You know the US elections is drawing nearer when you see celebrities using their social media platforms to encourage Americans to vote, hey even Harry and Meghan are on it too – wow it must be so important for Americans to exercise their civil rights – their right to vote!
I would like to take this opportunity, seeing as the most powerful democratic nation on earth is obviously so passionate about the right to vote – to draw much needed attention to the Western half of Papua New Guinea.
In the early 1960’s, The Dutch (West Papua’s then coloniser) begun preparing the West Papuans for Independence. However due to threats of Invasion from Indonesia’s Suharto, the West (not interested in backing the Dutch against Indonesia) sacrificed the West Papuan people’s freedom for the sake of stability. The UN backed by the USA laid a plan in place that would seem like it would guarantee the Papuans political and human rights specifically the right to self determination – but the outcome was already decided.
The 1969 “Act of Free choice” was the catalyst for this grave miscarriage of justice – The West Papuans did not get to exercise their right to self determination.
There was no referendum in 1969. No right to vote.
Only 1026 Papuans out of 800, 000 people were chosen to speak at various assemblies under an Indonesian system called ‘musjawarah- where those chosen to speak on behalf of all Papuans delivered almost identical speeches in favour of Indonesian rule – This was recognised by the U.N. then and still does today.
Fast forward to 2000, A Papuan congress passed a resolution rejecting the 1969 Act of Free Choice in the capital Jayapura. Since then – Indonesia’s security clampdown on dissenting Papuans has only worsened.
So now to the present 2020. As the US prepares to exercise their very important rights to vote – please spare a thought for the West Papuan people, a people who are constantly made to feel inferior for the sake of world stability.
A people whose cries Hugh Lunn tried to raise with then head of the U.N. team supervising the so called Act of Free Choice – Ortiz Sanz – only to be brushed aside – cries that still rings true today.
SENDIRI! SENDIRI! – ALONE! ALONE!
LetWestPapuaVote #FreeWestPapua #OneManOneVote
UN Human Rights Council United Nations Presiden Joko Widodo Scott Morrison (ScoMo) Donald J. Trump Ivanka Trump