West Papuans Reject Australian Foreign Minister’s Claim that their Independence Movement is ‘a cruel deceit’ by ‘self-indulgent people’

An image from Australia's own ABC
An image from Australia’s own ABC

West Papuan Independence advocate, Ronny Kareni, who is based in Melbourne, rejects the Australian Foreign Minister’s comments in Senate Estimates last week, that the people who ‘fly the Papuan flags’ and who ‘talk the language of independence’ are part of a ‘cruel deceit’ by ‘selfindulgent people’ who are safe in their ‘own democracy’.

“For the last 50 years, the struggle has been driven by the Papuans themselves putting their life on the frontline in West Papua and abroad, campaigning against the entrenched brutality by Indonesian security forces” says Ronny Kareni.

“We build solidarity with groups in Australia and abroad but this movement was initiated and is primarily driven by West Papuans in West Papua – who seek an end to the human rights abuses and recognition of their political rights to self-determination.”

West Papua was illegally occupied in December1961 as part of the Indonesian military operation ‘Trikora”, which aimed to seize the former Dutch colony ‘Netherlands New Guinea’. West Papua’s independence was denied by the UN. The UN subsequently granted Indonesia administration of the
the region and Indonesia ultimately gained full control in 1969, after the referendum named ‘Act of free choice’. Despite this being widely criticised as a shame vote that contravenes international law.

“I was born into this conflict, I’m the 3rd generation to face this ongoing struggle for our rights for freedom.” says Kareni
“My parents were forced to flee and live in exile in Papua New Guinea in the early 80s as part of the large exodus of West Papuans. It was and remains very dangerous for West Papuans to peacefully campaign for their human rights and political rights- even raising our Morning Star flag can mean between 3-15 years in prison.”

It is estimated that 500,000 Papuans have been killed since Indonesia took control. Yale University and Sydney University researches have questioned whether this constitutes genocide.

“The West Papuan’s struggle for freedom is not as Bob Carr suggests ‘a fun little game for the greens party’. It is the West Papuans living in Papua and in exile who are carrying the aspirations for our own people. We ask the international community, Indigenous people in Australia and the
Australian politicians to hear the voice of the West Papuans and support us in our struggle.”

“I find the Foreign Minister’s comments are discriminatory to the West Papuans, as he implies that it is simply ‘self-indulgent’ people in ‘safe democracies’ that are leading this struggle for independence.

This is disrespectful of our fight for freedom for the last 50 years. Everyday West Papuans risk their lives in Papua and abroad. Even those of us involved in the independence movement abroad are monitored by the Indonesian intelligence.”

“We call on the people of Australia to put pressure on the Australian government to review it’s funding and training of Detachment 88 who are alleged to have committed widespread violence and arbitrary detention of Papuans who peacefully express their political views for independence.”

“Providing access to independent foreign media and a UN fact finding mission is vital so that the international community really knows what’s happening in West Papua.”

For Media Interviews please contact: Ronny Kareni West Papuan Independence advocate at Rize of the Morning Star campaign 0401222177

5 thoughts on “West Papuans Reject Australian Foreign Minister’s Claim that their Independence Movement is ‘a cruel deceit’ by ‘self-indulgent people’

  1. My father and his friends came to PNG as the wave of new leaders in the fields of medicine and telecommunication, but on account of the occupation in 1963 they were forced to flee and take up refuge in PNG. Asylum in a land next door to home. These men became brothers by cause and lived to see their home free. Merdeka was their surname, Merdeka was their cause for 50years Merdeka is the voice of

  2. My father and his friends came to PNG as the wave of new leaders in the fields of medicine and telecommunication, but on account of the occupation in 1963 they were forced to flee and take up refuge in PNG. Asylum in a land next door to home. These men became brothers by cause and lived to see their home free. Merdeka was their surname, Merdeka was their cause for 50 years. Merdeka is the voice of them who died carrying their flag in a foreign land. As the Israelites did in Babylon they lived awaiting the freedom that belonged to them. So we too await Merdeka. Papua Merdeka. Hai Tanahku Papua.

  3. Bob Carr is maybe thinking along the lines in which Australian Aborigines or American Indians were taken over and made silence by the migration of the English and other migrants into their continents. Of cause the recipe used by Indonesia is not new, it is in the foundation of Australia and America, it is not a surprise that Australia and USA are very quite about the situation in West Papua; firstly because they are benefiting from West Papua through the resources or in labour expertise in resource extraction; secondly how can they accuse Indonesia when the situations of their Indigenous people are still in a mess after all these decades of occupation (even though these country s are very progressive and rich). This is very sad because they always preach that notion of the ‘big brother, freedom for all, etc’ and take up arms any where around the world where they see fit.

    West Papua is in the Pacific and if Australia still see’s itself as the big brother in the South Pacific why doesn’t it make a stand for West Papua. The Struggle in West Papua has been going since 1963, how can a Foreign Minister dismiss or refuse to recognise the stand and have human rights violations to take place in their front door step in this day and age.

    Iraq is too far, Afghanistan is too far, West Papua is a stone throw away, it does not make sense.

    Why only East Timor, is it because of the oil which the Australian Government think they have the right to……again it comes back to resources.

    Bob Car should open his eyes, if he see’s himself as a leader then this is one of his challenges, trust me the struggle will NEVER disappear and Bob Carr cant push it aside with pathetic and simplistic comments.Simply ‘disrespectful’ as per Ronny Kareni’s statement in reply.

    The ‘cruel deceit’ is the millions of dollars Australia props up the Indonesian Army with !

    The thing is that one of these days (when it happens again) we Melanesians will fight along side the Australians (and USA) for the freedom of our southern region as we have done in the past. Respect and recognition please.

  4. COMPROMISE CONFORM CORRUPTION

    Ha! Manu the pull of the illusive dollar or sometimes being a nice brown boy is hard to resist because everybody is on the bandwagon on this wide road that leads to devolution, devaluation, and self debasement. Very soon you will find the very Melanesian-ness that your great Uncle Bernard (who refused knighthood from the Queen), fought and argued about our very identity as a separate people, helped framed our Constitution with people like Dr Yas Guy who believed in us, will be debased by the one-eyed reporting by our social media.

    Am I correct too say that it is all a bit late for this site, that you have sold our soul, and what our ancestors stood, and stand for? Perhaps I am being too drastic in judgment? Perhaps.

    Any man can believe he has freedom, not he may not realize, he is enchained by the manacles of other design, while a man like Mandela, though in prison, was indeed a free man, for his spirit was not compromised nor conquered. If he had thrown the towel in for 30 pieces of silver, where would South Africa be now?

    It is important to provide a open medium of expression and exchange of ideas. Conflicting designs on the future of this nation, designs to subjugate us for our resources, have a way of luring the independence of the media with dollars, invitations to dinner parties and other lollies designed to compromise and corrupt the very freedom of the press. The responsibility of those like Immanuel who operate these sites become critical at the end of the day for our survival as a people.

    I welcome comments from Manu and others.

    1. Hi Melanie, email me your posts so I can upload them as a unique post (enarokobi@gmail.com).

      If you post in the comments section on several non relevant posts then your article may come across as spam.

      But to the point of your article, you are correct allot of the media including myself get invited to various conferences and media events, the hope I guess is that they get good coverage. For myself personally I haven’t had the time to write and critique as much as I would like to. Hopefully my day job will improve soon to free me up to get back into it in a more meaningful way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s