Position Statement of the Papua Students Alliance Central Committee: We Call for the Right to Self-Determination as a Democratic Solution for the People of West Papua
Dear people of West Papua who love freedom and independence. Racism and the mention of “Papuan monkeys” is a disease that was born from the colonial womb and spread by its accomplices to divide the forces of the people’s struggle. We the people of Papua are direct victims of acts of theft, seizure and exploitation of the natural resources of the land of Papua. Our natural resources are taken from us and we are forced to accept factory waste, foreign capital investment garbage and palm oil plantations that belong to imperialism. We are victims of the crime of Indonesian colonialism, we are forced to accept being insulted as an uncivilized nation, expulsion from our ancestral lands, murder, rape, genocide, discrimination and racism.
Racism against Papuans began with the forced incorporation of Papua into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. It has been ongoing since 1962 when US Imperialism sought to seize the people’s natural resources by giving political power to Indonesian Colonialism in Papua by involving themselves in the New York Agreement. An agreement that discussed the future of Papua without involving the Papuans following the end of Dutch colonialism and gave birth to a new occupation of West Papua.
Racial discrimination (racism) is a colonial method, which has played a role in the history of colonialism. Racism is used to conquer and perpetuate domination over the people of Papua. We have to draw a clear line that the term “Papuan Monkeys” comes out of the mouths of a handful of reactionaries within the military and is spoken in the colonial language. Colonial Indonesia is trying to turn the Papuan people’s sacred struggle into racial conflict and horizontal warfare. A war of Papuans versus Amber (migrants in Papua).
So, in the wake of the siege, the arrests and the mention of “Papuan monkeys” in Surabaya some time ago, we urge people not to be provoked by propaganda that triggers attacks between ethnic and / or religious groups in Papua. Because such propaganda will be used to undermine the struggle for Papuan National Liberation. The struggle to win independence means we must reject a culture that demeans human dignity.
Therefore, we urge the people of Papua to follow the correct line, to broaden the mobilization of the masses without differentiating between tribes, religions and races. Building power and unity, mobilizing the masses to reject and refuse colonialism, demanding freedom and the right to self-determination for the people of Papua, as the only way to end racism.
Respect given! To the people of West Papua, who have paralyzed the streets of every city in West Papua and the Colonial cities since the 18th of August and are continuing to this day. Also to the solidarity of the oppressed from the colonialist and international nations. We must show that we are a great nation, a nation that bases our nationhood on the foundation of humanity, which strives for freedom, independence and equality for all humanity. The struggle for national liberation is a struggle that is not based on the spirit of ethnicity, religion or race.
Therefore we must establish this spirit of national independence as the cornerstone of our struggle, and spread it to every corner, wherever people are colonized. Independence for Papua will be achieved only when the unity of the oppressed people – laborers, peasants, women, Indigenous people, student youth, fishermen – of both the colonized and colonizing nation is created. A People’s Unity capable of storming upstream to the downstream path of occupation in Papua. Papua should riot, the Colonial Center must be destroyed! That’s one of the conditions for independence.
The latest development by the Colonial Government both in Jakarta and Papua is trying to lead the people’s struggle towards their respective interests, especially the issue of the sustainability of Special Autonomy. Dozens of Papuans who reject racism are confronted by the law, while racists are allowed to roam free without facing any legal consequences. On the other hand, various situations in Papua are still unaddressed. There is still a humanitarian emergency, yet Infrastructure Development is ongoing, additional military forces continue to arrive, exploitation of natural resources continues and the Papuan people continue to be completely colonized and nobody has responded to the colonial government in Papua (Provincial, Regency and Papuan People’s Governments). One thing we must underline is that “the Papuan people must fight for the interests of their own liberation under the leadership of the popular movement, without relying on the bureaucratic elite / colonial government officials in Papua”. Racist events in Surabaya have become a stage for the bureaucratic elites to forgive each other and discuss peace within the framework of the Republic of Indonesia without looking at its historical roots, namely the problem of occupying a nation. Based on this, the Papua Students Alliance and Papuan People outside Papua express this position:
1. The siege in Surabaya, the silencing of democratic spaces in Malang and Semarang, is part of the continuation of occupation in Papua. So, we declare: Fight militarism – the mastermind of racism, abolish colonialism and destroy imperialism.
2. The National Revolution must be led by a popular movement.
3. All components of the movement that love freedom and independence must immediately reevaluate themselves and encourage the formation of a broader, democratic, participatory national unity in the internal affairs of West Papua to lead the People’s Liberation Struggle.
4. Reject all colonial responses, including the call from the Papua People’s Assembly (MRP) for all Papuan Students outside Papua to return home, and reject the call “Papuans Return then Indonesians Return from Papua”.
5. Refuse the planned arrival of the Papua Provincial Colonial team to Java and Bali (not only in Malang and Surabaya) until the political elites and Papuan officials release the Garuda and demand a referendum in Papua.
6. Papuan students will return home, if, and only if, a referendum decision is made in West Papua.
7. Papuan people and students outside Papua are ready to surround Jakarta to ask Jokowi to send us home on the condition of granting the Right to Self-Determination via a referendum.
8. The problem of Papua is not a problem of Indonesian residents, the problem of Papua is the occupation of an independent nation. So we demand intervention from the International Community.
9. Open access for foreign journalists and media organizations to cover the situation in Papua.
Thus this statement, is made, we send our respect to the struggling people!
Greetings of Liberation
Medan Juang, August 24th, 2019
Papua Students Alliance
Jhon Gobai (General Chairperson)
Albert Pahabol (Secretary General)
(via Koran Kejora)