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West Papua petition caused a stir, these are responses from Papua



Benny Wenda submitted a petition to Jeremy Corbyn, Member of the UK Parliament and Chairman of the UK Labor Party, July 2017 – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Jayapura, Jubi – A petition claimed to hold the wishes of Papuan people on a referendum in the Land of Papua has been debated since last week among people in the Land of Papua, the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations (UN).

Denials and accusations have sprung up in various national media since the petition was published by the British media, The Guardian. The Indonesian government accused Benny Wenda, the actor behind the petition of lying and spreading hoax.

Quoting the statement of the Chairman of Decolonization Special Committee known as C24, Rafael Ramirez, Permanent Mission of the United Nations in New York said there was no petition from West Papua received by C24.

On the other hand, Benny Wenda said that if the petition was a hoax as stated by the Indonesian government, why would anyone be jailed for organizing the signing of the petition? He already suspects Indonesia will do anything to discredit the petition, himself and other West Papuan leaders, even the people of West Papua.

However, some Papuans have the view that submitting the petition is not a substantial matter. The Indonesian government must recognize that the policy in the Land of Papua has not yet satisfied the Papuan indigenous (OAP).

Response from Papua

Responding to the furor of this petition, Papuan legislator Laurenz Kadepa said the current mutual claims between the Indonesian government and Benny Wenda are not the substance of the Papua issue. The most important thing it should be a lesson for the government so that policies for Papua should be evaluated from all aspects, especially human rights.

“Hoax or true, the petition information is not to be debated. Now the human rights issue in Papua is on the UN agenda and it will be an obstacle for the Indonesian government. Because the states that concern of Papua human rights continue to grow, not just Melanesian countries,” said Kadepa, Sunday (October 1).

“The Indonesian government should correct itself and improve its policy in Papua,” Kadepa continued.

While the Chairman of West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo to Benar News confirmed that even if without any petition everyone knows the desire of the people of Papua, which is to hold a referendum as a media to shape the fate of Papuan people.

Regarding the Chairman of C24’s rebuttal, according to Yeimo, if Chairman C24 refuses to accept the petition in his capacity as chairman it is reasonable because the authority of the commission is still in the 17 territorial of non self governance territories. Ramirez has the right to refuse the formal acceptance.

“What must be understood by the people of Papua is the chairman of C24 himself in the interview video said that West Papua was listed by General Assembly. It means he explains the procedural issues that are need to be encouraged. So, the petition is good as public awareness, but the main thing for the Papuan people is to strengthen the strength of domestic struggle, to encourage the liberation process of the people of Papua, “said Yeimo.

The same is said by Markus Haluk, one of the ULMWP’s work teams. In fact, on Tuesday 26 September 2017 Benny Wenda, accompanied by Rex Rumakiek, one of the executives of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), submitted a petition to the chairman of the UN Decolonization Commission in New York.

“If there is a response from the Government of Indonesia that says it is a lie, I think it’s all okay. We pray and work that in time the truth is upright for the Nation of Papua and Indonesia and the UN,” said Haluk.

ULMWP continues, focusing and working on the right of self-determination without being disturbed by the furor that arose from the petition.

Benny Wenda and his petition

Benny Wenda, a Papuan independence leader claimed to have handed the West Papua People’s Petition to a C-24 representative. After the news of the submission was released by British media, The Guardian, the Government of Indonesia immediately denied it and named the petition as a publicity stunt without any credibility.

To Jubi, Benny Wenda said he submitted the petition to C24 representatives on September 26 at the Office of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He was with Rex Rumakiek who submitted the petition to C-24 representatives.

“More than 70% of the population in Papua wants a referendum in West Papua. Bishop Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky are two of the world’s leading figures who signed the petition, “Benny Wenda told the contents of the petition.

Wenda further said that the people of West Papua who are supported by the international community very much trust in the petition demand. West Papuan people demand West Papua to become a non-self-governing territory with full rights to liberty and freedom.

The signing of this petition does not go smoothly. Recorded petitions distributed online through the site were blocked by the Indonesian government by the end of 2016. Similarly, petitions were manually executed since April 2017. According to the ULMWP records, 57 people were arrested for supporting the petition. Among them are Yanto Awerkion, Vice Chairman of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) of Mimika and its secretary Sem Ukago on Tuesday (December 7, 2016).

“Yanto and Sem are threatened with Article 169 of the Criminal Code for participating in associations aimed at committing a crime, or participating in other associations prohibited by general rules, are punishable by imprisonment of up to six years,” added Benny Wenda.

Indonesian denial

The petition has made the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York, Triansyah Djani, issued a press release quoting an interview with Rafael Ramirez.

“As the Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee (C-24), I and the Committee Secretariat, have never received, formally or informally, any petition or anyone about Papua as reported in the Guardian newspaper,” Rafael Ramírez said in a press release.

Ambassador Ramirez further affirmed that he highly respects the integrity and sovereignty of all members. The mandate of the Decolonization Committee, he added, is limited to 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories and Papua is not included in the 17 territories.

Ramirez’s statement is supported by an interview video broadcasted extensively through a youtube channel by the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the UN, New York.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, who participated with the Indonesian delegation at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, called the petition an unfounded action.

“It’s a pure publicity action without credibility,” he said, quoted by The Guardian.

Papua, continued Nasir is an integral part of Indonesia as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2504 (XXIV) 1969.

Support of British MPs

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of England is fully supports the West Papua people’s petition. APPG release received by Jubi on Wednesday (September 27) said this petition provides strong evidence that the people of West Papua want to express their hope for a better future.

Therefore, according to Hon. Alex Sobel, APPG member (from the British labor party) acknowledged that all APPG members support West Papuan people in calling for their inalienable right to self-determination democratically, so that they can freely decide their own future peacefully.

“We will also step up this significant development with the British Government,” Alex Sobel said.

Sobel continued, West Papua people have experienced more than 50 years of widespread human rights violations without a satisfactory solution. So it is clear that in a situation that continues to deteriorate, the people of West Papua are not secure under Indonesian occupation.( Ariane)

Arts & Culture

Taparu in Kamoro socioculture




Kamoro women when sorting out sago caterpillars. – Jubi / Doc

Mimika, Jubi – Each clan in Kamoro has ‘taparu’ or a specific location as a place to find food sources when they encircle rivers and mangroves in the lowland estuary of Mimika District.

A Dutch anthropologist J Power states ‘taparu’ is a local terminology emphasizing the relations of land and its inhabitants. “There are also the names of surrounding neighborhoods taken from the ancestral names,” as written in a book “Taparu Fratri of Mimika-Kamoro ethnic groups in Hiripau Village, East Mimika District, Mimika Regency”, by Dessy Pola Usmany et al. from the Ministry Education and Culture Directorate General of Culture Papua Cultural Value Conservation Center, 2013.

‘Taparu’ itself is more related to groups who inhabit within this region or surrounding environment as Kamoro people always encircle the river and sago forest for catching fish or gathering food. Everyone knows their own ‘taparu’.

‘Taparu’ in Kamoro language means the land, while Sempan people call it ‘se iwake’. If someone wants to mark the land he passes in gathering food, he solely adds the prefix ‘we’ such as tumamero-we and efato-we in Omawka village.

Similarly, people in Nawaripi village also do the same. Their areas are including Tumukamiro-we, Viriao-we, and Iwiri-we. All of these names reflect the relationship between the land and inhabitants.

Meanwhile, like the majority of Kamoro people, Ojibwa people believe in the power of their late patrilineal clan that depicted in the symbols of animals. The anthropologists call these symbols with totems which mean a belief that embodies a symbolic representation of society.

Unfortunately, today taparu also face the severest challenges of sedimentation due to tailings of mining activity that cause the silting of river and discolouration of Mollusca habitat in the estuary of Mimika District. (*)


Reporter: Dominggus Mampioper

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Jayapura indigenous school pays attention to children’s rights




Children in the Indigenous School learn how to carve. – Jubi / Engel Wally

Sentani, Jubi – Director of Indigenous School of Jayapura District Origen Monim stated that he would pay attention to the rights of children studying at his school as it stands in an area declared as a child-friendly village.

“We have a guide about what indicator of a child-friendly village is, which was given by the Head of the Women Empowerment and Child Protection Office. So it would be our concern,” said Monim in Sentani on Tuesday (09/11/2018).

He further explained that the indigenous school runs their activities every day, from 14:00 to 16:30 Papua time, and a speedboat provided to pick up students to school.

“So far we operate independently. In the future, we would also try to provide snacks or additional food for children in Khandei class, namely for those aged 8-13 years,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Head of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Office of Jayapura District, Maria Bano confirmed on the guide of the child-friendly village that already implemented in the Indigenous School of Jayapura District.

“Children from formal school continue their learning activities there, in the indigenous school, which encourage children playing and having fun with their friends. Because at their age, children need to observe their environment and people around them,” said Bano. (*)


Reporter: Engel Wally

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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KNPB supports Kanaky for self-determination




KNPB and Gempar Papua activists at the Secretariat of Central KNPB. – Jubi / Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – Central West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a limited discussion to support FKLNS (Organization of the Liberation Struggle of the Kanaky Tribe in New Caledonia) which has been well received by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to conduct a referendum in November 2018.

The First Chairman of Central KNPB Agus Kosay said it’s time for Kanaky to get self-determination from French colonialism.

“Kanaky must declare their self-determination. If Kanaky gets their independence, it would be able to give their support to West Papua because we share the same situation, which lives under the colonialism,” he said on Wednesday (08/12/2018) in Jayapura.

Meanwhile a member of Gempar (Papuan Youth and Student Movement) Nelius Wenda said as a nation oppressed by Indonesia, West Papua fully supports the referendum agenda of New Caledonia.

“Kanaky must determine their destiny. It must be far better than being under the French colonialism. In the future we Papuans are just like Kanaky,” he said. (*)


Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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