By Victor F. Yeimo
Chairman of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ]
September 9, 2012
(text edited/retranslated by West Papua Media for linguistic clarity)
Last week, Australia, the United States and Indonesia strengthened their economic, political and security ties while the people of West Papua were lamenting their oppression. That’s a sure sign that the practice of colonialism and capitalism will continue in West Papua. We do not know how much more blood will be shed as the people of West Papua will fall victim to the Indonesian military.
The world seems blind and deaf to the repression in West Papua. The world does not care about the Papuan struggle in upholding truth, justice, honesty and humanity. Instead, the world (community seems to be) trampling human values, truth, justice, honesty and all the rules of its international law. The world only cares about its political and economic interests.
West Papua has become the object of economic transactions and political interests of U.S and Indonesia. This dirty practice is still applied in the so-called “open era”. The lust of economic and political expansion of the states, without feeling of guilt, continues to increase the suffering of the West Papuans. The people of West Papua are not stupid.
People of West Papua fully understand how colonialism and exploitation scenarios work in this modern century. Labelling and stigmatisation of indigenous people as terrorists, and then kill and take control of land and its natural resources are the ways that are always used by the colonial countries and capitalists. Australia, Britain, the U.S. and Indonesia are implementing those ways in West Papua.
The peaceful resistance movement in West Papua is being silenced by the Indonesian military forces. The space of peace and democracy has closed and Indonesia has opened a space of violence, so that they can easily kill and destroy the West Papuan peoples’ struggle with the stigma of terrorism. Using that stigma to cement military cooperation between Indonesia, the U.S., Australia and other countries is considered essential. For them, it is important to kill Papuans and to occupy the land of West Papua.
Violence has been created by rulers who oppress and exploit the people and the land of West Papua. Terrorism is created for global rulers who have an interest in mastering the fields of exploitation. Terrorism was created by the colonial rulers who invaded to take control of someone else’s land. The territory of West Papua is controlled by Indonesia. The people of West Papua were massacred by Indonesia. Military power is funded, supported and trained by Australia, the U.S. and other pro-colonial and capitalist countries.
This is evidenced by the attitude of the Australian government and the presence of three ministers from Australia during the visit of the U.S. Secreatary of State Hillary Clinton to Indonesia while increasing support for the Indonesian defense forces. Meanwhile, thousands more Indonesian troops are being deployed to West Papua, and police in West Papua, led by the former head of Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorism Tito Karnavian, and detectives at the Criminal Investigation Unit of Papua Police are now controlled by members of Detachment 88.
Their goal is only one, to kill all members of the peaceful resistance movement in West Papua, to eliminate the people of West Papua, and to rule the roost on this land for the benefit and prosperity of colonialism and global capitalism.
So, who is the real terrorist?
Indonesia’s human rights record reviewed at UN Human Rights Council
TAPOL press release
London, 23 May 2012 – Today, Indonesia’s human rights record was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council during the 13th session of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland. Concerns about human rights in Papua increased sharply since the last review in 2008, with a significant number of member states raising concerns about freedom of expression, human rights defenders and political prisoners in the region.
“While Indonesia today said it is using a ‘welfare and development’
approach in Papua, the continued presence of thousands of troops and
dozens of political prisoners suggests otherwise,” said Paul Barber,
Coordinator of TAPOL.
TAPOL and United for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Keadilan, BUK) submitted a
report to the review process, making recommendations to improve the
human rights situation in Papua by ending the stigmatisation of
peaceful political activity, repealing repressive legislation and
releasing political prisoners.
Concerns raised by TAPOL based on inputs from local NGOs were picked
up by a number of Member States during the review. Switzerland and
Mexico were among those States questioning Indonesia’s worrying human
rights record in Papua, joined by regional neighbours New Zealand and
Japan. The United States called for action on Indonesia’s repressive
treason laws, backed by Canada and Germany who further called for the
release of peaceful political prisoners.
While Indonesia today announced that it intends to issue an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, it was unclear whether he would be guaranteed free access to the Papua provinces.
Restrictions on access for foreign media and civil society were
challenged by a number of States including France and Australia, while Germany called for immediate access for the ICRC, who were ejected from Papua in 2010.
“The international community has today sent a clear message to Indonesia that the human rights situation in Papua is totally unacceptable,” noted Barber. “With increasing regional and international engagement on the issue, the pressure is on for Indonesia to provide a meaningful response.”
PRESS RELEASE – FEDERATED REPUBLIC OF WEST PAPUA
1 May 2012
The Indonesian Republic’s top-level intelligence of its special forces (KOPASSUS) held a secret meeting in Manokwari on Friday 27 April 2012 to finalize plans for the kidnapping and assasination of key leaders of the Federated Republic of West Papua.
The leak shows those named for elimination as President Forkorus Yaboisembut and Prime Minister Edison Waromi. Other listed are Aluis Aso and Sius Ayemi; Hendrik Warmetan, Edison Kendi and Daud Abon from Serui; Markus Yenu and Billy Auparay from Manokwari.
At its inauguration on 19 October 2011, the Federated Republic of West Papua outlined its intention—and policy—of charging politicians as well as military commanders for war crimes.
Today on 1 May 2012, in non-violent rallies across the territory, the Republic is demanding concerted action by the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Nations in down-grading the level of Indonesian militarism and governance in West Papua.
Head of Police in Serui Regency, Roycke Harry Langie S.IK MH, refused permission for the Federated Republic of West Papua to hold its rally, even while citing rights under Indonesian regulation No. 9/1998 concerning free speech in public spaces.
“The Police Commander’s order not only violates Regulation No. 9, but also Article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution 1945” said Jacob Rumbiak.
“The Indonesian government is jammed between the political sophistication of the Papuan Republic and the Australian, American, and British governments fiscal support for its Special Autonomy projects” he added.
Interviews available (English, Indonesian) – Please contact West Papua Media
(West Papua Media has spoken with Markus Yenu, one of those targeted, and he has confirmed that he has personally seen the intelligence documents, and is fearful for his safety.)
AH-64 Apache (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Contact: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668; mobile: +1-917-690-4391, email@example.com
Ed McWilliams, +1-575-648-2078, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 30, 2012 – Ninety organizations today urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia. Indonesia has announced that it plans to buy eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States.
The groups warned that the helicopters will escalate conflicts in Indonesia, especially in the rebellious region of West Papua: “Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians.”
The Indonesian military (TNI) regularly conducts “sweep operations,” involving attacks on villages where innocent villagers are forced from their homes. The groups write that “Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care.” Sweep operations are now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua.
The letter was organized by the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the West Papua Advocacy Team and signed by human rights, religious, indigenous rights, disarmament and other organizations based in 14 countries.
Signers include: Faith-based Network on West Papua, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Peace Action, International Lawyers for West Papua, Land Is Life, KontrS (Indonesia), and Pax Christi Australia. A complete list of signers can be found here: http://www.etan.org/news/2012/03helicop.htm
The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns and equipped to fire missiles.
ETAN was formed in 1991. It celebrated its 20th anniversary this December 10, advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. See ETAN’s web site: http://www.etan.org
Text of Letter
As organizations concerned about human rights in Indonesia and West Papua, we are writing to urge the U.S. government and Congress not to allow the sale of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Indonesian military (TNI). Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians, who have been the target of deadly TNI assaults for many years.
The sale of this weapons system to the TNI — notwithstanding its long record of disregard for civilian casualties, corruption, human rights violations and impunity in East Timor, Aceh and elsewhere — would only increase the suffering of the Papuan population.
Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin told the Antara news agency, that Indonesia intends to buy eight AH-64 Apache helicopter from the United States.
The heavily-armed AH-64 is a highly lethal weapon which can be used to escalate conflict within Indonesia and in West Papua. These aircraft will substantially augment the TNI’s capacity to prosecute its “sweep operations” in West Papua and thereby, almost certainly lead to increased suffering among the civilian populations long victimized by such operations.
TNI “sweep operations,” including several now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua, involve attacks on villages. Homes are destroyed, along with churches and public buildings. These assaults, purportedly to eliminate the poorly armed Papuan armed resistance, force innocent villagers from their homes. Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care.
The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns . It is also equipped to fire missiles.
Congress must be notified of major weapons sales. We urge Congress to oppose the sale of these helicopters.
Photo of Yos Sudarso, pointing to PNG and Australia as his next targets, in Jayapura erected by Indonesia to celebrate the invasion of West Papua
JUBI: 24 March 2012
The Ondoafi – local community leader – of Web which is located in Keerom district , Bernadus Welip, has spoken out about the presence of many military posts in his area as well as along the border (between West Papua and PNG) and said that it is as if there is a war going on.
‘There are a great many army posts in my region which amazes me. Does this mean that there is a war here?’
He said that the presence of the military has made the people there feel very uneasy indeed. The people here cannot move around freely from one kampung to another kampung, or from kampung to a hamlet. or from one hamlet to another.
‘We can no longer move around as we used to be able to and this makes people here feel very unsafe,’ he said.
He said that he hoped the government would withdraw the troops from there. ‘The best thing is for the military personnel to be withdrawn from here. The people will feel much freer if they do.’
P. Willy OSA, the pastor in the diocese, confirmed what the Ondoafi said. ‘I feel as if I am under threat because I stand up for my community,’ he said. P.Willy was ordained as a Catholic priest two years ago.
According to the priest, the presence of the troops is a matter of great anxiety for the people of his congregation.
‘When the priest is away, the people feel very unsafe. They feel like this because they are always being asked questions about all kinds of things.’
He went on to say that there are far too many military posts, which makes the people feel that they are not free.
‘There are military posts every three kilometres, as well as posts along the border. ‘What we have here are Kopasus, koramil and the police,’ he said
[Translated by TAPOL]
Reprinting Press Release 19 March 2012 from FRWP spokesperson
RALLY: Federated Republic of West Papua
TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2012, 11:30am-1:30pm
State Library, 328 Swanston St (cnr Swanston and La Trobe Sts), MELBOURNE
West Papuan independence advocates are questioning the UN Secretar
Ban Ki-moon waves to protestors for West Papua, PIF NZ Sept 2011
y-General’s presence—as a keynote speaker—at The Jakarta International Defence Dialogue, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence on 21 March 2012.
“We would like Mr Ban Ki-moon
to attend to our defence
while he’s in Jakarta” said Herman Wainggai, the West Papuan independence advocate based in the United States.
“The Indonesian government brands us as separatists, and then hosts international fora to escalate support for what it says are ‘non-war military operations’ against us”.
Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federated Republic of West Papua, currently incarcerated, requests the Secretary-General to recognise the leadership of the Federated Republic of West Papua elected at the Congress in October in 2011.
“The United Nations recognizes West Papua’s right to self-determination, and is therefore responsible for organising properly constituted peace talks, with itself mediating between the Federated Republic of West Papua and the Indonesian government.”
Edison Waromi, Prime Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua, also incarcerated last week for another three years (he was also a political prisoner 1989—1999, 2001, 2002, 2003-2004) says the Secretary-General must actively insert himself into the West Papuan issue.
“The 564,126 missing Papuans since 1962, more than half-a-million people, should galvanize UN intervention. And I believe the Secretary-General should also, while visiting Jakarta’s new Peacekeeping Centre this week, negotiate the release of all political prisoners in Indonesia.”
Many international observers believe that Indonesian political fears, that their republic will dissemble in the face of West Papuan self-determination, is misplaced.
“Holland didn’t fall over when Indonesia became independent, and neither will Indonesia when we do” said Wainggai. “Bali principles, Lombok treaties, Peace centres in West Java….these are all meaningless while Indonesia continues to escalate its troops and its judiciaries against us”.
Media Inquiries and Interviews
Please contact West Papua Media for direct contacts on the ground in the follwoing locations:
MELBOURNE, SORONG, BIAK, YAPEN WAROPEN, MANOKWARI, JAYAPURA , and FAK FAK.
PLEASE NOTE: RALLIES TO ALSO BE HELD BY WEST PAPUA NATIONAL COMMITTEE (KNPB) ACROSS PAPUA AND INDONESIA: DETAILS FORTHCOMING
From Indonesian Solidarity (Aust)
31st October 2011
Indonesian police plan to break Freeport Workers Strike.
According to Mr Albar Sabang, the Secretary of the All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), Freeport Indonesia Division, “four panzers, one backhoe and one bulldozer are on the way to mile 27 of the Freeport area in Mimika”. They plan to break the strike by November 1st, when the delegation of ICEM (a member of the CFMEU is part of the ICEM delegation) will meet with the Freeport unionists in Jakarta.
In a letter that was sent to SPSI, the Mimika police commander Deny Edward Siregar states that the SPSI has breached laws such as the Indonesian criminal law, and regulation 13/2003 that regulate the
workers’ conduct. In his letter the police commander says that “the strike has shifted its orientation, and become demonstrations without asking permission from the police and has blocked access to
roads that are vitally important for the national interests”. Further he states that the strikers “have moved from CP north to CP-1, Mile 27 and Gorong-Gorong”. And the strikers “have disturbed public order”. However, the Freeport Workers have followed all the right procedures in their strike while PT Freeport Indonesia has disbursed US$14 million of funds to Indonesian National Police and Military (TNI) to protect Freeport.
Gorong-Gorong is the area where Peter Ayameseba, one of the striking workers, was shot dead by the police in protests that occurred on October 10th.
The police rationale to break the strike, in addition to what the Mimika police commander has said, is that the strikers have pressured Freeport Indonesia, and gained a lot of solidarity support both in Indonesia and overseas. Freeport’s declaration this week of “force majeure” on some concentrate sales from its strike-hit Grasberg mine in Papua was another piece evidence that the strike has been effective.
Freeport Indonesia workers reportedly receive the lowest salaries among all Freeport McMoRan (FM) workers around the world, with wages ranging from US$1.50–$3.00 per hour. Meanwhile SPSI continues negotiating with Freeport Indonesia and demands to have US$7.5 to $33 per hour for workers level 1-3.
On 19th October 2011, the Indonesian military and police attacked the peaceful Papuan People’s Congress and six people were killed, more than 300 were taken into custody, the leaders accused of treason, and many others were beaten with rattan canes and batons by police and soldiers.
Freeport workers can be contacted via Yuly Parorongan as a spokeperson of the Freeport union at +6285254951253 and Frans Okoseray at +6181240492446
Indonesian Solidarity is an independent, non-profit organisation that supports human rights, social justice and democracy in Indonesia, and promotes a better understanding in Australia of these issues.
JUBI, 13 October 2011In connection with the shooting dead of Petrus Ayamiseba who worked at the catering department for workers at Freeport, the Dewan Adat Papua has declared that it is essential to withdraw army and police troops from area around the Freeport mine
Speaking on behalf of DAP, Dewan Adat Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut said that the chief of the Indonesian police, the chief of police in Papua and the commnder of the XVII Cenderawasih Command should withdraw all their troopa who are currently deployed in the vicinity of the mine. He said that it was important for the police and the security forces to stop exerting pressure on the company. They should also be ordered to stop exerting pressure on the workers.
‘The security forces should stop interfering in any way with the company,’ he said. ‘The two sides involved in a dispute must find a solution together. If they are subjected to pressure, the dispute will never be solved,’ he said.
He also said that the Indonesian govrnment should urge the company to provide a clarification about its revenues. ‘If the government can convince the company to review the wages that they pay to the workers, the dispute can be speedily resolved,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer, Yan Christian Warinussy said that the shooting of Petrus Ayamiseba was a gross violation of human rights, and he hoped that the Papua branch of the National Human Rights Commission would speedily hold a meeting with the chief of police in Papua, Police Inspector-General Bigman Lukkaman Tobing to press for this shooting incident to be resolved in the human rights court. He said that if this does not happen, the police will claim that this was nothing more than a criminal act.
He want on to say that the shooting to death was a breach of Law 39/1998 regarding safeguarding actions undertaken by the people.
Warinussy also said that the company should halt all their provocative actions. ‘The company and the workers should sit down together to discuss the rights of the workers.’
Warinussy said that he was currently in Timika and was carrying out his own investigations and he said that he would be having a meeting with the chief of police in Mimika and with the company. The results would be conveyed to the chairman of the Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission. Matius Murib.
Petrus Ayamiseba who was 36 years old died when he was struck by a burning rod of tin belonging to the police while he was taking part in a demonstration at the Gorong-Gorong Terminal.
During the incident, another person was also killed, namely Jamil, a member of Brimob.
The Freeport gold and copper mine in Papua is one of the world’s largest.
10 October 2011
The Indonesian authorities must immediately investigate the use of deadly force by police at a mining protest, Amnesty International said today after one protester was killed and at least six injured.
Indonesian security forces opened fire on striking workers of a gold and copper mine in the eastern province of Papua run by US company Freeport-Mcmoran on Monday. Some 8,000 workers at the mine have been on strike since 15 September, after demands for a pay rise reached a deadlock.
“This latest incident shows that Indonesian police have not learned how to deal with protesters without resorting to excessive, and even lethal, force,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
“The police have a duty to protect themselves and uphold the law, but it is completely unacceptable to fire live ammunition at these protesters,” he said.
“The authorities must launch an independent and impartial investigation into this tragedy, and ensure that the results are made public,” he added.
Mine worker Petrus Ayemseba was shot in the buttocks and died a few hours later. Six other workers – Leo Wandagau, Alius Komba, Melkias Rumbiak, Yunus Nguluduan, Philiton Kogoya and Ahmad Mustofa were also injured from the shooting.
Freeport has accused the strikers of trying to intimidate replacement workers whom the company was trying to move into the mine workers’ barracks.
After the police opened fire, mine workers set fire to two container trucks heading to the mining town and pelted the police with rocks, according to local sources.
Amnesty International has documented numerous cases where Indonesian police have used unnecessary or excessive force or firearms and where no one has been held accountable.
“Indonesian authorities have failed to provide justice and reparations to most victims of excessive use force by the police. They must get to the bottom of this incident quickly and signal that they will impose adequate disciplinary or criminal sanctions on the police and will protect the right of Indonesians to protest,” Sam Zarifi said.
“It is high time the Indonesian police trained and equipped their staff in non-violent methods of crowd control. They also need to ensure that they have non-lethal means of force at their disposal to disperse the protesters if necessary,” he added.
Bintang Papua, 6 October 2011
[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]
Jayapura: The efforts being made by the DPRP (the Papuan provincial legislative assembly) to persuade the CEO of Freeport Indonesia to attend a meeting between the trade union, the SPSI, and related organisations, have apparently failed. The CEO Armanda Mahler was not present at the meeting.
According to the chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the meeting discussed the wages of the Freeport workforce and made several recommendations.The first was that the DPRP, the provincial legislative assembly, should set up a special team to visit the location of the mine in Tembagapura. The second was a decision to write to the management asking the company to stop recruiting new workers as well as other steps that are harmful to the workforce. The third was to call on the Indonesian government, via the intermediary of the US embassy in Jakarta to approach the major shareholder, James Robert Moffet to be held to account for the conflict between the company and the workforce.
Asked about the failure of Moffet to attend the meeting, the DPRP member said that this revealed the arrogance of the American side towards the Indonesian government for not respecting the views of other parties. ‘Our spirits have not been dimmed,’ he said, ‘as we are voicing the aspirations of the Papuan people.’
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the SPSI Julius Pororongan, together with the chairman of PUK-SPSI, told the press after the meting that efforts to recruit new workers was a blatant violation of Law 13/2003 on labour relations, because the company is not allowed to recruit workers while workers are on strike.
It also appears that since the start of the strike by the Freeport workforce, an accident occurred at the mine but the identities of the two casualties are not known. The union said that if they were able to obtain the names of the two casualties, they would announce them to the press.
The union rejects any mediation because the proposal for mediation does not take into account the call for a 25 percent (sic) increase in wages. Our demands, he said, are based on a number of factors. Firstly, the capacity of the company and secondly it income, and thirdly it should take account of the need for compensation for the risks involve in the work, and fourthly, it should take account of inflation.Fifthly it should take account of the educational level and work experiences. He said that the union had held meetings with the MPR and the DPRPand hopes that the provincial government will pay attention to the special autonomy law because the company falls under the authority of this law. While both the company and the workforce are major assets , it is hoped that the government will work together witl all the relevant components and will seriously recognise that the company has been responsible for many violations by sacking workers for no legitimate reason and has intimidated the workers.
‘They hve intimidated our wives and children by sending them sms messages. This is very inhumane because our wives stay at home and dont know anything about what is happening in these industrial relations. The union has suggested that the company should stop violating the stipulations of the Industrial Relations Court .If the labour contracts remain in force a whole year, this means there will be no increase in wages, which will greatly benefit Freeport.’
He said that their efforts in their communications with the MRP and the DPRP as well as with the government were intended to get the government to deal with the problem more speedily.’It is not our intention to destroy the company,’ he said. ‘On the contrary, we want to persuade the company to acknowledge the workers living conditions within the framework of better industrial relations so as to avoid the emergence of new problems that occur when peopl are arbitrarily sacked .
Bintang Papua, 6 October 2011Jayapura: The Third Papuan People’s Congress is due to commence in a week’s time. According to Selpius Bobii, chairman of the organising committee and Forkorus, Yaboisembut, chairman of DAP, the Papuan Traditional Council, a number of international personalities have been invided, including Kofi Annan
, former general-secretary of the United Nations
, and US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega
, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Sub-Committee of the US Congress. But as yet, there has been no response to these inviations.’Although we know for sure that Congressman Faleomaveaga will not be able to attend, he suggested that we should also invite Ban Ki-Moon
, which we have done.’
Other persons who have been invited from abroad are waiting to see whether they will be issued with visas by the Indonesian embassy in their country.
The event which is now drawing near will, according to Selpius Bobii, be the uppermost forum of the Papuan people for the adoption of decisions on a number of agenda items, and some of the participants have already arrived. These are from components or organisations, youth groups and women’s groups, the TPN/OPM, traditional groups and others. ‘They will have the right to vote,’ he said..
No final decision has yet been taken about the venue of the event which is likely to be attended by tens of thousands of people. ”If three places that have been approached cannot be used, we will have to hold it on Theys Square. With regard to the possibility that some people may want to fly the morning star flag during the event, all we can do is to make suggestions. We have asked people not to fly the morning star flag, which people may acknowledge. Let’s hope they will listen to what we say.’