West Papua Research

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The last week I’ve seen the small articles appearing in different corners of the internet.  A few emails from friends who work on the issue.  Word was that the Indonesian military was going into West Papua and rounding up the opposition, burning down homes, and generally terrorizing the population. It isn’t the first time that they’ve done this, but the reports were enough to convince me its time to try and shed more light on what is going on.

So slowly I’ve been collecting these articles. Looking into West Papuans who have gone into exile in different corners of the world, getting in touch with them to hear what information they’ve been receiving.  I’ve also been looking into the history of the region, going back to its days as a Dutch colony and how it went from colony to possession of the Indonesian government.  A history filled with conflict, strife, oppression, violence and untold suffering.

In an effort to put together a podcast or 2 on this issue, I’ve interviewed a hand full of people to hopefully be a part of these programs. My hope is that we not only get a more detailed picture as to what is going on in West Papua and more importantly, WHY.  The puzzle is slowly coming together with, as I mentioned, participation from so many corners of the planet.

Just as I’m working on these programs, I read the news that today Al Jazeera was supposed to air a documentary entitled Pride of Warriors, on the political and social struggle in West Papua. Amazingly, at the last minute the channel pulled the film.  No announcements or statements have been made about why or who influenced the decision. But once again it keeps West Papua as a highly undereported conflict that has effected so many lives for so many decades.