April 2002

West Papua
NI (No.344)


9 West Papua rising
Chris Richards sets out to discover why the cry for freedom and independence from Indonesia comes from the soul of the West Papuan people.


14 Way beyond petroleum
Why transnational corporations, like oil giant BP, want to fund an emerging government.

17 Dividing opinions
The differences between indigenous West Papuans and 'Javanese' migrants explored.

18 Military madness
The Indonesian armed forces have a vested interest in conflict - which is just one reason why they opt for brutal repression.

20 Playing up the primitive
West Papuan culture may have been submerged, says Eben Kirksey, but it's surfacing again - and looks very different from the tourist image.

22 West Papua - a history of betrayal
When Indonesia absorbed West Papua, the rest of the world looked on - then turned its back.

24 They walk on the leaves of trees
The type of democracy West Papuans want is still up in the air Chris Richards takes a peek at how indigenous assemblies might work, while Paul Kingsnorth finds out what the freedom fighters are really after.

26 Reach for the Morning Star
West Papuans are well on the way to freedom, but it's too early to celebrate yet.

28 Action
There's lots you can do to help West Papuans get freedom.

-Regular Features-

2 Letters
Getting behind a world parliament; why we need the right to dream; Dear Mr Bush, it's a jolly good war.
PLUS: Letter from Lebanon - a taxi-driver turned icon-maker profiled by Reem Haddad.

4 Southern Exposure
The child as Krishna, photographed by Monirul Alam, from Bangladesh.

5 View from the South
Indian writer Urvashi Butatia visits Nepal and asks if its Maoist revolutionaries will take women's issues seriously.

6 Currents
The WTO as the new invader of Vietnam; US oil giant Unocal shows its hand in Afghanistan; quilt that enshrines China's threatened folk culture. PLUS: Word Corner - Curfew. PLUS: Seriously

29 Worldbeaters
Riley Bechtel likes to keep in the shadows. But his corporation is in the vanguard when it comes to profiting from the poor world - as the people of Bolivia will testify.

30 The NI Crossword
Launch of a new monthly prize.
PLUS: Big Bad World cartoon

31 Mixed Media
BOOKS: The Picador Book of African Stories edited by Stephane Gray; Rouge State by Willam Blum; My Name is Red by Orhab Oamuk; Gandhi by Peter Ruhe. MUSIC: Fight to Win by Femi Kuti; Zombie by Fela Kuti and Afrika 70.
FILM/VIDEO: Djomeh directed by Hassan Yektapanah; Behind the Sun directed by Walter Salles.
PLUS: Sharp Focus on trailblazing Inuit film director Zacharis Kunuk.

34 Essay - Deadly dust
Canadian is keen to keep exporting asbestos to the poor. Kyla E Sentes, who lost her father to the dust, demands that it stops.

36 Country Profile - Peru

NI-Japan (No.32)


West Papua
Papua is the final resting place for many Japanese soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. And even though Japan is still linked, albeit more subtly, to the present-day conflict that is now unfolding in West Papua, we hear very little about the issues and the people of this region. This month we meet some of these people and listen to the challenges they face and their hopes for a new nation.

<This month's main theme article>
-Translation of "West Papua rising" (p9-11)

-Translation of "West Papua - THE FACT" (p12-13)

-Translation of "Dividing opinions" (p17)

<Reporting from Japan>
Working with a Forgotten People

There was ample opportunity for people in Japan to hear about the conflict in East Timor and its subsequent independence through reports in Japanese mainstream media. The recent dispatching of the Japanese Self Defense Force to East Timor to take part in the United Nations mission there has also been well covered by the media. Compared to this, news reports of West Papua are very few and far between. It is thus very difficult for most Japanese to find out about issues in modern day West Papua or feel any sense of connection to the area. However, there are Japanese NGOs working both on projects in West Papua to improve the lives of the people there and on trying to raise awareness of West Papua in Japan by promoting information exchange. This month NI Japan introduces you to two such NGOs.

Supporting Independence from the Grass Roots <Peacewinds Japan> by Moro Hideki

Filling the Information Gap
<Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan (NINDJA)> by Caitlin Stronell

<Contact Points>
Peacewinds Japan, Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan(NINDJA), Japan NGO Network Indonesia (JANNI)
Recommended Readings

<Country Profile>
-Translation of "Country Profile - Peru" (p36)

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