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Papua demands independence during December 1 commemoration

Tempo - December 2, 2017

Hans Arnold Kapisa, Jakarta The Domberai chapter of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP) in Manokwari held the celebration of the Papua nation's anniversary on Friday, December 1, 2017. The event was attended by youths, college students, and elderly people.

John Warijo, chairman of the Doberai chapter of the Papuan Customary Council, said the native Papuan people remain solid to this date. "After all we've been through, we're still here to safeguard our country as the native people," John said in Manokwari yesterday.

According to John, the 56th anniversary of Papua was celebrated as a statement of the native Papuans that they could not be separated from their history. He also called on the government to listen to the Papuan people's aspiration, which is an independence.

"The Indonesian government will surely reject our aspiration to be independent. But we won't quit. We will continue to voice the aspiration," he added.

John claimed that the Native Papuans have been marginalized. He even expressed his concerns that the native Melanesians in Papua would extinct.

"We may extinct in a half century. This is why we demand independence. The list of human rights violations is getting longer, and people who demand justice are considered as separatists," he said.

Wilson Wader, the coordinator of the event, claimed that the demand for a full independence is not driven by political interests. "To us, this is our needs since the number of native Papuans is getting smaller," he said.

He alleged that the road constructions and other infrastructure developments in Papua were initiated to facilitate transmigrations to Papua.

Wilson added that the Papuan awakening moment on December 1, 1961, was a statement of their wishes to be an independent state.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/12/02/055913741/Papua-Demands-Independence-During-December-1-Commemoration.

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