Guyana MPs Support West Papua

West Papua: Guyana MPs Support West Papua�s Right Of Self-Determination

Today, 1st December is the 51st anniversary of West Papua�s freedom. It is the day of recognition of West Papua�s identity, symbols and right to be a separate and independent sovereign state.

Our dream of being a free and independent people was crushed by the Indonesia invasion and military occupation in 1963. For 50 years the world has stood by while we defend ourselves with bows and arrows against modern bombers and fighter jets supplied by the western powers. 500,000 Papuans have died. Amnesty International has already confirmed 100,000 deaths.
GuyanaWestPapuaGuyanese MPs expressing solidarity for West Papua at Parliament building. In the background is the historic Stabroek Market.
Today is a new day of hope for us. Members of the Guyana Parliament representing 6 parties, have made a series of passionate and principled statements in support of West Papua�s right of self-determination and condemning Indonesia�s occupation of West Papua. Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, stated that the MPs were proud to stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua. Drawing on Guyana�s own experiences of resistance against slavery, indentureship and colonialism, Dr Roopnaraine said, �History tells us that oppressed people will not remain oppressed forever���.We tell the oppressors of the people of West Papua that we know oppression is going to be defeated as long as the fire of freedom burns brightly in the hearts and minds of the oppressed.�

Ms Deborah Bakker, the Deputy Speaker, and a representative of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) representing 5 parties acknowledged that large sections of the population of West Papua remain committed to an independent West Papua. She confirmed that APNU would continue to support all legitimate and peaceful activities of the free West Papua Campaign. Mr Nagamootoo of the Alliance for Change expressed outrage that Indonesia should seek to stamp its authority on West Papua as a coloniser.

In a written statement, Rashleigh Jackson, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Guyana and a former President of the United Nations Security Council said: �It is time to bring to a successful end the persistent and courageous struggle of the people [of West Papua] for freedom and independence. They deserve international support from the UN and other international organisations, from global civil society, from governments and from non-state actors, and indeed from individuals the world over. The campaign to free West Papua is eminently worthy of support which I give wholeheartedly.�
It was with sorrow that we learned of the arrest of Victor Yeimo, Alius Asso and Usman Yogobi, during a peaceful march yesterday. The MPs demanded their immediate release as well as the release of Filip Karma and other political prisoners.

Despite being in prison, Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni sent a message thanking the Guyana MPs for their support: �1. On behalf of West Papuan people, we want to thank to goverment of Guyana welcoming West Papua independence leader to Guyana. 2. We want to thank you all cross Party Parliamentarian support West Papua right for independence 3. We also thank you for people's of Guyana supporting our struggles for independence. 4. We support International Parlementarian for West Papua in Guyana. 5. Please be our voice.�

As I leave Guyana to continue my journey seeking support around the world, I would like to again say thank you to the people of Guyana, the Government and the MPs from the different parties who gave me a warm welcome with open hearts. The Guyanese people have a proud history of standing up against colonialism. I go with a good spirit and I will tell my people that we are no longer alone in our fight for justice and freedom against colonialism.

Benny Wenda
West Papua Independence Leader
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