The Political Status of West Papua (Part 3)
The status of the Netherlands East Indies territory including West Papua, was never in question is further confirmed by the following events concerning the validity of Indonesia’s position.
- In December 1946 the Dutch Governor-General Dr. H.J. Van Mook reiterated the view of his government: “Decidedly not the intention of the Government (the Dutch Government) to exclude New Guinea from Indonesia”.
- On 17 January 1948, the Renville Agreement reached under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Committee stated inter alia: “Sovereignty throughout the Netherlands East Indies is and shall remain with the Kingdom of Netherlands until, after a stated interval, the Kingdom of Netherlands transfers its sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia”. Once again, it was apparent that the Netherlands East Indies would be replaced by a new sovereign and independent state of Indonesia.
- The preliminary agreement on the ROund Table COnference, the so-called Roem-Van Royen Agreement of May 1949 asserted: ” the discussion will take place as to the way in which to accelerate the unconditional transfer of real and complete sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia in accordance with the Renville Agreements”.
- The same viewpoint was reaffirmed in the letter by the Netherlands representative to the United Nations dated 2 March 1949: “the Netherlands Government has reached the conclusion that the best solution of the pending problem is to be found in an accelerated transfer of sovereignty over Indonesia to an Indonesian federal government which will be fully representative of the whole of Indonesia”.
- Also, it is pertinent to note that the delegation of the Netherlands had concluded the earlier preliminary Roem – Van Royen Agreement atthe Round Table Conference and affirmed in the Security Council proceedings. “As I explained at the outset, this dispute is not about the question of whether or not Indonesia will become independent. All parties agree that what used to be the Netherlands East Indies should become an independent State as soon as possible”. (*) Furthermore, Dr. Van Royen stated at that meeting : “the population of Indonesia consists of about seventeen ethnic and linguistic group which, in their turn, contain a still greater number of sub-groups… Common existence under the Netherlands Crown has created a sense of Indonesian nationality”.
This statement is most relevant because it demonstrates not only the common existence but also common fate and common struggle of the people of West Papua with the rest of Indonesia against colonial rule.
continue to part 4