Though West Papua's independence movement started in the early 1930s,
it was only after Indonesian colonization of the 1960s that free speech
and the independence movement became illegal and West Papuans had to
risk their lives to talk about politics or support their own
political freedom and independence from the foreign Indonesian State.
The OPM began to take form in 1965,
the third year of the Indonesian occupation;
and as you would expect, more than 90% of West Papuans support freedom and the OPM.
A OPM supporter is a West Papuan who supports Merdeka/Freedom for West Papua from Indonesia.
Though the majority of West Papuans do not own guns,
the Indonesian colonial powers such as Jakarta
and the US mining company Freeport McMoRan and US engineering company Bechtel,
wish to claim OPM supporters are only these few people with guns in the jungles.
The mine companies and foreign Indonesian military want to discredit the
political wish of West Papuans for freedom;
and their human and civil rights to self-determination under
UN GA Resolution 1514, 1541, the UN Charter and Declaration of Human Rights.
Very few OPM supporters have guns; most guns are now used by the Indonesian military
and police against the indigenous West Papuan populations.
It is sad that from the begining, the United States diplomats have only counted
armed resistance fighters when talking about the political wishes
of West Papuans for decolonization & independence.
This was illustrated very well in the
US Dept. of State airgram of July 1969;
although its admits widespread OPM support,
"everyone talks about the OPM; it has few, if any, secrets,
and many Irianese proudly proclaim they are "members" of the OPM.
A foreigner travelling in West Irian has no difficulty in contacting anti-government activists.
They stop you on the street and groups of them gather around when you visit a native village;
in short, no one is reluctant to discuss the OPM and their reasons for disliking Indonesians.",
"The OPM, hoever, does represent an amorphous mass of anti-Indonesia sentiment.
Card-carrying members of the OPM as such must be few,
although partisans claim that it has anywhere from 1500 to 5000,
oe even 500,000 members.",
"Regarding the magnitude of the opposition to Indonesian rule,
probably a decided majority of the Irianese people,
and possibly 85 to 90 percent,
are in sympathy with the Free Papua cause or at least intensely dislike Indonesians.";
- the American diplomats seem to be only concerned whether West Papuans
could free themselves with a military revolution:
"The Free Papua Movement (OPM) is not the all-pervasive revolutionary organization some believe it to be.
Other than a small leadership cadre operating in the Djajapura area having cross-border contacts,
anti-government dissidents have virtually no liaison with each other,
receive no outside assistance or direction,
and are generally incapable of mounting and insurrection in the face of the
relatively large Indonesian military establishment in West Irian"
The sad fact is that those few West Papuans who have bravely taken up guns,
not to commit murder or mayhem as the IRA or other groups have,
but to protect some of the highland villages from slaughter by the TNI;
are also the reason the United States Dept. of State has understood
that the people of West Papua still want freedom.
If you do not believe the TNI capable of mass murder and worse,
then ask why are there tens of thousands of TNI troops in the highlands,
why have jihad terrorists been imported into Papua after the Bali bombing,
and why has the TNI since the mid-1960s declared West Papua to be a
military operational zone and forbidden media freedom in the territory?
Americans should also ask themselves why
did Bechtel's US indonesia Society lobby the US Senate to
Section 1115 Questions
which the US Congressmen wanted to ask?