2 Dec 2006

Papuan supporters to give message to multi-nationals about their presence in Papua

11:23 am on 2 December 2006

Demonstrations have been planned in London to mark West Papua Independence Day, December 1st.

Supporters of West Papuans' right to self-determination will raise the Morning Star Flag outside the Indonesian Embassy in London to mark the anniversary of the 1961 West Papuan Declaration of Independence from Dutch colonial rule.

The demonstrators then plan to demonstrate outside the London headquarters of both multi-national companies Rio Tinto and BP over their presence in Indonesia's Papua.

UK-based Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda says that the 1969 Act of Free Choice under which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia remains the basis on which his people are denied self-determination.

"We raised this issue in the UKL parliament. Now around the world, we hope they understand. This is very important because one of the root problems in West Papua is the Act of Free Choice. Indonesia and the Western world call it the Act of Free Choice; but we West papuans call it the Act of No Choice. This is the root problem in West Papua ."