FORGING A NEW ERA BETWEEN WEST PAPUA, AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA
JACOB RUMBIAK, DFAIT OFFICE, 23 JUNE 2014
On behalf of the Federal Republic of West Papua, especially our incarcerated President and Prime Minister, I wish to pay my deepest respect to the indigenous Kulin and Wurrundjeri people who are the owners of the land on which we assemble today.
I want to thank Councillor Amanda Stone, Professor Paul James, Ms Ellen and Dr Joe Toscano, Foreign diplomats, The West Papua Rent Collective, the West Papua community, and all our friends for coming today. It means so much for us to know that you recognize us as equals, and acknowledge out right to independence and self-determination.
Ladies and Gentlement, the West Papuan people chose to have a Federal Republic, and elected a Presitn, Prime Minister, and Cabinet during the 3rd Peoples’ Congress in October 2011. We claim that 2.5 million West Papuans voted for it. He can we say that? Firstly, because five-thousand senior tribal leaders, church leaders, and political leaders pre-registered for the 3rd Congress, in full knowledge of what Indonesia would do after the declaration. Secondly, because every Papuan has a tribal identity, and Forkorus Yaboisembut, who was elected President of the Federal Republic, has been Chair of the Dewan Adat Papua (Tribal Council) since 2005. What is the Dewan Adat? It is the peak representation of the seven tribal states, which, in turn, talk n the name of our three-hundred tribes.
Ladies and Gentlemen, according to State Administration theory, when a political society has established the five pre-requisites of a nation state, they are equal with other nation-states, and should be treated like one. So although we seek recognition from UN member-states, we didn’t need their permission to establish ours. The United States didn’t have England’s permission when they declared independence in 1776. Nor did Indonesia have permission from The Netherlands when it declared independence in 1945.
What was required was the West Papuan people’s permission, which they delivered in October 2011. And that wasn’t easy. It took all their strength and courage to sit in congress for four says, surrounded by the Indonesian military machine, and declare a federal republic in full knowledge of how Indonesia would react.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this office, Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, is one department of the Federal Republic of West Papua, and works under the leadership of elected executives inside. It works according to the values and principles of SELF-DETERMINATION, SUSTAINABILITY, and GOOD GOVERNANCE, and its immediate job is to garner recognition from the UN member states.
Opening this office will be beneficial to the governments and peoples of Indonesia and Australia as well as West Papuans, because it is designed to work towards a future together, and to stop mis-understandings between the three nations. East Timor’s independence has shown us what is possible. Indonesia benefitted economically and politically from that, and so did Australia.
Before finishing, I would like to thank Ms Ellen Hose who I call my Melanesian mum from Torres Strait,
Our indigenous friends and supporters, especially Mr Gary Foley,
Professor Paul James from the Globalism Institute
Mr Thay Horn Yim, Senior Migration Agent from Cambodia
Dr Joe Toscano and Mr John Lawrence from the West Papua Rent Collective
Dr Cammi from the Papua Project at Sydney University
Mr Kevin Bracken from the Maritime Union
Mr Ian Wallbridge from Anglicare
Sister Rita from the Sisters of Mercy in Ballarat
Ms Julie Bain from the Melbourne Dental Hospital
Izzy Brown and the Freedom Flotiall
Ruben Rishi for all his work, including our brand new website
Captain Cees Faas from the Royal Netherlands Airforce of New Guinea in 1962
I especially want to congratulate my DFAIT officers—Ronny, Amos, Melkiius, Piter, Usak, and Erwin—who are working so hard to achieve our objectives.
I believe that what we plant today will bear fruit tomorrow.
Jacob Rumbiak, Speech, Opening, DFAIT Office, 23 June 2014