24 Aug 2019

Papuan students in Java urged to return home if not safe

12:03 pm on 24 August 2019
Protesters march against racism in Jayapura, August 2019.

Protesters march against racism in Jayapura, August 2019. Photo: Whens Tebay

The Papuan People Council has advised all West Papuan students studying in other parts of Indonesia to return home.

Harassment of Papuan students in Javanese cities on and Indonesian's independence day anniversary last week has sparked widespread protests in Papua.

Papua's provincial governor has expressed concern for the well-being of the students as an ongoing target of Indonesian nationalist civilian militia.

The Council said that due to racism and security concerns, it is advising all Papuan students about returning to Papua.

In a statement, it said that if Papuan students receive no guarantee of security from local government and police, they should return to the region and continue studies there.

Church calls for Papua New Guinea govt to make clear stand on West Papua

Papua New Guinea's Evengical Lutheran Church has urged the government to make its stand clear on West Papua.

The head of the Church Bishop Jack Urame said successive governments haven't done enough to address human rights problems in the neighbouring Indonesian territory.

He made the comment while speaking at the PNG Council of churches leaders consultation conference in Port Moresby

Bishop Urame said PNG should not stay silent as it has done for far too long to help Melanesian brothers and sisters.

According to him, it's imperative that PNG's new prime minister James Marape make a clear stand on the West Papua issue.

Meanwhile, PNG's Oro Governor Gary Juffa recommended that the new government form a parliamentary select committee on West Papua,

"More action must be taken by PNG to free the people of west Papua from their plight," Mr Juffa explained.

"PNG is a big brother of West Papua and even while in a sensitive situation of sharing a boarder with Indonesia, we cannot stand idly by while West Papuans are being armed."

Meanwhile people of Papua New Guinea and West Papua living in Port Moresby will be hosting a peaceful rally to show solidarity to the West Papua campaign for freedom in the city today.

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