THE ousted Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare defended his strong stance on the plight of the people of West Papua during the motion of no-confidence on Monday which saw him removed from the top political leadership position.
The Member of Parliament for Central Honiara Moffat Fugui in his contribution to the motion said the Prime Minister should withdraw support for the Indonesia-colonised region.
Mr Fugui said Solomon Islands should not waste its time on the issue of West Papua in light of the fact that Papua New Guinea which is the closest Melanesian neighbour of West Papua is not even advocating for the West Papuans.
But in his rebuttal, Mr Sogavare said his government’s position on the issue of West Papua must be consistent with its position on the issues of independence referendum for New Caledonia, French Polynesia’s decolonisation agenda and Taiwan’s bid for United Nations membership.
He said Solomon Islands supports the referendum on independence forNew Caledonia and decolonisation of French Polynesia as well as Taiwan’s bid for United Nations membership.
The MP for East Choiseul said his government’s position on the issue of West Papua takes into account the facts that about half a million West Papuan Melanesian swere murdered because of their struggle for freedom and that they do not enjoy simple basic rights as Solomon Islanders do.
He said Solomon Islands needs to strategise on the issue of West Papua, adding that even if the rest of the world pulls out, Solomon Islanders must remain standing beside their Melanesian West Papuan brothers and sisters.
“We are not afraid to put our case before UN and the Human Rights Commission in Geneva,” Mr Sogavare added.
By AATAI JOHN