The ULMWP Provisional Government would like to offer its heartfelt new year’s wishes to all of you around the world. To our diplomatic friends, solidarity supporters, parliamentarians, lawyers, the Pacific Council of Churches and all those who supported us in 2020, despite the challenging conditions: thank you. We need your continued support and assistance, morally, spiritually, collectively and individually, more than ever in 2021. Our freedom moves ever closer.

This year has started with more repression of our people’s peaceful struggle for independence. Indonesia has been harassing, intimidating and arresting ordinary West Papuans and members of the ULMWP for peacefully supporting the formation of our Provisional Government, and for rejecting the renewal of Jakarta’s ‘Special Autonomy’ fraud:

  • On December 30, Jeremias Rabrageri was arrested in the middle of the night in Masirei, whilst he was sleeping, for supporting the ULMWP Provisional Government;
  • On January 5, John Imbiri was summoned to a police station in Waropen Regency for supporting the December 1 announcement;
  • Today (January 7), Alvarez Kapisa has been arrested on Biak island for peaceful protesting against ‘Special Autonomy’ and supporting the Provisional Government;

We also mourn the news that another religious leader, Catholic seminarian Zhage Sil, has been killed in West Papua, following the Indonesian military killing of several religious figures in 2020.

Jakarta’s elites continue to publicly state their true plans for West Papua. General Hendropriyono, former head of the central Indonesian intelligence agency, the BIN, and a retired Kopassus general, has stated that two million West Papuans should be transferred to Manado. This is nearly the entire Indigenous population – one of the clearest calls for ethnic cleansing in the history of humanity.

This is the racist Indonesian mindset. The Indonesian Government’s attitude is to divide and conquer, to ethnically cleanse, to wipe out our population. There is no genuine development, no attempt to truly protect human life and well-being.

We have the solutions. We want to create an independent, green state, based on human rights and self-determination. We are already creating this future with our Provisional Government and Provisional Constitution. The Indonesian presence in West Papua is destroying our identity, our way of life, our environment. There is a genocide and an ecocide taking place. It is time for the world to lend its support to the creation of the planet’s first green state in West Papua and end Indonesian colonialism.

Our demands to the Indonesian government are clear: 1) allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into our land immediately, in line with the call of 82 international states; 2) release all political prisoners, including those recently arrested for supporting the formation of the ULMWP Provisional Government; and 3) end martial law in West Papua and withdraw all troops from West Papua, particularly the regions of Ndgua, Puncak Jaya and Intan Jaya, where military operations have displaced over 60,000 people. This demand has also been made by the Association of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), the United Evangelical Mission, the four largest Papuan Protestant denominations under the West Papua Council of Churches and 147 Papuan Catholic priests.

As the Interim President of West Papua, I am calling on the Indonesian President to fulfil these demands and to find a long-term solution to this issue through an international mechanism. There can be no more delays. The people of West Papua do not accept your illegal occupation, and from December 1, 2020, only recognise the legitimacy of the ULMWP Provisional Government and Provisional Constitution. We are reclaiming the sovereignty you stole from us in 1963.

To my people, 2021 is the time for every West Papuan to unite and reclaim our sovereignty behind the ULMWP Provisional Government. We must not obey any Indonesian law – we have our own law and our own government now. Whether you are in a civil resistance organisation, in the West Papua Army, a migrant, an exile, a refugee or working for the Indonesian government, all the people of West Papuan must unite to support the Provisional Government and gain our independence.

Benny Wenda
Interim President
ULMWP Provisional Government