PNG Prime Minister James Marape – UN General Assembly 76th Annual Session, 2021

He took office as the 7th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea 2 years ago, 30 May 2019.

The slogan that came into vogue, and popularised, was to ‘ Take Back PNG’. Pangu Pati was once again in office after years of sleep, dormant, for want of purpose. Or, in the worse – case scenario Pangu Pati was a cargo cult movement.


Yet, it was the dominant voice and therefore vehicle of political culture that met the Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare half – way, the ‘ angry young radical’, and as the flames of nationalism soared high, Pangu Pati brought independence. 1975.

Then, the challenges of Independence and nation – building overtook and drowned the focus that underpinned the national pulse as Pangu Pati defined it.

And, at the height of the gamble that could go wrong, with colonialists fearing ‘ black chaos’ more than ‘ black unity’, freedom filled the air. The father of the nation carved his space in the annals of the nation’s history.

Pangu Pati was breathed down a nation of a thousand plus tribes now coming to terms with the ‘ white man’s burden’, that came complete, with even the neon lights.

Pangu Save Long Rot. The slogan danced in the wind.

The blissful invasion was a plus and soothed the New Guinea native’s ‘cunning’ to the next degree. As independence dawned, cargo cultists faded.

The Prime Minister James Marape knows the West Papua issue. He witnessed live the persecution as indigenous Melanesian Papuans voted with their feet.

And, crossed the border into PNG at Oksapmin. Clearly, West Papua issue is a matter of life and death. The message then, as today, is’ Give me liberty or death’.

Read, here:

The West Papua issue may be just that, a cargo cult. Or, bout an inalienable human right.

So, the script as PNG Prime Minister addresses the UN General Assembly this Friday.

(1) Mathias Yaliwan from Yangoru and Yali Nambi from Rai Coast inspired, and insisted that people must climb the mythical hills and rebuild Noah’s Ark, proclaiming that all the followers of the movement would be safe, while the non-believers would perish.

It means faithful supporters would win eternal life, regaining their youthful selves – they would change their skin like crabs.

(2) The Late Grand Chief and father of the nation Sir Michael Somare passed on in February this year, 2021. In the prime of his life when he brought independence, he warned our leaders prior to independence, and after, to be conscious of the challenge to get it right first time.

KBS. The acronym translates to Kanaka Bikpela Samting.

At the National Haus Krai.

West Papuans living in diaspora in PNG joined in the traditional rituals and vigil offered by all tribal groups and 19 provinces in the country to the Somare family, and Sepik tribal heritage.

(2) It is interesting that as the West Papuan group finished at the podium, and with the microphone, the message seemed to be incisive:

‘ We are all tribal people, timeless, and ancient, and while Grand Chief is gone his memory will inspire our leaders to ‘Take Back PNG’.

‘But, as that happens, please give back West Papua’.

(3) The apt reminder seemed clear.

PNG as cousin to West Papua is to embrace the Biblical or proverbial Cain and Abel syndrome. PNG is duty-bound to tell Indonesia ‘ I am my brother’s keeper’.

(4) Prime Minister James Marape will likely skip the West Papua issue when he makes his address to the UN General Assembly.

PNG has been dwarfed by tiny Vanuatu which leads the the lobbying going on at the UN to put West Papua back on the agenda for a resolution.

The next East Timor for Australia.

Or, may be the matter with West Papua issue will get no where like a cargo cult.

(5) The West Papua issue is an indigenous movement in Melanesia that, over six decades, survived unlike “cargo cults” that pervaded Melanesia from PNG to Solomon Islands to Vanuatu prior to decolonisation.

It did not simply vanish in the wake of modernization, globalization or nation-building.

And, the tangible contemporary legacy passed on to the peoples of countries in Melanesia, in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Kanaky, and the leadership, is to persist.

The case for West Papua was a human rights issue. And, not a cargo cult.

(6) It may be long past time for freedom. But, the freedom struggle is a matter of fact, and not to be dismissed merely as a post-modern metaphor of desire.

(7) The dream of freedom is an idea, it cannot die, in entangled worlds, a matter of when. Freedom will come. Not, what if, anymore.

(8) PNG is called on to speak on West Papua at the UN General Assembly even if Australia is mute.

Otherwise, our ancient, timeless, tribal people will become a case study for ethnographic accuracy or a story to be told about genocide in Melanesia.

Or, a story told about cargo cult and indigenous social movements that occurred, and are still occurring in southwest Oceania – where their precursors have been observed for decades – even before the island of New Guinea was divided into three to make way for colonialism to set in.

(9) Australia is sensitive to the West Papua issue also. But, could do much more. It matters to PNG that Australia’s next East Timor is lifted, up and standing as a free nation.

(10) The Biak Massacre is a concise and durable statement on Indonesia as a ‘ democracy’ invented by the US and Australia.

It was never the ‘ last bastion of the free world’. West Papua was.

And, still is. Australia turned a blind eye for decades. International media has a narrative on West Papua. It is clearly evidence that demands a verdict.

Read, here:

‘Killed like animals’: documents reveal how Australia turned a blind eye to a West Papuan massacre.

Dozens of West Papuans were tortured and thrown into the sea 23 years ago. Days later, Australia knew details of the attack, yet remained silent.

(11) It is Prime Minister James Marape’s call.

PNG cannot afford to reduce West Papua into just a social complexity, or movement, and dismissed as one of the “cargo cults” of Melanesia.

Free West Papua!

(Photo caption: UN General Assembly 76th Session – Prime Minister James Marape had departed to attend, and will give his address to world leaders on global issues including human rights, climate change, and Covid – 19; UN Decolonisation Committee of 24 – MSG and PIF resolutions for UN intervention in West Papua amidst ongoing humanitarian crisis have yet to be progressed to the UN General Assembly for resolution; West Papua – Australia’s Next East Timor vs US/China Cold War bipolar hegemony?; ULMWP – chairman Benny Wenda declared a Transitional Government or Provisional Government of Republic of West Papua; Indonesia – occupation industry in West Papua detailed by international opinion on West Papua)

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