Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

Can historians be peacemakers? Recent experiences with truth and reconciliation processes in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific suggest that they can be. There is a role for historical research and memory in helping to build sustainable peace and stability in new nations. On the other hand, ignoring violent pasts undermines peacebuilding efforts. In the… More Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

Canada’s East Timor advocacy 20 years ago paves the way for leadership today

Can Canada make a difference in international affairs? Can middle powers matter when a global crisis hits? The story of the East Timor independence referendum, held 20 years ago this Aug. 30, says yes. Canadian documents tell the story of Canadian actions during the 1999 referendum. Two decades on, they show that bold and sustained… More Canada’s East Timor advocacy 20 years ago paves the way for leadership today

West Papua: Seeing no evil

Maire Leadbeater on the Current crisis in West Papua and her new book See No Evil: New Zealand’s Betrayal of the People of West Papua (Otago University Press, 2018) On August 17, Indonesia’s national day, West Papuan students studying in Surabaya and Malang, East Java were subjected to a terrifying ordeal. Security forces and militia… More West Papua: Seeing no evil

Time for a New U.S. Approach toward Indonesia and West Papua 

By Edmund McWilliams (retired US foreign service officer) Originally published in Flowers in the Wall (download free pdf) There are few places in the world where U.S. human rights policy is as disingenuous as it is in West Papua. The bankruptcy of U.S. posturing regarding respect for fundamental human rights, including protection of the physical security of… More Time for a New U.S. Approach toward Indonesia and West Papua 

The Living Symbol of Song in West Papua: A Soul Force to be Reckoned With

By Julian Smythe Excerpted from Flowers in the Wall – click to download full chapter as a free pdf “I am Papua (aku Papua),” three-year-old Dietrich Malenua sings on his grandmother’s porch in Papua, Indonesia. He is singing the hit song of Papuan musician Edo Kondologit, “Aku Papua,” and in his song, he carries a… More The Living Symbol of Song in West Papua: A Soul Force to be Reckoned With

Facts, Feasts & Forests: Considering Approaches to Truth and Reconciliation in Tanah Papua

By Todd Biderman and Jenny Munro From Flowers in the Wall – download full chapter What sorts of “truths” are included in “truth and reconciliation” and from whose perspective? In Tanah Papua we have the problem of a multi-dimensional conflict and a state that is very dedicated to controlling what is said about that conflict.… More Facts, Feasts & Forests: Considering Approaches to Truth and Reconciliation in Tanah Papua

Self-Determination Abandoned: The Road to the New York Agreement on West Papua

By David Webster West Papua, occupied by Indonesia since the 1960s, is making headlines with a wave of protests sparked by anti-Papuan racism. How did this territory come under Indonesian rule? This article from Cornell University’s journal Indonesia (now in open access) provides context on how the Papuan right to self-determination was abandoned in the… More Self-Determination Abandoned: The Road to the New York Agreement on West Papua

Voting with Betel Juice: a Timorese short story by Dadolin Murak

In this story, written in 2017 and recently translated into English. Timor-Leste writer Dadolin Murak depicts a family caught up in the politics of a Timorese election. Timor-Leste (East Timor) experienced Indonesian military occupation and crimes against humanity from 1975 to 1999, when the country voted for independence. That vote, on 30 August 1999, is… More Voting with Betel Juice: a Timorese short story by Dadolin Murak

The Solomon Islands “Ethnic Tension” Conflict and the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Personal Reflection

By Terry Brown To date there has been only one truth commission in Melanesia, in Solomon Islands. This was a mixed national-international commission, struck after an internal conflict within the country. At the time of the conflict, Canadian Anglican Terry Brown was the bishop of Malaita, a diocese of the Church of Melanesia. His chapter recounts… More The Solomon Islands “Ethnic Tension” Conflict and the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Personal Reflection