Today, several different online medias inform us about two former senior OPM fighters who voluntarily support democratization and development in Papua Province. They are Franz Albert Joku and Nicholas Simion Messet. I don’t know why those two important figures finally decide to support autonomy in Papua. For me, the most significant impact is the tension reduction between Indonesian Military and OPM.
For all native Papuan, once Papuan will be always papuan. All Papuan are welcome to come home to develop their birthland. I should express my apology to Kaka Benny Wenda and Kaka Sem Karoba, if in my previous writting on Richard Samuelson has said something bad about them. Honestly, I will always welcome Kaka Wenda and Kaka Sem if they finally come back home.
All Papuan elements have the right to support the development in Papua. They have the knowledge, power and influence to become leaders of change. They might also have the opportunities to become major or even governor similar to the Irwandy case in Aceh Province.
We must see the bright future of Papua by contributing our modality for development in Papua, for the betterment of Papua.
Here are the references:
Papuan Special Autonomy advocate regains Indonesian nationality
Posted at 02:00 on 25 February, 2008 UTC
A Papuan advocate of special autonomy and former Papua New Guinea citizen has officially resumed his status as an Indonesian national.
The Antara news agency reports that Franzalbert Joku’s citizenship was approved by Indonesia’s Law and Human Rights Minister.
Mr Joku has been the spokesman for both the PNG-based Papua Presidium Council, and the Independent Group Supporting the Autonomous Region of Papua within the Republic of Indonesia.
Having lived outside of his native Papua for much of the past 40 years, Mr Joku has called for Papuans to work within the framework of special autonomy and not towards self-determination.
A function was held at the weekend in Jayapura to welcome the return of Mr Joku, as well as another Papuan, Nicholas Simion Messet.
An Indonesian government official described the two as a good example to other Papuans still abroad and expected to follow suit.
Mr Joku said that after observing the real conditions in Indonesia and the international political climate, he decided to return home forever.
Papuans holding foreign citizenship resume status as Indonesians
Jayapura (ANTARA News) – Two Papuan indigenes — Franzalbert Joku and Nicholas Simion who were formerly Papua New Guinean and Swedish citizens repectively — have officially resumed their status as Indonesian nationals, it was reported here Sunday.
Franzalbert Joku and Nicholas Simion regained the status of Indonesian citizenship after their proposals on the matter were approved by the Indonesian government through the decree of the Law and Human Rights Minister on November 29, 2007.
The function highlighting the return of the two Papuans to the Unitary State of Indonesia was held in Sentani, Jayapura district, Papua province on Saturday (Feb 23).
On the occasion, Franzalbert Joku and Nicholas Simion received the documents on the decree of the Law and Human Rights Minister from Alwi Hamu, an expert staff member of Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
Franzalbert Joku and Nicholas Simion Messet have showed good examples to their Papuan brothers and sisters who are still abroad and expected to follow suit, Alwi said.
“I agree with the Papuan sons` saying — better a shower of stones at home than a shower of gold abroad (there`s no place like home),” Alwi said.
He said the wish of the sons from Indonesia`s easternmost province to resume Indonesian citizenship after they became foreign citizens for tens of years was hailed by the Indonesdian government and people.
When they met Vice President Jusuf Kalla to express their intention to return to Indonesia, the vice president directly asked his expert staff member to handle the matter.
Alwi said ten minutes before the function, the vice president asked him to send congratulatory message to Franzalbert Joku and Nicholas Simion Messet.
Meanwhile, Franzalbert Joku said the ministerial decree was the Indonesian government`s right measure in an effort to cope with Papuan issues and deal with the Papuan development within the Unitary State of Indonesia.
“Today (Saturday), I and my brother Nicholas Simion Messet conclude a long trip both in terms of distance and time as well as political perspective,” he said.
“We close an historical story of our life which was full of good and bad experiences. Now we are resolved to begin a new trip despite a lot of challenges we will face in the future,” he said.
Franzalbert Joku said he had been abroad and become a PNG citizen for 40 years and Messet had been in Sweden and become Swedish citizen for 38 years.
“After observing the real condition in Indonesia and the international political climate, we decided to return home forever. We believe Indonesia will be better, more democratic, free, prosperous and peacful in the future,” he said.
As new Indonesian citizens, they are resolved to be loyal to the government and the country in general and to the Papuan people in particular.
The process of reforms and democracy has made changes but there are also many things to fight for in an effort to create true justice, peace and prosperity besides making the Indonesian people afraid of God and strengthening the country`s dignity.
The fuction was attended among others by diplomats from the Indonesian Embassy in PNG including Frans Pampo, representatives of the PNG government and some officials of the Papua provincial administration.
3. Jakarta Post
Two senior OPM fighters surrender, vow to help develop region
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta, Post Jayapura
Two senior campaigners of the Papua Free Movement (OPM) surrendered over the weekend with a statement praising the significant progress the province has achieved.
Franz Albert Joku and Nicholas Simion Messet handed over their surrender letter to Alwi Hamu, an official at the Vice President’s office, in a thanks-giving gathering Saturday in Sentani, some 40 kilometers from Jayapura.
Franz was a moderator of OPM for the Asia-Pacific region and became a leading campaigner for Papua’s independence for three decades while Nicholas has been living in Sweden for 38 years with a similar job for European countries.
During the gathering, Alwi called on thousands of Papuans living overseas to follow suit, and help develop Indonesia’s resource-rich easternmost province.
Franz and Nicholas appreciated the gathering and vowed to take an active role in developing the province under the special autonomy.
They said they surrendered and came home because they had been fighting for the province. They were also surprised at the significant progress the province has achieved in their time spent in refuge overseas.
“We see many major changes, the people are no longer afraid of soldiers, or being imprisoned.
“Much has been achieved but much more needs to fought for, for a better future,” Franz said.
Between 27,000 and 30,000 Papuans have been living in refugee camps in Papua New Guinea in efforts to make a safe, free, fair, prosperous and sovereign Papua, he said.
“One way to reach this goal is a secession from the Indonesian unitary state. This is the way our parents have chosen and was what we were fighting for,” Franz said.
“But this goal has not been achieved and while we struggled, many advancements have been made in Papua, including political reforms and democracy,” he said.
He said that independence was a goal, but one way to reach that goal was “to come back to make more progress in the future.”
Asked on whether or not the two would be branded as traitors, Franz said they could not force their thoughts on other fighters.
“Independence is not the only way to reach the goal and all Papuans who are still living overseas should come back home to develop Papua and its people.”
The two said they did not know what they wanted to do but were ready to help the government develop the province and to be mediators with those still living abroad.
Previously, many other OPM combatants have surrendered themselves on learning the secessionist movement was weakening, particularly after Indonesia began entering the reform era in 1998.
The movement won strong sympathy from Papuan people after former president Soeharto’s authoritarian rule which launched a major military operation to crush it.
Special autonomy was declared for the region by Jakarta in 2001 in a peaceful solution to prolonged conflicts, as was declared in Aceh.