Ambon – A demonstration by scores of Papuan students commemorating 60 years of West Papua independence in the city of Ambon, Maluku province on Wednesday December 1, ended in chaos after it was forcibly broken up by police.
The Papuan students, who are undergoing their studies in Ambon, refused to accept the police's actions and fought back with students and police pushing and shoving each other.
The police finally succeeded in forcing the demonstrators back, who appeared to be wearing clothing and accessories with the Morning Star flag on them.
Ambon and the Ambon islands municipal police public relations division head, Second Police Inspector Izaac Leatemia, explained to journalists that the demonstration was broken up because the protesters did not have a permit from police. The action was also disrupting the flow of traffic.
"Indeed there was a written order to provide security for the (West) Papua anniversary commemoration. Of course (it was broken up because they didn't have a permit)", said Leatemia.
The protest action commemorating West Papua independence on December 1, 1961 was initiated by the Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP).
During the action, the Papuan students made 17 demands including:
- The right to self-determination as a democratic solution for the West Papuan nation
- That the extension of special autonomy be cancelled
- That journalists be given the broadest possible access to West Papua
- The withdrawal of all organic and non-organic troops from West Papua
- An end to all forms of discrimination and intimidation against West Papuan students
- The unconditional release of West Papuan political prisoners
- The closure of PT Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh, and an end to development of the Wabu Block and exploitation by PT Antam in the Bintang Mountains
- Fully investigate the shooting of two children in Intan Jaya
- Arrest, try and imprison the generals and human rights violators
- End all racism and racist politics by the Indonesian government, the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police)
- End the military operations in Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak Jaya, the Bintang Mountains, Maybrat and all other parts of West Papua
- Revoke the Omnibus Law
- Enact the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence
- That the Netherlands be held liable for failing to complete West Papua's decolonisation process as they had promised
- For the United Nations to be responsible for and actively involved in a fair and democratic manner in the process of self-determination, the straightening out of history and resolving human rights violations which have taken place in West Papua
- Urging the Indonesian government to provide the broadest possible access to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to observe the human rights situation in West Papua
- Provide guarantees of freedom of information, expression, opinion and organisation to the nation of West Papua
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo 60 Tahun Kemerdekaan West Papua di Ambon Dibubarkan Polisi".]