Jayapura, Jubi – The Parliamentary Group has acknowledged the Prime Minister for his firm stand on the issue of West Papua during the recent Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Port Moresby.
In a statement today (Monday, 21/9/2015), the Parliamentary Opposition Group said Solomon Islands push for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua at the PIF was timely.
“The Prime Minister has taken onboard the plight of our Melanesian brothers and sisters and of course the mounting pressure from the public and Opposition,” it said.
However, the statement said whilst this must be acknowledged, the Opposition Group was also concerned about the appointment of the country’s Special Envoy to West Papua.
The statement said the Parliamentary Opposition is concerned with information from sources within the Government that the Government has bypassed Foreign Affairs and diplomatic protocols in the appointment of the special envoy.
“Whilst we support West Papua, we should utilise our office in Jakarta for that cause to avoid Solomon Islands becoming a diplomatic embarrassment to other countries,” it said.
The statement adds that reports that Solomon Islands Ambassador to Indonesia has been summoned recently because of the appointment of the Special Envoy should be a concern.
The Parliamentary Opposition is also seeking clarification from the Government on the terms of references regarding the Special Envoy’s role and whether this appointment comes under the MSG Chairmanship or rather a prerogative appointment under the discretion of the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Opposition said whilst the Prime Minister has been firm on regional issues, the challenge now is for him to also treat domestic issues in the same manner.
“If the Prime Minister can stand firm on such regional issues then he must also do the same with the outstanding issues that he is yet to answer to the people in this country,” it said.
The Parliamentary Opposition said the Prime Minister must not shy away from these national issues as they have direct impact to citizens of this country. (*)