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Free West Papua in Papuan Intellectuals Point of View


Frans Albert Yoku, a West Papuan who once chose to leave Indonesia because the situation urged him to leave Papua. Previously, Frans Yoku was an Free West Papua Rebels activist. Now, we know Frans Yoku as an advisor to the Coordination Minister of Political, Legal and Security. After more than forty years of living in foreign country, Frans Albert Yoku chose his loyalty to Indonesia and returned to Papua. As a form of loyalty, he has now actively raised many Papuan issues internationally. Now his name counts as an intellectual Papuan in the Indonesian government.

Frans Yoku using the New Zealand parliamentary meeting on December 19, 2018, to spoke about West Papua. He and Tantowi Yahya, the Indonesian ambassador to New Zealand had the opportunity to clarify the understanding of the people when thinking about West Papua.

As a Papuan native, Frans Yoku explaining in fact the history of the reintegration of Papua into the NKRI which is legal, final, binding and follows international law. The reintegration of Papua into the Unitary Republic of Indonesia was decided by the UN through resolution no 2504 in 1969. There was nothing more to debate.

As we know, supporters of the Papuan Independence activists abroad move with wrong information and are deflected and this has hurt Indonesia a lot. “We are victims of the wrong news, twisted and even hoaxes that continue to be broadcast by separatist supporters in order to corner Indonesia” explained Ambassador Tantowi who was agreed by Frans Yoku.

Frans Yoku, asserted that those who call themselves representatives of the Papuan people abroad do not represent anyone in Papua. “They are not representing us because they are no longer Indonesian citizens” Yoku stressed. “We are happy in Papua, we are proud that our area continues to be built at high speed, our rights are taken care of and protected. Help us with capacity building programs, help us to be smarter and more advanced. Not invite us to be free” Yoku asked.

The Board members were so diligent and enthusiastic to hear the Ambassador’s explanation as the representative of the Indonesian government and Frans Yoku as the representatives of the Original Papuans they had never heard of. The explanation is straightforward, honest but conveyed in a relaxed and polite manner, which provokes them to actively ask questions and do deepening. Things that often become issues such as freedom of opinion, genocide, Javanization and welfare do not escape their attention. Everything was answered completely by Tantowi and Yoku.

Regarding human rights violations in the past which have been highlighted in the world, Tantowi acknowledged that. And for that the Government is currently resolving it seriously. Tantowi further explained that President Joko Widodo had ordered all relevant authorities to resolve the issue of past human rights violations transparently and immediately. It’s just that because of the complexity that exists, the solution is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand.

Tantowi explained that like New Zealand, as an Indonesian Democratic state is a supporter of freedom of expression. Everyone is free to speak in public. Rally is permitted but must get permission from the Police, something that is common in any country. When breaking, the police will bring order. Tantowi emphasized that Papua is an open area, everyone may enter. Of course after having a valid travel document. Tantowi also invited them to come and visit Papua.

Regarding Javanization, Tantowi and Yoku explained that Papua was part of the NKRI, everyone had the right to settle and make a living there. Like the Papuans who are free to live and work anywhere in Indonesia.

Tantowi explained that the meaning of Independence had actually been given by the government through Law No. 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy. The Papuan people are given the freedom to regulate themselves. Only in Papua, regional leaders at various levels must be Papuans. Profit sharing with the central government is far greater than in other regions. “We are already independent. Why are we not yet prosperous? Corruption is still our main disease,” Yoku explained.

The conclusion there was no point in supporting the Free Papua activist movement, including the efforts being made to include Papua in the Decolonization List at the United Nations. The New Zealand Parliamentary even promised to help the Indonesian Government in accelerating Papua’s progress in all fields. It’s a conclusion that encourages us all.

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