Marking 9 years since Mako Tabuni's murder, KNPB calls on Papuan youth to continue struggle

Suara Papua – June 14, 2022
KNPB Deputy Chairperson Mako Tabuni – Undated (Wikipedia)

Agus Pabika, Jayapura -— The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) commemorated the killing of Papua activist Musa Mako Tabuni today. Tabuni was shot dead by the Densus 88 anti-terror unit at 9.30 am on June 14, 2012, at the Perumnas III taxi roundabout in Waena, Jayapura city.

Before being killed, Tabuni had been put on a secret wanted persons list (DPO) on charges which have never been proven to this day. The shooting occurred when he was eating areca nuts on the side of the road at the taxi roundabout.

KNPB Diplomacy Secretary Omikzon Balingga said that they recalled Tabuni's life during a commemoration on Monday June 14, exactly nine years since the death of their comrade in struggle.

Balingga said that the figure Tabuni would never be forgotten by the KNPB and those struggling in the territory of West Papua. Every year, the KNPB makes a ziarah (a devotional visit to a sacred place) to Tabuni's grave in the Sere Village in Sentani.

During the commemoration today, the KNPB also held contemplation and ate areca nuts at the site where Tabuni was shot dead by Indonesian security forces.

“The person Mako Tabuni was truly aware, had taken note of history, his struggle for independence was not just rhetoric, rather it was a real fight. The ordinary Papuan people must be actively involved, abandon the culture of just talking about it, finding differences between this and that group, and instead unite in a people's movement with a culture of concrete work. It is this concrete work that will create the ideal of escaping from the grip of the nation's oppressors", said Balingga.

In Balingga's eyes, Tabuni was a revolutionary who was never afraid, who never retreated, ran away or surrendered. Tabuni had an extraordinary mental commitment to the struggle.

"Commander Mako Tabuni [will always] be in the minds of KNPB activists, his example and message of promoting peaceful resistance is still alive in every new generation", he said.

It is because of this that Balingga is inviting the Papuan youth generation to continue the struggle which was pioneered by Tabuni.

"We cannot be allowed to be defeated, surrender and trust in the colonialist's deceit. Stop, stop and again stop trusting Jakarta", said Balingga quoting from Tabuni.

During this moment of remembering Tabuni's killing, said Balingga, the KNPB is appealing to all KNPB activists throughout West Papua and the people in struggle to continue consolidating in all cross-sections of the people.

"We [must] stop, stop and again stop trusting Jakarta (colonialism) and the capitalist nation. As was said by Mako Tabuni".

“Being seduced by the development programs, prosperity, peace and all forms of the colonialist's package is a short-cut to the death of the West Papuan people. Indonesia is a colonialist, and West Papua is colonised. Oppression is the colonialist's profession. Fighting is the procession of the oppressed nation", he said.

Calls for these two things, continued Balingga, can only be silenced by a political solution, namely self-determination for the oppressed nation.

"There isn't any other way. Let us tell the people in struggle to realise their glorious desire for a West Papuan nation. And the ordinary Papuan people must focus on the struggle to demanding self-determination", said KNPB Chairperson Warpo Sampari Wetipo.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mengenang 9 Tahun Gugurnya Musa Mako Tabuni".]