Benny Wenda message for 1st December

December 1, 2019

The following message has been written by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda, the Chairman of The United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

To the people of West Papua and the world.

1st December 2019 marks the 58th Anniversary of the Day of Recognition of the nation of West Papua. Our national flag, national anthem and all national symbols all came into being on this day on 1st December 1961. This is the day the people of West Papua will never forget. It was the beginning of our long road to freedom and as we stood under our one flag, the Morning Star, together we were united in our desire for freedom.

I say to the people of West Papua, your desire for freedom is still alive, whatever you are facing, whether racism, discrimination, torture or shootings, freedom is your future. We have been crying for the last 58 years but today the world is finding out. One day there will be no more crying, no more tears. I therefore urge everyone to stay strong. Let us unite behind our shared determination to end the discrimination and racism we are facing and our shared determination to be independent and free. I say to the people in prison, in exile, in refugee camps and all elders in the jungle fighting for justice and freedom; you are not alone. Your desire for justice and freedom from now on is being carried by the world. Please keep your spirit alive. Our freedom is coming, let us unite. There is no more division. Let us remember that this is the day which marks the first time we as a people and a nation were internationally recognised and united under one flag. The colonial powers came to divide and rule but now it is the time for us to unite and stand together. As our national motto proclaims, we are One People, One Soul. Let us unite to reclaim our freedom.

For the international community, including the people of Indonesia; during this extremely difficult year for West Papua, we need your friendship and solidarity more than ever. Many West Papuan people have been killed in 2019 and many others have been and continue to be arrested, tortured and jailed for simply trying to raise their voice for freedom. We take hope in knowing that the night is always darkest before the Morning Star rises. Please, use your voice and your privilege to help spread the message that the people of West Papua desperately need support. We want you to be the voice of the voiceless. We are not only fighting against the racist, colonial occupation of our country, but also against their destruction of our sacred environment. West Papua contains the second biggest rainforest in the world. Our country is the lungs of the planet but now the Indonesian government is destroying our lands through logging, palm oil and mining. We West Papuans ask everyone to join our struggle to liberate West Papua and save this planet from climate change.

We fully appreciate all the love and solidarity from the international community. With your help, we are sure that one day West Papua will finally be free.

May God bless West Papua.

Benny Wenda
Chairman of The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).