BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
UNITED Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Spokesman (2018-2021) Mr Jacob Rumbiak sends a message to their people that they are welcome to take part in the 2018 Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival (MACFest) soon in Solomon Islands.
Speaking with the Director of the Culture Department under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Dennis Marita yesterday, Mr Rumbiak received confirmation that West Papua is part of the MACFest and there is no exception culturally, socially and physically as all are Melanesians.
Marita said at the moment they are waiting for advice and confirmation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get a correspondence to send the invitation through for West Papua.
“We do not wish to get political sentiments, we just want to see this festival as a cultural one being a time to share our cultures and remember them to learn and appreciate each other’s cultures. That is the main focus of the festival,” said Director Marita.
“The Theme of the festival is “Past Recollection for Future Connections. In that theme, the past connections is what we will be gathering together to showcase.”
“At the same time we look forward to get connected together as one Melanesian people. The festival goes for Melanesian’s throughout the world as well.”
The 2018 Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival (MACFest) will take place on July 1-14, 2018, in Solomon Islands and will coincide with the country’s 40th Anniversary.
Rumbiak’s visit to the Culture Department under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was purposely to represent ULMWP in all West Papua to receive invitation from the Melanesian Arts and Festival Committee in Honiara.
Upon receiving confirmation, he said the Melanesian “Tumbuna” (God) and Christian God of Heaven will be happy for the union because their people have been separated for so long.
“We thank Fiji, Bougainville, Vanuatu, New Caledonia (Kanak), Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands, God bless,” said Rumbiak.
He said they are ready to participate in the upcoming event joining their brothers and sisters after 56 years of separation by colonial.”