Friday, April 30, 2021

Branding armed Papuan resistance as ‘terrorists’ angers rights groups, sparks media warning

The Morning Star flag ... symbol of West Papuan independence and
freedom and "illegal" in Indonesia. IMAGE: CNN Indonesia


Branding armed Papuan resistance groups as “terrorists” has sparked strong condemnation from human rights groups across Indonesia and in West Papua, some describing the move as desperation and the “worst ever” action by President Joko Widodo’s administration.

Many warn that this draconian militarist approach to the Papuan independence struggle will lead to further bloodshed and fail to achieve anything.

Many have called for negotiation to try to seek a way out of the spiralling violence over the past few months.

Ironically, with the annual World Press Freedom Day being observed on Monday many commentors also warn about the increased dangers for journalists covering the conflict.

Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy chairperson Hendardi (Indonesians often have a single name) has criticised the government’s move against “armed criminal groups” in Papua, or “KKB)”, as the Free Papua Movement (OPM) armed wing is described by military authorities.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Gagged West Papuan envoy blocked again from raising self-determination issue at UN

West Papuan envoy John Anari
West Papuan envoy John Anari in New York ... "moral and legal obligation" for the UN
over West Papua. IMAGE: John Anari FB


A WEST Papuan envoy who was gagged while addressing the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues two years ago has been blocked again while trying to speak out.

For six years, John Anari, leader of the West Papua Liberation Organisation (WPLO) and an “ambassador” of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), has been appealing to the forum to push for the Indonesian-ruled Melanesian region to be put on the UN Trusteeship Council.

He was speaking for the two groups combined as the West Papua Indigenous Organisation (WPIO), or Organisasi Pribumi Papua Barat, when he attempted to give his address at the forum last Thursday.

The West Papua letter to the UN Secretary-General
West Papuan envoy John Anari’s petitioning letter to the UN Secretary-General. IMAGE: APR screenshot

Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Palestinian prayer for Ramadan: May the voices of the oppressed be heard

The struggle of the Palestinians is integral to a larger struggle for fundamental human rights
that can be witnessed throughout the Middle East. IMAGE: France 24


COVID-19 cases in Palestine, especially in Gaza, have reached record highs, largely due to the arrival of a greatly contagious coronavirus variant which was first identified in Britain.

Gaza has always been vulnerable to the deadly pandemic. Under a hermetic Israeli blockade since 2006, the densely populated Gaza Strip lacks basic services like clean water, electricity, or minimally-equipped hospitals. Therefore, long before covid-19 ravaged many parts of the world, Palestinians in Gaza were dying as a result of easily treatable diseases such as diarrhoea, salmonella and typhoid fever.

Needless to say, Gaza’s cancer patients have little fighting chance, as the besieged Strip is left without many life-saving medications. Many Palestinian cancer patients continue to cling to the hope that Israel’s military authorities will allow them access to the better equipped Palestinian West Bank hospitals.

Alas, quite often, death arrives before the long-awaited Israeli permit does.

The tragedy in Gaza - in fact in all of occupied Palestine - is long and painful. Still, it ought not to be classified as another sad occasion that invokes much despair but little action.

>>> Popular Café Pacific Posts