West Papuans have been struggling against a brutal military occupation since 1963. They were denied the right to voice their political aspirations by an international conspiracy made possible by the UN, the US, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. Indonesian security forces, which have been deployed in the province by the thousands to maintain Indonesia’s hold and protect American investment, are notorious for their disregard for human life and violations of human rights. The world witnessed similar transgressions, engineered by the same officials, in East Timor.In 1999 the US, under pressure from the American people, came to East Timor’s aid; now the same must be done for West Papua. Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua is only made possible by international endorsement. US recognition of West Papua’s fraudulent referendum, support and training of Indonesian security forces, and investment in resource exploitation, all encourage Indonesia’s malicious policy and inexcusable conduct. As US citizens we have the power to change our foreign policy, check our international investors, and insist on international intervention. Now is the time to do it.
|SELF-DETERMINATION: THE ACT OF ‘FREE’ CHOICE
When the Dutch East Indies became the Republic of Indonesia the Dutch recognized that West Papuans are Melanesian, culturally and ethnically different from Indonesians. As the Netherlands began to prepare West Papua for independence, Indonesia prepared to invade. Fearing Indonesia might join the communist bloc, the US interceded. The Kennedy administration facilitated the New York Agreement which handed West Papua over to UN temporary authorities in order to prepare West Papuans for self-determination through a referendum called The Act of Free choice. Almost immediately Indonesia took over administration from the UN. Instead of a plebiscite, the Act of Free Choice became an Act of No Choice. 1,022 hand picked individuals (just 1% of the population) voted for West Papua’s integration into Indonesia.
The international community turned a blind eye and UN General Assembly resolution 2504 condemned West Papuans to their dismal fate. Chakravarth Narasimhan, one of the UN officials involved in the sham later admitted “it was a whitewash. Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a million people who had their fundamental human rights trampled. Suharto was a terrible dictator. How could anyone have seriously believed that all voters unanimously decided to join his regime?” For more information on the international campaign for UN review of the Act of Free Choice visit: http://www.westpapuaaction.buz.org/unreview/index.htm Please see the sample letter on this website and write to Kofi Annan, be sure to cc: West Papua Action
HUMAN RIGHTS: THE TNI
Today Freeport McMoran is one of Indonesia’s largest exporters and taxpayers. The company earns over a million dollars per day and its CEO, Bob Moffet, is one of the highest paid in the industry. Freeport dumps more than 200,000 tons of waste per day into the local community’s sole water source, and has consequently destroyed over 50,000 square miles of rainforest. To ‘protect’ itself from the local community’s inevitable animosity, Freeport employs the services of the TNI. At their hands, over 220 people have died on Freeport land including two American teachers employed by Freeport in 2002.
The TNI only receives 20 to 30 percent of their funding from the national budget. The rest is supplemented by illegal logging, trading in endangered species, and coercing companies like Freeport into buying security services. By participating in actions, writing to Moffet, and your local periodicals, we can let Freeport and potential investors know that we are watching, and that they will not longer be allowed to murder the land and people of West Papua in secret. For more information on the environment see: htp://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/cline/papua/deforestation.htm
Indonesia emphasizes implanting contraceptives in indigenous women, which are improperly fitted and monitored. Many suggest that the recent spread in AIDS, and lack of treatment or education, in conjunction with the above mentioned use of contraceptives, expresses the Indonesian government’s intention to annihilate the indigenous population.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• Be an Activist o Inform yourself and others, join the WPAN mailing list and tell others what’s going on o Urge your church groups, student organizations, labor unions etc, to support West Papua.
• Join or create your own local branch of WPAN and organize actions like informational meetings, demonstrations, letter writing parties, or meetings with your congressperson. Contact us for information, materials, videos, music, and speakers.
• Make a Contribution WPAN is a grassroots network of concerned individuals and your financial contributions help to maintain the website, produce informational materials, host conferences, and bring West Papuans for speaking engagements. You can also buy t-shirts, stickers, videos, and music.
Contact us to make a purchase or donation; receipts are issued for all transactions.
Find your congressional representatives mailing address at: http://www.dreamagic.com/congress/states0.html
Mr. Robert Moffet CEO, Freeport
The UN General Secretary
The grievances of the West Papuan people must be addressed. Since Indonesia’s hostile takeover in 1969 more than
Your recognition of Indonesia’s ‘territorial integrity’ and their ‘sovereign authority’ in West Papua fuels this machinery of murder, oppression, and exploitation. The time has come for you to reexamine the US role in West Papua. This letter advises you that I, and the greater American public, will no longer tolerate US support of West Papua’s subjugation.
Awaiting your response,