Username Password
PINA
Indonesian officials rubbish West Papua protest
9:02 pm GMT+12, 07/09/2017, Samoa

A senior staff member of Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Franz Albert Joku, has rubbished the peaceful protest highlighting the plight of West Papua at the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, this week.
 
Joku was accompanied by the Ambassador of Indonesia to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, during a press conference where they responded to the protest.
 
Ambassador Yahya said the protest concerned them greatly.
 
“The Pacific community should stick to the main agenda of the conference, which is the Blue Pacific. You know everything is connected to that,” he said.
 
Yahya said their concern is that the protest could have overshadowed the main agendas of the conference.  
 
“In our perspective, talking about West Papua in this conference is not the place because from the beginning there is no agenda as such.”
 
In the progress of the press conference, the Ambassador and Joku’s voices were raised, causing Police Officers in the vicinity to approach the area where the meeting was held.  
 
“No! We just stick to the main agenda... but not the Papuans,” Yahya said.  
 
Joku intervened noting the West Papua issue is not new to the Pacific.  
 
“It’s regrettable that Pacific Islanders all of the sudden want to address the Papua issue, now,” he said. “The Papua issue has been at the forefront since the late 50s and early 60s.  
 
“We have seen our worst; where the hell were the Pacific Island nations when we really needed that kind of expression and that kind of concern coming from them?
 
“Now they are questioning the Independence and Colonisation referendum for Papua that have been relegated to the history pages. A lot of constitutional changes have taken place since.   
 
“And we’re not on the same part as you have had previously... so we are not on that path. We’re about constitutional empowerment and we’re about emancipation, we want to develop our land, we will not be dictated by any forum or any other country because we needed you, and where were you?”
 
Joku insisted the forum is not the place for the issue.
 
“Papua is very close to our heart and we will not be dictated by anyone. We Papuans, in Papua, will decide what we want to do.
 
“We’re undergoing constitutional mechanism and constitutional changes, we want to empower ourselves constitutionally, politically, economically and socially. When we needed the Pacific, when we needed Australia and when we needed New Zealand, you have not come to our aid.  
 
“So we have worked our own arrangement within and that is what we are pursuing.”
 
Joku added, “We’ve never seen Samoans and Fijians. And don’t pretend you want to help us. We know what we want. Have a balanced article and invite them to visit West Papua.  
 
“You feed yourself with what you read on the internet, we invite you to come to Indonesia.  
 
“We are not saying Papua is perfect, but let us attend to our own problems, do not provoke us, I have spent 14 years in PNG as a refugee with my family, we know exactly the subject that we raised, and up until today, we have gone without any help from you guys, said Joku.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS


News feature
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
Membership
Member Countries
Media Freedom
Training
PINA Convention
Awards
Contact
Gallery
Forum
Events
Jobs
Classifieds
PACNEWS
Home
Regional
Feature
Business
Sports
Archives
Partners
Communications Initiative
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
UNDP PC
AusAID
NZAID
SPREP
ONOC
UNAIDS
Media Helping Media
Partners
PIFS
SPC
IFEX
UNESCO
AIBD
GFMD
SEAPA
WPFC
IFJ