“We are constantly maintaining welfare and accelerated development approaches in that province [Papua] and are upholding the law and security”. These were the words of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a speech given at a First Plenary Session of the Indonesian Legislative Assembly and Peoples Assembly on 16 August 2013. (You can read the whole speech here.)
The segment of SBY’s speech regarding Papua made it extremely clear that Indonesia has a totally fixed position regarding Papua, being that “Aceh and Papua are inseparable parts of the Republic of Indonesia”.
To defend Indonesia’s continued hold of Papua, SBY has insisted that three primary approaches be undertaken in Papua: welfare, legal and security approaches. SBY promises that Indonesia is in the process of planning a new "formula" for Special Autonomy will bring about advancements and dignity for Papua. This is what is being put forward by Indonesia as the goals for the draft regulations for governance in Papua known as Special Autonomy Plus.
However the Special Autonomy Plus Regulations have already been firmly rejected by the people of Papua.
Special Autonomy Plus will experience the same fate that the previous Special Autonomy package met, as it failed to protect and respect the basic rights of the people of Papua. Even the most basic right, the right to life of indigenous Papuans to the very land of their ancestors, was not protected by Indonesia under Special Autonomy.
SBY’s statement that Indonesia has “always shown respect for the human rights and for the distinctiveness of the culture of the Papuan community” is a public lie. The reality is that in order to guard the sovereignty and integrity of Indonesia since the 1960s, Papuans have been annihilated both directly and indirectly through a range of planned, systematic and measurable approaches by Indonesia. Must the world allow the people of Papua to be killed by Indonesia through its armed forces in order to guard the sovereignty and integrity of Indonesia?
Isn’t the killing or wiping out of the Papuan people a humanitarian evil that conflicts with the forces of law and morality? Why do the United Nations (UN) and the other nations of the world allow the people of Papua to be killed so that other nations can prioritize working with Indonesia in a range of sectors?
To achieve Indonesia’s goals SBY is applying both legal and security approaches in the land of Papua. The application of the legal approach falls within the authority of the police. So accordingly they gag freedom of expression in public areas and arrest and arbitrarily imprison Papuan activists. That has been the practice of Indonesia until this time.
The security approach has been placed under the Indonesian military (TNI). Their role is to wipe out, to extinguish the movement for the liberation of Papua within the guise of guarding the sovereignty and integrity of Indonesia. These two state forces have the full support of the national intelligence (BIN), the Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS), State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (BAKIN) and all the machinery of Indonesias various governance systems (including at executive, legislative and judiciary levels) and support of support groups faithful to Indonesia to bring about these ends in Papua.
In his speech SBY didn’t mention any possibility of trying to bring an end to the problems in Papua through dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
Indonesia has continuously ignored pressure to enter into dialogue with Papua from a range of parties both within Indonesia and overseas. In fact, dialogue is now a dead end, after SBY froze that possibility by not including it in his state speech. SBY made one closing statement regarding Papua: “Don’t hurt the feelings of the nation of Indonesia, as we don’t hurt the feelings of other nations.”
But what about the feelings of the nation of Papua that have been so "hurt" beyond measure by the military and political invasion of Indonesia with the annexation of the sovereignty of the nation of Papua into Indonesia? What about the "feelings" of the nation of Papua that has continuously been so wounded in struggling to have its right to sovereign independence acknowledged by Indonesia, the United Nations and other countries of the world? What about the feelings of the nation of Papua that has had to sacrifice everything and the human souls that have become victims of this struggle?
The President needs to both question himself and correct himself. The nation of Papua has the very same rights to full independence as the nation of Indonesia. Indonesia should not hurt other nations so that it in turn Indonesia might not be hurt by other nations.
After gaining a better understanding of SBY’s speech on Papua, all parties that have sympathy for Papua need to stop and ask the question: "Why is Indonesia still hardening its heart and refusing to consider the way of peaceful dialogue to find a dignified solution for the problems in Papua?" We also need to ask in light of the implications of SBY’s speech, what then are the next steps that those of us who care about Papua now need to take?
A few suggestions are offered below:
1) All parties need to carry out an overall evaluation of efforts that have been and are being made to bring an end to the problems in West Papua. We need to unite and reflect together, then take on a position that will enable us to take the next steps forward together.
2) We need to upgrade our national and international actions to pressure Jakarta to bring an end to the problems in Papua through peaceful negotiations facilitated by a neutral third party.
3) All parties who care about the Papuan situation need to unite their ranks and urge the UN to:
i) firmly apply tough sanctions against the as a UN member, due to its continual human rights violations and humanitarian evils in the land of Papua.
ii) pressure Indonesia be open to consultations with Papua facilitated by a neutral third party in a neutral location.
4) If Indonesia continues to disregard the urging of the international community and the UN, then the UN should act on its legal and moral responsibility to carry out a humanitarian and security intervention.
This is the path that the nations of the world and UN must take in order to uphold democracy, honesty, peace, justice and truth together and to provide protection and dignified respect for humans in Papua above all other interests.
That the blood and tears of the people of Papua continue to flow without ceasing is a fact. The blood and tears have flowed without ceasing from the time Papua was annexed into Indonesia until now and we well know the same will continue tomorrow. Blood and tears that are shed solely for the liberation of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination by Indonesia and its allies.
Once again let it be stressed that the people of West Papua are not struggling for and do not need those developments offered through Indonesias’s Special Autonomy packages. What the people of Papua need and struggle for is the liberation of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of Indonesia and its allies.
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