Suva Rally Over Papua

Suva Rally Over Papua

Suva Rally Over Papua

A good crowd gathered yesterday at Ratu Sukuna Park to show their support for a ‘Free West Papua’ campaign.

Human rights, religious and youth organisations were also present at the campaign.

The event is in collaboration with the World Social Justice Day, which is commemorated on February 20 annually.

Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) director Sirino Rakabi said they wanted to share with the people of Fiji an important message to support the fight against what he called the sufferings faced by the people of West Papua.

“It is also a time to reflect on ourselves and that the churches, human rights groups, civil societies need to be the voice of the West Papuan people in their fight for freedom,” Mr Rakabi said.

He said this was a social justice mission for all of them.
“I believe social justice is the care for all people, for our environment so that everybody enjoys the luxury of society that God offers us,” Mr Rakabi said.
Human rights activist and co-ordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Shamima Ali, said as good human beings, men and women, we all must support the cause of justice.

“We must uphold democracy, the rule of law and equality, human rights and everything else that makes us human beings,” Ms Ali said.

She said freedom was fought and struggled for and we must continue the struggle whether we are here or anywhere else in the world.

The president of the Fiji Council of Churches, Manumalo Tuinanumea, said our West Papuan brothers and sisters have long been oppressed and were calling on us to stand in solidarity with them.

“For this reason that I stand here to be the voice of the member churches of FCC and other churches that support the cause and to publicly declare our solidarity with our West Papuan brothers and sisters,” Mr Tuinanumea said.
He said it was their hopes and prayers that the morning star would rise; that the freedom for West Papua be achieved peacefully.

Meanwhile, president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Tevita Banivanua, said for too long, we have failed to speak out against what he called the brutal oppression of the West Papuan people.

“As we mark World Social Justice Day, each one of us is called to commit to practicing the golden rule – the source of morality; the act of empathy, of putting yourself in the place of another – to be in solidarity with those oppressed and less fortunate brothers and sisters of ours,”
“In particular we are called to speak for those whose voices are ignored or silenced,” Reverend Banivanua said.

“We are called to speak the truth in love”.
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