by Arnold Belau for SuaraPapua.com
PAPUAN, Jayapura — The statement made by the Papua Regional Police Chief via the Deputy Regional Police Chief Brig.-Gen. Police Paulus Waterpauw in several media outlets on Tuesday (3/4), requesting that the Chair of West Papua National Committee (KNPB – Komite Nasional Papua Barat) Buchtar Tabuni take responsibility for protest action that was organized by KNPB on Monday (2/4), is evaluted to be without sound legal basis, and very premature.
This position was affirmed by KNPB (Vice-)Chair I, Mako Tabuni, who issued a statement to journalists at Prima Garden Café, Tuesday (3/4) in Abepura, Jayapura, Papua. In his statement, Mako clarified a few issues underlying KNPB’s rejection of the Police Chief’s reaction, given that from the start the Papua Regional Police failed to issue a letter acknowledging receipt of the notice for the action that was submitted by KNPB well in advance of the day of the demonstration.
“Papua Regional Police refused and did not issue a a Notice Receipt Letter, whereas we organized a peaceful demonstration featuring Papuan arts and culture, without violating the law of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia (NKRI – Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia), said Mako to journalists.
“Arrows and spears are part of the Papuan nation’s cultural toolkit, and even this was clearly stated in our notice letter to the Regional Police, so how does it make sense for them to see demonstrators carry these objects and then to ask KNPB to take responsibility?” said Mako.
According to Mako, since decades ago the legal system of NKRI has occupied the Papuan nation, and this is a form of modern colonization which the Papuan people know and understand.
For this reason, Mako continued, KNPB is legally guaranteed the right to demand a referendum in the land of Papua, because the presence of the Indonesian government in Papua does not accord with international principles and standards from a standpoint of law, human rights and democracy.
Because, continued Mako, “From 1961 to 1969 the status of the territory of Papua was included in the United Nations’ decolonization category”.
Mako also denied that by calling the Chair of KNPB the mass actions in Papua will be stopped.
“Go ahead and call the Chair of KNPB, or even decide not to issue a demonstration permit to KPNB, but we will still mediate the people of West Papua to convey their demands and actions by other means”, stated Mako who has in the past been a political prisoner.
Mako also regretted the coverage in a number of mass media outlets, which is consistently biased in its perspective, and always judges each demo action negatively.
“Coverage like that harms KNPB, and harms the people of West Papua, so we invite media in Papua to show some consideration”, asserted Mako hopefully.
Previously, yesterday, Monday (2/4) a mass of thousands responded to the KNPB call for a peaceful demo action to show support for the Nieuw Guinea Raad conference and launching of the Netherlands branch of IPWP (International Parliamentarians for West Papua) which took place Wednesday (5/4).
This event was coordinated by the Free Papua activist in Britain, Benny Wenda, and a group of international lawyers who are members of IPWP, with a number of Netherlands Parliament members in attendance.
- Buchtar Tabuni will be held responsible for demos calling for a referendum (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPB denies that violence occurred during its demonstrations (westpapuamedia.info)
- Thousands cram gravesite of Theys to support IPWP (westpapuamedia.info)
- Rallies reject Indonesian status quo in Papua, and demand referendum (westpapuamedia.info)
- “The Indonesian Government Occupies, Colonises and Marginalises Indigenous Papuans” (westpapuamedia.info)