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Genocide in Papua New Guinea a la Kissinger and U.S. Arms

By July 4, 2017 Archives

The following is a study guide composed of several articles on Papua New Guinea, which is covered briefly in Vol.1 of Ray Songtree’s Lipstick and War Crimes series, epub available here.

West Papuan leader arrested and office raided for supporting petition
ULMWP – June 23, 2017

Today the people of West Papua once again experienced more state terror and brutality from the Indonesian military and police. As the local headquarters of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and People Regional Parliament (PRD) was raided by armed Indonesian troops at least one West Papuan leader was arrested and remains in detention.

As hundreds of people in Timika were gathered peacefully to hold a prayer and thanksgiving ceremony for the thousands of signatures in the Bomberay region collected manually for the grassroots petition for West Papua, the Indonesian military and police began to surround the church compound.

As soon as the local KNPB leader, Yanto Awerkion took to the stage, the Indonesian troops raided the compound. They were fully armed and made up of the Indonesian military, police, Detatchment 88 (“Anti Terror” troops), Kopassus (Special Troops) and Intelligence Services.

As the West Papuan people sat calmly on the ground and sang hymns peacefully, the Indonesian troops tried their worst to create violence and provoke the crowd by being as aggressive as possible. They smashed the gate and tore through the compound, raiding the headquarters and confiscating everything including clothes, flags and banners calling for self-determination and an Internationally Supervised Vote.

Why are the Indonesian military and police scared of clothes, flags and banners?

I have heard that as the Indonesian troops were taking everything everything, local people told them “You are poor so you take it away. We don’t need all these things”.

Yanto Awerkion, the local head of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), was arrested by the Indonesian police for speaking about the petition for West Papuan self-determination

I am proud that the people of West Papua remained calm and peaceful, signing hymns as their gathering was raided by the Indonesian military and police. We are showing the Indonesian government that we will not be provoked by their terror and brutality. Like Mahatma Gandhi, we will fight successfully for our freedom through peace and love.

The local Chairperson of the KNPB, Yanto Awerkion was arrested by the Indonesian police and remains in detention now. There are unconfirmed reports that others have also been arrested too and I have been told that some people are still being hunted by the Indonesian police.On behalf of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), I call for the immediate release of Yanto Awerkion and any other people who were arrested at the scene.

Why are the Indonesian military and police raiding peaceful prayer gatherings, arresting peaceful leaders and confiscating banners? Why are they so scared of this petition?

The Indonesian government has already banned the online petition in West Papua and is now trying as hard as possible to ban the manual signing of the petition too. The raiding of another peaceful prayer gathering and the arrest of another peaceful leader calling for self-determination is yet more evidence that the Indonesian government is systematically cracking down on all forms of Freedom of Expression in occupied West Papua.

Once again on behalf of the ULMWP I call upon the International Community and all international supports to please keep an eye on the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua.

How can governments around the world remain silent when such obvious human rights violations continue to worsen unabated in occupied West Papua, less than 250km North of Australia?

According to International Law, we the people of West Papua have the right to Freedom of Expression and Assembly. The Indonesian government claims that it allows Freedom of Expression but has been specifically condemned by the United Nations for NOT allowing Freedom of Expression in West Papua. Terrible events like this one today, prove to the world once again that there is NO Freedom of Expression in occupied West Papua.

From the bottom of my heart, I urge all international supporters to please keep Signing and Sharing the petition. The people of West Papua have sacrificed their lives for what this petition represents. It is one of the only ways they can express themselves and their aspirations and now it is being systematically banned and those West Papuan people who sign it are at risk of being arrested, tortured and even killed.

In August 2017, this petition which has already collected tens of thousands of signatures, will be swum across Lake Geneva and into the hands of the United Nations to show the aspirations of the West Papuan people that we want self-determination. We will show the world that we the people of West Papua want to be free people at last in our ancestral homeland.


Please help to Take Action by Signing and Sharing the Global Petition for West Papua today. My people firmly believe that one day we will finally be free at last.

Benny Wenda
West Papuan Independence Leader
Spokesperson for the united Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)
This statement, written by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda was originally published on his website.


What everyone and many people can do:
a) Stop booking Indonesia for any of your holidays, conferences and/or touristic activities.
b) Stop buying ANY Indonesian palm-oil products. Indonesia is the largest producer and exporter of palm oil worldwide. Palm-oil producers and their consumers destroy natural forests worldwide (those sustainability tags are all hoaxes). Any expansion of palm oil plantations into traditionally-held forested land must STOP. Olive oil, cocos-oil and sunflower-, grapeseed- etc. oils should be found in your kitchen – but not any palm-oil!
c) Stop buying ANY products from Indonesian aquaculture (fish, shrimps etc.) – also because marine aquaculture destroys the estuarine ecosystems and freshwater aquaculture already is tainted by GMO-contaminated species.
d) Stop buying any Indomie brand instant noodles by Indofood. To eat natural food and to abstain from any instant, industrialised food is anyway more healthy.
e) Severe any business relationships with and don’t buy any fuels, lubricants or petrochemicals from Pertamina. Inside Indonesia try to become independent from electricity produced by Perusahaan Listrik Negara. Go solar!
f) Stop buying any Indonesian car or any Toyota, Daihatsu, Suzuki or Honda produced in Indonesia and help to ensure that Indonesia can NOT manufacture the South Korean KAI KF-X fighter plane.
g) USAmericans must ensure that their governance stops any weapons- or military-equipment-sales to Indonesia. Trump must stop selling arms for genocide!
h) Boycott the USAmerican mining firm Freeport McMoRan and their minority stakeholder – a similar robbber – the global mining giant Rio Tinto, wherever you find them or any of their robbed goods. The Grasberg mine is the largest gold and third largest copper mine in the world. Do your own research where you could block them and don’t get fooled by the fact that Freeport Indonesia abruptly stopped production on February 10, 2017 and laid off 10 percent of its mostly West-Papuan workers. It is just to enforce the hard 120-day ultimatum of February 12 set by Freeport’s CEO Richard Adkerson to the Indonesian government to back down on its new demands or else face arbitration from the mining mogul. Freeport’s involvement in West-Papua dates back to the Suharto military dictatorship, which signed over 250,000 acres of West Papuan territory in 1967. Neither Indonesia nor Freeport have any real rights to the Grasberg. The Grasberg belongs to the West-Papuans!



Henry Kissinger – Bloody
Hands Full of Gold

By Cheryl Seal
c. 2002 The News Insider & Cheryl Seal
Posted With Permission

It has become the joke of the day that the Bush Administration is stuffed full of “political dinosaurs” from the Cold War era who want to rattle their sabers and make one last stand like geriatric John Waynes.
They are everywhere, both in front of the curtain -Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, et al.- and behind it -Bush, Sr., James Baker, Henry Kissinger, and God only knows who else. However, what these men truly represent is no joke at all.
Behind the smokescreen of patriotism, national security and ideology, they are driven by just one motive: greed. Every single one of these players is a politician for reasons of expediency (power can buy more power). First and foremost, they are corporate tycoons whose primary goal is to advance the cause of corporations. Each one is worth millions and each one is now in a position to engineer policies that will insure they will ultimately be worth millions more.
These policies are now in the process of being pushed forward, and have so far being met with an astonishing lack of resistance. This may be because many Americans, including some Congress members, are too young to recall the true nature of the Cold War era. It may also be that some have simply failed to make themselves sufficiently informed on the nation’s political history. It is impossible to believe that anyone armed with the facts would fail to see the ugly template that is now being forced down over the face of the nation.
This article presents a chunk of political history that we hope will serve as a cautionary tale. It clearly exemplifies what the “political dinosaurs” now in charge of our nation are all about, how they operated in the past, and how they still hope to operate. The main figure, Henry Kissinger, personifies to a T the snake-like combination of unscrupulousness and superficial charm that characterizes all of these players, from Bush, Sr. to G.W. The setting, Indonesia, personifies all areas of Earth where any natural resources may be left for a greedy few to exploit in the name of “patriotism” and “national security,” be it Africa, the Amazon, Ukraine, or northern Alaska.
An Opportunist’s Dream Come True
Indonesia has long been a dream come true for opportunists (until this century they were called “explorers”). With its 17,000 islands sprinkled across the equator in the South Pacific atop a zone of tectonic upheaval, it is a land of incredible biodiversity and dramatic landscapes. Among its main islands are Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Timor (East and West), and Bali (of “South Pacific” fame). Its forests and mountains are treasure chests of exotic plants and animals, while its human population is just as diverse -as recently as the 1980s, an estimated 250 different languages were spoken there.
The first westerners to exploit the region were the Portuguese (although the Dutch had a smaller settlement earlier). In the 17th century, the Portuguese began to “mine” the forests for spices while dominating the natives with a heavy hand. These fragrant exports earned the region the name of “the Spice Islands.” Since then, this land, whose native inhabitants in some regions have lineages extending back as much as one million years, has been the focus of a greedy tug-of-war between different foreign powers and between these powers and the Indonesian native peoples. Gold aside, no Indonesian resources have been at the center of more collective strife, bloodshed, and environmental damage than oil and natural gas.
After World War II, Indonesia made a determined stand for its autonomy. By 1950, they had thrown off domination by the Japanese (who had commandeered the oil and liquid natural gas supplies during the war), then pushed away the control of the British and Indian armies, and, finally, the Dutch. The new Indonesian leader Sukarno (not to be confused with the later brutal dictator Suharto) eventually became the country’s first president. Sukarno was a visionary who pursued an ideal he called “Pancasilo,” a state of Indonesian unity in which ethnic and religious tolerance would prevail. It was a dream that was doomed to failure; halfway round the globe, forces were massing that would ultimately topple Sukarno and his government.
In the United States, after World War II, the age of the automobile had dawned. Americans in geometrically growing numbers were heading off to “See the USA in their [great big gas-guzzling] Chevrolets”. They came home from their cruises to modern oil-heated homes in proliferating suburbs. Existing US sources, already heavily exploited, soon could not match the demand for abundant, cheap fuel and so the oil companies looked elsewhere, to places such as Indonesia. At the same time, oil-rich Southeast Asia was struggling for autonomy, urged on by the growing Asian communist party, which wanted to distribute Asian wealth more evenly and shake off western control. For western oil and mineral companies, an independent Asia was a major impediment to the exploitation of Indonesia’s resources. To address this “impediment,” as early as 1953, the US National Security Council had adopted a policy of “appropriate action in collaboration with friendly countries to prevent permanent communist control of Indonesia.” However, the only real threat to the US that communism in Southeast Asia posed at that time was as a hindrance to corporations hoping to tap into cheap labor, land, and natural resources.
The history of Indonesia from 1957 on is the history of the struggle of corporations, aided and abetted by the CIA and the corrupt puppet governments they helped to set up, to maintain control over Indonesia’s resources. In 1957, the Indonesian state company Pertamina was created under Sukarno for the purpose of developing and controlling oil and natural gas for the advancement of Indonesia. This development was viewed with alarm by US petroleum companies, who themselves wanted control over the country’s oil and gas resources. Until the mid-1960s, most of Pertamina’s business partners were Chinese, not American.
In 1958, the CIA began to secretly finance, as well as create, political factions aligned against Sukarno. The agency also funneled money to a handful of corrupt, ambitious generals. Thus “fed,” these generals quickly began to grow in power and influence, both in the government and in business wheeling and dealing. Meanwhile, Sukarno was in the midst of his “Guided Democracy Movement.” Although he himself identified most closely with the communist group called the PKI, there were at that time three important political parties in Indonesia -the PKI, the nationalistic PNI and the conservative Muslims. This represented a greater democratic diversity than could be found in America at that time.
By 1964, Sukarno had grown completely disgusted by American efforts to buy influence in Indonesia and announced that he would no longer accept any aid from the US. That was when the CIA, now operating chiefly through the ambitious, greedy general Suharto, began to push forward with a relentless, carefully orchestrated plan to topple Sukarno.
The Corporate Takeover of Indonesia
In the US a Harvard professor named Henry Kissinger was steadily scooping up experience in international affairs and high-level corporate wheeling and dealing -a combination that was to later prove deadly for the people of Indonesia. From 1954 to 1969, Kissinger had his fingers in a number of juicy pies. From 1954 until 1971 he was a professor at Harvard University -though it is hard to see how he found time to teach- and was in the college’s Department of Government and its Center for International Affairs From 1955-56, he served as Study Director of Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy for the Council of Foreign Relations. From 1956-58 he was Director of the Special Studies Project for the Rockefeller Brothers and was also Director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program from 1958 to 1971.
By the time Kissinger embarked on his career as a master “diplomat” (i.e. corporate intriguer), he was extremely well versed in espionage tactics. From 1943 (the year he came to the US from Nazi Germany) to 1946, he served in the US Army Counter-Intelligence Corps and from 1946 to 1949 was a Captain in the Military Intelligence Reserve. After the war he was Director of the Psychological Strategy Board and of the Operations Research Office. In the late 1950s, his influence in Washington really began to send out tentacles. . Between 1959-68, Kissinger was, at different or overlapping times, a consultant to: the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Department of State, the Rand Corporation, the National Security Council, and the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Through this spider’s web of connections, Kissinger was privy to a bonanza of inside international information, both political and corporate and was fast becoming especially well groomed in those pertaining to Southeast Asia. By 1965, it is obvious Kissinger was using this information to speculate for personal gain in Indonesia. It is also obvious that by 1965 many top corporate execs in the US mining, logging, oil, and gas industries who had staked out potential claims in Indonesia, somehow knew that Sukarno was going to be muscled out and were circling like sharks.
In 1965, Freeport Sulfur, a company based in New Orleans, cut a private deal with the Indonesian government, through Suharto (who by now had immense power in the government) to create a copper-gold mine in West Papua. Who was the deal broker, making sure Freeport got in on the “ground floor”? There is little doubt this middle man was Henry Kissinger. At the same time, Mobile Oil Indonesia was also entering into contracts with Pertamina. It has been alleged that Kissinger also served as a deal broker in this alliance. Over a dozen other oil companies were waiting for their chance to pounce.
All that was needed to complete the scheme was to get rid of Sukarno. To engineer a coup, the CIA took a page from Hitler and the 1950s GOP and turned the PKI into the “monster under the bed.” The agency composed and printed lurid, and largely false propaganda about the communist “menace” and disseminated it throughout Indonesia. Some of the literature called for all Muslims to declare a religious Jihad against the PKI -even asserting that it was “God’s will” that all communists be killed. The coup engineers targeted young Muslim men 19-20 years of age, whom they whipped into a fear-filled, religious frenzy, then armed with weapons supplied by the US
What was most despicable about this plot was that until the party began to be persecuted in 1965, the PKI had maintained a strict policy of remaining within the law, conducting only legal protests and remaining unarmed, so as not to provoke the Indonesian military. The “crime” the PKI had committed in the eyes of corrupt generals and their western landowning allies was to urge poor peasants to demand more rights and just compensation from wealthy landowners. The PKI also demanded that the big landowners cease violating the ancient Indonesian rules of crop sharing. The peasants’ land was being used to grow sugar and rubber -not the rice that was vital to the survival of the poor. In some areas, the PKI created “armies” of farmers, who took over tracts of land and planted rice. Many of these farmers had been left without any access to land at all due to the eruption of the Ganungagung volcano.
In 1966, having set the stage by spreading suspicion, anger and fear against the communists, the CIA and Suharto went into the next act of what was to become known as the Untung Coup. Six generals still considered loyal to Sukarno were brutally murdered by Suharto and his cohorts. The communists were then framed for the crime, thereby providing Suharto with the excuse he needed to unleash a wholesale “purge” of the PKI. Hitler did much the same thing in Germany in the 1930s -he framed a young Dutch man who belonged to the communist party for blowing up the Reichstag, and thus was able to declare outright war on all communists, which constituted the only faction in Germany that had posed a serious roadblock to his complete domination.
The largely unarmed PKI members were hunted down and slaughtered in one of the most appalling bloodbaths of the 20th century. The poor farmers who had taken a few acres of land were shot down by landowners like turkeys in a shoot. Entire families in which a single member was suspected of being a communist were murdered, including children, some while they slept. Between 1965-1966 an estimated 500,000 to one million men, women, and children were massacred -most with weapons supplied by the US. “Time” magazine reported during this period that “travelers from [some] areas tell of small rivers and streams that have been literally clogged with bodies.” However, “Time,” like all media in the US in that pre-Vietnam War era (the US presence in Vietnam was still a “police action” then) was still well-indoctrinated by the anti-communist, pro-corporate dogma created by the GOP in the 1950s and sustained by the CIA and a cluster of powerful insiders through the decades ever since. In the July 15, 1966 issue of “Time,” the bloody Untung Coup was hailed as “the West’s best news in years.”
In the final step of the coup, Suharto deposed Sukarno. What followed was a feeding frenzy by Suharto, his henchmen and US corporations. Like a warlord, Suharto appropriated the best of everything he could for himself and his family -oil wells, timberlands, and sugar plantations. Thousands of acres of land were seized by companies with the blessings of Suharto. Tens of thousands of native people were killed, displaced, or “disappeared” to make way for mining, logging, and drilling operations. Suharto and the other corrupt officers of the Indonesian military were involved in every imaginable money-generating scheme, including smuggling -“a range of activities limited only by the imaginations of the military commanders.” In 1966, Suharto declared himself committed to aiding the West in its exploitation of Indonesia. In 1967, the “Foreign Investment Law” was passed, which officially threw Indonesia’s doors wide open to foreign exploitation. In 1967, guess what western company was the first to be licensed under this new, corrupt and bloodstained regime: The Freeport gold operation.
A Feudal Regime Where Enough is Never Enough
While the US companies ripped billions of dollars out of the Indonesian landscape, over 60% of the nation lived below the poverty line, many at the point of starvation. Yet, the Suharto government would always point to a handful of new schools as proof of his compassion for his country. Even in 2001, Freeport-McMoRan offers a slick propaganda brochure that shows scrubbed natives in front of a single school, and describes a smorgasbord of corporate largesse, which doesn’t really exist. The few crusts thrown to the Indonesian natives by Freeport have been in spite of the company; most real advances in the treatment of natives has occurred between 1999-2001 and then only because of the growing public outcry.
As always, when it comes to corporate greed, enough is never enough. By 1974, the US had lost Vietnam and, under Suharto’s rule, there were constant outbreaks of rebellion in Indonesia. Nowhere was the push for independence more well-organized and persistent than in East Timor. The progressive governor there decided to allow the formation of multiple political parties, which in turn lead to an intensified push for independence from the oppression of Suharto and from foreign interests. The prospect of East Timorese autonomy dismayed Suharto because he and his friends had very valuable holdings in the region, including three oil wells. If the push for independence succeeded, he might lose his “investments”. Worse yet, the push for independence could easily spread into nearby West Papua, threatening Suharto’s other interests and Kissinger’s gold mine (in which Suharto had a hefty share).
Evidence examined recently by researchers, including investigative reporter Christopher Hitchens strongly indicates that in 1975, Kissinger helped orchestrate a surprise invasion of East Timor by the Indonesian military. . Beyond any likely coincidence, Kissinger and Gerald Ford were visiting Suharto on December 6, 1975, the night before the invasion (although Ford may have been Kissinger’s dupe, used as a legitimizing “front” -or even fall guy). The next day, just an hour or so after Air Force One had cleared Indonesian air space, carrying Kissinger and Ford back to the US, the attack on East Timor was launched and the region was soon declared Indonesia’s 27th province. In the process, over 200,000 East Timorese people were slaughtered outright; tens of thousands more died of starvation and disease later.
For the next two decades, for the oil and mining industries in Indonesia, and for Henry Kissinger, it was to be business as usual.
The Rape and Murder of Irian Jaya
Henry Kissinger has one sweet deal in the Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold Co (FCX on the NYSE). Not only does he make well over $500,000 a year just for sitting on the board of directors, his “consulting” firm, Kissinger & Associates (Now Mclarty & Kissinger) rakes in $300,000-500,000 per year as the company advisors, making sure no pesky environmental regulations can ever be enforced and no poor native group can ever win a settlement for having their land poisoned. But best of all for him, he is also the majority stockholder in a company with reserves estimated at $60 billion, making it the single largest gold deposit in the world and third largest open-pit copper mine. That is, he was the majority stockholder as of a few months ago -he may now be unloading certain damning assets as fast as he can dump them in the face of the growing international scrutiny by a list of countries he has harmed in the past 40 years. To also throw the public off the scent, in January 2001, he named Roy J. Stapleton, a former US ambassador to Singapore as “managing director” (i.e. head lobbyist) of Kissinger & Associates. This accomplished two strategic things for Kissinger: it got his name off the “masthead” as legal rep. for FCX, and it will help carry on his own tradition of using inside government information to insure he gains an unfair advantage as a lobbyist
Yep, Kissinger’s got a pretty good deal all right. Especially when you consider that FCX has never had to pay much of anything to anybody but a handful of stakeholders, which includes Kissinger, good ole boy Jim-Bob Moffett (who came on board as CEO in 1981) and their golf-playing pal Suharto (although I imagine his grip on the club might be a bit slippery, what with all that blood on them from the over one million men, women and children he has been responsible for slaughtering. If you want to get a feeling for just what sort of person “Jim-Bob” is, check out this link.
-but take your airbag along. Under Suharto’s odious Contract of Work, slapped together in 1967, Suharto handed 100,000 hectares of land in the southern area of West Papua, also called Irian Jaya, to FCX for its gold mine. Neither FCX nor Suharto cared that this was not their land to carve up, but belonged to the Amaungme and Komoro people, whose lineages go back as much as one million years, according to some anthropologists. The corporation simply seized the land and booted off the natives. An estimated 2,000 people were shoved into concentration camp-like “settlements” over the next few years so their land could be turned into a giant gold mine, waste pits, processing buildings, airfields, roads, etc. (In FCX’s website, they claim no more than 1,000 people lived in the mine region at the start, but the statistics indicate this is a minimizing lie).
As the years went by, FCX gobbled up more and more forestland. Today, the operation consumes a monstrous 5.75 million acres. Instead of a few thousand natives scattered throughout the forest, able to sustain themselves off their land, FCX actually boasts in its website that Irian Jaya is now “home” to 100,000 people from all over the Indonesian region. It doesn’t add that most of them were displaced by other corporate or military operations or that they now live in congested, filthy shantytowns on the edge of the mining operation. The website says these people were drawn by the economic opportunity offered by the mine. What economic opportunity? There are only 7,000 or so jobs associated with the mining operation; most of which are filled by imported workers. The few jobs held by natives are unskilled.
But any protests by native peoples against the FCX “improvements” to Irian Jaya have been handled brutally. Thanks to Suharto and the steady supply of US weapons, FCX has been well-protected from uprisings. In fact, Irian Jaya is the most militarized zone in all of Indonesia, with a greater, more heavily armed military presence than even East Timor. There have been numerous human rights reports of atrocities by FCX’s “security forces.” Natives have been shot along the road as if they were objects for target practice, pulled off buses and murdered, others have been tortured, some have had their villages torched, yet others report being held kidnapped and held prisoner in FCX packing crates. In one particularly horrendous instance, when natives blew up a slurry pipe carrying contaminated mine wastes, the military retaliated and slaughtered an estimated 900 people.
There is no doubt at all that Kissinger is completely aware of these atrocities. But then, according to a growing body of evidence, he was also aware of the atrocities in Chile, Cambodia, Argentina, and elsewhere -not only aware but, in some cases, was actively involved in helping orchestrate them. In any case, there is no doubt he has been fully aware of the routine, environmentally devastating practices going on at the mine.
Freeport-McMoran, which derives its name from its relationship with Rio Tinto, a British/Australian mining conglomerate that owns a 12% share in the operation, is outrageously wasteful by American standards (which themselves leave something to be desired). For every 300,000 tons of ore, only 0.42 parts per million in gold is extracted. This means that to get at the tiny fraction of gold, the mountain must, literally, be chewed to pieces. By 1996, nearly 400 feet had been ripped off the top of Puncuk Jaya Mountain, a mountain that was not only sacred to local natives, but also the highest peak between the Andes and the Himalayas.
Today, the rubble from FCX’s vast giant Grasberg Mine is dumped into two neighboring valleys. In the next few decades, the company expects to blast and bulldoze THREE BILLION TONS of rock, which will form vast mounds of dangerous, slide-prone rubble. Although it is illegal to dump tailings- slurry of crushed ore, water, cyanide, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals used in ore processing – into American rivers, in Indonesia it is a routine practice. That’s because Kissinger and Jim-Bob are calling all the shots -they share equal billing at the FCX website, each being both CEO and chairman of the board of directors. Every week, millions of tons of tailings are dumped into the Ajkwa River.
The accumulated waste has blocked and flooded the river several times, contaminating (cumulatively) over 100 square kilometers of once productive land. The contamination is, for all intents and purposes (as it may take hundreds of years to abate naturally) permanent. A recent study of abandoned gold and copper mines in the American west shows that land flooded by water laced by tailings is still contaminated decades after the end of mining operations. Some patches have become wastelands, while waters in some areas downstream of the origin of contamination are still barren. The toxics accumulate in tissues of animals, so the contamination level of fish and birds can gradually climb instead of abate.
The Freeport-McMoran operation has now thoroughly contaminated the region’s watershed, an area that is home to the Lorentz Reserve, a region rich in wetlands that contains one of just three equatorial glacier zones left on Earth. As far as 80 miles downstream from the mine, villagers have had to be relocated because of the danger that the dam holding back the huge, noxious lake of tailings might break. Some people have refused to leave. Said one elderly native: “God gave this land. I will not be moved from it. If I go, what is there for my children?”
The water in the Ajkwa river, which is the lifeblood of Irian Jaya, is now unfit to drink along much of its length. Native people, especially the elderly, who do not understand why they can no longer drink the water or eat the fish from their father’s and father’s father’s river, stubbornly persist. As a result, many have been poisoned and many have died from what the Indonesian medical personnel now call “mystery diseases.” Much like Gulf War Syndrome (which is believed to be caused by a mix of toxic chemicals), natives with “mystery diseases” develop strange skin lesions and rashes, chronic nausea, and may cough up blood. The natives have said that the sweet potatoes and taro they traditionally eat now have ominous discolorations, while the skin of the wild pigs that serve as meat appears diseased. To avoid being poisoned, natives must travel sometimes many miles to commercial markets and purchase food they once hunted and gathered for free, thus fueling their poverty even more.
Perhaps the harshest plight of all is that of the “relocated.” These once free, proud people of the forest are forced to live in squalid, crowded shantytown settlements, little better than concentration camps. There, they are plagued by high rates of malaria, cholera, tetanus, sexually-transmitted diseases, and malnutrition. Infant mortality is high -twenty percent of infants do not survive- while the average life expectancy of adults is about 50 years (FCX’s “brochure” touts an increase in life expectancy in recent years, but, tellingly, fails to mention just what it is). Yet, West Papua’s central highlands have just ONE 70-bed hospital to serve 400,000 people. Despite the health risks posed by poverty coupled with a toxic environment, the Amaungme and Komaro people who chose to remain in their forest land near the mine have no access to any government medical care.
At the FCX website, there is a very long (too long -methinks they doth protest too much) section on how great things are going for the natives, how wonderful the environmental standards of the company are, how much the company has done for the natives. However, you will also notice that the “good example” being held up is not Freeport-McMoRan, but the Indonesian government’s smaller operation called Freeport-PI. But even the Freeport-PI accomplishments are somewhat pitiful. For example, we are supposed to be impressed that a whole $166 million was spent over an 11-year period on at least 100,000 people? That’s less than $200 per year per person. Meanwhile, Jim-Bob and HK probably hauled home at least $166 million between them from FCX during the same time!
The standard of life for the natives has little hope of improving. Freeport-McMoran’s labor practices systematically exclude natives, despite what their rosy little brochure would have you believe. Of over 17,000 workers (in 2000), just 100 or so were local natives, who were paid 70 cents per hour. FCX claims that as of 2001, just over 1,500 jobs are now held by natives -however, it doesn’t specify if those are local natives or just natives of Indonesia (i.e., workers imported from urban centers like Jakarta). The 1% fund the company set up for local natives has caused more problems and conflicts than it has helped -intentionally, say some human rights observers. Those overseeing the distribution of the funds are often corrupt; little of the money actually ever reaches those it was intended to help, and payments from FCX have been called arbitrary at best.
FCX’s approach to environmental outrages has consisted of liberal coats of whitewash. For example, FCX tried to make a $248,000 grant to HAMAK (Foundation for Human Rights Anti-Violence), an organization directed by Ms. Josepha Alomung, an activist who won the Goldman environmental prize in 2001. But Alomung was angered by the grant and refused to accept it. First of all, she had never applied for the grant, so it was obvious that FCX was trying to grab some “gain by association” it did not deserve through deceitful means. Even more glaringly, Alomung said she would never accept cash from an outfit whose activities ran so completely counter to her principles. Yet, in their website, FCX boasts that Ms. Alomung has been written them a letter of appreciation!
To date, FCX has never spent a dime on cleaning up the past devastation wrought by the mine -which is the equivalent in its extent of several of the largest “superfund sites” in the US. The local people receive what amounts to $300 a piece per year compensation from profits -a gesture even more pitiful than Bush’s $300 per head tax rebate. Meanwhile good ole boy turned gold baron Jim Bob Moffett once scoffed at the idea that the monster mine was poisoning the river -dumping tailings into the Ajkwa’s waters was no big deal said Jim-Bob: “It’s the equivalent of me pissing in the Arafua Sea.” But Jim Bob’s pampered, self-aggrandizing view of reality, spouted fromthe comfort of his stateside mansion, isn’t worth the breath it’s printed on.
The evidence of Freeport-McMoran’s gross environmental negligence and human rights abuses had grown so overwhelming by the mid-1990s, that the Overseas Private Investment Corps. (OPIC) canceled the company’s $100 million insurance policy in 1995, citing severe environmental problems. According to the OPIC report, FCX had “created and continues to pose unreasonable or major environmental, health, or safety hazards to the rivers that are being impacted by the tailings, the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem, and the local inhabitants.” But like all classic robber barons, Kissinger and Jim-Bob went on a vicious offensive to protect their ill-gotten gains. Immediately following the cancellation announcement, FCX brought out its big guns: money. Millions and millions of dollars were spent buying up magazine ads, TV time, and on strategic charitable donations. In short, they poured money into everything EXCEPT righting their wrongs. The company bought an entire half hour infomercial, which aired in Austin and New Orleans. In an incredible slap in the public’s face, the Public Broadcasting System station WLAE-TV in Texas aired the slot as an “educational special” at NO CHARGE! Warm-fuzzy full-page ads ran in Newsweek and US News & World Report.
When journalists started writing articles or airing stories critical of Freeport-McMoran, it simply bought most of them off (a black eye to the field of honest environmental journalism). Among the sellouts: Bill Collier, formerly of the “Austin American-Statesman,” who became FCX’s Austin spokesman, and WWL’s Garland Robinette, who took a cushy job in FCX’s PR department. It must be noted that one journalist who wrote for the “Austin Chronicle,” Robert Bryce, not only turned down a lucrative bribe job from FCX, he went onto to write more hard-hitting FCX exposes, including an extremely thorough investigative report in “Mother Jones” magazine.
Kissinger & Co. also scrambled to call in every favor and twist every arm they had access to. When Suharto tried to pressure Bill Clinton into intervening on FCX’s behalf against OPIC, Clinton, to his great credit, refused. A former CIA chief, with access to all sorts of ammunition it should have been unthinkable to use, was called into help fight OPIC. Swiss bankers, international insurers, and environmental regulators were flown into Irian Jaya all-expenses paid and given free luxury vacation-like visits and carefully choreographed tours of selected areas of the mine complex. In the end, it is not too surprising (though incredibly disappointing to those who believe in justice) that Kissinger’s clout once more prevailed and the mine’s insurance reinstated.
So, in the wake of such a close call and a growing public spotlight on FCX, did the company make sweeping remedial changes in the way it handled environmental and human rights issues? Hardly. Instead, in 1997, the company asked permission to expand the operation to TWICE the size it was at the time. One of the last things done by Suharto (who owned a substantial share in the mine) before he was forced to resign by a nation burned out by his corruption, was to approve the expansion. This approval was granted following a cozy little private conference between him and Jim-Bob Moffett. Once Suharto was gone, the company had a harder time completing their outrageous request due to the resistance of the minister in charge of mining, Kuntoro, and the Indonesian intelligentsia, who were outraged by the flagrant concessions and benefits already showered on FCX by Suharto.
However, good ole Jim-Bob just waited until the hopelessly weak new leader Habibie was installed in office, then started wheeling and dealing full force. Habibie, a pushover from day one, caved in readily. By now, Kuntoro was being pressured relentlessly by western corporations used to being given special above-the-law treatment by their “buddy” Suharto. Kuntoro was finally forced to agree to the expansion, but demanded that the mine clean up its environmental act and pay a higher royalty rate to the government. Unfortunately, most environmentalists say any environmental standards imposed on FCX remained on paper only.
The next “crisis” for FCX came when Habibie was ousted and replaced by Wahid, whom many Indonesians hoped would nationalize operations such as FCX, demoting such western gold and oil barons to the “paying guest” status which should have been theirs from the start. But Wahid, just like Habibie, proved to have feet of clay when pressured by Jim-Bob and Kissinger. In early 2000, shortly after Wahid took over, Kissinger went to Indonesia and began a process of combined intimidation and corporate bribery aimed at extracting a promise from Wahid that he would not nationalize FCX.
Rather than act in Indonesia’s best interests and demand that Kissinger completely overhaul FCX’s environmental and labor practices, in February, 2000, the corrupt Wahid made Kissinger an advisor on foreign affairs! Not only that, but he apparently gave FCX more concessions than ever. In its blurb on the NY Stock Exchange site, FCX boasts that the cost of producing gold and copper at FCX is just about the cheapest in the world (of course it is! They have no overhead, no fines, minimal taxes, pay less than $1.00 per hour for laboring jobs and never really paid for their land). It also boasts that production is at an all time high (we can just picture the devastation this is translating into!), while the costs of production and delivery are “lower than ever” (this hardly sounds promising for the local economy and workers!). It is also noted in the blurb that the company was “relieved of” its $6 million per year commitment to West Papua. This sounds suspiciously as if Wahid absolved the corporation of fulfilling their obligation to return some of its profits to the people of West Papua. In any case, the company’s revenues between January and July of this year were an astounding $985 million -almost one billion dollars.
The graph for FCX stock closely mirrors the course of US and Indonesian political events -proving that the company’s wealth is based heavily on political favor. Last summer, with the unsympathetic Clinton still in office and Wahid’s reign weakening, the stock was hovering at a lowish point. Then, toward December 1, when it became apparent Bush would succeed in stealing the White House, the stock steadily climbs again, only to fall again in late May and June when Wahid toppled from power. By the way, in 1999-2000, FCX made election donations in the US amounting to over $262,000, an estimated 2/3 of which went to the GOP. (Much of the money spent on the Democratic Party over the years has been done with an eye to insuring that FCX’s close ally (and bad apple Democrat) John Breaux of Louisiana would keep winning his senate seat, which, of course, he has.) It should also be pointed out that within days of Bush’s inauguration, Kissinger was dining with the new White House resident and Cheney at the home of former CIA “mockingbird” Katharine Graham. It should also be noted that well-grounded rumors allege that one of the names topping Cheney’s secret energy task force list is Henry Kissinger. No wonder the White House wants to keep it secret!
Now that Wahid is gone and Sukarno’s daughter, Megawati, has been made president of Indonesia, it will be very interesting to see what sort of intimidation, calling in of favors, bribes and pressures Kissinger and good ole Jim-Bob try to unleash and how dedicated to the welfare of her people and her father’s memory Megawatti will prove to be.
“The Mining Menace of Freeport-McMoRan” by Pratap Chatterje, “The Multinational Monitor,” April 1996
“Freeport Obtains Indonesian Approval to Expand World’s Largest Gold Mine,” Mike Head, World Socialist Website, February 20, 1999
“Former Secretary of State Kissinger Remembers,” East Timor Action Network (Etan); Site provides large excerpt from “The Case Against Henry Kissinger” by investigative reporter Christopher Hitchens
“Realpolitik, ” Robert Bryce, “Austin Chronicle,” May 19, 2000
Statement by John Rumbiak, the West Papua Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (submitted at the annual general meeting of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Cold, Inc.) May 3, 2001
Drillbits and Tailings, March 17, 2000 News update
“Spinning Gold,” by Robert Bryce, “Mother Jones Magazine”, Sept/Oct 1996
“Gus Dur: Don’t Sell Papua’s Future to Henry Kissinger,” Statement by Emmy Hafild, Exec. Director of WALHI-Indonesia Forum for Environment, Friends of the Earth Indonesia
“Old State, New Society: Indonesia’s New Order in Comparative Historical Perspective,” Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, “Journal of Asian Studies,” May, 1983
“Generals and Business in Indonesia,” Harold Crouch, “Pacific Affairs”, Winter 1975/76
“People Were Shot, Bleeding, and Lying on the Ground,” Mike Head, World Socialist Web Site,” Nov. 28, 1998
“We Saw Terrible Slum-Like Conditions and a Very Strong Army Presence,” Mike Head, World Socialist Website, Dec. 1 1998
“US Mine Gouges For Gold,” Danny Kennedy, “Earth Island Institute Journal,” Spring 1997
“Lawsuit in New Orleans,” Statement of Lawsuit of Irian Jaya natives versus FCX
“Election Donations of Freeport, 1999-2000”
“Statement of John Rumbiak” http://www.moles.org/ProjectUnderground/mining/freeport/statement010503.html
CorporateWatch: Statements by Jim-Bob Moffett
Photo of Gouged Out Mountain at FCX Mine in Irian Jaya
Copyright © 2002 by the News Insider and Cheryl Seal
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The $100bn gold mine and the West Papuans who say they are counting the cost

Grasberg mine in the Indonesian region has been a source of untold wealth for its owners, but local communities say it has brought poverty and oppression…

West Papua's Aikwa river
The delta of West Papua’s Aikwa river, on Kamoro tribe land. Papuans claim tailing sediment from the mine has suffocated the fish and shrimp on which their diet and economy are based. All photographs: Susan Schulman

In 1936, Dutch geologist Jean Jacques Dozy climbed the world’s highest island peak: the forbidding Mount Carstensz, a snow-covered silver crag on what was then known as Dutch New Guinea. During the 4,800-metre ascent, Dozy noticed an unusual rock outcrop veined with green streaks. Samples he brought back confirmed exceptionally rich gold and copper deposits.

Today, these remote, sharp-edged mountains are part of West Papua, Indonesia, and home to the Grasberg mine, one of the biggest gold mines – and third largest copper mine – in the world. Majority-owned by the American mining firm Freeport McMoRan, Grasberg is now Indonesia’s biggest taxpayer, with reserves worth an estimated $100bn (£80bn).

But a recent fact-finding mission (by the Brisbane Archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission) described a “slow-motion genocide” (pdf) taking place in West Papua, warning that its indigenous population is at risk of becoming “an anthropological museum exhibit of a bygone culture”.

Since the Suharto dictatorship annexed the region in a 1969 UN referendum largely seen as a fixed land grab, an estimated 500,000 West Papuans have been killed in their fight for self-rule. Decades of military and police oppression, kidnapping and torture have created a long-standing culture of fear. Local and foreign journalists are routinely banned, detained, beaten and forced to face trial on trumped-up charges. Undercover police regularly trail indigenous religious, social and political leaders. And children still in primary school have been jailed for taking part in demonstrations calling for independence from Indonesia.

“There is no justice in this country,” whispered one indigenous villager on condition of anonymity, looking over his shoulder fearfully. “It is an island without law.”


Dozy had not set out to find gold in 1936; his goal was to scale the region’s highest glacial peak. But his discovery sparked the interest of Freeport Sulphur – later to become Freeport Minerals Company and then, through a 1981 merger with the McMoRan Oil and Gas Company, Freeport McMoRan – whose board of directors included the well-connected Godfrey Rockefeller (serving from 1931 until the early 1980s) and Henry Kissinger (1988-1995).

Today, indigenous tribes such as the Kamoro and the Amungme claim their communities have been racked with poverty, disease, oppression and environmental degradation since the mine began operations in 1973.

Chief of the Kamoro tribe, in Tipuka, West Papua
Chief of the Kamoro people, Hironimus Urmani, in Tipuka, close to the Grasberg mine.

“We are a coastal people, and we depend on the environment,” says the Kamoro’s chief, Hironimus Urmani, in Tipuka, a lowland village down-river from the Grasberg mine. “Nature is a blessing from God, and we are known by the three Ss: sago [trees], sampan [canoes] and sungai [rivers]. But life is very difficult now.”

Urmani motions to the river opposite, languishing green and motionless. He claims that tailing sediment from the mine has raised the riverbed, suffocating the fish, oysters and shrimp on which the Kamoro diet and economy are traditionally based. A 2012 report from Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada asserts that mine waste from Grasberg has “buried over 166 square kilometres of formerly productive forest and wetlands, and fish have largely disappeared”.

Although most Kamoro still try to eke out a living fishing and foraging for food, they struggle to find paid work, says Urmani. “We need to earn money. But now we face major competition from non-Papuan migrants.”

Locals fear that the government’s controversial transmigration programme, which resettles Indonesians from high-density islands such as Java to low-population areas, is wiping out their population completely. Indigenous Melanesian Christians – they comprised 96% of the population in 1971 (pdf) – now make up a 48% minority, with numbers expected to fall to 29% by 2020 if migration rates continue.

West Papua

Clashes between the indigenous Christians – and migrant Indonesian Muslims – have also resulted in riots, fires and injuries.

“Land has been taken away, directly by Freeport … and indirectly, as the Indonesian settlers have appropriated it,” says Dr Agus Sumule, professor of agricultural socio-economics at the University of Papua.

“The stresses [on indigenous people] are intense,” says Sumule. “They have been very negatively impacted.”

The Indonesian government signed over to Freeport the right to extract mineral wealth from the Grasberg site in West Papua in 1967. A 2002 report from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) details that land agreements were not negotiated with the Amungme until 1974, a year after the mine opened, and with the Kamoro in 1997.

The compensation paid for Kamoro and Amungme land has been mainly in the form of communal benefits, such as the building of homes, schools and places of worship. The IIED report notes, “Perceptions of land rights and historic compensation claims are a continuing source of dissatisfaction and conflict in the mining area.”

Recent census data shows Papua’s GDP per capita at $3,510, compared to the Indonesian average of $2,452. Yet Papua has the highest poverty rate in the country, nearly three times the national average. It also has the highest infant, child and maternal mortality rates in Indonesia, as well as the worst health indicators, and the poorest literacy rates.

The scale of destitution is best observed from the highland Amungme village of Banti, just 20 miles down from the Grasberg mine.

The river Aikwa, near Banti
The river Aikwa, near Banti, is turned thick and silver with the tailings from the mine. Here, artisanal miners pan the tailings for gold.

Estimates from Earthworks suggest that Freeport dumps as much as 200,000 tonnes of mine waste, known as tailings, directly into the Aikwa delta system every day. The practice has devastated the environment, according to Earthworks and locals, turning thousands of hectares of verdant forest and mangroves into wasteland and rendering turgid the once-crystal waters of the highlands.

The tailings from the Grasberg mine are so rich with ore that Papuans walk for as long as a week to get here. Crowding the length of the river and the delta wasteland, thousands of unlicensed panners shore up small sections to slow the river’s flow and dig into the thick sediment on the side.

Although some of these panners are located within Freeport’s official mining operations, they are not evicted or controlled in any way, they said. Instead, they claim they sell their findings to the police and military who work as security on the mine. (An anonymous Freeport source also confirmed this).

One of the panners, Martine Wandango, 25, bends over her pail of water as she filters out rocks and searches for ore. “You can only survive with money, and you can only find money from gold,” says Martine, who followed her husband to the delta 15 years ago by walking 60 miles over the mountains from their remote highland village.

The Aikwa river delta, near Timika
The Aikwa river, which used to provide the Kamoro people with the staples of their existence.

“I work really hard as I want to give my children better lives, so they can go to school. But it isn’t enough, so she helps me here mining,” says Martine of her daughter, nine, who swings a gold pan in her hands. “On a good day, I can get three grammes, which I sell either to the police or [to buyers] in Timika.”

A tiny village when Freeport arrived here 40 years ago, Timika is now a boom town dotted with bars, brothels, gold-processing shops and various military personnel. Under Indonesian law, Freeport is a designated “strategic industry”, which mandates that external security for the mine, its access roads and its pipelines all be provided exclusively by Indonesia’s security forces. Freeport has never been implicated in any human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Indonesian military in Papua.

Freeport McMoRan, based in Phoenix, Arizona, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The company’s website defends its method of disposal of tailings at Grasberg, managed by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), an affiliate company: “PTFI’s controlled riverine tailings management system, which has been approved by the Indonesian government, uses the unnavigable river system in the mountainous highlands near our mine to transport tailings to an engineered area in the lowlands where the tailings and other sediments are managed in a deposition area.”

A 2009 report by the company says it utilises levees to contain tailings in the deposition area, and that the tailings management programme costs Freeport McMoRan $15.5m (£12.7m) each year. According to the report, company monitoring of aquatic life in the rivers found that fish and shrimp were suitable for consumption, as regulated by Indonesian food standards, while water quality samples met Indonesian and US Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards for dissolved metals. In a 2011 BBC report on alleged pollution in the area surrounding Grasberg, the company says that the tailings management method was chosen because studies showed the environmental impact caused by its waste material was reversible.

Elsewhere on its website, the company says: “We are committed to respecting human rights. Our human rights policy requires us (and our contractors) to conduct business in a manner consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to align our human rights due diligence practices with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles).”

The company also emphasises its work with indigenous people in West Papua. A 2015 Freeport McRoRan report on working towards sustainable development said: “PTFI has engaged with indigenous Papuan tribes for decades, including through numerous formal agreements to promote workforce skills training, health, education and basic infrastructure development … In 2015, PTFI continued to evaluate the effectiveness of alternate options for Kamoro community members whose estuary transport routes are impacted by sedimentation associated with the controlled riverine tailings management system. Provision of smaller sized boats, in addition to 50 passenger vessels, for route flexibility as well as additional local economic development programmes were identified as additional mitigation measures during the year.”

Back in the area surrounding the Grasberg mine, many Papuans, struggling for work, find themselves pulled into the bar and sex industries that cater to the miners, particularly around the highland village of Banti. Here brothels and bars line up side by side, allegedly with help from the Indonesian military, who are said to supply sex workers and alcohol, according to a Freeport source who wished to remain anonymous.

Inside a brothel complex in Timika, West Papua
Inside a brothel complex in Timika, West Papua. HIV rates in the region are of ‘epidemic’ proportions, according to the UN, 15 times higher than anywhere else in Indonesia.

Indigenous chiefs have watched as a newfound promiscuity has brought sexually transmitted infections that have ravaged their communities. “Traditional Papuan culture forbids free sex, but alcohol makes our communities vulnerable,” says the Amungme chief, Martin Mangal. “And brothels make it easy to contract HIV.”

HIV rates in West Papua are of “epidemic” proportions, according to the UN, 15 times higher than anywhere else in Indonesia. Driven almost entirely by unsafe sex, HIV is also far more prevalent among indigenous Papuans. Yet the existence of only one hospital – built by Freeport – means that most people, particularly those in remote highland villages, don’t get the help they need.

Late last year, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, claimed he was willing to work towards a “better Papua”: “I want to listen to the people’s voices.”

However, human rights violations have actually increased since Widodo took power, according to Indonesia’s Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (Kontras), which has logged 1,200 incidents of harassment, beatings, torture and killings of Papuans by Indonesian security forces since his election in 2014.

The Indonesian government did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The country’s military has consistently denied any wrongdoing in Papua.

Tribes from all over the region have come to Banti in order to exploit the artisanal mining of the river
Tribes from across the region have come to Banti in order to exploit the artisanal mining of the river, causing significant disruption to life in the village.

Despite everything, there have been small glimmers of hope. This summer, Dutch human rights law firm Prakken D’Oliveira submitted a formal legal complaint against Indonesia to the UN Human Rights Council, accusing the government of “long-term, widespread and systematic human rights violations” and the “complete denial of the right to self-determination of the people of West-Papua”.

Later this year, West Papua is expected to be granted full membership of the Melanesian Spearhood Group, an important sub-regional coalition of countries including Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

The Brisbane commission, which warned of the risk of genocide, is calling on Indonesia to allow Papua, once and for all, the right to self-determination.

Yet some fear the opportunity for change in Papua is long gone.

“Is healing even possible?” asked Professor Agus Sumule, shaking his head. “It could be too late.”


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