West Papua campaigner vows not to be silenced

thisisoxfordshire: Benny Wenda outside the New Zealand Parliament. Picture: Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald Benny Wenda outside the New Zealand Parliament. Picture: Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald

CAMPAIGNER Benny Wenda last night said a ban from the New Zealand Parliament would just make him more determined in his fight for independence for his West Papua homeland.

Mr Wenda, who has lived in Oxford for more than 10 years, is on an international tour to press for West Papua’s independence from Indonesia but found himself banned from speaking in New Zealand’s Parliament buildings by its speaker, David Carter.

The father-of-six, who lives in Marston Road, embarked on his tour in January after he was removed from an Interpol wanted list, which placed him at risk of extradition to Indonesia.

The 37-year-old started in New York, before travelling in the United States, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific.

But it was in New Zealand where he struck trouble, with Mr Carter refusing him the right to speak at a meeting and politicians of the ruling conservative National party being warned by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully from getting involved.

The Speaker did not reveal why Mr Wenda was not allowed to speak, but rival politicians said the New Zealand government did not want to offend Indonesia, a strong trade partner.

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Mr McCully also refused to meet Mr Wenda, who said he wanted to tell the minister New Zealand’s aid did not reach the indigenous people.

Speaking from Vanuatu, Mr Wenda said last night: “Although I was disappointed on a human level, being silenced is nothing new for me and my people.

“We have not had our voice heard for nearly 50 years.

“The block from speaking in the Parliament in New Zealand has made me more determined to continue with my work, informing people around the world about my people’s struggle for freedom from Indonesian colonial rule.”

Mr Wenda has been lobbying governments around the world to seek support for West Papuans’ call for a free referendum.

A spokesman for Mr Wenda said: “He has had a very warm welcome in all the countries.

“Even in New Zealand, the opposition parties came out strongly in support of Benny after the Speaker had blocked him from speaking last month.

“The tour will finish at the end of this month when Benny returns to Papua New Guinea to address the Parliament there.”

After being accused by the Indonesian authorities of murder and arson, which he denied, Mr Wenda was subject to an Interpol red notice placing him at risk of extradition to Indonesia.

Fair Trials International campaigned on his behalf, and the Interpol notice against him was removed. Mr Wenda fled his homeland in 2002 and gained political asylum in the UK in 2003.

Comments (9)

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9:04pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Andrew767 says...

Readers, please correct me if you think I am wrong but;

West Papua is a United Nations trust territory, and has been ever since the General Assembly made resolution 1752 (XVII) to authorise UN occupation of the colony in 1962. A use of UN forces allowed under article 85 and chapter XII of the UN Charter.

For 50 years the Papuan people have protested the UN choice of Indonesia as administrator and have called for the United Nations to fulfill its duties including articles 76, 87, and 88 of the UN Charter.

The occupation and mining of the colony also looks to have been the handy work of Freeport director Robert Lovett who in 1960 told President-elect Kennedy to appoint Lovett's friend McGeorge Bundy to run the NSC which then told Kennedy that the US had to pressure the Dutch into signing the agreement for UN and Indonesian occupation of the colony. Today Freeport operates the world's largest gold mine, guess where.
Readers, please correct me if you think I am wrong but; West Papua is a United Nations trust territory, and has been ever since the General Assembly made resolution 1752 (XVII) to authorise UN occupation of the colony in 1962. A use of UN forces allowed under article 85 and chapter XII of the UN Charter. For 50 years the Papuan people have protested the UN choice of Indonesia as administrator and have called for the United Nations to fulfill its duties including articles 76, 87, and 88 of the UN Charter. The occupation and mining of the colony also looks to have been the handy work of Freeport director Robert Lovett who in 1960 told President-elect Kennedy to appoint Lovett's friend McGeorge Bundy to run the NSC which then told Kennedy that the US had to pressure the Dutch into signing the agreement for UN and Indonesian occupation of the colony. Today Freeport operates the world's largest gold mine, guess where. Andrew767

9:29pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Charles_Kean says...

I am full of admiration for what Mr Wenda is doing. He'd be a more than worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work.

During my time serving as a diplomat in south-east Asia I heard countless stories of the atrocities Indonesia is committing in West Papua. I very much hope that these people get their wish for freedom. Self-determination is the hallmark of any democracy, and Indonesia can never be considered one until it grants that right to those living in all the territories that it colonised.
I am full of admiration for what Mr Wenda is doing. He'd be a more than worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work. During my time serving as a diplomat in south-east Asia I heard countless stories of the atrocities Indonesia is committing in West Papua. I very much hope that these people get their wish for freedom. Self-determination is the hallmark of any democracy, and Indonesia can never be considered one until it grants that right to those living in all the territories that it colonised. Charles_Kean

10:28pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Andrew767 says...

Self-determination is a requirement of article 76 of the UN Charter, that is why every other trust territory has been allowed self-determination.

West Papua is different because it had resources the Americans wanted. That's why Nixon scheduled his tour to keep the media away from the Indonesian 'act of free choice', and is why the UN in 2504 (XXIV) tried unsuccessfully to distance itself from the trusteeship.. Corruption at the highest levels.
Self-determination is a requirement of article 76 of the UN Charter, that is why every other trust territory has been allowed self-determination. West Papua is different because it had resources the Americans wanted. That's why Nixon scheduled his tour to keep the media away from the Indonesian 'act of free choice', and is why the UN in 2504 (XXIV) tried unsuccessfully to distance itself from the trusteeship.. Corruption at the highest levels. Andrew767

2:24pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling?
Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling? Lord Palmerstone

4:27pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Isawyoucoming says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling?
In passing none of your business
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling?[/p][/quote]In passing none of your business Isawyoucoming

2:57pm Wed 20 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

Isawyoucoming wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling?
In passing none of your business
Well it's probably no concern of you as a non-taxpayer but most of us do pay taxes and "The father-of-six, who lives in Marston Road" rather suggests we're paying, or rather we're borrowing to pay which will hurt our grandchildren. Even you might have taxpaying grandchildren. In fact the finacing of this gentleman who ought surely to be at work supporting his large family is about the only newsworthy part of this and the reporter was not sufficiently interested to find out.
[quote][p][bold]Isawyoucoming[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: Wasn't it Dutch in happier times? In passing how can he afford all the travelling?[/p][/quote]In passing none of your business[/p][/quote]Well it's probably no concern of you as a non-taxpayer but most of us do pay taxes and "The father-of-six, who lives in Marston Road" rather suggests we're paying, or rather we're borrowing to pay which will hurt our grandchildren. Even you might have taxpaying grandchildren. In fact the finacing of this gentleman who ought surely to be at work supporting his large family is about the only newsworthy part of this and the reporter was not sufficiently interested to find out. Lord Palmerstone

3:48am Thu 21 Mar 13

MarkWebber says...

Well, then how much resources UK-based company profited from Papua, say BP?
This type of support is not only happen in UK, US and Australia or other countries (tax payers) are doing the same.
Two difference cases and should be wisely viewed.
Well, then how much resources UK-based company profited from Papua, say BP? This type of support is not only happen in UK, US and Australia or other countries (tax payers) are doing the same. Two difference cases and should be wisely viewed. MarkWebber

7:02am Thu 21 Mar 13

Agus Karubaba says...

I'm Papuan and lived in Papua. People like Mr Wenda is just make my life harder here. It's a bullsh*t when they said that what they do, flying around the word is for Papuan. They doing it just for their personal interest, for money and other facilities.
I'm Papuan and lived in Papua. People like Mr Wenda is just make my life harder here. It's a bullsh*t when they said that what they do, flying around the word is for Papuan. They doing it just for their personal interest, for money and other facilities. Agus Karubaba

7:14am Thu 21 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

MarkWebber wrote:
Well, then how much resources UK-based company profited from Papua, say BP?
This type of support is not only happen in UK, US and Australia or other countries (tax payers) are doing the same.
Two difference cases and should be wisely viewed.
Write it in your first language and we'll put it on Google translate. Makes no sense.
When one knows who pays the chap's travel one knows who pulls his strings, but Webber MAY be taking a swipe at BP on behalf of the man. BP pays pensions, never forget and if it's anti BP money , then it's communist money which is paying for father of 6 from Marston road/international globetrotter
[quote][p][bold]MarkWebber[/bold] wrote: Well, then how much resources UK-based company profited from Papua, say BP? This type of support is not only happen in UK, US and Australia or other countries (tax payers) are doing the same. Two difference cases and should be wisely viewed.[/p][/quote]Write it in your first language and we'll put it on Google translate. Makes no sense. When one knows who pays the chap's travel one knows who pulls his strings, but Webber MAY be taking a swipe at BP on behalf of the man. BP pays pensions, never forget and if it's anti BP money , then it's communist money which is paying for father of 6 from Marston road/international globetrotter Lord Palmerstone

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