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West Papuan national flag raised at Leichhardt Town Hall on December 1

Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) Statement - December 1, 2023

On the 1st December we commemorate West Papuan National Flag day or National day.

The 1st December this year is the 62nd anniversary of the first official flying of the Morning Star flag 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 by the international community. A betrayal of a whole people.

Sixty-two years later, the West Papuan people are still struggling for their right to self-determination.

And the human rights abuses continue today.

The situation in the territory continues to deteriorate. There are ongoing clashes between the security forces and the OPM (the Free Papua Movement), with casualties on both sides.

West Papuans continue to be arrested, intimated and killed by the security forces. A number of military operations have taken place in the past few years. During these operations house are burned, livestock killed, leaving local people traumatised and in fear for the lives.

These military operations have created large numbers of internal refugees. Human rights monitor, in its October update on internal refugees stated there are more than 70,000 IDPs in West Papua who remain without government aid, partially because of the ongoing conflict between the TPNPB and the security forces in these areas make it difficult.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "every 1st December, supporters around the world raise the Morning Star flag in a show of support for the West Papuan people. Civil society groups in West Papua traditionally commemorate the 1st December by holding rallies and flag raising events".

However, Jubi (Nov. 30th) reported that 450 security personnel are prepared in Jayawijaya to monitor the situation on the 1st December. A google translate (extract below)

Jayawijaya Police Chief, AKBP Heri Wibowo, had said that in anticipation of the 1 December 2023 social security calendar, the security forces alerted 189 personnel from the National Police, 120 TNI personnel, with a total of 450 personnel assisted by a number of people from Senkom and also regional government agencies, namely Damkar and Satpol PP.

"Later we will carry out increased routine activities, carrying out large-scale patrols to anticipate undesirable things," said Jayawijaya Police Chief. (https://jubi.id/lapago/2023/450-personel-keamanan-disiapkan-di-jayawijaya/)

ACollins said "In the past the security forces have cracked down on peaceful rallies. Hopefully, this year on the 1st December, the West Papuan People will be allowed to celebrate their national day without interference from the authorities".

Sydney West Papuan flag raising

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 on the 1st December at 9. 30am. This is the 17 year in a row that the flag has been raised on the Leichhardt Town Hall.

It's the he 62nd anniversary of the first official flying of the Morning Star flag in 1961.

The event is an opportunity to show our West Papuan friends that they have supporters in Sydney and around the world who care about the human rights situation in their territory.

It's a family friendly event and remember to keep covid safe. 9.15 for 9.30. Leichhardt Town Hall Corner of Marion and, Norton St.

Photos of the flag raising are available here: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/11/photos-of-1st-december-flag-raising-at.html

Contact: seosamh20@hotmail.com

Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/11/awpa-statement-1st-december-west-papuan.htm