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Victory for West Papua in Melanesia

The road is still long to be reached but the recognition of the independence of West Papua Indonesia is driven at a regional meeting last week was a breakthrough. Jason MacLeod explain why.

West Papua has just won a tremendous victory in the meeting Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Noumea.

When the heads of government and honorable people of the Melanesian nations gather for the annual meeting of the MSG at the end of June, the most prominent item on aggenda is West Papua membership. This is the result of 18 months of work by John Otto Ondawame, Rex Rumakiek, Andy and Paula Ajamiseba Makabory, the group coordinating the West Papua National Coalition of Liberation (WPNCL), a group of West Papuan resistance is the umbrella organization at home and abroad.

At the meeting, representatives of the Indonesian government (which was recently granted observer status by MSG) publicly acknowledged that West Papua has become an international issue. This is really significant; during decades of Indonesian government has insisted that West Papua is an internal issue. Jakarta has repeatedly rejected all offers of international assistance to resolve this longstanding conflict.

However, as noted by the delegation of West Papua, the Indonesian government is very aware that members of the MSG has successfully supported drives in the past to decolonization in Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Kanaky (New Caledonia), and now Maohi Nui (French Polynesia which includes Tahiti).

In an official statement, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Government of Indonesia, Djoko Suyanto invited the foreign ministers of MSG to visit Indonesia to observe the general development, which also includes government policies to accelerate development in Papua and West Papua. The senior minister said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has supported the plan.

Government Melanesian countries – Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and FLNKS (Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste, the National Socialist Liberation Front for Kanaky, a coalition of four pro-kemerdekaansepertinya agency will visit Indonesia in period of six months, depending on negotiations with the Government of Indonesia.

Collectively, MSG nations can insist that West Papua be returned to the list of countries that have not didekolonisasi, and hence make West Papua to the attention of the UN Decolonization Committee. That they have invited five foreign governments to look at the situation in West Papua to show how much they worry.

If they visited West Papua, foreign ministers must decide who represents the people of West Papua: Indonesian Government, the Federal Republic of West Papua or West Papua National Coalition. MSG must decide for themselves it is the insistence Vorenqe Commodore Bainimarama, head of Fiji’s military government, with the support of Sir Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea. West Papua National Coalition petition to obtain observer status or member at MSG postponed after intervention at the last minute by Jacob Rumbiak, a West Papuan who was in exile, who insisted that they were not legitimate representatives of the people of West Papua.

All this makes the next six months seriously interesting.

Some things we can predict with considerable opportunities. First, the Indonesian government will attempt to buy political leaders Melanesia. With corruption endemic in many countries of Melanesia, weak law enforcement, a variety of degrees of freedom of the press and political interests and economic stakes, they might succeed. Of course, the Papuans would not be able to compete with the generosity of Indonesia.

Bainimarama’s military government has had a close relationship with the Indonesian government so he would not seem to resist. Without press freedom or democracy in Fiji, it will be more difficult for the Fijian people to urge that the Papuan people should live free from Indonesian shoe.

Papua New Guinea is quite vulnerable. A number of politicians PNG, Sir Michael Somare is very subtle, very interested in logging, oil palm plantations, and chain supermarkat with the Indonesian government and military. PNG politicians who else will be concerned with the instability along the border with West Papua. The Indonesian military has repeatedly encroach into PNG territory in an effort to catch people who violate Papua, including non-violent activists who seek asylum. It can be pursued as a support for the demilitarization of West Papua, a position which is supported by a number of PNG politicians.

Solomon Islands are also susceptible to the influence of Indonesia. of all Melanesian countries, Kep. Solomon would have the lowest awareness of the occupation government of Indonesia over West Papua. They are a substantial place for Indonesian and Malaysian logging interests.

Saying all that, it should be noted that Gordon D. Lilo, Prime Minister Kep. Solomon, mengatakna to members of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation that the case of West Papua is incomplete decolonization issue, it has been going on too long, and this is to be resolved now.

Government of Vanuatu and FLNKS will be less responsive to the bid Indonesia. In Vanuatu last year his government was overthrown by a considerable resentment against the close relationship that the current prime minister, Sato Kilman, with the Indonesian government. The current prime minister, Moana Carcases Kalosil, is a strong supporter of the independence of West Papua. FLNKS also linked their political fortunes to the good fortune of the West Papuan struggle for referendum through Melanesian solidarity frame.

We can also ensure that the governments of Australia and New Zealand will roll back their worn mantra that they support the territorial integrity of the Indonesian government. In an article in the June issue of The Monthly Hugh White, Australian government strategists merekomendasiakn to release any concern related to human rights in West Papua huma demai political and economic interests.

But ministers from both sides Tasmania tacitly acknowledged that their impact on Indonesia’s foreign policy has receded. MSG meeting in Noumea clearly showed how the foreign policy of Australia and New Selandai irrelevant to West Papua has happened and how MSG has matured as a regional political body.

However, the familiar tension between resistance groups sticking West Papua during a meeting in Noumena. Prominent fault, exposed by an article in The Island Business, is among the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation and the Federal Republic of West Papua, who both claim to be the representatives of the Papuan people.

Both the National Coalition and the Federal Republic to apply to become members of the MSG. Representatives of the National Coalition settled in Vanuatu with easy access to the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, but the leadership of the Federal Republic was in prison, sentenced to three years in prison because of the declaration of independence with dignity and non-violence on October 19, 2011. Dialogue between the two groups is very fierce.

When Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federal Republic of West Papua National Coalition know the application earlier this year, he wrote to the Director General of the MSG. In the letter, with a very polite Yaboisembut interesting petition, said:

Instead we request that this letter be viewed merely as a letter of support from West Papua to petition for [the National Coalition] to be a member of MSG and as a means of introduction of the Federal Republic of West Papua to MSG for future purposes.

This, and the fact that for a short period at the end of 2010-2011 both are part of a shared decision-making structure, showing that cooperation is possible. Papuans now has six months to organize his house. This may involve a political coalition between resistance groups, such as the successful model in Timor Leste and Kanaky, or unification under a common vision similar to the Freedom Charter of the African National Congress.

When the foreign ministers of MSG actually visited West Papua they will be accompanied by a media internasionalkemenangan for Papuans who have long demanded their country opened to foreign media.

If, on the other hand, the Indonesian government urged jurnalist not included in the visit MSG, they instead will only reinforce the international perception that they were indeed hiding something.

In any case, the Papuans, like East Timor before they are mobilized when Pope John Paul II visited in 1989, will use this opportunity to register their cry for freedom as much as you’ve never seen before.

Such appeal shall be heard farther than West Papua, which has become a political issue exploded in Melanesia. The bond between the Papuans and Melanesians relatives they become closer than ever: what happens if residents PNG, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kep. Solomons and Kanaky up and urge their leaders to support West Papua? Overthrowing the government of Vanuatu Sato Kilman is a story worthy of attention.

How the Indonesian state will react? Looks like they will point to the money they already devolved to Papua Baratyang benefits have flowed to the transnational corporations and elites in Papua, while even further impoverish indigenous Papuans. They will argue that West Papua is a democracy, that the people of Papua selected by their own communities. That’s true, but the Indonesian government denies the rights of Papuans to form their own political party. West Papua is in fact a colonial outpost set of Jakarta.

Hold Papua fulfill political imprisonment, torture evidence of systemic leak out, and the bodies of people killed by the Papua police and military accumulate (such as the alleged murder of 40 Papuans in Puncak Jaya region in recent months).

Finally, the Indonesian government will call Papuans as terosisme distorted or controlled by a foreign effort. Propaganda of this kind is the last choice of authoritarian rulers. Indonesian military figures say that armed insurgents amounted to little more than 1000 full-time fighters, most of whom are not active. In contrast, the number of non-violence and tens of thousands of them are on the streets every week, if not every day. Hoist the independence of West Papua is based on citizen resistance to Indonesian rule nonviolent prolonged.

The Indonesian government is no longer able to air-concern that West Papua, Timor Leste as before, will be an international issue. It was already very late. West Papua has become an international issue.

In the next six months to work Jakarta will be pressure to make Papua obedient while trying to minimize the repression. Papua job is to undermine the legitimacy of the government of Indonesia and raise the political and economic costs of the occupation. The stakes are very high but also large potential imbalnya: independence.

Dr.. Jason MacLeod is a researcher and trainer at the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, in Brisbane, Australia. He teaches at the University of Queensland.

This article was translated from English article that was published in the official pennulis with permission. If you are interested in reading the articles here kliki Jason MacLeod


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