Student protesters in Jakarta say Papuan independence a ‘historical fact’

Tribune News – December 1, 2011
Papuans independence rally in front of State Palace - December 1, 2011 (Tribune)
Papuans independence rally in front of State Palace - December 1, 2011 (Tribune)

Edwin Firdaus, Jakarta – Hundreds of students originating from Papua held a protest action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday December 1, again calling for Papuan independence.

“The declaration of West Papuan independence was clearly embodied on December 1, 1961, this is a historical fact, and this was then confirmed by the Third Papuan People’s Congress on October 17-19, 2011. So clearly we are already independent”, said action coordinator Melki in a speech.

Melki also took the opportunity to explain that on this commemoration of 50 years of the independence of the Papuan nation, the Jakarta-Bali Papuan Society and Students are making the following political demands:

1. We demand that the United Nations (UNTEA, the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority), the United States, Holland and Indonesia immediately recognise the independence of the West Papuan nation on December 1.

2. The date December 1, 2011 is the commemoration of the anniversary of 50 years of independence of the West Papuan nation.

3. Return the sovereignty of the West Papuan nation that was recognised by Sukarno through the Trikora on December 19, 1961 at the North Square Yogyakarta.


After the Dutch announced the formation of a Nieuw Guinea Raad on April 1961, with the intention of creating an independent Papuan state, Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno declared military confrontation in his Tri Komando Rakjat (TRIKORA, Triple Commands of the People) speech in Yogyakarta, on 19 December 1961.

[Mahasiswa Papua Sampaikan Tiga Sikap Politik di Depan Istana – Kamis, 1 Desember 2011. Translated by James Balowski.]