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America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation

June 9, 2022

America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation

America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation
Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times

The indigenous of West Papua suffer from international capitalist exploitation, Indonesian exploitation, and the demographic and religious timebomb of Javanization, Islamization, and other non-indigenous ethnic groups exploiting this land. However, despite the severity of the crisis concerning decades of brutality: America, the European Union (EU), Japan, and the G7 nations don’t care about West Papua to any serious degree.

Even worse, the nations that assist Ukraine with tens of billions of military arms – and who enforce economic sanctions on the Russian Federation – are the same nations that exploit West Papua. Hence, for many decades the Javanization and Islamization of West Papua continue unabated. After all, international democracies focus on the exploitation of resources and geopolitics.

Indonesia – along with America, the EU, Japan, and other G7 nations – exploit the natural resources of West Papua. At the same time, other ethnic groups who also fear for their survival face the same policies of internal and external exploitation in Indonesia.

UN News recently reported, “Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement of at least 5,000 indigenous Papuans by security forces.”

The Guardian says, “Indonesia has controlled West Papua since invading in 1963 and formalizing its annexation through the controversial, UN approved, ‘Act of Free Choice’. Security forces are accused of severe human rights violations during the occupation with an estimated 500,000 Papuans killed.”

The new leader of Australia is following a similar path to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. Hence, collective amnesia of Australia and Japan concerning West Papua. Therefore, while Kishida and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia – rattle on about Ukraine: they both remained remarkedly sheepish about West Papua during their respective visits to Indonesia.

Astonishingly, while West Papua suffers, America and France just announced major military contracts with Indonesia once more. America said, “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia of F-15ID Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $13.9 billion.“

Prabowo Subianto, the Defense Minister of Indonesia, uttered (concerning France), “We are planning to acquire 42 Rafale aircraft… We started this today with the signing of a contract for six aircraft, to be followed soon with another for 36 with necessary support and simulators…”

Special Rapporteurs (United Nations initiative) looking into events in West Papua are extremely alarmed by the ongoing crisis. UN News reports, “We are particularly disturbed by reports that humanitarian aid to displaced Papuans is being obstructed by the authorities.”

They continued, “In several incidents, church workers have been prevented by security forces from visiting villages where IDPs are seeking shelter.”

Indonesia’s trading partners – who talk about human rights in Ukraine – are forgiving when it comes to Indonesia and other parts of the world where the indigenous are exploited. Nobody expects China to focus on human rights because they have internal issues in Tibet and Xinjiang. However, the hypocrisy of other leading trading partners – including America and Japan – is astonishing concerning their actions toward the Russian Federation. After all, both nations fully understand that roughly two million people have been killed since the 1960s related to the massacre of Communists (US and UK supplied intelligence to Indonesia), East Timor (now independent and called Timor-Leste), and the ongoing brutality in West Papua that ties in with enormous demographic and religious changes that further marginalizes the Papuans.

The Organization for World Peace reports, “Indonesia’s incremental colonization of West Papua since the sixties has been exceptionally cruel as well. Kjell Anderson says that Indonesians, much like their former Dutch overlords, perceived Papuans as primitive savages impeding the inevitable progress of “modernity”: namely, the exploitation of West Papua’s ample oil and copper reserves. Whenever Papuans tried to resist Jakarta’s trans-migration schemes, which flooded thousands of Javanese settlers into West Papua and turned the indigenous population into a minority in its own territory, the Indonesian military reacted with extreme and indiscriminate violence.”

The endless exploitation of West Papua’s rich minerals, timber, marine resources, and so on continues unabated by Indonesia and international capitalist companies that care nothing about human rights. Hence, the role of regional nations – notably Australia and New Zealand – is shocking because the same pattern happened in East Timor until the last moment when Indonesia could no longer rule by fear.

West Papua needs international support. If not, the further marginalization of the indigenous will reduce them to a small minority which in time will resemble what happened to countless indigenous people throughout history – from the Aborigines to the Assyrians – from the Ainu, Native Americans, the Coptics, Yazidis, and too many to mention.

Human rights shouldn’t be a geopolitical tool of America, the EU, Japan, and the G7 nations. Instead, human rights and the freedom of the indigenous should come to the fore. It goes without saying, the same applies to cutting capitalist ratlines that violate the natural resources of indigenous groups by doing deals with nations that exploit them – the array of deeds against West Papua is a prime example, sadly!


2) Papuan People’s Petition protesters attacked by mass organization in Makassar
Attack On Protesters – News Desk 9 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan People’s Petition protesters who rallied in Makassar City, South Sulawesi, to reject the establishment of new autonomous regions in Papua and Papua’s Special Autonomy (Otsus) on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, were attacked by a group of people claiming to be a mass organization. They were attacked near the Papuan Student Dormitory on Lanto Daeng Pasewang Street, Makassar.

Initially, the Papuan People’s Petition planned to protest at the Mandala Monument, with around 40 students and activists attending to convey their aspirations of rejecting the Papua expansion plan and Otsus.

Field Coordinator Boas Bayage said that the masses of the Papuan People’s Petition gathered in the dormitory at around 07:00 a.m. local time. Police were seen guarding the dormitory starting at 08:30 a.m.

At 09:40 a.m., the protesters started to leave the dormitory. However, after walking only a few meters, they were immediately confronted by a group of people who claimed themselves as one of the mass organizations in Makassar.

This group of people immediately beat and threw stones at the Papuan People’s Petition protesters. They also attacked with wooden blocks and kicked protesters.

“The injured victims include Nagen Bayage, his index finger was injured. Walfer, the lower lip was bleeding and swollen. Andi was injured in the eyelid and forehead. Eli was injured in the back. Kemy Telenggen was injured in the thumb,” Bayage said.

The protesters persisted but then returned to the front of the dormitory. Instead of arresting the mass organization that conducted violence, the police asked protesters to enter the dormitory.

The Papuan People’s Petition protesters finally entered the dormitory at around 10:00 a.m. At 12:00 p.m. they read out their statement to reject the plan for the expansion of Papua and the Special Autonomy of Papua. (*)

Writer: News DeskEditor: News Desk


3) Murderers of Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik charged with 10 and 9 years in prison
TNI Charged To Imprisonment For Murders – News Desk 9 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Manado Military Court III – 17 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, held a hearing to read the charges against two Indonesian Military (TNI)members who shot and killed two residents of Timika, Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik. Military Prosecutor Yunus Ginting demanded the defendants, Second Lt. Inf Gabriel Bowie Wijaya and Chief Pvt. Sugi Harnoto, to be sentenced to 10 and 9 years in prison respectively and dismissed from military service.

Director of Association of Human Rights Advocates (PAHAM Papua) Gustaf R Kawer, lawyer for the families of the two shooting victims, said the families were disappointed with the military prosecutor’s indictments as they were deemed too light.

“The prosecutor’s demands are far from the expectations of the victim’s parents that the perpetrator will be sentenced to 20 years in prison and dismissed from the military unit,” said Kawer.

According to Kawer, Gabriel and Sugi were charged with murder as regulated in Article 338 in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code, and using collective force to commit violence that took the lives of others as stipulated in Article 170 paragraph (2) of the Criminal Code. Kawer emphasized that the two acts were crimes against life.

Kawer hopes that the panel of judges at the Manado Military Court III-17 will give a higher sentence than the prosecutor’s demands.

Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik were shot dead by four TNI soldiers including Gabriel and Sugi from the XIII/Merdeka Regional Military Command, who were being seconded in Papua. Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik were shot on April 13, 2020, while fishing in the PT Freeport Indonesia tailings disposal area in Mimika Regency, Papua.

Kawer said two other TNI soldiers involved in the case, Bahari Muhrim and Vicente de Oliveira, had not yet been brought to trial. The legal process for the two is separate from the legal process for Gabriel and Sugi at the Manado Military Court III – 17 as Bahari and de Oliveira are from IX/Udayana Regional Military Command.

Kawer assessed the legal process in the murders of Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik was indeed slow as the defendants had not even been sentenced after more than two years since the case occurred. “The case was only registered at the Manado Military Court III-17 in February 2022,” he said. (*)
Writer: News DeskEditor: News Desk

Publishing highlights in 2022: New books on Southeast Asia
New books by SSEAC’s academic members Share From politics to history, education and the environment, these new books by SSEAC’s members showcase a diversity of interests and insight on all things Southeast Asia

4) In the Shadow of the Palms

By Sophie Chao (Duke University Press, 2022)

Dr Sophie Chao’s In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua examines the multispecies entanglements of oil palm plantations in West Papua, Indonesia. Situating the plant and the transformations it has brought within the context of West Papua’s volatile history of colonization, ethnic domination and capitalist incursion, Dr Chao traces how Indigenous Marind communities understand and navigate the social, political, and environmental demands of the oil palm plant. By approaching cash crops as both drivers of destruction and subjects of human exploitation, Dr Chao rethinks capitalist violence as a multispecies act. Watch a trailer for the book, read an excerpt, or listen to a podcast.

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