Free West Papua Campaign to open office in Netherlands
The Free West Papua Campaign is to open an office in the Netherlands.
The Free West Papua Campaign hopes that by opening a new office in the Netherlands, it will shed light on part of the country's history that it says the Dutch government has been hiding for years.
Earlier this year the Campaign opened an office in the British city of Oxford.
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa voiced disappointment that the British government was unwilling to take steps against the office.
The Free West Campaign's Oridek Ap says the new office in the Hague will be opened on August 15th, the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia under which control of the former Dutch New Guinea was ceded.
Johnny Blades asked him if there's much awareness about West Papua in the Netherlands:
ORIDEK AP: Our support is still growing we still have a lot of work to do because if you go out on the streets nobody knows West Papua, we need to tell the story from the beginning, it's time we made people on the street. But we are grateful if we can tell the story to one person and if that one person is willing to help us that is a victory for us and that one person can make some changes here in the Netherlands. I think step by step we will reach a stage here in the Netherlands, we will put pressure on the government by telling the story they've been hiding for so many years. So it is our task to inform the youth in the Netherlands about their own story, about our history, the West Papuan story. That's why we think it will be more efficient by opening an office so people will know that there is an office where we can give people to get more information about the situation in West Papua about why the people in West Papua are struggling for freedom.
JOHNNY BLADES: Have you encountered any difficulties in setting up the office in terms of the government?
OA: Not yet but they've been asking questions but I think true democracies we have the right to open an office so the government can not stop us you know, it's our democratic right to open an office in the Netherlands, we can do it openly and freely.
JB: What do you imagine that the office will be doing on a day to day basis?
OA: It will be there for people to come for information and for advice. We want people to visit our office when they have plans to go to West Papua. We want to give them advice and inform them about the situation over there about the ongoing struggle in West Papua. I think on the same day we will also launch our new campaign, our Visit West Papua campaign. By launching this campaign we will also invite people to travel to West Papua to see with their own critical eyes about what is really happening in West Papua and this is also one of our starting campaigns and everything will be co-ordinated from this office.
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