The Pog has now crossed into Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone and is continuing attempts to open dialogue with the Navy Command in their destination port Merauke, West Papua.
The Indonesian military is yet to rule out the use of lethal force against the peaceful protest, who have re-iterated the non-violent nature of their protest to officials in the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta and the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, in communications via sms, phone calls, emails, and an envoy from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
A further official envoy has been made to the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra today, respecting statements by the Navy reported in Fairfax and AAP that they would open dialogue with the group, and requesting that a channel be opened for this to take place.
Repeated calls from the Pog to Navy Captain Ardianto have been answered and then disconnected, without no further communication. The Freedom Flotilla is persisting with attempts to make direct contact and open a dialogue.
Indonesian Navy First Admiral Untung Surapati told AAP that “Principally, any kind of non-peaceful crossing into Indonesian water territory will not be tolerated.”
Once again, Izzy Brown reiterated, “this is a non-violent voyage, our tiny yacht is unarmed, this is part of a peaceful mission to reconnect the cultures of two peoples whose lands were once joined”.
Ronny Kareni stated “this situation clearly reflects the everyday reality of West Papuans facing military repression for holding peaceful democratic actions. We join with Human Rights Watch in their observation that Indonesian security forces continuously fail to distinguish between peaceful and violent actions.”
Despite statements from the Navy that there would be no negotiation, Ronny Kareni stated “We call on the Indonesian government, for one moment to use its heart and not its emotional anger to allow a safe passage for the Freedom Flotilla to to enter Merauke.”
“We also call for Indonesia to enter into dialogue with West Papuan leaders, and resolve the issue of self-determination” he added.
Meanwhile in Merauke locals have been refused a permit by the regional police to hold a ceremony welcoming the Freedom Flotilla, for which garlands of flowers, traditional dances, prayers and banners have been prepared.