A West Papua Book Presentation to Powes Parkop

Last year photojournalist Ben Bohane was in PNG for the Pacific Institute of Public Policy’s Melanesia Face to Face forum. Among several Melanesian issues on the agenda at this forum, the West Papua issue was to be raised and it was agreed that Governor Powes Parkop would be the most appropriate person to speak on this issue in PNG due to his long history with the issue and his position as a member of Parliament.

Ben had also wanted to present to Parkop a book he had been involved in producing titled ‘West Papua, Follow the Morning Star’. Unfortunately due to clashing commitments on the night of the forum, Governor Parkop was unable to attend. But last week Governor Parkop finally advised that he would now be free to look at that book presentation and so we conducted a little media do at the NCDC Nature Park yesterday.

The book, ‘West Papua, Follow the Morning Star’, features photographs and stories collected by Ben and fellow renowned photojournalists Liz Thompson, with an historical and political overview by historian and Pacific art’s specialist Jim Elmslie. All three had spent several years travelling throughout West Papua, so this book presents their unique perspective on this beautiful but troubled part of our PNG island.

I made it quite clear yesterday that I was not presenting the book to Parkop as representative of any organisation but as as a representative of Ben Bohane who for 25 years has covered a wide canvas of issues in our region. Ben, like everyone involved in the book is passionate about the issue of West Papua and presenting it to Parkop was a show of appreciation of Parkops comitmment to the issue at the political level and our hope that West Papua can soon be a part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group so that (as a Parkop phrased it) a ‘Just Solution’ could be found for the people of West Papua.

‘West Papua: Follow the Morning Star’ can be purchased online from our friends at Wantok Music. You can read a review of the book by well known Asia Pacific journalist David Robie here.

6 thoughts on “A West Papua Book Presentation to Powes Parkop

  1. That was a wonderful story. Some of us around the country (PNG) do feel sorry for our fellow Melanesian on the other side and are praying that everything settles down. I would like to read this book so am getting one. Moreover, here at the Melanesian Institute (Goroka), we are getting a book together and it is all about West Papuan’s struggle to independence. The author Tebey Neles (a west papuan), has put together a study he has done in 3 years. The publication is fresh and will be on Melanesian Institute’s website (www.mi.org.pg) and on the shelves at the institute.

    Keep praying for the West Papuans.

  2. Yes, i proud be when read your comment. thanks our brothes and sister in melanesia. we hope that you can do for us. We saffering long time when indonesia govertment occupation in our land West Papua.

  3. We hope powes is our salvation engel’s from heaven. why? He was strugle for us seriously. We pray for you that you become best leader in Papua new Guinea naw. God bless you my leader. I am from Wamena, West Papua.

  4. Awesome, looks like a great book.
    I hope Powes Parkop can keep pushing the West Papua issue at the political level. PNG is the ‘big brother’ in Melanesia and it is such a shame that at the political level we have not been able to address the struggles of our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua. They are right next door to us but our politicians turn a blind eye and pretend to be deaf to their cries.
    Yet when Julia Gillard and Australia say ‘Closest Neighbour, we need your help to process people who want to come to Australia but we don’t want to process them on Australian soil, can we send them to Manus?’-Peter O’Neill says sure thing-no debate no discussions. Bloody ridiculous!

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