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Statement on self-determination by Yan Chrstian Warinussy

August 20, 2013

19 August 2013

As a human rights activist and practising lawyer in the Land of Papua, I urge people not be to influenced by statements made by the leaders of foreign countries or by ambassadors from other countries based in Jakarta who always state that they recognise the sovereignty of Indonesia over the Land of Papua.

This should be seen as being something quite normal in bilateral relations between countries anywhere in the world.

Within the framework of bilateral relations, heads of state must show respect for and acknowledge the position of their bilateral partner.

This is indeed the case when Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his ministers express views with regard to the peaceful solution to the claims of the Rohingya in Burma and the Moro People in the Southern Philippines.

Papuans and Indonesians living in West Papua need not be influenced by statements made by foreign political leaders which are quoted by local people who live in some parts of West Papua because such statements cannot undermine the right to self-determination of any nation in the world, including the Papuan people who are part of the Melanesian Race.

The right to self-determination is a basic right that is guaranteed under international law as is clear from the Universal Declaration of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration on Hight Rights.

This right is also recognised under Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights, in the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the 1945 Constitution.

This was made clear in the Communique published by the Melanesian Spearhead Group in June this year. which strongly acknowledged the right of the Papuan People to self-determination. The position adopted by the Melanesian Spearhead Group is fully in accord with the position and principle as recognised universally everywhere in the world.

[Translated by TAPOL]

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