Since the United Liberation Movement for West Papua was established in December 2014 in Vanuatu, Papua’s international diplomacy has gained a new momentum.
Papua political factions no longer presented themselves in different voices but rather, it has come in a unified voice. The Saralana Declaration reflects a strong commitment of all three major Papuan political organisations, namely West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL), Federal Republic of West Papua (NFPB), and West Papua National Parliament (WPNP).
It states, “We declare and claim that all West Papuans, both inside and outside West Papua, are united under this new body and that we will continue our struggle for independence”.
Port Vila (shown in the photo taken this week from the Prime Minister’s Office perched on a hill overlooking Port Vila harbour) is one of three capital cities in Melanesia named after a port, and is the capital of Vanuatu, whose support for West Papua’s struggle for liberation has never faded. When Vanuatu became free from French and British condominium in 1980, and after the Kumul Force from PNG squashed resistance leader Jimmy Stevens and his fighters resisting a newly independent Vanuatu, its first Prime Minister spoke those timeless words:
‘ Vanuatu and Melanesia is not free, as long as West Papua is not free’.
PNG’s capital is Port Moresby. West Papua’s capital is called Port Numbay, which after the Indonesian invasion in the 1960s was renamed Jayapura.
MSG delayed its decision again on the ULMWP’s application for full membership of the sub – regional grouping during its meeting in Port Vila this week from 20 – 22 December 2016.’