December 17, 2017

3218 INDONESIA (New Guinea) - Morning Star flag

In 1949, the Netherlands recognised Indonesian sovereignty over the Dutch East Indies with the exception of Dutch New Guinea, because Western New Guinea is geographically very different to Indonesia and the people also very ethnically different. A national parliament was elected in 1961 and the Morning Star flag raised on 1 December, with independence planned in 9 years time. In 1962, the Dutch handed over the territory to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority, until 1963, when Indonesia took control.

In 1969, Indonesia organised a referendum named the Act of Free Choice, to determine whether the Papuan people wanted independence or union with Indonesia. Under the terms of the New York Agreement, all Western New Guinean men and women were supposed to participate to the referendum, but the Indonesian government claimed that Papuans were too "primitive" to cope with democracy and instead used a musyawarah (a traditional Indonesian consensus of elders) to decide the region's status.

The 1,026 elders were hand-picked by the Indonesian government and many were coerced into voting for union with Indonesia, facts confirmed by the UN observers. There has been resistance to Indonesian integration and occupation, both through civil disobedience (such as Morning Star flag raising ceremonies) and via the formation of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM, or Free Papua Movement) in 1965, engaged in a pro-independence conflict with the Indonesian military.

Multiple killings and other human rights violations by Indonesian troops, caused many West Papuans and international organisations to describe the situation in West Papua as genocide. Over 500,000 Papuans have been killed, and thousands more have been raped, tortured and imprisoned by the Indonesian military since 1969.  In the Post-Suharto era, the national government began a process of decentralisation of the provinces, including, in December 2001, "Special Autonomy" status for Papua.

The Morning Star flag was a flag used in a supplemental fashion on Netherlands New Guinea to the Flag of the Netherlands. It was first raised on 1 December 1961 prior to the territory coming under administration of the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority. On 1 July 1971, Seth Jafeth Roemkorem and Jacob Hendrik Prai, leaders of Free Papua Movement, proclaimed Republic of West Papua as an independent state, and the Morning Star flag was declared as a national flag. Since 2002, the flag may be official raised in Papua so long as the flag of Indonesia is also raised and it is higher than the Morning Star flag.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series The Funfair, designed by Séverin Millet and issued on June, 3, 2017.

Free Papua Movement - Wikipedia
Western New Guinea - Wikipedia

Sender: Jean Yves Gerlat
Sent from Villard-Bonnot (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / France), on 11.2017

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