Jayapura: A group called the Federated State of West Papua, known by its Indonesian initials as the NFRPB plans to mark the first anniversary of the Third Papua Conference on 19 October held last year. It was at the third conference that the Papuan people declared the restoration of their independence.
Chairman of the organising committee, the Rev. Ketty Yabansabra, said the celebration will take the form of joint worship and dialogue. and will proceed peacefully. The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been invited to attend. The event will proceed peacefully because the theme of the event is all about the preservation of peace in Papua.
The organising team which has been acknowledged by the president of the NFRPB, Forkorus Yaboisembut , has conveyed messages to the President of Indonesia and a number of Indonesian state dignitaries including the military commander, the governor of West Papua province and the Indonesian police. These letters have been acknowledged.
In view of the above, said the organisers of the event, ‘we are confident that we will be able to hold communal worship, having sent the necessary notification to the Indonesian police.’
All sections of society in West Papua, including the many Indonesians now living in Papua, who have throughout behaved with decorum, have also been invited to attend the event.
Furthermore, with regard to the plan to hold dialogue with the Indonesian president, invitations to the aforesaid were sent earlier this month. It is doubtful whether any dialogue will happen on this occasion, because a similar request was made ten years ago, to which there was no response.
However, the NFRPB formally declared its independence on the occasion of the conference, for which a struggle has been waged since 1961.
‘We are continuing with our efforts to obtain recognition from the Republic of Indonesia,’ a spokesman for the organising committee declared.
The chief of security of the NFRPB, Elias Ayakading said that they sincerely hoped that the tragic events which occurred last year (when several people were killed and many injured) will not be repeated this year. He therefore called on the security forces in the land of Papua to ensure that the event is allowed to proceed peacefully.
The organisers urged all sides to avoid raising unnecessary issues so as to ensure that the event proceeds peacefully, because this will take in the form of worship, praying for a peaceful atmosphere and assurances that security will be safeguarded.
[Translated by TAPOL]