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West Papua betrayed 56 years ago
Australian West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release - September 21, 2018
56 years later the West Papuan people still suffer under Indonesian rule. How have the West Papuan people fared since the Indonesian take over?
Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe said on his recent visit to PNG:
"Every day my people are being killed," Mr Enembe said. "That's why I think... the military of Indonesia, the police of Indonesia, they've stopped thinking about the humanity in Papua.
"Some people in the Highlands, and the coast, they come to me, they're crying, crying about what's happening in Papua. Humanity is very important."
The Governor claimed that West Papuans were dying at a disturbing rate through three main causes: because of neglected health services, because of the spread of HIV/AIDS, and because of alleged killings by the security forces.
"We are becoming a minority... a lot of people they die. I don't know... is this by a system... I don't know."
He said Indonesia had co-opted Papua's land, minerals and forest resources, while West Papuans were largely left without a say in the matter. According to him, that's part of the reason why Papuans sought to reconnect with PNG people, their Melanesian kin. (RNZ Pacific report 20 Sept. - https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/366810/governor-of-indonesia-s-papua-seeks-connection-with-png)
Human rights abuses continue.
Leading up to the recent Pacific Islands Forum, there were a number of rallies held in West Papua to show support for and urging the PIF leaders to support Vanuatu's call to bring the issue of West Papua to the UN. The security forces arrested a large number of the peaceful demonstrators. According to the ULMWP, 45 people were arrested in Sentani and 34 were reported arrested in Abepura.
The FWP Campaign also reported that up to 15 people were arrested on Saturday 8 Sept. when about 50 members of the Bintuni community held a demonstration supporting Vanuatu to push for a Resolution for West Papua at the Pacific Islands Forum and the UN Indonesian police officers arrived immediately and dispersed the crowd and seized the West Papuan flag.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, "its tragic that nearly sixty years after the betrayal of the people of West Papua by the international community they still suffer ongoing human rights abuses.
However, it is also encouraging that West Papua is continuing to gain support not only in the Pacific region but on the world stage as pacific countries, in particular Vanuatu continue to raise the issue at the UN "A fact indicated by the Indonesia's government proposing to spend $US4 million in funding towards influencing Pacific Island countries to change their position on Papua (RNZ Pacific 6/9/18).
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