Young People in Fiji hosts vigil in remembrance of 53 years of West Papua struggle

Young People in Fiji hosts vigil in remembrance of 53 years of West Papua struggle

24th June 2015

MEDIA RELEASE

After months of public protests for West Papua on the streets of Suva, the Fiji Youngsolwarans We Bleed Black and Red campaign hosted a quiet time of reflection with a candlelight vigil.
The Hope and Peace vigil was in remembrance of the 53 years struggle in West Papua that continues today. Poetry readings, music and art by young people accompanied the quiet reflection and prayers for hope and peace.

CSO representative, Lili Vuiyasawa from the Fiji Women�s Crisis Center (FWCC) highlighted the issue of human rights abuses that continues in West Papua, and the need for people in the Pacific, especially our leaders to remember that over 500,000 West Papuans have already lost their lives in this struggle.

�We remember those that have been killed, and those that continue to face abuse, rape, discrimination, and violence perpetuated by the Indonesian government. We remember our Melanesian brothers and sisters in our prayers today as they fight for dignity and freedom,� said Vuiyasawa.

Fiji Youngsolwarans member, Luisa Tuilau described the vigil as a quiet time of reflection to remember those that have passed but whom are not forgotten, and to seek God�s blessing for those that continue to speak out against Indonesia�s oppression. At the forefront of the struggle today are young people who risk their lives.

�The Hope and Peace vigil prays for our Melanesian leaders for wisdom to lead on moral conscious and bring West Papua into the Melanesian family,� said Tuilau.

Rev. James Bhagwan of the Methodist Church in Fiji, reflecting on the vigil said, "Often we forget the power of prayer. Prayer can be a powerful collective action directing soul force in a realm beyond our physical senses which many believe can have a positive effect. Prayer is also a expression of solidarity and the vigil today led by our young people with their spoken and silent expressions of solidarity also serve to remind our West Papuan sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers that they are not alone ...we are with them.�

Over 300 people attended the vigil at the Holy Trinity Anglican church in Suva.

Ends//

For more information please contact:
Rev. James Bhagwan on: 331 1477
Lili Vuiyasawa on: 331 3300
Lice Cokanasiga on 331 6722

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