by Socratez Sofyan Yoman
translation by WestPapuaMedia from SuaraPapua.com
April 3, 2012
(“…thousands of young Papuans that scream against the impartiality, hope the regional government must be aware that the Special Autonomy Law is present for whom? That the Law was created for what? Because of the demands for Independence “to free themselves from The Republic of Indonesia” for the people of Papua.” (Dr. “HC” Herman A. T. Yoku, SIP, Cenderwasih Post and Papua Star, Friday 30/3/2012).
Noble and respected Opinion readers, in my Opinion piece on the topic ‘The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans’, that was published in the Pacific Post, Tuesday 20th March 2012, and in the Papua Star, Thursday 22nd March, 2012, I quoted the promise and commitment by the Government of Indonesia for indigenous Papuans when Papua was forcibly integrated into Indonesia in 1969 with the engineering of the 1969 Referendum.
The quote is as follows: “Interior Minister stated …. the government of Indonesia, is willing and able to protect the welfare of the people of West Irian, therefore, there is no other choice but to live with the Republic of Indonesia” (Source: United Nations Official Records: 1812th Plenary Meeting of the UN Assembly, agenda item 98.19 November 1969, paragraph 18, P.2). After 31 years from 1969 to 2000, the Government of Indonesia made a promise and commitment that is almost the same, in Act No. 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy, for: pemberdayaan (empowerment), perlindungan (protection) and keberpihakan (affirmative action) for the original inhabitants of Papua and the Papuan People that have been forced to live within the Republic of Indonesia.
But the reality is that the people of Papua, Indigenous Papuans and the owners of this land and country, are treated inhumanely and are slaughtered like animals in the name of Indonesia. A concrete example: Three Indigenous Papuans were shot dead by security forces on 19th October 2011 at Zakheus field, the shooters were only given disciplinary punishment. This betrayal of human dignity cannot be tolerated in a context of humanity. There is no reason to kill people. It is the toughest crime committed by the state.
Examples of other facts such as the Cenderwasih Post reported: at the Offical Echelon Inauguration at Keerom District, Community Leader from the Indonesia-PNG border, Keerom, Dr. (HC), Herman A.T.Yoku, S.IP, said: “Many young Indigenous Papuans are treated like step-children in the appointment into the echelons. From 117 new Echelon II, III and IV officials inaugurated a few days ago, if carefully calculated, the number of local young people inaugurated is less than 10, from all of those sworn in. I had hoped that affirmative policy that was mandated in Act No. 21, Year 2001 would necessarily be considered by the local government…’ (Cenderawasih Post, Friday, March 30, 2012, p. 14). “As young Papuans the Governor should be aware that the Special Autonomy Act is for who? At the Echelon Inauguration yesterday (Thursday, 29/3/2012) I have not seen one Papuan child sworn in, let alone one Indigenous Keerom child from this country. I am very sorry as a community leader who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area? If for only one interest I requested this position, it is that this region can be considered safe because young indigenous Papuans say themselves it is safe.” (Papua Star, on Friday, March 30 2012, p 5).
In my opinion columns about The Special Autonomy Act No. 21, Year 2001, I continually, frankly and openly present the topic (1) “Special Autonomy has failed in Papua”: Papua Star, Thursday, 09/02/2012, p.5; (2) “It’s Time: Papua People Stand Alone”: in The Pacific Post, March 13, 2012 and Papua star, March 16, 2012; (3) “The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans” in the Pacific Post, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and Papua Star, Thursday , March 22, 2012.
“Special Autonomy is a political solution or a political bargaining between the peoples of Papua and Indonesia, in order that Papuans remain in Indonesia with a guarantee to protect the people of Papua, the empowerment of indigenous Papuans, and affirmative action for indigenous Papuans. However, “in reality, the Special Autonomy has truly failed. Special Autonomy has truly become a killing machine of God’s people in Papua and a destroyer of a future Papuan society and nation.”
Special Autonomy has really become a potent tool for the process of ethnic cleansing in Papua that is safer, quicker, more systematic and does not raise the suspicions of the international community that cares about humanity. Special Autonomy is an institution that prolongs the agony, drops and flow of tears of Indigenous Papuans. Special Autonomy is a solution and political decision about Papua’s political status within Indonesia that has already failed. Special Autonomy is a destroying machine that really marginalises Indigenous Papuans from every aspect. Special Autonomy is second volume of the 1969 Referendum that has already failed and become a new problem.”
Herman Yoku says: “… i am very sorry as a public figure who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area?” From this statement it seems evident that many Indigenous Papuan Officials do not have the critical ability in relation to the strategies and traps set by the Indonesian Government around the expansion of districts and provinces over the land of Papua. I regret very much, the way of looking and thinking of young Indigenous Papuan officials that the expansion of districts, cities and provinces are the result of hard work and struggle. It really is not like that.
The real background of the hectic expansion of districts, cities and provinces over the land of West Papua that is wild and uncontrollable, is purely political, economic, security, and a structural and systematic process of ethnic cleansing of Melanesians. And all the political policies of the Indonesian Government are not interested in progressing, advancing and increasing the welfare of Indigenous Papuans. In my opinion, the key clause in the expansion of districts and provinces is the military operation and new style Transmigration operation for the hastening of the ethic cleansing of Melanesians. I have written in an Opinion Column in the Pacific Post, 25th September 2009, with the topic: ‘district/City and Province Expansion in West Papua is a Military and New-style Transmigration Operation’. Special Autonomy Act No.21, Year 2001, has FAILED.
Expansion of Districts, Cities and Provinces that is not balanced with Indigenous Papuans forms chains of occupation, colonisation, and marginalisation. Indigenous Papuans are now being encouraged to take shelter behind the slogan of national development. “Political pitting (the politics of divide and conquer) such as applied by colonizers in Apartheid South Africa in 1978. Pieter W. Bother became Prime Minister and splintered the unity of South African society by setting up puppet states: The Puppet State of Transkei, Puppet State of Tswana, Puppet State of Venda, Puppet State of Ciskei. In the Papuan context, the Colonial Government of Indonesia has formed many puppet districts and also puppet provinces in order to break up the wholeness and unity of Indigenous Papuans.” (Yoman: p. Destruction of Ethnic Melanesia, Breaking the Silence of the History of Violence in West Papua, 2007: p. 224).
The Author himself has documentary evidence writing about military operations. If readers read my book entitled: ‘The Gate to Free Papua’ (Socratez Sofyan Yoman; 2000. Page. 78-86), it is very clearly found in this book, highly confidential documents released by the interior department Director General of the Office of National Unity and Community Protection (DITJEN KESBANG dan LINMAS) in official notes number: 578/ND/KESBANG/DIV/VI/2000, 9th June 2000 by radiogram Governor (Caretaker) head level 1 Irian Jaya, No. BB.091/POM/060200, dated june 2000, and No: 190/1671/SET/ dated 3rd June 2000. The primary goal is a plan and operation of regional conditioning, development of communication networks and the establishment of provinces and districts in Iran Jaya (Papua).
Implementing this operation of conditioning and expansion is the Interior Department, Department of Defence and Security, Department of Foreign Affairs, especially for diplomatic operations, Indonesian Police, Indonesian Military (TNI), the State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Bakin), Strategic National Intelligence Agency (BAIS ), SPAM, AD Hearquarters, ASTER, KASTER TNI, SINTEL Headquarters, National Police (POLRI), Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), and Special Forces Command (KOPASSUS), Regional Leaders Forum Iran Jaya (Paupa) Province and other provinces.
Another document is a document from the National Security Council Secretary General, Jakarta, May 27 and May 28, 2003 on ‘Strategy for Conflict Resolution with separatist contexts in Papua Province through a political approach to security’ (this document can be seen in my book: “Voice for the Voiceless” Dumma Socratez Sofyan Yoman: 2009; pg. 117-118).
These two documents show the face and militaristic character of the Indonesian Government that annexed and occupies West Papua, and colonises Indigenous occupants, Melanesian people through political engineering since May 1st, 1963, the 1969 Referendum, and legislation Act 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy to this day. After annexation, to this date West Papua is seen by the Indonesian Government without an interest in the principles of justice and humanity along with the future survival of the people – the owners, heirs to the country and land of West Papua. The Indonesian Government administers West Papua as a problematic region and conflict area that needs to be resolved by a security approach. Although a security approach is evidently a total failure and the cause of human rights violations that are ruthless and grieve the heart of God’s people.
The expansion of districts / cities and provinces on a large scale if viewed from requirements such as: population, territory, natural resources and human resources; from all of these requirements in relation to total population and the readiness of human resources it is very ironic. Because the total population of Indigenous Papuans is only 1.5 million that does not need many districts/cities and provinces throughout Papua. Many districts/cities and provinces also need human resources that can fulfil the rank and stratification to occupy positions – both structural and functional positions.
Consequences of the large-scale expansion of districts/cities and provinces in West Papua are:
- The sending of officials from outside Papua to occupy important and strategic positions when Indigenous people cannot yet fulfil the criteria of rank, skill, experience, level of education.
- The sending and coming of people from outside to take economic opportunities in the regional expansion and the marginalisation and destruction of Indigenous people. Mr Juan Mendez, UN Secretary General Special Adviser in the field of Prevention of Genocide, stated: “West Papua is one area that is very alarming because the indigenous population is in danger of annihilation”. Yale University, USA, and the University of Sydney released a report that in Papua there is ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Papuans occurring.
- Construction of military and police bases for reasons of national security along with security and safety of settlers.
- Dispossession of the people for reasons of building government offices.
- Appropriation of community land for the purpose of building large shops, malls, supermarkets, mega-hotels and restaurants.
- The destruction of mountains and hills of the people.
- Destruction of sago and palm trees as a resource for income and peoples’ lives.
- Destruction and pollution of water owned by original inhabitants.
The Indonesian government and security forces have failed to build and instil the ideologies of Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, The Unitary Republic of Indonesia, Unity in Diversity into Papua’s original inhabitants. On the contrary, the Government and the Indonesian security forces have been successfully built and strengthened ideology of West Papuan Independence by nurturing separatist stigma, rebellion and OPM. This is a fatal mistake made by the Government and security forces over the years. The approach of the Government and Security forces which does not respect human dignity, to this day has alienated the people’s hearts from Indonesia. The Indonesian government and security forces with violence have only managed to integrate (Papua) economically and politically into Indonesia. The Indonesian government really occupies, colonises and marginalises Papua’s original inhabitants.
Due to the failure of the Indonesian Government in Papua, Dr George Junus Aditjondro said: “The problems in Papua have been very difficult to resolve. Therefore, there is no other option but to follow the passionate demands of the people of Papua who want a referendum. And the Indonesian Government must immediately withdraw from Papua. Only a referendum can determine whether the Papuans still want to be part of Indonesia or not “(George’s Commentary at the launch of a book entitled:” West Papua: International Issues “, in the Kontras Office, Jakarta, Thursday, 11/3/2011).
“It’s only a matter if time, if we like it or not, want it or not, we will lose Papua because we have failed to capture the hearts of Papuans and this has been the problem from the beginning.” (Dr.Adnan Buyung Nasution, S.H. : source: Detiknews, Thursday, 16 December 2011).
“I know, I understand and also I’m aware that which I devote here. Therefore, if you are certain or not, believe or not, like or not, are happy or not, sooner or later West Papuans will gain independence and stand alone as one people and nation sovereign over their ancestor’s land. In this confidence and spirit, whatever the risk of people’s opinions and commentary, with firm believe and determination of conscience, I dedicate my knowledge to writing books of cultural history and every occurrence upon this land. So that the children and grandchildren of this nation, into the future, will learn that this nation has experienced a long history and long, bitter and unspeakable suffering perpetrated by the Indonesian Government.” (Ita Wakhu Purom, Numbay (Jayapura), West Papua, Thursday, June 9, 2011, 21:17 WP). This statement of faith has been immortalized in my 13th book entitled: “West Papua: An International Problem” (Yoman: 2011, p.4).
“Upon this rock I place the civilisation of Papuan people, although people possess high intelligence, reason and Marifa, they cannot lead this nation, this nation will rise up and lead itself” (Wasior, Manokwari, October 25, 1925, Rev.. IS Kijne ).
*Author: Chairman of the Board of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua.