PNG Opposition Leader says that West Papuan calls for self-determination process cannot be ignored

December 16, 2016

Papua New Guinea’s Opposition Leader, Hon. Don Polye (From Radio New Zealand, supplied)

Information and the photo in this post come from an original article published by Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s Opposition Leader Hon. Don Polye says that West Papuan calls for a legitimate self-determination process could no longer be ignored and that his country and Australia need to play a greater role in responding to human rights abuses in neighbouring West Papua.

Speaking just after thousands of West Papuan people rallied on Human Rights Day to call for a referendum on self-determination, Hon. Polye said the example of France in granting a self-determination referendum to its Melanesian territory of New Caledonia shows that the Papua question could be solved peacefully.

He said the problem had a set of direct consequences for PNG, yet its government continued to turn a blind eye to what was going on.

Radio New Zealand reports Hon. Polye as saying that basic human rights of West Papuans continue to be repressed by Indonesian authorities and security forces, requiring a more “honest” approach from neighbouring countries. A need for meaningful dialogue at both international and bilateral level, he said, also required leadership from the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Mr Polye said recent remarks by Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop playing down reports of rights abuses in Papua were unfortunate.

“She said that there is not enough justification or evidence to show if there is any human rights abuse along the border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. I believe that Australia should assess the situation more closely, in partnership with Indonesia as well as with Papua New Guinea, to be honest about it and to look at the issues more carefully,” he said.

Growing momentum of support for West Papua from Papua New Guinea

Hon. Don Polye’s supportive statement comes amid a growing surge of support and Melanesian solidarity from across Papua New Guinea for their wantoks on the other side of the border in occupied West Papua.
On 1st December, the Free West Papua music collective Rize of the Morning Star released a breathtaking new music video, “Sorong Samarai” by PNG artists Airileke and Twintribe. The song calls for PNG and West Papua solidarity as ONE PEOPLE, ONE SOUL with ONE DESTINY. It’s having a profound impact across Papua New Guinea and heralds the strong, growing and unstoppable momentum from the young generation of Papua New Guinea and West Papua to actively campaign for a Free West Papua.

Watch the spectacular video below!