Indonesia has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that it has no place in Papua

By Edison Waromi

Published in 2012

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“No one wants a Syrian scenario in the Western Pacific, but this is what the Indonesian government is creating” the Prime Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua cautioned from Abepura Prison today.

Edison Waromi singled out Australia in particular for riding on the rhetoric generated by President Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Natalegawa about Indonesia’s ‘normative’ commitment to dialogue and the republic’s effort to ‘wage peace aggressively’.

“To compare Indonesia’s report on itself, with the UN Human Rights Council’s twenty-four-page bullet-point-analysis, released last week, is to compare heaven with hell” he said. The UN compilation included French, Japanese, New Zealand, American and German reports about West Papua in terms of widespread violence, arbitrary detention, restriction of expression and assembly, the expulsion of the Red Cross, no foreign journalists, the Penal Code, military and police immunity. “It is a searing indictment of Indonesia’s policy and practices since 1998” admonished the Prime Minister “and the life we Papuans are forced to live”.

The report does not include the assassinations in the past weeks, but is, as yet another document in the crimes-against-humanity case, the essential proof, beyond reasonable doubt, that the Indonesian Republic has no place in Papua. Prime Minister Waromi asserts there will not be a political vacuum when Indonesia retreats from West Papua. “We are not like the Libyans and Egyptians, calling for peacekeepers from an acephalous base of resistance. The Federated Republic of West Papua has been a long time in the making. We have a comprehensive and cohesive administration at work throughout West Papua. Only two leaders—President Yaboisembut and myself—are in jail”.

Waromi, a lawyer, counsels UN member-states to respond to Papua’s petition for peace-keepers. “I believe Malaysia and Australia should respond to our request and lead the peacekeeping force” he said. “These two states are important regional polities, and neighbours to the two nations in conflict. They would enervate a peace-keeping mission with high levels of authority, altruism, and self-interest”.

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