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Papuan Liberation Movement wants dialogue

 

Papuan Liberation Movement wants dialogue

ULMWP opens offices in West Papua

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https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/362078/papuan-liberation-movement-wants-dialogue

 

1) Papuan Liberation Movement wants dialogue

 

11:12 am today

 

 

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua supports the idea of dialogue with Indonesia as long as it is mediated internationally, the movement’s secretary says.

Indonesia’s government of Joko Widodo has recently made overtures to West Papuan customary and civil society leaders for dialogue over a range of issues in Papua region.

Secretary Rex Rumakiek said the push for dialogue was not a bad thing.

“But dialogue internationally, not Indonesian type of dialogue that resulted in 1969’s Act of Free Choice. That’s the type of dialogue Indonesia wants. We are not going to go back to that approach,” Mr Rumakiek said.

“We want an international dialogue and the best place to dialogue is the United Nations general assembly. Let us vote on the issue.”

The movement hoped to have questions over the legitimacy of the self-determination act under which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia debated by the UN General Assembly in the next year or two, Mr Rumakiek said.

Since being admitted to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in 2015 with observer status in the regional grouping, the movement has had more opportunities to engage with Indonesia, which enjoys associate member status in the MSG.

The dynamic between the two parties, however, is clearly strained, as Indonesia’s government has characterised the movement as a separatist group that does not represent Papuans.

The full MSG members – Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s Kanaks – have been working to facilitate dialogue between the movement and Indonesia

“We can talk direct to them with the MSG members as witnesses. That is what we call a third party” Mr Rumakiek explained.

“We cannot talk direct to Indonesia by ourselves, but with the MSG facilitating. We try to avoid other people speaking on our behalf. The MSG is trying to arrange for meetings (between the West Papuans and Indonesia’s government).”

Meanwhile, the Australia-based Mr Rumakiek said the movement was disturbed by the reports from Papua’s remote Nduga regency that Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army had exchanged gunfire in recent weeks.

Three people were killed in an attack on police at the local airport two weeks ago during regional elections. A faction of the Liberation Army – which is not directly linked to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua – claimed responsibility.

Following the attack, about a thousand extra police and military personnel deployed to Nduga as part of a joint operation.

They have been conducting an aerial campaign over the Alguru area in pursuit of the Liberation Army, with unconfirmed reports saying at least two Papuans have been shot dead and others injured in recent days.

The Indonesian aerial operations over Alguru echoed previous military operations in the area, which devastated the livelihoods of Papuan villagers, Mr Rumakiek said.

“They are applying the same strategy that they bomb villages and chasing the people who live in the bush, so the after effects are much more serious than the actual destruction itself,” he said.

“Those people, when they come back to their village there will be nothing left for them to return to because the schools and clinics are destroyed and the churches are destroyed.”

But in a statement, Indonesia’s military said reports that security forces were conducting airstrikes or dropping bombs in Nduga were a hoax.

Military forces were working with police in “law enforcement activities” in Alguru, it said.

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http://dailypost.vu/news/ulmwp-opens-offices-in-west-papua/article_837c88b6-9554-5073-9d8e-2ab15d9516aa.html

2) ULMWP opens offices in West Papua

 

  • By Len Garae
  • 10 hrs ago

“We are ready and we want the world to know that we are not separatists as Indonesia calls us, we have our Executive, our Judiciary and our Legislative Arms in place.”

The Executive Committee of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) makes the above statement also to the Government and people of Vanuatu that they are ready to officially operate from their West Papua International Headquarters in Port Vila.

Speaking from Grand Hotel yesterday, ULMWP London-based Chairman Benny Wenda says the last six months have been transitional. In his latest announcement, the Chairman confirms the opening of three new ULMWP Offices in West Papua to be followed by four more shortly also in West Papua.

“I wish to confirm that what is happening within West Papua now regarding the opening of our offices in our home country goes to confirm that ULMWP is both an international and national organisational structure for the eventual freedom of the people of West Papua.

“It goes to prove that the claim by Indonesia that ULMWP is only for exiles is false,” he says.

Asked if those who operate the new offices should be fearful of reprisals by the Indonesian Military, the Chairman replies, “Our offices are owned and operated by our own people. Last year, our offices in Wamena and Fak Fak were targeted and it remains to be seen with the new openings.”

He says the Executive Director of ULMWP on the ground in West Papua is Marcus Haluk. He will be responsible for the seven offices when they all operate in the seven regents of West Papua.

Asked if it is a risk, he replies, “What is happening in West Papua now is as a result of what are taking place in other parts of the world. Look at what is happening in Palestine. People are not afraid anymore.

“It has come to a stage where if I have to die, I die but the cause will never die.”

Asked to comment on reports of the killing of three West Papuans, shooting at civilians by the Indonesian military from a helicopter gunship, and burning of houses, the ULMWP Chairman emphasises the importance for the world to sit up to the hypocrisy where Indonesia has been appointed a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, while its military has increased its presence in Nduga by 1,000 soldiers and police since last month, to hunt down members of the West Papua Liberation Army. The Chairman says history is repeating itself in the same regent after the present candidate for the next President of Indonesian, General Wiranto, allegedly led a massive operation in the area involving scores of West Papuans killed in the 1980s. ULMWP says the tactic currently deployed by Indonesia in West Papua reflects a nervousness on its own part that at long last, it is losing its historical stranglehold on West Papua.

“They even want to blame OPM guerrillas for the killing of the three civilians which is truly absurd as they cannot kill their own people in pursuit of freedom,” Chairman Wenda says.

“The fact of the matter is that Indonesia has been appointed to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and we ULMWP, oppose a terrorist state to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Using a military gunship to shoot into villages, burning homes and chasing people into the bush defeats logic to allow Indonesia to sit as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.”

Leaked information from West Papua to Port Vila claims Indonesia is also nervous that a forty-kilo heavy booklet comprising 1,800,000 West Papuan signatures complete with individual IDs, which was presented to the UN General Assembly last year calling for freedom, will be debated by UN General Assembly in September this year.

“We are also relisting West Papua to the UN Decolonisation Committee and we hope that Vanuatu will also endorse our stand. This is why Indonesia has adopted a terror and trauma strategy with a shooting spree into any gathering of West Papuans in West Papua”, ULMWP alleged.

In conclusion the ULMWP Chairman is appealing to the people of West Papua to care for their organisation like “an egg” saying, it was hatched in Port Vila through the help of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and people of Vanuatu.

For this reason it is vital for all independence factions and all affiliates to speak with one voice, sing the same song and walk the same talk for freedom which is coming soon.

“We have struggled and so many of us have died for the last 50 years for us to arrive where we are today. This unity must stand and stand strong. We have only one united organisation – ULMWP to take us to freedom,” says Wenda.

West Papua currently has a population of about 2.5 million people compared to Papua New Guinea’s 7 million. In 1970 PNG and West Papua were reported to be 50-50 in terms of population.

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Amnesty accuses Indonesian forces of unlawful killings in Papua

 Amnesty accuses Indonesian forces of unlawful killings in Papua

smh ARTICLE

2 July 2018 — 2:18pm

 

Jakarta:  Indonesia’s police and military are responsible for at least 95 unlawful killings in the easternmost Papua region since 2008, including targeted slayings of activists, Amnesty International said on Monday, condemning a near-total absence of justice for the mainly indigenous victims.

In a report based on two years of research, Amnesty said that more than half the victims were either political activists or people taking part in peaceful protests often unrelated to the Papuan independence movement.

It said none of the killings was the subject of independent criminal investigation. In about a third of the cases, there was not even an internal investigation. When police or military claimed to have investigated internally, they did not make the findings public. Eight deaths were compensated with money or pigs.

The victims are overwhelmingly male indigenous Papuans and the majority are young, aged 30 or under.

The killings – nearly one a month for the past eight years – are a “serious blot” on Indonesia’s human rights record, said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia.

 

“This culture of impunity within the security forces must change, and those responsible for past deaths held to account,” he said.

An independence movement and an armed insurgency have simmered in the formerly Dutch-controlled region since it was annexed by Indonesia in 1963. Indonesian rule has been frequently brutal, and indigenous Papuans, largely shut out of their region’s economy, are poorer, sicker and more likely to die young than people elsewhere in Indonesia.

A majority of the killings documented by Amnesty were the result of unnecessary or excessive use of force during protests or law enforcement operations and unlawful acts by individual officers, it said.

 

Some occurred in circumstances related to the Papuan independence movement such as raising of the banned “Morning Star” independence flag or ceremonies marking significant dates.

The rights group said the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, elected in 2014, had failed to end the security forces’ pervasive impunity in Papua, like all Indonesian governments before it.

Despite a promise by the newly elected Jokowi to bring to justice officers responsible for killing four people when they fired into a crowd of protesters in December 2014 in Paniai district, there has been no criminal investigation even after Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission found evidence of “gross human rights violations”, Amnesty said.

In that case, villagers were protesting the alleged beating of Papuan children by soldiers and threw stones and wood at a police and military buildings before officers opened fire. Two witnesses saw police officers beat one of the protesters and shoot him at close range after he fell to the ground, according to the Human Rights Commission.

World’s largest palm oil trader linked to rainforest destruction twice the size of Paris

 

World’s largest palm oil trader linked to rainforest destruction twice the size of Paris

by Greenpeace International

25 June 2018

Jakarta, Indonesia – A new Greenpeace International investigation has revealed that Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, is still linked to forest destruction for palm oil almost five years after committing to end deforestation.[1]

An area twice the size of Paris has been destroyed by Gama, a palm oil business run by senior Wilmar executives and members of their family. Photos and video taken by Greenpeace International on a recent flyover show active deforestation in two Gama concessions in Papua, Indonesia.[2]

“Our investigation has exposed Wilmar’s dirty secret. For years, Wilmar and Gama have worked together, with Gama doing the dirty work so Wilmar’s hands stay clean. But now the truth is out, and Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong must act now to save his reputation. Wilmar must immediately cut off all palm oil suppliers that can’t prove they aren’t destroying rainforests,” said Kiki Taufik, the global head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Indonesian forests campaign.

Gama, one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil plantation companies, was set up by Wilmar’s co-founder, Martua Sitorus and his brother Ganda in 2011.[3] Gama’s concessions are owned and managed by members of Ganda’s and Martua Sitorus’s family, which includes Wilmar’s Country Head and Deputy Country Head for Indonesia.

Documentation of landcover and oil palm plantation development in PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia (PT APM) oil palm concession, part of the GAMA/Ganda group.

 

 

 

31 Mar, 2018

PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (PT ACP) Palm Oil Concession in Papua

In December 2013, Wilmar became the first palm oil trader to publish a ‘no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation’ (NDPE) policy that applied in its own plantations and those of its suppliers. Mapping and satellite analysis shows that Gama destroyed 21,500ha of rainforest or peatland since Wilmar made its commitment [see report].

Wilmar also has a history of evading responsibility for environmental and human rights abuses by selling off its most controversial concessions to Gama.[4]

Wilmar’s General Manager with responsibility for trading within Indonesia, Darwin Indigo, is the son of Gama co-founder, Ganda, and also manages at least one Gama company. Darwin’s brother Andy Indigo manages Gama’s other concessions.

Analysis of trade data shows that Wilmar continues to trade palm oil from Gama to many of the world’s biggest brands, despite being aware that Gama was violating Wilmar’s NDPE policy by clearing rainforest.

“Wilmar has been trading Gama’s oil all over the world, including to brands like P&G, Nestlé and Unilever. Brands cannot let this deception pass unchallenged, and have no choice but to suspend all business with Wilmar until it can prove it only trades clean palm oil from responsible producers,” said Kiki Taufik.

Wilmar denies having any influence over Gama, although it admitted in a fax to Greenpeace International that Gama is run by Wilmar senior executives and members of their family.[5]

Southeast Asia’s plantation sector is notorious for using shell companies run by managers or family members to hide deforestation. Just last month, Greenpeace broke ties with Asia Pulp and Paper, Indonesia’s largest paper company, after detecting deforestation in two concessions linked to APP and its parent company the Sinar Mas Group.

Wilmar is on the board of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), whose bi-annual conference kicks off on Monday in Paris. At least one Gama company, S&G Biofuel Ltd, is also an RSPO member. Under RSPO membership rules, companies that share management or control should be treated as one group. This makes Wilmar responsible for what happens in Gama’s concessions.

Greenpeace is calling on the RSPO to enforce its rules by requiring Wilmar and Gama to register as one group and suspending Wilmar until the rainforest Gama destroyed is restored.

Photos

https://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJWLNTLJ

Notes:

[1] Greenpeace investigation and satellite maps

[2] Much of this deforestation has occured in just three of the concessions examined in Greenpeace’s report:

PT Graha Agro Nusantara (PT GAN), West Kalimantan, Kubu Raya district – 7,000ha of forest or peatland cleared since 2014

  • PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (PT ACP), Papua, Merauke district – at least 3,190ha of forest cleared since 2015
  • PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia (PT APM), Papua, Merauke district – at least 2,500ha of forest cleared since January 2016.

[3]  Like many family-owned companies in Southeast Asia, Gama does not have a formal structure; instead, it is a network of plantations and palm oil companies owned, managed or controlled by Ganda and Martua Sitorus, and members of their family.

Martua Sitorus is the co-founder of Wilmar and remains a board member. He is also CEO of Gama.

Ganda’s and Martua Sitorus’s brother-in-law, Hendri Saksti is Wilmar’s Country Head, Indonesia. He also owns or manages Gama plantations.

Sitorus and Saksti’s nephew / Ganda’s son Darwin Indigo is Wilmar’s Deputy Country Head, Indonesia. He also manages S&G Biofuel, a Gama joint venture.

In 2004, Wilmar sold PT Jatimjaya Perkasa to Gama (then known as Ganda Group) following accusations of deforestation in the concession from Friends of the Earth.

In 2013, Wilmar sold PT Asiatic Persada to Gama (then known as Ganda Group) following accusations of social conflict with local communities.

In 2014, Wilmar sold PT Citra Riau Sirana to Gama, following accusations from Eyes on the Forest / WWF of receiving fresh fruit bunches of oil palm from illegal plantations within Tesso Nilo national park.

[5]  Link to fax

Contacts:

Sol Gosetti, International Communications Coordinator, Indonesia Forest, sol.gosetti@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7807352020

Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 (0) 20 718 2470, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org (available 24 hours)

Documentation of landcover and oil palm plantation development in PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia (PT APM) oil palm concession, part of the GAMA/Ganda group.

The Neglected Genocide

 

The Neglected Genocide. Genocide and political fraud in West Papua, Melanesia. The Indonesian government has killed around 500,000 West Papuans since 1961. West Papua has a legal right to self determination and independence.

 

 

Please read and share this report from the Asian Human rights commission on just a small part of the genocide committed against the West Papuan people by the Indonesian government.

This report is about the massacres in the Baliem valley 1977-78, when at least 10,000 West Papuans were murdered. The report collected many of the names. The details of Indonesia’s actions can be found in the report. They include crucifixion, boiling people alive and opening pregnant women with bayonets.

Asian Human rights commision (AHRC);

“In one of the villages in the Central Highlands, Dila, a tribal leader named Nalogian Kibak was slaughtered and his blood was kept in a bucket. Lieutenant Colonel Soekemi who was the Military Commander for Nabire, later forced the other tribal leaders, teachers and priests to drink the blood at gunpoint. Village leaders in Tiom were sliced with razors, civilians were beaten with axes and some others were buried alive.”

“Some of the Papuans eventually surrendered and gave themselves to the military in Kurulu and Wosilimo. Yet those who surrendered were killed; stabbed with heated irons; thrown alive into the Baliem and Awe rivers; or boiled alive by the military. Rocky’s brother was one of those who surrendered to the military at that time. The military officers forced him to dig a hole and he was buried alive up to his neck. They later stacked woods around his head and poured fuel on it before burning him alive”

“A child’s head was cut off and thrown into a fire… Small children were caught like chickens and swung by the ankles into a fire… All the children were killed. A child of seven months died in my stomach.”

“Thirty five out of the 210 people reportedly killed in Jayawijaya Regency were women. They were also raped by the Indonesian military officers and heated iron rods were forced into their rectums and mouths by the officers until they died. Some of them had their breasts cut off and internal organs pulled out. The OPM reported that pregnant women in Kuyawagi village had their vaginas cut with bayonets by the Indonesian military, and their babies were cut in half. The Indonesian military also forced penises cut from dead mens’ bodies into the womens’ mouths. In cases where the women were married, the military officers would rape them in front of their husband and other people.”

No one has ever investigated any of the mass killings and massacres in Teminabuan 1965, Arfak 1967, Paniai, 1967-69. Ayamaru 1966, Jayapura 1971, Biak-numfor 1974/5 All over West Papua 1969, Baliem valley 1981-84. Timika 1982, Border area with PNG 1985, Merouke 1986/87/88, Timika 1996 and 2000. Biak 1998. Wasior 2000, Wamena 2000, 2004, 2006 Jayapura 2006 2008, 2010, Jayawijaya 2013, Panaii 2014, Yahukimo 2015 amongst many others.

Eight months sentences for military culprit the fishermen shooter: It’s not fair

Military culprit, the defendant of fishermen shot entered the trial court – Jubi/Dok.

Jayapura, Jubi –Father John Jonga, Yap Thiam Hien Award winner 2009, said the military judge’s verdict to sentence 8 months prison to the First Sergeant Yusuf Salasar in a military tribunal held in Jayapura on Tuesday (20/03/18) was not fair.

According to him, the act of Salasar who’s Deputy Commander of Intel II Military Resort Command 174 Timika could not be justified. He fired a gunshot during a quarrel between traditional and migrant fishermen in KP3 Office Pomako Port Timika on 9/8/2017. As a result, it caused the death of a traditional fisherman Theo Cakatem, while other fishermen, Rudolf Saran and Gabrial Nawipo were injured respectively in their arm and left palm hand.

“The verdict of 18 months sentences is embarrassed. It is not a new case; this kind of shooting case is about human’s life. It’s not professional if it has done by a military officer,” Father John Jonga told Jubi on Thursday evening (22/3/2018).

In addition, Jonga said, this verdict signified that the Military Tribunal is very unfair. His self-defense reason when firing a gun cannot be an excuse. “If he said he did it for self-defense, what for?”

A human right attorney Gustaf Kawer, in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (21/3/2018), said considering the legal process to the verdict, it assumed that law enforcement officers who involved in this trial already had a ‘design’ to protect the defendant.

Firstly, from the process of investigation to the trial, all were handed over to the court for about six months. It is considered to violate the principle of a fast and low-cost trial.

“Secondly, this case was not conducted at the scene or in Timika. It should be conducted in the location nearby to the victims’ families in order to guarantee a sense of justice as well as to facilitate the presence of victims to witness in the court. So the trial is supposed to be done in Timika,” said Kawer. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Kanaky ( New Caledonia ) to vote on Independence in 2018

Islands Business Magazine Published in 2018 March

by Nic Maclellan

 

‘At the dawn of a new day’

FLNKS Congress calls for “full sovereignty”

AS New Caledonia’s FLNKS independence movement met in congress last month near the northern town of Poum, the theme highlighted the importance of the coming year: “Yet Tim Men Ta Yabwat” (At the dawn of a new day). After decades of campaigning, a decision on New Caledonia’s political status is looming.

The exact date is still to be announced, but New Caledonia’s referendum on self-determination must be held before the end of the year, after a 20-year transition established by the 1998 Noumea Accord. Opponents of independence believe that they will win the vote and retain their current status within the French Republic. After generations of settlement and migration, the indigenous Kanak people are a minority in their own country, so mobilising independence supporters in the lead up to the referendum is all the more important. The 36th Congress of the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) met at Arama on 3-4 February.

The meeting provided a crucial opportunity for delegates and activists to build common understanding on issues that have long been debated within the broad independence coalition. For many years, there have been internal tensions over leadership, how to negotiate with conservative pro-French parties and the best path for a transition to a new political status. But with only months remaining until the referendum, there is a need to promote unity amongst the four political parties that comprise the FLNKS: Union Calédonienne (UC); Parti de Libération Kanak (Palika); Rassemblement Démocratique Océanien (RDO); and Union Progressiste Mélanésien (UPM). The first President of the FLNKS, JeanMarie Tjibaou, was assassinated in 1989 and the position was later filled by Palika’s Paul Neaoutyine and UC’s Roch Wamytan. But since 2001, the independence coalition has been unable to agree on a President.

To avoid potentially divisive debates over leadership, the Arama Congress decided to leave the position vacant and instead appointed UC President Daniel Goa as its official spokesperson within New Caledonia, the region and internationally. Debating the path forward As the largest and oldest member of the independence movement, UC has long called for the adoption of full, sovereign political independence.

The other FLNKS members have been more open to variations of political status. Palika President Paul Neaoutyine has declared his party is open to discussing “l’indépendance avec partenariat” (independence with partnership), which would establish New Caledonia as an independent nation but with an ongoing relationship with France. Despite these differences, the FLNKS congress “reaffirmed its objective to have the country accede to full sovereignty in the referendum scheduled for this year 2018.”

If New Caledonia’s Congress cannot agree on a date for the referendum by May this year, the French State must hold the referendum at least six months before next Congressional elections in May 2019. For this reason, everyone is gearing up for a referendum in late October or November, preparing for a public campaign in the months before the vote. One of the central concerns for independence supporters has been to meet the legal requirement that potential referendum voters must be registered on the general electoral roll.

The Congress called on independence activists appointed to the Special Administrative Committees which register voters “to maintain the greatest possible vigilance during the forthcoming work to update the special lists and especially those for the referendum.” The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation is expected to send a mission to New Caledonia this month, to monitor the work of these Special Administrative Committees, as they finalise the voting roll that will be released publically in August. The FLNKS Congress reaffirmed its call for automatic registration of all indigenous Kanaks of voting age, echoing a central concern of the Rassemblement des indépendantistes et nationalistes (RIN).

The RIN is a loose network outside the FLNKS that includes more radical proindependence groups like the Parti Travailliste (PT), Dynamique Unitaire Sud (DUS), the USTKE trade union confederation and individual activists. UC President Daniel Goa has floated the idea of re-incorporating all pro-independence forces – including political parties, trade unions and churches – within the FLNKS. However this idea was not accepted by Palika and UPM at the Arama congress. Instead, the congress resolution called on “independence supporters, progressives and nationalists to support the planned accession to full sovereignty and to re-join the structures created by the FLNKS to undertake a campaign at local level.”

This aims to reinforce the “Comités Nationalistes et Citoyens” (CNC), a network of local action groups in tribes and towns across the country. The CNC were created in 2016 as a structure for independence supporters to campaign together at the grassroots, regardless of political affiliation. Young people share their vision This spirit of cooperation was evident amongst young Kanaks at the Arama meeting. A key feature of the congress was the strong presence and coordination of young people, who have not been involved in longstanding political jousting amongst their elders, often dating back to the 1970s. Each of the FLNKS member parties has a separate youth wing, but younger delegates caucused together and issued a joint statement from the congress.

The youth declaration called for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia, as a multicultural, secular, democratic and united republic.” The united youth network will organise a series of cultural and sporting events during 2018, so that “young New Caledonians, whoever they may be, can join the movement for national unity so our country can access full sovereignty.” New Caledonian leaders across the political spectrum will meet with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other representatives in March for the next Committee of Signatories to the Noumea Accord.

This meeting, one of the last before the referendum, will address outstanding issues over the referendum process, as well as the transfer of the remaining “Article 27” powers from Paris to Noumea (including control of the university, TV and radio, as well as the ADRAF land reform agency currently managed by the French State). To continue the momentum towards the vote, the FLNKS will hold a national convention in April.

This meeting will see the formal launch of the independence movement’s campaign, in the lead up to a scheduled visit by French President Emmanuel Macron. Since last year, the FLNKS has been developing a proposal for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia,” with ideas for economic, political and cultural reform that will be the centrepiece of the referendum campaign. Beyond its mobilisation on the ground, the FLNKS congress resolutions highlighted the importance of international solidarity, including the “historic and ongoing support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group,” support from the Non-Aligned Movement as well as churches, NGOs and trade unions (a notable omission from the list is the Pacific Islands Forum, given the rapprochement between France and key Forum member states like Australia). To mobilise international support during 2018, the FLNKS will soon name overseas representatives as official spokespeople in Europe and the Pacific islands.

The movement will also send a team to build support for independence and sovereignty in French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna (key constituencies, given the large Tahitian and Wallisian populations living in New Caledonia). Soon after the congress, FLNKS delegates travelled to Port Moresby for the MSG summit. As a signal to the host government, the Arama congress “reaffirmed its unshakeable support for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) in its combat for human rights and the right to self-determination in West Papua.” The FLNKS congress also resolved to support nationalist movements in Corsica, Catalonia and French Polynesia – signalling their support for allies in the debate over autonomy, decentralisation and independence that is raging around the globe, from Spain to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, from old Caledonia to New Caledonia.

4 out of 10 West Papuan women found to have been subjected to Indonesian state violence

4 out of 10 West Papuan women found to have been subjected to Indonesian state violence

October 19, 2017

Research by the Papuan Women’s Working Group together with the Asia Justice Rights (AJAR) has revealed shocking levels of Indonesian state violence being committed towards West Papuan women. Of the representative 170 indigenous West Papuan women surveyed between 2013 and 2017, 64 of them (4 out of 10) had been subject to violence committed by Indonesian state authorities.

Some of the violence the West Papuan women testified experiencing included: Shootings, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, husbands/family members lost or killed, husbands/family members detained, and property which was stolen or damaged.

When releasing the research results on 18th October, Selviana Yolanda, from AJAR stated that util now, there has been no consistent effort from the Indonesian state and civil society to restore and empower victims of state violence and human rights abuses. In fact, Selviana said, they now have no access to health and other public services because they have been labeled as part of the Free West Papua movement. She added that in one village in Wamena, a group of widows whose husbands were killed during the 1977-1978 massacres were forced to live together in very isolated conditions. According to Selviana, the unresolved continuing impact over the years has left West Papuan women who are the victims of violence; marginalized from all walks of life, sick and living in poor conditions. They lost their wealth and livelihoods due to the conflict.

“Women who suffered torture, sexual violence we find from the 70s or 80s whose children were shot, tortured and so on are still alive; but living in discrimination because there is a stigma attached to them”. She added, “So for us the violence is not over.”

Systematic Indonesian state violence against women in West Papua has continued unabated ever since Indonesia invaded West Papua in 1963. In a public report to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1999, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women concluded that the Indonesian security forces used rape “as an instrument of torture and intimidation” in West Papua, and “torture of women detained by the Indonesian security forces was widespread”.

For more information on violence against women in West Papua, please read this very informative article in the Guardian.