Peaceful Dialogue between Papua and Indonesia is the best solution

Comment by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the human rights organisation, LP3BH in Manokwari:

The holding of peaceful dialogue between Papua and Indonesia is the truly just and responsible way forward for the Papuan people and the Indonesian Government in order to resolve the social and political conflict which has lasted between them for such a long time.

At the core of the conflict is a difference of opinion regarding the history of Papua's integration into Indonesia, which began with the holding of the Act of Free Choice held in 1969, which the Indonesian government refers to as 'pepera'. This is a matter that needs to be openly discussed between the Papuan people and the Indonesian government.

This is at the root of the conflict because, to this day and no doubt into the foreseeable future, Papuan people will continue to feel that they have been treated unjustly and inhumanely and continue to feel that they are a people whose rights have been disregarded as a community of people who have never been involved in discussions about their fate since 1962.

When a political conflict emerged between the Indonesian Government and the Government of the Dutch Kingdom regarding the status of the Land of Papua in 1962, it resulted in the signing of the New York Agreement on
15 August 1962. The indigenous Papuan people who were the occupants of the Land of Papua were not involved nor were they ever asked for their opinion on this agreement, either by Indonesia, by the Dutch government, by the United States or by the United Nations.

It should be stressed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his governmental associates should understand that, in accordance with the law and according to (UN) Resolution 2504, their status was neither final nor was it legally binding. This means that a political solution is extremely important and it should be handled by means of the afore-mentioned Peaceful Dialogue.

As a senior legal advocate in the Land of Papua, I herwith call upon President SBY and his governmental associates to seriously consider the offer to hold a Peaceful Dialogue as the only alternative to resolve this conflict that has already lasted for almost fifty years.

Translated by TAPOL