West Papuan independence advocates are questioning the UN Secretar
y-General’s presence—as a keynote speaker—at The Jakarta International Defence Dialogue, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence on 21 March 2012.
“We would like Mr Ban Ki-moon to attend to our defence while he’s in Jakarta” said Herman Wainggai, the West Papuan independence advocate based in the United States.
“The Indonesian government brands us as separatists, and then hosts international fora to escalate support for what it says are ‘non-war military operations’ against us”.
Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federated Republic of West Papua, currently incarcerated, requests the Secretary-General to recognise the leadership of the Federated Republic of West Papua elected at the Congress in October in 2011.
“The United Nations recognizes West Papua’s right to self-determination, and is therefore responsible for organising properly constituted peace talks, with itself mediating between the Federated Republic of West Papua and the Indonesian government.”
Edison Waromi, Prime Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua, also incarcerated last week for another three years (he was also a political prisoner 1989—1999, 2001, 2002, 2003-2004) says the Secretary-General must actively insert himself into the West Papuan issue.
“The 564,126 missing Papuans since 1962, more than half-a-million people, should galvanize UN intervention. And I believe the Secretary-General should also, while visiting Jakarta’s new Peacekeeping Centre this week, negotiate the release of all political prisoners in Indonesia.”
Many international observers believe that Indonesian political fears, that their republic will dissemble in the face of West Papuan self-determination, is misplaced.
“Holland didn’t fall over when Indonesia became independent, and neither will Indonesia when we do” said Wainggai. “Bali principles, Lombok treaties, Peace centres in West Java….these are all meaningless while Indonesia continues to escalate its troops and its judiciaries against us”.
Media Inquiries and Interviews
Please contact West Papua Media for direct contacts on the ground in the follwoing locations:
When foreign journalists are banned from an Occupied Land, who better to tell the story than the people who live it. Your donations support and help deliver training for a free and independent media in Papua, safe from harm from those who want to prevent the story getting out. We are entirely non-profit and rely on your support to continue our work. Please donate generously.
Papuans Behind Bars is a new project to document the cases of West Papuan Political prisoners. That site has profiles of current and former political prisoners and releases monthly news updates on arrests, trials, etc. West Papua Media is proud to be working with Papuan Behind Bars
Background information on West Papua and its history for journalists and bloggers