Buchtar Tabuni will be held responsible for demos calling for a referendum

Bintang Papua,
2 April 2012

Jayapura: Instead of holding one demonstration as had been planned by the the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua), they held two demonstrations in two different places. One took place in Taman Imbi while the other took place in Abepura. The deputy police chief, Brig.General Waterpauw said that they would hold Buchtar Tabuni responsible for these demonstrations. ‘The police will hold Buchtar Tabuni responsible for this because he was the co-ordinator of the demonstration held by  the KNPB which proceeded in violation of the agreement that they would only hold one demonstration in one place, in Taman Imbi,’ said Waterpauw.

He said that thousands of KNPB supporters had taken part in the demos in two places. In addition, he said, they were carrying a variety of weapons such as arrows, knives and spears, which had spread fear among the people.

Asked whether he intended to summon Tabuni, he said this was not yet clear but the matter would be attended to as quickly as possible.

The demos caused traffic jams as many main roads in the town centre were closed off.

Thousands of supporters of the KNPB held a demonstration in front of the post office in Abepura as well as near the traffic lights by the Abepura police office on Monday, 2 April. The demonstrators called for a referendum and urged the Indonesian government to recognise the Federal State of West Papua. The demonstrators also welcomed the establishment of International Parliamentarians for West Papua by Benny Wenda, a Papua who has  been living for a long time in The Netherlands. The IPWP will be formally set up in a parliament to support the Papuan struggle and for West Papua to secede from the Indonesian Republic.

[The report then goes into great detail about how the demonstrations proceeded in different parts of the city.]

Speaking to the crowds, Buchtar Tabuni said: ‘This demonstration is an action to express the KNPB’s support for the establishment of the IPWP in The Netherlands.’ He apologised to shopkeepers who had closed their shops along the roads where the demonstrations took place.

The chairman of the KNPB  also explained that  they were wearing traditional dress and carrying traditional weapons to show to other people (ie non-Papuans) that we have our own identity.

‘Today, the West Papuan people will determine their own future which is why the KNPB has held a peaceful demonstrations with our own cultural attributes and in support of the establishment of the IPWP.’ He went on to say that  the Regional People’s Parliament had set up commissions  and said that the most effective weapon of all was the strength of the West Papuan people to confront the colonial power, the state of Indonesia.

‘The  Papuan people have set up their own political institutions and have asked the government of the Netherlands to place the issue onto the agenda of the United Nations.

He said that West Papua will get its freedom and this must be recognised by the international community so that we, the Papuan people, can determine our own future on the basis of one principle: it is better for us to be struck down  in defending the people of West Papua than being struck down at the hands of Indonesia, the colonial power.

He said that West Papua had been incorporated  into the Republic of Indonesia in a process that violated international standards, in conflict with the principles of the rule of law and international human rights. The countries responsible for this were the USA, The Netherlands and Indonesia as well as the United Nations, in pursuance of their own economic and political interests.

‘This is why were firmly declare that the West Papuan people will devote all their energies to holding a referendum , to establish political institutions that  conform with the wishes of the people of West Papua and we call on the Dutch government to speedily take the issue back to the United Nations.’

[The report then gave the names of 21 local Papuan organisations (PRD) the chair-persons of which had signed the statement issued by Buchtar Tabuni and said that all the leaders of the KNPB took part in demonstration.]

Meanwhile units of the police and Brimob in armoured vehicles and armed with a variety of weapons stood on guard in various points places near the DPRP office and in Taman Imbi.

Many people left their offices for home earlier than usual and discussions were taking place between members  members of the DPRP.

Hundreds of people had blocked the roads causing big traffic jams .

[Abridged  translation by TAPOL of a very long article that appeared in Bintang Papua.]

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