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Indonesia Frets Over Papua Issue at the United Nations
27 September 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa said the Indonesian Government showed panic when the Pacific countries talked about the Papua issue and alleged human rights violations at the UN General Council plenary meeting.
The Commission I member of the Papua Legislative Council for the Government, Politic, Legal and Human Rights Affairs said the Indonesian delegation showed it through the rights of reply in the debate session to criticize and point out the six countries that are Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Tonga as to intervene the sovereignty and integrity of its country.
“The Indonesian Government should reflect and change its approach to Papua. It shouldn’t overreact. The Indonesian Government at the UN plenary meeting said the state has already upheld the human right enforcement; it is part of its commitment and the international community would keep asking about it,” said Kadepa to Jubi on Monday (26/9/2016).
He urged Indonesia to make good in its promise to solve cases of human right violations in Papua.
“Support for Papua from the international community, especially among the Pacific countries, should prompt Indonesia to change its ways in Papua,” he said.
He said it is the time for the government, Papua legislators and security forces to reflect what have they done, especially in law and human rights enforcement and so on. “The increase of Papua human rights issue at the international community is one of warnings for the state and its apparatus. If the access to Papua is really opened to everyone, I think it wouldn’t be a problem. Let everyone come to see the firsthand condition of Papua,” he said.
According to him, the international community has intensively discussed about the human rights issues in Papua due to their concern to Papua condition. It couldn’t be denied that up to now the settlement of the alleged cases of human rights violations in Papua as promised by the Indonesian Government has been stuck. There is no result. There was none of cases revealed. The government mentioned many barriers as the reason.
“Also I agree with the Coordinator of Kontras Jakarta Haris Azhar mentioning the handling of human rights violations in Papua was only to response the noise from international community. It’s right. It seems the government did it only for that reason. Up to now none of cases is settled,” he said.
Separately, other Papua legislator Ruben Magai said the future of human rights enforcement in Indonesia, especially in Papua are entering the black period. He said how the state could solve the alleged human rights violations if some parties allegedly perpetrators have position in the structure of state’s administration. “It is obviously worsen the state’s image. Therefore the human rights violation would never be ended and the international world continue to question it,” said Ruben.
Furthermore, said Ruben, the Pacific countries keep monitoring and pushing the settlement of Papua issues. So when the Indonesian Government is not taking it seriously, the Pacific countries would highlight on those issues. (*/rom)
|Highland Areas Vulnerable to Unrest During Elections : KPU Papua – West Papua No.1 News Portal
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua General Election Commission mapped areas deemed vulnerable to violence during simultaneous elections in February. KPU Papua Chairman Adam Arisoi said all areas consisting of one municipality and ten regencies are considered vulnerable but the most at-risk areas are Papua highland areas. “Some areas are considered vulnerable, including the regencies of Nduga,
Highland Areas Vulnerable to Unrest During Elections : KPU Papua
27 September 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua General Election Commission mapped areas deemed vulnerable to violence during simultaneous elections in February.
KPU Papua Chairman Adam Arisoi said all areas consisting of one municipality and ten regencies are considered vulnerable but the most at-risk areas are Papua highland areas.
“Some areas are considered vulnerable, including the regencies of Nduga, Lanny Jaya, Tolikara, Puncak Jaya, Intan Jaya and Dogiyai. The six regencies have been mapped. We asked the security forces for security back-up; especially when KPU are publishing their authorized decisions,” said Arisoi on Monday (26/9/2016).
He reminded the local KPUs to anticipate all possibilities.
The Police also should be actively participated in helping calm the situation.
“KPU has two decisions that would have the impact on legal and public security issues. Both decisions should be monitored by security forces to avoid the conflict that would be harmed the community,” he said.
He said disputes might be occurr at the time KPU announcing the results for eligible candidates.
Separately, the Deputy Chairman of Commission I of the Papua Legislative Council Orwan Tolli Wone said he expected simultaneous regional elections in one municipality and ten companies in Papua in the beginning of 2017 would be run smoothly as expected. There would be disputes between the supporters of each candidate.
“The candidates also should be able to win their supporters’ hearts. Don’t do the opposite: provoke their supporters to do the unexpected actions,” Wone.
According to him, win or lose in the election is normal. Not all candidates could win the election. “There is certainly only one candidate couple to be elected. However, it should be really selected in the clean democracy, not by cheating or something else,” he said. (*/rom)
Solomon’s repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua
2:47 pm today
Solomon Islands has called on Indonesia to substantiate allegations that Pacific nations are fabricating information when citing human rights violations in West Papua.
The representative of the Republic of Indonesia, Nara Masista Rakhmatia, exercises her country’s right of reply during the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak
Earlier Pacific leaders had expressed their concerns over West Papua at the UN General Assembly.
Indonesia responded by accusing the leaders of interfering in its domestic affairs. It said they were politically motivated and designed to support separatist groups who had incited public disorder and conducted terrorist attacks.
The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into West Papua. Photo: UN Video
The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into the province if it wanted to prove that Pacific concerns were invalid.
Mr Horoi said the issue needed collaborative attention.
"We realise that neither we, nor Indonesia can resolve this matter alone. We are of the position that this matter needs to be brought to the attention of the body of the United Nations and it needs to be done urgently as lives are being lost with all impunity. Mr President, all lives matter, West Papuan lives matter," said Rex Horoi.
Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference
5:08 pm today
Johnny Blades RNZI Journalist JGBlades johnny.blades
Indonesia has accused a number of Pacific Islands countries of interfering in its domestic matters regarding West Papua at the United Nations.
The accusation during the UN General Assembly came after leaders from six Pacific countries – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu – expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.
Pacific leaders at the UN General Assembly expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua. Left to right: Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai; Solomon Islands Prime Minsister Manasseh Sogavare; Tonga Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva; Nauru President Baron Waqa; Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine; Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga Photo: UN Photo
Calls for Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders during this 71st session of the general assembly debate.
"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin," said the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare.
"Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasise the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition."
In a call echoed by the other Pacific leaders, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine urged the UN Human Rights Council to initiate a credible investigation of violations in West Papua.
While Indonesia’s Vice-President, Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, did not address Papua in his speech at the session, Jakarta’s response to Pacific governments’ criticism came from an official at Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN.
Nara Masista Rakhmatia said her government was shocked to hear the island countries’ claims about Papua when discussion at the session should have been about sustainable development goals and the global response to climate change.
"The same leaders chose instead to violate the UN charter by interfering in other countries’ sovereignty and violating its territorial integrity," she said.
She said her government categorically rejected accusations of rights abuses in Papua, and that they reflected an unfortunate misunderstanding of the history of Indonesia and its current progressive developments.
Ms Rakhmatia singled out Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in particular, suggesting other countries with human rights problems shouldn’t point the finger at Indonesia.
"Their politically motivated statements were designed to support separatist groups in the said provinces [West Papua and Papua] who have consistently engaged in inciting public disorder and in conducting armed terrorist attacks."
The official reiterated Jakarta’s stand that it had mechanisms in place to deal with human rights abuses in Papua.
"With such a vibrant national democracy, coupled with the highest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights at all levels, it would be nearly impossible for any human rights allegations to go un-noticed and un-scrutinised," she said.
Jakarta, however, maintains restrictions on access to Papua for leading international humanitarian and rights organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International.
Furthermore, Indonesian police chiefs in Papua region have taken a strict line on a series of large, peaceful demonstrations by Papuans calling for self-determination in recent months, resulting in mass arrests in some cases.
The prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, said that the UN could not and must not ignore the "deplorable situations" in Papua by hiding "behind the guise of the principles of non-interference and sovereignty".
“The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the indigenous peoples of West Papua," he said.
2) Pacific leaders raise West Papua at the UN
6:03 pm today
From Dateline Pacific,
Leaders of six Pacific Island nations have highlighted concern about West Papua while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly.
At the general debate of the Assembly’s 71st session, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu called for UN action on alleged human rights abuses in Papua.
Calls for West Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders.
Johnny Blades filed this report.
Human rights abuses in Papua region were linked by the Solomon Islands prime minister to the pursuit of self-determination by indigenous West Papuans. Manasseh Sogavare said there was a case to challenge the legality of the controversial, UN-sanctioned process by which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia.
"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin. Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasise the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition."
In a call echoed by the other Pacific leaders, the Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, pushed for the situation to be independently probed.
"Given the importance of human rights to my country, I request that the UN Human Rights Council initiate a credible and independent investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua."
Jakarta’s response to the speeches came from an official at Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN. Nara Masista Rakhmatia said her government categorically rejected accusations of rights abuses in Papua, accusing the governments concerned of interfering in Indonesia’s sovereignty. She singled out Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, suggesting other countries with human rights problems shouldn’t point the finger at Indonesia.
"These countries are using the general Assembly to advance their domestic agenda, and for some countries to divert attention from political and social problems at home.The said countries are also using false and fabricated information as the basis of their statement. The conduct of these countries undermines the UN charter and are detrimental to the credibility of this assembly."
The official reiterated Jakarta’s stand that it has mechanisms in place to deal with human rights abuses in Papua. Yet the prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga said that the UN must not ignore what is happening to Papua’s indigenous Melanesians.
"It must not allow actions in the guise of principles of non-interference and sovereignty as reasons for inaction. The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the Indigenous Peoples of West Papua."
Nara Masista Rakhmatia said the Pacific leaders’ statements on Papua were "politically motivated and designed to assist separatist groups which have violently attacked civilians". However, it’s understood to be the first time so many governments have raised concern about West Papua at a General Assembly debate.
3) Indonesia responds to leaders of six Pacific countries on West Papua claims
Published On:September 25, 2016Posted by PNG Today
A representative of Indonesia attacked leaders of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga for what she claims was ‘lack of understanding on the history and progressive developments’ happening in these two provinces.’
She exhorted the Pacific Leaders to stick to discussing the impacts of climate change than ‘interfere in Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.’
“Indonesia is shocked to hear that at this august body where leaders are gathered to debate the early implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transformation of our collective actions and other global challenges such as climate change, of which the Pacific countries are affected the most, the said leaders chose instead to violate the UN charter by interfering in other country’s sovereignty and violating its territorial integrity.’
“We categorically reject the continuing insinuations in their statements. They clearly reflect an unfortunate lack of understanding of the history, current developments and on-going progressive developments in Indonesia including the provinces of Papua and West Papua.’
The Indonesian diplomat said the statements by the six Pacific Leaders were ‘politically motivated designed to support separatist groups in the two provinces who have consistently engaged inciting public disorder and conducting armed terrorist attacks on civilian and security personnel.’
“Evidently, the statements by those leaders clearly violates the purposes and objectives of the UN Charter and violates the principles of friendly nations amongst states as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
She claimed the Pacific states are using the General Assembly to advance their domestic agenda and for some countries to divert attention from political and social problems at home.
“These countries are using false and fabricated information as the basis of their statements. The conduct of these countries undermine the UN charter and are detrimental to the credibility of this assembly, said the Indonesian diplomat.
She maintains that Indonesia’s commitment to the protection of human rights is unquestionable. Indonesia is a founding member of the UN Human Rights Council and has sat as member of the council for three previous periods and is now serving its fourth term.
“Indonesia is among few countries who have a continued national action plan on Human Rights, active national and robust national commission on human rights since 1993, vibrant civil society and free media. We have a full fledge democracy in full function.
“It would be nearly impossible for any human rights allegations to go unnoticed and unscrutinised. We have domestic mechanisms in place at the national level and at provincial level in Papua and West Papua.”
She said Indonesia will continue to focus on the development of Papua and West Papua provinces in the best interest of all and ended with a well-known saying in the Asia Pacific region, ‘when one points the index finger to others, the thumb finger automatically points to one’s face.
Read more: http://news.pngfacts.com/2016/09/indonesia-responds-to-leaders-of-six.html#ixzz4LLbzV2dc
4) Two police and a civilian shot in Papua
27 minutes ago
Three people were injured when a military truck was shot at in Indonesia’s Papua.
Tabloid Jubi reported the incident happened in Kota Mulia, Puncak Jaya, on Saturday.
A 25-year-old man, Winingga Tabuni, was shot in the chest, while two policemen were also shot.
The truck, belonging to the Puncak Jaya Military Command, was returning to base in Kota Mulia from Puncak Senyum after fetching timber that was to be used to build traditional Papuan houses.
The injured men were being treated while police searched for the attackers.
On September the 12th, a contract teacher, Ezra Patatang, 27, was shot dead in the same area.
West Papua rally: ‘We want to be free people!’
The crowd in Jayapura, West Papua. They marched in full support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and Pacific Islands Coalition on West Papua to bring West Papua in to the UN decolonisation committee. Image:Free West Papua Campaign
Thousands of people have rallied across West Papua this week demanding independence and their right to self-determination.
The Free West Papua Campaign (FWPC) stated those that took part in the peaceful demonstrations marched with a clear message: “We want to be free people”.
People of West Papua are calling on the United Nations to support their fundamental right to self-determination and a resolution for an internationally supervised vote for independence.
FWPC reported that some demonstrations around the country were blocked by the Indonesian police and 68 peaceful protestors were arrested in Merauke, West Papua.
Last week West Papuan leader Benny Wenda, who lives exiled in London, was interviewed by TeleSUR on ‘West Papua’s forgotten struggle for independence’.
In the interview Wenda said people in West Papua sacrifice their lives by protesting and Indonesia continues to get away with “impunity”.
“Indonesia is able to massacre my people. Almost 500,000 men and women have been killed. While I’m speaking, there are arrests and intimidations and imprisonments still going on in West Papua,” Wenda said.
He said the Indonesian government has banned journalists from entering the country for the past 50-years which is part of the reason West Papua’s struggle remains largely unknown.
West Papuans are left to turn to social media to get their struggle out to the world.
“I am really confident that people in the Pacific, particularly across the Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia, the governments and the ordinary people are in support, including New Zealand and Australia. Ordinary people are always with us.”
TeleSUR full interview.
French original of statement is here:
H.E. Mr. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister
23 September 2016
from Statement Summary:
Noting his country’s vulnerability to climate change and rising sea levels, he said international assistance was appreciated, but that coordination of post-disaster financial aid through non-governmental organizations was sometimes inefficient and failed to respect national reconstruction priorities. Vanuatu was proud to contribute to United Nations missions in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire and it was ready to send more troops if called upon. On decolonization, he welcomed United Nations assistance with electoral lists in New Caledonia, whose people should freely choose their future status of self-determination. He went on to urge the United Nations to take concrete measures to address human rights concerns in West Papua.
French original from full statement:
M. le President, la question des droits .de I’homme doit rester en tete de I’agenda des Nations Unies. Le Secretaire general des Nations Unies, M. Ban Ki Moon, nous rappelait en 2012 que les droits de I’homme etaient inalienables et constituaient un principe fondamental des Nations Unies.
En tant que membres des Nations Unies, il est de notre devoir de demander que ces paroles soient traduites en actions concretes.
M. le President, les problÿmes des droits de I’homme en Papouasie Occidentale restent en suspens. Je me tiens encore sur ce podium comme ont fait mes prÿdÿcesseurs, avec la m&me conviction morale, exhortant les Nations Unies ÿ prendre des mesures concretes pour rÿsoudre cette question et mes collÿgues dirigeants h appuyer le plaidoyer des Papous occidentaux. Les Nations Unies ne doivent passe voiler la face sur les abus en mati&re de droits de I’homme dans la province de Papouasie Occidentale. Le peuple de Papouasie Occidentale se tourne vers les Nations Unies pour une lueur d’espoir, un espoir de liberte dans I’exercice de leurs droits sur leurs propres terres pour affirmer librement leur identite.
J’exhorte les Nations Unies d’en faire un volet de son initiative << Les droits humains avant tout >>.
full text here https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/solomon-islands
- Solomon Islands
H.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister
23 September 2016
Solomon Islands is gravely concerned about the human rights violations against Melanesians in West Papua. Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin. Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasize the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition.
The principle of sovereignty is paramount in any institution whose core rationale is the respect for sovereignty. If the justification of sovereignty rests on a series of decisions that are questionable, then there is a case to challenge the legality of the argument of sovereignty as is the case of the New York Agreement and the Act of Free Choice.
Solomon Islands adds its’ voice to those of other member countries and civil society organisations who are concerned about human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia. As the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group that includes Indonesia as an associate member and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua as an observer, Solomon Islands affirms the need for constructive engagement with Indonesia and looks forward to cooperating with Indonesia to address the violations of human rights in West Papua.
full statement here: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/71/71_TV_en.pdf
Statement Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF TUVALU Honourable Enele Sosene Sopoanga at The 71 st Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate
September 23, 2016
15. In the same vein, the principle of self-determination must also be respected and honoured. The violation of human rights in West Papua and their desire to achieve self- determination is a reality. This great body cannot and must not ignore these deplorable situations, it must not hide behind the guise of the principles of non-interference and sovereignty. The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the Indigenous Peoples of West Papua.
H.E. Ms. Hilda Heine President Republic of the Marshall Islands
71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly
22 September 2016
"Given the importance of human rights to my country, I request that the UN Human Rights Council initiate a credible and independent investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua."
H.E. Mr. Baron Divavesi Waqa, President
21 September 2016
UN Photo / Download
BARON DIVAVESI WAQA, President of Nauru, said the world was at a crossroads. The seventy-first session of the General Assembly would decide which path to choose, with the Samoa Pathway, the 2030 Agenda, the Paris climate agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Sendai Framework serving as road maps. Translating words into action would require directing resources where it mattered, but some international funding mechanisms excluded small countries like Nauru or proved impossible to access. Private investment was unreliable and rarely available for basic services and critical infrastructure, while promising financial models for small developing countries — like direct access and direct budgetary support — were rarely an option. That needed to change in order for small countries to benefit from the historic agreements that had been reached.
Implementation of Goal 14 regarding the sustainable use of the oceans and marine resources was a high priority, he said. The upcoming United Nations Oceans Conference would be a much-needed opportunity to foster a shared vision for healthy, productive and resilient oceans. Noting that Nauru was among the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement, he said climate change was, for his small island nation, its greatest humanitarian crisis. “It is our war,” he said, calling for the appointment of a United Nations Special Representative on climate and security. He went on to support Security Council expansion, with India, Japan, Germany, Brazil and others becoming permanent members. “It is time to reflect the geopolitical realities of today, not 70 years ago,” he said.
He said Nauru was deeply concerned by the situation in West Papua, including alleged human rights abuses. It was important to have an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on that matter. His country was also concerned by growing tensions provoked by recent actions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Pacific region had seen far too much violence and suffering in the twentieth century and it could not allow the scourge of war to return. There was no place in a sustainable world for nuclear proliferation, he added.
Taiwan was a close friend of Nauru, he said, adding that the 23 million people of the Republic of China should enjoy the fundamental rights set out in the United Nations Charter. Taiwan had contributed to the World Health Assembly and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It was also promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and helping to lead the way to a low-carbon economy. It was a key stakeholder in the international community “and we should make efforts to regularize their participation throughout the United Nations system” so that all Member States could benefit from its substantial contributions.
Call to consolidate support with West Papua’s fight for self-determination
Koran Pembebasan – September 5, 2016
Surya Anta — Increasingly broad mobilisations by the Papuan people in recent years shows that there must be a new assessment of West Papuan as an entity. An entity that should be, must be, recognised as a nation.
Resistance by the Papuan people existed prior to West Papua’s integration into Indonesia in 1969, known as Pepera or the so-called "Act of Free Choice", and since that time. However what differentiates the resistance that is currently developing is the method of political mass mobilisations. The current political mass mobilisations are being led or initiated by youth groups such as the Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and the Garda Papua (Papua Guard).
And these youth groups have also greatly developed the understanding that the struggle for Papuan liberation cannot rely on "sympathy" or "international recognition", but must instead depend upon the determined efforts of people’s unity and the Papuan nation for its liberation.
In a number of mobilisations, this youth movement has supplanted the "older groups" that were part the armed resistance (the National Liberation Army or TPN and the Free Papua Movement or OPM) that were dividend and fragmented along with other older factions, whether they be part of the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP), the Papua Customary Council (DAP) and the like. In the same manner they have been able to sit together and unite under the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). Similar unity projects took place in 2005 although they did not last long. The ULMWP as a unity project is more organised compared with earlier attempts.
While in the early years after 2000 the issue of divisions within the movement and the Papuan people between the "interior" and the "coastal" areas coloured the analysis and assessment of West Papua and its movements, in recent years this has become totally irrelevant. Meaning that the unity between Papuan people’s groups has become increasingly solid, although attempts at dividing and playing off groups against each other by Jakarta have increased in frequency.
Jakarta’s policy of "Special Autonomy" is increasingly understood by the Papuan people as little more than a bribe and illusion. "Special Autonomy" has failed to deliver political freedom, let alone prosperity for the Papuan people. In many instances it has simply left behind school buildings that have no students or community healthcare centres without doctors. Economically, it has only benefited a handful of the elite through infrastructure projects, but failed to address human development as a whole.
Ethnic differences arising from the more than 250 or so tribes that exit in West Papua or the lack of a "Papuan language" can no longer be used as grounds to claim that West Papua does not exist as a "nation". Or likewise the divisions of the Papuan people as a nation, because the development of the Papuan people’s movement has demonstrated increasingly close and meaningful social and political bonds.
Why? Of course what is most essential is the oppression of political freedoms (freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of thinking) along with the exploitation of natural resources by international companies (such as Freeport) that are affiliated with the Indonesian government and are destroying West Papua’s environment. Not to mention the exploitation of the Papuan people who earn lower wages than non-Papuans.
Or the share of profits from mining. International companies are "ransacking" Papua’s huge natural wealth and human labour. Yet the tiny share of profits that remain in the country are then being "robbed" yet again by the Indonesian government.
Let us look at how the entity of Papua has developed from an "embryo" to an increasingly solid nation.
In the interests of stealing profits from the exploitation of Papua’s natural resources, the Pepera was implemented through coercion and manipulation. Following this, those who demanded historical truth were repressed by the military. The interests of international corporations were opened up by the militarism of Suharto’s New Order dictatorship through the destruction of the movement and the arrest of Ferry Awom in 1967, who along with others had declared the OPM two years earlier.
Arnold Ap, a Papuan activist and artist in the cultural movement in 1984 was eventually arrested by Kopashanda (now Kopassus, the Army’s Special Forces). Arnold Ap’s body was found sprawled in the middle of the jungle in April 1994. This was then followed by killings in Enarotali, Obano, Moanemani and Wamena resulting in as many as 10,000 Papuan fleeing to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to seek safety in the years 1977-1978 and the early 1980s. A Military Operational Zone (DOM) came into force in West Papua between 1978 and October 5, 1998.
In 1988 Dr. Thomas Wanggai, who declared Papua independent in 1988, died in detention at Cipinang prison in Jakarta in 1996. The case that still attracts political attention to this day is the Abepura case which resulted in the death of scores of people as well as the more recent bloody Paniai case. These cases do not yet include the shooting of other West Papuan pro-democracy activists, activists that have been jailed for years such as Filep Karma, and the murder of Mako Tabuni. Finally, the more than 1,000 Papuan activists, the majority of which are members of the KNPB, that have been arrested and jailed. Not to mention the murder of unidentified individuals who have been shot or run down by vehicles in the middle of the road.
Rather than providing more democratic space, the government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, through former Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan (who was recently replaced by former General Wiranto), has allowed an increase in the number of Regional Military Commands (Kodam) and issued discriminatory statements against the ordinary Papuan people.
The massive economic exploitation of natural resources in West Papua is clearly visible. As is taking place in the forests of Wasior, illegal logging by the military and various companies is occurring on a massive scale resulting in the eviction of traditional communities. Protests by these traditional communities have ended in shootings and the death of six people. Not to mention the massive Freeport MacMoran mine, which is largely owned by the US, which began operations in the 1960s.
The Freeport gold and copper mine actually receives tax benefits of between US$700-800 million and as much as US$1 billion annually. Not to mention the various tribes in Papua that have lost their land and livelihoods because of the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE), as in the case of the Mahuze clan in Merauke.
They have suffered brutal repression and the destruction of their environment which for them is the "Mother" of the Papuan nation. The Papuan People have experienced racial discrimination both in their own land as well as in other parts of Indonesia such as Manado, North Sulawesi and in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, as in the recent case of Papuan students at the Papuan Student Dormitory in Kemasan, Yogyakarta. They also suffer racial discrimination in the workplace, both in government institutions and the private sector.
As if this is not enough, the total number of Papuans is steadily declining. Data for the years 2013 and 2014 show that the number of indigenous Papuans was around 1.7 million while the number of non-Papuan migrants stood at 2 million. Data for 2015, up until May, shows the number of indigenous Papuans has declined to 1.5 million while non-Papuans have increased to 2.3 million. According to a statement by the AMP, the number of indigenous Papuans has declined by around 200,000 over just a few months.
The decline in the number of indigenous Papuans is being caused by systematic and massive murder, an atmosphere of fear created by the Indonesian military resulting in migration to PNG, deaths due to HIV and AIDS, alcohol related health problems and child malnutrition.
For the Papuan people, being part of Indonesia for almost 50 years has not brought happiness, but instead physical and psychological repression and the destruction of their "Mother". So what then is the meaning of being part of Indonesia? Increasingly it has no meaning. Increasingly they feel as if they are not part of Indonesia. And that means a growing sentiment for self-determination as an independent nation.
The capitalist economic and political relations in Papua have integrated the Papuan people from various tribes and clans in the markets, schools and universities, hospitals and other places of association. Yet the militaristic repression, the destruction of the environment along with their organisational resistance has provided a material bases for West Papua’s development as a nation.
As defenders of democracy and human rights, recognising West Papua as a nation, supporting and giving solidarity to the right to self-determination through a referendum for the Papuan nation, is the way by which to free the Papuan people from the militaristic repression of the Indonesian government, so that the violence will end, so that there will be peace, freedom and prosperity in the land and nation of Papua.
Because of this therefore, we call on our comrades, both as organisations and as individuals, to unite and take a stand in supporting the right to self-determination through a referendum for the Papuan people, to consolidate in building an Indonesian People’s Solidarity movement for the Nation of West Papua.
[Surya Anta is the spokesperson of the People's Liberation Party (PPR). Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "Seruan Konsolidasi Rakyat Indonesia bagi Bangsa Papua".]