Influx of Indonesian migrants There are at least 252 Papuan ethnic groups. When West Papua was under Dutch rule, Papuans were very much the majority, when Indonesia took over the territory from the Dutch, however, this demographics has been altered due to the influx of Indonesian migrants. Of 2.4 million people in West Papua, nearly half (48 per cent) are now non-Papuans.32 Some migrants were brought in by the Indonesian government under the programme of transmigration (internal migration, for example of poor people from the populous island of Java to other, less populated parts of the Indonesian archipelago). Between 1964 and 1999 the government settled nearly 550,000 of these migrants in West Papua.33 They occupy 216 settlements or villages built by the government. They have easy access to the towns because the government has built roads linking their villages with the nearest town. Slowly but surely these transmigration sites have developed into towns in their own right, with ballooning populations. Meanwhile, spontaneous migrants – those who come not as part of government programmes but in order to seek opportunities for work or business – have been settling in all West Papua’s major towns. In 1980, 30 per cent of the population in nine towns were Indonesians who were not born in West Papua. In 1987, the total number of such Indonesians in the towns had increased, reaching 65 per cent while Papuans represented only 35 per cent. The proportion of migrants in towns is still increasing, for thousands of migrants come to West Papua’s towns every year. Consequently, the Papuans are more ‘absent’ than ever in the towns. The migrants have been playing a dominant role in society. They excel in trade, services, construction and contracting in all major towns. Until 2001, when there was a change in government policy, government offices were largely occupied by the migrants, their descendants and relatives. Papuans had great difficulty finding jobs in migrant-dominated government offices, while the migrants obviously did not. The migrants have also been reaping the benefit of government development activities, which have been concentrated in West Papua’s towns. The majority of Papuans, who live in isolated and remote villages, have received no benefit from these development programmes. So the Papuans are marginalised in the towns and ignored in the remote villages. In the future, many more migrants will come to West Papua due to the proposed reorganisation of the way the territory is administered and natural resource developments such as the massive liquefied natural gas exploitation being led by British Petroleum (BP). All these will create many new jobs and require qualified and skilled people. Papuans cannot fill all or even many of the jobs. BP will inevitably hire more migrants than Papuans to run their operations. If the trend of the influx of Indonesian migrants continues, then within a few years the Papuans, who are already a tiny minority in Indonesia, will be a minority in their own land of West Papua. Unless all these issues are addressed, Papuans face the very real threat of the continued dilution, if not indeed the extinction, of their identity as an ethnic group. 3: Indonesian policies towards West Papua Since the beginning of its occupation of the territory, Indonesia has believed that its mission in West Papua is to ‘civilise’ the Papuan people. The Indonesian government is committed to modernising society and including the Papuans in a common Indonesian culture by introducing them to the mainstream of Indonesian life and culture. However, despite this apparently clear mission, the government has not followed a consistent policy towards West Papua. Rather, it has adopted a range of strategies, some of them running parallel to – or even in conflict with – other strategies. For more than 30 years from its first occupation of the territory, Indonesian policy was largely based on military operations designed to eradicate Papuan separatism. This approach has, however, been unsuccessful. Instead, the military operations have brought about crimes against humanity and strengthened the Papuan people’s demand for political independence. Indonesia’s fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid, introduced a different policy in 1999 with the offer of the status of special autonomy. In 2001, his successor, president Megawati Soekarno Putri, approved law number 21/2001 on West Papua’s special autonomy. The law allows West Papua to: • express Papuan cultural identity through the Papuan flag and anthem • establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for historical rectification of the history of West Papua and a representative office of the Indonesian Commission on Human Rights • assume all governmental powers except international relations, defence, monetary policy and the supreme court • receive 80 per cent of revenues from forestry, fisheries, and mining, and 70 per cent of revenues from oil and gas exploration • set up a Papuan People’s Assembly as an ‘upper house’ of indigenous people representing ethnic groups, religions, and women. However, the Megawati government failed to implement the law by deliberately putting off issuing a government regulation to establish the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Assembly). Having come to the view that the special autonomy law would simply strengthen the separatist movement and even accelerate the creation of an independent state of West Papua, the Megawati government proposed instead through presidential instruction number 1/2003 to divide West Papua into three provinces. This controversial policy, which violates the terms of the special autonomy law, is considered by many to be a divide-and-conquer attempt to destroy Papuan cultural unity. Therefore, the policy has been strongly opposed by the Papuans and some Indonesian politicians. The sixth Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was elected in October 2004, has indicated that he is committed to implementing the special autonomy law for West Papua. In December 2004 he produced government regulation number 54/2004 on the establishment of the Papuan People’s Assembly (although simply as a consultative, not a decision-making, body). However, he has not yet given a clear indication of how he intends to settle the controversial government policy of the establishment of new provinces, which flies in the face of the special autonomy law. To date, the status of special autonomy for West Papua has been an empty promise and its law has been a useless piece of paper. It seems that Jakarta still has no clear concept of how to address the problems in West Papua. Furthermore, the government lacks clear policies and credible processes for addressing such problems as crimes against humanity, the controversial 1969 Act of Free Choice, and the neglect of the socio-economic and cultural rights of the Papuans. Successive Indonesian governments have been using a ‘trial and error’ approach to handling West Papua; and instead of listening to the people’s aspirations, have shown a determination to impose their own will upon the Papuans. Systematic campaign to destabilise West Papua Since the special autonomy law was first passed, it seems that Jakarta has been carrying out a systematic campaign to destabilise West Papua. Documents leaked to human rights activists in Jayapura reveal that in June 2000 senior Indonesian government and military leaders met to discuss plans to oppose and defuse the Papuan people’s call for a genuine dialogue to settle injustices in West Papua.34 The plans involve eradicating the Papuan separatist movement, establishing militia groups, and improving the social welfare of the Papuan people. A list of the Papuan figures considered to be a threat to the government due to their stance was included in the document. Theys Hiyo Eluay, a moderate Papuan leader who had been advocating dialogue for a peaceful settlement of the injustices in West Papua, was one among the Papuans whose names appeared in the document. He was killed in November 2001 by the Indonesian army’s notorious special force, Kopassus. Although the soldiers who killed Theys Eluay have been tried and convicted, they received lenient sentences (a maximum of three and a half years in prison), and were subsequently lauded as national heroes by a senior Indonesian army officer.35 Since 2000, the Indonesian military has been establishing local militias among native Papuans to carry out some of the military’s ‘dirty work’ and to create a climate of increased instability and violence. In 2003, Timbul Silaen, East Timor’s police chief in 1999, was appointed police chief of West Papua, while Eurico Guterres, the notorious East Timor militia leader, visited West Papua to establish the Front Pembela Merah Putih (Red and White Defenders’ Front). Both men were notorious for their links to crimes against humanity committed in East Timor before and after the 1999 popular consultation that led to East Timorese independence. Some commentators consider their involvement in West Papua to be a signal that the army is dictating Indonesian policy on West Papua and attempting to consolidate its own dominant position. The systematic campaign of destabilisation has resulted in a continued threat to the human security of the Papuan people. As in the past, it is the Papuans who are always suspected, arrested, tortured, killed and oppressed by the Indonesian security forces. They find no credible guarantee for their human security under Indonesian rule. They feel they can easily be killed any time and anywhere. Consequently, they have been living in fear without freedom and liberty. A further consequence of the climate of instability is the impact on the local government’s ability to promote development in West Papua. Local government is kept busy dealing with the consequences of the controversial policies produced by central government, while security problems are such a regular occurrence that local government has almost no chance to think of development. 4: International policy on West Papua Although Indonesia’s desire to hold on to West Papua is partly motivated by its self-appointed mission to ‘civilise’ the indigenous Papuans, the determining factor remains the wealth of natural resources that the territory puts at Indonesia’s disposal. These resources are of great value to the Indonesian state, which has granted concessions to Indonesian and foreign companies – often in disregard of the customary rights of indigenous Papuans. In return the state reaps considerable dividends in the form of taxes and royalties. The financial contribution of West Papua’s timber industries to Jakarta, for example, has been approximately US$100 million a year. Many timber industries in West Papua are dominated by military and political elites from the era of the former president Suharto. Indonesian security forces also have a financial interest in resource extraction in West Papua, through direct involvement in logging and other activities and protection fees paid by resource companies. All of these beneficiaries are non-Papuans. Alongside the substantial tax and royalties accrued by the state, these interests are a powerful reason for the Indonesian state and its elites to keep control of West Papua. The other major resource industry is mining. The Freeport copper and gold mine in West Papua has long been one of the most controversial natural resource projects in Indonesia. It is operated by Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US company Freeport McMoran which signed a production contract with Indonesia in 1967, two years before the establishment of Indonesian sovereignty over Papua ad west papua In 1988 the Grasberg mountain, next to the existing mine, was found to contain huge mineral deposits. Grasberg transformed Freeport into one of the biggest producers of copper and gold in the world and increased West Papua’s importance to Indonesia. During the period 1991-2001, the American-owned company paid an average of US$180 million in taxes and revenues to the Indonesian state each year, making it Indonesia’s single largest taxpayer.38 It has also, over the years, paid tens of millions of dollars to the Indonesian military for security protection.39 The company has rights to explore some 2.3 million acres of land outside its current area of operations, which it hopes could contain more mineral deposits, and it has been looking at mining options in other areas of West Papua. Freeport McMoran has long been well connected within the US political establishment: its board members include Henry Kissinger and J Stapleton Roy, a former US ambassador to Indonesia (from 1995-1999). The desire to protect the Freeport mine continues to shape US policy towards West Papua. A major new investment is the Tangguh project that will exploit liquefied natural gas reserves in West Papua. The major stakeholder in the project is British Petroleum (BP) alongside a number of Chinese and Japanese companies. BP is developing the project under a production-sharing contract with Indonesia’s state-owned oil company Pertamina. The project will take up about 3,000 hectares of land. BP plans to invest US$2 billion, which could create revenues of US$32 billion between 2006, when exports are due to begin, and 2030. It is estimated that the Indonesian government will earn nearly US$9 billion from the project during this period, of which some US$3.6 billion will go to West Papua.40 The desire to protect the Tangguh project will shape the policies on West Papua of the UK, China and Japan. It is obvious that powerful states and the Indonesian government share the same interest, which is the economic benefit of exploiting West Papua’s natural resources. A major concern of these countries is to protect their investment and cement their relationship with Indonesia, which with a population of 220 million also offers a huge potential market. Having deliberately ignored the fraudulent nature of the so-called Act of Free Choice in order to build a long term relationship with Indonesia, it is unlikely that these powerful states will sacrifice their economic interests for the sake of the Papuan people’s human security. In general this is considered to be an internal matter for Indonesia rather than an issue for the international community to address. For the international community as much as for Indonesia, the offer of special autonomy is a convenient response to the Papuans’ demand for independence. According to the American think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations, special autonomy is a win-win solution: it keeps West Papua within Indonesia while advancing the needs of Papuans.41 The Pacific Islands Forum – the forum of all Pacific countries including Australia and New Zealand – supports special autonomy,42 while the European Union is committed to giving financial and technical assistance for the implementation of the special autonomy law.43 It is clear that keeping West Papua within the Republic of Indonesia, despite the threat under Indonesian rule to the culture and survival of indigenous Papuans, remains a common policy among the world’s most powerful states, precisely because it does not disturb their economic interests in Indonesia and West Papua. 5: Peace-building initiatives in West Papua The fall of Suharto’s regime in 1998 changed the political atmosphere in Indonesia. There was more room for democracy. The Papuans used this newly-born democratic atmosphere to change their method of resistance. They put aside armed struggle and took up peaceful demands for independence, mostly through peaceful demonstrations held in all West Papua’s major towns with the participation of thousands of Papuans. The resistance was no longer the activity of a few Papuans in the jungle, but a peaceful resistance of all Papuans. In February 1999, 100 leading Papuans met with the Indonesian president B J Habibie and all the ministers in the state palace in Jakarta. They expressed their aspiration of establishing an independent state of West Papua. Their call for independence was rejected, as previously expected, but the Papuans were so excited for it was the first time in the history of West Papua that they could express their aspiration openly and honestly to the Indonesian government. In February 2000, the Papuans held a grand convention in Jayapura, attended by hundreds of participants from all West Papua’s regencies. They reiterated their rejection of the fraudulent Act of Free Choice in 1969, which they began to call the Act of No Choice. The Papuans’ commitment to a peaceful struggle for independence was strengthened in a Papuan Congress held in Jayapura in June 2000. It was attended by some 5,000 Papuans from within West Papua as well as from exile communities overseas. At this Congress, the Papuans declared their aspiration for independence and their commitment to peaceful methods such as dialogue and negotiation among all concerned parties, including the Indonesian government. An all-inclusive organisation called the Presidium Dewan Papua (Papuan Presidium Council) was established to lead this peaceful struggle and to represent the Papuans in dialogue and negotiations for independence. They highlighted three problems that should be settled through dialogue: the neglect of socio-economic and cultural rights, the violations of civil and political rights since 1963, and the denial of the right to self-determination in 1969. Papuan leaders have called on the UN, the US, the Dutch and Indonesia to review their respective conducts before, during, and after the exercise of the shameful Act of No Choice in 1969. However, although the Dutch are sponsoring research into the historical events of the 1960s, the call to the international community on this matter has so far fallen on deaf ears. The Republic of Vanuatu has been the only country in the world that has continuously reminded the UN of its contribution to the denial of the Papuans’ right to self-determination in 1969, and its responsibility for helping to address this injustice. Meanwhile, despite Jakarta’s systematic campaign to destabilise the territory, Papuan leaders have repeatedly called upon the Indonesian government to engage in a genuine dialogue, with the mediation of a third party. The Papuan Presidium Council has even submitted to the government its draft of the terms of reference of the proposed dialogue. The West Papuan provincial government and parliament, religious leaders, non-governmental organisations, other elements of civil society, and even the OPM have fully supported the call for an all-inclusive dialogue. The international community has also welcomed the call for dialogue. The EU – while explicitly not supporting calls for independence for West Papua – has called for the Indonesian government ‘to engage in a genuine dialogue with the provinces in order to tackle the root causes of separatism’.44 The government of New Zealand has even offered itself to be mediator of a peaceful dialogue between the Indonesian government and the Papuans. However, the Indonesian government has so far not responded to offers of mediation or shown any willingness to engage in freedom west papua. Despite the suffering they have endured for more than 40 years – and despite the lack of encouragement from the Indonesian authorities – indigenous Papuans are committed to working for lasting peace. In June 1999, Papuan students at meetings held in Yapen Waropen district came up with the idea of creating a ‘Zone of Peace’. In December 2002, Tom Beanal, the deputy chair of the Papuan Presidium Council and the tribal chief of the Amungme tribe, declared West Papua as a Zone of Peace. West Papua, stated the Papuan tribal chiefs’ council, should be ‘a territory which is free from violence, oppression and grief’.45 This declaration expresses the desire of Papuans to live with dignity on their own land, where they will no longer be treated as separatists, but as human beings. The declaration is based on the belief that peace is fundamentally important not only for the Papuans and non-Papuans living in West Papua, and for development activities, but also for the domestic and foreign investors that have been and will be exploiting natural resources in West Papua. The declaration commits Papuans to respect all migrants and minority groups in West Papua, but it rejects the presence of East Timor-style militia groups (like those set up by Eurico Guterres) and demands that Indonesia withdraw thousands of its combat troops, including the army’s notorious special forces (Kopassus). Predictably, it has received a cool response from the Indonesian authorities, particularly the security forces which believe that the declaration is motivated by separatism. Indeed, the military considers that a ‘zone of peace’ can only be created by military action to eradicate separatism. Church leaders have responded to the misinterpretation of the concept of a ‘zone of peace’ by declaring West Papua to be a Land of Peace. An Ecumenical Council of Christian Churches has been established to work for justice, peace, and human rights. In November 2004, the churches issued a joint appeal condemning injustice and oppression, emphasising the necessity of dialogue as the way to solve problems, and demanding that the Indonesian government address unresolved allegations of human rights violations. Faith groups have for several years played a leading role in peace building in West Papua. The majority of indigenous Papuans are Christians, while the majority of Indonesian migrants follow Islam, Hindhuism, or Buddhism. Interfaith collaboration was manifested in 2001, for example, through a call for cessation of violence (in June 2001) and a joint letter to the Indonesian president calling for a national team of inquiry to probe the involvement of the Indonesian military in violating human rights (in December 2001). On 21 September 2002 – the United Nations’ International Day of Peace – thousands of people, led by Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindhu and Buddhist leaders, gathered in Jayapura to pray for peace. The religious leaders subsequently identified 5 February as Papuan Day of Peace, and have been celebrating this date each year through various activities such as marches for peace, seminars and discussions on peace building. This interfaith collaboration helps to break down religiously motivated suspicion in Papuan society. It plays an important role in promoting community-based reconciliation, which is also supported by around 140 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in areas such as socio-economic development, education, environment, and health care. The most prominent role of local NGOs is in addressing state violence. They are involved in conflict mapping, monitoring and investigation, litigation and legal advocacy, campaigning, workshops and conferences, training and human rights education. They also address the causes and impact of structural violence, address issues of inter-ethnic and interfaith harmony and tolerance, and encourage the Papuans to adopt non-violent strategies.46 There are three fundamental problems that should be addressed peacefully: the denial of the right to self-determination in 1969 by Indonesia with the support of the international community, crimes against humanity committed from 1963 until today, and the neglect of socio-economic and cultural rights. Papuans continue to face marginalisation in their own land. Some would say they are facing the threat of extinction. Addressing these problems is not solely an internal matter for Indonesia. The international community through the UN has already been part of the problem. The UN, the US, the Netherlands and other countries have colluded with the Indonesian government in the annexation of West Papua through the so-called Act of Free Choice in 1969. They now have a moral responsibility to promote peaceful and democratic approaches to settling the injustices in West Papua. It is morally unacceptable if the Netherlands, the US and other powerful states continue to sacrifice the very survival of the Papuans for the sake of their own political and economic interests. In order to address peacefully the injustices in West Papua: • The Indonesian government should be encouraged to involve indigenous Papuans in seeking just and peaceful solutions through an all-inclusive dialogue. All stakeholders representing the Indonesian government and the Papuans should participate in this dialogue. Such a dialogue would be a peaceful means for the Indonesian authorities and the Papuans to reach a common understanding on the problems that have to be addressed, and a common agreement on the role of each stakeholder. The government could invite a third party to be the facilitator of the dialogue. • Alleged crimes against humanity should be investigated and addressed. The government should be encouraged to invite the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the special rapporteur on torture to visit West Papua. • The Indonesian government should be encouraged to declare West Papua as a land of peace. As part of this commitment it should withdraw all combat troops, disband all militia groups, and halt the Indonesian military’s involvement in commercial activities (legal and illegal) in the territory. • The Indonesian government should be encouraged to implement without any delay law number 21/2001 on special autonomy for West Papua for it addresses the neglect and marginalisation of the socio-economic and cultural rights of the Papuans. • The UN, the US, the Dutch, and the Indonesian government should be encouraged to review and tell the truth about their respective conduct in the run-up to, during, and after the exercise of the Act of No Choice in West Papua in 1969. A note on terminology From 1969 to 2001, the western half of the island of New Guinea was called Irian Jaya by the Indonesian government. Papuans and their supporters often call it West Papua or simply Papua. In 2001, following the passage of the law on special autonomy for the territory, the province of Irian Jaya was renamed the province of Papua. In 2003, the Indonesian government proposed to divide this province into three. As the first step in this process, a new province, covering the western tip of the territory and called West Irian Jaya, was created in February 2003. In 2004, an Indonesian constitutional court ruled that the split violated the special autonomy law. However, while ruling that the other proposed province of Central Irian Jaya should not be created, the court recognised the existence of West Irian Jaya. At the time of writing, the territory therefore consists of two Indonesian provinces: Papua and West Irian Jaya. Because the term Papua can be taken to refer to the Indonesian province of Papua, it could be confusing to use the term Papua for the entire territory. This Comment therefore uses the term West Papua. position on West Papua our commitment to human rights and justice compels us to support Papuans in their struggle for justice, peace and human rights. We recognise that the struggle for justice in West Papua is not a struggle of the Papuan people alone. International organisations, governments and economic interests share responsibility for the situation in West Papua today, and should also be held accountable. Our support for victims of injustice in West Papua is not simply solidarity, but awareness of a shared responsibility for the conditions that lead to injustice in West Papua. We recognise the need for action to address these causes of injustice, bring about resolution of the political conflict over Papuan sovereignty, and lay the foundations for a just peace. We recognise that: • Papuans will not feel justice has been served until they are given an opportunity for self-determination. • A political solution to the dispute over Papuan sovereignty alone will not bring justice. Parallel to resolution of the political conflict, there must be a process to establish broad-based justice and create sustainable conditions for sustainable peace and development. • To this end, we see the need for efforts to build the foundations of peace, justice and development by fostering respect for human rights and responsibilities, a democratic culture, tolerance, pluralism, as well as good governance and citizenship. • The process toward building the foundations of peace and justice must dismantle the structures of injustice (including legal and policy frameworks), restore damaged relationships and bring about changes in the attitudes and behaviours of individuals. • We believe the process should bring about change at all levels of society, with particular effort to engage women and marginalised groups. Our goal is for the people of West Papua to enjoy justice and respect for human rights as the foundation of sustained peace and development. We aim to: • promote the capacity and opportunity of civil society organisations, in particular faith-based organisations, in West Papua and Indonesia to advocate for justice and ensure respect for human rights in West Papua • generate political will among governments, regional bodies and international organisations to encourage greater accountability for the situation in West Papua by the Indonesian government and other stakeholders • encourage international accountability for the situation in West Papua. A core principle of CIIR’s approach to advocacy is that we will never replace our partners’ voices. We are committed to the belief that Papuans are their own best advocates. CIIR’s role in advocacy for peace and human rights in West Papua seeks to support partners in promoting the effectiveness and reach of their advocacy work, and to help amplify their voices in the North. Injustice has been able to flourish in Papua because it has been a little known part of the world. This Comment has been published to help raise awareness of the situation in West Papua. See www.ciir.org for more information and ideas on what you can do to support the struggle for peace with justice in West Papua.
MUTOPAI FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM