Papuan People need not be afraid to talk about Independence

Bintang Papua,6 January 2011Papuans Needn’t be Afraid to Talk about Merdeka-Independence

Biak: A human rights lawyer and advocate has reminded the Papuan people that they needn’t be afraid  to talk about independence for Papua because independence for Papua is a basic human rights  that is legally recognised  and can be fought for by legal, democratic and political means. ‘I say this because  the 1945 Constitution guarantees these rights,’ said Yan Christian Warinussy, executive-director of LP3BH-Manokwari.

He said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People also guarantee these rights. He went on to say that  Papua Merdeka  is the political aspiration of the majority of the Papuan people which must be fought for  by peaceful,dgnfied and democratic means through universal legal and political mechanisms. All components of the Papuan people should unite  and discuss the various developments that provide the background for these aspirations of the Papuan people and should reach agreement on the issues that they should discuss in the context of a Papua-Indonesian dialogue.

The aspiration for Papua Merdeka must be used as the basis in every discussion which should at all times be based on the basic issues that were  agreed upon at the Papuan Peace Conference held from 5 – 7 July 2011 which included political, security, legal issues as well as basic human rights, and social, cultural, economic and environmental rights. He said that these issues were drawn up as the necessary steps towards the Papua-Indonesia Dialogue, with a recommendation about five people as negotiators agreed upon at the people’s conference. A declaration on a peaceful Papua was also agreed  upon as the guidance at the Papuan Peace Congress which was held from 16 – 19 October 2011 in Zacheus-Padang Bulan field, Abepura. Forkorus Yaboisembut was elected as the head, with Edison Waromi as the prime minister and all this was adopted as the strategic position of the  Papuan people on their way forward to the Dialogue.

Other components that were included were the OPM, the Papuan Presidium Council, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, the West Papua National Authority, the National Youth Committee  the military wing, the TPN-PB, as well as other organisations in the Land of Papua and overseas*.   He expressed the hope that all these components would come together  and draw up an agenda for this struggle  in a systematic and responsible way, using legal and political mechanisms that are universally recognised. ‘Papuans need not be afraid to talk about their independence,’ he said.

{*West Papua Media note: this list of supporting organisations is referring to the Papua Peace Network meetings, and not to the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress at Zacheus Field: this Congress was not supported by all sectors of the resistance movement including the TPN-OPM and KNPB as they asserted it did not go far enough}

He also said that the Dewan Adat Papua – Customary Papuan Council – would be the people’s organisation that would unite all the various components in the Papuan struggle, in response to the aspirations of the Papuan people

He warned the security forces in the region not to stand in the way of the Papuan people or try to infiltrate the Papuan people in order to prevent them from freely using legal procedures and mechanisms  based on the 1945 Constitution and Law 39/1999 [on human rights] as well as other human rights documents in the course of their discussions on their political rights  in the Land of Papua.

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