Tag Archives: West Papuan languages

Key OPM Figure Danny Kogoya dies from injuries from Densus 88 shooting

danny kogoya in vanimo
Danny Kogoya. Photo: Liam Cochrane/ ABC

From our partners in Jayapura, MAJALAH SELANGKAH with additional reporting from West Papua Media

December 16, 2013

A well known figure in the armed wing of the Papuan Independence Organisation (Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM)) Danny Kogoya, is reported to have died at a location in PNG close to the Indonesian PNG border on Sunday (15 December 2013).

A contact for majalahselangkah.com in Jayapura explained that Kogoya died as a result of an infection in his right leg, which had been amputated following being shot  when arrested by Police in Jayapura at the Dani Hotel in Entrop Jayapura on 2 September 2012.

Police at the time said Kogoya was attacked due to him being a suspect in a shooting at Jayapura and was shot in the foot when trying to flee through the back of the hotel. Following being shot he was taken to the police hospital (Bhayangkara) at Kotaraja for acute medical treatment.

He was then detained in a cell at the Jayapura Police Headquarters, after which he was moved to the Abepura Prison. He faced the State Court (Class I.A) in  Jayapura for suspected involvement in the abovestated shooting but was eventually released by the law.

Once released he went to Camp Victoria (an OPM Camp) close to the border between PNG and Indonesia. Whilst there a member of the governing forces in the border region sent a photo of Kogoya to the police in Jayapura, resulting in him being yet again threatened with arrest. So finally he fled to PNG.

The journey to PNG led to an infection in the wound where his foot had been amputated, so he was given traditional treatment in the forest of PNG. At that time he was quoted by the ABC as having urged the leaders of the OPM who had gathered at Camp Victoria, to continue the struggle to separate from Indonesia.

“ My foot has been cut-off because I am a member of the OPM and I personally urge for independence (for Papua). Papua must be independent of Indonesia” stated Danny Kogoya to the ABC.

Kogoya’s Body to be Taken Home

Activist Matius Murib wrote on Facebook  that it was planned for the body of the late Danny Kogoya to be taken back to Papua to be buried. He stated that coordination and administrative requirements to enable that had already been arranged.

“In relation to the plan to send the body of a Papuan activist Danny Kogoya from Vanimo, PNG back to Jayapura city this date (16/12/2013), technical coordination at the border and the arranging of administrative matters, protection and family to receive the body at Vanimo have already been organised and the family have guaranteed security in regards to the order of things and also that all will run smoothly” noted Murib on Facebook.

He requested the Police to not enter the area in the vicinity of the funeral home at Kamkey Abepura. Journalists have been banned from joining the funeral ceremony from the time of the funeral procession, at the funeral home and until the end of the funeral proceedings.

On Tuesday afternoon, stringers for West Papua Media had reported that heavily armed police and army had deployed in their hundreds around the home area of Kogoya outside Jayapura, escalating an already tense situation.  Our sources have also reported that no protest actions are planned, amid intelligence agencies actions to focus on a propaganda campaign discouraging local residents from commemorating Kogoya’s death.  According to our stringers, present in Jayapura, this campaign of broadcasts and public announcements is threatening the use of force if any mourning “crosses over to support pro-independence”.

The situation is being monitored closely, and may escalate.  For urgent updates, please see our Twitter feed @westpapuamedia .

(AE/GE/IST/MS/WPM)

(Translated by West Papua Media)

Related articles

Women And The Fight For Peace And Freedom In West Papua

AWID Logo newraised-fist-teuredxt-wpma-logo

Published in Partnership between West Papua Media and AWID

Source: AWID

August 9, 2013

Women and the Fight for Peace and Freedom in West Papua

FRIDAY FILE: After 42 years of Indonesian rule, women in West Papua continue to fight for their freedom and peace.

By Rochelle Jones

West Papua – officially under Indonesian rule since 1963 – is located in the Western half of the island of New Guinea – 250km north of Australia. In 2012, West Papua Media conducted interviews with four West Papuan women who are active in the nonviolent movement for freedom. Here, AWID gives some background, and excerpts from the interviews. 

Act of No Choice

The Australian-based Free West Papua describes how during the 1950s, West Papua was under Dutch Colonial rule, but by 1961 were moving towards independence with their own flag, the ‘Morning Star’, and Papuan government officials. In the early sixties, however, “Conflict erupted over West Papua between The Netherlands and Indonesia, and a United Nations agreement gave control of the colony to Indonesia for six years. This was to be followed by a referendum. These six years of Indonesian control saw well-documented cases of violence and abuse by the military. Then in 1969, Indonesia conducted a sham referendum called the Act of Free Choice. Only 1025 Papuans, representing a population of one million, were picked to vote. Under severe duress, including threats from senior ranking military officials to cut their tongues out, they voted to remain part of Indonesia. Despite a critical report by a UN official who was present, citing serious violations, the UN shamefully sanctioned the vote and West Papua officially became a part of Indonesia. Papuans call this referendum the ‘Act of No Choice’”

With a track record of denying foreign journalists access to West Papua (or arresting and deporting them) – the Indonesian government continues its stronghold over this resource-rich region. A stronghold held together largely by the presence of the Indonesian military¾which are known for their violence enacted with impunity, but also by the silence of the international community. Free West Papua estimates that “since 1962, 100,000 people have been killed or disappeared by the brutal military regime. Thousands have been raped and tortured and entire villages, especially in the highlands, have been destroyed.” In May this year, West Papua Media published one disturbing report of recent killings and rapes, perpetrated by the Indonesian military.

Tragically, reports such as these are part of every-day life for West Papuans, who are of Melanesian descent and culturally different from Indonesians. Resistance to Indonesia’s occupation has existed from the beginning – but the military has repeatedly responded with violence and intimidation. Whilst more information is getting out about West Papua and international concern grows over the human rights situation, this can be marred by politics and economics, with governments hesitant to upset Indonesia.  In recent years a new independence organisation, the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) has held “huge independence rallies… across West Papua and the West Papuan’s voice is united more than ever.”

Women in the struggle

Asked why they joined the nonviolent movement, Fanny Kogoya, Rini Tabuni, Heni Lani and Ice Murib (1), the women interviewed by West Papua Media, each recount experiences of injustice, disrespect and the violence of growing up in a land without freedom. Murib highlights the simplicity of their struggle: “We want to be free. We want you to help us be free. Indonesia doesn’t care about us as people. So the only thing that we want is to be free…to live our own life in our own land.”

Kogoya says: “As a child I often saw people beaten-up by the police, without any reason at all… As a student I started to compare government policies with what was actually happening… On the one hand you had the constitution, which talked about freedom and the Pancasila, which talked about social justice, but in reality there was very little political space for us Papuans. When I was living in Java I could compare the health and education system with what we had in West Papua and it was just so different…There is very little political difference for Papuans before or after [the regime of] Suharto… Papua has yet to experience a real democratic space. These kinds of things make me really emotional. I realized I had to resist. I can’t be silent.”

Tabuni recalls: “my father was one of the victims of 1977. Indonesian soldiers cut open his chest with knives. They took out the contents of his stomach and they removed his heart. My grandfather saw this happening with his own eyes. As the soldiers were cutting open my father’s chest they were saying, “Where is your God now? Who is here to save you?” Tabuni explains how freedom activist Benny Wenda, now living in exile in the UK, inspired her after her family lived in Jayapura with Wenda’s people: “In 2000 Benny started to become more active… [and was granted] refugee status in England. We watched… how he continued to struggle. That inspired those of us who lived inside Papua to continue to struggle… It was in this context that the KNPB entered. My friends and I said let’s stay with this organization, let’s sit down with them and see what we can do together.”

After witnessing countless events as a young girl, like the arrest of her father, Lani recounts her political awakening as a student when she was told about the history of West Papua’s struggle: “Before [this] it was like I was sitting in this small dark room with little rays of light coming through. These rays of light were like my father getting arrested and Benny Wenda getting arrested. When I got my education it was like the door of this room was flung open… I went outside for the first time and saw what was really happening. The day on the beach in Hamadi was the first time I saw the Morning Star flag. I grabbed it and held it. Finally, I realized, I’m not an Indonesian, I’m a Papuan!”

However, there is a struggle within the movement. Kogoya describes it as a “double challenge” that women face: “We struggle against Indonesia but we also struggle against patriarchy in the movement. See we have two enemies: the way women are treated within the movement and the evil and injustice of the state. We are definitely fighting against some of the men within the movement who think we aren’t capable.” To that, however, Lani says “Women are in leadership positions and telling men what to do, so we’re already there… playing positions of leadership in the movement.”

Ongoing nonviolent resistance

Living with such violence and oppression, the women still agree that nonviolent resistance is the way forward, and yet they also admit to thinking about taking up arms. One of the obvious barriers to taking up an armed struggle is the sheer strength of the Indonesian military. Kogoya says “Even though we’re struggling nonviolently the Indonesian state continues to respond violently. They arrest people, beat people, kill people. Often my activist friends say, “What’s the point? If we struggle nonviolently they’re going to beat us, arrest us … if we struggle violently they’ll do the same things. Often people join the armed struggle because… they’ve had these traumatic experiences and… it’s an emotional reaction. Of course in our culture we also have a history of fighting back… of tribal warfare. We are a courageous people. So with these three things – our memories of suffering, our history and culture, and our courage – armed struggle is a real option for us….But Papuans are also a very practical people. We know civil resistance can also work. So my dream is to learn more about civil resistance.”

Tabuni understands why people would want to respond with violence, however, she says: “If I struggle through violence I am going to experience a number of problems. I’m going to lose a lot of my rights. I’m going to lose my best friends. And people are going to… steal my land and kill me… But now I see that there’s an opportunity to resist through nonviolent struggle. People at the grassroots need to know that nonviolent action can be really successful… We can learn from the examples of other countries.”

How can the international community help?

To be an independent nation is the goal for West Papua¾freedom from Indonesian rule and its associated violence. But this is also a struggle for culture and for the environment. Lani says since she joined the struggle “my friends have been arrested, some have died in jail, some have fled to Papua New Guinea. It’s like we are migrants in our own land. So many people from Java, from Sulawesi, from Sumatra have come to our land.” Large scale migration of Indonesians into West Papua has the potential to unthread the very fabric of their culture and existence – and the mining and deforestation of pristine forests threatens to destroy the environment as well.

To achieve freedom these women stress the need for as many people as possible to stand in solidarity. Kogoya says they need the support of environmental groups around the world to join the struggle, adding “We need institutional support. And we want people to campaign about Papua to stop the violence… We really need technical assistance with media. We also need to influence other countries, particularly the U.S.”. Lani’s message is “for all the Papuan people to be involved in the civil resistance struggle. We have to work together.” She adds “Tell your friends in Australia and the U.S., ‘Stop sending military weapons to Indonesia. Stop.’ Because whenever we do things we face the military with those arms, and those arms are sent by your countries. The military are being trained by your countries to kill us.”

Read the full interviews here: “We Want To Be Free”: An Interview With Four Women From The West Papuan Movement For Freedom

For more information:

Visit West Papua’s Independent Human Rights Media: https://westpapuamedia.info/

Read the Enough is Enough report (testimonies of women from West Papua) from the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Read the latest HR report from the International Coalition for Papua

 

NOTES:

1) “We want to be free”: An interview with four women from the West Papuan Movement for Freedom. Interview by Alex Rayfield and Claudia King from West Papua Media. Photos taken by Javiera Rose.

Article License: Creative Commons – Article License Holder: AWID

 

“We Want To Be Free”: An Interview With Four Women From The West Papuan Movement For Freedom

AWID Logo newraised-fist-teuredxt-wpma-logo

Source: West Papua Media

08/08/2013

In 2012 Alex Rayfield and Claudia King had the privilege of interviewing four extraordinary West Papuan women, all active in the nonviolent movement for freedom in West Papua, a Melanesian nation-in-waiting occupied for more than five decades by the Indonesian military. All four women had known deep pain as a result of the occupation of their homeland and the corrosive fear of being targeted for extermination.

Some wrestled with hate of Indonesians that at times threatened to overwhelm them. All had imagined, even desired, to wage armed struggle against the Indonesian government. But instead of being pacified by terror or succumbing to cravings for revenge these four young women refuse to give into hatred or relinquish their dreams of freedom (merdeka). All are engaged in efforts to realize their hopes for a restored Papua without resort to weapons or violence. How could this be possible? King and Rayfield travelled into Indonesia and West Papua to learn about why they joined the Papuan movement for freedom, what they long for, why they had chosen to struggle nonviolently, some of the challenges they faced and about the experience and role of women in the movement.

Since interviewing the four, one of the women, Fanny Kogoya, the Director of Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Papua (WALHI Papua) and a former central committee member of the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB), has had to flee the country. Another KNPB member Rina Kogoya, Secretary of the Port Numbay (Jayapura) branch, has decided to remain in West Papua but has gone into hiding as the Indonesian police systematically try to destroy the organisation through a campaign of summary execution (22 KNPB members were killed in 2012 alone), arrest, torture and trumped-up charges of treason, hatred of the state, bomb making and murder. The other two women are Heni Lani, from the Alliance of Papuan Students (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua or AMP) and Ice Murib, Chair of the Movement of Papua Women (Gerakan Perempuan Papua).

When and why you got involved in the movement?

Fanny Kogoya, Director, Friends of the Earth, Papua

My name is Fanny Kogoya. I am a Lani woman from the Dani Tribe, Wamena, West Papua. I am now the Director of the Papua office of Friends of the Earth Indonesia.

I first became active in the struggle in 2000. At that time I was 20 years old. I joined in a number of forum discussions with student activists from the Papuan Student Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua). It was first semester of university but before I moved to Jogjakarta.

For years the Dani people experienced repression from the Indonesian military. Prior to 1998 – when Suharto was overthrown – the Dani’s homeland was in a military operations area (Daerah Operasi Militer). During reformasi, in 1998 and 1999 there were lots of demonstrations and my friends and I felt like we could do something. But when I was in high school, before 1998, we could not speak openly about freedom for West Papua. It was even difficult to buy or sell Papuan music. If you spoke about freedom during these times you were accused of being a part of the GPK (Gerekan Pengacau Keamanan) “the movement of security disturbers” [a police and military code for the OPM or Papua Freedom Movement]. As a child I often saw people beaten-up by the police, often without any reason at all. When I moved to Jogja I started to remember all of these things that had happened to me as a child and for the first time I was able to talk about that with other people. It was like a lid was lifted off of a boiling pot.

One of the things I we talked about was when the biologists were kidnapped by Kelly Kwalik [a legendary Papuan guerilla leader killed by Detachment 88 in December 2009]. Prabowo, one of the Kopassus [Indonesian Special Forces] commanders tried to release those hostages but what happened was that a whole lot of people were killed up in the highlands. I started reading about the history of West Papua’s integration with Indonesia, the so-called integration and I began to realise just how much wrong, how much injustice the Papuan people had experienced at the hands of others.

As a student I started to compare the policies, the government policies, with what was actually happening on the ground. On the one hand you had the constitution which talked about freedom and the Pancasila which talked about social justice but in reality there was very little political space for us Papuans. When I was living in Java I could compare the health and education system with what we had in West Papua and it was just so different. Things were so much better in Java. What is happening in Papua now is just like the New Order under Suharto and just like the reformasiperiod after Suharto. There is very little political difference for Papuan before or after Suharto. After Suharto we thought there would be more space for us but Papua has yet to experience a real democratic space. These kinds of things make me really emotional. I realized I had to resist. I can’t be silent. I have to resist.

When I was a student studying in Jogja I came to understand that I am a person who possesses land; that my life is very different from other Indonesians. The connection to land, to Papuan culture, to Adat, is quite different from what is in Java. Our relationship to our ancestors is different from those in Java. Papua is not Indonesia. Indonesia is very different from Papua.  Papua is something completely different from Indonesia.

Rini Tabuni, secretary of KNPB, Jayapura-Sentani

The first time I got involved in the struggle was in 2008. I had just finished my university studies. This was already 10 years on from Suharto and in the period of reformasi, so people felt freer to talk about the issue of freedom. The hopes embodied in reformasi gave me spirit [semangat] and encouraged me to get involved in the movement.

My mother would often speak about the things that she experienced in her life. She talked about what happened in Wamena in 1977 when there were massive military operations. My parents were pastors of the Kingmi church in Wamena at that time.

Actually my father was one of the victims of 1977. Indonesian soldiers cut open his chest with knives. They took out the contents of his stomach and they removed his heart. My grandfather saw this happening with his own eyes. As the soldiers were cutting open my father’s chest they were saying, “Where is your God now? Who is here to save you?” My grandmother and my grandfather then fled to the forest where my mother and I were hiding. They told us what had happened. And of course this event really traumatized my mother. Even now when she tells this story she always cries.

So that’s one reason I’m involved in the movement, that’s one reason why I struggle. After this we moved to Jayapura. We lived in Dock 5 with Benny Wenda’s people. In 2000 Benny started to become more active in the movement. Benny and all of my family had to flee. We ran to Papua New Guinea. After a little while, when it was safer, my older brother, who was working in the civil service, brought us back to Jayapura. Of course Benny got refugee status in England. We watched what he did from the outside; how he continued to struggle. That inspired those of us who lived inside Papua to continue to struggle in the movement. It was in this context that KNPB entered. My friends and I said let’s stay with this organization, let’s sit down with them and see what we can do together.

Heni Lani, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua

My name is Heni Lani, I am from the Dani tribe of Wamena.

I was 18 years old when I got involved in the struggle. That was in 2003. But before that, as a girl, you know, I had experiences like Fanny and Rina. When I was in primary school the police came to my house and arrested my father. Even as a little girl, I could see the way the police treated my father was not respectful. It really made us angry. At that time my father was a principal of a primary school. Back then I had no idea that in addition to being a principal my father was also organising indigenous people in Wamena. So in the beginning I had no idea why my father had been arrested. And I guess that is what really made me angry. Two days after the police arrested my father he came home. For a week my father just stayed in the room with my mother. As children we had no idea what had happened.

I stayed with my family in Wamena until Middle-High School when I went to a Catholic boarding school. Every Saturday we’d have a chance to go home and be with our family. One Saturday night when I was at home, two police officers came around to my house. They were in plain clothes but they were carrying weapons. They arrested my father again. I still remember it. We were sitting down having dinner and the police came into my house. They grabbed my dad and they dragged him outside.

The next thing that really influenced me occurred when I was in Senior high school. Actually Rina and I were at the same school. One afternoon, around the time Benny Wenda was arrested,  I was hungry so I went outside the boarding school to buy some cake. I was still wearing my school uniform. I bought some cake from a street seller and I put it in a big plastic bag. This man was standing next to me and he said, “ hi younger sister, good day. What’s your name.” I told him “my name is Heni.” He asked me where I was from but because I didn’t know him I said, “Father would you like some cake?” He took some cake then I crossed the road.

I crossed the road and I noticed there were lots of police. Suddenly the police ran across the road and grabbed the guy I had just given cake to. The police dragged him by his hair and beard. It was only then I realized it was actually Benny Wenda. Benny Wenda shouted out in Lani, “quick, help me, grab this bag”. There were no other people from Wamena there so they did not understand what he was saying but I understood. Then he said it again: “help me, grab this bag”. But I didn’t do anything. I just stood there watching him cry out.

The next day in the Cendrawasi Post [the main daily newspaper in Jayapura, the capital of West Papua) there was a big photo of Benny Wenda on the front cover. The newspaper sellers were calling out “C-post, C-post, Benny Wenda arrested, Benny Wenda arrested.” I bought a paper and started reading it.  In the article it said in his bag were a whole lot of sensitive documents; the morning star flag, his passport, all sorts of things. After reading the C-post I realized, wow it really was Benny Wenda that I met yesterday. Before that I only knew his name. I had never met him before. I can’t tell you how guilty I felt, like I had done some really wrong. I didn’t go to school that day. For the next three days I was carrying this burden. I kept on thinking to myself, why didn’t I do anything? Perhaps if I knew it was Benny Wenda I would have gone and helped him, grabbed his bag to keep it from the police. That was the third experience that influenced my political development as an activist.

After school I started studying at University but I continued to stay at the Catholic dormitory. I would often witness demonstrations on the main road in Abepura. At our campus there was a small discussion group led by Jeffrey Pigawak. I started to attend and began to ask questions; why did the police do this and why did the police do that? I wanted to try and understand the things that I had witnessed as I was growing up. Bit by bit I became more active in the discussion group. That was between 2002 and 2003. In 2003 I made a decision that I would become more active. The first group I got involved in was the street parliament (Parlamen Jalanan), which was set-up by Filip Karma and Yusak Pakage.

On the April 5 2004 I got my political education from Filip Karma. I remember it was at the beach in Hamadi. Filep Karma told me all the things that happened in our history, the whole history of our struggle. He told me everything going right back to the time of the Dutch, about Angganeta Manufandu in Biak during the 30s and 40s, the role of Mama Yosepa in the highlands, all these things. Before I received my political education from Filip Karma it was like I was sitting in this small dark room with little rays of light coming through. These rays of light were like my father getting arrested and Benny Wenda getting arrested. When I got my education it was like the door of this room was flung open. It was as if I went outside for the first time and saw what was really happening. The day on the beach in Hamadi was the first time I saw the Morning Star flag. I grabbed it and held it. Finally, I realized, I’m not an Indonesian, I’m a Papuan!

All these events culminating with the political education I received from Karma and Pakage strengthened my commitment to this struggle. Since then my friends have been arrested, some have died in jail, some have fled to Papua New Guinea. It’s like we are migrants in our own land. So many people from Java, from Sulawesi, from Sumatra have come to our land. We don’t have space to do anything. I finally discovered that the reason my father was arrested was because they wanted to take his land to build a stadium. My father was defending his land but they took his land to build a stadium. My father had said if you want to take my land to build a school, well then okay, we can talk about it but they didn’t care. When I became involved in the movement my father told me all these things. So I have no reason to sit down and be quiet.

Ice Murib, Chair of the Papuan Women’s Movement

I first got involved in the movement in 2008 but something happened to me in 2006. I was in Jayapura in class three of senior high school at the time. The date was March 16 2006. There was a big action in Abepura. Lots of students were involved including Heni. My friends and I were in Kotaraja. We tried to get a taxi home but the road was blocked everywhere so we had to walk. It was quite a distance, maybe 20 kilometers. When we passed the road between the University of Cendrawasih and the Trikora football field,  I saw students burning tires, they were blockading the road, and I saw Heni speaking. Suddenly I heard shooting. Students were running everywhere. I joined them. We ran and ran. I still had my school clothes and I was running for my life. The police were arresting people. There were soldiers everywhere but I kept running. I ran all the way home. The following day I didn’t go to school. I heard they were looking for students. Their pictures were everywhere including Heni’s. Her face was posted on the wall, along with other people who were wanted by the police.

At that time I felt sick in my heart. I thought, this isn’t right, this isn’t just. That is why I joined the Alliance of Papuan Students from the Central Highlands. But you know, the events of March 16 2006 were not the only thing I have seen. I have also experienced some of the things that my friends Fanny, Rina, and Heni have experienced. My parents and grandparents were involved in the events of 1977 in Wamena. The repression then was so heavy…

At that time in Tiom my grandfather would see the military come and take pieces of iron. They would heat them up in water and use them torture people. The soldiers would stab people with these hot pieces of iron until they died. The police would go through and sweep the village, searching for people. Helicopters hovered above while the police and army went house to house searching for people.

One morning everyone hid in the church. The children, the women, and the men, they all tried to hide in the church. And then the Army came. Other people from other villages also came. The army and police asked people to come out of the church. My grandfather came out of the church and ran. He took my father who was still young and hid in the forest.

The army forced everyone to come out of the church. The men were forced to strip down, to take off all of their traditional clothes until they were naked. At that moment one of the soldiers came up to one of my grandfather’s friends and in front of including the children, he slit his throat. Other people were killed that day too. I don’t know how many but I can tell you that my grandfather’s friend’s throat was slit. And then they made everyone eat his head. We can eat pigs, but we can’t eat human beings. That is why my grandfather and father fled to the forest. Everyone was grieving.

In 2000 when I was in second grade middle school Morning Star flags were being raised all over the Baliem Valley. Every morning the members of satgas, a kind of unarmed militia set-up by Papuan Presidium Council, would raise the morning star flag at various posts throughout the valley. The president at the time, Gus Dur gave an order that the Morning Star flags had to come down. On the morning of October 6 2000 I went to school in Wamena city. The police and military were everywhere, travelling from post to post to try and take down the flags. I remember feeling confused. When I got to school it was so quiet, everyone had gone so I went home. As I tried to go home a man from Biak asked me, “Who are you? Where are you from? You’ve got to go home, you can’t be here, you have to go home.” I ran down the main road all the way home. As I ran I saw police and military everywhere. I pass a satgas post where the police and soldiers are trying to force the flag down. I see a woman trying to defend the flag. She had her  arms wrapped around it. I saw them beat her. They just beat her until the blood ran down her face. Along the side of the road people were being beaten and tortured. Of course seeing all of these things I was so scared.

So I just ran. I ran all the way home. But when I got home nobody was there except my two younger sisters. At that time they were about 4 years old and 1 ½ years old. I was asked them, “Where is everyone? Where did everyone go?” My sisters told me that my mother was sick and my father was taking her to the hospital. She didn’t know what she should do, everyone was fleeing to the forest, everyone was running. My sister looked at me and said, “What should we do?” Nobody was there. Nobody was coming to help them. Then one of my grandmothers came she told me, “you can’t stay here, you can’t stay here, you’ve got to go, it’s not safe here.” So I got some powdered milk for the baby, some clothes for them and some food. I also got some shirts and shorts for my sisters. I grabbed a couple of things of my fathers, some documents that were important. Then I wrapped my youngest sister who was 1 ½ years, in a sheet and I wrapped and put her in a noken (string bag).  I took my other sister who was 4 years old, by the hand. By this time it was already night and there was heavy rain. In the beginning I didn’t know where I should go. It was really quiet. We went to the forest, in the direction of a village. It was a fair way to that village and I felt really scared. I felt so little. I am taking my two younger sisters into the forest, it was the middle of the night and I didn’t know where my parents were and what had happened to them. Finally we arrived at the village and stayed in one of the houses there. I cared for, looked after my younger sisters. Early morning the next morning I could hear the planes flying overhead, looking for people. There was nothing we could do. We just had to stay in that room. We couldn’t do anything.

When my father came back to the house from the hospital he looked for us but couldn’t find us. Finally he found us and we stayed there in that village for a week. When my mum came back from the hospital we returned home to our house and the situation started to get a bit better.

Two years later in 2002 something else happened. There was a raid on the military post in Wamena. Some people stole a couple of guns. This happened one Saturday night. I remember we were getting ready to go to church. When the priest began preaching the army suddenly burst in and forced everyone out of the church and into the front yard where they pointed guns at us and told us to sit down. The soldiers kept asked us if we knew what happened. This man raised his hand and said something but it was dark and there was heavy rain.  I heard the noise of footsteps but I didn’t see anything. Then before I knew it a soldier hit him and dragged him off to a patrol vehicle. After that everyone was too scared to say anything. The soldiers continued to ask us what happened but everyone was too scared to say anything. Finally the army left. When the army went people started to tell stories. Some people said that the many who raided the military base was Yustinus Murib and his friends. And of course my father was scared for us to go to school because our clan name is Murib. My father told us, if people ask you what your family name is, don’t tell them it’s Murib. Just go home if they ask. Don’t say anything because it’s really dangerous for you.

These are some of the reasons why I got involved in the AMP-PT. I joined in demonstrations. In 2008 I also joined the demonstrations organized by KNPB. At that time, the highland students were being hunted down. Fanny and I had to flee. We lived in the forest for 5 months with other students, hiding from the police.

Later I stayed with Reverend Sofyan Yoman. This was around the time his book was banned. I was at his house when officers from the national intelligence agency (BIN) and the police came to his house. They wanted to arrest Reverend Sofyan but he said, “This is my land, this is my place. I am the master of my own land. If the president orders you to arrest me, you have to ask, you have to tell the president to come here because I am the president of my own land.” The police and the people from the national intelligence agency left. They didn’t know what to do!

I have witnessed all these things. They are part of the reason why I joined the movement.

Why are you struggling nonviolently? Where does the courage to do that come from?

Fanny Kogoya, Director, Friends of the Earth, Papua

We have to acknowledge that if you are going to struggle nonviolently there will also be victims just the same as if we were to take up arms. It would be a mistake to commit to nonviolent just to avoid suffering. Even though we’re struggling nonviolently the Indonesian state continues to respond violently. They arrest people, beat people, kill people. Often my activist friends say, “What’s the point. If we struggle nonviolently they’re going to beat us, arrest us … if we struggle violently they’ll do the same things”.

Often people join the armed struggle because of their experiences. They’ve had these traumatic experiences and they make a decision to join the armed struggle. Often it’s an emotional reaction. Of course in our culture we also have a history of fighting back, a history of tribal warfare. All Papuans have courage, we are a courageous people. So with these three things – our memories of suffering,  our history and culture and our courage – armed struggle is a real option for us. And there are many people who believe we can only get self-determination through violence.

But Papuans are also a very practical people, we’re not a theoretical people. We know civil resistance can also work. So my dream is to learn more about civil resistance and how it works. I want to go back to the victims of violence, whether they are people who have been involved in the armed struggle or not, and I want to say, “There’s another way, there’s a different way”. Of course it’s difficult to influence those in the jungle who are fighting as a part of the armed struggle but I can influence those in the city and in places where I live to struggle nonviolently.

We have to understand that the Indonesia military receives support from the Americans, from the Australians, from the Dutch. Papuans will never be able to match the weapons the Indonesians have. Unless all of these foreign countries that support the Indonesian state come and take all of their weapons away … but at this stage there is just no way we could ever compete.

So the realistic option that I have is to organize people to struggle nonviolently. If we struggle through civil resistance more people can be involved, old people, young people can be involved. Involving all types of people, the whole Papuan society, can give us a tremendous amount of strength.

Rini Tabuni, secretary of KNPB, Jayapura-Sentani

Actually everyone thinks we Papuans need to take up arms. There are so many reasons why people want to take-up arms and fight back. Some people want to take up arms because they don’t have any trust that the Indonesian government is going to resolve the conflict peacefully but a lot of people want to take up arms because of the experiences that we have, they don’t know any different. But we do. If we take-up arms against Indonesia the response will be so fierce, so sharp, so heavy. But I understand why people feel they have to reply a death for a death, why they want to respond with violence.

If I struggle through violence I am going to experience a number of problems. I’m going to lose a lot of my rights. I’m going to lose my best friends. And people are going to come and steal my rights, steal my land, and kill me. There are other people that are going to come and take over and possess our land. But now I see that there’s an opportunity to resist through nonviolent struggle. People at the grassroots need to know that nonviolent action can be really successful and I can give them evidence of that. We can learn from the examples of other countries. Lots of other countries have gained freedom through nonviolent struggle. People who have faced the same kind of problems as us have found a way through. When people know this they are going to be touched deeply. We can use our culture, our way of life to help our friends understand that actually they can struggle through nonviolent means. I can do this but I can only do all of these things because God is involved, because God’s hand is involved in all of this.

Heni Lani, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua

The first thing that I have to do is acknowledge is that there is a part of me that sometimes wants to take-up arms. But then I imagine what would happen. I think about the numbers of people that will be wiped out.

Like Fanny and Rina said we also need to compare the strength of Indonesia with the strength that we have. The Indonesian army is trained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And their knowledge of military warfare is so far advanced from any knowledge of armed struggle that we have. I can only be brave enough to take up arms when we have the same military strength to face them. But I don’t feel brave to take up arms before then.

I choose to struggle nonviolently. I have experienced these terrible things that have made me strong. But not just I, everyone in Papua have memories of suffering. These experiences are a source of courage for us.

I feel certain that we have to struggle nonviolently. I feel strong when we resist with nonviolent strategies and tactics and our movement isn’t labeled with negative stigmas. People on the outside can see that we’re struggling nonviolently. I don’t feel scared to struggle nonviolently. One of the sources of strength of nonviolent resistance is that it is not only me who is struggling, it’s all of us Papuans working together. We also have amazing leaders, particularly religious leaders who have made us realize that also West Papua is going to be a better place if people struggle nonviolently. More people will be involved. We’re not just talking about forming a new nation we’re also talking about how we can live in the midst of that struggle and you know civil resistance is a better way, it allows us to live better in the midst of struggling for something better. Maybe because I’ve got an understanding and knowledge of civil resistance that I feel brave.

Ice Murib, Chair of the Papuan Women’s Movement

If we could get lots of arms, I think Papuans would struggle violently. But we really don’t have lots of arms. We have some. But it’s nothing compared to what the Indonesia military has.  I know that civil resistance can bring about change but sometimes I have doubts. Maybe we can’t do it through civil resistance because the Indonesian government is a type of tiger. It is a really bad type of tiger that we’re up against. And you know their thinking is, they should just kill us.

What are you struggling for? What do you want?

Fanny Kogoya, Director, Friends of the Earth, Papua 

Speaking personally, we’ve got to get freedom quickly and that has to be through political means. But if I speak from the position of a WALHI Director, we need the support of various groups around the world who love the environment. Papua has the third largest forest. We love the forest and if this forest is destroyed that will have a global impact. People need to realize that what is happening in Papua is not just happening to Papua itself, it is something that is happening to all of us. We need people to work with us. We need institutional support. And we want people to campaign about Papua. We want people to campaign to stop the violence and if we work together we will be successful.

We really need technical assistance with media. We also need to influence other countries, particularly the U.S. America has a big influence so the US should have a really clear and strong policy about Papua. That would be a really good thing. Obviously we want that policy to be in support of freedom. And of course if you look at the history of Papua the US has been really involved. I want to ask all Americans, all U.S citizens, to pressure their government to take responsibility for the fact that Papua is not free.

Rini Tabuni, secretary of KNPB, Jayapura-Sentani 

I want you to know that I want to be free. I want freedom. That’s it. I want to be free.

Heni Lani, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua

The BIG thing that I want, is for all the Papuan people to be involved in the civil resistance struggle. We have to work together. People can help by doing little things, making shirts and stickers and little things like that. We can start from little things like that.

Tell your friends in Australia and the U.S., “Stop sending military weapons to Indonesia. Stop.” Because whenever we do things we face the military with those arms and those arms are sent by your countries and the military and D88 are being trained by your countries to kill us.

Ice Murib, Chair of the Papuan Women’s Movement

We want to be free. We want you to help us be free. Indonesia doesn’t care about us as people. So the only thing that we want is to be free. We want to be free to live our own life in our own land. 

What is the role of women in the movement?

Fanny Kogoya, Director, Friends of the Earth, Papua 

Women have a really big role in the movement. Sometimes women feel like they are the enemy, that the military and the state see women as the enemy. We have a double challenge that we’re facing. We struggle against Indonesia but we also struggle against patriarchy in the movement. Se we have two enemies: the way women are treated within the movement and the evil and injustice of the state. We are definitely fighting against some of the men within the movement who think we aren’t capable.

We need to struggle so that women are the same within the struggle. I never feel that women are better than men in the struggle. I’m just as great as they are, just as great as the men are. We need to get rid of this view that men are somehow better in the struggle. We need to erase that view. If men and women can have this same view then we will just have one enemy, not two.

In terms of being elected as the director of WALHI, there were actually 2 people going for that position, a man and a woman, but I got the position. I feel proud about that. We are also supported by men’s organizations as well. So you know, this is a sign of our strength.

Rini Tabuni, secretary of KNPB, Jayapura-Sentani

I agree with what Fanny said, we are not just struggling for freedom we’re also struggling for equality within the movement. We can’t retreat from these two things.

Heni Lani, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua

And of course, the evidence is before you now. These four women here are all providing leadership. The same is true in AMP and KNPB. Women are in leadership positions and telling men what to do, so yeah, we’re already there, we’re already playing positions of leadership in the movement.

Everyone:

All this is just a fraction of what was happening. We could write down our whole history and send it to you but it would be a book! We carry all of the stories of what happened to us and what came before us in us. If we don’t do something, the next generation after us will experience even worse things.

Fanny: But for me, of all of these terrible things that I’ve experienced, the worst thing was the killing of Mako. Mako was a really good friend of mine. And because of Mako’s death we have to struggle. Mako Tabuni really supported me to take a leadership position in WALHI. I became the director on the 13th and Mako was shot down on the 14th. At 5 o’clock I was elected to the position of director, and then at 7 o’clock Mako shook her hand and said, well done, fantastic. And then 8 o’clock the next morning he was shot down.

There are many other things too, Kelly Kwalik’s killing, the killing of Arnold Ap, Theys Eluay’s killing, all those in the forest who have been killed.

Heni: But Indonesia can’t do anything without the assistance of countries like Australia and the US. So we need to put pressure on them. Stop sending arms to Indonesia.

Interview by Alex Rayfield and Claudia King. Photos taken by Javiera.

Article License: Copyright – Article License Holder: West Papua Media

Selpius Bobii: The Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: A Challenge and a Hope

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

Opinion

By Selpius Bobii

Abepura, 25 March 2013

This article presents a challenge to all who have a heart for, and who are working without reward, to save the ethnic people of West Papua which are now heading towards annihilation. This article in particular considers the question as to whether there is truly annihilation occurring of the indigenous West Papuan people. (The term Papua or West Papua below are taken to include both the Papuan and West Papuan Provinces).

Are Ethnic West Papuans really being annihilated?

The indigenous community of West Papua is currently made up of 248 tribes (according to works of a Research Team published in 2008) inhabiting the land of West Papua.  Whilst east Papua is the well known nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  There have been findings that some tribes of Papua have already become extinct whilst others that are still surviving are now heading towards extinction.  The most disturbing finding (references below) from researchers at both Yale University in USA and Sydney University, Australia, have concluded that what is occurring in Papua is in fact genocide, with the primary actors being the Indonesian military (TNI) and Police (POLRI).

Military Operations

The main means of annihilation are overt and covert military operations carried out by the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) continually since the military invasion in 1962 – an invasion that was intended to actualise the declaration of TRIKORA (being to dismantle the State of Papua), by the then President Sukarno.

There have been three major stages of military operations applied in Papua. The first was preceded by the sending of military troops illegally to Papua in 1962, at a time when Papua was still under administration of the Dutch Government – events Papuans state to have been a military invasion. The first stage of ongoing military operations occurred following the surrender of the administration of Papua from the Dutch to NKRI in 1963, and continued until 1969.  NKRI used a number of names for this stage of their military operations including ‘Operation Annihilation, Operation Ox I (using the name for wild ox of Java ‘banteng’),Operation Ox II, Operation Red Eagle, Operation White Eagle, Operation Wolf and Operation Dragon.

After NKRI had successfully invaded Papua, it continued its military operations with strategies and tactics that were to become most decisive in this stage of history.  This second stage of military operations were known as (as translated) Operation Authority (1970-1974), Operation Erode (1977), Operation Aware(1979), Operation Sweep Clean (1981-1984). (See article ‘ The Existence of TNI and Military Violence in Papua from 1963-2005’)).  Officially (Papua was designated as a ) Military Operations Area (referred to as Daerah Operasi Militer ‘DOM’) was in effect from 1978 to 5 October 1998.  Withdrawal of this status in Papua was encouraged by the Reformation (Reformasi movement) in 1998, with DOM status legally withdrawn on 5 October 1998, however there was a continuation of ‘de-facto’ DOM status which has continued until today.

The third stage which started with the Reformation in 1998 and which has continued to run concurrently with the second stage until this date, has involved a number of specific operations that have been carried out. These have become known as:

  • Bloody Biak (06 July 1998),
  • Bloody Nabire (2000),
  • Bloody Abepura (6-7 December 2000),
  • Bloody Wamena (6 October 2002),
  • Waspier (13 June 2001),
  • Bloody Kiama
  • Bloody Padang Bullen (20 October 2011).

At the date of writing military operations are continuing in Puncak Jaya, Puncak, Wamena and Paniai together with other covert operations throughout the land of Papua.

Numbers of deaths resulting from Military Operations

According to scientific research carried out by Yale University in the USA, it has been estimated that between 1963 and 1969 that more than 10,000 indigenous Papuans were slaughtered by the TNI and/or Indonesian Police.  From 1971, and throughout the period with which the Military Operations Area was officially in effect (1978-1998), the extent of the large numbers of indigenous Papuans killed (can never) accurately be known,  as the processes (and) numbers killed were not recorded by the armed forces. Whilst the community to date has never been allowed ‘the space’ to be able to gather and publish the data (ie space from intimidation and fear of “known ramifications” or military retribution).  Military operations during this time have included bombings, shootings, kidnapping, murder, forced disappearances, detention and imprisonment, torture, rape, theft and killing of domestic livestock, destruction of crops/vegetable gardens (which are peoples’ source of survival), burning of homes to the ground, burning of churches, killing by poisoning of food and water, and others.

There have been killings carried out in sadistic ways such as on victims whilst still alive, having their body parts chopped off with a short machete/chopping knife or axe; or victims being sliced up with razors or knives then then the open flesh being filled with chilly water; males and females being forced to have sex before their torturers then the males genitals being cut off and the their wives forced to eat them, following which they are both killed; being killed by being suspended (strung up) until dead; being thrown alive into deep chasms where there is no way out; being tied up and placed alive into a sack then thrown into the sea, a lake or river; being buried in the earth alive; iron bars being heated in a fire then inserted into the anus, the mouth, or into the female internally through the genitals.

Introduced diseases

Diseases that have been taken to Papua by unmedicated new settlers has also played a role in accelerating the rate of death of Papuans since the annexation of Papua into NKRI. Those introduced diseases include TB, Tapeworm infections, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis, venereal diseases, HIV/AIDS and others. In the previous era prior to new settlers arriving these diseases were unknown by our ancestors. These types of infections / diseases spread quickly after infected persons arrive due to inadequate health services and the absence of availability of health equipment and infrastructure in the Papuan villages. Even when there is health equipment in the remote villages so often the staff are half-hearted about health services for Papuans and health problems arising from the spread of these introduced diseases are not properly attended to. If newcomers are not treated immediately on arrival these diseases spread ferociously amongst the indigenous population that has not had time to develop resistance to them, and in this environment of poor health services that frequently leads to death.

Alcohol related deaths

Consumption of alcohol is also playing a role in the annihilation of indigenous Papuans. The Writer once noticed on a carton in a shop the notice (as translated) “This stock especially for Papuans”. Why is there separate alcohol stock for Papuans? Many indigenous Papuans have died as an immediate result of alcohol consumption. Is there something mixed into the alcohol that which can cause quick death? Is it in fact ethanol (100% alcohol) that is being sold for Papuans’ consumption? Apart from many deaths related to alcohol, many social problems are also being created within families as a result of excessive drinking and many alcohol related crimes have occurred. The national government has on a number of occasions run campaigns to prohibit the excessive consumption of alcohol but at the same time they’ve been giving permits to proprietors to import and sell alcohol in shops and bars (with no limits imposed). Clearly there is tax income generated from these sales for the government. However the tax made by the government on these unregulated sales is far outweighed by the costs of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption on the community. This can destroy young peoples’ futures, quite apart from the sudden deaths it often causes. There is a locally made type of alcohol that is known as ‘Milo’ that could if regulated well by working with the local community, have much less destructive effects on our people. However as the government really doesn’t have a heart to break this chain of excessive production and distribution of alcohol, so this is yet another instance – though be it indirect – of the government contributing to the increased death rate of the indigenous Papuan race.

Government ‘Family Planning’ Programs

Another factor effecting the population growth of ethnic Papuans is the government’s Family Planning Program.  As Papuans have now become a minority in the land of our ancestors and our numbers are known to be decreasing, what then is the purpose of the government restricting the birth rate of indigenous Papuan families? Their family planning program teaches that ‘2 children is better’ but to Papuans this is absolutely not acceptable. Why should indigenous Papuans that have such a wide expanse of land and so much natural wealth yet be forced to join this program? We believe this is but another aspect of NKRI’s attempts though indirect, to bring about the decline of the Papuan indigenous population.

Loss of lands and natural resources

A further factor contributing to the decrease in the population of indigenous West Papuans is that of welfare as related to lost access to land and natural resources. Indeed financial problems of ethnic groups living in urban areas are a very real determining factor contributing to the annihilation of some ethnic West Papuan tribes.  This is the result of their land and natural resources being taken over by new immigrants, and whether by means of sale or theft, the end result is the same: being that people from those urban areas become without land and without natural resources, the two factors which have throughout time been their source of life.  Indeed this can cause depression, stress, deep psychological problems, poor nutrition, sickness and finally death. At the time of writing there are indigenous tribes from two regions in particular considered to be at high risk in this regard as they have sold the lands of their ancestors to newcomers. These are in Jayapura city and the wider the Jayapura local government area and secondly in the Merauke city area. Their children and grandchildren will have no lands of their own and this will have really serious consequences for the continued existence of these tribes.

Transmigration effects

The fourth category of determining factors contributing to the annihilation of the indigenous West Papuan race is transmigration. The previous Governor of the Papuan Province in 2010 stated that the total of migration to Papua was already high enough, but it nevertheless continued to grow at 5% each year whilst according to him the ‘normal’ rate of increase should have been 1% p.a.. Based on the provincial government’s figures from their Statistics Centre (BPS) as published in early 2011 for the entire Province of West Papua, the total indigenous Papuan population was 51.67% of the total population, numbering 760,000 in the whole of Papua. (See: www.kompas.com, Tuesday 11/01/2011). Jim Elmslie in his book ‘West Papua Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesia Census: Slow motion genocide or not? (Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University) found:

  • that the indigenous population had grown from 887,000 in 1971 to 1,505,405 in the year 2000 (an average rate of 1.84% increase p.a).;
  • Whilst the non-indigenous population in Papua had grown from 36.000 in 1971 to 708,425 (with an increase rate of 10.82% p.a.).
  • By 2010 the indigenous Papuan population was 1,730,336 (47.89%) whilst the population of non-indigenous Papuans was 1,882,517   (52.10%), a total population of 3,612,853.

In his book Elmslie estimated that by the year 2020 that the total population in Papua will reach 7,287,463 comprised of indigenous Papuans at 2,112,681 (28%) and non-indigenous Papuans at 5,174,782 (71.01%). According to Elmslie the variance of the rate of increase in indigenous Papuans compared to non-indigenous persons , is the result of firstly human rights violations and secondly and more primarily, the effect of transmigration. (See www.majalahselangkah.com/old/papua-30-persen-pendatang-70-persen-mari-refleksi/) original:(www.sydney.edu.au/arts/peaceconflict/docs/workingpapers/westpapuademographicsin2010/census.pdf).
The jump from 36,000 persons in 1971 to 708,425 in 2000, then to 1,852,297 is truly startling. This current level of migration flow can be attributed to the attraction of the Special Autonomy program in Papua, together with the continually increasing divisions of Papua into more provinces, regencies (which creates new major towns as administrative centres), districts and grouped villages.  As long as the government continues to create more divisions of the land, the massive flow of migrants into Papua will continue to increase.

We need to at the same time look closely at the indigenous Papuan figures which from 887,000 persons in 1971 to 1,505,405 in 2000 and 1.760.557 in 2010, show an increase of a mere 255,152 in the 10 year period 2000 to 2010. On the basis of these numbers researchers have calculated that indigenous Papuans are becoming an increasing minority, and at this rate by the year 2030 indigenous Papuans as a race will have become died out.

It needs to be emphasized that these are conservative estimates of the rate of annihilation of indigenous Papuans. The accuracy of the Centre of Statistics (BPS) figures really can’t be taken as certain from the Writer’s perspective.  To date there has been no news that the heads of all the villages throughout Papua have indeed worked together with the Heads of their Districts to ensure names provided are in fact correct, to ensure names of those already deceased have been treated correctly, and to ensure no names have been fictitiously created to get some financial assistance, or rice under a poverty program, or other assistance under the (Australian funded) Village Development program (called ‘Respek’); or perhaps for reasons related to the choice of regional leaders in the elections. The Writer is absolutely certain that if there had been carried out a credible population census that was honest and accurate, that the total of indigenous Papuans in 2010 would surely be less that that provided by the Centre for Statistics (BPS), and conversely the total of non-indigenous would should even greater numbers. As virtually every time, every week there are passenger ships land or planes land in Papua, there are yet more new migrants arriving in the land of Papua. In his book ‘ The Papuan Way : Latent Conflict Dynamics and Reflections of 10 years of Special Autonomy in Papua’, Antonius Ayorbaba stated that the rate of migration to Papua was actually 6.39% and that the population census data for Papua was in truth 30% indigenous Papuans and 70% migrants (See: tabloidjubi.com, 12 January 2012). These figures are starkly different to that data reported by the government.

If we compare the even perhaps overstated BPS figures of the indigenous Papuan population with that of Papua New Guinea (PNG) we see that in 1971 the numbers on PNG at roughly 900,000 weren’t much different to West Papua at 887,000. Whilst by 2010 the PNG indigenous population had soared to 6.7 million compared to Papua’s 1,760,557.  Whether from being killed or having died of ill health, or not able to be born due to the living conditions that Papuans are under, based on the fact that in 1971 their relative numbers were so close, Papuans take this massive relative difference of some 4 million in 2010 to indicate the number of souls lost through the process of annihilation happening in West Papua over that 10 year period.

Conclusion

The Writer is of no doubt that there indeed is occurring a slow but certain process of annihilation of indigenous Papuans in the land of West Papua.

On 15 August 1962 the United Nations mediated the ‘New York Agreement’ between Indonesia and the Dutch in New York bringing about the annexation of Papua into NKRI,  an annexation which was fully supported by the USA and U.N due to their own economic interests.  The people of Papua were not a party to the agreement nor even was there a single Papuan present at the time that agreement was signed.  This was followed by the morally and legally flawed ‘Act of Free Choice’ where a mere 1025 Papuans were required to choose on behalf of the entire Papuan population whether to remain part of Indonesia or not, a process that involved threats to their families and extreme intimidation by NKRI.

For the last 50 years NKRI has tried to divide and conquer Papua following their five Principle Ideology of ‘Pancasila’.  Meanwhile the people of Papua have continued to struggle against NKRI to regain their sovereignty, and have applied an entirely different ideology referred to as the ‘Mambruk’ Ideology {after Mambruk (lit. trans “Bird Of Peace”, the Victoria Crown Pigeon which is a symbol of the Free Papua Movement – WPM}.  Even the very ideologies of the Indonesians and Papuans are at conflict. The end result of this problematic history has been the present consequence occurring in Papua which is a human-made humanitarian disaster. A humanitarian emergency that is horrifying indeed though hidden from the world and not yet acknowledged by the world as even serious.

To act and save the indigenous Papuan race in West Papua from being totally annihilated, the organisation ‘Front PEPERA WEST PAPUA’ stresses that the following needs to occur as a matter of urgency:

1). U.N or another third neutral party needs to immediately mediate consultations on an equal basis between NKRI and the nation (the community) of Papua and to do so without conditions and with the goal of looking for a solution.

2). The International Community whether as individuals, organisations, government or non-government, need to encourage the U.N to mediate in these consultations between NKRI and the Papuan indigenous people.

3) The International Community and the U.N need to pressure NKRI to be involved in dialogue/consultations with the people of Papua as mediated by UN or another third neutral party and in accordance with international standards.

For actioning by all parties involved in this humanitarian crisis.

‘Unity without Limits, Struggle until Victorious!’

By Selpius A. Bobii

 

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front Pepera (The United Front of the Struggle of the People of Papua)  and is currently one of the “Jayapura Five”, Political Prisoners held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua.  The five (Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Kraar) were found guilty in an opaque and predetermined trial of  Treason (Makar) charges, laid after the violent Indonesian security force crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress  in October 2011.

(EDITED BY WPM FOR CLARITY)

 

 

Herman Wainggai: Open letter to the President of Indonesia on eve of demos in Papua

by Herman Wainggai

January 17, 2013

 

Open letter to the President of Indonesia:

I write with the support of the people of West Papua, New Guinea, pro-democracy activists around the world and defenders of the rights of West Papuans, to say that the global support for democracy and freedom, and the end of 50 years of military colonization by Indonesia for will be exercised firmly and peacefully.

Peaceful demonstrations are planned for January 17, 2013 at the Embassy of Indonesia in Washington DC, Los Angeles, as well as in Manokwari, West Papua, Yapen Waropen, Papua, and Australia and the Solomon Islands to demand freedom for West Papuan political prisoners.

Today, people around the world are watching the peaceful demonstration in West Papua, where most are people are ready to take to the streets with music, dancing, and their demand that Indonesia free West Papua political prisoners.

Over the years, peaceful demonstrators in West Papua have been terrorized, imprisoned and killed by Indonesian military police. Edison Waromi, one of West Papua’s human rights defenders, has been imprisoned for more than 14 years, and we were imprisoned together for two of those years. West Papuan activists Edison Kendi and Yan Maniamboy currently are threatened with 20 years in prison for organizing a nonviolent rally in support of the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People in New York in August 2012.

We demand that Indonesia immediately and unconditionally free all West Papuan political prisoners and end its military occupation of West Papua. We also request that the UN Special Rapporteur, who is scheduled to be in Indonesia in January, visit West Papua and meet with imprisoned political leaders of the Federated Republic of West Papua, such as President Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister Edison Waromi, and others.

Herman Wainggai

Former political prisoner and visiting scholar at George Mason University