The Free West Papua Movement brings the reality of their struggle to Samoa’s shores today, in the hope to raise international awareness about their plight.
Leading the local protestors in a planned peaceful protest is Samoa First Union, who will be hoping to draw the attention of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders to the issue.
In an email to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Jerome Mika said the protest will take place outside the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel where the Forum meeting is taking place.
Mr. Mika said leaders in Apia this week should not ignore the issue of West Papua.
“We plan to do a peaceful demonstration outside the Pacific Leaders Forum in support of self-determination of our Pacific cousins, West Papua,” Mr. Mika said.
“We call on the other Pacific Island heads of state to join the seven countries pushing to re-list West Papua with the U.N. Decolonisation Committee, which includes Samoa.
“We should stand together with West Papua. Lest we forget.”
Mr. Mika said many supporters of the Free West Papua Movement are expected to be present.
The protests are being planned between 8am and 9am and again at 4pm to 5pm.
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauai Kaimahi released a statement on Monday, strongly endorsing the rights of West Papua to self govern.
“Last Thursday, the national council of affiliates of the N.Z.C.T.U. voted to add their weight to growing international calls for self-determination for West Papua,” said N.Z.C.T.U. Secretary, Sam Huggard.
“It follows the signing in 2016 by 11 Members of the New Zealand Parliament, from four different parties, of a declaration in support of independence for West Papua that other parliamentarians globally have signed. The whole world is watching.”