New Internationalist

Action

Issue 344

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West Papua / ACTION
ACTION

'In days, months, years, the Indonesian army will try and kill all West Papuans because we want independence. I don't want to die. If you are Australian, Canadian, European or English, and you don't want West Papuans to die, do something!' This is the message that community leader and Papua Council Presidium member, Reverend Komba, asked New Internationalist to pass onto the outside world. He adds some suggestions about what he and the others think is needed.

Help lobby for an independent investigation into Theys Eluay’s death.
From surrounding evidence and events, the Kopassus army élite are suspected of assassinating Theys Eluay. Until the killers are exposed and punished, other independence leaders and activists are at risk of being dealt with in the same way. The present investigation team comprises Indonesian military members and the police. The West Papuans have no confidence in the team’s enthusiasm or ability to find out the truth. Independent investigators - preferably from outside Indonesia - are needed, first and foremost to investigate Theys Eluay’s death, but also to investigate the continual human-rights abuses perpetrated by the armed forces in West Papua. The three UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Extra-Judicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and Human Rights Defenders, in addition to the UN’s Chairman of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, are ideally placed to fill this role.

Request their intervention by writing to Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Secretariat. 52 Rue des Paquis, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: +41 22 917 9239.

Also write to Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri to urge her to support an impartial and thorough investigation. President Megawati Sukarnoputri, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Istana Merdeka, jakarta ioiio, Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 345 2685 (via State Secretariat) / 62 21 526 8726 / 62 21380 5511 / 62 21345 7782.

Send copies of these letters to your country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a short note asking her or him to help protect the West Papuans from the terrorism of the Indonesian military through diplomatic channels.

Help get West Papua international support.
Papuans are keenly aware of what happened in East Timor: of how people achieved their independence and of the foreign assistance that helped them to attain it. They know that, like East Timor, they need this foreign assistance now. But, unlike East Timor, West Papua has already had a vote overseen by the UN to ask the people whether they want independence: the Act of Free Choice. In November 2001, a retired UN undersecretary general who handled the takeover, Chakravarthy Narasimhan, described the Act of Free Choice as a whitewash. ‘Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a million people there who had their fundamental human rights trampled,’ he said. Activist groups outside West Papua want an investigation into how the Act of Free Choice was conducted and overseen. They believe that this will expose the first vote as fundamentally flawed, and place pressure on the UN to conduct another vote, a proper vote - involving all Papuans, without guns at their heads. Urge Kofi Annan to investigate now. Write to: Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations Secretariat, Rm 3800, New York. New York 10017, Fax: +1 212 963 4879.

If you have time, write a letter to the UN Special Committee on Decolonization asking them to recommend that the issue be placed on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. Send your letters to: Mr Earl Stephen Huntley, Ambassador for St Lucia, Chairman of the Special Committee on Decolonization, Rm S2977, United Nations, New York, New York, USA 10017. Send a copy to: John Renninger, Director of the Asia Pacific Division, Department of Political Affairs - Asian Division, Room 33-12, United Nations, New York, New York, USA 10017.

Keep in touch with what is happening inside West Papua. Subscribe to on-line news by sending a blank message with no sublect to WestPapua-subscribe@topica.com In addition, the following groups disseminate information about issues and events affecting West Papuans:

Australia

Australia West Papua Associations
NSW - Tel/fax: +61 2 9960 1698; email: iris@matra.com.au
Queensland - Tel: +617 3255 0678; Fax: +61 7 3846 0095; email: pandai@bigpond.com
South Australia - Tel: +618 8345 4480; email: andyalcock@bigpond.com
Victoria - Tel/fax: +613 9510 2193; email: westpapua@start.com.au

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Canada

Tapol, P0 Box 562, Station P, Toronto M5S 2TI

Pacific People’s Partnership, 1921 Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC V8T 2Y6
Tel: +1 250 381 4131; Fax: +i 250 388 5258; email: sppf@sppf.org

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England

Tapol, 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW
Tel: + 44 208 771 2904; Fax: +44 208 653 0322, email: tapol@gn.apc.org

West Papua Association-UK (WPAUK), 64 Bigland Street, Stepney E1 2ND
Tel: +44 207 265 9307; email: wpauk@hotmail.com

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Ireland

West Papua Action: 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7
Tel: +353 1882 7563/7581; Fax: +353 1882 7576; email: wpaction@iol.ie

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New Zealand/Aotearoa

Peace Movement Aotearoa, P0 Box 9314, Wellington -
Tel: +634382 8129; Fax: + 63 4382 8173; email: pma@apc.org.nz

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United States

Co-ordinator of the United States campaign - Octovianus Mote, Tel: +1 607 257 6157

The Indonesia Human Rights Network,
1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC 20003.
Tel/Fax: + 1301 2202.


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