West Papua Today

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The history of Papua as an integral part of the territory of the RI is clear

The status of the Province of Papua as part of Indonesia is final and was endorsed in 1970 by General Assembly Resolution 2504, because Papua was an integral part of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). Historically, the Dutch colonial government administered from Batavia (presently Jakarta) the whole territory of NEI.

It is noted that the indivisibility of Papua as part of NEI was recognized in the London Agreement of 1824 between Great Britain and the Netherlands as well as reflected in the 1825 Map of the NEI which places Papua as its easternmost boundary.

Indonesia’s founding fathers, when declaring Indonesia independence, refer to the whole territory of NEI as the legitimate territory of Indonesia. This is in line with the principle of “Usi Posidentis” in which the successor state would inherit the whole territorial boundary of a colony.

Relating with a referendum was held in 1969, it can be mentioned that it is legal and unquestioned. Some who say that the documents portray the 1969 “Act of Free Choice” (AFC) as a sham because it excluded most Papuans is the only way voiced by them who want to endanger Indonesia’s territorial integrity and ruin its democracy. A total of 1025 electors (Papuan tribal chiefs) who joined the 1969 legal referendum represented all indigenous segments and tribes within West Papua.

This approach was selected as being the most appropriate given the logistical difficulties created by the region’s geography, and local political circumstances that dictated that tribal chiefs spoke for and expressedthe will of their native communities. The exercise drew extra credibility from the fact that it was carried out in accordance with the New York Agreement struck between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

The final seal of legitimacy, however, came from the United Nations’ decision, based on a report by the UN Secretary-General, to recognize West Papua as a part of Indonesian territory. Therefore, Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Bot assessed the report concerning the 1969 referendum compiled by the Professor of Diplomatic History at the University of Leiden, Pieter Drooglever, as stated at Hilversum Radio was only the scientific paper which can not change the history.

The world has become the witness that the Pepera (Act of Free Choice) implementation was legal due to under the UN supervision and control. Understanding the 1969 situation was similar with the recent and peaceful general election in West Papua province in which about 1.1 million people, or more than 90 per cent of those eligible to vote, took part in the election.

The result saw Barnabas Saebu become Governor-elect with roughly 30 per cent of the vote. It was indicates that, despite allegations to the contrary, the vast majority of West Papuans independently choose to exercise their right to vote without any government or military pressure.

Last August 17, 2005 President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, according to the international law, there is no more reason to doubt the legitimacy of Papua as an integral part of the territorial sovereignty of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.

The president added, every cabinet’s program from the revolutionary era to the parliamentary democratic system was always mentioning the West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia. There exist no manipulations of history that must be revised. The history of Papua as an integral part of the territory of the RI is clear and West Papuans are happy to be Indonesians (Lhernot)


April 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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