THE country could gain significant economic benefits if it supports West Papua’s submission for membership in one of the regional’s powerful body, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The sentiments were echoed by West Papua’s Independence activist and member of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Jacob Rumbiak, in an exclusive interview last week.
Rumbiak who is once- upon- a- time a political prisoner and also an academic said, West Papua is rich in terms of natural resources.
He said, these resources could be shared with Melanesian countries through economic agreements if MSG members admitted West Papua into MSG.
Rumbiak revealed that the Copper mine Freeport in West Papua earns a total of USD250 billion annually and of that sum USD14 billion is paid every year as tax to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Rumbiak said, these big monies can benefit Solomon Islands and the Pacific region if the MSG members consider West Papua’s submission for membership of the MSG and the body to advocate for West Papua’s fight for Independence in the international arena.
Rumbiak added that the Freeport Copper Mine is just one of the many resources in West Papua.
The former freedom fighter said, natural resources are in abundance in other areas of West Papua, this including in Fulmamora, Arianta, Maloku and Papua.
Rumbiak, however, strongly added that these resources can only be tapped for the benefit of the MSG countries if West Papuans are in control of their sovereignty, dignity and liberty.
But Independent activist also stated that resources in Melanesia, let alone in West Papua, can be tapped if Melanesians are in control of their own sovereignty, dignity and liberty.
Rumbiak reiterated his call to the Prime Minister, Honorable Manasseh Sogavare, to vote for West Papua’s bid for membership citing it was the right thing to do.
Meanwhile a local group advocating for West Papua’s admittance into MSG and eventual Independence, the Solomon Islands Solidarity Movement for West Papua (SISMWP), has called on PM Sogavare to vote for West Papua’s bid for MSG’s membership.
The SISMWP strongly stated that the country’s vote for West Papua’s admittance as an MSG member is a moral obligation in light of the country’s fervent opposition to human rights violations.
Indonesia is amongst few of the countries in the world that continue to violate human rights and yet is shunned by so- called human rights advocators such as USA, England, Australia and New Zealand.