2 Nov 2010

Sope calls on Vanuatu government to revive Papua lobbying

4:11 pm on 2 November 2010

A former Vanuatu prime minister and leader of the Melanesian Progressive Party, Barak Sope, has called on the government to continue to apply political, diplomatic and legal pressure on the United Nations and Jakarta to allow West Papua to hold a referendum on independence from Indonesia.

Mr Sope made the call through the Daily Post newspaper as Edward Natapei's government is easing off the lobbying efforts of preceding administrations.

He says Vanuatu's first prime minister, Father Walter Lini, had always maintained that as long as other islands and regions in the Pacific remained colonies, Vanuatu was not independent either.

According to Mr Sope, Father Lini said West Papua should have become the first country in the Pacific to become independent and urged the Natapei regime to sponsor a case in an American court to declare the West Papua 1963 act of free choice unconstitutional.