ULMWP Establishes Provisional Constitution for West Papua

By Adorina Massing, Vanuatu Daily Post

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has upgraded its Bylaws to Provisional Constitutional status, on the path to achieving a referendum and independence from colonial rule.

ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda has written a statement which reports the decisions made from the third annual session of the Legislative Council’s congress on October 14th-17th in West Papua, and the Legislative Council’s decision on establishing a binding Provisional Constitution for West Papua.

“The Provisional Constitution ensures that the ULMWP is governed by rules and norms of democracy, human rights and self determination. Every element of this Provisional Constitution is democratic,” he wrote.

“Every element is designed to protect our culture, our identity and way of life.

“It points the way to our dream of creating the World’s first Green State, where every religion and every living being is protected under the law.

“We have learnt from the world the need to protect and build education, healthcare and renewable energy, to defend the rights of Indonesian migrants and Indigenous Papuans, customary land ownership and gender equality.”

Official Caretaker of the West Papua Office in Port Vila, Freddy Waromi said the Provisional Constitution is to guide and keep all parties (3 major organisations with 29 Resistance Groups from each organisation) united under one Movement.

“It is now our time, we are fed up of the Indonesian Government, they are killing us and now we are united more than ever.”

Mr Waromi would like to thank the Vanuatu Government, the Opposition, the VCC and the people for their support and their stand to liberate the West Papua from Colonial rule.

The Congress adopted a resolution that, ‘fully accepts and supports the political positions taken by the people of West Papua in their rejection of the Law No.21, 2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua.’

Mr Wenda stated, “we are not going to bow down to Jakarta’s renewal of so-called Special Autonomy. We are claiming back our Sovereignty from Indonesia. We are working to establish a Government in West Papua, a Government that can lead us to our goal of a referendum and beyond.

Thank you to the Legislative Council and every single person who is dedicating their life to the cause of West Papuan liberation.”

Alex Sobel MP Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons

On Tuesday 20th October 2020, Alex Sobel MP the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua (APPG) in the UK spoke up in support of the people of West Papua, during a discussion on Black History.

Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons, Hon. Alex Sobel said:

“I would also like to talk about an episode of Black history that, sadly, is rarely taught in our academic institutions or schools: that is the oppression and genocide of the West Papuans under Indonesian occupation. As Chair of the APPG on West Papua, it is incumbent on me to add their struggle to those of so many black and indigenous ones around the world.

“This year, following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, the West Papuans found inspiration to link their struggle with those struggles under the slogan “Papuan Lives Matter.” The campaigners shed light on Indonesia’s institutional racism against West Papuans. For instance, in August 2019 Papuan students were attacked in Indonesia’s second largest city and called monkeys. The police then rounded up the students firing tear gas into their dormitory. In 2006 in Jayapura everyone who had dreadlocks was arrested and their hair was cut. This continued for a fortnight. The Jakarta Post last year discussed Papuans living in Yogyakarta and said that it was not unusual for landlords to express approval of rent applications by phone only to reject them once they find out where they are from. These and many other incidents of racism will chime with many of my colleagues in the Chamber, and they reflect how many black communities in the UK were treated in the past.

“West Papuan leaders, including Benny Wenda, chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, have sought political asylum around the world. Benny Wenda is a brilliant exponent for his people and needs to be platformed much more here in the UK where he lives so that light can be shone on what is happening to the West Papuan people.

“Finally, I again thank my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Thamesmead for securing this opportunity that has enabled me to add my voice to those of my many black colleagues in the Chamber whom I am honoured to serve alongside.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua continues to raise UK parliamentary support for and pressure for West Papuan self-determination.

To find out more about International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) including how you can join, please visit: www.ipwp.org

Indonesian investigators attacked while probing Papuan pastor’s death
Yeremia Zanambani Photo: Suara Papua
Yeremia Zanambani Photo: Suara Papua

An Indonesian fact-finding team probing the recent death of a West Papuan pastor has been attacked while conducting investigations.

The government-sanctioned team has concluded the field investigation into the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, which his community in Intan Jaya regency blames on Indonesia’s military.

Back in Jakarta, the National Police Commission head Benny Mamoto said his team was able to complete its investigation, despite security threats they encountered.

The West Papua National Liberation Army confirmed that its gunmen were behind an attack on the team in Mamba village.

Two members of the investigative team were injured: a university lecturer and a soldier.

Police are yet to name suspects in the pastor’s death, and the team is expected to announce its findings later this week.

Meanwhile, UCA News reports a senior police official saying an autopsy will be carried out on the body of the pastor to try and determine whether pro-independence fighters or security forces killed him.

According to the Indonesian Communion of Churches, Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church and local media in Papua, Yeremia was allegedly shot by Indonesian Army personnel on his way to his pig pen on 19 September, while a military operation reportedly took place.

The Jakarta Post reports that the military denied the allegation, instead saying that Yeremia was shot by an armed group.

Source: RNZI

Team probing Papua shootings attacked
Two battalions from Indonesia are being deployed to West Papua since 16 September 2020
Two battalions from Indonesia are being deployed to West Papua since 16 September 2020

Two members of an investigative team sent to Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua were shot and wounded during a fact-finding mission related to recent shootings in the area, the government said.

The team was sent to Papua’s Intan Jaya district to investigate a number of shootings last month that killed at least four military officers and civilians, including a Christian pastor.

Two members of the team, a researcher from an Indonesian university and a soldier, were shot on Friday and had been evacuated to the capital Jakarta to receive treatment, Indonesia’s security coordinating ministry said yesterday.

The Indonesian military said on its Twitter page late on Friday that the team was attacked by an armed, criminal separatist group.

“The team is currently evaluating all ongoing activities, and especially considering safety and security factors” while maintaining “the mission of obtaining clear information about this case,” Sugeng Purnomo, a senior official at the coordinating ministry, said in the statement.

Papua has been plagued by long-

running separatist tensions since the former Dutch colony was incorporated into Indonesia after a United Nations-backed 1969 referendum called the Act of Free Choice, which has been widely criticised by human rights groups.

Sebby Sembom, a spokesperson for the separatist West Papua National Liberation Army, said in a video statement that the group rejected the fact-finding team formed by Jakarta and instead requested a team from the UN. — Reuters

West Papua Liberation Movement adopts provisional constitution

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua says it is adopting a provisional constitution for a democratic state.

The organisation is pursuing a referendum in West Papua on independence from Indonesia.

The Movement’s Legislative Council had been holding its third annual session in Jayapura.

It decided that the Movement’s by-laws should be upgraded to provisional constitutional status, as part of the journey to achieving independence.

The Provisional Constitution would establish a government guided by rules and norms of democracy, human rights and self-determination.

The Movement said every element of the Provisional Constitution was democratic, and designed to protect West Papuan culture and way of life.

It also said as well as the rights of indigenous Papuans, customary land ownership and gender equality, the constitution defended the rights of Indonesian migrants in West Papua.

It also said it established protections in law for the environment, all religions and every living being.

“We have learnt from the world the need to protect and build education, healthcare and renewable energy,” a statement from the ULMWP executive said.

To date, Indonesia’s government has ruled out a referendum on West Papuan independence.

It had also condemned the leadership of the ULMWP’s chairman Benny Wenda, saying Papuans already freely elect their own leaders within the Indonesian republic.

However Wenda’s recent call for Indonesian military forces to pull back from Papua was echoed by Papuan churches who wrote to President Joko Widodo, concerned about security forces’ crackdowns on student protests.

Meanwhile the Movement’s congress adopted a resolution that, “fully accepts and supports the political positions taken by the people of West Papua in their rejection of the Law No. 21, 2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua”.

“We are not going to bow down to Jakarta’s renewal of so-called Special Autonomy. We are reclaiming our sovereignty from Indonesia,” the ULMWP said in a statement.

“We are working towards establishing a government in West Papua, a government that can lead us to our goal of a referendum and beyond.”

Source: RNZInternational

Pacific Fusion Centre to be established in Vanuatu

Oct 20, 2020, Vanuatu Daily Post

The Governments of the Republic of Vanuatu and Australia are pleased to be working in partnership to establish the Pacific Fusion Centre permanently in Port Vila.

The Pacific Fusion Centre will build regional capacity to respond to common security priorities identified in the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security.

An interim Centre has been operating in Canberra since September 2019, hosting 21 analysts from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries on short-term secondments.

The Pacific Fusion Centre was established to provide practical support and expertise to equip Pacific decision-makers with timely, accurate information to respond to security challenges common to the region, including climate change, illegal fishing, drug smuggling, human trafficking and disinformation.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne, said the Centre fuses information from multiple sources, including Australia, to provide up-to-date analysis and assessments on emerging security issues.

“Most recently, the Centre has pivoted to support the COVID-19 response. It has acted as a reliable source of information for Pacific Governments on pandemic developments, including advising on emerging issues such as countering disinformation, ensuring food security, and managing border security,” Minister Payne said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Marc Ati, welcomed the decision for Vanuatu to host the Centre, and expressed Vanuatu’s ongoing commitment to Pacific regionalism and principles of cooperation.

“Having recently launched its National Security Strategy, Vanuatu looks forward to working with Australia to establish the Pacific Fusion Centre, to complement and bolster existing regional security architecture; and to welcoming security analysts from across the Pacific once the Centre is established in 2021,” Minister Ati said.

Analysts from across the Pacific will work in the Centre in Port Vila, building valuable skills and delivering assessments that the region needs for joint security response capability.

From its official news site, PAPUA-Press.com, the West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA) Command firstly broadcaster to the world that a provisional constitution has been endorsed by West Papua Parliament yesterday morning, 18 October 2020, at 03:00AM in the morning.

Inner circle of the military wing (West Papua ArmyWPA) says that Provisional Constitution of the Republic of West Papua or it is called in Malay-Indonesia as Undang-Undang Sementara Negaera Republik West Papua bas been endorsed by the West Papua Legislative Committee of the ULMWP.

The constitution contains 20 (XX) Chapters and 63 Articles, with 8 additional chapters for arrangements of amendments and further arrangements for implement the law.

Article 3 says as follows

Negara berkewajiban melindungi kebebasan masing-masing pihak dan makhluk menikmati kehidupan secara pribadi dan kelompok menurut kodratnya dan memajukan hak serta membela kepentingan segenap komunitas makhluk, melindungi segenap potensi budaya, tradisi, dan adat, dan mengupayakan tatanan dunia yang bebas dan berimbang, untuk keharmonisan hidup  sesuai tradisi yang diwariskan nenek-moyang orang Papua ras Malenasia.

[Translation: The state is responsible to protect the freedom of each party and beings to enjoy life personally and collectively according to the law of the nature and promote the rights and defend the interests of all communities of beings, protect all cultural, traditional, and customary norms and values and endeavor world order that is free and balanced for harmonious living according to Melanesian wisdom that has been passed down to us today.]

Article 1 verse 2 says

Rakyat ialah segenap komunitas makhluk penghuni wilayah Wet Papua, yang terdiri dari manusia, makhluk roh, makhluk hewan, makhluk tumbuhan, benda alam dan bentang alam.

[Translation: The People is all communities of beings who dwell in West Papua territory, consists of human beings, spiritual beings, fauna, flora, matter and landscape]

These two articles clearly shows three things to all of us in the world, in this century that this constitution is purely inspired by Melanesian paradigm, Melanesian way of life, Melanesian norms and values:

  1. This constitution is written to help human beings sustain West Papua as habitable place for all communities of beings.
  2. It acknowledges non-human beings has the same rights as human beings within West Papua territory.
  3. It is written to promote Melanesian Way of Life to the world stage.

She Is A Vlogger, A Pilot and Passionate Woman Advocate

This is Captain Galuoko Secivo and her all ladies crew and her powerful Pinktober message.

“This would have definitely freaked out that one passenger who almost refused to be on my flight simply because the Pilot was a woman” says Captain Galuoko Secivo.

“The sad truth is, there are some people who still see us women as only good enough to belong only in the house and in the kitchen. Good enough to only serve and not be served.

“To only listen and not be heard. The sadder truth is, we sometimes gladly unconsciously accept that we’re not good enough, not smart enough and not strong enough.

“And when we get encouraged to pursue something amazing for ourselves. We’re the first one to doubt and question our own potential and strengths. Time to Woman Up Woman!!

“Find your purpose and pursue whatever dreams and goals that is setting your soul on fire. You are strong. You are smart, You are beautiful and Nooo you are not just enough!!
“You are more than enough, says the Fijian pilot who now flys PNG Air.

Photo Credit: Captain Cesivo

All violent conflicts can be resolved peacefully: Jusuf Kalla

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s former vice president, Jusuf Kalla, said, in principle, all violent conflicts can be resolved through peaceful settlement, but each conflict-torn area may demand a different approach.

“In principle, all violent conflicts can be resolved through peaceful settlement, but, regarding the Papuan conflict, its resolution approach may be distinct from that of Aceh,” he told participants of a focus group discussion organized by the Indonesian Defence Ministry here on Wednesday.

Since Indonesia’s independence in 1945, the country has experienced 15 large-scale conflicts, most of which have been resolved through military operations, he noted.

“In an independent Indonesia, we have undergone 15 large-scale conflicts with around 1,000 fatalities. Thirteen of the 15 large-scale conflicts were resolved through military operations, while the remaining two were solved through peaceful settlement,” he elaborated.

As an initiator of the peaceful resolution to the Aceh conflict, Kalla highlighted the importance of firmly resorting to the basic principle of delivering a win-win solution to achieve everlasting peace.

Referring to his own experience in bringing about peaceful conflict resolution in Aceh, he said the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) never surrendered the firearms of its armed wing’s personnel to the Indonesian government.

Instead, according to Kalla, GAM destroyed the weapons, considering that the best option for preserving its dignity. Therefore, in seeking a peaceful solution to an armed conflict, none of the warring parties must feel like a loser or feel their dignity has been lowered, he said.

“Aceh, that was so resistant, could be persuaded to resolve the conflict through a peace talk,” he said, adding that in resolving the Papuan conflict, the same strategy used for conflict resolution in Aceh cannot be applied.

In Aceh, the armed groups had a clear chain of command so the approach was prioritized at the upper level, while in Papua, the armed groups belong to various factions without a well-defined chain of command, he argued.

In Papua, armed groups operating in one district or village have no clear chain of command with those in other districts or villages, he said. This fact does not imply that the conflict in the area cannot be resolved, he remarked.

“Ways to resolve it remain available, but I will not elaborate on them openly here,” Jusuk Kalla said.

Over the past few years, there has been a spate of violence in several parts of Papua and West Papua, where armed separatist groups continue to pose a real threat to civilians and security personnel.

Intan Jaya district in Papua recorded its bloodiest month in September this year, with armed groups mounting a string of attacks in the area, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead and two others injured.

The notorious armed groups in the Indonesian province have continued their acts of terror in October.

On October 6, for instance, several members of an armed Papuan group reportedly fired at an Indonesian Military (TNI) post in Pasar Baru Kenyam neighborhood, Nduga district, injuring one civilian.

The civilian, identified as Yulius Wetipo (34), got shot while crossing the TNI security post on his way to work, according to information received by ANTARA. He was headed to the PT Dolarosa camp.

He reportedly sustained gunshot wounds on the left and right side of the waist. (INE)

West Papua Churches call on Widodo to end militarisation
Indonesian police stop a protest by West Papuan students at Cenderawasih University in Jayapura, 28 September 2020. Photo: Supplied

The West Papua Council of Churches wants an end to what it says is the re-militarisation of the region.

It wrote to Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and also asked him to follow through on his commitment to meet with Papuan pro-referendum groups.

The churches said they were writing because of the escalation in violence in recent weeks, including the repressive response to peaceful protests rejecting any extension of Special Autonomy, and the killing of a Papuan pastor, Yeremia Zanambani, two weeks ago in Intan Jaya regency.

The death of the pastor has been blamed by churches on the Indonesian military, although the military initially denied it.

However, according to the churches, the remilitarisation that has occurred in the region over the past year is aimed at turning Papua into a military operations area, with the military taking control of the natural resources on a large scale.

The churches documented how Indonesia strove in the 1960s to destroy Papuan culture and said an apartheid ideology was applied to Papuans with the people subjugated.

They said the President as Indonesia’s supreme military commander, along with the member countries of the UN’s Human Rights Council, needed to resolve the issue of Papua peacefully through negotiations.

Source: RNZ