Tag Archives: Richard Di Natale

Suspend military ties with Indonesia: Greens


Posted on 20. Oct, 2011 by RichardDiNatale in Media ReleaseWest Papua

Australian Greens Senator and spokesperson on West Papua, Richard Di Natale, is calling on the Australian government to suspend military cooperation with Indonesia.

Last night the Indonesian military (TNI) opened fire on the third West Papuan People’s Congress, arrested community leaders and hundreds more. There are reports from a single witness of nine delegates shot while trying to flee.

“This is the latest in a series of escalating acts of repression by the Indonesian military in West Papua,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The Australian government cannot sit on its hands while these appalling acts continue to occur.

“The Minister for Defence should immediately announce a suspension of defence cooperation with Indonesia, until this matter is properly investigated and the President has committed to open dialogue with Papuan leaders.

“The government should also pressure the Indonesian authorities to allow access by foreign journalists. The best protection the Papuans can hope for is the light of international scrutiny.

“In the meantime, the Australian government should send a fact-finding mission to the area and find out for itself what is going on.”

The Greens have sought full detail on the millions of dollars spent on Australia’s defence cooperation with Indonesia in the past.

“The government also needs to come clean on support for the Indonesian military. Australians would be horrified to know their money and their government supports human rights violations in West Papua, one of our nearest neighbours.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600



WESTPAPUAMEDIA.INFO and local sources

October 19, 2011

1400 JAYAPURA : Indonesian troops and police have amassed outside the Third Papuan Peoples‘ Congress in a show of force that credible sources arereporting is to forcibly break up a peaceful gathering of thousands of Papuans in Taboria oval (Zaccheus Field), Abepura, Jayapura, the capital of West Papua.

The Third Papuan People’s Congress is being held for the second time since Indonesia’s invasion in 1963. Papuan delegates openly discussed their rights to self-determination and the pathways to a referendum on the future of West Papua. Forkorus Yaboisembut, the chair of the Papuan Customary Council was quoted in Papuan media sources as saying that the Congress is “part of the struggle of indigenous Papuans to enforce their fundamental rights.” He argued that Papuans are not seeking to undermine or destroy Indonesia. however “we strive to uphold our fundamental rights, including political rights, including the right to independence as a nation…. And whatever be produced, the Government of Indonesia should able to appreciate it.”

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Photos and video sent live from Petapa Community security forces and West Papua Media stringers are showing a massive buildup of military hardware surrounding the conference venue, where up to 20,000 people have been gathering since October 16 to determine their pathway to self-determination. Occupying Indonesian military forces have made regular public pronouncements in recent days that they will not allow any gathering to threaten the unity of the Republic of Indonesia, and peaceful discussion is of this is also banned.
The congress is still continuing. According to witnesses the military presence is strong and fully armed with automatic weapons. Army Panser armed personnel carriers and Police Barracudas are present but they appear not to have made moves to physically break-up the gathering. However, the presence of the security forces seems to have deterred some from attending.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/30776329] [vimeo http://vimeo.com/30776103] [vimeo http://vimeo.com/30775444]

Sources at Congress from Church, West Papua National Authority, Dewan Adat Papua and West Papuan National Cmmittee representatives that they are all prepared to stay and continue to meet until finished. Not sure when that will be. They are in the process of discussing a transitional / parallel government structure.

Delegates of the conference have sent out a series of urgent messages to the international community demanding that act immediately to stop a brutal Indonesian military action that is set to forcibly breakup the historic gathering.

Markus Haluk, the leader of a Papuan youth organization, sent a plea via text message, saying that it’s an “emergency situation.” He wrote, “In some moments possibly we will be massacred and there will be a bloodbath.” Haluk asked international supporters to tell the Kapolda (Head of Police) and the Pangdam (Military Commander for Papua Erfi Triassunu) in Jayapura to retrieve their troops.

Text messages sent to the military commanders from international supporters demand “The world is watching the 3rd Papuan National Congress. Remove troops and police now. Let West Papuans exercise their human right to gather and discuss their future without violence”.

The Australian Greens have also expressed deep concern. “The Congress is a peaceful event, and the Papuan people have a right to assemble and discuss their future,” said Greens West Papua spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, from the Australian Parliament today. “To meet without threat of violence is a fundamental human right that all citizens enjoy.”

Senator Di Natale has also been in contact with the Indonesia Embassy in Canberra today to convey the concern.

“No level of violence is acceptable at a peaceful gathering,” added Senator Di Natale. “The authorities will have to answer to the world for any bloodshed that occurs.”

Papuan activists who declined to be identified have requested that international supporters telephone the chiefs of Police and the Army (Kapolda – +62 811 950376 and Pangdam TNI +62 811136522) to tell them to withdraw their forces immediately

The world is watching Papua: Greens

Posted on 19. Oct, 2011 by RichardDiNatale in Media ReleaseWest Papua

The Australian Greens today urged the Indonesian authorities to show restraint at the 3rd Papuan National Congress in Jayapura, and warned them that the world is watching what occurs.

“The Congress is a peaceful event, and the Papuan people have a right to assemble and discuss their future,” said Greens West Papua spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, from the Australian Parliament today. “To meet without threat of violence is a fundamental human right that all citizens enjoy.”

The Senator’s remarks were in response to reports that a heavy police and paramilitary presence was converging on Taboria Oval, the site of the Congress, and that violence seemed imminent.

“No level of violence is acceptable at a peaceful gathering,” added Senator Di Natale. “The authorities will have to answer to the world for any bloodshed.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

Greens call for release of West Papuans in custody


 by RichardDiNatale in Media ReleaseWest Papua

Greens’ spokesperson for West Papua, Richard Di Natale, has expressed concern over the arrests of West Papuan activists and is calling for their immediate release.

“The Greens are concerned for West Papuan human rights defenders, Henok Dori, Noak Kandipi and Melkianus Bleskadit, who were all arrested on their way to a conference last week, and are still in custody in Jayapura and Manokwari,” said Senator Di Natale.

“We understand that some of their colleagues have been released and we call for these West Papuans to be released.”

The conference was a preparatory event for the important Congress being held this weekend. The Congress brings together different human rights, faith and student groups across West Papua to discuss strategies for bringing peace and justice to the troubled Indonesian province.

“West Papuans have a right to meet and discuss their own future. This congress is a peaceful assembly. We ask the Indonesian government to stand by its stated support for the rights of its residents to move freely and assemble peacefully.”

The situation in West Papua remains critical, with a striking worker at the Freeport McMoran copper and gold mine shot dead this week, and further reports today of police shooting at a student dormitory in Jayapura.

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg             0457 901 600

Greens concerned over escalation of conflict in West Papua

HomeGreens concerned over escalation of conflict in West Papua

 in Media ReleaseWest Papua

Greens’ spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, has expressed his deep concern for those involved in the violent clashes at the Grasberg mine site in West Papua, where ongoing pay disputes have led to one protester being killed and eight others injured by armed security forces.

“I was saddened to hear of this worker’s death and the injuries sustained by others protesting,” said Senator Di Natale.

What was a peaceful strike became violent when Indonesian police opened fire on the Freeport Mine workers. This conflict comes on the back of news that ten West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura last week for being in possession of material that featured the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag.

“There needs to be a thorough investigation into the shooting and acts of violence that occurred against ordinary workers.”

“I am deeply concerned that the conflict in West Papua is escalating . The only long term solution is to ensure that the West Papuan people are free to determine their own future.”