Benny Wenda – Freedom for West Papua


We would like to invite you to one of our biggest and most exclusive lectures of the spring, where we invite independence leader Benny Wenda to Umeå.

Date: Monday 24/4
Time: 15:00
Place: Lecture Hall A, Lindellhallen

New Guinea is the second largest island in the world after Greenland. Rich in natural resources the island was divided, during the eighteen hundreds, by the British and the Germans to the east and the Dutch to the west. After world war 2 the European powers found themselves in a weakened position and thus started to de-colonize New Guinea. The eastern half of the island, at this point fully controlled by the Australians, gained their sovereignty in 1975 and today go under the name of Papua New Guinea. The western half, still controlled by the Dutch, prepared the western half of the island to gain full independence in 1959, in 1962 they handed over the territory to the “united nations temporary executive authority”, in 1963 the Indonesian government took over control and in 1969 they formally annexed the country.

Benny Wenda is a West Papuan independence leader. He was born in the 1970s, grew up hiding in the jungle with the rest of his tribe, survived a bomb raid were he injured his leg, got arrested later in life and fled to the United Kingdom where he today lives in exile, on the other side of the planet, very far from home. The island is very rich in natural resources and has the biggest goldmine in the world. With the support of the Indonesian government American, British and Australian companies like Freeport-McMoRan, BP and Rio Tinto extract these resources, something these companies and the Indonesian government make huge profits outof. Native Papuans however, see very little, if nothing, of these economic revenues. The territory has also been subject to decades of colonial settlement policies until 2015. Benny Wenda was a Nobel peace price nominee and is fighting tooth and nail to spread awareness of this conflict, don’t miss out on this truly unique opportunity to hear about a horrible situation you never even knew was going on in the first place.

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