|Visiting West Papuan leader Octo Mote at the Auckland rally against the
Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade” negotiations. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC
Octo Mote, a former journalist and now secretary-general of the United Liberation Front of West Papua, was in town to spread the good news of West Papuan strategic self-determination developments to activists and supporters.
He spoke at a packed public meeting in the Peace Place on Friday night less than 24 hours after talking to students at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji before taking part in the anti-TPP/TPPA rally.
Rally organiser Barry Coates introduced Mote to the crowd outside the US Consulate-General.
Apart from welcoming Vanuatu’s initiative to press for a United Nations special envoy on West Papua, and the Solomon Islands decision to appoint a special envoy, Mote was positively upbeat about the upsurge in Pacific regional support for the West Papuan human rights cause.
As usual Australia and New Zealand are dragging the chain.
|West Papuan Octo Mote (right) with Pax Christ's Kevin McBride at the Peace Place meeting. Photo: David Robie|
Karma was jailed in 2004 for 15 years for raising the Morning Star flag, the outlawed symbol of Papuan independence. But he is defiant about the plan to free him from Abepura prison in Jayapura.
He is only interested in an unconditional release so that he can resume campaigning for West Papuan self-determination.
In a statement released through activist circles and cited by Tabloid Jubi, he declared:
"I, Filep Samuel Karma, reject the offer of remitting my sentence in celebration of Indonesia’s National Independence Day on August 17. The independence day of West Papua, my own nation, is December 1.
"I will only accept an unconditional release. If an unconditional release is offered, I would be happy to walk free from Abepura Prison on August 18, my own personal independence day.
"I did not commit any crime when I raised the Morning Star flag in 2004.
"I will keep campaigning for independence once I am free.”
|Anti-TPP rally organiser Barry Coates speaking outside the US Consulate-General. Photo: David Robie|
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