15 Aug 2013

Solomons opposition questions Papua visit

6:18 pm on 15 August 2013

The deputy leader of Solomon Islands' opposition has cast doubt on the effectiveness of a little known visit to West Papua by a delegation of Solomons officials.

The delegation of about five officials reportedly visited Indonesia's Papua region ahead of this week's state visit to Jakarta by the Solomons Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

The opposition's Mathew Wale says Mr Lilo seems ill-informed in his comment to Indonesian media that he was quite impressed with the progress in Papua.

Mr Wale has introduced a parliamentary motion to establish a Select Committee to enquire into the West Papua situation but says Mr Lilo recently told him it should be withdrawn because a delegation was travelling to West Papua to observe conditions.

"Really, I don't trust a delegation from the Foreign Ministry here in conducting an independent visit that is objective enough to look at the issues and not be hosted and taken around and wowed by the Indonesians. It would not give an objective view on what the situation is."

The deputy leader of Solomon Islands' opposition, Mathew Wale