Thanks to the West Papuan Supports

Having heard the Indonesian independence proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on 17 August 1945, Silas Papare, the then ex-Dutch Government civil servant,in December 1945 called for West Papuan youths who had joined Papua Battalion to launch rebellion against Dutch occupation.

His plan easily leaked out and he was put in jail in Hollandia. However, when his sentence was ended, he immediately launched the second but failed rebellion. This time he was put in jail in his native land Serui where he had a chance to get contact with Dr. Sam Ratulangi, an ex-Sulawesi governor, who was put in exile there.

All of those arrests seemed not to make him give up. He established Irian Indonesian Freedom Party (PKII) in November 1946, which resulted in his third arrest. He was removed to Biak where he could escape and fled to Yogyakarta. He established Irian Struggle Body (BPI) and together with some other warriors set up Irian Company under the Indonesian Army in 1949. He took part as the Indonesian delegation attending the signing of New York Agreement on 15 August 1962.

A long struggle against Dutch occupation was also done by another prominent Papuan figure named Rumagesan, the king of Fak-Fak. On 1 March 1948, he ordered his people to attack Dutch colonial, called for his people to lower Dutch flag and hoist red-white flag. The Dutch arrested him and put him in exile in Sorong and then in Manokwari.

PaperArtist_22There King Rumagesan was still courageous to influence Irian youths not to enroll into Dutch Army. He and his followers were removed to Hollandia and sentenced to death. As his people called for the Dutch to spare his life, the verdict was changed into life-sentence. Under the efforts of Colonel A.H. Nasution, he was deported to Makassar and eventually moved to Jakarta and became the member of National Advisory Council (DPA).

The nationalism spirit of Frans Kaisiepo, born in Biak, October 10, 1921, rose when he met  Sugoro Atmoprasojo, a former teacher at Taman Siswa, who was put in exile in Boven Digul due to his  nationalist politics. Frans Kaisiepo initiated the founding of the Indonesian Movement Party (PIM) in Biak, a year after Indonesia’s independence.

At the time he became a member of the Papua (Nederlands Nieuwe Guinea) delegation  at the Malino Conference in South Sulawesi,  initiated by the Netherlands to discuss the establishment of the East Indonesia State (NIT), he cathegorically rejected the merger of Papua into NIT. For him, Papua is an absolute part of the Republic of Indonesia.

Because of Frans rejection, NIT eventually consist only of Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, and Maluku. He proposed to change the name of Nederlands Nieuwe Guinea to become IRIAN which literally stands for “Follow the Republic of Indonesia Anti Netherlands”. Later on, he also firmly rejected his appointment to be a member of the Dutch delegation to the Round Table Conference held in Den Haag, Netherlands. Frans tough stance made the Dutch exiled him to remote places.

PaperArtist_23At the time of confrontation to liberate West Irian, Frank played a major role by providing assistance for the Indonesia military forces to land on the West Papua. Frans who was later appointed as governor of West Papua also played a major role in the implementation of  the Act of Free Choice in 1969 in which West Papuan people agreed unanimously to join the Republic of Indonesia.

Many Papuan youths living outside West Papua who had joined the Indonesian Army participated in many battles to suppress rebellions in various regions in Indonesia. Their battle experiences were made use to infiltrate to West Papua which was still under Dutch occupation.

In 1954, Lieutenant Antaribaha and Moses Weror led 29 guerillas infiltrated to Etna Bay in Kaimana. Major Abraham Dimara together with his 40 troops landed fighting against Dutch in Sorong. In the ambush the Dutch killed 11 of them, arrested Dimara together with surviving troops and put them in jail until 1961. After being freed by the Dutch Dimara became the member of Indonesian delegation to United Nations (UN) to settle the issue of West Papua together with Fritz Kiriheo, a young Papuan ex-student in one of the Dutch universities.

Following the campaign for the liberation of West Papua from Dutch occupation, in 1958 a group of educated Papuan elites among others A.B. Kaaruhuy, A.L.Maranni, N.L. Suages, Lt. Antaribaha, Lt. Ramandey, H.L. Rumaseuw, A.T. Koromath, Lt. Wanggai, Lt. Numberi joining and became leaders in Cenderawasih Battalion whose headquarters was in  Surabaya.  Following Trikora Command they became part of National Front for the West Papua liberation and set up West Papuan Guerillas (GRIB).

PaperArtist_2013-08-14_12-34-58Six volunteer troop battalions were trained in Cikotok, West Java, and Solo, Central Java under the trainer Major Rudjito. They infiltrated in numerous sorties accompanied by some Special Commandoes to West Papua by boats or dropped high from the planes. Their tasks were to gather the information about Dutch military strength, to raise the local people spirit and establish guerilla areas waiting for the grand open war.

Soekarno was very proud of the spirit of the West Papuan struggle to re-integrate their land into the grand Indonesia. In his speech celebrating the integration of West Papua into Indonesia in Jayapura on 4 May 1963, he pointed out: “Without the struggle and full support of West Papuan people, it is impossible for us to incorporate the region into Indonesia. I would like to say many thanks to them all.”