Seru Serevi, middle, holds up the Morning Star flag of the West Papuan people which is the flag of their struggles against Indonesia. Picture: Fiji Youth for Democracy
The passion for music and freedom has always captivated Vude King Seru Serevi and as a tribute to a very close friend and fellow musician has released a single called Let the Morning Star Rise.
The song, which he did in collaboration with Rosi Loa front man Jim Ratusila is a tribute to the West Papuans who are fighting for their independence from Indonesia.
Seru released his single at the Fiji Performing Rights Association office in Suva on Thursday and it comes amidst the hype of the recent publicity of Indonesian relations with Fiji and the struggles by the West Papuans against Indonesia.
"One song is called Let the Morning Star Rise, it is a song about West Papua. I have toured Papua New Guinea six times already and over the years I have played with musicians in West Papua and PNG and one of my best inspiration was a West Papuan band called the Black Brothers, I still have their cassettes, these guys were playing ahead of their time.
"They even played in Europe. Very, very, polished musicians. They can travel anywhere in the world except their homeland. It's so sad that we can only hear their stories," Seru said.
He added that during this time he became good friends with these West Papuan musicians and maintained ties.
"They asked me to help in any way I can concerning the freedom of their homeland but I was occupied with other things and ended up not doing anything about it.
"It was not until when I travelled to Vanuatu last October with Jim Ratusila I met a daughter of one of the band members, when she told me about her father's death, I decided there and then to finally carry out his request," Seru said.
So early this year, Seru finally went back to the studio 15 years after releasing his last album and Let the Morning Star Rise was one of the songs that was recorded.
"It's a small token of our appreciation. I did it with Jim Ratusila and I hope to get in touch with William Hatch too for this," Seru said.
2) ALBERT YOKU DENY THE PRIME MINISTER OF VANUATU’S STATEMENT
Franz Albert Yoku (Jubi)
Suva, 7/3 (Jubi) – Franzalbert Yoku said the current situation in Papua was contrary to what have been spoken by the Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcases Kalosis in the 25th Plenary Session of UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on 4 March 2014.
“The situation in Papua is conducive. Why was it presented to Geneva, UN and Europe?” Yoku questioned it when giving the public lecture in Fiji National University, Suva on Thursday (6/3).
“I asked the Prime Minister to crosscheck its validity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Katokai Kalosil was giving speech about the current situation of Melanesians in Papua on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 12:15 Geneva time in front of UN Commission on Human Rights. “10 percent of indigenous Papuans have been killed by the Indonesian Army,” a quote from tabloidjubi.com on Wednesday, 5 March 20134.
Further He questioned the commitment of UN Commission of Human Rights who has been ignored the problem of indigenous Papua for years. At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister said his government was committed to keep struggle for Papuans to have their basic rights in their land. (Jubi/Mawel/rom)
The people of West Papua are in mourning after hearing of the death of Dr Muridian Satrio Widjojo, the Co-ordinator of the Papua Peace Network in Jakarta and also a senior researcher at the LIPI's Political Studies Centre, focussing on National and Local Politics (especially Papua).
The West Papuan people and nation will greatly miss this skilled facilitator between the people of Papua and the Indonesian government, who has long pushed for a Jakarta-Papua dialogue to be held. We will greatly miss someone who has done the people of the Land of Papua a great service, and who has worked hard to bring about a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
He has also aided us through breaking down the fortresses that have for so long concealed the Papuan People's suffering, and he was also the one to whisper in the ears of those who have an allergy to words such as 'dialogue for peace' as the right path to resolve the conflict between Jakarta and Papua.
Muridian always stood firm in his struggle for dialogue, despite threats.
Because of the persistance of his struggle for dialogue, groups that didn't want a dialogue to happen accused him of being a supporter of Papuan independence. He was even threatened with being killed because people judged him as meddling with the integrity of the Indonesian State.
On one occasion, when he had made a presentation about the importance of dialogue to resolve the Papuan conflict to a group of generals and ex-generals, he was accused of not being faithful to the Unitary State of Indonesia, and supporting Papua Merdeka.
But Muridian was not afraid of the threats and other challenges he had to face in the struggle to bring about dialogue.
“As far as I'm concerned, I will never back down as a result of threats until the two groups (the Indonesian Government and the Papuan people) that have long been in conflict, sit down together at one table to discuss and look for solutions to the Papuan conflict. I don't speak of Papua Merdeka as the bottom line, or the unity of the Indonesian state as the bottom line, but instead work for the humanity and dignity of the Papuan people to be valued and respected”, he said in a short discussion in his workplace at the end of last year.
News of his death in Depok reaches Tanah Papua
Yesterday Friday 7th March 2014 (12:47:11 Jakarta time 14:47:11 in Papua), Doctor Muridian breathed his last breath in the Mitra hospital in Depok. The sad news was passed on by Dr. B Shergi, Deacon of the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Indonesia and the family who were at the hospital, via a text message.
This is the message which came to my mobile phone: “Allow us to convey the news that Muridian passed away a few minutes ago, we send greetings of sorrow”.
“The next message came from Yoga, of the Political Study Centre: “ Innalillahi wa inna ilahi roojiun, I just received a message from Muridian's wide that he passed away a few minutes ago. May Allah receive his soul and pardon his sins.”
Not long afterwards, I was called directly by his family from the Mitra hospital, to say that Muridian would no longer be with us. This news was passed on straight away to all kinds of people throughout our homeland of West Papua, especially religious leaders, academics and human rights workers that supported and fought for a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
They also responded to share their condolences. Here are a few of the messages I received.
The first message of condolence came from the Chair of the Executive Board of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua, Reverend Sofyan Yoman. “We express our condolences at his passing and we pray for the family he leaves behind, that they will find comfort and strength from God.”
The deputy chair of the synod of the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua, Rev M. Adadikam also sent a message, “We express our sorrow at Muridian's death, we pray that his soul will be received by God the Father in Heaven and that He will give strength and tenacity to the family he leaves behind.”
Another note of came from a young academic from Cenderawasih University, Yustinus Butu: “We express our grief at the passing of Muridian, respected researcher and facilitator of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua, now the people of Papua are in mourning but those that are opposed to the dialogue agenda will surely be happy about this news”, he said in tears.
Another message of sorrow came from Markus Haluk, a Papuan human rights activist, “We the people of Papua mourn the loss of Muridian, and pray that the Papuan people will accompany him and give strength to the family he leaves behind.”
Many more messages of sorrow were received from people from all corners of the Land of Papua.
Who was Doctor Muridian Widjojo?
His full name was Muridian Satrio Widjojo, Senior Researcher at the Political Studies Centre of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P LIPI) and observer of Papua, was born in Surabaya on 4th April 1967. He finished his doctorate at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 2007, with a thesis titled “Social Movements in Papua and Maluku”, after finishing a Masters degree in Anthropology in the University of Indonesia in 2001 with a thesis about the movement of the Amungme people. His first degree was in French literature in the University of Indonesia (1992)
He was active in writing opinion pieces for national and international newspapers and magazines and spoke or facilitated international forums for example in the Philippines, Netherlands, Britain and Luxembourg. He is the author of two books: Trust building and Reconciliation in Papua (LIPI) 2006 and Papua Road Map (Negotiating the Past, Improving the Present and Securing the Future), 2009).
'Selamat Jalan' to a Hero of Humanity in Papua
We, the whole people of West Papua express our grief at your departure, you left us before dialogue could happen. We are very sorry to have lost your physical presence, but we are sure that your soul and your spirit will live on in the hearts of the Papuan people.
Our prayers, as the people of West Papua, are with you, and we hope that all-holy God will receive your soul and forgive all you sins and give strength and resilience to the family you leave behind. Rest In Peace.
Muridian, who was born on 4th April 1967 in Surabaya, died from complications in a disease he had been suffering from for some time.