1 May 2008

British PM to get petition on 45th anniversary of Papua occupation by Indonesia

3:27 pm on 1 May 2008

The British-based Free West Papua Campaign plans to deliver a Petition to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown to mark May 1st, the 45th anniversary of Indonesia's occupation of West Papua.

The petition is calling on the British government to push for dialogue on West Papuan self-determination in the international community.

It has the support of two senior British parliamentarians: Former Labour Cabinet Minister, Andrew Smith, and the former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Richard Harries, who is an independent MP.

The campaign's Co-Director, Richard Samuelson, says that momentum for their cause is building in Britain where they are holding events each week.

"A lot of people are finding out about West Papua for the first time and their question is always What can we do to help get the pressure on the British government to do something? Because for most of the 45 years of the Indonesian occupation, the British government has known exactly what's going on, but they aren't expecting members of the British public to be raising it with them."

Richard Samuelson