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Home » , » CA Amnesty Club Takes a Stand

CA Amnesty Club Takes a Stand

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on April 27, 2011 | 8:00 PM

By: Elijah Granet on behalf of CCA Amnesty Club
On April 29, CCA will host the 2011 Gamelan Festival and celebrate the naming of our new gamelan (a traditional Indonesian instrument). The celebration will be accompanied by distinguished Indonesian artists from around Southern California, to commemorate CCA becoming the first high school in the nation to have a full Javanese gamelan. CCA students who attend the festival will have the unique opportunity to receive specialized instruction from a respected Javanese gamelan player.
However, the gamelan festival is sponsored by and will feature representatives from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia. These official representatives of the government of Indonesia will be present on our campus to help oversee the gamelan festival. In our extremely successful Write for Rights campaign at CCA, the CCA Amnesty club wrote letters to the Indonesian government to demand the release of Filep Karma, an advocate for the rights of Indonesia’s oppressed population.
In 1961, Indonesia integrated and occupied West Papua, a region distinct from the rest of Indonesia. Indonesia later staged a sham vote in which 1025 Papuan residents were coerced into voting for West Papua becoming part of Indonesia. The government of Indonesia subsequently claimed that this lopsided plebiscite represented the will of the entire West Papuan population and annexed the region. Today, the Indonesian government aggressively exploits the abundant natural resources of West Papua, yet the province remains one of the least developed in Indonesia. The Indonesian government also, in clear violation international law, brutally represses freedom of speech and expression in West Papua.
In 2004, Filep Karma – an active advocate of the rights of the people of West Papua was arrested. His act of protest was to peacefully raise the Morning Star Flag, a symbol of West Papuan independence. For this the government of Indonesia arrested and beat him. They continue to keep him imprisoned while denying him the most basic rights or medical care. The case of Mr. Karma is not unique; similar cases have been reported across Indonesia. CCA Amnesty Club is currently working to free Mr. Karma and other political prisoners, who have been indentified as “threats to peace and order,” and cruelly mistreated by their governments.
While CCA Amnesty members are proud that our school is the first in the country to have a full time gamelan, and while the club welcomes a celebration of a culture as rich and storied as that of Indonesia, they are disappointed that CCA would welcome representatives on our campus from a government that commits such gross human rights violations against its own people. It is our shared responsibility, not only as Ravens, but as human beings, to stand up for the oppressed people of West Papua. For this reason, we implore the administration and music department at CCA to recognize that the joyous celebration of our new gamelan should not be discolored by the presence of representatives of the Indonesian government, which continues to imprison and suppress the people of West Papua. We hope that together, the students, teachers, and staff of CCA agree that we should not give a voice to the Indonesian government’s offensive and radical viewpoints. We also ask that the students of CCA join CCA Amnesty in reminding the Indonesian government that the voices of people like Filep Karma are heard and that we will not stand idly by as the people of West Papua are denied even the most basic of human rights. For more information, please contact or
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