Committee claims that Third Papua Congress has Jakarta’s support

To be held 16–19 October
Bintang Papua, 2 October 2011JAYAPURA – Despite failing to meet directly with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), Team 7 of the Third Papuan People’s Congress, lead by Selfius Bobii stated that they had received a positive response from the central government. On Saturday 1 October, at a press conference held on his return from Jakarta, Selfius Bobii said “I and the Jakarta team have met with the Deputy Head of the Internal politics section, Judy Harianto of the Ministry for Politics, Law and Security,” accompanied by the entire Third Papua Congress committee. Following the two meetings held with the Ministry of Politics, Law and Security, according to Bobi, the central government has responded well to the planned agenda for the Third Congress. “If the president is free then he will open the conference, otherwise he will be represented by a minister,” he explained. During this opportunity in Jakarta, invitations were given to the Ministry for Politics, Law and Security and to the Secretary of State, for the President. “They (the central government) will be present as the keynote speaker,” he explained.

It was added that the congress organisers, who at this point have not yet confirmed the venue, have also invited all foreign embassies. In reference to support requested from Papua’s provincial government, according to Bobii there was none as yet. “We went to the DPRP several times, but the situation has been like this for ages… so we just let it be,” he explained disappointedly.

The Third Papua Congress will begin with a blessing on Sunday 16 October 2011. It will then be formally opened on Monday (17/10). He said that the Third Papua Congress is part of the democracy process in Indonesia and is supported by international law and national Indonesian law. The Third Papuan People’s Congress is also aimed at the fulfilment of human rights. In the matter of law and human rights, the state and government hold the status of protectors, said Selfius Bobii on Sunday 1 October at the press conference. Bobii said “As a democracy festival for the Papuan people at the highest level, the momentum of the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 16–19 October 2011 will be attended by representatives of the Papuan people from both outside and inside Papua, in an attempt to provide leadership for their aspirations in a dignified and democratic fashion, using democratic mechanisms which are supported by international law and the state constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.”

Bobii went on to say: ‘Invitations to all foreign countries and embassies have already been sent, and the majority have already responded that they will be present at the Third Papuan People’s Congress. There are those who have not yet responded, but of those internal invitees, 99% have already responded, leaving only 1% of our friends who don’t yet understand the right to struggle,” he said. When asked about the problem of TPN/OPM who do not agree with the agenda, Bobii firmly stated “We are well aware of each group’s position and we’re not going to try to interfere, but we respect and support each other in accordance with our respective roles. The Third Congress is a consolidation of the Papuan people, both in the towns and outside the country. Since 1965 the struggle came from the towns to the forest, then between 1991–1998 the struggle returned from the forest to the town, and now the struggle is already in the towns, do we want to go back to the forest again? Because of this we speak of our self-awareness and the roles of each group. If it’s the civilian wing…? Then the civilian wing has to know their role. Likewise if it’s the diplomatic wing, he should know what his job is…! So I am emphasising self-awareness and for each to carry out their role. We have already told our elders who previously did not agree that this is no longer the time for weapons and violence, it’s different now,” Bobii said firmly, continuing: “The struggle today is a peaceful struggle, in accordance with the decision of the Second Papuan People’s Congress; the peaceful struggle must be defended, because the peaceful struggle is sacred” he remarked. “We hope that in this struggle, nobody will be dishonoured,” he added.

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