Papuan Politicians Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow:
Those Who Died
M. Wonggor Kaisiepo
Dr. Thom W. Wainggai
Drs. Arnold Up
Jacob H. Prai
Ex WP Politicians
WP Politicians Today
Theys H. Eluway
Drs. Willy E. Mandowen, MA
Rev. Dr. Benny Giay
John Otto Ondowame
Mr. Bonay was the first Governor of West Irian (West New Guinea) just after the annexation of West Papua into Indonesia. He firstly prepared to become the Governor with a hope that all agreements (New York Agreement, Rome Agreement and other oral promises) will be fulfilled until 1970, according to the Master Plan of the Dutch to declare West Papua as an independent country. During his leadership, he continued the Papuanisation Program started by the Dutch, but he was accused building up power to separate from Indonesia, which in fact he hoped for. Due to his fear of being arrested and killed by the Indonesians, he went to Holland and died there. In one of his speeches in Holland, he recalled his program of Papuanisation and the struggle of the OPM, and his roles during his leadership and urged young generation to build a strong feeling of unity among Papuans to achieve the independence during his lifetime, but unfortunately he passed away before that.
Nicolas Jouwe, who is now (February 2001) aged late 80s was the Deputy Chairman of the Nieuw Guinea Raad (New Guinea Council) established formally and legally on December 1, 1961. Mr. Jouwe is the only Papuan political elite at that time who fought for the independence of West Papua, while others had colluded with the Indonesians with various promises from Indonesia. He recalled one of the promises given to his Chairman of the Council as follows:
Mr. Jouwe was the member of the Allied Forces, sent to Borneo with the USA army in 1940s. He then became one of the important persons in the allied forces in West Papua. When the allied forces left, he then became a key person in his tribe (Kayu-Pulau, Kayu-Batu, Tobati, Enggros, Nafri, and other villages in Port Numbay).
The was the only Papuan elite who protested against the Act of Free Choice, and managed to attend the UNGA in New York and submitted his Note of Protest. His note was set aside, no one listened to him.
He went to Holland and established an NGO called HAPPIN, which is still a strong NGO supporting Indonesian and Papuan students until today.
He drew the concept of the independence declaration read by Seth Jafeth Roemkorem and Jacob Hendrik Prai on July 1, 1971 in Port Numbay, Waris Village.
The involvement of Seth Roemkorem and Jacob Prai in the OPM was organised by Mr. Jouwe from Holland. The mistake done by both OPM commanders declared independence was that the text of the declaration was not sent directly to Mr. Jouwe in Holland, but it was taken away by an Indonesian spy, who was a Papuan, and hid the text in Vanimo PNG for almost a year, and the plan to challenge the UN in 1971 did not happen. The declaration date fell one year after the Master Plan for West Papuan independence (1 July 1970) did not happen, and this was another protest organised by Jouwe.
To add his frustration, Mr. Roemkorem and Mr. Prai soon separated from one another due to personal problem and divided up the OPM troops into two, the PEMKA Troop (with Prai) and TPN Troop (with Roemkorem) based in Victoria Headquarter. As a consequence the armed struggle did not continue well and the struggle for independence was not strong. (Read more in the history)
Dr. Thomas Wapai Waingai was another person who declared West Melanesia country on December 13, 1988, exactly 25 years after the Rome Agreement (December 14, 1963) in which Indonesia and the Netherlands signed for a Development of West Papua Period for 25 years, and after this period, Indonesia promised to give the first chance for all Papuans to self-determine their future; either to stay with Indonesia or to become an independent country.
Even though he acted according to the Agreement, he was regarded as a separatist leader and arrested, then imprisoned in Cipinang Prison, Jakarta for 20 years. But only after some years (......) he was poisoned to death. His body was taken to West Papua and buried there. Papuans lost one of their cadres for development in West Papua.
His influence is still strong today, tough. He designed a new West Melanesia Flag with 14 starts, commonly called by Papuans as "The 14 Groups." The 14 Groups has the mission to unite all Melanesian countries, 14 countries into one with the name of Great Melanesia. Some Papuans argue that it is impossible and illogic to declare independence for those 13 countries that are already independent and to say that a colonised country can fight for free countries.
The 14 Groups has networks of supporters throughout the Pacific. The OPM and Papua Presidium Council suspect them as backed by the big powers, including CIA and Indonesian intelligence to divide up the struggle and to pro-long the independence of West Papua until they take all resources from West Papua and they engineer the Papuans to become Indonesians. (Read more on Indonesianisation, Islamisation and Papuanisation Why We Are Fighting?)