The Australia West Papua Association thanks the Inner West Council in Sydney for supporting the raising of the West Papuan National Flag on its Leichhardt Town Hall today, 1st December to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first official flying of the Morning Star flag on the 1st December in 1961, in the then Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea.
The Dutch were finally about to give the West Papuan people their freedom. However, it is one of the great tragedies that at their moment of freedom it was cruelly crushed and West Papua was basically handed over to Indonesia in 1963.
Sixty years later, the West Papuan people are still struggling for their right to self-determination. Supporters around the world on the 1st December raise the West Papuan flag in a show of support for the West Papuan people.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, "hopefully this year the security forces will allow the West Papuan people to celebrate this important day of significance to the Papuan people without interference."
Local media (Jubi 30 Nov.) has reported that the TPNPB-OPM ordered 34 Regional Defence Commands to conduct a military ceremony to commemorate the 1st of December including in Intan Jaya where there are regular clashed between the security forces and the OPM.
A spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee or Central KNPB, also appealed to Papuan people to celebrate the 1st December at home, to have discussions within the family and tell children about their history and what 1stDecember means to Papuans.
In Manokwari, West Papua Province, the Head of the KNPB for the Mnukwar region, Alexander Nekenem appealed to the people both Papuan and non-Papuans not to be provoked by various provocateurs or third parties who want to create a tense situation for their own benefit,
Joe Collins said, "we have seen recent statements from officials saying that the have the welfare of the Papuan people at heart. A good start would be to order the security forces to remain in their barracks and allow the West Papuan people to celebrate their National Flag Day peacefully."