Gwangju Prize Human Rights Award 2015: Latiifah Anum Siregar

GuwanjuDialog For Peace
Acceptance Speech
Gwangju Prize Human Rights Awards 2015
(Latifah Anum Siregar/HR Lawyer-Director AlDP)
5:18 Memorial Foundation-Gwangju- South Korea

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Again, I’m standing in front of you to receive this honor. Actually, until now I’m still amazed to be receiving the award, but of course extremely grateful.
Allow me to once again thank to God for generous blessings so I can be here in this incredible forum. I wish our solidarity to fight for human rights will grow stronger in the future.
I especially would like to thank to the May 18 Memorial Foundation for this great honor. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen
I believe Gwangju Prize Human Rights Awards 2015 shows that the problem of West Papua has finally outreached broader audience. With this award, I am personally hoping for stronger support for the West Papua cause, especially from friends from Asia continent.

Ladies and Gentlemen
West Papua is suffering complicated conflict as conflict between the Papuans versus central government intertwines with ethnic and sectarian conflicts. West Papua troubles became more sensitive after Indonesia lost Timor Leste, and Aceh reached a relatively peaceful settlement. Since Indonesian government is currently focusing only on West Papua, the current political burden is also bigger than the previous period. Therefore, a different approach should be applied to reach a solution in respectable manner.
In this privilege moment, on behalf of West Papua’s civil society, I would like to call Indonesian government to alter its approach in solving the West Papua problems. Indonesian government needs to stop stigmatizing the Papuans as separatists. The government also has to perform civilian governance in governing West Papua, and at the same time allows the West Papua’s civil society to socially and politically consolidating.

Civilian government is what West Papua needed. Papuan people’s mandate to be served by an accountable government can be achieved only if the military stop their excessive involvement in governing the region. We call also for professionalism in military. Indonesian military needs to conduct a more serious reformation, and in West Papua context, with serious changing of behavior of its apparatus.West Papua asks Indonesia government to perform criminal justice system in West Papua and democracy, including the freedom of expression.

I urge Indonesian government to end the debates around identity and natural resources related conflicts, and starts to communicate with people. I am especially hoping that the Indonesian government will conduct dialog as a means to end West Papua turbulence. The movement that I am now actively conducting; the Papuan peace network has been gaining more support from the public. I personally hope, the government of Indonesia finally realizing people’s support to dialog and acknowledging that dialog is the best way to find a solution without undermining any parties’ dignity. We all wish for West Papua as the land of peace and dialog is the most peaceful way to end all disagreements.

My dear colleague, the late Dr. Muridan Widjoyo, who was also a coordinator of the Papuan Peace Network once said “dialog will not kill anyone.” Should a dialog fails, we can conduct another, and other dialog, and many more dialog until we can come to a mutual understanding. Once we understood each other, trusts will grow and we may come to an agreeable solution to solve our disagreement. I believe, dialog is the most humanists approach to put an end of all disagreements.
As part of Asia region, Papua want to get involved and support the realization of democracy and peace enforcement. We are all responsible to justice in various aspects of legal justice, economic justice and social justice throughout Asia. We are responsible for building a dignified tradition to preserve human values in Asia.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Finally, I am humbly asking this incredible forum, to joining our hands in endorsing dialog to the government of Indonesia as a mean to end the West Papua conflict. May peace prevails in my beloved West Papua.
Thank you.

Latifah Anum Siregar