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West Papua Presentation To UN Econ. & Social Ccil.

For immediate release: Tuesday 1st August, 2006.

being presented by fPcN in the UN WGIP 2006, Geneva, tomorrow - watch the website, from 2nd August for photos as we receive them.

United Nations
Economic and Social Council
Working Group on Indigenous Populations
Twenty-fourth session
Geneva, 31st July - 4 th August 2006

Item (b) of the Agenda: Principal theme: “Utilization of indigenous peoples’ lands by non-indigenous authorities, groups or individuals for military purposes”

Dear Chairperson, Tribal & Indigenous Peoples, Secretariat, Government representatives, ladies & Gentleman,

It is indeed a great pleasure and honour to be able to part in this very important UN meeting for indigenous peoples. I send warm greetings - from my own people, the Lani of the Central Highlands of West Papua, and from the people of all 252 tribes which together make up my country — WEST PAPUA. Allow me to use this opportunity to speak on behalf of the tribal peoples in West Papua. We are an occupied people. We have been suffering for a very long time under an Indonesian military regime in West Papua.

We the tribal peoples of West Papua once again ask you the United Nations to help us to get back our lands and our political freedom. We ask you to help us to exercise our right to self-determination.

First of all, I would like to state that the basic fundamental problem of all the killings, human right abuses and sufferings of the tribal peoples of West Papuans are rooted in the false 'Act of Free Choice', which we call the ACT OF NO CHOICE. My people in West Papua were never given a genuine chance to exercise their rights to self-determination since the involvement of the United Nations in West Papua in 1960s.

As you may already know, in 1969 the United Nations arrived with just a few officials. The Indonesians decided we were too primitive to cope with democracy so they hand picked a thousand men at gun point and told them to vote. This is what the United Nations representative, Fernando Ortiz-sanz, said in his report:

“West Papua carried out in months what experts said should take 5 years. West Papuans did not have adequate information. Indonesia did not accept one man, one vote.” Off the record he also said that: “West Papua is a cancerous growth on the side of the United Nations and it is my job to surgically remove it.” This was very hurtful to us. Since, the time of the Act of Free Choice the Indonesian government has made West Papua a military zone and has been killing my people. The Indonesian military has killed at least one hundred thousand of my people. This number comes from Amnesty International. The human rights violations in West Papua are still happening right now.
In the last ten years, most of Indonesia's military equipment has come from the UK. Since the current Labour Government came to power, the UK has delivered over £394 million worth of military equipment to Indonesia, including 12 Tactical Armoured Personnel Carriers and Hawk aircraft, which have been used in an internal repression role in West Papua.

In 2001 and 2002, the UK issued over three-quarters of all EU arms export licenses for Indonesia, with the value of these export licenses responsible for over half the total financial value of EU arms deals to Indonesia. In the last two years for which figures are available – 2003 and 2004 - the UK has continued to issue over half of all EU arms export licenses to Indonesia. In these two years the UK, France and Germany have accounted for 84% and 92% of the total financial value of EU arms deals to Indonesia. These licenses, many of which are for weapons which very often are used to breach human rights, and are permitted even though they breach the human rights provision of the EU Code of Conduct.

In August 2005 UK Tactical vehicles were sent to Jayapura in West Papua, and were present at two demonstrations – one on 12th August and one on 31st October. They were used to help enforce laws which breach fundamental human rights.

The following is an Extract from US State Dept Annual Report on Indonesia for 2005- quotes.
“Security forces continued to commit unlawful killings of rebels, suspected rebels, and civilians in areas of separatist activity, where most politically motivated extrajudicial killings also occurred. There was evidence that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) considered anyone killed by its forces in conflict areas to be an armed rebel. The government largely failed to hold soldiers and police accountable for such killings and other serious human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua.”- end quotes.

According to figures supplied by the US State Dept. the strength of the territorial infantry battalions in West Papua has more than trebled in the past two years. On the same State Dept figures (almost certainly a conservative estimate), overall troop numbers have increased by more than 50 per cent from 7,250 troops to 11,500 troops.

'Indonesia's systematic exploitation of West Papua's abundant natural resources has been a major cause of tension and conflict. Operations have involved the denial of land rights and severe environmental degradation. Some of the worst human rights violations have been committed against indigenous people in the vicinity of major enterprises, such as the Freeport copper and gold mine (part owned by Britain's Rio Tinto), which are given corporate-funded ‘protection’ by the security forces. It is feared that BP’s investment in a huge liquid natural gas project, Tangguh, may attract similar problems.

Chairperson, to conclude;I would like to state that the United Nations must take responsibility for the genocide in West Papua; therefore, I call for attention from all the international community who love humanity and peace in the world to look at West Papuans problems and take steps to help my people in West Papua.

I call for the UN to intervene in West Papua by sending a peacekeeping force and humanitarian workers to investigate what is really happening in West Papua. This must be followed by the withdrawal of Indonesian military (both organic and non organic) without any conditions.

I would ask this Working Group to request the government's of the UK, EU countries and USA to revise their current arms trade arrangements with Indonesia, in light of the massive, ongoing and brutal slaying of the indigenous peoples of West Papua.

I urge the United Nations to revisit this and provide an environment where the native West Papuans have a real opportunity for the self-determination, as described in THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution of 10 December 1948 -Paragraph C. THE RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION - No. 8. Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial and Peoples, General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.

I remind you that we the tribal peoples of West Papua have a right of self-determination under international law.

Thank you Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen – Wa Wa Awa.
Benny WendaInternational Lobbyist for a Free West Papua

Chair of DeMMaK (The Koteka Tribal Assembly)
PO Box 656, Oxford OX3 3AP England UK
Mobile: +44 (0) 7791629782

Presented by fPcN interCultural on behalf of Benny Wenda, DeMMak and the 252 tribes of West Papua

Watch the website:, from 2nd August for photos as we receive them, shortly after to be followed up with short films.

For immediate release: Tuesday 1st August, 2006.

© Scoop Media

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