Date: 26 June 2012
To: Hon. Senator Richard De Natale
and Australia Pacific Parliamentarians
for West Papua [West New Guinea],
Parliament House, Canberra,
I am writing with deep concern about the spiraling violence in West Papua. It is a known fact that violence became a sub culture in the Territory for over 49 years. In most cases it is perpetrated by the State Security Forces. The past 5 weeks had seen intensity of violence that culminated with the assassination of German Scientist, Dr. Dietmar Pieper Helmut (55) and activist Mako Tabuni, Vice Chairman of KNPB (National Committee of West Papua). The pattern of, violence in most of these cases are the same; the perpetrators are unknown. In other cases the Indonesian Security Forces are directly involved like in the cases of Mako Tabuni, Kelly Kwalik and Tehys Elluay. The government never resolved these cases but instead it produced alibi to cover up their design. They even conveniently blame the Independence Movement without any hard evidence. Mako Tabuni was assassinated by the Police in the full view of eye witnesses. He was unarmed and did not have any argument at all with the Police who fired the 4 vital shots that took his life.
The Wamena incident in the Central Highlands presented a scenario of horizontal conflict that many of us had been working hard to prevent. Years, of violence and injustice that caused so much hatred and distrust created a situation equivalent of ticking time bomb. It needs only one spark to ignite an unimaginable violence. This is what happened recently in Wamena. Villagers who saw two soldiers riding a motorcycle run over a 3 years old child bit them severely causing the death of one of them. A couple of hours later the Soldiers swooped in shooting and bayoneting people at random while burning down 85 houses and destroyed many other properties. The incident fueled more hatred and distrust.
The reports are still crossed checked and compiled by reliable institutions and human rights activists. It is always done in a way that does not compromise those working in the field. A summary report in Bahasa is enclosed herewith. We would off course provide the full report in English in the due time. We would canvass the leaders in the Pacific Islands Forum countries as we have always done with the same report.
Our request to Hon. Members and also, to the other leaders in the region remain the same. Governments should make their concerns known in a more convincing manner to Jakarta. Ignoring it will only prolong the violence. These are some of the concerns that we hope members could rise on the floor of Parliament and also with the government:
. Urge Indonesia to stop the violence and bring those responsible to justice. International concerns including the UN Human Rights Council have been repeatedly ignored or shunned.
. Call on Indonesia to reciprocate to Papuan peoples call for peaceful negotiation to resolve the West Papuan issue. This off course must be facilitated by a Third Party.
. Open up the Territory for International access including the return of Red Cross to carry out its humanitarian work, Journalists to provide a more professional reporting and others who can help in the development of the Territory.
. Australian Government should seriously look into the involvement of Detachment 88 that suppose to be dealing with Terrorist concerns instead they are terrorizing innocent Papuan people.
I believe this could be done at different levels of government without harming bilateral relations. Australia had done so in many other parts of the world and why not in our own backyard?
Your assistance would be highly appreciated. Published: AWPA Sydney