Ruthless Tidal Wave
THIS edition of Pacific Journalism Review began with a theme around ‘Endangered Journalists’. However, by the time it was into full editorial production it was clear that this was also about the global silence and injustice imposed on West Papua and the ‘endangered’ indigenous people in this mountainous land on the cusp of Asia and the Pacific.
While the edition layout was being prepared, remarkable events were happening in West Papua and elsewhere in Indonesia this year around the historically significant anniversary date of 1 May 2016 – fifty-three years after a United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) handed power over the former Dutch colony in West New Guinea to Jakarta with a mandate to rule until such time as the Papuan people decided on their future in a free vote.
Instead, the sham ‘Act of Free Choice’ was orchestrated in 1969 with a handpicked group of 1050 men and women (out of a population at the time of more than 800,000 people) who were publicly coerced into choosing to be incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia. - Excerpt from the editorial by Professor David Robie Note: This edition will be published in July instead of May to coincide with the 4th World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC) conference in Auckland.