Thousands of West Papuans demand Referendum in Jayapura 14 Nov 2011

Several thousand West Papuan people took the streets in Jayapura on November 14 to  calling for a Referendum to demand their right of self determination.

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In another show of mass civil resistance since the brutal crackdown by Indonesian security forces on the 3rd Papuan Peoples Congress,  the demonstration organised by the West Papua National Committee also called for the Government of Indonesia to take responsibility for its increased unjustified violence towards West Papuan people.

Indonesian police attempted to block the march, but protestors pushed through peacefully to continue to the offices of the DPRP, the provincial parliament building.

Demoted former Papuan Police chief Iman Setiawan attempts show of force (Reuters)

Protest organisers earlier expressed grave fears that security forces would attempt to repeat the violence on unarmed and peaceful protestors, but international monitoring and effective citizen media on the ground contributed to the restraint shown by security forces.

Participants rejected dialogue or talk with Jakarta until violence ended and maintained their position that a referendum was the only just pathway towards fulfilling Papuan rights.

“Give us the space for a referendum so that we can choose what we want.  We don’t want dialogue doing the bidding of UP4B, or other policy of Special Autonomy;  We don’t need money, we don’t need to be with  Indonesia, let us be free on our land,” said speakers, referring to the Special Development unit set up by Indonesian President Yudoyhono to dilute Papuan calls for independence.


“The Papuan people have asked for an immediate referendum for self-determination. We reject any dialogue with Jakarta,” protest coordinator Mako Tabuni said.

“The referendum is non-negotiable.”

Mass Action Jayapura, 14 Nov 2011 (Af Wensi)

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