The day W Papua was stolen from its people
15 August 2022
The only appropriate and adequate justice left for Papuans is to be given back their sovereignty. This is the only way to have decades of violence against them reconciled
YAMIN KOGOYA | Extract
Link here to Yamin’s complete article in Asia Pacific Report
BRISBANE - Sixty years ago today — on 15 August 1962 — the fate of the newly born nation-state of West Papua was stolen by men in New York.
The infamous event is known as The New Agreement, a deal between the Netherlands and Indonesia over West Papua’s sovereignty.
A different fate had been intended for the people of West Papua in early 1961 when they elected their national council from whom the Dutch were asking guidance for the transfer of administration back to Papuan hands.
But declassified American records reveal a horrific deception.
A group inside the White House had begun secret negotiations with the Republic of Indonesia for “a special United Nations trusteeship of West New Guinea” that, irrespective of Papua’s objections, would then ask Indonesia to assume control.
Although West Papua has been buried deep within diplomacy for 60 years, it remains the most important issue affecting Jakarta’s relations with China and the US, as well as the way big powers deal with the independent Indigenous nation states across Oceania.
At the outset, West Papua issues might seem insignificant, irrelevant, or forgotten to the world, but in reality, it is one of the most significant issues influencing how Jakarta’s engage with the world and how the world engages with Jakarta.
Once again, Jakarta is caught in the middle between great powers, and they do not have the same leverage to play the same games as their ancestors did so many years ago.
Jakarta elites need to recognise that they stole something so precious that belonged to Papuan people, and this must be returned to the rightful owner.
The only appropriate and adequate justice left for Papuans is to be given back their sovereignty. This is the only way for Papua to heal and have decades of violence against them reconciled.
Yamin Kogoya is a West Papuan academic from the Lani tribe in the Papuan Highlands.He is currently living in Brisbane
Pacific Island countries must advocate more on the West Papuan issue in regional meetings
West Papua is part of the Melanesian community rather than Asia. Ethnically and culturally it is similar to the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
A collective voice from the member countries of The Melanesian Spearhead Group is needed to spread the evils of Indonesia to the world. The Pacific island countries needs to be vocal during UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
Thousands of unnumbered people have been brutally massacred since the last decades. Why is the world so silent?
Humanly speaking, it is unfair for the world to respond to the Russia-Ukraine crisis and leave the West Papua crisis as a local conflict. The West Papuan conflict needs serious attention from the international community.
Why is the United States so silent? Why is the United Nation so silent? Joe Biden's administration and UN Secretary-General Antonia Guteres need to rise from slumber.
Posted by: Justin Max Torono | Pacific Adventist University | 24 August 2022 at 12:00 PM
I know I've posted this before, however the subject keeps bobbing up like something that won't be flushed.
My memories of the early 1960's was of my father, who had fought in the South-West Pacific in World War II saying to an ex Army mate, 'It looks like war!'
Clearly we had already defended Malaysia against Sukano and this was the next intended external action by a virtual dictator who wanted to focus his armed forces away from an internal struggle.
Suddenly, Australia that was standing up against Sukano, had our legs chopped from under us by the Septics [slang term for Americans] who could only see their own interests being threatened.
Almost a similar situation to that now pertaining in Ukraine and Putin's invasion.
What have we as a species ever learnt?
Posted by: Paul Oates | 16 August 2022 at 09:57 AM
A sad anniversary for West Papua's five and a half million citizens.
The world shouldn't forget that the so-called 1969 Act of Free Choice took place under the rule of the blood stained hands of President Suharto who had not long before killed possibly a million of his Indonesians citizens with another half million imprisoned.
His efforts were applauded by the West for sopping 'the red peril' from overtaking his nation and Australia.
Yet in the mid 1960s UK, NZ & Australia had sent troops to prevent Indonesia seeking control of the whole of Borneo once a proud island nation but forced into a three nation solution to suit external whims.
It is ever thus as we are all victims of the geo-political elites who are still trying to control our world. Yugoslavia was thorn in their side and so eventually that too was broken into malleable smaller nations able to be suborned by the West.
The Chagos islanders of the Indian Ocean are not allowed to go home to their island stolen from them by British deviousness with their American 'cousins' since late 1960s.
Far worse though is the fate of the 30 million Kurds seeking a homeland after more than 100 years.
Likewise two million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Ghetto, all victims of British and French post-World War I carve up of the Levant.
Perhaps my only possible take from over eight decades on our planet is that sadly: 'Might makes right'. I thought of it as 20th century Motto of Hitler but on checking Wikipedia found that the first commonly quoted use of "might makes right" in English was in 1846 by the American pacifist and abolitionist Adin Ballou (1803–1890), who wrote:
"But now, instead of discussion and argument, brute force rises up to the rescue of discomfited error, and crushes truth and right into the dust. 'Might makes right,' and hoary folly totters on in her mad career escorted by armies and navies." Surely a fitting epilogue.
Or my relevant epigram: " nationalism is a curse!"
Posted by: Arthur Williams | 15 August 2022 at 09:32 PM