Daily Archives: June 28, 2013

Joy and disappointment after MSG’s West Papua decision

From our partners at Pacific Scoop

Report – By Daniel Drageset

June 27, 2013

Whereas some parties are pleased that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) drew up a roadmap for membership of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL), others are disappointed that the MSG did not go all the way and give full membership to the WPNCL.

West Papua independence
Prior to last week’s MSG meeting many West Papuans were hoping for full membership. Image: West Papua Media Alerts

The WPNCL, which attended the 19th MSG Leaders’ Summit with a five-person delegation, expressed happiness over the outcome.

A ni-Vanuatu MP, however, has said that a roadmap is simply not good enough and that Vanuatu as a strong supporter of West Papua therefore should withdraw from the MSG.

WPNCL, however, seems more than content, even though full membership is yet to be achieved. In a statement issued earlier this week it stated that after many years of lobbying it has now “entered a new chapter in its international efforts.”

Before last week’s MSG meeting in the New Caledonian capital Nouméa, some had expressed hopes that the WPNCL would attain full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, just like the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), which is the coalition of parties calling for independence in New Caledonia.

Although this is yet to happen, the MSG stated that it “fully supports the inalienable rights of the people of West Papua towards self-determination.”

Human rights
Furthermore, MSG expressed concern for human rights violations in West Papua, and therefore decided to send a delegation to Indonesia later this year to discuss West Papua.

In an interview with Radio New Zealand International, Andy Ayamiseba of WPNCL said that this “is a clear indication that the case of West Papua is out of Indonesia’s hands.

“It is no longer a domestic issue or internal matter but it’s not a regional issue, an international issue.”

The Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) said that it is disappointing that the issue of membership was deferred, but it welcomed a number of the other decisions.

“[T]he fact that the issue of the right to self-determination for the people of West Papua was recognised by the representative regional body of the Melanesian Peoples is very significant as is the fact that the MSG leaders acknowledged that there are ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua,” Joe Collins of AWPA said in a statement.

He described it as “encouraging” that MSG goes on a “fact-finding mission” to Indonesia, but warned that such missions may be “controlled or manipulated as to where, when and whom they are permitted to see by the authorities.”

Disappointed ni-Vanuatu MP
In an article in the Vanuatu Daily this week entitled Shameful day for Vanuatu, an anonymous ni-Vanuatu MP said it was a “sad day for Vanuatu when news was made public […] that the issue of West Papua had to wait for another six months.”

The MP alleged that Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands held secret meetings between them on the issue of West Papua and called it “very disrespectful.”

“I call on Vanuatu leaders not to join the other MSG leaders to either Jakarta or West Papua [for a fact-finding mission] but for Vanuatu to protest to the other MSG countries to pull out from the MSG because the vision by Vanuatu’s first prime minister has been defeated,” the MP stated.

Moreover, the MP said that if ni-Vanuatu authorities do go to Indonesia they “will have to consider carrying in their hands messages of condolences to pass on to the families of so many hundreds and hundreds of our Melanesian brothers and sisters who were raped, jailed, tortured and shot in jails, and slaughtered like animals over the past many years by the Indonesian military.”

Selpius Bobii: Clarification of the Standpoint of Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners

Opinion

by Selpius Bobii

June 28, 2013

The Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners in the Abepura State Prison of West Papua have received reports that certain printed and electronic news media reports from both within the Papuan nation and overseas have deviated from our statement on 23 May 2013 in rejection of the Indonesian President’s offer of clemency as published in the Cenderawasih Post on 23 May 2013. That statement was in response to the announcement by the Deputy Chairperson of DPRP Yunus Wonda that President SBY had made a commitment at the time he met with a contingent from Papua led by the Papuan Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe together with the Minister for Internal Affairs on 29 April 2013, to give all the Papuan Political Prisoners clemency at the time of the President’s upcoming visit to Papua in August 2013.

We the 26 political prisoners referred to, are most concerned to clarify that digression so that the public can understand the truth of our statement. Basically in that statement we announced our standpoint:

1)     That we reject the Indonesian President’s offer of clemency; and

2)      That we do not need to be released from prison but rather we need and demand the release of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of the colonial state of the Republic of Indonesia.

Whilst this first point is self explanatory, the second needs further comment as to our reasons.  Firstly, WE HAVE DONE NO WRONG!  Accordingly we have never and will never make a plea for forgiveness in the form of clemency from the Head of the colonial Republic of Indonesia.  We have also never asked our families or legal counsel to make such a plea for clemency to the Indonesian President.  In fact we would firmly reject any such plea made by any party on our behalf.  As to put forward a plea for clemency would be to acknowledge we were wrong, to indicate we regretted our wrong and to acknowledge Papua as being a part of the Republic of Indonesia thereby asking the President’s forgiveness.  But who is it that is in the wrong such that SBY should give his forgiveness?

We the Freedom Political Prisoners have committed no wrong and we are not in need of forgiveness from the Head of State of the colonial Republic of Indonesia (RI)! In fact exactly the opposite. We demand that RI apologizes to the nation of Papua for the annexation of the nation of Papua into RI. An act which has given rise to discrimination, marginalisation and making us a minority in our ancestors’ land; to the degree that we are now heading for ethnic annihilation. Secondly we demand that RI acknowledges the sovereign independence of the nation of Papua.

Papuan Political Prisoners are also not in the wrong due to the following:

a)     The right to self-determination is the right of all nations in the same manner as is stated in the General Declaration of the United Nations (UN) and various international covenants including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and similarly even in the opening paragraph of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution.

b)    The Nation of Papua has the same right to full sovereignty and accordingly on 19 October 1961 in the first National Papuan Congress, the Papuan National Committee declared the ‘ Political Manifest of Independence of the Nation of Papua’ as the basis for receiving the status of full sovereignty.  Since then the 1 December has been celebrated in Jayapura and throughout all major towns in the land of Papua.

c)     In spite of the above the nation of Papua was annexed into RI with the ‘Three Community Commands’ (TRIKORA) by the then President Sukarno on 19 December 1961 which was followed up with a political and military invasion in 1962.

d)    The political invasion was realized through the unilateral agreement known as the ‘New York Agreement’ on 15 August 1962 between the Dutch and Indonesia as mediated by UN and drafted by USA, without any involvement of indigenous Papuans.

e)     The ‘Act of Free Choice’ was not implemented in accordance with the requirements of international law as provided for in the New York Agreement and in effect became implemented by Indonesia as the ‘Act of No Choice’ (or in other words the ‘Forced Community Opinion’). The so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ was flawed both legally and morally.

f)     The nation of Papua was at no time involved in the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia and neither did the nation of Papua ever freely agree to become a part of that Republic.

g)    Accordingly the occupation by RI of the land of Papua is illegal and immoral.

h)     Both the geographical location and culture of Papua are vastly different to that of the Malay race. The nation of Papua is of the Melanesian grouping of the Negroid Race.

We are being detained and imprisoned for the sake of the struggle to have the independence of Papua restored. The release of Papuan Political Prisoners from prison will never bring an end to the problems in Papua. It will never bring an end to the problem of the political history of Papua that has led to the consequences of discrimination, marginalisation, humanitarian evils, the creation of a minority in our ancestor’s lands and genocide against the ethnic Papuan race.

Even if we were to be released unconditionally we would once again return to be active in the struggle, we would once again raise the Papuan flag and RI through its armed forces would once again arrest and imprison us. So there is no point in releasing us. Rather release the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of the Republic of Indonesia.

For further details of the reasons for the rejection of the offer of President SBY’s offer of clemency see;
(www.majalahselangkah.com/content/mengapa-tapol-papua-tolak-grasi-#/2008) in Indonesian or for the English version (www.justiceinpapua.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-papuan-independence-political_118.html?m=1&zx=564946ed40cf2447).

To all media personnel whether from the printed media or electronic media, to the general community, those in the human rights area and all those who stand in solidarity with us whether inside Papua or overseas, we appeal to you to please publish this clarification so that the public can receive information that is accurate and reliable. For further information  readers are referred to:
(www.majalahselangkah.com/content/tapol-papua-tolak-rencana-grasi-minta-bebaskan-papua#).

For your anticipated help to spread this information widely and to include this clarification in both printed and electronic media we express our most sincere appreciation.

Abepura State Prison, 23 June 2013.

(As clarified by Selpius Bobii, one of the Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners)