Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Dozens of people on Tuesday, Dec 1, had gathered in the capital city's landmark Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta to commemorate the anniversary of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), which is considered by the government as a separatist group.This rally – that is heavily guarded by security personnel – reportedly comprises people from numerous pro-Papua groups such as the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua, Papuan Students Alliance, and the Papuan Central Highlands Student Association.
According to Roland, a member of the Papuan Students Alliance Tempo asked, this commemoration is held simultaneously in major cities such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Kupang, Ambon, and Makassar.
"The Indonesian people need to know that for the past 59 years, the Indonesian government continues to colonize West Papua," said Roland at the location of the rally today. "You don't need to mention those that are far away like in Palestine or Uighur. Look closely in Papua and you'll know that [we are] being colonized by Indonesia itself."
Tempo's field observation did not find any of the people gathering there flying the Morning Star Flag (Bintang Kejora), which is the symbol of the OPM.
The rally demands the Indonesian government to allow Papuans and West Papuans to decide their own destiny, rejecting a second special autonomy, up to pulling back organic and non-organic military from the area.