- Reviews of recent books.

[extracted from TAPOL Bulletin 179, July 2005] Available online at Reproduced with permission.

Book review: West Papua: The struggle for peace and justice

Also deserving of special thanks is Fr Neles Tebay who has produced an excellent 32-page overview of the suffering of the Papuan people for the Comment series of the Catholic Institute for International Relations, CIIR. Neles Tebay is a Papuan priest and journalist currently undertaking PhD research at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. He describes the outrageous injustices experienced by the Papuan people at the hands of the international community when they were denied the right to self-determination in the 1960s and since then under a series of Indonesian miltary operations aimed at eradicating support for independence. He warns that the survival of indigenous Papuans is under threat from a number of factors including human rights violations, the denial of Papuan culture, poverty and the influx of Indonesian migrants. Neles Tebay reviews Indonesia's recent policies towards West Papua - including its handling of special autonomy and its systematic campaign to destabilise the territory - and the international community's approach, primarily determined by economic interests. Despite the fact that they have suffered grievously at the hands of the Indonesian military, the Papuans have shown remarkable restraint in the face of intense provocation. Even now, they are intent on responding to violence and oppression by peace-building intiatives associated with the campaign to make West Papua a 'Land of Peace'. This is described in the final section of the Comment, which ends with a series of recommendations addressed to the Indonesian government and the international community. An afterword explains CIIR's position on West Papua. This booklet will be a valuable source of information and inspiration both for those new to the issue of West Papua and for experienced advocates and activists working for lasting peace in a forgotten country. Published by CIIR, May 2005, ISBN: 1 85287 316 7