Indonesia’s Claims to Papua

Oct 30th, 2010, in News, by

Indonesia’s claim to Papua is self-contradictory. One cannot claim (as Indonesians often claim) that the Dutch presence in Indonesia was illegitimate and that the borders of the Netherlands Indies were mainly fixed by violence (as they were) and appeal to this same presence and these same borders as a basis for a legitimate Indonesian claim. The only open avowal of this inconsistency from an Indonesian that I have come across is the lecture that Dr. George Aditjondro gave some fifteen years ago for the Monash Asia Institute in Melbourne (see http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54b/034.html).

Of course very much the same situation holds for other parts of Indonesia but for many of those one can, more or less convincingly, claim that they were somehow, though often only marginally, involved in the struggle for independence and that the Sukarno-Hatta declaration of the 17th of August 1945 was therefore at least implicitly accepted as being valid in and for these regions as well.

No such claim can be made for Papua. Papuans only knew Indonesians then as the Ambonnese and Keiese who served as teachers or in the lower ranks of the administration. They were by and large not popular. There was already then a definite “anti-Amberi” sentiment. Also, Papua was only partly occupied by the Japanese and these could not promote in the occupied part a nascent nationalist anti-western movement because that simply did not exist (the Koreri movement in the Biak-Numfor area was quite a different kettle of fish). Furthermore, the Americans, with some Dutch involvement, liberated Papua about one year before the Japanese surrendered in Java. Thus the Dutch administration had either been continued throughout the war or been properly restored in other parts well before the Sukarno-Hatta declaration was made.

I quote from the English language summary of the thus far most thorough study of the preliminaries of the so-called “Act of Free Choice”, that which Professor Pieter Drooglever was commissioned to write by the then Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Aartsen (“Een Daad van Vrije Keuze” 2005):

“The development of Indonesian nationalism entirely passed the Papuans by … (also) New Guinea had, in most respects, a different occupation history than the rest of Indonesia. It was only partially occupied. The Dutch influence continued to prevail in the south and in the interior. The occupation was also shorter and the island was liberated by the American army in the middle of 1944 already. The Dutch were also involved in this, and quickly took the administration back into their own hands. As a result, the restoration of power took place well before the independent Indonesian Republic was proclaimed on Java on 17 August 1945.”

I wish to say more about this.

(http://www.safecom.org.au/drooglever.htm)


100 Comments on “Indonesia’s Claims to Papua”

  1. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Seventeen years after the declaration of independence that Indonesia had unilaterally claimed was also valid for Papua it had to assent to an agreement (the New York Agreement of August 1962), which provided for an “act of free choice” for the indigenous population of Papua. This took place in 1969 but is now internationally regarded as a sham and widely known as the “Act of No Choice”. Of course it is not so described by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It wrote in a release dated November 2002:

    The New York Agreement did not specifically state the procedure and method of the implementation of the act of free choice. Therefore, the appropriate means that was suitable to the level of social, economic, and cultural development and the geography of West Irian needed to be established. This was due to the fact that the New York Agreement did not require the implementation “one man one vote” system on the act of self determination. There was no engineering involved and no cause for suspicion, for the reason that according to international law, there was no obligation that an act of self determination had to apply a “one man one vote” system.

    The New York Agreement did indeed not explicitly say that the “one man one vote” system had to be employed but it did say, in article XVIII d that the act of self-determination had to be carried out “in accordance with international practice”. It is clear that getting 0,001 % of the population together and then forcing them virtually at gunpoint, to come up with the desired result can hardly be called international practice. The UN General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV) of 1960 states what was regarded as international practice at the time. This Resolution states that the integration of one territory with another should result from the

    eely expressed wishes of the Territory’s peoples acting with full knowledge of the change in their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage.

    Indonesia’s excuse that a “one man one vote system” was not suitable in Papua given the level of “social, economic and cultural development” was as disingenuous as the “act of no choice” itself. The Dutch had already in 1961 held successful elections that were largely based on that system for the New Guinea Council.
    So now Indonesia is reduced to the scant “legitimacy” provided by UN General Assembly Resolution 2504 of the 19th of November 1969 that says, inter alia,:

    Having received the report on the conduct and results of the act of free choice7 submitted by the Secretary-General in accordance with article XXI, paragraph 1, of the Agreement,
    1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General and acknowledges with appreciation the fulfillment by the Secretary-General and his representatives of the tasks entrusted to them under the Agreement of 15 August 1962 between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea (West Irian);

    So this is really all it is. Note has been taken of the adequate “fulfillment” by the UN of the task entrusted to it by the New York Agreement of August 1962.
    It is of course now widely known that the UN did NOT fulfill the task entrusted to it. The representative of the UN Secretary General for the organization of the so-called “Act of Free Choice”, the Bolivian Fernando Ortiz-Sanz, danced to the tune prescribed by the Government of Indonesia and the UN Ambassador in Indonesia, Lydman. The telegram dated 4 October 1968 that the latter sent to the State Department about the matter has in the fullness of time come to light. I quote some revealing sentences from it:

    He (i.e. Ortiz-Sanz A.B.) CONCEDES that it would be inconceivable from the point of view of the interests of the UN as well as GOI (i.e. Government of Indonesia A.B.), that a result other than the continuance of West Irian within Indonesia sovereignty should emerge.(emphasis added A.B.)

    It is also clear from this telegram that Ortiz-Sanz was scheming to pilot the result in such a fashion through the UN General Assembly that there would be hardly any opportunity for debate. I quote: Ortiz

    would recommend to the SYG that the report be submitted to the GA sometime towards the end of the 1969 session in order to avoid continuing possibly contentious debate if the report were delivered earlier in the UNGA session.

    The Under-Secretary of the UN who had at that time special responsibility for Papua, Chakravarty Narasimhan, has since admitted that the General Assembly’s decision on the matter was just a whitewash:

    ??

    It was just a whitewash. The mood at the United Nations was to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible… Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a million people there who had their fundamental human rights trampled… How could anyone have seriously believed that all voters unanimously decided to join his [Suharto’s] regime?… Unanimity like that is unknown in democracies.

    The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign affairs says hopefully:

    This international recognition could not be annulled or revoked, for not one country in the world could challenge the legitimacy of the territory of Irian Jaya as part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. The principle of integrity and sovereignty of any state is one of the main principles embodied in the United Nations Charter. Consequently, any separatist movement would be rejected by the international community, as it violated the principles and objectives of the United Nations.

    This is nonsense. The article of the UN Charter presumably referred to (there is no other likely candidate) is Art 2.4:

    All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

    A separatist movement is an internal affair and not a matter of “international relations”.

    The International Court of Justice is bound to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Charter as the highest form of International law. In the matter of Kosovo it recently came with the advisory opinion that the unilateral declaration of independence (by a separatist movement) does not violate international law:

    The court delivered its advisory opinion on 22 July 2010, by a vote of 10 to 4 it declared, “the declaration of independence of the 17th of February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no ‘prohibition on declarations of independence’.

    Many states have now recognised the independence of Kosovo.

    I will write a bit more about this.

  2. avatar indonesia tulen says:

    After they erased malenesia/aborigin from Australia and Indian from North Amerika then they complain about Papua people in Indonesia. Papua people still there, not as Aborigin or Indian. So think twice if you want to bring out about human right/ souverignity in Papua.

  3. avatar madrotter says:

    interesting read arie looking forward to read more!

  4. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Indonesia Tulen,

    I take it that you thought twice before you wrote this but the result is not up to scratch. What about including a fact checking round (and, when you are at it, a spelling check)?

    According to data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2001 the resident population of indigenous Australians was then 458,520. The same Bureau mentioned in the Yearbook of Australian Statistics of 2002 that the indigenous population of Australia at the time of European settlement is estimated to have been between 318,000 and 750,000. So the present population is approximately between these numbers. It is still a matter of debate to what extent the growth of this population has been curbed by deliberate mistreatment or the introduction of diseases such as smallpox etc.

    According to the CIA World Fact Book the population of American Indian descent is, including Alaska, 0,97 % of the total population or about 3 million people.

    The most conservative estimates for population losses in Papua (those by Dr.K.Lagerberg) are that since the arrival of the Indonesians at least 30,000 have been murdered in actions of the security forces and another 120,000 have died as a result of neglect and starvation.

    The referral to the situation of Australian aborigines is a standard item in Indonesian apologetics for its mistreatment of minorities such as the Papuans. I would love to see, however, on the Indonesian side the same endeavour as I see here in Australia for rectifying past mistreatment.

    The anachronistic element in these apologetics is laughable. Harping on events in the past as a justification for the crimes of today is deliberately ignoring the fact that standards have changed. Torture, for instance, was once an accepted judicial practice. Today it is or should be a crime.

  5. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Hi Madrotter, for the time being I only want to add this:

    It is a curious matter that the sham “Act of No Choice” internationally often seems to evoke more indignation than the actual mistreatment of the Papuans. I ascribe this to the fact that mistreatment mainly happens to other people whereas a deliberate public swindle seems to affect all of us. We are being swindled.

    Whatever the case may be, one of the most prestigious groups of activists on Papua, the “International Parliamentarians for West Papua” has as its main goal to get the UN to put in place arrangements for the free exercise of the right of self-determination.

    The group was launched in the British Houses of Parliament on the 15th of October 2008, where the Labour MP Andrew Smith and the erstwhile Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, chaired the event. It has, since then, also had launches in the parliaments of Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the European Parliament. According to the relevant Wiki the group has the support of politicians in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the Netherlands.

  6. avatar Bobotoh Keukeuh says:

    It’s Freeport and BP that make Papuans suffer, Eliminate them first, then you can eliminate Inodnesia from Papua. Indonesia only get less profit from the land of papua, while the Freeport and BP take all the Papua’s gold, oil and gas.

  7. avatar anon says:

    hi,
    I am curious as to what the writer of this article has to say about the fact that the dutch previously recognized sovereignty of ternate/tidore over papua?

  8. avatar Ross says:

    The tricky part of any consultation would be the fact that Papuans are now very nearly a minority in their own country.

  9. avatar David says:

    This could be a reply to ‘Indonesia tulen’ as well, but I stumbled across this the other day – West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census:
    “Slow Motion Genocide” or not?

    By Jim Elmslie, 15/09/10
    Papua Papers no. 1,
    A report prepared for the West Papua Project at the Centre for Peace and Conflict
    Studies, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, September, 2010.

    http://sydney.edu.au/arts/peace_conflict/research/west_papua_project.shtml

    These are what they believe are the current population figures:

    Papuan population = 1,760,557: 48.73%
    Non-Papuan population = 1,852,297: 51.27%
    Total population – 3,612,854 100%

    These are their projections for 2020 assuming current rates of increase among each group continues:

    Papuan population 2,112,681: 28.99%
    Non-Papuan population 5,174,782: 71.01%
    Total population 7,287,463 100%

    So if they are right (and I have no idea if they are, and they are clearly a partisan source) then it would be a done deal, permanently, the Papuans will be a majority only in isolated areas, which could not form an independent state, without the towns. Unless the newcomers were driven out.

  10. avatar Ross says:

    Yes, I recall reading about five or more years ago that Papuans still had a bare majority, but with continuing formal or informal transmigrasi, it seems likely that the figures you have, David, are correct.

  11. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Anon

    If you attach any value to this juridical step by the Dutch you should go the whole hog and recognize other juridical steps from that side as well. In 1660 the VOC concluded a treaty with the Sultan of Tidore in which his (nominal) sovereignty over Papua and the islands around it was recognized. The main aim of this treaty seems to have been to get via him at the Spice Islands more to the South.

    In 1828 the Netherlands claimed by royal proclamation sovereignty over Papua. Any form of administration by Tidore (of which in fact there never was a trace) would be that of a vassal state. In 1848, and again in 1885, the Dutch made a show of once again pushing the claims of Tidore as a reaction to supposed annexationist aspirations of the British. When they actually started to administer the island directly around 1900 they did not bother to nullify Tidore’s right to administer the island under overall Dutch sovereignty – a right that had never been consummated anyway.

    However in July 1949, thus before the actual transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia, the Dutch corrected this oversight by making use of a 1909 treaty with the Sultans which gave them the right to nullify at any time of their choosing the supposedly indirect administration of the Sultanate by incorporating it (including Papua) as directly ruled territory.

    There is virtually unanimous recognition by historians that Tidore’s claim was fictitious and nominal. There never was any form of Tidorese administration in Papua and the Tidorese presence was mainly felt there by the occasional appearance on the horizon of ‘hongi’ fleets, out to capture Papuan slaves.

    Anyway, all these considerations are largely irrelevant in view of the fact that Indonesia, whatever its supposed rights to the island, bound itself by the New York Agreement of August 1962 to the condition that these could only be enjoyed if an “act of free choice” by its population allowed it do so. There never was an “act of free choice”

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    Actually Bobotoh,

    It’s Freeport and BP that make Papuans suffer, Eliminate them first, then you can eliminate Inodnesia from Papua. Indonesia only get less profit from the land of papua, while the Freeport and BP take all the Papua’s gold, oil and gas

    That is pretty much an inaccurate shrill from any perspective.

    The Indonesian Government extracts far more from taxes, royalities and assorted fees including the sub hiring of thugs for security per ton, kilo or other measure than Freeport ever does. Not to mention the fact that the Indonesian Government is a significant shareholder in Freeport and should rightfully be considered a co-owner (20% plus). Admittedly it was a about three years ago but when I last checked Freeport contributed 42% of Papua’s GNP and 3% of Indonesia’s. Too bad barely a dollar of the money ever made its way back from the grubby little thieves in Jakarta to those in need in Papua.

    An debate could be had if the Papuan people would be better off with no natural resources (the oh so common resource curse) however the abject nonsense about foreigners coming in and exploiting the poor Indonesian people is really unforgivable ignorance in this day and age of information.

    You want examples of truely unethical and exploitive behaviour take a drive out via Surabaya and a little mud bath or perhaps the check out the outright theft of land for Palm Deserts in Kalimantan.

    While it’s populist nonsense to keep ignoring what is happening in Indonesia by trying to blame outsiders the fact is the cancer is well entrenched within and the remedy remains squarely with the Indonesian people and no one else.

  13. avatar Oigal says:

    Then again, its a common story without the abject exploitation of the provinces the Jakarta elite would long ago been feeding on their own waste and lamenting the demise of a now throughly compromised culture.

  14. avatar Lairedion says:

    I’m inclined to support Papua’s claim on self-governance as Papua and the Malay archipelago are two totally different worlds. For too long the Papuans have been the victim of brutality by Indonesia and their sneaky Western allies hungry to exploit the vast resources of West Papua.

    For the Indians, Maori and Aborigines it’s already too late. They have been marginalized and are now serving as tourist attractions. For the Papuans maybe it’s not too late yet to regain control over their own lands however time is running out.

  15. avatar anon says:

    I think, given the situation in neighboring countries other than indonesia, papua will be better off staying with indonesia. This argument about difference of culture does not sell.. as javanese is as different with papuan as achehnese and ambonese.. or with balinese.. or with west timorese. This whole problem was the product of colonial project gone wrong. The dutch wanted a place in the tropical region for winter vacation, so they try to set papua up as a place for their ex expatriate from indonesia..
    The independent movement was influenced by the dutch during the time between new york agreement and transfer of sovereignty.. instead of trying to keep status quo, they gave a promise of independence, which was not theirs to make, per the new york agreement.

    As for the new york agreement, it was between indonesia, netherland, and UN, and all parties involved came to conclucion that the plebiscite was legitimate. That was the end of the question of sovereignty.

    Opening up this question again now will bring into question how countries can expect other coutries to live up to the agreement the agreed to. So that counts out netherland, australia or united states opening up this question again.. give it up.
    Islands have been changing hands between countries without anyone on it aware of anything.. like guam, hongkong, gibraltar, and many little places in central europe… they did not get to vote on it.

    The fact that dutch and other westerner needed to ask for a written permission from sultan in tidore when they went there means a lot in term of legitimacy of Indonesian claim of historical basis for sovereignty.

  16. avatar diego says:

    Why are you guys bulays “campur tangan” with Papua thing? I mean, what do you gain? Unless you work for public relation company (who get paid for smear campaigns against indonesia), I really don’t understand your motivation. Human rights? Puh-leeze…. You just love bashing indonesia, right?

  17. avatar Lairedion says:

    I said self-governance, not independence. West Papua as part of Indonesia has been internationally recognized since 1969.

    We cannot deny Papua has received a disproportionate amount of brutality from Indonesia. The West is partly to blame also for playing their usual shameful part by looking away because they were hungry to partner with Indonesia in exploiting Papua’s resources. In my opinion Indonesia deserves criticism for the way it runs Papua. Munir Said Thalib has addressed this many times and had to pay with his life.

  18. avatar Ross says:

    I thought Hatta was quite unequivocal in saying that if the Papuans didn’t want to be part of the NKRI, they needn’t be forced into it.

  19. avatar Lairedion says:

    Indonesia, like any other nation, must be willing to accept any criticism, which is fair enough.

    Unfortunately the author of this piece cannot show the same honesty when bule crimes are addressed. Suddenly these crimes are expired, irrelevant or we are confronted with vague statements about the number of natives in Australia and the Americas, ignoring these territories have been overrun and stolen by bules, next to relentless searching for Indonesian “crimes” committed during the independence struggle.

  20. avatar diego says:

    You expressed what I wanted to say much better Lair (as usual).

  21. avatar diego says:

    Oh, and, thanks 🙂

  22. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Lairedion you are just badly informed. Do some checking up please before you come with these sweeping statements. The idea that the aborigines and, particularly, the Maoris are now only tourist attractions and that it is too late for them to be anything else would be regarded by their leaders as an attempt to write them off. They are not planning to be written off and neither is governmental policy aiming at that. Read up a bit on Noel Pearson’s views.

  23. avatar diego says:

    I think this makes sense only when Papua wasn’t part of NKRI.

    Do you think it’s fair bulays robbed all the natural resources of papua, then indonesia take the blame, and then bulays whisper to the papuans “hey, free yourself from evil indonesians”, and when (god forbids) that happens, bulays will rob all the natural resources of papua (again).

  24. avatar Arie Brand says:

    The independent movement was influenced by the dutch during the time between new york agreement and transfer of sovereignty.. instead of trying to keep status quo, they gave a promise of independence, which was not theirs to make, per the new york agreement.

    Anon, am I missing something here? Are you claiming that the New York Agreement required the Dutch to keep the status quo and that they didn’t do so? About two months after the New York Agreement the Dutch had left the area, lock, stock and barrel, and after that their influence there was virtually nil. Ultimately they colluded with the Indonesians to get the result of that sham “Act of Free Choice” through the UN General Assembly. In that sense there are good grounds for the Papuan accusation that the Dutch finally betrayed them.

    The fact that dutch and other westerner needed to ask for a written permission from sultan in tidore when they went there means a lot in term of legitimacy of Indonesian claim of historical basis for sovereignty

    You are not getting that right I think. I have no access here to the “Corpus Diplomaticum Neerlando-Indicum” in which all these treaties are to be found but I can make a good guess as to what was in it. In the first place cooperation against the Spaniards who were still trying then to get a foothold in that region. Secondly, a so-called “extirpation contract” by which the Sultan bound himself to destroy in his area any spice trees of which the product didn’t get into the hands of the VOC and to provide a veneer of legitimacy to similar VOC activities in the areas to which he made a claim. The VOC aim was to keep production limited, to monopolise it and to keep prices high. Otherwise it wasn’t worth their while to transport the stuff all the way to Europe. I don’t think these worthies bothered much about permission to go somewhere. Access to the Spice Islands meant, mainly, “legal” permission to destroy spice trees that threatened their monopoly.

    In 1995 I visited in either Ternate or Tidore (my memory is not clear on this) the palace of the Sultan, now a sort of museum. Among other things I was shown a nicely decorated stick there and on my question where it came from I was told: from Mindanao as a sign of its subjection. Having just come from there, via Menado, I found that rather amusing. But when I checked up later I found that there was some substance to that claim. I have my notes on it here. Apparently under the fourth Sultan, Babulah Datuh Sah (1570-1583), Ternate’s influence was greatest and stretched, in the North, as far as Mindanao. We are further told that in the East it went as far Banda, in the South to Bima and in the West to Ujung Pandang (there is no talk of Papua).

    I have an idea that the Filipino’s would be very surprised if today Indonesia came knocking on their door to demand a part of Mindanao.

  25. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Lairedion

    Unfortunately the author of this piece cannot show the same honesty when bule crimes are addressed. Suddenly these crimes are expired, irrelevant or we are confronted with vague statements about the number of natives in Australia and the Americas, ignoring these territories have been overrun and stolen by bules, next to relentless searching for Indonesian “crimes” committed during the independence struggle.

    Ah, Lairedion. The simple fact is that the post colonial record of many (not all) newly independent societies is, in terms of the respect for human rights, absolutely abysmal. For too long these things have been ascribed to the aftereffects of colonialism and the perpetrators, and those who provide their ideological cover (as you do in spite of your faux indignation about it all) , have found more ammunition for their apologetics in stories about the crimes of the past.

    Well I have news for you – the past is the past. Nothing can be done about it now. Coming up with generally badly informed stories about it is not very helpful in bringing about change where that still can be done.

    As to my “relentless search” for Indonesian crimes – unfortunately one doesn’t have to search very hard. They jump from the page, so to say.

  26. avatar diego says:

    Well, we can say the same thing about Papua: “Well I have news for you – the past is the past. Nothing can be done about it now.”

    Well done, human-rights defender.

  27. avatar Arie Brand says:

    I thought Hatta was quite unequivocal in saying that if the Papuans didn’t want to be part of the NKRI, they needn’t be forced into it.

    Ross.

    That is correct. Hatta knew Papua from his own (dismal) experience and didn’t judge it to be a part of the ‘real’ Indonesia. Sukarno was of course of a different opinion. Hatta was the main negotiator on the Indonesian side during the Round Table Conference where he had to represent the prevailing Indonesian view about Papua rather than his personal opinion. Apparently he was then assured behind the scenes by Dutch political friends that if matters could cool down a bit after the transfer of sovereignty the transfer of Papua could be managed without creating much of a stir. When that didn’t happen he apparently felt betrayed.

    But the simple fact is that matters didn’t cool down. On the contrary, they got from bad to worse. There was, in the first place, the demolition, by Jakarta, of the federal structure to which it had agreed only eight months before. But what really turned Dutch public opinion was the brutal suppression of the independence movement in Ambon.

    Would a “noiseless” transfer of Papua in those early days have been a happy affair? I tend to agree with Droogleever, who wrote the main study about it all, that that is unlikely. There was already then a definite “anti-Amberi” sentiment in Papua and given the role that the army has played in post independence Indonesian history, and its ham fisted approach, to put it mildly, to all things that require a delicate touch the ultimate situation might not have been very different.

  28. avatar Lairedion says:

    Indonesian crimes should be judged on their own. When will you judge bule/Dutch crimes on their own in stead of always seeking a cheap excuse by pointing to Indonesia?

  29. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Indonesian crimes should be judged on their own. When will you judge bule/Dutch crimes on their own in stead of always seeking a cheap excuse by pointing to Indonesia?

    Hey, I might have missed something but I have thus far seen nothing from your side about Indonesian crimes in the immediate post war period – perhaps you mean by judging “on their own”: indoors, with the blinds drawn?

    What I have tried to do is to show that the post-war violence didn’t take place in a vacuum in which only one party was acting. Too much of both Indonesian and Dutch present day comments about it falsely suggest that the latter was the case. That might provide a good rationale for an orgy in finger pointing but it is lousy history.

  30. avatar Oigal says:

    As for the new york agreement, it was between indonesia, netherland, and UN, and all parties involved came to conclucion that the plebiscite was legitimate. That was the end of the question of sovereignty.

    Seems you left out the people of Papua… Legitimate is the last work that springs to mind to anyone with even the faintest grasp of what ocurred.

    That is not to say that Papua would not be better off remaining as part of Indonesia but that would need to be a real federated Indonesia not exploitive and brutal situation that now exists for the benefit of a very very few.

    Oh and it is just so much nonsense to keep blaming the dutch for cowards burning indonesian citizens with fire sticks or laughing at Indonesian citizen dying from a stomach wound.

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