Factual Basis for the Story
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[This page is currently in transition from 2014 to 2016 versions of Vanishing Tribes, and the new title - Crying Freedom]
Below is a constantly evolving list of references providing factual evidence for the fictional story in the Vanishing Tribes eBook. Each reference link is categorized as: V = Video (or Visual depiction); P = Print articles or books; or W = Web-based (web pages or websites).
Reference Pages by VT 2014 Chapters: [yet to be reorganized for Crying Freedom]
History Pages / Disclaimer
V – 2006: George Telek's inspiring song of compassion for his West Papuan neighbours captures the whole story in a 3-minute video on Youtube. Produced by David Bridie with scenes from Mark Worth's final film, including the young chief in the story who inspired our 2014 eBook's cover illustration.
V – 2013: Jennifer Robinson introduces Benny Wenda at TEDx “Courage is Contagious" and marks 50 years since Indonesia invaded (this link repeated as a reference for Chapter 4)
W - Explaining everything in detail, "West Papua Background" is a comprehensive reference site on the history and current situation in West Papua. Designed to help new journalists identify conflict zones, this is a highly credible source from Masters students at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.
CHAPTER 1 - Running from Eden - part 1
V – 2001, Friends of People close to Nature: "Tribes and Tribulations, Total Freedom, Papua Merdeka". Filmed undercover, this video provides an excellent overview of the West Papuan situation, as well as great aerial views, historical footage, scenes of village life and interviews with knowledgeable West Papuans
V – 2010: Australia's Channel 4 News shows graphic images of highland farmers beaten and tortured by the Indonesian military, and the cinders of a demolished village
V – 2009: Dr. Mike Leahy on "Killer Cassowary Bird Attacks"
P - 2010: The Economist, “Indonesia's last frontier: Indonesia is a democracy. But many Papuans do not want to be part of it”
W - West Papua Media: A series of attacks that inspired Vivi's fictional account of the raid on her village, including cracked heads and slaughtered children: Shootings, village burnings and helicopter attacks across Paniai that recurred over the first half of 2012. (For more info on these raids, see Massive Indonesian offensive displaces thousands in Paniai as helicopters attack and raze villages)
CHAPTER 1 - Running from Eden - part 2
V - 1995: George Steinmetz' stunning photos of "Tree People" still living like they did thousands of years ago
V - The Earth Institute, Columbia University, "Indonesia's Last Glaciers" video shows Puncak Jaya's awesome peaks
V - 2012: "Never The Same: Celebrating 50 Years Since Peace Child", a surprising story on YouTube of how Canadian missionary Don Richardson brought reconciliation to headhunters and cannibals who exchanged two infants 50 years ago to keep a peace which has lasted to this day
P - 2002: The Guardian prints Dr. Eben Kirksey's article about the Papuan belief in Alam, "Spirited Fight: Forces of nature are inspiring Papuan resistance to the Indonesian Army"
P - Rape of a Nation, by Paul Kingsnorth, originally published in the The Ecologist, with a real life story of the swamps
P - 1988: West Papua: The Obliteration of a People, by Carmel Budiardjo and Liem Soei Liong, published by TAPOL, Indonesian Human Rights Campaign, UK
W – Survival International website, “Questions and answers: Uncontacted tribes of West Papua”
CHAPTER 2 - Another Fugitive's Dream - part 1
V - 2011: The Rev. Peter Woods and others talk to ABC Lateline News about "West Papuans attacked by Indonesian army" at the October 19th Congress
V – 2011: Survival International: “Indonesia's brutal attack on West Papuan rally”. Shocking scenes and arrests at the October 19th Congress
V - 2008: Greenpeace video, “Investigating Indonesia's Final Forest Frontier” (in Bahasa Indonesia with English subtitles) explains the significance of West Papuan forests to climate change, indigenous cultures and biodiversity, and how Indonesia is the world's third largest emitter of man-made greenhouse gases in the world due to rampant deforestation.
P - 2013: Greenpeace report, “Down to Zero” - a pictorial report on deforestation in Indonesia and Greenpeace initiatives to prevent it. Much of the logging has been illegal, openly conducted and controlled by the TNI (Indonesia's armed forces).
P - 2012: "Forkorus' and four others' sentence violates human rights law": A TAPOL press release issued with the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Faith-Based Network on West Papua and Franciscans International
W – ETAN, 2010: “Fifty police officers honored” for killing charismatic OPM leader Kelly Kwalik even though he renounced violence
CHAPTER 2 - Another Fugitive's Dream - part 2
V - 2009: BBC Newsnight airs excerpts from a critically-acclaimed undercover documentary on Papuan freedom fighters and highland raids revealing the armed resistance (TPN) guerrilla section of the OPM. Full 26-minute documentary on YouTube: "Forgotten Bird of Paradise".
V - 2010: The Economist, “Cursed by Plenty: Paying a covert visit to Papua's fighters in the forest”
V – 2013: Jennifer Robinson introduces Benny Wenda at TEDx “Courage is Contagious"
P - 2010: Journalist Allan Nairn's expose of the TNI (Kopassus) strategy to target churches, pastors, and civilian dissidents as their primary enemy, "US-Backed Death Squad Files Surface"
P - 2009: Human Rights Watch 16-page report on Kopassus in Merauke: “What Did I Do Wrong?”
P - 2013: Article by Socratez Yoman, General Chairman of the Alliance of Baptist Churches on “Why is West Papua closed to foreign journalists?” (followed by a list of his books in Bahasa Indonesia)
W - Google search for the Reverend Dr. Benny Giay
W - 2013, West Papua Media, "18 headless bodies found, taking the two-month death toll to 41"
CHAPTER 3 - The TNI Take Revenge - part 1
V - 2008: Discovery Channel, "Living With the Mek Tribe, West Papua, Indonesia (Farewell)" Two Caucasian men discover and are adopted by a traditional highland Papuan village
P - 2006: Stuart Kirsch, "Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous analysis of social and environmental relations in New Guinea", Stanford University Press
P - 2013: A report by the Asian Human Rights Commission and Human Rights & Peace for West Papua called "The Neglected Genocide" about atrocities in the highlands, 1977-1978
W - 2013, Free West Papua Campaign: Indonesian soldiers shoot and kill an 11 year old girl as she tries to run away, July 17, 2013:
CHAPTER 3 - The TNI Take Revenge - part 2
V – 2012: Popular KNPB leader Mako Tabuni is openly assassinated by the police, and quickly replaced by Victor Yiemo, interviewed here by an undercover ABC News reporter. “Australia faces link to West Papua torture” also raises questions about Australia's support for Indonesia's Densus 88 police detachment.
V – 2012: Another video and linked photos of the massive funeral procession for Mako Tabuni posted by Engage Media (also see their other videos on WP)
P - 2013: West Papua Media, 22 Members of KNPB Killed in 2012
P - 2013: The Guardian, "West Papuans live in terror, Mr. Abbott" - Editorial in response to Australian Prime Minister's deluded or willfully blind statement "The situation in West Papua is getting better, not worse."
CHAPTER 3 - The TNI Take Revenge - part 3
V - See the real Clemens Runawery and Wim Zonggonau in a 2-minute TV commercial introduced by Hugh Lunn, the Reuters correspondent who witnessed the Act. [The ebook story character Theo is not based on any actual person associated with Mr. Runawery, who is profiled in more depth in Mark Worth's documentary "Land of the Morning Star" - see link in Chapter 9.]
V - 2012: ABC News TV report on Densus 88 (Detachment 88), supposedly an "anti-terrorist" squad but in reality antagonizing pacifists and accused of planting bombs in Wamena to justify their existence and foreign funding
V - 2011: "Papuan Voices" shows police filming a massive prayer/protest meeting held to support the International Lawyers for West Papua conference in Oxford, 2011. KNPB Mako Tabuni gives an impassioned speech the year before his assassination (Bahasa Indonesia - no English translation)
P - 2004: The National Security Archive, “Indonesia's 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by 'Free Choice'". Secret state documents show U.S. support for Indonesia and human rights abuses by the Indonesian military, proving the Act of Free Choice was a total sham
P - 2014: Pacific Network on Globalisation outlines West Papua's legal right to self-determination in "West Papua: no-one's colony" and academic consensus supporting the need for a free West Papuan state
P - 2013: Human Rights and Peace for Papua (the International Coalition for Papua of faith-based and civil society organisations) releases "The Neglected Genocide - Genosida Yang Diabaikan", a report on the helicopter raids and gruesome rapes and murders that took place in the 1970s. (While the slaughter continues!) Also in Bahasa Indonesia.
W - 2012 Human Rights and Peace for Papua, "West Papua at UN Human Rights Mechanisms", including Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reports and studies on decolonization
W - Colony of West Papua, a hidden trust territory. A comprehensive and referenced explanation of why West Papua is already a UN trusteeship that just needs to be recognized by the United Nations, i.e., no bloody referendum is necessary to grant West Papuans their independence
CHAPTER 3 - The TNI Take Revenge - part 4
V - 2012: West Papua Media photo and video report, "Thousands across Papua demand UN step up to protect Papuan people" shows massive KNPB rallies (To express your support for them in less than a minute, see our one-sentence Petition to the UN.)
V - 2012: One of the many December 1st protests each year, this one shows students celebrating West Papua Independence Day in Yogyakarta and calling for help from the US and the UN
V – 2007: Friends of People close to Nature, "West Papua: The secret war in Asia" The opening quote from this shocking film: “Tell the world what is happening in West Papua. They will listen to you because you are Europeans. That is our only chance to get justice and freedom.” Mathias Wenda, independence leader
P - 2006: Father Neles Tebay's “Interfaith Endeavours for Peace in West Papua” (pdf)
P – 2012: Celebrating West Papua 'Independence,' OPM Calls for Non-Violence by Voice of Baptist Papua
P - 2011: David Adam Stott, 'Would An Independent West Papua Be A Failing State?,' Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 37. Quote: “Therefore, it seems that the chief hope for independence, or even a more meaningful form of self-governance, is international pressure. For an independence or secession movement to succeed it is crucial for it to gain traction within influential foreign states that support the cause on moral or other grounds.”
W - The Papuan Peace Network website
CHAPTER 3 - The TNI Take Revenge - part 5
V - 2004: "Land of the Morning Star", filmmaker Mark Worth's masterwork, narrated by Rachel Griffiths. The film is an important historical record. It also profiles Clemens Runawery in more depth than the Chapter 7 video link to TV ads.
P - 2009: Human Rights Watch on East Timor and censorship of the film “Balibo”
P – 2007: TAPOL and 37 other concerned organizations write an “Open Letter to President SBY...” objecting to the re-assignment of Col. Burhanuddin Siagian to a key military command in West Papua after he was twice indicted for crimes against humanity in East Timor (now called Timor-Leste)
P - 2002: New Internationalist magazine reports 20,000 people at funeral for Chief Theys Eluay in a "West Papua Rising" keynote by Chris Richards
W – ETAN, 2010: Military impunity and the re-assignment of TNI officers from East Timor to West Papua
CHAPTER 4 - A Test of Valor - part 1
P - 2013, Inter Press Service, "U.S. Sells Attack Helicopters to Indonesia amid Rights Concerns"
P - 2013, Asia Times: "US re-opens military support, including a $500 million sale of Apache helicopters to Indonesia"
P - 2011, New York Times: “Thousands Rally to Press for Independence From Indonesia... after days of political violence that killed at least 21 people.”
CHAPTER 4 - A Test of Valor - part 2
V - 1989: Alan Hayling's "Rebels of the Forgotten World" (Channel 4, UK) offers a glimpse into life in the mountains with the OPM guerrillas
P – 2013: New York Times, “Killings stir questions on Indonesia Military Overhaul”. In Yogyakarta on Java, nine Kopassus officers break into a police prison and shoot four recently arrived detainees in the head
P - 2011: In the Guardian, Jay Griffiths writes about Arnold Ap and the importance of music in the Papuan way of life in "Songs and freedom in West Papua", later echoed by Andrew Alcock in the New Internationalist's "West Papua Freedom songs"
W – ETAN: Two better-known West Papuan prisoners of conscience, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage
CHAPTER 4 - A Test of Valor - part 3
V – 2011: West Papuan refugees given deeds to their multi-generational camps by sympathetic Papua New Guinean landowners are attacked by the TNI, similar to the raids on Vivi's homeland in 2012 but more audacious and threatening when done outside Indonesia's claimed territory. West Papuan refugees have nowhere to hide.
P - 2013: ABC News: "Vanuatu PM accuses UN of ignoring Papuans" - an historic speech that took great courage when the rest of the world continues to pretend it's not happening
P - 2013: Article by Canadian Jeremy Bally, who collected postcards from sympathizers from around the world on his 12,000 kilometre bicycle campaign to raise global awareness of West Papua. In December, he took great risk to himself by personally delivering the postcards to political prisoners in West Papua's Abepura State Prison. The article in Bahasa Indonesia is to encourage our Papuan readers, so they are reminded they have many friends around the world working on their behalf.
P - 2012: "It's as though there is a war here" A Catholic priest confirms a local leader's concern about the increase in military posts along the PNG border
Additional reference links for the Vanishing Tribes History Pages can be found at More Reference Links.