By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
22 December  2011

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle,  condemn in the
strongest terms the  Indonesian military and police forces for barbaric
attacks on the people of West Papua, particularly in the large area of
Paniai  since December 13.

Human rights organizations have reported that scores of West Papuans
have been killed and wounded.  Twenty-seven villages have been razed to
the ground.  Over 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate more than
130 villages and are vulnerable to hunger and disease.  The attacks have
been carried out by Indonesian ground forces and by helicopter gunships.

Involved in the attacks are more than four  combat battalions of
Indonesian army (TNI) Kostrad commandos from Battalion 753, Brimob
paramilitary police, and elite counter-terrorism troops from Detachment
88– all units armed, trained, and supplied by the Australian and US

Since April 2011, they have been deployed to encircle  the  alleged
headquarters of the Paniai Free Papua National Liberation Army
(TPN-OPM), under the command of General Jhon Yogi.  They have been
dropped by helicopters into 26 villages around the suspected TPN-OPM

But the ongoing attacks have failed to entrap and destroy the TPN-OPM
They have served  to carry out Djakarta’s genocidal policy to massacre
and displace the people from their homes and land.  The TPN-OPN have
inflicted casualties on the Indonesian military and police forces by
carrying out guerrilla tactics.

Human rights defenders in West Papua have accused the Australian
Government and the  Australian-owned mining company, Paniai Gold, of
being materially interested and actively involved in the ongoing attacks
on the people of West Papua.  Detachment 88 is a special force trained
and armed by both the US and Australian military.  It has abducted,
tortured and murdered ordinary West Papuans far more than members of the

In the current military operations, the Indonesian military and police
have used helicopters belonging to  the Derewo River Gold (DRG) project,
which is operated by Paniai Gold and fully owned by Melbourne-based gold
mining company West Wits Mining.  The corrupt   and brutal Indonesian
state is a puppet of Australian and US multinational companies.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle  supports  the people of
West Papua in upholding and defending their right to self-determination
as a community against the oppressive state of Indonesia and  its
imperialist masters.  The Indonesian state has no right to inflict gross
and systematic human rights violations on individuals, groups or entire
communities.  The sovereign right of the people to wage revolution and
overthrow an oppressive state is no different from or is quite similar
to the right to secede or separate from it.

In the revolutionary process, the people (be they of the entire
Indonesia or West Papua in particular) separate themselves from an
oppressive state and establish a new state that brings about just and
harmonious relations.  In the course of people’s war, local organs of
political power are first established and become developed before they
can replace the old reactionary state

Time to change Australia’s involvement in West Papua offensive


Act For Peace

23/12/2011 11:03:39 AM

Reports are emerging this week that the helicopters from which 17 West Papuans were recently shot are those of an Australian-owned mining company, Paniai Gold. Further, this ongoing Indonesian offensive involves counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, which has been trained by Australia.

This Indonesian joint military-police offensive reportedly also burned down the villages of Toko, Badawo, Dogouto, Obayoweta, Dey, and Wamanik, with 20,000 people now displaced. Images reported in Australian and international media show more troops being deployed to West Papua.

Act for Peace is calling on the Australian Government to urgently request that the Indonesian authorities cease any attacks impacting civilians, and that Indonesia and Paniai Gold account for their alleged actions relating to the civilian deaths and forced displacement.

Media is strictly controlled in the region, making the need to pursue a full account more important. The large-scale offensive is in retaliation to the killing of two Indonesian police by Papuan guerrillas in Paniai.

Prior to this operation, in October six unarmed protesters were reportedly killed and many more injured at the Third Papuan People’s Congress.

Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, is also concerned at the targeting of church leaders and communities and the occupation of church buildings, in particular the Kingmi Theological College in Paniai, harassment of Kingmi Church of Papua Moderator the Rev. Benny Giay, and the attack on staff, students and destruction of property at the Catholic Church’s Fajar Timur Theological College in Abepura by the Indonesian police and military on October 19.

We also call on the international community to ensure the Indonesian authorities allow church and Congress leaders in West Papua freedom of expression of their views and rights without fear of persecution.

Act for Peace has supported programs in West Papua including training young community leaders, raising awareness of and helping to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and growing small businesses to help strengthen the West Papuan economy.

West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea, with an indigenous Melanesian population. December 1, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the declaration of West Papuan independence from Holland. It was forcibly taken over by Indonesia a year later.

Reports show more than 100,000 Papuans are estimated to have died from military operations since Indonesia took control. State-sponsored migration from other parts of Indonesia has now left the indigenous Melanesians a minority in West Papua.

It is time Australia, as a good international citizen concerned about the protection of civilians, did more to ensure the safety of our neighbours.

Alistair Gee
Executive Director, Act for Peace

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