Tag Archives: Eni Faleomavaega

When there is no guarantee of security of life for the people of Papua

by John Pakage for West Papua Media

Opinion

March 1, 2012

(Edited and abridged in translation by West Papua Media)

Tuesday morning, 21st February, Courtroom 1A in Jayapura was peaceful but tense. Many soldiers were to be seen guarding the streets for a session of the trial of Forkorus Yoboisembut, Edison Gladius Waromi, Agustinus M. Sananay Kraar, Selpius Bobii and Dominikus Sorabut.  They were arrested after the session of the Congress of the People of Papua in Zakeus Pakage Square, Abepura,Jayapura, on the 19th of October 2011.

At the fifth meeting in this case, some witnesses, who were all members of the police, said they had not been direct witnesses and did not know about the public nature of the meeting of the Papua Congress. Seven witnesses out of the eight who were called by the court had attended. These witnesses had only heard from a distance the voice of Forkorus reading the resulting resolution of the Congress.

Forkorus Yoboisembut, Edison Gladius Waromi, Agustinus M. Sananay Kraar, Selpius Bobii and Dominikus Sorabut are all charged with treason, because they had declared the independence of the State of West Papua.

Concerning this case, the legal representative of the accused, Olga Hamadi, told John Pakage from Cermin Papua on Thursday 1st March that the witnesses who are making things difficult for the accused, were not actually at the location of the Congress and their evidence is refuted by those who were.

“Seven witnesses who are all members of the Police gave statements as witnesses; however, we reject them because they did not directly see the meeting. They only heard Pak Forkorus reading a declaration of the result of the Congress via the PA system,”  said Olga.

Hamadi explained that “We saw that the declaration of the results of the Congress which were read by Forkorus were a summary of statements of all the members of the Congress, which were (in turn) a direct statement of the aspirations of the people of Papua.”

Because of this, the accused did not take any action towards secession via this Congress. Thirdly, this Congress is only restoring the country to what it was before the Indonesians annexed it in 1961.

Many of the world’s human rights organisations have already sent letters to the President of the Republic of Indonesia to release Forkorus, Edison Gladius Waromi, Agustinus M. Sananay Kraar, Selpius Bobii and Dominikus Sorabut, because they only gave voice to the problems hindering democracy in Papua, and the human rights violations which would not be tolerated as legal by the government of Indonesia.

The civil human rights organisation based in New York,USA, Human Rights Watch (HRW), says that the establishment of the Congress of the People of Papua is a normal part of the human rights that belong to the people of Papua. They are calling on the government of Indonesiato withdraw the charges against the accused and free the five members of the Congress of the People of Papua immediately.

“The government of Indonesia has to live up to its commitment to peaceful resolution (of the Papua issue) by cancelling these charges against the five activists,”  said the Deputy of HRW for Asia, Elaine Pearson, in a statement cited by AFP on Monday 29th January, 2012.

A similar appeal came from a member of the Congress of the United States, Eni Faleomavaega. Eni said that the TNI and Police were the initiators of the unrest in Papua, especially by the scattering and arrest of members of the Third Congress of the People of Papua (KRP).

Compare this with the stated commitment of the government of Susilo Bambang Yuhdoyono, that it will deal with the problems in West Papua in a “peaceful way, with justice, and with dignity”.

While this legal case is ongoing, international support is growing in strength for the aspirations of Papua to be given the opportunity to express themselves. This support is seen by the government of Indonesia as foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Indonesia’s province of Papua.

It is no secret that the international public already knows of the meeting of the International Group of Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) in Australia on February 29. This support for Papua is gathering in Australia from many of the nations of the Pacific.

On 22 September 2010, a member of the American Congress, Eni Faleomavaega, became familiar with the problems in Papua, and heard (In a special session of the  U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs) about the human rights violations which are perpetrated in Papua by the Indonesian government.

Several experts testified at the Committee Hearings and examined a selection of the problems of democracy in Papua, and the violations of human rights.  These included Pieter Drooglever (Institute of Netherlands History), Henkie Rumbewas (a Papuan independence activist), and Sophie Richardson, PhD (Human Rights Watch).

This international opposition has made the government of Indonesia very cautious about the growing support for Papua from many nations outside Papua. Indonesia is afraid that there is a chance that the forces of the US in Darwin, Australia, which will number around 2500 US Marines, will be used to intervene to help liberate Papua.

The head of  Committee 1 of the DPR, Ahmad Muzani, said that the superpower has a close relationship with the personnel in Darwin. He says that the US forces are tied up with the problems in Papua because they have hidden interests in the territory.

To be sure, as technology develops in the world there are fewer incidents  happening in the jungles of Papua that remain unknown.  Since 1969, when the Indonesian government first banned foreign journalists from covering news on the ground in Papua, there have been many cases of foreign journalists being deported back to their home countries from Papua. It’s not clear why Indonesia is so afraid of what’s happening in Papua.

International attention on Papua is also increasing because Papua is a great source of natural resources. Many countries and companies would like to invest in Papua, like Freeport McMoran, an American company which provides huge amounts of  foreign exchange to Indonesia. Freeport enables the Indonesian government to operate in the way it does. This fact would be made very clear if Freeport was forced to close and withdraw all its investment (as some Indonesian and most Papuan figures are calling for). That truly would be a great disaster for -Indonesia – in fact, Indonesia could be broken up by such an outcome.

However, for the last few months Freeport has only just been able to continue operations. The business has reported that its profits are only US6.4 billion, or about Rp57.6 trillion  for the last year, a fall of US1.5 billion from the year before.

“This result is not good, because it shows a fall-off in our operations, at the Grasberg mine in Indonesia,” said the CEO of Freeport, Richard Adkerson, as reported on the BBC on Saturday 21 January this year.

It can be seen that for some months now there has been a loss of business, which is growing all the time, because the management of Freeport has stopped operations of the automated extraction of gold.  The mining of copper at Grasberg has also been reduced.

(These stoppages were initially caused by Freeports’s wholesale rejection of its workers demands for work safety guarantees and living wage increases, from US$1.50 per hour to US$14 per hour.  Freeport workers conducted a five month long strike forcing Freeport to declare force majeure on its supplies and projections. West Papua Media)

These stoppages have affected the share price of PT Freeport Indonesia on the Indonesian stock market (BEI), and also the share price of (parent company) Freeport-McMoran in America. So of course there is a loss by America which is growing. There will also be further significant losses if there is a general economic slowdown, both in Indonesia and in other countries.

At the present time,Freeporthas not been operating since Thursday March 1, and Freeport has stopped operations for the next six months. (It is amidst) these circumstances that America is still donating fighting planes such as the F16 and Hercules to the Indonesian military.

The US Defence Minister, Leon Panetta, has been trying to set up a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro to establish a summit of the Defence ministers ofSouth East AsiainBalifor some time now. The US Defence Secretary also had a meeting with President Yudhoyono at the Ayodya Hotel in Bali.

However, the promised US delivery of 24 F-16 fighter planes and Apache helicopters has not as yet been finalised. Further action is needed in this process, as the planes have not yet arrived in Indonesia. Military observer Rizal Darmaputera views the stepping up of defence cooperation between the US and Indonesia as “one means of implementing America’s geopolitical strategy on the Asia-Pacific rim to balance the growing strength of China.”

The (geo)strategic position of Indonesia is a necessary link in the alliance of the US with various Asia-Pacific countries which tie in with its close connection with Japan and Australia.

So America gives this donation of war planes to Indonesia, knowing that they will be used to ensure that the Papua problem be handled internally by Indonesia to maintain the “unity of the Republic of Indonesia”.

Therefore the promise (by SYB) of basic human rights for Papua demanded by Forkorus and friends will not keep them out of jail as now. Jakarta must evaluate its treatment of the people of Papua as part of the human race, and who deserve rights and respect just as other people in the world deserve; and not to treat them (in the manner) as did AKP Rido Purba, an Indonesian Police officer in Papua who spat in the faces of Forkorus and friends at the time of their arrest.

Up to this time we have yet to see justice and the admission of basic human rights to Papuans; so (the next hearing of treason trial on) March 2 will be a very important stage in the case against Forkorus and friends by the Indonesian justice system in Jayapura.

At this point, “the trial of Forkorus and company will resume,” said  Olga Hamadi, Director of Kontras.

# John Pakage is an independent journalist based in West Papua and a regular contributor to WPM.

Faleomavaega receives Humanitarian Award for Defense of Human Rights in West Papua

Washington, D.C. —FALEOMAVAEGA RECEIVES HUMANITARIAN AWARD FOR DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN WEST PAPUA

Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) has named him the 2011 recipient of the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award.  Faleomavaega was presented the award on Thursday July 7, 2011.

In honoring Faleomavaega, WPAT stated:

The West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) is pleased to announce that it is awarding the 2011 “John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award” to the Honorable Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressmember Faleomavaega has been an articulate and effective advocate for the defense of human rights in West Papua, and has long worked for a peaceful resolution of the serious problems confronting Papuans.

His extensive knowledge regarding West Papua and his manifest sincerity and good will have enabled him to draw on the respect accorded him by his Congressional colleagues and members of successive Administrations to alert them and the U.S. public more broadly to justice, good governance and development concerns in West Papua.

On September 22, 2010, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Congressmember Faleomavaega convened the first hearing in the history of the U.S. Congress to include testimony from West Papua’s traditional and religious leaders. The hearing, Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua, also included testimony from scholars and administration officials from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

Driven by a sense of personal responsibility to carry forward the work of his Samoan relatives who are buried in West Papua and in honor of all those who have lived the struggle, Congressmember Faleomavaega continues to do all he can to hold the Indonesian government accountable so that a better way forward may be found for and on behalf of the people of West Papua.

Past recipients of the award include Carmel Budiardjo (UK) and TAPOL (2008); John M. Miller (U.S.) and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) (2009), and Andreas Harsono (Indonesia) of Human Rights Watch (2010).

The award includes a plaque and a financial prize which Congressmember Faleomavaega has directed be donated to a charity selected by him. The award is named in honor of Papuan John Rumbiak, a renowned champion of human rights and founder of WPAT.

“I am humbled by this award,” Faleomavaega said.  “I do not feel worthy of it, and this is why I have donated the prize money to the Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua) in honor of the men, women and children of West Papua who are the true heroes.”

“Over the years, the men, women and children of West Papua have suffered at the hands of Indonesia’s brutal military and police forces.  In fact, Indonesia’s military has committed indisputable crimes against humanity through the murder, torture and rape of more than 100,000 West Papuans.”

“It should also be noted that Freeport Mining company, now located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, was the first foreign company to do business with Indonesian President Suharto, one of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century.  Freeport’s association with Suharto led to Freeport operating the Grasberg mine in West Papua — one of the biggest gold and copper mines in the world.”

“With little regard for the people of West Papua, Freeport has callously stripped West Papua of its natural resources and pays Papuan workers less than $1.80 per day, or about $0.20 cents per hour.  Papuan workers went on strike in protest saying their counterparts working for other units of Freeport operations around the world are paid approximately $15 per hour.  All Papuan workers are asking is to be paid at about $3 per hour.”

“To put this in perspective, the CEO of Freeport was paid almost $40 million in 2010 alone.  In my opinion, this kind of disparity is shameful.  An American company should know better, and do better.  And until Freeport makes it right and stops exploiting Papuan workers, I will make my views known on the House floor for the sake of history and for the sake of the American public in hopes that Freeport will one day be held accountable for the environmental and economic horrors it has wrought in West Papua.”

“For history’s sake, I also want to commend past winners of the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award, including Carmel Budiardjo, the 2008 winner, who founded and has chaired TAPOL since the 1970s.  TAPOL (which means political prisoner in Indonesian) is a small UK-based NGO that campaigns for political prisoners and for human rights in general in Indonesia and East Timor.  Carmel Budiardjo was herself a political prisoner, in the late 1960’s at the time that the dictator Suharto came to power.  She was imprisoned for three years and then founded TAPOL upon returning to the UK in 1971.  She won the ‘Right Livelihood Award’ in 1995 and has several times been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Carmel is now 86 but still very active.”

“John Miller and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, the 2009 winner, has long been involved in human rights advocacy in East Timor and Indonesia.  John Miller is the National Coordinator for ETAN.”

“Andreas Harsono, the 2010 winner, is an Indonesian journalist and human rights advocate who in 2010 worked closely with Human Rights Watch, particularly on West Papua.  He is still associated with HRW but also is an independent journalist and human rights advocate.”

“I also commend my good friend, John Rumbiak, a West Papuan human rights advocate, who has worn out his life in the service of his fellowman.  I wish John a speedy recovery, and my thoughts and prayers are with him.”

“Once more, I thank WPAT for the work it is doing to champion the cause of West Papua, and I share this honor with all those engaged in the struggle,” Faleomavaega concluded.

Forkorus and friends receive heroes' welcome

Forkorus and friends receive heroes’ welcome

(Bintang Papua)The chairman of DAP, the Papuan Traditional Assembly, Forkorus Yaboisembut, and five others who recently attended the public hearing at the US Congress arrived back on Papuan soil yesterday at Sentani Airport to a heroes’ welcome as if returning from the battle-field. On their
arrival, Forkorus and his group were welcomed  by the Boy Eluay, the son
of Theys Eluay.

Troops from the Petapa  security forces maintained a tight guard along
the way taken by Forkorus and the others. As they entered the airport
arrivals area, they were invited to step on a large china plate and
nokens [string bags] were draped round their necks [a ceremonial welcome
for special people] while the woman in the group had her head half
covered with a jilbab. The Petapa guard was closely maintained from the
arrivals area to the cars waiting outside. A group of musicians was also
there to welcome Forkorus and his colleagues. They then drove for 45
minutes to a specially constructed pendopo .

After prayers were said, Forkorus said that they had visited the US at
the invitation of the US Congress to attend a public hearing at the
Congress. He said that this was evidence that the US regards the Papuan
with respect and wants to build a new friendly relationship in order to
help the  Papuan people.

Responding to negative remarks  made by the US ambassador  who said that
Papua is  part of  NKRI, he said that this was just a political
statement whereas all the arrangements for the group’s departure to the
US had been handled by the US embassy in Jakarta.

Herman Awom who also particiated in the visit to the US said that during
their  presence at the congressional hearing,  two other Papuans were
deliberately  included by Indonesia,  Franzalbert Yoku and Nikko Messet,
whose words describing Papuans as stupid and lazy were described as
regrettable by Eni Faleomavaega. a member of the US Congress.

Eni Faleomavaega said it was regrettable that Nikko Messet had said of
his own people that they were lazy and stupid.

It was also reported that Forkorus and his colleagues will repeat their
testimonies on the following day at the graveside of Theys Eluay.

Opening Statement of Chairman Eni Faleomavaega at West Papua hearing

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515

SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA, THE PACIFIC AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA (D-AS)
CHAIRMAN

STATEMENT OF
THE HONORABLE ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTE

“Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held
Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua?”

September 22, 2010

To my knowledge, today’s hearing is historic.  This hearing is the
first hearing ever held in the U.S. Congress that gives voice to the
people of West Papua.

Since 1969, the people of West Papua have been deliberately and
systematically subjected to slow-motion genocide by Indonesian
military forces yet Indonesia declares that the issue is an internal
matter while the U.S. Department of State “recognizes and respects the
territorial integrity of Indonesia.”  The truth is, this is no issue
of territorial integrity or an internal matter, and the record is
clear on this point.

West Papua was a former Dutch colony for some 100 years just as East
Timor was a former Portuguese colony just as Indonesia was a former
colony of the Netherlands.  Because of its status as a former colony,
East Timor achieved its independence from Indonesia in 2002 through a
referendum sanctioned by the United Nations (UN), despite Indonesia’s
serious objections over East Timor’s right to self-determination.

In contrast, in 1962 the United States pressured the Dutch to turn
over control of West Papua to the United Nations.  Under the
U.S.-brokered deal, Indonesia was to “make arrangements with the
assistance and participation of the United Nations” to give Papuans an
opportunity to determine whether they wished to become part of
Indonesia or not.

In what became known as the Act of No Choice carried out in 1969, 1025
West Papua elders under heavy military surveillance were selected to
vote on behalf of 809,327 West Papuans regarding the territory’s
political status.  In spite of serious violations of the UN Charter
and no broad-based referendum, West Papua was forced to become a part
of Indonesia by the barrel of a gun.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “declassified
documents released in July 2004 indicate that the United States
supported Indonesia’s take-over of Papua in the lead up to the 1969
Act of Free Choice even as it was understood that such a move was
likely unpopular with Papuans. The documents reportedly indicate that
the United States estimated that between 85% and 90% of Papuans were
opposed to Indonesian rule and that as a result the Indonesians were
incapable of winning an open referendum at the time of Papua’s
transition from Dutch colonial rule. Such steps were evidently
considered necessary to maintain the support of Suharto’s Indonesia
during the Cold War.”

Bluntly put, in exchange for Suharto’s anti-communist stance, the
United States expended the hopes and dreams and lives of some 100,000
Papuans who consequently died as a result of Indonesian military rule.
 Although some challenge this estimate it is an indisputable fact that
Indonesia has deliberately and systematically committed crimes against
humanity and has yet to be held accountable.

While I have expressed my concern that there is strong indication that
the Indonesian government has committed genocide against the Papuans,
I am disappointed that the U.S. Department of State requested that I
omit the word ‘genocide’ in the initial title I put forward for this
hearing.  The State Department requested a change in title based on
the assertion that ‘genocide’ is a legal term.

Article 2 of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide as "any
of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in
part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: killing members
of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the
group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life
calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in
part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

This definition of genocide under international law accurately
describes the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Indonesia’s
military, whether the U.S. State Department agrees or not.  But given
U.S. complicity, it is little wonder that every Administration wishes
to distance itself from this ugliness.

As Joseph Conrad wrote in his book The Heart of Darkness, “The
conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from
those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than
ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.”

When you look into it too much, nothing about Indonesia’s ruthless
brutality or U.S. complicity is a pretty thing.  In 2007, I led a
Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Indonesia on the personal promise
of President SBY and Vice President Kalla that I would be granted 5
days to visit Biak, Manokwari, and, most importantly, Jayapura, in
support of efforts to implement special autonomy that was approved by
the government of Indonesia since 2001.

However, while enroute to Jakarta, I received word that the Indonesian
government would only grant 3 days for my visit.  Upon my arrival on
November 25, 2007, I was informed that I would be granted only 1 day
and that I would not be allowed to visit Jayapura.  As it played out,
I was granted 2 hours in Biak and 10 minutes in Manokwari.

In Biak, I met with Governor Suebu, and other traditional, religious
and local leaders hand-selected by the government.  Other Papuans,
like Chief Tom Beanal and Mr. Willie Mandowen were detained by the
military until my office interceded.  U.S. Ambassador Cameron Hume and
I also had to make our way through a military barricade because
Indonesia military forces (TNI) had blocked Papuans from meeting with
me.  For the record, I am submitting photos showing the excessive
presence of military force.

       In Manokwari, the military presence was even worse.  Prior to my
arrival in Manokwari, I was told that I would be meeting with the
Governor only to learn upon my arrival that he was in China and had
been there for the past 5 days.  Ten minutes later, I was put on a
plane while the TNI, in full riot gear, forcefully kept the Papuans
from meaningful dialogue.  At this time, I would like to share with my
colleagues some video tape of my visit in 2007.

       After this experience and upon my return to Washington, I wrote to
President SBY expressing my disappointment but Jakarta never responded
to my letter of December 12, 2007.  On March 5, 2008, Chairman Donald
Payne of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa joined with me in
sending another letter to President SBY which expressed our deep
concern about Indonesia’s misuse of military force.  We included
photographs and a DVD of my experience while in Biak and Manokwari.
Again, Jakarta did not bother to reply.

       On March 5, 2008, Chairman Payne and I also wrote to U.S. Secretary
of Defense Robert Gates and included a copy of our letter to President
SBY as well as the DVD and photographs.  Despite the serious concerns
we raised about Indonesia’s failure to live up to its promises to
allow Members of Congress access to Jayapura and our request to
restrict funding to train Indonesia’s military forces, his reply of
April 2, 2008 was trite and indifferent, as if West Papua is of no
consequence.  He concluded his letter by erroneously stating, “TNI
performance on human rights has improved dramatically.”  Copies of
these letters as well as the photographs and DVD are included for the
record.

Copies of our materials which we sent on March 6, 2008 to the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on State
and Foreign Operations, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Defense, and the Congressional Black Caucus are also included.

       In March 2005, Chairman Payne and I wrote to Secretary General Kofi
Annan asking for a review of the United Nations’ conduct in West
Papua.  35 other Members of Congress from the Congressional Black
Caucus signed the joint letter and I am also submitting this letter
for the record.

       This year, Chairman Payne and I once more spearheaded an effort
calling upon President Obama to deal fairly with the people of West
Papua and to meet with the Team of 100 indigenous Papuan leaders
during his upcoming visit to Indonesia.  Although our letter of June
9, 2010 was signed by 50 Members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S.
Department of State could not be bothered to send us a thoughtful
reply.  Instead, we received a dismissive letter of August 11, 2010
signed by the Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs rather than
the U.S. Secretary of State which sends a clear signal that this
Administration may not be any different than any other in its response
to addressing our grave concerns about West Papua.  As a matter of
record, I am including these letters.

Also, I am including a video that due to its sensitive subject matter
I cannot and will not show.  The video depicts the violent murder of a
Papuan who was killed and gutted by the Indonesian Special Police
Corp, or Brigade Mobil (BRIMOB), while the victim was still alive and
pleading for someone to kill him in order to put him out of his
misery.  This isn’t the only murder.  The late Papuan leader Theys
Hiyo Eluay was also savagely murdered, and the list of lost lives goes
on and on.

As Chairman of this Subcommittee, I have been very, very patient.
Yes, I realize the importance of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship.
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world and
the U.S. has a strong interest in reaching out to the Islamic world.
But our own struggle against Islamist militancy should not come at the
expense of the pain and killing and suffering of the people of West
Papua.  This is not the America I know.

       We can and must do better.  In his statement before the UN against
Apartheid, Nelson Mandela said, “It will forever remain an accusation
and challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took so long
as it has before all of us stood up to say enough is enough.”  This is
how I feel about West Papua.

It is my sincere hope that today’s hearing will help us find a way
forward.  So far, Indonesia has failed miserably to implement Special
Autonomy and, as a result, there is a sense of growing frustration
among the Papuans, and rightfully so.  According to CRS, “migration by
non-Melanesian Indonesians from elsewhere in the nation appears to be
a critical part of the mounting tensions.  By some accounts Melanesian
Papuans will be in the minority in their homeland by 2015.”

       While there is so much more I want to say about the commercial
exploitation of West Papua’s renowned mineral wealth which includes
vast reserves of gold, copper, nickel, oil and gas and Freeport USA’s
own shameful role in this exploitation, I will address these issues in
my questioning of our witnesses.

       In conclusion, I want to thank Edmund McWilliams, a retired U.S.
Senior Foreign Service Officer, who has been a long-time advocate for
the people of West Papua.  Mr. McWilliams was unable to be with us
today but he has submitted testimony for the record which will be
included.

       I also want to welcome our Papuan leaders who have flown at
considerable expense to testify before this Subcommittee.  I presume
none flew at the expense of the Indonesian government but we will find
out during these proceedings.  Most of the Papuan leaders who are with
us today have lived the struggle.  Others have only recently returned
after living in Sweden for some 38 years.  They have since returned
home and reclaimed Indonesian citizenship but I am unclear as to their
role in a struggle they have given up or never fully lived.  I hope we
will be provided an explanation.

       For now, I recognize my good friend, the Ranking Member, for any
opening statement he may wish to make.

Testimonies at US Congress hearings on West Papua

September 22, 2010

Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua?

Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment

Statements available for download are hyperlinked:

Mr. Joseph Y. Yun Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs U.S. Department of State

Mr. Robert Scher Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Asian and Pacific Security Affairs U.S. Department of Defense 

Pieter Drooglever, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Institute of Netherlands History

Mr. Octovianus Mote Founder, West Papua Action Network President, Papua Resource Center

Mr. Henkie Rumbewas

Mr. Nicholas Simeone Messet West Papua, Independent Group Supporting Special Autonomy as Part of the Republic of Indonesia

Mr. Salamon Maurits Yumame Head of FORDEM (The Democratic Forum)

S. Eben Kirksey, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor The Graduate Center The City University of New York

Sophie Richardson, Ph.D. Asia Advocacy Director Human Rights Watch