Open Letter to Benny Wenda

Dear sir,

For all these years you claimed your struggle is freedom of people of West Papua. You claimed that Papuans are still under colonial power, oppressed, and ruthlessly controlled by Indonesian government. You expressed your anger seeing and witnessing the genocide conducted by Indonesian toward Papuans. Therefore, you will continue your struggle and fight to get rid Indonesian from the land belong to Papuans.

By then, as part of your struggle, you and your group called OPM engaged Indonesian in any way that may serve your goal. The group ambushed and killed fellow Papuans and burning their houses. Even not long ago they butchered innocent civilian workers of road and construction projects and were rationalized as a necessity.

With the help of your supporters, you claimed that Indonesian is illegally colonized Papua. You spread your movement internationally and expecting sympathy from international community for your struggle. And lately you asked all Papuans to boycott the Indonesian election because it’s an election for Indonesian not for Papuans. And you also claimed that appeal to boycott the election has succeeded.

Let check all your claimed one by one, whether your argument that your interest is the welfare of people of Papua is valid or not and can be supported by facts. 

  1. You said that Papuan people have been subjected to human rights violations yet there are 191 officials and 56 civilians fell victims to OPM’s crimes since 2009
  2. You claimed that Papuan boycotted the 2019 General Election yet Papua has more than 80% turnout voters in 2019 General Election. One of the highest number when compared to other provinces in Indonesia.
  3. You said that you’ve handed petition by 1,8 million Papuans to the UN Decolonisation Commission but again it’s confirmed as another lie.

And now let see what the government of Indonesia have been done in Papua

  1. 854 schools with more than 157.000 students in 2016
  2. At least 30 hospitals and 394 clinics
  3. At least 4.330 km of Trans-Papua road has been connected

To compare all these number, objectively, anyone can see that whatever the argument you and OPM try to convey to the world, will fail since almost all of them are baseless and are not supported by facts. It is that your interest is hunger and lust for power just like ant thugs anywhere in the world.

But still, among all arguments that rally interest me most is your keen focus on Papua as a race. Personally, I cannot believe anyone still continue to believe in racism. It is an ideology that is invalid and morally wrong. No one can give any excuse for believing that humanity can be divided into certain category without destroying and degrading humanity themselves.  History has proven that racism only creating hatred, misery in the ugliest and dirtiest form of cruelty and yet you still cling on to it. 

You, Mr. Benny Wenda, as Papuan have experienced how degrading it was being treated the way the European colonial treated people in Papua. And there you are, now you use the same stands as what the European has thought you. Shame on you Mr. Benny Wenda. For your personal gain, you are willing to sacrifice the innocent, whether they are Papuan or fellow human being.

Batik and Weaving at the UNSC Session to Celebrate Indonesia’s Presidency

Indonesia should be proud because batik and weaving were chosen as dress codes in the United Nations (UN) Security Council (SC) Session at the UN headquarters, New York, United States on Tuesday (05/07/2019).

The meeting was an Open Debate Meeting to discuss the capacity building of peacekeepers in various missions all over the world.

As we know, Indonesia was appointed as the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on May 1 to May 31, 2019. This is the first time for Indonesia to have the opportunity to chair a UN Security Council session.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, who chaired the hearing, said that batik was chosen as a dress code of the UN Security Council as a form of respect for UN Security Council members for Indonesia who held the UN Security Council presidency for May 2019.

Retno also mentioned that the batik worn by delegates from the UN Security Council was their personal collection, not from Indonesian gifts.

“The various batik worn by the UN Security Council delegation today is their own personal collection. “A number of delegates collected batik not only from the Indonesian delegation in New York, or when they became chair of the delegation at the conference in Indonesia, but also there were those who bought it themselves during a visit to Indonesia,” said Retno Marsudi, quoted by VOA on Wednesday (8/5 / 2019).

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, also wore a bright coloured weaving. In addition to Guterres, delegates from the United States (US), Germany, Ivory Coast, France, Perus, the Dominican Republic, and China also seen wearing batik at the session.

“It’s very nice, today’s session (Tuesday) is pretty and colorful. Because, most delegates wear batik,” added Retno Marsudi.

Indonesian batik has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. The selection of batik at this session is expected to introduce and increase popularity of the motifs of Indonesian batik. (Geosiar)

7 Papuans Graduated from Corban University, Oregon

On May 4th 2019, A total of 10 Indonesian students are among those who celebrate their graduation at Corban University in the city of Salem, State of Oregon. 7 students are from Papua and West Papua, and 3 students from West Java and Banten.

The ceremony also attended by the Governor of Papua Province, Lukas Enembe, along with the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco and the Education attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC. Governor Lukas Enembe encourages Papuan youth to study abroad with scholarships offered by the Papua Provincial Government.

Among them, 3 Indonesian students from Banten, West Java and Papua managed to get cum laude predicate in their graduation. In addition, one of the Indonesian students from Papua also received a ministry award from the Corban University campus.

The achievements of the young Indonesians is an honor that make Indonesia proud. Governor Lukas covey in his remarks “to all graduates, please continue to excel and contribute for the development of Indonesia. For students who still pursue their studies, keep focus on your study and take this opportunity to the fullest in your learning processes that can be useful for the people and the nation of Indonesia wherever they are. “

Governor Lukas Enembe also stressed that they are Indonesian citizens who are obliged to protectbring the name of Indonesia. He also advised Indonesian students from Papua to become agents of change for the development of Papua province and thrive for even better in the future. The graduates also received prizes from the Governor of Papua for graduating on the same year.

Minister Counselor / Economic Consul of the Indonesian Consulate General in San Francisco, Hanggiro Setiabudi congratutaled all the graduates, and requested all Indonesian students in the United States to pursue their study seriously so that can give contribution for the advancement of Indonesia. Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia in the United States are ready to help and assist all Indonesian students.

The education and cultural attaché from the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC, Popy Rufaidah, offer the students the opportunities of internships (optional practical training) at local companies for 1 year after their graduation. It is hoped that Indonesian students may take advantage of these opportunities.

The Governor of Papua also attended a series of graduation events with the celebration of Bakar Batu at the campus area of Corban University, which was also attended by 200 invitee of Indonesian lived in the city of Salem and local communities who had been supporting Indonesian students from Papua during their study in Corban Campus.

Source: Sindonews

Former Leading Campaigner for West Papua Independence who Advocated Compromise

Fransalbert Joku, a former leading West Papua independence campaigner who then became an Indonesian government supporter has died in Jayapura at the age of 66 on 28 of March after illness linked with heart disease and kidney failure.

He was a prominent landowner from Sentani and formerly the spokesman for the Papua Presidium Council which galvanised momentum in the West Papuan independence struggle at the turn of the century.

After the death of Theys Eluay, Franzalbert Joku eventually threw his support behind the Special Autonomy Status which Indonesia granted Papua in 2001 in response to the demands for independence. He returned to Indonesia in 2008.

He became a frequent representative of Indonesia’s government on West Papua matters at regional fora such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Forum.

Fransalbert Joku with other West Papua figures Nick Messet (left) and Michael Menufandu (right)

“Now I say this without meaning to undermine my brothers and sisters who are still out there in the jungle or in other countries advocating outright independence,” he told RNZ Pacific in 2015.

“I just look at the issues and try to place them within the context and try to look at what options are within the realm of possibilities.”

Mr Joku’s shifting of allegiances has made him a distrusted figure among many in the West Papuan independence movement.

But when asked last year in his last interview with RNZ Pacific about whether Papua should have independence, Mr Joku said a “deeper look at the issues” was required.

“Independence, for some of us, doesn’t mean an instant action of declaring a sovereign nation,” he said.

“I think it’s more a value. In order to find that value of freedom, of being independent, it is a continuing process.

“I differ between being an independent, sovereign nation of Papua, than being free and well-off economically, socially within a government structure that is in existence today,” he explained.

“Like in any other political processes, you can never win outright. You always end up with political compromise.”

“Special Autonomy, however imperfect and incomplete it may be, is an acceptable political compromise, and we need to grab hold of it earnestly, and make it serve our interests.” (Source: RNZ)

Uncovering Lies of OPM Through 2019 National Election

Discussions about democracy means discussing about political morality. Morality that values humans as political subjects and views them as the most important element in political system. Morality that respects human dignity.

Therefore, the establishment process of any political institution from the smallest groups to largest institution known as establishment of a state or government. The process can be seen as the most substantial element in democracy. The process of democracy becomes the face which reflects democracy itself.

Hence, the establishment of a government through elections has always been considered as one of the most important processes in any political life. The quality of a national election has become a benchmark for democratic values it upholds. Presidential elections which are free, fair, and peaceful is a benchmark for a nation’s commitment to respect and protect human rights.

In this regard, Indonesia’s presidential elections on 17th of April, 2019 can be seen as a direct reflection of maturity of democracy in any state.  Indonesia has successfully conducted a national election with more than 190 million Indonesian voters, spread out in over 17.000 of islands and Indonesian expats living in more than 100 nations. The election was held in 810,329 voting posts, and done simultaneously in one day, and was conducted in a peaceful and free manner. This reality is recognized by international community as the largest and most complex national election in the world. The number of participations for the 2019 Indonesian Presidential elections which reached up more than 80% of voters also shows a rise around 12% compared to previous national election held in 2014.

The logical conclusion of the facts mentioned above, is that this national election can be used as valid evidence to counter all accusations done by a small number of individuals under the name of OPM (Free West Papua Movement). On the contrary, the reality that was mentioned has opened the mask, or the veil, in which OPM is only a small number of people who have been drowned in lies which they themselves have created. This national election has become a strong and undeniable evidence which shows that OPM are trapped in their own belief that was based on violence and shortsighted ideology which in turn victimized innocent Papuans. Indonesian Papua Province proves that the national election that was conducted in 1262 voting posts throughout the province was successful. The voting delay that happened in Papua was caused by logistics difficulties faced due to geographical conditions. However, it is seen that logistics difficulties do not lower the enthusiasm of Papuans to participate in the democratic process in Indonesia.

The 2019 national election is the strongest objection that is shown by the people in Papua towards all accusations and lies created by OPM.  It is foolish and extreme absurdity to deny the reality that Papua as an integral part of Indonesia, when Papuans through their hard work have successfully carried out a peaceful democratic process and created a society that respect human dignity. If Benny Wenda and OPM dare to question the legitimacy of the Indonesian election conducted in 810,329 voting posts all over Indonesia which 1262 voting posts are in Papua, with 80% turnout voters, and it was acknowledged by international community as the largest in the world, then Benny Wenda and OPM is simply mad.

1191 TPS (Polling Stations) in Papua Province Carried Out Delayed Election Today

After being delayed due to logistic problems, 1,191 polling stations in Papua Province began a follow-up election Thursday (04/18/2019) morning. KPU (General Election Commission) Chairperson of Papua Province, Theodorus Kossay when confirmed by phone said that there are 1,191 polling stations spread in 20 districts in 7 regencies.

“Yes, that’s the plan, we will vote today except in Keerom, where we still have to wait for the reprinting of the DPRD (local representatives) ballot papers,” Theodorus said on Thursday.

Jayapura City, he explained, was the area with the most polling stations holding the election, with as many as 702 polling stations.

As observed in polling station no 039 in Vim Village, Abepura District, Election logistics arrived at around 6:40 a.m. and KPPS (polling station officers) and witnesses from the Bawaslu and the parties began to carry out ballot calculations. One of the KPPS 039 officers also seemed to be actively going around the compound to announce to local residents that the Election could begin immediately.

Chairman of the KPPS 039 Johanes Tapalawene said, the number of ballots that arrived are 209 for the total voters of 205 people. Meanwhile, at polling station no 057, Entrop Village, South Jayapura District, until 8:13 a.m., the local KPPS were still to count the number of ballots that had just arrived earlier.

In this polling station, quite a lot of people have come and want to vote immediately. A similar thing was also seen in TPS 18 of Entrop Sub-District, South Jayapura District, which until 8:17 a.m. local time the KPPS officers were still carrying out ballot calculations. 7 districts / cities that will hold a Next Election are Jayapura City, Jayapura Regency, Keerom, Intan Jaya, Tolikara, Yahukimo and Jayawijaya.

In 2019 Election, there were 810,193 polling stations throughout Indonesia, and around 0.28% of the voters couldn’t vote on Wednesday, according to KPU.

The following is the number of polling stations (TPS) in 18 districts / cities that collected votes today:

    Jayapura City: 702 polling stations
   Jayapura Regency: 1 polling station
    Keerom Regency: 5 polling stations
    Waropen Regency: 9 polling stations
    Kabupaten Intan Jaya: 288 polling stations
    Tolikara Regency: 24: polling stations
   Pegunungan Bintang Regency: 1 polling station
    Yahukimo Regency: 155 polling stations
    Jayawijaya: 3 polling stations
    South Nias: 113 polling stations
    West Kutai: 20 polling stations
    Banggai: 391 polling stations
    Jambi: 24 polling stations
    Bintan Regency: 2 polling stations
    Banyuasin Regency: 445 polling stations
    Mahakam Ulu Regency: 4 polling stations
    Kutai Kartanegara: 8 polling stations
    Berau: 11 polling stations
    South Nias: 113 polling stations
    West Kutai: 20 polling stations

Picture Source: Bisnis.com

Papua’s Christian Issues

Its always the same song they sing, if not about race then they use religion. Whatever works for them.

They really out of touch with the reality that while Indonesia predominantly Muslim, but Christian, Buddhist and Hindu and other religions are already existed longer and much longer in many parts of Indonesia then in Papua.

Do they know that cathedral in Jakarta and Semarang are among the oldest in Southeast Asia? Have they heard about Borobudur temple and hundreds of temple in Java that still been used by Buddhist pilgrim that came from all over Asia from Thailand to China and Japan?

Furthermore, talking about Islam and Christianity in Papua, Benny Wenda and his thugs forget that among the first missionaries arrived in the northern parts of Papua, they was helped and used boats and ships provided by Muslim sultanate of Ternate.

Moreover, talking about numbers of Christians in Java, Sulawesi, Maluku, Sumatra, and almost other islands in Indonesia is thousands of not million larger than the number of christian in the whole Papua.

So there you go, if not calling pure Melanesian race which is also existed in a much larger number are in other islands, at least in 5 provinces, and now they try using religion to show their case.

These complete lies and absurdity is a reflection of Benny Wenda and his OPM thugs true color of which spreading nothing to Papuans except murders, terrors and disgusts.

What else to say? Non.

Picture: St. Yoseph Church, Merauke. Source: here

Editor’s Note: Articles in Opinion section are written by West Papua Now readers. Please contact us should you wish to share your opinion to our readers.