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Help Us Fight for Independence – West Papua Calls on Ghana

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Benny Wenda met former President of Ghana John Kufuor - Supplied

Benny Wenda met former President of Ghana John Kufuor – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – The people of West Papua are sending desperate calls on government officials and leaders of Ghana to assist them in their bid to join the United Nations.

Nobel peace prize nominee and Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Chief Benny Wenda joined Ghanaians to mark Ghana’s 59th independence anniversary on 6th March, 2016.

During his stay, he interacted with prominent people in the country, including Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, former head of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), and former presidents Kufuor and Rawlings.

Reverend Deegbe prayed for the people of West Papua and Chief Benny Wenda for his visit to Ghana. “God made people and wants people everywhere to be free”. He also promised to raise the issue of West Papua at an upcoming church meetings in the USA.

Rev Deegbe who is a Senior Pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church served the CCG as General Secretary from July 2003 until April 2013.

In a meeting with former President John Agyekum Kufuor and former AU Chair, the former president pledged support for the liberation of the people of West Papua. “It is important that humanity should be central to everything. As a human being you are entitled to humanity.

In due course humanity will prevail and you will be free.” “The whole world will support you. Not even Indonesia can stop it” “Ghana was once a colony for 100 years, Nkrumah was our liberator, he was a pan africanist and you see yourselves as Africans. What you are doing is the right way.

The photos of your people bear witness to a true leader of your people. Some of our paramount chiefs wear feathers. The same but eagle feathers. Despite the distances between our places we are the same. Clearly you are not Indonesian.”

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has also pledged his support to fight for the independence of the West Papuans. He said “we are honoured to fight for your people. We share a similar history.”

“It is no surprise to me that you had support from Ghana at the UN in 1969 and that we accepted West Papuan refugees in the 1980’s. West Africa has seen slavery, colonial struggles and independence”

“Chief you find yourself in a very painful situation. I suggest that you contact and lobby every congressman, senator and parliamentarian. The European Commission, the AU and all organisations. Keep knocking and knock again, don’t let them sleep”

“We will contribute by reminding them who is still colonised”

Keep fighting

Benny Wenda met former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings - Jubi

Benny Wenda met former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings – Jubi

Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana made the statements when he met with Chief Benny Wenda, spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and Nobel Peace prize nominee.

All across Africa and around the world people are finding out about Indonesia’s Genocide and illegal colonisation of West Papua. West Papua has a legal right to self determination, de colonisation and independence.

West Papua is the western half of the Melanesian island of New Guinea, in the Pacific Ocean, bordering the independent nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It lies just 200km north of Australia and the indigenous Melanesian people have lived there for over 40,000 years.

West Papua was colonised by the Dutch in 1898 and always administered as “Dutch New Guinea” separate from their “Dutch East Indies” which is now Indonesia. With the promise of independence on 1st December 1970 and on 1st December 1961, the West Papuan national flag was raised with the beginnings of a democratically elected government formed, announcing a 9 year period of peaceful transition towards independence.

Politics before Papuans But within months the dream was dead. The newly independent state of Indonesia wanted access to West Papua’s vast wealth and the military promptly invaded West Papua. Conflict broke out between the Netherlands, Indonesia and the indigenous population regarding control of the territory.

Due to US’ fear that failing to appease Indonesia could result in the spread of South East Asian communism, the US government intervened and engineered an agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which in 1962 gave control of West Papua to the United Nations and one year later transferred control to Indonesia.

The Papuans were never consulted and after a sham referendum in 1969 with 1026 people handpicked Papuans being forced to vote for Indonesian sovereignty, West Papua officially became part of Indonesia.

The military occupation and secret genocide The West Papuan people never accepted Indonesia in their country and ever since 1963, have resisted Indonesian rule, first with bows and arrows and what little guns they could and then with peaceful civil resistance.

The people of West Papua have regularly organise mass protests for self determination and independence and continue to appeal to the international community from speaking out through media to diplomatic pleas by exiled Papuans.

Through a vast wealth of natural resources, like the largest goldmine on Earth (Grasberg), West Papua has become Indonesia’s largest GDP contributor, and with the prospect of an independent West Papua looking with international support, Indonesia does not want Papuans telling the outside world the truth.

Not only has the Indonesian government banned all foreign journalists and human rights groups from West Papua but the Indonesian military and police also systematically target any West Papuans campaigning for independence and brands them as “separatists” and “terrorists”. (*)

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Taparu in Kamoro socioculture

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Kamoro women when sorting out sago caterpillars. – Jubi / Doc

Mimika, Jubi – Each clan in Kamoro has ‘taparu’ or a specific location as a place to find food sources when they encircle rivers and mangroves in the lowland estuary of Mimika District.

A Dutch anthropologist J Power states ‘taparu’ is a local terminology emphasizing the relations of land and its inhabitants. “There are also the names of surrounding neighborhoods taken from the ancestral names,” as written in a book “Taparu Fratri of Mimika-Kamoro ethnic groups in Hiripau Village, East Mimika District, Mimika Regency”, by Dessy Pola Usmany et al. from the Ministry Education and Culture Directorate General of Culture Papua Cultural Value Conservation Center, 2013.

‘Taparu’ itself is more related to groups who inhabit within this region or surrounding environment as Kamoro people always encircle the river and sago forest for catching fish or gathering food. Everyone knows their own ‘taparu’.

‘Taparu’ in Kamoro language means the land, while Sempan people call it ‘se iwake’. If someone wants to mark the land he passes in gathering food, he solely adds the prefix ‘we’ such as tumamero-we and efato-we in Omawka village.

Similarly, people in Nawaripi village also do the same. Their areas are including Tumukamiro-we, Viriao-we, and Iwiri-we. All of these names reflect the relationship between the land and inhabitants.

Meanwhile, like the majority of Kamoro people, Ojibwa people believe in the power of their late patrilineal clan that depicted in the symbols of animals. The anthropologists call these symbols with totems which mean a belief that embodies a symbolic representation of society.

Unfortunately, today taparu also face the severest challenges of sedimentation due to tailings of mining activity that cause the silting of river and discolouration of Mollusca habitat in the estuary of Mimika District. (*)

 

Reporter: Dominggus Mampioper

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Jayapura indigenous school pays attention to children’s rights

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Children in the Indigenous School learn how to carve. – Jubi / Engel Wally

Sentani, Jubi – Director of Indigenous School of Jayapura District Origen Monim stated that he would pay attention to the rights of children studying at his school as it stands in an area declared as a child-friendly village.

“We have a guide about what indicator of a child-friendly village is, which was given by the Head of the Women Empowerment and Child Protection Office. So it would be our concern,” said Monim in Sentani on Tuesday (09/11/2018).

He further explained that the indigenous school runs their activities every day, from 14:00 to 16:30 Papua time, and a speedboat provided to pick up students to school.

“So far we operate independently. In the future, we would also try to provide snacks or additional food for children in Khandei class, namely for those aged 8-13 years,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Head of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Office of Jayapura District, Maria Bano confirmed on the guide of the child-friendly village that already implemented in the Indigenous School of Jayapura District.

“Children from formal school continue their learning activities there, in the indigenous school, which encourage children playing and having fun with their friends. Because at their age, children need to observe their environment and people around them,” said Bano. (*)

 

Reporter: Engel Wally

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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KNPB supports Kanaky for self-determination

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KNPB and Gempar Papua activists at the Secretariat of Central KNPB. – Jubi / Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – Central West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a limited discussion to support FKLNS (Organization of the Liberation Struggle of the Kanaky Tribe in New Caledonia) which has been well received by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to conduct a referendum in November 2018.

The First Chairman of Central KNPB Agus Kosay said it’s time for Kanaky to get self-determination from French colonialism.

“Kanaky must declare their self-determination. If Kanaky gets their independence, it would be able to give their support to West Papua because we share the same situation, which lives under the colonialism,” he said on Wednesday (08/12/2018) in Jayapura.

Meanwhile a member of Gempar (Papuan Youth and Student Movement) Nelius Wenda said as a nation oppressed by Indonesia, West Papua fully supports the referendum agenda of New Caledonia.

“Kanaky must determine their destiny. It must be far better than being under the French colonialism. In the future we Papuans are just like Kanaky,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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