By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, condemn in the strongest terms the Indonesian military and police forces for barbaric attacks on the people of West Papua, particularly in the large area of Paniai since 13 December.
Human rights organizations have reported that scores of West Papuans have been killed and wounded. Twenty-seven villages have been razed to the ground. Over 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate more than 130 villages and are vulnerable to hunger and disease. The attacks have been carried out by Indonesian ground forces and by helicopter gunships.
Involved in the attacks are more than four combat battalions of Indonesian army (TNI) Kostrad commandos from Battalion 753, Brimob paramilitary police, and elite counter-terrorism troops from Detachment 88 — all units armed, trained, and supplied by the Australian and US governments.
Since April 2011, they have been deployed to encircle the alleged headquarters of the Paniai Free Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM), under the command of General Jhon Yogi. They have been dropped by helicopters into 26 villages around the suspected TPN-OPM headquarters.
But the ongoing attacks have failed to entrap and destroy the TPN-OPM. They have served to carry out Djakarta’s genocidal policy to massacre and displace the people from their homes and land. The TPN-OPN have inflicted casualties on the Indonesian military and police forces by carrying out guerrilla tactics.
Human rights defenders in West Papua have accused the Australian Government and the Australian-owned mining company, Paniai Gold, of being materially interested and actively involved in the ongoing attacks on the people of West Papua. Detachment 88 is a special force trained and armed by both the US and Australian military. It has abducted, tortured and murdered ordinary West Papuans far more than members of the TPN-OPM.
In the current military operations, the Indonesian military and police have used helicopters belonging to the Derewo River Gold (DRG) project, which is operated by Paniai Gold and fully owned by Melbourne-based gold mining company West Wits Mining. The corrupt and brutal Indonesian state is a puppet of Australian and US multinational companies.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle supports the people of West Papua in upholding and defending their right to self-determination as a community against the oppressive state of Indonesia and its imperialist masters. The Indonesian state has no right to inflict gross and systematic human rights violations on individuals, groups or entire communities. The sovereign right of the people to wage revolution and overthrow an oppressive state is no different from or is quite similar to the right to secede or separate from it.
In the revolutionary process, the people (be they of the entire Indonesia or West Papua in particular) separate themselves from an oppressive state and establish a new state that brings about just and harmonious relations. In the course of people’s war, local organs of political power are first established and become developed before they can replace the old reactionary state.