End the Occupation! Boycott, Divest, Sanction…

It’s about half a century since the occupation began, and it’s been brutal.  An alien people, with no history in the land suddenly asserted that their claim was historic; ancient, in fact.  It didn’t matter what the people already living there had to say.  The aliens laid claim to the land, and with the help of international pressure, the United Nations, even the American government, stole the country from its inhabitants.

Half a century later, it’s gotten much worse.  The occupiers have come in large numbers to a beautiful country, imposing their way of life, using their military power to crush the aboriginal inhabitants like insects.

Why doesn’t the world cry out?  Boycott, divest, sanctions…  But no, it’s business as usual.  Foxconn (Apple), Samsung, Hugo Boss, Guess and many others ignore the occupation; cheap labor is more important than doing right.  The United Nations?  They’re too busy on the other side of the world passing resolutions against an occupation that isn’t even an occupation.

West New Guinea has nothing to do with Indonesia.  Not by race, not by culture, not by history.  The only thing they shared

occupation victim, West New Guinea
Aboriginal occupation victim

was Dutch colonial administration.  The eastern half of the island of New Guinea was under British, then Australian administration.   Although New Guinea is home to many different and fractious peoples, East and West, they are all racially and culturally Melanesian.

The Dutch didn’t want to hand West New Guinea to Indonesia.  They wanted a vote, for the people to choose their own destiny.  But America said “no,” fearing Indonesian threats of military force.  The United Nations took control of West New Guinea and handed it over to Indonesia, whose government cancelled the scheduled plebiscite, and banned travel to the area without a permit.

Now, decades later, West New Guinea is overrun by Indonesians, mostly Javanese wanting to escape their overcrowded, native island.  East New Guinea, the former British territory is an independent nation.  It has its troubles, that’s for sure, but occupation isn’t one of them.  We don’t hear too much in the news about West New Guinea, because America and the U.N. supposedly solved the problem.   Now they’re trying to solve the “occupation” problem in the Middle East. They’ll probably cause even more harm this time around.

People who read the novel Quantum Cannibals will be struck by a quaint Stone Age ceremony for naming children.  That ritual comes from West New Guinea, and is probably no longer practised.

What's your take?