Hypocrisy over West Papua
I would appreciate if the following could be published in tomorrow’s issue, in response to a piece by Pastor Dorothy Regenvanu.
If the Deputy Leader of Opposition must be accused of hypocrisy, what should those who omitted historical facts and appear naïve about due diplomatic process, be accused of?
In your issue No. 3467 of Monday 6 February 2012, Pastor Dorothy Regenvanu, the Matriarch of Ground and Justice Party, alleged that the Deputy Leader of Opposition and Leader of Vanua-aku Party, failed to do anything about the West Papua issue when he was in power. This was in spite of having moved the West Papua Motion in Parliament. The Pastor failed to point out that this motion was drafted by the founding President of Ground and Justice Party. The then Prime Minister Natapei opted for the motion drafted by Honorable Ralph Regenvanu because it was seen to be supported by both sides of Parliament.
He moved this motion knowing very well that the resolutions of Parliament is not likely to receive sub-regional, regional or international support to enable the Vanuatu Government to successfully re-launch the West Papuan issue at the United Nations level.
It is a well-established fact that the Vanua’aku Party championed the case of East-Timor and West Papua throughout the 1980s. When a non-VP government established diplomatic relations with Indonesia in mid 1990s, it legally and effectively committed Vanuatu to recognize that: 1) West Papuans are Indonesian citizens, 2) West Papua forms an integral part of Indonesian territory, 3) that West Papuans are legally ruled from Jakarta by the Indonesian Government, 4) and lastly, that the Indonesian Government is the sole authority to represent West Papua and its peoples overseas, especially at the UN.
Having recognized Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua, it would have been hypocritical to be still talking about the Independence of West Papua.
This is the fundamental legal reason why later VP-led governments were unable to pursue the West Papuan issue at the MSG, the Forum and UN Levels.
This is the second time the VP current Leader has been accused of inaction over West Papuan issue by the top leadership of Ground and Justice Party. Just before Hon. Natapei was toppled from power in 2010, Pastor Sethy Regenvanu accused him of making excuses for not raising the West Papuan issue at the MSG, Forum or UN levels.
Those serious about international diplomatic processes will know that the very act of recognition of Indonesia caused irreparable harm to the case of Independence of West Papua. Those who called this an excuse are either naïve, ignorant or trying to lay blame on others. Therefore, in spite of the diplomatic relations constraint, the leader of the Vanua’aku Party still moved the motion in Parliament.
If this was not a substantive action towards the possibility of re-launching the case for West Papua, then what is it? From a hind side, Honorable Natapei was correct in sensing that the Vanuatu Parliament resolution would not receive any sub-regional, regional, or international support at all. The current Prime Minister who was put into power by the Ground and Justice Party, encountered this difficulty when he tried to raise the West Papua issue during his first MSG, Forum and UN meetings.
Thanks to the draft resolution by Hon. Ralph Regenvanu the sovereignty of the National Parliament of Vanuatu was ridiculed in the face of the International community. The idea of imposing the stand of the National Parliament on the United Nations General Assembly is doomed to fail from the start.
Students of International Law would be able to tell Pastor Dorothy Regenvanu anytime that whenever there is contradiction between a national and international legislative initiative, the international process shall always take precedence.
Vanua-aku Party Head Office