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Call for end to militarism in Papua

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on November 5, 2008 | 7:07 PM

By Cenderawasih Pos
Nov 6, 2008, 02:43

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Cenderawasih Pos, 4 November 2008 Abridged

Scores of Papuans from the Coalition for Human Rights in Papua demonstrated in Jayapura to reject the presence of the Indonesian military in Papua. The demonstrators consisted mainly of youths as well as students from several universities in Jayapura. They carried a single
banner with the slogan: 'Stop Praktek Militerisme di Papua: No space for Democracy in Papua.'

When they arrived in the capital, they encircled the fountain, shouting
slogan and holding up their banner. They then said prayers and listened
to speeches. They call for space for democracy in Papua and protested in
particular against the actions taken by the military and police against
their action on 20 October.

They were concerned about the arrival of yet more troops in Papua, and
went to the DPRP office (regional assembly) to ask whether this was a
policy taken by the regional council. 'We want to know whether the DPRP
is in agreement with the arrival of an unlimited number of troops.'

'There are not that many of us here today because we were blocked by the
troops and the police on 16 October.' One speaker said that the presence
of all these troops did not make people feel calm. 'We reject the
arrival of troops in Papua. Why are so many of them coming here? Is
there a war going on here?' asked Buchtar Tabuni, one of the speakers.

They were very concerned about the repressive activities of the security
forces on 16 October. [This was a demonstration welcoming the launch of
the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, which was held in
London on 15 October.]

The Chairman of the DPRP, John Ibo spoke to the crowd and said that it
was his intention to hold a forum for a heart-to-heart talk with the
people about this question of the troops now in Papua. He was not able
to say when this forum would be held as it depended on the ability of
the commander of the XVII Military Command in Jayapura to attend.

Buchtar Tabuni initially questioned the decision to hold a forum but in
the end he agreed with the idea.

A statement that was read out during the demonstration made the
following six points:

1.Put an end to the arrests and repressive actions of the security
forces against peaceful actions by the Papuan people
2.Stop armed forces intervention into the university campus.
3. Take action against those responsible for the shooting of Opinus
Tabuni on 9 August last and the beatings of Buchtar and his colleagues
on 20 October.
4. Stop the legal processes now under way against the chairman of the
Dewan Adat Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut and other members of the board of
the Dewan Adat.
5. Immediately halt the sending of both organic and non-organic troops
to Papua.
6. Call for international intervention from a peace-keeping force from
the UN, to help solve the conflict in Papua.

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