Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release 19 November 2014
Rallies to be held in West Papua for 6th anniversary of the KNPB.
Today is the 6th anniversary of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) which was formed on the 19 November in 2008.
There has been a call for rallies to take place throughout West Papua to commemorate the anniversary
In a statement to the local media, Secretary General of the KNPB, Suhuniap Ones said, anniversary will be held throughout West Papua, Sorong to Merauke.
The KNPB is calling for a referendum and rejecting and proposed division of West Papua and any new transmigration program.
Joe Collins of AWPA said "the security forces have been targeting the KNPB because of their success in mobilising large numbers of supporters in the rallies they hold and their success in raising awareness of West Papua internationally. Hopefully the security forces will allow rallies held today to go forward peacefully".
It should be remembered that 46 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members were arrested on the 13 October (29 in Merauke and 17 in Jayapura) when they held rallies calling for the release of the two French Journalists.
Joe Collins said "this is a test for the Jokiwi Government who has promised to open West Papua to foreign journalists and non-government organisations if he won the election. "Why not? It's safe here in Papua," he was quoted as saying. "There's nothing to hide." Hopefully the security forces heard this message and will allow the West Papuan people to protest peacefully on all the issues of concern they have.