Powerful images from Manokwari show mass opposition to Indonesian occupation of West Papua


November 9, 2010

Manokwari, West Papua:  Powerful images have emerged from mass actions calling for  US President Barak Obama to stop assisting Indonesian state violence, and to seek a lasting peaceful solution to West Papuan people’s suffering.

West Papua National solidarity for Obama (SONABPO) called the peaceful demonstration held on November 8 in Manokwari, to coincide with the visit to Indonesia of Obama.  After two separate protest marches combined, the crowd grew to at least 6200 people.  Despite fears of unrestrained Indonesian security forces in attendance, events were largely peaceful, with the large crowd outside Sanggeng stadium listening to hours of speeches demanding both Indonesia and the US to take responsibility for their role in the systemic brutality of the Indonesian colonial occupation.

(more below)


The demonstration was also in support of the Washington Solution conference on West Papua starting on the 9th November

The main demands of the rally were:1.    The USA must review their 1962 New York Agreement that transferred West Papua to Indonesia.

2.    President Obama and US Congress must review how US assistance to Indonesian military can be leveraged to solve human right abuses in West Papua.

3.    Indonesian government as a political body that is the cause of problems in West Papua,  must open themselves to solve the problems in West Papua.

4.    We West Papuan Melanesians strongly reject the failed Special Autonomy (package imposed by Indonesia) and call for referendum

5.    We West Papuan Melanesians,  support the Washington Solution (self determination) to be held on the 9th of November 2010 in Washington DC USA.

6.    We West Papuan Melanesians demand for the referendum to be conducted in West Papua for democracy and justice.

7. United Nations – Nations (UN) must soon send a team / International Observer Force to West Papua.8. We West Papuan Melanesians are asking for International community to support West Papua Transitional Government to meet Indonesian Government.

After they expressed their political views, representatives from the DPRD promised to continue working according to Papuan aspirations but conceded the were hobbled by being an instrument of  Jakarta.

The rallies dispersed by themselves peacefully.

PAPUA STUDENTS: Freeport should close; US must be hed responsible for Crimes Against Humanity







Freeport McMoRan copper and Gold should be closed down and the United States should be held responsible for crimes against humanity and against the environment in Papua.


(JAKARTA, 09 November 2010) – The history of Papua is a history manipulated by the political and economic interests of other countries, especially the United States which eventually encouraged Indonesia to carry out the annexation of West Papua.  The political process that occurred prior to the implementation of the 1969 Act of Free Choice is a process in which the ideological interests of the world played an important role in the process of the history of Papua.  The Capitalist Bloc (the West) led by the United States and the Socialist Bloc led by the Soviet Union played a major political part in the political bargaining which led to the decisions concerning the political fate of the Papuan people up until today.

On the one hand there was the United States which played a role in cutting off political access of the Dutch Government to its colony in West Papua and in encouraging the Netherlands to accept a project of political diplomacy drafted by American diplomat, Elsworth Buncker, which resulted in the so-called Buncker plan in which important political concepts were drawn in relation to the right to self-determination of the West Papua people.  The Buncker plan was at the origin of the famous document known as the New York Agreement (NYA) signed by the Dutch and the Indonesians, under the auspices of the United Nations, which established the technical principles regarding the implementation of a process of consultation of the people on their right to self-determination.  This so-called Act of Free choice (Pepera) took place in 1969 and it was unfair, undemocratic and highly discriminatory towards the people of Papua.

In addition to playing the role of political diplomacy in the Western Block, the United States was also acting out of personal economic interests in order to safeguard its access to the natural resources in West Papua, an area extremely rich in natural gas, mining deposits, minerals, petroleum, forest products, fishery, plantations  and a number of other economic resources which proved to  be very profitable for the interests of the exploitation of foreign capital, especially for the United States, in Papua.  Evidently, the economic interest is Freeport McMoran Gold & Copper, with its basis in New Orleans, one of the largest mining company in the United States, a company which would later cause great problems concerning the political rights of the People of West Papua.  The political intervention of the United States and its behavior towards the Netherlands resulted in an insignificant political support from the Dutch with regard to protecting the right to self-determination of the people of West Papua.   Also the backing by the United States of the clique within the Indonesian army between 1965 and 1966 which facilitated the coming to being of the New Order authoritarian militaristic regime under the leadership of General Suharto, had as a direct result the annexation of West Papua, turning it into a colonized area for economic purposes, as well as a killing field where gross human rights violations were and still are perpetrated by the Indonesian army, an area fully controlled by the United States and the economic interests of the capitalists.

It is common knowledge that the Freeport company funds the Indonesian military with billions of rupiahs to secure the exploration area of PT. Freeport. In a report from the New York Times entitled “The Cost of Gold, The Hidden Payroll: Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste” (27 Dec 2005)  it is clearly described how much dirty money is received by high-ranking Indonesian military.

Over the past 32 years of control over Papua by the militaristic regime of Suharto, there have been numerous cases of violations of human rights as a result of many Military Operations conducted in Papua.  This situation did not stop after the period of reform in Indonesia in 1998. Regime change was not accompanied by fundamental changes to the system in Indonesia. Evidence of continuous gross human rights violations by the Indonesian military forces up until today can be seen, as two torture videos were circulated on the Internet some time ago.  These two films depicting scenes of torture were published by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), based in Bangkok, through the Youtube site. A few days later, after meetings with President Yudhoyono at the State Palace, Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, confirmed in front of reporters that gross acts of torture had indeed been perpetrated by members of the military, on two civilians who were suspected of being members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the District of Puncak Jaya, Papua. These cases of torture were committed by the Indonesian army, which has long established ties with the American Government in the field of military cooperation.

Considering the complexity of the problems in which Papua finds itself today, where there is no recognition of the democratic rights of the people of Papua, the Papuan Students Alliance states its position as follows:

1. Freeport McMoRan copper and Gold in the land of Papua should be closed down immediately and the United States should be held responsible for crimes against humanity and against the environment in Papua.

2. We demand that the Government of the United States, the United Nations and Indonesia be held accountable for the political conspiracy surrounding the 1969 so-called Act of Free choice, which was in effect a miscarriage of justice and morality, an act full of intimidation and manipulation.

3. We strongly call on the termination of the bilateral military cooperation between the United States and Indonesia.

4. We demand that there be a thorough and comprehensive resolution of all cases of human rights abuses.

5. We demand the withdrawal of the organic and non-organic military troops from Papua.

6. We demand the implementation of the right to self-determination or a referendum for the nation of Papua.

We raise these issues in our statement to the American government, Indonesia, the United Nations and all parties associated with the dark history of the Papuan people to date, so that they may address these matters of concern in an urgent manner.


Jakarta, 9 November 2010

General Coordinator

Rinto Kogoya


Action PR

Okto: 082112808445


British taxpayers money used to sponsor degree course attended by members of TNI

A letter sent from the UK Foreign Office to human rights group Tapol has revealed that British taxpayers money is being used to sponsor a Master’s degree course in Defence and Security Management, attended by members of the TNI. This revelation comes hot on the heels of footage showing TNI members attacking villagers in West Papua, amid reports of widespread abuse by them in the province.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South East Asia Pacific Team
King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH
1 November 2010
Dear Mrs Budiardjo,
Thank you for your letter of 19 October to the Foreign Secretary about Papua. We are aware of the incident referred to in your letter and have seen some excerpts of the video footage.

We immediately raised our concerns about this case with the Indonesian authorities, in London with Ambassador Thamrin and in Jakarta with the President’s Foreign Policy Adviser. We have expressed our hope that there would be a full and transparent investigation into the incident and that those responsible would be held accountable.
We have encouraged the Indonesian Government to respond constructively to allegations of human rights abuses, and welcome the Indonesian military’s admission of wrongdoing in this case. We hope that details of the investigation will be made available to the international community.
We continue to stress to the Government of Indonesia that if there is credible evidence of wrongdoing, it should be investigated and those responsible brought to justice.
We believe that the best way to encourage further progress within the Indonesian armed forces is through constructive engagement and the delivery of appropriate training. This has included regular Indonesian placements on MOD flagship courses (e.g. Royal College of Defence Studies, Advanced Command and Staff College), regional training focused on Peace Support Operations and maritime/border security, including an annual Exclusive Economic Zone monitoring course, ship visits and senior level engagement.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) sponsors a Master’s degree course in Defence and Security Management, delivered by Cranfield University, at the Defence University in Jakarta. This course has been very successful over the last 4 years and many of the students are from members of the TNI. The MoD also supports development of the TNI in human rights by offering training in the Law of Armed Conflict.
Yours sincerely
N Atmore
Indonesia Desk Sout East Asia Pacific Group

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