A conversation with Jacob Rumbiak, West Papuan academic and political leader who has been in self-imposed exile in Australia after escaping from detention as a political prisoner for ten years in Indonesian gaols.
Hollandia and Melania are both daughters of Frans Kapisa a well known leader of the independence movement in West Papua. They both now live, study and work in Perth after receiving Permanent protections visas. Those now running from the Indonesian military may not be given in asylum in Australia since the election of Tony Abbott.
Frans Kapisa and many other West Papuans are currently in hiding from the Indonesian military after engaging in a ceremony in which ashes and water from Australia were brought the West Papua to re-connect the land and the struggles of the Aboriginal people here and in West Papua who struggle against the illegal occupation of their countries. The ashes and water were brought by the Freedom Flotilla an exercise that has escalated the tensions in West Papua agitated Indonesia but has sparked hope within West Papua for those who are oppressed, intimidated, tortured, killed and imprisoned – the West Papuans.