Budi Hernawan – Papua Peace Negotiator Team condemns the deadly shootings of Papuans

Dear Mark,

Thanks for your generosity to help Papuan messages distributed. Here is another statement from Octo Mote, the Secretary of the Papuan peace negoatiators team, who has been recently in New Zealand for lobby tour. I attached here his statement, photo and bio. Thanks again for your great help. Cheers,

Budi Hernawan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University.


Octovianus Mote is the former Head of Papua Bureau of Kompas, the largest
Indonesian daily

Mr Octovianus Mote is the former Head of Papua Bureau of Kompas, the largest Indonesian daily. Following the meeting between Tim 100 of Papuan leaders and President B.J. Habibie in 1999, he left Papua for exile in the US due to death threats by the Indonesian security services. Granted asylum and US citizenship, since then he has tirelessly lobbied the US Congress and the US government on the issue of human rights in Papua and Indonesia more broadly. He is currently Tom and Andy Berstein Senior Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School. During the 2011 Papua Peace Conference organised by the Papua Peace Network held in Jayapura, he was democratically elected as one of the five Papua Peace Negotiators together with Dr John Ondawame, Mr Rex Rumakiek, Ms Leonie Tanggahma and Mr Benny Wenda. Currently, he is the chair of the Papua Peace Team who works very closely with the Peacebuilding Compared research project at the Australian National University led by Professor John Braithwaite.


The Papua Peace Negotiator Team condemns the deadly shootings of Papuans who marked the 50th anniversary of the transfer of administration[1] of West New Guinea (now Papua) from UNTEA to Indonesia on 1 May 1963

We, the Papuan Peace Negotiating Team, condemn the brutal act of the Indonesian army against the civilian Papuans who marked the 50th anniversary in the cities of Sorong, Biak and the Papua provincial capital of Jayapura.

Following the ban to mark the anniversary imposed by the Papua Chief of Police and endorsed by the Governor of Papua, the joint operation of the police and the Indonesian army deployed harsh measures to prevent any Papuans to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly. In Sorong on the eve of the commemoration, the joint operation shot dead two Papuans: Mr Abner Malagawak (22) and Mr Thomas Blesia (22). Three others were seriously injured and now are in critical conditions in the local hospital: Ms Salomina Klaibin (31), Mr Herman Lokmen (18), and Mr Andreas Safisa (24).

In Jayapura, a similar joint operation dispersed the people who gathered around the grave of the Papuan leader They Eluay by force. Nobody was reportedly injured but the shooting did spark fear and intensify anger among our people towards the Indonesian authorities. In Biak, however, the police arrested and detained ten Papuan civilians because they raised the Papuan symbol, the Morning Star flag but the police has not laid charge against them. Fortunately, the commemoration held in Nabire went peacefully.

Reflecting on these violent incidents, we are reminded of similar incidents 50 years ago when our forefathers and mothers were mistreated when they expressed their dissention to the decision of transferring Papua from the Dutch to UNTEA and eventually to Indonesia under the 1962 New York Agreement. During the formulation and the implementation of this agreement, our forefathers and mothers had never been consulted.

While the transfer of administration is a history, some world-renowned historians and legal scholars have proved that the transfer was flawed. Therefore, we believe that under Indonesian democracy and the rule of law, Papuans should be entitled to remember their own history as part of their identity. The recent incidents, however, reveal to us the opposite reality. Papuans remains treated as inhabitants, not as citizens.

Therefore, we appeal to the Indonesian authorities:

  1. To hold accountable both the perpetrators of the shootings as well as the commandant in charge, including the Papua Chief of Police, the Commander of the Army and the Governor of Papua;
  2. To demand public apologies from the Papua Chief of Police, the Commander of the Army and the Governor of Papua for their unconstitutional conduct in suppressing the civil and political rights of Papuans;
  3. To demand compensation and reparation for the victim families because of the the tragedy they suffer from the joint police and army operation;
  4. To request the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights to undertake a sub-poena investigation and to report its results to the public;
  5. To take concrete actions to start peace negotiation with Papuans as represented by the Papuan Peace Negotiating Team.

While we greatly appreciate the serious concerns of the recent incidents expressed by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Madame Pillay,[2] we continue to appeal to the international community:

  1. To put pressure on the Yudhoyono government to hold accountable the soldiers, the Papua Chief of Police, the Commander of the Army and the Governor of Papua for their public brutality and their policy;
  2. To monitor the human security of Papuans
  3. To endorse peace negotiations as publicly already expressed by President Yudhoyono as the way to find a peaceful solution for the longest unresolved conflict in the Pacific as he already did with Aceh;

Media contact: Mr Octovianus Mote, Secretary of the Papua Peace Negotiator Team, Email: tuarek61@gmail.com, Phone: (021)-2310304 (temporary in New Zealand), US phone: +1-203 520 3055

Secretariat contact of the Papua Peace Negotiator Team (until June 2013): Budi Hernawan ofm (budi.hernawan@anu.edu.au), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Tel. +61-2-6125 7065; +61-422 156 4

[1] Article XIV of the 1962 New York Agreement uses the term “full administration responsibility,” not the transfer of “sovereignty.”

[2] See http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13287&LangID=E


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