UNITED LIBERATION MOVEMENT FOR WEST PAPUA PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT International Secretariat, Winston Churchill Street, 1571 Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu.
ULMWP Chairman’s response to reports President Widodo willing to hold meeting October 7, 2019 in Statement
I. Chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), am aware of media reports that Indonesian President Joko Widodo is willing to hold a meeting with the ULMWP. We have not, however, received an official letter from the President requesting a meeting. I hope that he is willing to sit down with me to discuss the future of West Papua.
The people of West Papua have been betrayed by Indonesia’s false promises for decades. Indonesia occupies our land, kills hundreds of thousands of West Papuans, and then claims they want to ‘talk’. We will not be fooled by kind gestures and hand shakes whilst our people are being killed in Nduga, in Wamena, in Jayapura.
We already sit around the table with Indonesia in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a regional forum. We are already raising the issues of West Papua in the MSG and other international fora, but Indonesia has demonstrated no willingness to truly solve the root causes of the conflict. Indonesia has not shown a genuine willingness to engage – their only response has been to kill our people, undermine Pacific Islands’ action, and spread propaganda about the movement.
Therefore, in order for a sincere meeting to take place, President Widodo must demonstrate that he is serious about addressing the root causes of the problems in West Papua. The ULMWP will only consider meeting the President once the following has taken place:
1.The people of West Papua’s long-standing demand for a self-determination referendum on independence is included in the agenda of the meeting;
2.The meeting is conducted through third-party mediation (for example, hosted by the United Nations or an agreed third-party state);
3.The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is allowed to visit West Papua in accordance with the call made by 18 Pacific states at the 50th Pacific Islands Forum in August 2019;
4.All additional 16,000 Indonesian military and police personnel deployed since August 2019 are immediately withdrawn;
5.All political prisoners are released, including Buchtar Tabuni, Bazoka Logo, Steven Itlay, Surya Anta, Agus Kossay, and all students who have been arrested during the recent uprising;
6.All restrictions on entry to West Papua for international media and NGOs are lifted.
Indonesia has always ignored the will of the West Papuan people. In 1962, the Netherlands, United States and UN handed us to Indonesia without consulting a single West Papuan. In 1969, we were promised a free and fair referendum, and this was snatched from us by the Indonesian State. Our cries for freedom, justice and a referendum to decide our own destiny have been ignored by Indonesia ever since.
In order for us to believe that this has changed, Indonesia must show good faith and agree to our pre-conditions. Our will to achieve a democratic referendum, to uphold our right to self-determination, has never been stronger.
Benny Wenda Chairman ULMWP