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๐——๐—˜๐—™๐—˜๐—ก๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—–๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ง๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ฌ’๐—ฆ ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—œ๐—ง ๐—™๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜๐—ฅ ๐—ฆ๐—ข๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐——๐—œ๐—™๐—œ๐—˜๐—ฆ ๐—ฃ๐—ก๐—š-๐—จ๐—ฆ ๐—ง๐—œ๐—˜๐—ฆ; ๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—”๐—œ๐—— ๐—ข๐—™๐—™๐—œ๐—–๐—˜ ๐—ฆ๐—ข๐—ข๐—ก ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—ข๐—ฃ๐—˜๐—ก ๐—œ๐—ก ๐—ฃ๐—ก๐—š

๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—œ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ: ๐—ง๐—ต๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜†, ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿณ ๐—๐˜‚๐—น๐˜† ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today (27.07.23) met with the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III as Papua New Guinea and USA continue to work at taking their deepening bilateral relation to the next level. 

The visit by Secretary Austin to Port Moresby and his meeting with PM Marape is a follow-up to the signing of two significant agreements – the Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Shiprider Agreement – between the two countries in May this year, undertaken by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and PNG Defense Minster Hon. Win Daki in Port Moresby. 

At today’s bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Marape and Secretary Austin continued to discuss the details and the benefits of the agreements, and United States’ commitment to securing PNG’s sovereignty, as well as its commitment to securing a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Marape said he appreciated the US’s  “3D approach of Diplomacy and Defense followed by Development”, that is being seen in the recent engagements, and the upcoming visit of the head of USAID to Port Moresby to formally signal this office to report directly to Washington DC instead of through the Manila, Philippines office. 

“I take special note of the purpose of Secretary Austin’s visit  which is to show commitment in defense and security following the singing of the Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Shiprider Agreement during Secretary Blinken’s visit in PNG in May this year,” PM Marape said. 

“The DCA heralds a new chapter in PNG and USA relations, as these agreements form the basis for strengthening and consolidating closer cooperation between our two countries.

“One of the key objectives of the PNG government is for our country to pursue and enhance closer trade and economic ties with key bilateral and multilateral partners, including with the United States under Biden’s leadership. 

“In that connection, PNG views the US as a key partner to enhance and diversify trade and economic relations, either through a bilateral or a regional trade arrangement.

“Consistent with President Biden’s call and challenge to American corporations to develop cleaner technology, the Pacific Island region offers great investment opportunities for US companies through public-private partnerships,” said the Prime Minister. 

PM Marape continued by promoting Papua New Guinea’s expanding potential in agriculture and the supply of fresh organic foods to the world, including the United States, while he encouraged the American business community to take more interest in PNG.

In Climate Change mitigation, also a security issue, Prime Minister Marape reminded the US government through Secretary Austin about the Pacific region’s continued vulnerability to rising sea levels and climate-induced natural calamities, and that all nations with interest in the Pacific must take collective action to follow through on general conversations that have been held repeatedly over time.   

“While we invite the US to pursue its interests in the region from a geopolitical and geostrategic context, I urge the United States to adjust its lens so that it can truly understand the real needs of the region,” said PM Marape. 

PM Marape also highlighted PNG’s impending 50th Independence Anniversary in 2025 and invited US partnership leading up to and its presence at this major national event. 
///

Prime Minister, James Marape today met with the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

Prime Minister, James Marape today met with the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III as Papua New Guinea and USA continue to work at taking their deepening bilateral relation to the next level. 

The visit by Secretary Austin to Port Moresby and his meeting with PM Marape is a follow-up to the signing of two significant agreements – the Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Shiprider Agreement – between the two countries in May this year, undertaken by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and PNG Defense Minster Hon. Win Daki in Port Moresby. 

At today’s bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Marape and Secretary Austin continued to discuss the details and the benefits of the agreements, and United States’ commitment to securing PNG’s sovereignty, as well as its commitment to securing a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Marape said in a media statement that he appreciated the US’  “3D approach of Diplomacy and Defense followed by Development”, that is being seen in the recent engagements, and the upcoming visit of the head of USAID to Port Moresby to formally signal this office to report directly to Washington DC instead of through the Manila, Philippines office. 

“I take special note of the purpose of Secretary Austin’s visit  which is to show commitment in defense and security following the singing of the Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Shiprider Agreement during Secretary Blinken’s visit in PNG in May this year,” PM Marape said. 

“The DCA heralds a new chapter in PNG and USA relations, as these agreements form the basis for strengthening and consolidating closer cooperation between our two countries.

“One of the key objectives of the PNG government is for our country to pursue and enhance closer trade and economic ties with key bilateral and multilateral partners, including with the United States under Biden’s leadership. 

“In that connection, PNG views the US as a key partner to enhance and diversify trade and economic relations, either through a bilateral or a regional trade arrangement.

“Consistent with President Biden’s call and challenge to American corporations to develop cleaner technology, the Pacific Island region offers great investment opportunities for US companies through public-private partnerships,” said the Prime Minister. 

PM Marape continued by promoting Papua New Guinea’s expanding potential in agriculture and the supply of fresh organic foods to the world, including the United States, while he encouraged the American business community to take more interest in PNG.

In Climate Change mitigation, also a security issue, Prime Minister Marape reminded the US government through Secretary Austin about the Pacific region’s continued vulnerability to rising sea levels and climate-induced natural calamities, and that all nations with interest in the Pacific must take collective action to follow through on general conversations that have been held repeatedly over time.   

“While we invite the US to pursue its interests in the region from a geopolitical and geostrategic context, I urge the United States to adjust its lens so that it can truly understand the real needs of the region,” said PM Marape. 

PM Marape also highlighted PNG’s impending 50th Independence Anniversary in 2025 and invited US partnership leading up to and its presence at this major national event.

FRENCH PRESIDENT VISITS PNG

Two huge Air buses, seven jet fighters, and a packed media crew accompanied the President of the Republic of French his Excellency Emmanuel Macron to Port Moresby around 2300 hours last night.
Prior to President Macron’s official state visit, this is the first time for a sitting president of French to visit Papua New Guinea after his recent visit to Vanuatu and New Caledonia following his Pacific Island Tour.

The president and his delegates were received by Prime Minister James Marape, French Ambassador Mr Guillaume Lemoine, Major General PNGDF Mark Goina, Police commissioner David Manning, NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Minister for National Events Justin Tkatchenko, Chief Secretary Ivan Pomaleu, Motu Koitabu Assembly chairman Dadi Toka Jnr, Hiri Moale cultural dancers, media personnel and extended Papua New Guinea governmental delegates.

A warm welcome reception and guard of honor by the Papua New Guinea Defense Force was given to the president and his acquaintances upon arrival at the Jacksons International APEC terminal.

This morning, the President paid tribute to the Governor General HE Sir. Bob Dadae through an overwhelming visit to the government house at Konedobu and departed for Varirata National Park in Sogeri.

PNG and France Forge Cooperation in Forest Managem3nt, Conservation and Climate Change

Papua New Guinea and the Republic of France have established a landmark cooperation in Forest Management, Conservation, and Climate Change during a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister James Marape, and French President , His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, in Port Moresby on Friday, July 28, 2023.

Prime Minister James Marape expressed his satisfaction with the fruitful meeting, emphasising that it paves the way for elevating the long-standing good relations between the two nations to new heights.

The leaders mutually agreed to intensify their collaboration in forest management, conservation, and climate change. 

“This is an issue that I have been passionate about, as many of you know from my interventions at the United Nations level," Prime Minister Marape stated.

Among the key areas of intervention discussed, both leaders have agreed to:

1. Establish an office for expertise from France in Papua New Guinea.
2. Foster cooperation in energy transition initiatives.
3. Allocate funding for works at the Port of Rabaul to enhance its climate resilience.
4. Extend support for green finance in the Pacific region.

"The above interventions clearly demonstrate France's commitment to sustaining its long-term partnership with PNG and the wider Pacific region. This step is highly welcome and timely," Prime Minister Marape said.

During the meeting, President Macron assured Papua New Guinea of France's readiness to allocate a funding of EUR$63 million (K238 million) for the period 2021-2024 under the Forests, Climate Change, and Biodiversity (FCCB) intervention programme in PNG. The Managalas Conservation area in the Northern Province will be one of the projects featured in this programme.

The FCCB will also encompass support for government, community service organisations, private sector, education, and research, complementing and enhancing existing programmes in the country.

On the topic of ongoing private sector engagement, both leaders discussed France's continued investment in the oil and gas sector, particularly in Papua LNG through TotalEnergies EP PNG Ltd. This substantial investment is set to further transform Papua New Guinea's economic landscape and boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the future.

Prime Minister Marape extended an invitation for French companies to participate in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to engage in downstream processing and add value to agriculture, timber, and fisheries products before exporting them to overseas markets.

"To conclude, President Macron and I will count on the support of our Ministers, Officials, and business community to take appropriate actions towards the realisation of these projects," Prime Minister Marape stated.

Reflecting on the significance of the visit, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged the historical links between France and Papua New Guinea that date back to the 1800s when the first French Catholic Missionaries arrived on Woodlark Island in the Milne Bay Province, and later to Yule Island in the Central Province. He expressed gratitude for their contributions to the spread of the Catholic religion, education, healthcare, and other essential services that continue to support the country.

The visit by President Macron marks a historical event as the first visit by a French President-in-Office to Papua New Guinea, signifying the strengthening and reshaping of bilateral relations since the formalisation of ties in 1975.

"On behalf of the people of PNG, I extend appreciation to the government of France for their contributions to our development agenda, including our trade relations through the European Union. We are extremely grateful for the support rendered to developing countries like PNG," Prime Minister Marape concluded.

The year 2023 has undoubtedly become a momentous year for Papua New Guinea, with a multitude of global leaders visiting its shores. Prime Minister Marape expressed that such visits are unprecedented since independence and contribute significantly to the country's development priorities, particularly in the realm of Forest Management, Climate Change, and environmental sustainability.

PNG and France Forge Cooperation in Forest Managem3nt, Conservation and Climate Change

Papua New Guinea and the Republic of France have established a landmark cooperation in Forest Management, Conservation, and Climate Change during a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister James Marape, and French President , His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, in Port Moresby on Friday, July 28, 2023.

Prime Minister James Marape expressed his satisfaction with the fruitful meeting, emphasising that it paves the way for elevating the long-standing good relations between the two nations to new heights.

The leaders mutually agreed to intensify their collaboration in forest management, conservation, and climate change. 

“This is an issue that I have been passionate about, as many of you know from my interventions at the United Nations level," Prime Minister Marape stated.

Among the key areas of intervention discussed, both leaders have agreed to:

1. Establish an office for expertise from France in Papua New Guinea.
2. Foster cooperation in energy transition initiatives.
3. Allocate funding for works at the Port of Rabaul to enhance its climate resilience.
4. Extend support for green finance in the Pacific region.

"The above interventions clearly demonstrate France's commitment to sustaining its long-term partnership with PNG and the wider Pacific region. This step is highly welcome and timely," Prime Minister Marape said.

During the meeting, President Macron assured Papua New Guinea of France's readiness to allocate a funding of EUR$63 million (K238 million) for the period 2021-2024 under the Forests, Climate Change, and Biodiversity (FCCB) intervention programme in PNG. The Managalas Conservation area in the Northern Province will be one of the projects featured in this programme.

The FCCB will also encompass support for government, community service organisations, private sector, education, and research, complementing and enhancing existing programmes in the country.

On the topic of ongoing private sector engagement, both leaders discussed France's continued investment in the oil and gas sector, particularly in Papua LNG through TotalEnergies EP PNG Ltd. This substantial investment is set to further transform Papua New Guinea's economic landscape and boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the future.

Prime Minister Marape extended an invitation for French companies to participate in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to engage in downstream processing and add value to agriculture, timber, and fisheries products before exporting them to overseas markets.

"To conclude, President Macron and I will count on the support of our Ministers, Officials, and business community to take appropriate actions towards the realisation of these projects," Prime Minister Marape stated.

Reflecting on the significance of the visit, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged the historical links between France and Papua New Guinea that date back to the 1800s when the first French Catholic Missionaries arrived on Woodlark Island in the Milne Bay Province, and later to Yule Island in the Central Province. He expressed gratitude for their contributions to the spread of the Catholic religion, education, healthcare, and other essential services that continue to support the country.

The visit by President Macron marks a historical event as the first visit by a French President-in-Office to Papua New Guinea, signifying the strengthening and reshaping of bilateral relations since the formalisation of ties in 1975.

"On behalf of the people of PNG, I extend appreciation to the government of France for their contributions to our development agenda, including our trade relations through the European Union. We are extremely grateful for the support rendered to developing countries like PNG," Prime Minister Marape concluded.

The year 2023 has undoubtedly become a momentous year for Papua New Guinea, with a multitude of global leaders visiting its shores. Prime Minister Marape expressed that such visits are unprecedented since independence and contribute significantly to the country's development priorities, particularly in the realm of Forest Management, Climate Change, and environmental sustainability.

Namba 7 MACFEST hem open long Vanuatu

Namba 7 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival em ibin open long Port Vila, capital city blong Vanuatu tede folem wan kastom seremoni wetem ol traditional owners blong Port Vila.

Ol Melanesian grups wea tek part long hem nao hem Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, ol Torres Strait aelan pipol blong Australia mo West Papua.

Namba 7 Macfest ia bambae hem end long namba 31 blong manis ia wetem bigfala celebresen long Vanuatu blong makim namba 23 independence anniversary blong kantri long namba 30 July.

Long moning tede, ol lida blong ol participating groups ibin go across long smol aelan blong Ifira blong attendim wan kastom seremoni blong tekem permission mo som respek long ol traditional owna blong Port Vila.

Hem ia sam long ol toktok blong Paramount Chief blong Ifira Mantoi Kalsakau long seremoni ia.

Long toktok blong hem long seremoni ia, Director General blong Melanesian Spearhead Group, Leonard Louma i hemi se tankyu long Chief Kalsakau blong givim permission long ol Macfest participants.

(Content by Hilaire Bule)

Broadcast 19 Jul 2023

Solomons' Prime Minister blasts Australia over criticism about policing deal with Beijing

On the program today:

Solomon Islands has accused Australia of interference over concerns about the country's new policing pact with China.

For 16 years Frank Bainimarama ruled Fiji but this week the former prime minister will be looking on from behind the dock as he stands trial for perverting the course of justice and abuse of office.

The iconic bilum bag is a symbol of Papua New Guinea that is recognised around the world, a new book aims to promote understanding the bag's unique design.

The Pacific will be represented at a hockey world cup with Both Fiji's men's and women's hockey5s teams, claiming bronze at the Oceania Cup qualifiers.

A dance troupe of deaf and hearing-impaired dancers from Indigenous communities in northern Australia are proving you don't have to hear the music, to feel it.

Credits
Agnes Tupou, Presenter

Sogavare blasts Australia for raising concerns about Honiara's policing pact with China

The prime minister of Solomon Islands says China has agreed to provide funding to prop up the country's troubled budget, and also accused Australia and development partners of suddenly withdrawing financial support worth millions of dollars.

Manasseh Sogavare has once again taken aim at Australia and the United States for criticising his country's policing pact with China, and has declared that "nothing" can stop him asking from Beijing to send police to help if disorder breaks out again in Solomon Islands and other countries are slow to respond.

And he has also mused about the possibility of Solomon Islands setting up its own military forces, saying he discussed the idea with Richard Marles during the deputy prime minister's recent visit to the Pacific Island country.

The prime minister revealed Beijing had offered to provide budget support during an explosive press conference at Honiara's airport on return from a week-long trip to China.

Credits
Chrisnrita Aumanu-Leong, Reporter

Sefa Provinsi terima delegasi West Papua yang dipimpin Perdana Menteri Pemerintah Sementara ULMWP

Sefa Provinsi terima delegasi West Papua yang dipimpin Perdana Menteri Pemerintah Sementara ULMWP, Hon. Rev. Edison Waromi, S.H. Presiden Sefa Provinsi dan Wakil Menteri Urusan Luar Negeri Pemerintah Sementara ULMWP yang juga adalah mantan Menteri Vanuatu mengucapkan selamat datang kepada Perdana Menteri  Pemerintah Sementara, dan mereka juga sudah terima Presiden Pemerintah Sementara West Papua (ULMWP). 

Kelompok lain di media milik Indo alergi itu, tapi rakyat Papua dan dunia internasional dukung dan akui itu. Pemain utama hari ini adalah PS-ULMWP dominasi pangkung internasional. 

Meskipun disebut baru pakai celana kemarin oleh mereka yang pakai Jass dan Dasy di tempat tidur.

Click here utk video pidato Presiden Provinsi Shefa

MSG SECRETARIAT PARTICIPATES IN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON EDUCATION, CULTURE & IDENTITY

PORT VILA, VANUATU (21 April 2021): The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat was part of a two-day international symposium geared towards the integration of education and training, on cultural knowledge and vernacular into the Vanuatu Education system.

Hosted by the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the Vanuatu Ministry of Education at the Malvatumauri House from 14-15 April, the MSG Secretariat was represented by Simione Tuimalega.

Mr Tuimalega, the Arts and Culture (A&C) Officer, said the symposium has significant relevance to one of the strategic priorities for the Secretariat’s A&C programme. 

He said the ongoing discussions contributed to the need to relook at the link between our Melanesian Arts and Culture and how we can use our Education system to safeguard our customs and language.

Mr Tuimalega said that the MSG Secretariat “is also proposing to facilitate a national symposium with possible themes, that are directly connected to our unique Melanesian arts and cultural items such as mats, carvings and traditional house building, and others”.

The international symposium had indeed provided the platform to gauge and further plan the proposed MSG symposiums. 

Among other issues discussed at the symposium in Port Vila were the importance of education and identity in Vanuatu; an awareness on archaeology and its contribution to cultural heritage in Vanuatu; work done in the area of safeguarding language and customs in Vanuatu; expeditions that were carried out by early colonisers in Vanuatu; and the advancement of language policy for Vanuatu.

Caption: MSG Secretariat Arts & Culture Officer Simione Tuimalega (2nd from left), President of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, Chief Willie Gray Plasua (middle) and VNU Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Jean-Pierre Nirua (back, right) with other participants of the International Symposium.

Melanesian festival celebrates region’s unique cultures, independence movements

Stephen Wright
2023.07.24
Port Vila, Vanuatu

Melanesian festival celebrates region’s unique cultures, independence movementsStudents from Lycรฉe Louis Antoine de Bougainville wait to perform at the 7th Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival in Port Vila, Vanuatu, July 24, 2023.
 Stephen Wright/BenarNews

Melanesia’s distinctive cultures are being celebrated during a nearly two-week long festival in Vanuatu that organizers hope will be an antidote to outside influence brought by globalization and the internet.

In a raucous parade for the festival’s opening ceremony last week, men from Vanuatu’s southernmost island carried their prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, through the capital on a high chief’s ceremonial platform made from logs and vegetation.

Crowds lined the pavement as Kalsakau, holding a traditional staff and a bible, led hundreds of festival participants 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from the center of Port Vila to a park above the town. Behind him fluttered a West Papuan independence flag, the Morning Star, that is banned in the region’s giant neighbor, Indonesia.

From a stage, emcees told attendees that “black is beautiful,” reminded people of the region’s colonial past and exhorted everyone to have pride in Melanesian identity.

“The Melanesian countries are the last frontier of culture and customs. The Melanesians are very special and unique in their customs and culture,” said festival spokesman Ambong Thompson.

“Due to outside influences that are coming to our countries, this type of influence is destroying our culture. That is why we want the Melanesian countries to come together to celebrate,” he said.

mobile device.JPG
A participant in the 7th Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival holds a mobile device as he waits for an opening ceremony parade to begin in Port Vila, Vanuatu, July 19, 2023. [Stephen Wright/BenarNews]

Melanesia encompasses Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, the giant island of New Guinea – which is divided between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – and the Torres Strait Islands. It’s a linguistically diverse region of more than 12 million people. Papua New Guinea alone has more than 800 languages.

Rule by outside powers is a common thread in the region, that for some continues in the present and for others ended in the past half century. Vanuatu, for example, gained its independence from joint British and French rule only in 1980.

The festival includes the Kanak people of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, whose leaders campaign for independence, and Papuans who live under Indonesian rule.

Thompson said overseas popular culture is increasingly influential and copied in Vanuatu and other Melanesian countries such as in clothing and music. One of the festival’s main goals is cultural preservation, he said. Performances were live streamed to maximize their impact.

Despite the concerns about erosion of culture, participation in the festival of the most populous Melanesian country, Papua New Guinea, remained uncertain until after it had begun.

Organizers at one point announced the country had pulled out because of financial considerations. In the end, Papua New Guinea sent about 100 people, making it the second largest group after Vanuatu’s 600-person contingent.

Indonesia, home to about 270 million people, mostly Southeast Asians, also claims to be the most populous Melanesian nation. Some researchers have said that is a spurious claim and part of the Indonesian government’s strategy to stifle the Papuan independence movement in its easternmost provinces, which are often referred to as West Papua.

kanak.jpg
Kanak men from New Caledonia gesture in unison during a performance at the 7th Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival in Port Vila, Vanuatu, July 21, 2023. [Stephen Wright/BenarNews]

The festival in Vanuatu is the seventh time the Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival has been held since it began in 1998.

The smallest contingent at the festival was a family representing the Torres Strait Islands, which is part of Australian territory.

They captivated festival goers with a performance about a constellation in the shape of a shark. Family head Alick Tipoti said islanders knew the monsoon season was approaching when the constellation, known as Baidam, dipped into the horizon.

“We’re here representing the Torres Islands, actually we are just a family,” he told the festival.

Performances, all outdoors, continued whether it was blazing hot or raining.

One member of a group from the north of Vanuatu’s Pentecost island fainted twice while furiously drumming in the midday heat.  

“The reason why we came down was that we wanted to show that us in north Pentecost, we have our custom and our culture that’s alive and well and we wanted to display it to all of Vanuatu,” said John Bogiri, the group’s leader.

According to Thompson, the festival spokesman, there were two West Papua delegations. One was organized by Indonesian authorities, but was apparently small and kept a low profile.

The larger delegation was aligned with the independence movement and included Benny Wenda, chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, an umbrella organization of pro-independence groups, who traveled from London where he lives in exile.

It was welcomed by Vanuatu’s high chiefs and assigned one of the country’s provinces, Shefa, as its official welcoming party and festival guardian, according it the same status as national delegations.

Still there was disappointment for Wenda, who had hoped the Melanesian Spearhead Group, a U.N.-recognized organization of Melanesian nations, would act on the liberation movement’s longstanding application for full membership.

A meeting of the leaders of the spearhead group’s member nations was planned for during the festival, but was postponed.

The liberation movement has observer status at the spearhead group while the Kanak independence movement is a full member and Indonesia is an associate member.  

“Politically we are not a full member,” Wenda said. “But all the chiefs and Shefa province welcoming us as one family member of the MSG, this is the beginning of the recognition,” he told BenarNews

Namba 7 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival em ibin open long Port Vila

Namba 7 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival em ibin open long Port Vila, capital city blong Vanuatu tede folem wan kastom seremoni wetem ol traditional owners blong Port Vila.

Ol Melanesian grups wea tek part long hem nao hem Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, ol Torres Strait aelan pipol blong Australia mo West Papua.

Namba 7 Macfest ia bambae hem end long namba 31 blong manis ia wetem bigfala celebresen long Vanuatu blong makim namba 23 independence anniversary blong kantri long namba 30 July.

Long moning tede, ol lida blong ol participating groups ibin go across long smol aelan blong Ifira blong attendim wan kastom seremoni blong tekem permission mo som respek long ol traditional owna blong Port Vila.

Hem ia sam long ol toktok blong Paramount Chief blong Ifira Mantoi Kalsakau long seremoni ia.

Long toktok blong hem long seremoni ia, Director General blong Melanesian Spearhead Group, Leonard Louma i hemi se tankyu long Chief Kalsakau blong givim permission long ol Macfest participants.

(Content by Hilaire Bule)

MSG DG LEADS VISITING MACFEST DELEGATION HEADS TO PAY RESPECT TO PARAMOUNT CHIEF & PEOPLE OF IFIRA

PORT VILA, VANUATU (20 July 2023): The Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat, Leonard Louma, led the 7th Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival (MACFEST) Heads of Delegations to Ifira island yesterday, the home of the customary landowners of the land in Port Vila.

The visit was to seek customary permission from Chief Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III to perform ceremonies in showcasing the diversity of Melanesian culture in Vanuatu for the festivities.

“Today marks another big occasion in our cultural calendar where people of Melanesia will display their rich customs and traditions for all to see,” he stated.

MACFEST he said, is a cultural event and it is only appropriate “that we come to the landowners first to seek their permission before we carry out any activities on their land”.

DG Louma reaffirmed that, “in Melanesia, only when permission is granted can we dance and stomp on other peoples’ land. Only when authority is given can we sing and shout in their area”.

This he said, is the Melanesian way, Melanesian respect and the correct way. 

On behalf of the heads of delegations and representatives, DG Louma requested permission to allow freedom to celebrate Melanesian customs and traditions on their land.

“Allow our legs, hands and body to move freely on your land. Allow our voices to be heard and echoed throughout Ifira, Efate and the whole of Vanuatu.  

“Please do tell the spirits of Ifira, the guardians of this land, to look lovingly and kindly on us and cast their protective cover over us as we enjoy the next thirteen days of sharing and promoting our Melanesian customs and traditions,” DG Louma added.

The delegations comprised Fiji, Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Torres Strait, West Papua and staff of the MSG Secretariat.

#msg ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ
#wanpipolwanrijan
#storianbloyumi
#macfest2023

MACFEST, A MEDIUM TO PRESERVE & DEMONSTRATE RESPECT FOR MELANESIAN CULTURES: DG LOUMA

PORT VILA, VANUATU (20 July 2023): The Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival (MACFEST) provides the medium to promote, preserve, and demonstrate respect for Melanesian cultures, identity and simply showcase to the world who we are. It is the MSG’s flagship event in our four-year cultural calendar. 

The comments were made by the Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat, Leonard Louma, while delivering his remarks during the opening of the 7th MACFEST yesterday.

“Our shared culture and customs bind us as Melanesians. Care must be taken not allow this opportunity of the MACFEST to be used for other purposes.   

“MACFEST is a cultural event, extensively infused with custom and tradition, and it is only proper that we acknowledge with thanks the customary landowners on whose land we are celebrating this big Melanesian cultural event,” DG Louma said.

“Earlier today, we paid a visit to Chief Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III of Ifira to request his permission, as well as that of his people, to allow all visiting delegations from MSG countries, and the other Melanesian communities invited to participate in the 7th MACFEST, the liberty to display and celebrate our Melanesian customs, traditions and culture in the next 13 days.

“I feel proud that we did this customary gesture as this is the Melanesian way. This is the Melanesian sign of respect and the right way,” he added.

DG Louma thanked MSG participating contingents for travelling to Vanuatu for the 7th MACFEST, including the Torres Strait Islanders who graciously accepted the invitation to participate, also noting that one contingent will join later this week.

“MACFEST and events like this allow people from the world over to witness and enjoy the full range, and splendor of the Melanesian spectrum of customs, cultural and traditional colours.” 

However, he added that the bigger challenge is to ensure that our future generation can still enjoy the richness of the Melanesian customs, traditions and cultures, hence the need to make concerted efforts to mainstream the teaching of our Melanesian ways in our education systems. 

“Culture and custom can be leveraged to address many of the political, economic and social challenges we are facing. Solutions may also be found in them and it can also help inform Government policy options. There is much to learn from our cultures and traditions,” he said.

DG Louma commented that more resources must be channeled into our customary institutions and deliberate affirmative actions taken to embody and embrace customary governance and administrative structures and practices, to support and complement our adopted modern Government systems.

Furthermore, DG Louma stated the need to dispel the notion that Melanesia communities only live in Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and acknowledge and include Melanesians that live elsewhere.

“I am reminded that there are pockets of descendants of Melanesians in the Micronesian Group and the Polynesian Group. We should include them, like the black Samoans of Samoa - often referred to as Tama Uli - in future MACFESTs.

“In the past, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Australia and Taiwan were invited to attend. Let us continue to build on these blocks to make this flagship cultural event of ours even bigger and better in the years to come,” he added.

Caption: The march in the capital of Port Vila to officially mark the opening of the 7th MACFEST.

#msg ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ
#wanpipolwanrijan
#storianbloyumi
#macfest2023

Indonesia's Jokowi - ' Post Analysis' Of 6 July, 3 Hours in Waigani: Is West Papua Qualified To Be Free?

Jokowi - His 3 Hours,Port Moresby, PNG: Another View.

PNG pulled an incisive diplomatic stunt in which it asserted claim to sovereignty over West Papua, ' Ancestral Home' Factor, as Indonesia is wounded, licking the ulcer of 61 years. Flies, buzzing around the wound.Smelly.

A brutal colonial occupation of West Papua. 

Indonesian leader President Joko Widodo visited PNG on 6 July, for 3 hours, but the trip was significant. It was anticipated the move means to step up on the roadmap to freedom for West Papua. MSG watched. 

His proposal to offer referendum never saw the daylight. 

In the twilight hours of his reign, he did not announce referendum as one of the outcomes of the bilateral leaders summit. President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister James Marape cemented the bilateral ties between the two countries.

The ' Take - Outs':

1. PNG/ Indonesia statecraft was celebrated as taking a big step forward after signing off on the 8 outcomes.

2. But, the tussle over claim to sovereignty over West Papua also began.

3. It seems PNG made a decisive diplomatic manoeuvre to claim West Papua as part of its ancestral home. And, international intervention was only mechanical, the stunt critical. 

MSG, through Vanuatu, the life - blood of occupied West Papua, wanted Indonesia out of the Melanesian Haus Man. The enemy lurked right from inside.

Read. Here:https://islandsbusiness.com/news-break/accepting-indonesia-into-msg-was-a-mistake-natuman/

4. This demand for international intervention is shared by over 80 states, including the members of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States, and the EU Commission. 

Australia's illogic over East Timor and West Papua will be the barometer to go by.

Read. Here:https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/australia-s-illogic-over-timor-and-west-papua

5. It may be argued, therefore, that the 8 outcomes signed off to consolidate bilateral relations that were described as ' peaked', ' new normal' in PNG/ Indonesia state craft in pursuit of their individual national interests were dislocated, and  out of order.

The intention was clear. It took 3 hours. Stop PNG endorsement of state - formation by ULMWP for West Papua to become full member of MSG. 

According to the Montevideo Convention, the  incomplete decolonization process begun by the Dutch in the 1960s did not extinguish the embryo state of Republic of West Papua.

Indonesia invaded to 'freeze' the process. Thus, 61 years of a ' frozen conflict' that translates into well - planned genocide, ecocide, and ethnocide. Today.

6. West Papua was the elephant in the room. It was there for 60,000 years. On the contrary, Indonesia intruded 61 years ago. 

7. PNG was also on the island for 60,000 years. In total 1250 indigenous Papuan tribes ruled their ancestral land from Sorong to Samarai.

8. The 8 outcomes were overshadowed by the incomplete status of West Papua and interruption of the decolonisation process over the past 61 years of occupation industry by Indonesia.

9. West Papua contributed 60 percent to the GDP of Indonesia annually. But, remained the poorest region amidst the billions injected into the Indonesian economy.

10. We thank PNG for exploiting West Papua as a foreign policy determinant which defined its national interests to be accommodated in nation - building.

11. Indonesia failed to develop West Papua over the last 61 years. The UN's pet project was to see the ' Last Bastion of the Free World' rise to consolidate Western Christian civilisation and democracy in the region.

Instead, 61 years later, the Morning Star is still in orbit around the sun, eclipsed by Indonesia's lies, yet to sign.

12. So, the transfer of wealth to PNG through Indonesian aid signed off in the 8 outcomes is on behalf of West Papua. So, the dictum:

' You scratch my back, I scratch your back'. 

' Stap wantaim yu. Gutpela taim, taim nogut'.

13. PNG and West Papua are celebrating 60,000 years of indigenous Papuan heritage. Meanwhile, Indonesia seems just a ' mosquito bite'.

 Careless, whisper.

I can see the Morning Star! Can you?

Photo ini dibuat sekitar tahun 1986. Tampak alm. Fred Sibuy

Photo ini dibuat sekitar tahun 1986. Tampak alm. Fred Sibuy sedang memimpin doa pagi di Camp Pengungsi Wara Palpal, di district Telefomin. Disini terlihat adik Agus Ajamiseba (pangku kaki) juga adik John Bless yang 37 tahun lalu mereka  masih muda belia, tapi dipaksa hidup dalam kedinginan yang sangat membosankan karena matahari hanya muncul sekali sehari dalam tempo 1 jam di siang hari.

Ah, Wara Palpal Camp, Telefomin.

Custom Ceremony Honours Melanesian Unity at 7th Arts Festival

A custom ceremony was held at the Saralana compound yesterday by the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and the chiefs from each island, expressing gratitude to the Melanesian countries for their presence at the 7th Melanesian Arts Festival in Vanuatu. The ceremony served as a welcoming gesture and appreciation for the efforts made by each Pacific country to attend the festival.

Chief Willy Grey Plasua, President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, expressed his happiness in hosting the 7th Melanesian Arts Festival in Port Vila, despite the significant challenges faced throughout the year. “We are happy to join together in this Arts Festival, we are one, even though we are divided by land but we are one ‘solwora’ (ocean) because our customs are unique, they are our lives,” he said.

A representative from the Port Vila Council of Chiefs explained the significance of the ceremony, saying that it symbolises the tradition of high chiefs exchanging gifts when they visit a new place to meet another high chief.

The adoption of brothers and sisters from each Melanesian country by the provinces of Vanuatu was highlighted. For instance, TORBA Province has adopted Papua New Guinea, PENAMA Province has adopted Solomon Islands, MALAMPA Province has adopted the Republic of Fiji, SHEFA Province has adopted West Papua, SANMA Province has adopted the Torres Strait, and TAFEA Province has maintained its adoption and brotherhood with the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

During the ceremony, chiefs representing each province invited the chiefs and leaders from the brother countries to come forward and receive gifts as a part of the welcome, signifying the provinces’ commitment to looking after their people within Vanuatu.

Welkam blong ol Macfest participants long Port Vila

Ol participants blong namba 7 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival oli stat kasem finis long Port Vila blong attendim festval ia we bae stat long Wednesday namba 19 go kasem namba 31 blong manis ia.

Chairman blong MACFEST organising committee, Richard Shing hem se ol participants blong Fiji oli kasem Vila finis long wiken, mo hem stap long Bauerfield International Airport long moning tede blong welkamim ol particioants blong New Caledonia.

Hem talem Niusman Hilaire Bule se long aftanum bae ol participants blong Solomon Islands mo Torres aelan long Australia bae kasem Vila, mo ol blong PNG bae kasem later long wik.

Long audio, bae yu harem storian blong niusman Hilaire wetem Richard Shing.

Broadcast 17 Jul 2023

Ifira to Host MACFEST Custom Ceremony Tomorrow

New Caledonia participants being welcomed at Lycee Louis Antoine de Bougainville yesterday. By Hilaire Bule

The Chairman of the 7th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) committee, Richard Shing, has confirmed that a custom ceremony will take place tomorrow on the island of Ifira to honour the chiefs of Ifira and Vanuatu for hosting the festival on their land.

Mr. Shing stated that his committee will perform a custom ceremony to pay tribute to the chiefs of Ifira and Malvatumauri. This ceremony will be witnessed by the participants and their leaders before proceeding to Saralana for the official opening of the festival.

Expressing pride in Port Vila as the host city, Mr. Shing appealed to the city’s residents to take care of their Melanesian brothers and sisters from other countries participating in the festival. The chairman stressed the committee’s desire for all participants, both local and from Melanesia, to leave Port Vila with cherished memories of their time at the festival.

Regarding security, Shing assured strong measures would be in place throughout the two weeks of festivities. However, he appealed to the public to show respect and hospitality to the visiting friends and guests. Fiji, New Caledonia, and Solomon Islands have already arrived in Port Vila, while Papua New Guinea is expected to arrive before the official opening tomorrow.

Yesterday, 136 participants from New Caledonia landed at Port Vila International Airport, where they were warmly welcomed by Mr. Shing amidst the melodies of a local string band. After their arrival, the participants embarked on a convoy to Lycee Louis Antoine de Bougainville, where they were greeted by over 100 dancers from Tanna and Pentecost.

As for local participants, the majority arrived in Port Vila during the past week and over the weekend, with the exception of those from TORBA Province. The committee explained that the delay in the arrival of participants from the northern province was due to severe weather conditions currently affecting the country.

One participant from Pentecost shared their challenging journey, facing rough seas from their island to Port Vila. Over the weekend, 71 participants from Ambae, Maewo, and Pentecost arrived and were welcomed by their chief representatives and Members of Parliament at the Mwebalehan Association in Anambrou on Sunday evening.

Melanesian Leaders Summit Postponed


The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit proposed to be held from July 17 to 21 is postponed to another date, which is yet to be confirmed.

This was confirmed by the Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Jotham Napat. He said the MSG Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting last month proposed this date pending confirmation from each member country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Napat said they have received a confirmation from the government of Solomon Islands noting they have a clash with their Parliament Sitting, therefore the meeting had to be rescheduled.

“Vanuatu’s Prime Minister as Chair of the MSG will write to the members for them to reschedule the meeting on another date where every leaders are available to complete their issues,” he told the Daily Post.

“For Vanuatu, July is already full of activities. The President of France is arriving soon. We are looking at organising the meeting in August.”

Asked to confirm whether the endorsement of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UMLWP) as a full member of MSG is going to be an agenda at this Leaders Meeting, the DPM replied that this was not discussed at the MSG Foreign Affairs Minister Meeting.

He explained that the Foreign Affairs Minister Meeting discussed only the budget and its approval, however the application for UMLWP becoming a full member will be discussed in a retreat by the MSG Prime Ministers before any adoption. Vanuatu has strongly been supporting this agenda.

The Jakarta Globe reported that the DPM and Foreign Affairs Minister has discussed the possibility of Vanuatu opening an embassy in Indonesia with his Indonesian counterpart during his visit there last month.

He said he told his counterpart about Vanuatu’s push for West Papua to be part of MSG. “Indonesia has been very frank about this matter. They consider West Papua as part of them and they told us that we (Vanuatu) are undermining their sovereignty.

“This does not stop us to keep pushing this agenda to the MSG Leaders to decide on it. It’s a sensitive issue that needs to be agreed by all leaders. Every decision are to be taken by consensus, it will be very difficult if some of the leaders are reluctant to support the agenda,” he said.

Indonesia has been providing scholarships for Papua New Guineans and Fijians to study abroad. Asked if such assistance could jeopardise Vanuatu’s push for West Papua, Minister Napat said: “Vanuatu is a sovereign country and it must decide on its own destiny and future.

“It is the same for PNG, it has its own sovereign right. Somewhere we (Vanuatu) have to find what is our interest, whether we continue pursuing the idea or we decide on a different path but continue advocate.

“You cannot be shouting from outside. You have to sit at the roundtable with them and talk so that they can hear you. It’s an interest for Vanuatu to pursue the matter, but when it comes to MSG its a collective decision.”

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

Indonesia creates new committee on Papua after talks with Vanuatu

Joint talks between Vanuatu and Indonesia have taken place in Jakarta with West Papua high on the agenda

It comes amidst tensions in the region, and ahead of a state visit next month to Papua New Guinea by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia's state-owned news agency Antara reports Vice President Ma'ruf Amin met with Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Jotham Napat in Jakarta on Monday.

Vanuatu has strongly supported the separatist push in West Papua for many years and Antara reports the issue of conflict in the province was discussed.

Amin announced a Papua Special Autonomy Development Acceleration Steering Committee had been formed to evaluate development in the Papua region.

"The granting of this special autonomy has been planned for the long term up to 2042," he said.

Amin said Indonesia respects the diversity in West Papua.

"I want to emphasise that the welfare approach will continue to become the main priority by respecting diversity and based on the principles of fairness, equity, and sustainability. The settlement of security issues is also done through a comprehensive approach," he said.

The Vice President said Indonesia is also ready to serve as a gateway for Vanuatu to enter the ASEAN market.

Vanuatu is hoping to forge a technical cooperation agreement as well as establish sister city and provincial partnerships.

At Monday's meeting, Napat stated that his visit to Indonesia is a fundamental step to recover trust and to express eagerness to build sound cooperation between Vanuatu and Indonesia.

Napat also echoed his country's keenness to forge a technical cooperation agreement between both nations as well as to establish sister city and sister province partnership that he said can be started with Papua Province.

The Pacific Conference of Churches Supports West Papua in MSG



The Pacific Conference of Churches continues to affirm its commitment to advocate and inspire actions in solidarity for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) to become a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).



This morning, the PCC hosted Civil Society partners alongside the ULMWP President Benny Wenda at a prayer vigil where the Morning Star flag was raised in Suva, ahead of the MSG Leaders’ Summit in Vanuatu next week.  



Mr Wenda presented the PCC General Secretary, Reverend James Bhagwan, with a new flag that symbolises hope and unity despite Indonesia’s blatant violations of West Papuans’ human rights. Reverend Bhagwan said it was significant to gesture linking the churches and people of the Pacific to focus their attention on the struggle of our sisters and brothers in Tanah Papua.

“PCC have been flying the Morning Star flag even though it was in tatters to remind us that while our family/vuvale in Papua are oppressed, displaced, repressed and face constant attacks on their dignity and human rights, they remain hopeful for their right to be self-determining,” Revered Bhagwan shared.

He said the new flag will continue to fly everyday as a sign of hope and reminder that the Pacific family is rallying behind the people of West Papua. “You do not go alone to that MSG meeting, you go with God and with us in your heart, knowing that while you await formal recognition of ULMWP as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, your Pacific Churches and Civil Society, the people of the Pacific have recognised the ULMWP as the political representative of the people of Tanah Papua,” he added. 



PCC alongside our partners will continue to engage in peaceful actions this week as we our support the call of the ULMWP and Government of Vanuatu to bring West Papua back to the MSG family by granting ULMWP full membership to the MSG and acknowledging the ULMWP as the main political representative of the people of West Papua.

12-07-2023
Ends.

#BREAKING | Ten West Papuan Activists Arrested for Distributing Leaflets Ahead of Peaceful Protest

#BREAKING | Ten West Papuan Activists Arrested for Distributing Leaflets Ahead of Peaceful Protest 

In a recent development, Indonesian Police and the Army have arrested ten West Papuan individuals who were distributing leaflets advocating for a peaceful demonstration scheduled for tomorrow, July 12. The demonstration aimed to garner support for the West Papua's bid for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The arrests took place earlier today at approximately 12:25 local time. The Indonesian authorities took swift action, detaining the activists and escorting them to the Jayapura Resort Police station in Sentani for questioning.
The names of the ten individuals who have been arrested are as follows:
1. Elinatan Basini
2. Ganip Kobak
3. Eko Enumbi
4. Rojer Wasini
5. Nobe Dogopia
6. Eki balingga
7. Naldo Felle
8. Anius Balyo
9. Nisman Murid
10. Erry Mimin
At the time of this news report, all ten detainees remain in custody at the police station, awaiting further investigation.
The West Papuan activists were seeking to raise awareness about the push for West Papua's full membership in the MSG, an important regional organization encompassing countries such as Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Kanaky, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. Their peaceful action aimed to highlight the aspirations of the West Papuan people and gain support for their cause.
The international community will be closely watching the unfolding events and awaiting updates on the status and welfare of the arrested individuals.