Monthly Archives: December 2009

Papuans Threaten to Block Indonesia Freeport’s Mine

Tribal leaders in Papua province called for the closure of a massive US mine, as they buried a rebel leader. Anger has been directed at US miner Freeport McMoRan, which operates a huge gold and copper mine in north of Timika.

Some 400 people followed the casket of Free Papua Movement (OPM) commander Kelly Kwalik, who was shot in a police raid last week, through the streets of Timika to his grave beside a local church.

Kwalik conducted a series of attacks this year which killed three people including an Australian mine worker on the road north of Timika. In 2002 he killed two American Freeport employees in similar circumstances.

Armed OPM guerrillas have waged a war of independence for four decades, often launching hit-and-run attacks against Indonesian.

Kwalik’s death has triggered days of anti-Indonesian protests and calls for independence for the ethnic Melanesian region on the extreme east of the Indonesian archipelago.

Kwalik’s casket was draped in the outlawed “Morning Star” flag of Papuan independence, a last act of defiance given stiff penalties up to life in prison for anyone waving the separatist standard.

Some 800 people attended a funeral mass on Monday but disagreements among tribal leaders delayed the burial.

Indonesia gained sovereignty over the Papua region in 1969 in a UN-backed vote.


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40 years of Act of Free Choice and the integration of West Papua into Indonesia

In 1969, in an ‘Act of Free Choice’ the UN gave West Papuans the choice between the same two options put before the Timorese in 1999: integration with Indonesia or full independence.

Few people are aware that West Papua was the first ever UN administered territory and the first territory granted a UN sponsored vote. But for the Papuans, the process and outcome could not have been more different. The vote, conducted by Indonesia with UN supervision. For many West Papuans, the UN-sponsored vote legitimised the forced takeover by Indonesia in 1962.

Remembering 1969

The fortieth anniversary of the Act of Free Choice provides an excellent opportunity for Inside Indonesia to reflect upon the events of that time and their continuing relevance today. The contested histories arising from that fateful vote – in particular concerning Papua’s status as a part of Indonesia – are at the root of ongoing conflict in Papua. Yet, for many years there was little documentation or discussion of the events of 1969.

Inside Indonesia is thus pleased to present over coming weeks a series of articles that consider the Act of Free Choice, its legal consequences and the viewpoints of Indonesians and Papuans on the event and its implications for Papua’s future.

International lawyer Melinda Janki writes about the legal consequences of the conduct of the Act of Free Choice. Since 1969, Indonesia has represented the vote as signifying West Papua’s exercise of its right to self-determination, offering it as justification for the territory’s incorporation into the Indonesian state.

Professor Pieter Drooglever, author of an independent study of the Act of Free Choice commissioned by the Dutch government in 2000, provides an overview of his findings about the vote and the political circumstances prevailing at the time, considering the roles of the Netherlands, Indonesia, the US and the UN. He explains how his study focuses on Papuan sentiments on the transfer and gives voice to those views, and he reflects on the intense political controversy caused by his study and the criticisms he received in Indonesia.

The series then presents Indonesian and Papuan views on the Act of Free Choice. Jusuf Wanandi of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta was part of the team that organised the Act of Free Choice and he presents his recollections of and reflections on that period. It is rare for persons involved in these historic events on the Indonesian side to present their views on them to an international audience, and we are very grateful to Mr Wanandi for doing so. Next, Muridan S. Widjojo of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences represents a liberal Indonesian view. While recognising that differing interpretations of the history of the Act are at the root of conflict in today’s Papua, he argues that it is feasible for the Indonesian government and the Papuan people to agree to pieces of historical truth that are acceptable to both sides. He asserts that this will build a foundation for repairing past mistakes and addressing Papuan grievances.

By offering Papuan, Indonesian and international perspectives on the Act of Free Choice, it is hoped that this series will aid a greater understanding of the conflicting perspectives on the history of Papuan integration in Indonesia, which will in turn assist Inside Indonesia readers to understand the current conflict in Papua and provide some background to the proposed negotiations between Jakarta and Papua over how to resolve that conflict.

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TIMIKA, 17/12/2009 — VIVANEWS

Kelly Kwalik, the man who allegedly helmed the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), was shot dead by the Police Mobile Brigade of Papua and the anti-terror force Detachment 88 on Wednesday, Dec 16.

Kelly Kwalik became well-known in January 1996. On January 8, 1996 to be exact, Wamena Mission Aviation Fellowship filed a report to Jayawijaya Military District Command in Irian Jaya.

The report says that several researchers of Lorentz 95 Expedition were held captive by the OPM, the group of Kelly Kwalik. The hostages were detained in Mapenduma, Tiom sub district, Jayawijaya.

The expedition, which had been running since November 18, 1995, did take place in Mapenduma, around 160 km away in Southwest Wamena. Authorities immediately executed Operation Mapenduma Hostage Liberation.

Most of the operation members were personnel from the Army Special Forces (Kopassus). The operation was led by Kopassus Commander Prabowo Subianto.

During the operation, 2 out of 11 captives were found dead. They were Matheis Yosias Lasembu, an ornithologist, and Navy W. Th. Panekenen, a biologist from Jakarta National University’s Faculty of Biology. Lasembu was buried in Bandung while Penekenan’s funeral was held in Jakarta.

The story of detainment and liberation of the captives was told in a book entitled ‘Captives, 130 Days Trapped in Mapenduma’ by Ray Rizal and continued by Nina Pane based on the story of Adinda Arimbi Saraswati, one of the hostages who survived.

In 2002, Indonesian accused Kelly of being responsible for the attack against workers at Freeport’s gold and copper mining which killed two Americans. Kelly was also allegedly responsible for the shootings in Freeport along 2009.

“It was the OPM who was responsible. The document ordering operation Freeport Derangement, which was signed by Kelly Kwalik, is with us,” Military Commander of 17 Cenderawasih, May. Gen. AY Nasution said on October 30, 2009.

However, Kwalik denied the accusation. “All shootings in Tembagapura were the responsibility of PT Freeport Indonesia and the Indonesian Military and Police,” he said in an official statement given to VIVAnews on Wednesday, July 28.

Kwalik was a sleek fugitive. In January 2005, the Indonesian Police thought they had caught Kwalik and sent him to prison.

Apparently, the guy was one of the members of OPM who pretended to be Kwalik.

Kwalik’s movement overwhelmed Indonesian authorities.

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