5 Oct 2017

Fiji opposition slams UN's rejection of West Papua petition

10:30 am on 5 October 2017

The opposition SODELPA party in Fiji says it's disappointed by the United Nations decision to reject a petition from the people of West Papua calling for an act of self determination.

Ro Teimumu Kepa (centre) with staff flying the West Papua flag.

Ro Teimumu Kepa (centre) with staff flying the West Papua flag. Photo: supplied

It said the world body will regret the decision in time to come.

The leader of the opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa said she also deplored what she called the Fiji government's abandonment and betrayal of West Papuans by supporting Indonesia in return for aid.

"It is not only a rejection of the will of the people of West Papua reeling under genocide but a betrayal to the Melanesian community and treatment with contempt for the people of the Pacific region."

"The United Nations, it appears, has forgotten that Indonesia took over the territory by a forced plebiscite against the will of the indigenous people of West Papua to have the right to self-determination".

Ro Teimumu said Indonesia occupied West Papua to exploit its mineral rich grounds and seas while killing more than half a million of its indigenous inhabitants.

She said it appeared these acts of conquest and genocide are completely ignored by the UN which she said was gradually becoming a body of elite nations guided only by economic considerations.

The opposition leader said almost all Melanesian nations supported the freedom of West Papua except for Fiji, whose government's position on indigenous rights had never been strong, she said, given its blatant disregard of the rights of indigenous in Fijians.

"Indonesia has been giving out military aid to Fiji to oppress the Fijian people and tacitly solicit support for its position on West Papua. A SODELPA Government will reverse the position and press for the independence of West Papua as has been the case of East Timor."

"We would like it to be known that the rejection of the petition to free West Papua by the United Nations is in no way going to diminish our will to support and agitate for the freedom of the West Papuan people. We stand by them as do the rest of the Pacific States."

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