Jubi: Papuans Must Stand Up to Fight

 April 29, 2015

Students held the event ‘In Memoriam of Arnold Ap’ in front of Cenderawasih University Cultural  - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of students, activists, journalists and young people who are members of Papua Cultural Care Generation held the event ‘In Memoriam of Arnold Ap’ in front of Cenderawasih University Cultural Museum to commemorate 31 years after the death of legendary Papuan musician Arnold Ap, who was killed by the military on 26 April, 1984.

The Papua Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran (BUK/Papua Unite for Truth) Coordiantor, Peneas Lokbere said long after the murder of Arnold Ap Papuans continued to be victimised in many ways.

“Papuans shouldn’t forget their culture. Papuans must stand up to fight. Arnold Ap was killed by the state, but the Papuans’ spirit to fight should not be stuck in here. The struggle must go on,” he said when delivering messages in the murder day of Arnold Ap last Sunday in Cenderawasih University Cultural Museum.

Meanwhile, Papuan human right activist Rosa Moiwend said the Papua young generation today should not forget their culture. Papuans must take their culture as their identity.  Kork (Frizzy Rasta Community) Coordinator Teddy Pekei added Papuans must rebuild their identity through its culture and arts. Arnold Ap has showed that every Papuans must grasp their culture as the foundation of Papua nation.
“Arnold Ap teaches us Papuans not to discriminate every tribe and nation in the land of Papua. He showed it through his songs that compiled from various Papuan languages,” he said.

After thirty-one years, the Government of Indonesia has not realising that the murder of Arnold Ap and Eddy Mofu by the security force is the planned-murder and paralysed towards Papuan identity and character of culture.

In commemorating the thirty-one years of death of Arnold Ap, the President Joko Widodo is urged to apologise to Papuan people for the crime and violation against the human rights and the paralyse of the character of Papuan culture by State’s apparatus (Military/Police) in Papua.

While the Papua Provincial Government is asked to support and assist the development of Mambesak (folk) music as part of Papuan culture and Papuans unification as well as to renovate Arnold Ap and Eddy Mofu’s grave where located in Tanah Hitam in respecting them. (Arnold Belau)

Demonstration rejects MRP and criticises GKI Synod

JUBI, 8 March 2011

Several hundred people took part in a demonstration outside the offices of the governor of Papua and the Papua provincial legislative assembly office criticising the position taken by one of the chairmen of the Synod of the GKI church in Papua, the Rev. Yemina Krey, STh.

The demonstrators said that the Rev. Yemina had previously expressed
her rejection of the election of a second-term MRP along with other
denominations, yet she had now signed a recommendation put out by
several church leaders.

Her views were highlighted in a poster carried by some of the
demonstrators accusing her of now doing something that was deceitful for the Papuan people.

The poster accused her of selling out the indigenous Papuan people.

Other banners carried by the demonstrators bore slogans that are
frequently seen and heard in Papua: Special Autonomy is a Total Failure; the Papuan People’s Right to Life under Threat; Halt the Election and Swearing in of the MRP as a puppet of Jakarta; and Jakarta must Speedily Respond to the 11 Recommendations adopted by the MRP and Papuan People’s Representatives in June 2010.

The calls rejecting special autonomy and rejecting the new MRP came from a number of local groups taking part in the demonstration, among others: Parjal, the Street Parliament; the West Papua National Committee, KNPB, Political Prisoners of Papua – tapol-napol; and Front Pepera PB, and the West Papuan People’s Front for Self-Determination.

The demonstrators first gathered outside the office of the governor of
Papua where they presented their aspirations. From there they went to the office of the Papuan provincial legislative assembly later in the
afternoon for the same purpose.

Comprehending West Papua: A report on the CPACS conference in Sydney and surrounding events

University of Sydney Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

Comprehending Papua Conference

February 22-23, 2011

Comprehending West Papua: A report on the CPACS conference in Sydney and surrounding events


“We are Melanesian, not Indonesian!” and “Free Filip Karma!” chanted a group of West Papuans from around Australia – some refugees, some studying in Australia on scholarships – who had gathered in front of the Indonesian embassy in Maroubra, Sydney, on February 22, 2011. This demonstration urging Indonesia to free West Papuan political prisoners kicked off a week of events in Sydney bringing together academics and other advocates to focus on the status of West Papuan human rights.


Later that evening, a cocktail reception hosted by the West Papua Project at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS), University of Sydney, followed by a dinner for conference participants, marked a merry beginning to a serious conference on Comprehending West Papua (February 23-4), the sixth in a series of conferences on the topic held by CPACS over a decade.


The conference was opened the following day by Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees and a performance group from the West Papuan community in Melbourne, both of whom graced the conference, respectively, with West Papua-centred revolutionary poetry and songs of inspiration. Up to 80 people attended the conference which convened at International House, with presenters from overseas (The Netherlands, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and Vanuatu), and interstate (Victoria and the ACT). Papers from in absentia participants (Paul Barber and Rosa Moiwend from TAPOL based in Surrey, John Saltford from London and Jim Elmslie from South Australia) were presented on their behalf, and Eben Kirksey, currently based in Florida, addressed the conference via video link.


The conference received good media coverage prompting an op ed in the Sydney Morning Herald by Hamish McDonald (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/a-worm-inside-the-new-); several ABC radio interviews http://www.abc.net.au/ra/asiapac/stories/m1965274.asx; a New Matilda article (http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/03/does-west-papua-have-publicity-problemINTERVIEW), and coverage by Radio New Zealand International and SBS.


Paper highlights covered new interpretations of self-determination, from Akihisa Matsuno, in light of the concept of legitimate sovereignty (rather than decolonization) that guided the independence successes of East Timor, Kosovo and (soon to be) South Sudan; a presentation by Nick Chesterfield on the opportunities afforded for West Papua by new social media currently carrying revolutions in the Arab world; a spectacular analysis of the Australian Museum’s Sentani bark cloth art production by Yvonne Carrillo-Huffman; the outlaying of precise political goals for achieving independence and for post-independence governance by Jacob Rumbiak; and an astute reappraisal of the anti-Act of Free Choice campaigns that took place in West Papua in the 1960s by Dutch historian Pieter Drooglever. The entire collection of papers will be gathered into a book to be published later this year.


West Papuan political positions were represented by Rex Rumakiek and Otto Ondawame from the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Jacob Rumbiak and Herman Wainggai from the West Papua National Authority, and Franzalbert Joku and Nick Messet from IGSSARPRI (the Independent Group Supporting the Special Autonomous Region of Papua Within the Republic of Indonesia). Passions ran high as discussions on the different political positions (essentially support for independence or integration) predictably emerged with so much at stake for all, but a respectful atmosphere reigned and peaceful dialogue between parties transpired.

The conference closed with the launch of a beautiful short film titled Mambefor Dance directed by West Papuan Melanie Kapisa, showcasing two young children learning West Papuan dance from imitating bird of paradise rituals. Dr Jude Philp from the Macleay Museum also generously showed conference participants around the University of Sydney’s West Papua collection donated in the 1970s and housed at Fisher Library. Finally, conference participants signed an open letter initiated by Human Rights Watch to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, requesting that the prohibitive restrictions on access to West Papua be lifted for researchers, NGOs and foreign media.

That evening at the Amnesty International offices in Sydney, Indonesian Solidarity launched a campaign to free West Papuan political prisoners. The launch was addressed by Human Rights Watch’s Andreas Harsono with a powerful presentation documenting Filip Karma’s imprisonment, and John Dowd, QC, President of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Australia. The week closed on Saturday 26 February with the annual national meeting of the Australia West Papua Association at which campaign decisions to support West Papuan self-determination for 2011-2012 were decided upon, together with West Papuan advisers (and members) Rex Rumakiek, Jacob Rumbiak, and Otto Ondawame.


Cammi Webb-Gannon camelliabell at gmail.com;

US paying serious attention to Papua: Awom

US paying serious attention to Papua

(Bintang Papua)  According to the moderator of the Papuan  Presidium Council, Herman
Awom, the hearing held at the US Congress was of great significance for
the Papuan people. 'This was the first time in 48 years that Papua was
discussed on an international forum. In our dialogue  we urged the US to
press Indonesia to open dialogue on the question of the failure of
special autonomy, OTSUS and the Papuan people's rejection of  OTSUS.

A number of Papuan leaders said that they would continue to demand
dialogue as the solution to the Papuan problem, and the holding of a

Awom said that OTSUS had failed to prevent the marginalisation of the
Papuan  people. It had led to large-scale migration which was
intensifying the marginalisation of the Papuan people. 'Dialogue with
Indonesia should be mediated by a neutral third party, with the two
sides recognised as equals, as was the case between Indonesia and Aceh.
'For us, there is no other way forward than freedom.'

Forkorus Yoboisembut said that genocide in happening in Papua.' While no
large-scale killings are occurring, genocide is occurring gradually.
Indonesia should allow foreign observers and  foreign journalists to
visit Papua to prove to them that genocide is not occurring,' he said.

As regard s the US position that supports the NKRI and regards OTSUS as
the best solution, he said he understands that this is in order for the
US to preserve good relations with Indonesia. 'But we called on the US
not to sacrifice the Papuan people for a second time. The hearing at the
US Congress was an important development, bearing in mind that we were
not yet a state that could enter into dialogue.


KNPB to continue to press for a referendum – plus comment

KNPB will continue to press for Referendum

Bintang Papua, 30 September 2010

Jayapura: The spokesman  of the Komite Nasional Papua Barat – National Committee of West Papua, Mako Tabuni, speaking at a press conference, said that political dynamics were moving fast at present at a time when calls for a referendum are spreading throughout  Papua. In a democracy, this is an issue that must be accepted by the Indonesian state and the Indonesian people, together with the Papuan people.

The KNPB, as a national medium of the views of the Papuan people will continue to press for a referendum as the final solution to resolve the political status of West Papua, because this can resolve all the problems in Papua and it represents the best possible solution for the Papuan people. Without a referendum, the Papuan people’s problems will never be resolved.

He said that since Indonesia calls itself a democratic state based on the Pancasila, it can surely understand why the Papuan people are calling for a referendum. Many human rights abuses have been committed in the past and have persisted for 48 years, during which time the military forces have directly or indirectly caused great suffering for the Papuan people.

With the issue of a referendum having become so heated, the KNPB will continue to struggle for this demand.

With regard to the hearing held recently (in Washington)  which was attended by a number of Papuan leaders, including the chairman of DAP, Forkorus Yoboisembu, Herman Awom and others,  nothing has been forthcoming from the US suggesting that it does not support a referendum.

Mako Tabuni said that he is still awaiting reports about the activities of Papuans such as Nicolas Messet and Albert Yoku who were also present at the congressional hearing, nor has there been any official report regarding the results of the hearings. [Note: Verbatim reports of all the discussion have been widely circulated.]

Regarding telephone communications that have been reported by irresponsible elements that have been reported by the media in Jayapura to the effect that the issue of referendum has been rejected, these are quite untrue and provocative, because there has been no official announcement from the US Congress to the effect that a referendum is unacceptable.

Even if that were the case, the KNPB and the  Papuan people will continue to struggle for their political demand because this is their right, and it is a matter that cannot be determined by the Indonesian elite.

[Comment:  If the KNBP says that it is waiting for the decision of the US Congress in response to the call for a referendum, this reflects a misunderstanding of how the US congressional hearing mechanism works. The hearing was itself an unprecedented event, the first time that a US congressional body held a public discussion on the question of West Papua. The verbatim reports of the hearing, including all the testimonies and the discussions between the chairman of the Asia-Pacific sub-committee and members of the audience have been widely circulated, as well as the views of the US government. Everything is in the public domain. The US Congress itself cannot be expected to make a statement on an issue that was discussed by one of its sub-committees.

It now depends on organisations like the KNPB which support the call for a referendum in West Papua to translate these documents into Indonesian so that they become widely known in West Papua and Indonesia. By doing this, they can strengthen support for a referendum in Indonesia and internationally while at the same time revealing the strength of feeling about the issue to the Indonesian government. Arguably, the sudden decision of the SBY government to dispatch a large team of ministers to West Papua for the purposes of making an  ‘evaluation’ is a sign that the government is beginning to understand the strength of feeling and support for the West Papuan people’s demand.  TAPOL]

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