Representative Payne used his important role in the U.S. House of Representatives' international affairs committee and his leading role in the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus to advocate for Papuan rights. The following recalls only part of that impressive record of human rights advocacy:
In March 2008, Faleomavaega and Payne called on the Indonesian government to end restrictions on access to West Papua by international observers. That message also noted the failure of the Indonesian Government's "Special Autonomy" policy, then five years old, to address the fundamental needs in West Papua.
In a November 18, 2011 appeal published in the Jakarta Post, Faleomavaega and Payne urged the Indonesian Government to end "systematic abuse in West Papua."
In a formal statement on the loss of his long time friend and ally Congressmember Faleomavaega said of Representative Payne: "He advocated for and on behalf of the people of West Papua and many other unrepresented peoples across the globe and throughout America. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him well."
WPAT joins in mourning the loss of this consistent friend of the Papuans and of all those suffering repression and denial of their democratic rights.