WESTPAPUAMEDIA.INFO and local sources

October 19, 2011

1400 JAYAPURA : Indonesian troops and police have amassed outside the Third Papuan Peoples‘ Congress in a show of force that credible sources arereporting is to forcibly break up a peaceful gathering of thousands of Papuans in Taboria oval (Zaccheus Field), Abepura, Jayapura, the capital of West Papua.

The Third Papuan People’s Congress is being held for the second time since Indonesia’s invasion in 1963. Papuan delegates openly discussed their rights to self-determination and the pathways to a referendum on the future of West Papua. Forkorus Yaboisembut, the chair of the Papuan Customary Council was quoted in Papuan media sources as saying that the Congress is “part of the struggle of indigenous Papuans to enforce their fundamental rights.” He argued that Papuans are not seeking to undermine or destroy Indonesia. however “we strive to uphold our fundamental rights, including political rights, including the right to independence as a nation…. And whatever be produced, the Government of Indonesia should able to appreciate it.”

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Photos and video sent live from Petapa Community security forces and West Papua Media stringers are showing a massive buildup of military hardware surrounding the conference venue, where up to 20,000 people have been gathering since October 16 to determine their pathway to self-determination. Occupying Indonesian military forces have made regular public pronouncements in recent days that they will not allow any gathering to threaten the unity of the Republic of Indonesia, and peaceful discussion is of this is also banned.
The congress is still continuing. According to witnesses the military presence is strong and fully armed with automatic weapons. Army Panser armed personnel carriers and Police Barracudas are present but they appear not to have made moves to physically break-up the gathering. However, the presence of the security forces seems to have deterred some from attending.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/30776329] [vimeo http://vimeo.com/30776103] [vimeo http://vimeo.com/30775444]

Sources at Congress from Church, West Papua National Authority, Dewan Adat Papua and West Papuan National Cmmittee representatives that they are all prepared to stay and continue to meet until finished. Not sure when that will be. They are in the process of discussing a transitional / parallel government structure.

Delegates of the conference have sent out a series of urgent messages to the international community demanding that act immediately to stop a brutal Indonesian military action that is set to forcibly breakup the historic gathering.

Markus Haluk, the leader of a Papuan youth organization, sent a plea via text message, saying that it’s an “emergency situation.” He wrote, “In some moments possibly we will be massacred and there will be a bloodbath.” Haluk asked international supporters to tell the Kapolda (Head of Police) and the Pangdam (Military Commander for Papua Erfi Triassunu) in Jayapura to retrieve their troops.

Text messages sent to the military commanders from international supporters demand “The world is watching the 3rd Papuan National Congress. Remove troops and police now. Let West Papuans exercise their human right to gather and discuss their future without violence”.

The Australian Greens have also expressed deep concern. “The Congress is a peaceful event, and the Papuan people have a right to assemble and discuss their future,” said Greens West Papua spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, from the Australian Parliament today. “To meet without threat of violence is a fundamental human right that all citizens enjoy.”

Senator Di Natale has also been in contact with the Indonesia Embassy in Canberra today to convey the concern.

“No level of violence is acceptable at a peaceful gathering,” added Senator Di Natale. “The authorities will have to answer to the world for any bloodshed that occurs.”

Papuan activists who declined to be identified have requested that international supporters telephone the chiefs of Police and the Army (Kapolda – +62 811 950376 and Pangdam TNI +62 811136522) to tell them to withdraw their forces immediately


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