Len Garae – The global leader and President of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, touched down in Vanuatu at 1.30pm on Monday this week after a long flight from London, Dubai, and Sydney to Port Vila.
He was welcomed at Port Vila International Airport by two 'warriors', Chairman of Vanuatu West Papua Independence Struggle Association (VWPISA) Committee, Elder Job Dalesa and pioneer of West Papua Struggle and former Secretary General of SHEFA Province, Morris Kaloran West Papua Office keeper, Freddy Warome.
A powerful custom dance from Tongoa led him to meet the Executive Committee of the VWPISA before he was led into his Foreign Affairs vehicle by Chief John Tarilama for him to be driven to his hotel.
While his latest visit has been kept under wraps, he was officially welcomed by the SHEFA Provincial Government Council (SPGC), President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Chief Willie Plasua and the President of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Chief Simeon Poilapa.
His welcome by the SPGC is of significant importance since SHEFA Province has adopted ULMWP in the Melanesian way to become Melanesian brothers and sisters, which explains why the West Papua Flag is flown with the SHEFA Provincial Flag.
In fact the ceremony also witnessed West Papua Port resident Mr. Warome ensure the presentation of the West Papua Flag by Mr. Wenda, to the Malvatumauri President, Chief Willie Plasua.
While traditional protocol included a kava ceremony afterwards, Mr. Wenda's entire itinerary remains strictly with the organisers.
It is not clear if or when he is going to meet with Government leaders. He is understood to be in the country for two weeks.