The Solomon Islands deputy opposition leader has questioned the Prime Minister’s comments on West Papua while in Jakarta.
Gordon Darcy Lilo has this week been on a state visit to Indonesia where local media reports portrayed him as supporting Indonesian control over West Papua.
However, in June, the Prime Minister spoke strongly in support of the right of West Papuans to self-determination while at the Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in Noumea.
The Solomons opposition’s Mathew Wale says Mr Lilo’s comment that he was quite impressed with the progress in Papua seems ill-informed.
“What progress? There are human rights abuses reported all the time. So I think he (Lilo) has probably been overwhelmed by the reception of the hosts and obviously the Indonesians have gone out of their way to put on the wow factor to make sure that Lilo is wooed out of any views that he may have had in support of West Papuan membership of the MSG,” says Mathew Wale of the Solomon Islands opposition.