6 Jul 2015

Transparency Vanuatu welcomes govt position

3:53 pm on 6 July 2015

Transparency Vanuatu has welcomed Prime Minister Sato Kilman's clarification of his government's position on West Papua's recent bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015 Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

This comes after scathing criticism from the prime minister over a Transparency article calling for the government to make its position known.

The Transparency chair, Willie Tokon says the prime minister's call for the body not to stir up trouble over West Papua is misdirected.

He says the harshest criticism of the government is coming via social media and talk back radio.

"Some people are using very, very harsh language, some of them threatening language, some vulgar language. But there is a way to deal with these kind of issues. So I think with his statement on Saturday morning it has put everybody in clear picture of where we stand"

Dr Tokon says Mr Kilman announced at the weekend that his government fully supports West Papua's push for recognition and the achievement of MSG observer status by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua as an important first step.

MSG leaders last month granted the ULM observer status to the sub-regional body and elevated Indonesia's status from observer to associate member.