Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2) Carr must do more on West Papua: Greens
3) Father John Dhonga: 'Level of violence in Papua is getting worse'

Secretariat, c/o: WPPRO, P.O. Box 1571, Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu,
Ph.:+678 7740808, +61414149001 E-mails: morningstar@vanuatu.com.vu,
Date:  28 August 2011


The situation in West Papua (West New Guinea) is sliding towards horizontal conflict. Together with Civil Society and religious Institutions we had contained the situation at least on the part of Papuans with the understanding that we do not need violence to resolve the issue. The Military wing of the OPM, the TPNPB (Tentara Pembebasan Papua Barat or the West Papuan National Liberation Army) have accepted the will of the people not to engage in active combat and give peaceful efforts a chance to succeed. Our greatest hope was that the International Institutions including Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group will put enough pressure on Indonesia to stop the violence perpetrated by its Security Forces and Militias. Regrettably this did not happen. Violence is increasing and the Military Wing of the OPM is beginning to question the likelihood of success in peaceful efforts. If the freelance actors that TPNPB cannot bring under its command notice that the main body is having second thought about peaceful efforts, anything could happen. Melanesian payback practice fueled by decades of hatred is like a bomb needing only a spark to ignite.

At this very moment the people in the Eastern Highlands are without their Hospital. The Security Forces had shut down the Hospital forcing hundreds of people to take their sick relatives home. One could imagine the harrowing situation facing the whole population of the area. The Security forces are still operating in the area forcing people to abandon their homes. The death toll from violence in the past three months alone for the whole country is high and consistent comparing with the on and off occurrences in the past. These casualties included a German National and the slaying of Mako Tabuni, a prominent peaceful demonstrations activist. About eight weeks ago the Indonesian army went on a violent rampage, attacking a Suburb of Wamena town in the Central Highlands. They swept through the town randomly bayoneting people, burning down and destroyed 85 properties. This was a spark that did not ignite retaliation which could have been more serious.
Violence has always been Indonesia’s policy regarding the land of Papua over the past 49 years. Being an occupying power, violence is their only means of enforcing their authority in the Papuan society. For almost half a century since Indonesia annexed West Papua, our people have been subjected to terror and trauma. It is precisely because of this that the civil society recognized that there is a dire need to replace violence with a culture of peace. During a peace conference held in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, from 5-7 July 2011, in addition to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, the regional commanders of the military and police and also governor had participated. Regrettably the government did not maintain their integrity to promote peace as recommended by the conference. Instead violence had increased while mass public demonstrations are repressed culminated in the slaying of their leader Mako Tabuni. Normally the leader of the country would demand proper investigation and bring those responsible for all these violence to justice. Nothing of that nature is forthcoming from the Indonesian President.

There has been much encouragement aimed at Jakarta to resolve the issue peacefully. The Pacific Islands Forum meetings have made pleas for peaceful dialogue; the European Parliament made similar requests and so have some members of the US Congress and the Green Party of Australia. On 19th July 2011, Mr. David Howell, Spokesman for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, in his response to Senator Richard Harris’ question, stated, the ”United Kingdom government has long-time encouraged a constructive dialogue to solve differences between the government of Indonesia and credible leaders of West Papua”. Similarly, Excellency Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, remarked to the Minister of Foreign Affair of Indonesia, the Hon. Marty Natalegawa MP, during the ASEAN-Meeting in Bali on 23th July 2011, “We, of course, believe in open dialogue between Papuan representatives and the government of Indonesia.”  There have been many more statements from the wider international community issued via many organizations, institutions and politicians.

At the moment, it is the West Papuans who have maintained their integrity and consistently pursued a peaceful solution through direct negotiation to be facilitated by a third party. The government of Dr. Susilo Bambang Judhoyono has not reciprocated, and there is no indication that it will. In view of this, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation calls on the MSG, PIF, US, UK, the European Union and others to sponsor a Resolution at the UNGA to re-inscribe West Papua on the UN List for Decolonization. We also call on MSG and PIF to admit the West Papuan Independence Movement as an observer of these bodies as a sure way of encouraging peaceful solution to the conflict.

The Indonesian government has already lost the trust of the people of West Papua after the total failure of the so-called special autonomy. Therefore, it should stop its divide and rule policies and end its meaningless and costly cut and paste autonomy. WPNCL calls on the governments who have assisted the so-called special autonomy to stop their aid because their assistance has only benefited corrupt officials and prolonged the violence in the territory. One very clear example is the training of Detachment 88 that supposedly fighting terrorism; instead it is used as a tool of destruction for the annihilation of Papuans. It has become a Terrorist Detachment in West Papua. Please be straight with your conscience: do you want to be part of the problem, or are you prepared to be part of the solution?

Any further questions please contact,
 Rex Rumakiek, Secretary General of WPNCL on +61414149001,
Dr. John Ondowame, Vice Chairman of WPNCL on +678 5616733
Andy Ayamiseba, WPNCL Vanuatu Mission on +678 7740808
 Ms. Paula Makabory, Human Rights Activist on +61423451540

2) Carr must do more on West Papua: Greens

Media Release 28/08/2012

 The Australian Greens call on the Government to urge Indonesia to put an end to the violence in West Papua, and commend journalists from the ABC’s 7.30 program who entered the region undercover recently. Their work shines a spotlight on the ongoing abuses of human and democratic rights that are occurring in West Papua, only some 200km to the north of Australia.
“The Australian Government has known full well for some time of the atrocities going on in West Papua, but has chosen to turn a blind eye,” Australian Greens Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said.
“The ABC expos√© means Minister Carr no longer has any excuse not to pick up the phone to his Indonesian counterpart and get some answers about what dialogue Indonesian government is having with West Papuan representatives.”
“Along with many Australians, I am very alarmed by the bloodshed of recent months, which adds to the fear experienced by the West Papuan people over many decades of Indonesian rule over their lands,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for West Papua.
“The 7.30 program has managed to gather important coverage of the current situation there, despite considerable restrictions on journalists entering the region. It is crucial that journalists and human rights monitors are allowed access to West Papua.
“Australians are now becoming more aware of these atrocities being committed on their doorstep. They know what happened in East Timor under Indonesian rule and they know that we, as a nation, cannot sit idly by while it occurs again in West Papua.
“The Greens call on Foreign Minister Bob Carr to advocate for a new dialogue between the Indonesian government and representatives of the Papuan people. The indigenous people of West Papua should have the opportunity to decide democratically their own future in accordance with international standards of human rights and the principles of international law.”
“West Papua is a chance for Australia to show real leadership. It is a chance for us to show that we will stand up for the values of peace and democracy we so readily espouse.”
The Greens will introduce a Senate motion during the next sitting period that will call of Minister Carr to raise concerns over human rights abuses with the Indonesian Foreign Minister and request access for human rights monitors and foreign journalists.
The Greens have called on the Australian government to consider its military links to Indonesia and suspend all ties while violence continues, attributed to Indonesian security forces acting with impunity. We cannot stand idly by while this conflict escalates and human rights are being abused on our doorstop.
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

3) Father John Dhonga: 'Level of violence in Papua is getting worse'
Bintang Papua, 24 August, 2012

Father John Djonga has been living and working in the district of Keerom  and is now leaving West Papua and is handing over hist post to Father Ronnie Guntur.

On his departure, he reflected on the situation in West Papua where he has been living and working for twelve years.. He spoke about the links he had made during his stay - with the government, with the  military, with the traditional leaders, with the religious leaders and with the people, and spoke warmly about the  support he had received.

He spoke about some development projects that are under way and said that basic problems  continue to exist. He said that in many parts of the territory and particularly in the interior where the indigenous people live, the situation with regard to education and health is very  worrying indeed.

'These are matters of crucial importance for the dignity and welfare of the people. The issues of justice and equality also are very pressing indeed. 'These are matters for which the government is responsible,' he said.

With regard to economic problems, he said that people are losing their means of  livelihood. The forests are being cut down whereas agricultural activities have not  developed which means that the local people are not involved in any productive activities and all the productive work there is benefiting  a small group of people who have been responsible for cutting down the forests and selling off the  land of the people.

He also expressed his concern about the level of violence that is occurring and said that far from this declining it has increased. 'Both sides, the government apparatus and the people resort to violence to resolve their problems. This never solves anything,' he said. 'On the contrary, it only complicates things.'

The people living in Keerom live in a constant state of fear and anxiety . There is no trust at all between the two sides, and the people live in a state of trauma  because of the presence of the Indonesian military in every kampung. 'This does nothing to  improve relations; on the contrary, it only makes things worse.'

He said that traditional customs were declining and the availability of spiritual support is getting less and less. There are growing discrepancies and injustices between people of the different communities and this represents  a great challenge  to the need for mutual harmony and respect between the communities.

[Translated by TAPOL]

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