Wednesday, March 16, 2011

West Papuans angered by Indonesia invitation

A West Papuan independence group has been angered by a decision to grant Indonesia observer status at a summit meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group next week.

The decision was made by MSG leaders.

East Timor also has been granted observer status, while a founding member of the European Union, Luxembourg, has been invited as a special guest

Fiji's leader and MSG chairman, Frank Bainimarama, says the decision to invite Indonesia and East Timor as observers is a historic moment in the young life of the MSG, which was formed in 2005.

But the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation has accused MSG leaders of prioritising Indonesian aid money, ahead of the West Papuan independence movement.

Vice-president John Otto Ondowame says Indonesia does not have the credentials to be a part of the group.

"West Papuan are from Melanesia, Indonesian are Asian . . . therefore the Melanesian Spearhead Group is for the Melanesian people," he said.