“The Bintang Kejora flag raising ceremony on Dec. 1 is forbidden and those involved will be dealt with seriously,” said National Police chief Gen. Sutarman who is visiting West Papua this week
Statements from the national police chief raise great concern for West Papuans that might taking part in flag raising ceremonies on the 1 December, West Papua’s national flag day
Joe Collins of AWPA said.
The recent crackdown on the KNPB rallies over the last few days indicate the security forces are taking a hard line approach to peaceful demonstrations and the situation is not helped by statements from The National Police chief Gen. Sutarman who said
“that the police would crack down on groups that intended to separate from the unitary state of Indonesia, including by strictly enforcing a ban on flying the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) separatist flag, which West Papuans often try to raise in a special ceremony each Dec. 1″ and he would take firm action against protesters who resort to “anarchy”, including those involved in a West Papua National Committee (KNPB) rally in Jayapura recently, which turned violent and left nine people injured”
During the crackdown on the rallies on Tuesday the police claim they seized a number of weapons including firearms, Molotov cocktails and bows and arrows. The KNPB claimed they weapons had been planted to frame members of the KNPB.
A KNPB press release also said Indonesian police had shot dead a number of members of KNPB. 10 people were injured and up to 28 arrested in the Jayapura rally on Tuesday and Journalists who were covering the rallies were intimidated by the police.
At a rally in Timika it was reported that up to 30 people were arrested by the police and military.
Joe Collins said although not yet confirmed it appears our foreign minister is going to Jakarta in a bid to soothe tensions over the damage caused by the spying scandal.
Joe Collins said,
“now is the time for the foreign minister to raise concerns about the grave human rights abuses that are occurring in West Papua. If Australia continues to ignore the issue we are going to see a lot more damaging incidents in our relationship with Jakarta and it will be over West Papua”.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
3 flag raisings’ in Sydney for West Papuan National Flag Day.
1) Friday 29 Nov.
Leichhardt council . A bit late notice but Leichhardt will raise the flag on its
Balmain Town Hall this year at 11 am Friday morning 29 Nov.
370 Darling Street
Balmain, NSW 2041
Monday the 2nd of December
2) Marrickville Council will raise it on Monday the 2nd of December at its Petersham Town Hall,
Meet at 10.00am at Petersham town hall.
The mayor would like to attend and only time to suite is the 2nd Dec.
Petersham Town Hall, 107 Crystal Street Petersham
3) 1st December at Indonesian consulate
236 Maroubra Rd, Maroubra NSW 2035
Anthony Craig of the DLP has called a rally for the 1st outside the Indonesian consulate on the Sunday. The 1st December is an important day in West Papuan history and all are welcome to the rally.
AWPA representative will attend
West Papuan National Flag Day. 1st December
The 1st of December is West Papuan National Day or National flag day. Fifty two years ago on the December 1, 1961, in the then Dutch colony of West New Guinea, the West Papuan national flag, called the Morning Star, was flown for the first time officially beside the Dutch Tricolor. At that ceremony, as the Morning Star flag was raised, Dutch and Papuan military and police saluted and accompanied by a marine band playing the national anthem, “My Land Papua”.
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.
After six years administration of the province, Indonesia held a sham referendum called the Act of Free Choice under UN supervision. Only 1,022 handpicked voters – one representative for approximately every 700 West Papuans – were allowed vote, and under coercion, voted to remain with Indonesia. The West Papuan people call this the ‘act of no choice’
Flag raising is one of the ways the West Papuan people protest the injustice the suffer under Indonesian control.The Morning Star flag is a symbol of Papuan identity and seen as treasonous by the Indonesian state.
Filep Karma is the best-known political prisoner in West Papua and is serving a sentence of 15 years for simply raising the West Papuan flag.
Jo Collins and Anne Noonan, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)