Papuans mourn 50 years of Indonesian occupation

West Papua Media Alerts

 by Alex Rayfield

 May 1, 2013

For many people around the world the first day in May is a time a celebration, a day to remember how ordinary people won the right to the eight hour working day.

But in West Papua May Day is a day of national mourning.

Fifty years ago on 1 May 1963 the United Nations abandoned West Papua. After a brief nine months administering the country the United Nations pulled out of West Papua to allow the Indonesian government to rule the territory on behalf of the International Community.

Fifty years later the Indonesian security forces are still in West Papua and a free and fair referendum on West Papua’s political status is yet to take place.

Here’s a rundown of how West Papuans across the country commemorated the day.

Sorong took on new intensity as the Indonesian security forces shot dead two Papuan…

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2 thoughts on “Papuans mourn 50 years of Indonesian occupation

  1. “the United Nations abandoned West Papua” – but not legally separated.

    The UN did not tell the public or newspapers in 1962 why the UN was legally able to send troops to occupy the colony in the first place. By definition a colony is outside of the UN, so the Security Council can not authorise UN troops to occupy a colony. But the General Assembly can agree to a trusteeship agreement to allow UN military occupation/administration.

    In 1962 the General Assembly approved an agreement for the UN to occupy and administrate West Papua. Irrespective of whatever the agreement says, the UN and its members are legally bound by the UN Charter which in the “Trusteeship System, Chapter XII” article 85 granted the General Assembly the option of accepting trusteeships which can never end until the trust territories “have become Members of the United Nations” as per article 78 of the Charter.

    West Papua is not part of Indonesia, it is “currently administrated by Indonesia”

    Indonesia by supporting General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII) legally abandoned its claims to the colony – which it did because it assumed it would be able to sway Papuans within 7 years to become part of Indonesia instead of choosing independence. Problem is that the Papuans had already exercised their right of self-determination in 1961 choosing independence to form a new nation they said would be called “West Papua” under a Morning Star flag. And every year Papuans keep raising their flag and saying they want the UN to acknowledge and respect their choice.

    As a Security Council member it is a shame that Australia continues to ignore the law and outside the UN makes political claims that Indonesia has magically gained sovereignty, Australian politician Bob Carr again lied when he claimed every nation in the world agrees with him when in fact the UN has not expressed its opinion about West Papua’s choice since 1962.

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