13 Feb 2013

Indonesia is creating violence in West Papua itself, says activist

7:43 am on 13 February 2013

A leading West Papuan activist says Indonesian security forces cannot silence the calls by West Papuans on their right to self-determination.

The UK-based Benny Wenda has been in New Zealand this week as part of an overseas tour campaigning for West Papuans' right to self-determination which he says has been denied to his people ever since Western New Guinea's incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

Mr Wenda says the Indonesian government has tried to discredit his people as willing participants in ongoing violence in Papua region.

Yet he says Indonesia will not stop the Papuan movement by the targetting of peaceful groups such as the National Committee of West Papua.

"Only this is the safe way to campaign for peace and the world could hear our cry for freedom so that's why when they come out in their peaceful way, Indonesia creates violence to discrimenate them, (label them) this violent group or this terrorist group, whatever. But actually not. It's Indonesia which is creating then violence in West Papua."

Benny Wenda.

Indonesia denies the claims.