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Papua, Indonesia: Crisis in Puncak Jaya

February 21, 2007

In 1961 Indonesia, the world\'s most populous Muslim nation, invaded
the sparsely populated, resource-rich, former Dutch New Guinea
colony, now renamed Papua. In 1969 Western states with political
and economic agendas facilitated its annexation by Indonesia. To
\'Javanise\' and Islamise Papua, Jakarta promotes the mass migration
of Javanese Muslims into Papua. It has also strategically divided
Papua into three provinces so that today Javanese Muslims are the
majority in the majority of provinces.

Jakarta maintains an enormous military presence in Papua under the
pretext of a \'separatist and terrorist threat\'. The Indonesian
military (TNI) invests in Papuan assets such as the Freeport mine
and the sandalwood industry. That means the TNI has financial
reasons - as distinct from any genuine security concerns - for
wanting to stay engaged in Papua. Conflict and unrest work to the
TNI\'s advantage because it wants to retain its role in domestic
security and also it earns extra cash through private deals to
secure \'protection\'. Furthermore the military is mostly Javanese
Muslim and strong overtones of racial and religious hatred towards
the Melanesian and mostly Christian Papuans is clearly evident.

The incident that triggered the recent TNI offensive in Pancuk Jaya
is highly suspicious and many experienced observers consider it was
set up by the TNI itself. On 8 December 2006 two Indonesian
soldiers were killed after a banned Papuan Morning Star flag was
raised on Kumipaga Hill in Puncak Jaya. Exactly what transpired is
not clear, but there are several signs pointing to manipulation.
For at least a decade the TNI has been known to create fake OPM
forces. (The OPM is the primitive, not greatly threatening Papuan
resistance movement.) TNI soldiers entice illiterate, uneducated
village men to be proud \'OPM\' warriors! They arm these fake OPM and
send them off to commit crimes and provocation that then give
grounds for the military to retaliate against the \'separatist and
terrorist threat\'. The flag raised on Kumipaga Hill was not a small
hand-made one but a full-sized flag, and the soldiers who
interrupted the event were not speared but shot with a TNI-issue
M16 semi-automatic rifle. The TNI, the mobile brigade police and
intelligence operatives were deployed to Pancuk Jaya on 24 December
2006.

Since this military offensive started an estimated 5000 Papuan
villagers have been forced to flee their homes, gardens and
livestock. The military has since occupied some twenty vacated
villages. It is the wet season and the displaced, terrorised Papuan
families are walking over mountainous terrain and through jungles
without food, shelter or medical care. Some are reported to have
died. There is great concern another TNI-engineered humanitarian
crisis is unfolding in the highlands of Papua.

The authorities are engaged in a covert genocide of the indigenous,
predominantly Christian Melanesian Papuans. Meanwhile, countries
that could have influence and leverage with Jakarta won\'t interfere
as they have signed agreements not to involve themselves in
Indonesia\'s \'domestic\' affairs.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO:

* sustain, protect and build his Church and hear the cries of the
afflicted in Papua as the tides of Islam and racist, cultural
imperialism threaten to sweep over them.

* act on behalf of his Church and the oppressed Papuans in the face
of the immoral indifference and expediency of the world\'s earthly
powers.

\'The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He
saw that there was no one, and he was appalled that there was no
one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his
own righteousness sustained him.\' (Isaiah 59:15b,16 NIV)

AND ESPECIALLY PRAY that the tension, pain, fear and mistrust that
have become part of the Javanese-Papuan relationship will have no
hold over the Indonesian Church. May the Holy Spirit fill all the
followers of Jesus Christ with an overwhelming sense of their
oneness and give them a divine sensitivity, empathy and
understanding so they may extend brotherly love across racial
lines.

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SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
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CRISIS IN PAPUA (INDONESIA)

The Indonesian military (TNI) is using the suspicious deaths of two
soldiers on 8 December 2006 as the pretext for a massive military
assault against the mostly Christian Papuan villagers of the Puncak
Jaya highland region. (There is good evidence the initial incident
was set up by the military itself.) As a result an estimated 5000
villagers have been driven from their homes, gardens and livestock.
The military has since occupied some 20 vacated highland villages.
It is the wet season and terrorised families are now walking
through the inhospitable mountain jungle without food, shelter or
medical care. Some are reported to have died. Indonesia invaded
Papua in 1961. Ever since Papua was annexed in 1969 Jakarta has
worked to colonise, Islamise and exploit the land. The covert
genocide of a largely Christian people is happening. Please pray.

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RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.