Tag Archives: war crimes

Giay: West Papua – Land of Mourning, Bloodshed (Peace?) and Humanitarian Intervention

From Kingmi Church  – Papua

edited by WPM for clarity

Also at Numbay Media — posted on Engage Media website

June 28, 2012

Rev. Benny Giay
Diplomatic Briefing, Hotel Trefa
Jakarta, June 27, 2012

Papua Land of Mourning And Bloodshed (Peace????) And Humanitarian Intervention[1]

Rev. Benny Giay

Since May 2012 until June there has been a series of shootings in Jayapura in the context of our struggle to fulfill our “Papua land of peace” dream. The government has claimed the shooting has been carried out by separatist groups. Papuans respond to such claim is as usual: “Oh itu lagu lama. The authorities are playing the old song.”

One way to respond to that “old song” is to look at the root cause of shootings that ended with the killing of Mako Tabuni on 14 June, followed by the arrest of other members of KNPB in Papua a few days ago. In my view this development has something to do with (a) first of all how 2 different actors (Indonesia and Papua) that belong two {separate} cultures (Malay and Melanesia) view themselves and their past. Indonesia’s view is that Papua has become part of Indonesia and has been in contact since 8th century with them. Therefore Papuans are brothers.

Papuans on the other hand believe that it might be true that Papuans has been dealing with the ancestors of the rest Indonesians for several centuries, but that contact occurred in context of domination, slave trade and oppression. The contact between the two parties was one of master – slave  relations. Therefore, Papuans see their past relations with Indonesia (Tidore, Ternate and Maluku etc.) as history of robbery, slavery, destruction of their villages and burning of Papuan community settlements.

Secondly since 1960s when Indonesia took over Papua,  Papuans were viewed {By Indonesians} (and have been viewed until now) as primitives, backward, uncivilized people; and therefore Jakarta since that time promoted itself as the guru, the teacher of new civilization to “lift up socio-economic welfare of Papuans”. Jakarta then formulated what an Indonesian scholar call: migrant biased development policy (which in brief is a policy made by central government to guarantee the interest, safety and future of Indonesian migrants in Papua, while ignoring Papuan identity, culture and their future.) Papuans have no place in such a development scheme. Papuans are non humans. Second class citizens. This Indonesian neo-colonial policy (if we can use that term) was from the beginning up to now has been guarded by security institutions. Papuans who resisted this undemocratic policy has been dealt with by security forces.

Thirdly, as a result Papua has become “site of mourning”, “site of collective trauma”, and a site of oppression and mourning”. Three days of mourning that we had (June 14-16) as we gathered in Post 7 Sentani after the killing of Mako Tabuni, was not a new thing.  We only repeat what our past generation went through since 1960s. Facing such migrant biased development (or Indonesian colonial policy) as shown above, we, Papuans since 1960s are like the Javanese of 1900s Central Java, who were treated as second class citizens by the Dutch (as Indonesian history books say today); or Black South Africans of 1940s who suffered under apartheid policy. In fact this “migrant biased development policy” I think is “an Indonesian version of apartheid racial policy” toward Papuans. Theologically speaking Papuans of today and in the past have  been living under modern Pharaoh or modern Goliath, supported by the international community and multinational companies who had come to Papua and robbed the natural resources, killing off the Papuans.

Fourthly, the killing of Mako Tabuni by Indonesian Police has to be seen in the light of history of Papuan resistance to Jakarta’s migrant development policy pointed out above. Mako Tabuni and other civilians who voiced their right and grievances have been and are stigmatized as separatist. Mako, who was leading a civilian {civil society} group using peaceful means in demanding Referendum, has been seen as a threat to Indonesian political interest. This strategy to stigmatize was used by Erfi Triassunu, former Military Chief, in March 2011. He issued a confidential document saying that Papuan Christian Church (Kingmi – of which I am the Chairman of its Synod) is a religious arm of the Papuan Liberation organization (OPM). Other Church leaders of Papua in September 1966 were accused by security forces in Papua as an umbrella organization of OPM. Similarly Papuan NGOs who {promote advocacy around} human right abuses in the past have been seen in the same light.

The question now is who is behind the shootings that started May? According to Government it is Mako of KNPB, and Mako or KNPB is OPM. I can see the shootings from the point of view 3 actors, each of with their agendas.  First party is Mako or KNPB who represent Papua demanding referendum to deal with new modern Pharaoh. Second actor is a small and insignificant group of international solidarity group with agenda for democracy and promotion Papuan human right. Third actor is Jakarta: who fears the threat of disintegration and panic; not willing to change the approach to Papua; hold on to the sacred doctrine “territorial integrity” with the support of international community”. And that it is OK to use military or Police force to kill or annihilate separatist group to maintain “the territorial integrity”. Looking at the history of civilian’s resistance the shooting since May of this year was carried out by agents of Government to weaken the civilians struggle for referendum using means of non violence. Jakarta’s fear that is the international solidarity groups would promote the cause of Papuan civilians at the international niveau (level).

Jakarta is now on safer ground. They have has shot dead Mako Tabuni whom they accused as OPM agent. But the dream for “Papua: Land of Peace” remains a dream. Police and military are still searching for the members of KNPB. Military and Police are in control. Papua is still a land of mourning, a land of trauma and bloodshed. Modern Pharaohs and Goliath are in control in Papua today.  It is here that we need “third party” as it is in the case of Israelites and Pharaoh (Exodus 3:7-9). Papua need a moratorium”. Now is the time for Papua and Jakarta to formulate “new Indonesia”. But to do this we need a “humanitarian intervention”.

Toch, perpetrators of Human right violations in Papua will never be taken to court. They in fact will be promoted. Paulus Waterpauw (Deputy Police Chief of Papua) and Bigman Lumban Tobing (Papua Police Chief) will follow the footsteps of Col. Hartomo, the Kopassus commander who ordered the abduction and the killing of the late Theys Hiyo Eluay in November 2001; he was promoted last week as another high ranking military elite in Jakarta.

Jakarta, June 27, 2012

Rev. Benny Giay

Ketua Synode Kingmi di Tanah Papua

(Papuan Christian Church)

[1] I am dedicating this reflection to pastors and the ministers of the Lord, in Papuan Church History who were shot dead by Indonesian Security Officers in the past out allegation that they were agents of Papua Liberation Organization.

Comprehensive Report of Human Rights Violations in Papua since 1969

Bintang Papua, 23 July 2011[Something to look forward to. TAPOL]

Jayapura: With the help of an NGO in the USA  and the European Union, ELSHAM-Papua has drawn up a comprehensive report of cases of human rights violations that have occurred in West Papua during the period since it became part of the Republic of Indonesia.

ELSHAM co-ordinator in Papua, Ferdinand Marisan S.Sos told Bintang  Papua that they had already completed their collection of data.

‘We have collected data about human rights violations in Papua from the year 1969 up to 2010,’ he said. He said that they had been doing the work since February  this year and had completed it in April.

They are now going through the process of  putting all the data together in a book. ‘We plan to produce the data in a book which we hope to publish in October this year.’

He said that the compilation had been done together with the ICTJ, the International Center of Transitional Justice, a body that has the support of the European Union.

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PAPUA STUDENTS: Freeport should close; US must be hed responsible for Crimes Against Humanity







Freeport McMoRan copper and Gold should be closed down and the United States should be held responsible for crimes against humanity and against the environment in Papua.


(JAKARTA, 09 November 2010) – The history of Papua is a history manipulated by the political and economic interests of other countries, especially the United States which eventually encouraged Indonesia to carry out the annexation of West Papua.  The political process that occurred prior to the implementation of the 1969 Act of Free Choice is a process in which the ideological interests of the world played an important role in the process of the history of Papua.  The Capitalist Bloc (the West) led by the United States and the Socialist Bloc led by the Soviet Union played a major political part in the political bargaining which led to the decisions concerning the political fate of the Papuan people up until today.

On the one hand there was the United States which played a role in cutting off political access of the Dutch Government to its colony in West Papua and in encouraging the Netherlands to accept a project of political diplomacy drafted by American diplomat, Elsworth Buncker, which resulted in the so-called Buncker plan in which important political concepts were drawn in relation to the right to self-determination of the West Papua people.  The Buncker plan was at the origin of the famous document known as the New York Agreement (NYA) signed by the Dutch and the Indonesians, under the auspices of the United Nations, which established the technical principles regarding the implementation of a process of consultation of the people on their right to self-determination.  This so-called Act of Free choice (Pepera) took place in 1969 and it was unfair, undemocratic and highly discriminatory towards the people of Papua.

In addition to playing the role of political diplomacy in the Western Block, the United States was also acting out of personal economic interests in order to safeguard its access to the natural resources in West Papua, an area extremely rich in natural gas, mining deposits, minerals, petroleum, forest products, fishery, plantations  and a number of other economic resources which proved to  be very profitable for the interests of the exploitation of foreign capital, especially for the United States, in Papua.  Evidently, the economic interest is Freeport McMoran Gold & Copper, with its basis in New Orleans, one of the largest mining company in the United States, a company which would later cause great problems concerning the political rights of the People of West Papua.  The political intervention of the United States and its behavior towards the Netherlands resulted in an insignificant political support from the Dutch with regard to protecting the right to self-determination of the people of West Papua.   Also the backing by the United States of the clique within the Indonesian army between 1965 and 1966 which facilitated the coming to being of the New Order authoritarian militaristic regime under the leadership of General Suharto, had as a direct result the annexation of West Papua, turning it into a colonized area for economic purposes, as well as a killing field where gross human rights violations were and still are perpetrated by the Indonesian army, an area fully controlled by the United States and the economic interests of the capitalists.

It is common knowledge that the Freeport company funds the Indonesian military with billions of rupiahs to secure the exploration area of PT. Freeport. In a report from the New York Times entitled “The Cost of Gold, The Hidden Payroll: Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste” (27 Dec 2005)  it is clearly described how much dirty money is received by high-ranking Indonesian military.

Over the past 32 years of control over Papua by the militaristic regime of Suharto, there have been numerous cases of violations of human rights as a result of many Military Operations conducted in Papua.  This situation did not stop after the period of reform in Indonesia in 1998. Regime change was not accompanied by fundamental changes to the system in Indonesia. Evidence of continuous gross human rights violations by the Indonesian military forces up until today can be seen, as two torture videos were circulated on the Internet some time ago.  These two films depicting scenes of torture were published by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), based in Bangkok, through the Youtube site. A few days later, after meetings with President Yudhoyono at the State Palace, Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, confirmed in front of reporters that gross acts of torture had indeed been perpetrated by members of the military, on two civilians who were suspected of being members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the District of Puncak Jaya, Papua. These cases of torture were committed by the Indonesian army, which has long established ties with the American Government in the field of military cooperation.

Considering the complexity of the problems in which Papua finds itself today, where there is no recognition of the democratic rights of the people of Papua, the Papuan Students Alliance states its position as follows:

1. Freeport McMoRan copper and Gold in the land of Papua should be closed down immediately and the United States should be held responsible for crimes against humanity and against the environment in Papua.

2. We demand that the Government of the United States, the United Nations and Indonesia be held accountable for the political conspiracy surrounding the 1969 so-called Act of Free choice, which was in effect a miscarriage of justice and morality, an act full of intimidation and manipulation.

3. We strongly call on the termination of the bilateral military cooperation between the United States and Indonesia.

4. We demand that there be a thorough and comprehensive resolution of all cases of human rights abuses.

5. We demand the withdrawal of the organic and non-organic military troops from Papua.

6. We demand the implementation of the right to self-determination or a referendum for the nation of Papua.

We raise these issues in our statement to the American government, Indonesia, the United Nations and all parties associated with the dark history of the Papuan people to date, so that they may address these matters of concern in an urgent manner.


Jakarta, 9 November 2010

General Coordinator

Rinto Kogoya


Action PR

Okto: 082112808445


Amnesty International Disappointed by U.S. Government Decision to Train Suspected Human Rights Violators in Indonesian Military

Amnesty International today expressed disappointment in the announcement from the Department of Defense that the United States will provide training to the Indonesian Special Forces unit, Kopassus, which is known for grave human rights violations. The following statement can be attributed to T. Kumar, AIUSA’s director for international advocacy.

“Amnesty International is disappointed by the decision that U.S. forces will train the Kopassus unit. It sends the wrong message in a country where mass and severe human rights violations have taken place in an atmosphere of impunity. U.S. support to this unit undercuts the recent efforts advocating reform within the Indonesian military.  Amnesty International calls upon the U.S. administration to make public what commitments they received from the Indonesian authorities about bringing Kopassus military leaders to justice and also calls upon President Obama, in his upcoming visit to Indonesia, to speak publicly about human rights abuses in Indonesia and to meet the families of those killed by the Kopassus.

The Kopassus unit has been linked to serious human rights violations in Indonesia including killings and torture in East Timor, Papua, Aceh and elsewhere. Amnesty International calls for all crimes allegedly perpetrated by Kopassus members and others in the Indonesian military to be brought to court in proceedings that meet fair trail standards and victims should receive reparations.

While the Secretary of Defense offered assurances that all training will be conducted within the confines of U.S. law and that the collaboration does not weaken U.S. support of human rights, Amnesty International recommends that background screenings be conducted prior to any Indonesian military official suspected of involvement in human rights abuses, before receiving  U.S.-backed training.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information, please visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org