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News From Free Papua Movement OPM/TPN

1999 news that happened since the first issue of the West Papua Action Update.

8th and 10th Feb 2000: Stopping the City in Papua

Wamena Town Totally Shut Down by Papuans

February 10, 2000

Wamena, the main town of the highlands and stronghold of the OPM, came out for the first time to demonstrate their anger against Indonesian colonialism. They openly refused any offer from Jakarta like federation or outonomy. The tribal leaders of Wamena town said, "Indepdendence for West Papua is a 'dead price' (no compromise at all in any way.)" They gave their orations and demanded the Regents and the Head of Peoples Representative to support their demand. If not, they promised to force them to resign very soon.

All shops, government offices and daily activities were totally stopped. Police in Wamena reported the people have peacefully left the town, without causing any trouble.

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Sorong Town Totally Shut Down by Papuans

Organization: TOPM 8/2/2000 Vanimo, PNG,
February 8, 2000

Thousands of People took to the streets in Sorong (bird's head) today. The administration of the government was totally stopped. Thousands of tribal people closed down shopping centres, shops belonging to private companies and the government. They are demanding that the Regent of Sorong, Jhon Piet Wanane, step down from his position.

Almost all business offices operating in Sorong closed down, including the Regent's office; the Indonesian Oil company, PERTAMINIA (a Shell subsidiary); the water supply company and many others.

So far, West Papuan people have suffered a lot because of contracts, agreements, concessions and other dirty politics by Indonesia in co-operation with foreign companies like Freeport MacMoRan, Rio Tinto, and Shell. Some weeks before, the Sentani Airport in the capital of the province was closed down by Sokoy tribe of Sentani. They said "this is our land, not Indonesian, you need to ask us before you do anything."

Similar demonstrations are likely to happen throughout the island. (at).

These two towns are hundreds of miles apart, with no road connecting them, so there is no way it was the same people in both cases.

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Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Tuesday, 1st February 2000. PICS!

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid arrived in the UK today along with 10 ministers and 100 Indonesian corporate directors for a business seminar with 400 invited delegates from British industry. They were in the UK as part of a tour of Europe and Asia designed to drum up business and rescue the Indonesian economy from the doldrums. It was a carefully crafted PR exercise aiming to spread the illusion that Indonesia is no longer run by a despotic regime that murders people and plunders the land to maintain the wealth of its ruling elite.

The Indonesian delegation flew in from Davos in Switzerland only this morning where they had been attending the World Economic Forum which had been besieged by more than 500 rioting demonstrators disguised with ski-masks. Escaping this, they arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London's Park Lane where they were met by 25 demonstrators hastily assembled at only two days notice. The demonstrators, disguised with masks of a West Papuan tribesman, blockaded the entrance preventing the delegation entering the hotel and sprayed fake blood across the hotel steps. The delegates were harangued through a megaphone and greeted with: 'Good morning suits! You are not anonymous, you are not invisible--if you invest in genocide we will target you! Your offices will be occupied, your homes will be visited. Welcome to the world of resistance!' Custard pies were flung at the alarmed Indonesian delegates, while demonstrators chanted 'Papua Merdeka'! ('Free Papua!').

The demonstrators blockaded both the front and the back of the hotel to prevent delegates arriving unnoticed and were joined by an East Timorese exile who proceeded to attack the Indonesians in their own language.

A number of protesters, dressed in suits, one of whom managed to grab a press pass from a conference inside a neighbouring hotel, infiltrated the meeting and managed to sneak out the information about the delegates attending the business seminar and the intinerary of the Indonesians' European and Asian trade mission.

After about an hour, when delegates had ceased arriving and the number of police outnumbered protestors by about 2 to 1, the protestors decided to leave. A successful, if small, action that hopefully scared off British companies from dealing with the murderous Indonesian regime and investing in 'developing' West Papua.

Back to index Students occupy the dutch embassy in Jakarta

14th January 2000

This morning, students from West Papua, a territory illegally annexed by Indonesia, occupied the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta. They are demanding that Holland fulfil its promises to help them achieve independence from Indonesia.

West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea. Like East Timor, it was occupied illegally by Indonesia. It was annexed in 1962. Before then it was the last territory in the Dutch East Indies. The annexation was "endorsed" by a bogus referendum in 1969, when 1,000 islanders were lined up at gunpoint by the Indonesians and forced to vote yes.

Since then, thousands of West Papuan people have been murdered and tortured. Many more have been deprived of their lands and their livelihoods by social engineering programmes organised by the Indonesian government and supported by the World Bank. Their resources have been seized by multinational corporations such as the British-based mining company Rio Tinto.

The Students Alliance of West Papua (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua - AMP) represents all students from West Papua worldwide. The AMP has held several press conferences in Jakarta, covered by national press and TV stations.

The AMP is demanding that the results of the bogus referendum are revoked and the United Nations oversee the handover to an independent government. They occupied the Dutch Embassy this morning because, in November 1999, the Dutch Foreign Minister said that the West Papua issue is "an unfinished business." We are holding him to his word. This morning, the Dutch ambassador promised that the issue will be re-examined.

Sam Karoba, the AMP's representative in the UK is available for interview.

Contacts: Sem Karoba, The AMP's Representative for Europe: 07901 625133

Demianus T. Wanimbo, Chairman of the AMP in Jakarta: 0062 81299 10856

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New massacre feared for 16 Dec

The new goverment of Gusdur and Megawati (daughter of mass-murderer Sukharno) caused hundreds of injuries and 3 deaths on 2.12.1999 at Timika (The town of the largest mining operation in West Papua) and has proved that it is not better than the previous governments. It is feared that on 16.12.1999 a new massacre could happen, as there are more West Papuan flag raisings planned for then. Thousands of Papuans with bows and arrows are standing against well-armed police and the army.

Mama Josepha, a West Papuan woman who first stood up to Freeport Director James Moffat in the mid-1990's, has cynically been awarded with a human rights award which was accompanied with great propaganda and media publicity. She herself was wounded at the bloodshed in Timika. Together with her, many women who worked with her have been wounded and some died.

On January 1st President Gusdur will fly to Jayapura, the capital of West Papua.

We demand:

  1. Immediate investigation of the incident of 2.12.1999 at Timika by
  2. independent international human rights groups
  3. immediate punishment of the responsible police and army leaders
  4. Preparation for the independence of West Papua by the government and UN
  5. independent observers during the visit of president Gusdur at
  6. Jayapura on 01.01.2000

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Peaceful Gathering Fired Upon by Indonesian Army

On the 2nd December, the day after the ceremonial flag raisings happened all over West Papua, to demand independence from Indonesia, a large group of people gathered in front of the church in Nimika, in the central highlands, praying.

About a thousand people had been standing in front of the church very peacefully, just praying and not causing any trouble. Then the police and military arrived, and immediately approached the crowd in rows. They just started shooting, without warning. They came with helicopters and hand grenades. They had German weapons and and Mercedes and Unimoq (military car from Germany) vehicles.

Our contacts there said that several hundred people were in the hospital, suffering from serious injuries. So far three people are known to be dead. Among these there was an old woman, only taking a walk in the sun. She just came there not expecting anything coming over the bridge and they shot her from the front.

The people there are particularly upset that there has been no reaction or even interest from the west. Nobody is coming there or wants to get more information about what is going on. There were a few western journalists there but they fled at the first sign of trouble, and the press has printed lies about what happened.
pictures Back to index **************************************** Anti Dam Development Movement in a Large Scale Palu (CH-Walhi Sulteng) - The neo-liberal NEW ORDER development politics is not only destructive to the national economy, but in fact neglected the fulfilment of the rights of the Indonesian people to live as they should. This inhuman development politics in fact becomes worse by the Habibie Regime as the continuation of the New Order dictartorship in accummulating the development process. This fact can be seen in various places in this country (when Habibie was in power up to now), in fact the practices of the bureaucratic-elite indicate how leaders and bureaucrats in this country with their New Ordo Syndrome attitude. This can be seen from the effort of developments, for example the Mamberamo hydro-electic in West Papua, that will have a power of about 5,000 MW (the biggest in Indonesia) or the plan for hidro-electirc in Palu-3, in the National Park Lore Lidu by the regional government in Central Sulawesi. Towards this policy, do they realise the disaster they bring to the people by such plans. Let us be united to act and campaign under the Anti Dam Building Movement in a large scale in this county. Beside that, all friends are invited to write Protest Letters on the Dam Construction of Mamberamo hydro electric in West Papua, hidro-electric in Palu-3 at the Nationla Park of Lore Lindu.

Let us write our letters of protest to the central government and the investors that support the projects.

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Anti Dam Development Movement on a Large Scale

Palu (CH-Walhi Sulteng) - The neo-liberal NEW ORDER development politics is not only destructive to the national economy, but in fact neglected the fulfilment of the rights of the Indonesian people to live as they should.

This inhuman development politics in fact becomes worse by the Habibie Regime as the continuation of the New Order dictartorship in accummulating the development process.

This fact can be seen in various places in this country (when Habibie was in power up to now), in fact the practices of the bureaucratic-elite indicate how leaders and bureaucrats in this country with their New Ordo Syndrome attitude.

This can be seen from the effort of developments, for example the Mamberamo hydro-electic in West Papua, that will have a power of about 5,000 MW (the biggest in Indonesia) or the plan for hidro-electirc in Palu-3, in the National Park Lore Lidu by the regional government in Central Sulawesi.

Towards this policy, do they realise the disaster they bring to the people by such plans.

Let us be united to act and campaign under the Anti Dam Building Movement in a large scale in this county.

Beside that, all friends are invited to write Protest Letters on the Dam Construction of Mamberamo hydro electric in West Papua, hidro-electric in Palu-3 at the Nationla Park of Lore Lindu.

Let us write our letters of protest to the central government and the investors that support the projects.