West Papua wishes PNG a Happy Independence Day

Dear all Papua New Guinean wantoks,

On behalf of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the people of West Papua I would like to wish you all a truly Happy Independence Day.


As One Melanesian family from one ancestral land, we West Papuans always celebrate Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day because we truly are all One People. Before the colonial powers drew an artificial line down our country we were one land, One Tumbuna.

In our twin nations of PNG and West Papua, we have a lot to be proud of. We are home to 15% of the world’s languages and the second largest rainforest. We are the world’s second biggest island and we are joined inseparably in the middle. In fact animals can cross from Sorong in the far west of West Papua all the way to Samarai in the far east of PNG but now we cannot move freely and are under the constant fear of Indonesian military oppression. The situation in West Papua is only getting worse and we desperately need the support of our PNG wantoks.
In PNG and West Papua, we have a proud history of standing by one another as wantoks and looking out for one another, against the odds. We will never let our lands be occupied by invaders.ย We, the people of West Papua wish everyone in PNG a safe and peaceful Independence Day and we dream of the day we will celebrate our own Independence Day too.

Remember, we are your twin nation, joined in the middle. If you are hit on one side, you can feel the pain on the other and we know that our PNG family feels the pain of West Papua.

Our fellow Melanesian tumbuna, our ancestors always cry at the suffering of our people. We know that they are watching us with tears in their eyes, watching every generation of West Papuansย grow up in fear, only to be gunned down by the Indonesian military. All the time, we pray that our dear brothers and sisters in PNG will hear our cries for freedom and help our people and help to take back our ancestral lands together that were stolen by the foreign colonial power of Indonesia.

We are fully grateful for the overwhelming support and true Melanesian solidarityย from the people of Papua New Guinea. We know that all the people of PNG are with us in our struggle for self-determination and freedom. This is a Papua New Guinean struggle as much as it is a West Papuan struggle and we know that our PNG family will not forget us but will continue to support us and continue to walk with us down the long road to freedom.

One day we will all celebrate West Papua’s Independence Day in peace and then finally we as One People will be truly independent and free.

May God Bless West Papua and Papua New Guinea.

Happy Independence Day to you all!

Benny Wenda
West Papuan Independence leader
Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)