Daily Archives: July 2, 2012

Update: Keerom Shootings

Monday July 2 2012

0150 Papua time


A series of shootings have occurred in the remote West Papua – PNG border area of Arso, in Keerom district on Sunday July 1.

Initial reports have confirmed that one man, a village chief, has been shot dead by Indonesian army troops from Kostrad (Strategic Reserve) Battalion   as he was walking back to his village from an army post, after telling soldiers that any ceremonies held that day would not involve the raising of the banned Morning Star flag.

In an incident that may prove be connected to the first shooting, further credible reports are claiming that soldiers opened fire and shot 8 villagers who had come to investigate the first shooting.  Soldiers have arrested these eight victims and are accusing them of being OPM members, however preliminary reports indicate they are ordinary villagers.

Reports are currently conflicting at this point, so West Papua Media will bring more information as it becomes confirmed.

1 July opened the Eyes of the World, says Thaha Alhamid

Bintang Papua, 28 June 2012
Jayapura: In response to the decision of the OPM co-ordinator to raise the Morning Star Flag  for three days from 1 July, to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the TPN/OPM, the Papuan Presidium  Council (PDP) has called on all sides not  to do anything to blemish that historic day such as perpetrating acts of terror  which can only spread fear among the Papuan people.’Regardless of whether you are for or against,’ said Thaha Alhamid, general secretary of the PDP, ‘1 July is indeed  an important milestone  for it was on that day that the Papuan people declared the independence of Papua, which opened the eyes of the world.’.

He said that everyone knows about that historic moment, including Lambert Pekikir and his colleagues, and he hoped that they would do nothing to damage the significance of that day.

‘Brother Lambert knows all about the importance of  that day and he is obliged not to do anything that would damage that anniversary. Nothing should be done to turn that day in a day of violence and blood-letting.’

He said that  the day marked an event of political importance and if anyone wants to celebrate it, they should do so by peaceful means and out of mutual respect. ‘Treat that day as an important political moment (for dialogue) and not for anything involving firearms.’

Thaha went on to say that the declaration of independence on that day had opened the eyes of the world to two facts.

‘Firstly,the Papuan people could not accept  the political decision taken by the UN with regard to the Act of Free Choice and rejected Resolution 2504 which clealy failed to treat the Papuan people as the subject, and secondly, that the Papuan people have their aspirations which differ from those  expressed in the UN resolution. ‘It was on 1 July,’ he said, ‘that  the Papuan people gave their reaction to the UN decision of 1969 which legalised Papua’s incorporation as part of Indonesia.’

Thaha also said that  he hoped that the security forces would adopt the persuasive approach , to seek to build mutual trust and avoid military operations.

He sad that the Papuan people and in particular the people in Jayapura are utterly worn out by the situation of fear.  ‘The Papuan people dont want to go on living in an atmosphere of fear. Papuan people are tired of living like this,’ he said.

He went on to say that  a peaceful situation of mutual respect  for constructive dialogue must be the way forward to resolve all the problems in Papua. ‘A political solution to reveal the reality of our past history must be achieved by peaceful means,’ he said. ‘Violence  can only lead to  people getting injured and to yet more violence.’

My message is: ‘Stop all the violence and let us enter into dialogue.’

[Translated by TAPOL]

Joint prayers in Papua by Street Parliament banned by the police

Bintang Papua, 27 June 2012

Jayapura: The Street Parliament planned to hold joint prayers by Papuans in the city of Jayapura, in response to the security situation in Papua during the months of May and June and their impact on human beings.

Unfortunately however, the police have refused to grant permission for these joint prayers to be held., according to Yusak Pakage, co-ordinator of the Street Parliament.

The intention was for Christians as well as non Christians to take part in this joint prayer meeting as a sign of the brotherhood between the Papuan people of all religions, for democracy and to avoid horizontal conflicts.

But when the organisers of this event informed the police of their intentions, the police refused to grant permission. Yusak therefore  apologised to the Papuan people that the event will not take place, after having announced their intention to organise these joint prayers.

Yusak also said that they visited the mayor of Jayapura to inform him of their intentions and he expressed support for the idea.

The intention to hold joint prayers was also raised with the  board of the Hope Church in Jayapura, for the joint prayers to take place in the church. But the executive board of the church was not willing for this to happen, fearing that this would be seen as a political event.

Yusak also drew attention to 1 July  which is the anniversary of the establishment of TPN/OPM and the commemoration of Bahayangkara,  and urged the Papuan people not to be provoked in any way..

[Translated by TAPOL}