In 1949 the Dutch ceded sovereignty of the Netherlands East Indies to the
new Indonesian Republic but kept West Papua, not least because they reasoned
that the Papuans were ethnically and culturally completely different to the
Indonesians. Over the next thirteen years preparations for West Papuan
independence progressed in the face of increasingly strong opposition from
Jakarta which claimed the territory for itself.
"I have yet to meet any thinking, sober, generally responsible Papuan who sees any good in the coming link with Indonesia. Unwelcome as the anxiety and resistance of thinking Papuans maybe it is of course hardly surprising if one is not under pressure to close one's eyes to what is in fact happening to this people at the hands of the three parties to the Agreement." 
UNTEA had withdrawn, Article 16 specified that some UN experts were to
remain to advise and assist the Indonesians in preparations for Papuan
self-determination that was to take place before the end of 1969. But these
experts were never deployed because Indonesia objected.
 Report by G. Rawlings (Divisional
Commissioner, Biak) to Somerville, UNTEA Internal Affairs Director, 12
December 1962, UN Archives, DAG 13/126.96.36.199:3
She publicly encouraged the government "to move forward with setting up ad hoc human rights courts, as envisaged under law No. 26/2000, to investigate the enforced disappearances of student activists in the late 1990s and serious violations in Aceh and Papua." She said that she had learned more about the "extent and egregious nature of past violations of human rights, from the killings of communists in 1965 and of students in the late 1990s, to later crimes in the Aceh region and what is now Timor-Leste." She called for "credible prosecutions of perpetrators."
In meetings with senior Indonesian officials
she also raised concerns about increased violence in Papua this year.
Pillay said that she "recommended that the Government take further steps to
ensure criminal accountability. I was also concerned to hear about activists
being imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression."
see also Human Rights Watch: Indonesia:
UN Rights Visit Can Challenge Discrimination, Impunity, Plight of Religious
Minorities and Papua Abuses Are Serious, Ongoing Problems
Security forces arrested several people who sought to peacefully mark the 51st anniversary of West Papua's independence. Initial reports indicate Indonesian security authorities employed tear gas to break up a demonstration in Jayapura (Port Numbay). Rallies were also planned to be held in Sorong, Nabire, Fak Fak, Manokwari, Wamena,, Timika and Serui.
U.S. Ambassador Visits West Papua - Lauds Indonesian Military
U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel
visited West Papua in early November in what State Department officials
described to West Papua Report as one of a series of periodic visits
by the Ambassador to West Papua. Marciel met with members of the Papuan
Provincial Assembly (DPRP), the Papuan Peoples Council (MRP), senior members
of the Provincial Military Command and the Inspector General of the Police
Force. State Department officials told WPAT Marciel also met with civil
(WPAT Comment: It is unclear what reforms Marciel was referring to nor is there any indication that the US Ambassador raised the TNI's ongoing military sweep operations that jeopardize the lives of Papuan civilians.)
In response to the ambassador's question as to why the duties of the military command in West Papua were so much greater there than elsewhere and required such a different approach, the chief of staff said that the military were acting in accordance with their "duties" as 'Noble Protectors of the People' (Ksatria Pelindung Rakyat).
(WPAT Comment: The military, under the Suharto dictatorship and since, has drawn upon its role as so-called "Noble Protectors of the People" as the basis for its intrusion into civilian affairs and to justify its substantial commercial interests. See The Role of ABRI in the Post-Suharto Era [PDF])
In his meeting with DPRP (Papuan Parliament) members, Marciel raised the two-year delay in holding of elections for Governor. DPRP members acknowledged that because of the continued absence of an elected governor, no budget had been produced and there was no one who could take responsibility for finances. This was described by DPRP members as having "serious consequences for the people."
In his meeting with senior police officials, the Ambassador reportedly
urged that the police pursue a lenient approach. The police should not be
seen as solely involved in arresting and detaining people, and the police
should put a priority on activities which bring them close to the
people. The Ambassador spoke positively about US cooperation with the police
in future years.
Sweep Operations Drive More Papuan Civilians into Papuan Forests
A report by Elsham revealed that 38 civilians who fled their village of in Keerom District in July remain in the forest. They fled because of five-month sweep operation conducted by the Indonesian military and police in the area. The displaced are subsisting on sago and worms, and children have been unable to attend school.
Security Forces Target Peaceful Dissent
Indonesian security authorities, especially Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus) and the U.S.-backed police unit Detachment 88 are continuing to persecute leading members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). In October, Indonesian special forces sought in vain to detain prominent women's and environmentalist activist Fanny Kogoya who, earlier this year, was elected to head the Papua desk for the WALHI, Indonesian branch of Friends of the Earth. The security forces also targeted students associated with her work. Kogoya, also a women's rights defender from the grassroots Papuan Women's Network TIKI, has been placed on a Papua wide wanted persons list (Daftar Pencarian Orang or DPO) by the U.S. and Australian-trained and funded Detachment 88 anti-terror investigators.
Calls for Security Force Accountability in West Papua Multiply
A number of prominent human rights organizations and prominent civil society figures have recently called for human rights accountability in West Papua.
The human rights watchdog Institute for Research and Advocacy (Elsam) has
once again urged the government to prosecute unfinished human rights
According to Elsam executive director Indriaswati D. Saptaningrum, most
of the perpetrators involved in human rights violations "still walk free, as
the government has kept silent." (The Elsam comments were made during the
commemoration of International Day to End Impunity. The international
commemoration day is observed by human rights activists to call on
governments to bring justice for those who were killed or kidnapped when
they tried to defend their freedom of expression.)
He also said that the Papuan provincial governors and provincial administrations should participate in this work, by setting up a special team to draw up a comprehensive list of all the violations that have occurred. "This is a matter," he said, "that needs the full attention of the government and should not be dealt with in a half-hearted way."
Separately, Suciwati, the widow of the murdered human rights champion Munir Said Thalib, visited the Jayapura grave of Papuan political leader Theys Eluay on the anniversary of his November 10, 1991 murder by Kopassus. Suciwati used the occasion to speak out against the many inadequately resolved murder cases in West Papua. "Our society is too forgiving, too easy to forget. We must change this. They can kill Munir, Theys for speaking out the truth but they can't kill the truth itself," Suciwati said.
Boy, Eluay's son, said Papua desperately needs support from activists in Jakarta and elsewhere. Security officials in Papua always view human rights protests as separatist, he said. Law enforcers "always have a stigma and when we do any activity related to human rights they come and attach that stigma.... Support from friends outside of Papua is needed for the state to put that stigma away. He added that "If a big person like Theys can be murdered what would happen to the rest of us? We don't want our children to be future victims of such atrocity," he said. "It is time for the victims' families to do a more organized act for justice and human rights in Papua."
(WPAT Comment: The Indonesian government's failure, over many decades,
to address security force impunity for human rights violations throughout
the archipelago, but especially in West Papua, exacerbates the climate of
fear and intimidation that engulfs target populations such as the Papuans.)
Article Reveals Absence of Government Services in Much of West Papua
Inside Indonesia, November 25, published a highly revealing account of the reality of life in West Papua, particularly in rural areas where the majority of Papuans live. The author, Bobby Anderson, writes in "Living without A State," that West Papua ranks last out of all 33 Indonesian provinces according to Human Development Indicator measurements. He observes that in most places outside of the towns, Papuans do not reject the Indonesian state. Rather, the state simply plays little or no role in their lives, for better or for worse. Across large parts of the highlands, there is little evidence of the state other than empty schools, health clinics, and hospitals. Civil servants, police, and military are few and far between. "The essential problem of health and education services in the highlands is not lack of physical structures, but poor management of human resources in these areas. New buildings remain empty, and although civil servants are theoretically assigned to work in these areas, the vast majority of them are not present in their duty stations. This is the norm across the highlands."
Anderson describes one subdistrict in particular, Lolat, created in 2002, where there are almost no government services. Visibly malnourished children in the area show bloated stomachs and stunted growth. "A local NGO, Yasumat, runs five parallel schools, 19 health clinics, and four health posts. While paid teachers and health care workers are absent, a cadre of local volunteers strives to provide needed service," Anderson writes.
Immunization programs do not exist in remote areas. No immunizations have been provided by the district government outside of intermittent offerings in the town of Dekai in the last ten years. "TB and HIV rates in Lolat are unknown, but the number of young men, women, and children dying of unknown causes is out of proportion to the already abysmal provincial averages. It seems likely that men working in the cities as part of the construction boom caused by the proliferation of new districts are contracting HIV and bringing it home with them. Just as HIV infection levels are unknown, so are condoms, which have never been seen in the area," reports Anderson.
The end of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 brought new hardships. A planned takeover of local governance by new state institutions effectively never happened. Instead, the "takeover" resulted in the breakdown of the established system. According to Anderson, "There was no period of transition and no handover." He also reveals the failure of "Special Autonomy," introduced in 2001 as a way to relieve pressures for independence, address Papua's underdevelopment and improve service delivery. The policy, he notes, led to "a dramatic increase in government funds available for development purposes. However, an overstaffed and under-performing provincial bureaucracy absorbs the majority of Special Autonomy funds."
Link to this issue: http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/2012/1212wpap.htm