Polye: Discuss West Papua in Pacific Islands Forum

By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

Opposition Leader, Don Polye has called on all Pacific leaders to discuss the fight for West Papua’s Freedom in the 46th Pacific Island Forum scheduled to start tomorrow.

Polye said West Papuans have been striving for self-determination for a long time and the independence struggle has seen abuse of human rights at an international level.

“Governments of all countries must respect the rights and the views of the people of West Papua. I challenge the leader of the PIF to acknowledge the struggle for West Papua’s independence and discuss the issue during the Forum”, Polye said.

He said the issue should be one of the top priorities to be discussed in the Forum.

“West Papua’s issue must be discussed as priority and the leader of PIF must push this agenda to the United Nation Organisation, Polye said.

“West Papuans cannot be blamed. It was not their fault the island of New Guinea was cut in half by Netherlands. But they are Melanesians and they need our support,” Polye said.

Since Papua New Guinea gained political independence in 1975, over 30,000 West Papuans have migrated to PNG as refugees. There are over 7,000 West Papuans living in Port Moresby today.

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