Ali condemns MSG; says group’s acceptance of funds ‘a slap in the face’ of every West Papuans

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FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali. Picture: ATU RASEA

The Melanesian Spearhead Group’s acceptance of funds from the Indonesian National Police for the formulation of its regional security strategy was akin to buying their silence on the West Papua issue with blood money, claims human rights activist Shamima Ali.

The MSG received more than $200,000 ($US100,000) from the Indonesian National Police last week.

Ms Ali claims that the Pacific must stand together and condemn the atrocities committed by Indonesian security forces on the West Papuan people and call for sanctions against Indonesia.

“How can the MSG – a collective that purports to represent the Melanesian people – accept money from a government that is killing people whose only crime is their desire for independence, self-determination and autonomy,” she said.

“Our Melanesian brothers and sisters have lost loved ones and children at the hands of the Indonesian security forces – how can the MSG accept a single cent from them – it is a slap in the face of every West Papuan.

“It is the height of absurdity for the MSG to accept this money, and it is beyond comprehension that the funds will be used to develop the MSG Regional Security Strategy with security forces of a country that is killing, brutally attacking and detaining its indigenous people.”

She said if nothing was going on in West Papua, then why were the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner and foreign journalists barred from going there.

“Lives have been taken, people are being detained simply for speaking out for self-determination and we cannot just pretend it never happened and is still ongoing.

“At the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, we fly the Morning Star every Wednesday in solidarity with the West Papuan people and their bid for autonomy. West Papua, Merdeka!.”

Questions sent to the MSG Secretariat and Indonesian Embassy in Suva remained unanswered.