Tag Archives: Indonesian State Violence

Opinion: Breaking down the wall separating Papua & Jakarta

Opinion

By : Rufinus Madai

 written March 12, 2014

The conflict in Papua points to there being two parties competing for the role to be seen to be ‘dealing with’ those regarded as the opposition, the Papuan Freedom Movement. These two parties being the Indonesian Armed Forces versus those which have become known in Papua as ‘OTK’ being ‘unidentified person/s’.  But in any case the end result is the same, the death of innocent indigenous Papuans. It is the indigenous Papuan community that suffers the constant loss of loved ones, the extreme stress, worry and fear that results from the continual violence committed by these two parties. When we hear of calls for an end to the violence yet again from the civilian sector in particular regions of Papua we know that behind that there has been yet again victims as a result of violence by certain parties. Is Papua going to always live in this situation of violence and conflict such that the people feel forced to struggle to find peace?

Of course the indigenous Papuan community dearly hopes that peace will come about in the land but to the present time the voice of Papuans calling for change has been being increasingly silenced. Nevertheless the  community continues calling for peace without ceasing and will continue to do so until the day if Indonesian Government succeeds in ensuring their voice is no more. Papuans long for peace but they know that those evil and cruel actions that are being carried out constantly by those holding the power in Indonesia must be stopped.  Actions that ruin the entire lives of others, that create great loss and destroy  the harmony and togetherness between those living in the same land. The Papuan community desires that peace between people which will eventually create an atmosphere of brother and sisterhood in the land, so that there may be harmony between different religions, cultures, tribes, races and social groups in the one land.

 To that end a number of groups and components within the Papuan community have been calling for dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. The call has come from the primary religious groups in Papua, from the Papuan Peace Network (Jaringan Damai Papua or JPD)  from NGO’s, human rights organisations in Papua and others that focus on humanist values. These groups remain committed to bringing an end to the inhumane acts that are being committed against human beings in Papua by the Indonesian military, police, ‘unidentified persons’ (OTK) and paramilitary groups (GPK).  If that dialogue is to be successful both parties must convey their hopes and concerns in an open manner with the mutual goal of bringing to an end to the conflict in Papua. For as long as those concerned do not unite in a mutually open way to discuss the problems, there will continue to mutual undermining of each other, continually each will see the other as enemy and the Indonesian Armed Forces and the TPN/OPM will continue to kill each other.

Of course those who are the primary victims in the middle of this conflict are the little people. The Indonesian Armed Forces as well as some elements of the TPN/OPM not only sacrifice the community in their  armed conflict but also continuously have the effect of hindering development in Papua. If we consider the situation of the Papuan community at this time, most still live in poverty, are oppressed, are being treated cruelly by the Indonesian Armed Forces, arrested and many are being killed whether by overt or covert means. Furthermore the community is feeling the Central Government’s Special Autonomy package has been forced on them. Indeed Special Autonomy  has been implemented in the community but it has totally failed to bring about any positive changes at the level of the people. The Indonesian Government has never recognised the specialness of the Papuan community and so has never made adjustments accordingly so that their plans might meet the hopes of the Papuan community. How can local leaders possibly develop Papua under Special Autonomy with such conditions?

We must look at the primary causes of why there are so many tragic incidents in Papua, so many atrocities committed, so many ‘developments’ that are not in accordance with the hopes of all citizens in Papua.  And we certainly don’t need to look far for the answers as they are very black and white. At the root of the problem is that Indonesia’s idea is to develop Papua with a security approach and in the sole interests of the Republic of Indonesia.  In bringing that about they are creating conflict in Papua such that the indigenous civilian population is forced to live in a situation where there is no peace. Where the victims are many indigenous Papuans and even nature itself of Papua is being destroyed.

Indonesia is well aware of the extent of the problems in Papua . If Indonesia truly regards the indigenous community of Papua as part of the  Republic of Indonesia, then they must stop allowing them to suffer continuously. The number of lives that have been lost in even the regions of Kab, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Dogiyai and Puncak Jaya in this month of Ramadan are by no means small in number. The extent of grief over people lost in Papua itself creates a moral demand on Jakarta to open itself to dialogue with Papua. The longer the time before dialogue occurs the harder it will be for Jakarta to be received by the Papuan community. For how can the indigenous Papuan community possibly truly feel that the Indonesian Government are their leaders whilst this situation is allowed to continue? Where is Jakarta’s morality if they show no heart to help and have no sense of solidarity with those who grieve over so much loss? The situation is now most extreme in Papua and yet still to date the conflict in Papua has not been discussed in a way that is just, peaceful, democratic and dignified.

The best way to build a bridge between Papuan and Jakarta is to carry out dialogue with a neutral third party. Let us all lobby so that this dialogue becomes a reality in the interests of Papua becoming a land of peace.

The Writer is a post-graduate level theological student at the Catholic Seminary in Abepura, Papua.  

The Opinions stated in this article are those of the author’s, and are not necessarily shared by West Papua Media, they are published to reflect the diversity of opinion within Papuan civil society and to stimulate discussion between internal components and international solidarity networks

50 Years of the Violation of Basic Human Rights in West Papua: Part one and two

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of LP3BH, made in preparation for discussions that were due to take place at the beginning of 2014.]
March 10, 2014

As an organisation which advocates basic human rights in the Land of Papua, the LP3BH – Manokwari wishes to record to all those who have remained silent about the conditions now prevailing in the Land of Papua, the experiences of the indigenous Papuan people who have ceaselessly tried to ensure that no-one will forget what has been happening  in this territory since 1 May 1963 and what continues to happen systematically up to the present day

      To begin with, it is essential to understand the history, in order to understand who it was who was responsible for the status  imposed on the Land of Papua on 1 May 1963. The indigenous Papua people have every right to enjoy all the rights that have been stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and  various international covenants regarding economic, social and political rights  as well as other international covenants all of which have been disregarded with regard to the situation in West Papua.
      At the time of Papua’s incorporation into the Republic of Indonesia, Ali Murtopo (a senior adviser to the then president of Indonesia) was quoted as saying: “What we want and need is the land in Papua, not the Papuans who live there.”
      In 1967, a Contract of Work was concluded by Indonesia regarding the exploitation of the copper and gold and possibly also uranium around the Grasberg Mountain around Tembagapura which was widely known to the Indonesian government as well as a US multinational corporation called Freeport McMoran.
    This makes it very clear why the USA played such an active role on the diplomatic front to ensure that West Papua would be incorporated as part of Indonesia, despite the glaring differences between the Papuan people with regard to their history, as well as their anthropology and ethnography and people living in other parts of Indonesia.
      It was abundantly evident that the USA was very interested in the natural resources in West Papua which explains why that country took such an interest in this matter.
“Gentlemen, I am angry with God. Why has God created such beautiful mountains, valleys and rivers, rich with minerals and placed us, the indigenous peoples, here in this place that attracts so many people from around the world to come, exploit our resources, and kill us?”
 [Translator's Note: This prayer was said in 1994 by a man who lived on the Grasberg Mountain, who bemoaned the fact that the territory inhabited by Amungme people was so richly endowed with natural resources of huge interest to the USA.]
       That man whose name was Tuarek Narkime delivered words that are widely known to and understood* by the leaders and people of the Amungme tribe in drawing attention to the many violations of the rights of these people which were perpetrated in the area when the Freeport mine was being  established, during the course of which many Amungme people lost their lives as a result of actions by Freeport personnel as well as by members of the Indonesian army and police, although none of these people have ever been called account before a court of law for what they have done.
     These introductory remarks provide the basis for everyone anywhere in the world and all democrats around the world to take a new look at the past as well at the present regarding the acts of violence that continue to occur in the vicinity of the Freeport mine without anyone ever being called to account for what they have done.

Ever since 1963 and 1967, the LP3BH has recorded the fact that the Republic of Indonesia has consistently used violence against the West Papuan people, something that even started to happen before those years.

    On 15 August 1962, when the New York  Agreement was signed by Indonesia and The Netherlands under the supervision of the United States of America, the Papuan people were not involved’ They were not even consulted for their opinion. Yet, at that time there was a New Guinea Council  which consisted of representatives of  the Papuan people, the members of which were chosen by means of democratically held elections which took place on 5 April 1961 in Hollandia (now called Jayapura).
      [All the names of the members of the Council who were elected, of whom 22 were Papuans, are listed  as well as those who were appointed which included one Papuan and five Dutch people, including one Indo-Dutch person.]
    Besides that, there were two major religious organisations, – the GKI [Evangelical Christian Church] and the Catholic Church] which were spread across  the whole of the Land of Papua. Yet, these churches were never consulted as part of civil society in the territory at the time. This was despite the fact that the UN was involved  in the creation of UNTEA as well as The Netherlands and the USA.
     What we mean by being consulted is all about the framework and  the possible problems that might arise among the indigenous Papuan people who were regarded as being too primitive  to take part in an election held according to the principle of ‘one person, one vote’. Were the towns and villages in West Papua too complex for the New Guinea Council or the two churches to choose their leaders? Such advice would have been very useful and important in deciding on on how to conduct the elections in accordance with the traditions  and customary laws that were vibrant among the Papuan people. who were supposed to have been consulted by means of the Act of Free Choice which was to have been held by 1969 in the Land of Papua.
     There was never any request for advice or opinion from the Papuan people. Still worse, what actually happened was that Papuans were arrested and even  cruelly tortured for allegedly being involved in an ‘underground movement’, with the intention of overthrowing the Indonesian Government. This is what happened to Baldus Mofu as a result of which he was mentally damaged at the hands of the military police and members of the Indonesian Air Force in Manokwari. Another Papua, Nicholas Tanggahma is believed to have died  after ingesting food that had been poisoned when he was staying at the Arfak Hotel in Manokwari in 1969.
     Several other members of the Council such as Marcus Kaisiepo and Nicholas Jouwe were arrested and taken to Europe prior to the Act of Free Choice. Others were treated in the same way, including E.J Bonay, F.K.T. Poana, A.S. Onim and Thontjee Meset.
     All these acts of violence were perpetrated by members of the Indonesian security forces, the TNI and Polri. and further intensified as the Act of Free Choice drew near in August 1969.
     The LP3BH is well aware of the fact that many activists in Biak, Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Wamena, Nabire  as well as in Merauke were arbitrarily arrested by the TNI and Polri some of whom were summarily killed. An example of what happened occurred on 28 July 1969 in Manokwari when 53 Papuans were summarily executed at the headquarters of the Infantry Battalion in Arfak-Manokwari.
     Such human rights violations have systematically occurred ever since that time, following the enactment of Law 12/1999. This was clarified in the General Remarks contained in paragraph 1, section 6 which state: ‘The Act of Free Choice  in West Irian  was a manifestation of the aspirations of the Papuan people and resulted in the people of Papua and  West Papua  expressing their wish to be united with the people of other regions of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, affirming  that West Papua is part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia.’
      The afore-mentioned statement became the legal basis for the Indonesian Government to enforce paragraphs 109 and 110 in law.  This codification was part of the law under the Dutch Constitution [Wetboek van Strafrecht]  whenever the government takes firm action against the Papuan people when they challenge  ‘Papua’s political integration’.
     As a result of all this, every time  that people in Papua or West Papua seek to challenge ‘political integration’  using their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed in Law 39/1999
on Basic Human Rights as well as universal human rights, they are accused of the crime of treason under the Indonesian Constitution.
      Such incidences occurred in Biak on 6 July 1999 when a group of Papuans unfurled the Morning Star Flag under the leadership of Filep Karma which resulted in his being subjected to acts of brutality by the TNI and Polri and which moreover resulted in dozens, even hundreds, of Papuans falling as victims, some of whom even lost their lives. All this resulted in Filep Karma and his colleagues facing the charge of treason.
(End of part on and  two of the translation.)
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, founder of Tapol

STOP DANCING ATOP OF SUFFERING OF THE PAPUAN COMMUNITY!

Opinion

By Rufinus Madai

February 28, 2013

For 13 years now  government officials in Papua have been enjoying the benefits of the millions of Indonesian rupiah that has come its way thanks to the Special Autonomy package given by the Indonesian Government; and it’s undeniable that government officials at the provincial level as well as at the regency (local) level of the bureaucracy have allowed themselves to be ‘bought’ by this money.

They have allowed themselves to be bought in the way they think, at the level of their conscience and in regards to their sensitivity to the reality of what’s going on around them.  As a result of their ‘selling-out’, in every instance it’s the Papuan community that ends up suffering the consequences, suffering the loss.  The little people.

One can’t help wondering why in this era of Special Autonomy with all the money it brings into Papua, are we still seeing the constant suffering of the indigenous Papuan community.  Why are there still the constant injustices, the mistruths, the inequalities of the legal system and the destructive conflict that’s dragging on forever?  In fact one starts to ask the question whether the Special Autonomy is actually playing a role in creating that suffering.

Strange that in this ‘Special Autonomy’ era and with all the money that flows through that program, that the government bureaucrats are sucking the life from the Papuan community by selling off the resources of the land on which the people totally depend for survival, and meanwhile they stand idly by watching  the endless violations of the indigenous Papuan’s human rights.

The people are repressed, treated with inhumane cruelty, objectified, detained, chased, labeled separatists and even killed.   In receiving  such wealth for their ‘services’ they have become like purchased puppets of the Indonesian government.   Is it any wonder with these realities so obvious that the Papuan community time and again shows its distrust of the bureaucrats of the Indonesian government in Papua?

Whilst they enjoy the luxuries that millions of rupiah from Special Autonomy bring, the basic rights of the people are not even being considered and their sufferings go on and on without end.  We are not referring here to one remote corner of Papua but rather this is going on throughout the entire land of Papua.

The systems, policies and laws which have been created together with the Central Government to date have not only failed to bring benefit, but in fact have brought great loss to the indigenous Papuan community.   Such loss, that the  community has become convinced that the laws and policies created  for application in Papua are intended to repress and eventually annihilate the indigenous Papuan community from the land.

The government bureaucrats at the Papuan level are involved up to their necks! It’s as if they have become enchained to the big money Special Autonomy brings and they can’t break free.  Bought by the system.  No matter what they do or what decision they make under these circumstances whether regarding laws, policies or other, that will always be determined according to these ties.  Their decisions and actions are not based on good conscience made to address the needs of the people. The consequence being that the little people become the victims.

Until this time there have been no positive changes whatsoever brought about by the development programs as implemented by the government in Papua.  How could there be as the reality is that these programs in whatever form they may be, are not based on a recognition of the basic rights of the Papuan indigenous community!

They are not programs that help with poor education, or which address structural poverty or people’s basic human rights.  The Papuan community is well aware of this and believes that programs being implemented in Papua are simply those intended to support the vision , goals and programs of the National Indonesian Government.  Programs which increasingly marginalize the Papuan indigenous population, creating colonial domination, structural poverty, overpowering of the local community and ultimately leading to the death of the Papuan indigenous community.

The Papuan community is also well aware  of the way the two Provincial Papuan Governments to date have been operating,  acting  always in ways that prioritises their own tax revenue income whilst trampling on the land of the little people. Yet at the same time taking no actions in those areas where the community needs social laws to protect the people such as regarding the abuse of alcohol and the provision of sexual services.

The Indonesian Government knows it has ‘bought’ these government officials and that they are now tied tightly to and dependent on the National Indonesian Government.  Money speaks and in the same way money effectively silences voices concerning the constant human rights violations that are taking place right across the land of Papua.

However in spite of their having allowed themselves to be bought by the Indonesian government, nevertheless the Papuan community continues to hope that those Papuan  Government officials referred to will turn back to the people. That in so doing that they will  stop ‘selling out on’  the little people  of Papua, stop dividing the land further which in so doing divides the people,  stop making decisions in the interests of their own power and wealth and  stop acting in ways that support the vision and programs of the National Government and extending the conflict in Papua yet further.

The Papuan community continues to hope that the Papuan Government leaders will reject Special Autonomy so that they may not be dependent and tied in such ways to Jakarta. Continues to hope that these leaders finally may have the courage to themselves assert what policies and concepts of development are needed that truly support and are able to bring about improvements in the welfare of the ordinary people.

Such that the Papuan community might determine its own future on its own land.  Such that the paradigm of Papuans as being primitive, ignorant people who need others to organize them may come to an end. The little people of Papua have waited faithfully so long and yet still the tears flow without ceasing.

“May they who have ears to hear listen, may they who have eyes see,  and may they who have hearts and minds consider carefully and arrive at those  decisions that are right and that is acceptable to all persons.”
The Writer is a post graduate student at the Catholic Seminary in Abepura, Papua.

When will the autopsy of Danny Kogoya’s body take place?

From Papua Daily at Tabloid Jubi

January 2, 2014

Danny Kogoya (Jubi)

Danny Kogoya (Jubi)

Jayapura, 2/1 (Jubi) – The delayed autopsy toward Danny Kogoya’s body on demand of his family is still unclear. Papua Human Rights Defender activist, Matius Murib, states the negotiation between the family and the Government of Indonesia are still continuing.

“From our last negotiations with Kogoya’s family, the Consulate of Indonesia and the Office of Civil Security in Vanimo, PNG, dated 20 December 2013, it has resulted some points of agreements. One point is his family requested the autopsy of Danny Kogoya’s body to prove the cause of his death. However, it is not yet known when the autopsy is scheduled. The family asked that the autopsy should be conducted in the hospital in Vanimo. Thus, there is still a tug of war between the Kogoya’s family and the GoI (government of Indonesia),” said Matius Murib via his cellphone on Thursday (2/1).

According to him, the other point that resulted from the negotiation is the funeral procession will be carried out after the autopsy, agreed that both sides will keep the security situation peaceful.  All parties were asked to contribute in accelerating the handling process of this case, to combat the impression of ignoring it.

“We will continue to mediate the case in order to achieve the goal that is equally well received by the Governments of PNG and Indonesia, in particularly to fulfill the sense of justice and peace, especially for the family of the victim. May the spirit of a peaceful Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014, make us more wise and prudent, to observe and respect the human rights for all human beings,” said Murib.

However, differing from Murib’s statement, the autopsy plan according to the Consulate of Indonesia will be taken in 7 January 2014.   Jihar Gultom, the Head of Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, said to Jubi, Thursday (2/1) that the agreement to do the autopsy was decided in 23 December 2013.  At the time when this decision was made, was joined by the family of Danny Kogoya and the Governor of Sandaun, and a representative of the Government of Port Moresby (PNG).

“We met Kogoya’s family and the Government of Sandaun before Christmas. There are also 3 delegates from Port Moresby. In respect of the celebration of Christmas, the autopsy is scheduled to be conducted before 7 January 2014 by a doctor from Port Moresby in Vanimo,” said Jihar Gultom.

When contacted by Jubi, Jefrey Pagawak, representing Danny Kogoya’s family,  admitted that the family has met the Government of PNG and the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo to discuss the determination of the autopsy’s schedule.

“The Indonesian Consul in Vanimo at first did not agree about the autopsy. They wanted to send Danny’s body to Jayapura immediately for the result to be equally well received by both parties, that was their reason.  But, when the authority of PNG who represented by Moses Poi from Foreign Affairs Division of the Government of PNG came to Vanimo to discuss this situation, they finally agreed.  We, as representatives of the family, met Jihar Gultom, Head of Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, yesterday, Monday (23/12).  Previously, we met Mr.Moses Poi from the Foreign Affairs of the Government of PNG to agree that in respect to Christmas and New Year, Danny’s body will be autopsied after New Year’s celebrations, before 7 January,” explained Jefrey.

Danny Kogoya died in the early December 2013 in PNG. He was called as leader of the National Liberation Army of Free Papua Movement. He was detained in Mapolresta Jayapura in 2012, accused as being the mastermind behind a series of 2011 shootings in Jayapura and surrounding areas.  Kogoya sustained gunshot injuries in his legs during his arrest, and his legs were amputated without permission by surgeons allegedly acting under instruction from Jayapura police.

However he was released on Saturday, 11 May 2013 after charges were dropped. After his release, Danny Kogoya crossed to Papua New Guinea to live with his family but in early December 2013, he passed away, with the exact cause of his death unknown.

The representative of Indonesian Consulate claimed that the cause of Danny Kogoya’s death was the liver cancer.  Opposing this claim, the family representative in Vanimo said that Danny was killed gradually through a slow acting poison that was injected whilst undergoing surgery of leg amputation. (Jubi/Arjuna/P. Maizier)

With editing and additional reporting by West Papua Media

BOBII: PAPUA, A CHESSBOARD OF MASKED COLONISERS

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii, exclusive for West Papua Media

January 3, 2014

Throughout previous colonial periods and still today, colonising states in any location of the world have had the same basic attitude. That is of making the colonised peoples their subjects and seizing the area’s natural resources.  Their first focus on taking over a land is always to breakdown and destroy the systems of the culture, whilst at the same time terrorising the people to bring them to submission and killing many in the process.

As the culture of a people is a strength that endures, so it must be broken down to make a people submissive to colonial domination. Once the strength of the culture of the people is broken, then the coloniser can relatively easily master the land and its natural resources.  The coloniser then continues to ‘eradicate’ the people off the land by both overt and covert means, making it easily available for its own people to settle and exploit. The instinctive behaviour of the coloniser is aimed at ‘killing and plundering’ and they use whatever means necessary to annihilate the people so they can seize the land and its resources.

In this modern era colonial powers have the very same attitude but they have changed their face and their methods are now ‘tidily wrapped’ in bilateral or multicultural arrangements between nations. But make no mistake, the character of the colonising nations has not changed and they still aim to see peoples bought into submission by whatever means to enable a plundering of their resources and the overpowering of their land. Whilst not obvious to those who aren’t on the receiving end of colonial domination, this ‘tidy wrapping’ of colonial powers methods in modern times is primarily in the form of foreign investment.  Developing nations fall for the bait of colonisers’ offering working relationships that will supposedly help them develop.

The giving of humanitarian aid by colonisers to developing countries does not arise from a true humanitarian concern but rather is a ‘way in’. Such instances provide opportunities to the colonising powers to work with local governments, organisations and religions so the latter act as a bridge to persuade the people into surrendering their land and its resources. This they achieve of course through manipulation and trickery combined with the ‘convincing’ approach of violence.

The colonising nations will always seek to smooth the ground and create pre-conditions conducive to meeting their end goal of exploiting a region’s natural resources. They do this in the modern era commonly through donating grants or equipment, or through the provision of humanitarian aid, military training and equipment / grants or monetary loans.  We need to take a step back to recognise that colonising powers are not just giving hand-outs from the kindness of their hearts but rather are actually often intentionally creating crises as a way of manipulating developing nations. As in times of desperate need for assistance there arises a ‘way in’ that does not attract international criticism.. These ‘created crises’ have a range of forms including humanitarian crises, monetary crises, government control crises and so on. Alternatively the colonizing power may take advantage of a natural disaster to give aid thereby also providing a way in. Once they have a ‘foot in the door’ they can then set up unilateral or bilateral working relationships with the developing country that provide for foreign investment. (1)

Those types of investment that are potentially most destructive and which can lead to the loss of a people from the face of the earth are primarily investments in mining, large-scale plantations / agriculture and the timber industry.  With the most destructive being the mining industry, as the wastes of  mining can absolutely destroy the entire living environment and ecosystems. Entire forests are destroyed and with it villages that had relied on the forest to live.  This destruction of the living ecosystem indirectly creates an economic and humanitarian crisis that contributes towards annihilation of the local ethnic race.

The global wide investment market has no sense of justice or injustice. That which major investors and their peripheral supporters (eg regional governments) strive for is massive profits and they have eyes for nothing else. The local community at the location of the investment project become but victims and in locations of major works that last for many years as in Papua the list of victims is endless. The land is ransacked, ruined and can no longer yield produce for the people sufficient for their survival. The people in the process are terrorised, tortured, humiliated, raped and killed. Victim after victim without ceasing……..

The land of Papua has long been something akin to a chessboard for the playing out of the economic, political and security interests of the masked colonial powers. Indonesia has had no hesitation to allow many of those countries who are ex-imperialist powers to join the game where there was something to be gained by Indonesia in the process.  The massive largely USA owned gold and copper mine PT Freeport in Papua provides clear proof of the mutual ongoing  ‘repayment’  from Indonesia to the USA for the latter’s assistance in facilitating the annexation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia. It’s a fine example of how the game works with masked colonisers playing out their economic and security games. The dynamics that see PT Freeport continuing in Papua reveal the injustice, discrimination, marginalisation, human rights violations and humanitarian atrocities that ensure the continued profitability for those in power.  Dynamics that are leading to the destruction of the environment and entire ecosystem, which are leading to the annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

The colonising nations hidden behind the masks of investors, have the ideal platform to step up from in Papua. As the government together with certain organisations and religions in Papua  are acting as a bridge connecting investors to the local community. The investors real goals have not changed from colonising powers of previous eras, striving to seize the natural resources and the land and to ‘eradicate’ the people in the process by whatever means necessary, hidden or overt. Killing can be direct such as instances where those with customary rights to the land oppose investors and their allies moving in. Or indirect such as where the local community in the area of the mine is killed slowly by the effects of contamination from toxic wastes of their food and water supply; or perhaps through starvation from no longer being able to farm their traditional lands and hence the sicknesses that result when people lose their villages and forests which are the source of their basic necessities of life.

Many nations have for years worked together with the State of Indonesia solely in furtherance of their own economic, political and security interests, to exploit the natural resources of Papua and its people, and so the countless numbers of victims who have fallen in order for those investors and Indonesia to achieve their goals. Indonesia and its allies are all members of the United Nations (UN), but clearly when it comes to the issue of Papua the Declaration of Human Rights and the rule of international law just ‘don’t apply’.  It’s time that those nations of the world responsible for the Papua’s subjugation together with the UN, acknowledged their wrongs in the previous period and through to today and break through those wrongs by making a way that acknowledges the independent sovereignty of the nation of Papua at law.

There are independent nations of the world that many years ago successfully landed people on the moon and yet there are still nations such as Papua that have not been given the chance to stand up and walk alone.  The determination of the people of Papua to stand and walk alone is strong but they have been knocked down again and again.  The matter of bilateral and unilateral working partnerships with other nations that are mutually profitable will of course be organised once Papua becomes recognised as an independent state. What is needed at this time is recognition at law by the UN and other nations of the world of Papua’s sovereign independence. As it is through this recognition that all forms of colonial domination by Indonesia in Papua can be brought to an end.

It is said that every individual, every group and every organisation can be an ‘ambassador for peace’ where they value and protect the human rights of some other person, family, tribe, group or nation, so that all can fully exercise their rights and obligations. Let’s each one of us be as ambassadors to truly realise peace on this earth this New Year.

 Footnote:

  1. Apart from the colonising effect of foreign investment, there is also types of domestic investment with that colonising effect. The domestic coloniser may act alone or work in conjunction with foreign investors to bring about the same ends of plundering the land and its resources and wiping out the local people to achieve that end.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura, from where he regularly contributes articles to West Papua Media.