Ellen Aragay, First Papuan to Represent Indonesia in International Beauty Pageant

Ellen Rachel Aragay, a West Papuan English teacher, represents Indonesia in the Face of Beauty International 2018 in India, 7-17 September 2018. She was the first runner up of the 2014 Miss Indonesia and by participating in the beauty contest, she hopes to bring campaign to stop domestic abuse.

“We will campaign on how to stop violence against women both in the household and in relationships,” Ellen told Ata Hasegem, who interviewed her for BBC Indonesia.

The Face of Beauty International was known as Miss Teen Face of Beauty International and first held in 2012. This contest aims to share the visions and ideas of women throughout the world, according to her who was an alumni of International Miracle Institute in Florida. She also competed in the last ASEAN Basketball Cup in 2018.

Her experiences as a teacher also give her an important role to elevate education in Papua particularly through English education.

According to Ellen, her participation in the beauty contest confirms that Papuan or Melanesian are equal to other people.

“We are the same, have competitiveness, achievement, and creativity that are not inferior to other people in the world. Like intellectual intelligence and the ability to socialize,” she said.

Ellen said that her participation in this contest was also a kind of personal achievement. She told that she was once a victim of bullying when she was in junior high school because of her physical appearance. Because of that, she once didn’t want to go to school for about three months. But then she used it as a motivation for her success.

“I struggled, Then I was able to I graduated with good grades. So I proved,” she said while laughing.


Source: BBC Indonesia

West Papua Movement Started to Lose Support from Pacific Countries

Vanuatu’s Government planned to submit a draft resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum, calling for Indonesian-ruled Papua to be inscribed on the list at next year’s UN General Assembly.

The intention was conveyed at this month’s meeting of Pacific Forum foreign ministers in Apia.

Despite claims in Vanuatu, however, that other Pacific governments had indicated they would back the draft, no other countries committed support in Apia.

Vanuatu’s announcement of its intention to table the draft was met with demur by Papua New Guinea, Australia and Fiji, while other countries did not make a comment.

Mr Salwai said he would take the draft resolution to Nauru where Pacific Forum leaders hold their annual summit next month.

Vanuatu’s Government could be alone among regional administrations in its bid to have West Papua inscribed on the United Nations de-colonisation list.

Earlier on July, the Melanesian Spearhead Group Director General, Amena Yauvoli also said political discussions about West Papua don’t belong in the organisation.

Mr Yauvoli told the Fiji Times human rights issues relating to West Papua should be dealt with by international organisations.

Speaking during a working group meeting in Nadi on Thursday, he said the MSG’s common enemy is crime and politics should be set aside.

Earlier this week Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu said the MSG was failing because of a lack of political engagement.


Source: Radio NZ

A Morning Leisure talks between Jokowi and Papuan Student in New Zealand

On the sidelines of the Indonesian President work visit to New Zealand, Jokowi took his time for a leisurely walk at Wellington Waterfront Pier. He wasn’t alone, he was accompanied by the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, State Secretary Pratikno, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya. Not only that, Indonesian students in New Zealand, which dozens of them are Papuan, participate in the morning entourage with Jokowi.

In the middle of the walk, the students had time for a dialog with the President. Marvey Ayomi, “Coordinator of Children of Papua in New Zealand”, appreciated the efforts of the Jokowi government in boosting infrastructure development in Papua.

Although is not easy, he believes Jokowi government has seriousness in building Papua. “It is not easy, I myself as a Papuan knows that to take care of Papua and the people of Papua is not easy, therefore we appreciate it,” he said on Monday (19/3).

Marvey asked Jokowi to continue the development in Papua. There is one demand for infrastructure that he has requested to be encouraged in Papua; an international airport, thus “if we want to return to Papua we don’t need to transit in Bali or Jakarta, but directly to Papua,” he said.


Two Papuan Young Women Becomes the Two First Female Papuan Pilot for Indonesia

During his meeting with the Indonesians students in Wellington, New Zealand, it was mentioned that two Papuan young women are studying in a Pilot Academy in New Zealand. The two young woman will become the two first female pilots from Papua and will work for Garuda Indonesia airlines.

This information was revealed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya. “Mr President, I would like to inform you that two graduated girls from the pilot academy, are in the final process to become Garuda’s pilots” said Tantowi. “So we will have the first two female pilots from Papua and and for Garuda Indonesia,” added Tantowi who was then applauded by the President Jokowi and the First Lady Iriana.

Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee, Rafael Ramirez, Reveals the Lies of Benny Wenda

The separatist group Benny Wenda resumed spreading hoaxes and lies to the public through a message saying that Benny Wenda had submitted a petition calling for a referendum for Papua to the UN Decolonization Committee as published by the Guardian newspaper with the headline “Banned West Papua independence petition handed to UN”. On September 27, 2017, the Guardian newspaper in its

article mentions that Benny Wenda has submitted a petition calling for a referendum for Papua to the UN Decolonization Committee.

Responding to the report, the Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee, Rafael Ramirez, has relayed a clarification on 28 September 2017 morning at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. In his clarification, Rafael Ramirez stated that he and the Secretariat of the UN Decolonization Special Committee never received, formally or informally, a petition or anyone regarding Papua as reported in the Guardian newspaper.

According to Rafael Ramírez, it is only the activities or efforts of individuals and certain parties who seek to manipulate and create a propaganda. Last year, Benny Wenda has also done the same thing, lying to the public. He mentioned that he had submitted documents about Papua to the UN Secretary-General, but after being confirmed with the UN secretary-general’s office it never happened. He seeks only to shape opinions and stigma, both to the international community and to the Papuan community that Papua is under the rule of Indonesian colonialism and seeks to fight for Papuan independence through a referendum.Indonesia colonizing the Papuan people is an absurd logic. In fact, the Indonesian nation is a nation that strives to fight for independence and peace as the right of all nations.

Indonesia is determined to fight for the Palestinian’s right to independence and stop the occupation of Israel against the Palestinians. On the other hand, Indonesia is also the largest contributor in the UN Peacekeeping Force. The Government of Indonesia is also adamantly doing development in Papua and gives full freedom to the Papuan people to manage its territory through Special Autonomy. So what Benny Wenda does is nothing more than the efforts of a handful of people who want to impose their own interests but under the pretext of the interests of the people of Papua.

Membership Application of Separatist Group Reaches a Dead End

Port Moresby, 15 February 2018 – “At the 21st MSG Summit in Port Moresby, the application of a West Papua separatist group again reaches a dead end. For whatever reasons, it is clear that there is no place for separatist group.” Desra Percaya the Director General for Asia Pacific and African Affairs of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the head of the Indonesian delegation stated.

This is not the first time the group attempted to upgrade its status in the MSG. At the Group’s Special Summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands in 2016, the separatist group failed to change its status.

At this year’s Summit, the majority of the MSG Leaders questioned the appropriateness and relevancy of upgrading the status of this separatist group in the Melanesian grouping.

The Leaders’ Retreat discussion agreed on a revised membership guidelines but returned the ULMWP’s application back to the MSG Secretariat. The Leaders instructed the Secretariat to explore and draft the details of the criteria for the membership.

With that development, further discussion is needed on the substance of the membership criteria, and applying the proper mechanism of reviewing membership application which must be through the Secretariat, and must be recommended by senior officials to ministers before tabling any applications to leaders.

The Agreement Establishing the MSG, which was revised in 2015, stipulated that members must respect the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the domestic affairs of states.

The decision by the MSG is based on consensus. There are solid commitment and support by the majority of the members for Indonesia’s position. In addition, the majority of members are committed to honor and respect the principles and objectives of the MSG, in particular that of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.

Based on those facts, the membership application of the separatist group will always reach a dead end and will not succeed.

“The result of the 2015 MSG Summit clearly stipulates that the separatist group as one of the observers, is only representing a small group of West Papuan individuals living abroad.” Added Desra Percaya.

“The statement of the separatist group claiming to represent the people of West Papua in the MSG is unfair for the 3.9 people of the Papua and West Papua provinces.”

Desra Percaya further said that “More than two million West Papuan voters have been exercising their democratic rights through internationally free and fair elections. The aspiration of West Papuans is channeled through the open democracy system in place in Indonesia.”

In its global survey in 2018, the highly respected Freedom House found that the elections in Indonesia, including in West Papua, are free and fair.

Desra Percaya added “As with other provinces in Indonesia, communities in Papua and West Papua provinces are politically free. The freedom of democracy, managing budget and development is internationally recognized.”

“At this 21st Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Summit, Indonesia has expressed its commitment to be a strong partner for MSG member countries in realizing the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All vision, a 25-year plan for improving the welfare of communities in the sub-region of Melanesia.”

“Indonesia reaffirms its commitment to promote development, improving the welfare and security of the Melanesian sub-region under the leadership of Papua New Guinea at Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG),” Desra Percaya said.

The MSG leaders agreed with Desra that it is important for MSG to focus on the common objectives of achieving prosperity, sustainable development, good governance and security. It would be detrimental if the attention of MSG is distracted by issues that are not relevant to those purposes.

MSG is an organization, consisting of countries in the sub-region of Melanesia, namely Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and FLNKS of New Caledonia.

Indonesia was granted the Associate Member Status at the 20th MSG Leaders’ Summit in Honiara, in 2015, during Solomon Islands’ chairmanship.

The 21st MSG Leaders’ Summit was concluded with the visit to the PNG’s Parliament and APEC Haus, on 15 February 2018, as part of the preparation for PNG’s chairmanship in APEC 2018.