Imparsial speaks about overseas campaigning for Papua

Media Indonesia, 11 January 2012

The government should pay attention to the campaigning being currently undertaken by Papua Merdeka groups abroad. These campaigns can be far more effective than the various armed operations currently being waged by the OPM – Organisasi Papua Merdeka. 

This opinion was expressed by Poengky Indarti, executive director of Imparsial, speaking to journalists in Jakarta.

‘The campaigns are still rather sporadic but other countries are beginning to pay attention to what is happening in Papua after the circulation of videos showing the use of police violence, recently released circulated on YouTube.’

She said that the people who are campaigning abroad include former OPM members who fled abroad, Papuan students and other Papuans who are working abroad.

‘They are campaigning in a number of international forums, organising protests in the streets and at various meeting places, not only in Australia which is very close to Papua but also in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe.’

She said that at present, this campaigning is still on a small scale, but if the government ignores this and fails to pay attention to the welfare and the living conditions of the Papuan people, these campaigns will win the sympathy of international agencies. ‘Once this starts happening in other countries, the problem could get serious,’ she said.

Poengky also said that the Indonesian police need to think about how they should deal with separatist groups in Papua which have been causing problems. ‘They are not as strong as the Acehnese independence movement, GAM became. They also consist of many different groups, some of which are trying to raise money and pursuing difference ideologies; in some places, there is rivalry between them. ‘Strange to say, the police and the army have not been able to deal with these groups,’ she said.

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