West Papua

West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt

This follows the attendance of the PNG delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, to the United Nations General Assembly meeting where several Pacific Island nations raised the West Papua issue.

Minister Pato responded, during a media conference today, saying that PNG’s position has been clear as announced during various regional meetings.

“We have a very strong relationship with government and people of Indonesia, we have a whole range of agreements and treaties that govern our relationship,” said Pato.

Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference

RNZ reports the accusation during the UN General Assembly came after leaders from six Pacific countries - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu - expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.

Calls for Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders during this 71st session of the general assembly debate.

"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin," said the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare.

Local musicians encouraged to stay committed

Band manager and founder of West Papua group Black Brothers Band, Andy Ayamiseba urges PNG musicians to always commit to their music and learn to sacrifice their time.

Black Brothers is an eclectic band that was the most popular musical group in PNG during the 1980s.

The band is known for hit songs back in the 1980s including Apuse, Permata Hatiku, Hari Kiamat, Terjalin Kembali, kerongcong kenangan, Anita and Wan Pela Meri.

Pacific leaders say little on Papua

A year ago Pacific leaders at their annual talkfest agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Papua to investigate allegations of human rights abuse.

But Indonesia was against it so the Pacific Islands Forum mission to Papua never happened.

At this year's Forum summit in Pohnpei alleged human rights abuses in Papua still featured in the communique but there is no commitment to try and do anything specific about it.

However Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association told Don Wiseman that this is still better than most recent years at the Forum summit.

Winds of change for West Papua

Governor Parkop, who has been vocal about West Papua’s fight for freedom, was behind the band's performance as the final activity of PNG’s 41st independence celebrations in Port Moresby.

Black Brothers’ is a well-known West Papuan pop group from Jayapura who went into voluntary exile in Vanuatu in 1979, protesting Indonesian policies in West Papua.

Black brothers Add Flavour to Independence Celebrations

And it was in fact a very packed crowd, as people, still in their national colours, finished their 41st Independence celebrations with the band that set the foundation to the music industry.

38 years ago, the Black Brothers of West Papua, came to PNG on tour and lifted the music scene in PNG and inspired the birth of music recording label Chin H Min.

Black Sisters honored to be part of PNG’s Independence celebrations

Black Sisters comprise of Petronela, Rosalie and Lea Rumwaropen who are daughters of late August Rumwaropen, the original member of West Papua legendary band Black Brothers.

The trio will be performing alongside the Black Brothers at the Sir John Guise Stadium on Independence Day as part of the National Capital District’s organised celebrations for city residents.

The three sisters are well known in Australia and around the Pacific performing and have performed at three occasions in Moresby in past years.

Forum called out for hollow talk on Papua

RNZ reports following last week's Forum leaders summit in Pohnpei, regional civil society groups have voiced disappointment at what they see as a lack of any outcome or substance on the issue of West Papua.

Papua had been one of the big regional issues identified by the Forum secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor as being on the leaders' agenda, ahead of the summit.

However in the end, leaders merely concluded that the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua should remain on their agenda.

Pacific women call for investigation of women's rights in West Papua

RNZ the call comes from the Pacific Women's Network Against Violence Against Women which represents policy makers and front line workers from 13 Pacific countries.

Representatives of women from West Papua attended the networks 7th meeting in Fiji last week and raised some critical issues and gaps in service delivery for victims of gender violence in West Papua.

The director of Tonga's Women and Children Crisis Centre, Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said the network stands in solidarity with women from West Papua.

Forum urged to act decisively on West Papua

RNZ reports for years Papuans have claimed they have been denied basic rights, particularly self-determination, and are constantly subject to Indonesian state oppression.

Demographic change in the region has also left Papuans fast becoming a minority, dominated by Indonesian culture, and has added urgency to the latest call by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for help from the Pacific Islands Forum.