West Papua conflict is infiltration & rape of Melanesia
31 May 2012
BY LEONARD FONG ROKA
MELANESIA, OR ‘THE DARK ISLANDS’, is a region covering the big island of New Guinea and the smaller Solomons chain, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.
It is the region considered to be the ancient gateway for human colonisation of the Pacific. Today the grip on this ancient cultural and political tranquillity is being lost by our brothers in West Papua.
With the arrival of Europeans, the long historical state of calm was shattered by the rapacious and belittling drawing up of lines of division across traditional nations.
After the dawn of decolonisation, West Papua found itself in Indonesia; Bougainville in Papua New Guinea; and New Caledonia struggling for self-determination from French rule.
The trio - West Papua, New Caledonia and Bougainville - have had significant influence on the political fabric of the countries that governed them. They have also had a history of resistance, in one way or the other, to those governors.
West Papuans, who are Melanesian, have been ignored by most other Melanesian leaders out of fear of negative repercussions from Indonesia.
Government after government in Papua New Guinea (as distinct from ordinary PNGeans) have not stood up for their fellow Melanesians. So far only Vanuatu and some little groups or individuals in the Solomon Islands and Fiji have spoken out.
Melanesian states, excluding the current regime in Fiji but especially Papua New Guinea, are good at worshipping powers that are militarily or politically powerful.
They have not been able to change the systems that they were given by the colonial powers, not because of the lack of natural capabilities but because of deliberate negligence out of fear of adverse external pressures if they create political and economic systems that are more realistic for Melanesia.
What the Melanesian states and people need to know is that, ‘liberal democracy’ today is not ‘people power’ but is a tyranny controlled by the western banking system through the military industrial complex to control the remaining natural resources in the world.
In West Papua, Melanesians must realise that they are at war with an imperialistic Asian parasite which is merciless in its torture, rapacity and gluttonous methods which are used to rob our fellow Melanesians of their land and wealth. PNG is already a collateral victim with all the Batas trading near Wutung that deny development to the town of Vanimo.
The island of New Guinea is said to be a bridge between Asia and Oceania. In this I see a hopeless situation for the future of Melanesia. If West Papua is to be controlled forever, then the spillover effect will eventually come to PNG, then into my Bougainville and the rest of the Solomon Islands and beyond.
Hearing of the West Papuans’ struggle, the first thing that bothers me is the fact that Asia houses more than 60% of the global human population and is currently the host of some of the world’s most rapidly rising economies that need natural resources to keep them running.
In this regard, our fellow Melanesians across the PNG border have long, under Indonesian rule, been subject to and are undergoing genocide which the UN Convention on the Prevention in Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Article 2) defines as, ‘…acts committed with ‘intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a natural, ethnical, racial or religious group’.
Indonesia could argue that there is no intent to eradicate Melanesians in West Papua, but one could ask back: ‘Are you a member of the United Nations?’ If ‘yes’, then Indonesia knows exactly the contents and goals of the United Nation’s Minority Rights and Indigenous Rights provisions and also that all these rights for ages now have being denied to our West Papuan brothers and sisters.
Their wealth is being exploited for the betterment of Asians, their land robbed through the transmigration effort and their gestures for freedom answered in the barrel of the gun.
The plight of Melanesians in West Papua today is being worsened by western hegemony. As suppressed peoples worldwide turn to terrorism against Eurocentric takeovers, the West, led by the US, label many, whom I see as genuine freedom fighters, terrorists.
In recent years Indonesia has taken advantage of its alliance with the US to flush out Melanesians in the name of the global war against terrorism.
Furthermore, Melanesians in West Papua have being neglected by their own relatives in the name of national security. Melanesians states, especially PNG, worries about national security at the international level and ignore domestic security.
The influx of West Papuan refugees is a problem that can weaken PNG from the inside whilst the government concentrates on external affairs.
I believe that for PNG the only solution is to help West Papuans move to self-determination, which is their right under the UN’s Indigenous Rights provisions.
According to Wikipedia, the UN’s Indigenous Rights provisions ‘are those rights that exist in recognition of the specific condition of the indigenous peoples.
This includes not only the most basic human rights of physical survival and integrity, but also the preservation of their land, language, religion and other elements of cultural heritage that are a part of their existence as a people.
This can be used as an expression for advocacy of social organisations or form a part of the national law in establishing the relation between a government and the right of self-determination among the indigenous people living within its borders, or in international law as a protection against violation by actions of governments or groups of private interests.’
Collectively, as Melanesians, we contribute to deny the Melanesians of West Papua their rights.
So the element of ‘intent’ in the UN’s definition of genocide is clarified. Starting with the Western hegemonic actors to Indonesia, to Melanesian countries that do not help voice and support the West Papuans in their ignorance and fear of Indonesia, our intent is to eradicate the Melanesians in West Papua from the surface of the Earth and Asianise the island of New Guinea.
The United Nations gives us a mechanism to get up and stand up for our rights (as the late Bob Marley put it) as Melanesians; what we need is a collective effort without any fear.
Let us save West Papua for Melanesians; independence for West Papua, is survival from the Asianisation of Melanesia for a unique people on the surface of the Earth.
Don't be so naive. What is PNG to China? With the rise of South China Sea tension do you think China will sacrifice their interest in Indonesia as the big brother of ASEAN for the sake of PNG or West Papua freedom?
Posted by: Velix Kambuaya | 29 August 2012 at 11:34 PM
Leonard - One idea canvassed here is devolving power to regional State governments for PNG - bringing together related groups under a common identity.
This combined with a national upper house of review may prevent some of the nonsense we have seen lately.
A Royal Commission for the reform of the constitution might be a starting point - plus a referendum on the recommendations.
My good friend and colleague Janos (from Bougainville) once said to me over a beer: "Sure we are all brothers and sisters in PNG. The trouble is that some are liklik, some bikpela, some nogut, some gutpela man. It is our problem to sort this out."
And friends - please don't resort to abusive terms such as 'rubbish'.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and degrading others does not do any good for your own argument. See the PNG Attitude commentators guidelines.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 01 June 2012 at 06:48 PM
Brother, that is my thinking, anywhere.
Posted by: Leonard Roka | 01 June 2012 at 01:15 PM
Kranz-Brother, I like your comment, it is education oriented and trying to give insights.
But, from the way I see things, even for our country, we have to empower the ethnic groupings example, like creating districts based on this factor and then respect that by example activating a vangrancy act to control outsiders influx, in decision making.
Say, let Madang develop Madang or Simbu mind Simbu in a autonomy-type governing system. That is, allow not are Hagen suppress Papuans in Port Moresby with slums for that is one area of instability in PNG.
And, let us not go abroad to find examples because the problem is here; Hagens Vs Morobeans and so on. How do we address this?
Posted by: Leonard Roka | 01 June 2012 at 01:14 PM
Leonard - I sympathise strongly with your views about what has happened in West Papua. But ethhnic self-identification is not a reliable basis for national identity.
You talk broadly about 'Asians' and 'Melanesians', but then claim that people from Bougainville are not PNGians.
So how finely do we cut the cake in determining who deserves to have their own 'nation'? Is it language, dialect, cultural traditions, skin-colour?
In that case I reckon Simbu deserves to be its own country.
Nations are defined by political, geograhic and historical factors - not just ethnicity. Yes this is often flawed and artificial, and sometimes externally imposed by Colonisers; but is ethnicity any better?
Look at the former Yugoslavia.
There was no nation of PNG before colonisation, and no broad concept of Melanesian identity. To claim that this is a defining point but then insist on separate identities for each specific ethnic group smacks of racism and seems a recipe for disaster.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 01 June 2012 at 10:43 AM
Gabuar - The lines you quote are rubbish because you and your place (wherever it is) has not seen relatives dying before your eyes struggling to defend their subjugated life as I did. That is that civil conflict in Bougainville.
My thinking was moulded in a trouble-torn Bougainville and its anti-PNG discourse. And you will never change me.
In ethnicity, yes there is difference. But, you your mention of Buka is myopic.
Stand a Buka islander and New Guinean together and compare them, there is a extreme contrast (race). Check the Buka and a Wakunai, they are one for they are Solomonese.
Bougainvilleans are different from New Guineans.
Posted by: Leonard Roka | 01 June 2012 at 09:43 AM
'After the dawn of decolonisation, West Papua found itself in Indonesia; Bougainville in Papua New Guinea; and New Caledonia struggling for self-determination from French rule'.
What a lot of rubbish Leonard!
Either by default or design, Bougainville has and still is an intergral part of PNG. This is in contrast to your continued assertion that PNG, somehow, had colonised Bougainville.
Every ethnic group in PNG are distinctively different in complexion and culture, and Bougainville is no exception.
I served time working in Panguna during the pre-crisis years and found from the majority of the Bukas then that even they see themselves different to the rest of the mainland Bougainvilleans, with the exception of the Teop-Tinputz people.
Posted by: Moais Gabuar | 01 June 2012 at 08:43 AM
Colin - This is Melanesia. Our existence is based on relationships. Thus, despite the fact PNG has her problems, at least one has the right to express his sympathy to a brother next door.
You employ the line 'clean up your own problems' that contradicts my views. You touched on colonialism, of course, and let's get in neo-colonialism to clarify my standing.
PNG's problems were imposed by colonisation. During the granting of independence, the tether of Eurocentric tradition was still there. Problems up here are created by the clash of Melanesian and Western world views.
PNG just cannot walk free out of the bondage called capitalism and liberal democracy by designing our own political system.
Not that we don't need a system that is realistic to our Melanesian ways in a stick-and-carrot world controlled by the Western hegemons who claim the Pacific as theirs.
Freeing ourselves from Eurocentric octopus and its values would be our freedom.
Posted by: Leonard Roka | 31 May 2012 at 09:50 PM
Leonard - Clean up your own problems first in PNG, before any thoughts are to be directed towards Indonesia. Just remember, the Kingdom of Holland, did lay claims to all of this area - a rather large part of the Pacific Island chain, a long time ago.
Even before Captain Cook discovered Australia and laid claims. The French, Spanish, Portuguese and the Dutch were all over the place in those days.
Seems all changed after WW2, when the Indonesian people moved the Administration from the Dutch to themselves.
Things will move on eventually, for the well being of all concerned.
Just check history books, Abel Janszoon Tasman (Dutch: 1603–1659. He discovered Tasmania, New Zealand and obviously the now Indonesia. A fair time before James Cook or La Perouse ( French) got to this neck of the ocean!
Pretty smart seafarers way back in those days when you come to think about it.
Posted by: Colin Huggins | 31 May 2012 at 06:51 PM
I think along the line of acting in the international stage for the betterment of humanity and not for a self-preservative gain.
Anywhere, men are of all natures.
Posted by: Leonard Roka | 31 May 2012 at 05:28 PM
Roka, the PNG Government will never support the West Papuans in their bid for freedom.
Successive governments have shoved the issue under a rug and will continue to do so.
We do not have the capacity to stand up against the Indonesians.
However, we could use our bilateral relations with Australia, New Zealand and China together with the potential glorious economic forecast to come up with a long term strategy to help liberate West Papua.
An action of such nature depends on one question, if they want to be an independent nation how will PNG benefit from helping them?
If they want to become part of PNG that would be a good reason for helping them. We can form the Republic of Melanesia, in that way we have access to the Freeport mine and make the island become one big nation.
Something that should have happened ages ago.
Republic of Melanesia, not bad.
Posted by: Bernard Yegiora | 31 May 2012 at 03:10 PM