19 Mar 2012

Rallies in Papua call for self-determination, on eve of UN Sec-Gen's Indonesia visit

6:16 pm on 19 March 2012

A series of rallies supporting West Papuan self determination have been planned in towns across Indonesia's Papua region for today.

The rallies come two days ahead of a visit to Indonesia by the United Nations Secretary-General who is to be a keynote speaker at the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue.

One of the organisers of a concurrent rally in Melbourne, Herman Wainggai, has questioned Ban Ki Moon's attendance at the Defense Ministry event.

He says the UN should instead get involved in resolving problems arising from the increased military presence and human rights abuses in Papua.

"West Papuans, we need international intervention so that is why today we're asking for the United Nations to look at our case, especially with the presence of Ban Ki Moon in Indonesia a couple of days later."

Herman Wainggai

The rallies are also in support of the recently jailed leadership of the Federated Republic of West Papua, elected at the Papuan People's Congress last October.