Protests against 1969 annexation of West Papua held in three Java cities

Selangkah Magazine – July 15, 2014
West Papuan independence activists - Undated (Berita Satu)
West Papuan independence activists - Undated (Berita Satu)

Admin MS, Yogyakarta – Insisting that the annexation of West Papua into the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) through the 1969 referendum (Pepera) was done undemocratically and was a gross human rights violation, the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) has held peaceful actions in several university cities in Java.

In the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang, the AMP took to the streets calling for a review of the 1969 Pepera saying that it was done under pressure from the Indonesian military so that Papua would become part of Indonesia.

Semarang city AMP chairperson Otis Tabuni told Selangkah Magazine that the 1969 Pepera should have been done with the highest respect for the choice of each individual of the Papuan nation under the principles of one person one vote, but instead what took place was a consensus process where 1026 people selected by Indonesia were allowed to represent the around 800,000 Papuan people at the time.

In a press release the AMP made three demands. First, that the 1969 Pepera was undemocratic and called for a referendum to be held for the Papuan people.

Second, calling for the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic military and police (TNI-Polri) from the land of Papua in order to put an end to all forms of humanitarian crimes by the Indonesian state against the Papuan people.

Third, close down and halt all exploitative activities by multi-national corporations throughout the land of Papua owned by imperialists countries including Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh, Medco and Corindo.

And finally, a demand that Papuans be given the freedom to determine their own future as a democratic solution for the Papuan people.

In the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, hundreds of protesters from the Yogyakarta city AMP were again blocked at Jl. Kusuma Negara by a joint force comprising hundreds of police and Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers as well as a social organisation called the Police and Community Partnership Forum (FKPM) that claimed to represent Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.

The protesters were not allowed to continue the action to the nearby zero kilometre point in front of the central post office as detailed in the letter of notification that had been submitted to police.

The police along with the FKPM blockaded the road. In fact there were around 12 tactical police unit (Sabhara) trucks and 17 police and Brimob patrol cars that collaborated to halt the AMP demonstration.

This was precisely the same as what happened at an AMP action on July 1 when they were commemorating the proclamation of West Papuan independence in Victoria on July 1, 1971.

In the West Java provincial capital of Bandung meanwhile, protesters from the AMP also took to the streets with the same demands.

The Papuan students from the AMP demanded that the Pepera be held again saying that the 1969 Pepera was not in accordance with international law and ridden with intimidation and terror.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]