Papuan Leader Says Netherlands Created OPM to Oppose Indonesia

JAKARTA ~

A Papuan community leader, Nicolaas Jouwe, said the Netherland’s officers created the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in 1965, to oppose Indonesia and disturb the security of eastern Indonesia’s territory.

“I am a leader of the National Liberation Council of West Papua. I am not OPM’s member. In fact, OPM was created by Netherland’s officers in 1965 to coincide with the crackdown on the Indonesian Communist Party,” Jouwe said in Jakarta on Monday.

In the lunch that was held for a journalist of Australian TV SBS, Mark Davis, Jouwe said the Netherland’s officers trained the Papuan youths to become volunteers in fighting Indonesia.

“The Papuan youth who had been trained were then asked by the Netherlands to establish the OPM,” Jouwe noted.

Jouwe, born in Jayapura on November 24, 1923 and who had designed the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) Flag, also explained conditions in Papua after more than 50 years of integration with the Unitary State of Indonesia, since the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) handed over the governance of West Papua (used to be called Irian Jaya) to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.

According to Jouwe, the people of Papua still are getting used to being Indonesian citizens, as he added, “They still feel awkward and a little bit different.” But, Jouwe underlined that the Papuan people’s state of minds cannot be separated from the Netherland’s treatment, who had isolated and banned them from attending schools since the Orange Kingdom colonized the land in 1828 until independence was proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on August 17, 1945.

“During the 117 years, we the people of Papua practically lived in the Stone Age,” he said.

The obsession of Jouwe with the struggle for Papua’s development was captured in a book titled “Nicolaas Jouwe Back to Indonesia: Step, Thought and Desire” that will be published in 2014.

On Jouwe’s book, the figure who used to oppose Indonesia, said he had come back to the Unitary State of Indonesia marked by his visit to Jayapura, Papua, in 2009, to support Papua’s development, after tens of years of living in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, during his stay in Indonesia, Mark Davis will organize an investigative report in Jayapura between May 6 and May 11, 2014.

Filed under: The Nation

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