OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Solidarity for West Papua: young people mobilize the Church and government authorities

Friday, 8 November 2019


Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - "How can we define ourselves as a Christian nation if we do not pay attention and help our neighbors?": Is the question raised during the debate on "Freedom for West Papua" by the students of Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, during the "Chat Room" program, of Tribe 92 FM radio station, dedicated and focused on young people in Papua New Guinea.
Analyzing the history of Indonesia and West Papua (the western part of the island of New Guinea, which is an Indonesian province), adolescents re-elaborated the factors that led to the current situation in that province, touching on the delicate issue of human rights abuse and launching an appeal for the intervention of Churches and the government.
A student traced a short path, remembering how West Papua has become part of Indonesia: "The policies for the freedom of West Papua have never been right. The referendum of 1969, instead of leading to free and fair elections, was characterized by electoral fraud by Indonesia which had deemed the Papuans too "primitive" to face democracy", the girl said.
In reference to human rights violations, another student said that the population of West Papua continues to suffer atrocities and injustices. "Indonesian security forces have committed serious human rights violations against the indigenous Papuans, up to now over 500,000 civilians have been killed", she said.
All government departments, non-governmental organizations and Church organizations have been invited to work "hand in hand" to take proactive and supportive action with the population of West Papua. "We know that talking about this topic on the radio will not change the world. But if a group of simple students wanted to tackle this problem, what prevents our leaders from doing the same?", another speaker said. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/11/2019)