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wp freewestpapua FREE WEST PAPUA CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE 2012

December 3, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

1st December 2012
Guyana MPs support West Papua’s right of self-determination
Today, 1st December is the 51st anniversary of West Papua’s freedom. It is the
day of recognition of West Papua’s identity, symbols and right to be a
separate and independent sovereign state.

Our dream of being a free and independent people was crushed by the Indonesia
invasion and military occupation in 1963. For 50 years the world has stood by
while we defend ourselves with bows and arrows against modern bombers and
fighter jets supplied by the western powers. 500,000 Papuans have died.
Amnesty International has already confirmed 100,000 deaths.

Today is a new day of hope for us. Members of the Guyana Parliament
representing 6 parties, have made a series of passionate and principled
statements in support of West Papua’s right of self-determination and
condemning Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua. Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Deputy
Leader of the Opposition, stated that the MPs were proud to stand in
solidarity with the people of West Papua. Drawing on Guyana’s own experiences
of resistance against slavery, indentureship and colonialism, Dr Roopnaraine
said, “History tells us that oppressed people will not remain oppressed
forever……….We tell the oppressors of the people of West Papua that we know
oppression is going to be defeated as long as the fire of freedom burns
brightly in the hearts and minds of the oppressed.”

Ms Deborah Bakker, the Deputy Speaker, and a representative of A Partnership
for National Unity (APNU) representing 5 parties acknowledged that large
sections of the population of West Papua remain committed to an independent
West Papua. She confirmed that APNU would continue to support all legitimate
and peaceful activities of the free West Papua Campaign. Mr Nagamootoo of the
Alliance for Change expressed outrage that Indonesia should seek to stamp its
authority on West Papua as a coloniser.

In a written statement, Rashleigh Jackson, the former Minister of Foreign
Affairs for Guyana and a former President of the United Nations Security
Council said: “It is time to bring to a successful end the persistent and
courageous struggle of the people [of West Papua] for freedom and
independence. They deserve international support from the UN and other
international organisations, from global civil society, from governments and
from non-state actors, and indeed from individuals the world over. The
campaign to free West Papua is eminently worthy of support which I give
wholeheartedly.”

Guyanese MPs expressing solidarity for West Papua at Parliament building. In
the background is the historic Stabroek Market.

It was with sorrow that we learned of the arrest of Victor Yeimo, Alius Asso
and Usman Yogobi, during a peaceful march yesterday. The MPs demanded their
immediate release as well as the release of Filip Karma and other political
prisoners.

Despite being in prison, Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni sent a message
thanking the Guyana MPs for their support:

“1. On behalf of West Papuan people, we want to thank to goverment of Guyana
welcoming West Papua independence leader to Guyana. 2. We want to thank you
all cross Party Parliamentarian support West Papua right for independence 3.
We also thank you for people’s of Guyana supporting our struggles for
independence. 4. We support International Parlementarian for West Papua in
Guyana. 5. Please be our voice.”

BUCHTAR TABUNI, leader of National Parliamen West Papua.
FILEP KARMA, the political prision

As I leave Guyana to continue my journey seeking support around the world, I
would like to again say thank you to the people of Guyana, the Government and
the MPs from the different parties who gave me a warm welcome with open
hearts.
The Guyanese people have a proud history of standing up against colonialism.
I go with a good spirit and I will tell my people that we are no longer alone
in our fight for justice and freedom against colonialism.

Benny Wenda
West Papua Independence Leader

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