Jayapura – United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's call to end the violence by the military in Myanmar.
ULMWP's executive director, Markus Haluk, said Papuan people condemned the violence by the military in Myanmar, which he said had violated democracy and human rights in Myanmar.
"We condemned the antidemocratic actions of the military in Myanmar, and that's Papuan people's principles. We condemned violence toward anyone," Haluk said.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said at least 149 people were killed since the peaceful protests erupted in Myanmar after the military took over power from Aung San Suu Kyi.
Haluk said that was why he rejected the Indonesian and the US government's move since 1963. He referred to the year after the Dutch decided to leave West Papua and decolonized the area, but through the New York Agreement in 1962, facilitated by the US government, West Papua fell to Indonesia's hands.
Pro-Independence factions of West Papuans considered that Indonesia colonized them ever since. Indonesia denied that they colonized Papua Land, or internationally known as West Papua, claiming that the country wanted to bring prosperity and justice to West Papua.
But the Papuans accused Indonesian government of only wanting to exploit the natural resources and did not care about the people. Armed and bloody conflicts and alleged gross human rights violations repeatedly occurred ever since, with no peaceful resolution on the horizon.
Haluk said considering such a long history between Jakarta and Papua, he could only laugh, and be angry at the same time, that Jokowi had a double standard when it came to democracy and human rights. Haluk said Jokowi raised concerns about what happened in Myanmar but the Indonesia government acted "against humanism and democracy", Haluk claimed.
"Frankly, I was angry, emotional, upset but I laughed out loud, too. You always talk about democracy, human rights, acting heroic for the people in Myanmar. But what about what has been happening before your eyes? In your backyard, which is the Papuan problem," Haluk said.
"What has President Jokowi done? Have you done with the 11 visits? Are you done with us after you finish building the Red Bridge of Port Numbay? Is it appointing Jayapura as the host of the National Games, with its facilities, (enough)? Is sending the military and the police from outside Papua (Jokowi's way to care about Papua)?" Haluk went on.
Haluk referred to Jokowi's claim that he visited Papua Land more than he visited other regions in Indonesia. Jokowi said during his presidential campaign in 2019 that he had visited Papua and West Papua provinces 11 times.
Haluk said what Jakarta had done would never answer and give resolutions to the conflicts between Papua Land and the Indonesian government for the past 58 years.
"I'm telling President Jokowi, it was high time that Jokowi spoke about Myanmar and resolve the political conflicts and human rights violation, crimes against humanity in West Papua," he said on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
He said Jokowi had to fulfill his promise to the OHCHR at the UN to invite her to West Papua.
He also had to fulfill his promise he made in 2014 that he would open Papua Land to foreign journalists. "Permit and open access to international journalists, foreign diplomats, scholars, US senators, US Congress members and international communities to visit West Papua," Haluk demanded.
Selpius Bobi, an activist who was jailed for four years for protesting against the presence of PT Freeport in West Papua, said Indonesian government would never stop limiting the freedom of native Papuans. What happened 15 years ago in 2006, when he was protesting and then arrested, was still happening.
Bobi urged Jokowi to stop sending military and police personnel to West Papua. "Stop kidnapping, murders, and arbitrary arrests against human rights activists in Papua. Pull out military personnel who came from outside Papua Land, retract Special Autonomy Law on Papua Land and stop planning new provinces for Papua Land," he said.
The Indonesian government had denied any wrongdoings in Papua Land, and had not followed up reports from human rights NGOs like the Amnesty International. The government had also yet to follow up the National Commission for Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)'s recommendation on the allegation that what happened in Paniai Regency in 2014 was gross human rights violations.
Komnas HAM's representative in Papua, Frits Ramandey, said Jokowi administration's formula on finding solutions to Papuan conflicts "did not work".
He said on March 19, 2021 that Papua needed a mediator and a negotiator to bridge native Papuans interests with the Indonesian government.
"No matter how many times Jokowi comes to Papua, using his way of talking, blusukan, it won't work. What does he expect?" he said.
Blusukan is a Javanese word for Jokowi's famous and popular style of direct communication with the people, in which he visited a neighborhood and asked the people directly about what they wanted and needed.
Oftentimes his visits became media stunts in which he visited unlikely areas, surprising low-income families by popping up at their houses unannounced, bearing gifts.
Ramandey did not specify who should serve as the mediator or negotiator.