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.
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.