On behalf of the ULMWP Provisional Government I would like to offer my condolences and pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. I know her passing will be keenly felt across the Pacific, including in West Papua and the Melanesian Commonwealth countries.

When I was hiding in the bush in West Papua, fighting against Indonesian colonialism, I had a dream that the Queen see me win my freedom. Now I have been given freedom of the city of Oxford, I feel free in the country she ruled over for so long.

I was given political asylum in Britain in 2003, in the fifth decade of her reign as Queen. During my asylum claim interview in Liverpool, the immigration official asked me, ‘why did you come here? Why not go to a different country, such as Australia?’ I answered that I am seeking support from the mother of nations.

I wish to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as I know the British people are mourning her loss. I dream of the day that West Papua can stand alongside Great Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth family as an independent state, liberated from the brutality of Indonesian colonial rule. 

Benny Wenda
Interim President
ULMWP Provisional Government