Tag Archives: armed struggle

Forkorus regrets the death of Indonesian soldiers and civilians

[Our sincere apologies for not posting a translation this item of news on the day it was received. Tapol – and WPM] 1 March 2013

 

Jayapura: Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federal Republic of West Papua, speaking at a press conference, expressed his profound regret regarding the incident in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya  which resulted in the deaths of eight members of the Indonesian army, the TNI, and four civilians which occurred on 22 February 2013.

Whoever it may have been who was responsible for these deaths, it is deeply regrettable. A shooting incident like this can only result in other killings in West Papua , something that has been happening ever since West Papua was annexed by Indonesia in 1962.

‘We mourn the deaths of the soldiers, along with their families, because members of the Indonesian army as well as civilians were the victims . Things like this can happen again tomorrow, next week or next year, when members of the TPN/OPM can be the victims.This kind of thing goes on happening, when victims fall from both sides. Isn’t there a better way, more humane, something more peaceful, moves that are in keeping with our sense of justice, to resolve the basic issue here in the Land of Papua?’

Forkorus said he regretted the fact that the Indonesian government persist in their policy of a semi-military approach, and the continuation of limited or widespread military operations in an attempt to destroy the state of Papua, ever since the declaration of the Trikora Command by President Sukarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia  on 19 December, 1961.

Forkorus, who is also chairman of DAP, the Council of Traditional People, accused the Indonesian authorities of being deaf to the appeals for efforts to find a solution to the political and legal status of West Papua by means of dialogue, taking account of the terms of reference set down by the Papuan people at the Second  Congress of the Papuan People in 2000.

Indonesian leaders continue to pursue the policy of military operations, intel operations, attempts to deal with security  and to conduct programmes of economic development and welfare, in an attempt to prevent West Papua from becoming an independent country.

He stressed that Papua must get its political independence while recognising that this is a matter regarding which there is a difference of opinion with the Indonesian government.

H went on to say: ‘We will continue to press the Indonesian government to take the peaceful and democratic way as the guiding principle of dialogue or negotiations with the Papuan people.’

At the Third Congress of the Papuan People they restored their independence based on   the de facto establishment of West Papua. ‘Furthermore, on two occasions we sent pre-negotiation teams to Jakarta , the first in August 2012 , and the second in October 2012, as a follow-up. Despite the fact that there was no response from the Indonesian government, we were hoping that they would acknowledge receipt of our message and our presentation of material for pre-negotiation moves and the conditions under which the negotiations should be held.

‘In 2013, we will continue to take the same approach, so as not to be regarded as trying to sell a cat inside the sack of negotiations. If there is no response from these moves which have been taken in accordance with the principles of decency, peace and democracy, the NFRPB will call for international intervention , as we wait for the process of negotiation to begin.’

‘We sincerely hope that the Indonesian Government will not proceed with its attempts to destroy the state of Papua as was indicated in the Trikora Command, because such an approach can only lead to there being many more victims on both sides along with the intensification of human rights violations of many types. Enough! Enough!’

[Translation by TAPOL]

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]

Paniai: TWO OPM members to face charges: Others are being hunted by police

Bintang Papua
27 February 2013Jayapura: Following the arrest earlier this week of two members of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka), a spokesperson for the police has stated that the two men, identified by the initials, AG and PG who were arrested in Kampung Ayaigo, sub-district of Kebo, District of Paniai will face charges in court.

The police officer stated that the men  were in possession of explosive materials and ammunition in violation of Emergency Law  12/1951 which allows a sentence, if convicted, of twenty years or life imprisonment.

The spokesperson, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, head  of public relations of the Paniai chief of police, also said that the police were engaged in operations to find other persons on the ‘wanted list’ (DPO) for a series of actions such as shootings and other acts of violence that have been occurring in the area. These other persons were identified by the initials JY, SY and DY.

The men are alleged to have been involved in shootings in Paniai,including the shooting of an ojek driver and holding nine employees of a contractor company as hostages  who were building a school in Kampung Ukawo, District of Siriwo, Paniai. The men were also alleged to have assaulted women and demanded material goods from local people a short while ago.

”We do not know what the motives for the shootings and violence are because we are still interrogating the men,’ the spokesperson said.

Asked about the security situation following the arrest of the two OPM members, the spokesperson described it as ‘conducive’, following  an armed skirmish between the TNI/Polri and the OPM.

The two men are currently undergoing intensive questioning at police command headquarters in Paniai. The two men were caught during sweeping operations by the TNI/Polri after having engaged in an act of terror against the command post of the Paniai Police.

They were said to have in their possession one unit of HT (?), one bullet calibre 7.56 , a hand-phone, personal identifications tabs and Morning Star flags.

End of Translation

 

Eight soldiers and four civilians reported killed in West Papua: Plus Comment

Bintang Papua
22 February 2013

Jayapura: Following the deaths of eight members of the Indonesian army, it is reported that four civilians were also killed in the shooting by an armed group in the district of Tingginnambut, Puncak Jaya.  The names of the four civilians are given as well as the names and ranks of the soldiers who lost their lives.

The chief of police in the area said that the bodies of the victims, the soldiers and the civilians, would be moved  and a team will be set up, in co-ordination wih the army to investigate  the killings. Furthermore, he said that security forces in the area will be strengthened.

[The above is s very much abridged translation of many lengthy reports which have appeared in the press about the fate of the eight  soldiers.]

COMMENT:  While huge attention is being given to the fate of eight members of the Indonesian army, we who have been closely  following the situation in West Papua for years are struck by the fact that little, if anything, is ever reported by the media or the security forces about the scores of Papuans who have been killed or injured, their homes burnt down, villagers evicted from their land, their forests despoiled and trees cut down, with devastating consequences for the local villagers whose lives depend on the forest lands and rivers for hunting and fishing.. With journalists and human rights organisations strictly prohibited from visiting West Papua, the outside world is being kept ignorant of what has been happening to the indigenous population ever since West Papua was fraudulently incorporated into Indonesia in 1963. Carmel Budiardjo]

MAJOR INVESTIGATION COMING SOON FROM WPM