Don’t kid yourself Papua New Guinea, you do not live in a free country. I’ve seen the Japanese Prime Minister arrive at our airport but no security like this was ever placed around the airport.
So there we stood in the rain as the Cannon was fired to welcome Jokowi to Port Moresby for the second time this year.
So where are all the protesters? Where are all the activitists? Why am I myself even scared to shout out ‘Papua Merdeka’ as I stand here in the rain. The simple truth is we are not free, even in our own country which enshrines the freedom of speech in our own Constitution. We have in effect self censored ourselves.
Our only hope now may finally be in our on Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill who in March finally spoke out and laid bare 3 key points:
1. That Indonesia fulfill President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promise, to reduce troops stationed in West Papua.
2. Allow more Autonomy for the people of West Papua.
3. And that the PNG Government is very much aware of human rights abuses in West Papua.
Can and will these points be pressed upon again while Jokowi is here in PNG?
Standing here at the airport, watching the convoy drive off, I feel totally humiliated and embarrassed that the leader of a country that murders people is being welcomed like he somehow deserves our respect.
Come to think of it, why exactly is he here again in PNG?