Thursday, September 28, 2017

1) West Papua Chairman thanks Prime Minister

1) West Papua Chairman thanks Prime Minister

 2) Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland

3) Rockin’ for West Papua events taking over Australia this October

4) West Papuans demand vote on independence


1) West Papua Chairman thanks Prime Minister


                                          Overjoyed Chairman Nafuki shows how he feels among roses

An overjoyed Chairman of West Papua Association and Reconciliation Committee, Pastor Alan Nafuki has chosen to pose with beautiful rose flowers because he says his heart is filled with joy, now that the Prime Minister has told the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, that the people of West Papua have their right to self -determination.
The Chairman is speaking on behalf of the chiefs, men, women’s organisations and young people’s organisations and children, to thank the Head of Government for his unweaving stand to address the global body against what Indonesia is reported to be doing to the Melanesian people of West Papua. “I wish to thank the Government and all civil societies on behalf of my Committee, for supporting West Papua 100% to achieve self-determination from Indonesia”, he says.
“I congratulate the Prime Minister for your efforts to make Vanuatu well known all over the world in the same spirit as uttered by the late Father Walter Lini, that Vanuatu would not be completely free until all the remaining colonies in the Pacific are free”, he says.

“I also wish to thank Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manase Sogavare for taking an equally strong stand in support of the people of West Papua to be free from Indonesian rule. Thank you to Tuvalu the smallest country in the Pacific and Tonga for supporting our international call to the world to hear us and recognise our call for the people of West Papua to achieve self-determination at the earliest opportunity”.
He says the momentum is building up towards a new international dawn for the people of West Papua. At the beginning, it was just Vanuatu and more recently the Solomons joined the stand to tell the world that West Papua must be free. “Now I am so happy to note that even countries of the African Union and European Union are in the process of joining our ranks to unite with one voice for the people of West Papua to be set free from colonialism”, he adds.
In reply, the Government of Indonesia maintains that West Papua is an internal issue for Indonesia to deal with while Melanesian countries have their own problems in their respective corners to deal with.
But Chairman Nafuki says now Jakarta knows that the pressure is on. “Indonesia can turn to the left or to the right but there is no way out. Vanuatu has already outmaneuvered Indonesia in many meetings”, he maintains.
“Our consistent call for West Papua to be set free goes on because the bird is free and flying still until it perches at its destination. Lest we forget that the bird’s next is safe here in Vanuatu.
“My Committee and I were filled with joy when Vanuatu’s special envoy on West Papua, MP Johnny Koanapo assured us that West Papua’s Case no longer belongs to the Pacific because it has now become a global issue. Praise God”.

 2) Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland says the new Government must respond to the historic West Papuan plea for self-determination support at the UN.

West Papua Action Auckland
Box 68419
Wellesley St
28 September 2017
Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland says the new Government must respond to the historic West Papuan plea for self-determination support at the UN.
West Papua presents the yet- to- be- formed Government with an urgent challenge  to its regional diplomacy. The West Papuan people have just presented the United Nations with a massive petition calling for a genuine self-determination referendum.
‘ This is a historic and courageous initiative. We believe the new Government must now take an unequivocal stand in support of self-determination and join its efforts to the 8 Pacific nations already supporting West Papua at the UN.  The 1.8 million signatures (representing some 70% of the indigenous population)had to be gathered  clandestinely  and the organisers took great risks. Despite the arrest of at least one organiser, they  succeeded in gathering the support of people across the territory, an amazing feat of determination and resourcefulness.’ 
The bound petition has just been presented to the UN Decolonisation Committee, by ULMWP * Spokespeson Benny Wenda, and was hailed by the Solomons Prime Minister Sogavare as  ‘effectively a vote to demand self-determination.’
For more than fifty years the people of West Papua have been struggling to end Indonesian military rule over their territory. They were cruelly denied the right to self-determination in the 1960s when western nations, including New Zealand, gave their assent to a 1962 handover agreement in which the indigenous people had no say. The phony plebiscite that followed in 1969 was carried out under extreme duress,  as the participants (only about one tenth of 1 % of the population) ‘voted’ under threat of death. The loss of life from the conflict coupled with destruction  of the environment and grossly inadequate health services amounts to a slow genocide. 
In the lead up to the election West Papua Action canvassed the views of the political parties.  National said it recognises ‘the territorial integrity of Indonesia’ which ‘by definition precludes any recognition of self-determination’.  Labour told us it would ‘review’ the policy if it becomes the Government: ‘with a view to exploring a greater degree of autonomy for the people of West Papua in line with the wishes of the people.’  The Greens affirmed their ongoing support for the rights of the West Papuan people to self-determination which has been their policy since 2000. 
However, in May 2017 a cross-party group, including  National, Labour, and Green MPs signed the International Parliamentarians Declaration for a Free West Papua.
‘Regardless of which parties form the new Government – the case is clear the West Papuan people will never cease struggling for their right to self-determination, and New Zealand must stop being on the wrong side of history.  The new Government can expect pressure from a growing West Papua support lobby activists.’
For further information:  Maire Leadbeater  09-815-9000 or 0274436957
*United Liberation Movement for West Papua
The political party statements are available on request.

3) Rockin’ for West Papua events taking over Australia this October

 With over 100 artists taking part, these concerts are going to be unmissable. With West Papua still enduring horrific living conditions, constantly living in fear, it is unacceptable that such issues aren’t being given due exposure in mainstream press in Australia, given our close proximity to West Papua itself.
To find out more about recent developments surrounding the historic ULMWP Petition that was submitted to the UN General Assembly this month, check out this Guardian article here. The petition itself received signatures from 1.8 million people after it was smuggled from village to village in West Papua, with the majority coming from indigenous West Papuans who risked their lives to sign the petition calling for vote on self-determination.
Of course, much more work needs to happen for conditions to change, but in the concerts Rockin’ for West Papua have been hosting right around the world, more awareness is being raised and the good vibes for peace are being spread importantly, at a time when we could use it the most.
Check the details of the Australian concerts out below and follow Rockin’ for West Papua online here for updates. All money raised will be going towards the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.


4) West Papuans demand vote on independence

A petition banned by the Indonesian government, but bearing the signatures of 1.8 million West Papuans – more than 70 percent of the contested province’s population – has been presented to the United Nations, with a demand for a free vote on independence.
Exiled West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda presented the bound petition to the UN’s decolonization committee, the body that monitors the progress of former colonies – known as non-self-governing territories – towards independence.
The petition was banned in the provinces of Papua and West Papua by the Indonesian government, and blocked online across the country, so petition sheets had to be “smuggled from one end of Papua to the other,” Wenda told the Guardian from New York.
Independence campaigners have been jailed and allegedly tortured in Papua for opposing the rule of Indonesia, which has controlled Papua (now Papua and West Papua) since 1963. Those signing the petition risked arrest and jail.
“The people have risked their lives, some have been beaten up, some are in prison. In 50 years, we have never done this before, and we had to organize this in secret,” Wenda said.
“People were willing to carry it between villages, to smuggle it from one end of Papua to the other, because this petition is very significant for us in our struggle for freedom.”
The petition asks the UN to appoint a special representative to investigate human rights abuses and “put West Papua back on the decolonization committee agenda and ensure their right to self‐determination … is respected by holding an internationally supervised vote.”
West Papua was formerly on the decolonization committee’s agenda – which monitors progress toward decolonization and independent rule – but was removed in 1963.
Wenda said it felt to him that West Papua’s referendum “had already happened” and that the petition was a manifestation of the people’s desire for independence.
“The people have already chosen, people have signed the petition with their blood and their thumbprint. We are optimistic, confident, that in a few years, we will have progress. This is not just an activist issue; this has gone up to government level, to diplomatic level, up to the United Nations.”

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