Yesterday morning on December 1, the Morning Star West Papua flag was hoisted next to the Vanuatu flag by the Caretaker of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua Office, Freddy Warome, in full military uniform at Sea Front in Port Vila.
The Chairman of both Vanuatu Christian Council and Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Pastor Alain Nafuki, was on hand to bless the Flag and West Papua National Day December 1 before it was raised in the breezy sunshine, to flitter next to the Vanuatu Flag.
Meanwhile West Papua Leaders have confirmed to a handful of witnesses of the ceremony that reports have reached them of further shooting at one of the world’s largest open cast mines in West Papua.
They said the shooting was carried out by the West Papua Liberation Army. At this stage, it is still not clear if there were any casualties.
However latest report yesterday afternoon said several West Papua students who entered a university dressed in indigenous attire to mark December 1, were arrested by Indonesian Police.
No further information was available as the article was published.
West Papua Day was officially celebrated in the afternoon marked by a number of speakers from the Vanuatu Christian council, West Papua Committee and Chiefs and Civil society from three to five in the afternoon.
Pastor Nafuki said the purpose of the ceremony is to confirm to the world that while Vanuatu is a tiny country, it has remained steadfast in its commitment to West Papua Freedom since day one when their political plight was first brought to the country’s attention prior to the country’s freedom on July 30 of 1980.
With a population of approximately 3 million, the people of West Papua have been struggling for self-determination from colonialism for 58 years.
The struggle has reached the United Nations with support from approximately 90 countries Spearheaded by the World Council of Churches through the Pacific Council of Churches, Vanuatu Christian Council and Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and the Government of Vanuatu and its people.