West Papua buries another national hero

West Papua buries another national hero

West Papua buries another national hero Australia, Indonesia, Maluku, News, Pacific, West Papua
June 17, 2012

Respect for the dead

Today Papuans mourned the loss of Mako Tabuni, deputy chairman of the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua). He joins Theys Eluay, Arnold Ap, Tom Wainggai, Kelly Kwalik and countless other Papuan freedom fighters who have been murdered for interfering with Indonesia’s illegal colonial occupation of West Papua and the theft of its resources.

The funeral (photo report here) took place under the watchful eyes of the military and police in Jayapura, looking for the slightest excuse to attack the people again. Mako Tabuni was dressed in black as tearful friends and relatives crowded around his coffin. Meanwhile, police were taking note of all those attending the funeral.

Taking such a sacred and somber occasion as an opportunity for intelligence gathering is just one of a great many indicators that show how the Indonesian soldiers have been trained to view indigenous Papuans as subhuman. This type of disrespect for human tragedy and disrespect for the dead is not only inhumane it is profoundly un-Islamic.

Here are several quotes about respect and ethics in the Islamic faith from the Imam Reza (A.S.) Network:

In Islam, respect is one of the foundations of faith, and one of the pillar stones of Akhlaq. Respect should be given to everything, because everything has been created for a purpose, and it is that purpose we should respect.

Respect towards a dead body is an obligation for every Muslim, whether the one who died was a Muslim or not.

Respect to other religions is one of the duties a Muslim must perform… We should never insult other religions, since they then might turn around and insult us.

Perhaps the Indonesian authorities need to be themselves re-trained in the tenets of Islam, and held to account under Shari’a Law. They would find themselves very much on the wrong side of that law when it comes to their actions in West Papua, Maluku and several other regions of Indonesia.

The Islamic Shari’a are the rules and regulations governing the Islamic way of life for a person. One of the duties of a Muslim is to respect and observe these rules and try very hard to understand them.

Already, both Christian and Muslim activists have denounced the recent violence in West Papua. Yesterday, the leader of the Liberal Islam Network (JIL), Ulil Abshar Abdalla, questioned Indonesia’s role in West Papua, citing the great expense of maintaining a presence there, and the fact that Papuans still do not consider themselves Indonesian.

Densus 88: Shoot to Kill

Mako Tabuni’s shooting appears to have been orchestrated by Indonesia’s anti-terrorist squad, Detachment 88 (Densus 88). They have claimed that Mako resisted arrest and attempted to grab one of their weapons. A more likely account is that Mako Tabuni, unarmed, naturally attempted to escape when ambushed by several carloads of heavily armed soldiers, and was gunned down in the process. Surely it isn’t necessary to shoot an unarmed man 4 times, including once in the head, in order to subdue and arrest him?

In fact, a headshot has no other purpose than to kill. So why were the security forces so eager to silence Mako Tabuni? For the same reason they are now busy inventing absurd and trumped up charges against Tabuni. The police would have us believe that Tabuni, the chairman of an organization dedicated to non-violent, peaceful resistance against oppression, was guilty of several acts of violence including the recent shooting of a German tourist.

Yet the KNPB, along with the majority of indigenous Papuans, has been actively and consistently requesting international monitoring of West Papua, while the Indonesian authorities have refused to allow ANY international monitors or media into the region.

If the KNPB was guilty of inciting or committing acts of violence, why are they so eager to have the situation thoroughly investigated by an outside party? On the other hand, if the Indonesian authorities are innocent of any wrongdoing, why are they so eager to keep out journalists and UN monitors, and so quick to shoot to kill one of their “prime suspects” in the recent outbreak of violence.

Clearly this is part of the Indonesian military’s attempt to cover up the fact that THEY are in fact responsible for the recent spate of shootings in an effort to further destabilize Papua and sew discord among the Papuan people.

The “botched arrest” is a standard technique used by security forces in Indonesia to create a legal justification for murder. The police and soldiers corner someone forcing them try to escape, then they shoot them. Recent intelligence leaks spell out in no uncertain terms that Indonesian security forces have been planning to assassinate key Papuan leaders. Since the sham legal system is stacked entirely in favor of the occupying forces, soldiers and police are never held accountable for their actions and can continue to kill indigenous Papuans with impunity.

In addition, by murdering a hero of the Papuan people, Indonesia security forces know that the indigenous people will be greatly angered and rise up in public protest. This provides the perfect excuse for the military to bring in more soldiers and police and step up their campaign of terror and slaughter waged upon the Papuan people especially in rural areas where not even local media has a presence to witness the carnage.

Papuans refuse to be manipulated by violence

To avoid further military crackdown, Papuan leaders have called for calm in the face of this outrageous injustice. In a display of integrity and class which is no doubt entirely lost on his captors, Selpius Bobii, one of the Jayapura 5, sent the following message out to the Papuan people from his prison cell:

“The killing of Tabuni is part of a scenario to destroy the Papuan struggle’s commitment to a peaceful path and push Papuans towards violence. So let’s control ourselves. Don’t get caught in this scenario which will only weaken our peaceful struggle that right now is echoing across our country and up to the UN.”

Further Reading

AK Rockefeller

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