Papua 37 years under Indonesian
This paper sets out to outline the past events about the Netherlands and Indonesia disputs and claims over the Western part of the New Guinea Island. It was previously named the Netherland New Guinea, then
became West Irian, West Papua and Irian Jaya now Papua. Capital Hollandia
renamed Kotabaru, Soekarnopura, Jayapura now Port Numbay.
An introduction of the early struggle, it's started in Babo-Bentuni on the Sorong region in 1930s it was an old struggle in Melanesia. Later the Papuan nationalism was introduced and taught at the Protestant Missionary Teachers College in Miei-Wandamen by the late Reverand Izaak Samuel Kijne, the principle of the College. He composed two nationalist songs: " Hai Tanahku Papua(Oh My Land Papua) and Dari Ombak Besar Dari Lautan Teduh( From the great wave of the Pacific Ocean).
In 1940 the Koreri movement under Ms Anganita manufandu and Stefanus Simopiaref of Biak Island in Gijlvink Bay now Teluk Tjenderawsih fought Dutch and Japanese forces, both and the followers were captured and
killed in Kuawi- Manokwari by the Japanese soldiers.
This year-2000, it marks 37 years under Indonesian rule, and the Secret war campaigns to eliminate the West Papuans resulted in 600,000 or more people being killed ,and 30,000 people or more left their homes and sought refuged in neighbouring Papua New Guinea or exiled to third countries.
The human rights violation in West Papua is an ongoing international crime since the Netherlands and Indonesian Round Table Conference in 1949,in the Hague. The Netherlands transferred sovereignty to the United States
of the Republic of Indonesia, but excluded Western New Guinea. It was agreed to discuss the political status later in the year.
While waiting for the next meeting, unacceptable changes were taking
place during this time for the territory ownership. Moderate and extremist
groups from the Netherlands and Indonesia were divided in their approach
to the dispute. Moderate groups favoured internationalizing the territory
supporting the proposal of the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands,
Mr De Quay in 1960; for his Foreign Minister, Mr Joseph Lunz, to introduce a resolution on the self determination at the United Nations.
But the extremist group in Indonesia disagreed and demanded that the
Dutch must transfer territory unconditionally as part of the East Indies
Colonial Empire. And the extremist group in the Netherlands also put pressure on the government to have the United Nations decide on the territory's political status, whatever decision would be made, the Netherlands must accept.
In April,1961 the Dutch New Guinea Council was established, the majority being Papuans, with 13 as elected representatives chosen through a
democratic election, and 9 members appointed by the Governor. During its
lifetime, it had passed a resolution directing the National Congress to
look for ways of achieving self-government. The National symbols were
adopted and a private Bill on the symbols was submitted to Holland. On November 18,1961 Holland officially recognized the flag, coat of arms, anthem and territorial name. On the December 1, 1961 the territorial name and symbols came into force.
They decided to set up a republic in 1970, and was supported by
the Dutch government at that time. But United States put pressure on the
Dutch government to withdrew her support for the plan which put the
Dutch government in a very weak position.
In November, 1961 at the United Nations General Assemly Session, Foreign Minister Joseph Lunz introduced a resolution on the self-determination. The Dutch delegation members were Dr De Rjicke a Dutch man, Mr Nicolas Jouwe, Mr Herman Womsiwor, Mr Nicolas Tanggahma. Indonesia Foreign Minister Dr Soebandrio, challenged the resolution. The Indonesia delegation members were Mr Soegiro, as Indonesian, Mayor Dimara, Mr Inderi, Miss Marry Papare and myself, Moses Werror.
On the first day at a Chinese restaurant on Broadway in New York
City at lunch hour we were told by the Chinese owner of the restaurant
that the Dutch delegation will come for lunch too. Dr Soebandrio instructed us to go to meet them and talk to them. Whatever we decided, he would support it.
When they arrived, we moved to sit with them but they left us without saying a word. I suppose that put the first loss to the Dutch government.
At the United Nations we were not given an opportunity to speak for
ourselves until we left. Afterwards we learned that Dr De Rjicke had
received a bribe of about US$ 750,000 from the Indonesian Consul General
in Singapore for providing them with documents regarding the plan for
establishing a republic in 1970.
Meanwhile in the international circles, the United States and the
European countries kept neutral on the dispute and Australia wasn't sure
of her postion. In April, 1961 after President Soekarno and Foreign
Minister Soebandrio paid a visit to the President John.F.Kennedy at the White House, and the General Nasution paid a visit to Australia and New Zealand, Australia withdrew her support for the Netherlands.
President John.F.Kennedy's statement concerning the solution to the
dispute was: "Our only interest is to see if we can have a peaceful
solution which we think is of the long range interest to the free world
and our allies." It was a political statement of support for Indonesia, but the fate of the West Papuans was sealed and forgotten.
In return the Indonesian and the Dutch government invited Senator
Robert Kennedy to visit Jakarta and the Hague. On his arrival in the
Netherlands he made this statement: "For those 700,000 Stone-Age Papuans
it is better to join Indonesia, because Indonesia is vitally very
important to the United States in stratergy, politics, economics and security in the region." In meantime the President Kennedy instructed his Ambassador Mr Elsworth Bunker to mediate the dispute on behalf of his government and find a peaceful solution. Mr Bunker drafted an agreement known as Bunker Plan. It was accepted by the Dutch and Indonesia governments.
The document was signed on August 15,1962 at the United Nations by
representatives from the Netherlands and Indonesia and witnessesd by the
Secretary General of United Nations , Mr U Thant, without the West Papuan
leaders signature's. It was an international agreement which was called:
"New York Agreement."It contains details on the arrangement of how to conduct the self-determination for West Papuan in the year 1969, and agreement was ratified by United Nations on September 21, 1962 as an international agreement.
The Prime Minister Dr J.E De Quay in his farewell radio speech on
August 15, 1962 said from bottom of his heart to the Papuans in New
Guinea: "look to the future with confidence in the justice of your case that you will always be in our minds and our best wishes will accompany you and may God save you." Quote.
Indonesia treated this more as a bilateral agreement and the Dutch government and the United Nations were kept silent in supporting Indonesia.
The question that needs to be asked in why was this the case? Perhaps this
is the right time for the United Nations to:(1) Look back at what was
done which was grossly injustice and inhumane of the case.(2) Bring the Netherlands and Indonesian governments back to the conference table to declare null and void their previous New York Agreement and the result of that Act of Free Choice, the United Nations resolution No.2504 (XXIV)November,1969.(3) Allow West Papua leaders to be invited to speak out for the first time as the rightful ownership of the territory.
During the UNTEA administration, the work force was mostly Indonesian, which was a serious mistake the Dutch and United Nations allowed to happen.
Therefore, she used the opportunity to manipulate the whole process to suit her own political desires. UNTEA administration period was very short, only until May 1, 1963. The territory was then transferred to Indonesia under the New York Agreement for the period of 7 years and to provide freedom of gathering, freedom of speeches for West Papuans to exercise their political right with out fear from intimidation what so ever in preparation for the self-determination at the end of 1969.
But alas Soedjarwo Tjondronegoro the Indonesian team leader masterminded the operation, which was backed up by the Military Commander General Sarwo Edhie. They carefully made changes to conduct the act of free choice under
Indonesian Guidance democracy with tight military security.
The Dutch government was in a weak position to protect the rights of the West Papuans from the pressure of the United States and the Australian government latest attitude, made the Dutch government to abandon and leave the West Papuans on their own. Until today the Dutch Government
is still keeping silent. Why?
While under the Indonesian rule it became a worse form of modern colonialism:"There was no freedom of movement, no freedom of assembly and
no freedom of speech." Security was very tight on the movement of the population.
July 28,1965 Papuan militia forces under command of Permenas Awom and Lodewijk and Barenz Mandatjan, supported by 15 underground organizations attacked the Indonesian Army headquarters at Arafai Manokwari then destroyed all their installations. This day OPM(Organisasi Papua Merdeka) came into beings. ABRI could not made ground attack but they used warplanes
bombing and gunning from air, many villages were destroyed and many people
were killed. The fighting went on through out the territory. Permenas Awom was surrendered under the President amnesty affer just for while then he was put into a copra bag alive and threw him into sea between Manokwari and Biak Island.
On the eve of the act of free choice or (Pepera), the Military Commander issued a strong warning to the OPM members and the people: "Those who wanted to campaign against the government would have their tongues cut out, and that it was better for them to ask the United States to find them a new home on the moon."
In 1968 the preparations were on the way for the Act of Free Choice. Dr Fernando Ortiz Sonz, the United Nations Envoy and his team arrived in Jakarta in April,1968, but were not permitted to visit the territory and they were kept out from the whole arrangement until the Indonesian team
had conducted the most of the election, about 80%.
Meanwhile the former Indonesian Foreign Minister Mr Adam Malik instructed Soedjarwo to have me, Moses Werror on the Indonesian team but they refused. Then I left home with my family.
The DPN (council)representative members to vote at the Pepara were chosen by the Indonesian team leader. Most of them were illiterate. They were kept in boarding centres and given an intensive indoctrination, provided with goods, money and free women as well.
Meanwhile the Provincial Parliament members requested a discussion on how to implement the act of free choice, which resulted in 30 members being dismissed. Two crossed into PNG in 1969 and are now living in Port Moresby. People rejected the Pepera, the Indonesian way of conducting elections under the tight military control and the Guided Democracy governing system
In April, 1969 a group of people representatives went to Dr F.Ortiz Sonz's residence to present a resolution calling for the election to be carried out according to the Article XVIII of the agreement which stipulates for one man one vote. They were supported by 5000 or more demonstrators to hold a peaceful march to the Provincial Parliament building and heard the leaders speeches before leaving. Under the Parliament building I was called to address the demonstrators; my speech was in English. This is a part of the speech: "You are the leaders of tomorrow for this country, you must behave in a proper way because Indonesia is our neighbour. I am sure they will listen to you."
Herman Wajoi, the Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Parliament spoke to the demonstrators, indirectly, he proclaimed independence:"Merdeka, merdeka,
merdeka,"(freedom). In which demonstration leaders decided to march again to the Governor's palace to meet the Pepera Team Committee to present the people's resolution. I took the lead to line up people. Suddenly shots were fired above our heads from army panzers to stop the maching. People
escaped to safety. I and the 11 demonstration leaders were arrested and taken to the military jail in Ifaar Gunung. Within a week the jail was full up. Some of these members are now living in Papua New Guinea.
People were spontaneously supporting the demonstration with many protests and arms uprising in Enarotali, the Paniai district in the Central Highland. Which resulted in many people being arrested, beaten to death or killed in cold blood. The sitution was very tense with so many soldiers equipped with machine guns ready to wipe out the West Papuans. The proof witnesses many are alive today.
Military Commander was instructed to arrest all extremist OPM members and place them in the military jails or out on isolated islands until the election completed. Many people suffered and died from beatings and some were shot in secret places outside the town.
Perhaps all this happened as a result of the meeting in Rome between Foreign Ministers of The Netherlands and Indonesia on May 20, 1969.
At the meeting, they agreed that the act of free choice should be carried out as matter of international cencern, but to make sure that the votesremain with Indonesia.
To implement the Rome agreement, the Indonesian team carried out elections in most of the 8 Districts (about 80%) before the United Nations team arrived. The elaction took place through selected Pepera Council members (DPN). In Jayapura the Provincial Capital, all voted in favour for Indonesia, not one voted against. Some observers were surprised, confirmed by an army officer who told me after the election.
They prepared all resolutions for the Pepera Council Members to sign, and some signatures were copied. Most of the Pepera Council Members were illiterate. That was the main reason for their refusal to have me
in the team and also to delay the United Nations team to participate at the
In the Rome meeting they agreed also to prevent any moves to discuss the political status of the territory at the United Nations; therefore, they proposed a draft resolution for a 5 year-plan for development to be sponsored by 6 countries at the United Nations 24th General Assembly; namely, The Netherlands, Luxemberg, Belgium and Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The Asian Bank agreed to finance the 5-year development plan as a
During the 24th United Nations General Assembly Session there were unusual activities between The Netherlands and Indonesian delegations members. The Foreign Ministers' speeches were checked and corrected word by word, and sentence by sentence before Ministers could present them. That was an act of collaboration at the last minute to stop any further discussion on the matter. It had influenced the votes when they voted on the resolution; 84 for and 30 against or abstaining and 12 countries not attending. This was an international crime against West Papuans in the United Nations. The Indonesian government and the members of the United Nations knew well about the undemocratic election and then untrue result of the act of free choice, If at that time, the Dutch delegation had just questioned this it could have been a different story today.
The paragraph 251 of Dr F Ortiz Sonz' report to the Secretary General of the United Nations regarding the implementation of the agreement, said: "I regret to have to express my reservation regarding the implementation of article XXII of the agreement, relating to the rights, including the rights of free speech, freedom of movement and assembly of the inhabitant of the area. In spite of my constant efforts, this important provision was not fully implemented and the administration exercised at all times a tight political control over the population."
Soedjarwo Tjondronegoro, the Indonesian team leader, and the Military Commander General Sarwo Edhie were hoping to get promotions after success of the act of free choice, but both failed.
In 1970 after Pepera was over, Soedjarwo met me at Sentani Airport. He told me he was unhappy with Jakarta and he said. "We both were not lucky." As he could not get what he wanted. For me, Jakarta had offered me a Governor or Ambassador position; but I did not accept.
July 1, 1971 Seth Jafeth Rumkorem had proclaimed independent of West Papua and established revolutionary government in Markas Victoria at the border within PNG and established information offices in Senegal Africa and Stockolm. I was Minister of State for the political and security in
the first Rumkorem-Prai cabinet.
In 1971, my family and I crossed into Papua and New Guinea and began living in Madang. About March 1972, Jakarta instructed Soedjarwo Tjondronegoro to get me back and they would give me whatever position I wanted; I refused it again. Later in the year, Soedjarwo and General Sarwo Edhie died from poisoning. If I had accepted the offer, I would be in the same situation as them.
The final internal report on the result of the act of free choice had this sentences:"we won the Pepera election but we did not win the political future of the territory; it will be very hard to keep on." Because sooner or later other Melanesian territories will achieve their independence; and that will refuel the Melanesian nationalism which is already rooted in the territory. In fact it is happening today.
In the meantime Indonesian government tried to maintain her position by encouraging foreign and multinational companies to invest in mining projects and other developments, and encouraged PNG government to enter into a friendship agreement to secure her position. Therefore PNG government is also in a week position to help the West Papuans
Indonesia has been trying many things to remain in control; but that will be impossible as world politics has changed in favour of supporting the world indigenous people to self-determination of their own destiny.
It was thought that if development improves and provided good living for the people it will make them forget about OPM and West Papuan independence struggle. It is a crazy idea of trying to stop nationalism with promises of money and goods.
Jakarta also used the policy of eliminating the West Papuans. The Dutch old transmigration scheme was implemented in the earliest days through the World Bank financial funding of the transmigration projects. This policy of intergration by settling transmigrants and or immigrant was an act of eliminating the West Papuans from their ancestral lands and make a minority in their own home land.
West Papuans were victimised from the regional and economic cooperation policy as a tool of the modern colonialism. It is happening today, where most people have became dependent and slaves in their own land. The money makers and powerful countries are the backbones of colonialism and creators of the mini wars around the world after World War-II for providing jobs and living for their employees and their people.
Even though they are talking about violation of the human rights, but they are not honest about what they are doing. The mini wars will never stop and colonialism will never be eradicated in all manifestations. It will still come back in other forms.
You may believe me or not, but I tell you the truth that West Papuans are colonized by the international business companies, who supported Indonesian regime in 1962/1969. These business groups are financing the Indonesian army to protect their business investments and kill West Papuans. They once refused to support our independence and now are taking advantage of us and are enormously benefiting from the mineral resources. Some of their countrymen and women and their families are living on blood money taken from the death of West Papuans.
The world leaders knew well of the circumstances involving the
handling of the case at the United Nations in 1969 with injustice and
unfairness and inhumanity, but they pretend there nothing wrong in West
Papua, as they said: "Indonesia is doing well."
This is a blessing opportunity, I on behalf of my people in West Papua and living in exile appeal to you and the world leaders support us for self-government and independence same as other independent Melanesian countries. For those Foreign business companies who now invested their money in West Papua, I call on you for support financing our lobbying to bring Indonesian and The Netherlands governments back to the conference able. We promise you for the future secure of your investment with a better benefit. Please call me when you are ready.
We have sent many appeals out to the world leaders. We have been trying here and there but always without success as a result of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 2504 (XXIV) November 1969 had decided to let West Papua with Indonesia.
We have protested Indonesian occupation in the public, at the public meetings, official statements, resolutions supported by NGOs at the
conferences and meetings. In rejecting the United Nations handed West Papua
to Indonesia in 1969 with injustice, unfairness, inhumanity against our human rights, since the United Nations turned to blind, deft and ignorant.
Therefore on the January 8,1969 OPM forces took UNESCO employees for hostages to open blind eyes to see, deaf ears to hear and stubborn heads
to know about the struggle. At least that result was very good, that's what
we wanted. The world leaders and the world community condemned OPM action
as criminal and terrorist for taking hostages. OPM did it because you were
ignoring us, and had no interest in our case. Taking hostages attracted
international attention for the case. The 1994/1995 uprising at Freeport
mine, and shooting at Timika Airport, and Wapenduma hostage were actions
taken by OPM and her suppoters to teach the Indonesian government a
lesson that it can not use military pressure against the people, because
Melanesian nationalism is rooted deeply inside the minds and hearts of the people. Nothing else will change it.
The independence struggle is an unfinished business, and it will continue to find the truth for justice is independence, and independence is the only answer, nothing else. West Papuans were forced against their human rights and given to Indonesia to keep out Communist countries from Indonesia, and to save the region from going into war with Communist countries. The 28th President of the United States of America, Thomas W. Wilson, in his statement in February 11, 1918, said: "No right exists anywhere to hand people from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were property."
Therefore I call on the Indonesian government it must grant independence to the West Papuans and support to establish an independent State 0f West Papua in this year -2000 for the good of the future relationship between two people. It would not be difficult as she had recognized the other Melanesians, who gained their independence from their colonial masters.
The world politics has changed after United Nations decided of 1993 as the year of the world indigenous peoples that the wind of hope for many people also bring the change in Indonesia itself after Asian Dictator Soeharto was forced by the students to step down on May 21, 1998. Then the political reformation and struggle for the democracy in Indonesia by PDI-Struggle. This chance provides Papuans an opportunity to pursue their freedom through dialogues with Indonesian government.
February 26, 1999 the group Team 100 went to Jakarta at the President Palace for the first time, Thomas Beanal the Traditional leader and the leader of the Team 100 presented to the President Dr.B.J Habibie and
his Cabinet Ministers the Papuans aspiration wish to separate from the Indonesian Republic and to form an independent state of Papua in year 2000.
Unfortunately July 1, 1998 flags raising in most of Papuan towns especially in Biak Island town which cost many people being killed by the TNI(ABRI,) its calls Biak bloodshed But that case was different to the December 1, 1999 the Miracle Day, the Morning Star flag raising ceremonies were conducted successfully in all towns in Papua without a single bullet
was fired. Since Morning Star flag flying side by side with Indonesian flag today in the several towns. January 1, 2000 President Abdurarahman Wahid on his visit to Papuan Capital, he agreed to change name Irian Jaya to Papua, that was a victory for OPM and Papuans.
February 23-26, 2000, the Papuan Convention regarding the straighten of history toward the New Papua was held at Hotel Sentani Indah, Port Numbay. The Morning Star flags were fying side by side with Indonesian flags, it was God intervention that is working in Papua towns today, Praise the Lord. The Convention adopted 7 points on the political communique which strongly rejected the 1969 result of the undemocratic act of free choice and New York Agreement 1962. The 500 participants had elected 200 Senate members and 22 Presidium members and endorsed two Papuan national leaders Theys Hiyo Eluay and Thomas Beanal to head the 22 members of Presidium prepared for the Papuan national Congress to be held immediately possible at the end of April 2000. Abaout 1000 people will be invited to the congress also will be invited the international VIPs to observe the opening day of the congress.
The Convention decided for the congress to be held at the end of the
month April 2000, the venue will be decided by the Presidium in their
first meeting in Port Numbay. The congress will establish a transitional
government and adopts all national symbols and provisional constitution
and establish Papuan currency and travel documents such as passport . The first proposal for Madang PNG to host the Congress Committee meeting but that would wait for Presidium to decide. The security was good , the Papuan militia 10.000 with Police on guard the Hotel Sentani Indah during the convention.
If Indonesia is trying on colonizing West Papua, that soon or later she must pay the price for being a colonialist in the region. As a fact in the past, Indonesia was the first champion to campaign against the colonialism and pushed for eradication of the colonialism in the world, but now she became a colonialist herself, why?
In conclusion I believe in God intervention, I have a strong faith in God that independence is a gift from God to people of Papua that the recognition from the world leaders and the community for the Papuan in
this year-2000 that is my faith testemony. Praise the lord.
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