Guide The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal

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Today the region comprises two Indonesian provinces: Papua and West Papua. The proposal is supported by Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands with the Parliament of Vanuatu passing the Wantok Blong Yumi Bill Our Close Friends in officially declaring that Vanuatu's foreign policy is to support the achievement of the independence of West Papua. The Dutch had planned to withdraw by and began "Papuanization" to prepare for independence.

On 14 December , Dr. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.

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Home FAQ Contact. Republic of West Papua Wikipedia open wikipedia design. Former unrecognized state consisting of the Western New Guinea region. Coat of arms. Thomas Wainggai proclaimed republic. Radio New Zealand Retrieved 7 October Radio New Zealand. Pacific Scoop. Retrieved 20 October Buchanan, Kelly. Retrieved Retrieved 21 October Migration has also intensified a sense of shared Papuan identity, fanning the fires of greater resentment and resistance.

Transmigrants are predominantly poor Indonesians from the more populous areas of Indonesia, particularly Java, Bali and Sulawesi, whose migration and resettlement in West Papua is sponsored by the central government. Over , people transmigrated to West Papua between and Migration and resulting competition for land and resources, coupled with clashes of culture, has lead to obvious cleavages between Papuans and non-Papuans. In addition, in- migration has exacerbated divisions between Papuans by increasing competition for resources, particularly land and economic opportunities.


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These fractures are predominantly along class and ethnic lines: between Papuans from the north coast areas who due to earlier contact and Dutch policies generally have better formal education and Papuans from the highlands; and between Papuans living in the urban areas and those living in the isolated rural areas. This oft quoted metaphor but common reality, reinforces the bigger picture of military-backed multinational mining corporations like Freeport enriching migrants and foreigners while Papuans are forcibly displaced, harassed, and impoverished in their own land. Without a population policy that controls migration coupled with a participatory pro-poor development policy designed to improve indigenous welfare and protect indigenous culture, it seems very likely vertical and horizontal conflict in West Papua will increase.

Institutional Racism The daily experience of Papuans is one beset by racism.


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  • This is manifested in oft repeated comments by non-Papuans that Papuans are stupid bodoh , lazy malas , drunk mabuk , and primitive primitip. They are bearers of stone age cultures holding them back from being able to participate in the whole process of modernization. One example of this is the murder of Arnold Ap and his colleague Eddie Mofu from the cultural music group, Mambesak. Ap and Mofu were killed by Indonesian Special Forces because their work of collecting and performing Papuan songs and dances from throughout West Papua, in order to celebrate Papuan culture, was seen as promoting Papuan nationalism.

    Outsiders whether Indonesian migrants or internationals need to take this reality into account when designing development projects. Accordingly programs are needed that strengthen the capacity of indigenous communities to develop and participate in change processes, to articulate their own vision for the future and a realistic and achievable plan to get there. Traditional Amungme leader, Thom Beanal has concluded that Papuans need to regain their self-belief and recognise that the struggle for a better West Papua is largely and ultimately in the hands of Papuans alone. It goes without saying that the task of ending racism is extremely difficult.

    It is a task that Western countries, in particular, have had little success with. Inequitable and discriminatory social, economic and political structures in West Papua is further reinforced, legitimised and justified by the cultural violence of racism. Historical grievances combined with direct, structural, and cultural violence, along with rapidly changing demographics and the presence of large numbers of migrants has turned West Papua into a tinderbox. Perhaps one hope of avoiding plunging into the abyss lies in facilitating not only a deeper analysis of the root causes of the conflict, but also a deeper understanding of the multiple and layered meanings of merdeka freedom.

    Such an exercise might also open up surprising common ground for dialogue as well as assisting in the formation of functional strategic objectives for Papuan peacebuilders. Part Four: the multiple meanings of merdeka Papuans and politicians and policy makers in Jakarta and other outsiders for that matter frame merdeka in critically different ways. Despite the fact that Papuan nationalists associate merdeka with independence, many Papuan aspirations inherent in the word merdeka, such as protection of local community land, resources, traditions and identity, and the desperate need for health and educational services, do not necessarily point to independence as the only possible answer.

    Issues like corruption, governance, lack of local capacity, and a participatory development policy that simultaneously meets local needs for employment and services, and protects the fragile environment and diverse Papuan culture, will also not necessarily be resolved by independence. Papuan demands for merdeka are far more nuanced than the simple demand for a separate and sovereign state.

    Papuan understandings of merdeka represent an ongoing individual and collective struggle for liberation that encompasses six overlapping and mutually reinforcing meanings. It lifts up the eyes of those who are oppressed to a new world. It means being able to control their own lives, resources, and identities. It also means the right to veto development projects and receive just compensation when land is appropriated by the state. After years of being marginalised by successive colonial authorities and state led development schemes, adat leaders tokoh adat from the Baliem valley speaking to a group of USAID researchers studying indigenous governance and the revitalisation of adat, said that they were less concerned about the political status of West Papua and more concerned with being able to meet the needs of their communities.

    In brief, welfare means that all basic needs of every person, not just a minority of people, are fulfilled. Merdeka therefore is also about an end to the destructive racism that pervades Papuan society. Given the way Papuans have been marginalised and displaced by migration, addressing Papuan disadvantage has to include the ability for Papuans to restrict and control migration. Animating culture to direct positive social change, and celebrating and being proud of indigenous Papuan identity are also seen as an important means of achieving this end.

    In doing so, legitimate Papuan objectives such as a discussion about the history of West Papua, as well as demands for greater equality, participation in decision making, and an end to the impunity of the Indonesian military are marginalised.

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    For Papuans, however, the deeper meaning of merdeka is more akin to liberation pembebasan in Indonesian. The problem for Jakarta is that given the history of the last forty years and the lack of trust Papuans have in Jakarta, few Papuans believe that their aspirations for peace, justice, equality, and democracy can be met within the framework of the Indonesian State.

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    Nonetheless much of the substance of the wider meaning of merdeka inherent in Papuan demands is consistent with the goal of social justice for all, the fifth pillar of pancasila, the Indonesia state ideology. The polarisation of all Papuan demands for merdeka as being synonymous with the demand for independence has tragic consequences for Papuans who suffer persistent and horrible human rights violations at the hands of the security forces who have repeatedly responded violently to any perceived threat to the territorial integrity of the Indonesian state.

    In the process the wider meaning of freedom as social justice, equality, and democracy is lost. Until this occurs, there is little hope for resolution in Papua. Further, as long as the term is understood by Jakarta only as a threat to nationalist symbols or political sovereignty, the government will ignore and even violate the very moral tenets that could form the basis of compromise.

    In this way Jakarta would ensure that merdeka comes to signify only "political independence" and thus ensure its nightmare of disintegration. For Papuans this will also mean breaking down the demand for merdeka into functional strategic objectives that are clearly defined and achievable. For outsiders it is also critical to support Papuans reconstructing indigenous governance structures that facilitate the realisation of the wider meaning of merdeka. Golden also suggests a broad renaming and reframing political solutions, like the Special Autonomy legislation as daerah independen an independent region , for example, and sincerely implementing the law so that the moral aspirations inherent in merdeka are met.

    Drawing from the Bougainville experience, dialogue might be aided by initially setting aside difficult questions like self-determination, or reframing them at the community level rather than at the political level. The Bougainville negotiations created enough space to allow the parties to focus on what they could talk about, while slowly building sufficient trust to tackle the bigger issues. But their cries are rarely heard by the international community.

    The deafening silence that surrounds the conflict in West Papua needs to be broken. Sadly, the short to mid-term forecast does not appear promising. The conflict in West Papua is already at crisis point. At its current projection will most likely continue to worsen, and take decades to resolve. However, continued forced integration of West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, is clearly unsustainable. Without reigning in the military, devolving genuine power to Papuans, and sustained practical steps that restore trust and meet the moral aspirations inherent in Papuans demands for merdeka, it seems likely that Jakarta will inadvertently push Papuans further down the road to eventual independence.

    As John Rumbiak and other Papuans have often said, the struggle for justice and peace in West Papua is not a struggle for the Papuans alone. The international community not only shares responsibility for the causes of the conflict, it has also benefited economically and politically. Consequently the international community needs to be held accountable.

    While understandable, given the Cold War politics of the time, the process of the transfer of power from the Netherlands to Indonesia fundamentally violated international democratic norms, shared concepts of human rights, and notions of natural justice. Eventually all parties responsible — not just Indonesia — will need to sit down and discuss the issue, and ultimately Papuans will need to be returned the right to freely and fairly determine their own political future, whether that is with Indonesia, or as a separate State, or some other just and creative arrangement that meets Papuan needs for human security, community orientated participatory development, and indigenous identity.

    The Dutch government recently conducted its own truth telling exercise. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, legislation that prohibits the payment of bribes to officials and imposes more rigid accounting practices on U. For outsiders I believe this means prioritising support for nonviolent processes that lead towards the realisation of Papuan aspirations for a just, peaceful and sustainable future.

    The events of the last few years are severely testing the patience of Papuans and their willingness to endorse any solution based on continued integration with Indonesia. All errors of course are entirely my responsibility. To avoid confusion this author refers to the territory as West Papua including both the province of Papua and the recently established province of West Irian Jaya. For the sake of clarity the author refers to the indigenous people of West Papua as Papuans while non-ethnic Papuans — in other words, Indonesians from other parts of the archipelago living in West Papua — are referred to as migrants.

    It was in part a result of this principle that the incorporation of East Timor, as a former Portuguese colony, was not seen as consistent with international practice. See Chauvel, Essays on West Papua: volume 1, pp. The first demand was to crush efforts to make Papua a puppet government for the Dutch.

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    Secondly, to raise the Indonesian flag on West Irian soil, and finally, to integrate Papua into the Republic of Indonesia. Mereka benar-benar menjadi rakyat Indonesia jang bebas dan merdeka. In United Nations terms, it is the lowest rank of approval — an acknowledgment that suffices to get the matter passed but with some misgivings. George Aditjondro points out, a clean Indonesia free from corruption, collusion and nepotism — but without West Papua — would still be richer than a corrupt Indonesia with West Papua.

    Chauvel and Bhakti The Papua Conflict, p. A death toll of , is often quoted in the literature while some Papuans claim church documents estimate the figure to be much higher. While TNI reform has resulted in a movement of the TNI out of parliament the more critical aspect of dwi-fungsi — its territorial command structure remains intact. The report documents the extensive involvement of the security forces and Indonesian officials in illegal logging operations in Papua. Djayanti Group on Kimaam Island. In I interviewed villagers from Seremuk who had been displaced by logging operations run by Pak Gasper the head of Military Police in Sorong and the controversisal Malaysian logging company, Rimbunan Hijau.

    By far the most deadly of these was in Wamena when over 30 people mostly civilian migrants were reportedly killed after clashes between the security forces and Papuans resulted in a riot. Again the TNI has played a role in engineering or provoking many of these incidents. Jaya means great or victorious. Budi Hernawan, Memoria Passionis di Papua, p. Kami tidak diperlakukan sebagai manusia tetapi sebagai obyek, obyek kebijakan politik, obyek operasi militer, obyek pembangunan ekonomi, obyek turisme, dan sebagainya. Itulah sudah. See also Golden, Letter to the Editor, p. Trade in alcohol is closely controlled by the Indonesian military.

    Koreri later re-emerged between — , to became a 30, strong cultural revival and resistance movement against Japanese and Dutch colonialism that included tax resistance, strikes to resist forced labour, acts of religious expressions with political aspirations, defiance of bans on traditional dances and singing, and cooperative economic development see for example Kamma, Koreri.

    The Biak flag-raising was a more modern manifestation of Koreri. For another description of Hai see Towards an Amungme history, p. See also Kamma, Koreri. Likewise the peace agreement with GAM Gerakan Aceh Merdeka — The Free Aceh Movement, which until the December Tsunami was embroiled in a long and bloody armed struggle with the TNI , was possible not just because of the international attention on Aceh created by the Tsunami, but also because GAM agreed to relinquish their demand for independence.

    In return Jakarta agreed to allow the creation of local political parties previously all political parties had to be national parties. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights Barr, Rev. Blaser, Mario, Harvey A. Bone, Robert C. Anderson ed. Herlina, J. Kirksey, S. Budi Hernawan, Frederika Korain S. Related Papers. By Thomas Goumenos.

    sunrapulringlan.tk By Bernadetta Ginting. Decentralisation and elite politics in Papua. By Jaap Timmer.

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    Dynamics of Conflict and Displacement in Papua, Indonesia. By Tamara Jordan. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up.