WEST PAPUA FREEDOM FLOTILLA DIRECT ACTION 2015

West Papua Freedom Flotilla spokesperson Izzy Brown has confirmed that the Freedom Flotilla will set sail from Darwin this year to undertake their latest direct action on the high seas to highlight damage caused by multinational corporations and colonial governments on the land and people of West Papua, specifically targeting major shareholder Rio Tinto and the Freeport Grasberg mine in Timika.

”We’re targeting Rio Tinto and the Freeport Grasberg mine because the genocide they are committing on the West Papuan people is disgusting. Not only are they funding the Indonesian military to kill indigenous West Papuans, they are also poisoning the land and water beyond repair and disregarding global environmental standards,” Ms Brown said.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua successfully defied the Indonesian Navy and Australian authorities in 2013 when they completed their mission to reconnect West Papuan and Aboriginal Peoples.

After a 5000 kilometre journey from Lake Eyre in South Australia all the way to the so-called Indonesian border north off the Torres Strait Arabunna Elder, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, delivered sacred water from his own country and ashes from Aboriginal tent embassies around Australia directly to West Papuan leaders.

The secret ceremony took place between two small boats off the south coast of Papua, avoided interception by authorities and gained global media attention putting West Papuan issues in the spotlight.

Flotilla Media Contact for Direct Action: Izzy Brown 0497513584 or 0410535896flag-dawn_fb

SBS: Was it legal to deport West Papuans to PNG?

Murray Silby, Greg Dyett and Stefan Armbruster

October 2nd, 2013

Questions are being raised over whether Australia acted lawfully when it sent seven West Papuan asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea after they were apprehended in the Torres Strait.

Greg Dyett and Stefan Armbruster reports.

People in fear for their lives or political activists intent on grandstanding?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the seven are in the latter category and it was appropriate for them to be transported to Port Moresby under a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding with Papua New Guinea.

The seven from the Indonesian province of West Papua, including a 10-year-old child, took part in a ceremony involving the handover of sacred water and ashes from Australian Indigenous elders.

Listen to the story from SBS Radio

SMH: Tony Abbott appears to waver on key parts of his contentious asylum seeker policy

MICHAEL BACHELARD

October 1st, 2013

Tony Abbott has repeatedly refused to say if his signature policy of turning asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia will ever be put into practice.

Asked in Jakarta on Tuesday if his Operation Sovereign Borders would push back any boats he said that, based on his conversations with the Indonesian government, including Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, “we are confident that this problem will be dealt with”.

Asked again, “Will you still turn boats back?”, Mr Abbott replied: “Again, my object here is to stop the boats. And in order to ensure that the boats are stopped I want to have the best possible relationship with Indonesia.”

Asked if he stood by the policies he took to the election, he said: “Of course we stand by our policies, but above all else we want to work effectively to stop the boats. In the end that’s all that really counts: have we stopped the boats.”

Indonesia has opposed the turn-back policy since March, 2010, when Mr Abbott first announced it.

The Prime Minister’s comments seem to concede that he may abandon it as part of a willingness to negotiate a bilateral approach to the issue in meetings on the subject due to convene in coming weeks.

He also appeared to waver on other parts of his contentious policy, saying that village spies and buy-backs of fishing boats were nothing more than a pot of money available to local Indonesian officials “working cooperatively with their Australian counterparts to ensure as far as we can we’ve got people working with us rather than against us”.

He was not asked to comment on the policy of establishing transit ports on Indonesian soil for Australia’s use in moving asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Abbott’s apparent concessions to Indonesian sensitivities comes after Dr Yudhoyono conceded on Monday that Indonesia must negotiate directly with Australia on the boats issue, not just through the forum of the Bali Process.

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