What’s going on in West Papua?

Image via theguardian.com

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably seen an article or two about what’s going on in West Papua, Indonesia, but most articles don’t give you the full idea, and not many people know the intense situation which is going on. Anyway, let me give you some background here from indonesiamatters.com if you don’t already know.

So, in the 1800s, there was this island called “New Guinea.” The British took the East half, and the Dutch took the Western half, and then it became a part of the Dutch East Indies. Then, in the ’30s, the former colonies of the Dutch East Indies all became independent except for Western New Guinea. But, in 1952, the Dutch prepared the people, for independence, for this remaining colony, and by the ’60s, the parliament of that part of New Guinea (now called West Papua) was formed, and the country created a national anthem, flag, and national seal.

 

Flag of West Papua via freewestpapua.org

Everything seemed to be going well until in 1962 when the Indonesian government started invading West Papua, and tried to push out the Dutch who were staying in the country, taking care of it before its total independence. The Dutch forces successfully stopped the invasion, but then Indonesia went to the Soviet Union for support, and because of Cold War anxiety, the US government tried to help out the Dutch in West Papua.

In August, later that year, an agreement was reached, in New York, between the Netherlands and Indonesia, where the UN gains custody of West Papua until they hold a vote. But, when the vote actually happened in 1969, it was said to be heavily rigged by the Indonesian government, thus making West Papua a province of Indonesia (two provinces actually).

Via worldpoliticsreview.com

Now, according to a paper put out by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the people, culture, language, and just overall heritage of West Papua is vastly different from the rest of Indonesia, as they are a Melanesian people, more similar to the many different groups within the bordering country of Papua New Guinea, which is VASTLY different culturally and linguistically from the South East Asian culture of Indonesia. The government is said to be trying to force Indonesian culture on the people of West Papua.

This, to some, would be a reason to secede already, but why should we care? The main reason is the deep seeded oppression which is going on within the West Papua region, as  it is one of the longest running modern day illegal annexations/occupations.

There are intense reports of brutal torture as described by a study in 2015: torture seems to be the unofficial form of governance. It is said that the Indonesian regime is not reluctant to use killing, surveillance, and arbitrary arrest to control the illegally occupied West Papua.

An example of this is when graphic footage was leaked to YouTube in October 2010. There are two separate occurring events which were captured in this footage. The beginning shows eight highlanders forcibly stripped naked in front of two Indonesian army soldiers. And while interrogating these terrified Papuans, and calling them “monyet,” “anjing,” or “bajingan” (monkey, dog, bastard), the soldiers kicked their heads with their edged boots, and hit their heads using their helmets.

The soldiers demanded that they would confess to being members of the OPM, which is an independence movement with the overall goal of freeing West Papua from Indonesian control. The latter half of the footage displays two people, with one having a knife to their throat, and another being burnt on his bare skin by Indonesian army men, as so the men would confess the location of OPM weaponry near their town. It was very public, and many people were forced to bear witness.

This is said to be a very frequent occurrence in West Papua, according to that study. Along with that, terrible Indonesian policies which cause environmental damage such deforestation, severely undermines the foundation for West Papuan society and culture.

Via freewestpapua.org

So, it would be evident to say that independence would be a fair option for these oppressed people of West Papua, and that’s what they are trying to achieve now more than ever. According to theguardian.com other Pacific Islander countries, such as Vanuatu, have shown support for the struggle against the oppression. And according to UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) almost 2 million residents of West Papua have signed a petition (which could have had more signatures if it wasn’t heavily kept away by the Indonesian government), practically begging the UN for equal, and fair independence, and self determination for the West Papuan peoples.

Sadly, according to theguardian.com, the UN denied the petition after all that, and said that it damaged the territorial integrity of Indonesia. I believe this is a violation of equal rights, freedom, and the democracy on which the very principals the UN were supposedly founded on. Though maybe, in the future, brave governments such as Vanuatu may eventually speak out loud enough, and take action. I believe that it is the UN’s duty, as a global peacekeeper, to find, and create justice for the West Papuan peoples, as they deeply deserve it.

Sports schedule for: Apr 15-19

MONDAY DATE:   4/15/19
TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN
2:00 pm   Golf: Girls Varsity Match Friendship Tournament @ Cedarholm  
3:15 pm 2:25 pm Badminton: Girls JV/Varsity Match Vs. Como Park @ Como Park 4:45 pm
3:45 pm 2:45 pm Baseball: C Squad Game Vs. Central @ Jimmy Lee Rec 6:00 pm
4:00 pm   Softball: JV/Varsity Game Vs. Central @ Highland Park  
4:00 pm   Tennis: Boys Varsity Match Vs. Johnson @ Highland Park  
4:00 pm 3:30 pm Tennis: Boys JV Match Vs. Johnson @ Phalen Tennis Courts 5:45 pm
4:30 pm 2:45 pm Baseball: Varsity Game Vs. Central @ Toni Stone Stadium 6:00 pm
4:30 pm   Baseball: JV Game Vs. Central @ Highland Park  
TUESDAY DATE:   4/16/19
TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN
3:45 pm 2:45 pm Track and Field: Girls/Boys Varity Meet Vs. Park @ Park-Cottage Grove 7:00 pm
WEDNESDAY DATE:   4/17/19

 

TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN
1:00 pm   Golf: Boys Varsity Match 9 hole tournament @ Phalen Golf Course  
2:00 pm   Golf: Girls Varsity Match 9 hole tournament @ Cedarholm  
3:15 pm   Badminton: JV/Varsity Match Vs. Harding @ Highland Park  
3:15 pm   Tennis: Boys Varsity Match Vs. Humboldt @ Highland Park  
3:15 pm 2:45 pm Tennis: Boys JV Match Vs. Humboldt @ Humboldt 5:00 pm
4:00 pm 2:30 pm Softball: Varsity Game Vs. Washington Tech @ Washington 5:30 pm
4:00 pm   Softball: JV vs. C-Squad Game Vs Washington Tech @ Washington  
3:15 pm   Tennis: Boys Varsity Match Vs. Humboldt @ Highland Park  
4:30 pm   Baseball: C/Varsity Game Vs. Central @ Highland Park  
4:30 pm 3:15 pm Baseball: JV Game Vs. Central @ Toni Stone Stadium 6:00 pm
THURSDAY DATE:   4/18/19
TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN
2:30 pm 1:30 pm Track and Field: Girls/Boys Varsity Relay Vs. SPPS @ Harding TBD
3:15 pm   Badminton: JV/V Match Vs. Washington Tech @ Highland Park  
4:30 pm 3:00 pm Baseball: Varsity Game Vs. Humboldt @ Humboldt  
FRIDAY DATE:    4/19/19
TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN
4:15 pm 2:30 pm Lacrosse: Girls Varsity Game Vs. Minneapolis @ Parade Stadium 6:00 pm
4:30 pm 2:30 pm Softball: JV/Varsity Game Vs. Minneapolis South @ Bossen Field 6:00 pm
Saturday DATE:          
TIME BUS DEPART EVENT DETAILS BUS RETURN