Showing posts with label intifada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intifada. Show all posts

Friday, August 6, 2010

West Papuans condemn PNG 'betrayal' after Forum failure

By Ben Bohane in Port Vila

West Papuan leaders are warning of a "total intifada" in their Indonesian-ruled homeland, saying the failure of the Pacific Islands Forum to discuss their independence may mean the end of its diplomatic attempts to resolve their plight peacefully.

They are disappointed that Vanuatu, as the new chair, did not address the matter as promised but they have also singled out Papua New Guinea for "betraying" them with its insistence on Indonesian sovereignty.

"We feel betrayed by Papua New Guinea and its grand thief - not chief - Sir Michael Somare," said Dr John Ondawame, a spokesman for the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.

"Pacific leaders continue to be bribed by Indonesia, diplomacy is failing and it will be very difficult for our political leaders to contain our OPM [guerilla] forces after these ongoing diplomatic failures. We are close to declaring a total intifada in Papua."

Vanuatu is the only nation to have backed the West Papuans. Last month its Parliament passed a bill declaring that Vanuatu would take the issue to both the International Court of Justice and the United Nations General Assembly later this year.

Last year, West Papua was close to gaining observer status with the sub-regional Melanesian Spearhead Group, which groups Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.

It was blocked by Somare, the PNG Prime Minister, whose lone dissenting voice scuttled the deal, since the vote had to be unanimous.

Papuan leaders also warned the forum leaders to be wary of Indonesian influence, claiming Indonesia is playing "a double game" as it also had its ambassador to Fiji attend that country's rival "Engaging Fiji" meeting.

Observers say Indonesia is concerned that Vanuatu chairs both the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum, given its support for West Papua.

Indonesian support for Frank Bainimarama's rival forum in Fiji might be a way of undermining the forum if it continues to push the West Papuan issue.

Indonesia has sent a delegation to the forum in Port Vila and West Papuan leaders say Indonesia's intelligence agency is also sending a senior official to speak to the Vanuatu government. - 6959 The Sydney Morning Herald/Pacific Media Watch

Images (from top): Papuan campaigners - export beer from 'betrayer' PNG, Dr John Ondowame and poster on OPMblog. Ondowame photo credit: Melanesia News.

Ben Bohane's retrospective on Pacific war reporting

The killing of Yawan Wayeni - Al Jazeera reporting

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Time to target Israel's bloody occupation, says Klein

AFTER the impressive weekend protests in New Zealand - and globally - against the Israeli genocide in Gaza, The Nation has published a thought-provoking article by Naomi Klein on the "boycott, divest and sanctions" campaign that worked so well in bringing down apartheid. She argues:
It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.
In July 2005, a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - BDS
for short - was born.
Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of ceasefires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions" and draws a clear parallel with the anti-apartheid struggle. "The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves.... This international backing must stop."

Pictured: Palestinian women and their large national flag carried at Saturday's Auckland city protest. Note Israel-apartheid links in posters. Photo: David Robie

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