Leading up to ANZAC Day
As ANZAC Day (25 April) approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives in wars, we must not forget the Indigenous people who died in Australia’s frontier wars and remember those who are still not free in our region. In particular we should remember the West Papuan people who are still struggling for justice 54 years after Indonesia took over control of West Papua.
33rd commemoration-The death of Arnold Ap
Another important commemoration at this time is the death of Arnold Ap, who is believed to have been killed by Kopassus soldiers 33 years ago on the 26 April 1984. According to the military he was shot in the back while trying to escape although many believe he was executed. He was arrested by Kopassus troops In November 1983, imprisoned and tortured for suspected sympathies with the Free Papua Movement.
photo from Jubi 24 April 2013
Last year supporters in Sydney added his name to the Honour Roll at Marrickville Community Centre along with West Papuan leader John Ondawame and those Australian Soldiers who served in Merauke in the war, Dr Norman Lee, John Collins and Alan Noonan.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, ‘we would like the anniversary of the death of Arnold Ap to be commemorated yearly, not only another day of significance in West Papua history but linking Australia’s and West Papua’s shared history which should not be forgotten”.
Ceremony at Addison Rd Community Centre, Marrickville 19 April
As ANZAC Day approaches a little bit of history.
John Collins, pictured speaking at rally in Hyde Park Sydney in 2006 in support of the 43 West Papuan Asylum seekers. He served in Merauke in the war. He did the two sketches below while there. An Xmas card and one of the main street in Merauke in 1944.
West Papuan leader Rex Rumakiek will be raising the West Papua flag at Frontier Warriors in Canberra tomorrow Friday 21st April at 11am.
Wednesday May 17 - 5 PM - 7 PM
Forum with West Papua freedom fighters Benny Wenda, Rex Rumakiek Hosted by Resistance University Sydney