West Papua And The Right To Self-Determination Under International Law – Melinda Janki

melinda jankiPublished in the West Indian Law Journal Vol 34 No. 1 May 2010

by Melinda Janki

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In 1969 West Papua, a former Dutch colony, was classified as an Indonesian province following an act of self-determination carried out under Indonesian administration. This paper examines the act of self-determination and concludes that it was a violation of the right of  self-determination held by the West Papuan peoples under international law. The paper examines Indonesia’s territorial claims and argues that these claims do not justify Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua. The paper concludes that Indonesia’s presence in West Papua is illegal and
that this illegality is the basis for continuing conflict in West Papua. The paper ends by suggesting that there should be a proper act of self-determination in accordance with international law, to settle finally the international status of West Papua.