Tag Archives: West Papuan

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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PMW: Activists ‘forced’ to leave consulate, call for greater press freedom

by Daniel Drageset, Pacific Media Watch

October 7, 2013

West Papuan student activists Rofinus Yanggam (left), Yuvensius Goo and Markus Jerewon (right) left the Australian consulate in Bali Sunday. Image: Marni Cordell
West Papuan student activists Rofinus Yanggam (left), Yuvensius Goo and Markus Jerewon (right) left the Australian consulate in Bali Sunday. Image: Marni Cordell

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Three West Papuan student activists entered the Australian consulate in Bali this weekend with calls on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to open up for greater press freedom and push Indonesia to release at least 55 political prisoners jailed in the Indonesian-ruled region.

“We want the Indonesian government to lift the 50 year restriction it has imposed on West Papua.

“We want foreigners, including journalists, diplomats, observers and tourists to be able to visit West Papua freely without asking for special permits,” the West Papuans wrote in an open letter addressed to the Australian people.

The student activists said in the letter they wanted to deliver a message to the leaders attending the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali this weekend.

Several organisations have asked Australia to give sanctuary to the three West Papuans, but according to Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb the West Papuans did not seek asylum.

“They left [the consulate] voluntarily so the matter’s been resolved,” Robb said, according to Radio Australia.

The Guardian, however, reported that the consul-general had warned the three West Papuans that the Indonesian army would be called if they did not leave the consulate.

One of the students, Rofinus Yanggam, told the newspaper the group left in fear of their lives.

Calls for sanctuary
Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon called on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to give sanctuary to the three West Papuans.

“These three young men were not asking for West Papuan independence from Indonesia. All they were asking for is entirely consistent with the Lombok Treaty of 2006, signed by both Australia and Indonesia,” he said, according to AAP.

“Instead of getting sanctuary and help, the Australian government effectively threatened them and now there is serious concern over the activists’ safety,” Xenophon said.

Professor Clinton Fernandes at the University of New South Wales backed Xenophon’s call.

He said when the media circus had moved on after APEC, the trio “may be tried, most certainly they will be beaten, and at some point might be disappeared”.

Rinto Kogoya, co-ordinator of the Alliance of Papuan Students, said it was time the world understood what was happening inside the province, which was officially acquired by Indonesia in 1969.

“The international community doesn’t know the reality in Papua. The military oppresses the civil society – we’re not free to do anything – and I think this is the moment to open democracy to Papua,” he said in The Guardian.

‘Great concern’
Joe Collins, of the Australia West Papua Association (AWPA), was alarmed by the events at the Australian consulate in Bali.

“It’s of great concern that they [the West Papuan students] may have been coerced to leave as the students would have great reason to fear the Indonesian security forces.

“There are ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua and the security forces have been banning and cracking down on recent rallies to try and stop international attention being focused on the territory,” he said in a statement.

AWPA wrote a letter to the consul-general Brett Farmer in Bali yesterday asking for “clarification” regarding the students.

“We understand that they have now left the consulate and we would like clarification from you if they left voluntarily or as some media reports have indicated that they were told that they would be handed over to the Indonesian military if they did not leave,” AWPA wrote in the letter.

Australian Green senator Dr Richard Di Natale has also joined those who have called for Australia to give sanctuary to the three West Papuans.

“By speaking out in this way, these brave West Papuans have put their lives in serious danger.

“If Australia fails to offer them protection, I have grave fears for their safety,” he said in a statement.

‘Stand up to Indonesia’
Yet another senator to voice his support for West Papua this weekend was John Madigan.

“It is about time our government had the courage to stand up to Indonesia, instead of ignoring the issue of West Papuan oppression and the human rights abuses that occur there on a daily basis,” he said in a statement.

He also said he demanded that the Australian government provided sanctuary for the three West Papuans.

The issue of the West Papuan students came just days after pleas from several organisations that Australia should not deport seven West Papuans who arrived in the Torres Strait Islands in northern Queensland recently.

The group of seven, who took part in the recent West Papua Freedom Flotilla sought asylum in Australia, but were deported to Papua New Guinea under a memorandum of understanding between Australia and Papua New Guinea, Radio New Zealand International reported.

Refugee advocates in Australia said the deportation failed to abide by the Refugee Convention that Australia was a party to.

Spokesperson for the West Papua Freedom Flotilla Izzy Brown said she wanted to draw the United Nations’ attention to Australia’s commitment to the Refugee Convention.

“It’s really unfortunate that Australia thinks it can send asylum seekers offshore without due process or just blatantly illegally deported like in this case here, and we really want to try and draw the world’s attention and especially the UN’s attention to Australia’s behaviour in this matter,” she said.

Read the West Papuan students letter to “the people of Australia”

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About the author

PMW contributing editor

Daniel Drageset is a Norwegian radio journalist enrolled in the Master in Communication Studies degree at AUT University.

Video Report: Thousands in Jayapura demonstrate in support of “New Guinea Council: First Steps” conference in Netherlands

Benny Wenda at the IPWP launch Русский: Бенни ...
Benny Wenda at the IPWP launch

from West Papua Media sources

Demonstrations were held in Jayapura on April 5 in support of a groundbreaking conference held in The Hague, The Netherlands, to examine  pathways to the reinstatement of the New Guinea Council or Nieuw-Guinea Raad, the original Parliament of West Papua from 1961 until Indonesia’s invasion.

Jayapura was again brought to a standstill by the demonstration organised by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), where several thousand people gathered hear speeches and to voice their solidarity with the “Nieuw-Guinea Raad: the First Steps” Conference.

Indonesian security forces were in attendance in large numbers at the rally, but no act of violence or provocation were reported by rally organisers.

In The Hague, speakers at the conference organised by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) and held at the Dutch Parliament, included exiled UK-based independence figure Benny Wenda, Dutch Parliamentarians including Harry van Bommel, Cees van der Staaij, and Wim Kortenoeven.  International Lawyers for West Papua (IPWP) Co-ordinator and international human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson also spoke, demanding The Netherlands honour its “sacred trust” of its promise of independence for the West Papuan people, and assist West Papuan to fulfil their human right to self-determination.

The New Guinea Council (Nieuw-Guinea Raad) was established on April 5 1961 whilst under Dutch administration as the concept of a more democratic mode of administration started to develop, as a body that was to be the basis for a independent West Papuan parliament.  According to the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, “The establishment of regional councils came from the requirement that the Charter of the United Nations imposed on the Netherlands: that the interests of the inhabitants of Dutch New Guinea had to be paramount.”
“The Netherlands was to respect the right to self-rule and had to take the political aspirations of the indigenous people into account. They were also meant to support the Papuan people with the gradual development of their own political institutions.  There are documents. We are not speaking of vague promises, but we are speaking of real firm commitments for the independence of the West Papuan people,” explained a spokesperson for IPWP.

“Unfortunately by signing the New York Agreement (1962) the Dutch governments abandoned the West Papuan people,” the spokesperson said.

Footage from the demonstrations in Papua:

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Presentations at the conference in The Netherlands:

Thousands across Papua demand UN step up to protect Papuan people: PHOTO AND VIDEO REPORT

Ban Ki-moon with Indonesia President Susilo Ba...
Ban Ki-moon with Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHOTO AND VIDEO REPORT

from the West Papua Media Editorial team, and local sources across Papua

March 21, 2012

Rallies held across West Papua, Indonesia, and Australia have drawn tens of thousands of people on to the streets calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to do more to protect West Papuans to Indonesian state violence, and to allow them exercise their universal human rights to self-determination.

Despite significant threats of violence prior to the rallies by Indonesian security forces against peaceful unarmed protestors, the mass mobilisations across West Papua significantly outnumbered security forces and were peaceful.  In some centres, the police only sent a handful of undercover intelligence agents to monitor the situation.

Security forces blocking access to Jayapura (photo Matias Murib)

In Jayapura, over 5000 demonstrators marched from Taman Imbi and joined with a long march of several thousand people.  Security forces blocked access to the centre of Jayapura with heavy weaponry, but the rallies avoided provocation.  Jayapura was reported to be a ghost town as the rallies paralysed normal business and movement.

[youtube http://youtu.be/1Y0jMhuygXE] [youtube http://youtu.be/Zjz3Vj4Mv3A] [youtube http://youtu.be/xNgwCGiqB6E] [youtube http://youtu.be/lStemYrVRIo] [youtube http://youtu.be/IcoGo4fXRBY]

Speakers in Jayapura demanded that the UN Secretary-General listen to the people of West Papua and tabled seven key demand on the UN.  Buchtar Tabuni, from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) told the crowd that the UN must take responsibility for its role in the sham 1969 Act of Free Choice handover of West Papua to Indonesia, actions that violated international law.

“Ban Ki-Moon and SBY have to know the wishes of the sovereign independence of Papua on the land itself.  KNPB will mediate the West Papuan people so they can determine their political choices through a mechanism that is democratic, peaceful, dignified and final in accordance with the principles and standards of international law”, said  Tabuni.

Jayapura

Herman Wainggai, a West Papuan  the West Papuan independence advocate based in the United States explained at the solidarity rally in Melbourne, Australia, “Our troubles began in New York in 1962, and I hope they will end there soon. We ask the United Nations to host talks between the Indonesian Republic and the Federated Republic of West Papua, just as the UN did between the Indonesians and the Dutch”

Ban Ki-Moon was visiting Indonesia to participate in  The Jakarta International Defence Dialogue, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence on 21 March 2012, a move widely seen by human rights observers as giving legitimacy to Indonesian militarist objectives over West Papua and beyond.

West Papuan activists called on Mr Ban to use the opportunity to press Indonesia on human rights in Papua and its consistent denial of basic freedoms and rights to West Papuan people, including rights to life and of freedom of expression, and freedom from arbitrary detention.

“We would like Mr Ban Ki-moon to attend to our defence while he’s in Jakarta” said Herman Wainggai,

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the right of all individuals to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly and association. Also,  Indonesia is a signatory to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and Indonesia’s constitution also protects these rights,” Wainggai told West Papua Media.

“So,  it would be appropriate for the Secretary-General to negotiate the release of all political prisoners in Indonesia while he is visiting the new ‘Peacekeeping’ Centre in West Java,” said Wainggai.

Widespread Mass Actions

The rallies across Papua drew tens of thousands of people in total in Wamena, Biak, Serui, Yapen, Sorong, Nabire, Jayapura and Fak-Fak.  Security forces engaged in their standard procedures of intimidation and disruption at all rallies, but protesters maintained non-violence discipline at each area.

On Yapen island, close to 6000 people in total held two long marches to support the demands of the day, all under threat of arrest.  Local police had refused to issue a permit for the rallies to go ahead, claiming the rallies would upset the security and integrity of Indonesia.  After a week of pamphleteering and socialising the rallies, police had no choice but to allow the rally to go ahead.  The rally began in the village of Mantembu, where former political prisoner Yawen Wayeni was brutally disembowelled and filmed by Brimob police in a video leaked on Youtube in 2010.

Mantembu, Yapen Island

The same Brimob unit on Monday attempted to block the long march from leaving Mantembu, using over 50 police to block the narrow road, and attempted to seize all Morning Star flags.  Negotiations ensued, led by Reverend Jhon Pairire and FRWP Doberay Governor David Abon, who got agreement from police for the rally to continue to Serui city.  Police continued to intimidate Papuans all day, but Morning Star flags still appeared throughout the day despite Police.

Serui, Yapen Island

Manokwari saw more than 7000 people from across Papuan society and resistance raise the Morning Star flag and conduct long marches all over town after prayer, eventually settling down to listen to orations from a wide range of speakers.  Speakers called for the freeing of all political prisoners in Papua in Indonesian prisons, including the President and the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of West Papua.  Brimob officers tried to seize the Morning Star flags early unsuccessfully, but soon stood aback training their weapons on the crowd, who studiously ignored the provocative intimidation according to stringers for West Papua Media.

Manokwari

In Sorong, our stringers reported that almost 1000 people took to the streets in a festive atmosphere.  Organisers claimed that few security forces turned up other than about ten plain clothes intelligence agents.  “It is clear that this drastically changed the atmosphere, it must be because of international pressure,” said our stringer by SMS.

On the West Coast in Fak-Fak, almost 1000 people took part in prayers and listened to speeches in the main market square, with little interference by security forces present.

Fak-Fak

In Jayapura, stringers for West Papua Media reported a wide range of colourful, festive and dramatic demonstrations for Papuan aspirations, including the release of almost 300 balloons painted with banned Morning Star flags and the UN flag, which drifted across town and out to sea.  This tactic has been used repeatedly as a tactic for distributed symbolic resistance in both Papua and Maluku for years.  Isolated gunfire was heard when the balloons passed over military barracks, according to local sources, believed to be Indonesian soldiers attempting to shoot down the balloons.

And in Wamena, in the Baliem Valley, a thousand people joined in a rally and march to support the call for the UN to take action by sending peacekeeping force to protect Papuan people against Indonesian security forces.  Stringers for West Papua Media report that few security forces were in overt attendance, but there was an understanding that troops were close by at all times.  The Baliem Valley and West Papuan highland people have borne the brunt of Indonesian violence since the occupation began, with sweeps against civilians by the Australian funded Detachment 88 counter terrorism group and Indonesian army still ongoing in Tingginambut, Mulia and the outer areas of the Baliem Valley.

Wamena

More demonstrations are planned in coming weeks.

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Appeal against Papuan Congress treason convictions launched

From West Papua Media sources in Jayapura
EXCLUSIVE
March 19, 2012
After an Indonesian court on March 16 sentenced  five Congress leaders guilty of Makar (treason) three years in prison each, lawyers for the men have today launched a formal appeal against the sentences in the Jayapura Class 1a district court.
The five defendants, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selfius Bobii, Dominikus Sorabut, and Agus Kraar, were leaders and organisers of the Third Papuan People’s Congress held on October 19 2011, which was brutally broken up by Indonesian security forces after Forkorus  – the Chairman of the Papuan Tribal Council elected as President of the Federated Republic of West Papua – unilaterally reaffirmed West Papua’s independence from Indonesia.
An SMS just sent to West Papua Media from the legal team defending the five men said “promptly at 15:00 (West Papua time), our team of legal advisors has stated appeals in Class IA Jayapura District Court in connection with the Makar case on behalf Forkorus, et al, against 3 year prison sentence imposed by the judges of  (the)  Court, for being convicted of a crime of attempted treason”.
The SMS stated that the crimes the men were convicted under “also referred to in Article 106 of the Criminal Code,  Article 55 paragraph (1) of the  Criminal Code, together with Article 53 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, (we have lodged) a statement of appeal of the verdict of Class IA Jayapura District Court”
“This judgement does not have the force of law, then the case must be reviewed by the Jayapura High Court Judge,” according to the SMS.
“The reason we (have) appealed the decision of the Court of Jayapura (is because it is) essentially inconsistent with the facts of the trial, both from witnesses, evidence and the testimony of the defendant,” the legal team said.  “Also it is not in agreement with the Book of the Law of Criminal Procedure.”
The date that the appeal is set down to be heard is not known at the time of publication, as the lodged appeal had yet to be processed by the court.
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