West Papuan National Flag Day
The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
1st December 2010 - In a show of solidarity with the West Papuan people both Marrickville and Leichhardt councils will
raise the West Papuan flag on their Town Halls today, the 1st December , West Papuan National Flag day.
It is now forty nine years since the West Papuan flag was first flown officially on the 1st of December in 1961. The
Dutch were finally about to give the West Papuan people their freedom. However it is one of the great tragedies that at
their moment of freedom it was cruelly crushed and West Papua was basically handed over to Indonesia in 1963.
After 6 years administration of the province, Indonesia held a sham referendum called the “Act of Free Choice” under UN
supervision. Only 1022 handpicked voters, one representative for approximately every 700 West Papuans were allowed vote,
and under coercion, voted to remain with Indonesia. The Papuans call this the’ act of no free choice’.
And today the West Papuans still suffer under Indonesian rule. The recent shocking video footage of West Papuans being tortured by Indonesian soldiers, the burning of the village of
Bigiragi in the Puncak Jaya Regency and the leaked documents which show a list of West Papuans that are engaged in human
rights work are a target of the Indonesian Special Force Group, Kopassus, all indicate
there is a systematic campaign to intimidate both human rights defenders and the West Papuan peoples a whole .
Just over a week ago authorities in West Papua arrested nine people for raising what they call a separatist flag just
hours before President Yudhoyono visited West Papua.
AWPA is calling on Julia Gillard to raise the human rights abuses being committed by the Indonesia military in West
Papua with President Yudhoyono and to send a fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights
situation in the territory