West Papua is currently known about the polemic about its desire to separate from Indonesia. Free Papua activists openly use social media, such as Facebook and Youtube, to spread various kinds of pro-separation data and propaganda in West Papua. One of the social media users who is busy spreading propaganda contents is Lewis Prai Wellip.
A Member of ULMWP
Lewis Wellip is from Abepura, Papua, Indonesia. At present, Wellip lives in Melbourne, Australia. His profession while still in Papua was as a financial accountant at the Jayapura Regional Development Bank, Papua. He works as an accountant for three years.
Lewis Prai Wellip is a member of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) which is in control of the organization in Melbourne. Wellip also called himself a diplomat for Republic of West Papua.
Secretary and Media Director of Global Campaign for United Nations Peacekeeping Mission for West Papua
Wellip manages a Facebook Page called Global Campaign for United Nations Peacekeeping Mission for West Papua. This Facebook page uploads the latest news about Papua every day. Wellip’s position is the Secretary and Media Director in the Global Campaign.
Global Campaign for United Nations Peacekeeping The Mission for West Papua is a forum for raising awareness and also for lobbying the United Nations and foreign countries regarding the armed conflict that took place in West Papua. This organization also has the initiative to serve Papuans whose lives are in danger.
Lewis is famous for actively commenting on almost all social media that preach about West Papua. The following is one of his comments on the Citizen Media Trainer Tells of Safe-Witnessing in West Papua published by pacific.scoop.co.nz:
“Great work brother Nick Chesterfield. I hope that stupid Indonesian journalist got a real taste of his own medicine. Shame on him for talking rubbish in the conference.The world is not blind and cannot be fooled anymore.West Papua has a right to independence and nationhood just like other countries in the Pacific.”
Actively Protesting in Australia
Lewis is a pioneer of demonstration activities on the issue of West Papua in Australia. Some of the actions include:
- January 29, 2018. Lewis and twenty other people marched in front of the Indonesian Embassy for Australia. They demand self-determination for West Papua. They opposed Indonesian nationalism, also criticized Indonesia. The New Zealand Evening Report covered their action. However, in his demonstration and interview with the Evening Report, Lewis provided invalid data. At that time Lewis mentioned that Free West Papua should not be silenced in Australia and that Indonesia must be involved with legal entities in West Papua.
- October 15, 2018. Lewis and 5 other people protested in front of the Melbourne Indonesian Consulate. The action was only carried out by five people from the beginning to the end of the protest.
Actively Uploading Human Rights Violations News
Lewis Wellip, who is now an Australian citizen, is very active in making and uploading news about human rights violations occurring in Papua. However, most of the news made by Wellip uses data that is ambiguous and unclear (hoax).
The man who graduated from Victoria University, Melbourne, with his Bachelor of Business degree, has never stopped making an uproar in cyberspace with his posting about Free West Papua on his Facebook fanpage.
Some of the basic news or hoaxes made by Wellip for the public include:
Armed Conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army and the Indonesian Military
Conflict or armed contact between the Liberation Army and Indonesian Military was the topic most frequently raised by Wellip in his news.
The Indonesian military continued to attack the Liberation Army of West Papua
The West Papua Liberation Army often raided the police headquarters and seized firearms. In the case of the killing of two OPM members recently after a group of OPM killed a motorcycle taxi driver, stolen weapons were found along with the two bodies of victims.
Lewis often made the fake news or exaggerated stories. During this time the OPM continued to attack members of the police and civilians, while members of the police and military were always instructed to reduce conflict and approach peacefully. The police also played a significant role in reconciling tribes that carried out tribal wars. In some cases, the police were hit by arrows from these tribes. In a tribal war that occurred a few weeks ago, a policeman was hit by an arrow right in his eyes.
Where is Lewis when this kind of case occurs? Did he upload it on fanpage? Why does he unilaterally mention that the Indonesian military continues to commit atrocities against the OPM? Where was Lewis when the Indonesian military and civilians were victims of the OPM?
Bombing in Alguru Village, Nduga, West Papua
The Indonesian military was called to carry out bombings in Alguru Village, Nduga, by air. This news was spread by Lewis with a convincing picture.
The bombing never happened, both in Alguru Village and in other villages. Even the image that Lewis spread at that time turned out to be a picture of a forest in Kalimantan, Indonesia, which was affected by a forest fire.
Papuans Killed by Unknown People (Orang Tak Dikenal or OTK)
Unknown people who allegedly received support from the Indonesian military carried out attacks on civilians in West Papua.
No civilians were killed by unknown people. There are the Liberation Army which often shot, murder, took hostages and terrorize civilians in West Papua. For example, the OPM viciously shot a motorcycle-taxi driver in Lanny Jaya in early November 2018.
Making a New Province in West Papua
Lewis cited the Indonesian Government’s tactic of isolating and confusing the international community is by making the third province in West Papua without the consent of the indigenous population.
The division of territory, in fact, did get full support from the Governor of West Papua and Indigenous Peoples in Papua. Regional expansion is carried out to accelerate the development of Papua. Citizens become more prosperous faster.
Young Papuans must dare to fight hoaxes that support the disintegration of the nation because the heroes of this nation have risked their lives for Indonesia’s independence, and Papua is included. The young generation must be able to fight the efforts of splitting this nation and participate enthusiastically in maintaining the Pancasila, diversity, and integrity of Indonesia. Let’s fight hoax together and fill this independence with unity.