Push for independence: The West Papuan nation

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Book Chapter

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Murray, S. (2007). Push for independence: The West Papuan nation. In A. Cullen & S. Murray (Eds.). The Globalization of World Politics: Case Studies from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific (pp. 88-91). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

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© Copyright 2007 Anne Cullen and Stuart Murray




The Papuan Island has long been subject to distant rule. In the nineteenth century, it drew rapacious attention from resource hungry European colonisers including Germany, Britain, Japan and The Netherlands. In 1975, the eastern half of the island became the independent nation of Papua New Guinea. The fate of the western half remains disputed. The Dutch ruled Western Papua until 1963, eventually ceding their sovereignty to Indonesia. Since then, the territory has been subject to the distant and occasionally tyrannical rule of the Indonesian Government. Scores of West Papuans, however, continue to exert claims for an independent West Papuan nation. These disenfranchised nationalists are driven by a sense of historical injustice, poor Indonesian governance, a feeling of cultural and racial otherness, human rights abuses and manipulation on the part of the Indonesian security forces.

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