"The Indonesian President, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, is desperate to keep hidden Indonesia’s dark, dirty secret – its brutal 50-year war in its easternmost provinces. Here are five things you should know about Indonesian rule in West Papua:
It is one of the world’s longest-running military occupations. Indonesia seized West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea, in 1963, shortly after the Dutch colonists pulled out. Political parties were immediately banned, nascent Papuan nationalism crushed, and tens of thousands of troops, police and special forces flooded in. In 1969 a UN-supervised sham referendum was held, and just over a thousand hand-picked representatives were bribed, cajoled and threatened into voting in favour of Indonesian rule.
It’s possible that Indonesian rule constitutes a genocide. Although international media and NGOs have been nearly uniformly banned from the territory for decades, most observers estimate that over 100,000 native Papuans have been killed since the 1960s – at least 10 percent of the population.
During a military campaign in the early 1980s, the Indonesian army ran under the slogan, “Let the rats run into the jungle so that the chickens can breed in the coop”. In practice, this meant wiping out Papuan villages and bringing in ethnic Indonesians to work on economic projects like Freeport’s giant Grasberg gold and copper mine, which has been accused of “ecocide” and dumps over 200,000 tonnes of tailings in the local river system every day.
West Papuans overwhelmingly want independence. Even the pro-Indonesian US ambassador admitted in the late 1960s that “possibly 85 to 90 percent” of West Papuans “are in sympathy with the Free Papua cause”..." #humanrights #papuanewguinea #indonesia #indonesian #genocide #government #freedom #Indigenous #unitednations #humanitarian #cairns #townsville #australia #bali #awareness #mining #uk #queensland #corruption #journalism #journalist #culture #firstnations #environment #portland #gold