MELANESIA vs INDONESIA
MELANESIA Versus INDONESIA
by Bernard Nietschmann
Consider that there are two major forces in collision worldwide:
the expansion of states and the defending nations. Indonesia and Melanesia - two large geographic areas of islands -represent these counterpoised forces of political incorporation by invasion, and political liberation by self-determination. Indonesia is a new colonial state built on Javanese expansion by armies and settlers against the peoples of Sumatra, Kalimantan, South Moluccas, East Timor, and West Papua.
Melanesia is an equally large area that has an emerging geopolitical identity based on independence from colonial occupation. Indonesia is an archipelago of different nations united by force; Melanesia is an archipelago of similar peoples united by choice.
Independence from colonial rule is spreading throughout Melanesia: Fiji (1970), Papua New Guinea (1975), Solomon Islands (1978), Vanuatu (1980), and Kanaki (New Caledonia claimed by France) will achieve independence in the near future. That leaves the Torres Strait Islands (claimed Australia), and West Papua, South
Moluccas and East Timor (claimed by Indonesia).
Melanesia has a very strong internal affinity based on identity and a growing consensus against non-Melanesian control by occupation. Vanuatu is in the forefront of the pan-Melanesian movement. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly (October 11, 1984), Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sela Molisa stated:
We regret that there is some justification to the Israeli and South African complaint that the international community is very selective in its denunciations. It pains us deeply that there is indeed a grain of truth to this argument. How else can we explain the condemnations of the annexation of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, but silence on the annexation of East Timor?
How else can we explain the condemnations of apartheid but the silence on the plight of the Melanesian people of West Papua?
How else can we explain the appeals to sever economic ties with South Africa while a South African company participates in the exploitation of West Papua's oil resources? How else can we explain the concern over Israeli and South African military expansionism, and the indifference to the military expansionism in our region which has already seen West Papua and East Timor swallowed, if not digested, and which now provokes, and threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our good neighbor, Papua New Guinea?
Our region is known for its calm and serene atmosphere. The countries of the South Pacific are populated by peace loving people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. However, our similar colonial histories have instilled in us all a strong aversion to external interference and foreign rule. On this we are in total accord.
Unfortunately, the international community has not yet taken note of this. Thus, while our support is given as a matter of principle in the struggle against apartheid, little is known of our own struggle against the same practices in our own region. Molisa, October 11, 1984
Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας black, νῆσος island) literal meaning is "islands of the black-skinned people".
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western side of the West Pacificto the Arafura Sea, north and northeast of Australia.
The term was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.Today, d'Urville's racial classification is regarded to be inaccurate because it ignores the broad cultural, linguistic, social and genetic diversity in the area. There is no one 'Melanesian culture' or way of life. However, there is a widely used geopolitical conception of the term 'Melanesia'. For example, the Melanesian Spearhead Group Preferential Trade Agreement is a regional trade treaty governing the states of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji. Melanesia is also current as a geographic term, used as a reference to the area when national, ethnic, and linguistic distinctions are not relevant.
The original inhabitants of the islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present day Papuan-speaking people. These people are thought to have occupied New Guinea tens of millennia ago and reached the islands 35,000 years ago (according to radiocarbon dating). They appear to have occupied these islands as far east as the main islands in the Solomon Islands (i.e., including San Cristobal) and perhaps even to the smaller islands farther to the east.It was particularly along the north coast of New Guinea and in the islands north and east of New Guinea that the Austronesian people came into contact with these pre-existing populations of Papuan-speaking peoples, probably around 4000 years ago. There was probably a long period of interaction that resulted in many complex changes in genetics, languages, and culture. It is likely that from this area a very small group of people (speaking an Austronesian language) departed to the east to become the forebears of the Polynesian people. This finding is, however, contradicted by a study published by Temple University finding that Polynesians and Micronesians have little genetic relation to Melanesians; instead they found significant diversity of between groups living within the Melanesian islands. (*) Genome scan shows Polynesians have little genetic relationship to Melanesians.
• Marinjo februari / maart 2016 Nr. 1
MALUKU EN DE MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP (MSG) ▼
I’M COMMITTED TO WEST PAPUA’s PLIGHT: PM SOGAVARE
Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation | November 4, 2015
Koordinator LIPI: Indonesia itu juga Melanesia
ZONNADAMAI | 2 November 2015
Kemdikbud: Festival Budaya Melanesia Bangun Persaudaraan
Suara Pembaruan | Rabu, 28 Oktober 2015
Indonesia to host Melanesian festival, aimed at enhancing regional cooperation
Xinhuanet | 2015-10-22
A noble cause in Melanesian Spearhead Group
Jakarta Post | Thu, July 23 2015
West Papua wins Melanesian Spearhead Group breakthrough
Green Left Weekly | Saturday, July 4, 2015
Indonesia Jadi Anggota Negara Melanesia, Ini Alasannya
Tempo | Sabtu, 27 Juni 2015
Indonesia says it will help develop Melanesia
RNZI | 27 June 2015
Melanesia takes lead on future West Papuan peace
SBS | 26 June 2015
Indonesian government cannot stand in the way of West Papuan people
The Guardian |Wednesday 24 June 2015
A muzzled Melanesia or indignant Indonesia?
Pacific Policy |19 May, 2015
Indonesia is dividing Melanesia over West Papua
Asopa |15 May 2015
Insight: Not easy to be Melanesian in Indonesia's Papua
Jakarta Post | 13 mei 2015
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi Rushes to Scuttle Melanesian Recognition of Papua as 'Occupied State'
Jakarta Globe | March 02, 2015
MSG Headache, West Papuan Heartache? Indonesia's Melanesian Foray
Japan Focus | November 24, 2014
23 October 2012
From 1960 to 1990, islands across the Pacific gained
independence or self-government. In the years following this, Ian Johnstone and Michael Powles interviewed the Pacific people in key leadership positions in the lead-up to and achievement of independence, many of whom became well-known in the Pacific and more widely. This book presents a nation-by-nation history of this change from being colonial subjects to citizens of Pacific nations from the point of view of the leaders involved. An accompanying CD contains excerpts from the original interviews.