Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

“Victor, we are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you” : Reflections by an unrepentant leader

by Victor Yeimo

Witness: Participant Analysis

December 3, 2012

Police Captain Kiki Kurnia: “We’re Ready To Clash.”

“Victor, we are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you.”

Those are the words spat out by police captain Kiki Kurnia, who yesterday (December 1) led hundreds of fully-armed police officers to put a stop to the Long March of students and the people. I was very sad to hear these words so righteously issued by the police, who present themselves as being on the side of safety. Do the police want safety, or do they not?Yeimo-ditangkap

When I was the leader of the Long March headed for Expo Waena on December 1 in Sentani, police backed by the Indonesian military had already closed off access to the people of West Papua who would pray. Since the late afternoon (30/11), Theys H. Eluay field, which is the field of (great significance and sacredness to) the West Papuan national struggle, had been controlled by the military and by the national police, although all the civil society organizations had long since said that their prayers and celebrations would take place there.

On November 19, police entered a prayer room in Aula STAKIN in Sentani and tried to stop me as I was giving a reception after prayers, and then yesterday on December 1 the people wanted to worship and eat at the Theys H. Eluay field but were prohibited, blockaded and arrested by the full force of the military. The question is, why did the military and the police force deliberately take control of the field and then shamelessly hold a traditional stone cooking event (a Indonesian-appropriated Papuan Custom) with a handful of residents who were offered money?

If the police are tasked with security, why exactly is that security so insecure when facing inhabitants who are conducting prayers peacefully? Is the Theys H. Eluay field, owned by the traditional people of West Papua, only permitted for use by the Indonesian military and the police force? If the law is just, why wasn’t police captain Kiki Kurnia charged with incitement to violence? As he himself clearly  (attempted) incited the mass action I led to commit violence on the streets in front of Dian Harapan Hospital yesterday.

If the police prohibit students from campaigning to put a stop to AIDS on West Papua’s Independence Day, why must it be prohibited? Do the police not want HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns to take place? Isn’t his proof that the police are ensuring and championing ethnic cleansing in West Papua? Why do the police prevent worship on West Papua’s Independence Day? Why do the police see more political and economic motivations than the goodwill and intentions of the people who want to interpret December 1, 2012 as World AIDS Day, the opening of Christmas festivities and the Independence Day of West Papua?

I lead my people safely and with restraint. I have personally guaranteed that I will be arrested or shot if there is a criminal act committed by people, but why in the safe Long March were we forcibly dispersed and captured like animals? Actually, who was it that committed the crime? Was it the people, or the police?

The police did not only incite the violence that happened, but yesterday (1/12) the police, through (Adjunct Senior Commissioner) Alfred Papare, publicly lied. Myself and the masses did not throw rocks at the police, however it was covered by several media sources that the police chief said we did so. In an era of openness such as this, why is there a need for mutual deceit when everybody saw yesterday that the police had no reason to blockade, arrest and attack people with tear gas? After I “escaped” from Abepura Sub-District Command, I had not received a call from the Jayapura Chief of Police, the aforementioned Alfred Papare, as stated by Wakapolda Papua, Paulus Waterpau, to Tabloid Jubi.

Better for the Police to become the Social Services

The idea of Papua’s Chief of Police, Tito Karnavian, to give out groceries and distribute help the mountain people of Papua in Jayapura and the Jayapura municipality makes me wonder a little. Has the police chief already switched functions from a chief of police who must preserve security, only to become the head of the Department of Social Services who must give social support to the people? Is this country unhealthy? Money for providing support to the people is redirected into the Police Department and the Police Department takes over the functions of the Department of Social Services.

For me, the efforts of the police department to muffle and destroy the basis of the Papua Independence conflict are obviously speculative, as well as inappropriate. Go ahead, if the police department and the Republic of Indonesia believe that our ideology can be bought off with money. Tens to hundreds of millions have been redirected to the Asrama Rusnawa Uncen, since becoming the basis for conflict, and the police are very hopeful that students will regard them as righteous people, as kind people. Well, again, it is better that the Police Institution in Jayapura be renamed as the Department of Social Security or the Department of Education, so that matters concerning the improvement of the Asrama Rusnawa Uncen and student welfare can just be taken over by the police.

Does Indonesia believe that money can silence the aspiration and ideology of independence for the people of West Papua? I am convinced the people of Papua that are given money and material aid from the police are only making use of them, because within the individual West Papuan person there is a flesh-and-blood desire for Papuan Independence, however difficult it is. So, go ahead, half-dead police and a waste of money to the people of Papua. Go ahead and pan the sympathy and dreams of the people who have hated the occupation of this land. Almost half a century practicing the policies of the Republic of Indonesia, and all models of development cannot turn the people of West Papua into people of Indonesia. Papua will rise and awaken by itself alone.

Idea of Separatists and Terrorists is a project of the TNI and Police 

There are no separatists and terrorists in West Papua; only those who demand the right to self-determination as legally protected under international law. The idea of separatists and terrorists is created by the state to disgrace the legal struggle of the West Papuan people, and created by the Indonesian military and the police with a view to expanding their territory, and their wealth. For the sake of money alone, the circumvention of the state apparatus and the deception of the state apparatus, alias “bullshitting a lot” (direct translation).

My organization, the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), struggles in peace and does not want to create chaos that will strengthen the funds of the military and the police force. Consequently, the national police force does not like peaceful action, because in a situation that is safe and peaceful, the military and the police force will be poverty-stricken. Many security institutions in Indonesia have hundreds of troops that must be paid by the state. Moreover in Papua, there are now many civilian militias formed by the state; thousands have been recruited, and must be paid. All are created with the objective of “stripping bare” the security responsibility from the Indonesian government in West Papua that fall under the name of “eradicating separatists and terrorists.”

Forgive me; my group and I will not accept food from the military or the police, so there is no need to criminalise or drop that bomb on the National Committee of West Papua to stigmatise us, so that the project money can be maintained. These ways have become commonplace, and we are bored of them. The people are smart, and getting smarter: they have already been taught these ruses by the colonialists. Ways such as this will finally tarnish the image of the Republic of Indonesia in West Papua. So it is best not to try to painstakingly search for such an image. Oh, and yesterday in Guyana, Member of Parliament told Benny Wenda: “Oppression alone will burn the spirit of the independence struggle.”

Why not kill me, or imprison me? Why was I released? Oh, it is certainly not because I cheated. I will see this for what it truly is. There are demonstrations in the streets. Now that I have planted the seeds of resistance here and the invaders sow these seeds with their own actions. I must thank the colonialists for continuously teaching us to aspire to true humanity by means of rebellion.

Victor Yeimo wrote this article immediately upon his release from police custody on Monday December 3. 

Translated by West Papua Media volunteer translators

West Papua Report December 2012

This is the 104th 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 with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://www.etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at edmcw@msn.com. If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note to etan@etan.org. For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv archive or on Twitter.WPAT Note:

With the October 2012 edition, West Papua Report changed format: The Report now leads with “Perspective,” an opinion piece; followed by “Update,” a summary of some developments during the covered period; and then “Chronicle” which lists of statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a “Perspective” or responding to one should write to edmc@msn.com. The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author’s and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN.Contents:

Perspective: Reflections on The New York Agreement by Dr. John Saltford

Update:

Chronicle:

Perspective

To mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the “New York Agreement” (September 1962) which led to Indonesian annexation of West Papua, we offer below a reflection regarding that agreement’s implications for West Papua. Dr. John Saltford, who has authored this Perspective, is an internationally respected scholar and author of The United Nations and The Indonesian Takeover of West Papua 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal.

Reflections on the 1962 New York Agreement

In October 1962 Dutch rule in West Papua ended and was replaced by a temporary UN administration (UNTEA). This was established as part of the UN-brokered New York Agreement [1], signed between The Netherlands and Indonesia to resolve their dispute over the territory. For all its flaws, this agreement guaranteed the Papuans the right to self-determination in accordance with international practice, but this never happened. Indonesia took over from the UN seven months later and never left.

In October 2012 Indonesian security forces attacked peaceful political rallies in several West Papuan cities and intensified sweep operations in the Central Highlands forcing hundreds of villagers to flee [2]. These were not isolated incidents. According to Amnesty International, fifty years after the New York Agreement, Indonesia continues to deny Papuans their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly [3]. A good reason therefore to re-examine the origins of this agreement, its content and implementation.

In 1949 the Dutch ceded sovereignty of the Netherlands East Indies to the new Indonesian Republic but kept West Papua, not least because they reasoned that the Papuans were ethnically and culturally completely different to the Indonesians. Over the next thirteen years preparations for West Papuan independence progressed in the face of increasingly strong opposition from Jakarta which claimed the territory for itself.

But arguments over who should determine West Papua’s future were superseded by the August 1962 signing of the New York Agreement, and its acknowledgement that it was for the Papuans, and no one else, to decide whether the territory should become an independent state or a province of Indonesia.

The transfer of administration from Dutch to UN control was the first stage of the agreement. But from the start, instead of safeguarding Papuan political and human rights, UNTEA’s priority was simply to hand the territory over to Indonesia as quickly as possible. As one senior UN administrator privately reported:

“I have yet to meet any thinking, sober, generally responsible Papuan who sees any good in the coming link with Indonesia. Unwelcome as the anxiety and resistance of thinking Papuans maybe it is of course hardly surprising if one is not under pressure to close one’s eyes to what is in fact happening to this people at the hands of the three parties to the Agreement.” [4]

Once UNTEA had withdrawn, Article 16 specified that some UN experts were to remain to advise and assist the Indonesians in preparations for Papuan self-determination that was to take place before the end of 1969. But these experts were never deployed because Indonesia objected.

Under Article 17, one year prior to self-determination, the Secretary-General was to appoint a representative to lead a team of UN officials, including those already stationed in the territory. Their task was to continue to build on the work outlined in Article 16 and remain until the act of self-determination was complete.

A Bolivian, Ortiz Sanz, was appointed but, as he made clear in his official report [5], the non-implementation of Article 16 meant that there were no experienced UN staff in the territory for him to lead. Instead he was left with a newly arrived team of 16 who were supposed to advise and participate in an act of self-determination covering a territory roughly the size of California.

Under Article 22, the UN and Indonesia had to guarantee fully the rights, including the rights of free speech, freedom of movement, and of assembly of the Papuans. These rights were not upheld and the official 1969 UN report concedes that “the (Indonesian) Administration exercised at all times a tight political control over the population.” [6]

Under Article 18, all adult Papuans had the right to participate in an act of self-determination to be carried out in accordance with international practice.

This central tenet of the agreement was never implemented. Instead, with no genuine involvement by the population, the UN effectively stood by as Indonesia hand-picked, bribed and threatened 1,022 Papuans to take part in the 1969 “Act of Free Choice” – a series of theatrical ceremonies in which the selected Papuans stood up on command to indicate unanimous consent for integration with Indonesia. The final wording of the UN report says only that the procedure had been carried out in accordance with “Indonesian” and not “international” practice as required by the agreement.

One could argue “International Practice” is too vague a term here to have any meaning. But in fact, acceptable international practice had been set out in UN General Assembly Resolution 1541 of December 1960. This specified the circumstances under which a non-self governing territory (which West Papua was) could integrate with an independent state.

In particular, Principle IX states:

“The integration should be the result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory’s peoples acting with full knowledge of the change in their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based upon universal adult suffrage.” [7 ]

Clearly the “Act of Free Choice” did not even begin to fulfill these conditions.

This all happened decades ago and some claim there is little point arguing about the past. It is the future that matters. But I believe a proper acknowledgement of the truth, by Jakarta, the Netherlands, and the UN, is a necessary step towards finding a just and lasting solution to the tragedy of West Papua. [8]

[1] General Assembly Official Records United Nations, 17th Session, Annexes Agenda item 89, Doc A/5170, Annex of 20 August 1962, Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea (West Irian).

[2] WPAT/ETAN, West Papua Report, November 2012

[3] Amnesty International. Annual Report, Indonesia, 2012

[4] Report by G. Rawlings (Divisional Commissioner, Biak) to Somerville, UNTEA Internal Affairs Director, 12 December 1962, UN Archives, DAG 13/2.1.0.1:3

[5] Twenty-Fourth Session, Agenda item 98: Report of the Secretary-General Regarding the Act of Self-determination in West Irian. A/7723, 6 November 1969. [Including Annex I, Report by Ortiz Sanz, and Annex II, Report of the Indonesian Government].

[6] ibid

[7] General Assembly Official Records United Nations, 15th Session, 948th plenary meeting, Resolution 1541, 15 December 1960, Principles which should guide members in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit the information called for under Article 73e of the Charter, Annex Principle ix.

[8] These topics are addressed in more detail in the author’s book: John Saltford, The United Nations and the Indonesia Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal(London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003).

Update

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concerns about West Papua During Jakarta Visit

At a November 13 press conference in Jakarta, United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay called on the Indonesian government to implement international human rights standards legislatively at local and national levels

She publicly encouraged the government “to move forward with setting up ad hoc human rights courts, as envisaged under law No. 26/2000, to investigate the enforced disappearances of student activists in the late 1990s and serious violations in Aceh and Papua.” She said that she had learned more about the “extent and egregious nature of past violations of human rights, from the killings of communists in 1965 and of students in the late 1990s, to later crimes in the Aceh region and what is now Timor-Leste.” She called for “credible prosecutions of perpetrators.”

In meetings with senior Indonesian officials she also raised concerns about increased violence in Papua this year. Pillay said that she “recommended that the Government take further steps to ensure criminal accountability. I was also concerned to hear about activists being imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression.”

Pillay welcomed the Indonesian government’s decision to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to Indonesia.

(WPAT Note: It is unclear whether the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Indonesia will include West Papua. Given the extensive violations of freedom of expression in West Papua, particularly over the peaceful display of symbols such as the morning star flag, no visit to Indonesia by this Special Rapporteur could be considered meaningful or complete without a visit to West Papua.)

see also Human Rights Watch: I ndonesia: UN Rights Visit Can Challenge Discrimination, Impunity, Plight of Religious Minorities and Papua Abuses Are Serious, Ongoing Problems

Indonesian Security Authorities Disrupt Peaceful December 1 Rallies

Security forces arrested several people who sought to peacefully mark the 51st anniversary of West Papua’s independence. Initial reports indicate Indonesian security authorities employed tear gas to break up a demonstration in Jayapura (Port Numbay). Rallies were also planned to be held in Sorong, Nabire, Fak Fak, Manokwari, Wamena,, Timika and Serui.

U.S. Ambassador Visits West Papua – Lauds Indonesian Military

U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel visited West Papua in early November in what State Department officials described to West Papua Report as one of a series of periodic visits by the Ambassador to West Papua. Marciel met with members of the Papuan Provincial Assembly (DPRP), the Papuan Peoples Council (MRP), senior members of the Provincial Military Command and the Inspector General of the Police Force. State Department officials told WPAT Marciel also met with civil society groups.

According to a November 7 report in Bintang Papua, translated by TAPOL, Marciel told senior military officials that the US was very impressed by the developments that the TNI (the Indonesian army) had achieved including its “reforms.”

(WPAT Comment: It is unclear what reforms Marciel was referring to nor is there any indication that the US Ambassador raised the TNI’s ongoing military sweep operations that jeopardize the lives of Papuan civilians.)

In response to the ambassador’s question as to why the duties of the military command in West Papua were so much greater there than elsewhere and required such a different approach, the chief of staff said that the military were acting in accordance with their “duties” as ‘Noble Protectors of the People’ (Ksatria Pelindung Rakyat).

(WPAT Comment: The military, under the Suharto dictatorship and since, has drawn upon its role as so-called “Noble Protectors of the People” as the basis for its intrusion into civilian affairs and to justify its substantial commercial interests. See The Role of ABRI in the Post-Suharto Era [PDF])

In his meeting with DPRP (Papuan Parliament) members, Marciel raised the two-year delay in holding of elections for Governor. DPRP members acknowledged that because of the continued absence of an elected governor, no budget had been produced and there was no one who could take responsibility for finances. This was described by DPRP members as having “serious consequences for the people.”

In his meeting with senior police officials, the Ambassador reportedly urged that the police pursue a lenient approach. The police should not be seen as solely involved in arresting and detaining people, and the police should put a priority on activities which  bring them close to the people. The Ambassador spoke positively about US cooperation with the police in future years.

Papuans Marginalized in Employment

According to the November 20 Tabloid Jubi(translated by TAPOL), the acting governor of Papua province Constan Karma, spoken about the marginalization of Papuans in employment: “In the competition for jobs, the people with better qualifications always succeed. Indigenous Papuans are not yet able to compete with people who have come from elsewhere because they have better qualifications. The result is that more and more indigenous Papuans are unemployed and this is causing social tensions.”

Sweep Operations Drive More Papuan Civilians into Papuan Forests

A report by Elsham revealed that 38 civilians who fled their village of in Keerom District in July remain in the forest. They fled because of five-month sweep operation conducted by the Indonesian military and police in the area. The displaced are subsisting on sago and worms, and children have been unable to attend school.

Security Forces Target Peaceful Dissent

Indonesian security authorities, especially Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus) and the U.S.-backed police unit Detachment 88 are continuing to persecute leading members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). In October, Indonesian special forces sought in vain to detain prominent women’s and environmentalist activist Fanny Kogoya who, earlier this year, was elected to head the Papua desk for the WALHI, Indonesian branch of Friends of the Earth. The security forces also targeted students associated with her work. Kogoya, also a women’s rights defender from the grassroots Papuan Women’s Network TIKI, has been placed on a Papua wide wanted persons list (Daftar Pencarian Orang or DPO) by the U.S. and Australian-trained and funded Detachment 88 anti-terror investigators.

Calls for Security Force Accountability in West Papua Multiply

A number of prominent human rights organizations and prominent civil society figures have recently called for human rights accountability in West Papua.

The human rights watchdog Institute for Research and Advocacy (Elsam) has once again urged the government to prosecute unfinished human rights violation cases. According to Elsam executive director Indriaswati D. Saptaningrum, most of the perpetrators involved in human rights violations “still walk free, as the government has kept silent.” (The Elsam comments were made during the commemoration of International Day to End Impunity. The international commemoration day is observed by human rights activists to call on governments to bring justice for those who were killed or kidnapped when they tried to defend their freedom of expression.)

Budi Setyanto, a lawyer who is the director of the Institute for Civil Strengthening. Setyanto called “extremely serious” the fact that many human rights violations against the indigenous Papuan people have never been resolved. “‘This matter needs to be resolved  by the government which should make an inventory of all the cases that have occurred so that the general public is aware of the many cases that have not be resolved,” he said.

He also said that the Papuan provincial governors and provincial administrations should participate in this work, by setting up a special team to draw up a comprehensive list of all the violations that have occurred. “This is a matter,” he said, “that needs the full attention of the government and should not be dealt with in a half-hearted way.”

Separately, Suciwati, the widow of the murdered human rights champion Munir Said Thalib, visited the Jayapura grave of Papuan political leader Theys Eluay on the anniversary of his November 10, 1991 murder by Kopassus. Suciwati used the occasion to speak out against the many inadequately resolved murder cases in West Papua. “Our society is too forgiving, too easy to forget. We must change this. They can kill Munir, Theys for speaking out the truth but they can’t kill the truth itself,” Suciwati said.

Boy, Eluay’s son, said Papua desperately needs support from activists in Jakarta and elsewhere. Security officials in Papua always view human rights protests as separatist, he said. Law enforcers “always have a stigma and when we do any activity related to human rights they come and attach that stigma…. Support from friends outside of Papua is needed for the state to put that stigma away. He added that “If a big person like Theys can be murdered what would happen to the rest of us? We don’t want our children to be future victims of such atrocity,” he said. “It is time for the victims’ families to do a more organized act for justice and human rights in Papua.”

(WPAT Comment: The Indonesian government’s failure, over many decades, to address security force impunity for human rights violations throughout the archipelago, but especially in West Papua, exacerbates the climate of fear and intimidation that engulfs target populations such as the Papuans.)

Chronicle

Article Reveals Absence of Government Services in Much of West Papua

Inside Indonesia, November 25, published a highly revealing account of the reality of life in West Papua, particularly in rural areas where the majority of Papuans live. The author, Bobby Anderson, writes in “Living without A State,” that West Papua ranks last out of all 33 Indonesian provinces according to Human Development Indicator measurements. He observes that in most places outside of the towns, Papuans do not reject the Indonesian state. Rather, the state simply plays little or no role in their lives, for better or for worse. Across large parts of the highlands, there is little evidence of the state other than empty schools, health clinics, and hospitals. Civil servants, police, and military are few and far between. “The essential problem of health and education services in the highlands is not lack of physical structures, but poor management of human resources in these areas. New buildings remain empty, and although civil servants are theoretically assigned to work in these areas, the vast majority of them are not present in their duty stations. This is the norm across the highlands.”

Anderson describes one subdistrict in particular, Lolat, created in 2002, where there are almost no government services. Visibly malnourished children in the area show bloated stomachs and stunted growth. “A local NGO, Yasumat, runs five parallel schools, 19 health clinics, and four health posts. While paid teachers and health care workers are absent, a cadre of local volunteers strives to provide needed service,” Anderson writes.

Immunization programs do not exist in remote areas. No immunizations have been provided by the district government outside of intermittent offerings in the town of Dekai in the last ten years. “TB and HIV rates in Lolat are unknown, but the number of young men, women, and children dying of unknown causes is out of proportion to the already abysmal provincial averages. It seems likely that men working in the cities as part of the construction boom caused by the proliferation of new districts are contracting HIV and bringing it home with them. Just as HIV infection levels are unknown, so are condoms, which have never been seen in the area,” reports Anderson.

The end of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 brought new hardships. A planned takeover of local governance by new state institutions effectively never happened. Instead, the “takeover” resulted in the breakdown of the established system. According to Anderson, “There was no period of transition and no handover.” He also reveals the failure of “Special Autonomy,” introduced in 2001 as a way to relieve pressures for independence, address Papua’s underdevelopment and improve service delivery. The policy, he notes, led to “a dramatic increase in government funds available for development purposes. However, an overstaffed and under-performing provincial bureaucracy absorbs the majority of Special Autonomy funds.”

Link to this issue: http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/2012/1212wpap.htm

Back issues of West Papua Report


 

Goliat Tabuni denies responsibility for recent Lany Jaya police killings

Bintang Papua
29 November 2012
Jayapura: Goliat Tabuni, the commander of the OPM battalion whose headquarters is in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, has denied responsibility for attacking a police station in Lany Jaya on 27 November, saying that his group does not operate in Lany Jaya.
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He said that his men are currently holding a summit conference (KTT) and earlier called on the security forces  not to attack them. ‘Our meeting has been taking place from 26 – 30 November.

Responding to a question about whether former members of his group might have been the perpetrators,  he denied any involvement by his men.. ‘They are not our former members and are not under my commend,’ he said.

He alleged that the perpetrators were from another group which operates in Lany Jaya. [We have omitted the names he mentioned.]

The attack against the police station in Pirime Lany killed three policemen, Inspector Rolfi Takubesi and two other police officers . Two people who were  involved in the attack were also killed.

There are thought to have been around fifty  people in the attack group who also succeeded in seizing three weapons from the police. The police, working together with the TNI – Indonesian military – are currently hunting down the killers.

The chief of the general staff of TPN/OPM, Teryanus Sattoalso said that they knew nothing about the attack on the police station in Pirime. ‘It may have been done by a group that is against us because we are currently very busy preparing for the inauguration of our top commander, deputy commander and members of the general staff who were appointed at our supreme meeting (KTT) last May,’ he said.

‘They are not under my command and we have quite a different agenda which is what we are focusing on now so we know nothing about the attack on the police. ‘After the inauguration  of our new command structure, we will be focusing on internal changes and consolidation.’

‘This is the follow-up of our decisions taken on 30 November after which our high command structure will be appointed. The new commanders will be sworn on in 30 November.

He went on to say that this means that the TPN/OPM today is not the same as the former TPN/OPM. ‘We have undertaken internal reforms  through our top-level meeting (KTT), bringing our organisation into conformity with military standards worldwide.’.

He finally called on media colleagues to be more conscientious in the way they write their media reports and check their information more carefully. ‘Some interviews were said to be of Goliat Tabuni,  but it turns out that it was Anton Tabuni who was speaking. This is something that we have frequently experienced, he said. On this day, Gen Goliat Tabuni was only interviewed by  the Australian media, as well as few local media contacts such as Bintang Papua, Kompas, Media Indonesia and Tempo.

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]

 

Morning Star flag unfurled at several ceremonies on 1 December

Bintang Papua
3 December 2012
Jayapura: The ‘chief of the general staff’ of TPN/OPM, ‘Major-General’ Terianus Santo said that his organisation had celebrated 1 December  with prayers and ceremonies to unfurl the Morning Star flag at their headquarters deep in the forest.

‘We marked the occasion by holding the flag aloft from early morning and conducted military training sessions and education . If you wish, we can send you a photo by email, to see the flag while we were conducting military training.’

Terianus Santo was appointed chief of staff of the TPN/OPM at a summit conference  which was held in Perwomi Biak in May this year.

‘We carried out the ceremony  as a mark of respect for our history and our movement’s dedication to continue the struggle for freedom,’  he said.

He went on to say that they want to press the UN  to immediately provide an opening for a dialogue  between the Dutch Government, the Indonesian Government, the UN and representatives  of the Papuan people ‘because some of these elements were involved in the unlawful annexation of Papua.’

Elly CH Sirwa, the secretary of the National Council of the Federal Republic of West Papua, said that ceremonies to celebrate December 1 have taken place every year since 1961 to mark the emergence of an independent Papuan nation, with status equal to other nations in the world.

He said that the ceremony had proceeded peacefully and with great enthusiasm by all those who took part , as is evident from the fact that a number of activities took place in various parts of West Papua. ‘We hope that next year, these ceremonies will be held with even greater enthusiasm,’ he told Bintang Papua, during an interview at the office of DAP, the Council of Indigenous Papuans.

He also used the occasion to give thanks for all the sacrifices that had been made during the ceremonies to mark the 51st anniversary of 1 December. ‘What happened on this day exceeded expectations.’ Although the occasion occurred at a time when relations with some other nations were still strained, he said that they had given thanks  for the ceremonies this year even though they had not been given to permission to hold the ceremonies.

‘We Papuan people do not feel disappointed or upset , even though in some places in West Papua,  our ceremonies were dispersed forcibly by forces who were bearing firearms. In some places, some of our people were arrested.’

He said that restricted ceremonies had been held among other places in Imbi Square Jayapura, Buper Waena, at the Sports Stadium in Jayapura and at the Theys Eluay Burial Ground in Sentani. Stones were burnt and people were able to partake of a meal together.’

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]