Port Vila, Jubi – The newly elected leadership of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) extend their gratitude to the people of Vanuatu following their first meeting in the country few days ago.
In their letter of statement received by Jubi, Wednesday (December 12) Benny Wenda, the elected chairman of ULMWP feel grateful for Vanuatu welcoming their celebration of Independence Day.
“On behalf of the newly elected leadership of ULMWP, the people of West Papua, the Papuan delegates who have travelled to be here today and our solidarity groups around the world, I would like to thank the people of Vanuatu for allowing us to celebrate our independence day here with you,” he said.
On December 1st 56 years ago, he said, West Papuans declared their independence from the Dutch and raised the Morning Star flag for the first time.
“But after all this time, we still do not have our freedom. (However) Wwe are so happy to stand with you here on your sacred ground to celebrate our national day as well as the opening of our ULMWP Head Office, thanks to the generosity and solidarity from the Vanuatu government and its people,” Wenda said.
He mentioned that the people of Vanuatu have made history for West Papua for all supports and solidarity they have been given.
“As you are aware, this journey has been a long and difficult. Quite often, we as Papuans feel that it is only us against the world. But when Vanuatu says “We will stand beside you”, it gives us hope for the future and that one day we will invite you to celebrate with us in West Papua our independence.”
Wenda admit that the challenge ahead of for them is huge, but through the unity on the in West Papua and abroad, they can achieve the goals.
“Over the last few days we have spent so many hours discussing, sharing and planning for the future of our movement. We are more united than ever. We commit to listening carefully and being accountable to our people on the ground in West Papua. It is from the people of West Papua – and all our solidarity groups around the world – that we gain our strength.”
Under our new leadership structure, Wenda said ULMWP commits to a strong and unified future as needed for the liberation of West Papua people.
He also said that the movement for liberation of West Papua is growing in strength all the time because the support they get from the Pacific.
“It is the support of our Pacific neighbours that has helped to drive the momentum we now have – and allowed nations around the world to start to support us on the international stage. Without the support of the Pacific, it would have been difficult to develop this growing international solidarity. Your continued support is essential for our cause,” he said.
On the day of global flag raising of Morning Star, Wenda paid tribute to his brothers and sisters in West Papua who will do the same (raised the banned flag—ed) , “while under threat of violence, arrest and imprisonment.”
He paid tribute to their courage and give promise to do their utmost to ensure the success of the struggle, “so that one day we will raise this flag in a free and independent West Papua,” he said.(Zely A)