Democratisation in Indonesia will curb terrorism: OPM leader
The National (PNG) Posted Oct 21, 2002 11:02 AM
Democratisation in Indon will curb terrorism: OPM leader
By HARLYNE JOKU (The PNG National 21/10/02)
ONE WAY of rooting out international terrorist networks in this region is for the major to support and pursue the democratisation process that began in Indonesia in 1998.
This means that the independence struggles in the provinces of West Papua and Aceh must be supported by countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia which are behind the fight against terrorism.
The remarks were made by John E Somer, supreme commander of OPM (Operasi Papua Merdekah), the group fighting for the independence of West Papua from Indonesia.
Mr Somer made these remarks while commenting on the recent terrorist bombings in Bali.
In an interview conducted at the weekend, Mr Somer said that OPM and the West Papuan people joined the rest of world in condemning the terrorist act and the bombing of a night club in Kuta, Bali which killed more than 112 people.
"We are very sorry about the terrorist bombing. Despite the fact that the unitary state of Indonesia is going through the process of democratisation, there are many hurdles being put by the powerful military and this recent act of terrorism.
"OPM believes that times are changing from the cold war period to globalisation.
"OPM supports globalisation and will support and join forces with any major power who want to eradicate terrorism which continue to plague the peace and stability in this region," Mr Somer said.
"We believe that such acts of terrorism will continue and international terrorists will collaborate with the Indonesian military to help them hold on to their power.
"The OPM and others like our brothers in Aceh, who are fighting for democracy and independence, are the only ones that can help maintain stability," he said.
Mr Somer said the most logical method that can be pursued in the long term is to modify the unitary state of Indonesia and give independence to provinces like West Papua and Aceh.
"Indonesia has to be broken up into little parts so the terrorist cells and network can be contained and severed," Mr Somer said.
He said OPM has 65,000-plus fighters who are ready to support any superpower that are fighting terrorism in the region.