ETAN: Statement to W Papua Solidarity Conference
etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer

Free Papua Political Prisoners
Support the Appeal of Filep Karma's Daughter
Sign the petition

ETAN to Jakarta West Papua Solidarity Conference

March 21, 2013

To: West Papua Solidarity Conference

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) extends greetings and support to the West Papua Solidarity Conference. We congratulate the organizers and participants. We hope that the meeting builds fruitful alliances among the participants.

ETAN was founded in solidarity with the people of East Timor (now Timor-Leste). Living in the U.S. we felt strongly that we had to act to right the wrongs of our own government and to join with the East Timorese people in their struggle to assert their rights. The U.S. of course, bore great responsibility for their fate. As is now well known, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger personally gave the go ahead for the invasion of East Timor to the dictator Suharto. Over the next two decades, the U.S. supplied weapons and training that the Indonesian military used to repress the East Timorese. ETAN worked with some success to end that support and to shift U.S. policy toward one supporting justice for the East Timorese.

More and more people need to hear directly about the realities of Indonesia’s repression in West Papua and learn about the hopes and dreams of its people.

Less well known to many is that the U.S. conspired with Indonesia and the United Nations to deny the fundamental rights of people of West Papua. In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy brokered the notorious New York agreement which ultimately led to the “Act of Free Choice.” Then years before the invasion of East Timor, Henry Kissinger played a personal role in denying West Papua a genuine act of self-determination; instead the U.S. and UN endorsed the sham consultation. West Papua was delivered into Indonesian control. The U.S., as it has done too many times, worked to crush the hopes of a nation.

Conferences like this one enable us to hear directly from the people of West Papua about their experiences. More and more people need to hear directly about the realities of Indonesia’s repression in West Papua and learn about the hopes and dreams of its people.

Together, we can work together to amplify those voices, bring them to our own communities, as well as to decision-makers in Washington and other capitals and to the United Nations.

Together, we can work to educate people about the plight of the people of West Papua.

Together, we need to demand that human rights of the people of West Papua are respected. We must end our governments’ complicity in the brutality that West Papuans experience every day.

Together, we must work to challenge the policies of our own governments which make us complicit in the oppression of West Papua. In the U.S. and elsewhere, we need to act to change our own government’s policy – which ignoring the lessons of East Timor – is once again arming and training the security forces that oppress West Papua. Our governments are actively assisting this oppression by funding, training and arming Kopassus, Brimob and Detachment 88. Foreign support for the TNI must stop.

Together, we must confront the government of Indonesia to end its exploitation of West Papua and its denial of the rights of the people West Papuan.

Together we must take up this challenge!

In solidarity,

John M. Miller
National Coordinator


Read the West Papua Report




Donate to ETAN!

Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |

Follow ETAN
Like ETAN on Facebook Follow ETAN on Twitter ETAN on Google+ ETAN email listservs ETAN blog ETAN on LinkedIn ETAN on Pinterest ETAN on Instagram Donate to ETAN!