Jayapura, Jubi – About 5,000 people gathered at Lapago Customary Council in Wamena City to attend the launch of a local office of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on Monday (15/2/2016).
They are coming to Kompleks Jalan Kuburan Lama from many Lapago’s customary areas.
The new building, in the shape of highland traditional house ‘honai’, was built using people’s contributions and cost 350 million rupiah. Residents raised money by selling agricultural products, pigs and vegetables.
“This building is used to a regular ‘honai’ (house) but was burned by criminals. Now people proved that they could rebuild it for the Customary Council and ULMWP. It’s incredible, “ said Pater John Jonga, who guided the worship to grace the launching of customary honai as the joint office of the ULMWP and Lapago Customary Office.
The launching of this office, according to Markus Haluk, one of the ULMWP officials, is to respond the Indonesian Government who stated the ULMWP is only a group of people in exile. The ULMWP, he further said, is Papuan people, the nation of West Papua.
“People build this office. They provided the land, financial supports to build this office. It is the evidence of the existence of the ULMWP in the Papua Land. Those in exile are only people who appointed to carry out the tasks liberation the West Papuan nation,” said Haluk.
The presence of the ULMWP Office in Papua, as stated by the Chairman of Melanesian Spearhead Group Manasye Sogavare, is very important. In the meeting between the leaders of West Papua and Sogavare in the late January, he appreciated the plan of ULMWP to build an office in West Papua. He said its presence in West Papua is strategic and important.
“People criticized the MSG when accepting the ULMWP as observer. They said the ULMWP are people living outside of West Papua and do not represent the people of West Papua. This is wrong thinking that must be confronted,” said Sogavare.
ULMWP Secretary General Octovianus Mote similarly said “ULMWP is not activity of a group of people overseas. It is a representative of Papua nation. It exists in the entire land of Papua, in seven Papuan customary areas.”
ULMWP office in Wamena is a recommendation made by ULMWP in Honiara in last January. “We agreed the ULMWP Office must be placed around the people, at heart of the Land of Papua,” said Octovianus Mote.
Meanwhile other offices, he said, would be opened in several areas in Papua, as liaison offices. (Victor Mambor/rom)