He was a West Papua activist when he was studying law at UPNG. Now, returning as the Governor of the Nation’s capital, that fight has grown even stronger.
It was only fitting that he officially launched the “Sorong to Samarai Petition Campaign.”
He said for 50 years West Papuans have been suppressed on their own land. Now it’s time for Papua new Guineans to mobilise and speak on behalf of our Melanesian family across the border.
He revealed pertinent facts, including the fact that West Papua was never part of Indonesia during pre-colonial times.
“When Indonesia got independence in 1947, it only covered Mulugus back west to Arches Sumatra, mainly the Dutch East Indies. It did not include West Papua…this is a pertinent fact that cannot be denied,” said Parkop.
He said Papua New Guinea is a regional power and it needs to stand up and take responsibility. The window of opportunity lies with the sub regional body, the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
He said he’s doing his part on the political front, and is hopeful that the West Papua agenda will be included in the Bali communiqué come October.
“I am doing my part to convince all the government caucus, including the Prime Minister to be open and to raise the issue of West Papua,” said Parkop.
He added that unlike other Prime Minister’s, Peter O’Neill is more receptive.
“For the first time, we have a Prime Minister who is using the language of our people on the other side. This has never been said or heard before,” said Parkop.
“Past Prime Minister’s and past government didn’t want to see, didn’t want to say anything, and didn’t want to hear anything about West Papua. They were, HANDSOFF,” he said.
Present during the launch was fellow advocate, John Tekwie. He was blunt, blaming the Americans for the problem.
“America created this problem so they must fix it,” said Tekwie.
The petition is being circulated, through the month of September. The signed petitions will be presented to government officials of PNG and MSG, and other notable members of the diplomatic community.
A special MSG meeting will convene in October, which ironically is the same month the Bali APEC meeting falls on. [EMTV]