Vitalis Yogi Trisna, A. Wisnubrata, Jakarta – West Papua is a region of Indonesia that is extraordinarily rich in natural resources and culture. Parts of Papua have even been designated as “a heaven that has been lost” because of its beauty.
This richness and beauty however is not in proportion to the recent security situation in West Papua. In the month of June alone 11 people have been killed and five wounded as a result of mysterious shootings.
This concern over the situation in West Papua was expressed in an action in Jakarta by the group Humanitarian Solidarity for Papua (Skup), who held a long-march to the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Wednesday June 13. Through this protest action they demanded that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono take concrete steps to end the violence in Papua.
The protesters also demanded an evaluation of the performance of the national police and the TNI (Indonesian military) in relation to the widespread shooting incidents, calling on the police and the TNI to coordinate to resolve the conflict.
“Peace is what is being longed for by all the people of the land of the Cendrawasih [Bird of Paradise]”, shouted one of the demonstrators during the action.
Humanitarian Solidarity for Papua (Skup) is made up of Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta), the Papua NGO Cooperative Forum (FOKER LSM Papua), National Papua Solidarity (NAPAS) the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP), the Papuan Traditional Social Community Against Corruption (Kampak), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), the Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (DEMOS), the Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS), Asian Justice and Rights (AJAR), the Coalition for Justice and Revelation of Truth (KKPK), the Indonesian Association of the Families of Missing Persons (IKOHI), the Jakarta consulate of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), (Komite Nasional Papua Barat), the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan), the People’s Liberation Party (PPR), the Indonesian Civic Network (Lima) and the Jayapura Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jayapura).
[Bumi Cendrawasih Rindu Kedamaian. Kompas.com. Kamis, 14 Juni 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]