BackgroundAnthony Craig Registered Nurse and West Papuan Advocate visited the West Papuan Refugee Camps Hohola & Rainbow Port Moresby Papua New Guinea PNG in September 2017. An offer to come to Australia to tell their story was on the table. It was taken up by the West Papuans, Bas and Sonny. Due to costs associated with sponsoring them to Australia, only a weekend could be arranged.
Weekend of 7-9th December 2018Roger and I picked up the two West Papuan friends at Sydney Airport and after a bite to eat, we set off to Lithgow. Another friend from Darwin arrived for our "Meet a West Papuan in Lithgow " event. Once we picked her up from the Domestic terminal, off we went. After a stop off at Hazelbrook to drop off Roger we arrived in Lithgow after midnight. A budget hotel was used for the three nights they were visiting.
Breakfast at Anthony's place and then the West Papuan Flag with National Anthem raised. After this, a quick meeting at the local McDonalds restaurant with other friends who turned up for the event. We arrived at the Lithgow Workmen's Club for our event programmed for 1030am.
The "Meet a West Papuan in Lithgow and hear their story" commenced at 1045am. I introduced the two West Papuans and gave a brief overview of current sad developments in West Papua. Both Bas and Sonny spoke for about 50 minutes on why they are refugees across the border in Papua New Guinea. Between 15 to 20 people, including two journalists attended the event. One journalist was from Sydney and the other, the local Editor of the Lithgow Mercury. The atrocities they witnessed and suffered with family members were an abomination. Indonesian culture for some corrupt officials and military police is to hide the truth if the news is very negative and damaging to their honour. Indonesia did it well with East Timor and the murder of 6 journalists from Australia. Today it's the West Papuan Masquerade. Indonesian military and government are Masters of Terror.
A short break for morning tea, then questions and answers. They are in regular contact with friends and family in West Papua. The news is not good. The atrocities by the Indonesian military and police are covered up like it was in East Timor. The Australian government is complicit under the Lombok Security Treaty with Indonesia. The history of complicity is well known and documented, such as in East Timor, Balibo Five, Roger East Murders and today the West Papuan slaughter cover up.
Lunch saw the group at the coffee and dining area of the club. After a nice meal and chat, some friends left. The Free West Papua Party Australia NSW Inc. AGM commenced after lunch. After ensuring we complied with the NSW Department of Fair Trading for Associations we discussed the current status of our political party for Registration with the Australian Electoral Commission. We finished at the club and left around 1430pm. After a short rest for our West Papuan friends it was dinner time.
They attended the local St Patrick's Church service and met with the locals. A miners lamp was blessed and presented to the two West Papuans who will take the light of Lithgow back to the camps in PNG. Dinner was at the local Chinese restaurant, Blue Sky and then retired at 2100hrs.
Sunday 9th December 2018
Sunday morning breakfast at 0900am. Church service at 1000am to meet more locals. More photos and a small donation were taken for their families back home. They went to the lookouts to view Hassan Walls reserve and to the Lithgow City Bracey Lookout. Had lunch, more visits to locals and back to motel for early to bed. Had early wake up at 0300am, car trip back to Sydney Airport and then flight back to Port Moresby at 1010am.
ReflectionThe cone of silence on West Papuan mass murder and torture by the Indonesian security services is being exposed. The Australian government cover up and complicity is being exposed. Australia funds and trains both the Indonesian military and police who use threats, torture, murder and kidnappings, as a tool of oppression.
All foreign aid to Indonesian including the training of their military and police should cease pending a Royal Commission.
Report by Anthony Craig
Advocate for West Papuan Human Rights and Democracy
National leader Free West Papuan Party Australia
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