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West Papua National Coalition for Liberation call for peace talks

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                                                                                        19th November 2007

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) has called on the President of Indonesia, Dr. Haji Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to enter into peace talks aimed at resolving the long standing problems of human rights abuses and related problems in West Papua.

On 12th October 2007, Secretary General of the WPNCL, Dr. Otto Ondawame, wrote directly to President Yudhoyono, as well as presented a letter of request for dialogue to the Indonesian delegates to Pacific Islands Forum Dialogue Partner Meeting on 18th October this year in Tonga.

The WPNCL was established at a meeting of leaders of West Papuan political and social groups in September 2007. It is the sole and legitimate representatives of the people of West Papua and gives a single voice to the shared aspirations of the people of West Papua.

Since 1998, Indonesia has undergone a process of transition from authoritarianism and militarism to democracy and, for the most part, peace. However, West Papua has been largely excluded from that process. The Secretary-General of the WPNCL, Dr. Otto Ondawame said the WPNCL now seeks to bring democracy, justice, peace and freedom to the people of West Papua.

‘As a part of Indonesia,’ Dr. Ondawame said, ‘our beloved land of West Papua has had neither peace nor freedom. The attempt by the Government of Indonesia to resolve this problem by establishing Special Autonomy for West Papua has failed, being too little, inadequately applied, and effectively dismantled. For these obvious reasons, the Special autonomy has been rejected by the people of West Papua and demanded for new just and democratic referendum’.

‘There continues to be human rights abuses by the TNI and police, including the murder, torture and disappearance of West Papuan political activists, and the regular intimidation of ordinary West Papuan people. There are also the continuing problems of very low levels of development, the illegal expropriation of many West Papuan people from their hereditary lands, the lack of adequate compensation, and the destruction of the West Papuan natural environment,’ Dr.Ondawame said.

‘When the people of West Papua have attempted to express concern over these legitimate issues, they have been beaten, arrested and tortured, and often murdered and disappeared, Dr. Ondawame said. ‘It is time for the people of West Papua and Indonesia to work out a better way to address these problems’

To this end, the WPNCL has formally invited President Yudhoyono, or a delegation on his behalf, to enter into meaningful dialogue to seek a resolution to these and related issues.

For further information, contact:                                                                                                                     

Dr. Otto Ondawame, Tel: +678 23614, +678 75832 (Mb).                                                                               
Paula Makabory, +61(0)402547517;   Fax: +61(0)395435843                                                                                     Octovianus Mote +1 203 5203055



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