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Kelly Kwalik shot dead

December 17 2009 at 5:17 AM
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Papuan rebel leader believed to be dead
December 17, 2009

JAKARTA: Indonesian police say they shot and killed the Papuan rebel leader Kelly Kwalik in a raid on a house early yesterday morning, amid claims he was behind the shootings near the Freeport mine this year that led to the death of an Australian project manager, Drew Grant.

His apparent death - it has yet to be confirmed by DNA testing - prompted protests across Timika late yesterday, with hundreds pouring on to the streets.

What led to Mr Kwalik's slaying remains shrouded in mystery, not least because he held a convivial meeting with the Papuan police chief, Bagus Ekodanto, only months earlier to discuss Mr Grant's death and the Freeport mine shootings. He denied any role in the attacks, an assurance that Inspector-General Ekodanto told the Herald that he believed.

But, according to a national police spokesman, Nanan Soekarna, police had recently received information from a man named as Simon Benai that Mr Kwalik orchestrated a spate of sniper attacks near Freeport between July and November. At least three died, while more than dozen were injured in the attacks, which shut down the mine, one of the world's most profitable. Mr Benai's information also led them to a house in Timika early yesterday morning.

When the police arrived at 3am, they found Mr Kwalik in a room in the back of the house, a Papuan police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Agus Rianto, said.

''He held a revolver and he was pointing it at police. We shot him in the thigh. He died at the hospital.''

Police said they believed the dead man was Mr Kwalik based on the testimony of five others in the house. DNA test results were expected shortly.

However, Mr Kwalik's identity has always been a source of contention. He is known to send others to meetings pretending to be him.

Mr Kwalik was a legendary regional commander of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) - Free Papua Movement - which controlled operations in the most volatile part of the province, the area centred on Timika that includes the highly controversial Freeport mine. He was responsible for a series of militia actions against Indonesian security forces in Papua and around the Freeport mine dating back to the 1970s.

They include a raid that seized a group of Western hostages in the mid-1990s and a spate of shootings and explosions around Freeport last year.

Police yesterday also alleged Mr Kwalik was behind the 2002 murder of two US teachers near Freeport.

Paula Makabory, a Papuan separatist exiled in Melbourne who hails from Timika, described Mr Kwalik as the ''true leader of the OPM'' who had recently embraced dialogue as the best path for indigenous Papuans to achieve greater autonomy.

''He was part of the National Coalition for Liberation and he has supported peaceful dialogue with the Indonesian government,'' she said yesterday.

''Whatever happened there, it's likely this incident will escalate I suspect this is a deliberate attempt by security forces to escalate tensions.''

Many indigenous Papuans want independence from Jakarta, which seized the area following a disputed ''Act of Free Choice'' in 1969 and is accused of siphoning off the wealth from its natural resources at the expense of locals.

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Re: Kelly Kwalik shot dead

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December 20 2009, 6:18 AM 

Hundreds of Papuans clash with police

Posted December 20, 2009 00:23:00

Hundreds of supporters of a slain Papuan rebel leader have pelted Indonesian police with stones as tensions flared ahead of the commander's funeral.

Clashes erupted as a coffin carrying the body of Kelly Kwalik and draped in the outlawed flag of Papuan independence was placed on public display outside the parliament building in the southern Papuan town of Timika.

The Free Papua Movement (OPM) commander in the Timika region was shot dead by police during a raid on his hideout in the southern town on Wednesday.

Up to 500 angry mourners started throwing stones at security forces after a local tribal leader made a fiery speech near parliament.

"Only God knows the independence of Papua. It's not possible for us to go back to zero," Nerius Katagame, a leader of Kwalik's Amungme tribe, told the crowd.

The poorly armed OPM has waged a low-level insurgency - often using bows and arrows rather than guns - against Indonesian rule of the resource-rich, ethnically Melanesian region since 1964.

On Friday, demonstrators waving banners demanded Papuan independence as they mourned Kwalik's death.

Police said Kwalik had been hunted after unidentified gunmen launched a string of ambushes near Timika over the past six months targeting the operations of US miner Freeport McMoRan.

Freeport's giant Grasberg mine, which sits on one of the world's biggest gold and copper reserves, has long been linked to human rights abuses involving Indonesian troops who secure the facility.

Australian mine technician Drew Grant was killed in one of the attacks in July.

Kwalik, 60, reportedly claimed responsibility for the shootings but his associates have denied this. Others have speculated the ambushes are the work of rogue Indonesian police or soldiers seeking more money from Freeport.

Kwalik stood accused of multiple killings and kidnappings dating back to the mid-1980s.


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Raise to Arms

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December 27 2009, 10:17 AM 

like any other nation defending for their democratic rights and freedom of speach and freedom of movement,

the West papuans should and MUST take up arms and fight for freedom, indonesia is just reaping the benefits of this melanesian country thus leaving the people of west papua to get srcaps of the table.

if i was in west papua i would definately join, though i am not from west papua i am truly and would be devoted to fight for freedom till my last breath.

WEST PAPUANS stand up and fight, open the worlds eyes to your suffering let the world know that you are a unquine people and you have the right to govern yourself



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West Papua

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December 27 2009, 11:49 PM 

This song brings out strong feelings of sadness about the plight of West Papuans from Papua new Giunians(esp the ones living abroad) and the ones into politics



This message has been edited by DeFlash on Dec 27, 2009 11:55 PM

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Re: West Papua

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January 1 2010, 5:19 PM 

i am very disappointed in a world that refuses to recognize the independance that is so desired by a people, when it is so obvious that all they long for is to maintain their culture and traditional beliefs. West Papua has a long hard struggle to overcome but can find strength in knowing that independance can be gained.

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February 14 2012, 2:42 AM 

lol..png children got free education in the city of Jayapura/INDONESIA. why do not you look in the mirror. ur goverment under australia control..so..look at ur self before you talk about ur neighbour...

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