The Campaign for Peace in Papua

13 May 2005
The Campaign for Peace in Papua
Neles Tebay
Appeared in: 

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit the United States, the European Union (EU), and Japan. Before leaving the country, the President needs to be informed about the growing international campaign for peace in Papua, as manifested in the so-called "Geneva Appeal on West Papua." The appeal, entitled Papua, a Land of Peace (PLP), was adopted in Geneva last month by faith-based organizations around the world. According to their assessment, there is absence of peace in Papua. Why? The Papuan autonomy law has not been implemented effectively, fully and comprehensively. The approval of the law has not brought about real improvements in the livelihoods, security and dignity of the majority of Papuan people. Rather, there is fear for further escalation of the conflict and the violence.

Many Papuans still experience ongoing deprivation and injustice. Jakarta's contradictory policies and poor rule of law create a growing atmosphere of conflict in West Papua.

They see that military operations have increased and pose a threat to the Papuan peoples' existence and survival as a culture and ethnic entity.

The security approach to confront so-called separatism and critical voices only produces insecurity for Papuans.

Papuans still suffer some of the poorest standards of education, health and live expectancy in Indonesia" due to the "negligence of educational and medical facilities by the State.

They are worried that should armed militias and gangs get involved in creating conflict in Papua, then, the result would be further militarization, reinforcing the security approach, and consequently worsening the situation of human rights and peoples' security.

Peace in Papua, for them, means not only the absence of violent conflict. For it "encompasses trust, mutual respect, the ending of the practice of impunity, and about fair chances for development". It is "a dream about an adequate space for political dialog without fear for stigmatization".

The campaign for the PLP, then, is not merely a political effort. For it includes social-economic development, cultural rights, justice and peoples' security.

This absence of peace has encouraged them to garner international support for a peace campaign, initiated by Papuan religious leaders under the motto "Papua, Land of Peace" (PLP) through the celebration of international day of peace on Sept. 21, and the Papuan day of peace on Feb. 5.

The supporters of the appeal highlight three major challenges in creating the PLP.

First, there are conflicting signals from the government and from military command in Jakarta about the status of the Papuan autonomy law, its interpretation and its implementation.

Jakarta's policy of splitting Papua into two or more provinces without democratic consultation and the emasculation of the role and mandate of the Papuan People's Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua/MRP) are examples of the conflicting signals.

Therefore, there is a pressing need for an open and genuine dialog to clarify the interpretation of the law and to move ahead to ensure full implementation of this law in accordance with the aspirations of the Papuan peoples.

The second challenge for the prospect for peaceful development, open dialog and justice is the disproportionate military (TNI) presence in West Papua that often generates conflict.

To build a culture of peace in Papua, the police should be responsible for civic order, and be equipped to maintain the rule of law professionally. The military presence, then, should be brought back to a sensible and appropriate size. The third is how to make the concept of the PLP become the fundamental attitude in the approach to the problems in Papua, by the people, by the government, by the international community.

The campaign for the PLP includes overcoming suspicion and divisions on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political aspirations and interests.

Therefore, the notion of the PLP should be embedded in the hearts of people of all religious and ethnic communities concerned ... not only in West Papua but also in Indonesia as a whole, and elsewhere".

Supporting the PLP's campaign, the backers of the appeal are committed to draw the attention of their religious communities, their governments and the international community to the suffering of the peoples of West Papua.

The network urges them pro-actively to assist the Indonesian government and the Papuan community to confront the challenges encountered by the Papuan peoples within the framework of peaceful change.

They appeal to the Indonesian government to protect and respect the rights of indigenous peoples in West Papua, apply a rights-based approach to development in implementing Papuan autonomy, create space for democratic dialog, in accordance with the spirit of the law, cease further efforts to divide Papua, and undertake an open and democratic process to review the establishment of West Irian Jaya Province.

They call on the UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to grant the necessary support to the government to promote peace and to solve conflict with recourse to the mechanisms provided by the Special Autonomy Law.

They appeal to the Indonesian authority to commit seriously to the eradication of all forms of discrimination against the indigenous Papuan peoples.

They call to the EU to encourage the UN Secretary General to engage in the promotion of peace in West Papua.

They appeal to the religious communities of all faiths to remember the Papuan peoples in your prayers, support the effort of Papuan religious leaders to realize the campaign for the PLP and to join the Faith-based Network on West Papua for Papua, Land of Peace.

The Geneva appeal has been widely circulated through the Internet and its supporters have already been involved in the campaign for peace in their respective countries.

Indeed, they are neither representing their governments, nor supporting the Papuan separatist movement (OPM). As religious-based organizations, their main concern is nothing more than peace. They are and will be examining all Jakarta's policies toward Papua from the perspective of peace.

The central government under President Susilo's leadership, then, is challenged to review Jakarta's policies towards Papua from the perspective of peace. Due to the campaign, President Susilo, during his visit to the U.S. and the EU, might be asked about how Jakarta supports the peace campaign in Papua.

The writer is a post graduate student at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit the United States, the European Union (EU), and Japan. Before leaving the country, the President needs to be informed about the growing international campaign for peace in Papua, as manifested in the so-called "Geneva Appeal on West Papua".

The appeal, entitled Papua, a Land of Peace (PLP), was adopted in Geneva last month by faith-based organizations around the world. According to their assessment, there is absence of peace in Papua. Why? The Papuan autonomy law has not been implemented effectively, fully and comprehensively. The approval of the law has not brought about real improvements in the livelihoods, security and dignity of the majority of Papuan people. Rather, there is fear for further escalation of the conflict and the violence.

Many Papuans still experience ongoing deprivation and injustice. Jakarta's contradictory policies and poor rule of law create a growing atmosphere of conflict in West Papua.

They see that military operations have increased and pose a threat to the Papuan peoples' existence and survival as a culture and ethnic entity.

The security approach to confront so-called separatism and critical voices only produces insecurity for Papuans.

Papuans still suffer some of the poorest standards of education, health and live expectancy in Indonesia" due to the "negligence of educational and medical facilities by the State.

They are worried that should armed militias and gangs get involved in creating conflict in Papua, then, the result would be further militarization, reinforcing the security approach, and consequently worsening the situation of human rights and peoples' security.

Peace in Papua, for them, means not only the absence of violent conflict. For it "encompasses trust, mutual respect, the ending of the practice of impunity, and about fair chances for development". It is "a dream about an adequate space for political dialog without fear for stigmatization".

The campaign for the PLP, then, is not merely a political effort. For it includes social-economic development, cultural rights, justice and peoples' security.

This absence of peace has encouraged them to garner international support for a peace campaign, initiated by Papuan religious leaders under the motto "Papua, Land of Peace" (PLP) through the celebration of international day of peace on Sept. 21, and the Papuan day of peace on Feb. 5.

The supporters of the appeal highlight three major challenges in creating the PLP.

First, there are conflicting signals from the government and from military command in Jakarta about the status of the Papuan autonomy law, its interpretation and its implementation.

Jakarta's policy of splitting Papua into two or more provinces without democratic consultation and the emasculation of the role and mandate of the Papuan People's Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua/MRP) are examples of the conflicting signals.

Therefore, there is a pressing need for an open and genuine dialog to clarify the interpretation of the law and to move ahead to ensure full implementation of this law in accordance with the aspirations of the Papuan peoples.

The second challenge for the prospect for peaceful development, open dialog and justice is the disproportionate military (TNI) presence in West Papua that often generates conflict.

To build a culture of peace in Papua, the police should be responsible for civic order, and be equipped to maintain the rule of law professionally. The military presence, then, should be brought back to a sensible and appropriate size. The third is how to make the concept of the PLP become the fundamental attitude in the approach to the problems in Papua, by the people, by the government, by the international community.

The campaign for the PLP includes overcoming suspicion and divisions on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political aspirations and interests.

Therefore, the notion of the PLP should be embedded in the hearts of people of all religious and ethnic communities concerned ... not only in West Papua but also in Indonesia as a whole, and elsewhere".

Supporting the PLP's campaign, the backers of the appeal are committed to draw the attention of their religious communities, their governments and the international community to the suffering of the peoples of West Papua.

The network urges them pro-actively to assist the Indonesian government and the Papuan community to confront the challenges encountered by the Papuan peoples within the framework of peaceful change.

They appeal to the Indonesian government to protect and respect the rights of indigenous peoples in West Papua, apply a rights-based approach to development in implementing Papuan autonomy, create space for democratic dialog, in accordance with the spirit of the law, cease further efforts to divide Papua, and undertake an open and democratic process to review the establishment of West Irian Jaya Province.

They call on the UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to grant the necessary support to the government to promote peace and to solve conflict with recourse to the mechanisms provided by the Special Autonomy Law.

They appeal to the Indonesian authority to commit seriously to the eradication of all forms of discrimination against the indigenous Papuan peoples.

They call to the EU to encourage the UN Secretary General to engage in the promotion of peace in West Papua.

They appeal to the religious communities of all faiths to remember the Papuan peoples in your prayers, support the effort of Papuan religious leaders to realize the campaign for the PLP and to join the Faith-based Network on West Papua for Papua, Land of Peace.

The Geneva appeal has been widely circulated through the Internet and its supporters have already been involved in the campaign for peace in their respective countries.

Indeed, they are neither representing their governments, nor supporting the Papuan separatist movement (OPM). As religious-based organizations, their main concern is nothing more than peace. They are and will be examining all Jakarta's policies toward Papua from the perspective of peace.

The central government under President Susilo's leadership, then, is challenged to review Jakarta's policies towards Papua from the perspective of peace. Due to the campaign, President Susilo, during his visit to the U.S. and the EU, might be asked about how Jakarta supports the peace campaign in Papua.

The writer is a post graduate student at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana.

 

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit the United States, the European Union (EU), and Japan. Before leaving the country, the President needs to be informed about the growing international campaign for peace in Papua, as manifested in the so-called "Geneva Appeal on West Papua".

The appeal, entitled Papua, a Land of Peace (PLP), was adopted in Geneva last month by faith-based organizations around the world. According to their assessment, there is absence of peace in Papua. Why? The Papuan autonomy law has not been implemented effectively, fully and comprehensively. The approval of the law has not brought about real improvements in the livelihoods, security and dignity of the majority of Papuan people. Rather, there is fear for further escalation of the conflict and the violence.

Many Papuans still experience ongoing deprivation and injustice. Jakarta's contradictory policies and poor rule of law create a growing atmosphere of conflict in West Papua.

They see that military operations have increased and pose a threat to the Papuan peoples' existence and survival as a culture and ethnic entity.

The security approach to confront so-called separatism and critical voices only produces insecurity for Papuans.

Papuans still suffer some of the poorest standards of education, health and live expectancy in Indonesia" due to the "negligence of educational and medical facilities by the State.

They are worried that should armed militias and gangs get involved in creating conflict in Papua, then, the result would be further militarization, reinforcing the security approach, and consequently worsening the situation of human rights and peoples' security.

Peace in Papua, for them, means not only the absence of violent conflict. For it "encompasses trust, mutual respect, the ending of the practice of impunity, and about fair chances for development". It is "a dream about an adequate space for political dialog without fear for stigmatization".

The campaign for the PLP, then, is not merely a political effort. For it includes social-economic development, cultural rights, justice and peoples' security.

This absence of peace has encouraged them to garner international support for a peace campaign, initiated by Papuan religious leaders under the motto "Papua, Land of Peace" (PLP) through the celebration of international day of peace on Sept. 21, and the Papuan day of peace on Feb. 5.

The supporters of the appeal highlight three major challenges in creating the PLP.

First, there are conflicting signals from the government and from military command in Jakarta about the status of the Papuan autonomy law, its interpretation and its implementation.

Jakarta's policy of splitting Papua into two or more provinces without democratic consultation and the emasculation of the role and mandate of the Papuan People's Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua/MRP) are examples of the conflicting signals.

Therefore, there is a pressing need for an open and genuine dialog to clarify the interpretation of the law and to move ahead to ensure full implementation of this law in accordance with the aspirations of the Papuan peoples.

The second challenge for the prospect for peaceful development, open dialog and justice is the disproportionate military (TNI) presence in West Papua that often generates conflict.

To build a culture of peace in Papua, the police should be responsible for civic order, and be equipped to maintain the rule of law professionally. The military presence, then, should be brought back to a sensible and appropriate size. The third is how to make the concept of the PLP become the fundamental attitude in the approach to the problems in Papua, by the people, by the government, by the international community.

The campaign for the PLP includes overcoming suspicion and divisions on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political aspirations and interests.

Therefore, the notion of the PLP should be embedded in the hearts of people of all religious and ethnic communities concerned ... not only in West Papua but also in Indonesia as a whole, and elsewhere".

Supporting the PLP's campaign, the backers of the appeal are committed to draw the attention of their religious communities, their governments and the international community to the suffering of the peoples of West Papua.

The network urges them pro-actively to assist the Indonesian government and the Papuan community to confront the challenges encountered by the Papuan peoples within the framework of peaceful change.

They appeal to the Indonesian government to protect and respect the rights of indigenous peoples in West Papua, apply a rights-based approach to development in implementing Papuan autonomy, create space for democratic dialog, in accordance with the spirit of the law, cease further efforts to divide Papua, and undertake an open and democratic process to review the establishment of West Irian Jaya Province.

They call on the UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to grant the necessary support to the government to promote peace and to solve conflict with recourse to the mechanisms provided by the Special Autonomy Law.

They appeal to the Indonesian authority to commit seriously to the eradication of all forms of discrimination against the indigenous Papuan peoples.

They call to the EU to encourage the UN Secretary General to engage in the promotion of peace in West Papua.

They appeal to the religious communities of all faiths to remember the Papuan peoples in your prayers, support the effort of Papuan religious leaders to realize the campaign for the PLP and to join the Faith-based Network on West Papua for Papua, Land of Peace.

The Geneva appeal has been widely circulated through the Internet and its supporters have already been involved in the campaign for peace in their respective countries.

Indeed, they are neither representing their governments, nor supporting the Papuan separatist movement (OPM). As religious-based organizations, their main concern is nothing more than peace. They are and will be examining all Jakarta's policies toward Papua from the perspective of peace.

The central government under President Susilo's leadership, then, is challenged to review Jakarta's policies towards Papua from the perspective of peace. Due to the campaign, President Susilo, during his visit to the U.S. and the EU, might be asked about how Jakarta supports the peace campaign in Papua.

The writer is a post graduate student at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana.

Tagged: West Papua