Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Papua Governor: environment hero

In this recent post, I applauded Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu for his commitment to preserve Papua's forests through carbon credit.

Now Mr. Suebu has been named by TIME as one of the 43 Heroes of the Environment 2007. Other heroes include Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, Prince Charles (huh?), and the Toyota Design Team. Guardian's Climate Change has a quick and short recap of this year's heroes, who come from 4 categories:
  1. Leaders and visionaries,
  2. Activists,
  3. Scientists and innovators,
  4. Moguls and entrepreneurs.
However, as Climate Change pointed out: there are only 7 females among the 43 names.



    “Hero of the Environment”

    or Hero of Indonesia?


    Chairman of DeMMaK (the Koteka Tribal Assembly) &
    Leader of the West Papuan Independence Movement—UK
    23rd October 2007

    BARNABAS SUEBU calls himself “Governor of Papua”. He works for the Government of Indonesia which has illegally and brutally occupied my Land, WEST PAPUA, for 45 years.

    Now the American magazine “TIME” has called him a “Hero of the Environment”. They have invited him to London for a “Heroes Awards Ceremony”. They say he is a “hero” because he wants Western countries like Britain and the USA to pay millions of dollars to Indonesia not to cut down the forests which Indonesia stole from us Papuans.

    The Land of Papua never belonged to Indonesia. It is not theirs to sell. Indonesia should not get money for cutting our trees down. Neither should Indonesia get money for not cutting our trees down.

    We don’t want Britain and the USA to give any more money to Indonesia. Jakarta will just hand it over to the TNI [Indonesian military], Brimob [Mobile Police Brigade], BIN [Indonesian Intelligence Agency] and Kopassus [Indonesian Special Forces]. These murderers have already wiped out more than 100,000 Papuan men, women and children. If they have more money, they will only use it to kill, torture, terrorise and imprison even more of our People.

    Mr Suebu’s ancestors are Papuan. He was born a Papuan. But he wears the uniform of the enemy of all Papuans -- Indonesia. Suebu is not a hero for us Papuans. He is a hero of Indonesia.

    Mr Suebu says he now cares about our Papuan forests. But why does he stay silent about the suffering of our Papuan PEOPLE? At the same time as he travels to Jakarta, London and other cities around the World, we Papuans are crying in pain for our loved ones murdered and tortured and raped by soldiers of the Indonesian Government whose uniform he is so proud to wear.

    I want to ask this question: Has anyone ever heard Mr Suebu condemning the killing and torturing and intimidation of innocent Papuans by the soldiers and intelligence agents of the Indonesian Government he serves?

    And whilst he is in London receiving his award as a “Hero”, innocent Papuans are shut up in dark prison cells just for believing in freedom for West Papua. Mr Suebu’s Indonesian Government has jailed Filep Karma & Yusak Pakage for 15 & 10 years just because they peacefully raised our West Papuan independence flag.

    I want to ask this question: Has anyone ever heard Mr Suebu calling for the release of Filep & Yusak and all the other political prisoners his Indonesian Government keeps behind prison bars?

    And all this time since he was first appointed Governor by the hated Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1988, Mr Suebu (himself a lawyer) has stayed silent about the illegal and shameful way Indonesia annexed our Land in 1969.

    I want to ask this question: Has anyone ever heard Mr Suebu condemning the so-called “Act of Free Choice” when the Indonesian military stole our Country from us by forcing a thousand of our Papuan elders at gun-point to “vote” to join Indonesia?

    For us Papuans, People & Nature are as ONE. We cannot be separated from our Sacred Land – our forests, our mountains, our rivers, our seas. Mr Suebu says he cares about our forests, but at the same time he does not care about our PEOPLE. He cannot care about the forests, but not care about the People. He cannot separate us from our forests. People and Land and Nature. We are all ONE.

    Now we must ask: why does Mr Suebu stay silent whist the People of West Papua continue to suffer under Indonesian occupation?

    Mr Suebu has been an Indonesian nationalist all his life. Now he proudly wears the white colonial uniform of an Indonesian Governor. For Mr Suebu, protecting the interests and “honour” of NKRI (The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia) is his duty. Telling the truth about 45 blood- soaked years of Indonesian occupation would be against the interests of preserving NKRI. It is therefore his duty as an Indonesian nationalist to stay silent.

    For this reason Mr Suebu is a hero of Indonesia. And for this reason he is not a hero for us, the People of Indonesian-occupied West Papua, whatever any magazine chooses to call him. All people, inside West Papua and all over the World, who stand up for peace, freedom, justice and truth; these people are the TRUE HEROES of West Papua.

    Benny Wenda
    Chairman of DeMMaK (the Koteka Tribal Assembly) &
    Leader of the West Papuan Independence Movement—UK

    Telephone: +44 (0)1865 728412
    Mobile: +44(0)7766 875009
    Email: bwenda@infopapua.org
    Websites: www.freewestpapua.org & www.infopapua.org

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