Frank Rai – National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has lashed out at the Australian government for being tight-lipped and ignorant on the West Papua issue in Indonesia.
In a rally in Port Moresby last Friday, the governor openly blasted Australia for being deliberately silent on the West Papua issue when innocent civilians were being terrorised by a neighbouring government (Indonesia) in the region.
"Shame on you Australia, shame on you for being silent when men, women and children are being (allegedly) slaughtered right under your nose in West Papua. Australia, being a developed country and tagged as the leader in the Pacific and Oceania region – what can you do for our Melanesian brothers and sisters who are being literally tortured, killed and suppressed right next door in West Papua," Governor Parkop told the rally.
During the launching of the Free West Papua Campaign 2020 at the Jack Pidik Park, the governor vehemently uttered that the Australian government should be ashamed for doing nothing for the region.
In the presence of a packed crowd, police and both local and international media, the governor bluntly told the Australian government of why it was so afraid of Indonesia and tight-lipped on human rights issues that were getting out of hand in the region.
"The human rights issue in West Papua concerns the government of Indonesia. The government is literally torturing, terrorising and suppressing innocent civilians who want to express their rights to freedom of choice.
"Simple practical example is that those in West Papua are banned from flying the 'Morning Star Flag,' host rallies or conduct public gatherings. A woman was caught by the police with 1500 small flags and automatically arrested and charged with treason two weeks ago," Governor Parkop said.
He said human rights abuse was happening right next door to Australia and Papua New Guinea, however both governments were 'afraid' even to raise concern at the United Nations or other appropriate international conventions.
Mr Parkop further urged the Australian government to vouch for the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission to visit West Papua and carry out preliminary investigations on the human rights abuse that was being reported daily.
He also challenged the Papua New Guinea government to take a bold stand on the West Papua issue, citing ancestral, traditional and customary connections between PNG and West Papua.