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West Papua ‘republic’ leader sends open letter to MSG from Abepura prison

Forkorus Yoboisembut at court

West Papuan leader Yoboisembut Forkorus at the opening of the “treason” trial in Jayapura last year. Photo: SE Asia Times

Pacific Scoop:
Report – From  ETAN

Imprisoned West Papuan leader Forkorus Yaboisembut has written an open letter to the Melanesian Spearhead Group clarifying his movement’s recent appeal for observer status with the Pacific political bloc.

Yaboisembut, President of the self-styled Federal Republic State of West Papua (FRSWP) is currently serving a jail sentence along with other Papuan leaders in Abepura state prison for protesting against Indonesian rule.

A recent appeal to the MSG has caused confusion in that the group had already received a similar plea from a Vanuatu-based West Papuan political group. Yaboisembut now says the FRSWP supports Dr
John Otto Onawame’s group.

The letter, received via the US-based solidarity group ETAN, says:

“Federal Republic State of West Papua (FRSWP)”

*Monday, 17 June 2013, 2:07 pm

To : Hon. Mr. Peter Forau

Director-General, Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat

From : Forkorus Yaboisembut, President, Federal Republic State of West Papua (FRSWP).

Dear Mr Forau,

From within an Indonesian prison, I Forkorus Yaboisembut, as the President of the Federal Republic State of West Papua wish to at the outset offer my most sincere apologies for the need to withdraw a
certain application letter previously forwarded to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) by the ministerial staff of the Federal Republic State of West Papua (FRSWP) on 26 May 2013. In relation to this matter I wish to provide clarification.

Firstly, although that letter was not directly from myself as the President of the Federal Republic State of West Papua, it nevertheless contained certain truths regarding the Federal Republic State of West Papua as established at the III National Papuan Congress on 17-19 October 2011.

Secondly, as an application for West Papua to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has already been submitted by Dr John Otto Onawame and colleagues in Vanuatu, so accordingly the application letter forwarded by FRSWP on 26 May 2013 in that regard is now we advise to be withdrawn as an application. Rather we request the letter be seen only as a letter of support from West Papua for the application for MSG membership and as a means of introducing the Federal Republic State of West Papua to MSG for future purposes.

Thirdly, we wish to convey our hope that the application for West Papua to become a full member of MSG as submitted by Dr John Ottow Onawame and associates in Vanuatu might be well received and membership granted.

We have struggled alone for around 50 years to liberate West Papua from the seemingly endless annexation by the colonizing Republic of Indonesia, the consequences of which have until now and will continue into the future, to violate human rights in the land of Papua Barat. This humanitarian evil has created marginalisation, has made our people a minority in our own land and has led to a slow-moving but certain genocide against the indigenous peoples of Papua from the Melanesian race in the country of West Papua.

Fourthly, we wish to convey to the member states of the MSG Forum that the Federal Republic State of West Papua previously sent a Pre-Negotiation Team twice to Jakarta firstly on 14 -15 August 2012 and secondly on 13 – 16 October 2012. That was intended to offer peaceful democratic negotiations within the framework of requesting recognition of the Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Nation of West Papua in the State of West Papua – as occurred on 19 October 2011 – so that the process of restoring the powers of administration and governance from the State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic State of West Papua could go ahead peacefully and democratically. However the Indonesian Government responded to our good intentions by further increasing the level of military operations throughout the land of West Papua. With the result that human rights violations of various types and forms have occurred constantly by the Indonesian military and police and there has been given no space for democracy for the stated reasons of maintaining law and order and security.

In 2013 the Indonesian Government is yet again lying to the people of Papua and forcing onto the West Papuan community a Special Autonomy Plus status together with other regulations regarding Papuan governance. These are but as a shield to ward off pressure from the international community and amount to but an insult against the Melanesian race of the nation of West Papua.

Fifthly, we absolutely reject the abovestated Special Autonomy Plus status that is being forced on West Papua together with other regulations regarding Papuan governance for welfare development.

This amounts to no more than a continuation of the act of annexing the community and land and waters of West Papua. An action which in its implementation has created and will continue to create a humanitarian tragedy that shows itself in marginalisation, making our people a minority and amounting to a slow-moving genocide against the indigenous community of West Papua.

Most seriously needed at this time is for the Melanesian nation of Papua to rescue itself from the disastrous results of this creeping genocide and the marginalisation and effects of becoming a minority. If the indigenous community of West Papua becomes a minority to the point that we are made extinct by the actions of the Government of Indonesia, then the development efforts are for whom? Papua needs to save itself before that occurs in the Federal Republic State of West Papua . We will only then have well-being of mind and spirit and be able to develop our nation safely in peace and calm through working together with all nations of the world for mutual benefit.

To that end we ask the President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudoyono this year of 2013 to make the people of Papua glad and acknowledge the Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Nation of West Papua in the State of West Papua as occurred on 19 October 2011. As a positive legal basis first and foremost the Federal Republic State of West Papua was formed, from which the organising of the process to restore the powers of governance and administration from the unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic State of West Papua can occur working together with the United Nations. It is hoped this process will commence in September 2013.

Sixthly, in the name of the entire community of West Papua once again I wish to convey our hopes that the application to MSG submitted by Dr John Otto Onawame and colleagues in Vanuatu might be well received such that West Papua might be made a new member of MSG at the Leaders Summit this month of June 2013. We use a formula for the nation of Papua that says: 1 (One) Nation of Papua plus 1 (One) State of West Papua = One Nation State of West Papua. Not two nations, not two states but rather according to the slogan “one people, one soul”, in solidarity with the rest of Melanesia.

Finally in the name of the entire community of West Papua I wish to express our appreciation to the leaders in the region of Melanesia for their support towards the community of West Papua until this time and for the anticipated acceptance of West Papua as a full member into the MSG. We hope that God our Father in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord may help us all! Amen!

Abepura State Prison, 11 June 2013
Yours sincerely
Forkorus Yaboisembut, S. Pd
(President)

Imprisoned West Papuan ‘president’ pleads for Pacific recognition