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Socratez Yoman on 50 7ears of Indonesian Failures in Papua

September 24, 2013

Bintang Papua, 20 September 2013

Jayapura: The chairman of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua, Socratez Yoman said the problems in Papua are very different from Aceh. As regards Aceh, he said that although GAM had an office in Sweden, they hardly ever had the support of the international community and dealt with their problems through operations by troops acting under the orders of GAM.

Eventually, Aceh won international support following the tsunami in 2004 when hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives or disappeared without trace. Aceh, he said, from the very beginning fought alongside the Indonesian struggle for independence.

Furthermore, Muslim organisations across the world have paid no attention to the struggle waged by GAM, because there were internal conflicts between various Muslim groups. and between Muslim countries.

With regard to Papua, he said, the Papuan people have won international support from the international community because of the activities of churches in Papua and around the world.

‘The actions taken by the Indonesian Government to suppress, annihilate, imprison and torture Papuans have been raised with regard to attacks against the body of Christ and the Church internationally.’

He spoke about activities by the Indonesian Government to create divisions between the different churches as well as the stigma against Papuans as ‘separatists’, as a result of which churches around the world have failed to reach a common understanding about the situation in Papua.

He also asked how often have churches in other countries spoken out about the many attacks on members of the various congregations in Papua.which have occurred over the past fifty years.

None of these things have happened, so why should we blame the Indonesian Government for what they have done against the churches in Papua for calling for self-determination and independence?

The next point he raised was to say that the Papuan people have waged their struggle by peaceful means, lobbying, and diplomacy, with very limited funds and personnel. What the Papuan people have done has been to carefully investigate grave violations of human rights as well as the pervasive poverty of people living in the midst of abundant natural resources, the lack of a properly run and funded healthcare system and the inadequacy of education in Papua.

His third point was the absence of peaceful dialogue between the Indonesian Government and the Papuan people mediated by a neutral party.

He drew attention to the fact that the Papuan people had in fact declared their independence on 1 December 1961, an act that had been stamped out by President Sukarno.

Fifthly, there was the fact that the Indonesian army had rigged the so-called Act of Free Choice. And his sixth point was the role of the United Nations in all these matters, with the support of the the USA and Dutch governments. Furthermore, Papuans were not involved in independence actions taken by Silas Papare and his colleagues.

The eighth point was that Special Autonomy Law for Papua might have been a good solution but it was a complete flop. Moreover, the unit known as UP4B, for accelerated development had come to nothing.

This is the list of deceptions and failings that have occurred for the last fifty years.

What else can the Indonesian Government do to find yet more actions to deceive the Papuan people and the international community?

‘The Papuan people have lost whatever trust they may have had in the Indonesian Government, while the Government ignored the sympathetic views expressed by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X which were conveyed to the Indonesian Government on 15 May 2013 when he also spoke about the fact that Indonesia had failed for fifty years to turn Papuans into Indonesians.

[Translated by TAPOL]

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