Editor’s note by Luwezi Kinshasa, LONDON–The massacre of a half-million communists between 1965 and 1966, the massive jailing and raping of women by Suharto’s Indonesian army, the illegal occupation of East Timor by the Jakarta regime that resulted in the killing of more than 180,000 people, almost a third of the population — are all atrocities quite well known around the liberal, imperialist world.
All of these murders took place with the support of the U.S. and their CIA’s butchers, along with the help of Australian and British imperialist military forces.
These mass murders against Indonesian communists, alongside the British counterinsurgency warfare in Malaysia in the 1950s, had a lasting impact on the inability of revolutionary struggle to overthrow imperialism in the region.
What is less known to international public opinion, however, is the relentless, brutal and murderous occupation of West Papua since 1963, by successive Indonesian, neo colonialist rulers.
West Papua is a rich land originally and currently inhabited by Africans.
The African population in West Papua suffers serious isolation from the whole African nation who, more often than not, is unaware of the existence of African people apart from Africa and the Americas and our connection.
The resistance of indigenous Africans on this island, which is split between Australia and the Indonesian-dominated areas, added to the struggle of black peoples in New Zealand, Australia and other lands in the Pacific Ocean.
It is part of the worldwide African Revolution which must be unified if we are to successfully regain control of our destiny and resources for our own use.
Our call to the people of Indonesia, who themselves suffered three centuries of European colonial rule and Japanese military occupation during the so-called second world war, is to stand in solidarity with black people in West Papua against the Indonesian petty bourgeoisie’s colonial rule.
The people of Indonesia must oppose Indonesian, settler-colonialism’s theft of the land of black people, demand the unconditional release of political prisoners and the immediate withdrawal of Indonesian and all foreign soldiers from West Papua.
Deep in valleys and highlands of some of the most fertile, beautiful lands in the world, a secret war of genocide and theft is occurring in what many consider paradise.
The people of West Papua have been fighting for independence from the illegitimate and sordid rule of the Indonesian government for 51 years.
Having pride in their indigenous culture and organic connection to the lush land, the West Papuans have demonstrated an indefatigable spirit in terms of protecting their lives and land.
This article is an introduction to a series of articles focusing on the genocide taking place in a location many refer to as paradise, and the struggle of the people of West Papua to attain independence from the rule of the heartless and atrocious Indonesian government.
Continue to read The Burning Spear newspaper to hear the war cry of the West Papuan African people who want self- determination and are fighting for independence from the illicit rule of the Indonesian government.
The story of West Papua and the fight for independence has been forced into the dark shadows of history despite undeniable human rights violations being carried out.
The immense social engineering project of systematic torture, theft and displacement forced onto West Papuan people remains a dirty little secret of the colonists.
Indonesian rule, to West Papuans, translates clearly to the disregard of West Papuan rights and the continuation of vulgar encroachment upon the land of West Papuans.
West Papuan People
When you ask a West Papuan how they classify themselves, the answer is “We are black people, Africans, Indigenous people of West Papua.”
The people of West Papua are Rastafarian-like Africans who have held on to their traditional culture and dress for thousands of years.
The name Papua explains the condition and texture of their frizzy hair.
Some West Papuans have locs, called dred locs, by some.
The majority of the indigenous population continues to live a traditional subsistence lifestyle.
Geography: the bird of paradise and the land of milk, honey and minerals
West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea.
It borders the independent nation of Papua New Guinea and lies just 200km north of Australia.
The land is comprised of a large mountainous interior, forest lowlands and large areas of coastal mangrove swamps. It is surrounded by numerous small islands and beautiful coral reefs.
Its One million people speak 250 diverse languages.
The land of paradise is home to a variety of exclusive species, such as rare orchids and tree kangaroos.
The bird of paradise is native to West Papua and so is one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines, known as Freeport. which is estimated to provide Indonesia with more than a third of its wealth.
The Freeport mine at Tembagapura is jointly operated by Indonesia and the U.S.
Thirty thousand tons of ore, copper, gold, and silver are produced daily.
Imperialists are relentless in creating a ubiquitous path of death, destruction and the extraction of resources for capitalistic profits.
Indonesians literally and figuratively have been raping and killing the people of the forgotten, blissful land of West Papua.
Indonesia claims the integration of West Papua with Indonesia has “undeniable” benefits for West Papuans such as development. West Papuans, however, understand clearly that Indonesia has absorbed West Papua only to masterfully conspire with other coloniail governments to extract the wealth of the bountiful lands of West Papua.
West Papuans are suffering from the genocidal attacks committed by the Indonesian military that are unnervingly similar to the way Africans who are colonial subjects in America are killed by police who are offensively rewarded.
The West Papuans, nevertheless, have a recusant position when it comes to holding on to their iindigenous ways and the land of their ancestors.
Two hundred and fifty tribes of West Papua have chosen Benny Wenda to be the face of the West Papua Independence Movement.
He is a freedom fighter who has seen many of his people fall victim to the sword of death wielded by the Indonesian military.
He now lives in exile in the United Kingdom and was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. More of Benny Wenda’s story will be told in the next article.
Find out more about Benny Wenda and West Papua by reading the next issue of The Burning Spear and visiting http://freewestpapua.org/info/about-west-papua/
“Afrika Amerika mendukung kemerdekaan Papua Barat!” (Africans In America support independence for West Papua!)
Wa! Wa! Wa! Wa!