Oct 11, 2021
2 mins read
I started thinking of establishing this West Papua Refugees Relief Association (WPRRA) back in 2007, when I was still an activist, and supporting right now the Governor of National Capital District, Hon Powes Parkop, MP. At that time he was a Human Rights Lawyer and he campaigned a lot for us West Papuan refugees.
When Powes Parkop became the Governor of NDC Port Moresby, and I myself moved back to Refugees camp in Kiunga, then we abandoned this very important organisation we established then.
In 2018, I visited Port Moresby and found out that the organisation is still running, with boards and there are activities being carried out.
West Papuan Elders, particularly The Koteka Tribal Assembly Elders from Walak Tribe has been sending money to the WPRRA to purchase land, and the landlord in Port Moresby, particularly Gerehu has been helping the refugees to obtain the land title. However, it turned out that it is not that easy to do so.
After some years, the Australian Funded projects on refugees has been rolled out and encouraged the PNG government to take some clear actions on West Papuan Refugees. One of the steps taken by the PNG Government is by allocating 19.5 hectares of land at Gerehu Stage 1. This land was already initiated by Tribal Elders from West Papua in communication with land owners in Gerehu, and the PNG government move became milestone for further development.
Various interests and plans in various groups, both government offices and West Papuan ourselves have caused the delay of issuing land-title for the land and further delayed the development of the area.
After returning to Port Moresby in 2018, I started to re-organise and the-orientate the activities of the organisation, and right now we are establishing an office and some houses in the land at Gerehu Stage 1.
This is not a public fund or sponsored activities. West Papua tribal elders are unable to continue supporting this land anymore. They thought the land is already presented by the PNG government therefore, there is no need for the to do anything. The PNG government has not done anything at all on the land. The NCD Governor, Powes Parkop as the Patron of the organisation has not done nor said anything about the development of the organisation.
This is why I take this as a personal responsiblity, as the initiator and founder of the organisation, to do something. At least something should be done.
Right now we are building one office space for the WPRRA and the other 5 rooms house for workers of the office. This has costed me K40,000.00 and the project still continues.
I want to see the office is well-established, the houses are build, and the board run the office in more professional way, in order to help many un-named, un-noticed, neglected and abandoned West Papuan Refugees, state-less and treated inhuman inside Papua New Guinea.
I want to see these West Papuan refugees at least recognised as refugees, and then as human beings, who have equal rights to be recognised and treated as human beings in this eastern part of our New Guinea Island, which happened to be named by foreigners as Papua New Guinea.
This humanitarian work needs your support, any human beings out there, from wherever you are, but particularly human beings from New Guinea Island and those Melanesians. It is time for us Melanesians to recognise and respect West Papuan Refugees as Refugees and treat them according to various internationally recognized humanitarian norms, values and standards.