“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
said Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Justice on the Supreme Court in the United States.
In Eastern Indonesia, in the western part of the island of New Guinea, the indigenous Papuans are Melanesians and according to Operation World, more than 90% of them are officially reckoned as Christian. Papua has had a history of violent oppression by the Indonesian military (TNI), with demographic dilution through a government programme of massive transmigration of Javanese Muslims. Papuans, often Christian leaders, are frequently killed by the TNI, who are constantly trying to provoke retaliation that could be claimed to justify a full scale massacre against the ‘separatist threat’. The TNI terrorises Papuans from helicopters, shooting civilians, burning villages and churches, and forcing thousands to flee their homes and hide in the jungle where they die of starvation, illness or injury. The TNI’s allies, the pro-Indonesian militias and the Laskar Jihad (Islamic warriors), are armed ready for a major ethnic cleansing campaign. Papua, as part of Indonesia and the ‘dar al-Islam’ (land of Islam), is being ‘Indonesianised’ and Islamised. The Papuans are facing genocide while those with worldly power turn away. (source EA Foundation)
This brings me to the point I want to make…
Australia & New Zealand and their Pacific neighbours are turning a blind eye to the genocide that is being carried out. Indonesia, in my opinion a corrupt country..
The Australian Government, in my opinion is just playing lip service to the situation in West Papua .
Arlince Tabuni, was a 12 year old Melanesian West Papuan girl, daughter of a pastor enjoying life in her highlands village of Popume. Suddenly, at 5:30pm on a hot balmy afternoon, four fully armed Indonesian soldiers drive into the village with loaded guns. They briefly interrogate a member of her family and then demand the Pastor leaves the scene.
They then proceed towards Arlince’s house. Seeing the soldiers, Arlince tries to run away. The military fire 3 shots, she is hit in the neck and chest and dies…
The locals are outraged.. First off, the military deny this took place. After some time, they admitted they fired out of sheer frustration and panic!!
This satisfied the Indonesian Government, no investigation is held. Bribes had allegedly taken place.
This is just one of hundreds of examples..
The people of West Papua have regularly organise mass protests for self determination and independence and continue to appeal to the international community from speaking out through media to diplomatic pleas by exiled Papuans. This continues to fall on deaf ears..
Not only has the Indonesian government banned all foreign journalists and human rights groups from West Papua but the Indonesian military and police also systematically target any West Papuans campaigning for independence and brands them as “separatists” and “terrorists”.
We run around listening to the spin about ISIS and a lot of us become fearful…How often do we think of our neighbours, right next door ? My guess it we pay very little credence to what is happening and simply turn a ‘blind eye’
It’s time to open your eyes, read and look at what is happening.. Forget about sending troops to fight some bunch of ISIS scum.. Our governments need to focus on our neighbours!!
Even the raising of the West Papuan national flag was made illegal by Indonesia and anyone raising it in West Papua can, if they are lucky expect 15 years in an Indonesian jail cell.
Any unlucky West Papuans found supporting independence are simply killed. Indonesia sees Papuans as nothing more than inconvenient resistance in a land bursting with money to be made.
Here’s the thing, it’s reported that some of her killers might have been from Indonesia’s “anti terror special forces” also known as Kopassus or “Detachment 88?. These troops are funded and supplied by the Australian government… That’s right!! The Australian Government!! despite international calls to cease their support, they are responsible for some of the worst crimes against humanity in West Papua.
When the soldiers came to interrogate Arlinces’ relative, they asked him “where are the hordes of OPM?”
Arlinces’ relative told them that there are none and that there is an Indonesian flag in the village (which is effectively mandatory in West Papua).
The soldiers paid no attention to the man and marched directly towards Arlinces’ house.
They stood at the bottom of the garden and saw the 12 year old girl who ran. They fired!! Three times… She was shot in the neck and died. They killed her. There was no excuse.. Arlince was 12.
This was no accident. There is no way the Indonesian military mistook a 12 year old girl in point blank range and directly in front of them for an armed and violent adult guerrilla fighter.
Just imagine for a moment if this happened right here..in your street… A member of the Police shot and killed an innocent 12 year old girl because they believed she was part of a potential family, well known for its members supporting a local Indigenous independence movement? It would be world news in a heartbeat..Imagine the international outcry…
So.. you can act…you can stand up and be heard.. Most wont… Sadly you will just sit back and go…”oh yeah, here he goes again”
Yes!! I will make a stand..I will speak out and this is what I’m doing!!.. Now, join with me??
As Thurgood Marshall said.. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” He was part of significant civil rights decisions..
Will you be?