A Papuan activist carries a placard stating that the 1969 Act of Free Choice (Pepera) is undemocratic, during a protest outside the United States Embassy in Central Jakarta on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Papuan Activists Mark 56th Commemoration of New York Agreement
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
AUGUST 15, 2019
Papuan activists marched in Central Jakarta on Thursday to mark the 56th commemoration of the United Nations-brokered New York Agreement, which saw control over the western portion of the island of New Guinea transferred from the Netherlands to Indonesia.
The agreement, signed by the two countries at the UN headquarters in New York on Aug. 15, 1962, guarantees West Papuans the right to self-determination in accordance with international practice.
The protestors gathered outside the United States Embassy in Central Jakarta before making their way to Aspiration Park in front of the State Palace, where they sang "Bintang Kejora" ("Morning Star"), the unofficial anthem of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and other separatist groups.
The protestors demanded the withdrawal of the Indonesian Military (TNI) from Papua, an end to exploitation and deforestation, and full independence from Indonesia.
They also rejected the result of the Act of Free Choice (Pepera), an election held on Aug. 2, 1969, in which 1,025 men and women selected by the TNI unanimously voted in favor of Indonesian control.