Seth Jafeth Roemkorem, TPN OPM and Papua Merdeka

This is the man who put the Papuan Rebel Army together to resist the Indonesian occupation since 1961 and promulgated the Provisional Constitution of West Papua on 1 July 1971 at Waris and hence the formation of the Provisional Government of West Papua. 

The matters of society, state, and governance for Melanesia’s West Papua have been run by the West Papua Provisional Government for the past 50 years….in exile. He is from Biak Island and left the Indonesian Armed Forces to mastermind a road map to freedom for his people. His name is Brigadier – General Seth Rumkorem.

West Papua, the restive and thoroughly - troubled province of the vast Indonesian archipelago looks set to renew its bid for freedom. It lies 155 miles north of Australia, on the western half of the island of New Guinea. For more than 40 years it has been waging a small-scale war against the occupying Indonesian army. 

After the death of the Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1998, West Papua enjoyed a brief political respite. The Papuan Presidium Council (PDP) was launched, the OPM declared a ceasefire, and independence rallies and flag raisings were common. But the Indonesian military moved in. Thousands were rounded up and imprisoned, and many others disappeared. An escalation in events culminated in the assassination of the PDP chairman, Theys Eluay in November 2001. The Federal Democratic Republic of West Papua was formed by his successor, Paramount Chief, Forkorus Yoisembut and the Papuan Caucus following the proclamation of independence from Indonesia on 16 October 2011, last year. 
The status of sovereignty and royalty as a nation – state under the Provisional Constitution of West Papua which was promulgated by the first Commander of the West Papuan National Liberation Army, Seth Rumkorem in Waris near the Papuan border on 1 July 1971 is still contentious and the application of international law regarding the sovereign status of the Federal Democratic Republic of West Papua is subject of inquiry by international society and foreign governments, especially the Netherlands which colonized West Papua together with the rest of the Indonesia archipelago until the 1969 annexation and integration of West Papua into the unitary republic state of Indonesia. However, the international practice of ‘one – man one – vote’ expected by the United Nations did not take place and Papuans led by its Rebel Army have resisted Indonesian presence ever since. 

Hormat Bapak Komandan, the respected and honourable West Papuan leader who has passed on.The current OPM High Command believes the rebel army will access modern and sophisticated insurgency and global armed conflict weapons when the time is right, not to be the aggressor but for self - defence. Max Weber's principles of rationalism and professionalism underpin the diplomatic approach taken by the OPM with an excellent grasp of the global armed conflict process and approaches to a solution expected by Melanesia, the Pacific and the world. The Commander repeated that the 'process' be adhered to at all costs. I took my salute and left the rebel army hideout pondering Melanesia's options to correct the situation of a 'house on fire'.

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