A VISITING West Papuan journalist based in the US has expressed his (and the West Papuan peoples') gratitude to the Fiji Government for their work in resurrecting the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Octovianus Mote said to him and the West Papuan people, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola were "heroes" who put them on the Melanesian agenda.
Mote, who works very closely with the US Congress and represents the West Papuan people at the Congress, told this newspaper about what he claimed as injustices he witnessed and lived with on a daily basis as a veteran journalist.
When asked about the reason for visiting Fiji, he said it was to establish links with the Pacific Conference of Churches regarding the creation of another NGO, as well as to thank the Fiji Government for its assistance with regards to the West Papuan people.
"For us, getting put on a national agenda like that gives us so much hope for the future of our people, our culture and our traditions, which are slowly becoming less and less important where I come from," Mote said.
"What you read about and hear about in the media regarding West Papua is often not as bad as the realities of every single West Papuan struggling to get their little piece of freedom — it is like hell there, so to have some representation is a form of hope for us."
Mote left the country to return to the US yesterday morning and will be back in the country in October.