West Papuan people continue to gather to give thanks for their petition being delivered to the UN

October 18, 2017

Yesterday 17th October, over 1,500 people gathered outside the office of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in Wamena, West Papua to give thanks at the successful delivery of the West Papuan People’s Petition to the Untied Nations. The West Papuan People’s Petition was signed by over 1.8 million West Papuan people and contained the signatures of over 70% of indigenous West Papuans.

People also gathered to show their support and thanks to the 4 countries who stood up for their right to self-determination at the United Nations General Assembly last month.

Speeches by representative leaders

The gathering was attended by representatives from the 3 main organsiations that comprise the ULMWP, the Federated Republic of West Papua (FRWP), West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and West Papua National Parliament (PNWP). Engelbert Surabut from the FRWP said “The process taking place in the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council is the result of our unity within the country and the hard work of West Papuan diplomats internationally. Our achievements continue to increase and go ahead all the time.”

Sole Heselo from the WPNCL told the crowds: “Our struggle has not ended until the outcome of the UN General Assembly and the Debate at the UN Human Rights Council. We will continue to struggle until we get the recognition of independence. The key to gaining independence is in the hands of the people of West Papua. It is important that we build unity within the country of West Papua.”

Yonatan Mulait from the PNWP stated:  “We continue to facilitate the people of West Papua to determine their own right of self-determination through a referendum. Our struggle is now in the mechanisms of international fora. We will continue to stay consistent together with the people until we get independence.”

Former West Papuan political prisoner Dominikus Sorabut, the Chairperson of the West Papuan Traditional Council (DAP) then addressed the crowds. After a long speech, He concluded, “On behalf of the indigenous peoples of West Papua, I would like to thank the Government and the People of Vanuatu, the Government and the People of  Solomon Islands, the Government and the People of Tuvalu, and the Government and the People of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Also Vivat International, Franciscans International, ICP and Netzwerk Papua, MSG, PIF, ACP and the international community. I especially give thanks to the people of West Papua who ceaselessly provide material contributions and prayers for liberation. So this is my speech. May God bless every effort of our struggle. Waa waa waa“.

For more information on the delivery of the West Papuan People’s Petition’s delivery to the United Nations, please read ULMWP Spokesperson Benny Wenda’s statement here.