The paper "The Struggle Of The Free Papua Movement" discusses the history of the Free Papua Movement that dating back to 1965 to effect a regime change through violent rebellion. The movement aimed to liberate Papua and West Papua provinces from Indonesia, which were earlier a separate dynasty…
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Their public statement has been quoted as saying, "We are not terrorists! We do not want modern life! We refuse any kinds of development: religious groups, aid agencies, and governmental organizations just Leave Us Alone, Please!"8 OPM has also been a strong opponent of the transmigration policy of Indonesian government by which migration of non-natives to West Papua was encouraged.9 The way OPM has organized and mobilized itself in the course of its history is a unique social phenomenon and it has been often observed that about 80 to 90 percent of Papuan people had their sympathies with the OPM.10 But it has always been the common people who have carried forward the resistance movement as they constituted the soldiers of this freedom army.11 The Act of Free Choice, the consultation exercise conducted by the Indonesian government under the monitoring of the UN, that attached West Papua to Indonesia officially, was later criticized as being a farcical exercise.12 King has called it, “an outrageous exercise in duplicity, intimidation, and coercion on Indonesia’s part.”13 In 1971, OPM declared the formation of an independent Republic of West Papua.14 The organization, since its inception until the recent times, had depended mainly on Guerilla warfare, by making thick forests its hideouts.15 In 1977, OPM militants sabotaged the fuel and slurry transportation of the Indonesian mining company, Freeport Indonesia by cutting pipelines, as the company did not heed OPM’ demands of extortion.16 This mining company was given a free hand by the Indonesian government to exploit the rich copper and gold resources of the Southern Papuan highlands.17 And this mining industry contributed to about 50% of the GDP of Indonesia.18 In 1977, the Papuans under the leadership of OPM also refused to vote in the second general elections.19 In this way, the struggle of OPM has many dimensions- economic, ethnic, environmental, and political. Figures have shown that “100000 Papuans or ten percent of the Papuan population has been killed by Indonesian troops since Indonesia gained control of the territory.”20 This shows how repressive and cruel the measures taken by the Indonesian government to defeat the resistance of OPM have been. It was in this light that in 1982, OPM set up a subsidiary organization, OPM Revolutionary Council (OPMRC) to promote its demand for independence through international diplomatic interventions.21 It was since 1998 that OPM began to participate in public political dialogues.
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