WEST PAPUA – THE PROMISED LAND.

 

Producer: Liz Thompson
Produced for Encounter. ABC Radio National.

Synopsis

Since the occupation of West Papua by the Indonesians in 1961, the Papuan people have maintained their struggle for independence. The OPM, West Papua’s freedom fighters, have challenged the regime for nearly four decades, and many have died for their belief that West Papua will one day become independent.

Now, in the context of efforts to democratise Indonesia, a sense of “political space” has opened up. Indonesia’s President Wahid appears more sympathetic, and regional support has been offered by Vanuatu.

The West Papuan people’s struggle has gained momentum but the pathy to freedom remains fraught with difficulty, not the least of which is the emergence of anti-independence militias, trained and funded by the Indonesian military: a frightening reminder of the East Timorese tragedy.

WEST PAPUA – THE PROMISED LAND.

Produced for Encounter. ABC Radio National.

Synopsis

Since the occupation of West Papua by the Indonesians in 1961, the Papuan people have maintained their struggle for independence. The OPM, West Papua’s freedom fighters, have challenged the regime for nearly four decades, and many have died for their belief that West Papua will one day become independent.

Now, in the context of efforts to democratise Indonesia, a sense of “political space” has opened up. Indonesia’s President Wahid appears more sympathetic, and regional support has been offered by Vanuatu.

The West Papuan people’s struggle has gained momentum but the pathy to freedom remains fraught with difficulty, not the least of which is the emergence of anti-independence militias, trained and funded by the Indonesian military: a frightening reminder of the East Timorese tragedy.