Monthly Archives: May 2013

Yoman: Papuans are ready for a Peaceful and Equal Dialogue with Indonesian Government

By Socratez Sofyan Yoman
May 26, 2013
Sultan Hamengku Buwono X recently stated

“…Dialogue is not a solution, but a media or a forum provided to break through the political communication deadlock between Jakarta and Papua. A more intense and regular communication is a necessity in order to overcome the tension, suspicion and disbelief so far. Peaceful dialogue does not happen in an instant, it is a result of long process which has to be thoroughly prepared. Though complicated, a preliminary dialogue is a very possible to formulate prerequisite and conditions which can convince both sides to enter the dialogue.”

Sultan suggested that the prerequisites of the dialogue should be the following: “First, equality, openness and mutual respect. Second, solving the root of violence includes the release of political prisoners (tapol/ napol), resolution of land issues (land politics), security apparatus management and resolution of human rights violations with justice and dignity. Third, the national dialogue has to be based on  political decision of the central government, because without an official decision, it is almost certain that there will not be a peaceful dialogue.”

“Dialogue does not mean Independence for Papua, neither does it mean NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia), Special Autonomy, or Acceleration of Papuan Development. The essence of the dialogue is as a media, a way of communicating for the participants to open themselves, see the other as an equal with dignity and the goodwill to sit together then talk about the issues which has become the source of dispute, tension, conflicts and the origin of violence.” (Source: Seminar 50 Tahun Papua Dalam Indonesia, Jakarta, May 15,  2013).

The state speech by the President of Indonesia, Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, on August 16,  2008, mentioned “The persuasive, proactive and even nature of the government policies managed to convince various faction that violence is not the best way to solve the problem.”  The state speech of the President in August 16, 2010 said, “the government continues to study the dynamics in Papua, and will continue pursuing constructive communication in for the development of a better Papua.”   The speech of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono on August 16, 2011 stated, “Handling Papua with a heart is the key to every step taken to successfully develop Papua”.

The government of United States fully supports a peaceful dialogue to solve the problem Papua,” US Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton in Honolulu, Hawaii stated on November 10, 2011, “there is a need of continuous dialogue and political reformation to fulfil the legal need of Papuans and we will raise the issue again and push for this kind of approach.”

On December 16, 2011 Papua Church leaders with leaders from PGI (Persekutuan Gereja-gereja Indonesia, Communion of Churches in Indonesia) had a meeting with the president of Indonesia in Cikeas and conveyed “the crystallized demand of Papuans for self-determination and unconditional peaceful dialogue involving a third-party.”

On May 17, 2013 Papuan Church leaders held a meeting with US ambassador for Indonesia in his residence. In the meeting the ambassador mentioned, “the government of US fully support the problem of Papua with a peaceful dialogue between Papuans and the government of Indonesia.”

On May 3, 2007, the Churches in Papua stated that the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua has become a new problem and failed. Thus, the solution is “an honest and peaceful dialogue like the solution to the problem in Aceh. The dialogue mediated by a neutral third party requested and approved by native Papuans and the government of Indonesia.”

On December 3-7, 2007, all religious and church leaders in Lokakarya Papua Tanah Damai (Papua Land of Peace Workshop) urges the government of Indonesia ‘to immediately resolve the the ideology difference in Papua with an honest and open dialogue between the central government and native Papuans involving a neutral third party approved by both sides.”

On October 22, 2008 Churches in Papua stated that ‘the pro and cons of the Pepera implementation cannot be solved with road blockings, arrests, imprisonments or beating by apparatus. Arresting, putting to trials and imprisoning every Papuans will not solve the problem of Pepera. We believe there is no violence great enough to solve the problem of Pepera. Thusm to hinder all kinds of violence and to stop Papuans from becoming victim, we suggest the resolution for this by a peaceful dialogue.”

On October 14-17, 2008 Konferensi Gereja dan Masyarakat (Conference on Church and Society) called ‘the Central Government to open themselves to a dialogue with Native Papuans in the evaluation of  the implementation of UU No. 21 tahun 2001 on Special Autonomy and Revising Papuan History. To stop using the stigmatizing labels “separatists, TPN (the National Liberation Army), TPN, OPM (Free Papua Movement), GPK , makar (traitors)’ of kind given to Papuans and return their rights and dignity as human made by God. The “innocent until proven guilty principle should be upheld.”

On October 18, 2009 it was stated ‘to hinder all kind of violence we suggest the problem of 1969 Pepera (Act of ‘Free’ Choice) to be resolved by a peaceful dialogue. We request the Indonesian government and Papuans to discuss the issue of Pepera through a dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party. However sensitive,the problem with Papua has to be solved by a peaceful dialogue between the government and Papuans. We believe that through a dialogue, a peaceful solution can be found.”

On August 12, 2010 Papuan Church leaders in a moral and empathic appeal stated, “Papuan Church Leaders call for a national dialogue to resolve the problems in Papua in a just, dignified, and humane way mediated by a neutral third party.”

On January 10,  2011 the Communique of Papuan Church Leaders urges the Indonesian government to enter a dialogue with Papuans soon to end the legal and political uncertainty in Papua which has been the root of the prolonged conflict and  cause distress to the flock of God on the land.

On January 26, 2011 Papuan Church Leaders appealed to the Indonesian government to open themselves for a dialogue with native Papuans with mediation of a neutral third party.

Persekutuan Gereja-gereja Di Indonesia (PGI, Communion of Churches in Indonesia) in their Sidang Majelis Pekerja Lengkap (Worker Plenary Assembly) in Tobelo on February 4-8, 2011 affirmed to: ‘hearing the cry of Papuan people on their value and dignity and various humanity problems caused by the failure of UU Otonomi Khusus (Special Autonomy), and paying attention to the criticisms made by churches in Papua on the governance, political and social progression.  Genuinely attend to the urges of Papuan churches and indigenous people to carry out a Papua-Jakarta dialogue.”

The Position Paper of Pokja Papua-PGI (CCI Working group) on Papua, No. 3 point B: “urges for a National Dialogue as a democratic platform to find the best, just and dignified solution for a society who deem themselves ‘colonized’ since 1969.”

The World Communion of Reformed Churches also supports a peaceful dialogue mediated by third party. World Communion of Reformed Churches supports a referendum for the native West Papuans.

Papuans held the Konferensi Perdamaian Papua (Papuan Peace Conference), July 5-7, 2011 in Jayapura. The conference was opened by the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Law and Security Affairs who also gave a Keynote Speech along with the Governor of Papua, Pangdam XVII Trikora/Cenderawasih (the military commander of XVII Trikora/ Cenderawasih area), the Head of Papua regional Police, Bishop Dr.Leo Laba Ladjar, Dr. Tonny Wanggai, and myself (Socratez Yoman).

Through this conference Papuans have chosen 5 (five) people and determined them as negotiators of Papua in the dialogue with Jakarta: (1) Rex Rumakiek (Australia), (2) John Otto Ondowame (Vanuatu),  (3) Benny Wenda (United Kingdom), (4) Leonie Tanggahma (The Netherlands), (5) Octo Mote (United States of America).

Indonesian government cannot use an excuse that Papuans consist of many factions and have no leaders in a dialogue. Right now, Papuans already have leaders and negotiators chosen by Papuans through a conference officially opened by Indonesian government. Indonesian government can neither use the excuse that the problem of Papua is a domestic problem.

In the understanding of Papuans the problem of Papua is a problem with international dimension.

A famous intellectual and LIPI researcher, Dr. Ikrar Nusa Bhakti acknowledges:

“From the past to present, the problem of Irian Jaya (now: Papua) is not only between Indonesia and Papuan people, but also related to the international world. It doesn’t just connect the relation among people, between people and government, government and government, but also between the churches.”

Accurately Rev. Dr. Karel Phil Erari has declared: “For Papua, the construction of the conflict has local, national and international dimension. With that kind of construction, peace building  efforts to create a whole and comprehensive wellbeing, has to involve the three components connected in the ’cold war’ history in Papua. Why? Because the effort to build peace for the security of Papua, will only last briefly and be vulnerable, if the root of the problem and parties involved in the ‘cold war’ history are outside the peace construction.  The international community involves The Netherlands, USA and UN.  The three parties were directly involved in the conspiracy to carry out an Act of Free Choice which was against International law principles. The practice of Pepera with a representative system shows a public lie, because the 1,025 “peoples representatives” were given military and political pressure to choose Indonesia.” (Read Erari: /Yubileum dan Pembebasan Menuju Papua Baru, Lima Puluh Tahun Gereja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua 26 Oktober 1956-26 Oktober 2006/, pg.182).

Writer: Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman is the Chairman of  Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua .

Translated by Tapol


22 May 2013
by Nafatli Edoway
A short while ago, Tapol, an NGO which is based in London, reported that up to March 2013, there where about forty Papuans in prison who have been found guilty of violating the law on treason – makar. [See Suara Papua: TAPOL Calls on the Indonesian government to  stop saying that there are no Political Prisoners in Papua]It is quite clear that Articles 106  and 214 of the Criminal Code are being used as a weapon by the Indonesian government  to clamp down on the nationalism of the Papuan people. In addition, military operations and intelligence operations.are still occurring.

The large number of political prisoners – tapol and napol [convicted political prisoners] – as well as the  many military operations which occur, and the impoverished condition of the Papuan people mean that there are many problems between the two sides.

Moreover, the most basic problem is not about welfare but about ideology. On the one hand, there are those who want an independent Papua, while on the other hand there are those who want to preserve the territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia  These two ideologies will continue to exist if the two sides stick firmly to their own beliefs and do nothing to resolve the differences between them.

There are altogether forty Papuans political prisoners who are in detention because of their  support for an independent Papua.  They have chosen this path for humanitarian reasons.  For the past fifty years,  Papuan humanitarianism has not been respected.  Instead, heavily armed members of the Indonesian security forces have been used against the Papuan people.

Their political rights were violated at the time of the Act of Free Choice in 1969 [See John Saltford: ‘The Role of the UN in the Act of Free Choice in Irian Barat, 1968-1969.]

It is highly regrettable that the Indonesian government continues to deny that there are any political prisoners.  According to the government all the prisoners in Papua are criminals.  So why has article on treason remained in force?

In fact, what the Indonesian government is doing in Papua is simply a repetition of what happened in the past.

Back in the days of the Indonesian struggle for independence, many people who opposed the Dutch government were arrested and exiled.  The Dutch government did everything possible to silence them because they were regarded as being treasonous separatists.  These are the names of men who were allegedly trying to undermine the Dutch colonial regime: Soedirman, Soekarno, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Mohammad Hatta, Sutan Syahrir and many others. Moreover, some of these leaders of Indonesia’s revolutionary struggle were shot dead by the Dutch.

In Papua,  there are a number of political  prisoners: Filip Karma, Selpius Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Dominikus Subarut, and others. They are referred to as separatists and have been put on trial and accused of violating the treason article. Their protests are regarded as being a violation of the sovereignty of Indonesia (NKRI).

The treason article is no longer in force  in The Netherlands which is where it was first enacted into law.  In former days, the article was only valid in the colonial system.  Subsequently, it was repealed because it was considered to be in violation of freedom of expression and opinion.

But the article has been kept in force and is being used by the Indonesian government for the Papuan people which means that the Papuan people are a colonised people.

So, what is to be done? I think that the Indonesian government should recognise the reality that there are political prisoners – tapol/napol – in Papua.

The second point is that the government should give an indication of its good intentions by repealing the article  because it is in contravention of the 1945 Constitution and the law on freedom of expression which is still in force in Indonesia and throughout the world. If it does not do so, it will automatically lead to more violations of human rights.

Finally, we can say that this treason article which has dragged down the Papuan people, in particular those who are now being treated as being tapol/napol, is  constantly being used by the government to safeguard the status quo, politically as well as economically in West Papua. And this is what is constantly being challenged by the Papuan people to the present day.

Translated by TAPOL

Papuan MP says the Aimas Incident was engineered

Tabloid JUBI
17 May 2013

A Papuan member of the Indonesian parliament, DPR-RI, Diaz Gwijangge said that he believes the the recent incident in the District of Aimas, Region of Sorong, West Papua on 30 April when two people were killed had been engineered.

‘I believe that this incident was stage-managed and unfortunately it led to the deaths of two Papuans and has attracted international attention. The action seems not to have proceed as intended and resulted in the death of two Papuans which has attracted international intention.These days, Papua is under the international spotlight; this is a fact that cannot been denied,’ he said.

He also questioned the decision that investigation into the Aimas incident would be conducted by the police. In his opinion, the investigations should be conducted by an independent organisation so as to ensure that everything is above-board and people do not think that something is being concealed.

‘Why should the institution which was involved in the incident be the ones to conduct the investigation? It is necessary to ensure that the investigations are properly carried out and are seen to be fair so as to ensure that nothing is being concealed. It seems to me,’ he said, ‘that there is an attempt to hide something. We have Komnas HAM, (the National Human Rights Commission) and other organisations or the churches which could handle this case. Why have they not been involved?’

He also said he was not convinced that a Bintang Kejora, a Morning Star Flag, had been found, belonging to the local community as well as a membership card, which the police were claiming as evidence, during their sweepings in the area, as the police are claiming.

‘These can easily be said to have been found during searches that took place during the sweeping because no one else was involved in the investigations.. How do we know that this is true? It is just the old refrain  and the local people are the ones who get blamed.’

He went on to say that once again, some Papuans have been killed. Such an occurrence is not going to solve the problems in Papua. On the contrary, it will only mean that  the situation in Papua continues to get international attention.

‘We must find a solution that is beneficial for all sides. Killing Papuans is not going to solve anything. The security forces are only drawing attention yet again to the human rights violations that are occurring in Papua,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL

Haris Azhar : Situation in Papua is of growing concern

by Oktovianus POGAU at

May 17, 2013

Jakarta – The Coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Haris Azhar views the situation in Papua as more and more alarming, with people’s welfare becoming increasingly unequal, including freedom of expression increasingly repressed.

“I think the government and the security forces have to think, that nowadays the Papuans  are in the limelight of the world,” Haris said , when contacted by  via email on 15th of May.

According to Haris,  the political position of Indonesia in the eyes of the outside community and domestically is increasingly unpopular. “Then why should repressive manner and failed economic policies for Papua be maintained?,” He asked.

Haris said, the government should initiate a new approach of peaceful means in day-to-day activities of the people of Papua. “Like the argument about Papuan independence, that’s not an issue that should be feared.  Each region that is disappointed also asks for freedom. This phenomenon also exists in America, one of the countries that claim to be champions of democracy, “he said.

Instead, Haris continued, the Government must demonstrate maturity; shouting, action (demonstrations) or hoisting the flag should have  measured response from law enforcement.

“Is political activity in Papua really  life-threatening? Does the flag-raising activity in Papua automatically raise a state? It is not. I fear repression and impoverishment in Papua have just become a show case for the outside world while the country is still there and strong, “he said.

While, Haris said, psychologically Papua  has become a banal discharge of violent desires always living below the consciousness of the security forces, after Aceh, Timor and others are not conflict areas anymore.

“I want to ask the Government of Indonesia to start building a new awareness towards Papua.  Political openness and agreement on the formulation of flexible actions and activities. This maturity will build confidence of Papuans in the Jakarta Government , “he concluded.

Previously, as informed by the media, violence of the security forces again occurred in the past two months in Sorong, Timika, Jayapura, Wamena and Biak.

On 30 April 2013, Sorong Resort Police shoot two civilians, 3 others were wounded, one recent injured, mother Salomina Klaibin (37) also died from her injuries. In the operation, officers arrested seven people, including one action leader, Isak Klaibin.

In Timika, May 1, 2013 authorities arrested 15 people who were raising the Morning Star flag  in a peaceful mass action, seven people were named as suspects. In Biak, one person was shot dead by security forces, and two were arrested.

In Jayapura, a KNPB activist was arrested by the security forces while giving speeches.  Then, May 13, 2013, actions that ware held in solidarity of victims of human rights violations in Papua were forcibly dispersed by police. Four activists, including Chairman KNPB, Victor F Yeimo, were also arrested by police.

Special Autonomy “Plus” not answering problems of Papua

May 17, 2013

 by  Oktovianus POGAU at

NAPAS menggelar aksi di Jakarta kecam pelanggaran HAM yang terjadi di Papua (Foto:
NAPAS rallies in Jakarta denouncing human rights violations in Papua (Photo:

PAPUAN, Jakarta – The Draft Special Autonomy Law Plus (Otsus) that is being discussed with  the central government  and the governor of Papua province will be deemed not to answer the questions and the problems in Papua.

“To my assessment Autonomy Plus  will not answer the problems in Papua, Papuan people are only asking to hold a dialogue as the only peaceful solution,” Syamsul Alam, staff member of the Commission for Victims of Violence (KontraS), said in a discussion session about the release of  Political Prisoners in Papua, in KontraS office, Thursday (05/16/2013) yesterday.

According to Alam, granting Autonomy Plus will further extend the Papua issue, because so far government agencies in Papua were never worked together to build Papua as a land of peace.

” Five Papuan representation of Peace Conference have been selected since the Papuan Peace Conference was held  in Jayapura, but up to now the government has not determined a representation, Jakarta just responded by sending troops  to the land of Papua,” he said.

There is a structural pessimism that Jakarta-Papua dialogue would not happen if political prisoners were not released, then Papua situation gets worse, and the  sick political prisoners will not be positively paid attention to  by the government.

“Free the Prisoners, create a conducive situation in Papua, and immediately hold a peaceful dialogue between the central government and the Papuan people, is the best solution,” he said.

Zelly Ariane, coordinator of the National Papua Solidarity (BREATH) stated that from 30 April 2013 until mid of May, dozens of Papuan activists who expressed tehir views in a peaceful manner had been detained by Indonesian security forces.

“There are 29 people held by security forces since April 30, 2013 to mid of this month. We see a democracy in Papua completely shut down by the government, solidarity must be built to continue to fight against the government, ” Zelly said .

Meanwhile, Peneas Lokbere, Coordinator of United for Justice (BUK) said, there are many political prisoners in Papua who did not receive serious attention from the government, but when arrested they become the responsibility of government.

“The Prisoner just need cigarettes, sugar, or just a nut, no one cares and watch them over the years. Me and some friends in Papua always help, and voluntarily coordinate and  consider their needs, ” Peneas said .

Peneas also expect solidarity of the Indonesian people, the international community, and the people of Papua in particular, on this occasion because the political prisoners were arrested and jailed for fighting injustice and human rights violations in Papua.

In that discussion, it appeared that it was attended by representatives of Directory General of the National Institute of Correction, Papuan students, journalists, as well as various pro-democracy activists in Jakarta.

At approximately 2:30 am, the demonstration proceeded at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, in Jakarta, to ask the Coordinating Minister for Political and human rights to free the Prisoners / political prisoners in Papua.