Goliath and Which Army?

Goliath Tabuni is not a name that many have heard. Sometimes, especially in this case, it should stay that way. Recently, another altered news has been mildly spreading on the social media. Nevertheless, it leaves a discomforting taste.

In a press conference, on Sunday 8 January of 2017, Goliath Tabuni who claimed him self as the Commander of Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) or the free Papua movement claimed that as the General and Commander of Tentara Pembebasan Nasional Papua Barat (TPNPB) or the National Liberation Forces of West Papua has declared a war against the Government of Indonesia. He has also invited the United Nations, and, especially, the US armed forces in the military base of Darwin, Australia, to enter West Papua.

In his declaration, Goliath Tabuni made three commands. The words are written in all capital letters and, once again, strengthen the separatism narrative.

First: The Regional Command in all regions of West Papua, must implement the appropriate next stage of revolution as commanded by the highest commander orders dated December 11, 2012 in Tingginambut.

Second: for TPNPB across the mountains, and the coasts of West Papua to be united in one national command. We have to unite our forces of arms and ammunition. Therefore, we declare that we are ready for a war against the Indonesian military for one purpose only, the liberation of Papua.

Third: the goal of the war of TPNPB is not to ask for an autonomy, or to be spared food and drink, but for the independence of West Papua, hence the armed resistance against the military of Indonesia will not stop before the the UN peacekeeping mission enters West Papua.

Fourth: We shout out to the countries around the world that support West Papua, to urge the UN to send a peacekeeping forces of the US military base in Darwin, Australia, to enter and hold a referendum in West Papua.

Fifth: To the leaders of ULMWP, NRFPB, WPNCL and PNWP to stop the cabinet competition and the constitution of each country. TPN-OPM does not recognize all of the cabinets and constitutions other than the one on July 1, 1971. Therefore, TPNPB gives warning to the groups that have pushed their interests which can impede the Papuan independence.

Sixth: TPNPB and the people of West Papua fully supports ULMWP to become a full member of MSG at MSG summit on 21-22 December 2016 in Vanuatu, with the reason that the people of West Papua is not Malay descents, we are Melanesians.

Seventh: The National Command under the leadership of General Goliath Tabuni is a unity of the national armed forces of the West Papua, that is chosen through the Forum of TPN-OPM Summit in Biak, from 1 to 5 May 2012. Anyone who is in an independent country that claims to be the high commander, on behalf of the nation West Papua, by law, we declare to refuse it.

From the declaration as shown the above, the divide is clearly happening in the body of OPM it self. As stated in the declaration, OPM has instructed other like minded movements to stop competing for their cabinets and constitutions and acknowledge only one leading body, which is OPM it self.

However, the most important flaw is on the information it self. The declaration it self is indeed made by Goliath Tabuni, but the timeline is rigged. The Regional Police of Papua and even the Regional Command has stated to not have received any of the above information regarding the said “newly released” declaration.

The truth is, the declaration is dated on 19 December of 2016 in the headquarter of Kwiyawagi Regional Command of West Papua. However, the fact is, it is an old and overused news being repeatedly utilized to tell a narrative, by manipulating the time, and saturate the media until it’s embedded in the minds of the readers. Goliath intention has existed since a long time ago. When his followers are still in full power, before they left Goliath.

So, which Goliath and what army is this about? Truly, to be a smart public we do need to go the extra mile in filtering the facts and numbers. Many information and news nowadays are often muddled with some altered facts and even full on engineered news. It is only wise to let the rumors of Goliath Tabuni back to where it belongs, the falsities.


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