Herman Wainggai – Nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize
From Prison to USA
Herman Wainggai was born in Jayapura, West Papua. He has devoted more than 20 years of his life to nonviolence struggle to free his people from Indonesian colonial government. In 2002, he was charged with subversion and sent to prison for two years. His crime was organizing peaceful protests against Indonesian occupation. He served his full prison term and released in 2004.
In 2006, fearing for his life, Mr. Wainggai and 42 other West Papuans escaped on a homemade boat to Australia. After 4 nights and 3 days and near starvation, they landed in Australia. His escaped led to a diplomatic crisis. Australia, under international laws granted Mr. Wainggai and his fellow West Papuans protection. Indonesia, in response, recalled its ambassador to Australia.
Today, Mr. Wainggai is a fellow ‘Visiting Scholar’ at George Mason University, Virginia.
Nobel Peace Price Nomination
This year, 2016, George Mason University (GMU) nominated Mr. Wainggai for the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ in recognition of his work and commitment to the ‘Nonviolence Struggle’ in his homeland, West Papua. He also promotes this strategy to the international community; how to solve conflict in terms of humility, truth, compassion, and resolve. These are the methods, which brought about the ‘Civil Rights Movement’ in the United States and the Liberation of India from its colonial master, England. He devoted most of his adult life promoting these principles.
Facts about Mr. Wainggai
Mr. Wainggai went to school in West Papua. After completing high school, the Indonesian government removed his scholarship because of his relationship with his late Uncle, Dr. Thomas Wainggai – West Papuan leader who died in prison under suspicious circumstances, while serving a 20-year prison term. He later enrolled at Cenderawasih University where he studied Law. However, his educational pursuit ended, as he became a target of the Indonesian intelligence office in Jayapura. After his uncle died in prison, Mr. Wainggai went into hiding in nearby Papua New Guinea. However, he returned to West Papua after the fall of the Suharto regime and studied to be a preacher, but his involvement in promoting peaceful protests ended his education. He was jailed for four months. Upon his release from jail, he continued his work as a peaceful protester and an advocate for a free West Papua. He was again, jailed for two years. He was released in 2004 and decided to escape West Papua in 2006. In 2009, Herman Wainggai traveled to the United States to attend a ‘Nonviolence training’ at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In 2010, returned to the USA where he participated in various meetings, and in 2012, the George Mason University, Virginia, invited him to be a ‘Visiting Scholar’ where he remains to this day.
Mr. Herman Wainggai has also participated in August 2012 in the First Annual Model UN Workshop organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information, United Nations Headquarters New York. He has also participated in September 2012 in the UNITAR General Briefing for new delegates on the work of the sixty seven session of the General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Herman Wainggai was born is from Yapen Island, off the coast of West Papua. He speaks the following language: Ambai Language, Indonesian, Papuan Malay, Tok Pijin, and English. He represents indigenous West Papuans at the United Nations under his organization, West Papuan National Authority. He also lobbies for support from various members of the UN Congress and various other advocacy organizations. He is also an active member of the TASSC – Torture Abortion and Survive Support Coalition. Where he and other world victims of violence speak out against treatment of peaceful protestors and political activists.
Mr. Wainggai, now a distinguished human rights leader of international standing, has been tirelessly working since 2010 in Washington DC to enlist the support of multilateral organizations like the UN, professional human rights communities of practice, prominent Universities and their students and faculty, and members of the US Congress, in spreading awareness and understanding of the plight of his people. At least two documentary films and several widely viewed videos on YouTube focus on Mr. Herman Wainggai’s work. “Coming Soon” produced this year and scheduled for release in December 2016 is a documentary highlighting his life and work, and The Unbreakable Melanesian Arrow is a multi-part documentary highlighting his leadership role in the struggle of the West Papuans.
Mr. Wainggai is a strong advocate of ‘Nonviolent Struggle’ against imperialism and violence and is willing to share his experience wherever and whenever possible. His story is not only inspirational, it is powerful and will inspire future activists take the path of peace and not violence. He had spoken in international conferences, at the United Nations – various committees, colleges and universities, high schools and in public protests.
Invite him to speak at your conference, lecture, meetings, or forums. Contact by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Herman-Wainggai-166829806813852/
Speaking Tour – United States
Following his nomination, Mr. Wainggai spoke at various settings in promoting his views on political violence in Asia, particularly West Papua. His views on the principles of Peace and Nonviolence captured the imagination of many organizations and individuals. Various organizations and schools invited him to speak so the rest of 2016 will be a busy period for him. On May 2016, Mr. Wainggai attended the ‘UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) alongside other West Papuan organizations. He also traveled to Los Angeles where he met with various organizations and attended the showing of his short documentary.
Mr. Herman Wainggai has been meticulously and energetically leveraging every moment of his time in Washington DC to promote his people’s vision for West Papua, namely, self determination guaranteed by international law.
His upcoming travel agenda includes Hawaii, San Francisco, Washington State, Arizona, New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts.
To help with his extensive travels, supporters have created a ‘GoFundMe’ account to help with the expense as he moves around the states raise West Papuan issues to different organizations and colleges.
Success of ‘Hidden Genocide’
The ‘Garifuna Indigenous Film Festival’ accepted Mr. Wainggai’s short films – “West Papua – A long Journey to Freedom” and “Hidden Genocide”. The documentaries were show at the festival. Mr. Wainggai and the producer of ‘Hidden Genocide’ and other supporters attended the event. He spoke about his journey and his future plans.
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