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20 August 2014

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News just in from Radio NZ International

Reports from West Papua say the body of a senior separatist leader, Martinus Yohame, has been found - six days after he was allegedly abducted.

The Tabloid Jubi newspaper says fishermen found a floating sack near Nana island with Mr Yohame's body inside.

His arms and legs were reportedly tied and he had bullet wounds.

Mr Yohame, was the chair of the Greater Sorong area branch of the West Papua National Committee, had spoken out against last week's visit to the area by the outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Mr Yohame was also opposed to illegal logging.

Journalists are seriously worried that under the proposed new anti- terrorism laws merely writing about a group deemed as 'terrorist' and basing your story on for example secretly leaked information could lead to your arrest as a 'supporter of terrorism'.

Similar powers under existing legislation led to the seizure of documents from the office of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer representing East Timor in the ASIO bugging case.

And who decides what a terrorist organisation is? One persons terrorist is another persons freedom fighter. Check the history of Lehi and Irgun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_%28group%29

Plus of course Nelson Mandela who was labelled a terrorist by Margaret Thatcher and the CIA.

Interesting question. Under Australia's proposed strengthening of laws against supporters of 'terrorism', would say a Papuan resident in Australia who supports the OPM and flies the West Papuan flag over their house be labelled a 'supporter of terrorists' and therefore liable for imprisonment?

The laws would:

- broaden the listing criteria for terrorist organisations to ensure advocacy of terrorist acts includes the promotion and encouragement of terrorism

- make it easier to arrest terrorists by lowering the threshold for arrest without warrant for terrorism offences

- extend ASIO's questioning and detention powers beyond July 2016 when they were scheduled to expire

- extend Australian Federal Police (AFP) stop, search and seizure powers in relation to terrorist acts and offences beyond December 2015

- make it easier to prosecute foreign fighters

- make it an offence to participate in terrorist training

- enable ASIO to request the suspension of an Australian passport or foreign passport for a dual national.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/08/05/government-overhaul-anti-terrorism-laws-tough-new-legislation

http://freewestpapua.wordpress.com/

If we can learn anything from human history it would be that where human actions are concerned, nothing is ever logical. That is unless you look at the logic around at the time and whose logic it was?

A visit to Europe even over the internet would reveal how many nations have been subjugated by others and still are. Try looking at the history of Poland. Better still, look at Hungarian history where many Hungarians, who have a distinct language and culture are still forced to live in what are foreign countries and cultures due to WW1 and WW2. This is after throwing off decades of Communist subjugation. Romania had her Moldova territory and people spilt off and ruled by a Russian puppet government as retribution for them siding with the Nazis against Russia in WW2. The list goes on and on….

Asia is awash with further examples.

The US, Britain and Australia in any military action against the Japanese in Indonesia (read Dutch East Indies) had to a have a Dutch liaison officer included in the planning. It often seemed to me that tensions between the allies and their Dutch liaison officer during the conduct of any operation resulted in missed chances and possible delays in defeating the Japanese. In other words, the allied war effort in SE Asia was being derailed by the Dutch who seemingly wanted a status quo until their own homeland, then over run by the Nazis, was ready to take back ownership of the Dutch East Indies. No wonder MacArthur with his bruised ego decided to leapfrog into the Philippines and leave the mopping up of Australia’s near north to Australian and Allied units.

In 1962/3, during the Indonesian attacks on West Papua I can remember my father, as an ex WW2 military officer saying to a mate, ‘It looks like war’. Australian kiaps and RPNGC were being confronted by Indonesian military that had no idea where the border was and some Australians were lucky to escape with their lives. Read Chris Viner-Smith’s account in his book ‘Australia’s forgotten Frontier’, about his work as a Kiap.

The UN was as is now a ‘paper tiger’ and controlled by the Security Council who could never agree unless the USSR was not present to veto any action. The US of course was always in attendance. When the US saw their advantage in supporting the Indonesian takeover of West Papua in return for access to the important Malacca and Sunda Straits and mining concessions at Freeport, Australia suddenly found themselves isolated by their own allies and had to withdraw.

The Netherlands (Dutch) were just as undermined as the West Papuans who had already been given their Self Government and were promised independence. Papers now available on the internet demonstrate the US position at the time.

Again, if one looks at logic for answers, let’s look at East Timor. A typical illogical situation still exists where one section of the island is now Indonesia and the other governed by a newly independent East Timor or Timor Leste.

When Australia convinced Indonesia to have a proper plebiscite which was always promised by the UN, the people finally had their self-determination. Then, with two larger countries (Australia and Indonesia, read English and Bahasa) being next door to the new nation, what kind of government does the UN install? Brazilian troops are employed to help Portuguese émigrés back into power and now East Timor people have to learn Portuguese at school. Wow! What an advantage for further education and employment.

Some nations have to wait centuries for self-determination. West Papuans and PNGians would do better to work with Indonesia and help them understand Papuan perspectives.

These sort of localised problems that are really nothing new to diverse Indonesia anyway. A less confrontationist approach it might help the West Papuan people in the short term get a less painful, better deal.

There are many people who agree with you Gan Donker, with very good reasons.

This shameful example of political ineptitude by the USA matches most of their excursions into foreign affairs since that time and the "Oz Deputy Dawgs" have much to hang their heads about in this case.

Dr Schram is of course correct about the "oil politics" but there was a lot more at stake in the human side of the Dutch administration of West Papua which he quietly ignores - as did the politics-of-convenience at the time.

It will be interesting to see in the future if the Land of Oz does become South Irian as so many Indonesian military maps depict it.

Only arm twisting by the Americans forced the Dutch out in 1963. It created a political crisis in the Netherlands where the conservatives kept defending colonialism.

"Bringing to independence" - eventually never determining with a firm date or a realistic plan - was a gin (jenever) soaked justification for hanging on to colonial past of three centuries.

Dutch policy until 1963 was to hold on to West Papua because Shell knew there was a lot of oil there. They even fought a war over it with the Indonesians.

What happened afterwards the Indonesian government and army should take responsibility for. Let's be honest and declare historical responsibility based on what really happened.

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