Sogavare backs Jakarta mission - Solomon Star News

Sogavare backs Jakarta mission

24 April 2014

EAST Choiseul MP Manasseh Sogavare has supported government proposal to establish an embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“This is a strategic move that should be welcomed,” Mr Sogavare said while speaking in parliament, Tuesday.

He said in addition to furthering Solomon Islands economic interest, the move should facilitate active engagement with Jakarta on the issue of West Papua.

Mr Sogavare however, said whilst he appreciated the cautious approach taken by the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, they must not allow that cautious approach to lead to indecisiveness that they forget one of the worst human rights blunders in the 20th and 21st centuries that saw untold suffering inflicted against the people of West Papua while the world watches on.

The Opposition MP said in trying to make sense of the differing views on the issue of West Papua he came to two realisations:

  • Whether Solomon Islands would continue to join the long queue of gross carelessness, disinterestedness, selfishness and hypocrisy that marked the way the world including the United Nations handled the issue of West Papua for the last four decades or
  • Face the reality head on and tell the world to come out of its hypocrisy before starting to believe in anything it says about democracy, the right of people to self-determination, freedom and respect for the dignity of human life.

“Understandably this would be a tough preposition for a small country like Solomon Islands which is insignificant in the world scale to become an odd one out on an issue that the powerful countries in the region and the world for this matter are taking an ‘in-door’ approach to expressing their concerns with Indonesia.”

 Mr Sogavare said he believes Solomon Islands must be sensitive but must also be truthful and call ‘wrong’ by its right name.

“Solomon Islands is fully justified to raise concern about the issue of West Papua and push for it to be placed at the agenda of the United Nations.

“This matter transcends simple issues of diplomacy where a mild expression of concern in closed door would suffice.

“This is about humanity and moral standing of a member country of the United Nations.

“This is a concern about a world that is just watching whilst some of its citizens are going through hardship.”