LP3BH-Manokwari calls for dialogue between Papua and Indonesia

West Papua Media Alerts


COMMENT by Yan Christian Warinussy
Executive-Director of LP3BH, Manokwari
November 14, 2012


In the concluding months of 2012, there have been many more acts of violence in Papua and West Papua which reflects very badly on the government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) at a time when development, good governance and security are essential in the Land of Papua as an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). This is happening as a time when many countries which are members of the UN Human Rights Council are closely watching the situation, following the Universal Periodic Review in May 2012, which made 180 recommendations, thirty of which were rejected by the Indonesian government.

One of the recommendations that was rejected was that arrests and detentions on the basis of Articles 106 and 110 for treason should stop. This means that the state will continue to take firm measures, possibly including the use of firearms, against peaceful actions by members of civil society who give expression to their opinions and political views which are opposed to the views of the government. Several activists of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) have been summoned and interrogated and are likely to be charged for treason. One of these activists is Alexander Nekenem, chairman of the DWP, the local parliament, who was recently summoned by the police in Manokwari.

The Indonesian government has also rejected the recommendation regarding freedom of expression for persons who have been detained merely for taking peaceful actions, a recommendation that was made by the USA and Canada. What this means is that Filep Kara, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Sananay Karma and Dominikus Sorabut will continue to be deprived of their lawful right to freedom of expression.

Another very bad thing for the Papuan people is that the Indonesian government has rejected the recommendation by the Japanese government which called on Indonesia to end all violation of human rights by the security forces (TNI and Polri, the army and the police), because the Indonesian government claims that this is not relevant for Papua because it is not in accord with the facts, whatever they mean by the facts. In my opinion, the Indonesian government’s rejection of this means that there will continue to be an intensification of violence and hence systematic abuses of basic human rights which will continue to occur into the future in the Land of Papua.

In view of all this, as Executive Director of the LP3BH and a defender of human rights in the Land of Papua, I urge the SBY government to open up space for dialogue between Papua and Indonesia before the end of 2012. The SBY government should appoint a team of people to meet Father Dr. Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papuan Peace Network, in order to discuss the format of this dialogue. This would mean that by early 2013, preparations could be started for a dialogue between the Indonesian government and the Papuan people.

In my opinion, dialogue is the best path to take, in the interests of justice, peace and dignity on both sides, as the way, according to universal standards, to resolve the conflicting political views which have existed for such a long time, causing the deep frustration that has borne down both on the Papuan people and the Indonesian government to this very day.

In this way, the Indonesian government would win the respect of the international community for having accepted that the political conflict that has lasted for such a long time should be resolved b means of dialogue.

[Translated by TAPOL]