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Lobby team leaves PM's office in high spirit

Vanuatu Daily Post - February 18, 2023

Len Garae – Prime Minister (PM) Ishmael Kalsakau has assured the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) Interim President, Mr. Benny Wenda, that as Executive Head of Government, he will follow the exact path that his predecessors had followed concerning the historical demand by ULMWP to be added on the forthcoming MSG Summit Agenda for full membership into the MSG.

Pressed by the Chairman of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association (VFWPA), Elder Job Dalesa, to confirm if ULMWP will be on the Agenda, PM Kalsakau says he will be looking out for a "window" and when he finds it, the demand will be inserted for debate.

In his appeal, Mr. Dalesa went as far as reminding the PM of his late father, Mr. George Kalsakau's excellent leadership as Chief Minister of Government on the eve of Independence over 40 years ago.

Mr. Dalesa reminded him that now as PM and one of the siblings of the late Chief Minister, he urged him as Chairman of the MSG Summit, to do everything possible to allow the Summit to accept the Application, pointing out that his positive involvement would go down in history as the Chairman through whose leadership, the West Papuans' dream to be accepted into MSG finally came true.

Former PM Mr. Joe Natuman is a blessing to the Team since he impressed the entire process by sharing his historical expertise in those days when the MSG was formed and how and where the name "Spearhead" came about.

His in-depth knowledge of how the West Papua struggle started and ended up in Port Vila, has convinced the PM to ask for another session with Mr. Natuman just before the MSG Summit in Port Vila.

While I have been reporting on the lobbying by ULMWP and VFWPA until the culmination at the Prime Minister's Office, the latest appointment ended approximately after one hour and most likely the shortest.

Mr. Wenda presented the PM with the West Papua Morning Sun Flag for which he told the Prime Minister, he was arrested and jailed by Indonesia for 25 years for raising the very flag, but he successfully escaped. He also presented him with a traditional West Papua string bag.

All members of the Lobby Team were in high spirit as they left for a late lunch at The Grand. Mr. Wenda has left Vanuatu to continue lobbying Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka of Fiji to support the ULMWP Application to become a full member of MSG.

Source: https://www.dailypost.vu/news/lobby-team-leaves-pm-s-office-in-high-spirit/article_fa888886-a110-5091-a292-d3658c0110d7.htm