Len Garae – Over one million West Papuans are standing behind a young 'boy' from West Papua who was born at the entrance of the Malvatumauri Nakamal eight years ago. Now he is pleading to be accepted into the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Interim President Benny Wenda led a three-man delegation to the President of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, Chief Willie Plasua, yesterday to plead with him to use his traditional network to enable the 'boy' to become a full member of MSG and not continue to sit on the fence as a an "observer" with no legal powers to take part in the official decision making processes of the Melanesian Organisation.
Speaking for the Interim President, West Papua Interim Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Morris Kaloran explained, "As President of the Malvatumauri (Chief Willie Plasua), you are aware of the birth of the 'baby' called United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) eight years ago, which was witnessed by both local and regional dignitaries and marked by the planting of a namele tree which is still growing at the entrance of your Nakamal today".
Despite Vanuatu's now common stand which was first voiced by the then Prime Minister of Vanuatu, late Father Walter Lini, who said, "As long as West Papua and Kanaky in New Caledonia are not free then even though Vanuatu is a sovereign nation, it will not be really free until all of Melanesia is totally free from colonialism".
Now over 40 years later the Interim President of ULMP, Benny Wenda, has arrived at his Office opposite Crow's Nest from London to remind the Malvatumauri, Vanuatu Christian Council, MSG Secretariat as well as the relevant Government Authorities, to recognise the right of ULMWP to be offered its rightful place in the MSG.
In response the Malvatumauri President and his Chief Executive Officer, Jean Pierre, both agreed to work with relevant authorities towards facilitating the ULMWP Application for full membership of MSG.
They also noted all the unsuccessful applications to date and indicated that there are other ways to explore towards making sure that the current application is accepted.
"The boy is struggling still outside the official organization of MSG after its first attempt to enter MSG in 2013 but it was rejected. It was rejected again in 2017 and yet again in 2019 while the one who was supposed to have been rejected from entering MSG continues to remain an Associate Member. This is Indonesia", said Kaloran.
He holds his post in ULMWP with commitment as he has been in the West Papua struggle for the last 23 years.
"Malvatumauri President, while it seems a struggle to recognise ULMWP here in Melanesia, this 'boy' is recognized internationally by 83 Asia Caribbean Pacific countries", says Kaloran.
"So here we are with you in your high Office seeking your assistance to find the best way to get the 'boy' to be accepted into his rightful place in MSG".
In conclusion he reminded the Malvatumauri that all members of the Vanuatu Government are its children therefore, it has a right to tell the Government to grant the 'boy' his wish to become a full member of MSG.