While the world looks at the Middle East and the Arabin World, this situation in West Papua is almost unreccogniced.
Indonesia brutally opresses the native population for more than 50 years now.
In the western half of New Guinea (currently officially called the provinces Papua and West Papua), at least 300.000 people were killed by the Indonesian military and police since Indonesia took control of the region. Indonesia usually claims that killings and human rights abuses by security forces are a thing of the past. But despite there is in fact no freedom of the press in the region, and most international journalists and human rights organizations are not allowed to work there, almost every day there are new reports about rape, torture and targeted killings of political activists. Using armoured vehicles against demonstrators is common practice of the security forces. Those were used for example last year as the Third Papuan Peoples congress was broken up by brutal force and at least 3 people were killed by military and police. But in the past month, not only demonstrators are attacked by security forces. Many of do not hesitate to kill Papuans that are in there way. No matter if it is about exploiting the natural resources of a region, raping someone´s daughter or just because of a disagreement about a reservation of a billiard table (no fiction).
Now Indonesia has announced to buy German tanks. Angela Merkel yet only said there is no official request, but didn't say a word how to answer the request if it will be made official in a few days. This makes it very likely she will agree to sell about 140 tanks to Indonesia, an unstable nation where horrible crimes by security forces against civilians are the daily fare. To prevent this, please support the following petition. Thank you! http://petition.avaaz.org/en/petition/Dont_give_permission_t...
For more information about the situarion in West Papua, have a look at http://westpapuamedia.info/ or just search for "west papua military" at youtube. But be aware that some videos of human rights abuses are realy shocking. Or simply ask your questions here, and I´ll answer them as good as I can.
1) Has there ever been a formalized plea that changed a big issue by 180°? 2) If Indonesia wants (and finally will get) tanks, why will it help to make sure they buy russian instead of german models? 3) Where is your petition against germany gifting nuclear capable submarines to Israel, an unstable nation; or against the saudi tank deal (they have their problems with human rights too)
1) Has there ever been a formalized plea that changed a big issue by 180°?
Yes, politicians care about the public opineon. (especially before elections). They might not listen to a dozen, but hundreds or thousands might make a difference. And as Jasper saied, the Dutch parlimaent did not give permission to tank sales to Indonesia.
2) If Indonesia wants (and finally will get) tanks, why will it help to make sure they buy russian instead of german models?
Yes, they will get some tanks somewhere. But this in no reason to sell them tanks. If someone wants to buy child pornography, he will find some unscrupulous criminals selling it to him. But does this convince you to produce and sell those things yourselfe?
3) Where is your petition against germany gifting nuclear capable submarines to Israel, an unstable nation; or against the saudi tank deal (they have their problems with human rights too)
Those Leo2 tanks are too heavy for fighting in the jungle and will never leave the main island.
IMHO Indonesia only purchases them because Malaysia bought some Polish tanks. It's just some penis length issue without any real threat.
It´s hard to tell where Indonesia will use this tanks. They are not verry useful in the jungle, but it is quite likely they will be used to break up demonstrations in urban areas like Jayapura and Sentani. And if you look at the statement of Colonel Bambang Hartawan, I´d say its verry optimistic to believe the tanks will not be used against civilians. "Who says it‘s one of the conditions?" Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Bambang Hartawan, when asked if Indonesia had assured the German government that the tanks would not be used against its own people."Indonesia is a sovereign and civilized nation," he said. ( http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/indonesia-dismisses-human... )
"Indonesia is a ... and civilized nation," he said. And we use tanks against civilians whenever convenient?
Just be glad they just want to use tanks, instead of death squads.
Death squads are a lot more....convenient.
Yes but when a death squad stands round outside the church talking about how they are going to go in and kill the priest we find that the priests so often get told! and then run! out the back door of the church!
The great advantage of the tank is that, when staffed by highly qualified and ethically trained members of TNI, the conversations and boasting between team members will not be audible to the priest's informants. And so after having been parked unobtrusively outside the church for 10 minutes or so with its 110 dB engine noise being the loudest thing in a rural town, it will come as a complete surprise to the priest, and any members of the congregation who are overly close to the priest, when the tank drives forward and gets trapped by the church building falling on top of it as it collides with the support structures. To that end not only are we purchasing tanks but we are also enacting laws such that church buildings must be constructed of materials that will not trap a tank. Our wisdom is vast, and resistance is futile, Indonesia is one indivisible nation, witness East Timor.
There is another "enemy" that these can be used against beside "civilians". That being the Indonesian Government.
If the tanks get delivered it will be interesting to see (a) their geographical deployment and (b) their spread across different command structures.
Unless things have changed dramatically within the Indonesian military, no Indonesian government in it's right mind would allow all these tanks to be stationed under the command of one grouping or individual within (whats the grognad word?) staging distance of the capital.
In S.E. Asia the loyalties of units and commanders are often complex, multi-threaded and not instantly recognizable or wholly reliable. Though eventually it becomes clear that everyone was supporting the winner all along.
Lets predict a balanced deployment spread across 2 or perhaps 3 commands that are already rivals.
Though maybe things have changed lately. If the tanks are delivered we'll find out.
These must be the joys that the US military chiefs are really disappointed to missing out on, "Will that battalion/command/wing/general/admiral do as commanded or try for a coup?" "If we get these weapons how much more of our current command structure and internal divisions are we going to reveal to our neighbours?"
Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:56 am (Total Number of Edits: 4)