Source: PVV: Nederland moet onafhankelijkheid Papoea’s steunen on Elsevier
translated from Dutch by AKR and staff
The Dutch PVV party believes the Netherlands should support West Papua’s struggle for independence from Indonesia. MP Wim Kortenoeven has asked Minister Uri Rosenthal (VVD) of Foreign Affairs to press upon the Indonesian government to stop using violence to suppress the Papuan seperatist movement.
At the very least, Dutch diplomats should be present at the reading of Papua’s Declaration of Independence on December 1st in West Papua. Their presence could help to prevent a bloodbath, says Kortenoeven.
The PVV MP spoke at a budget meeting for the Department of Foreign Affairs. He wore a badge with the Morning Star flag on the lapel. The Morning Star flag was a gift from the Netherlands in 1961 to the Papuans to support their struggle for independence.
Act of Free Choice
After losing a war against Indonesia, the Netherlands turned the colony of West New Guinea over to UN in 1962. This was done under the condition that the population be allowed to hold a referendum to decide on their independence.
In 1969 the UN consulted a number of Papuan leaders. According to Kortenoeven they chose to become an Indonesian colony in exchange for bribes and false promises. Since then, the Indonesian military has cracked down hard on Papuans who strive towards self-determination.
A Debt of Honor
Kortenoeven received immediate support from the GroenLinks party. “You find me on your side”, said Mariko Peters. Approval from VVD Minister Rosenthal is not as immediate. Up until now, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs have done their best to avoid the topic of West Papua.
Not just because of the economic relationship, but also because of the colonial past, restraint is warranted here. When asked whether the Papuans are certain to benefit from the Netherlands getting involved in the issue, Kortenoeven said that he is not advocating for separatism, but for self-determination. “The Netherlands has a debt of honor”, said the MP.