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Conspiracy in act of 'free choice'
Dateline: exposes conspiracy in act of 'free choice'
26 August 1999
The Dateline program shown on SBS television (25/8/99), made serious allegations against the governments of Australia, The Netherlands, the United States and United Nations for their part in denying the legitimate right of choice to the peoples in West Papua during the confrontation between Indonesia and the Dutch in the 1960s. The program showed how these governments and the UN manipulated public opinion and used all possible measures to destroy the future of the people of West Papua. The program also showed how The Hague and Canberra, who were seen to be leaders in supporting the decolonisation process elsewhere in the world, had in this case worked against the people of West Papua by supporting the integration of West Papua into Indonesia
"I deeply regret that these governments and the UN continue to deny our right to self-determination. They have intentionally violated the rights of our people for the sake of protecting their own strategic, political and economic interests. This is a serious crime against humanity" said Otto Ondawame, International Spokesperson of the OPM in Canberra.
"My people have been saying that these governments have been responsible for selling the future of our people and country to Indonesia. These international governments still refuse to accept the fact that the so called 'act of free choice' was in fact an act of no choice. As a result of this sham, considerable numbers of civilians were killed, executed, raped and disappeared. Our natural resources have been exploited and our people have become a target of genocide. Finally the release of these documents also revealed that although they were aware of the injustices that were going on, the various governments involved, as well as the UN, failed in their duty to implement the universal recognised right of a vote for each man and women. The Act of Free Choice in 1969 in no way conformed to the universal declaration and, further, in the time leading up to the act, the population was intimiated, threatened and jailed. Similar tactics are being used in East Timor today.
"We do not want a new Kosovo happening on our doorstep. These governments and the UN must therefore, take the moral responsibility to end the injustices in West Papua. I urge the international community, particularly those governments involved, to investigate this issue immediately, stop all military aid and cooperation to Indonesia, and to reopen the case under UN auspices in a fair and democratic manner", said Ondawame.
In the context of the Asia and Pacific politics, the government of Australia as a close neighbour should play its important role to end political conflicts in West Papua and East Timor. Canberra must be well aware that the issues of West Papua and East Timor will not go away for many decades to come. This may have serious sides effects on the regional policies in the future.
"I urge Canberra to play its brotherhood role to end these conflicts putting more diplomatic pressures on Jakarta so that the following calls could take place without delay: demilitarisation, stopping human rights abuses and transmigration, serious engagement in national dialogue as submitted by FORERI, and most importantly, taking a leading role to reopen a healthy debate on the issue of West Papua and bring the issue to the South Pacific Forum for the next meeting." said Ondawame.