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The Murder of General Kelly Kwalik of the OPM

The Murder of Suprime Commander of TPN of the OPM the late General Kelly Kwalik

Slained Leader Will Spur Resistance To Indonesian Occupation And Heighten Call For Freeport Mine Closure WPNCL Claimed

The much wanted Suprime commader of the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPN) of the OPM, General Kelly Kwalik, was ambushed and killed on 16 December 2009 by the Indonesian Police forces who serves the Freeport interest in the mining area. It was 3.00 am in the morning when the troops stormed his hideout. The troops might have been tipped by some one who had detailed knowledge of Kwalik’s movements and resting time. How he died was a mystery because no witnesses were allowed to survive the ordeal. There is strong indication that he might have died from sadist torture. Eight of Kelly’s men were also slain in the attack. We lost a great Papuan leader.

Kelly Kwalik was well known for two inherent issues. As land owner he opposed the Freeport Mine because of the human rights abuses it had caused his people and the irreparable environmental destruction it had created to the land. Also as a Commander in the Military Arm of the Independence Movement, the OPM he advocates for Independence. He joined the OPM in 1974 after finishing teacher college in Waena, Jayapura . He was one of the pioneers who joined a long march from North to south and Western West Papua in 1977 opening new frontiers that is known as Commander of Papuan Independent Expeditio(ESKOPME). He is a principle leader with high dignity and well respect Papuan leader. He had been in the jungle for 37 years.

The late Commander Kelly Kwalik as member of West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation,had actively promoted peaceful dialogue as a viable alternative to conflict resolution. As member of The officials from the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Dr. John Ondawame, Vice Chairman and Rex Rumakiek, Secretary General condemned the killing as a deliberate action to undermine any peaceful solution to the West Papuan issue.

Dr. John Ondawame, Vice Chairman of WPNCL who is also land owner of Freeport Mining concession area confirmed the killing after cross checking with the people on the ground. He fears the worst because his people held high regard for Kelly Kwalik. The people are still in shock. There could be back lash as well from the Papuan people in general because of Kwalik’s uncompromised position on the call for Independence. This killing will hardened the call for Independence and for the closure of the Mine. This is a very unfortunate situation. Whether the action was authorized by SBY government or not it is a very bad and unwise policy. Dr. Ondawame said, there would be a grace period to show respect to Kelly but what might happen after the burial is any body guess. Emotions would be high with traditional pledges that “one Kelly has fallen but a thousand more Kellies will take his place.” We call on our members not to respond to any provocation for violence by the Militias. We will stick to our road map for peaceful solution.

The Secretary General, Mr. Rex Rumakiek warned that the hope by the Civil Society to make Papua a land of peace could be in jeopardy. When Civil Society and Religious Institutions made the declaration in 2001, the Security Forces refused to be part of it. The Military Arm of the Independence Movement, the TPN on the other hand had endorsed the declaration and abides by it. It was an uneasy situation ever since the declaration with continued Military build up and increased Militia activity. These all went hand in hand with the carving up of West Papua into more Provinces that eventually will have their own Military Divisions Mr. Rumakiek said. He has called on stakeholders to remain calm and focus on the road map to resolving the issue through peaceful means.

Dr. John Ondawame and Mr. Rex Rumakiek called on the Australian government and members of the Pacific Islands Forum to insist on Indonesia opening up West Papua for International access. Especially, the Red Cross must be allowed to resume its work in the Territory and also allow foreign journalists to have access in the country, particularly during the burial of the late Papuan Leader, Kelly Kwalik. International access is crucial for transparency and prevention of further violence. Furthermore, the two officials from WPNCL renewed their call for peaceful dialogue to resolve the decades old issue of West Papua. If Jakarta undermine these calls, we call all West Papuan Papuans to unify and stand together in demanding for Independence of West Papua. We also call to take immediate action to close down Freeport mining activities in the area because it becomes clear that Freeport Security Forces were directly involved in the killing of the Papuan leader, the late Kelly Kwalik.

ENDS

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