More intimidation of activists as anniversary approaches
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release- 30 June 2016
More intimidation of activists as anniversary of West Papuan independence declaration approaches
On the 1st July in 1971, West Papuan Independence was declared by the OPM.
Local media suarapapua.com reported that the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) central committee had issued a general call to all the students and the people of Papua to commemorate the reading of the proclamation of independence of Papua.
In the article suarapapua.com also reported that the Papuan Police Chief, Inspector General of Police Paul Waterpauw had issued a statement that on the 1 July 2016, the people of Papua should not commemorate the anniversary with the raising of the Morning Star flag.
"We will prosecute anyone affirm raising the Morning Star flag. But we give tolerance when July 1 was celebrated with the worship of gratitude, "said Waterpauw.
Although the West Papuan people have still to achieve their Independence, they have achieved great victories in the past few years.
The formation of the umbrella organisation the ULMWP, leading to it being granted observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
West Papua being put back on the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the fact that West Papua is becoming an international issue.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, “as the 1st July approaches we again have the security forces trying to intimidate the West Papuan people into not taking part in rallies celebrating days of significance in their history or in rallies bringing attention to the injustice they suffer under Indonesian rule. Since the beginning of May over 3000 West Papuans have been arrested in peaceful rallies throughout West Papua. Hopefully on the 1st of July there will be no repeat performances of mass arrests of Papuans in any rallies that take place”.
To all the Papuan people, from Numbay to Merauke, from Sorong to Baliem (Star Mountains) and from Biak to the isle of Adi.
“With Gods help and blessing, we take this opportunity today to announce to you all that, today, 1 July 1971, the land and people of Papua have been declared to be free and independent (de facto and de jure). May God be with us, and let it be known to the world, that the sincere wish of the Papuan people to be free and independent in their own country is hereby fulfilled.
Victoria, July 1st 1971
In the name of the people and government of West Papua
Seth J Rumkorem (Brigadier general)
(From Robin Osbourne’ book Indonesia’s Secret War 1985)