Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Indonesian police deny claims of four civilians being shot: Radio Australia interview with West Papua Media

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201112/s3382006.htm

Updated December 2, 2011 09:49:07

The unofficial independence day in the Indonesian province of Papua wasn’t without violence.

Four civilians are believed to have been shot and wounded by police and military after they were caught celebrating 50 years of the Free Papua Movement yesterday.

But police in the Indonesian province are denying the claim.

They say one officer was left severely injured after he was attacked by around 15 armed men in the city of Timika.

But the National Police did confirm they dispersed a mass gathering in Timika after a Morning Star flag was raised to commemorate the day.

Presenter:Geraldine Coutts
Speaker:Nick Chesterfield, Editor of West Papua Media

CHESTERFIELD: Look we’ve received some pretty honest assessments of what’s going on, we’ve got a network of stringers all over West Papua and we have witnesses on the ground in Timika. We’ve got a list of names of people who’ve been shot and their injuries, so it’s pretty clear that the Indonesian police did storm the gathering and shoot people. We’ve actually got five people who were shot, including people who were shot in the head. Now the police have been usually denying all attacks and then admitting it and then trying to change the narrative of it, so pretty much every act of violence that’s been occurring in West Papua over recent weeks. But it is a concern that five people were shot in Timika, and it is absolutely confirmed that the actions by the protestors on the ground were completely non-violent and they were not attacking police in Timika.

COUTTS: Alright the five that were shot, there were no deaths?

CHESTERFIELD: Not at this stage but people have been shot in the head and upper body and there has been some pretty significant injuries. So yeah it’s not just bullet grazes.

COUTTS: So they are death threatening as well?

CHESTERFIELD: Well certainly two of the victims have life threatening injuries, yeah.

COUTTS: Now are the celebrations likely to be ongoing or is that it, just a one-day affair?

CHESTERFIELD: It generally is a commemoration on December 1, now it happened in at least 15 centres across West Papua. It is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of West Papua, which was the transitional arrangement towards independence, it was created by the Dutch. Now it was officially recognised by the Dutch as a transitional republic. So it’s certainly not just the anniversary of the formation of the Free Papua Movement, but the formation of independence in West Papua, which was taken away less than a year later with the invasion of West Papua by Indonesia.

COUTTS: Quite early in the day we were getting reports that the Morning Star was raised up a flag pole on the highest point possible. Was that taunting the Indonesian military by doing that, because it is illegal?

CHESTERFIELD: It is illegal under Indonesian law currently, but it was also made legal under international law by President Wahid in 2000 where the Morning Star flag was allowed to be flown. It is a cultural symbol as well as political symbol, so the acts of subversion and rebellion that they put on the raising of the flag are actually invalid under Indonesian law. But certainly the act of raising the flag on top of Carstensz Pyramid or Puncak Jaya as the Indonesians know it, was an act of solidarity with the Papuans by an international climber. It was certainly not done as a provocation to the Indonesian military, but rather recognition that it is West Papua’s land and West Papua’s flag should be flying across the top of its mountain.

COUTTS: Is there any evidence at this stage that the Indonesian government is releasing its grip even slightly on the West Papuans given the extent and the lack of use of Freeport over so many years?

CHESTERFIELD: Look one of the key things about events yesterday and the restraint shown by the Indonesian security forces in not cracking down, there was a briefing the other day in Jayapura by the police to all police officers to, to use a colloquial statement, to not do the wrong thing and not react with violence in any situation, because they knew that the world was actually watching. Now it is actually a testament to several things, it’s a testament to the discipline of West Papuan people in not responding to Indonesian provocations yesterday, but it’s also understanding that the international community was actually paying attention and Indonesia knows what it’s doing in Papua is wrong. It’s not really loosening its grip as such, the Indonesian military itself is trying to tighten its grip on its business operations across Papua, including the protection rackets that it runs around the Freeport mine. But certainly it has been unable to influence events in West Papua and Freeport, like the strike that’s been ongoing at the Freeport mine since July, been unable to influence it very effectively at this point to force Freeport back to production. So it’s certainly trying to increase the blood that it draws from Papua, but it’s not having very much success at this point, and certainly dialogue within Jakarta’s elite is actually starting to ask what value is the total cost of the occupation of Papua.

http://www.abc.net.au/ra/pacbeat/stories/m2055615.asx

SBS Radio: New dawn for West Papua struggle

02 Dec 2011

Download Episode Duration00:04:15 Download2MB
 

Papuan activists take part in a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, marking the 50th anniversary of failed efforts to declare independence. (aap)

West Papuan independence rallies pass relatively peacefully.

The relatively peaceful passing of West Papuan independence rallies in Indonesia yesterday (1 Dec) are being hailed as a breakthrough for the movement.

The Morning Star flag was illegally raised across two provinces just north of Australia, and while there was gunfire, fears of another brutal crackdown were not realised.

West Papuans have been seeking independence since Indonesia invaded in 1962, after the end of 130 years of Dutch colonial rule.

Queensland correspondent Stefan Armbruster spoke with Jason McLeod from the University of Queensland, whose speciality is the West Papuan non-violent movement.

SBS Radio: Gunfire mars West Papuan flag day celebrations

By Stefan Armbruster

Download Episode  Duration00:02:58  Download1MB

Papuan activists painted with the colors of ‘Morning Star’ separatist flag. (AAP)

Indonesian police have fired gunshots during West Papuan celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of their independence movement’s flag … the Morning Star.

Security forces had massed in the provinces just north of Australia ahead of the rallies to try to prevent the flag being raised.

There are unconfirmed reports two Papuans were shot in the regional capital Timika and that police were attacked with bows and arrows.

West Papuans have been seeking independence since Indonesia invaded in 1962 after the end of 130 years of Dutch colonial rule.

Stefan Armbruster spoke with environmental and indigenous activist Yohanis Goram during a rally in the city of Sorong.

Queensland calls for action on Papua

BY:SEAN PARNELL

 From:The Australian 

December 02, 2011

(fair dealing – non-profit)

THE Queensland Parliament has called on Indonesia to investigate and act on humans rights abuses in Papua.

Retiring Labor veteran and Amnesty International advocate Judy Spence used the last sitting of Parliament overnight to call on Indonesia to act on allegations of human rights abuse at the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress in October.

Amid reports of further clashes between Indonesian police and West Papuan independence activists, Ms Spence told Parliament she despaired at “the direction that human rights is going in many countries of the world today”.

“I do not think we are seeking improvements,” Ms Spence said.

“In fact, I think we are taking backward steps in many countries. So it behoves us all to be very vigilant about the human rights standards in our own country and our own state but also to fight for causes internationally at every opportunity.”

Liberal National Party MP Bruce Flegg backed the motion, saying “there is sufficient evidence of serious human rights abuses on our doorstep to cause us deep concern”.

Dr Flegg called on Indonesia to acknowledge it has committed human rights abuses, decrease its military presence in West Papua and allow access by United Nations observers and journalists.

“This is a nation (Indonesia) that is very close to us,” he said.

“In many ways, they are a friend of Australia and I think it is right and proper that the Queensland parliament and Australia as a whole should be urging them to improve their human rights record in this area. It is a black spot for them.”

SMH: ‘President’ calls for recognition of West Papua

Tom Allard, Jakarta

December 2, 2011

An Indonesian policeman takes down the banned Morning Star flag raised by Papuan demonstrators in Jayapura.
Click for more photos (at smh.com.au)

West Papua Independence

An Indonesian policeman takes down the banned Morning Star flag raised by Papuan demonstrators in Jayapura. Photo: AFP

An Indonesian policeman takes down the banned Morning Star flag raised by Papuan demonstrators in Jayapura. Riot police guard as hundreds of West Papuans attend a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papua's independence from Dutch rule in Timika. Hundreds of West Papuans gather to take part in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papua's independence from Dutch rule in Timika. Hundreds of West Papuans take part in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papua's independence. Papuan demonstrators erupt in a short lived celebration as they raise the banned Morning Star flag on a bamboo pole in Timika. Police and troops opened fire to break up the protest. Papuan demonstrators wave the banned Morning Star Flag flag in front of armoured police vehicles. Police fire a warning shot to disperse hundreds of people gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papuan independence.  Armed Indonesian police speaks to a Papuan demonstrator after a separatist flag-raising ceremony. Police arrest a man after dispersing hundreds of West Papuans attending a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papua's independence from Dutch rule in Timika. Police arrest a man after dispersing hundreds of West Papuans attending a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West Papua's independence from Dutch rule in Timika. Papuan activists in traditional costumes and shirts painted with the colors of the 'Morning Star' separatist flag take part in a rally marking the 50th anniversary of failed efforts by Papuan tribal chiefs to declare independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1961, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Papuan protesters, with their bodies and faces painted displaying the banned 'Morning Star' flag, shout at a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the region's claim to independence. Papuan demonstrators march to attend a separatist flag-raising ceremony displaying the banned 'Morning Star' flag in Timika on the 50th anniversary of the region's claim to independence. West Papuans shout slogans during a protest to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the West Papuan independence from Dutch rule in Jakarta.  West Papuans protest to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the West Papuan independence from Dutch rule in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. Papuan protesters wearing their traditional costumes and others with their bodies and faces painted displaying the banned 'Morning Star' flag take part in a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of the region's claim to independence in eastern Indonesia's restive region of Papua. Papuan activists, their body painted with the colors of 'Morning Star' separatist flag, take part in a rally marking the 50th anniversary of failed efforts by Papuan tribal chiefs to declare independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1961, in Jakarta, Indonesia West Papuans shout slogans during a protest to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the West Papuan independence from Dutch rule in Jakarta.

THE man anointed as the leader of an independent West Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut, says democratic countries that espouse human rights are hypocrites if they do not support the region’s desire for self-determination.

Speaking by telephone from his prison cell in Jayapura, Mr Yaboisembut was unflagging in his optimism that West Papua will be independent from Indonesia one day, even though not one state in the world supports his aspirations.

He spoke as thousands of West Papuans in the troubled region yesterday commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first declaration of West Papuan ”independence”.

Forkorus Yaboisembut. While there were fears of widespread violence, the occasion was relatively peaceful, except for the violent dispersal of a rally in Timika and an early-morning fracas between police and separatists near Jayapura. One policeman was killed and another badly injured, with arrow wounds.

According to Papuan student leader Markus Haluk, four people – two men and two women – were shot at the Timika rally and taken to hospital after the gathering was dispersed.

Mr Yaboisembut was proclaimed president of the ”Federal Republic of West Papua” at the Third Papuan People’s Congress, a gathering of indigenous Papuan delegates, on October 19. Within two hours of being anointed, he was beaten and arrested in a crackdown that left six people dead.

”I call on all nations that love democracy and human rights and respect international law to recognise the Papuan nation,” Mr Yaboisembut told The Age.

”All speeches made by world leaders about democracy and human rights are empty speeches because they allow the discrimination to take place against Papua in Papua.”

West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a highly controversial plebiscite involving about 1000 hand-picked tribal leaders.

The economic benefits from the resource-rich region have largely flowed to Jakarta, foreign corporations or migrants from other parts of Indonesia, creating further antagonism.

”The Papuan people have been marginalised, discriminated against,” Mr Yaboisembut said.

”We have become minority in our own land. We are going to extinction.”

Asked about his own legitimacy given he was proclaimed president by a meeting of 1000 or so delegates, Mr Yaboisembut pointed to his role as chairman of the Papuan Customary Council since 2007. ”We applied the tribal mechanism,” he said.

Facing up to 20 years in prison for treason, Mr Yaboisembut’s future looks grim but he maintains West Papua will be free.

A declaration by Mr Yaboisembut demanding global recognition for an independent West Papua was read out at many rallies yesterday.

The banned Morning Star flag was raised in three towns but not at most events, including the biggest gathering, near the capital of West Papua, Jayapura.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/president-calls-for-recognition-of-west-papua-20111201-1o948.html#ixzz1fJlUQg6m