Keeping West Papua on the agenda

Green MP Keith Locke wants Prime Minister Helen Clark to push for a fact-finding mission to West Papua at the Pacific Islands Forum this weekend.

“The fate of the Melanesian people of West Papua should remain on the Forum agenda,” said Mr Locke.

“Since the last forum we’ve seen the assassination of the West Papuan independence leader Theys Eluay, and the killings are continuing.

“There is a worrying growth of pro-Indonesian militia groups, similar to those that caused such bloodshed in East Timor. Swift action now might preserve the West Papuans from the tragedies inflicted on the East Timorese.

“A fact-finding mission would provide the basis for the Forum to take an active role in peace and reconciliation in West Papua.

“I am pleased that six West Papuan representatives will be in Suva for the Forum and I hope that Helen Clark and other leaders take the opportunity to talk with them,” said Mr Locke.