Papuans hold simulations rallies in Java and Bali protesting ‘illegal’ New York Agreement

Suara Papua – August 15, 2018
Protest action by the AMP and FRI-WP in Bandung - August 15, 2018 (SP)
Protest action by the AMP and FRI-WP in Bandung - August 15, 2018 (SP)

Bastian Tebai, Semarang – The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) have called on all Papuan students through their city committees in Java and Bali to declare that the 1962 New York Agreement was illegal.

The AMP and FRI-WP said that the agreement, which was signed on August 15, 1962 and used as the basis for the 1968 “Act of Free Choice” (Pepera), was illegal because it did not involve a single representative from the Papuan people.

On Wednesday August 15, the AMP and FRI-WP commemorated the agreement in their respective cities.

Demonstrations were held by AMP committees in Makassar (South Sulawesi), Malang (East Java), Yogyakarta (Central Java), Jakarta and the satellite city of Tangerang, Semarang (Central Java), Surabaya (East Java) and Bandung (West Java). In Bali, Solo (Central Java) and Bogor (West Java), the AMP commemorated the agreement with public discussions.

The peaceful AMP demonstration in Yogyakarta however was blocked by police and reactionary mass organisations (ormas). Likewise during a peaceful demonstration in Surabaya the front gates to the Papuan Kamasan Dormitory was vandalised by an ormas and Surabaya police.

During the simulations protests today, the AMP called on the regime of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the Dutch government, the United States and the United Nations to, first, give the right of self-determination to the nation of Papua as a democratic solution that must be implemented.

Second, acknowledge and affirm that the New York Agreement was legally and morally invalid because it did not involve a single representative of the Papuan people.

Third, they called for the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) from the land of Papua.

Forth, they demanded the closure of the Freeport gold-and-copper mine, the LNG Tangguh gas field operated by BP, the MNC Group LNG plant, the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) in Merauke and other multi-national company projects in West Papua which continue to be the masterminds behind humanitarian crimes in the land of Papua.

Fifth, that the UN take responsibility for and be actively involved in a manner that is just and democratic, in a process of self-determination, the straightening out of history and resolving the human rights violations against the Papuan nation.


Following the launch of the Trikora military operation which was aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 and under the threat that Indonesia would move from armed infiltrations to a large-scale military attack, US sponsored negotiations led to the signing of the New York Agreement on August 15, 1962 in which the Netherlands agreed to hand over administration of Western New Guinea to Indonesia pending a UN administered plebiscite. Seven years later under the newly installed Suharto dictatorship, the treaty led to the so-call “Act of Free Choice” in 1969 in which 1025 hand-picked Papuans “voted” at gun-point for the territory remain part of Indonesia.

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The second part of the article contained an explanation of the New York Agreement and “Act of Free Choice”. The original title of the article was 15 Agustus: AMP dan FRI WP Sebut New York Agreement Ilegal.]