OF THE WEST PAPUAN PEOPLE


     Agenda item: 4

                         Driebergenstraat 19
                      Deventer - the Netherlands

     Madame Chairperson,

          We thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk 
     about our case: the denial and withholding of the Right of 
     Self-Determination to the People of West Papua. 

          At the same time we want to express our feeling that 
     we ought not to be here. We the West Papuan people belong, 
     like the people in Papua New Guinea (PNG), to the 
     Melanesian people. We are ethnically, culturally and 
     geographically related to the peoples of PNG, Solomon 
     Islands, Vanuatu, Kanaky and Fiji. At present we are, like 
     the Kanaky, a discriminated minority under Indonesian, 
     respectively French, colonial rule. We are determined to 
     continue fighting for a Free and Independent West Papua. 

          We would sincerely hope that you would take note of 
     West Papuan aspirations for Self-Determination.

     Madame Chairperson and distinguished members of the 
     Working Group, 

          In this paper we want to elucidate our statements 


     Ad 1.:

          The United Nations has, after having transferred 
     control of West Papua from a colonial power (the 
     Netherlands), handed over our country to another colonial 
     power (Indonesia). 

          The people of West Papua who were already on their way 
     to External Self-Determination, to be realized by the year 
     1970*, were subjected to the Indonesian claim of becoming a 
     part of the Republic of Indonesia, as proclaimed by the 
     then-president Sukarno in 1963. 

     * The West Papuan people as an ethnic unity has the right 
       to determine its own destiny according to point 2 of the 
       decolonisation-resolution 1514(XV). The New Guinea 
       Council, partly elected by the West Papuan people in 
       1961, had already visualized how the Right of Self-
       Determination should be executed. 

          The instruments used for the conveyance of our country 
     to Indonesia were the New York Agreement (1962, between the 
     Netherlands and Indonesia) and the Act of Free Choice 

          The Act of Free Choice was a farce: what should have 
     been an one-person one-vote consultation of the Papuans 
     about the future status of their nation, became an 
     Indonesian steered mockery of the United Nations policy on 
     decolonisation and self-determination. On this place we 
     limit ourselves to recalling the violations of the Articles 
     XVI (presence of a UN-mission), XVIII (method of the Act of 
     Free Choice) and XXII (rights of the inhabitants) of the 
     New York Agreement. 

          In 1969 the present Indonesian president Suharto used 
     the Act of Free Choice to legalize the incorporation of our 
     country into Indonesia. The incorporation was subsequently 
     endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a 
     valid exercise of self-determination consistent with the 
     United Nations Declaration on Colonies. 

          Examining the procedure of the conveyance of our 
     country to Indonesia and the procedure agreed upon in the 
     New York Agreement, we can only but conclude that the 
     United Nations has made a serious error in its endorsement 
     of the incorporation. Especially when compared to the case 
     of South Africa's claim on Namibia, which was rejected by 
     the United Nations, we are convinced that we have been the 
     victim of the use of double standards. 

     Ad 2.: 

          The Indonesians have never been interested in the 
     people of West Papua but only in the vast lands and natural 
     resources. The minerals in our soil and the timber in our 
     forests are exploited on a large scale by Indonesian and 
     multinational companies. The amount which the Indonesian 
     government spends on education, health and other services 
     for the Papuans, is only a trifle compared to the capital 
     exported from our country. The revenues of the exploitation 
     of our national resources end up in Jakarta. 

          With respect to the Papuans, Indonesia is only 
     concerned about "civilizing those primitives", so we will 
     fit in the image of a modern Indonesian state. Bearing in 
     mind that the right of self-determination should be a 
     continuous process, it is clear that not only in 1969 we 
     were denied this right; since the beginning of the 
     Indonesian domination in 1963, Papuan voices whether it 
     concerns land rights, human rights, cultural rights or 
     nationalistic feelings, are systematically suppressed in a 
     brutal way. 

          Indonesian tactics to conquer the richness of West 
     Papua and to subject the Papuans are 1) transmigration of 
     Javanese into our country, 2) militarization, and 3) 
     intimidation and brutal violation of human rights. 

          For many Papuans the only way to safeguard themselves 
     from an oppressive regime they do not recognize as 
     legitimate, is to abandon their homelands and seek refuge 
     in Papua New Guinea. 


          Transmigration is the name of Indonesia's ambitious 
     project to resettle millions of people from the crowded 
     Inner Islands of Java, Madura, Lombok and Bali, to the more 
     sparsely populated Outer Islands. 

          Officially sponsored Transmigration into our country 
     commenced in 1966, even before the "Act of Free Choice". 

          The Jakarta government no longer gives overpopulation 
     as the principal reason behind Transmigration. The 
     government lists 7 goals for its Transmigration program: to 
     promote national unity, national security, an equal 
     distribution of the population, national development, the 
     preservation of nature, help to the farming classes, and 
     improvement of the condition of local peoples (Survival 
     International Bulletin, March 2, 1985). 

          "What Transmigration has actually accomplished 
          is very different: The spread of poverty; 
          forced displacement of indigenous populations 
          from their homes, communities and lands; 
          deforestation and soil damage at the rate of 
          some 200,000 hectares per year; destruction of 
          local governments, economies, means of 
          sustainable resource use; forced assimilation 
          programs; widespread use of military force to 
          "pacify" areas and to break local resistance 
          by bombing and massacres of civilians." 
          (Bernard Nietschmann, Fourth World Journal 
          Vol. 1, No 2, 1985)                  

          In our view Transmigration is no less than an invasion 
     HOMELANDS to make room for the transmigrants. In alienating 
     us from our traditional lands, it is not only undermining 
     our economies, but jeopardising our entire cultural 
     identity, which is built up on the relation between our 
     society and our ancestral lands. 

          In many cases our people are threatened, and when they 
     agree to hand over their land it is out of fear rather than 
     desire. For instance, in Arso the people were told that 
     those not releasing their lands would be considered as 
     members of the 

          Organisasi Papua Merdeka - OPM, the guerrilla force of 
     West Papua. In Tembagapura a part of the Amungme tribe was 
     forcibly relocated by the military into the malaria-
     infested lowlands. Those who fled back to their ancestral 
     lands were arrested and again the military transported them 
     to the lowlands. As a result of malaria and starvation 
     women and children were the first to die. 

          When the Papuans finally give up their lands they are 
     confronted with the Indonesian government's reluctance to 
     discriminatory laws and due to all-pervading corruption in 
     the Indonesian administration, compensation for loss of 
     ancestral lands turns out to be trifle. The Irian Jaya 
     Community Development Foundation has carried out two 
     detailed studies of transmigration sites which are 
     incorporated into the Smallholder Nucleus Estate Program: 

          "No provisions have been made for those local 
          people who are not accepted for the program 
          and yet whose lands have been expropriated by 
          the projects; insufficient land remains in the 
          hands of the local tribal people to allow them 
          to practise their traditional system of 
          shifting cultivation." (G.J. Aditjondro, No. 3 
          LLAP/YPMD/ IV/1986) 

     whether it be the government or private business, prefer 
     Indonesians above Papuans. Thus where the Transmigration 
     may bring new economic activities to our country, we the 
     original inhabitants of West Papua, loose our land, loose 
     our cultural identity, are about to become a minority in 
     our own country, and on top of this all: we are being 
     marginalized in a society we did not choose for. 

          But how can we expect the Indonesian government to 
     bother about us, not to mention our involvement and say in 
     the settling of foreigners in our country, when it is 
     ASPECT. In his book the former eastern region territorial 
     commander Lt.-Gen. Kaphi writes: 

          "Thus the government must plan transmigration 
          more carefully remembering the great 
          importance that the program has in overall 
          development in Irian Jaya. Especially in 
          strategic areas such as the border regions, it 
          is obvious that ex-soldiers or soldiers be 
          settled as transmigrants as a 'buffer-
          zone'." (Kahpi, The challenge and the struggle 
          in the land of the bird of paradise, 1985)


     Armed Warfare

          The oppression of the West Papuan people started 
     immediately after the Dutch left, in 1962. The then-
     governor Eliezer Bonay, who is also with our delegation, 
     recalls that the prisons everywhere were full. UN officials 
     reported, discretely, that the local people were "treated 

          After 1962 the conflict between the new rulers and the 
     Papuans only increased. The Indonesian authorities, having 
     failed to subject us within a short period of time, are 
     increasing their military activities and in a more brutal 
     way, in an effort to gain control by sheer military force. 

          As an example the latest Indonesian military offensive 
     will be described. 

          In the last quarter of 1986, under the codename 
     "Operasi Sate" (Operation Skewered Meat), an offensive was 
     launched to wipe out the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM). 
     During this offensive the Indonesian military executed 
     aerial bombardments, raids and house-to-house searches, 
     gunfire attacks from naval vessels...(TAPOL, Dec., 1986). 

     * Because of aerial bombardments around the Wissel Lakes, 
       in the well-populated central highlands in Wagete and 
       Enarotali districts, many houses, churches and schools 
       were destroyed; many people were killed and the survivors 
       fled into the bush. 

     * Raids and house-to-house searches along the north coastal 
       strip, from Ormu through Sarmi to the Memberame River, 
       have been accompanied by arrests, disappearances, 
       beatings and rapes. 

          Because the Papuans have to make room for the 
     transmigrants and logging and mining operations, the 
     Indonesians use brutal force against Papuan civilians. 

          The military actions against the people of West Papua 
     are the last desperate efforts of a regime that in the eyes 
     of the people has no legitimacy. Unable to get hold of the 
     organized resistance, the Indonesians resort to attacking 
     whole villages and killing unarmed civilians. 

          Like in Opersi Sate, the targets of the military 
     attacks are quite deliberate. People are scared because 
     they do not know whether they will be the next victim. 
     Being a Papuan seems to be a reason to be treated as a 
     dangerous enemy. 

     Biological Warfare

          In 1970, the Indonesian government introduced tape 
     worms into West Papua for the first time in all history.


          The human rights situation in our country is a matter 
     of grave concern. Amnesty International, the Anti-Slavery 
     Society, TAPOL etc. continue to receive reports on 
     violations of the human rights. The following examples, as 
     reported by Amnesty International, reflect the alarming 
     increase in extra-judicial executions, torture and ill-
     treatment and detention without charge or trial. 

     Extra-Judicial Killings 

          Arnold Ap, a distinguished anthropologist who was very 
     popular among us because he promoted our culture, was 
     arrested on 30 November 1983. He was held and tortured in 
     the notorious Panorama Bar in Jayapura. Medio April 1984 
     the military staged an escape for Arnold Ap and his 
     companion Eduard Mofu. Few days after, on the beach of 
     Base-G both of them were subjected to severe tortures 
     before they were murdered. 

          After having reported back to the headquarters as the 
     only survivor of an attack on a military post by the OPM, 
     Wilhelmus Inday, a Papuan sergeant with the 753-batallion 
     of the Indonesian army, was killed by the military. 

          Because of the killing of 2 Indonesian soldiers in 
     Waena by the OPM, the Indonesian military conducted a 
     house-to-house search on 14 April 1986. Wantonless they 
     choose Martin Sani and his wife Sarinah Zoani to blame; the 
     couple was killed. 

     Torture and Ill-Treatment of Prisoners 

          The 12 refugees who were forcibly deported from PNG to 
     West Papua in October 1985, have been imprisoned and 
     subjected to torture. One of them, Elias Kareni, had a nail 
     driven through his toe during interrogation. Isak Waromi, 
     who was suffering from gastric ailments and fluid in his 
     lungs did not receive any medical attention. 

     Prisoners Held Incommunicado 

          17 Papuan prisoners who were held in the Abepura 
     prison near Jayapua, are reported to be missing. 
     Eyewitnesses declared that, in the night of 26-27 January 
     1986, 11 of them were whisked away in a Hercules airplane. 
     It is believed that they are held incommunicado in the 
     Kalisoso prison near Surabaya on Java. 

          About the disappearance of the other 6 prisoners is no 
     information at all. 

     4. REFUGEES * 

          Because of the events mentioned above (transmigration, 
     militarization and violation of human rights) many Papuans 
     have left their homes to seek refuge in PNG. 

          Since 1962, the escalation between nationalist Papuans 
     and the Indonesian army has caused a steady stream of 
     refugees to leave West Papua. By 1979 an estimated 10,000 
     West Papuans had crossed into PNG. By now most of them have 
     been naturalized to PNG-citizens. 

     * Initially our delegation should be accompanied by two 
       countrymen who recently fled away from West Papua and who 
       are now residing in a refugee camp in PNG. Unfortunately, 
       it appeared impossible to get permission from the PNG 
       authorities to let them have the necessary travel 

          Since early 1984 the situation in our country has 
     deteriorated markedly. Following an attempted uprising in 
     Jayapura by Papuan nationalists in February 1984, and 
     subsequent repressive actions by the Indonesian military, a 
     flood of refugees has poured across the border. By mid '86 
     there were about 12,000 refugees in 16 camps along the 
     border; they fled their homes because of Indonesian 
     atrocities. In August 1986 some 750 new refugees arrived. 
     They had come from the border village of Kivirok, 2 days 
     walk from the PNG village of Yapsi. The refugees told that 
     the Indonesian troops had beheaded Tuberius Uropdane a 
     catholic cathecist in their village. Others reported the 
     rape of a number of women, arrests and beatings of men in 
     their village (PNG Times, 5 Sept. '86). 

          Not all of those reaching PNG are just from the border 
     region. Some refugees spent up to 5 weeks trekking to reach 
     the frontier. Many of the refugees have suffered severely 
     on the way and some even died while on trek. 

          The refugee population has at a time peaked at 
     approximately 14,000 people. Over the past 12 months the 
     figure declined because refugees returned to their country. 
     As a result of the "discouragement policy" of the PNG 
     government several groups of refugees returned "voluntarily" 
     under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner 
     on Refugees (UNHCR). For the refugees the situation in the 
     camps is without any perspective: they are not allowed to 
     participate in the PNG society, in the camps food provision 
     and medical care are insufficient (more than 180 people 
     have died of hunger and hunger related diseases), and the 
     children cannot go to school (some already since 1984). 

          According to the UNHCR 2000 people have gone back to 
     West Papua, mainly to Merauke and Mindiptanah regions in 
     the south. They were transported in airplanes and put in 
     so-called relocation camps. Reports have been coming to PNG 
     of West Papuan refugees who repatriated and were 
     subsequently tortured to death by the military. In 
     September 1986, Ancelmus Katua, headmaster of Mindiptana 
     high school, and Clemens Andomenen, community school 
     teacher of Inko village, were arrested by the military 
     KODIM 1707 and subjected to electric shock torture until 
     they died. 

          Once they are back in West Papua the refugees are no 
     longer a case for the UNHCR. But since the UNHCR is worried 
     about their fate, the churches are asked to monitor and 

          The situation of the refugees, whether they are 
     repatriated or not, is serious. We are grateful to the 
     UNHCR, the International Red Cross and others for bringing 
     some relief. However, when nothing is changed in West Papua 
     itself, people will continue to cross the border, risking 
     an uncertain living in refugee camps. 


          In April 1961, the New Guinea Council, partly elected 
     by the West Papuan people, was installed. The first deed of 
     the council was to declare that they would work towards 
     independence. The council came out with proposals how the 
     process of self-determination should be executed in 
     accordance with point 2 of the decolonisation resolution 
     1514(XV) and Article 73 of the Charter of the United 

          It was in this period that political consciousness 
     developed among the West Papuans on a national level: the 
     West Papuans should determine their own future as a free 
     and independent nation. 

          The shift of colonial rule from the Netherlands to 
     Indonesia, however, has abruptly broken off the fulfillment 
     of our aspirations. 

          By means of harsh measures the Indonesian government 
     is still trying to subject the people of West Papua. 
     Transmigration, militarization, human right violations and 
     the exodus of refugees: these are all signs of the lack of 
     legitimacy of the Indonesian authorities among the West 
     Papuan people. 

          We are determined to continue resistance against 
     Indonesian domination. The Indonesian authorities are 
     becoming more and more brutal in order to impose colonial 

          When this process is not stopped, a genocide may be 
     completed: the obliteration of the West Papuans as a 

     6. DEMANDS 

          On the above mentioned grounds, we the people of West 
     Papua demand that it is acknowledged that our country is 
     administered as a neo-colony, and therefore should be taken 
     up as a case in the Trusteeship and in the Committee of 24 
     concerning decolonisation. 

          We, the people of West Papua, are fighting for our 
     right to determine our own future, a future without foreign 
     domination and oppression. 


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