Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade
The Secretary General Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Private Mail Bag Suva FIJI
Dear Secretary General,
The Leaders Vision for the Pacific Islands Forum states that:
“We seek a Pacific region that is respected for the quality of its governance, the sustainable management of its resources, the full
observance of democratic values and for its defence and promotion of human rights.”
In view of these important objectives, the International Lawyers for West Papua would like to draw your attention to the continuing illegal situation in West Papua, the former Netherlands New Guinea.
Click here to download the full letter
The voice of West Papua’s struggle for freedom reached Gdynia in the Baltic region of northern Poland this weekend, as Globaltica Festival hosted the first ever performance of West Papuan music in the country.
Led by West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, the Lani Singers played a one hour set of freedom songs on Sunday evening. The Lani Singers were joined by Oridek Ap, son of the legendary West Papuan musician Arnold Ap who was executed in cold blood by the Indonesian military in 1985.
Photo 1: Oridek Ap (left) and Benny Wenda (right) performing
A crowd of nearly 1,000 people gathered at the ampitheatre stage on the beach for what was an emotionally charged performance, with some audience members moved to tears as Benny Wenda told them of the situation in West Papua and the terrible suffering of his people under Indonesian occupation. It is a situation that many Poles could relate to given the country’s history. There were jubilant scenes at the end as the crowd cheered until the group returned on stage to play an encore – a classic OPM song that had everyone clapping and shouting ‘Merdeka’ (freedom) at the end.
Photo 2: Benny Wenda speaking to the audience
Photo 3: Benny Wenda
Photo 4: Lani Singers
Photo 5: Billboards across the city advertising the festival
Victor Yeimo has received a sentence of one year in prison for ‘provocation’ from the Abepura district court. This includes the time he has already spent inside.
The public prosecutor plans to appeal to a higher court. If that fails, he will be out in October 2010. Yeimo was on trial for makar or rebellion for leading a peaceful demonstration on March 10, 2009.
More info as it comes to hand
Feingold Statement on Lifting the Ban on Indonesian Special Forces Unit
Thursday, July 22, 2010
“I am disappointed by Secretary Gates’s announcement today about planned US cooperation with the Indonesian Army Special Forces, Kopassus, which is premature.
“A strong and effective US-Indonesia partnership is an important part of our national security strategy, but so is supporting human rights and the rule of law. Although the Indonesian Ministry of Defense has taken some positive steps, numerous problems remain, including allegations of recent abuses. Further actions are needed before we can be reasonably satisfied that Kopassus, and the Indonesian armed forces more broadly, have become a reformed institution accountable to international human rights standards and the rule of law. The ‘gradual, limited program of security cooperation activities’ described by Secretary Gates should certainly not be seen as wiping the slate clean for Kopassus – that is something that only a full accounting of the past can do.
“The US must continue to call on the Indonesian government, consistently and at all levels, to commit its armed forces, including Kopassus, to establish the primacy of human rights, civilian control and the rule of law, to take the sometimes difficult steps necessary for true reform and to address past human rights abuses – including through the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal on the student “disappearances” of the late 1990s. Any limited interaction with Kopassus should not become broader engagement without further specific and demonstrable reforms. I will continue to follow this issue closely and I strongly urge the administration to do the same.”
Senator Feingold is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The film clip for George Telek’s West Papua (merdeka mix) featuring Ngairie Produced by Airi Ingram
The song is released of Teleks new albums Akave (in Australia and International) (Wantok/Planet) and Pairap Gen (in PNG and Pacific).(CHM).
mixed by Tim Cole
As West Papua says “mi laikim Freedom”, enjoy this inspiring remix of a powerful tune by legendary PNG singer George Telek. This upbeat remix has been released on Teleks new albums, and also featured on the new documentary on West Papua, Strange Birds in Paradise.
Please spread widely.