Despite claims published by Indonesian website merdeka.com that the Freedom Flotilla is not proceeding, Freedom Flotilla co-founders, Jacob Rumbiak, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott and Izzy Brown today asserted collectively they are, “More determined than ever, to make this historic journey to West Papua”.
In a passionate affirmation of the Freedom Flotilla’s determination to proceed to West Papua, co-founder Jacob Rumbiak said this morning, “Our land is calling us. We never stop. Our Spirit land is calling us”.
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua arrived at port in Cooktown at 7.45am today to a fan fare welcome by locals and indigenous elders. The sea journey is now well underway and all boats on the Freedom Flotilla will depart Cooktown at 11am Saturday the 24th of August on the high tide.
“We’re still going. Others are passing out propaganda but they should sit down and talk to us. Our ceremony will continue outright. We’re going all the way”, said Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr stated in a media release, “the Flotilla were also perpetrating a cruel hoax on the people of the Papuan provinces, by suggesting that Papuan independence was on the international agenda.” Clearly this is a significant International issue and the Freedom Flotilla is generating great waves of support for a Free West Papua, with journalists reporting on the epic journey to date in Malaysia, Fiji, New Zealand, PNG, Indonesia, the Netherlands, all Australian states and now the US and Ghana.
Uncle Judulu Neal, a Yarrabah elder travelling on the Freedom Flotilla made the following statement today, “We are very concerned about what is happening in West Papua because we have ancient agreements between The Bow and Arrow People and the Woomera people.”
“We need to look at a dialogue between us and Indonesia and Australian governments. We come in peace we invite them to come to Thursday Island to sit down and talk, our traditional trading roots have been cut off. We are talking about International law”.
“We have agreement made with The Bow and Arrow People that date back before any of these artificial borders were created. We follow the ancient treaty made by Kuyulum. This is the first International Treaty and it needs to be recognised. That agreement shows the sovereignty of the people of West Papua.”
“We also want to bring to light that the Woomera Nation and The Bow and Arrow People are being prohibited from expressing our spirituality”.
“The Australian police put out our sacred fire in Brisbane and now we are being threatened by Indonesian “jet fighters” and “warships” while we are undertaking this ceremony of cultural reunion. We need to unite our nations in the face of this repression and stand strong as indigenous people”, he concluded.