Letter To President Barrack Obama

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The Whitehouse
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Northwest Washington, DC 20500
United States
4 September 2012
Your Excellency,

I am writing from Abepura Prison in West Papua to request your assistance in negotiating peace and justice with the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. I am sure your diplomats are cognizant with the indicators of Indonesian governance in my homeland, and realize they are no better in 2012 than they were during Suharto’s New Order (1966—1998). West Papua is one of the most militarized territories in the world. There is an Indonesian-security identity for every 100 citizens, which is not even comparable with Iraq in 2009, where you would know the ratio was one for every 140 citizens. The people of West Papua, including our Christian Church leaders, have in the past decade, shifted from passive to active opposition and developed a singular commitment to winning our freedom.

Last October (2011) our congress, of five-thousand registered participants, surrounded by tanks and soldiers for four days, issued a mandate to the Federated Republic of West Papua to organize and deliver our self-determination and independence.

Sir, we are an indigenous people, and move slowly and cautiously in the international arena. I am reaching out today for your help because of our predicament as just 48.73% of the population (down from 96.09% in 1962), with more than half-a-million (546,126) missing.

Your historians at the National Security Archives will recall it was an anti-communist plan driven by the United States and Australia that over-rode our Netherland’s funded self-determination program in the 1960s and transferred our sovereignty to Indonesia.

Having been sacrificed to the Cold War regime of international relations that no longer exist, we will not fail to restitute our right to freedom, justice, peace, and democracy. Indonesians have not, in fifty years, impressed us with their governance of themselves, let alone of West Papuans.

You will find President Yudhoyono is fully cognizant of Indonesia’s history in West Papua (his father-in-law, General Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, was Military Commander before, during and after the Act of Free Choice in 1969). You will also find the President not unwilling to talk peace, but disabled by the republic’s unitary constitution and the military’s obsession with territorial integrity. However, as Indonesians have found in their relations with independent East Timor, there is much more money and status in peace and justice than in war and occupation.

President Yudhoyono is also cognizant of the development and the agenda of the Federated Republic of West Papua, after secret meetings with our Foreign Minister in Jakarta last year. He is also aware of how much it is costing Indonesia, in terms of money and especially reputation, to keep a large military machine in work against a non-violent dialogue-seeking citizenry.

The constitution of the Federated Republic of West Papua guarantees Indonesian civilians the right to live in West Papua, and binds us to good and helpful relations with Indonesia, particularly in lowering levels of poverty generated in part by fifty years of this useless war against us.

My government has developed short-term, middle-term, and long-term post-independence programs, which our (non-incarcerated) executive in Australia would be willing to discuss. In this we are intensely aware of our position as the western border of Melanesia-Pacific, but seeking American rather than Chinese assistance in negotiations with Indonesia.

Excellency I wish you well in the election, and sincerely hope to further communications with you during your second term.

 

Yours faithfully,

Forkorus Yaboisembut

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