UNITED NATIONS (UN Web / Pacific Media Watch): Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil has condemned the international community’s “neglect” of the voices of the Papuan people in protest over the repression by Indonesia for four decades.
Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, he said his country was seeking to “amplify the concerns for human rights” in the West Papua region.
“We are very concerned indeed about the manner in which the international community has neglected the voices of the Papuan people, whose human rights have been trampled upon and severely suppressed since 1969,” he said.Introducing his remarks through a comparison with Vanuatu’s own colonial history in achieving independence, Prime Minister Carcasses said: “We were Melanesians being governed by Britain and France in our own mother land. Prior to 1980, we were stateless in our country and we were neither French of British citizens.
“And for almost four decades, we were exposed to foreign rule. So we had to struggle to construct our identity as free people to live in dignity. Independence was our objective. And this was a compelling thrive that motivated our leaders to achieve nothing less than political independence.”
“We did not fight for independence because we were economically and financially ready. We did not fight for independence because our colonial masters were killing our people. No. We fought for our political independence because it is our God given right to be free,” he said.
“Since the controversial Act of Free Choice in 1969, the Melanesian People of West Papua have been subject to ongoing human rights violations committed by the Indonesian security services. The world has witnessed the litany of tortures, murders, exploitation, rapes, military raids, arbitrary arrests and dividing of civil society through intelligence operations.”