West Papuans occupy embassy in Jakarta

January 26, 2000

West Papuans occupy embassy in Jakarta

By Tim Murphy

Students from West Papua occupied the Dutch embassy in Jakarta on January 17. They are demanding that Holland fulfil its promises to help West Papua achieve independence from Indonesia.

West Papua is occupied illegally by Indonesia, having been annexed in 1962. Before then it was the last territory in the Dutch East Indies. The annexation was "endorsed" by a bogus referendum in 1969, in which 1000 West Papuans were lined up at gunpoint by the Indonesian army and forced to vote yes.

Since the referendum, thousands of West Papuans have been murdered and tortured. Many more have been deprived of their land and livelihoods by social engineering programs organised by the Indonesian government and supported by the World Bank. Their resources have been seized by transnational corporations such as the mining giant Rio Tinto.

The Students Alliance of West Papua (AMP) represents West Papuan students worldwide. It is demanding that the results of the bogus referendum be revoked and that the United Nations oversee the handover to an independent government.

They occupied the Dutch embassy because, last November, the Dutch foreign minister said that the West Papua issue is "unfinished business." The Dutch ambassador has promised that the issue will be re-examined.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.