A highly emotional play dramatised by a ni-Vanuatu Youth Group literally prompted tears to water guests’ eyes, and literally laid the feelings of West Papuans bare, who cannot wait to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group where they believe they literally belong.
The play starts with a group of young people carrying flags of countries of MSG and waving them.
In front of them sits a young man in the dirt draped in the West Papua flag. He stoops then goes down on his knees and starts to cry and beckons with his hands to join the group standing with their flags flittering in the wind.
They do not seem to take any notice of the man who is weeping while calling for acceptance into their ranks.
Finally, one member of the group carrying the Vanuatu flag, walks towards him, covers him with the flag and helps him up and walks with him to join the group.
The play is a prediction of something that the people of West Papua want more than anything else — to take their rightful place among members of MSG.
Speaking for VANGO, Chairman Lae Sakita said he represents over 150 organisations which all support West Papua freedom.
VANGO is linked to the Pacific Islands Association of Non-government Organization (PIANGO) which links about 40 countries in the Pacific including some in West Papua and even in Indonesia. Amnesty International is also linked to the network.
“It is important that youth groups take up these issues and dramatise them through skeets and plays to educate the masses of the importance of self-determination because most of us young people today, were born after 1980 so we did not experience what life was like then, when our leaders of the independence struggle initiated the fire for freedom from colonial rule, which burned throughout our Islands to achieve our Independence”, he said.
“The truth is that here we are raising the West Papua flag in public on the Sea Front while our brothers and sisters in West Papua are raising the same flag in secret in the bush and mountains where Indonesian police cannot reach them or they would be arrested in their own country and thrown in jail”.
He congratulated the group for the play and appealed for all young people to become like the members of the play. “This is an appeal to all young people and parents to make sure that the children of today and tomorrow know what the country went through in order to get to where we are today”, he said.
“Now while we are raising this flag up, some West Papuans are already in jail simply for raising their own flag”.
Pastor Nafuki prayed and asked God to bless both the people of West Papua and people of Vanuatu.