West Papua Information Kit
Tentara Nasional Indonesia - TNI
The TNI traces its orgins to the Pacific War volunteer militia alongside the Japanese, but the Javanese militia were self-funding. Today the TNI remains largely self-funded including by payments from foreign mining and oil companies for military protection from the local populations and to keep local dissatisfation under control. And the network of banks and companies own by the Generals is beyond calculation.
In 2001 US Congressman James Leach ask the Depty Secretary of State,
"Does the administration disagree with the opinion of some experts that
somewhere between 50 and 80 percent of Indonesian military funding is off-budget?"
Although in theory under control of the civilian government, the military besides still wielding considerable political power also exercises a greater degree of autonomy from their government directives than the military of other nations. The military commanders including Sukarno, Gen. Suharto, and Gen. Yudhoyono have raisen to authoritive positions.
The Indonesian military in West Papua
Since the military moved into West Papua the US Ambassadors have heard
consistant accounts of the military looting and stripping the nation
of goods for sale in Jakarta and elsewhere.
In May 1968 the Indonesian
Foreign Minister Malik said:
In July 1969 US Ambassador Galbraith in part reported that:
It is in the interest of the military to provoke and prolong conflict in West Papua as well as in other areas throughout the archipelago in order to prove that they are needed to maintain law and order and control so called separatists groups. In fact the main aim of the military in Indonesia appears to be revenue raising. The Indonesian military receive approximately 45% of their budget from the government and must raise the rest themselves. Much of this is done through illegal means such as illegal logging, mining and offering to provide so called security to international companies such as the Freeport copper and gold mine.
A study by the University of Sydneys Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Elsham, the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy based in Jayapura, titled Genocide in West Papua? The role of the Indonesian state apparatus and a current needs assessment of the Papuan people details the ongoing human rights abuses, the systematic violence, including rape, arson and torture, in the Indonesian-occupied territory of West Papua. The report documents eyewitness accounts of military campaigns which have destroyed whole villages in the remote highlands region, the report details military involvement in acts of arson and destruction of property, rape, torture and arbitrary disappearances. (More than 100,000 Papuans deaths are estimated to have occurred as a result of the Indonesia occupation since 1963).
The report concludes that Indonesias security forces act with total impunity and are the main source of instability in the territory.
A report about the activities of the Indonesian military in East Timor, (released in 2006) documents how the TNI used napalm, chemical weapons and starvation as a weapon against the East Timorese people (over 100,000 civilians died under the Indonesian occupation). Some of the same military that operated in East Timor are now in West Papua. No military personal have been brought to justice over the human rights abuses that occurred in East Timor while it was under Indonesian control.Assassination of Chief Theys Eluay
Chief Theys Hiyo Eluay, the chairperson of the Papuan Presidium Council, was abducted by Kopassus soldiers on 10 November 2001, shortly after attending an event at the Kopassus base near Jayapura. His body was found the following day showing signs of strangulation. Although at first the military denied its involvement in the killing eventually members of the army's special Kopassus forces were put on trial. A military court on Monday the 21 April 2003, found seven Kopassus special forces soldiers guilty of involvement in the death of Chief Theys Eluay. However, the soldiers received light sentences of imprisonment ranging from two to three-and-a-half years.
The light sentences received by Chief Theys killers only sends a message to the West Papuan People that they can receive no justice under Indonesian rule. It indicates that the military can act with impunity in West Papua. Comments made by the chief of staff of the army, General Ryamizard Ryacudu only confirm this. In relation to the soldiers found guilty of Chief Theys murder he is quoted as saying,
'I don't know, people say they did wrong, they broke the law. What law? Okay, we are a state based on the rule of law, so they have been punished. But for me, they are heroes because the person they killed was a rebel leader.'
In November 2003, Papuan independence leader Yustinus Murib and nine of his men were killed by Indonesian Kopassus troops. Yustinus Murib had recently sent a letter to various heads of state and the United Nations, calling for a sovereign country to act as mediator between President Megawati Sukarnoputri and the West Papuan independence movement. Although Murib had called for peaceful dialogue with Jakarta to discuss the political status of Papua, he was still killed by Kopassus troops.The Militarys involvement in human rights abuses and resource extraction.
A report by the international crises group in Brussels entitled Indonesia: Resources and Conflict in Papua states
(Asia Report N°39 3 September 2002):
Indonesian security forces have a financial interest in resource extraction in Papua, through direct involvement in logging and other activities and protection fees paid by resource companies. Numerous serving and retired officers, senior state officials and others close to government are thought to have logging concessions or other business interests. Alongside the substantial tax and royalties accrued by the state, these interests are a powerful reason for the Indonesian state and its agencies to keep control of Papua.
The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency and Telepak has also released a report entitled The Last Frontier
- Illegal Logging in Papua and China's Massive Timber Theft which shows the Indonesian military are involved in the
illegal smuggling of logs from West Papua to China. It should be noted The Indonesian government has banned the export of
To quote from the report:
As well as the US State Deparment's 2005 Human Rights report which state "Security forces continued to commit unlawful killings of rebels, suspected rebels, and civilians in areas of separatist activity, where most politically motivated extrajudicial killings also occurred", an article in the Jakarta "Post Military remains above the law, says rights watchdog" dated 27 December 2006, also reports that the military have made no progress in reforming itself.
In the article the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) reported that the nation's security forces are still operating above the law. Kontras, in its end of year report for 2006, said although there was some improvement in the government's protection of human rights, its record, however, was clouded by what Kontras saw as the government's reluctance to reign in security agencies, the Indonesian Military (TNI), the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the National Police, which continue to defy the reform process. Kontras reported that in 2006, the military stll remained autonomous from legal and political controls.
"In terms of professionalism, the TNI registered no significant progress. The institution gave no accountability for human rights violations committed by its members who were involved in shootings, kidnappings, wrongful arrests and physical abuses," Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid said.Militia groups
On 16th April 2008 the terrorist Eurico Guterres was photoghraphed with former vice-president Tri Sutrisno attending a 56th Anniversary event for the Kopassus Special Forces. There are now militia groups operating across West Papua including Laskar Jihad. Other groups include the Satgas Merah-Putih (Red and White Task Force) and the Front Pembela Merah Putih (Red and White Defenders Front). These groups operate with the knowledge and consent of the local military Generals and Jakarta. As happen in East Timor during the 1990s, fake independence militia have been given guns to stage events as pretext for military attacks on the peaceful political groups and their supporters.
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)