Jayapura- The Head of the Melanesian Youth Forum from Indonesia, Steve Mara, attended the 7th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST) 2023 or the VIIth Melanesian Cultural Festival in Port Villa, Vanuatu which took place July 25-30 2023.
Indonesia’s presence at the VII Melanesian Cultural Festival in Port Villa, Vanuatu, officially received an invitation from the Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for Indonesia as a member of the MSG association to participate in MACFEST. The Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu during a working visit to Jakarta last June received the same invitation.
Responding to the circulation of the video which narrated that ULMWP had been accepted as a full member of the MSG association members, Stev Mara who is the Chair of the Melanesian Youth Forum from Indonesia denied any statement in the video narration.
According to Stev Mara, the ULMWP was not officially invited and did not receive a welcome from the MSG.
“The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was not officially invited and did not get a place at the event. This shows that participation in the event is limited to members of the MSG association and does not include the ULMWP group,” he stressed.
“We from Indonesia were given an official place at the Saralana Venue, instead the ULMWP group was not given a place by the Committee,” continued Stev Mara.
He added, when the team from Indonesia arrived in Vanuatu, that night they were immediately visited by DG Leonard Louma.
“We also came to Vanuatu to bring artists and artists from Papua and NTT who were invited to perform at MACFEST 2023 in Vanuatu. A series of performances carried out by these artists are representatives of Indonesia through the Director General of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture, where these performances carry a mission of friendship and environmental issues.” Said Steve Mara.