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Papuan students in Yogyakarta commemorate West Papuan Independence Day

Kompas.com - December 1, 2012

Wijaya Kusuma, Yogyakarta Ė Hundreds of Papuan students from Java and Bali that are part of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) held an action at the zero kilometre point in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta to commemorate the 51st anniversary of West Papuan independence on Saturday December 1.

The protesters were furnished with banners with messages such as "Stop manipulating Papua's entry into the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] and recognise the sovereignty of the West Papuan people".

"The date December 1 is not OPM (Free Papua Movement) day but West Papua Independence Day that was officially endorsed on December 1, 1961. We, Papuan students in Java and Bali are holding this action to demand the recognition of independence of the Papuan people", said action coordinator Sonny Dogapia.

Dogapia explained that to this day the Papuan people are still being silenced through various plots, coercion, intimidation and terror in order to quash resistance by the Papuan people. This is being done by the Indonesian government in order to ensure that Papua does not separate from Indonesia.

"Before the declaration of Trikora, the West Papuan nation was already independent but its independence did not last long. On December 19, 1961 [President] Sukarno declared the Trikora in order to thwart the formation of the West Papuan state, since then the Papuan people have lived under Indonesian colonial domination", he asserted.

After giving speeches for two hours, the action was closed with the reading of a statement. AMP made three demands, namely, affirming that December 1, 1961 is not the OPM's anniversary but West Papua Sovereignty Day. The second demand was that Indonesia and the United Nations immediately hand over West Papuan sovereignty and third, an end to claims that West Papua is part of the Indonesian republic. (k75-12)

Notes

Trikora - After the Netherlands announced the formation of a Nieuw Guinea Raad on April 1961, with the intention of creating an independent Papuan state, Indonesia's founding President Sukarno declared a military confrontation in his Tri Komando Rakjat (Trikora, Triple Commands of the People) speech in Yogyakarta, on December 19, 1961.

[Mahasiswa Papua Peringati HUT West Papua - KOMPAS.com. Sabtu, 1 Desember 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]

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