Yogyakarta – Scores of Papuans from the group Solidarity for Papua (SUP) held a protest action at the Yogyakarta monument in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Monday June 21. The demonstrators, most of whom were students, were demanding the lifting of the military operational zone (DOM) status that has been in effect in the Puncak Jaya regency of Papua.
Action coordinator Leksi Degei said that what has been taking place in the Tingginambut district of Puncak Jaya up until now has not been reported by the media. Yet the area has been under the control of the Indonesian military (TNI) and the police (Polri) since June 7.
“We don’t know why there was an agreement between the Puncak Jaya II regional government, the Trikora XVII regional military commander and the Papua police on the DOM status in Puncak Jaya. There was no publication in the media there, yet gross human rights violations have already taken place”, he explained during a break in the action.
Degei added that they are calling on all groups to open their eyes to what is occurring in Puncak Jaya, where a scorched earth policy is being applied, forcing all Puncak Jaya residents to immediately evacuate the area by June 28 at the latest. It is as if Puncak Jaya residents are being expelled from the land of their own birth.
“All residential areas are being swept by the TNI, many horrible killings have occurred. We are asking for an end to this scorched earth policy and the immediate lifting of the DOM status there”, he added.
The demonstrators gave the government a deadline of Saturday June 26 to lift the DOM status. If their demands are not met, they will ask for an authority status to be declared in Papua.
“The SBY [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] government is most responsible for this situation. This action is only an initial notification. Following this, we will hold a much larger national action in Jakarta”, said Degei.
During the action, the protesters marched on foot from the Yogyakarta monument to the Yogyakarta central post office. After protesting for about an hour, the demonstrators disbanded under the close supervision of the Yogyakarta district police tactical police unit. (Dhi)
SUP (Solidarutas Untuk Papua) was established in mid June and includes activists from the Papuan Student Association (IPMA-PAPUA), the West Papua Student Alliance (AMWP), the Anti Colonial Movement (GANJA), the National Student Front (FMN), the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), the Indonesian Association of Catholic Students (PMKRI), Student Struggle Center for National Liberation-Political Union of the Poor (Pembebasan-PPRM), the Political Committee of the Poor-Peoples Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD), the Youth Organisations Union of Struggle (KPOP), the Indonesian Student Union (SMI), Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women), the West Papua Women’s Liberation Movement of Struggle (GP3-PB) and the Indonesian Struggle Union (PPI).
[Translated by James Balowski.]