‘We marked the occasion by holding the flag aloft from early morning and conducted military training sessions and education . If you wish, we can send you a photo by email, to see the flag while we were conducting military training.’
Terianus Santo was appointed chief of staff of the TPN/OPM at a summit conference which was held in Perwomi Biak in May this year.
‘We carried out the ceremony as a mark of respect for our history and our movement’s dedication to continue the struggle for freedom,’ he said.
He went on to say that they want to press the UN to immediately provide an opening for a dialogue between the Dutch Government, the Indonesian Government, the UN and representatives of the Papuan people ‘because some of these elements were involved in the unlawful annexation of Papua.’
Elly CH Sirwa, the secretary of the National Council of the Federal Republic of West Papua, said that ceremonies to celebrate December 1 have taken place every year since 1961 to mark the emergence of an independent Papuan nation, with status equal to other nations in the world.
He said that the ceremony had proceeded peacefully and with great enthusiasm by all those who took part , as is evident from the fact that a number of activities took place in various parts of West Papua. ‘We hope that next year, these ceremonies will be held with even greater enthusiasm,’ he told Bintang Papua, during an interview at the office of DAP, the Council of Indigenous Papuans.
He also used the occasion to give thanks for all the sacrifices that had been made during the ceremonies to mark the 51st anniversary of 1 December. ‘What happened on this day exceeded expectations.’ Although the occasion occurred at a time when relations with some other nations were still strained, he said that they had given thanks for the ceremonies this year even though they had not been given to permission to hold the ceremonies.
‘We Papuan people do not feel disappointed or upset , even though in some places in West Papua, our ceremonies were dispersed forcibly by forces who were bearing firearms. In some places, some of our people were arrested.’
He said that restricted ceremonies had been held among other places in Imbi Square Jayapura, Buper Waena, at the Sports Stadium in Jayapura and at the Theys Eluay Burial Ground in Sentani. Stones were burnt and people were able to partake of a meal together.’
[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]
- Victor Yeimo and others arrested as police crackdown on December 1 protests in Jayapura (westpapuamedia.info)
- A History of the Morning Star Flag of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Police chief calls on Papuans to ‘remain calm’ as 1 December approaches (westpapuamedia.info)
- Solidarity organisation calls on police not to use violence on 1 December (westpapuamedia.info)
- Green MP raises Papua’s Morning Star flag in parliamentary protest (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Indonesian police fire shots, tear gas after 100s of Morning Star flags fly at peaceful demo in Manokwari (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papuan flag raising in Sydney (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Is West Papua being split up to marginalise the Papuan people? (westpapuamedia.info)
- Forkorus calls for two flags to be flown side by side (westpapuamedia.info)
- BREAKING NEWS: Papuan leader Yeimo among Indonesian flag waving day arrests (pacific.scoop.co.nz)