Tag Archives: Selpius Bobii

MSG SNARED IN A SCENARIO OF DECEPTION

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii

January 27, 2014

(apologies for delay in publication)

In the case of Papua, the State of Indonesia allows all means to be used  – with nothing too extreme – to ensure their continued hold on Papua within the Republic.  The ‘deceptive approach’ together with military might are Indonesia’s two preferred methods, but there’s no end to the list of other means also systematically applied.  Indonesia continuously deceives the people of Papua with it’s words and through wrapping its lies in a range of political packets such as Special Autonomy, the so-called accelerated development program UP4B, the accelerated division into new provinces/city areas/ regencies and so forth. Indonesia also intentionally deceives the international community at every level, whether individuals, NGO’s or foreign governments. We have just seen again a scenario of deception  being played out at high levels internationally by the State of Indonesia, this time aimed at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

 In June 2013, Indonesia through its Minister for Coordinating Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto, invited the MSG to send a delegation to Papua to see and hear for themselves what the reality of the situation was in Papua. That invitation was extended by Suyanto to the then Chairperson of the MSG, the Prime Minister of Fiji whilst in Suva.  It then transpired that the MSG member Foreign Ministers made a joint recommendation at the time of determination of the MSG Summit Agenda on 16 June 2013, that discussion regarding Papua’s application to become a member of the MSG (that application being in the name of the WPNCL, the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation) be postponed. The matter was nevertheless discussed at the MSG Summit, with the outcome that a final decision on Papua’s application would await a visit by the MSG State Foreign Ministers to Indonesia.

In the MSG Summits results as recorded in the Communique at points 20 /21, it was noted that West Papua still had an opportunity to achieve self determination.  The Meeting also stated its serious concern regarding continuing human rights violations being committed by Indonesia against indigenous Papuans. A time-line was  provided at point 21 regarding Papua’s application for membership within the MSG, with a commitment for a decision on the matter being guaranteed no later than 6 months from the date of the Summit following receipt of a report from a visit to Indonesia by a MSG Foreign Minister delegation.

Indonesia was successful  in their efforts to have the determination regarding Papua’s application for MSG membership postponed at the Summit. Following which Indonesia then took advantage of the 6 months period and undertook a range of approaches to influence the outcome of the situation. Indonesia made certain invitations to each of the different MSG members individually which would open the way to be able to influence them and at the same time purposely worked to increase the level of bilateral work relations with each nation to also influence the outcome of Papua’s MSG application.

Although an invitation was made in June 2013 by the Indonesian Minister to the MSG Chairperson to send a visiting delegation to Indonesia, the follow up actions required by Indonesia to make that a reality didn’t occur within the 6 months time limit set by the MSG leadership. Shortly after that 6 months had expired the Government of Indonesia then in January 2014 provided the formal invitation required for a delegation to visit Indonesia including to Jakarta and the two areas in Indonesia inhabited by Melanesian peoples being Papua and Ambon.

Indonesia carefully planned a scenario to ensure the visiting MSG Foreign Ministers would only  be able to see and hear what Indonesia wanted them to.  The Vanuatu Prime Minister on reading the details of the proposed visit strongly voiced Vanuatu’s objection with fellow MSG members also wanting to respond to Indonesia’s invitation. Indonesia’s invitation was blatantly and totally designed to suit their own interests. As a result Vanuatu was unwilling to send its Foreign Minister with the group to Indonesia. The same response was taken by the Kanaky. Vanuatu and the Kanaky members therefore only sent persons to monitor the visit but not as delegation members. As a result there were only in fact 3 members of the group representing the MSG.

The MSG Foreign Minister Delegation arrived in Papua on 13 January 2014 at 5.20 a.m when the people of Papua were still asleep (with the correct time of arrival having been hidden from the community before their arrival). Such an hour of arrival for official State visitors is absolutely unheard of in Indonesia and is not in accordance with State Protocol.

The Delegation was met by the Head of Indonesian Police in Papua and the Head of the Jayapura Kabupaten (Regency). From that moment onwards the group was escorted under very tight control by the Indonesian Military, Police and National Intelligence. Throughout the entire visit to Papua the MSG Delegation was not allowed any access whatsoever to key Papuan figures and leaders of any of the components of the Papuan Struggle for liberation.   The Delegation was only permitted to meet with Indonesian Government Officials, at both the national and regional level and particular supporters of Indonesia.  Even the Papuan Legislative Assembly (DPRP) and the Papuan People’s Council (MRP)  – as official bodies under the Indonesian structures – were not invited to meet with the MSG Delegation. Indonesia instead invited a few hand-picked members of the MRP and DPRP to be involved, who had previously chosen to side with Indonesia (in terms of interests they represent). MRP and DPRP certainly voiced their objection at not being allowed to meet the MSG Delegation, but to no avail.
When the community realised that the Delegation had already arrived and a crowd gathered to show their concern in a peaceful demonstration, combined Indonesian Military and Police forces immediately forced the gathering to disperse. In so doing they arrested 46 indigenous Papuans for being part of a peaceful demonstration.  Following the Delegation flying out of Jayapura at 3.00pm,  the 46 persons were then released. That action was part of the Indonesia creating an impression for the international Delegation that all was just fine in Papua.  When the reality is that was is occurring inside Papua is a humanitarian emergency, intentionally hidden from the world. A situation that is horrifying indeed.

The MSG Delegation on arriving that same day at Ambon in the nearby Maluku Islands of Indonesia, were allowed to be welcomed in a way that was in accordance with the usual traditional welcome for State visitors of such stature. This was but another strategy by Indonesia to deceive the MSG representatives that those persons of Melanesian decent living in Indonesia were happy and well and that Indonesia had provided for their good welfare.

In the meeting between the representatives of the Provincial level of the Indonesian Government in Papua and the MSG delegation, the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe encouraged the meeting to join his government in forgetting the past in Papua. He said that now was the era of reformation and that an opportunity had been given to develop Papua through the Special Autonomy arrangement (which was presently being changed to become Special Autonomy Plus) as the solution to development in Papua (source: Broadcast RRI Jayapura 14 January 2014).

The MSG Delegates were indeed deceived by the scenario which Indonesia created for their arrival.  The Delegates themselves were recorded as stating that Special Autonomy in Papua had brought about good results (source: Broadcast RRI Jayapura 14 January 2014). How could Special Autonomy possibly have had ‘good results’ when it provided absolutely no partiality in favour of indigenous Papuans?  Where it has resulted in no change to the reality that indigenous Papuans have no protection from the State let alone any empowerment under the program!  Special Autonomy in Papua has born fruit but for Indonesia, not for Papua. it has ‘successfully’ created discrimination, marginalisation and injustice towards indigenous Papuans, leading further towards them being made a minority in their ancestors land, creating violence in the land and humanitarian atrocities against indigenous Papuans.  With the end consequence of moving things towards the annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

In accordance with their visit itinerary, on 15 January 2014 the 3 MSG delegates met with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to sign a number of agreements to work together.  The MSG Delegation will now proceed to prepare a report of their visit for the MSG leadership which will then enable their decision regarding Papua’s application for membership. If the application is upheld West Papua immediately will have official and permanent membership status within the MSG Forum. If on the other hand however it is not upheld, then Papua will  receive Observer status only within the MSG.
The MSG Delegates in their visit to Indonesia met only with the Government of Indonesia at its different levels and a few members of the community who were known to be in support of Indonesia’s continued occupation of Papua.  The Delegation did not meet with a single key figure or leader from the Papuan community who represented the mass movement for Papuan independence.  Accordingly the report that will be provided by the three MSG Delegates to the MSG Leadership will be unavoidably biased. Applying human logic alone it can be easily predicted that MSG’s decision is going to favour Indonesia, unless there is some miracle of God to prevent that.

Indonesia’s engineering of a number of scenarios intended to deceive, are aimed firstly at ensuring the application of Papua to become a member of the MSG fails; secondly, at ensuring Indonesia’s colonial domination and hold on Papua continued to be defended; thirdly at ensuring that the terrible suffering of the indigenous people of Papua was prolonged to bring about an end to the ethnic Papuan race so that Indonesia can be rid of any possible resistance once and for all; and though it might not be obvious to some,  to destroy oneness and good working partnerships between the respective nations of the Melanesia region whilst instead strengthening Indonesia’s partnerships with each of those respective nations individually.

According to the very well respected long-term Papuan political prisoner of conscience Filep J.S Karma (who presently continues to be detained in the Abepura State Prison), “ The Republic of Indonesia is as a virus within the MSG. That virus is destroying the good partnerships that have existed until this time within the MSG Forum.” It is Karma’s hope that the MSG Forum would act as quickly as possible to expel this Indonesian virus. He predicted that if they failed to, then the virus would succeed to destroy the solidarity that has existed until now between the nations of the Melanesian region.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA, and is a Political Prisoner.  This article is  Written from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia

BOBII: THE TRILOGY OF DECEPTION IN PAPUA

Opinion / Analysis

by Selpius Bobii

January 19, 2014

There’s no means outside what’s acceptable in terms of methods the Indonesian Government allows to be used to deal with the movement of the Struggle for Independence of the nation (people) of Papua.  One such means is the practice of deceit.  It’s not only through people’s words but rather deception is also seen through a range of government developmental policies.

The majority of officials at the various levels of government in Papua are themselves deceived by the cunning of Jakarta. But then the officials of the Papuan Provincial government in turn also imitate the style of intentional deception as practised by the Guru (Teacher) – the Central Indonesian Government – as the Papuan Provincial government deceives its own people, the indigenous people of Papua.  There is as it were, a continual chain of deception with Jakarta tricking Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papua tricking its own people.. A ‘trilogy of deception’.

The tactics of this  deception as being practised by the Indonesian central government towards Papua are being nicely wrapped of course, so it’s not blatantly obvious.  Consider for instance the present rapid expansion of new government administrative areas under the new package of special autonomy for the region.  An expansion that happens to be not even in accordance with the conditions under which special autonomy was formed in the first place!  As at mid 2013  there were 2 provinces in Papua and 41 regencies / city administrative areas. However by the end of 2013 on the instruction of the Indonesian President on 27 December 2013, there was approval for the creation of 3 new provinces and 26 new regencies / city areas formed, bringing the total of government administrative areas in Papua to 74 regencies and 5 provinces.

It’s interesting to compare that number to the formation of new regencies in all other areas from Sabang at the tip of Aceh to Ambon in the west – from one end of Indonesia to the other – throughout 2013. The combined total for all other areas totalled a mere 32 new regencies, compared to 26  in Papua alone! In spite of the fact that the population in Papua is a mere 4 million persons compared to  eastern, western and central Java where there are populations in each respective area of more than 50 million people. The political prisoner Agus Kraar commented in this regard “ That means the people of Papua are really and truly drowning in accordance with the words of Sendius Wonda and Reverend Socrates Yoman (of the Baptist Church) in their book entitled ‘The Drowning and Annihilation of Ethnic Melanesians’ (Tenggelamnya Rumpun Melanesia dan Pemusnahan Etnis Melanesia.)

Until this time Jakarta has continued to manipulate and deceive Papuans with so many promises and sweet offers, yet the reality when it turns out is bitter and has the effect of quietly killing the people and ensuring there will be no continuation of life for indigenous Papuans over time.  The Special Autonomy deal for example has now become like the logo for systemic humanitarian evil in Papua.  Interestingly it’s known of in Jakarta (NGO community) as ‘The Papuan Deceit’ (in Indonesian, ‘Jakarta Tipu Papua”).

There are sadly also some Papuans who chase after government positions which bring respect and wealth.  Some of which use the issue of Papuan Independence like a bargaining position to further their own, or perhaps their group’s, interests. In fact the Writer considers that if it were not for such persons, the rest of those in the Struggle for Papua would undoubtedly go on to in time achieve independence for Papua. Those persons using the issue of Papuan Independence for their own gain are not persons who have any determining influence on the Papuan Independence Struggle but rather mere ‘Political Prostitutes’.  Jakarta has been fooled into thinking that are persons of influence / decision-making power and in this way some Papuans are imitating the teacher and actually deceiving Jakarta.  This is the second level of deceit in the Trilogy.

Then there’s the third level in the picture, with Papuans deceiving Papuans. Shameful as it is indeed there are certain Papuans deceiving their fellow indigenous Papuans. Papuans themselves in some instances are campaigning that the opening up of new regencies or provinces will increase welfare for Papuans.  Yet the reality always proves different and quite the contrary, as the opening up of new administrative regions in Papua has been proven to act as a bridge opening the way for discrimination, the indigenous people being made a minority and human rights violations. All of which have contributed to the consequence of the slow but sure annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

There are also certain Papuans deceiving fellow indigenous Papuans during election campaigns, whether for Head of regencies or Province, general elections for the Regional Legislative Assembly, or the national presidential election.  They campaign that their candidate will declare independence for Papua or will lift the level of welfare to the Papuan community.  Yet that never eventuates and promises are never fulfilled. Such  persons play a key role in becoming the hands and feet of the Republic of Indonesia in the Indonesia’s colonial domination of the indigenous people of Papua.

Deception has become the tradition of the State of Indonesia, like its ’hallmark’.  A glance at the history of Indonesia shows clearly that much of its history is a series of engineered situations that have involved in each instance high level deceit.  Indonesian deception was first applied against Papua in the 1960’s with the annexation of Papua into Indonesia and has continued unrelentlessly ever since.

In the 1960’s Indonesia succeeded to deceive a small number of Papuans into thinking the State was well-meaning , though post occupation by Indonesia brought the sudden realisation of the true character and demeanour of Indonesia.  Papuans have had over 50 years to learn about the character of Indonesia from its unlimited cruelty to the people of Papua. They have allowed, and in fact encouraged, constant violations of Papuans’ human rights, have robbed Papuans of their natural resources, have murdered and displayed enormous cruelty to the indigenous people of Papua.  Yet still to this day there are some Papuans who are fooled and who continue faithfully to echo the interests of the Republic of Indonesia.

Such is the Trilogy with Jakarta deceiving Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papuans deceiving Papuans. A ‘Trilogy of Deception!

A Trilogy that has its roots in Indonesian political practices.  Roots which are extremely complicated to pull out once they have taken hold, or even to lessen the impact thereof. (Unless of course there is a miracle from God.) Hence why until this time Papua remains under the colonial domination of Indonesia. There is simply no other way for Papua to escape from the tactics of the  Indonesian Government’s deception other than for  Papua to become independent.

The time has come when every indigenous person and every Papuan sympathiser wherever they may be, be they workers within the Indonesian system or outside those system, need to work to develop Papuan national unity’ Each needs to bring themselves back on-track so we are all heading together towards the total liberation and restoration of the nation of Papua.

Such deceptive practices are not the tradition of the ancestors of the people of Papua.  Rather that is the style and tradition of the Indonesian Government! Sadly at this time such a style is being inherited by some local government officials operating in Papua. To those Papuan Officials who have allowed themselves to become involved in this Trilogy of Deception, it is dearly hoped they will stop prostituting themselves in Indonesia’s dirty games.  May all be aware not to imitate this style of deception!  The tradition of Papuan ancestors is of honesty and where there are major problems they are to be taken to the traditional customary council for application of their wisdom so that goodness and peace can reign.

When will Indonesia stop the deception?  So that rather we can move together forward with dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party so as to bring an end to the problems of Papua peacefully.  In the interests of upholding the dignity of humanity in Papua above all other interests.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA, and is a Political Prisoner who has  written this article for West Papua Media from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua.

Bobii: HAVING REACHED THE EDGE …….THE MSG COMMITMENT

January 12, 2014

Opinion/ Analysis

By Selpius Bobii

 The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an official forum to develop friendship, harmony and the sense of family between Melanesian nations, with a mind to develop peace and prosperity in the region.

The MSG Forum is in truth not only something of those Melanesian nations which already have independence, but rather it is also something of those Melanesian nations that have not yet had their sovereign independence recognised and which continue to struggle to that end.

Accordingly there exists an obligation by the members of the MSG to be ready to receive as members those Melanesian nations (peoples) that have not in the past not had that opportunity; and secondly an obligation to defend the call for independence for those Melanesian peoples struggling for recognition of their sovereignty.

This critical role of the MSG lies within the framework of upholding the commission of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights together with other international laws including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the opening sections of each of these covenants and declarations, the right to self-determination of all indigenous peoples of the world is referred to.

The preamble of the Constitution of the MSG states the obligation of the MSG member states  to defend the right to self-determination of all Melanesian peoples which have not yet received full independence.  International legal determinations together with the MSG’s legal foundation, together give legitimacy to the MSG forum to defend Melanesian peoples (nations) that are struggling for full independence.  Such legal determinations can on occasion however give rise to divisions within the MSG itself due to differing opinions of members and can even threaten to divide the MSG. This may arise when a non-Melanesian nation’s control and colonial domination over a certain Melanesian people is perceived to be at risk and that nation reacts accordingly, resulting in different responses from respective Melanesian nations.

There is of course a code of ethics for international association between nations (for instance the respect of another nation’s sovereignty), however notwithstanding there also needs to be a greater awareness worldwide that independence is the right of all nations of peoples on this earth. That is stated both at international law and within the very law that applies to the MSG and these laws create a legal obligation to that end.  How much more important in the case of  peoples whose very continued existence is threatened by the colonial power!  Such is the case for the people of Papua where colonial domination by the Republic of Indonesia is leading to annihilation of the indigenous people of the land.

In the interests of mutual rights, justice and human dignity, MSG and other nations of the earth together with UN have both the legal and moral obligation to give an opportunity to those  peoples (nations) in the world that have not yet received independence to have their sovereignty legally recognised. It is really urgent that the MSG, UN and other nations of the world act on this obligation such that the position of all nations of the world may be on a level plane with no one nation able to continue to colonise and dominate another. This is absolutely critical in enabling progress towards the end goal of peace and prosperity for all peoples in the world and not just for a privileged few.

It was on the basis of this international commitment and the preamble to the Constitution of the MSG, that the MSG leadership at its 19th Summit in Noumea from 17-21 June 2013 made a decision that was all important in terms of the political and humanitarian status of Papua. Their commitment in regards to the indigenous people of Papua was clearly stated in points 20/21 of the Communiqué of the MSG, which is itself a valid and legal document. That decision was binding on all members of the MSG without exception and it is the obligation of all members of the MSG to respect and act in accordance with that decision. It will give great hope and joy to not only the people of Papua but also countless others, if every leader of the MSG is able to maintain their attitude and actions such that they are in accordance with this decision of the MSG.  In-keeping with that decision, to defend Papua’s sovereignty through official channels of the UN, by mediation between Papua and Indonesia and through dialogue regarding the political and legal status of Papua together with other problems.

The commitment of the MSG leadership is so closely tied to the issue of Papua and is now at the very edge and being seriously tested. The realities seen to date are that:

  1. There are certain members of the MSG that have not wholeheartedly respected and implemented the decision of the MSG leadership on 21 June 2013.
  1. There has been observed a lack of consistence of certain members of the MSG in regards to their commitment to the decision in Noumea and in fact there has been observed since that date an increase in the extent to which those particular MSG members have been working together in partnership with the State of Indonesia.
  1. The state of (1-2) above are a direct result  of Indonesia playing its ‘two-way’ political games; of continuing to carry out a range of operations aimed at suppressing the movement and activities of the Papuan Independence Movement, whilst at the same time increasing its level of campaigning and diplomacy towards certain members of the MSG.  (With Indonesia’s efforts in diplomacy have also been supported by a range of other ‘attractive offers’).
  1. Indonesia has also requested support of governments of other nations in this regard including both Australia and New Zealand, appealing to them to influence members of the MSG against supporting Papua’s application to the MSG.
  1.  Indonesia did not facilitate the agreed-on visit to Jakarta and Papua by an MSG delegation of Foreign Ministers within the 6 months time deadline from 21 June 2013 in accordance with the MSG decision.
  1. With the 6 months limit requirement of the MSG decision now passed, Indonesia has now on 11 January 2014 facilitated the visit of a MSG foreign minister delegation to Jakarta.
  1. Efforts have been made by Indonesia to prevent this MSG Delegation from visiting Papua during its visit to Indonesia.
  1. If it eventuates that the MSG Delegation is finally allowed to visit Papua during this present visit, then it’s highly likely that the Delegation will be prevented by Indonesia from meeting with key Papuan leaders and the leaders of the different components of the Papuan Liberation Movement.
  1.  All of the Indonesia Government’s efforts referred to above, have been made with the aim of causing Papua’s application to the MSG to fail.

At this time all peoples throughout Melanesia together with those in international solidarity, are keenly watching to see what steps and political direction will be taken by the MSG. Will the MSG maintain its earlier commitment and attitude on the Papuan issue or back down? Will Indonesia allow the Delegation to visit Papua at this time and allow them access to the key figures of the Papuan Independence Struggle including those currently imprisoned or will Indonesia block that access? Why be afraid?  Is not God with us?

This article has been written from behind prison bars for the purpose of strengthening our hearts and our faith in regards to the MSG Forum.  Let us remain strong and perseverant faced with this test.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & Papuan Freedom Political Detainee held in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura

BRINGING AN END TO THE CONFLICT IN PAPUA THROUGH JAKARTA-PAPUA DIALOGUE

Opinion / Analysis

By: Selpius Bobii

December 31, 2013

Peace is critical to the continuation of life for human beings, though we find it hard to achieve in even our everyday lives. West Papuan Nehemia Yarinap stated that “Christ Jesus came to bring peace to the earth, however the characteristics of humans are such that they sometimes fail to reach peace and truth due to acting in the interests of political economics, oppressing other nations of peoples in the name of peace. At this time in the modern world, there are  powerful nations oppressing and usurping the rights of other nations.” Yarinap’s points to the annexation of the sovereign independence of the nation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, commenting “ to realise peace and justice in Papua so many have sacrificed themselves and continue to sacrifice their lives just as Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to bring peace to humans on this earth….. Christmas reminds all people about peace and speaks to us that those characteristics that oppress other nations must change.”(1)

The dynasty of tyranny of Indonesia is now firmly established in Papua. In all areas of life  the Indonesian State has firmly established those pillars that ensure the continuation of Indonesia’s oppression, even in religion. Indonesia has to that end consistently brought  pressure to bear on those key Papuan figures in the churches who have continued to speak openly about the realities of discrimination, marginalisation, injustices and humanitarian atrocities that are occurring against the indigenous people of Papua. There have been accusations made that those such church persons too are themselves involved directly in the politics of Papua. Accusations that are particularly of recent times aimed at weakening the case for dialogue between Jakarta and Papua which has been encouraged by particular church figures.  If the Church also becomes a pillar of support for this dynasty of oppression by Indonesia, then the church itself will in so doing lose both its very foundation as well as its direction.  In that instance the church would be torn from its very roots and mission as handed down by Jesus Christ, being to save the world.  The church in Papua  must stand strong as a beacon of hope to the people and not become a partner of the State of Indonesia in the colonial domination of the indigenous people of Papua.

The Papuan Writer Usman Yogobi stated that “ The countenance of the Church in the land of Papua is such  that it has become  a partner for the Indonesian Government, with some reverends, bishops, pastors, pilgrims and monks supporting the colonial domination of the land of Papua. ‘Papua the Zone of Peace’ as declared in 2002 has never been realised, with the reality being quite the opposite – Papua has become a region of humanitarian disaster!

The term ‘Zone of Peace’ which arose from leaders of the different religions in Papua in 2002, has even been adopted recently by the Indonesian Military Commander in Papua (XVII) and the Head of Papuan Provincial Police. They have used the term in speech, letters or on banners, whilst in practice the Indonesian military and police have continued to carry out acts of violence and human atrocities against the indigenous people of Papua” stated Yogobi. The Church in Papua needs to learn and better understand its mission as handed down by Christ Jesus, being to bring salvation to the world. The salvation of souls is not just a matter of becoming oriented with the hereafter, but rather it’s about saving lives on this earth.

The law of the church prohibits representatives of the church being practically involved in politics, however at the same time it’s important to understand that the very teachings of the churches stress the importance of the church being involved in a real way in the life of the people. There is no such thing as evangelisation without social involvement; no such thing as mission without the struggle for justice. The church has a moral responsibility to be socially involved and to fight for justice and for respect of the dignity of humanity.

Dialogue between Jakarta and Papua which is being urged by the Peace Network of Papua – coordinated by the Catholic Priest Neles Kebadabi Tebay (Pr) – is a part of the involvement of the church in the upholding of justice and the respect of humanity dignity. If the church only speaks of justice and criticises human rights violations but does nothing to point to a way to bring an end to the conflict in Papua, then the human rights violations in Papua will continue without ceasing. Rather the church needs to itself open a way or point to a way forward.  Dialogue between Jakarta and Papua is a way of enabling such discussion as required to deal with  the many problems so as to find a dignified solution to the Papuan issue.

So let’s work together to lead the way to bringing about dialogue between Jakarta and Papua to find a solution that upholds the dignity of all.  Indeed there are more than one way to bring about an end to the problems in Papua and it is important that other approaches being made are also continued such as the legal approach and the United Nations decolonisation approach.  And as we struggle let’s always remember that the Struggle of Papua does not use violence or physical force but rather our means are always peaceful. As wherever violence is used there are inevitably human victims lost and indeed Indonesia has and continues to kill Papuans by a range of violent means. Over this more than 50 years endless innocent victims have been killed as a result of Indonesia’s actions in Papua. There’s been enough killing by Indonesia. Let’s bring an end to this cruel colonial domination using strictly peaceful means.

Indonesia and Papua really need to be enlivened to bring this about and its important we leave any narrow thinking paradigms. As the consequence of such is but to extend this conflict and more fallen victims, which are not small in number. Let’s take this never-ending conflict between Papua and Indonesia to the table and carry out unconditional peaceful dialogue as between two equal parties, facilitated by a neutral third party and in a third and neutral location. The international community including the USA has previously expressed its support for the path of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua; and it is the Writer’s conviction that all those who seriously uphold the values of the human rights, democracy, truth, justice, honesty and peace will also support a peaceful and dignified approach to finding a solution to bring an end to the problems in Papua. So let’s all work together to make dialogue between Jakarta and Papua a reality!

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  has numerous times stated in speeches that the problems of Papua will be brought to an end in a peaceful and dignified way. Also is recalled the words of the Head of the Council of Presidential Advisors Dr Hasibuan in January 2013, that the President had promised to arrange dialogue between Jakarta and Papua during the year 2013. However that promise has not yet been fulfilled.  A ‘promise’ is as something that is owed and must be paid and President SBY needs to fulfil that promise. It is dearly hoped that before President SBY’s term as president comes to a close on 20 October 2014 that this very extended conflict between Indonesia and Papua can be brought to an end through peaceful and dignified means and that it might become the hope of all parties to make that a reality.

Footnote

  1. 1.        The Bible of the Christian Religion  talks about the ‘Garden of Eden’ that radiated the glory of God and where there was peace and prosperity.  Where there were no wild beasts but rather all creatures lived together in peace. Then it is written, that peace was destroyed by the wrong of the first humans and therein began anarchy on the earth. Humans in all places seek after that peace which the Bible speaks of. Yet we see in the world that powerful humans prey on those weaker than themselves. The rich get richer and the misery of the poor becomes greater.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura Prison, Jayapura

 

Bobii: INDONESIA CAUSES DELAY IN MSG FORUM DECISION ON WEST PAPUAN MEMBERSHIP

by Selpius Bobii in Abepura Prison, West Papua

21 December, 2013

Opinion / Analysis

In June 2013 the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto invited the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to send a delegation to visit Indonesia(1).  At the 19th Summit of the MSG on 21 June 2013 the MSG leadership determined that the question of the application for MSG membership by West Papua would be decided at the latest within 6 months of that meeting, following receipt of a report on a visit to Indonesia by the MSG member Foreign Ministers.

It is now 6 months to the day since that decision was made and yet the MSG Foreign Ministers have not yet visited Indonesia due to the lack of certainty concerning the invitation from Indonesia.  It is now clear that Indonesia’s supposed invitation was but a political snare to delay the MSG leadership’s decision regarding West Papua’s application for MSG membership.  Meanwhile Indonesia has been busy throughout this 6 months lobbying and making offers to the individual MSG member states in order to influence the outcome of that decision.

Indonesia is extremely sly and cunning in the way it plays its ‘Indonesian puppet’ politics. It was with the very same slyness that enabled Indonesia to succeed in annexing West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia in the 1960s and which has enabled Indonesia to maintain its hold on Papua ever since. Indonesia has undertaken all possible means to influence the international community such that West Papua to this date remains within the region of RI’s power, and Indonesia’s invitation to the MSG in June 2013 was but one of RI’s political strategies to that end.  It was an intentional ploy to cause Papua’s efforts to become a member of the MSG to fail.

From the time news was heard of Indonesia’s invitation to the MSG, the indigenous Papuan community already knew that Indonesia would not follow through in fulfilling its commitment to enable the MSG visit to Jakarta and Papua; and that has now become a reality.  Meanwhile almost all of the member nations of the MSG have fallen right into the snares set by Indonesia, allowing themselves to be manipulated so as to meet Indonesia’s purpose of defeating Papua’s application for MSG membership.

Indonesia has not only tricked the Melanesian nations individually in this way and has tricked them as a united body in the MSG regarding the supposed invitation, but has at the same time deceived the international community in regards to the same. So many have been hoping and waiting for the outcome of this matter, many of whom have made sacrifices to uphold truth, justice and dignity of the West Papuan people.

Indonesia’s deceit of the MSG Forum in this way just serves to heighten the perception in the international community and for some of the MSG members that Indonesia as a state is chronically lying to the world. There have been endless occasions when RI has wilfully lied in order to maintain its hold on West Papua within Indonesia and so many have been deceived by Indonesia’s cunning and sly ways in this regard. The tragic consequence being that as a result many parties have chosen to ignore the urgent humanitarian problems in West Papua, problems the ramifications of which are most horrifying indeed. Problems that Indonesia for 50 years has gone to great efforts to hide from the world.  And so determination of the legal and political status of Papua according to international law has also been delayed.

Discussions in relation to the human rights violations and the legal and political status of the West Papuan nation at the 19th Summit of the MSG in Noumea, gave a breath of fresh air and new hope to the indigenous community of West Papua. To a people who have been under the cruel colonial domination of Indonesia and its allies for over 50 years. It is dearly hoped that this new hope born of the 19th MSG Summit will not just elapse like the passing of time; and that it will not be brought down by the many offers made by the Indonesian government and its allies to the MSG member states.  Rather the Melanesian people of Papua hope and pray that the stated commitment of the 19th MSG forum will be upheld and defended, seeing West Papua given full membership at the MSG and consequently of the Pacific Islands Forum.  Such that in time the problem of Papua can be dealt with by the official mechanisms of the United Nations and the nation of Papua become independent and set free from all forms of tyranny, oppression and enslavement.

The commitment of the MSG Forum at this time is indeed being sorely tested. Will the MSG leadership have the courage to decide in the near future to make West Papua a full member of the MSG without having to wait for a report from a now much delayed visit of the MSG member Foreign Ministers to Indonesia? Or will the MSG leadership delay that decision and succumb to the influence of the cunning politics of Indonesia and its allies?

The indigenous community of Papua and those in the international community who care about the fate of West Papuans, are following the political wake from the last MSG Summit. All are awaiting a decision of certainty on West Papua’s application for MSG membership as a first real and effective step towards eventually bringing the problem of the legal and political status of West Papua to the mechanisms of the United Nations.  As the people of Papua have not struggled for more than 50 years  to take something that rightfully belongs to another, but rather to have the sovereign independence of the people of Papua recognised by the world.

Footnotes:

1. That invitation was conveyed by Suyanto when he met with the Fijian Prime Minister (at that time the Chairperson of the MSG) in Suva, Fiji. 

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA.  This article is written from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia

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