Benny Wenda: Father Neles Tebay was one of West Papua’s great advocates for peace

On Sunday, West Papua lost a great leader and peace-maker, Father Neles Tebay. He tirelessly sought throughout his life to bring peace and justice to our land through non-violent means. We will always remember what he did for the people of West Papua.

The new generation will take forward his legacy and continue his work. As Father Neles once put it himself, religious leaders and all people must ‘speak out courageously for the rights of the powerless and against all forms of injustice’.

Through his work with the Papuan Peace Network and elsewhere, he has left behind hope for the people of West Papua that we will one day see peace. Whilst our country was not freed from Indonesian colonial violence in his life-time, it will be in ours. Father Neles made a substantial mark on this historic struggle for liberation and social justice, and his contribution will not be forgotten.

Benny Wenda
ULMWP Chairman