The Dutch had prepared West Papua for independence. However, within months, the Indonesian military invaded – determined to include the resource-rich land as part of their nation.
The United Nations declared that West Papuans were to be given the “opportunity to exercise freedom of choice” through consultation and a referendum, with voting rights for all adult males and females. However, it was only a bogus referendum that followed, with 1026 Papuans (out of 1 million) picked to vote in 1969. Under severe duress, including threats of torture and death, they voted to remain part of Indonesia. The UN shamefully sanctioned the result.
Since then, West Papuans have been slaughtered, tortured, raped, culturally oppressed, discriminated against, denied the most fundamental freedoms and have seen their homes burned to the ground.
The Morning Star flag is recognised as the national flag of West Papua and continues to be the defining symbol for a Free West Papua – “Parpua Merdeka”. Today it is illegal to raise this flag in West Papua and people who do face arrest, torture and long jail sentences. On this day, people from around the world raise the Morning Star flag to stand in solidarity with the West Papuans. Over the past several years the international community, including a number of the Pacific nations, has become increasingly aware of the West Papua situation and is advocating for their freedom.
The DLP maintains its position that there must be a new, and proper, vote for independence by the indigenous people of West Papua.