The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua will continue as planned despite public statements from the Indonesian government threatening navy and airforce intervention.
“We come in peace”, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott said today. “We are going to undertake a peaceful ceremony celebrating the cultural connections and recognising the shared plight of the indigenous peoples of our two countries”.
Freedom Flotilla co-founder, Izzy Brown, said, “We are a peaceful group. West Papuans live in fear every day, in fear of the Indonesian military. It is outrageous that the Indonesian President has said they ‘do not want to hurt (others)’ when we know over half a millions West Papuans have been killed at their hands since 1962.”
“We are embarking on a peaceful journey to bring awareness and compassion about an issue that has for too long being ignored in Australian and in the international media”, she continued.
Indonesian Minister Djoko Suyanto told the Jakarta Post that the Freedom Flotilla is ‘concerned about violence and human rights. I think the Indonesian government shares similar concerns”.
In response,Freedom Flotilla co-founder Jacob Rumbiak questioned the Indonesian governments threats of a heavy handed response to the Flotilla, “Why are they scared? If we share concerns for human rights abuses and violence that are going on in Papua then they have nothing to fear from our mission. If they are scared it is because they are hiding something behind this blockade against the Flotilla along with journalists, NGOs and human rights observers.”
Uncle Kevin Buzzacott added, “We have heard from Senator Richard Di Natale and Federal MP Warren Entsch making their public statements of support for the Freedom Flotilla and West Papuan movement, but where are the national leaders on this issue? I invite Kevin Rudd, and Tony Abbott to sit down with us while we are still in Australian waters, to have a conversation about West Papua.
“Our leaders must look at the island of Papua as more than just a dumping ground for refugees and resource extraction. Respecting the human rights of our Papuan neighbours is an essential basis for any good relationship between our countries. The Freedom Flotilla is providing our politicians with an opportunity to solidly address this issue and not just pay lip service to human rights while providing funding to sections of the Indonesian military who are terrorising West Papuans”. Izzy Brown stated today.
Media Spokesperson Izzy Brown: 0410535896
Media Land Contact: Ruben Blake 0414091706
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