Jayapura, 17/3 (Jubi) – Living in exile for decades has not changed the political views of Papuan musician Andy Ayamiseba. Ayamiseba said he would only return to Papuan if it gained independence.
He was responding to an invitation to return home from Frans Alberth Joku and Nick Messet, two Papuan figures who recently visited Vanuatu.
“Who does not want to return to his beloved country? But I have reasons why I cannot accept (the invitation,” Ayamiseba said by phone on Monday (17/3).
He said there were still human rights violations against Papuans .
“The reason has to do with our political status and our security. It is not about social welfare that Indonesia can provide for us. We were born in Papua and want to die for Papua,” he said.
“We are not Indonesians. Indonesia raped our human rights with the support of the United Nations. I will return to my country Papua, only if it gains independence and be recognized as a nation,” he added.
Ayamiseba, the frontman of legendary band The Black Brothers, said he respected the choice of his two former colleagues who had fought for Papuan independence of West Papua.
They believed if they could not win against their invaders, it would be better to join them in order to improve the situation for the people of West Papua.
“I prefer to continue to fight and to suffer for the rights of Papuan people. Of course we want to enjoy the same level of welfare as that enjoyed by the Indonesians, but that can only happen when we escape from our suffering and become a free nation,” he said.
During their visit to Suva last week, Joku and Messet invited Ayamiseba and another Papuan, John Otto Ondowame, who have lived in exile for decades, to return home to Papua.
Barack Sope, former Vanuatu prime minister and currently an advisor to the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) warned that Ayamiseba and Ondowame could be killed if they returned to Papua.
“When I was prime minister in 2000, I invited the head of the West Papua Presedium Council, the late Theys Eluay, to attend the 20th anniversary of my country in Port Villa. Two weeks after his return, he was kidnapped by members of ‘Kopassus (the army’s special forces)’ while returning home from an official event at night. He was killed and his driver was missing until today. His killers were arrested and jailed for couple of years then released,” Sope told Jubi by phone on Monday (17/3).
He said Indonesia’s military is much more powerful than the head of the state and can act unilaterally by killing anyone in West Papua they see as a threat.
He also said that both Messet and Joku knew that their invitation would be rejected because they have chosen a different path.
“There are two different roads. Messet and Joku followed the Indonesian road, a road paved with the human rights violations, mistreatment and killing of West Papuan people by the Indonesian military for years,” Sope said. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/rom)