West Papua Report April 2015: WPAT award to Vanuatu, Indonesia’s diplomatic blitz, human rights, Freeport smelter, Bishop Tutu
West Papua Report
This is the 131st in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online atedmcw. If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note toetan<a href="mailto:etan. Link to this issue:
The Report leads with PERSPECTIVE, an analysis piece; followed by UPDATE, a summary of some recent news and developments; and then CHRONICLE which includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a PERSPECTIVE or responding to one should write to edmcw. We also welcome suggestions of resources and analysis to for listing in the CHRONICLE section. The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author’s and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN.For ongoing news on West Papua subscribe to the reg.westpapua listserv or visit its archive; the list is also available on Twitter.
Please note that the March 2015 issue was not published.
This edition’s Perspective is an interview with Octo Mote, General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, on the prospects for MSG membership.
In UPDATE (covering February and March) the West Papua Advocacy Team announces that it has awarded its 2015 "John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award" to the people and government of Vanuatu. Security forces in Yahukimo District have fired on civilians who were raising funds for humanitarian relief in cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu, killing one and wounding four. Indonesia’s Foreign Minister was dispatched to three Pacific island states to try to dampen growing support for West Papua’s application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Archbishop Tutu urged the United Nations to investigate the fraudulent "Act of Free Choice" through which Indonesia forcibly annexed West Papua. Rights groups have called for Indonesia to address outstanding human rights cases in West Papua. Four youths were beaten by security forces in Jayapura. Plans by Freeport to construct a smelter in Papua have not involved the Kamoro on whose land the smelter will be located. The Kamoro have long suffered from the effects of Freeport’s mining operations.
In CHRONICLE, we note upcoming demonstrations in London and New York; an in-depth analysis of Jakarta’s security approach to West Papua; an argument that human rights violations fuel Melanesian support for West Papuans, and a look at ongoing media restrictions.
Interview with Octo Mote, General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua
The ULMWP has presented a formal request for West Papua membership in the MSG. What are the prospects that West Papua will become a member at the MSG’s next meeting in July?