Candlelight vigil held to mark 12 years since Papuan activist Mako Tabuni's murder

Suara Papua – June 15, 2024
Candlelight vigil for Mako Tabuni at Perumnas III in Waena, Jayapura – June 14, 2024 (KNPB)

Jayapura – On June 14 the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a candlelight vigil in memory of the shooting and death of KNPB General Chairperson Musa Mako Tabuni at the site of the shooting at the Waena III State Housing Company (Perumnas) in Jayapura city.

Tabuni was shot dead by a Papua regional police special team on June 14, 2012. It has been 12 years since his death.

The shooting was carried out by the Papua regional police special team on the grounds that Tabuni was holding a firearm and was about to resist arrest.

KNPB Central spokesperson Ones Suhuniap said that the candlelit vigil was held in memory of the murder of the Papuan revolutionary leader at the location of the shooting at 8-9 pm.

"Remembering the murder of Mako Tabuni, so justice for the West Papua nation is still zero", said Suhuniap.

According to Suhuniap, Tabuni was shot and killed without consideration of the presumption of innocence and was done based on false accusations and a scenario created by the Papuan police.

"Where there have been a number of shooting incidents that suddenly occurred in the city of Jayapura, the authorities refer to it by the term mysterious shootings (Petrus). The scenario was echoed every week through the media, then suddenly Mako was shot."

"So Mako was a victim of a scenario created to murder and kidnap the KNPB central leadership trio".

Suhuniap also explained that as many as 39 KNPB activists were murdered between 2009 and 2017.

"The state through the military has killed the leadership of the KNPB from the centre to the regions totaling 39 people. This number is counted from 2009-2017, only because they demanded the right of self-determination for the Papuan nation", he said.

Nevertheless, said Suhuniap, even though the state murdered, captured and tortured members of the KNPB leadership, the KNPB did not die along with those who are gone.

"The KNPB with the soul and the spirit of resistance of the 39 people who have been murdered and the soul of Mako Tabuni will remain and will always exist as long as the Papuan people are not given the democratic space to determine their own destiny."

"The KNPB's proposal to re-hold a referendum is the best option for the Indonesian government to end the TPNPB [West Papua National Liberation Army and TNI-Polri [Indonesian military-Indonesian police] conflict in the Land of Papua. The goal is to avoid casualties, both civilians, indigenous Papuans and non-Papuans".

He also emphasised that KNPB will always exist as long as HMNS (the right to self-determination) is not provided for the sake of peace, justice and for the future of the Papuan nation.

"The KNPB is still alive, Mako Tabuni is still alive. Revolutionary greetings. We must end this", said Suhuniap.

[Translated by James Balowski. Slightly abridged due to repetition. The original title of the article was "KNPB Gelar Aksi Pemasangan Lilin Mengenang 12 Tahun Kematian Musa Mako Tabuni".]