Photos of the Memorial Service for Dr. John Otto Ondawame
Who passed away today, September 5th, 2014, in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The Memorial Service was held in the Poster Gallery at
Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.
John's friends and colleagues gathered to remember and tell stories of John's time including poetry readings like Gordon's below.
Condolences messages were read out from those who could not make it. One from Moses Havini below.
Act Of No Choice
(John Otto’s Strong West Papuan Amungme Voice)
--45 years on
It was a rigged referendum in 1969 called
“Act of Free Choice” -
At gunpoint West Papuans heard Indonesia’s voice.
Like the Dutch before, Indonesia stole a land,
Australia giving the illegal occupiers a hand.
Tell me mate, do we have the guts
To call a lie a lie, or do we just say “bagus”,
“Terimah kasih banyak”?
“It was an Act of No Choice” -
John Otto’s strong West Papuan Amungme voice
Can we say “sorry”, “ma’af” here and mean it?
Dispossessing a people, causing separation,
Craving land, raw materials, timber, gold and spice,
Dismiss indigenous concerns with an
“Act of No Choice”.
“Act of Free Choice” sounds like the free
But it is an insult to the meaning of freedom
And all people have a right to be free
Not just you and me.
John Ondawame stood for true freedom - a peace with justice
Over 45 years on —
“Act of Free Choice” — an “Act of No Choice” —
At gunpoint West Papuans
Still hear Indonesia’s voice .
Does Jokowi’s election change all that?
John Otto did say “ Review the Act Of Free Choice
It was a rigged referendum in 1969
It was an Act of No Choice” -
John Otto’s strong West Papuan Amungme voice.
Gordon - Sep 2014