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Home » , , , , , , » Celebrating West Papua ‘Independence,’ OPM Calls for Non-Violence

Celebrating West Papua ‘Independence,’ OPM Calls for Non-Violence

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on December 1, 2012 | 8:56 PM

Perayaan HUT Kemerdekaan Papua
Jayapura. The separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) called for non-violent actions to free the easternmost provinces from Indonesia as the group on Saturday marked what it considers the 51st anniversary of the independent nation of West Papua.

Lambert Pekikir, the chief of the OPM wing in the Papua district of Keerom, said during a commemoration there that violence would not solve Papuans’ problems.

“We have to admit that we can do nothing now. As Papua is still within Indonesian territory, we’ll have to make more directed approaches,” Lambert said.

Those approaches, Lambert suggested, should rely heavily on international negotiations aimed at amending 1969’s United Nations Resolution 2504, which concerned the handover of then-West New Guinea — now Papua and West Papua — from the Netherlands to Indonesia.

He added that the Indonesian government, in the interim, needed to be more open to the notion of an independent Papua.

“A democratic space must be opened. The Indonesian government has no other choice but to stop seeing Papua as a part of Indonesia,” Lambert said, as reported by Indonesian news portal

The Dec. 1 celebrations by pro-independence groups in Papua appeared largely peaceful despite prior warnings by Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency (BIN) of heightened security concerns ahead of the commemorations.

On Tuesday, three police officers were killed in an attack on the Pirime Police precinct office in the district of Lanny Jaya, with OPM’s Pirime chief Purom Okiman Wenda claiming responsibility for the attack. OPM has often been blamed for attacks on Indonesian security forces in Papua.

On Saturday, the OPM office in Keerom only raised a Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence that is banned by law, and conducted a joint prayer to celebrate the day.

“No other activities... no shootings,” Lambert said.

There were no reports of separatist attacks nor violent crackdowns by Indonesian security forces across Papua and West Papua as of the time of writing.

Police did arrest several pro-independence activists, including the chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Viktor Yeimo, as they staged a rally in Jayapura on Saturday, but the incident was largely peaceful and the activists were reportedly released later in the day.

The supposed 51st anniversary of West Papua was also celebrated by hundreds of Papuan students on Java and Bali, who gathered in Yogyakarta on Saturday for a rally demanding Indonesian and international recognition of an independent West Papua, according to

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