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West Papuans condemn Bali Attacks

Papua Presidium Council Statement - October 14, 2002

Port Moresby - The Papua Council Presidium (PCP), on behalf of the people of West Papua, wishes to convey its sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the families and relatives of the victims of the Saturday, 13th October 2002, terrorist bomb attacks at the tourist resorts in Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Council wishes speedy recovery for the injured and other survivors.

The Council condemns in the strongest terms possible such cowardly act of carnage inflicted upon the lives of innocent people.

We recognize the incident as yet another premeditated major terrorist attack on humanity. From the outset, however, the Council can not help but is compelled to point out that such savagery is not new to numerous communities in Indonesia itself. Untold number of lives in regions such as Aceh, parts of Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua had perished over the years.

Evidence suggests that terrorism in Indonesia is extremely difficult to combat or contain because of the very thin line that separates the perpetrators of such act and the country's powerful military. The TNI, more often than not condones such acts or its own members, on orders, conduct the activities themselves covertly under various guises or overtly under the pretext of preserving political stability and national unity against perceived subversive elements.

This scenario then gives birth to a state sanctioned culture of impunity, under which the perpetrators are accorded blanket protection. Hence, the Papua Council Presidium calls on the international community to ensure the immediate establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the Bali attack and without delay bring to justice the perpetrators.

The Council, however, wishes to emphasize that such inquiry be of a wide-ranging nature, one that must necessarily take into account other terrorist attacks, including the Menado and Timika incidents of late. In this vein, we wish it to be known that over the years Papuan and other communities in Indonesia had fallen victims of numerous such acts of terrorism.

The Council is not surprised but notes with grave concern that such acts are no longer directed only towards Papuans and other citizens of Indonesia. Inspite of strong international condemnation, the barbaric acts are now being directed against foreign nationals particularly those whose governments are spearheading the war on international terrorism.

Furthermore the Council is concerned that Papuan live and their property could become target of increased acts of terrorism. It was recently revealed that 1,200 Papuans, pro-independence leaders and activists as well as human rights advocates are included on a Laskar Jihad (a militant Islamic holy army) and Jemaah Islamiah black list as the principle target.

The Papua Council Presidium further calls on churches, multi-national companies and other non-government agencies particularly those employing foreign nationals operating in West Papua to take extra-precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their workers.

  • Franzalbert Joku - Moderator International Affairs
  • Clemens Runawery - Presidium Member
  • Wilhelm M. Zonggonau - Presidium Member