Suva – Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s (PIFS) award will support Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) Executive Director, Ms Emele Duituturaga was shocked to learn that Papua New Guinea (PNG) had not allowed West Papuan campaigner, Octovianus Mote to enter the country last Sunday (29 May, 2016).
Ms Duituturaga was on her way back to Fiji from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, where she had presented the West Papua Fact Finding Mission report to top UN Officials, when she learnt the Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) had not been granted entry into PNG.
“Sadly, this situation manifests the emerging new approach of Melanesian diplomacy but it will not dampen the spirits of those who continue to call and work for West Papua’s self-determination.”
Ms Duituturaga said she was happy to note that despite the refusal of entry by PNG Immigration, Mote was treated respectfully during the situation.
“Octo (Mote) reported that he was treated very respectfully as a ‘wantok’ during the situation by immigration officials until he left PNG.”
“Although this is the second time a ULMWP leader has been refused entry into PNG – the first being Benny Wenda in 2015 – I doubt it will stem the groundswell of West Papua support sweeping across the Pacific and the world right now,” Ms Duituturaga said.
Mr Mote had travelled to Papua New Guinea as a guest of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu government.
“I was invited to assist both delegations with various resolutions they planned to table at the African Caribbean Pacific meeting of the European Union which is being held in Port Moresby.”
“No reason was given as to why I was refused permission to enter the country. I was not presented with any written explanation, I was just told it was an ‘order from the top’. Although I am seeking clarification about why I was denied entry I accept this decision of the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea.”
“I would like to express my thanks to the MSG countries for their ongoing support of West Papua. I look forward to the forthcoming MSG Leaders’ Summit to clarify all matters relating to ULMWP’s application for full membership.”
Mr Mote also expressed his gratitude to the people of PNG for their support and looked forward to clarifying the official position of PNG on West Papua with government leaders.