Tag Archives: Genocide in West Papua

West Papua Finally Gets a ‘Place’ in Melanesian Spearhead Group

SBS News June 26, 2015.

Australia’s nearest Pacific neighbours have taken the lead in trying to broker a peaceful future for Indonesia’s contested West Papuan provinces.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia’s FLNKS took the step at the 20th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit in Honiara.

Since Indonesia took over the former Dutch colony in the 1960s, there has been a brutal conflict in West Papua that is estimated to have cost hundreds-of-thousands of lives.

The MSG leaders gave the West Papuan independence movement observer status, rejecting an application for full membership.

Indonesia has been an observer since 2011 and was upgraded to associated membership at the summit.

“The leaders approved the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as an observer member under the regional and international category representing West Papuans living abroad,” said Solomon Islands prime minister and MSG chair Manasseh Sogavare.

“Associate membership is accorded to Indonesia representing the five Melanesian provinces in Indonesia. I have the greatest pleasure in welcoming them.”

The West Papuans were hoping for full membership of the MSG but accept observer status as a first step.

The Indonesians will be represented at the MSG by the governors of its five Papuan provinces.

“Building a strong Melanesia in the Pacific is certainly a desire for our every member country,” said PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill.

More on SBS

The Spirit of Mambesak

From: the garamut

Spirit of Mambesak was initially formed in the 70’s and 80’s by West Papuan artists Arnold Ap and Eddie Mofu. They understood the importance of culture and strove to use music as a medium to convey their basic human right: the freedom of expression.

Mambesak was formed to revitalise traditional West Papuan dance, music and song and eventually provided a certain colour, form and inspiration for the birth of music and dance groups throughout Papua, actively promoting and strengthening West Papuan identity. However, Arnold Ap and Eddie Mofu’s popularity and the conscious pride in being Papuan Mambesak’s music engendered, brought them to the attention of the Indonesian military who accused them of being separatists. They were finally murdered. Today, the spirit of Mambesak endures with new faces and new songs. This album was released in 2004.

You can listen to more or purchase their music here


Film: Forgotten Bird of Paradise

West Papua Freedom

The first of December was the day West Papua got its Independence from the Dutch Colony, only to be occupied 12 months later by the Indonesian Army. The struggle for West Papua’s freedom to protect their people, culture and land, continues to this date. Two years ago, British filmmaker Dominic Brown travelled without the knowledge or authority of the Indonesian authorities in order to film Forgotten Bird of Paradise. The documentary (26.5mins) has received acclaim, providing a rare and moving insight into the forgotten struggle for independence that has gripped West Papua for over 50 years. It includes never before seen footage of OPM rebel fighters at their stronghold deep in the Papuan jungle, as well as interviews with human rights victims of the Indonesian regime.

Yusak Pakage Amnesty International ‘prisoner of conscience’

Most startling of all is an interview conducted with Yusak Pakage, a high-profile West Papuan political prisoners recognised by Amnesty International as a ‘prisoner of conscience’. He is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence for peacefully raising the West Papuan flag during a ceremony in 2004. The interview was recorded in secret by Brown during a hospital visit where Pakage was receiving treatment for torture.

The documentary also provides an insight into recent developments on the international arena including the launch of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. This has seen a number of influential politicians from around the world come together to coordinate international action against the ongoing occupation, and bring about the means whereby the West Papuan people will eventually gain their long-lost right to self-determination.
Frequently breathtaking and thought-provoking, Forgotten Bird of Paradise provides a remarkable insight into a world where ancient traditions and cultures live on into the modern age. Above all it shows the inspiring resilience of a people who have suffered so much under Indonesian occupation, but whose determination for freedom burns stronger now than at any time in history. Finally their cries are starting to be heard.
Produced, directed & filmed by Dominic Brown

G20 Brisbane, Australia

“I’m calling for the Indonesian president to look into the genocide in West Papua and stop only looking at the economic profits – and address the impact mining companies are having.” West Papuan independence advocate Ronny Kareni “I think the most important thing is education and then health care, and then infrastructure. If we can deliver the education program and health program, I’m sure the political tension will drop.” Indonesian president Joko Widodo speaking about the province of West Papua.

World leaders have been arriving in Brisbane, our city, today. Others have already arrived, ahead of the G20 meeting. We have a public holiday today. My son made me some melon and Vodka cocktails, just to ease the heat of the day and tension. Ok, that’s an excuse, but I have not had vodka cocktails since my Uni days. It was such a refreshing drink, I had to have one more.

Some of the hottest conditions on record are expected in parts of Queensland over the next few days with many Brisbane residents heading to the beach to take advantage of today’s G20 public holiday.

Heavy traffic has been reported along the M1, the main highway from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, as people flock to the beach for the long weekend – an exodus that began on Thursday afternoon.

Three women went head to toe in green body paint to send a message to world leaders at the G20 on behalf of PETA. ABC News: Patrick Williams

World leaders arriving in Brisbane for the G20 leaders’ summit will have to contend with very hot weather conditions, with the city predicted to hit 32 degrees Celsius today, 35 on Saturday and 39 degrees on Sunday.

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said all of the city’s hotels in our city were fully booked, and those as far west as Toowoomba.

Meanwhile Gold Coast Tourism spokesman Ben Pole said occupancy rates were high across the city, as thousands of Brisbane residents flock to the region.

Two days earlier, helicopters and planes crowded our airspace, in deafening security exercises to protect our visitors. Brisbane is a great city and I hope that everything will go well with the G20 meeting.

I have yet find any Climate Action protesting groups, but I will keep looking.

Here are other G20 pictures from ABC.


Letting the world know about the killings in West Papua

These Pro Surfers Went Looking for Untouched Waves in West Papua and Found Genocide Instead

By Ben Roffee ryot.org

It all started with a simple surf trip, just a few world class big wave surfers trying to find an unclaimed break in a world where they’ve all but vanished.

They are modern day explorers — feral surfers as they’re known — and they step off the well-trodden path to seek out surfing at its purest.

But Travis Potter, Jenny Useldinger, Andrew Mooney, Josh Fuller, and Jimmy Rotherham headed to West Papua looking for massive, unsullied waves, they discovered an alarming truth that would radically upend their priorities.

Read and see more,  click on the links: