WEST PAPUA: Benny Wenda tipped to meet O’Neill, says PNG Loop

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MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch

Former prime minister Paias Wingti (left) with Free West Papua PNG coordinator Freddy Mamborasa at Jacksons International Airport at Port Moresby yesterday. Image: PNG Loop

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Item: 9182

Freddy Mou
PORT MORESBY (PNG Loop/Pacific Media Watch): Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been tipped to meet with West Papua human rights campaigner Benny Wenda in Port Moresby.

However, the reason behind the meeting is not known as details are sketchy.

The coordinator of Free West Papua PNG chapter Freddy Mambraso told PNG Loop that O’Neill had flown back to Port Moresby from Madang yesterday and would meet with Wenda.

PNG Loop, friends, family members and supporters of Free West Papua were at Jacksons International Airport to get a glimpse of Wenda.

It is understood that negotiations between the National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop and the government were still continuing for Wenda to spend some time in Port Moresby rather than be deported.

Wenda, a West Papuan independence leader and spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, arrived in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday and was “unexpectedly detained’’ by PNG immigration authorities

Wenda had flown from the United Kingdom and had planned to stop briefly on Port Moresby before heading to a major meeting in Vanuatu of Melanesian leaders.

Wenda was released on Tuesday afternoon and there were reports that he would be deported, which were later denied by PNG officials who said Wenda was travelling without a visa, according to Radio New Zealand International.

A Free Papua news released earlier yesterday claimed that PNG Immigration officers were going against the Prime Minister’s orders in detaining Wenda.

In a statement, the Free West Papua Campaign said Prime Minister O’Neill and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato had directed that Wenda should be permitted to enter PNG.

The campaign statement said Wenda wanted to thank O’Neill for his recent statement calling for attention to human rights of the West Papua people.

Wenda was reported as saying that “the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is seeking to apply for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and I will brief PNG on the progress of the application and on the situation in West Papua generally”.

Earlier story

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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