Jakarta – An action in front of the United Nations representative office in Jakarta by Papuan activists commemorating 61 years since the Triple Commands of the People (Trikora) military operation was forcibly broken up by members of a group calling themselves the "Defend the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia" (Bela NKRI).
Based on CNN Indonesia's observations at the location, as soon as the Bela NKRI members arrived, they broke through the police lines and headed in the direction of the Papuan protesters. They then began pushing and shoving the demonstrators trying to forcibly remove them from the location.
The Papuan protesters tried to hold their ground asking the group not to keep pushing them. They also protested the intimidation saying that the Papua action was peaceful. Eventually they were force to leave the location.
The action was held to commemorate the 1961 Trikora operation which they said was inappropriate because if forced Papua to integrate into the NKRI.
"We're holding a peaceful action. Our friends see the Trikora operation as being inappropriate", said one of the representatives at the action, Surya Anta, on Monday December 19.
The former political prisoner also questioned the presence of the Bela NKRI group saying that the Papuan protesters had already submitted a written notification of the action in front of the UN offices with the police.
"The police need to be asked if they [the Bela NKRI group] have [also] followed police regulations by providing a letter of notification [to police] or not because we provided a notification", said Surya.
In the end, at 3.30 pm the Papuan protesters withdrew and disbanded because of the continued pressure from the Bela NKRI.
According to a statement by Central Jakarta Metro District Police Chief Senior Commissioner Komarudin, there were indeed two groups that held a demonstration in front of the UN office in Jakarta today.
According to Komarudin, the two groups held the action without first providing a written notification.
He said that the chaos broke out when the Bela NKRI group was giving a speech and members of the Greater Jakarta Papua Student Front suddenly arrived at the location.
"They were shocked (the Bela NKRI), so when they (the Papuans) arrived, they tried to remove them", said Komarudin when contacted.
According to Komarudin, the chaos broke out at around 3.30 pm. He claimed however that there was no scuffle between the groups or items thrown during the incident.
"No (there was no pushing or shoving or throwing things), there were officials on the ground, we blocked them, we separated them", he said.
Komarudin said that the chaos only lasted around 10 minutes adding that by around 4 pm the situation was under control again. (yla/dis/tsa)
Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961. It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement. Under the threat that Indonesia would move from armed infiltrations to a large-scale military attack, US sponsored negotiations led to the signing of the New York Agreement on August 15, 1962 in which the Netherlands agreed to hand over administration of Western New Guinea to Indonesia pending a UN administered plebiscite. Seven years later under the newly installed Suharto dictatorship, the treaty led to the so-call "Act of Free Choice" in 1969 in which 1025 hand-picked Papuans "voted" at gun-point for the territory remain part of Indonesia.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa Aksi Trikora Papua Bubar, Sempat Didorong-Dilempar Kertas".]