"Lest we forget" - West Papua
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release 25 April 2014
"Lest we forget"- West Papua
As Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives for their country, it is hoped that people will also give a thought to those Indigenous people who died in Australia's frontier wars and remember those who are still not free in our region.
Banner at Aboriginal tent embassy Canberra
Joe Collins of AWPA said "It is not widely known, especially by the younger generation that the people of West Papua fought with the allied forces, Australian and American against the Japanese who had invaded West Papua then known Dutch New Guinea. Australians operated particularly in the Merauke region of West Papua. In what many consider a betrayal and hotly debated in the Australian parliament at the time, Australia acted against the wishes of the West Papuan people for independence. Australia supported the fraudulent act of free choice and actively impeded West Papuan leaders from going to the UN in New York carrying testimonies from many West Papuan leaders calling for independence".
Australia continues to ignore the human rights abuses in West Papua, our second closest neighbour after PNG.
In its March update "Papuans behind bars” stated that there are at least 73 political prisoners in Papuan jails. The least the Australian government could do is urge the Indonesian government to release all the political prisoners.
Australian involvement in West Papua