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Nicolaas Jouwe: Netherlands Created OPM To Oppose Indonesia

Nicolaas Jouwe

Nicolaas Jouwe

A Papuan community leader, Nicolaas Jouwe, said the Netherlands officers created the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in 1965, to oppose Indonesia and disturb the security of eastern Indonesias territory.

“I am a leader of the National Liberation Council of West Papua. I am not OPMs member. In fact, OPM was created by Netherlands officers in 1965 to coincide with the crackdown on the Indonesian Communist Party,” Jouwe said on Monday (12/5) in Jakarta.

In the lunch that was held for a journalist of Australian TV SBS, Mark Davis, Jouwe said the Netherlands officers trained the Papuan youths to become volunteers in fighting Indonesia.

“The Papuan youth who had been trained were then asked by the Netherlands to establish the OPM,” Jouwe noted.

Jouwe, born in Jayapura on November 24, 1923 and who had designed the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) Flag, also explained conditions in Papua after more than 50 years of integration with the Unitary State of Indonesia, since the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) handed over the governance of West Papua (used to be called Irian Jaya) to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.

Jouwe underlined that the Papuan peoples state of minds cannot be separated from the Netherlands treatment, who had isolated and banned them from attending schools since the Orange Kingdom colonized the land in 1828 until independence was proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on August 17, 1945.

“During the 117 years, we the people of Papua practically lived in the Stone Age,” he said.

The obsession of Jouwe with the struggle for Papuas development was captured in a book titled “Nicolaas Jouwe Back to Indonesia: Step, Thought and Desire” that will be published in 2014.

On Jouwes book, the figure who used to oppose Indonesia, said he had come back to the Unitary State of Indonesia marked by his visit to Jayapura, Papua, in 2009, to support Papuas development, after tens of years of living in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, during his stay in Indonesia, Mark Davis will organize an investigative report in Jayapura between May 6 and May 11, 2014.

Source: ANTARA News

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Police Name Nine Suspects In Alleged Papua Bomb Plot

Nine members of the separatist movement West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were charged with possession of explosive devices after Jayawijaya Police allegedly found bombmaking materials in KNPB offices on Saturday (29/09).

The nine suspects were all charged under the 1951 Law on Explosive Ownership, Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Gede Sumerta told the press. They have been identified as JW, ED, JJM, BYW, SK, SH, YD, RK and NK.

Pilemon Elosak, a man who was detained by police after officers reportedly found the first batch of explosives in his house, was not among the list of those charged. Pilemon reportedly told police that Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo gave him 0.5 kilograms of dynamite, a detonator and an undisclosed amount of aluminum in order to bomb multiple police, government and military offices across Wamena, police said.

Both Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo were absent from the list of suspects.

Police then searched KNPB numerous offices in Wamena and allegedly uncovered two more bombs, three bows, one airgun, eight machetes, two axes, a compact disc on Papuan independence and a Morning Star flag, police said.

“They’re planning to blow up [the] military headquarters and police office,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Monday (01/10).

According to police reports, the men were reportedly behind the Sept. 18 bombing of a police post and an attack on a government office in Wamena.

The Papua branch of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) doubted the veracity of the police report, claiming that the evidence must have been fabricated by police.

The KNPB has historically been seen as a peaceful separatist organization.

A separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has waged a low-scale insurgency against Indonesian security forces from their remote outpost for decades. Much of that fighting has been centered near Freeport Indonesia’s mining activities in Timika.

Papua Police is now being lead by a new chief who has vowed to take a grassroots approach to policing the restive province.

“This is a matter of hearts that we have to touch,” Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said.

Tito was the former head of Densus 88 from 2004 to 2011. He was briefly appointed as deputy chief of the recently formed National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) before taking over the Papua Police.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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Two OPM Members Arrested in Raid

A joint team of military soldiers and police officers on Tuesday (29/05) arrested two members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) in a raid on OPM headquarters in a forest located near Kampung Wadapi, Angkaisera district, Yapen, Papua.

Papua police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Yohanes Nugroho confirmed the arrests.

“A joint team of military and police successfully ambushed OPM headquarters located in a forest in Kampung Wadapi, Angkaisera district,” Yohanes said.

The OPM members arrested were Tedi John Muntia and Yan Aroi.

“Both of them were intensively questioned at the Yapen police office,” Yohanes said.

The team also confiscated several items including a Morning Star flag, an outlawed separatist symbol, and weapons.

“There are some documents from the OPM, and weapons that we confiscated,” Yohanes said.

Before the raid, police received information that there was suspicious activity in a forest located 400 meters from Kampung Wadapi. The patrol team went to the location and found a base camp in an area of 1000 square meters, consisting of a field with makeshift tents.

They dismantled the tents and other facilities, and ambushed two houses located near the base camp and found firearms, motorcycles, ammunition and spears.

OPM has conducted several mysterious shootings in the restive area.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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Papuans ‘should have their identity recognized by govt’

Papuan activists and scholars have called on the government to allow the use of the region’s traditional symbols and stop prosecuting locals who promote them.

Franz-Magnis Suseno, a Catholic priest and philosophy professor at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy, said that the Indonesian government should stop treating the hoisting of the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag as an act of treason. The flag has long been associated with the Papuan separatist movement.

“Why not let Papuans fly the flag as a symbol of their land? We must also allow them to express their opinions in an assembly,” he said.

Papuan peace activist Neles Tebay said that the close association between the flag and the Papuan separatist movement had often been used as an excuse to abuse the human rights of native Papuans.

Neles also said that the central government should drop its security approach and start a dialogue with the locals.

“All elements in Papua from the local governments, the natives, and the business community, must sit down and start a dialogue. Dialogue is the key to end what has been happening there,” he said.

Farid Hussein, a former mediator in the talks between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) said that the dialogue should also include discussion about the flag.

“One of the most arduous issues [in the Aceh talks] concerned the GAM logo,” he said.

Papuan activist Filep Karma is serving a 15-year prison sentence for promoting separatism. Filep was first detained in 1998 when he led a ceremony to raise the Bintang Kejora flag in Biak.

In the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review last week, Germany in particular challenged the government on whether it intended to release Filep and other political detainees who have been held arbitrarily and accused Indonesia of violating Article 20 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday (30/05) that Indonesia continued to promote and protect human rights in the country, including in Papua, and that some foreign governments had changed their views on the issue.

“Several countries have changed their stance regarding our policies in Papua. The Republic of Vanuatu, for example, has encouraged us to continue implementing the special autonomy program there,” he said.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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OPM tried to disrupt the celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day

Free Papua Organzation (OPM) conducted series of gunshots in Papua during the celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day. The shootings occurred in several areas, ranging from Paniai to Puncak Jaya, on Wednesday, August 17.

As hoisting flag ceremony was carried out at Paniai Regency Office, Maddi District, a series of gunfires were heard causing people who attended the event to get their nerves.

Paniai Regent, Naftali Yogi said the OPM members were willing to disrupt day. “They had planned to disrupt the Independence Day as a few days earlier there was information that there would be an interruption during the flag flying ceremony,” said the regent.

He went on to say that the OPM was trying to spoil the Independence Day celebration by entering the city and fired a series of shots. “This has to do with the schedule on last August 2 in London, UK, where lawyers held a congress on West Papua,” said Naftali.

The Independence Day celebration in Papua also saw a a number of Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag flying ceremonies in as many places as Tanah Hitam Abepura, Jayapura city and Pikhe Mount, Wamena, Jayawijaya.

Gunfires also took place in Moenamani, Dogiyai Regency, causing dozens of trucks carrying basic food and passengers heading to Paniai to be caught in idle lines in Dogiyai. Bram Mauri, Commander of the Moenamani Police in Dogiyai District, said trucks and cars had been put on hold in front of Moenamani police station since Tuesday night due to the unlikely security conditions.

“Exchange of fire took place around the street of district border between the Dogiyai and Paniai, precisely in Madi District, Paniai. It went on from 1 a.m. local time until morning. As a result, dozens of vehicles transporting food were held back,” he said.

One of the group members was shot dead by the security officers. Meanwhile a local motorbike taxi driver was also hit by an arrow in his arm.

Bram Mauri said, the group was helmed by John Yogi, son of the OPM Commander of Paniai region, Tadius Yogi.

Papua Peace Network coordinator Father Neles Tebay said currently Paniai residents in Maddi District were in fear and many fled to the mountains. Some stores were shut down as rumor saying that Tadius Yogi-led National Liberation Army of Free Papua would raise arms against the Indonesian Military (TNI) was in circulation.

The exchange of fire between Indonesian Military and National Police personnel and Free Papua Movement guerillas in Paniai, lasted from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. local time. Consequently, in addition to one killed OPM member and a wounded motorbike taxi driver, two policemen were also injured.

Morning Star flag flying also took place in Wamena. Papua Police spokesman Chief Comm. Wachyono acknowledged this. “There was indeed Morning Star flag flying in Wamena,” he said.

Source: VIVANews

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Indonesia releases 2 Papuan political prisoners

“Human Rights Watch welcomed their release”

Indonesian authorities have released two political prisoners jailed for pushing for independence in the vast archipelago’s easternmost province of Papua.

Yusak Pakage and Chosmos Yual were freed Wednesday from Doyo Baru prison in Jayapura, Papua’s provincial capital, said Nazarudin Bunas, head of the local Law and Human Rights Ministry.

Indonesia is highly sensitive to the separatist struggles in Papua, a former Dutch colony taken over in 1963.

Though Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua was formalized in 1969, a small and poorly armed separatist movement has battled for independence ever since.

Pakage was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2005 by a district court, which found him guilty of treason for raising the province’s pro-independence Morning Star flag in December 2004.

He was freed after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono granted him clemency.

Yual, who was sentenced to six years in jail for his role in a violent pro-independence rally in Jayapura in 2006, was released on parole.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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