24 August 2013Jayapura: The Deputy Director of the Alliance of Democracy for Papua (ALDP), Yuman Corona, has called on all Papuans at home and abroad to press for the implementation of the recommendation by the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Council) that the correct way to solve the Papuan problem is by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
‘At a plenary session held on 12 August 2013, the MRP said that Special Autonomy for Papua (OTSUS) has been a failure and there should be a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. ‘
As has already been reported, the MRP called on the President, the Governor of Papua and the Governor of West Papua to carry this recommendation forward. The MRP recommendation stated that Dialogue should occur within the next sixty days.
In this connection, the ALDP, as part of civil society in Papua, made the following points:
1. The MRP which is the representative body of the Papuan people as stipulated in Law 21/2001, must be consistent and focus on the recommendation it adopted at its plenary sessions for a dialogue to take place.
2. Fully supports the policy and position adopted by the MRP which needs to be publicised to all the Papuan people.
The DPRP (Legislative Assembly of West Papua ) and the DPR PB (Legislative Assembly of Papua) ‘should both support the MRP recommendation and keep in close communication with the MPR. and convene plenary sessions in order to set up a PANSUS (Special Committee) for the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue.
It further called on the Governor of Papua and the Governor of West Papua to fully support the recommendation of the MRP and maintain close communications with the MRP (Papua) and the MRPB (West Papua) in order to work out their strategy and to make the question of Dialogue their top priority.
Furthermore, the President of the Republic of Indonesia should fully support the recommendation of the MRP for Dialogue as the way to solve the problem of West Papua in accordance with what he said in his State Address on 16 August 2011 regarding the resolution of the question of Papua and should set up a special committee in preparation for the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue and hold talks with various elements in Papua and Jakarta.
Furthermore, the DPR RI (National Parliament ) and the DPD RI (Assembly of Regional Representatives) should express their full support for the recommendation of the MRP as the way to resolve the Papuan issue. Commission 1 of Parliament should discuss this matter with the various political groups and commissions to declare their support for Jakarta-Papua Dialogue in order to resolve the Papuan issue.
Finally, he said: ‘Why do we (ALDP) support the idea of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua? Because this is the way to solve the problem without resorting to the use of violence. It is our vision to promote justice and a democratic process in Papua The MRP which is a legal institution must act to find the best possible solution for Papua.’
17 August 2013Efforts to deal with the spread of HIV/AIDS are clearly being made in many cities and districts in the Province of Papua. However, in the sub-district of Dogiyai, local people are concerned that the local government is not seriously dealing with this deadly virus.
A youth leader, Laurensius Tebay, said this week that dealing with this disease must be top priority, which means “more testing centers available for everyone – near you and near me (STD clinics)“. It is essential to spread information to the people that this virus is deadly and incurable. ‘We very much hope that the local government will deal with this problem with the seriousness that it merits,’ he said.
He said that as yet there have been no activities to inform people about the danger of the spread of HIV and AIDS, adding that this was the case in ten local areas. ‘We are very disappointed that the local authorities are failing to deal with AIDS with the necessary urgency.’
He said that spreading information and examining people with regard to HIV/AIDS has been proceeding well in the District of Paniai during the past month and this should be done in all the other areas, including the sub-district of Dogiyai. ‘While this is not something that should be made compulsory, the authorities should do everything possible to persuade people about how important it is to be examined.’
These views were confirmed in remarks made by the head of the Department to Combat HIV/AIDS, Kristianus Tebai who admitted that dealing with AIDS is a critically important part of the work of the health authorities. ‘Since I was recently appointed to this job, I have discovered that there are many issues that are not being dealt with properly. We are doing everything we can to improve work on this programme,’ he told JUBI. He said that combating the disease was going well in some sub-districts but not yet in the sub-district of Dogiyai.’
In a risky and symbolic act of defiance, unidentified West Papuan pro-independence activists raised the banned symbol of West Papuan liberation, the Morning Star flag, atop a foggy Mount Syclop, Sentani near Jayapura during the Indonesian Independence day on August 17 this year “as a form of celebration and rejection of the presence of Indonesian Papua, ” according to involved activists who spoke with West Papua Media (WPM) stringers.
The flagraisings came amid a tit-for-tat psychological operations campaign ahead of August 17 by Indonesian occupation forces to raise the Merah Putih (Red/White) Indonesian national flag on prominent landmarks across Papua, and increase demands on Papuans to fly it publicly demonstrate their loyalty to Indonesia, according to a wide variety of human rights and church sources in Papua.
Organisers told WPM the act, on a mountain that could be seen from most the Papuan capital Jayapura, was about questioning the legitimacy of Indonesian occupiers to claim that all Papuans supported integration with Indonesia, and Jakarta’s claim that “Papua returned to the embrace of the Homeland.”
“Any person who was born and raised in Papua has been brought up with (the official line of the) ‘Victorious Political Integration in the NKRI, (and has) of course heard the above phrase repeatedly. This phrase has become a powerful force in the politics of integration. The Indonesian government and military believed and are so convinced that the political integration of West Papua is “absolute” they cannot answer the questions that the people of Papua ask,” the activists told WPM.
They continued their statement: “On behalf of the Nature of Papua, on behalf of the bones of revolutionary heroes who have gone before us, on our behalf and on behalf of our children, we strongly reject the claims of an Indonesian Papua. Indonesian historians were so convinced that West Papua was breathing into the territory of several ancient empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, Sultanate of Tidore, until the time of the Dutch East Indies. Indonesia believes it is the absolute truth, the validity of its claims of West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia. But on the other hand, shame records that the history that Indonesian historians were not able to show the valid, complete and accurate data to prove the truth of what they believe it.”
“As a form of resistance we Papuans assert our Independence of the illegal Indonesian colonial occupation of our land Papua, then we burn the flag and hoisted the flag of our “Morning Star” in the mountain region Syclop,” said the activists to WPM’s stringer.
“We do this not for Indonesian attention , nor to requested positions, (those) certain positions in the country’s NKRI (colonial) bureaucracy…. (but as) a form of resistance against colonial occupation of Indonesia (who are) illegally on our land. That we demand and fight for “Self-determination” through an international mechanism that is Referendum,” the flag raisers said.
Although traditionally raised on December 1 – the anniversary of the 1961 thwarted declaration of West Papua’s independence from the Dutch, and the first flying of the flag – activists claim that it was flown atop Mount Syclop to “remind Indonesia that the people of West Papua(n) nation (have) rejected the (Indonesian) pro-independence and did not participate in the anniversary celebrations.”
Indonesian colonial forces regularly attempt to enforce compulsory celebrations of Indonesia’s independence day by West Papuan people, an act many Papuans believe is designed to suppress Papuan cultural identity.
Flag raising is seen by Indonesia as a deeply political act that determines the degree of a citizen’s loyalty to the nation. Failure to display the Merah Putih was regularly used throughout Indonesian history as a justification to extreme political violence, for example the killings of close to 2 million Indonesians during the 1965-1969 bloodbath in the first days of former dictator Suharto’s New Order regime, and the scorched-earth campaign on East TImor ending in 1999 when Indonesian security forces and militias murdered well over 180,000 civilians. Civilians in Military operations areas (whether declared or not) across Indonesia and its colonies are regularly warned by security forces to display the Red and white in order to avoid sweep operations targeting their homes. Public buildings are draped in it, private businesses are threatened by security forces if they fail to display it, and school children are bedecked in Red and White uniforms and forced to salute the flag daily.
Display of any cultural symbols or expression in opposition to the Merah Putih are interpreted by Jakarta as acts of makar (treason, subversion or rebellion) instead of acts of free expression guaranteed under the Indonesian Constitution. However, Article 6 of Government Regulation 77/2007, prohibits the display of the Morning Star, the South Maluku Republic Benang Raja flag in Ambon and the Crescent Moon flag in Aceh – despite the provision of the law in the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) being been declared unconstitutional for prohibiting free expression, by the Indonesian Constitutional Court.
Indonesian security forces, since their invasion of West Papua, have imprisoned thousands of people for their involvement in raising the banned Morning Star flag, and have violently broken up almost every display of the Morning Star, resulting in thousands of deaths over the last 50 years. Each December 1 – traditionally the anniversary of West Papua’s thwarted declaration of independence in 1961, Over 90% of the current 56 political prisoners in Papuan gaols are imprisoned under makar for non-violent acts involving the Morning Star flag, including most famously Filep Karma, one of Papua’s longest serving political prisoners, who was gaoled for 15 years for his role in organising the December 1, 2004 flagraising in Abepura.
On August 14, Indonesia’s colonial police chief in Papua Tito Karnavian (the former commander of the notorious Detachment 88 “Counter-terror” death squad supported by Australia,the US and UK), drove a group of Indonesian police, military,and management of the giant Freeport McMoRan Grasberg mine in heated luxury four-wheel drives, claiming they held a ceremony atop Papua’s highest peak, the 4844-metre high Nemangkawi (known by the Indonesians as Puncak Jaya), in order to raise Indonesia’s flag of conquest over Papua. Participants in the ceremony claiming to be Papuans were families of senior Freeport employees, an Indonesian army unit known as the “Pasukan Koteka Papua” and soldiers wearing blackface make-up. However the ceremony did not occur at the peak of Nemagkawi, rather in the grounds of the Grasberg mine site some 800 metres below the peak. The Merah Putih still does not fly atop the famous summit (one of the “Seven Summits”), according to independent sources in TImika contacted by WPM.
On December 1 2011, Christian Welponer, a world famous mountaineer from the autonomous South Tyrol region of the Italian-Austrian Alpine border regions, released a video of him raising the Morning Star flag atop Nemangkawi. The act was deeply significant to West Papuan people, who sustained many casualties from Indonesian state violence inflicted on peaceful ceremonies across Papua that day. The act infuriated Indonesian officials in the Freeport surrounds, who failed to prevent Welponer from carrying out the symbolic solidarity action.