Home Culture The Utopia of Papua Barat Merdeka and ULMWP Trade Interest

The Utopia of Papua Barat Merdeka and ULMWP Trade Interest

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Those of you who follow or aware of the issue of West Papua independence, of course are also familiar with the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP). An organization founded by West Papuan separatist figures with the aim of uniting many organizations with similar goals that have been fragmented because of the personal interests of their leaders. The organization is currently led by Benny Wenda, who is currently under the British government’s political protection.

However, have any of you who also follow or aware of ULMWP ever thought of a question, “How do the people involved in the organization keep the organization running while at the same time make a living?” In other words, “Where does the money come from?”.

The answer is from propagating utopian issues regarding independence to Indonesian society in West Papua and selling issues regarding the oppression of these communities to foreign parties.

De facto and de jure, West Papua has officially joined the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. After negotiations at the Round Table Conference in 1961, efforts to return West Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia continued with the help of encouragement from the United States government. Until finally on August 15, 1962, the New York Agreement containing the surrender of West Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia through the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) was signed.

Furthermore, the position of West Papua in Indonesia became stronger after the People’s Opinion Determination or Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat (PEPERA) was held in 1969. The people of West Papua democratically chose to remain part of the Republic of Indonesia.

Unfortunately, this fact is denied by separatist elements such as those from ULMWP for the benefit of their organizations and individuals. Thus, their figures such as Benny Wenda in the United Kingdom, Herman Wainggai in the United States, Jacob Rumbiak in Australia, and others can live comfortably abroad as brokers of fake issues about West Papua. In turn, they receive financial supports from figures in the countries with an interest in these issues, such as the Netherlands, Britain, Australia and some Pacific countries.

On December 1, they will commemorate the 58th anniversary of West Papua’s political manifesto as usual. And as usual, this event will be one of their biggest income generators, which they consider to be a Christmas and New Year gift for their efforts of selling the sufferings of the Indonesian people in West Papua to foreign nations.

Kevin Lyon

30 November 2019

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