In fact Papuans Don't Want Referendums

In fact Papuans Don't Want Referendums

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) separatist group claimed to have submitted a petition signed by 1.8 million people to demand a referendum on West Papua's independence to the Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet.

"Today is a historic day for me and my people. I have given up what I consider to be the framework of the people of West Papua, because many people have been killed," said ULMWP leader, Benny Wenda, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Benny said that under Indonesian rule, Papuans did not have freedom of opinion, expression and assembly. He considers the only way to get that freedom is through this petition signed by almost three-quarters of a total of 2.5 million Papuans.

"(The petition) weighs 40 kilograms, like the biggest book in the world," Benny said.

Benny Wenda's statement did not match the reality in the field. In fact Papuans have never signed a petition like Benny Wenda claims as a reference that Papuans want Papuan independence.

Benny also claims that at least 22 thousand Papuans have been displaced. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the military command in Papua Province, Mohammad Aidi, denied Benny's accusations that were considered baseless.

"He (Benny) cannot show evidence of what he has accused of the Indonesian government and the military. Indeed, it is the Papua Liberation Movement (OPM) that has killed innocent civilians," said Aidi.

Nduga Regency was heating up especially after dozens of Trans Papua road workers from PT Istaka Karya were killed in a mass shooting claimed by the military wing of the OPM, armed criminal group (KKB). A TNI member was also killed in the shooting.

The point is, don't be provoked by the Free Papua Organization (OPM) which says that Papua needs a referendum. In fact, the people of Papua have never wanted reverendum. It is OPM who wants a referendum on behalf of the people of Papua.

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