Papuan’s demand UN conduct review of 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’

SPMNews – May 2, 2005
Hundreds of West Papuans hold rally in Abepura (Berita Satu)
Hundreds of West Papuans hold rally in Abepura (Berita Satu)

Port Numbay (Jayapura) – Around 500 indigenous Papuans organised by the Papua Youth Group (Kelompok Pemuda Papua) held a demonstration against the integration of West Papua in to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia on the morning of Sunday May 1 at the Trikora Abepura Square. They presented five demands, three of which were directed at the secretary-general of the United Nations, Koffi Annan.

The three demands were for a review of Pepera documents (the 1969 UN sponsored referendum on integration with Indonesia) as it is legally flawed, full of irregularities and intimidation, urging the Indonesian government to immediately withdraw all of its troops (organic and non-organic) from West Papua by the end the year and for the government as a member of the UN to give an opportunity to the Papuan people to determine their own future though a free and confidential referendum under the supervision of the UN and other international agencies.

In the document containing the demands which was signed by Kwila Nungga Penggu two demands were presented to the Indonesian authorities, the immediate and unconditional release of all Free Papua Movement political prisoners and that the Papuan people explicitly reject special autonomy and the Indonesian sponsored Papuan People’s Council and for Indonesia to give an opportunity for the people of West Papua to determine their own future.

The action appeared different from usual because it was conducted in the form of a joint prayer led by a Papuan student activist who is a candidate priest and was wearing traditional Papua clothing.

After hearing that Brimob (Mobile Brigade) planned to attack the peaceful demonstration, the demonstrators immediately dispersed at around 12.30pm and proceeded towards the Pendopo Sentani in an orderly manner to join up with Mamta (Mamberamo-Tami) demonstrators and a number of prominent Papuan Cultural Council members who were preparing to hold an event marking the third anniversary of the council and to lay a wreathe of flowers on the grave of Theys H. Eluay1.


1. West Papuan pro-independence leader, Theys Eluay was found dead in his car in November 2001 after attending a party thrown by Indonesia’s Kopassus Special Forces. Seven Kopassus soldiers were later found guilty of the murder and sentenced to short terms in jail.

[Translated by James Balowski.]