Papuan protesters in Jakarta demand recognition of Papuan independence

Viva News – December 1, 2011
West Papuan independence protest (Viva)
West Papuan independence protest (Viva)

Elin Yunita Kristanti and Luqman Rimadi – Around 80 people calling themselves the Jakarta-Bali Papuan Society and Students held a protest action in Central Jakarta today demanding that the United Nations (UNTEA, United Nations Temporary Executive Authority), the United States, Holland and Indonesia immediately recognise West Papuan independence on December 1.

In speeches the protesters also called for an immediate investigation into the mysterious shootings and murders that have been committed in Papua. “We also want to be free from military violence in the land of Papua”, said one of the speakers.

During the action, some of the protesters wore koteka (penis gourds). Although there was no flying of the Moring Star flag, some of the demonstrators painted their bodies with symbols of the Free Papua Organisation (OPM).

The protesters also unfurled banners with messages such as “Papuan people’s anti-militarism solidarity” and “End military violence in Papua”. The OPM’s Morning Star flag was also printed in leaflets.

After giving speeches in front of the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the demonstrators then moved off intending to march to the nearby State Palace.

However according to the head of the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle police post, Deputy Police Commissioner M. Nababan, the demonstrators disbanded before they reached the Palace. “Our information is that the protesters have disbanded, we deployed many as 20 police officers to guard [the action], however before reaching the Palace, the protesters disbanded by themselves”, said Nababan.

On December 1, 1961, fifty years ago, Papua which was then called West New Guinea declared its independence. On May 1, 1963 West Irian was integrated into the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) though a mechanism that was seen as legitimate in the eyes of the international community.

After an agreement in New York, the West Iran people’s right to determine their own future was enacted though a UN sponsored referendum on West Papua’s integration with Indonesia (Pepera) that took place between July 14 and August 12, 1969.

The result of the Pepera was that West Irian would remain part of Indonesia and not separate from the NKRI. This was upheld by the 24th United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 2504 dated November 19, 1969. (eh)

[Demo Papua di DKI Bawa Atribut Bintang Kejora – VIVAnews. Kamis, 1 Desember 2011. Translated by James Balowski.]