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West Papua’s suppression is a fraudulent process facilitated by the UN

October 19, 2018

“West Papua’s suppression is a fraudulent process facilitated by the UN”

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation-11 hours ago

The Indonesian Government has used “sovereignty” as an excuse to suppress West Papuans‘ demands for self-determination, commit human …


wp Light at end of tunnel for West Papua

October 17, 2018

Light at end of tunnel for West Papua

  • By Len Garae
  • Oct 11, 2018

Pastor Nafuki sees light at end of tunnel for West Papua

By Len Garae

“Let me assure the world that I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, that now the whole world knows more about West Papua than ever before so this is sure confidence for me which reflects the faith of the population of Vanuatu.

“Indonesia can say whatever it wants to say but I am confident to say that West Papua is getting closer and closer and closer to its destiny for our Great God to give them their birthright and He is choosing us one by one to proclaim it to the world”.

This is the first interview with the President of the Civil Society Organisations, Presbyterian Church Pastor Allan Nafuki, that support the longstanding struggle for freedom of the Melanesian people of West Papua.

“My first message is that Vanuatu’s support for West Papua has not changed; chiefs, grandparents, fathers, mothers, young people and children’s support have not changed. Our mandate is to help West Papua to achieve self-determination and freedom”, he says.

“It is the mandate of our Government to continue to lobby with other friendly countries to support the struggle of the people of West Papua to gain their freedom.

“This is to secure enough support by other countries to help us to put the demand of West Papua before the Committee of 24.

“We have so far 70 countries round the world that has aligned with Vanuatu to support our stand towards West Papua, and we need 30 more.

“In the Pacific we have small countries including Tuvalu, Micronesia and Tonga even though our brothers of Fiji, PNG do not support us and Solomons are 50-50 and so we have seven or eight countries in the Pacific that support our stand plus some Caribbean and African countries”.

Asked if the 70 countries are members of the UN, Pastor Nafuki says these are the countries that recognise and support the West Papua Issue.

“We are lobbying for 30 more to arrive at the required 100 countries in order to push the West Papua issue to another level.

“We thank God for our people including MPs Johnny Koanapo and Ralph Regenvanu and civil society organization of which I am Chairman.

“With only 30 more countries to join the list, I am confident of a light at the end of the tunnel that by 2019, we will have enough numbers to push West Papua through the Committee of 24”, he says.

“The Vanuatu Government is also committed to making sure that 100 countries will be supporting West Papua in the not too distant future”.

Lobbying is now in progress with the 24 member countries of the Committee to support the West Papua Issue.

“When Vanuatu raised the West Papua Issue at the UN, thousands of West Papuans marched in support of what Vanuatu was doing”, he said.

An emergency meeting was held at the West Papua House at four o’clock yesterday afternoon in Port Vila for Vanuatu Free West Papua Association to be briefed on the latest situation on West Papua.

Asked to comment on the Indonesian representative’s address at the UN, the Chairman said there was nothing new in it – only the same repetition since day one except Indonesia’s tightening of its security in the bush.

However in the same way the West Papua Liberation Army has also tightened its security dividing the men and women and children into groups to move quickly.

“For security reasons, only Indonesia’s side releases information while West Papua remains silent but we and United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) know what is happening in West Papua”, he says.

Our appeal to West Papuans is to remain vigilant to make sure that different factions within West Papua must always stand united to make sure that individual factions do not break the solidarity of the people of West Papua. “Let us all stand together to go forward in unity to achieve the goal through our prayers for God to continue to bless the people of West Papua. This is our faith and hope in Vanuatu for the people of West Papua”, he concludes.

Summary of events in West Papua (14 Sept – 8 October 2018)

October 9, 2018

Summary of events in West Papua (14 Sept – 8 October 2018)

Congratulations to the Pacific countries of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands for raising the issue of West Papua at the 73rd session of the UN general assembly in New York.

In a statement, Benny Wenda, Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) said,
History was once again made at the United Nations General Assembly last week, as the voice of the West Papuan people was amplified for the ears of the world to hear. Demonstrating enduring Pacific solidarity, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Republic of Vanuatu all spoke out in support of West Papua and the need for our cause to be returned to the United Nations. The Solomon Islands also voiced its concerns over human rights abuses and violations……..

Joint Statement: UNGA: Correcting the Record on Human Rights Violations in West Papua and The 1969 UN Resolution Regarding ‘Act of Free Choice’

October 3, 2018

Pdf version



Correcting the Record on Human Rights Violations in West Papua and The 1969 UN Resolution Regarding ‘Act of Free Choice’

London, New York, 3 October 2018

TAPOL and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) condemn yet another wave of mass arrests [1] during the opening week of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The mass arrests clearly contradict the statement of the Republic of Indonesia in their first “right of reply” during the General Assembly that there are not “frequent and systematic human rights violations” in West Papua. [2] We also disagree with Indonesia’s claim that UN Resolution 2504 of 1969 [3] has settled the issue of West Papua’s political status

In late September, Indonesian security forces arrested 89 West Papuans and many more were beaten. [4] One West Papuan is being investigated for treason. Their alleged crime was to have peacefully demonstrated their support for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua and for the Republic of Vanuatu which planned to speak about human rights and the right to self-determination at the UNGA session. (An additional 39 Papuans were detained in Malang, East Java on 30 September for demonstrating in support of self-determination. [5]) This problematic trend of unlawful mass arrests of peaceful protesters was highlighted two years ago, when the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination delivered two early warnings to Indonesia. [6] These warnings arose from 5,361 unlawful arrests of West Papuan peaceful protesters in just one year alone. [7] No other group has suffered such treatment at the hands of the Indonesian state. Hence, there have been systematic human rights violations in West Papua in the past, but they continue.

A total of 221 West Papuans were arbitrarily arrested this past September. [8] Five people were tortured by Indonesia’s security forces, [9] including one killed while in police custody in the same month. [10]

West Papuans are not only discriminated against in their own ancestral territory of Papua, but in other provinces of Indonesia. There have been racially motivated attacks by state-backed gangs against West Papuan student dormitories in Surabaya, [11] Yogyakarta [12] and Malang, [13] as well as assaults by security forces in Manado and Tomohon. [14] West Papuans are routinely prevented from holding public discussions and peaceful protests in Java and other non-Papuan parts of Indonesia.

Those who seek to document violations and defend the victims of human rights in West Papua live in fear. These human rights defenders face a range of physical threats and other measures, aimed at obstructing their work. Indigenous human rights activist, seeking to protect ancestral lands in South Sorong [15] or Boven Digoel [16], expose illegal mining in Koroway, or publicising military sweeps, house-burnings and other severe human rights violations in remote villages in Mimika or Nduga risk criminalization by Indonesian authorities. [17]

Yudas Gebze, victim of extra-judicial killing in police custody Several past cases of serious human rights violations in West Papua have been highlighted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for resolution. These have been investigated by Indonesia’s own National Commission on Human Rights, yet those responsible have gone unpunished. These include the 1998 Biak Massacre of more than 150 [18]; the torture, rape and killing of 50 West Papuan in Wasior in 2001 [19]; and the military sweeping of villages in Wamena in 2003 [20].

Indonesia has also failed to protect the social, economic, and cultural rights of West Papuans. Five tribes in Papua’s Keerom Regency were declared extinct in August. [21] Earlier this year, the Indonesian government reported that almost one hundred West Papuan children had died from malnutrition [22] and an estimated 15,000 West Papuans currently suffer from malnutrition. [23] A BBC journalist was expelled from West Papua while she was covering this tragedy. [24] Not long after that, an Australian student was blacklisted from entering Indonesia due to her previous study on West Papua. [25] A Polish tourist charged with treason is currently sitting in jail in Jayapura awaiting trial [26], and a West Papuan is facing the same charge merely for meeting him. [27]

Indonesia has still not fulfilled its promise to invite a team of UN Human Rights investigators to visit West Papua.


It is long-overdue for the UN to revisit its unfulfilled obligation to ensure a proper decolonization of all peoples with regards to West Papua. Contrary to Indonesia’s delegate claim, the 1969 UN Resolution on West Papua [28]did not have universal support. It was debated at great length over three sessions and the final vote was marked by 30 abstentions. This was because the coerced ‘Act of Free Choice’ [29] was recognised to have been procedurally flawed. UN members voted to acknowledge the agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands regarding West Papua. The process allowed West Papua’s fate to be dictated by two foreign colonising governments. The West Papuans were props in a charade; no real effort was allowed to ascertain their true wishes.

The UN has an obligation to revisit this morally unacceptable outcome, arrived at through an event in which only 1,026 handpicked West Papuans were pressured to raise their hands in assent to a proposition they had no hand in drafting. That deeply flawed process was a stark abrogation of the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority’s responsibility to oversee a just decolonisation. The UN should have ensured that process adhered to the universally recognised standard of one person, one vote.

TAPOL and ETAN take no official position on the political status of West Papua. We support the right and aspirations for West Papuan people to decide their own future.

TAPOL info

ETAN etan

TAPOL – promoting human rights, peace, and democracy in Indonesia
86 Durham Road • London • N7 7DT • +44 (0) 20 7561 7485 • | |

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network – supporting human rights, justice and democracy
PO Box 1663. New York, NY 10035-1663 USA • +1-917-690-4391 • | |

West Papua: Three Pacific Leaders Denounce Indonesia’s Human Rights Abuses

October 2, 2018

Oct 02, 2018

West Papua: Three Pacific Leaders Denounce Indonesia’s Human Rights Abuses

Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua

October 1, 2018

Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua
Three Pacific leaders have called out Indonesia at the UN for their human rights abuses in West Papua.

10 minutes ago
Vanuatu’s prime minister Charlot Salwai, a long time supporter of West Papuan self-determination, told the General Assembly in New York that decolonisation must remain on the UN agenda.
He said the Human Rights Council must investigate human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.
The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, told the assembly’s 73rd session that the Pacific Islands Forum supported "constructive engagement" with Indonesia on the issue.
While Tuvalu’s prime minister Enele Sopoaga continued his call for recognition of the indigenous people.
"The United Nations must also engage with the people of West Papua to find lasting solutions to their struggles."
Indonesia rejected what it called attacks on its sovereignty with vice president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla demanding respect for its territorial integrity.
He added that he "deplores" countries supporting separatist movements.
Improving education is an uphill battle in Papua

2) Bad state of education in the Indonesian province is what makes it the country’s poorest, says its new governor

September 29, 2018
Benny Mawel, Jayapura
Papuan children study at Kleublouw Elementary School in Sentani Timur, in Jayapura district. (Photo by Benny Mawel)

Abraham Hubi, thinks he’s a very lucky boy to be studying at St. Antony of Padua, a Franciscan-run school in Sentani not far from Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura.

The ninth grader who comes from a small, remote village in the hills says it is nothing short of a miracle considering he was still unable to read or write after going through elementary school.

That was why he didn’t mind having to do another preparatory year before finally attending the Catholic-run junior high school, which he said offers him his only realistic chance of a better future.

"After leaving elementary school I could only pronounce words and letters. But now I can read and write," he said.

Illiteracy is a major problem in Papua, with many children unable to read or write despite having finished elementary school.

There are many reasons for this, but the most serious are a shortage of teachers and school facilities.

The shortages come as a surprise to many observers considering Papua — besides its natural wealth — has received billions of dollars over the years from central government to help support its special autonomy status.

Local authorities in Papua say they have tried to improve education through programs such as building schools in remote areas. However, critics say they were not supported by sufficient numbers of teachers.

Many Papuan children live in remote villages, however, the good schools are located in cities, said Gabriel Payong, 28, the principal at St. Anthony’s school.

He said the best solution for these Papuan students, particularly at elementary and secondary levels, is boarding.

St. Anthony’s offers boarding which enables students to focus more on their studies, according to Payong.

"This kind of school is useful for children from villages, who are economically poor but have the will to learn," he said.

He also said boarding school helps make Papuan children responsible people, through the rules and regulations they live by.

"Here students can study, become involved involve in every day things, and we can monitor their progress," he said.

Make use of autonomy fund

After his inauguration at the state palace in Jakarta on Sept. 5 — together with other newly elected governors — Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said that over next five years he and his deputy, Klemen Tinal, would focus on improving education in the province.

He said he would introduce better educational infrastructure in districts and municipalities, as well as offer more scholarships to native Papuans to pursue further studies.

"There are many Papuan children who don’t get a proper education," Enembe said.

He said this was the root cause of poverty in Papua, making it the poorest province in Indonesia.

According to the Central Statistics Agency a high proportion of the 26 million Indonesians officially listed as poor live in Papua.

"In the next five years, we expect to see more people being educated," said Enembe.

According to Professor Baltazar Kabuaya from Cendrawaih University, in Jayapura, local government efforts to improve education and other services will likely succeed if there is strong leadership and a will to better manage natural resources and the special autonomous region fund.

Since Papua was given special autonomy status in 2001 in part to help build the province economically, central government has provided more than US$3 billion in additional funding, and plans to provide more in the years before the special status expires in 2025.

The province is home to 3.6 million people, of whom 61.3 percent are Protestant, 21 percent Catholic, and 17.4 percent Muslim.

Kabuaya said the autonomy fund is a large amount when taking the size of the province’s population into account so there should not be any excuses for not providing better education for Papuans.

"Otherwise, Papua will be back to square one, after special autonomy status runs out," he said.

More scholarships

This year the provincial government in cooperation with the Ministry of Education is offering scholarships to more than 1,000 native Papuans to pursue higher education at various universities.

All are expected to graduate in teaching and to be placed in secondary and tertiary education.

Ferige Uaga, 28, a medical student in Jayapura, said he appreciated Governor Enembe’s good intentions regarding the scholarships, but said they do not go far enough.

Scholarships should not only be given to those pursuing a career in education, but also in other fields.

"Offering scholarships must be objective, and also free from nepotism," she said

Benyamin Lagowan, 28, another medical student, said more people are desperately needed in the health sector so more scholarships in this field should also be a priority.

"Many clinics don’t have doctors, so it makes sense the government should support those wanting to become doctors," he said, adding that schools will certainly need health workers too to ensure students are healthy.

Indonesia criticises Vanuatu

September 30, 2018

1st Right of Reply by Indonesia, at general debate of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 25 September – 01 October 2018).

Solomon Islands -In relation to West Papua

Solomon Islands recognises and respects Indonesia s sovereignty over its territorial boundaries. My Government commits to work with the Government of Indonesia on areas of mutual interest including human rights concerns in Papua and West Papua.

Full statement