Tag Archives: Hai Tanahku Papua

Report by GKI on Third Papuan Congress and Declaration of Independence

[Full translation by TAPOL of the report received from KPKC, Synod of GKI, Indonesian Christian Church on 21 October 2011]THE THIRD PAPUAN CONGRESS

The Third Papuan Congress was held from 17 October and attended by Papuans from across the territory of Papua. After facing difficulties regarding the venue of the Congress, the Congress was held in the Zakheus Tunas Harapan Padang field.

On 19 October, Prokorus [normally spelt Forkorus] Yaboisembut was elected the President of West Papua and the evangelist Edison G. Waromi was elected the Prime Minister. Following the elections, Prokorus Yaboisembut read out the Declaration of a New State, the Federal State of West Papua, the symbol of the state – the Mambruk Bird, the currency – the guilder, the national anthem Hai Tanahku Papua, and the national languages, Pidgin, Indonesian Malay, local Papuan languages and English, and the geographic territory of the Papuan Federal State.

The text of the DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT PAPUA **and the confirmation of the Declaration of West Papua which was read out by Prokorus Yaboisembut stated: ‘On this day, 19 October 2011, we proclaim the full independence and sovereignty  of our state’  and therefore the State of Indonesia must speedily end its occupation of Papua. All components of the leadership who were elected at the Third Papuan People’s Congress shall immediately discuss the basic principles of the State of West Papua.

Selpius Bobii, the chairman of the Third Papuan People’s Congress, declared: ‘We the people of West Papua in this highest forum declare that the proclamation of the Papuan National Committee on 19 October 1961which now marks its fiftieth anniversary, was a time when the Papuan people lived freely, during the era of the Dutch/UNTEA and we want to return to the sovereignty which once existed.’

The declaration of the Papuan Congress is as follows:

1.    The restoration of the Independence and Sovereignty of the Papuan people in the state of West Papua.
2.    On this day, 19 October 2011, we declare our complete Independence and Sovereignty  as the Papuan people and the state of West Papua.
3.    The establishment and enactment of the Constitution of the State of West Papua.
4.    The formation of the Government of West Papua shall come into being from the moment of the adoption of the Constitution on 19 October 2011.
5.    The Indonesian government must quickly end its occupation from the moment of the adoption of the Constitution on 19 October 2011.
6.    We propose that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and members of the UN, in particular the US Government and the Indonesian Government, should recognise and regularise governmental powers within the shortest possible time and register the state of West Papua as a member of the UN within the shortest possible time, in order to uphold human rights, democracy and just and basic rights in the world.
7.    We grant a full, official mandate  to International Parliamentarians for West Papua and International Lawyers for West Papua and supportive countries to advocate all matters with regard to the annexation of sovereignty and independence of the Papuan people and to follow this up through lawful international mechanisms or at the International Court, until such time as the full and complete transfer of power from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Government of  West Papua which has already been established and formulated at the Third Papuan Congress in Jayapura-Portnumbay, the Papuan part of Federal State of the Republic of Papua.
8.     In the name of the Papuan people in the state of West Papua and the adoption of the Declaration of Decision No. 0012/03/10-2011 by the Third Papuan Congress, to consider and take cognisance of the general views of various components of the West Papuan people, as set forth in the reports of the commissions that were agreed at the Third Papuan Congress.

[Note: According to the observations of the KPKC of the GKI Synod, the location of the Third Papuan Congress was heavily guarded  by troops of the Indonesian army and police who were in a state of readiness, accompanied by six police armoured vehicles and trucks that were stationed outside the location of the Congress.]

Third Papuan People’s Congress opens

Bintang Papua, 18 October 2011The Third Papuan People’s Congress opened on Monday according to plan at Lapangan Zakeus [in the open air]. However, the  plan for it to be opened by the general director for regional autonomy of the interior ministry was not realised so instead it was opened by the collective Papuan leadership and marked by the beating of a tifa drum.

Speaking on this occasion, Forkorus Yaboisembut said the objective of the congress was to discuss the basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people and not to destroy the NKRI.

‘Although we will be discussing political rights, we respect the Indonesian government because our intention is not to destroy NKRI. This is a matter of principle,’ he said, speaking to journalists after opening the congress.

‘What we are doing is to struggle for the rights of the indigenous Papuan people. This includes our basic right as a nation.’  Speaking as part of the collective leadership as well as chairman of Dewan Adat Papua  [Papuan Traditional Council], he said he had no personal agenda. ‘But the people have their aspirations and the Indonesian state and other states should respect this.’

He went on to say: ‘If all parties  uphold democracy, basic human rights and international law, the Third Papuan People’s Congress should not be regarded as being illegal. If everyone in the world is committed, the activities  taking place here in Papua should not been seen as being illegal or against the law. Law is relative,’ he said.

The congress was opened with a prayer and the blowing of the sangkakala trumpet. Forkorus led the prayers together with the leaders of seven regions. The national anthem ‘Hai Tanahku Papua‘ was sung, the only song to be sung as part of the congress agenda.

The Morning Star flag which was flown was quite big and was unfurled twice on a wooden pole while musicians accompanied women dancers who were wearing shirts made of the flag.

The chairman of the congress committee, Selfius Bobii, in his opening address, called on all who were present to be of one heart and determined to bring about change.

‘Past history is realised in what happens today, and the future depends  on what happens now,’ he said, speaking with great feeling. Although his address was interrupted because of the sound system, he gave an account of Papuan history. In the days before  the arrival of people from outside, Papua was a paradise on earth..  ‘During the Dutch colonial era  and the Indonesian colonial era, this paradise on earth turned in a hell on earth.’ Papua’s paradise which existed before the arrival of outsiders is what we are longing for.’

Third Congress: Forward to Peace.

Congress regulations for the proceedings were read out, which included things that the participants should not do and were agreed by everyone present.

After the regulations had been read out, the congress continued with each group from home and abroad presenting their political views. The first person to speak was Frans Kapisa, chairman of the WPNA.  He was followed by a statement from a representative of TPN/OPM from Kasuari Manokwari which was read out by Yakop Dimara (commander). This was followed by a political statement by a representative of TPN/OPM from the mountains who did not want his name  to be reported in the press.

The statement from TPN/OPM marked the conclusion of expressions of political opinions yesterday while others will make their statements tomorrow (ie today) starting as 8am. These political presentations expressed love for a peaceful struggle, although at the start there was some talk about the use of violence.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Sorry: Indon Army Backs Down Over Threats

via NewMatilda.com

By Alex Rayfield

The chief of the Indonesian Army in West Papua has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a public apology to the Kingmi Papua Church over a leaked letter first published in New Matilda, reports Alex Rayfield

In an extraordinary media statement dated Monday 18 July the chief of the Army in Indonesian occupied West Papua, Major-General Erfi Triassunu, issued a very public apology to the leadership and congregation of the Kingmi Papua Church.

In the statement, a copy of which has been obtained by New Matilda, the general writes, “if I caused any offence to the Kingmi Papua Church I am sorry”.

Reverend Benny Giay, the moderator of the embattled Kingmi Papua Church, and a subject of the general’s initial ire, said that “this is perhaps the first time in West Papuan history that an Indonesian Army Chief has apologised to the West Papuan church”.

A copy of the original letter was also obtained by New Matilda who published an exclusive story on 7 July. The article was then republished in Open Democracy, written about in daily newspaper Bintang Papua and discussed extensively in blogs, Facebook and email lists inside and outside West Papua.

In the original letter (marked “secret” and dated 30 April 2011) Triassunu repeats claims made by representatives of Kingmi Indonesia, an Indonesian-wide church, that Kingmi Papua is a separatist organisation. In his letter, the general weighed into a conflict that he himself notes is an internal church matter.

The most disturbing phrase in the original letter is a veiled threat by the chief of the Army to take “assertive action” if the conflict between Kingmi Indonesia and Kingmi Papua is not resolved. What is implied here is that the Kingmi Papua Church must cease all efforts to establish an autonomous church in West Papua or risk violent retaliation from the state. It is these kinds of statements that can encourage Indonesian nationalist militias to take the law into their own hands, says Benny Giay.

However, in the three-page apology to Kingmi Papua Church, the general claims that the military command in Papua has never stated that Kingmi Papua is a separatist organisation. He also clarifies the meaning of the phrase “assertive action”, insisting that he did not mean to imply “repressive action” but rather wanted to encourage the civil authorities in Papua to resolve the internal church conflict “on the basis of peace and mercy”.

If true, it marks a seismic policy shift for the Indonesian Army in West Papua — news that will certainly be welcome to Giay. Kingmi Papua’s pastors have been killed at the hands of the Indonesian Military since they first occupied West Papua in 1963. Papuan Church leaders and their congregations across Papua are regularly harassed and intimidated by Indonesian security forces. Public beatings and torture by the security forces is also systemic in Papua, meted out on the basis of race and often conducted in public view, reports ANU based academic Br. Budi Hernawan.

While welcoming the apology, Giay urges the civilian and military authorities in Indonesia to go further. In an open letter to the Susilo Bambang Yudhuyono dated 16 July, Giay asks the President to guarantee Kingmi Papua’s right to exist. An apology from the chief of the Army in Papua after all, is no guarantee of religious freedom.

Giay maintains that the real cause of the conflict, whether between Kingmi Indonesia and Kingmi Papua or the Indonesian government and the Kingmi Church, is political and fundamentally connected to the history of Papua. To break the impasse Giay repeats the call for “dialogue” and an end to “stigmatising” the Papuan people for wanting to address the root causes of state violence in Papua.

Recognition of the right of the Church in Papua to speak out on behalf of the oppressed and to take nonviolent action in protection of their congregations is an acid test for freedom of speech in West Papua.

To date the Indonesian Government has failed that test.

While the general seeks to reassure Papuans that the Army wants to resolve problems on the basis of “peace” and “mercy”, their approach has been inconsistent at best. Papuans are still not allowed to raise the Morning Star flag or sing their national anthem “Hai Tanahku Papua“. Filep Karma, who has been sentenced to 15 years for nonviolent action remains in jail along with scores of other Papuan political prisoners. A press conference by the West Papua National Committee earlier this month concerning current military operations in Puncak Jaya had to be cancelled because of police and military intimidation of the both the organisers and invited journalists.

The Indonesian constitution ostensibly guarantees the right to free speech but it looks a lot like that freedom does not reach West Papua. Until that changes any claim that Indonesia is a democracy rings hollow.

For now, however, Benny Giay and Kingmi Papua are claiming the apology as a “small victory”.

Whether that victory can be defended and extended remains to be seen.

Agus Alua and the Voices of Papua

Agus Alua and the Voices of Papua

originally posted at EngageMedia.org

Agus Alua was the former chair of Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Assembly) – a cultural representation of the indigenous Papuan people which has limited authority to protect the rights based on custom and culture, the empowerment of women, and the strengthening of a harmonious religious life.

Alua died on April 8, 2011 after receiving a phone call from Jakarta, and moments before the new MRP membership was to be sworn in. Activists said Alua was ousted from the MRP because of his strong stands against the Central Government’s Papua policies. Here’s how some Papuans see the inspirational man.

(Video will open in another window)

Benny Giay shocked by death of Agus Alua, calls for MRP inauguration to be postponed

JUBI, 9 Apil, 2011

The chairman of the Synod of the KINGMI Church Papua, Dr Benny Giay said that the sudden death of Agus Alue Alua has come as a great shock not only to his family but to all West Papuans.

Agus Alua, the rector of the Theology College of Philosophy and
Theology, was a member of the last Majelis Rakyat Papua and his death occurred just as the second MRP was about to be sworn in, against the background of much controversy. [It is known too that although Agua Alua had been proposed as a member of the new MRP, his name was excluded under pressure from the government.]

‘Because the Indonesian government saw Agus Alua as a threat, they were not happy about him being a member of the new MPR. In the midst of all this, he died which has shocked us all,’ said Dr Giay.

He said that Agus Alua’s views were known to be opposed by the
government who regarded him as a separatist, which is why they did not want him to be chosen as a member of the new MRP.

Asked about what may have led to his death, Giay said he had frequently come under pressure from many sides, sometimes through messages on his cell phone or through direct terror threats.

All this is very likely to have been because of the decision adopted by the MRP at a meeting in 2010 when they adopted eleven recommendations, one of which called for a referendum in Papua about the status of Papua.

He said that the death of Agus should be seen as a crime against the basic rights of the Papuan people and aganst their rejection of special autonomy.

Dr Giay said that despite his death, the government was going ahead
with the inuguration of the new MRP although many were calling for this to be postponed, at the very least until after the period of mourning for the loss of Agus Alua.

He also called for all those who have been appointed to the new MRP to boycott the inauguration. He was hoping in particular that all 40
members from the Central Highlands would boycott the inauguration, out of respect for Agus Alua who was also from the Central Highlands.