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Papua, Victim of a Conspiracy of Interests

Published: Wed 10 Jul 2013 01:26 PM
Papua, Victim of a Conspiracy of Interests
by Selpius Bobii
5 July 2013
West Papua is becoming increasingly well known overseas these days, but for the wrong reasons! Papua has for years been made a victim of a range of ‘conspiracies of interest’. These conspiracies are indeed thriving in Papua at the local, national and international levels. Yet whether at the biggest end of the scale or the smallest, they are all the result of the same thing, an incredible power of attraction to Papua’s natural resources.
This majestic land’s natural resources are incomparable in richness by any other island or continent throughout the entire world. It has become known worldwide for the mountains of gold and copper held by Papuan mother earth, for its oil, gas and timber that are some of the best sources in the world. Indeed the natural resources of Papua have become like a magnet for those who have come to take our resources both legally and illegally.
Competition by parties to get their hands on Papua’s natural wealth has led to no small sacrifice of materials, time, energy and human beings. The land of Papua is so well known overseas not just because of the existence of PT Freeport (being the biggest gold mine and third biggest copper mine worldwide) but also because Papua has itself become a source of conflict in that scramble for who will get the ‘treasure’. Ever since the sovereignty of the nation of Papua was annexed into the Republic of Indonesia (RI) on 1 May 1963, West Papua has been ablaze with continual conflicts being played out. Seemingly endless conflicts which have been the result of conspiracies of interest going on behind the scene. In 1963 to achieve their economic and political interests the Republic of Indonesia and USA colluded together to seize West Papua from the Dutch and place it in the hands of the Republic of Indonesia. A collusion in which the sole interests of the USA was their own economic domination and regional security interests. Whilst Indonesia’s primary interest in the deal at the time was around increasing its political power.
The USA’s goal was achieved with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between RI and USA in 1967 for the operation of the Freeport mine in Timika. This MOU actually smoothed the way for the so-called ‘referendum’ implemented by RI in 1969. An event that was most seriously flawed morally and legally. The opening of the Freeport mine made ever so clear that USA’s first and foremost reason for helping Indonesia to annex West Papua was for their own economic gain.
The USA had another important reason however to engineer this MOU as it secured an interest for the USA in the Asia Pacific region. RI at that time was taking advantage of the cold war situation politically by intentionally showing signs of working together with the Russians. Particularly in relation to defence (RI had already made purchases of equipment from the Russians to come up against the Dutch over the matter of the land of Papua). Indonesia’s strategy was successful and the USA moved to prevent Russia getting a hold in the Asia Pacific region by intervening in the dispute between RI and the Netherlands over West Papua. The deal was that RI would discontinue its relations with Russia. The result, RI got what it wanted and USA was able to defend the Asia Pacific region from communist influence and at the same time achieve its own economic interests in Papua.
The USA conspired with the Indonesians, pressuring the Dutch Queen through a delegation led by the then President J.F Kennedy and appointing a retired American Ambassador to the UN Ellsworth Bunker to draft a proposal that would supposedly bring an end to the dispute between RI and the Dutch over the issue of West Papua. At the same time influencing the UN to also get involved in ‘resolving’ the dispute. The Netherlands prior to that point had hoped for support from Australia, the British and the USA in defending the retention of Papua by the Dutch, however they had never imagined the political manouvres that were about to take place by the USA. Following the USA’s moves there was absolutely no response from either the British or Australia to support the Dutch’s retention of Papua. Nothing! UN mediated the coming together of the parties in line with the USA engineered scenario, with the USA providing the proposal that had been prepared by Bunker. The proposal was signed off as an agreement between RI and the Netherlands with the UN providing witness and become known as the ‘New York Agreement’ of 15 August 1962. There was absolutely no involvement whatsoever in the process of representation from the nation of Papua. With the signing of the New York Agreement the Netherlands had no further right to defend the land of Papua and of course to fulfill their promise to the nation of Papua of bringing about recognition of their full sovereignty.
The Dutch surrendered the power of administrative governance to UN (UNTEA) on 1 May 1963 following which UNTEA surrendered the same to RI. With that transfer the requirement to implement a referendum was also transferred to RI. However the initial plan for the ‘Act of Free Choice’ with one person one voice was changed by RI to a method of so-called ‘representation’ and a committee was formed to that end known locally as the Dewan Musyawarah PEPERA Under RI’s revision a mere 1026 Papuans were chosen by RI to determine the fate of the Papuan nation of some 800,000 Papuans in the Act of Free Choice. Before the vote was taken those 1026 chosen by RI were taken to Java where they stayed in top-class motels and were provided with sexual favours. They returned to Papua in a state of ecstasy due to the extent of the blissful comforts they’d enjoyed, to be on arrival also given a sum of money and valued objects such as radios etc. Back in Papua they were accommodated in a special camp where they were then to be indoctrinated and intimidated with the threat of violence, into voting for Papua to be a permanent part of RI. Finally in a state of being terrorized with fear, the group of 1026 were required to vote. Of the total one didn’t vote due to illness whilst one person from Fak Fak boldly rejected RI’s pressure and voted for independence for Papua. The remaining 1024 Papuans under severe intimidation voted for Papua to become a part of the territory of Indonesia.
Indonesia’s victory with the Act of Free Choice was not a victory based on the upholding of the supremacy of law, democracy, truth, honesty, human rights and peace. Rather it was a victory based on violence and an immoral and internationally illegal engineering of the situation. The failure of Indonesia to implement the requirements of the New York Agreement was reported within a session of the UN by a special representative of the UN by the name of Ortisan. However even though at that time 15 member nations of the UN rejected the results of the so-called Act of Free Choice and left the room, nevertheless UN noted that the requirements of the New York Agreement of 15 August 1962 had been carried out to completion.
In the process of annexing Papua into RI it was proven that USA’s manipulation of the situation was extreme. Without the assistance of the USA it is certain that RI would have experienced resistance in opposing the Netherlands (which at that time possessed full modern war weaponry). The USA prioritized, and realized its own economic and security interests in the region. Whilst those supreme values of international law, democracy, human rights, justice, truth, honesty and peace were overlooked and defeated such that the interests of RI and USA could be achieved. A result that was achieved through a conspiracy involving a political and military invasion so as to secure interests of the USA and RI alone. An act which denied the most basic of human rights of the nation of Papua to decide on their own future. The human rights of the nation of Papua were sacrificed, were mortgaged off to the State of Indonesia.
Following West Papua’s forced inclusion into RI the international conspiracies of interest in the land of Papua became increasingly exaggerated. The conspiracies were realized in partnerships bilateral and multilateral, with partnerships in the mining industry becoming like fortresses for defending the continued forced inclusion of West Papua within RI. The scale of the giant PT Freeport mine in Timika (parent Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.) defies the imagination,. The CEO and President of Freeport James R.Moffett is one of biggest business names in USA and Freeport shareholders spread across 24 nations with by far the biggest dollars going to the USA. There are also huge natural gas fields the Tangguh LNG Project (said to become one of the world’s prime gas supply sources) and massive oil fields near Sorong. Two of the largest exploiters of Papua’s oil and gas have been British owned companies working of course with RI. The list of transnational mining corporations that have been exploiting West Papua’s oil and minerals is not short. West Papua has indeed become like the world’s ‘kitchen’ providing for many nations and investment in the mining and energy industry has become the very bargaining power of Indonesia to defend the continued inclusion of West Papua within its borders.
Campaigning and lobbying for sovereign independence of West Papua continues to be blocked by those nations of the world that choose to prioritise their own trade relations with Indonesia above human rights of the indigenous people of the land. Papua has been and continues to be sacrificed as the victim in these conspiracies of interests. The question begs as to whether the nation of Papua will continue to be sacrificed in this way by the nations of the world, by the U.N and especially by the nations of Africa, the Caribean and Pacific? Particularly also at this time one wonders will Papua be sacrificed yet again by the MSG?’
Not only has Papua been sacrificed time and time again in these international conspiracies of interests but the people of Papua have at the same time become victims in the most horrible ways imaginable as a result of national level conspiracies by the State of Indonesia. The annexation of Papua into RI opened the way for Indonesia to exploit the wealth of Papua’s natural resources through its international dealings and Indonesia’s inhumane practices to ensure that continues have caused the people of Papua to be marginalized, discriminated against, been made a minority, killed directly and indirectly. The end result of which is that the West Papuan people as an ethnic race are now known to be heading towards annihilation.
Jakarta’s ruling in 1969 regarding autonomy for Papua which was altered in 2001 to become ‘Special Autonomy’ in Papua and which has recently been altered yet again to become ‘Special Autonomy PLUS’ has also indeed been part of a conspiracy of RI. These political packages coming out of Jakarta have been supported by and in some cases even funded by international parties. Political packages that are applied in Papua in spite of the fact that the nation of Papua has rejected them.
The nation of Papua has even become a victim of local conspiracies of interest by transmigrants, with newcomers having manipulated the situation by working together with RI and even parties from other nations in a number of ways to their own ends. The result is now obvious with the city centres and in fact the economics of Papua now having been taken over by transmigrants. Whilst the local indigenous community is forced to sell its goods on the sides of the road and at the sides of shops and markets, being areas that of course have been built by the government.
Even certain Papuans have become agents of conspiracies in the name of the national interest, ‘selling out’ for the reward of worldly comforts. These people play their games in a range of ways including acting as ‘pioneers’ for mining investors or acting as agents for Indonesian Intelligence. Infiltrating the resistance organizations, NGOs and non-defence civil servant organisations, churches, academic institutions, even by establishing organisations themselves to defend Papua remaining within Indonesia (e.g. organization the ‘Red White Ranks’).
There are at any one time so many local,national and international conspiracies being played out in Papua, with all being applied in nice tidy systematic ways. All without exception have the same result of defending the colonial domination of RI and its allies and prolonging the most severe oppression against the nation of West Papua. Conspiracies that seem to have no end and which have been given fertile ground by conflicts first created when the State of Indonesia, the Netherlands, USA and UN without the inclusion of indigenous Papuans annexed the nation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia. This annexation of Papua’s sovereignty into Indonesia directly gave rise to the consequence of serious widespread human rights violations against the nation of Papua as well as injustices in many areas of development. All leading to marginalization, discrimination, making Papuans a minority in their ancestors lands and in combined effect amounting to a slow moving but certain genocide against ethnic West Papuans.
To rescue the nation of Papua from this humanitarian emergency that is so horrifying in its results and which has been intentionally hidden from the eyes of the world for this last 50 years, the actors of the State of Indonesia, USA, the Netherlands and UN must take responsibility. These four actors that were totally responsible for the annexation of Papua into RI must surely take responsibility for what they have created. So as to bring to an end this most inhumane colonial domination of the nation of Papua by RI and its allies in the land of West Papua. To this end unconditional negotiations need to take place immediately between RI and the nation of Papua with mediation by UN, the Netherlands, USA and / or a neutral nation, to thoroughly discuss the problems in Papua and find a dignified solution.
(This article has been based on a number of sources including books, articles and oral sourcs from those in Papua who have been the makers of history.)
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Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of The United Front of the Struggle of the Nation of Papua. He is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura State prison, Jayapura.

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