Monthly Archives: March 2013

Interview With Bucthar Tabuni, Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

(Translated by WPM Team for SuaraPapua.com)

Original article at SuaraPapua.com, March 23, 2013

https://i0.wp.com/suarapapua.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/vb.jpg
Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament, Bucthar Tabuni, and Chairman of the West Papua National Committee, Victor F Yeimo (Photo: Private)

PAPUA, Jayapura – recently,  suarapapua.com journalist Oktovianus Pogau, had the opportunity to interview with Bucthar Tabuni, the Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament (,).  In this interview Tabuni speaks about the criminalization of peaceful struggle of West Papua National Committee (KNPB), by the Police force in Papua.

Follow the interview below.

 What is the security forces attitude towards KNPB?



I see that the security force fears even more if KNPB exist in the Land of Papua. This is because of the mass and the base of KNPB is firmly rooted.  Indeed, during my leadership, the strength that we have built with the people is serious. So, at this time the security forces were escorting us to matters that did not enter our minds, and tried to destroy the struggle for peace that was pushed by us.

I hope this does not become an obstacle for KNPB to further progress and develop into the
 future.  If there’s any issue, then it should be coordinated with PNWP as the political body of the Papuan people. And we are ready to be responsible to the people, as well as to the 
KNPB board itself.

How’s the leadership of the new chief of Police (Kapolda), Tito Karnavian?



For Kapolda Papua at present, I think we just stay in an intensive communication, however 
my only regret is related to imprisonment of KNPB activists in Wamena Jayapura, Biak and Timika, that is being dragged on without a clear legal process.

I officially conveyed to the Chief of Police, I will still guarantee security throughout Papua when orders (are made) to release political prisoners, abolish the lists of wanted-persons 
(DPOs) of KNPB activists, and open a space for democracy, but also demands that have not been
 fulfilled.

I hope, all of these (demands) can be fulfilled soon. If it has not been answered, I
 will make a mention of the demands to the public and the police chief, but I’m (still) 
waiting for a response to the demands.

What was Kapolda’s Response?



His response was good, but not optimal. For example, legal issues with some KNPB members being detained should be settled with the Police, but his officers eventually put (a formal) submission to the Attorney General, 
so the legal process at court is protracted, and we are very disappointed for now.

The Papua issue needs communication. If it’s ignored, it will cause
 disappointment, and the violence will never disappear. If there is to be anything at all, then it should be 
communicated. Pak Kapolda responded well, but not optimal. And until now I’m still waiting.

KNPB accused of masterminding violence in Papua?



Officials still have a biased stigma towards the KNPB, starting from being considered as actors of
 violence, all the way to being the perpetrators of violence in Papua. I argue that, during my leadership, the peaceful campaign of the struggle by peaceful demonstrations have always 
been promoted.

KNPB are people’s media, so it would be inappropriate if we called masterminds of violence.  
KNPB also never ordered the people of Papua, nor a member of KNPB 
throughout Papua, to struggle with violent means.

Even if there is (violence), that cannot be generalised or all associated together. In the society, there are good people, some are evil, there are few that listen to advice, and some that are not willing to hear the advice, and it’s a normal thing, and it happens everywhere, including 
in KNPB today.

Although Kapolda asked us not to do violence, one needs to know that 
lots of those acts are carried out by TPN/OPM (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional or National Liberation Army).  And this is outside of civil society, but if its in town I would 
guarantee safety. I do not have the right to intervene on TPN/OPM actions.
  My civic leadership is in the town.  TPN/OPM field of operation is different from my field.

What is the condition of KNPB activists detained in Wamena, Timika and other places?



They all regret, because the legal process that is underway has not been proven 
as a legal case. If they obtain or store sharp tools, then almost everyone 
in Papua, including immigrants, also obtain (these tools) such as knives and other sharp instruments.

The cases of KNPB members in Wamena is seen (to be premeditated) that the authorities already have 
strategies to arrest them. Why do officers go check sharp instruments only at
 KNPB activists home, while many immigrants who also own and store those things 
that are mentioned?

The question is, those things are there, but what are they used for, who is harmed, how many victims? –  there are no legal facts. This is why I asked that Kapolda must release 
them, but he hasn’t reacted to my demands.

The detainees until now regret, because without fair (or truthful) evidence and legal facts, they still undergo jail terms.  A question from me, why didn’t the police force arrest knife-sellers or sharp instruments in the market?  Of course this is weird.

How’s the assistance from Counsel (legal assistance)?



I thank the council for their assistance in assisting the KNPB activists in various prisons in Papua, but there is no assistance given to the case that happened in Wamena.

I see that the counsel hesitates in giving their assistance; we are able to facilitate with fund and provide them with accommodation. However, it is acceptable if they are busy. I plead for the judge and the prosecutor to work in conjunction together and help me with all the decisions to hopefully free all of them.

According to the charges that were made, there are many political aspects in comparison with those of law. Hence, various approaches have to be done in order to silence the struggle of West Papuans, and that include punishing detainees. Police and Army forces (Polri & TNI) will always find gaps and use that to perform ongoing injustices to the struggle in Papua. Therefore, an exceptional consideration is needed.

KNPB is regarded as Highlanders?

I’m shocked when I heard that statement. KNPB originates from Papua and we have Regional Parliaments called Parlemen Rakyat Daerah (PRD) in Biak, Manokwari, Wamena and Merauke, and they are all representative of West Papua.

I believe that this opinion is from people that don’t understand what consolidation is. I can also say that that opinion comes from people that don’t do field work but just voicing their thoughts. We have been working together (around Papua) for six years.

Don’t look just at KNPB, but the important thing is to see the agenda we have been working on. Supposing that the agenda makes sense and  is rational, why don’t we gain the support from others? We are just normal human beings but if this agenda can grant West Papua an Independence, it has to be supported, especially by those who mock KNPB.

Message for KNPB Activists?

Suppose you are keeping sharp weapons in your homes, it’s wise to throw them away or to avoid or keep away from them. Let alone the outsiders to have them. It has been several days since the silence of KNPB, it doesn’t mean that KNPB withdraws and is scared of the coloniser.

The current situation is uncertain so that we choose to be silent and to be patient. Let’s stay calm and plan for our new strategy to rise again. Do not worry about the tactics sets by the enemy, we have to think and plan for other approaches.

Message for the People of West Papua?

Independence is not something that we can achieve in an instant. West Papuans, don’t get bored, don’t be lazy and don’t give up the fight. There is no struggle that does not bear an outcome, everything does. We just have to wait for right time.

Hence, I call out to every West Papuan to work together, to be committed in what we are doing to keep up the fight in order for West Papuan to be free from Indonesian Colonialism. By doing so, not only we keep the fighting spirit alive but we also honour all the sacrifices of the late Arnold Ap, Thomas Wainggai, Kelly Kwalik, Mako Tabuni, Victor Kogoya, Hubertus Mabel, and all West Papua Independence activists that were killed by the Indonesian Military.

(translated and edited by WPM)

Selpius Bobii: The Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: A Challenge and a Hope

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

Opinion

By Selpius Bobii

Abepura, 25 March 2013

This article presents a challenge to all who have a heart for, and who are working without reward, to save the ethnic people of West Papua which are now heading towards annihilation. This article in particular considers the question as to whether there is truly annihilation occurring of the indigenous West Papuan people. (The term Papua or West Papua below are taken to include both the Papuan and West Papuan Provinces).

Are Ethnic West Papuans really being annihilated?

The indigenous community of West Papua is currently made up of 248 tribes (according to works of a Research Team published in 2008) inhabiting the land of West Papua.  Whilst east Papua is the well known nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  There have been findings that some tribes of Papua have already become extinct whilst others that are still surviving are now heading towards extinction.  The most disturbing finding (references below) from researchers at both Yale University in USA and Sydney University, Australia, have concluded that what is occurring in Papua is in fact genocide, with the primary actors being the Indonesian military (TNI) and Police (POLRI).

Military Operations

The main means of annihilation are overt and covert military operations carried out by the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) continually since the military invasion in 1962 – an invasion that was intended to actualise the declaration of TRIKORA (being to dismantle the State of Papua), by the then President Sukarno.

There have been three major stages of military operations applied in Papua. The first was preceded by the sending of military troops illegally to Papua in 1962, at a time when Papua was still under administration of the Dutch Government – events Papuans state to have been a military invasion. The first stage of ongoing military operations occurred following the surrender of the administration of Papua from the Dutch to NKRI in 1963, and continued until 1969.  NKRI used a number of names for this stage of their military operations including ‘Operation Annihilation, Operation Ox I (using the name for wild ox of Java ‘banteng’),Operation Ox II, Operation Red Eagle, Operation White Eagle, Operation Wolf and Operation Dragon.

After NKRI had successfully invaded Papua, it continued its military operations with strategies and tactics that were to become most decisive in this stage of history.  This second stage of military operations were known as (as translated) Operation Authority (1970-1974), Operation Erode (1977), Operation Aware(1979), Operation Sweep Clean (1981-1984). (See article ‘ The Existence of TNI and Military Violence in Papua from 1963-2005’)).  Officially (Papua was designated as a ) Military Operations Area (referred to as Daerah Operasi Militer ‘DOM’) was in effect from 1978 to 5 October 1998.  Withdrawal of this status in Papua was encouraged by the Reformation (Reformasi movement) in 1998, with DOM status legally withdrawn on 5 October 1998, however there was a continuation of ‘de-facto’ DOM status which has continued until today.

The third stage which started with the Reformation in 1998 and which has continued to run concurrently with the second stage until this date, has involved a number of specific operations that have been carried out. These have become known as:

  • Bloody Biak (06 July 1998),
  • Bloody Nabire (2000),
  • Bloody Abepura (6-7 December 2000),
  • Bloody Wamena (6 October 2002),
  • Waspier (13 June 2001),
  • Bloody Kiama
  • Bloody Padang Bullen (20 October 2011).

At the date of writing military operations are continuing in Puncak Jaya, Puncak, Wamena and Paniai together with other covert operations throughout the land of Papua.

Numbers of deaths resulting from Military Operations

According to scientific research carried out by Yale University in the USA, it has been estimated that between 1963 and 1969 that more than 10,000 indigenous Papuans were slaughtered by the TNI and/or Indonesian Police.  From 1971, and throughout the period with which the Military Operations Area was officially in effect (1978-1998), the extent of the large numbers of indigenous Papuans killed (can never) accurately be known,  as the processes (and) numbers killed were not recorded by the armed forces. Whilst the community to date has never been allowed ‘the space’ to be able to gather and publish the data (ie space from intimidation and fear of “known ramifications” or military retribution).  Military operations during this time have included bombings, shootings, kidnapping, murder, forced disappearances, detention and imprisonment, torture, rape, theft and killing of domestic livestock, destruction of crops/vegetable gardens (which are peoples’ source of survival), burning of homes to the ground, burning of churches, killing by poisoning of food and water, and others.

There have been killings carried out in sadistic ways such as on victims whilst still alive, having their body parts chopped off with a short machete/chopping knife or axe; or victims being sliced up with razors or knives then then the open flesh being filled with chilly water; males and females being forced to have sex before their torturers then the males genitals being cut off and the their wives forced to eat them, following which they are both killed; being killed by being suspended (strung up) until dead; being thrown alive into deep chasms where there is no way out; being tied up and placed alive into a sack then thrown into the sea, a lake or river; being buried in the earth alive; iron bars being heated in a fire then inserted into the anus, the mouth, or into the female internally through the genitals.

Introduced diseases

Diseases that have been taken to Papua by unmedicated new settlers has also played a role in accelerating the rate of death of Papuans since the annexation of Papua into NKRI. Those introduced diseases include TB, Tapeworm infections, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis, venereal diseases, HIV/AIDS and others. In the previous era prior to new settlers arriving these diseases were unknown by our ancestors. These types of infections / diseases spread quickly after infected persons arrive due to inadequate health services and the absence of availability of health equipment and infrastructure in the Papuan villages. Even when there is health equipment in the remote villages so often the staff are half-hearted about health services for Papuans and health problems arising from the spread of these introduced diseases are not properly attended to. If newcomers are not treated immediately on arrival these diseases spread ferociously amongst the indigenous population that has not had time to develop resistance to them, and in this environment of poor health services that frequently leads to death.

Alcohol related deaths

Consumption of alcohol is also playing a role in the annihilation of indigenous Papuans. The Writer once noticed on a carton in a shop the notice (as translated) “This stock especially for Papuans”. Why is there separate alcohol stock for Papuans? Many indigenous Papuans have died as an immediate result of alcohol consumption. Is there something mixed into the alcohol that which can cause quick death? Is it in fact ethanol (100% alcohol) that is being sold for Papuans’ consumption? Apart from many deaths related to alcohol, many social problems are also being created within families as a result of excessive drinking and many alcohol related crimes have occurred. The national government has on a number of occasions run campaigns to prohibit the excessive consumption of alcohol but at the same time they’ve been giving permits to proprietors to import and sell alcohol in shops and bars (with no limits imposed). Clearly there is tax income generated from these sales for the government. However the tax made by the government on these unregulated sales is far outweighed by the costs of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption on the community. This can destroy young peoples’ futures, quite apart from the sudden deaths it often causes. There is a locally made type of alcohol that is known as ‘Milo’ that could if regulated well by working with the local community, have much less destructive effects on our people. However as the government really doesn’t have a heart to break this chain of excessive production and distribution of alcohol, so this is yet another instance – though be it indirect – of the government contributing to the increased death rate of the indigenous Papuan race.

Government ‘Family Planning’ Programs

Another factor effecting the population growth of ethnic Papuans is the government’s Family Planning Program.  As Papuans have now become a minority in the land of our ancestors and our numbers are known to be decreasing, what then is the purpose of the government restricting the birth rate of indigenous Papuan families? Their family planning program teaches that ‘2 children is better’ but to Papuans this is absolutely not acceptable. Why should indigenous Papuans that have such a wide expanse of land and so much natural wealth yet be forced to join this program? We believe this is but another aspect of NKRI’s attempts though indirect, to bring about the decline of the Papuan indigenous population.

Loss of lands and natural resources

A further factor contributing to the decrease in the population of indigenous West Papuans is that of welfare as related to lost access to land and natural resources. Indeed financial problems of ethnic groups living in urban areas are a very real determining factor contributing to the annihilation of some ethnic West Papuan tribes.  This is the result of their land and natural resources being taken over by new immigrants, and whether by means of sale or theft, the end result is the same: being that people from those urban areas become without land and without natural resources, the two factors which have throughout time been their source of life.  Indeed this can cause depression, stress, deep psychological problems, poor nutrition, sickness and finally death. At the time of writing there are indigenous tribes from two regions in particular considered to be at high risk in this regard as they have sold the lands of their ancestors to newcomers. These are in Jayapura city and the wider the Jayapura local government area and secondly in the Merauke city area. Their children and grandchildren will have no lands of their own and this will have really serious consequences for the continued existence of these tribes.

Transmigration effects

The fourth category of determining factors contributing to the annihilation of the indigenous West Papuan race is transmigration. The previous Governor of the Papuan Province in 2010 stated that the total of migration to Papua was already high enough, but it nevertheless continued to grow at 5% each year whilst according to him the ‘normal’ rate of increase should have been 1% p.a.. Based on the provincial government’s figures from their Statistics Centre (BPS) as published in early 2011 for the entire Province of West Papua, the total indigenous Papuan population was 51.67% of the total population, numbering 760,000 in the whole of Papua. (See: www.kompas.com, Tuesday 11/01/2011). Jim Elmslie in his book ‘West Papua Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesia Census: Slow motion genocide or not? (Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University) found:

  • that the indigenous population had grown from 887,000 in 1971 to 1,505,405 in the year 2000 (an average rate of 1.84% increase p.a).;
  • Whilst the non-indigenous population in Papua had grown from 36.000 in 1971 to 708,425 (with an increase rate of 10.82% p.a.).
  • By 2010 the indigenous Papuan population was 1,730,336 (47.89%) whilst the population of non-indigenous Papuans was 1,882,517   (52.10%), a total population of 3,612,853.

In his book Elmslie estimated that by the year 2020 that the total population in Papua will reach 7,287,463 comprised of indigenous Papuans at 2,112,681 (28%) and non-indigenous Papuans at 5,174,782 (71.01%). According to Elmslie the variance of the rate of increase in indigenous Papuans compared to non-indigenous persons , is the result of firstly human rights violations and secondly and more primarily, the effect of transmigration. (See www.majalahselangkah.com/old/papua-30-persen-pendatang-70-persen-mari-refleksi/) original:(www.sydney.edu.au/arts/peaceconflict/docs/workingpapers/westpapuademographicsin2010/census.pdf).
The jump from 36,000 persons in 1971 to 708,425 in 2000, then to 1,852,297 is truly startling. This current level of migration flow can be attributed to the attraction of the Special Autonomy program in Papua, together with the continually increasing divisions of Papua into more provinces, regencies (which creates new major towns as administrative centres), districts and grouped villages.  As long as the government continues to create more divisions of the land, the massive flow of migrants into Papua will continue to increase.

We need to at the same time look closely at the indigenous Papuan figures which from 887,000 persons in 1971 to 1,505,405 in 2000 and 1.760.557 in 2010, show an increase of a mere 255,152 in the 10 year period 2000 to 2010. On the basis of these numbers researchers have calculated that indigenous Papuans are becoming an increasing minority, and at this rate by the year 2030 indigenous Papuans as a race will have become died out.

It needs to be emphasized that these are conservative estimates of the rate of annihilation of indigenous Papuans. The accuracy of the Centre of Statistics (BPS) figures really can’t be taken as certain from the Writer’s perspective.  To date there has been no news that the heads of all the villages throughout Papua have indeed worked together with the Heads of their Districts to ensure names provided are in fact correct, to ensure names of those already deceased have been treated correctly, and to ensure no names have been fictitiously created to get some financial assistance, or rice under a poverty program, or other assistance under the (Australian funded) Village Development program (called ‘Respek’); or perhaps for reasons related to the choice of regional leaders in the elections. The Writer is absolutely certain that if there had been carried out a credible population census that was honest and accurate, that the total of indigenous Papuans in 2010 would surely be less that that provided by the Centre for Statistics (BPS), and conversely the total of non-indigenous would should even greater numbers. As virtually every time, every week there are passenger ships land or planes land in Papua, there are yet more new migrants arriving in the land of Papua. In his book ‘ The Papuan Way : Latent Conflict Dynamics and Reflections of 10 years of Special Autonomy in Papua’, Antonius Ayorbaba stated that the rate of migration to Papua was actually 6.39% and that the population census data for Papua was in truth 30% indigenous Papuans and 70% migrants (See: tabloidjubi.com, 12 January 2012). These figures are starkly different to that data reported by the government.

If we compare the even perhaps overstated BPS figures of the indigenous Papuan population with that of Papua New Guinea (PNG) we see that in 1971 the numbers on PNG at roughly 900,000 weren’t much different to West Papua at 887,000. Whilst by 2010 the PNG indigenous population had soared to 6.7 million compared to Papua’s 1,760,557.  Whether from being killed or having died of ill health, or not able to be born due to the living conditions that Papuans are under, based on the fact that in 1971 their relative numbers were so close, Papuans take this massive relative difference of some 4 million in 2010 to indicate the number of souls lost through the process of annihilation happening in West Papua over that 10 year period.

Conclusion

The Writer is of no doubt that there indeed is occurring a slow but certain process of annihilation of indigenous Papuans in the land of West Papua.

On 15 August 1962 the United Nations mediated the ‘New York Agreement’ between Indonesia and the Dutch in New York bringing about the annexation of Papua into NKRI,  an annexation which was fully supported by the USA and U.N due to their own economic interests.  The people of Papua were not a party to the agreement nor even was there a single Papuan present at the time that agreement was signed.  This was followed by the morally and legally flawed ‘Act of Free Choice’ where a mere 1025 Papuans were required to choose on behalf of the entire Papuan population whether to remain part of Indonesia or not, a process that involved threats to their families and extreme intimidation by NKRI.

For the last 50 years NKRI has tried to divide and conquer Papua following their five Principle Ideology of ‘Pancasila’.  Meanwhile the people of Papua have continued to struggle against NKRI to regain their sovereignty, and have applied an entirely different ideology referred to as the ‘Mambruk’ Ideology {after Mambruk (lit. trans “Bird Of Peace”, the Victoria Crown Pigeon which is a symbol of the Free Papua Movement – WPM}.  Even the very ideologies of the Indonesians and Papuans are at conflict. The end result of this problematic history has been the present consequence occurring in Papua which is a human-made humanitarian disaster. A humanitarian emergency that is horrifying indeed though hidden from the world and not yet acknowledged by the world as even serious.

To act and save the indigenous Papuan race in West Papua from being totally annihilated, the organisation ‘Front PEPERA WEST PAPUA’ stresses that the following needs to occur as a matter of urgency:

1). U.N or another third neutral party needs to immediately mediate consultations on an equal basis between NKRI and the nation (the community) of Papua and to do so without conditions and with the goal of looking for a solution.

2). The International Community whether as individuals, organisations, government or non-government, need to encourage the U.N to mediate in these consultations between NKRI and the Papuan indigenous people.

3) The International Community and the U.N need to pressure NKRI to be involved in dialogue/consultations with the people of Papua as mediated by UN or another third neutral party and in accordance with international standards.

For actioning by all parties involved in this humanitarian crisis.

‘Unity without Limits, Struggle until Victorious!’

By Selpius A. Bobii

 

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front Pepera (The United Front of the Struggle of the People of Papua)  and is currently one of the “Jayapura Five”, Political Prisoners held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua.  The five (Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Kraar) were found guilty in an opaque and predetermined trial of  Treason (Makar) charges, laid after the violent Indonesian security force crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress  in October 2011.

(EDITED BY WPM FOR CLARITY)

 

 

TPN in Yapen arrest local Indon police chief for abuses on civilians

March 18, 2013

from West Papua Media, with local sources in Yapen

Ongoing repression on peaceful dissent and acts of torture on civilians by Indonesian police (Polri) in Yapen has drawn a sharp reaction from West Papuan pro-independence guerrillas, who have captured and carried out an arrest of the local Police chief for human rights abuses committed under his watch.

Details have emerged from the remote island district that the North Yapen Sector Chief of Police (Kapolsek), Bripka (Chief Brigadier) Saimima, was apprehended in Yobi village outside Serui just after 9pm local time on Wednesday March 13 by a small group of men led by local pro-independence West Papua National Liberation Army (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional or TPN) commander Ferdinand Worabay.

Local human rights sources have reported that the action, which is being treated as a hostage taking action by Indonesian security forces, was carried out as a lawful arrest under international law for crimes committed under the Kapolsek’s command, and is being claimed by TPN sources as a legitimate assertion of both Papuan sovereignty and the rule of law on alleged human rights abusers.

The apprehension of Bripka Saimima was carried in retaliation for his alleged involvement in continual violence against Papuan community members, carried out by Indonesian police officers on duty in the Yapen archipelago, according to TPN spokespeople.

There are unconfirmed reports from local human rights sources that at least 100 heavily armed police have been sent into the area to free Bripka Saimima.  It is believed that a tense stand off between the highly mobile guerrillas and heavily armed police and army is continuing, though heavy exchanges of gunfire were reported in the area from 9.15 pm Thursday night (local time).

More unconfirmed reports on March 17 claimed that the Kapolsek has been freed after three days in TPN custody , though further details have yet to surface, and no reports of attacks on civilians have been received at time of writing.  Most armed assaults by Indonesian security forces result in significant civilian casualties.

The captured police officer, Saimima, is well known in Yapen for his alleged human rights abuses.  Whilst under the command of notorious torturer, the former Yapen Police Chief Roycke Henry Langie, Saimima was allegedly involved at a command level in the systematic torture, arbitrary arrests and repression of local nonviolent activists and civilians, including the brutal torture and disappearance of political activist Lodik Ayomi in October 2012.

According to TPN sources, another reason for his apprehension is the detention and torture carried out by Polres Yapen officers against members of the TPNheld at the Polres Yapen station.

Local activist sources have told West Papua Media that the demands surrounding the release of Saimima are nothing more than basic bail conditions for any criminal suspect.  It is not known if Worabay’s men have demands to hand over Kapolsek Saimima to human rights prosecutors, an unlikely tactic given the lack of trust Papuan people have for human rights violations being successfully or honestly prosecuted under Indonesian law.

However, Worabay has attached clear political demands to the arrest.   Worabay claimed responsibility for the arrest of the Kapolsek of North Yapen, telling West Papua Media stringers by phone that the objective of the hostage taking was to demand the release of all Papuan political prisoners in all prisons in Indonesia, including particularly a local activist Decky Makabori, who is imprisoned in Sarmi Polres.

Worabay also demanded that both Polri and the Indonesian Army (TNI) immediately halt the violence in Puncak Jaya, Paniai, Wamena and other districts, and for the Indonesian government to “immediately enter into dialogue with the transitional Government of West Papua.”

“If these demands are not responded to seriously in order to be resolved …. there will be effects on the situation which will be worse,” Worabay told WPM stringers.

Meanwhile, at 5am on March 15 in a separate incident on Jalan Pasir Putih (White Sands Road) in the Serui sea village, an exchange of gunfire occurred between police and members of Rudy Orarei’s local TPN Yapen unit.  The TPN unit were surrounded and ambushed by three members of the Brimob from Yapen police headquarters, but Rudy Orarei returned fire from his house, according to local sources.  Two police were injured in the shootout, with Orarei reportedly fleeing the police cordon into the bush.  The area remains tense under heavy police occupation, according to witnesses.

General Assembly of Pacific Churches supports self-determination for West Papua

Tabloid Jubi
14 March 2013
The Tenth General Assembly of the Churches of the Pacific which was held in Honiara, the Solomon Islands from 3 – 10 March adopted a programme of activities to document the human rights violations occurring in West Papua  and in support  of West Papua’s right to independence.The General Assembly adopted  a programme of documenting and effectively advocating justice and respect for the basic rights of West Papua, in partnership together with its ecumenical colleagues, civil society and governments in the region.The press release issued by the General Assembly said: ‘This will mean that West Papua becomes a strong focus and part of the programme of the General Assembly of Pacific Churches for the right to self determination for non-self governing  territories and for nations and people that want independence.’

The delegations attending the meeting declared that they acknowledge the basic human rights of all peoples and in particular the right to self-determination of all indigenous people who are oppressed and colonised throughout the world, in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The press release also called for the right to self-determination of the Maohi Nui People (Tahiti). The delegates said that the issue of decolonisation has for many years been the focus of the General Assembly of Pacific Churches. They announced their full support for Tahiti to be restored to the UN decolonisation list.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Papua New Guinea takes a regional lead in supporting a free West Papua

16 March 2013

 by Airileke Ingram and Jason MacLeod

Melanesian support for a free West Papua has always been high. Travel throughout Papua New Guinea you will often hear people say that West Papua and Papua New Guinea is ‘wanpela graun’ – one land – and that West Papuans on the other side of the border are family and kin. In the Solomon Islands, Kanaky, Fiji and especially Vanuatu, people will tell you that “Melanesia is not free until West Papua is free”. This was the promise that the late Father Walter Lini, Vanuatu’s first prime minister made.

benny powes 1
Above: Papua New Guinea National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop with Independence leader, Benny Wenda at the concert for a free West Papua, Jack Pidik Park, Port Moresby 6 March 2013.

Ordinary people in this part of the Pacific are painfully aware that the West Papuan people continue to live under the gun. It is the politicians in Melanesia who have been slow to take up the cause.

But that may be changing.

Last Wednesday 6 March 2013, the Right Honorary Powes Parkop, Governor of National Capital District, Papua New Guinea nailed his colours firmly to the mast. In front of a crowd of 3000 people Governor Parkop insisted that “there is no historical, legal, religious, or moral justification for Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua”. Turning to welcome West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, who was in Papua New Guinea as part of a global tour, the Governor told Wenda that while he was in Papua New Guinea “no one will arrest him, no one will stop him, and he can feel free to say what he wanted to say.” These are basic rights denied to West Papuans who continue to be arrested, tortured and killed simply because of the colour of their skin. Governor Parkop, who is a member of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, which now has representatives in 56 countries, then went on to formerly launch the free West Papua campaign. He promised to open an office, fly the Morning Star flag from City Hall and pledged his support for a Melanesian tour of musicians for a free West Papua.

Governor Parkop is no longer a lone voice in Melanesia calling for change.

Last year Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill broke with tradition and publicly admonished the Indonesian Government’s response to ongoing state violence, human rights violations and failure of governance in West Papua. Moved by 4000 women from the Lutheran Church O’Neill said he will raise human rights concerns in the troubled territory with the Indonesian government. Now Governor Parkop wants to accompany the Prime Minister on his visits to Indonesia “to present his idea to Indonesia on how to solve West Papuan conflict once and for all.” Well known PNG commentator Emmanuel Narakobi remarked on his blog that Parkop’s multi-pronged proposal for how to mobilise public opinion in PNG around West Papua “is perhaps the first time I’ve heard an actual plan on how to tackle this issue (of West Papua)”. On talk back radio Governor Parkop accused Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr of not taking the issue of West Papua seriously, of “sweeping it under the carpet.”

In Vanuatu, opposition parties, the Malvatumari National Council of Chiefs and the Anglican bishop of Vanuatu, Rev. James Ligo are all urging the current Vanuatu government to change their position on West Papua. Rev. Ligo was at the recent Pacific Council of Churches in Honiara, Solomon Islands, which passed a resolution urging the World Council of Churches to pressure the United Nations to send a monitoring team to Indonesia’s Papua region. “We know that Vanuatu has taken a side-step on that (the west Papua issue) and we know that our government supported Indonesia’s observer status on the MSG, we know that. But again, we also believe that as churches we have the right to advocate and continue to remind our countries and our leaders to be concerned about our West Papuan brothers and sisters who are suffering every day.”

In Kanaky (New Caledonia) and the Solomon Islands West Papua solidarity groups have been set up. Some local parliamentarians have joined the ranks of International Parliamentarians for West Papua. In Fiji church leaders and NGO activists are quietly placing their support behind the cause even while Frank Bainimarama and Fiji’s military government open their arms to closer ties with the Indonesian military. This internationalisation of the West Papua issue is Indonesia’s worst nightmare; it follows the same trajectory as East Timor.

The West Papuans themselves are also organising, not just inside the country where moral outrage against ongoing Indonesian state violence continues to boil, but regionally as well. Prior to Benny Wenda’s visit to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu based representatives from the West Papua National Coalition for Independence formerly applied for observer status at this year’s Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting due to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia in June, home to another long running Melanesian self-determination struggle. While in Vanuatu Benny Wenda added his support to that move, calling on Papuans from different resistance organisations to back a “shared agenda for freedom”. A decision about whether West Papua will be granted observer status at this year’ MSG meeting will be made soon.

In Australia Bob Carr may be trying to pour cold water on growing public support for a free West Papua but in Melanesia the tide is moving in the opposite direction.

 

 

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The West Papua struggle is a difficult one and what outcome will emerge in the years to come is still hard to see. Allot of thoughts crossed my mind on Wednesday night when I attended the Benny Wenda, Free West Papua Concert. But from an Australian perspective, these comments by Daeron on an online forum summed it up quite well for me:

 

“Despair would be a natural but unproductive reaction to this SMH article yesterday, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/carr-helps-to-remove-the-blinkers-20120305-1ue67.html

Both Bob Carr and Mr Hartcher are products of an American fantasy about Indonesia which benefits Bechtel, Freeport, Exxon, NewMount, Conoco Phillips, to name a few.. Just find a membership listing of the US Indonesia Society lobby to get a full listing. But an Australian foreign minister needs to know the difference between illusion sprouted in US publications and reality, and he needs to understand our regional interests. Bob Carr is a wonderful choice for Indonesia, but not so much for us.I agree the Balinese are a nice people, but Jakarta is not ruled by the people of Indonesia, it is a oligarchy mostly of Indonesian Generals and US corporate interests. The effect of the 1975 invasion of East Timor was that Portugal Oil was replaced by Conoco Phillips, and the effect of the 1962 American deal (the “New York Agreement”) for the UN to trade our neighbours of West Papua to Indonesian rule, was that Freeport got to mine Papua’s gold & copper etc.The NSW Parliament is well aware that West Papua is victim of an illegal UN resolution (resolution 1752 (XVII)) which Australia supported in August 1962, an act which benefited the US corporations and Jakarta but not Australia or our regional interests. Colonialism is good business for Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.; and it is the unspoken Australian policy for the indigenous population of West Papua.Over this coming year watch as Bob Carr, just like Kevin Rudd, refuses to answer a simple question; why did Australia support UN General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII) ?
Posted by Daeron, Wednesday, 7 March 2012 1:49:53 AM”

 

But putting aside Independence hopes and geopolitical hurdles for a minute, why would a group of people be causing so many issues for Indonesia if they were happy?

 

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Benny Wenda opened his speech with a story of how when he was 6 years old he witnessed his mother being struck down by the butt of a gun at the hands of Indonesian Military and then witnessed as two Aunties who came to help his mother were raped before his eyes. All this at the age of 6.

 

.

 

It is no wonder that experiences like this from many West Papuan’s have clearly driven them to dispute the fact that they had a legitimate say in self determination in 1962. Again, even if we accepted the UN resolution, has Indonesia given them appropriate rights and services to lead fulfilling lives?

 

.

 

I’m no authority on this issue and I’ve never been to West Papua, but as far as I know there are quite allot of unhappy indigenous West Papuan’s in the world today.

 

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So what are they going to do about it? Well Governor Parkop announced on the night that he was going to be setting up a West Papua Office in Port Moresby. Globally as well they would be coordinating with the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, the International Lawyers for West Papua and International Musicians to ramp up the Global Campaign for West Papua’s Freedom.

 

.

 

I take my hat off to Parkop, this is perhaps the first time I’ve heard an actual plan on how to tackle this issue. Below are some pics of the night and here’s a good wrap up of Parkop’s speech here.

 

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free_west_papua_concert

The West Papua struggle is a difficult one and what outcome will emerge in the years to come is still hard to see. Allot of thoughts crossed my mind on Wednesday night when I attended the Benny Wenda, Free West Papua Concert. But from an Australian perspective, these comments by Daeron on an online forum summed it up quite well for me:

“Despair would be a natural but unproductive reaction to this SMH article yesterday, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/carr-helps-to-remove-the-blinkers-20120305-1ue67.html

Both Bob Carr and Mr Hartcher are products of an American fantasy about Indonesia which benefits Bechtel, Freeport, Exxon, NewMount, Conoco Phillips, to name a few.. Just find a membership listing of the US Indonesia Society lobby to get a full listing. But an Australian foreign minister needs to know the difference between illusion sprouted in US publications and reality, and he needs to understand our regional interests. Bob Carr is a wonderful choice for Indonesia, but not so much for us.I agree the Balinese are a nice people, but Jakarta is not ruled by the people of Indonesia, it is a oligarchy mostly of Indonesian Generals and US corporate interests. The effect of the 1975 invasion of East Timor was that Portugal Oil was replaced by Conoco Phillips, and the effect of the 1962 American deal (the “New York Agreement”) for the UN to trade our neighbours of West Papua to Indonesian rule, was that Freeport got to mine Papua’s gold & copper etc.The NSW Parliament is well aware that West Papua is victim of an illegal UN resolution (resolution 1752 (XVII)) which Australia supported in August 1962, an act which benefited the US corporations and Jakarta but not Australia or our regional interests. Colonialism is good business for Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.; and it is the unspoken Australian policy for the indigenous population of West Papua.Over this coming year watch as Bob Carr, just like Kevin Rudd, refuses to answer a simple question; why did Australia support UN General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII) ?
Posted by Daeron, Wednesday, 7 March 2012 1:49:53 AM”
But putting aside Independence hopes and geopolitical hurdles for a minute, why would a group of people be causing so many issues for Indonesia if they were happy?
.
Benny Wenda opened his speech with a story of how when he was 6 years old he witnessed his mother being struck down by the butt of a gun at the hands of Indonesian Military and then witnessed as two Aunties who came to help his mother were raped before his eyes. All this at the age of 6.
.
It is no wonder that experiences like this from many West Papuan’s have clearly driven them to dispute the fact that they had a legitimate say in self determination in 1962. Again, even if we accepted the UN resolution, has Indonesia given them appropriate rights and services to lead fulfilling lives?
.
I’m no authority on this issue and I’ve never been to West Papua, but as far as I know there are quite allot of unhappy indigenous West Papuan’s in the world today.
.
So what are they going to do about it? Well Governor Parkop announced on the night that he was going to be setting up a West Papua Office in Port Moresby. Globally as well they would be coordinating with the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, the International Lawyers for West Papua and International Musicians to ramp up the Global Campaign for West Papua’s Freedom.
.
I take my hat off to Parkop, this is perhaps the first time I’ve heard an actual plan on how to tackle this issue. Below are some pics of the night and here’s a good wrap up of Parkop’s speech here.
.
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