Winning the Information War in West Papua

Winning the Information War in West Papua

Winning the Information War in West Papua Indonesia, News, Pacific, West Papua
March 3, 2011

“What’s happening in West Papua amounts to genocide, both physical and cultural.”

“At the very least we have to say this is a crime against humanity in terms of a systematic annihilation of the civilian population that is intentional, widespread and ongoing.”

“West Papua is one of the very few areas in world where foreign mass media — or even domestic mass media — have no access. The others are probably Tibet and Xinjiang in China. And this is happening at a time when free media is flourishing in other parts of Indonesia, so people really aren’t aware of what’s going on there.”

“Anybody would be encouraged by what’s gone on in the Middle East. And the Papuans are even more mobilised than those Arab populations were – it’s a kind of permanent Papuan mobilisation against Jakarta. And the tactic so far of cultivating an enriched elite of bureaucrats and politicians, which has been the main Indonesian strategy to pacify Papuans, plus the influx of migrants from outside Papua, that’s not going to wash in the post-Tahir Square milieu that we’re living in.”

“But Indonesia is different from Burma, which is a sort of pariah state, or North African countries which we know are despotic. In Indonesia the president looks okay, he’s not a dictator, he’s just an ordinary president heading an ordinary developing country, so it is more difficult for people to condemn him.”

“We should set up internet connections for example, encourage Facebook and Twitter — all of the new technology we are witnessing in North Africa at the moment.”

“The government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been embarrassed by the worldwide release of the video showing Papuan men being tortured by Indonesian security.”

“The political situation in Jakarta is now being driven by events in Papua and also international reaction to what’s happening in Papua.”

“The Indonesian Government doesn’t want the media to have access — because the Indonesian Government is afraid for the world to know.”

“If you talk about the past 40 years then the situation with human rights in West Papua is really serious, it is one of the biggest tragedies in our time. We don’t know exactly how many people have died — some people say 300,000, some half a million — but the fact that we don’t know is neglectful in itself.”

“The real obstacle to getting the situation in West Papua back on the public agenda is that no one knows just how bad the situation really is. Ideally we, the international community, should pay much more attention, but that is too abstract when people don’t really know what’s going on there.”

“West Papuans are losing the information war.”

“By blocking all media access, Indonesia is clearly winning. Their supporters need to step up efforts to get information out in any way possible, and make use of social media to disseminate and organize.”

“Strategically, we all need to think about how we can win this information battle.”

“The political situation in Jakarta is now being driven by events in Papua and also international reaction to what’s happening in Papua.”

“Papuans are united in their aspirations for political change.”

“We’re working together both inside West Papua in the guerilla camp in the jungle and also in the outside world to raise the voices of the West Papuans to the international community that we are united.”

“The culture of torture [by the] military has continued for the past 54 years after occupation. . . No improvement at all.”

This post was culled from quotes by these renowned experts:
-Akihisa Matsuno, professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy
-Peter King, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University
-John Otto Ondawame, vice president, West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation


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  1. raymond says:

    papua everyone should be free

  2. Thanks to share the information about West Papua to the International Community

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