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Situation in West Papua
9 August 2000
forwarded by ETAN
1.   I received an urgent phone call at 3am this morning, in Biak language, not Indonesia
language, from the chairman of Elsaday Papua Indonesia church (Christian) that 500
KOSTRAD (Land Command Strategic Troops) were yesterday deployed to each of the thirteen regencies (ie., 6,500 troops). People are now too afraid to go to their gardens.
The troops were deployed six hours after MPR RI (Provisional Peoples Consultative
of Indonesia Republic) decision on 8 August to reject West Papuan Congress demands
for independence, and instead to grant autonomy to Aceh and West Papua.
2.   On Tuesday 8 August 2000, it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper,
that Indonesian government representatives have been asked why Indonesian passports
were found in the Philippine Muslim hostage camp.
I interpret these two events as follows: President Wahid said before West Papua National
Congress (in Jayapura in 29 May to 4 June 2000) that dialogue for independence is
OK. But if guns are involved, than the Indonesian government will not compromise
and must respond face to face with violence. The Indonesian military government is bringing
these guns from overseas to provoke West Papuans, especially the guerrillas, into
3.   President Wahid needs to answer for these new actions, but, more importantly,
representatives of the Indonesian government, especially those who are about to take
control of Indonesia's 'internal' affairs.
Jacob Rumbiak, 9 August 2000
forwarded by East Timor Action Network/US.
Index page on West Papua