Tag Archives: East Timor

1530 21/10/2011 Updates From West Papua

By Newmatilda.com and westpapuamedia.info

Anywhere between 300 and 800 activists arrested, most released
Core group of 5 in custody at least but could be more, all feared tortured:

– Forkorus Yaboisembut – elected as leader of the broad based movement for peace and justice – possibly paralysed witnessed by another detainee
– Edison Waromi – deputy leader
– Argus Krar
– Selfius Bobii
– Dominikus Sorabut

– Abraham Kareni (who’s son lives in Melbourne) with fractured skull

Charges include treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

Police violence, dead and wounded
DFAT have confirmed four people are confirmed dead, activists claim six
People identified (all from Petapa or family of:
– Dani Kabepa
– Yakovus Sabonsaba
– Mathias Maidepa
– Martinus Siep
– Tanepi Kobeta
– One additional unidentified member of Petapa, the West Papuan paramilitary guard formed to protect Forkorus Yaboisembut, the man delegates elected as their leader.

– Numerous people have been savagely beaten, many are in hiding for fear of arrest or worse
– Unverified claims people were shot at point-blank range and bundled into armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles.
– Five people at the Dian Harapan Hospital suffering several wounds: ”One is a woman, Ana Ana Adi, 41. She has got wounds at her right thigh. Pilatus Wetipo, 40, was shot in the right leg. Wiler Hobi (22) has some wounds in his head because of being beaten by the weapon, the other two have blistered wounds
– four people in Sabron Yaru wounded

  • Members of the community security force (Petapa) are arrested. Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Reports of violence by Indonesian troops continue to emerge from West Papua. New Matilda is in contact with local sources. We’re publishing regular updates on the situation here. (Warning: graphic content)

On Thursday, New Matilda published a report on the violence at the Third People’s Congress in West Papua. Indonesia military and police opened fire on participants and took activists and leaders into custody. Reports of fatalities and injuries continue to emerge from Jayapura.

Read Alex Rayfield’s initial report here.

New Matilda is in contact with local sources and will continue to update this page as new information emerges.

UPDATE, Friday 21 October, 10am:
This is a phone interview with journalist Alex Rayfield.

“Ferry Marisan, the director of Elsham — a leading human rights organisation based in the capital, Jayapura — has said that six people are confirmed dead.

“We think that a couple of people were shot as the security forces raided the stage, and some later. There are also lots of people with gunshot wounds, some of whom are in hiding and too scared to get medical assistance.

“We’ve had multiple reports that there were 800 people in jail. Many of those have been released, but a core group is still detained, charged with a range of offences including treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

“It’s important for people to know that [Congress] is not a radical fringe movement. It’s made up of mainstream Papuan society: academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. In fact the radical fringe stayed away from this event because they think it’s not radical enough. So if the Indonesian government thinks this is a minority view, they are sadly mistaken. It is a mainstream view.

“Meanwhile, we should add for Australian audiences, that the strike continues at the Freeport mine [which is part owned by Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto]. The two events are intimately connected.”

For more information on the Freeport strikes read New Matilda’s coverage here andhere.

UPDATE Friday 21 October, 4.30PM
These photos were sent by a credible source to West Papua Media Alerts and allegedly show injuries suffered in police custody. They have not been verified by New Matilda.

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Listen to an interview with Elsham’s Ferry Marisan here.

Read Amesty International’s statement on the incident here.

Read an article on Australia’s foreign policy response by Greens spokesperson on West Papua, Richard di Natale, here.

Third National Papua Congress Declaration

[as received in english from Papua National Consensus Team. This was scanned copy. Typos not corrected. – JMM]DECLARATION


On this day Wednesday ,19 October 2011 at the Third National Papua Congress, the people of Papua in Country of West Papua declare:


Proclamation recover and Restore the independence and sovereign of West Papua which was lost to Indonesia annexation on December 1, 1961.


Going into effect Constitution of Federal of West Papua by forming Governance of Federal State of West papua in the form of lifting President and elect Leader of Governance-The Prime Minister.


Government of Federal State of West Papua guarantees the rights of live and rights of endeavor of everyone in the Country of West Papua.


Indonesia immediately terminates its occupation of West Papua pacifically and prestigious as civilized nation and member of the United Nations.


The Nation Members of the United Nations to confess the Independence of the nation of Papua parallel with the other independences in the globe.


United Nations Security Council immediately register the Federal State of West Papua becomes the permanent or regular member state of the United Nations


Authorized the mandate to Papua National Leadership for run of the power of governance, Legislative, Judicative and Commander in Chief of Defense and also as soon as during one year carry out the general Election to chosen the Prime Minister of definitive Governance.

The People of West Papua greatly appreciate on your understanding of the historic injustice that we have suffered and are most grateful for your goverment’s support and recognize for restoration of our sovereign righs.

God Bless us all Sincerely

Forkorus Yaboisembut, SPd.
Head of Papua Customary Law Council Executor of Presidency of West Papua

1.Secertary General of United Nations
2. The President of United States
3. President of Indonesia
4. Netherland Kingdom
5. Pope in Vatican- Rome
6 .US Members of Congress and Senate

Indonesia gives full backing to Palestinian independence at the United Nations, what about West Papua?


by Victor Yeimo,
International Spokesperson for West Papua National Committee [KNPB]

21st September 2011

[Jayapura]: As the UN General Assembly begins today (21/9) in New York, Indonesia will be in front line of supporting Palestinian efforts to become a member of the United Nations.

Ban Ki-moon waves to protestors for West Papua, PIF NZ Sept 2011 (Photo: Henry Yamo/ PMC)

Indonesia has been supporting the Palestinian case ever since they declared their independence. But what about the fate of West Papua which has been under Indonesian rule for half a century?

This week, from 19 to 28 September 2011, Foreign Affairs Minister, Marty Natalegawa, will be representing Indonesia at the UN General Assembly during its 66th session in New York, United States. He previously recalled, in a press release last Thursday (15/9), that Indonesia had recognized the independence of Palestine just a few hours after it had been declared in 1988.

Mahfudz Siddiq, chairman of House of Representative’s Commission I overseeing foreign affairs, also stated that agreement had been reached by the Indonesian Parliament and Government, for the full support of Palestinian independence and the Palestinian State bid at the UN General Assembly in New York this week.

As a logic consequence of this backing, Indonesia’s foreign policy should also be shown in its commitment to support the right to independence and the recognition of the sovereignty of the people of West Papua. If Indonesia is aware that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories is a state of colonization, then Indonesia has to realize that the occupation of West Papua by Indonesia since 1963 is likewise a state of colonization.

Already too many Palestinians have fallen victims of the Zionist regime of Israel, and already too many West Papuans have fallen victims of the colonialist and militarist regime of Indonesia. It is time for the people of West Papua to set their own destiny, in the same way that the Palestinian people, the people of South Sudan, Kosovo, and others, are deciding their own.

Indonesia as a member of the United Nations should actively participate in promoting and creating world peace. But, what about the fate of the people of West Papua? It has been a while since Indonesia and the international community decided to look away from the suffering of the people of West Papua. West Papuans continue to be victims of the vested interests of Indonesian colonialism and global capitalism on their land.

Because of those interests, the United Nations and Indonesia have been denying the right of independence to the people of West Papua, a right which should have been granted to them in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 1514, through the Decolonization Committee. Indonesia should welcome the statement of UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon in Auckland, New Zealand, on 7 September 2011, when he stated that the issue of West Papua should be discussed again in the UN decolonization committee, a committee which has several times been chaired by none other than Marty Natalegawa.

The TNI Should Withdraw From Papua to Prevent Another Lacluta

By Daniel Pye

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Lacluta massacre in East Timor by battalions of the Indonesian military, or TNI.

One of the enduring horrors of the occupation of East Timor was the “fence of legs” campaign of 1981 where civilians were rounded up and forcibly marched across the island to flush out resistance fighters – including Xanana Gusmao, now the fledgling nation’s Prime Minister.

Many died along the way. The campaign led to “very serious humanitarian consequences,” including famine as it took place during planting season and many of those press-ganged were subsistence farmers.

The march headed to Lacluta where the UN Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation determined hundreds of East Timorese were murdered by Indonesian armed forces. “The commission received evidence of a large massacre of civilians, including women and children, at this time,” it said.

Indonesian authorities admitted to only 70 deaths, while Martinho da Costa Lopes of East Timor’s Catholic church said the death toll was closer to 500. One East Timorese fighter said the attack was carried out by Battalion 744, later to be commanded by Indonesia’s current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“I witnessed with my own eyes how the Indonesian military, Battalion 744, killed civilians in front of me,” Albino da Costa said. “They captured those unarmed people, tied them up then stabbed them to death. There was a pregnant woman captured and killed just like that. I saw it from a close distance, just 100m from where it happened.”

Costa Lopes died in Lisbon in 1991. His repeated calls for intervention by the United Nations and for curtailment of United States military aid to the Indonesian Government went unheeded.

The US, Japan and a number of Western European countries continued to provide Indonesia with about $5 billion in military aid. In the aftermath of the 1975 invasion the media largely ignored, as one Australian parliamentary report called it, “indiscriminate killing on a scale unprecedented in post-World War II history,” because of Indonesia’s vast natural resources. It was, as former US President Richard Nixon put it, the “greatest prize in the Southeast Asian area”.

Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor ended with independence and perhaps as many as a third of the population killed.

But today there is another war for independence in Indonesia: West Papua. And the parallels with East Timor are striking.

Papuans have endured horrific violence since Indonesia first invaded in 1963. Amnesty International and other human rights groups agree that as many as 100,000 Papuans have been killed under occupation.

West Papua is rich in minerals and oil. Transmigration, commercial logging, mining and other government-sponsored programs are considered to be in the interests of the nation, and take priority over any local land claims.

It has the world’s largest gold mine, controlled by the Freeport-McMoRan Company of Louisiana and the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto. General Suharto granted the concession under the 1967 foreign investment laws that opened Indonesia to near-unrestricted foreign wealth exploitation.

When guerrillas from the Free West Papua Movement sabotaged the mine in 1977, the army responded by killing at least 800 Papuans. This was not the first, not the last time the Indonesian military would be used to protect Western capital under the guise of “protecting the unity of the nation”. It is happening still.

Grasberg workers walked out on strike over pay and conditions on Wednesday. The mineworkers are paid between $1.50 and $3.50 per hour, less than a tenth of what their colleagues in other countries get, while between April and June 2011 Freeport made a profit of $1.73 billion. Most of the wealth extracted from the mine goes abroad – a tiny percentage benefits Papuans. Two thirds of West Papua’s forests – which are at the heart of Papuans’ traditional way of life – are designated for “production” by Jakarta.

An Indonesian military intelligence report leaked to the press in August showed how the island is awash with spies. And how badly equipped are the Papuan separatists to fight the Indonesian military. The TNI is armed and trained by the US and its allies as part of the East Asia Summit grouping, which is fast developing into a Nato for Asia.

Ahead of the planned Third Papuan Peoples Conference, Indonesian paramilitary forces linked to the police and Special Forces of the army appear to have stepped up military operations in the province, which have been described as a campaign of terror by people on the ground. According to KontraS, The Commission for the Disappeared, the army’s actions are illegal under Indonesian law.

Just like in East Timor before independence, West Papua is a prime example of a colony where the extraction of wealth for the benefit of a few outweighs a people’s fundamental right to self-determination. If atrocities such as the one at Lacluta are to be prevented in the future in West Papua, the TNI should withdraw and international investigators should be allowed access to the region.

Jakarta is at a crossroads with international attention focused on West Papua following the Pacific Islands Forum meetings in New Zealand. The head of the UN Ban Ki Moon was unequivocal when asked about Papua. Papuans’ rights should be upheld, he said. Indonesia’s government could take this opportunity to fulfill its pledge to grant Papuans autonomy. But this must include an end to the lawlessness of government-sponsored armed groups, a withdrawal of army units, and determining how Papuans’ natural resources are used must be the preserve of Papuans.

ETAN: Timorese students support West Papua. Three arrested in Dili.

 http://etanaction.blogspot.com/2011/08/timorese-students-support-west-papua.htmlWednesday, August 17, 2011


Timorese students support West Papua. Three arrested in Dili.

A friend in Dili tells ETAN that police recently broke up a demonstration in support of West Papua. As we get more information, we will post updates on ETAN’s blog here.

The morning of August 17, more than 30 Timorese students called for the right of West Papuan to self-determination and condemned human right violation by the Indonesian military and police against Papuans. The demonstration took place in front of Indonesia Embassy in Farol, Dili, on the 66th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence proclamation.

Timor-Leste Police (PNTL) arrested three of the protesters — Juventina Correia Ximenes, Domingos de Andrade and Letornino da Silva. All are currently studying at Timor-Lorosae National University, UNTL.

One of demonstrator, Nolasco Mendes, said that the PNTL treated the activists brutally. Police reportedly arrested the activist after the Indonesia Embassy asked the PNTL to stop the demonstration.

According to a T imornewsline report the pro-Papua protesters were members of the Students Solidarity Council (Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa Timor-Leste) which previously fought for Timor-Leste’s independence.

Timor-Leste has a strict law on demonstrations which among other things requires four days notice and bans them within 100 yards of a government or diplomatic building.