Violence reinforces Papua’s independence aspirations, say church leaders

Bintang Papua, 3 May 2012

Jayapura: A number of acts of violence have occurred in Papua, but none of these incidents have been investigated. which creates the impression that the Indonesian government it simply not interested, while these incidents have only intensified the independence aspirations of the  Papua people.’Violent incidents have occurred and Papuans continue to be killed but nothing is being done to bring those responsible to justice. This shows that these acts of violence must have been committed by the State and are quite systematic, according to the Rev Benny Giay, chairman of Synod the Kingmi Church in Papua.

Besides all these shooting incidents against Papuans, the Indonesian government has done nothing to recognise the social, economic and cultural rights of the Papuan people.’The government pays no attention to these matters and simply takes the security approach,’ he said.

All this only intensifies Papuan aspirations for independence.

The chairman of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua, Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman expressed the same opinion, and said that nothing has been done to find and arrest those responsible. ‘This State violence has been going on for a long time which is deeply undermining respect for the dignity of the Papuan people. The result is that the government has been unble to develop any sense of nationalism among Papuan people as part of Indonesia. ‘All it has done,’ he said, ‘is to have reinforced the Papuans own nationalism as Papuan people. The Papuan people have no confidence  in the Indonesian government and all they want is independence.This is clearly evident from the many incidents when thousands of Morning Star flag were flown everywhere throughout West Papua on 1 May which is commemorated by Papuan people as the day of Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua,’ he said.

He also drew attention to the shooting of Papuan people on that day. ‘The Indonesian government continues to perpetrate these crimes and kill Papuan people,’ he said.

He said that the only way to solve the problem is to immediately hold dialogue between the  Papuan people and the government of Indonesia, mediated by a third party. ‘This is the only solution of all the problems in Papua.’

Human rights activists in Papua, including  Maius Murib the former deputy chairman of he Papuan branch of Komnas HAM, Matius Mirib have spoken about the demonstrations on 1 May. He said that in the demonstrations n 1 May, there were run by three different groups. Those who demonstrated at the grave of Theys Eluay said that they were just indigenous Papuans and were not organised by the KNPB – the National Committee of West Papua. Thirnteen people were arrested for flying the Morning Star flag.

The demonstration which took place in Jayapura was organised by the KNPB. ‘Many flags were flown in demos organised by the KNPB in Manokwari, Biak, Merauke and Serui. ‘When they were standing in front of  the koramil -military – headquarters,  one of the students, Terjoli Waea who resides in a student hostel was shot dead in a truck. An autopsy was done at the hospital and then his body as taken back to the Tolikara Hostel.

At ten o’clock that night, Selpius Bobii was forcibly taken to the police command offic in Abepura  The police have said that the Morning Star must not be flown but the fact is that many flags were flown. ‘The shooting in front of koramil must be explained and it cannot be said that this was done by an unknown person. This was not somewhere deep in the forst but in the cente of the city at  7 o’clock in the evening.

Please leave a comment. Keep it nice to other users, and remember, no disrepect tolerated. Yell at the killers, not each other; Criticise the abusers deed, not their race or faith.. And please keep it relevant and punchy.

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