West Papuans join in prayer for their brother left behind

Forty-two West Papuan asylum seekers who were granted temporary protection by the Australian Government in March will join in prayer at midday today for David Wainggai who has been refused protection.

David Wainggai (pictured) is the son of a founder of the West Papuan independence movement and the Immigration Minister's staff have established that he has a substantial foundation for fear of persecution should he be returned to West Papua.

According to a statement from Melbourne's St Ignatius Church in Richmond, where many of the group of 42 West Papuans have found accommodation, family members fear that if the Government forced David Wainggai back to Japan, he would face the same treatment there as other asylum seekers have received and be repatriated to Indonesia.

Fr Peter Norden, Parish Priest of St Ignatius Church, will lead his community in prayer at midday today, in the hope that Mr Wainggai might be able to join his fellow West Papuans in Melbourne.

Members of the West Papuan community and their supporters also will join in the prayer for a change of heart by the Government. The West Papuans will sing a song of hope, seeking justice and compassion.

Fr Norden says Mr Wainggai has already spent more than four months on Christmas Island and the isolation is taking its toll.

"We believe that David should have been able to join the rest of the group and that the fact that he is the son of a leader of the West Papuan independence movement should certainly not have influenced the Australian Government rejection of his claim," he said.

West Papuans join in prayer for their brother left behind (St Ignatius Church Richmond 25/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Ignatius, Richmond
Hampapua.org - A Human Rights Resource for West Papua (Catholic Diocese of Jayapura)

Nun identifies key to understanding West Papua tension (CathNews 13/4/06)

First give West Papuans a human welcome (Eureka Street 16/5/06)

26 May 2006