Senin, 04 Januari 2010

West Papua Flag Raising Ceremony in Sidney Australia

West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL)
P.O. Box 1517, Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu,
+ 678 7740808 or +678 7751659, E-mail:;;

MEDIA RELEASE                                            2nd December 2009.

West Papua Flag Raising Ceremony in Sydney

Marrickville and Leichhardt councils of Sydney raised the Morning Star Flag yesterday in the front of each council building to commemorate the 48th National Flag Day of West Papua. These were a symbol gesture of their support for the aspiration of Independence for West Papua.

The flag was raised for the first time on 1st December 1961 along side with the Dutch flag marking a respect for, and recognition of inalienable rights of West Papua to self-determination and independence as part of the decolonization process. But since West Papua was forcibly incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia in 1963, the raising of the Morning Star flag has been declared a criminal offence. Today, many Papuans are still suffering behind iron-bars, in detention centers and prison camps simply because they raised the flag, such civil action should have never been regarded as a criminal offence.

During the ceremony, Councellor Max Phillips of Marrickville Council, said: ”Australia has special responsibility to the people of West Papua simply because they are our closer neighbor. We are concern about what is happening in the territory. What we can do is to raise the flag and we will continue to raise the issue here”

Many Papuans have risked punishment to raise the prohibited Morning Star flag in West Papua. Secretary General of the WPNCL, Mr. Rex Rumakiek, said:  “Today, Papuans are determined to raise the flag. I am very sure they could definitively be shot but they are very determined to do so they will not give up”.

The Convener of the West Papua Project of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies of University of Sydney, Professor Peter King commented on the Indonesian lack of respect for democratic and human rights in Papua, saying: ”there has never been a vibrant democracy in West Papua and the Papuans have a limited authority to control their resources”.

Meanwhile Vice-Chairman of the WPNCL, Dr. O Ondawame, called for peaceful dialogue as a viable alternative to end the suffering of the Papuans and then called the Government of Australia to advise Jakarta to promote peaceful dialogue because so far Jakarta is very reluctant to start peaceful dialogue. 

Military approach will never solve the ongoing problem in West Papua. The current deployment of huge numbers of military and police forces in the territory will only bring human tragedy and disasters. Today, the people of West Papua are calling for peaceful dialogue.

“The Government of Australia should play an advisory role in promoting peaceful dialogue as a viable alternative to conflict resolution in West Papua”, said Ondawame.

The first flag raising ceremony was attended by Councilor Emanuel Tsardoulias, Chair of the Marrickville Council Service Committee, Councilor Max Phillips from the Green Party, staff members of the council, Andrew Johnson representing AWPA Sydney, Carmella Webb, Ph-D student from of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies of Sydney University. She was accompanied by her partner. Official media persons from the two Local Government Councils took photos and recorded interviews for the Radio national.

The second flag raising ceremony took place at Leichhardt Town Hall, where the Mayor Cr. Jamie Parker raised the Flag to show respect and solidarity to the Papuan people. He then proceeded to have a one hour meeting with Dr. Otto Ondawame and Mr. Rex Rumakiek from WPNCL and Mr. Andrew Johnson of AWPA to explore the possibilities of future action

In the afternoon Amnesty International (Sydney) and Indonesian Solidarity organized a seminar in relation to the commemoration of the National Flag Day of West Papua. A Video on Human Rights abuses was show to some 40 people who filled up the Seminar room to full capacity. Father Budi Hermawan OFM from Jayapura Diocese, Otto Ondawame and Amnesty spoke at the seminar focusing on human rights abuses and peaceful dialogue as major issues of concern. 

For more information, please contact:
John O Ondawame (04397590260 and Rex Rumakiek ( 0414247468) by email on: or

Report by
Amatus Douw

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