Papuan students reject Obama visit, demand closure of Freeport

Tribune – November 9, 2010
West Papuan protest at Freeport office in Jakarta (Viva)
West Papuan protest at Freeport office in Jakarta (Viva)

Alie Usman, Jakarta – Scores of Papuan students from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) have again protested against the visit by US President Barrack Obama who is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. They are urging and calling on Obama to cancel his visit to Indonesia.

The protesters, who gathered in front of the Freeport office in the Kuningan area of South Jakarta, plan to continue holding actions by closing off one lane of Jl. Rasuna Said. In addition to rejecting Obama’s visit, the protesters also demanded that the PT Freeport Mc Moran Gold & Cooper mine in Papua be closed immediately.

Action coordinator Rinto Kogoya said that the various problems occurring in Papua need to be understood in the context of the interference by and role of foreigners, particularly the US, which continues to exploit Papua’s riches and as the cause of crimes against humanity in Papua.

“Our aim is clear, we are demanding that Freeport be closed. Then sever bilateral relations with America in the military field. On this occasion we are also declaring our opposition to Obama’s visit, which will not provide anything for the reform of America”.

In speeches, they also urged the Indonesian government, the US and the United Nations to take responsibility for the political conspiracy that took place in 1969. Not only that, as an expression of their disappointment with the country and also against the US, they called on the government to end bilateral cooperation with the US in the military field.

[Translated by James Balowski.]