The Indonesian part of the Island of Papua has the world's largest Gold and Copper mining operated by PT. Freeport Indonesia as a subsidiary of the multinational company Freeport-McMoran, USA.
The mining operation that began in 1967 has made PT Freeport Indonesia, Freeport-McMoran and some high ranking Indonesian officials very rich.
Unfortunately not many people of Papua enjoyed the Gold and Copper money, many of them are still living in very poor condition, and the infrastructure on the territory are still in poor condition.
The company only thinks about getting as much money as possible, they do not care about the well being of their employees, and do not care about the great destruction that their mining operations have caused to nature.
Due to this facts, on 15 September 2011, the workers of PT. Freeport Indonesia has stop working, and until now they are still negotiating with the company's management for better salary and working conditions.
Further, on 19 October days, some groups of people held the third Papua People's Congress in the town of Abepura. Unlike the first two congresses which ended peacefully, this congress was disbanded by the Police because the participants have violated the conditions for holding such congress i.e. they have declared the independence of West Papua, raised the flag of Free Papua Organization, named its President and Prime Minister. Three men died in the clash between the Police and the participants, 600 hundreds others, including university and school students, were arrested, but many of them released soon afterwards.
On 21 October, three men working with the contractor of PT. Freeport Indonesia were shot to death by unknown gunmen. One week earlier, three workers of PT Freeport Indonesia were shot to death by mysterious group of men.
Yesterday, a chief of Police in the sub-district of Mulia, namely Adjunct Comm. Domingus Awes, was shot to death at the local airport by two unknown men who grabbed his gun and used it to kill him, took the gun and runaway to nearby forest. This was the second killing a Police officer at the same airport this year. On 24 June First Brig. Yazin was shot to death and his firearm was taken away.
The ambush at PT. Freeport's mine is part of a recent string, the first in April left two workers dead and two others wounded.
In reaction to the above mentioned violence, the central government in Jakarta has deployed extra Police and Military troops to join existing force of 14,000 troops in Papua to maintain security and order.
In my opinion, the never ending violence in Papua is caused by lack of social, economic and legal justice as I have mentioned above. Therefore such violence cannot be calmed merely by sending more Police and Military, but should also be followed by giving a lot much better attention to the people of Papua.
For example by persuading PT Freeport Indonesia to provide salary and working conditions as demanded by its workers, to develop free schools and health facilities, to expedite the developments of infrastructure.
Moreover, the central government, the House of Representatives and law enforcement agencies should do their utmost to show that Indonesia is lead by clean, uncorrupt, unselfish, wise and fair leaders who will properly take care of money collected from all provinces in Indonesia, especially Papua. That way the people of Papua would not felt cheated and therefore willing to be part of Indonesia.
Last but not least, if possible perhaps the central government could start to have talks with the separatist movement in Papua to find a peaceful solution like we have done in Aceh.