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West Papua: A Hawaiian point of view

Walter Ritte

We are inundated with many horror stories of US wars over our quest for oil, especially in the Middle East. The story that grabs me is the horror story happening in our Pacific backyard to our cousins in West Papua New Guinea. A story I am sure you have never heard of. A story that surely could not be happening here in the peaceful pacific in 2013 – and not to pacific natives.

Large corporations, who through exploitation, are looking to make expansive profits, are coveting natural resources on the land, in the forests and in the ocean. The government of Indonesia supports the corporations using extreme force, such as burning homes, arresting natives, raping women, and killing families. The main target are those seeking sovereignty and independence for West Papua.

All of this, and no reaction from the civilized nations of the Pacific, such as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Philippines or the United States. This is like a cancer in the Pacific, that if not stopped will surely reach our Hawaii shores. The ethical treatment of our cousins must be defended! The United States must show its colors regarding this dangerous inhumane policy here in the Pacific, before it spreads and is accepted as a way of doing business with native people inherent in their “Pacific Pivot” national policy.

How will Hawaiians fare in our battle for Sovereignty and our efforts in defending Haloa and our natural resources from the corporations that are here mining our lands and ocean? OHA and our Hawaii State Legislature should be petitioning Congress to put a stop to this inhumane treatment of our Papuan Cousins in New Guinea, lest this becomes the new norm we can expect for natives in the Pacific.