9 Jun 2005

Papua representative in Vanuatu dismisses allegations from so-called Congress

3:53 pm on 9 June 2005

The office of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, in Vanuatu says a so-called Congress claiming to represent Papuans is trying to discredit it with baseless allegations.

The comment comes from an office member, Andy Ayamiseba, who says the West Papua New Guinea National Congress called on the Vanuatu government to deport him and a fellow OPM spokesman John Ondawame.

The Congress has alleged Mr Ayamiseba has taken money from a Port Vila business and that Mr Ondawame was deported from PNG in 1979.

It reportedly said this type of background is not conducive with the aspirations of genuine West Papuan refugees which both men purport to represent.

But Mr Ayamiseba says this so-called Congress has attacked the Papuan National Congress in Indonesia's Papua province.

"These people are looking for a legitimate status because then they could do fundraising themselves. They intend to establish another office here. And I think that is their whole intention - is just to discredit this office so that they could come and establish another office and they probably think that the Vanuatu government funded our office and a number of NGOs has funded our office which is totally new. We didn't have any support."

Andy Ayamiseba