ULMWP Leaders Statement: Parliament House, Canberra, Monday 9 September 2019
We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people on whose land we meet today.
We want to thank the many thousands of Australians who have shown their heart and support for the West Papuan people by signing on to this petition.
In recent weeks the Australian people have recognised the serious escalation in human rights abuses in West Papua.
1. There are major human rights abuses happening now across our country
People have been arrested for displaying the Morning Star flag.
Student dorms have been raided and students have been arrested.
Peaceful protesters have been charged with treason and placed in isolation including…..
The internet has been blocked and independent journalists are not allowed access to the area.
There is a growing military presence across the region.
We thank the UN High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, for her statement recognising the escalating violence and human rights situation in West Papua.
2. The Australian government has responsibilities towards the West Papuan people
Because of the dramatic escalation in human rights abuses in recent weeks we call on the Australian government to uphold the resolution that was passed by Australia and other countries at the Pacific Island Leaders Forum in Tuvalu. The resolution asks that Australia and other Pacific Island countries strongly encourage Indonesia to allow access by the UN High Rights Commissioner into West Papua.
This commitment made by Australia at the recent Pacific Islands Forum was recognised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during a door stop last week. We thank the Australian Prime Minister for his commitment on this issue.
3. The need for a free, independent referendum
The Pacific Islands Leaders Resolution also asked all parties to address the root causes of the conflict in West Papua by peaceful means. As West Papuans we have spent 57 years maintaining our struggle for self-determination. The 1969 referendum was a sham, only 1022 men were allowed to vote under threat to their families and their lives. We maintain our right to self-determination.
Across our country people are protesting the illegal occupation of West Papua and asking that a free, independent referendum be held to determine the future of our country. This is the reason for this petition.
We would like to thank the Australian people for their ongoing support of the people of West Papua.
We call on Australia as one of our closest neighbour to keep an eye on the actions of Indonesia. We ask Prime Minister Morrison to make sure that there are no more human right abuses on his watch.