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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/1/10

White House cover-up and Colonization

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A statement by AWPA (Australia West Papua Association) compliments the American call by ETAN and WPAT for the U.S. government to suspend all funding and training of Indonesia's Detachment 88 police unit. These Indonesian forces and militia including Laskar Jihad and the BMP physically violate many human rights besides free speech in the territory.

The U.S. Dept of State masks this colony from the US public by claiming the UN in 1969 declared it was part of Indonesia, and that any murders and the rape of West Papua is a domestic matter of a trusted partner, Indonesia. Yet Sukarno was the person who supplied oil for Japan's Pacific war. Contrary to the State Department's claim; the UN in 1969 only said the Netherlands and Indonesia were not objecting to Indonesia's action, the UN did not claim West Papua was consenting to Indonesian rule.

It is a cover-up, just as East Timor was legally a Portuguese colony when it got it's vote in 1999, West Papua is legally still a Dutch colony. It is only suffering Indonesian rule because President Kennedy accepted the advice of McGeorge Bundy to press the Netherlands into signing the New York Agreement trading the people of West Papua without their consent.

Unknown to President Kennedy, the colony had the world's richest gold & copper deposits which the Freeport company wanted; and his adviser McGeorge Bundy was a family friend of Freeport director Robert Lovett. By giving General Suharto control of West Papua, and later supporting the General's takeover of the Indonesian state; the US government has involved itself in colonization.

I suggest that the American public should stop their government's cover-up and return the White house to a better path.

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media release 29 September 2010

AWPA (Sydney) calls on the Government to break all ties with the Indonesian Special Forces unit, Kopassus.

Just weeks after it was revealed that members of the Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 was accused of the torture of activists in Maluku, the Australian SAS has conducted a joint exercises with an other Indonesian Special Forces unit, Kopassus , in Bali.

Joe Collins of AWPA queries the claim by SAS Commander Maj. Gen. Tim McOwan "that Kopassus was a professional outfit" citing the report by Human Rights Watch report titled "What Did I Do Wrong?" Papuans in Merauke Face Abuses by Indonesian Special Forces," which documents a number of cases of West Papuans who were tortured by Kopassus troops.

Special Forces will always be used in conflict areas and AWPA is concerned that any training given to the Indonesian Special Forces will be used against the West Papuan people who are struggling for their right to self determination. In an article in the Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 68 "Thinking beyond KOPASSUS:why us security assistance to Indonesia needs recalibrating", it quotes

"Secretary of Defense Robert Gates argues in the May/June 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs, "the effectiveness and credibility of the United States will only be as good as the effectiveness, credibility, and sustainability of its local partners."

Joe Collins said the same applies to Australia. Our troops will be tainted by the behavior of those it trains and the world will know it. We are also concerned by the fact that Kopassus may receive training in urban warfare within Australia. Is it not time for Commander Maj. Gen. Tim McOwan and some of his troops to visit West Papua to ascertain the views of the West Papuan people on Australian military involvement with Kopassus?


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As an Australian with an interest in West Papua I became involved with human rights advocacy and a decade or two volunteer research into West Papua's history and circumstance. During this time I had to learn about several US corporations and their (more...)
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