9 May 2016

Vanuatu minister rejects Jakarta's West Papua claims

2:36 pm on 9 May 2016
International Parliamentarians for West Papua meet in London, May 2016.

International Parliamentarians for West Papua meet in London, May 2016. Photo: IPWP

A member of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua has dismissed claims by Indonesia that its deliberations on Papuan self-determination are a 'publicity stunt'.

The Vanuatu government minister Ralph Regenvanu was one of dozens of MPs and leaders from the wider Pacific, Europe and Britain, who attended last week's IPWP summit in London.

The summit resulted in a declaration calling for an internationally-supervised vote on independence in West Papua.

Jakarta condemned the London meeting, calling it a 'reflection of colonial acts' and affirming that Indonesian control of Papua is 'final'.

But Mr Regenvanu said there was growing international support to address a clearly unresolved decolonisation issue.

"According to international law, that self-determination issue has never been addressed by a proper vote in West Papua, and that's been recognised at a number of levels, a number of forums. Decolonisation never happened and in fact this colony was simply passed from one colonial power, being the Dutch, to another colonial power which is Indonesia which continues to colonise the territory to this day."

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