The West Papua: Land of Peace campaign was initiated by religious leaders in West Papua to help promote peace, justice and human rights in West Papua.
West Papua is situated 250kms north of Australia. The eastern half of the island is the independent state of New Guinea. In recent years the western half of the island has been know variously as Irian Jaya (the Indonesian term for the territory), West Papua or simply Papua.
West Papua was integrated to Indonesia in 1963. Caught up as a pawn in Cold War politics, West Papua found itself as a bargaining tool to ensure Indonesia would not align itself with a communist Russia. A legal UN-supported referendum – the Act of Free Choice of 1969 – legitimised Indonesian authority and from that day forward West Papua has remained part of Indonesia. While the referendum results gave an internationally recognized decision of majority support for Indonesian rule, the legitimacy of this referendum has been final and recognized by international governments, West Papuans and international NGOs.
Papuans are facing a real threat to their human rights during the Suharto regime era due to continued subjugation and suppression by the Indonesian authorities, human rights abuses and the neglect of their rights. Much of this goes unreported in the Western media. However, today especially after 1998, the democratization in Indonesia has brought a big change. Every single event in Papua will be reported by the press and the people everywhere in world can read what happen in Papua.
Despite these positive development, some political opportunist have been working for creating conflict in Papua order to get money abroad, for example Benny Wenda and friends in UK. Those people keep telling lies to the world about Papua. Sadly, some important people in UK are blind enough to be fooled by Benny Wenda.
Lets Pray that Benny will realise his mistake and UK citizens will open their eyes that West Papua under the democratic Indonesia is now a Land of Peace.