Third Papuan Congress to go ahead despite efforts to obstruct it

(Note – the Congress is currently underway, more reports to come)
Bintang Papua, 14 October 2011

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Although the Third Papuan Congress is due to start in two days time, it is not yet known where it will take place. Selpius Bobii, chairman of the organising committee, said that plans to hold the congress at Cenderawasih University are facing obstacles because permission for the UNCEN auditorium has not yet been granted even though, he said, notification of the congress had already been submitted some time ago. Permission to hold the congress at GOR Cenderawasih has also not been received.

Bobii said that those organising the congress believe that there are forces who are exerting pressure to ensure that neither of these locations will be made available. He went on to say that however that may be, the congress will go ahead as planned because Papuan people throughout the territory fully support it.

Bobii said that they were still waiting for permission (STTP) from the police.The main issues to be discussed are the basic rights of the Papuan  people in a situation where Papuans are being violated and intimidated. The intention is to discuss the things they are experiencing  and what measures they need to take to uphold their rights.

The congress will go ahead without any support from the central government; all expences will be covered by the Papuan people themselves, transportation, food and drink will be provided thanks to contributions from Papuan people.

While there are elements who are trying to prevent the congress from taking  place and spreading all kinds of stories to discredit it,, Bobii said this was simply a reflection of the democracy now in place. He said that what was most important was that 273 Papuan tribes would be attending the congress, covering their own costs and even helping out with financing the congress as a whole. ‘There is nothing that will stand in our way,’ he said. Also, security will be guaranteed by a force of about 4,000 people. If anyone moves to prevent the congress from taking place, he said, they will expose the forces who are behind these attempts.

More than 8,000 people have already arrived. As for the location, if not in the UNCEN auditorium, it may take place in Theys  Square in Sentani or at the  graveside of Theys Eluay, as the final alternative.

As for the police permit, this will not be a problem because the central government has already given the green light. Bobii also said that they had received a letter  from the minister of political and legal affairs in Jakarta which, he said, had arrived by fax. This means, he went on, that ‘neither the military commander or the chief of police can prevent us from proceeding with our agenda’.

DAP chairman says Third Congress decisions should be accepted by the government and UN members

Bintang Papua, 10 October 2011

According to Forkorus Yaboisembut, chairman of DAP, the Dewan Adat Papua, the forthcoming Third Papuan Congress will result in decisions that will express the true aspirations of the people of West Papua, in the provinces of both Papua and West Papua.

He said that the results of this Congress should be recognised and put into practice by the Indonesian government and should also be recognised by all the countries which are members of the United Nations.

He called upon the Indonesian government during this era of democracy to accommodate these decisions. ‘If we genuinely uphold the principles of democracy, whatever is decided by the Congress however painful they may be, must be accepted by the Indonesian government.’

He went on to say however that it was quite likely they would not be recognised or implemented by the Indonesian government nor by the members of the United Nations. He said was what normally happens. ‘Some may be pleased while others will not be pleased but we will continue to do everything that we can to convince them that these decisions are correct.’

Regarding the venue of the Congress, he said that UNCEN, the Cenderawasih University had be asked whether its auditorium could be used but they said that they needed the STTP (acknowledgement) from the police which should be forthcoming on 10 October as the chief of police had just arrived back in Jayapura.

Third Grand Papua Congress to be held this year

Bintang Papua, 22 August 2011

A national reconciliation team of the West Papuan people consisting of a number of organisations that have been outspoken in their views about the problems of the indigenous Papuan people as well as the policies of the government in Papua have announced that they will be convening the Third Grand Papuan Congress.

Speaking at a press conference at the office of Dewan Adat Papua, DAP,the Papuan Customary Council, Selpius Bobii, chairman of the team, accompanied by Forkorus Yaboisembut., the chairman of DAP, said that they were making
preparations to hold the Congress from 16 – 19 October 2011.

The theme of the Congress will be: ‘Affirming the basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people for the present and the future’. The Congress will to seek to take the Papuan people forward towards turning the Land of Papua into a paradise on earth, such as the Papuan people experienced before coming into contact with outsiders.

As part of the preparations of the Congress, the organising committee plan to meet the Indonesian President ‘This meeting is planned in order to officially inform him of plans to hold the Third Papuan People’s Congress.’ The DPRP, the Provincial Papuan Assembly will also attend this meeting, as representatives of the Papuan people. Selpius stressed that they would be meeting the President only to inform him of their plans. ‘Whatever attitude the government adopts, the Congress will go ahead,’ said Forkorus.

The Congress is the most senior body entitled to take decisions for the indigenous people. ‘All organisations of whatever kind, customary councils, ethnic groups as well as other organisations will be able to present their own agendas.’ The KNPB, the National Committee of the Papuan People, said that they plan to bring about changes that take will them forward to a Free Papua – Papua Merdeka.

The committee also urged the Indonesian government to implement the decisions of the grand meeting of the MRP – the Majelis Rakyat Papua – together with the indigenous Papuan people held on 9-10 June 2010 and to implement the pledge of the DPRP with regard to the Special Autonomy Law, involving the communities living in the Land of Papua as well as the provincial, regional and district assemblies.

DAP wants dialogue, not constructive communcations

Morning Star flag, Flag of West Papua
Image via Wikipedia

JUBI, 4 March 2011

Responding to recent moves to hold a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua, the chairman of DAP, the Papuan Traditional Council, Forkorus Yaboisembut, said that such a dialogue will not be acceptable if it takes the form of constructive communications.

‘Dialogue between Jakarta and Papua must be mediated by a neutral,
international party. There is no such thing as a dialogue between the
Indonesian government and the Papuan people being held within the
Indonesian Republic,’ he said.

He said that the offer of construction communcations as recently
suggested by the Indonesian government can only be to talk about
something like development because it would only be attended by district chiefs, the provincial legislative assembly (DPRP), the governor and the MRP.

What the Papuan people want is a dialogue at an international level, not a dialogue within the framework of OTSUS or Special Autonomy. He said that a neutral, internationally mediated dialogue would be able to fully accommodate all the basic problems in Papua.

‘Those who participate in the dialogue would carry with them the Kejora – Morning Star Flag – not some plastic party membership card. This isn’t what we want.’

He went on to say that the Papuan people have full confidence in the
Papuan Peace Network – Jaringan Damai Papua – to make all the
preparations for such a dialogue to take place.

He said that the dialogue would deal with a number of problems in Papua such as marginalisation, discrimination, the failure of development, the violation of basic human rights and the contradictory views of the Indonesian government and the Papuan people about the history of Papua.

‘In order to deal with all these questions, there must be a dialogue
that is mediated by a third, neutral party, not constructive
communications,’ he said.

DAP: Papua on the brink of genocide

JUBI, 4 March 2011

The chairman of DAP, the Papuan Traditional Council, Forkorus
Yaboisembut, is reported as saying that the process of elimination of
the Melanesian Race which is currently turning the indigenous Papua
people into a minority in their own homeland does not yet fall within
the definition of genocide. But it is the intention of the Indonesian
State to bring the indigenous Papuan People to the brink of genocide.

‘It cannot be said that, according to the definition of genocide, that
is what is happening, but the situation is moving in that direction,’ he

He said that the growth in the indigenous population has not increased
at all, as compared with what has been happening in Papua New Guinea.

‘At the time of Papua’s integration into the Republic of Indonesia, the
indigenous population (Orang Asli Papua or OAP) numbered around 800,000, whereas in PNG it was 900,000.’

Since then, the population of PNG has increased to 7.7 million or more,
which is out of all comparison with the growth of the OAP who now number 1.8 million. If there had been no discriminatory measures against the OAP, this would have grown to 6 million. This lower growth is partly also due to several government programmes, such as the Family Planning Programme and the transmigration programme. Added to this is is spread of HIV/AIDS which is undermining the growth potential of indigenous Papuans.

On top of all that, he said, from 1969 until the fall of Suharto in
1998, Papua was a Military Operations Zone (DOM). And now what it
happening is the continual violation of human rights.

He accused the Central Statitics Bureau (BPS) of publishing data that
does not conform with the reality in Papua. He said that this data
serves the interests of the Indonesian state while victimising the OAP.

‘The BPS ‘s intention is to show that there is no such thing as genocide occurring in Papua, They have even been claiming that the indigenous Papuans still comprise the majority in this part of the country.

He also referred to the UN Convention on Genocide which defines genocide as the intentional, systematic elimination of an ethnic group

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