FOLLOW THE WEST PAPUA FREEDOM FLOTILLA here: http://freedomflotillawestpapua.org/
Posted on September 8, 2013 by traverser11
The Freedom Flotilla’s flagship the Pog is set to sail for West Papua on this morning’s tide. A military buildup in the Flotilla’s destination port of Merauke has been confirmed, with 2500 troops having arrived on the 28th of August to bolster numbers at the Indonesian border.
Undeterred, the core crew of activists have committed themselves to carrying out their peaceful mission to conduct a ceremony sharing the Sacred Waters from the mound springs of Lake Eyre, and the ashes of Sacred Fires from Aboriginal Tent Embassies across Australia.
The additional troops are suspected to have been deployed to crack down on welcome ceremonies planned for the Freedom Flotilla. Locals from across Merauke district gathered on the 28th of August as the military reinforcements sailed into harbour, preparing garlands of flowers to welcome the Indigenous elders and crew to their land.
On the same day, four organisers of a congregation held in Sorong to pray for the safety of the Freedom Flotilla were arrested and charged with treason.
Indonesian Navy Patrol boats have also been photographed and sighted patrolling the Indonesian border.
The Freedom Flotilla has decided to sail directly to Merauke, rather than via the PNG island of Daru as originally planned. Locals in Daru have reported Australian Defence Force personnel arriving in the past weeks, with pictures received by the Freedom Flotilla over the weekend confirming 7 Zodiac boats and 21 personnel arriving in a Hercules aircraft on the 31st of August, 2013.
Fisherman have reported the presence of a Australian Navy vessel near the maritime border. A Papua New Guinea Defence Force helicopter was also sighted circling the island. Freedom Flotilla organiser Ronny Kareni said “The sudden military presence is highly unusual, it surprised and terrified the villagers on the island who had been organising for a peaceful welcome.”
Australia’s incoming Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, has stated that the Indonesian military may do “whatever it wishes” against the Freedom Flotilla. The Indonesian military has not ruled out the use of lethal force. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale accused the new minister of inciting military action against peaceful protest in the Guardian on the 5th of September. He stated that her comments were “not befitting somebody who is likely to become the next foreign minister.”
Izzy Brown stated on the freedomflotillawestpapua.org ‘Pogcast’ (8/9/13) that now the “worse of two evils” had won the Australian election, there was “all the more reason to challenge both the Australian and the Indonesian Governments jurisdiction over these waterways.”
The Flotilla expects to arrive at the Indonesian border in the two to five days.
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua is an unprecedented event of creative resistance to the Indonesian occupation of West Papua. The initiative of Indigenous Elders of Australia and West Papua will build global solidarity and highlight the abuses of human rights and land rights carried out under the occupations of their lands on an international stage.
Posted on September 5, 2013 by traverser11
Greens senator Richard Di Natale has accused shadow foreign ministerJulie Bishop of inciting the Indonesian military to act against the West Papuan Freedom Flotilla.
The flotilla of Australian and West Papuan activists is sailing from Cairns to West Papua to raise awareness of human rights abuses under Indonesian rule.
Di Natale wrote to Bishop this week to express concern about her public comments on the flotilla. “This peaceful protest does not pose any threat to Indonesia and to imply otherwise has the potential to put Australian lives in danger,” he wrote. “Your comments run the very real risk of inflaming an already tense situation given the threatening language already used by senior members of the Indonesian security forces.”
Read the full story from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/julie-bishop-accused-freedom-flotilla