Sunday, 27 June 2010

A letter to the new government, Foreign Office, South-East Asian Dept...

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you to enquire as to whether this governments position regarding West Papua remains as hypocritical and insulting as the last.

Meg Munn, whom I corresponded with previously on this matter, only had the decency to think to reply after I threatened to put posters up around her constituency simply showing her voting record.  She replied, almost verbatim, with the half-paragraph from your profile on Indonesia (though minus the line regarding the debate over the legitimacy).  She maintained that the U.N. ratified the Act of Free Choice and that she was satisfied with Indonesia's 'efforts' toward peace.

Sir, I am sure you know your history regarding this matter.  I wrote my university dissertation on the subject and combed over 400 pages of declassified material.  I know for a fact that we were complicit in the aggressive invasion of a nation recently made independent, making a mockery of Resolution 1514.  I know we knew genocide was a possibility, nay, that it was happening.  Yet we continued to provide weapons and diplomatic support for what were (with hindsight) fanatical, ideological, geo-political reasons.  The U.N. has never revisited the subject, not surprising since it was a shameful act and a stain on it's reputation.

What I would like to know is whether this new government will continue to hide behind this shameful ratification and continue to deny our guilty part in over 40 years of cultural genocide, and of the raping of minerals and devastating destruction by the Grasberg mine.

I was 23 and extremely well-read when I first came across this story.  It shamed me to my bones that such complicity could remain so hidden.  I felt guilty at my own ignorance. Those native Papuans may not have had a voice back in the 60's, but by God they do now... those and everyone like them.

If you don't want to be on the wrong side of the moral divide when the internet revolution takes a hold on our moral sphere.  It is time to start acknowledging the hurt we and other western nations have caused through neo-colonialism, that most hidden and subtle (though no less colonial) empire.

Yours sincerely,

Ben King

Obviously, I'll let you know what they say...

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