Chandra Iswinarno and Adie Prasetyo Nugraha – The Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) held actions at two locations in Jakarta on Saturday August 15 to commemorate 58 years since the 1962 New York agreement.
The protesters said that the agreement was problematic because it was made without the involvement of ordinary West Papuan people. Yet the agreement was related to the survival and future of the people and nation of West Papua. Despite this, the ordinary people were not involved.
The actions took place at the United States Embassy and the State Palace. “[The protest] in front of the Palace has just finished”, FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta told Suara.com on Saturday August 15.
During the action they also took up the policy of Special Autonomy (Otsus) which has been applied for almost 20 years. The people of West Papua have not been afforded special treatment since Law Number 21/2001 on Special Autonomy came into force.
The FRI-WP and the AMP said that Special Autonomy has been unable to protect West Papuan traditional communities from having their land stolen in the interests of investment and that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is mandated by the law, has never been realised.
In addition to this, there has been no effort to resolve cases of gross human rights violations in Papua and year by year the number rights violations continue to grow.
For them, Special Autonomy is nothing more than a tool to appease the political demands of the Papuan people who want the right to self-determination.
In a statement, the FRI-WP and the AMP made 10 demands which were addressed to the regime of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Nations.
1. Freedom and the right to self-determination as a democratic solution for the Papuan people.
2. Withdraw all organic and non-organic TNI (Indonesian military) and Indonesian police from the land of Papua as condition for peace.
3. Close down the Freeport gold-and-copper mine, the LNG Tangguh gas field operated by BP and the MNC Group LNG plant which are the masterminds behind humanitarian crimes in the land of Papua.
4. The United State must be held accountable for the colonialism and human rights violations against the West Papua nation.
5. Demilitarise Nduga regency and revoke Presidential Regulation Number 40/2013 which legalises the military’s involvement in the construction of the Trans-Papua highway.
6. Open access for international and domestic journalists to report on West Papua.
7. Give the West Papuan people the right to freedom of association, assembly and expression.
8. Unconditionally free all West Papuan political prisoners.
9. Oppose the extension of Special Autonomy.
10. Revoke the decision to expel four Khairun University students in Ternate, North Maluku, for their involvement in West Papuan protests.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringati Perjanjian New York, FRI-WP dan AMP Gelar Aksi di Jakarta”.]