Bintang Papua on death and funeral of Agus Alua

Bintang Papua, 10 April 2011

Bintang  Papua published two reports on the same day about the death of Agus Alue Alua, the chairman of the first-term Majelis Rakyat Papua.

Student leader Selpius Bobii is quoted as saying that it is believed that he died  as a result of the shock of his name having been deleted from the list of members of the second-term MRP, currently under consideration.

‘Ever since he became the chairman of the MRP, he has faced efforts by the central government to unseat him from the chairmanship. Nevertheless he was able, by the grace  of God, to be elected to chair the second MRP.’

It is reported that one hour before he died, on 7 April, Agus received news that his name had been struck off as a member of the new MRP. ‘This came as a great shock to him psychologically, because he saw this as part of a plan by the central government to annihilate Papuan leaders who have spoken out strongly  in favour of the rights of the indigenous Papuan people.

The chairman of Pepera, the Papun People’s Front of Struggle, has called on the central government to accept responsibility for the death of Agus. He called for all moves to appoint a second-term MRP to be halted and for the special autonomy law to be repealed.and also for an internationally mediated dialogue  with Indonesia.

There were also calls for the 73 Papuans who were awaiting inauguration of members of the second MRP, especially those coming from the Central Highlands [which is where Agus Alua came from] to withdraw their names. The chairman of Pepera said  that Agus Alua had been murdered by the Indonesian state ‘by means of a  well  planned scenario’. He said that the Indonesian Interior Minister and the Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Human Rightss had been exerting  pressure regarding appointments to the new MRP, particularly with regard to the appointment of Agus Alua and Hanna Hikoyobi.

During fierce disputes over the second MRP in which the pro-Indonesia Barisan Merah Putih was also involved, it was said that Agus Alua had been regarded as a ‘separatist’ because he facilitated the July 2010 meeting of the MRP at which eleven recommendations [making strong demands about the status of West Papua] had been adopted.

A few hours before Agus Alua died, the Sentani airport  was subjected to sweepings by fully-armed security forces, which had apparently taken place to make the general situation conducive to a move against Papuan leaders deemed to be trying to undermine the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia.


The second article in Bintang Papua was devoted to a report of the funeral of the Papuan leader which took place after a special Requiem Mass was held, officiated by Pastor Eko Wdiatmoko. The coffin was opened to allow his wife, Cornelia, and their three children to pay their last respects.

Among the many senior officials who attended the funeral were deputy governor Alex  Hesegem, members of the legislative assembly of the province of Papua, leaders of the Papuan Presidium Council, the PDP, and a number of church leaders. The coffin was then carried through the streets, escorted by people from the Central Highlands.

Speaking at the graveside, Pastor Yulianus Mote said that the deceased had been a very committed leader  with the courage to take many risks. ‘It was his courage that led to his early.death. Speaking about his last meeting with the late Agus two weeks ago, his message had been to urge all the Papuan clergy to ask God to bless the Papuan people and bring them peace.

Following the burial, a eulogy was delivered by the secretary of the Customary Council, Leo Imbiri.

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