The mass action began with a long march from the Papuan student hostel ‘Kamasan 1’ to the centre of town in front of the Post Office, at 11.00, West Indonesian time [WIB]. The students carried and wore messages about their protest as local media followed events from the sidelines, despite heavy rain.
One of the protest co-ordinators, Phaul Hegemur, said that on 19 December 1961, then Indonesian president Soekarno proclaimed TRIKORA (Tri Komando Rakyat, or the Triple People’s Command) in the North Alun-Alun [town square], intended to stymie the formation of the independent state of West Papua that had been declared on 1 December 1961 whilst under Netherlands administration.
Following that, Soekarno as Commander of the forces for the ‘Liberation of West Irian’ [now Papua] issued Presidential Decree. 1 of 1962, which ordered the Mandala Commander, Major General Soeharto, to conduct a military operation to seize the territory of West Papua as a region of Indonesia, said Phaul.
“So there followed several waves of Military Operations: among others by air, were Operation Banten Kedaton, Operation Garuda, Operation Serigala, Operation Kancil, Operation Naga, Operation Rajawali, Operation Lumbung, Operation Jatayu. Operations by sea included Operation Show of Force, Operation Cakra, and Operation Lumba-Lumba,” Hegemur said.
Hegemur explained that it was also the beginning of the phase of exploitation through Operation Jayawijaya and Special Operations [Opsus]. “Through this, West Papua was occupied, and it’s suspected that many many Papuans were massacred at that time. And up to the present, the military-police forces are the most powerful state apparatus that Indonesia uses to crush the resistance of the Papuan people wanting full independence.”
Human Rights violations against the Papuan people continue to occur due to the brutality of the Indonesian military.
The silent protest made 7 demands:
- That the Indonesian government and its allies immediately recognize the Independence of West Papua on December 1, 1961,
- That we vehemently oppose the results of International Law (the New York Agreement and the Rome Agreement), and make the UN immediately responsible to reverse the unilateral surrendering of West Papua to the Republic of Indonesia, based on the people’s decision of 1969 [Pepera] which led to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 2504 (XXIV) condemning Pepera as undemocratic and unrepresentative.
- That we strongly reject the demeaning offerings of the colonial Indonesian government (Special Autonomy, UP4B, National Dialogue, Peace Talks) through the limbs of PAPINDO in West Papua,
- That those who have seriously transgressed Human Rights be immediately brought to justice through the mechanism of the International Criminal Court based in The Hague, The Netherlands; that both organic and non-organic military should be pulled out and the violence against the people of West Papua cease forthwith,
- On behalf of the West Papuan people from Sorong to Merauke, we firmly PROTEST the TRIKORA declaration that trashes the value of humanity in Papua,
- We demand that West Papua be open to International Journalists and International Human Rights Workers,
- Finally that a REFERENDUM of the Papuan people be held soon.
- A History of the Morning Star Flag of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Is West Papua being split up to marginalise the Papuan people? (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPB: ‘When one is shot dead, a thousand will rise up!’ (westpapuamedia.info)
- Densus 88 shoot and arrest KNPB leaders near Wamena as tensions rises (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report December 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)