Government accused of hypocrisy over Palestine, West Papua

Soreang Online – July 5, 2012
NAPAS activist protest in front of Merdeka Building in Bandung - July 5, 2012 (Soreang Online)
NAPAS activist protest in front of Merdeka Building in Bandung - July 5, 2012 (Soreang Online)

Bung Wir, Bandung – Representatives of the Papuan people from the group National Papuan Solidarity (NAPAS) held a protest action at the Merdeka Building on Jl. Asia-Afrika in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Wednesday July 5.

During the action they said that Indonesian government is creating space and providing a place to resolve the Palestine problem, meanwhile the conflict in Papua continues to this day and receives no attention.

According to national public relations officer of NAPAS, Frans Tomoki, in the 50 years since West Papua became a part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), carnage, murder and terror has been continuously launched against the Papuan people, simply in the economic and political interests of liberalism and capitalism that seeks to exploit Papua’s riches.

According to Amnesty International, two million Papuan people have perished at the hands of the Indonesian military, and efforts at dialogue by Papuan social figures have invariably been rejected by the regime of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono, on various grounds.

The prolonged conflict that is taking place has resulted in a humanitarian crisis in West Papua. As a result the Papuan people have remained poor compared with the Indonesian people outside of Papua.

The Indonesian delegation taking part in the International Conference For The Freedom of Al Quds and Palestine, which is being held in Bandung on July 4-5 and attended by representatives from 135 countries, supported and recommended Palestinian independence from Israel.

Meanwhile, the West Papuan people’s fate has been the same as the Palestinian people, who are oppressed by Israel. The Papuan people have been oppressed since the New Order regime of former President Suharto until now under the Yudhoyono regime and the impression is that Papua is being allowed, even being turned into a map of conflict.

“Our struggle is indeed different from the people of Palestine, we are struggling through demonstrations while in Palestine they struggle by taking up arms”, said Tomoki.

Because of this therefore, we are demanding that the participants of the conference seek a resolution to the conflict in Papua [by calling on] the Indonesian government to withdraw all organic and non-organic troops and the international community to pay attention to the fate of the Papuan people. (bung wir/den)

[Rakyat Papua Demo di Depan Gedung Merdeka – Soreang Kamis, 5 Juli 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]