West Papua

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Today, we broadcast the final Pacific News Minute of 2017 and Neal Conan continues his series on big stories that will continue to reverberate in the coming year - today: decolonization.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

There are conflicting reports on a crisis in Indonesia’s restive Papua Province. Police say that an armed group linked to the Free Papua Movement is holding 1300 people hostage in two villages near the world’s second largest copper mine. The group denies it, we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

Last month, confusion erupted at the meeting of the United Nations Decolonization Committee in New York over a secret petition supporting independence for West Papua. Advocates said they presented the signatures of 1.8 million people, but the head of the Decolonization Committee declared that the petition didn’t exist. Neal Conan puzzles out the story in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The independence movement in West Papua has been fueled by demographics. After a census in 2010, experts believed that settlers from other parts of Indonesia already outnumbered indigenous Melanesians, or would very soon. Now, a new study shows that indigenous people remain the majority. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

On Monday, Indonesian authorities arrested more than five hundred protesters in West Papua. Most were released the same day, but now there’s news that two activists have been charged with treason, which is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

A week ago, as leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group gathered in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, it looked like they were ready to make an historic decision on the status of West Papua.  But after a closed door meeting that lasted late into the evening, the summit postponed the decision for three months...we have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

Reports from West Papua say that nearly all of the 1,700 protesters arrested earlier this week have been released.  There were rallies in all the major cities in support of the United Liberation Movement, which has been pushing for a referendum on independence from Indonesia...we have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A senior Indonesian official's tour through Melanesian countries has stirred up controversy after officials in Jakarta described it as an effort to suppress regional support for the independence movement in West Papua.  More on the minister's reception from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The summit meeting of leaders from around the Pacific continues in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea this week.  Yesterday, we reported on climate change - the issue at the top of the agenda.  Today more background on another big controversy as we hear about West Papua from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Leaders from around the Pacific gather in Port Moresby - the Capital of Papua New Guinea this week, for the summit meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.  Climate Change leads the agenda in the run up to the United Nations Conference in Paris at the end of this year, but as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute - it may be hard to reach a common position.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

In Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, last week, a summit meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group ended with an apparent victory for Indonesia, while the United Liberation Movement for West Papua fell short. Details from Neal Conan in our latest Pacific News Minute.

vintagedept / Flickr
vintagedept / Flickr

A political summit in the Solomon Islands this week faces a difficult decision on an application for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group from the United Liberation Movement of West Papua. The western half of New Guinea is currently a province of Indonesia, which opposes any recognition for the ULM.  We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.