By Hilaire Bule
Apart from the national government, SHEFA Provincial Government Council (SPGC) is the first provincial authority in Vanuatu to recognize Mr. Benny Wenda as the interim president of a provisional West Papuan government.
The official recognition was made by SPGC Secretary General (SG), Morris Kaloran to mark West Papua Day on December 1, 2021.
SPGC had already adopted the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua and their struggle for self-determination and liberation from Indonesian rule.
“The destiny of our two Melanesian peoples of West Papua and Vanuatu are joined,” SG Kaloran said.
“The West Papuan people remain enslaved and colonized in the 21st century, subject to discrimination, assassination and military operations. Their gallant freedom struggle, under the guidance and leadership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Provisional Government, is moving ever closer to victory. Until the people of West Papua are, no one in Melanesia is free.”
Kaloran said SPGC is honored to officially recognise the ULMWP Provisional Government and Interim President Benny Wenda as the legitimate representatives of the people of West Papua and their struggle. He said this is another step on the formation of a long term friendship between West Papuan people and the government, chiefs and people of SHEFA province. Earlier in June, the chiefs and people of SHEFA performed a traditional adoption ceremony at SPGC headquarters in Port Vila.
At the time, a chiefly title – SHEFA — was bestowed to Mr. Frederick Jan Waromi.
Mr. Waromi is the official representative of ULMWP in Vanuatu. Under the chiefly title, Chief Marikor can now uphold the chiefly role and he will be given full respect in displaying his responsibilities and entitled to attend all chiefly ceremonies organized by chiefs in SHEFA.
West Papua day was jointly organized by SPGC and Vanuatu West Papua Association.
The chairman of Vanuatu West Papua Association, Pastor Job Dalesa, said he is proud of the progress and asks all churches in Vanuatu to continue to pray for West Papua.