McCully won’t talk to West Papua representative

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully would not meet West Papuan freedom fighter Benny Wenda when he was in New Zealand last month even though the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta had recommended a meeting take place if Mr Wenda requested it.

There have been numerous reports from West Papua about the voilent behaviour of the Indonesian military and police.

At the time of Wenda’s visit McCully also advised two National MPs against hosting the independence leader after they had proposed co-sponsoring the West Papuan in a public forum at Parliament Buildings.

He said New Zealand had a constructive relationship with Indonesia, and Government MPs hosting a member of the independence movement was not a “good fit” with this relationship.

Mr Wenda met Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) officials instead.

A recent media release from  the Leadership Working Forum of Papuan Churches  about the state of violence in West Papua lists 8 violent incidents that have occurred in the last 5 year.

Father Saul Wanimbo, the Director of the Commission for Justice and Peace (SKP) in Timika diocese, said that during police sweeps, local people are being forced to hand over their mobile phones.  They analyse the memory cards on the mobile phones to find songs in Papuan language, and if the memory card is found to contain either one or many Papuan folk songs, police will smash the memory card with stones, according to Fr Wanimbo.

Wanimbo told Jubi, citing his own experiences and stories directly from Enaro residents from 1-20 Febrruary 2013.  Wanimbo said that Paniai people have been so demoralised that they just accept the oppressive actions of the occupation forces.


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News category: New Zealand.

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