May 1st marks 50 years sincethe West Papuan Melanesian struggle forIndependence.
It’s a mover tobreakway fromIndonesia is one ofthe world'’s longest running struggles for sovereignty.
Many have been killed; its population is still no more than one point two million.
Our Neighbour West Papua was formerly a Dutch colony;the region was effectively transferred toIndonesian administration in 1962 under a treaty drafted bythe United States.In a controversial 1969 vote,Indonesia was given full control. Sincethen, conflict has been ongoing betweenthe militant Free Papua Moverment organization andIndonesian troops.
Yesterdaythe West Papua Alerts website reported thatIndonesian security forces conducted violent sweeps across Jayapura to detain mass protests to commemorate 50 years of struggle.
No foreign media is allowed into West Papua, butthe atrocities committed have emerged for the world to see.
Last year in September Prime Minister Peter O’Neill saidthe foreign affairs department would deliver a diplomatic note toIndonesia expressing concerns.
This yearthe West Papua National Coalition for liberation appllied to be a member ofthe Melanesian Spear head Group.
Fiji’s Prime Minister and Chairman Frank Beinimarama acknowledged receivingthe expression of interest.
The struggle for independence for West Papuan will continue however long it takes.