A letter from Papua
ACKNOWLEDGE DOUBT AMONG PAPUANS ABOUT THEIR HISTORY AND POLITICAL STATUS
I am writing this time trying to peel the history of Papua from a different angle than usual as a non-Papuans. During this time, I often read various online source and print coverage that tends to discredit the Government of Republic of Indonesia to raise the issue of history, racial differences and inequalities that are written by indigenous Papuans. As an Indonesian who was born and raised in this homeland, obviously, deeply regrets when Papua have to split from the my Homeland. More than two hundred years ago, We’ve never imagined a black race can lead the U.S. as it is now. Obama’s rise as the U.S. President has broken all the things that are considered taboo in the past. One friend of mine, a true Republican mentions the existence of an unwritten rule to become U.S. president was White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant (WASP) as well as in Indonesia, Javanese and Muslim. Apparently all it can be broken by personal capabilities and impressive performance from a Presidential candidate. This is surely had crossed my mind, why not, someday, this prosperous land Gemah Ripah jinawi would led by a young nation from indigenous Papuan who has a highly potential intelligence? Obama has been prove it, why don’t we? YES YOU CAN, YES WE CAN
The objective is to provide an understanding from different viewpoints and brought the principles cover both stories in order to remain neutral and impartial in any information that was thrown to the public. In addition, this paper also expected to be able to address concerns of indigenous Papuans (OAP) totheir history, especially pre-referendum (People Free Choice) until its implementation in 1969.
Based on the book released by Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) “Papua Road Map”: Negotiating the Past, Improving the Present and Securing the Future formulate OAP root causes that often becomes a question over the years. There are four primary problems in Papua, namely: (1) History and Political Status of Papua, (2) State Violence and Violations of Human Rights, (3) marginalization, and (4) Development of discriminatory. In this occasion I tried to limit this discussion at the first point of history and political status of Papua. Discussion of the history would be my limit with the linkage region of Papua as part of the Dutch East Indies and the Homeland. Because discussing about the history of Papua, it would discuss the journey of a nation that has a very long trajectory of history, so I give you a link that can deliver all friends whom might need to know the history of Papua further at http://www.rustamlengkas.com.
West Papua had became as part of the Dutch Colonial Authority Since 1928
Based on UN Peace Keeping Mission document, Dutch Colonial area was originally called the West New Guinea or also called West Irian and has become part of the Dutch colony since 1928. At the time, the Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence in 1949, the status of West New Guinea is still unresolved. Previously, been agreed in the Charter of Transfer of Sovereignty C or Power Delivery Charter between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia in The Hague,
Netherlands in November 1949 which “that the discussion of issues related to West Irian would be postponed for a year and during the state of West Irian Status Quo will be arranged under the administration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” Lack of clarity of understanding the language in the charter led the Netherlands thought that the kingdom was authorized to continue his rule over the archipelago’s largest island. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Indonesia considered that the meaning of the language naturely administrative, so the implication is, West Irian would join with Indonesia after a year. The document is reinforced by the statement Jouwe Nicholas (creator of the song “O my land of Papua” and originator of the symbol of one people one soul) that since August 1828, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has ordered the Dutch Indies Governor General to immediately enter the West Papua as became part of the Dutch East Indies colony. However, the Kingdom of the Netherlands had changed its geostrategy concerning the global situation at the time, by entering West Papua as part of their province of the Netherlands as well as countries dolls Dutch colonies in the archipelago after predicting the development of world geopolitics that is less favorable colonial countries, especially after the end of World War II. The strategy to “liberate” the region colonies was conducted with a structured effort by establishing centers of civilian and military education and the establishment of representative councils in Papua. Meanwhile, when Indonesia proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, Indonesia’s new government has been claiming all those colonies of the Dutch East Indies, including West Papua. Even as a continuation of the claim, the administration of President Sukarno on August 17th, 1956 had formed West Papua province with its capital in Tidore Soasiu led by its first Governor Zainal Abidin Shah.
The Establishment of the State of Papua as a Colonial’s Doll
A year after the handover of sovereignty in Den Haag, Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands actually sent the aircraft carrier Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman into Western New Guinea. Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) became the backbone of the defense in the waters of Western New Guinea until 1950. Elements of the defense of West Papua consists of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Marine Corps Mariniers Luchtvaartdienst. The addition of the Dutch military forces continue to occur until 1958, by sending Infantry Orange Regiment Gelderland consisting of three battalions stationed in Sorong, Fakfak, Merauke, Kaimana and Teminabuan. Besides the addition of the military force, in order to “liberate” the colony, the Dutch established medical schools, nurses, technicians telephone, radio, forestry officials and police in Papua. The Netherlands also had elected representatives of the people of Papua dated January 15th, 1961 at 15 districts whose resulting 26 people whom their inaugurated by Governor Peter Johannis Plateel, Dutch East Indies Governor in the presence of countries representatives like Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and France. This development was reported to the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations beginning in 1950 until 1961. On 18 November 1961, the Dutch recognized the flag and National Anthem of Papua and the subsequent regulations related to the flag and the state song of Papua into force on December 1, 1961 as the day of establishment of the Dutch colony, the State of West Papua.
Meanwhile, on Indonesian side, the status of Papua is still a debate led Indonesia to bring this issue to the UN in 1954. Indonesia claimed that the region is part of Indonesia and supposed to get its freedom from Dutch colonial rule. On the other hand, the Dutch firmly insisted that West Irian wasn’t part of Indonesia therefore needs to be done a referendum to decide its own future when they are ready. The talks continued over the region continue to be done at a regular session of the UN General Assembly from 1954 to 1957 and 1961 but still not produce any resolutions.
In response to the establishment of the Papua Council by the Dutch in early January 1961 and the Dutch recognition of the flag and the state song of Papua, President Sukarno on 19 December 1961 in Yogyakarta issued Tri Komando Rakyat (TRIKORA) or Three People’s Command containing: (1) The Establishment of the State “Puppet” Papua foils made by Dutch colonial, (2) Raised the Red and White flags all over West Irian, (3) Be prepared for a general mobilization, maintaining national independence and unity of the homeland of Indonesia. For that purpose, President Sukarno formed Mandala Operation Command, led by Major General Suharto to arrange, prepare and execute the military operations in order to incorporate West Papua into Indonesia.
New York Agreement is Legal and Recognized Internationally
After the Mandala Operation Command for military operations in West Papua into force in early 1962, at that time, the tension between the Dutch and Indonesia continues, where each party claims to West Papua as part of their administrative region. To prevent a larger conflict, UN Secretary-General took the decision on July 31st, 1962 that the negotiations will be formally conducted under the supervision of UN-related region of West Papua. Final negotiations will be conducted at United Nations Headquarters under the leadership of UN Secretary General U Thant and Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker (USA) as a mediator. The approval is signed by both parties (Indonesia and the Netherlands) in New York on August 15th, 1962. Instruments of ratification shall be exchanged between both parties on September 20th 1962 and the next day the UN General Assembly noted the agreement in the UN resolution number 1752 (XVII) on the same day, which authorized the Secretary to oversee implementation of the agreement.
The agreement includes the administration of West Irian, which will be handed over from the Netherlands to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA), a UN agency that is temporary to handle the transition region, led by the United Nations administrator who approved both parties and appointed by UN Secretary General. Under the jurisdiction of the United Nations secretary general, UNTEA has full authority after October 1st, 1962 to regulate the area, maintain order, guarantee the legal and judicial protection of rights of residents and assure the absence of intervention, and provide public services until May 1st, 1963 up to the administration of the territory handed over to Indonesia.
The agreement also states that the UN Secretary General will prepare a United Nations Security Force (UNSF), or UN Security Forces to assist UNTEA in performing their duties if necessary. In connection with the “understanding of related items” to the core of the agreement, UNSF formed to observe the implementation of the ceasefire effectively before UNTEA temporary ruling. The UN is also entrusted with the role of peacekeeping in addition to administrative responsibilities as the holder of executive authority.
Political Status OAP And People’s Free Choice
On December 31st, 1962, the Dutch flag was replaced with an Indonesian flag, the flag is flown alongside the United Nations, as set forth in the attached record of assistance in the Indonesia-Netherlands treaty. In the final months of 1962 and early 1963, a number of communications from Papuan leaders and various groups in the region are addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN Administrator (UNTEA) require the cutting down of the reign UNTEA in West Irian. On November 21st, 1962, a joint declaration by the representatives of the Council of New Guinea / West Irian submitted to UN Secretary General to request the early stages of transition of West Irian to Indonesia. A demonstration to demand the same thing happened on January 15th, 1963 when the petition was presented to the UN Administrator Dr. Djalal Abdoh by 18 political leaders from the local people of Papua Hollandia / Kotabaru as follows:
1. Demanding shortening the UNTEA authority.
2. Merging immediately to the Republic of Indonesia in absolute and unconditional.
3. Faithful to the Declaration of Independence August 17th, 1945.
4. Requires the availability of the Unitary State of Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke. 5. Requires the widest possible autonomy within the Republic of Indonesia for the territory of West Papua.
The demands of the eighteenth political leaders of the people, although not approved by the UN administrator since it is incompatible with the resolution issued by the UN, but UN still respond to these demands by sending the Chef de Cabinet, Mr. CV Narasimhan, in February 1963, to consult with the Administrator and UN Government of Indonesia. Based on the schedule set by the UN, the transfer of administrative powers to the Republic of Indonesia UNTEA set on May 1, 1963. Although demand 18 Papuan political leaders did not obtain UN approval but the role of a Papuan political leaders, capable of “forcing” the UN to react to these demands by sending a Chef de Cabinet. In addition, the suit also gives a general overview of the international community over the amount of desire of the people of Papua to join the Homeland.
Under the Article XII of the New York agreement, the Administrator UNTEA perform full administrative control transfers to the representative of the Government of Indonesia represented by Mr. Tjondronegoro, on May 1st 1963. Transition ceremony conducted in the presence of Chef de Cabinet as personal representative of UN Secretary-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. At that time, the United Nations flag would be lowered.
Further associated with the preparation of the Free People’s Choice, the UN secretary general believes that the Government of Indonesia will consistently obey the requirements in accordance with the agreement of 1962 and will ensure the implementation of the referendum by the residents in the region in accordance with the expression of the desire of the future direction of Papuans. In accordance with the Indonesia-Netherlands agreement in New York in 1962, UN Secretary-General on 1st April 1968 to appoint a UN representative Mr. Fernando Ortiz-Sanz, to advise, assist and participate in the administrative arrangements which are the responsibility of Indonesia to the implementation of free elections / determination opinion that led to two options, namely to remain with Indonesia or separated from Indonesia.
In a report submitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Government of Indonesia has stated that between July 14th and August 2nd, 1969, the board representatives of West Irian/New Guinea is enlarged (consultative assembly) includes 1026 members, was asked to represent the people’s expression to their opinions whether they need to stay with Indonesia or sever their ties with Indonesia. All members of the Council at that time declared unanimously to choose the first option without dissent that “remain with Indonesia.”
Furthermore, the Deputy Secretary-General reported that the “limitations imposed by the geographical characteristics of the region and the general political situation in the area, an act of free choice have taken place in West Irian in accordance with Indonesian practice, in which representatives of the population expressed their desire to remain with Indonesia. “The reports submitted by UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly under resolution 2504 (XXIV) of 19 November 1969, the UN General Assembly to-24 followed by 114 countries to give recognition and the highest appreciation for carrying out the duties entrusted by the UN Secretary-General and his deputies according to the agreement in New York, 1962. Later in the trial also revealed that 84 member states expressed support for the decision of Papua as part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, 30 countries abstained, and none of the member states who refuse.
By reading a glimpse of the history above, I’m pretty sure there are many loopholes to twist the facts to be a blunder for the blurring of the actual historical facts, as I read so far. But with good intentions, hopefully this post article could address the concerns about its history of indigenous Papuans, or if it’s not, at least it can provide new understanding of non-provoked and instigated by the dream of flowers of “independence” which ultimately benefits only a few people or groups particular.
Rustam (Born in Papua)