This provides the opportunity to have constructive dialogue to iron out the differences.
“If people have such enthusiasm about the interests of the West Papuan people, the best way to show this is to go there and speak to them then come back with a credible view of the situation instead of banging the drum from a safe place.
“In this regard all politicians and political parties using the West Papua issue should take the time to go to West Papua and meet the people in West Papua and also talk to the Indonesian Government before making ‘holier than thou’ uncensored and unjustified statements.
“People must understand that the Government of Vanuatu and the Republic of Vanuatu can only facilitate progress on this issue if the West Papuans are able to unite under one entity and are prepared to sit down to face to face dialogue with the Indonesian authorities.
“Therefore making accusations and blaming the Government of Vanuatu is irrational and irresponsible and shows lack of true respect, care and awareness for the situation in West Papua.
“Finally, the Government of Vanuatu is mandated by the nation’s constitution to put Vanuatu and its people as the first priority in all cases and issues and the West Papua issue whilst important and close to many hearts in Vanuatu, cannot take priority over the needs of the Government, the People and the Nation of Vanuatu.”
Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com