Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Farewell Filep Karma, the revered West Papuan leader who could have ushered in unity

West Papua's funeral procession for Filep Karma . . . banned Morning Star flags
in defiance for the man who strove for “justice, democracy, peace
and non-violent resistance" against Indonesian rule. IMAGE: Twitter screenshot APR


A TRAGIC day of mourning. Thousands thronged the West Papuan funeral cortège today and tonight as the banned Morning Star led the way in defiance of the Indonesian military.

There haven’t been so many Papuan flags flying under the noses of the security forces since the 2019 Papuan Uprising.

Filep Jacob Semuel Karma, 63, the “father” of the Papuan nation, was believed to be the one leader who could pull together the splintered factions seeking self-determination and independence.

It is still shocking a day after his lifeless body in a wetsuit was found on a Jayapura beach.

Police and Filep Karma’s family say they had no reason to believe that his death resulted from foul play, report Jubi editor Victor Mambor in Jayapura and Nazarudin Latif from Jakarta for Benar News.

“I followed the post-mortem process and it was determined that my father died from drowning while diving,” Karma’s daughter, Andrefina Karma, told reporters.

But many human rights advocates and researchers aren’t so convinced.

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