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West Papua: report exposes "Act of Free Choice"

Press release
Drooglever report exposes the truth on "Act of Free Choice"

source: By N.J. Pietersz FKMCPR, Amsterdam, updated: 2005-11-15 22:45:49

P.J. Drooglever "An Act of Free Choice" The Papuans of West New Guinea and the borders of self-determination

"Act of Free Choice" is a report written by dr. P.J. Drooglever about the former Dutch territory West New Guinea currently known as (West) Papua, the most eastern province of Indonesia .

When Indonesia gained its independence from the Netherlands in 1949, the Dutch government retained control over the territory of West New Guinea.

The Dutch who were continuously under international pressure finally signed the August 1962 New York agreement with Indonesia. The meetings prior to the signing of the agreement were initiated and sponsored by the US, who were at that time afraid of the rising communism in Indonesia. In order to stop de rising of communism the US used West New Guinea to get in favour of Indonesia.

After a transitional period of a few months –under observation of the UN- the agreement brought West New Guinea under Indonesian control.

Prof. P.J. Drooglever handing the book to former Minister of foreign affairs Mr. J. van Aartsen.

The agreement obligated Jakarta to conduct an election on self-determination with UN assistance no later than 1969. However, after Indonesia became in control, Indonesia started to repress groups demanding independence for the territory.

The Drooglever report, which is written in commission of the Dutch foreign affairs Minister, reveals that the so-called "Act of free choice" was in fact not an act of free choice at all. Article 18 of the New York Agreement encloses that all adult Papuans had the right to participate in an act of self-determination which had to be carried out in accordance with international practice. Instead, Indonesian authorities selected 1022 West Papuans to vote in public and unanimously under severe pressure by the Indonesian Army in favor of integration with Indonesia . Even though there is significant evidence that Indonesia failed to meet its international obligations, the United Nations "took note" of the "Act of Free Choice" and its results in November 1969.

Mr. W. Mandowen Closed the meeting with a short speech.
These historical facts clearly show that the Dutch, and the UN have a moral obligation to the Papuans who are still living under Neo-Colonial rule.

Since the “Act of No choice” in 1969 thousands of Papuans have been slaughtered brutally and even more Papuans have been abused and tortured by Indonesia. Until this day these crimes against Humanity are taking place in Indonesia.



© Scoop Media

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