Thank you to the PNG Council of Churches for coming out to support this noble course. The right to self determination is not just a universal declaration provide in Article 1 of the United Nation Charter, it’s also a right promulgated by God when he got Moses to tell Pharaoh – Let my people go!
Thank you Governor Gary Juffa for your continuous support for our people of West Papua. You have never withered and I salute you. You are a champion of our people.
I thank Prime Minister Hon. James Marape for the brave stand he has made. We are a manifestation of that stand that we won’t stand by and allow our people to be killed and oppressed.
I am proud and salute you all our people. For 57 years they have been fighting on their own. For 57 years they have been alone because we allowed fear to dictate our decisions and action. Today we made and are making a big statement- that our people are not alone. That we are all Papuans, East and West Papuans
In these 57 years Governments of PNG, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Solomons, Fiji, Europe and the America’s have failed our people because we have left it to our Governments! Today we the people must stand up and speak about what is in our hearts and mind and not leave to just Governments to decide.
I salute you all our people, we are here to stand in solidarity with our people of West Papua and to assure them that they are not alone. That we hear their cries and feel their pain. That we will amplify their cries to the Government and people of the world so that the world can shift and help them to realize their aspirations.
People have asked me many times, Governor how will you be able to take on this mighty challenge and help our people realize their freedom. Today I say only the truth will set our people free and I am here to speak the truth without fear! This is what will see our people free!
THE INDISPUTABLE PERTINENT FACTS
Indonesia or what it is now, had a Hindu Buddhist Empire around 375 AD to the 13 century. The fact is West Papua was never part of such empire.
In the 13 Century, there were a number of Muslim sultanate or empires in the area including Majapahit, Malacca and Tidore. Again the fact is, West Papua was NEVER part of these sultanates or empire.
Portugal and Netherlands started colonizing Indonesia around the 16 Century. Initially Netherlands started with the Dutch East Indies Company and then the Government of Holland took over what was then called the Dutch East Indies. West Papua was never part of that colony!
West Papua only become a colony of Holland or Netherlands in the 1800s like PNG, towards the end of 1800s towards 19th Century. A difference of over 250 years. So Indonesia and West Papua do not have the same colonial history!
To say or use the colonial history as basis for incorporating West Papua into the Indonesian Republic is to suggest that Kenya and Zimbabwe should be one country or Laos and Vietnam should be one country or Argentina and Chile should be one country. This is a ridiculous and very weak basis for justifying incorporation or take over of West Papua by Indonesia.
SELF DETERMINATION HISTORY
During the Second World War Indonesian Independence Leaders collaborated with the Japanese and when the war was over they fought a war of independence against Holland/Netherlands and gained independence in 1947.
West Papua never fought a war against Holland and was never part of the war of liberation against Holland. It was never part of the Declaration of Independence by Indonesia in 1947.
West Papuans were collaborating with Holland and preparing for Independence when they were invaded in 1962. It already had a coat of arms, flag, National anthem, military and police. It already had its own Parliament by the time Indonesia invaded in 1962. West Papua was by fraud incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 some 20 years after Indonesia had already declared Independence.
We all know the fraud that happened in 1969. The requirement of the law is very clear – ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE. That was the law in 1969 and it remains the law now! That’s the law we will apply next month in Bougainville’s Referendum. That’s the law United Nations applied in East Timor in 1999.
The West Papuan’s preparation to independence is not unusual. We in PNG were being prepared for and got independence the same way. In 1964 we elected the first house of Assembly. Some Members were appointed by the colonial Government. In 1968 we had the first fully elected House of Assembly. That is when Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan were voted into Parliament and the rest is history.
I saw my parents vote in 1968. I was about 7 years old and in Standard 1 in Primary School. They voted for independence because they voted for the late Sir Paliau Maloat who stood for Independence and nothing else. I know this because in my village, the vote was unanimous in favour of Sir Paliau.
INDONESIA GOT IT WRONG FROM THE START
By assembling only 1025 people to vote in 1969, Indonesia was not only breaching the law, it was also insulting the people of West Papua and had no confidence in them from the beginning. This is the general attitude of the Indonesian Government and it’s people then and today. They believed West Papuans can’t think for themselves, and that they don’t have same or better mental capacities. That they were incapable of deciding their future in 1969. And they cannot run their own country and decide their own future today. It’s not unusual they are calling West Papuans as monkeys today. It’s always been Indonesian attitude from 1961 till today!
FINAL GLARING FACT
In 1969 when Indonesia conducted its fake vote, the population of West Papua was about 1million. Today, some 57 years later, the West Papuan population is just about 2 million. In the same period the population of PNG has gone from 1.5million in 1969 to almost 10 million now! This shows that West Papuans have been systematically by design, neglected, killed and oppressed. This in itself says a lot about the incorporation. It has failed!
INDONESIA WILL BE FREE WHEN WEST PAPUA IS FREE
Indonesia must come to terms with these facts and begin the process of self determination. Indonesia will be free of guilt, shame and free of discrimination and state violence when it frees West Papua. Our regions will, and can live in peace and harmony when we solve and cure this sore in our relationship.
We are capable of living peacefully and harmoniously with our neighbor Indonesia. We do not hate Indonesia and the Indonesian people but we will never be good neighbors and have a prosperous future when you continue to suppress our people and treat them as animals.
Stand up for peace and dignity Indonesia. Show the world that you can overcome your demons and mistakes, and help us to have a greater future. Show us that you are a great nation and champion of Self determination! Show us that you are a law abiding nation, by allowing the Papuans to determine their own future in accordance with the law.
LETS ALL BE BRAVE FOR PEACE AND A GREATER FUTURE
Fear of the future will only limit us to remaining in a poor past. Let us all rise above our fear and insecurity, to be brave and forge a greater future that is peaceful and prosperous. Indonesia overcome your fears and insecurities. A great future awaits you if you choose to be brave and resolve this crisis honorably, by allowing the Papuans their rights.
To the Governments of the region and the world, fear has not solved any crisis and will never solve this crisis. It is only through being brave and fearless that we can solve this problem, by telling the Indonesian Government honestly and sincerely what we know and feel. Otherwise we will continue to live in fear and insecurity forever and we all will miss the opportunity for a greater future together.
Let us just tell the truth and the truth will set our people of West Papua, Indonesia and our region free!
HON. POWES PARKOP LLB LLM MP
PC – Wanpis Ako