Papua, Jubi – West Papuan people will not take part in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections, say the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP).
This is because they accuse the Indonesian government of illegal political practices in Papua, of failing to uphold the rights of the Papuan people and because both presidential candidates have a bad track record on Papua.
“Indonesia is a state which since the declaration of the Trikora operation on December 19, 1961, has conducted illegal political activities in the territory”, said FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) offices in Central Jakarta last week.
“Because of this we are taking a position and declaring that we will not take part in the 2019 presidential or legislative elections,” he said.
Anta explained that what they mean by the territory of West Papua was an area extending from Numbai to Merauke, Raja Ampat to Baliem and Biak Island to Adi Island.
The groups also believe that the contestants in the 2019 election on April 17 are the same as those in previous elections where candidates are only interested in gathering votes from the Papuan people.
However, there has been no effort by the legislative, presidential or vice-presidential candidates to uphold the rights of the West Papuan people, they say.
Speaking in the same vein, Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) national collective secretary-general Samsi Mahmud said that the Papuan people were not interested in the 2019 elections.
Aside from Indonesia’s illegal political activities, according to Mahmud none of the political parties are articulating the wishes of the Papuan people and the elections are only aimed at maintaining the practice of colonialism.
“[The elections] are a tool for the colonial government to put local power holders in place to safeguard their interests”, said Mahmud.
AMP member Erepul Sama said there was no difference between the two presidential candidates, incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, particularly in their handling of human rights violations.
“Prabowo himself has a bad track record in Papua such as the Mapenduma incident. But this doesn’t mean that Jokowi is any better”, said Sama.
“Jokowi has allowed human rights violations to occur again and again, for example in the bloody Paniai case which has still not been resolved”, he added.
Aside from declaring that they will not take part in the 2019 elections, the FRP-WP and the AMP made three other demands: West Papuans be given the right to self-determination, All organic and non-organic troops be withdrawn from Papua, and Journalists be given free access to Papua.
Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961.
It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.
The Mapenduma operation was a botched rescue operation in the remote Mapenduma area of West Papua led by then Kopassus commander Prabowo Subianto in 1996 to secure the release of World Wildlife Fund researches taken hostage by the Free Papua Movement.
The attempt ended in a military attack on Geselema village resulting in the death of up to eight civilians.
On December 8, 2014, barely two months after Widodo was sworn in as president, five students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency.
Shortly after the incident, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but four years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings. (pmc.aut.ac.nz/CNN Indonesia)
Source: Pasific Media Centre
JDP: Government must arrange the customary-based dialogue in Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – A dialogue on Papua should represent the people of Papua, Father Jhon Bunay Pr, the Coordinator for Papua Peace Networks (JDP), told reporters in a press conference held in Jayapura on 7 September 2019.
“The dialogue should conduct in seven Papuan territories, namely Mamta, Anim Ha, Lapago, Meepago, Saireri, Domberai and Bomberai and involve each representative of the central government, military and police, liberation army, Papuans living in Papua, Papuans domicile outside of Papua, other residents of Papua, investors and mass media,” he said.
Furthermore, he emphasises that the involvement of indigenous representatives in the dialogue is crucial. He hopes the government does not initiate the discussion with Papuans from outside of Papua because it could make problems difficult to solve.
“We are the same. We are brothers, no suspicion. There shouldn’t be the police or military’s spies or those who have no concern come in this dialogue. It’s important to ensure that everyone is free to express their feeling and thought, and we’ll find a solution together,” he said.
He also reminds the government to not organising the dialogue in the form of a seminar. It would not work in terms of producing a satisfactory result for everyone. “We will never find a real solution (through seminar); the result is null. Instead, we must invite local peoples to speak,” he said.
Moreover, he says the dialogue between Jakarta and Papua would never happen due to the high suspicions amongst stakeholders. “Perhaps we are too suspicious of each other. Talking about Papua’s issues should not be done with another approach, because the dialogue is the best approach,” he said.
Therefore, he said the relevant stakeholders must sit together to recover painful and bitter memories during the long conflict that occurred in Papua, including to put suspicious away.
“We must do reconciliation in the seven Papuan territories with involving all relevant stakeholders in Papua. Meanwhile, other components such as military and police, liberation army, Papuans from inside and outside of Papua, other residents of Papua, and mass media must attend (and involved in the process of) in the reconciliation,” he said.
Therefore, the process of reconciliation will turn out to be a transformation point for Papua to plan the best future for Papua. He also reminds that instead of discussing Papua in or inside Indonesia, it is more important to talk about the indigenous rights in Papua, and the welfare of all indigenous Papuans.
“I believe that the dialogue will solve all the problems from the past. Using guns, arresting and putting people in jail would not solve the problem. Instead, it makes it worse,” he says.
Meanwhile, JDP Deputy Daniel Randongkir said authorities must prioritise the principles of human rights and justice. “Once again, for JDP, the dialogue is the only way to solve the problem in Papua with rights and pure. Therefore it can be solved on behalf of justice and dignity,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
ULMWP: Military and mass organisation in Surabaya are responsible for demonstration waves in Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – Buchtar Tabuni, the Chairman of Legislative Committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), declined that ULMWP was behind the mass protests and rampages in Papua. Instead, he accused the Indonesian military, and local mob committed in persecution and racism against Papuan students in Surabaya are responsible for these incidents.
“Those who should be responsible for these protests and rampages in Papua are soldiers, police officers, municipal police officers and the local mob in Surabaya. Those who attacked Papuan students and called them ‘monkeys’ have triggered demonstrations occurred in Papua,” he told Jubi on Sunday (8/9/2019) in Waena, Jayapura.
He further said that for the couple last weeks, the Indonesian Government has attempted to build a discourse to put the ULMWP as the actor behind the anti-racism movements in Papua. “The Indonesian government is panic, terrifying in addressing the issue of free Papua that currently becomes a headline in the rest of the world thanks to the South Pacific countries,” he said.
He also said the way military and police in addressing the outrage speared amongst Papuans is not right. Instead of acting promptly, the government denied the persecution and racism against Papuan students in Surabaya. They even deployed more soldiers to Papua. “ULMWP considers the current situation is similar to what had happened in Timor Lester ahead to their independence,” he said.
Moreover, Tabuni stated the struggle for a referendum is open for everyone in Papua, including the migrants. He said the migrants have two options to response the growing demand of referendum amongst Papuans. “First, if they want to stay, they must declare their support to referendum for West Papua, just like indigenous Papuans did. Second, if they want to return to their hometowns, they must go nicely, like Papuans student currently did,” he said.
Separately, Victor Yeimo, the Spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), said Papuan people are not ‘animals’. They are not easy to provoke by the ULMWP, KNPB, Veronika Koman or Benny Wenda. People go to the street because they want to fight against colonialism.
“The Indonesian Government still perceive Papuans as sub-human (half-animal) who easy to provoke. Up to now they always blame on particular organisations or certain people as the actors. Just asks Papuans whether they go to the street because of being provoked by KNPB? Veronica Koman? Benny Wenda? The answer is not,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Deputy Regent confirms eight civilians killed in the shooting incident at Deiyai Regent Office
Nabire, Jubi – Deiyai Deputy Regent Hengky Pigai said the local government continue to update data on victims during the anti-racism protest on Wednesday (28/08/2019) at Deiyai Regent Office.
“Eight civilians were killed in the incident, while 16 injured people are in the Paniai Public Hospital in Madi for treatment. However, some victims have not found yet. So, this is a temporary finding,” Pigai told Jubi journalist Zely Ariane via telephone from Waghete on Friday.
Despite the number of victims, Pigai declined to specify the names of the victims. However, he asserted that the local government still would continue to verify the data of other victims because some protesters escaped to the jungle when the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Ministry of Justice and Peace of the Synod of Kingmi Church in Papua Yones Douw said the church had identified seven victims killed in the incident. Moreover, Douw, who also known as a human right activist, said they also get information about a victim died in the Panian Public Hospital in Madi. However, his identity remains not verified yet.
Among the victims, there are three of them died in the hospital. “The are Alpius Pigai, 20 years old, Pilemon Waine, 28 years old, and Aminadab Potuki, 24 years old. We can verify their identities because their bodies are now with the families,” said Douw.
Meanwhile, four people died at the scene already taken by their families without taking to the hospital. “They are Derikson Adii, 21 years old, Hans Ukago, 26 years old, Marinus Ikomouw, 37 years old, and Yemii Douw, 29 years old,” told Yones Douw by phone to Jubi reporter from Nabire on Saturday.
Concerning the recent update on another victim died in the hospital, Douw said he could not confirm it yet. “So we still adhere to our latest verification that so far the number of dead is seven,” he said.
Meanwhile, Father Santon Tegeke Pr from Timika Diocese in Deiyai Regency told that the diocese had received information about eight civilians killed at Deiyai Regent Office. However, he admitted difficulties to verify the data on the dead victims because the Paniai Public Hospital in Madi kept the information on both dead and injured people.
“We received the information that eight people killed in the incident, but no detail information about their names and age. I came to meet the hospital management in Madi, but they refused to provide data of the victims, either dead or injured. The number of victims might increase because locals reported some protesters fled to the jungle. However, they cannot check their condition because the security forces are still at the scene,” Father Santo told Zely Ariane by phone on Saturday.
Moreover, Deiyai Regent Ateng Edoway invited him and other local community leaders on Friday. “The regent already received the name of victims who died at the Paniai Public Hospital from the hospital director. However, he said we could not announce their names at the moment,” said Father Santon. (*)
Reporter: Zely Ariane/Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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