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Indonesia: West Papua’s minority youth are being removed to Islamic religious schools in Java for “re-education”

The Muslim Issue

They’re taking our children

Date
May 4, 2013
Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard

Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media

View more articles from Michael Bachelard

West Papua’s youth are being removed to Islamic religious schools in Java for “re-education”, writes Michael Bachelard.
Captive audience … Papuan boys at the Daarur Rasul Islamic boarding school, outside Jakarta, behind locked gates.

Captive audience … Papuan boys at the Daarur Rasul Islamic boarding school, outside Jakarta, behind locked gates. Photo: Michael Bachelard

Johanes Lokobal sits on the grass that cushions the wooden floor of his little, one-room house. He warms his hands at a fire set in the centre. From time to time a pig, out of sight in an annex, squeals and slams itself thunderously against the adjoining wall.

The village of Megapura in the central highlands of Indonesia’s far-eastern province of West Papua is so remote that supplies arrive by air or by foot only. Johanes Lokobal has lived here all his life. He does not know his exact age: “Just old,”…

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MSG chair on tour of Melanesia

Updated at 5:50 pm on 18 February 2016, Radio NZ

The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, has embarked on a tour of Melanesia.

Mr Sogavare arrived in Vanuatu for the first leg of a tour which will also take him to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia.

In the capital Port Vila, he met with Vanuatu’s newly elected prime minister Charlot Salwai.
Mr Sogavare said he welcomed the emergence of Mr Salwai and his new-look government after the recent turmoil in Vanuatu politics.

“This is no different from the other Melanesian countries. We’ve had our own problems and we have full confidence in the leadership of the new prime minister, that he will provide the stability that is much needed here in Vanuatu.
“And once we are stable, we can advance the objective of MSG together. Vanuatu is a very important partner in that regard.”

Mr Sogavare has also been supporting moves by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to open offices around Melanesia, including in Indonesia’s Papua province.

The Liberation Movement was last year granted observer status at the MSG during its leader summit in Honiara when Mr Sogavare become chairman.

MSG chair on tour of Melanesia was originally published on United Liberation Movement

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Manifesto: Free West Papua Party of Australia’s National Leadership Team

Manifesto (What We Believe)

The sole objective of Free West Papua Party of Australia (FWPP) is to activate Australia to support freedom and independence to West Papua. The following points state what the FWPP believes and stands for.

1. The Indonesian Military along with global corrupt governments, and associated transnational companies, are supporting the oppression of the West Papuan people to ensure they maintain control of West Papua’s rich natural resources.

2. The United Nations, European Union, and the Australian Government have received ample evidence of atrocities, massacres, torture, and crimes against humanity and chose to remain silent and complicit.

3. FWPP seeks to hold the Australia Government, et al, accountable for its complicity in the plight of West Papua.

4. The West Papuan people declared their independence on 1 Dec 1961 at the First West Papuan People’s Congress; and again on 4th June 2000, at the Second West Papuan People’s Congress.
a. The FWPP will continue to reaffirm West Papua’s declaration of Independence.
b. Terms such as ‘Self Determination’ are unhelpful and confusing and hide the Australian Government’s denial of West Papua’s independence.
c. The ‘Act of Free Choice’, in 1969, was a sham referendum headed by the US Government and United Nations with support from the Australian Government. The UN has failed to acknowledge, and rectify this, showing its lack of commitment to human rights, international law, and UN Resolution 1514. Consequently, the UN, and the Australian Government are complicit in genocide.

5. The Australian Government, and US Government, has more influence on the outcome of West Papua’s independence and freedom than the Indonesian Government.

6. For the Australian Government to reverse its complicity in West Papua’s oppression the following is required:
a. Abolish the Lombok Treaty that the Australian Government has signed with the Indonesia Government.
This treaty stinks of treachery and treason to both Australians and West Papuans. In particular, the treaty officially recognises Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua. This is wrong and needs to be replaced with the Australian Government recognising West Papua’s sovereignty to be a free and independent nation, as per UN Resolution 1514.
b. Stop all Australian Military support and cooperation with Indonesia.
Australia currently supplies arms and training to the Indonesian Military. Instead, the Australian Government should only forge military ties with countries that champion human rights and freedom.
c. The Australian Government to address the United Nations and ask for West Papua’s freedom and independence.
The Australian Government assisted Indonesia when West Papua’s rights and lives were taken away from them. It is now time for the Australian Government to repent and support West Papua’s freedom and independence

7. The Australian Government, due to its complicity in West Papua’s oppression, has an obligation to open its doors to West Papuan refugees.

8. Racism and hatred have no place in a just and democratic society or in the FWPP.

9. The FWPP does not support extremist groups that spread hatred of others because of race, culture, or religion.

10. The FWPP is a non-religious party.

11. The FWPP will attend rallies, and the like, and educate people about West Papua’s oppression.

12. The FWPP respects the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) efforts, and maintains that a broad range of efforts is required to free West Papua including the political efforts of the FWPP.

13. The FWPP is focused on Australian political issues that affect West Papua’s freedom and independence; on issues that don’t affect West Papua the FWPP respects diversity of opinion.

14. The FWPP will accept membership from anyone who supports this Manifesto and party Constitution.

Signed by the Free West Papua Party of Australia’s National Leadership Team

 

 

Date: January 2016

Manifesto: Free West Papua Party of Australia’s National Leadership Team was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Publication, , ,

West Papua Weekly update⋅January 15, 2016

 

 

West Papuans Testify

We have come to testify. There is much that we want the world to know. We want you to travel with us to the remote places of Papua—Wamena, Paniai, …
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Tempo.co

 

ANTARA

Papuans need to understand significance of connectivity

Therefore, the government has continued to increase budget allocations for connectivity and infrastructure development in Papua and West Papua to …
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Radio New Zealand

MSG Chair calls for Forum mission to Papua

The Solomon Islands prime minister made the call as he welcomed what he described as Indonesia’s change of strategy on West Papua and its …
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RSF urges Indonesia to lift ban on French reporter Cyril Payen

Foreign journalists and NGOs were long denied access to West Papua, which was forcibly annexed by the Indonesian armed forces 50 years ago.
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Radio New Zealand

Extra police sent to Papua

Reports from Indonesia’s Papua province say extra police have been … into the bush, according to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
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Jakarta Post

Army strengthens border security areas, considers forming new military commands

The Army was also eyeing the formation of a new Kodam in West Papua to cover sensitive areas, but it was still in the assessment stage and would be …
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Solomon Star

Gov’t supports Bloody Ridge project

… recommendations of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Process, the admission of West Papua into the Melanesian Spearhead Group as …
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Jakarta Post

Court starts hearing election

Regencies seeing two lawsuits include West Halmahera in North Maluku, Boven Digoel in Papua, Gresik in East Java, Labuhan Batu in North …
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Filed under: Articles, Uncategorized, , , ,

West Papua Weekly update⋅January 22, 2016

US ambassador concerned about West Papua abuses

Fresh from a trip to West Papua, the United States Ambassador to Indonesia reportedly expressed concern about human rights abuses in the country’s …
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Plan to set up West Papua office here

A member of the Solomon Islands Solidarity Group for West Papua Lily Chekana told the Sunday Star an office space was already allocated for West …
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Radio New Zealand

 

The Australian (blog)

A decade on, asylum-seekers’ struggle for West Papua

Under cover of darkness, 43 West Papuan asylum-seekers clambered aboard a dugout canoe at midnight. The cue to flee Indonesian persecution in …
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Pressenza International Press Agency

Free West Papua – we testify

It contains the voices of many of the people of West Papua Jason* has collaborated with and is in part based on a similar testimony developed for the …
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West Papuans testify

We have come to testify. There is much that we want the world to know. We want you to travel with us to the remote places of Papua-Wamena, Paniai, …
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Radio New Zealand

MSG Chair to facilitate Indo-Papua discussion

… Liberation Movement for West Papua. West Papua has seen a low-level separatist war since Jakarta took over the former Dutch colony in the 1960s.
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Abbott and Turnbull make Howard look compassionate

The controversial move angered Indonesia and was seen as a gesture of support by the Australian government for West Papua’s independence …
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Constitutional Court to Issue Rulings on Regional Election Disputes

… (South Kalimantan), South Halmahera (North Maluku), Sula Islands (North Maluku), Memberamo Raya (Papua) and Bintuni Bay (West Papua).
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One Papua New Guinea

PNG to help Tonga rebuild Teufaiva Stadium & High Performance Center

In the bilateral dialogue, the topics of West Papua, Climate Change, Pacific Regional Cooperation, and strengthening diplomatic ties were discussed.
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WEB

Bali and West Papua

Buy Bali and West Papua book by author Joan Hunting. Preview and learn more about this self-published Travel book.
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PNG blocks Benny Wenda’s visa bid again – open Pacific plea for West Papua

17:47 September 4, 2015

Pacific Scoop: Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

West Papua independence leader Benny Wenda’s visa application for entering Papua New Guinea has again been rejected and he has been left unable to travel to Port Moresby for the Pacific leaders summit next week.

This shock visa rejection comes despite assurances from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in an interview with ABC News earlier this year that there was “no reason why he shouldn’t be granted one”.

Wenda had been invited by the Governor of the National Capital District (NCD), Powes Parkop, to attend a refugee human rights conference and the 40th anniversary of PNG independence.

“I am disappointed that PNG as a democratic country which values democracy, freedom and justice has come to this decision,” said Wenda in an open letter today to Melanesia and the “Pacific family”.

Wenda said he respected the decision by PNG government and its immigration department, “but I hereby appeal to the government to not penalise the struggle of the people of West Papua.

“I strongly urge Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and all Pacific leaders to stand firm as Pacific leaders and support the issue of West Papua at the leaders meeting next week.”

Benny Wenda’s statement:    My Papua New Guinea VISA Application Rejected Again

To West Papua, ULMWP and all the Melanesian and Pacific family,

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has rejected my application for a visa to enter the country for the second time. I am disappointed that PNG as a democratic country which values democracy, freedom and justice has come to this decision. The first, I was informed that the issue was an administrative matter and the reason given was that I did not complete the necessary PNG immigration documents and procedures.

As per an invite by the Governor of the National Capital District (NCD), Hon. Powes Parkop to attend a human rights refugee conference, and also take part in other events including PNG’s 40th independence celebrations, and the Pacific Island Forum in my capacity as the spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP); I launched a full visa application which was checked by my lawyer and I preceded with flight bookings.

A few hours before I was due to board my flight from London Heathrow to Port Moresby this week, I found out that the PNG immigration rejected my visa application, and as a result, I have cancelled this trip to PNG. There were no proper details or formal explanation from the PNG High Commission in London as to why my visa application was rejected.

I respect the decision by PNG Government and its immigration department, but I hereby appeal to the government to not penalise the struggle of the people of West Papua. I strongly urge Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill and all Pacific leaders to stand firm as Pacific leaders and support the issue of West Papua at the leaders meeting next week.

West Papua is one of five top priority areas on the Pacific Island leaders Forum agenda, and I appeal to the people of PNG and the Pacific to rally your support on the recommendations set before the leaders.

We the ULMWP are calling on our Pacific leaders to form a high level PIF delegation to undertake a fact finding mission to investigate the human rights abuses in West Papua; and to strongly urge the United Nation to appoint a special envoy on human rights to West Papua.

There is growing support in the Pacific, and I want to personally thank my Pacific brothers and sisters who are always supportive of our freedom journey. Please continue to support the people of West Papua in our struggle for freedom. Thank you also to friends in Australia, New Zealand, and those globally who continue to support West Papua freedom movements.

Detained West Papuan campaigner

PNG blocks Benny Wenda’s visa bid again – open Pacific plea for West Papua was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Human Rights, , , ,

West Papua activist Benny Wenda leaves Papua New Guinea after ‘visa issue’, government says

Updated 26 Mar 2015, 5:21pm

Papua New Guinea’s government says a prominent West Papuan activist has been flown out of the country because he was travelling without a visa.

Benny Wenda, spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, was detained by immigration officials when he arrived in Port Moresby on Tuesday.

He had flown from the United Kingdom and had planned to visit PNG before heading to Vanuatu for a meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

“Now I’m deported,” Mr Wenda said before being taken to the international terminal at Port Moresby’s airport.

“That means I leave this country, but my spirit and the struggle, I will leave it with the people of PNG today.”

The office of Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill said Mr Wenda had arrived in the country without a visa.

A spokesman for Mr O’Neill said the West Papuan independence leader was not being deported, but he was “not permitted to enter the country”.

“It’s not a political issue, it’s a visa issue,” he said.

The prime minister intervened in the case on Wednesday.

Mr Wenda, who had been released into the care of friends, flew out of PNG on Thursday afternoon.

Last month Mr O’Neill said he would start speaking out about human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of West Papua.

“I think, as a country, time has come for us to speak about the oppression of our people there,” he said.

Some observers have wondered whether Mr Wenda’s forced departure from PNG represents a backdown by Mr O’Neill.

West Papua activist Benny Wenda leaves Papua New Guinea after ‘visa issue’, government says was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Issues, , , ,

The 46th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting Agenda

Pacific Peoples Agenda on Saturday, 05 Sep 2015

by Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The 46th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting is expected to be different from previous meetings.

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, said critical issues that will be discussed are people driven.

“These issues are not driven by officials, these issues came from people,” the Secretary General said during a sit down with EMTV News.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat collected 68 submissions that they ran through a series of tests around, regionalism, sovereignty, market test, inclusivity and duplication.

At the end of this process, these 5 main issues:

1. Climate issues,

2. ICT,

3. Cervical Cancer

4. West Papua and

5. Fisheries

have now been put forward for the leaders to discuss.

Some of these issues have huge economic and political implications that Dame Meg says needs to be discussed with a strong focus of the common good for the Pacific as a region.

“Two aspects, ones about a deeper regionalism, about having real discussions around issues that affect us. Secondly it’s about owning the politics of the region. Taking decisions about issues and owning it, and finally I’d say in doing that we change the development paradigm…our leaders set the agenda for what is important for our region and discuss it with partners and donors.”

This process of inclusivity comes under the Pacific development guide, Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which the Pacific island Forum Secretariat was given the mandate to implement.

Dame Meg said the challenge now is to make it work.

In terms of thinking of the common good versus the sovereignty and self-interest of individual island states, Dame Meg says it will require strong leadership.

“Regionalism requires all of us to give away a little that requires foresight, it requires foresight, it requires leadership and it requires I think a deep understanding of the common good and what it means for the Pacific.”

The 46th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting Agenda was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Support, , , ,

Polye: Discuss West Papua in Pacific Islands Forum

on Sunday, 06 Sep 2015.

By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

Opposition Leader, Don Polye has called on all Pacific leaders to discuss the fight for West Papua’s Freedom in the 46th Pacific Island Forum scheduled to start tomorrow.

Polye said West Papuans have been striving for self-determination for a long time and the independence struggle has seen abuse of human rights at an international level.

“Governments of all countries must respect the rights and the views of the people of West Papua. I challenge the leader of the PIF to acknowledge the struggle for West Papua’s independence and discuss the issue during the Forum”, Polye said.

He said the issue should be one of the top priorities to be discussed in the Forum.

“West Papua’s issue must be discussed as priority and the leader of PIF must push this agenda to the United Nation Organisation, Polye said.

“West Papuans cannot be blamed. It was not their fault the island of New Guinea was cut in half by Netherlands. But they are Melanesians and they need our support,” Polye said.

Since Papua New Guinea gained political independence in 1975, over 30,000 West Papuans have migrated to PNG as refugees. There are over 7,000 West Papuans living in Port Moresby today.

Polye: Discuss West Papua in Pacific Islands Forum was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Support, , , ,

O’Niell Speaks Out on West Papua

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill did something remarkable last Thursday. In a wide-ranging policy speech at a leadership summit in Port Moresby, he acknowledged the oppression of the people of West Papua. It was the first time an incumbent prime minister of Papua New Guinea has spoken directly about the rights of West Papuans in a public forum:

Papua New Guinea today is a respected regional leader. After 40 years of undisturbed democracy, we are in a unique position to lead mature discussions on issues affecting our people in the region.

Our leading role in encouraging Fiji to return to a democratically elected government and voicing our concerns about the plight of our people in New Caledonia are examples of our growing influence. We have also participated in the restoration of democracy and law and order in countries like Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

But sometimes we forgot our family, our brothers and sisters, especially those in West Papua.

I think as a country the time has come for us to speak about oppression our people. Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on social media and yet we take no notice. We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded. Again, Papua New Guinea, as a regional leader, we must lead these discussions with our friends in a mature and engaging manner.

O’Neill was careful not to refer to independence or greater autonomy for West Papua. He also made no reference to the latest attempt by West Papuan independence groups to seek membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. But significantly, he referred to West Papuans as ‘family’, ‘brothers and sisters’ and ‘our people.’ This is not quite the same as questioning the sovereignty of Indonesia over West Papua but is a radical departure from previous language. It is notable that in the year that Papua New Guinea celebrates 40 years of independence from colonial rule, the Prime Minister of the most populous Melanesian state has sought to identify with Melanesian populations which are not yet independent – in New Caledonia and in West Papua.

Interestingly, O’Neill indicated he was concerned about the pictures of brutality appearing on social media. If his decision to speak out now was even in part inspired by the images of human rights abuses posted by supporters of West Papua on Facebook and Twitter, this is a breakthrough moment for the influence of activists who use social media for political advocacy in Papua New Guinea. Indeed, those who post pictures on social media of brutality that women experience in Papua New Guinea will hope the Prime Minister may be paying attention to them too.

O’Neill’s remarks will be a blow to Jakarta (see here for comments from Indonesia’s Human Rights Commissioner). Indonesia has been working hard to court Melanesian states and has attended Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meetings as an observer as part of efforts to dissuade the MSG from admitting the West Papuan independence movement as a member. The then Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was the guest of honour at Fiji’s Pacific Islands Development Forum meeting in Fiji last year, demonstrating the importance Indonesia attaches to influencing Melanesian countries.

Although the PNG Government has long carefully managed its relationship with Indonesia and avoided public statements on West Papua, there is much support in the PNG community and among a number of MPs for the West Papuan independence movement. Papua New Guinea’s capacity to drive international action on a human rights issues is unproven, but O’Neill will now come under domestic pressure to follow through on his statement. The decision by Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry to establish a special working group to ‘handle developments and issues relating to Papua’ might offer a window for closer engagement with Papua New Guinea on human rights issues.

O’Neill’s remarks will have surprised others in the region. O’Neill has been at odds with with Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama over a range of issues, including Fiji’s desire to reform regional diplomatic architecture. O’Neill’s statement on West Papuan human rights may now leave Fiji as an outlier within the Melanesia Spearhead Group; Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are supporters of West Papuan independence but Bainimarama has been reluctant to endorse West Papuan demands. At a time when Fiji’s government is seeking to reclaim regional leadership at the expense of Papua New Guinea’s ambitions, this will unnerve Fiji.

The move also wrong-foots Canberra. It would be naïve to imagine Canberra can comfortably stay neutral on this issue. Australia wants a stable relationship between its two nearest neighbours and therefore has an interest in averting tensions over West Papua. The Australian Government’s position in relation to West Papuan lobbying efforts has always been that it supports the sovereignty of Indonesia over the provinces of Papua and West Papua, a position shared by the Papua New Guinea Government.

Australia has also been supportive of Papua New Guinea assuming a more significant regional leadership role, consistent with the size of its population, its economy and its potential for growth. Papua New Guinea is a country of some 7 million people and its economy, the largest of the Pacific Island countries, is forecast to grow by 15% in 2015, more than any other country in the world. Canberra can hardly complain if Peter O’Neill has determined that PNG will stand a better chance of recognition as a regional leader if he stands up for the rights of West Papuans. But in so doing, he has changed regional dynamics in the Pacific, probably made them even more difficult for Australia to attempt to manage and may even add to pressure on Australia to act.

Papua New Guinea will host the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit this year. The Forum has avoided recognition of West Papua issues in its official pronouncements but discussion this year could be quite different if PNG, this year’s chair, campaigns for it.
This article was first published by the Lowy Interpreter

http://www.pngblogs.com/2015/02/oniell-speaks-out-on-west-papua.html

O’Niell Speaks Out on West Papua was originally published on United Liberation Movement

Filed under: Roundups, , , ,

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