Global outrage may be the only hope for West Papua

by Kim Peart

East Timor was still on the list of colonial territories at the United Nations, even though Australia led the World in recognising Indonesian occupation and incorporation.

After the fraudulent 1969 vote, when 1025 hand-picked men we lectured under the shadow of guns and told to step over a line drawn in the dirt as the method of voting, the United Nations accepted Indonesian occupation and the incorporation of half of New Guinea, an area the size of France, into Indonesia.

Recent events in West Papua demonstrate that Indonesia will continue to use brutal force to maintain control, even when people peacefully call for natural justice from a world that has so brutally betrayed them for since 1962, when the United States intervened to rig the theft of West Papua and the slave trade in all her people, to buy an alliance with Indonesia.

In 1957 Australia had signed an agreement with the Dutch to work toward the independence of the whole island of New Guinea, where the outcome could have been one large and strong island nation of Papuans and there were many Australians on the ground helping to prepare the West Papuans for independence.

When Washington told Holland to get out and Australia to butt out, we were deeply humiliated, as we learnt a brutal truth; that we had been a British nation, but were now no more than a vassal state of the United States.

No wonder we have never found the spirit of independence and become a fully independent nation, as we enter an era when we may find ourselves obeying the wishes of Beijing; never having found our own independence, we may all too easily slide into becoming a vassal state of yet another empire.

With China’s hunger for our resources and their need for secure shipping lanes through Indonesia, they are unlikely to look kindly on any political change in New Guinea, especially with their own West Papua type situation in Tibet and on-going demand for the acquisition of Taiwan.

That we stepped out of our colonial responsibilities in Papua New Guinea so swiftly in 1975 and have allowed the emergence of a basket case of poverty, violence, disease and illiteracy in the north, hardly signs our care of the Papuan people, no matter how often we praise the Fuzzy Wuzzy angels who braved Japanese bullets with us on the Kakoda Trail.

The only hope for justice in West Papua and for New Guinea as a whole, is if a wave of rage spreads around the World, against how the West Papuans were enslaved, their lands stolen and all their aspirations so brutally trampled into the mud with the blood of this ancient people.

If a wave of rage goes global to demand justice for the long suffering people of West Papua, then there will be hope of a proper UN run plebiscite on self-determination and Australians may again step forward to help New Guinea, if we can get government stupidity out of the way and justice on the table.

We may even find our independent spirit as a nation and avoid the slide toward vassal status with China; and be able to resist any further expansion of Indonesia, as the geopolitical power of the World steadily shifts to our north.

6 thoughts on “Global outrage may be the only hope for West Papua

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