Terrorist label for armed Papuan groups dismissed as 'Indonesian colonial product'

CNN Indonesia – April 29, 2021
ULMWP Executive Director Markus Haluk – July 30, 2019 (SP)

Jakarta – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has criticised the Indonesian government's decision to label the Free Papua Movement (OPM) or armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua as terrorists.

ULMWP Executive Director Markus Haluk said that the government often attaches certain labels on the Papuan nation which, according to Haluk, are labels that it intentionally creates.

"The terms KKB, GPK [security disturbance groups] and so forth are terms created by Indonesian colonialism, the TNI [Indonesian military] and the Polri [Indonesian police]. So, the Papuan people don't recognise any of these", Haluk told CNN Indonesia on Thursday April 29.

Haluk said that the National Liberation Army (TPN) and the OPM were born out of a humanitarian struggle and that they oppose humanitarian crimes and systematic racist politics.

According to Haluk, the TPN, the OPM and the Papuan nation are also fighting for self-determination, which he placed on par with the struggle by Indonesia's founding president Sukarno and vice president Mohammad Hatta and their comrades against Dutch colonialism.

"What is being fought for by the Papuan nation at the moment is part of what was once fought for by Sukarno and Hatta against Dutch colonialism, starting in 1908, 1928, until it climaxed [with the declaration of independence] in August 1945", he said.

Haluk said that they are not concerned about the government's maneuver of labeling the Papuan independence movement as terrorists and asserted that it would not influence the struggle to liberate the Papuan nation.

"None of the labels and terms applied by Indonesian colonialism will lessen the Papuan nation's [determination] to realise the political rights of the Papuan nation", he said.

Earlier, the government decided to categories armed groups in Papua as terrorists using Law Number 5/2018 on the Eradication of Terrorism as a legal basis.

Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD said that they have delegated the security forces to act against terrorists in Papua.

"The government has asked the Polri, the TNI, the BIN [National Intelligence Agency] and related agencies to immediately take rapid, firm and measured actions", said Mahfud during a press conference at the Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Ministry building on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Thursday. (dhf/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ULMWP: Cap OPM-KKB Teroris Ciptaan Kolonial".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20210429192225-20-636628/ulmwp-cap-opm-kkb-teroris-ciptaan-kolonial