Yoman rejects the Use of violence

The following is a translation of a statement issued by Socrates Sofyan Yoman on Sunday, 3 March 2012
Jayapura: The chairman of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua, Socrates Sofyan Yoman declared that he does not agree with the act of violence committed at the end of last month in the District of Sinak, Puncak Jaya.During this action, eight members of the TNI, the Indonesian National Army  and four civilians were shot dead by members of the TPN/OPM (military wing of the OPM) while several other people were injured.

Socrates reiterated that as a church leader that he was absolutely opposed to acts of violence.

‘We must engage in a peaceful struggle ,’ he said, speaking at the launching of his book titled: ‘OTSUS in Papua has Failed’

He went on to say that it was not about whether this violence was committed by Goliat Tabuni or anyone else . ‘There have been many acts of violence in Papua since 2004  and none of these incidents have been investigated and nothing is known about who was responsible for the violence. ‘It is said that the are large numbers of intelligence officers  but nothing is known about these incidents. Is this some kind of project that is being defended or what is it all about?’

He said that the only way to deal with all the problems in the most easterly province of  Indonesia  is by means of mutually respectful dialogue, mediated by a third party.

He went on the call on young Papuans, men and women to get on with their education so as to be able to improve their standard of living, to be able to read and write, to become intellectuals, anthropologists , sociologists, scientists. Pursuing education will bring about a major change for the whole population, he said.

His book on OTSUS (Special Autonomy) is 408 pages long and has five chapters, which among others explain the background to  OTSUS which is seen by Indonesia as the political solution for Papua.It also deals with the problem of the obliteration of the indigenous people, crimes committed by the state apparatus, the case of human rights violations on 19 October 2011 as well as the shooting dead of Mako Tabuni on 14 June 2012.

Published by Cenderawasih Press, it is the latest of a number of books written by Yoman.

Yoman was born on 15 December 1969 and is a highly vocal church leader. He also teaches as a number of colleges, including the Theology College in Jayapura.  In October 2011, he had discussions with members of staff of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

‘I will launch my latest book on 6 March, he said, adding that Papuans were not a nation of slaves.

[Translated by TAPOL]

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