Statement on 57th West Papua Flag Raising Day
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
The Merdeka West Papua Support Network joins the commemorations on 1st December which marks the 57th anniversary of the day the Morning Star was first raised in West Papua as its national flag. A few years after the historic flag raising event in 1961, the Morning Star was declared illegal by the Indonesian Government following their takeover of West Papua from the Kingdom of Netherlands. Hundreds of West Papuan are being arrested for “treason”, tortured, abducted and murdered just for raising the Morning Star or for being in possession of anything that resembles the flag’s design.
On this day, West Papuans will observe the National Day of Prayer for the self-determination and freedom of their nation. That being said, December 1st is more than a Flag Raising Day. It is also a day of remembrance of Papuan heroes and martyrs who have selflessly fought for the nation’s independence, including the leaders and activists who have been wrongfully imprisoned or were exiled from their own land. We also remember the betrayal and deceptions of the Dutch Government, the Indonesian Government, and even the United Nations which actively took part in the sham referendum which turned over West Papua to Indonesia, ironically called the “Act of Free Choice”.
Today, the genocide of West Papuans continues and intensifies with the presence of Indonesian police and military who now have also become private armies of multinational and transnational companies such as the British Petroleum and the PT Freeport who are notorious plunderers of Indigenous lands and resources.
December 1st is an opportune time to show international solidarity for the West Papua struggle for independence. Our solidarity actions, statements, and photo campaigns help in bringing attention to the realities in West Papua. Let us raise the Morning Star to assert West Papua’s right to self-determination, and also to show our defiance to illegal occupations everywhere in the world.
The history and the future of West Papua will be written by its people. The moment they have decided to claim their independence, they have decided their fate as a people and as a nation. The Merdeka Network shall continue to stand with West Papua until their genuine liberation.