3 Aug 2009

West Papuans to lobby Pacific Forum leaders in Cairns

7:08 pm on 3 August 2009

Several West Papuans are gathering in Cairns this week to lobby Pacific Islands Forum leaders at their annual summit to have Indonesia's Papua region discussed at the Forum.

West Papuan representatives have regularly lobbied Forum leaders to raise the issue of ongoing human rights abuses in Papua with the Indonesian government.

In the past, Forum leaders had responded by mentioning concern about the troubled Indonesian region in the Forum's official communique.

However more recent Forum summit communiques have not mentioned Papua.

The secretary-general of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Rex Rumakiek, is among those who will be lobbying the leaders in Cairns.

He says Papua has long been considered part of the Pacific Community and that the Forum cannot keep ignoring it.

"They have to be consistent with the issues that they raised in the previous Forums. We will keep reminding them of things that we have been lobbying them about before, that they're now happening again. So we have to make them realise that they have to be consistent with their own views as well."

Rex Rumakiek