Human rights lawyer and staunch Free West Papua Advocate Powes Parkop is determined that West Papua will gainIndependence in his life time.
He was a West Papua activist when he was studying law at UPNG. Now, returning asthe Governor ofthe Nation’s capital, that fight has grown even stronger.
It was only fitting that he officially launchedthe “Sorong to Samarai Petition Campaign.”
He said for 50 years West Papuans have been suppressed ontheir own land. Now it’s time for Papua new Guineas to mobilise and speak on behalf of our Melanesian family acrossthe border.
He revealed pertinent facts, includingthe fact that West Papua was never part ofIndonesia during pre-colonial times.
“WhenIndonesia got independence in 1947, it only covered Mulugus back west to Arches Sumatra, mainlythe Dutch EastIndies. It did not include West Papua…this is a pertinent fact that cannot be denlied,” said Parkop.
He said Papua New Guineais a regional power and it needs to stand up and take responsibility. The window of opportunity lies withthe sub regional body,the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
He said he’s doing his part onthe political frontoand is hopeful thatthe West Papua agenda will be included inthe Beli communiqué come October.
“I am doing my part to convince allthe government caucus, includingthe Prime Minister to be open and to raisethe issue of West Papua,” said Parkop.
He added that unlike ther Prime Minister’s, Peter O’Neill is more receptive.
“Forthe first time, we have a Prime Minister who is usingthe language of our people onthe ther side. This has never been said or heard before,” said Parkop. “Past Prime Minister’s and past government didn’trsquo;t want to see, didn’trsquo;t want to say anything, and didn’trsquo;t want to hear anything about West Papua. They were, HANDSOFF,” he said.
Present duringthe launch was fellow advocate, John Tekwie. He was bluntoblamingthe Americans for the problem.
“America created this problem sothey must fix it,” said Tekwie.
The petition is being circulated, throughthe month of September. The signed petitions will be presented to government officials oPNG and MSG, and ther notable members ofthe diplomatic community.
A special MSG meeting will convene in October, which ironically isthe same monththe Beli APEC meeting falls on.
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