VCC Chairman Bishop James Ligo

West Papuan application for membership has received support from people in Melanesia. (Inset) VCC Chairman Bishop James Ligo

By Godwin Ligo

The Chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council, Bishop James Ligo, calls on the Vanuatu Government to support West Papua Application for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

He made the statement on Sunday on his arrival back from Honiara, Solomon Islands, where he told the Daily Post that he had met some of the MSG Leaders and expressed the views of the Vanuatu Christian Council and all Christian Churches and Ministries in Vanuatu on the stand for West Papua to be granted membership in the MSG at this 20th MSG Summit now in progress in Honiara.

“The West Papuan people have a rightful place in the MSG and no one should stop them from being granted full membership in the MSG at this 20th MSG 2015 Summit in Honiara,” said the VCC Chairman Bishop James Ligo.

“How come the MSG Leaders saw it fit to grant Indonesia which is not a Melanesian country, an Observer status in the MSG and not granting the real Melanesian people, the West Papuans who have the rightful place in the MSG but keeping them out of the MSG bloc,” the VCC Chairman questioned.

“It must be clear to all the MSG Leaders that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is a “Sacred Nasara” belonging only to the Melanesian leaders and people and not to foreigners such as Indonesia which is not a Melanesian country.

“Why, because we do not want Melanesian leaders to be influenced by foreign thinking and ideologies in the Melanesian sacred nasara,” said Bishop James Ligo.

He went on to state that the statement he is making does not mean to be discriminatory in any way but a fact that the MSG sacred nasara is only for the Melanesian leaders and people and not for the foreigners.

“Even we need to know how and why the MSG leaders can grant Indonesia which is not a Melanesian country an observer status in the MSG and continue to delay granting the West Papuan Melanesians who have the rightful place in the MSG sacred nasara,” the VCC Chairman, Bishop James Ligo, questioned.

“Though we enjoy the Pacific or regional diversity with countries other than Melanesians, when it comes to the MSG, we are entering a sacred nasara that only Melanesian leaders and people have the right to enter and dialogue in and West Papuan leaders and people have this right to while Indonesia does not have the right because it is simply not a Melanesian country,” said the VCC Chairman Bishop James Ligo on his arrival back from Honiara last Sunday.

“The Melanesian leaders must not deny West Papuan leaders and people their rightful place in the MSG, therefore they must grant the West Papua application membership in the MSG,” the VCC Chairman appeals.

“I am calling on all the MSG leaders not to compromise their positions on the West Papua application.

“I wish to remind Vanuatu Government and Leaders of the statement made by the first Vanuatu Prime Minister on Independence Day in July 30, 1980, that Vanuatu will not be fully politically independent until all colonized people in Melanesia obtain their full political independence.

“I did confirmed the support of the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) and all Churches and Christian Ministries in Vanuatu for the West Papuan leaders and peoples, for West Papua to be granted membership in this current 2015 MSG Summit,” said the VCC Chairman, Bishop James Ligo.

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