FRWP Open Day on 6 December 2020 featured interviews with the President and the Prime Minister of the new West Papua Transitional Government, with Australian federal Greens Senator Janet Rice, and with Dr Joe Toscano (West Papua Rent Collective). It included a candle ceremony for Natalie Adadikam (founding member of WP Womens Office in Docklands) and a memorial for recent political martyrs in West Papua; conducted by Rev. Robert Stringer, with presentations by ULMWP Executive Jacob Rumbiak, Catholic Bishop Hilton Deakin, and Mr Clovis Mwamba from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The day concluded with the planting of a Kurrajong Bottle Tree on Melbourne City Council land at 838 Collins Street in remembrance of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1953-61) and his 1961 Decolonisation Program for West Papua. A film crew, Janet McKinnon and Erwin Bleskadit, and photographer Tommy Latupeirissa RMS, enabled the memorials in the garden of the FRWP’s five-star energy office in Docklands to be viewed by a national and international audience.
Edison Waromi, Prime Minister, WP Transitional Government
Zoom-interview by Swedish journalist Klas Lundström (in Stockholm) on 5 December 2020; introduced by Adolf Mora, and translated by Jacob Rumbiak (in Melbourne). Klas’ English-language articles on West Papua are listed below.
Benny Wenda, President, WP Transitional Government
Zoom-interview by FRWP Office Chaplain Rev. Dr Robert Stringer on 12 November 2020.
Australian Federal Greens Senator Janet Rice
Recorded in Canberra on 5 December 2020.
Jacob Rumbiak (FRWP Office, Docklands, 6 Dec 2020)
“Welcome to this Memorial for West Papuan Martyrs, to our planting of the Hammarskjold-Papuan tree, and to our interviews with President Wenda and Prime Minister Waromi of our new Transitional Government ….. including Bishop Hilton Deakin, and Fr Peter Woods, our Trade Union and Green Party supporters, and our friends from Ballarat and the Democratic Republic of Congo …. Normally there are 9,000 territorial troops in West Papua; now there are 45,000, many of them highly-trained commandos, and three-star generals …. this is war, and it is serious …”
Read/download/print full address at Jacob Rumbiak’s address, 6 Dec 2020
Mr Clovis Mwamba, Democratic Republic of Congo (FRWP Office, 6 Dec 2020)
“Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld never promised ‘Heaven on earth’ but he did his best to ‘save humanity from hell’ … My country, the Congo, became independent in June 1960. Belgium, our former colonial power, didn’t make the process easy, and seven months later our first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, was brutally assassinated. Fifteen months later, during the Secretary-General’s visit to help quell a secession movement on our border with British Northern Rhodesia, his aeroplane was blown up and he and 15 UN staff were killed … The unrest, and the assassinations were manipulated and fuelled by the ambition and greed of western economic powers. The effect was profound: the Congo’s been engulfed in proxy-wars, military invasions, and to our shame, we had a reputation as the “world capital of rape”. On the other side of the world, western political realism wrecked the West Papuans independence program prepared by the Secretary-General, and they too, paid, and are still paying, an extremely heavy price” Download full address at Clovis Mwamba, Hammarskjold-Papua tree-planting, 6 Dec 2020 Note the photo held by the young West Papuan warrior Kamesan Woirei is of a tree planted in Katanga (Congo) on 5 December 2020 in remembrance of UN Sec-General Dag Hammarskjöld.
Sarah Munyemba (FRWP Office, Docklands, 6 Dec 2020)
“I’d like to share with all of you a short story told by my grandpa Clovis Mwamba. One day, in 1961, when Grandpa was a teenager, he heard people crying “The big tree of the world has fell down”. The UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld had been killed in a plane crash near Ndola, 200 kilometres from Elizabethville (now called Lubumbashi). Many people lamented because they weren’t able to hold a funeral or plant a traditional tree. However, some Congolese refugees in the UN Refugee Camps on the outskirts of Elisabethville did honour the man who they believed was a hero of peace. They planted a sacred Mwabi tree to honour the work of this man whose name was so hard for them to articulate, and gave their new-born babies names that conveyed their opposition to war, like bupole (peace) and diese (lucky, happiness)”.
The flags of the Pacific Island Forum and African Caribbean Pacific nations that passed motions on West Papua in 2019 festooned the memorial site.
Memorial for Natalie Adadikam, FRWP Office, Docklands, 6 Dec 2020
A memorial honouring the life and work of Natalie Adadikam, a founding member of the West Papua Womens Office in Docklands, who died on 28 September 2020. The moving candle-ceremony, conducted by FRWP Office Chaplain Rev. Robert Stringer, was attended by Natalie’s husband Alfonse, and all their children and grand-children, and featured Jude Kohen singing her beautiful Thanks to the Peacemakers which she composed for Natalie (studio recording below).
Memorial for the Martyrs
A memorial for all West Papuans, including the children, priests, and pastors recently killed by Indonesian commandoes. Indonesian military operations in 2020, authorised by the government, are designed to dissuade the people from protesting against Special Autonomy, and from rallying for a negotiated settlement under the auspice of the United Nations. Beyond the killing of innocents, and activists, an extraordinary number of Papuan religious leaders and government officials have disappeared or died of mysterious illness or circumstances in 2020. The memorial concluded with Jude Kohen performing her Don’t say, Unplugged (studio recording below).
Planting the Hammarskjöld-Papuan Tree in Docklands, Bishop Deakin
“In 1961 I was a new priest in the Catholic Church, and beginning to find that I needed to learn more about the principles and ways-of-thinking about social justice … I could not cope with the social justice that was taught to me in the seminary, and began to look outwards. And one of the first people I listened to was a man called Dag Hammarskjöld. Why I don’t know, but by the time I’d finished speaking to him, I thought this man is a very wise person who thinks far more widely, far more up in the air, and far more down below as well and I can learn something from him …..” Full address at Bishop Deakin, Hammarskjold-Papuan tree-planting, FRWP Office, 6 Dec 2020
Planting the Hammarskjöld-Papuan Tree in Docklands, Jacob Rumbiak
This Kurrajong Bottle Tree is the 84th living memorial planted in 2020 to UN Secretary-General Hammarskjöld and his Decolonisation Program for West Papua. Two-minute videos of the tree-plantings around the world can be viewed on the DFAIT website at https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/document/join-tree-planting-ceremonies-in-honour-of-un-sec-general-dag-hammarskjold-1953-1961/
The Hammarskjöld-Papuan tree was planted with a gold shovel, a gift from a corporate sponsor (aka the US-Indonesian freeport gold-and-copper mine in West Papua).
Dr Joe Toscano, West Papua Rent Collective
The WP Rent Collective is a special group of Australian luminaries formed to support West Papuans right of self-determination in the form of paying the rent on the FRWP’s five-star-energy office in Docklands. The office has been open for five years, and looks forward, as independence looms, to life as an embassy as well. For $30/month ($360/year) members enjoy good info, good food, good music, and good fun. People are welcome, even urged, to join as the new nation-state takes shape. Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jude Kohen, Thanks to the Peacemakers (studio recording)
Jude Kohen, Don’t say, Unplugged (studio recording)
Klas Lundström’s writing and reporting on West Papua
“Provisional Government” of West Papua announced, rejects Indonesian “autonomy” https://tidningenglobal.se/2020/11/30/provisional-government-of-west-papua-announced-rejects-indonesian-autonomy-3/
Indonesian military accused of killing minors in West Papua https://tidningenglobal.se/2020/11/27/indonesian-military-accused-of-killing-minors-in-west-papua/
The West Papua conflict, key to Dag Hammarskjöld’s death? https://tidningenglobal.se/2020/11/09/the-west-papua-conflict-key-to-dag-hammarskjolds-death/
West Papuan Autumn https://tidningenglobal.se/2020/10/29/west-papuan-autumn/
Knights of Free Speech Risk Death in West Papua https://tidningenglobal.se/2020/10/09/knights-of-free-speech-risk-death-in-west-papua/)
Per-Ove Carlsson’s last journey by Klas Lundström and Ivar Andersen (2014). An investigation into the murder of Swedish filmmaker Per-Oves Carlsson in Kiunga on the West Papua border; found with his throat cut on April 29 1992 a few kilometres from one of the world’s most closed and unknown conflict areas. Carlsson’s murder is shrouded in mystery. Andersen and Lundström traced his footsteps, hoping that time had worn down the contradictions and controversies and that the witnesses would now dare to appear.