Fight for West Papua freedom rages on

Inspired by a desire to inform the world of his nation’s plight, Cairns-based West Papuan national Plato Flassy fled his homeland in search of the freedom to speak out.

But after 14 years in Australia, Flassy’s mission to inform is ongoing in the Far North, after the refugee headed a troupe of activists campaigning for the freedom of the besieged nation alongside Cairns MP Rob Pyne.

West Papua has experienced an often violent separatist conflict since being incorporated into Indonesia after a UN-backed referendum in 1969. 

Flassy said he was concerned for the welfare of relatives still in West Papua. 

He said his cousin was incarcerated yesterday as part of the anniversary for Dutch New Guinea’s integration into Indonesia. 

“We feel very scared and determined to bring it out into view by technology like social media,” he said.

(West Papua refugee Plato Flassy of the North Queensland West Papua Association, in front with association members Alicia Maybe, Moi Abel, Moses kareth, Emma Womsiwor, Linos Kandam and Joan Rupa. PICTURE: Stewart McLean)