FREE WEST PAPUA (UK): Parliamentary solidarity action

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FREE WEST PAPUA (UK): Parliamentary solidarity action

Berichtdoor webmaster » wo 02 apr 2008, 18:15

FREE WEST PAPUA CAMPAIGN Oxford, England, 1st April 2008 Dear friends of West Papua, WEST PAPUA: Parliamentary solidarity action: ACTION: PLEASE WRITE TO / E-MAIL YOUR M.P. With the 45th anniversary of Indonesia’s illegal occupation of West Papua now only one month away (1st MAY), this is a vitally important time to help bring Indonesia’s continuing oppression of the West Papuan people to World attention – via the media, Human Rights groups, Faith groups, Trade Unions, environmental pressure groups and by our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES speaking out in national Parliaments & local Councils all around the Globe, in solidarity with the people of West Papua. We’ve designed this ACTION asking UNITED KINGDOM RESIDENTS to WRITE to or E-MAIL your MEMBER of PARLIAMENT (MP). Of course, if you live anywhere other than the UK, we strongly urge you to adapt this Action to suit the circumstances in your own country. WHAT SHALL I WRITE? Copied below is a suggested letter/e-mail to send to your MP, but of course, please write your own if you’d prefer. Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious, but it’s vital that you write to your OWN CONSTITUENCY MP. (MPs are obliged by law to reply to letters from their own constituents.) WHO IS MY MP? Enter your UK postcode on this UK Parliament webpage to find out: ... 3+0RG.html HOW CAN I CONTACT MY MP? The best way to ensure your MP will actually see your message is by sending it BY POST to ………MP, House of Commons, LONDON SW1A 0AA. If you would prefer to send it by e-mail, you can find most MPs e-mail addresses on this webpage: ... ,,,00.html It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you include YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS on your letter or e-mail so your MP knows that you are his/her OWN CONSTITUENT. If possible, please send me, Richard Samuelson, an e-mail on to let the Free West Papua Campaign know which MP you have sent your message to. This will give us a very useful overview of all your solidarity actions all across the UK. Please also let us know when you receive a reply from your MP. If you would like to send us a photo-copy of the reply, please send it by post to: Free West Papua Campaign, PO Box 656, OXFORD OX3 3AP THANK YOU, in anticipation, from Benny Wenda and all of us at Free West Papua (UK). This is a very important solidarity action to mark the tragically sad 45th anniversary of the Indonesian occupation of West Papua. If at all possible, PLEASE do send a message to your MP. Each one could bring another MP into the growing number of MPs at Westminster who are now supporting the West Papuan cause. If you send a message, at the very least, your MP will get to know through you that West Papua exists! PAPUA MERDEKA! – FREE WEST PAPUA! Solidarity… Richard Richard Samuelson Free West Papua Campaign, Oxford, UK ******** MP House of Commons, LONDON SW1A 0AA 1st April 2008 Dear WEST PAPUA: Parliamentary solidarity action 1st MAY 2008 will be a day of hurt and sorrow for the indigenous people of West Papua. That day will mark the 45th anniversary of the illegal and bloody occupation of their homeland by Indonesia. Tragically, for most of those 45 years the West Papuan cry for justice and freedom has gone unheard by the outside World and has been shamefully brushed under the carpet by governments who know … but choose to do nothing. Now, at last, the Papuan cry is reaching people all over the UK. As with the East Timor campaign a decade ago, the response of the people of the UK is overwhelming (see, for example, two recent letters published in the Guardian, enclosed). We now need to start converting that response into concerted and effective pressure to persuade the Government to pursue the case for West Papuan self-determination via the United Nations. A vital part of the pressure we need is already coming from West Papua’s growing number of supporters at Westminster, in both the Commons and the Lords. Our good friend Andrew Smith MP has set up an All Party Parliamentary West Papua group and on 26 February 2008 another good friend, Lord (Richard) Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, initiated yet another West Papua debate in the Lords (see ... 6-0011.htm ) We would be very grateful if you could add your voice in Parliament to that growing pressure on the Government in any way possible. In particular, please could you consider joining together with parliamentary colleagues of all parties in the following parliamentary actions in solidarity with the people of West Papua: 1) Letter to the Foreign Secretary: Please write to David Miliband and Meg Munn (Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Indonesia) to ask what concrete measures the UK Government is taking (together with the E.U.) to encourage the Indonesian government to enter into genuine internationally-mediated dialogue, without pre-conditions, with representatives of the West Papuan people in the search for a peaceful & just resolution to the West Papua conflict in accordance with the democratic will of the indigenous West Papuan people. Next year will mark another grisly anniversary for West Papua - 40 years since the infamous “Act of Free Choice”, in which Indonesia quite literally held a gun to the heads of 1,022 Papuan elders and produced a 100% “vote” in favour of annexation by Indonesia. In 2004, Foreign Office Minister Lady Symons made the historic admission on behalf of the Government, confirmed later by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, that “a thousand hand-picked [Papuan] representatives were largely coerced into declaring for inclusion in Indonesia”. However, more recently (14 January 2008), the current Foreign Office Minister, Meg Munn MP, has attempted a retreat by claiming: “A group of 1,000 Papuan representatives, who were given the responsibility to make the choice on behalf of the Papuan people, voted to remain part of Indonesia” (see UK West Papua Policy 2008: Quotation Collection, enclosed). Please ask the Foreign Secretary and Meg Munn MP to stand up for our shared values of democracy & the primacy of international law – and, at the very least, tell the truth about Indonesia’s illegal annexation of West Papua. 2) All Party Parliamentary West Papua group As you may already know, Andrew Smith MP has set up an All Party Parliamentary West Papua group to co-ordinate parliamentary action, share information and start pushing West Papua up the UK political agenda. If you are not already a member, it would be invaluable if you could please make contact with Andrew Smith … and if possible, consider joining the group. 3) Commons Adjournment Debate Andrew Smith is very keen for an opportunity to raise West Papua in the Commons via an Adjournment Debate. No date has been set for this yet, but we really hope you will be able to make a contribution as and when it happens. 4) International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP): Launch at Westminster, Wednesday 15 October 2008 Andrew Smith & Richard Harries will be co-hosting the launch of an International Parliamentarians for West Papua group (IPWP) at Westminster on 15 October. Please put this date in your diary! We’re hoping parliamentarians from all over the world will attend the launch. The aim of the group will be to co-ordinate international parliamentary action and provide a confidential on-line forum via an IPWP website for sharing information and ideas. As you may know, a decade ago the International Parliamentarians for East Timor group played a very significant part in bring East Timor to international attention. With heartfelt thanks, in anticipation, for your support & solidarity, and for any action you can take for West Papua at Westminster, Yours sincerely, Your Name……………………………… Your postal address (very important)……………………………… ********************* ENCLOSURES: Letters to the Guardian (UK) BP and West Papua - a neglected tale The Guardian, Tuesday March 25 2008 ... d=business Leaders & reply section I was astonished but delighted to read John Vidal's account of BP's involvement in West Papua (Shattered illusions, Society, March 19) and the tragic effect this region's vast natural resources have on the aspirations of the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua. Along with regrettably few others, the government of the Republic of Vanuatu has for many years supported the West Papuan people's claims for independence. I have never before read in a British newspaper an account, such as this one, which draws attention to the realities of the Indonesian government's actions in West Papua and the damage this is doing to the indigenous population. Please let us have more reports on these and similar events in the region. Those who support independence for West Papua believe strongly that if only independently minded people knew the shameful facts of how West Papua came to be under Indonesian dominance in the first place, with the connivance of powerful western interests, the sooner these terrible wrongs will be put right. Norman J Shackley Chairman, British Friends of Vanuatu ----------------------------------------------------- Thanks to John Vidal for his article on BP's controversial natural gas project. This will help to bring West Papua into the spotlight. For most of the 45 years of Indonesia's bloody occupation, the outside world has ignored the oppression of the indigenous West Papuan population. J Pennington Aberdeen ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ UK West Papua Policy 2008: Quotation Collection UK GOVERNMENT: “The Act of Free Choice took place in Papua in 1969. A group of 1,000 Papuan representatives, who were given the responsibility to make the choice on behalf of the Papuan people, voted to remain part of Indonesia.” Meg Munn MP, Foreign Office Minister, 14 January 2008. [In 1998] “conflict festered in Papua …. but the thoughtful and conciliatory approach of politicians in Jakarta, and particularly of the current Government, helped to defuse those tensions. …Indonesia's experience in Timor Leste, Aceh and Papua is not simply an internal affair. It can act as a model to others." Meg Munn MP, 3 March 2008 "Prince Andrew talked a lot about the investment climate and was very impressed by the transformation Indonesia has undergone in the past ten years, especially its democratization process, the political stability and economic growth it has achieved. The Prince also touched on the Tangguh Oil Project in Papua being carried out by BP which he visited. He said he was very impressed by the project which also involved local people and was being implemented with due consideration of the local environment and culture.” H.R.H. the Duke of York, after a visit to BP’s natural gas project in West Papua, 5 March 2008 (reported by the Indonesian State News agency, Antara). “Indonesia has changed enormously over the past decade, including making significant improvements in the field of human rights. It now has an active parliament, an effective and outspoken civil society and a lively free press. We put our confidence in the democratic Government of Indonesia ….” David Miliband MP, Foreign Secretary, letter to David Cameron MP, Leader of H.M. Opposition, 11 March 2008 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW POINT: “This is what will happen to anyone who votes against Indonesia. Their accursed tongues will be torn out. Their full mouths will be wrenched open. Upon them will fall the vengeance of the Indonesian people. I will myself shoot them on the spot.” Brigadier-General Ali Murtopo, special envoy of the Indonesian dictator Suharto, speaking to West Papuans selected to take part in the “Act of Free Choice”, August 1969. “The Special Rapporteur has received consistent allegations about the use of excessive force by security forces. It is reported that in particular in Papua, mobile paramilitary police units (Brigade Mobil or Brimob) have routinely been engaging in largely indiscriminate village "sweeping" operations in search of alleged independence activists and their supporters, or raids on university boarding houses, using excessive force. Recently, allegations have been made about incidents in border areas, where the military is strengthening its presence. The Special Rapporteur considers that these consistent allegations from a number of credible sources, combined with the quasi-total impunity, are of serious concern. He notes that the heavy restrictions placed on travel within Papua restricts effective information flow, which is fundamental to the protection of human rights.” Dr Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, 7 March 2008 “Before the Prince's visit we [West Papuans] thought that we could welcome him with a small banner saying that “Welcome Prince Andrew to the Land of Papua - the land of Genocide” but it was very difficult because the Indonesian military already warned that if we took a picture then they will shoot us”. Report from Biak, West Papua, 6 March 2008 “A climate of fear undeniably prevails in West Papua, especially for Human Rights defenders engaged with the rights of the Papuan communities to participation in governance, control over natural resources and demilitarization of the province.” Ms Hina Jilani, UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders, 28 January 2008
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