Following the peaceful and democratic elections in the Republic of Vanuatu, Benny Wenda, as Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), has written this congratulatory letter to the new Prime Minister Hon. Charlot Salwai.
12th February 2016
Dear Hon. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai,
On behalf of the people of West Papua, The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) would like to sincerely congratulate you on your election to the office of Prime Minister of our fellow Melanesian nation, the Republic of Vanuatu.
We West Papuans always closely follow the lives of our Melanesian brothers and sisters and we are all very happy to have witnessed the free and democratic elections in the Republic of Vanuatu.
As Melanesians, we know that the Republic of Vanuatu has always taken a noble lead in supporting our people and speaking out against the suffering and oppression in West Papua.
Over the years it has brought true joy to our hearts and helped us to wipe tears from our eyes, watching the Republic of Vanuatu open its’ arms to our people’s cause and speak up even at a United Nations Level for our freedom and our fundamental right to self-determination.
True Melanesian solidarity never dies and we are all so grateful for all the tremendous and heartfelt support and ongoing solidarity from our wantoks and our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Vanuatu.
It is with great sadness that we West Papuans remember the monstrosity of Cyclone Pam that tore through our beloved Pacific Ocean and caused so much devastation to our Ni-Vanuatu family. Last year, ULMWP appealed to our people to contribute what they could towards cyclone relief and fundraising was held on the streets. Such is the level of oppression against us that West Papuans were even shot and killed by the Indonesian police just for fundraising for cyclone relief.
While much of the money raised was confiscated by the Indonesian authorities, we are glad that some of it made it to Vanuatu and that you yourself were present to witness the handing over of cyclone relief from General Secretary of ULWMP, Mr. Octavianus Mote to former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Joe Natuman.
Hon. Prime Minister, on behalf of the people of West Papua we would once again like to offer our sincerest congratulations on your election and our sincerest gratitude to the people of Vanuatu for continuing to the people of occupied West Papua and our struggle for freedom.
We very much look forward to continuing to walk down the long road to freedom hand in hand with our dear Melanesian brothers and sisters of the Republic of Vanuatu.
One day, colonialism in our region will finally come to an end and all Melanesia will be free at last.
May God bless Vanuatu, West Papua and all of Melanesia.
Our warmest regards and best wishes
Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)