Ramses Ohee: Pepera (The Act of Free Choice) is Indisputable

Source : Bintang Papua, Monday, 01 August 2011 (via Indonesian Embassy Website)

JAYAPURA – The People’s Act of Free Choice (Pepera) of Papua, which is recently being discussed due to the plan of a seminar conducted by International Lawyer for West Papua (ILWP) in London, UK, has compelled one of Pepera’s prominent figure, Ramses Ohe, to issue a statement on the history of Papua.  During a press conference at his house in Waena on Sunday, 31 July, he insisted that the 1969 Pepera is indisputable.

“We have our independence in 1945. What we all need right now is to unite all our strength to develop our Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” he said during the press conference.

Foundations laid down by our forefathers must not be dismantled. “Let us all discuss about the things yet to be achieved by our predecessors like education, health, economy and other things that we need. These should be our focus. We should get rid of all other negative thoughts, such as those that wants to destroy our homes,” he continued.
Ramses, one of Pepera’s important figures, read a political statement back then in front of (Fernando) Ortisan, which reaffirmed that Pepera is legal and indisputable.
“Within three months, United Nations gave its decision and the Dutch left Papua. So it is indisputable. United Nations will not re-open such case again,” he insisted.

On another venue, Selpius Bobii, National Executive Chairman of the United Front of West Papuan People, suggested that the ILWP seminar in London is merely a scientific forum.
“There are parties that consider it as a pre-referendum stage, or even as something final. Those misunderstandings require clarification,” he said during press conference at Asrama Tunas Harapan, Padang Bulan.

Furthermore, if the ILWP forum resulted in a recommendation to review the 1969 Pepera, such recommendation cannot be implemented. “You need to take this issue to the Security Council of the United Nations. And it should be brought forward by a country member of United Nations. ILWP has no binding authority,” he added.
According to Selphius Bobii, even the UN Security Council cannot reach a final decision. “Whatever conclusion reached there will need to be recommended to the United Nations to be included in the discussion agenda. And to be included, requires a complicated process,” he said.

Reaching a decision is also difficult. “There will be many discussions. If they reach no decision then there will be voting,” he added.

He wishes no exaggerated reactions from Papuans which can trigger tensions such as the idea of a counter-demonstration on 2 August and other similar issues which can destroy the Papuans’ psychological condition. He hopes that the Police and the National Defense Force will not need to apply excessive pressure in reaction to the ILWP 2 August agenda in London. “Papuans who wish to demonstrate or do other peaceful activities in response to ILWP in London should do so with peace and dignity to avoid provocative actions,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Mako Tabuni as First Head of National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) has guaranteed that tomorrow’s demonstration will be peaceful just like the previous ones. It will start at mass-gathering points such as Perumnas III then to Expo, Lingkaran Abe and other places.

KNPB even limits media coverage by distributing ID Cards to journalists. “We shall not be responsible for journalists who do not carry any ID Cards from us,” he said after distributing ID Cards to journalists on Sunday.(aj/cr-32/don/l03)

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