Vanuatu Christian Council expresses strong support for West Papua



The chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council has announced that the Council intends to raise the issue of West Papua at the annual meeting of the Council next week and will urge companies that work together with the new government of Vanuatu to adopt West Papua as their top priority.

Bishop Lego of the Anglican Church said that this is very important bearing in mind that the caretaker government under Prime Minister Sato Kilman has dropped the position adopted by the Founder of the Struggle in Vanuatu who insisted that the West Papuan people should be granted the right to self-determination.

He said that he cannot understand why the government has as yet failed to determine what its attitude is regarding the fate 'our brothers and sisters' in West Papua.

The prime minister has used a metaphor according to which if you want to tame a tiger, you should not isolate it but embrace it'. But, he went on to say, this tiger is very unpredictable and highly dangerous.and could easily attack you and kill you if you allow it to roam anywhere near you.

He said that the Vanuatu Christian Council needs to know what guarantees Indonesia has given to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in its bid to gain observer status at the forthcoming meeting. 'We certainly cannot welcome people who are daily murdering our brethren and allow them to attend meetings of the MSG .'

'We members of the Vanuatu Christian Council will hold consultations with the new government and discuss what we can do to free the West Papuan people who losing lives on a daily basis as a result of the operations by the Indonesian military.'

Bishop Lego said that the VCC would raise the issue of West Papua at the forthcoming Council Meeting of Pacific Churches in Honiara, on the Solomon Islands next year. And morevoer, he said, we will raise the problem of West Papua at the World Council of Churches and have every intention of raising the issue of West Papua at the UN Decolonisation Committee.

[Translated by TAPOL]