Tag Archives: Referendum

#LiveUpdatesPapua Cultural March by Paniai & highland students defies police blockade in Jayapura


May 2, 2016 1025 West Papua time

KnpbNews is reporting that despite early arrests this morning, no more arrests have followed the detention by police of the mass gathering in outside the students hostel in Waena, Jayapura.

However, students from Paniai and Yahukimo regencies living at the dormitories have launched a surprise distributed but coordinated cultural action, and taken over the demonstration with a vibrant display of Papuan cultural identity whilst speeches were being conducted.

THis mass has now reached the gates of the Cenderawasih university where students were earlier arrested, and are now facing a blockade of police, while the speeches continue at Abepura in a distributed action.

More to come – photos below (courtesy of KNPB)

#LiveUpdatesPapua Arrests begin in West Papua mobilisations, after night of Armed police terror raids across Papua

by WestPapuaMedia

May 2, 2016

Breaking News:

Arrests by Indonesian security forces of West Papuan demonstrators have just begun minutes ago in Jayapura,  as West Papuan people begin planned mass mobilisations to demand self-determination and referendum on the occupied colony’s future.


Blockade of police officers in the Old Market, sentani

Less than twenty minutes ago, at 0831AM local time, police officers led by the Jayapura region Chief of Police AKBP YERMIAS RUNTINI, have arrested approximately 10 students Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) students, at the gate of the UNCEN Waena student housing dormitory (Perumnas 3). 

Police are currently barricading the road with barbed wire to the hostel UNCEN Waena hostel where the KNPB headquarters are located. Currently the police are also pursuing activists and patrolling around the Waena taxi roundabout.

Indonesian Police have also just surrounded and arrested (0845) the gathered  masses who were preparing to rally, filling 3 trucks with students, 1 truck of KNPB members, and two  trucks of civilians.

This comes after Reports from students in Papua have come in overnight of an attempted raid overnight at a  that failed due to student security preparations.

A platoon of heavily armed Dalmas Public Order riot police, allegedly containing members of the elite Australian-funded Densus 88 anti-terrorism unit, attacked the Cenderawasih University (UnCen) student dormitory in Waena, Abepura, at 0220 (AM) local time,  according to confirmed reports from West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) officials.

However, students maintaining watch ahead of expected security sweeps overnight escaped into the night, thanks to an effective early warning system, according to sources, and the Dalmas platoon gave up the chase.

Raids have been occurring across Papua overnight by Indonesian security forces in a bid to terrorise Papuans into abandoning mass mobilisations across the country today, due to start at the time of publication.  Reports have come in from Wamena, Merauke and Manokwari of preemptive security sweeps overnight.  More information as it comes to hand.

The demonstrations are demanding for a referendum as an act of self-determination on Papuan aspirations, seen as treason by the Indonesian colonial government. Indonesian police in Papua have vowed to crackdown on all displays of “separatism” and have banned all gatherings.

The rallies form part of a global day of action under the social media hashtag #LetWestPapuaVote, and coincide with a historic gathering of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua network in the UK Parliament on May 3.

This is a developing story.  More information as it comes to hand.  Please follow the twitter hashtag #LiveUpdatesPapua for up to the minute coverage.


West Papua to take to streets today amid major crackdown threats from Indonesian forces

by westpapuamedia, with reporting from awasmifee, taboid jubi and local sources.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rolling coverage will be occuring across the day:  please send any first hand updates or media to Editor @ westpapuamedia.info (no spaces) or via SMS to +61498239869.  Secure SMS and calls to this number can be made with Signal from WhisperSystems

A coalition of about 50 Papuan and Indonesian civil society organisations has called for Indonesian security forces to stop repression, and respect West Papuan’s Right of Freedom of Expression as major mobilisations are planned across Papua for April 13. (Press Release in full, below)

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) have called the demonstrations to pressure Melanesian countries to admit the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).  As the mandated external representative body of West Papuan civil resistance to the international community, the ULMWP currently has observer status, despite Indonesian machinations for Indonesia to have full membership also.

Actions are planned in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke, with th possibility of major centres in West Papua, as well as across Indonesia, however the Indonesian Police have prevented several gathering from going ahead already, and are feared to be nmmunted a major joint police-military operation to prevent demonstrations from occurring.

West Papua Media is proividing montoring also as the day progresses, and has evidence at time of publication early Wednesday morning of large amounts of public order hardware and security force mobilsations already in all centres, especially around Taman Imbi in Jayaura.  This will be a developing story.

Five KNPB members were arrested in Dekei, Yahukimo for giving out leaflets promoting the event tomorrow.  They were reportedly being interrogated without a lawyer or legal support (see http://tabloidjubi.com/2016/04/12/bagi-selebaran-demo-akbar-5-anggota-knpb-yahukimo-ditangkap/ for more info)]

A Press conference was held at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) yesterday, raising the concern of possible state repression of the KNPB-led mobilisations across Papua.  The release (Below in full) shows the support of nearly 50 mostly Jakarta-based organisations and trade unions for the respct of rights of Papuan organisations and people to engage in free expression of their political aspirations.

No. 792/SK-RILIS/IV/2016

Stop Repression and curbs on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!

It is strongly suspected that a joint police/ military operation will repress mass actions on 13th April 2016 in Papua

(Jakarta, 12 April 2016) Dozens of civil society organisations comprising elements of the labour, student, women’s, urban poor and other social movements support the Papuan people’s right to freedom of expression.

On 5th April 2016, the Timika branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) organised a prayer meeting in the grounds of the GKII Golgota church in Timika, Papua to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s participation in a Pacific Diplomatic Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group. However as the event was taking place, a joint police and military force suddenly appeared, and proceeded to disperse the event by firing shots in the air and attacking the crowds. Dozens of participants were punched, kicked or struck with rifle butts by the joint command. Banners, clothing and noken string bags were seized by the police. One solider forced a KNPB member with the initials IT to strip naked. Two more KNPB members with initials AD and AE were seriously injured and needed hospital care.

The security forces’ attack culminated in the arrest of 15 KNPB members, 13 of which were released the next day with a requirement to report to the police station for an as yet unspecified length of time. Two others, Steven Itlay and Yus Wenda are still in custody. Yus Wenda is being held under article 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, violent harassment, even though the maximum sentence that can be given for this article is 2 years 8 months, which means Yus Wenda should have the right to not be remanded in custody. Steven Itlay is charged with treason under article 106. The treason article is frequently used in Papua as a tool to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. Steven Itlay was moved from the Mimika Police headquarters to the Police Mobile Brigade detention centre which is far from Timika City. There is strong reason to believe that this is an attempt to isolate him and keep him incommunicado, which raises serious concerns for his safety.

Papuans will join a similar event organised by the KNPB on the 13th April 2016, however on a much larger scale, and taking place in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke. This action is supported by local churches.

Many people have been arrested in Papua since 2013. According to International Coalition for Papua data, 653 people were arrested between April 2013 and December 2014 (ICP 2015). The KNPB has calculated that 479 people were arrested between the 30th April and 1st June 2015 alone. In the 18 months which Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have been in power, more thaan 1000 arrests have taken place, especially targetting
pro-independence activists, indigenous people fighting to keep their customary lands and ordinary people who have become the object of state repression for no clear reason.

Bearing in mind the patterns of repression and police/military impunity that keep on repeating themselves in Papua, as demonstrated once more last April 5th, it is reasonable to believe that the Papuan people will face repression once more on 13th April.

For this reason we state that we fully support the Papuan people’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression. We also urge the joint police and military forces not to take repressive action against the Papuan people, and in particular against the major actions which will take place on 13th April

Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Yayasan Pusaka, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Imparsial, Honai Center, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Pers, Solidaritas Perempuan, The Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Working Group, Institut
Perempuan, Perempuan Mahardhika, Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI), Federasi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (FSBI), Federasi Sektor Umum Indonesia (FSUI), Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik (FBLP), Federasi
Pertambangan dan Energi (FPE), Federasi Serikat Pekerja Pulp dan Kertas
Indonesia (FSP2KI), Federasi Buruh Transport Pelabuhan Indonesia
(FBTPI), Serikat Pekerja Aneka Sektor Industri (SPASI), Gabungan Serikat
Buruh Independen (GSBI), Gabungan Solidaritas Perjuangan Buruh (GSPB),
Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan (SERBUK), Aliansi Buruh Kontrak Menggugat
(ABKM), Papua Itu Kita, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP), Belantara Papua,
Perkumpulan Jubi, Indonesia Tanpa Militerisme (ITM), Gerakan Masyarakat
Sipil Melawan Kriminalisasi (Geram Kriminalisasi), Front Perjuangan
Rakyat (FPR), Partai Hijau Indonesia (PHI), Partai Pembebasan Rakyat
(PPR), Solidaritas Kebudayaan Masyarakat Indonesia (Sebumi), Konfederasi
Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia DKI (KPRI DKI), Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat
Indonesia (SPRI), Komite Perlawanan Rakyat (KPR), Politik Rakyat, Urban
Poor Consortium (UPC), Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan (JRK), Jaringan
Rakyat Miskin Kota (JRMK), Mahasiswa Progresif Universitas Indonesia
(Semar UI), Federasi Mahasiswa Kerakyatan (FMK), Front Mahasiswa
Nasional (FMN), Forum Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa (FKAM) Universitas 17
Agustus Jakarta, Wilson Obrigados, Andreas Iswinarto, Bonnie Triyana


Buchtar Tabuni will be held responsible for demos calling for a referendum

Bintang Papua,
2 April 2012

Jayapura: Instead of holding one demonstration as had been planned by the the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua), they held two demonstrations in two different places. One took place in Taman Imbi while the other took place in Abepura. The deputy police chief, Brig.General Waterpauw said that they would hold Buchtar Tabuni responsible for these demonstrations. ‘The police will hold Buchtar Tabuni responsible for this because he was the co-ordinator of the demonstration held by  the KNPB which proceeded in violation of the agreement that they would only hold one demonstration in one place, in Taman Imbi,’ said Waterpauw.

He said that thousands of KNPB supporters had taken part in the demos in two places. In addition, he said, they were carrying a variety of weapons such as arrows, knives and spears, which had spread fear among the people.

Asked whether he intended to summon Tabuni, he said this was not yet clear but the matter would be attended to as quickly as possible.

The demos caused traffic jams as many main roads in the town centre were closed off.

Thousands of supporters of the KNPB held a demonstration in front of the post office in Abepura as well as near the traffic lights by the Abepura police office on Monday, 2 April. The demonstrators called for a referendum and urged the Indonesian government to recognise the Federal State of West Papua. The demonstrators also welcomed the establishment of International Parliamentarians for West Papua by Benny Wenda, a Papua who has  been living for a long time in The Netherlands. The IPWP will be formally set up in a parliament to support the Papuan struggle and for West Papua to secede from the Indonesian Republic.

[The report then goes into great detail about how the demonstrations proceeded in different parts of the city.]

Speaking to the crowds, Buchtar Tabuni said: ‘This demonstration is an action to express the KNPB’s support for the establishment of the IPWP in The Netherlands.’ He apologised to shopkeepers who had closed their shops along the roads where the demonstrations took place.

The chairman of the KNPB  also explained that  they were wearing traditional dress and carrying traditional weapons to show to other people (ie non-Papuans) that we have our own identity.

‘Today, the West Papuan people will determine their own future which is why the KNPB has held a peaceful demonstrations with our own cultural attributes and in support of the establishment of the IPWP.’ He went on to say that  the Regional People’s Parliament had set up commissions  and said that the most effective weapon of all was the strength of the West Papuan people to confront the colonial power, the state of Indonesia.

‘The  Papuan people have set up their own political institutions and have asked the government of the Netherlands to place the issue onto the agenda of the United Nations.

He said that West Papua will get its freedom and this must be recognised by the international community so that we, the Papuan people, can determine our own future on the basis of one principle: it is better for us to be struck down  in defending the people of West Papua than being struck down at the hands of Indonesia, the colonial power.

He said that West Papua had been incorporated  into the Republic of Indonesia in a process that violated international standards, in conflict with the principles of the rule of law and international human rights. The countries responsible for this were the USA, The Netherlands and Indonesia as well as the United Nations, in pursuance of their own economic and political interests.

‘This is why were firmly declare that the West Papuan people will devote all their energies to holding a referendum , to establish political institutions that  conform with the wishes of the people of West Papua and we call on the Dutch government to speedily take the issue back to the United Nations.’

[The report then gave the names of 21 local Papuan organisations (PRD) the chair-persons of which had signed the statement issued by Buchtar Tabuni and said that all the leaders of the KNPB took part in demonstration.]

Meanwhile units of the police and Brimob in armoured vehicles and armed with a variety of weapons stood on guard in various points places near the DPRP office and in Taman Imbi.

Many people left their offices for home earlier than usual and discussions were taking place between members  members of the DPRP.

Hundreds of people had blocked the roads causing big traffic jams .

[Abridged  translation by TAPOL of a very long article that appeared in Bintang Papua.]

Would An Independent West Papua Be A Failing State? :: JapanFocus

Would An Independent West Papua Be A Failing State? :: JapanFocus

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Would An Independent West Papua Be A Failing State?

David Adam Stott

“Where it cuts across the island of New Guinea, the 141st meridian east remains one of colonial cartography’s more arbitrary yet effective of boundaries.”1

On July 9, 2011 another irrational colonial border that demarcated Sudan was consigned to history when South Sudan achieved independence. In the process an often seemingly irrevocable principle of decolonisation, that boundaries inherited from colonial entities should remain sacrosanct, has been challenged once again. Indeed, a cautious trend in international relations has been to support greater self-determination for ‘nations’ without awarding full statehood. Yet Kosovo is another state whose recent independence has been recognised by most major players in the international community.2 In West Papua’s case, the territory’s small but growing elite had been preparing for independence from the Netherlands in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and Dutch plans envisaged full independence by 1970. However, in 1962 Cold War realpolitik intervened and the United States engineered a transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia under the auspices of the United Nations. To Indonesian nationalists their revolution became complete since West New Guinea had previously been part of the larger colonial unit of the Netherlands East Indies, which had realised its independence as Indonesia in 1949. In West New Guinea, most Papuans felt betrayed by the international community and have been campaigning for a proper referendum on independence ever since.

Read the full paper here: