Daily Archives: July 6, 2012

Lamberth Pekikir acknowledges the risks he is taking

Bintang Papua, 4 July 2012

Lamberth Pekikir, the general co-ordinator of the TPN/OPM who is now being hunted down by the military, has declared that he is prepared to accept the consequences of his actions, saying that he knows what the consequences are for anyone who consistently struggles for a free West Papua. To understand the attitude of Lamberth Pekikir, the following is  an interview of Pekikir conducted by Bintang Papua:

Bintang Papua (BP):  What are your feelings about being chased and hunted down by the security forces?

LP:  To be quite honest, as a human being, I am afraid to be in such a situation but as someone who is struggling for the Land of Papua and in defence of our territory, I know that this means taking great risks.

BP: Are you aware that you are being hunted?

LP:  Yes, indeed, and I have seen the people who are chasing me.

BP: Are you prepared for what may happen if the base of the TPN/OPM, [the military wing of the OPM] were to be attacked?

LP: Ever since I decided to defend the Land of Papua and the Papuan people, I have been ready to face whatever happens,, for the cause of truth and justice for this land.

BP: Is there anything that you would like to convey to the security forces?

LP: I want the security forces to accept responsibility for the human rights violations that occur in West Papua and I want them to put an end to these violations as a result of which many lives have been sacrificed.

BP: Who is it who shot dead the head of Sawiya Tami Kampung?

LP: Evidence must be produced to discover who it was who shot him dead instead of making simply accusations about the crime.. Besides people like me, there are many people in Keerom who own firearms, including members of the security forces as well as quite a few civilians who possess firearms with  the necessary license.

BP: Is there anything else you would like to say?

LP: Speaking from the headquarters of the TPN/OPM, we call on the Indonesian government to acknowledge responsibility for the political conflict in West Papua.

Please accept my thanks.

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As has been reported, the operational area for the OPM leader, Lanberth Pekikir, along the border with PNG has been reduced This followed in the wake of  shots fired by Pekikir at a vehicle belonging to the Indonesian army on 1 July in the district of Keerom which led to the death of the local kampung head.

The security authorities have since said that they are chasing the group of separatists headed by Lamberth Pekikir who they hold responsible for the death of a civilian. The commander of the regional military command, Major General Erwin Safriti said that efforts to capture Pekikir by his men are being undertaken not only by land but also by air in view of the nature of the territory along the border with PNG..

[Translated by TAPOL]

Kopassus claims to be pursuing ‘persuasive’ approach

The “persuasive” approach used by Kopassus
Bintang Papua, 4 July 2012
The commander of Kopassus, the elite strike force of the Indonesian army, Major-General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya declared during a joint training investigation with  China’s People’s Liberation Army in Shandong, China, that his men will continue to pursue the persuasive approach in its handling of the security disturbances in West Papua.He was quoted as saying: ‘We cannot the kind of actions that we would like to take but must act cautiously because in addition to security problems, other issues in West Papua need to be attended to, such as the welfare of the people.’

He also said that Kopassus forces plan to conduct expeditions in various parts of in West Papua to investigate the what is going on there and what it is that the people there actually want.’

Earlier on,  a representative of Kontras,  Indria Fernida, the chairperson of the Synod of the Kingmi Church, Revd Benny Giay and the secretary of the Working Group of NGOs in Papua, Septer Manufandu made it clear the military approach is still being prioritized in West Papua.

Moreover, the welfare approach that has for so long been proclaimed by the authorities was far from being pursued to any meaningful extent or in any way to the satisfaction of the aspirations of the Papuan people.

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]