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Locke to fly banned flag in front of Parliament


Keith Locke to fly banned flag in front of Parliament today

Green MP Keith Locke will join supporters of self-determination for West Papua in flying the banned Morning Star flag in front of Parliament at 1pm today.

“We want the new Indonesia president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to know that the world is watching how he treats West Papua,” said Mr Locke, the Party’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

“It is a sign of the independence movement’s strength that the Indonesia government can’t even tolerate the symbolism of West Papuans flying their own flag. However, nothing can stop us, outside the New Zealand Parliament, from flying the flag and thereby symbolically supporting freedom for West Papua.”

Last Thursday (November 25), the Governor of West Papua, Jap Salossa, warned Papuans that they would face arrest if they raised the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag on December 1.

The West Papaun people are celebrating December 1 as an “independence day”. Today is the 43rd anniversary of the 1961 West Papuan Declaration of Independence from Dutch colonial rule, even though Papaun aspirations for independence were dashed in 1963 when Indonesian troops occupied the territory. Later, in 1969, West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia, against the wishes of the people.

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