It is not always the beautiful touristic and romantic Indonesia we should see. Absolutely not always! There is a darker side, a much darker one! After Independence from Dutch rule in 1949, the first president Sukarno and his National Party tried to establish a unifying and nationalistic policy, which gradually developed more «leftist». But chaotic times it was:
After a chaotic period of parliamentary democracy, Sukarno established an autocratic system called «Guided Democracy» in 1957 that successfully ended the instability and rebellions which were threatening the survival of the diverse and fractious country. The early 1960s saw Sukarno veering Indonesia to the left by providing support and protection to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) at the expense of the military and Islamists. He also embarked on a series of aggressive foreign policies under the rubric of anti-imperialism, with aid from the Soviet Union and China. The 30 September Movement led to the destruction of PKI and his replacement by one of his generals, Suharto (see Transition to the New Order), and Sukarno remained under house arrest until his Death. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
This was a coup d’etat and took Place in 1965. In that year and the following year 1966, one of the worlds largest genocides took place. It is estimated that maybe over a 1 million people where killed by the Suharto regime and paramilitaries. Mostly members of the Communist party, suspected supporters and randomly killed people. It is a to little known history world wide, but the partly Norwegian-US-made documentary «The Act of Killing» (2012) throws a long overdue light on this horrific story. The brutal dictator behind it was ousted in 1998 after popular uprising.
The invasion of East-Timor in 1975 (of course again, consulting with the US and got «permission» to go Ahead) after the former Colonial Power Portugal pulled out in 1975, is also an important part of Indonesian late military and expansive history. The brutal occupation lasted until 1999, when a UN led referendum process overwhelmingly gave Independence in 2002. Other «hotspots» in Indonesian late history are also about fighting for independence or self rule: Self rule was given to the Aceh province after a truce in 2005, after Aceh experienced to be hardest hit by the 26 December 2004 sunami. Independence struggle also occur in the Eastern part of the archipelago. In the 1970ties and 1980ties an Independence movement in the Moluccan Islands took Place, where many activist where arrested, jailed or fled the country (mostly to the Netherlands). The other hotspot is West Papua which never actually has belonged to Indonesia and was reclaimed by the Dutch after the independence war ended in 1949. In 1961 Indonesia invaded this western part of the huge island of New Guinea. But it was agreed finally that it should be under UN administration until a referendum would decide independence or belong to Indonesia. The voting process was a fraud carried out by the Indonesian military. Until 1969 when the referendum took place it was a United Nation protectorate.
This vote was referred to as the «Act of Free Choice«. But, the vote was in fact conducted by musyawarah, or consensus of elders, numbering [a] 1,000 of these men had been selected by the Indonesian military. This body was coerced into unanimously voting to remain part of Indonesia; the territory was named as the province of Irian Jaya, later Papua.The result of the compromised vote was rejected by Papuan nationalists, who established the Free Papua Movement (OPM). The independence movement for West Papua has continued, primarily through peaceful protest and international pressure, but also guerrilla warfare against Indonesian administration. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
It is from this history one should read the article below from The Guardian:
Indonesia targeting West Papuans With mass arrests and home burning – reports
Indonesian authorities have reacted harshly to the deaths of two police officers, a West Papuan independence leader in exile has claimed
Indonesian authorities have conducted mass arrests and burned down the homes of West Papuan villagers in response to the deaths of two police officers, a West Papuan independence leader in exile has claimed.
Benny Wenda, who is also an international lobbyist for the Free West Papua campaign and spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, told Guardian Australia Indonesian military police raided the village of Utikini near Timika on the southern coastline last week and found pro-independence banners in the house of a villager.
More than 100 people were arrested, including women and some children, and dozens of houses were burned down, he said. Most people were released but some are still being detained.
Remaining villagers had fled further into the mountains, he said. “Yesterday I got a phone call, many of them are hiding and some of them have run away – the women and children and elderly people,” he said.
On Friday Papuan police chief inspector general Yotje Mende confirmed the arrests but said just 13 people had been detained by a joint police and military team, the Jakarta Post reported, and two were being treated in hospital.
The 13 were part of a group led by a man suspected by police of being behind the recent shooting of two officers and a Freeport mine security guard, Yotje claimed. The three men – members of the mobile brigade – were killed on 1 January.
Yotje said on Monday that a 500-strong joint police and military force was still conducting a search for other members of the group, and that those held in custody were being questioned as witnesses, not suspects.
Wenda queried the speed of Indonesia’s response to the police shootings, when there was still no resolution over the deaths of five protesters allegedly shot by the Indonesian military in Paniai last month. Another 21 were injured.
“It was mostly high school students [who] were killed by Indonesia special force,” said Wenda. “Indonesia police and military don’t want to admit it.”
“Five students were killed by Indonesia and no one brought justice – the Indonesia police can’t find the perpetrator. But in this case in Timika they know who is killed. There is never justice brought for Papua.”
The crowd was protesting after the alleged beating of a child by soldiers the previous day, Wenda and Amnesty International Australia claim.
In the days following the deaths, Indonesia’s police and military denied involvement.
Amnesty International has called for the investigation launched by National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) into the security forces’ use of lethal force to be “thorough and impartial” and for the findings to be released.
In a statement it said initial findings showed live ammunition was used to disperse the crowd, despite there being no evidence of a threat to security personnel.
“Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in Papua and other parts of the country, that have been swept under the rug with no investigations or prosecutions,” it said.
“The new administration, under President Joko Widodo must reverse this trend with the Paniai case and signal an end to the climate of impunity.”
Widodo last year told Fairfax media he would make West Papua a priority, focusing on education and health, but critics said an open political dialogue was needed first.
Josef Benedict, a campaigner for Amnesty International, said the organisation was still working to confirm the allegations of house-burning, but said they had received reports of it occurring, and of police rounding up West Papuans. He thought the number of arrests may be lower than the 100 reported, but expressed concern that some were still being detained.
“This is the larger problem with the Indonesian justice system,” he told Guardian Australia. “Under current criminal law someone can be detained for long periods for questioning. Obviously Amnesty would also be concerned around the treatment of people being questioned. This is something we have seen in other incidents, particularly to elicit confessions.”
He called for assurances from Indonesia that those detained would not be mistreated and would be given access to lawyers.
“The difficulty about Papua is there are very few companies willing to send their lawyers to represent people who are detained for crimes like this.”
theguardian.com, Tuesday 13 January 2015