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Calls to address human rights abuse in West Papua

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West Papua solidarity march in PNG draws thousands
West Papua solidarity march in PNG draws thousands

INDONESIA and Papua New Guinea are not fully independent if they do not address allegations of human rights abuses against Melanesians in Papua and West Papua province, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop says.

“These two countries need to tell the truth of how West Papuans are now under the Indonesians government,” he said.

“Indonesia is not free unless West Papuans are free. And PNG is not free unless we are brave enough to tell the Indonesians that they must give independence to the West Papuans”.

Parkop said that yesterday during a protest march against allegations of humans rights abuse of Melanesians in Papua and West Papua Province

“It is time both countries speak the truth and not approach each other with false impression that the West Papuans are Indonesians. Papua New Guineans must know the truth that the West Papuans and Papua New Guineans are one people living on the island of New Guinea for thousands of years before the European colonisers came. In the 1800s, the Dutch colonised the West Papuans and the Indonesian islands like Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra while the British colonised PNG and later gave us to Australians and we became independent in 1975.”

Indonesians were advised to keep away from the marching routes.
Police monitored the march organised by PNG Union for Free West Papua, PNG Council of Churches and Parkop and it was trouble free. Northern Governor Gary Juffa, addressing the protesters at Sir John Guise Stadium, said that Papua New Guineans should celebrate the 44th independence anniversary with guilt because “our fellow Melanesians brothers and sisters in Papua and West Papua were being suppressed by the Indonesian government.

“They are suffering and the world is watching and doing nothing. The world is not busy. So we the Melanesians must not keep quiet. We have to rise up and let the world know about their sufferings.

“The Western world like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and France will not go against Indonesia because they have multibillion dollar project investments like the giant Freeport copper mining in Papua province.

Prime Minster James Marape said the Government would not stop Papua New Guineans from participating in any legal protest marches as long as there was no disturbance of peace.

“We have our own security issues that deal with sovereignty and maintaining united approach and I don’t have the luxury to make public utterance at this moment,” hesaid.

“Our people have every right to lawfully conduct in public gatherings like this that’s not sanctioned by the government.
“They have every right to make whatever concerns they feel not only in West Papua but any issue in the country.”

Marape said he was aware of certain MPs participating which he said was their freedom.

“We may share individual concerns but our public outlook as we speak today is that our first and foremost priority goes to our own internal borders we have.”

Source: The National PNG

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