Yogyakarta, Jubi – Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Indonesian Churches Association, Rev. Phil Karel Erari said the Foreign Ministry and the House of Representatives should revise the designation of five Melanesian provinces in Indonesia.
“East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku must be proud of being part of Indonesian provinces. The new title of Melanesia Indonesia (Melindo) is not required,” Erari as cited in his Facebook account last week.
He said for the sake of their identity and dignity, “our brothers in East Nusa Tenggara from Rote to Sumba and Flores as well as our brothers in Maluku from Dobo to Seram, and even our brothers to the Northern areas in Talaud and Sangir must criticize the manipulation of Melanesian identity and culture.”
“Because referring to geo-political and eco cultural aspects, the East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku have their own identity and unique characteristic that are the aspect of Geo-politic and Eco-Cultural, the East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku have unique identity and characteristic due to the mixture of Malay, Austronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia cultures,” he said.
Meanwhile CNN Indonesia reported on Thursday (2/7/2015) that the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi represented by the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Armanantha Nasir said it’s a benefit for Indonesia as the MSG Associate Member because Indonesian and some MSG country members have much in common, such as they are archipelago countries, have large enough number of Melanesian population and facing the challenge of climate change.
“Currently the focus of MSG is development and economy in principle to respect the international law. This is in line with the vision of Indonesian development,” said Arrmanatha Nasir in Jakarta on Thursday.
Based on the data issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia has the largest Melanesian population that reach 11 million people. They are spread over five provinces, namely Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluk and East Nusa Tenggara.
Meanwhile the Commission I member of the House of Representatives from Indonesian Democratic Party (PDIP) Effendi Simbolon earlier said the Indonesian membership in MSG could be a benefit. “It’s a step forward in MSG process. There are five provinces in Indonesia that cover Melanesians. It’s certainly good to join MSG due to prevent from the interest of small group,” Simbolon said on Sunday (28/6/2015).
He thought the organization supporting the independence of West Papua could not be considered as MSG member. “They (ULMWP) can not, but Indonesia could. Actually they insisted to joint and we knew Australia and Malaysia encouraged them to go forward,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)