Today I was honoured to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia. I was invited by the Governor of Papua, Mr Lucas Enambe.
The celebration was simple and straight forward but what was really special was the people of Papua. They are part of the Malenesia family. Being a Free West Papuan activist, I was initially a bit apprehensive, paranoid and reluctant about this trip.
However I also knew that submitting my ego, seeing the bigger picture and making peace with the Indonesian Government and respect the invitation of my fellow brother and Governor was equally as important for the cause we are fighting and most importantly for the freedom of the people of West Papua.
The invitation was sent by the Governor who is a Papuan and who had been my guest in 2014 in Port Moresby. I made this trip to reciprocate the goodwill that was shown to me. I also took advantage of the invitation to visit Jayapura and see the situation on the ground and hear from the people first hand. I am glad that I made this trip with my officers from NCD, accompanied by Governor of Sandaun Pronvince Hon. Amkat Mai and his officers from the Sandaun provincial office.
After the celebration, I also had the privilege to meet with the Papuan political leaders inside the system and outside. They were unanimous in their desire for independence. Their plea to us Papua New Guinean, who are their fellow brother and sisters is , "Please don't leave to just become a land and a story. Our rights as a people must be heard and preserved. Help us to wipe our tears", this was conveyed by the West Papua leaders including the Governor of Papua himself. He proudly said, " If I had a choice, I would choose Freedom for the people of Papua".
My ultimate goal is to get the Papuans and the Indonesian to put the issues on the table and discuss it openly and find resolution as soon as possible. What I hope to achieve is a window in which the winds of freedom can flow through and that window becomes a door and that door becomes a gate and it can't be stopped anymore.
I assured them of my commitment and dedication to stand together with them to achieve this outcome. This is the same strategy that we are following through to the MSG, Pacific Island Forum and ultimately to the United Nations. I wish to reiterate here that the Indonesians must be part of the solution and not just the problem. They have done that in Timor Leste and Ache Sumatra so I am sure they can do it in West Papua as well.
Together with the Sandaun Provincial Government, we also discussed opening up of the borders so goods and people can easily move in and out between West Papua and PNG. From here the possibilities are limitless including Freedom for West Papua.