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THE ACT OF SELF-DETERMINATION: A Legalistic Political Approach In The INTEREST MANIPULATION

(PENENTUAN NASIB SENDIRI: Pendekatan Legalistik Politis dalam Manipulasi Kepentingan)

ACT OF SELF-DETERMINATION, OR ACT OF ANNEXATION???

There are two model of cases of annexation in the Pacific's modern history under the so-called legitimated Act of Self-Determination, adopted two different approaches - the indigenous minorization approach and the representation approach:

1. The Annexation of Hawai'i

(Adopted Indigenous Minorization Policy To Win Referendum)


The Hawai'ian islands in the Pacific, had for many years been of special interest to the United States.

Hawai'i has experienced continued European and American contacts since 1778. In 1810 a unified monarchy government of all Hawai'ian Islands was established which had diplomatic ties with independent states around the world. Throughout the 19th century and until 1893, USA recognized the independence of Hawai'i and extended full and complete diplomatic recognition to its government.

Commercial WHALING attracted increasing number of foreign settles who demanded rights of citizenship and private ownership of land. In 1887, American planter interests organized a coup d'etat against the Hawai'ian king, taking away his sovereign powers and the civil rights of the Hawai'ian. In 1893, American armed naval forces invaded the sovereign nation of Hawai'i in support the overthrow of the indigenous and lawful government. Subsequently USA extended diplomatic relations to a provisional government declared by 18 conspirators, mostly Americans. In 1894, the provisional government proclaimed The Republic of Hawai'i under a new constitution. In 1898, USA annexed Hawai'i and from 1900 through 1959 it was governed as a Territory of the USA.

In 1946, USA as required under Chapter XI, Article 73 of the UN Charter, included Hawai'i on the UN Decolonization List.

In 1959, a 'PLEBISCITE' was held on the future political status of the territory. Any (non-Hawai'ian) American citizen who had resided for one year, who turned out to be the MAJORITY, was eligible to vote.

After this, HAWAI'I WAS REMOVED FROM THE UN DECOLONIZATION LIST.

2. The Annexation of West Papua

(Adopted Appointed Representation Policy To Win The Referendum)


West Papua was claimed by the Dutch as colony on August 24, 1828. In the 1950s and 1960s, became a matter of conflict between its colonizer, The Netherlands and the neighbouring republic of Indonesia, which put a claim on the country.

In 1946, the Netherlands as required under Chapter XI, Article 73 of the UN Charter, included Wet Papua in the UN Decolonization List, and prepared the territory in the 1960s for self-government by 1970.

The US (due to its special interests), pressured the Dutch to sign on agreement with Indonesia, whereby West Papua after an interim period under the UN, was transferred to the Indonesian administration in 1963.

The 'PLEBISCITE' in 1969, turned out to be a force. Instead of 'one man-one vote' for the 600,000 people eligible, 1,025 pro-Indonesia - appointed representatives, were hand-picked and intimidated to vote for integration with Indonesia.

In November 1969, the UNGA 'took note' of the outcome. After this, WEST PAPUA WAS REMOVED FROM THE UN DECOLONIZATION LIST.

Note similarities and differences in the above cases of annexation as well as the DESIGNER.

Four months before the Agreement was signed by the Dutch and Indonesia, in a Secret Letter to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, dated April 02, 1961, President Kennedy wrote,

"MY GOVERNMENT HAS INTERESTED ITSELF GREATLY IN THIS MATTER AND YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS PREPARED TO RENDER ALL APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS WHEN THE PAPUANS EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION …." which was NEVER brought into realization.

He further wrote, "What moves me in my CONVICTION that in our COMMON INTERESTS, the present opportunities for peaceful settlement in this painful matter must not be lost." (A statement that solely reflected International Interests and not the interests and welfare of the West Papuans.

Two years prior to the implementation of the 1969 Act of Self-Determination, dubbed as The Act of Free Choice, a mining concession was granted to Freeport unilaterally by Indonesia, overlooking legal fact that West Papua hadn't been formally becoming a part of Indonesia.

Act of Self-Determination, or Act of Free Choice???

The New York Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, signed on August 15, 1962, was originated by Ellsworth Bunker, an American Diplomat. Certain terminologies of contained therein to define the Act of Self-Determination and its implementation are much questionable.

If we thoroughly study the whole text of the agreement, we will come to the conclusion that the Bunker Plan re-applied basic concept of annexation of Hawai'i, using a customary (representation) approach in order to win the referendum in the case of West Papua.

The use of a number of terminologies, such as "MUSYAWARAH', 'CONSULTATION", "ACT OF FREE CHOICE", etc., to define the method of a Act of Self-Determination, absolutely have no legal ground in the international law:

1. The Act of Self-Determination:

Legal term, commonly applied in the international law. It reflects pure practice of the The Rights to Self-Determination. In the 1962 Agreement, the term was falsely used to produce a legal meaning to what was known in the implementation as 'ACT OF FREE CHOICE" (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat).

All parties to the Agreement should recognized and abode by the results of an 'ACT OF SELF-DETERMINATION (where the international method of 'ONE MAN-ONE VOTE' is applicable in accordance with articles XVIII.d and XXI.2 of the agreement), and NOT the results on 'ACT OF FREE CHOICE.'

2. Act of Free Choice:

The term is not a legal one in the international law. The use of this term in the agreement is questionable. Its unilateral interpretation had led to the application of the Indonesia's method of 'musyawarah' which finally resulted in the so-called 'Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat' style of self-determination through representation that had overridden international method of 'one man-one vote' in the 1969 Plebiscite in West Papua.

3. Musyawarah:

In the light of the Right to Self-Determination as stipulated by article XIV and article XVIII, the adoption of this term was a direct violation against international law.

The given meaning of this term in English is 'DELIBERATION' which means careful consideration and discussion, not 'CONSULTATION' as defined by the agreement, which has the meaning of going to a special source of information, advice, opinion, etc. The status of all parties to a deliberation process are always equal in terms of rights, power, and knowledge. In consultation. The consultant is usually in a superior position in t right, power and knowledge. The adoption of this term in the agreement reflected West Papua/ ns, as object and not subject in the international law.

4. Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat:

This term literally means the 'Act of Determining People's Will' in Indonesian - a term that is not clearly defined in the International Law, and was not stipulated by the agreement. The practical adoption of this term in the so-called PLEBISCITE had spontaneously omitted the initial applicable international method of 'one man-one vote.'

Uploaded: [© The Diary of OPM International]; 27 February 2003 16:29:00

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