Jayapura, Jubi – An historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua was taken in London today. At a meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in the Houses of Parliament, a new declaration was made calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.
The meeting was attended and supported by Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva the Prime Minister of Tonga; Bruno Leingkone, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Vanuatu; Rex Horoi, MSG Special Envoy on West Papua, Solomon Islands; Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Vanuatu; Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro District, Papua New Guinea; Lord Harries of Pentregarth, UK House of Lords, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the UK Opposition; and Benny Wenda, international spokesperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and several other British MPs.
The Prime Minister of Tonga offered his country’s full support for the ongoing struggle of the people of West Papua. He explained how it was the responsibility of the United Nations to ensure human rights were upheld in West Papua and how he would continue to push for this.
Jeremy Corbyn spoke of his personal interest in West Papua and his role as a UN observer in East Timor. He talked of the need for justice and human rights to be delivered to the people of West Papua and stated that the world could either continue having this conflict or could choose to live in a world of peace and justice which would come from the recognition of human rights for everybody – a cornerstone of foreign policy.
He reiterated his support for the struggle for freedom of West Papua and how he would like this to be written in the policy of the British Labour Party.
A statement by the Prime Minister of Guyana, Moses Nagamootoo was read by Melinda Janki, an international human rights lawyer. He offered his country’s ongoing support of the right to self determination for the people of West Papua.
Ralph Regenvanu told of Vanuatu’s long term support for West Papua. He spoke of how the first Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Father Walter Lini, had stated that “Vanuatu would not be truly independent while any other Melanesian country is not”. MSG commitment He spoke of the commitment by Melanesian countries to bring West Papua into the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and that Vanuatu was working for West Papua to gain full membership of the MSG at its upcoming meeting.
Rex Horoi special envoy from the Solomon Islands highlighted the key areas of the Solomon Islands support for West Papua which involved: urgency of stopping Human rights abuse in West Papua, recognsising the political identity of the ULMWP and the strategic engagement of the Solomon Islands government with neighbours in the Pacific and around the world. He also redefined the importance of the Pacific by renaming the “small island states” as the “big ocean states”.
Gary Juffa also mentioned his personal connection with the people of West Papua. He told of how his father had captained the first boat of refugees from West Papua and how he promised them that he would do everything he could to fight with them for their freedom. He explained that regrettably PNG still recognised Indonesian sovereignty but a large movement in PNG was emerging in support of West Papuan freedom and that he would continue to be one of the main political voices of this movement.
Lord Harries remembered meeting Benny Wenda when he first came to the UK in 2003, how the issue was almost unknown at this time and what a long way it had come today with representatives from the “big ocean nations” championing the cause.
He continued to read out a statement of support by Reverend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu:
“Dear people and friends of West Papua. Please accept, from the southern tip of Africa, the love and blessings of a retired fellow-traveller for justice. Human rights and justice are universal values. It has been very heartening to witness the growth of the movement to secure justice for the people of West Papua. Your call for an internationally supervised vote to determine the will of the people of West Papua has my support. God bless you.”
Finally Benny Wenda, described his feelings around being here now after a long journey, declaring that the Indonesian occupation is illegal and must be ended now. He finished by reading out the declaration that was signed by all international parliamentarians present.
The secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octovianus Mote, rounded it off thanking everyone including the various generations of freedom fighters for Papua represented here.
The declaration reads as follows:
Westminster Declaration for an Internationally Supervised Vote in West Papua
We the undersigned Members of Parliament, being members of the International Parliamentarians For West Papua:
I. Declare that continued human rights violations in West Papua are unacceptable.
II. Warn that without international action the West Papuan people risk extinction.
III. Reiterate the right of the people of West Papua to genuine self-determination.
IV. Declare the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ to be a gross violation of this principle.
V. Call for an internationally supervised vote on self- determination in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV).
Palace of Westminster, the 3rd of May, 2016
West Papuans rally calling Australia stands against human rights violations in West Papua
Melbourne, Jubi – Dozens of people stands in solidarity with West Papuans in front of the State Library Victoria on Saturday (14/09/2019) for calling the Australian Government to against human rights violations occurred in West Papua.
Further, the Melbourne West Papua Community is also asking the Australian Government to urges the Indonesian Government to allow the UN Right Commissioner Michele Bachelet to conduct a fact finding mission into human rights violations.
Mr. Novenus Obamak, the Chairman of the Melbourne West Papua Community, through a press release told Ms Bachelet has been trying to gain access to West Papua since 2018, but until now she has been refused to entry by the Government of Indonesia. “Contrary to claims made in Australia that the Indonesian Government is facilitating Ms Bachelet’s visit to West Papua, the Indonesian Government has been blocking her access,” said Obamak.
He also urged the Indonesian Government to restore the internet access in West Papua and allow international journalists free access to West Papua. “On behalf of the Melbourne West Papua community and our brothers and sisters in West Papua, I strongly urge Indonesia to withdraw its more than 6000 non-local military forces from West Papua to allow the situation there to stabilize,” said Mr. Obamak.
He also said, “We need to see the end of the criminalization of human rights defenders and students in West Papua. Human rights defenders and concerned students should be supported from their stand against lawlessness rather than being made out to be the criminals.”
Meanwhile, the solidarity rally was opened with speeches from speakers representing the Australian first nation, local councilors, West Papuan leaders and students. Speakers called the Australian Government to pay more attention to what have been happening and West Papua and to take action to end oppression and human rights violations against West Papuans.
Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton said in her speech that Australia could do a lot to stop the oppressions and violations in West Papua. “What Australia does will going have to impact to West Papua. Australia through different government has tragically supported the Indonesian Government to violate West Papuans through training Indonesian military forces, mining companies that contribute to the killing and torture of many West Papuans. Meanwhile, Darebin Councillor Mark Riley in his speech emphasized the needs of open access for journalists to West Papua.
In the meantime, Papuan student Cyndi Makabori said as young West Papuan student who’s living in Australia, she is fortunate for not experiencing discrimination, torture, detention or mockery like other Papuan students in Indonesia. She also criticizes that during 57 years of integration, Indonesia has committed more than five hundred thousand of murders. It means Indonesia has failed to civilize and educate its citizens about the value of humanity and human rights. Finally, in her speech she thanks to non-Papuan supporters who stand in solidarity with West Papuans. She acknowledges the spokesperson of Free West Papua Surya Anta Ginting who’s the first Indonesian citizen arrested for treason.
After speeches, the crowd goes for a rally towards Federation Square. During the rally, they continuously chanted “Papua Merdeka,” “Free West Papua”, “Kami bukan merah putih” and “Indonesia Out”.
A supporter from Vanuatu who wish anonymous said she joined the rally to show her solidarity to West Papuans. “In solidarity as Pacific region. We are Melanesians; and all together we are strong. We support sovereignty as an obligation to the international laws.”
The West Papua solidarity rally in Melbourne marked a series of peaceful protests conducted in dispersed cities in Australia including Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. (*)
Reporter: Pipit Maizier
PNG governor wants West Papua referendum
Papua, Jubi – The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital district wants Indonesia to allow West Papua to undertake an independence referendum.
In a statement, Powes Parkop also backed a call from Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Papua at next week’s Forum leaders summit.
Mr Parkop said the crisis in Papua had escalated due to Pacific nations letting fear of Indonesia dictate their approach to it.
He said the Melanesian Spearhead Group should also accept an application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
“Indonesia must realize that when it choose to restore the rights and dignity of the West Papuan people it will unleash great joy.”
Mr Parkop said he had delivered the same message on West Papua to PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare.
According to him, he planned to also deliver it to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US, adding that he had requested a meeting with Indonesia’s government.
Jakarta says Papua’s incorporation into the Indonesian is final and non-negotiable.
Papuan Liberation Movement welcomes foreign ministers’ call
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has welcomed a resolution by Pacific foreign ministers to push for a UN Human Rights office visit to Papua.
In January, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Indonesia’s government agreed in principle for a team from her office to visit Papua.
However, Pacific Forum members are concerned that the invitation is not being honoured. Forum foreign ministers have called for the timing of the visit by to be finalised by both parties.
They also seek for a resulting report on the Papua situation to be presented before the next Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in 2020.
The Liberation Movement’s chairman, Benny Wenda, urged Pacific Forum leaders to endorse this call when they meet for their annual summit in Tuvalu next week.
Mr Wenda said such a stand reflected the values at the heart of the Blue Pacific campaign to develop a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity where all Pacific people can lead free healthy and productive lives.
Accordnig to him, Pacific civil society networks continue to provide support to Forum Leaders and Government regarding the human rights issues of West Papua. (*)
Wales calls on PM to support West Papua agenda
Papua, Jubi – The Leader of the Official Opposition Mathew Wale has called on the Prime Minister to join the Government of Vanuatu in pushing for the review of the earlier resolution made by the Pacific Forum on the West Papua issue.
This call followed the leaders concluding remarks in Parliament on Friday during the wind down debate on the Speech from the Throne and the motion moved by the Prime Minister for a special adjournment to allow for the Prime Minister to attend the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tuvalu next week.
Mr. Wale calls on the Prime Minister to join the government of Vanuatu in championing the push at the regional level for the Pacific Island Forum to take a stronger stand on the issue against Indonesia.
This matter was voiced by the Foreign Affairs Minister for Vanuatu, who noted that human rights abuse in West Papua is once again escalating hence he is going to push to ensure that the existing resolution passed earlier by the Pacific Islands Forum is strengthened.
“Just like Vanuatu, the struggles of the people of West Papua is one quite close to our hearts as Melanesians hence Solomon Islands cannot turn a blind eye to cries on human rights violation and their struggles for self-determination.
“There will be intense lobbying and promises of benefits around the fringes of the upcoming Forum meeting by Indonesia but the Prime Minister must know that what is really at stake is the cry of West Papuans to be given the right to rule themselves and the excessive use of force to suppress their cries,” the Opposition Leader stressed.
Wale adds that the Pacific Island Forum had officially resolved that it will seek constructive engagement with Indonesia over West Papua but that wording may need to be stronger now that there has been a surge in conflict there, and PM Sogavare can help Vanuatu by putting more emphasis on this at the meeting.
“This is one matter that the Prime Minister must look beyond the usual politicking and do the most decent thing that he should do,” the Opposition Leader points out.
He further added that Solomon Islands and others could play a part in putting pressure on Indonesia to allow transparent investigations into alleged human rights abuses in West Papua through the Pacific Islands Forum.
Solomon Islands is known for its strong advocacy on this issue in past governments under the leadership of current Prime Minister, both on regional and international levels, and the Opposition is hoping to see that energy reignited. (*)
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