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NCD Governor Powes Parkop is leading NGOs, PNG Council of Churches, students, disciplinary forces and others in the city to petition the resident office of the United Nations Organisation today at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
Speaking during a media conference flanked by Noel Anjo of People’s Power Movement, Jeffrey Bomanak who is the chairman of Free West Papua Movement or (OPM), Rex Buka of NCDC Youth Desk and James Yalya of NCD governor’s regional office, Parkop called on everyone in the city to declare this Friday as ‘stop work’ and show their solidarity to the fellow Melanesians suffering from the autocratic rule of Indonesia.
He also called on the business houses and the departmental heads to release their staff to express themselves freely to support this cause.
He said many local MPs have thrown their support against the gross abuse of human rights and genocide in the region during their conversations but have not spoken out against it due to the government’s foreign policy on West Papua.
Parkop said fellow governors of Oro, Eastern Highlands and East Sepik were absent today at the conference due to the parliament session, but added that he was assured of their attendance on Friday for the rally.
The event is being planned in light of the deepening violence over prolonged protest for self-determination has tightened its grip over Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia where dozens have been killed while others have been injured.
He said in light of the tense situation in the region, the petition they would demand the UNO-via its country office- to immediately implement the recent Pacific Island Forum’s resolution on West Papua for Indonesia to invite United Nation’s Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team for a trip and investigate the allegations of gross abuse on human rights and genocide, and hold those responsible accountable.
Parkop said more than 5000 signatories have been collected already.
Parkop, a vocal human rights lawyer before becoming politician, said everyone in the country and across the Pacific Region should further support the right side of history to fix controversies sparked off by 1969 act of free choice vote which only allowed 1026 indigenous West Papuans out of over 1 million population to decide the fate of their political freedom.
He also called on Indonesian President Jokowi and his people to understand that if he continues to use suppression, oppression and terror, they will continue to lose respect of not just the West Papuans but PNG and the Pacific as a whole.
“We cannot allow fear to dictate our policies.
“This is for both political and human rights issues.
“We will continue to suffer this problem for the next fifty years from now.
“It is better we take a bold stance on the political and human rights issue now to solve this problem,” he told reporters.
He continued that the strategies used thus far by Indonesia has only exacerbated the problem and not contributing to the long-term solution.
“No matter what Indonesians does or says, it is not about developments or it is not about services, but it is about the dignity of our people and their freedom. They have never been treated equally like human beings,” he said.
In 1969, he said, their population was close to a million whilst PNG had 1.5 million, adding after 57 years, the latter has close to 10 million people whilst West Papua has less than 2 million.
He cited that they were systematically killed and denied socio-economic progress, saying there is no better time in history than now. Sharing similar sentiments, Anjo said if the government maintains its current foreign policy on West Papua, he is planning to tour the whole of PNG to increase awareness on West Papua issues to garner support which can force the government to change its policy.
Bomanak said PNG’s move to shift its foreign policy on West Papua will influence Indonesia to consider his people’s plight than now.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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