Tomorrow, from 8.30am, West Papua supporters will demonstrate outside the Cloud on Quay St in Auckland as leaders assemble for the formal opening of the 42nd Pacific Island Forum Meeting.
We will hold the West Papua Morning Star flag aloft - it is banned in West Papua and those who dare to fly it risk years in jail. A young West Papuan exile will be confined in a symbolic prison cage symbolizing that the West Papuan people live under Indonesian occupation effectively in 'prison'. Indigenous people are constantly under surveillance from a vast network of spies.
Over the 49 years of Indonesian rule some 100,000 West Papuans have died as a result of the conflict. (New Internationalist, April 2002)
West Papuans belong to our region: ethnically, culturally and geographically .
Before Indonesian rule, West Papuans were able to attend regional meetings such as the South Pacific Commission.
The West Papuan people have been denied a genuine act of self-determination.
The 1969 "Act of Free Choice" was a fraudulent procedure under which only 1,022 men were permitted to take part. All did so under conditions of extreme duress.
Between 2000 and 2007, the Forum included at least a brief reference to West Papua and ongoing human rights issues in most of its communiques. But then silence - why?
We call on the Forum leaders to:
- Send a fact-finding mission to see the situation at first hand.
- Support the West Papuan people in their call for a peaceful dialogue with the Jakarta Government.
- Grant observer status at Forum meetings to West Papuan representatives.
- Join Vanuatu to raise the issue of West Papua's political status at the UN.
- Call for the listing of West Papua with the United Nations Special
Committee on Decolonisation.