West Papuan tribal leader, international freedom lobbyist and performing artist, Benny Wenda is in PNG this week. You can find out more about him on his website here. At one point this man was facing a 25 year sentence for freedom activist work in 2002, but he avoided all this by escaping into PNG and then going on further to the UK where he was granted political asylum.
In 2011, the Indonesian Government issued an Interpol red notice seeking Mr Wenda’s arrest and extradition, however, after a campaign led by Fair Trials International, in 2012 Interpol removed the red notice after an investigation concluded that the allegations against Mr Wenda were “politically motivated and an abuse of the system” by the Indonesian Government.
Mr. Wenda has been been busy over the last couple of months on his first official world ‘Freedom Tour and now that he’s in PNG he is obviously no stranger to our own Hon. Governor Powes Parkop who is perhaps the only PNG politician that has seriously raised and continues to raise the issue of West Papua. So tomorrow’s Free West Papua Concert, proudly supported by Governor Parkop himself should reveal some interesting developments in this fight for freedom. But realistically I think Governor Parkop said it well that at this point in time, everyone in this region can at least ask Indonesia for a ‘Just Solution’ to the obvious plight of our Melanesian cousins.
See you tomorrow and thanks Airi Ingram for organizing the sounds for tomorrow.