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“Independence Day for Fiji but not West Papua” (10 October 2017)


Independence Day for Fiji but not West Papua

10th October is allegedly celebrated  by Fiji as its Independence Day with a public holiday for its citizens.

But not too far away is West Papua which has been colonized by Indonesia for more than fifty years, with the United Nations accepting a “facade of referendum” carried out by Indonesia with an intimidated group of select 1000 persons.

Since then, Indonesia has been carrying out systematic oppression, torture and committing crimes against innocent people that can easily be categorized as genocide.

The West Papuan people have been struggling for their Independence from Indonesia for decades and a few weeks ago the Chairman of the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations (Ramirez) rejected a petition signed by hundreds of thousands of West Papuans, submitted to him by campaigner Benny Wenda, claiming that West Papua was not on their agenda. He also alleged that there were more signatures than West Papuan people, as if that was grounds for rejecting the petition of desperate hundreds of thousands of people.

To show where his bias was, Ramirez was quoted as saying that the UN Committee had “a very good and strong relationship with Indonesia.. [who was] a very good friend of ours”.

It is a horror story that the great and powerful United Nations refuses to recognized the plight of hundreds of thousands of oppressed colonized people in West Papua in the interests of powerful colonizers..

What does the plight of West Papua have to do with Fiji?

The West Papuan people are Melanesians who have been trying to be, and ought to be part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, who ought to be supporting West Papuan Independence.  They have not yet been accepted and Fiji has not supported their movement although Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have been more sympathetic.

What is more horrifying is that just a week ago, the Fiji Defence Minister Inoke Kubuabola signed an MOU with the Indonesian Defence Minister for joint defence and military research, sharing in science and technology and joint anti-terrorism training exercises.

What does Fiji have to defend against? What is the need for anti-terrorism exercises? Who in Fiji are “terrorists” other than those who have successfully mounted coups against the lawful governments of Fiji?

It is abundantly clear that the MOU is designed to assist Indonesia in weakening support for the West Papua Independence movement among the other Melanesian countries and people.

It is scandalous that the Bainimarama Government and Ratu Inoke in particular should be assisting Indonesia’s oppression of the indigenous people of West Papua, when he himself was allegedly fighting for indigenous Fijian rights during the 1987 and 2000 coups.

The fact that he also joined Bainimarama in his 2006 coup and military government which has since also suppressed the indigenous Fijian people, institutions, culture and language should drive home the message to indigenous Fijian voters in the next election that Ratu Inoke is all about himself, not any principles.

Bainimarama and Kubuabola could not care less about the oppressed people of West Papua.

Former Bible preacher Inoke Kubuabola has so conveniently forgotten the old Biblical saying “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me”.

Not too long ago some QVS Old Boys were ecstatically praising the Indonesian Government for repairs to QVS after hurricane Winston.  Fiji people are bought easily and forget principles easily.

My interview with ABC’s Pacific Beat and Bruce Hill, may he heard here:



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