Jakarta, January 14, 2010
Co-founder of the Free Papua Organization, or OPM, Nicholas Jouwe, 86, has assured Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono that he is happy with the behaviour of the Indonesian government in West Papua, reports the Antara news agency.
Transport Minister Freddy Numberi is also reported to have attended the meeting between the two men following the former exile’s arrival in Jakarta from Jayapura.
“I left the Netherlands to settle on my home soil of Indonesia for good,” the news agency quotes the former exile as saying. “I think Papua is part of Indonesia,” he said.
“We talked about the cooperation programme, which is what we need. We have to develop the Papua land.”
Asked about OPM’s continued resistance to the Indonesian military in West Papua, Nicholas Jouwe replied the perpetrators were just “young people who know nothing.”
“They emulated what other people in other parts of Indonesia did,” he said. Nicholas Jouwe returned to West Papua after 40 years in exile – most of it in the Netherlands – last March and immediately met with then Welfare Minister Aburizal Bakrie.
Although members of his extended family greeted him when he arrived at the Sentani Airport, Jayapura, dozens of pro-independence West Papuans rallied against him They protesters carried banners that read: “Welcome, Immediately End Oppression” and “You Started It, You (Who) Should End It, Welcome.”
Protest coordinator Viktor Yeimo told reporters: “Pak Nick Jouwe’s homecoming should not be politicised.” The former supporter of West Papua independence returned at the invitation of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Earlier this month, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation and National Authority has invited members of all the Indonesian province’s resistance organisations to a “reconciliation meeting” at Port Vila, Vanuatu in about June this year.
The invitation was contained in a New Year message from the organisation’s deputy chairman, Dr John Ondawame. The message mourned the slaying of West Papuan National Liberation Army commander Kelly Kwalik Gorong-Gorong, Timika, in the early hours of Wednesday, December 16 but said the death of “General Umeki Kletus Kolalok Kwalik” would not inhibit efforts to seek negotiations with the Indonesian government.
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