According to Reverend Dr. Ambirek G. Socratez Yoman, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is like a big house or boat, owned by the people and the nation of Papua. Upon this big boat rests prayers, hopes, longings, struggles, dreams, and ideals with a profound sense of justice, peace, and dignity. According to Rev. Yoman, the ULMWP is a symbol of unity among the Papuan people. It is a representation of their collective desires and relentless pursuit of justice.
Therefore, West Papuans living in the Land of West Papua, including those living abroad, all pray, hope, and support ULMWP. It is the responsibility of the nation of West Papua and its people to safeguard, maintain, care for, and protect ULMWP as their common home. Because ULMWP provides a collective shelter for many tears, blood droplets, bones, and suffering of West Papua.
Reverend Yoman stated that ULMWP carries the spirits of our ancestors, fallen heroes, and comrades. The ULMWP is the home of their spirits, and he wrote some of their names as follows:
- Johan Ariks,
- Lodewijk Mandacan,
- Barens Mandacan,
- Ferry Awom,
- Permenas Awom,
- Aser Demotekay,
- Bernandus Tanggahma,
- Seth Jafet Rumkorem,
- Jacob Prai,
- Herman Womsiwor,
- Markus Kaisiepo,
- Eliezer Bonay,
- Nicolaas Jouwe,
- F. Torrey,
- Nicolass Tanggahma,
- Dick Kereway,
- Melky Solossa,
- Samuel Asmuruf,
- Mapia Mote,
- James Nyaro,
- Lambert Wakur,
- S.B. Hindom,
- Louis Wajoi,
- Tadius Yogi,
- Martin Tabu,
- Arnold Clemens Ap,
- Eduard Mofu,
- Willem Onde,
- Moses Weror,
- Clemens Runaweri,
- Andy Ayamiseba,
- John Octo Ondowame,
- Thomas Wapay Wanggai,
- Wim Zonggonauw,
- Yawan Wayeni,
- Kelly Kwalik,
- Justin Morip,
- Beatrix Watofa,
- Agus Alue Alua,
- Frans Wospakrik,
- Theodorus Hiyo Eluay,
- Aristotle Masoka,
- Tom Beanal,
- Neles Tebay,
- Mako Tabuni,
- Leoni Tanggahma,
- Samuel Filep Karma.
- There are the spirits of
- Prisila Jakadewa,
- Babarina Ikari,
- Vonny Jakadewa,
- Mery Yarona, and Reny Jakadewa (the courageous female spirits who raised the Morning Star flag at the Governor’s Office on August 4, 1980).
- Also, the spirit of Josephin Gewab/Rumawak tailor who tailored the Morning Star flag.
In Honor of these fallen Papuan heroes and leaders, Rev. Dr. Socratez Yoman said:
It is you, the young generation, who carry forward the baton left by the names and spirits of these fighters, as well as the hundreds and thousands of others who have not been named.
If there is someone who fights and opposes the political platform of the ULMWP, that individual is questionable and is damaging the big house and the big boat, which contains the tears, blood, bones, and suffering of the People and Nation of Papua as well as the spirits of our ancestors and leaders.
The eyes and faces of the LORD, the spirits of our ancestors, and the spirits of our leaders who have passed on always guard, protect, and nurture the honest, humble, and respectful members of the ULMWP.
By this message, he urges ULMWP to never forget these names and stand bravely with courage on their shoulders.
Rev. Yoman’s letter: a brief comment
Indigenous people view life as a system of interconnected relationships between beings, spirits, deities, humans, animals, plants, and the celestial heavens.
Their holistic cosmology is held together by this interconnectedness – a sacred passageway to multidimensional realities. Although Indigenous cosmologies differ, most, if not all, subscribe to the tenet of interconnectedness.
Having a strong connection to one’s ancestors’ roots is an integral part of being Indigenous.
During times of need, rituals, and grief, ancestral and fallen heroes are mentioned and invoked. A specific ancestor’s name may be mentioned in response to a specific situation, such as grief, conflict, sacred ceremonies, or rituals. This helps to connect modern generations to the ancestral spirits, providing a source of strength and guidance while honouring the legacy of those who have gone before.
Those who adhere to original cultural values understand why Rev. Dr. Yoman mentioned some of these Papuans.
In the chronicle of Papuans’ liberation story, these names are mentioned.
There were some who suffered martyrdom, some who became traitors, who died of old age, and others who died from disease. However, they all have stories connected to West Papua’s Liberation.
Mentioning these names is intended to invoke a specific energy within the consciousness of West Papua’s independence leaders. Inviting the new generation of fighters to take up the cause of their fallen comrades. Encourage Papuans to see the greater picture of a nation’s liberation struggle – which spans generations. Calling on them to re-enliven their minds, spirits, and bodies through the spirit of fallen Papuans and the spirit of Divine during times of turmoil.
Who is Rev. Dr. Socratez Sofyan Yoman and why did he mention these names?
Most people are familiar with Rev. Dr. Yoman. He is everywhere – on television, on the news, known in churches, involved in human rights activism, mentioned in public speeches, appears in seminars, and lectures, etc. He is well known or at least heard of by the Papuan and Indonesian communities, as well as the broader community.
Socratez Sofyan Yoman is a public figure, leader, academic, church leader, prolific writer, and media commentator. He is a descendant of the Lani people of Papua.
He is one of the seeds of the civilisation project launched by Christian missionaries in the highlands between the 1930s and 1960s. His life has been shaped by four significant events in his homeland – the teachings of his elders, the arrival of Christianity, Indonesian invasions, and the resistance of the Papuans.
He rose to become an exceptionally accomplished thinker, speaker, writer, and critic of injustice, oppression, and upholds humanity’s values as taught by the Judeo-Christian worldview within these collusions of worlds.
Growing up among Lani village elders taught him many sacred teachings of the original ways – centred around Wone’s teachings. This is one of the most important aspects of his story.
Wone is the cornerstone of life for the Lani people. Wone is the principle of life and the foundation for analyzsing, interpreting, evaluating, debating, understanding, and exchanging life.
As with many other Lani, Papuan, Melanesian, and Indigenous leaders, Wone is the reason for his birth, survival, and leadership. He has thus a deep sense of duty and responsibility to serve and fight for his people, as well as other marginalized and oppressed members of society.
He stands firmly in his beliefs in the face of grief, tragedies, and death in his ancestral homeland. His commitment is unwavering, as he continually strives to stand up for and protect the rights of those who are most vulnerable and in need of a voice.
Wone has inspired him to lead a life of purpose and integrity, making him a pillar of strength and an example to others. In a dying forest, he becomes the voice of the falling leaves.
Among his greatest contributions to West Papua, Indonesia, and the world, will be his writings. Generations to come will remember his research and writings regarding history and the fate of his people.
West Papua will be high on the agenda at the Melanesian leaders’ summit in Vanuatu this week. West Papua’s United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UMWP) is also present in Vanuatu, other factional groups have arrived and are on their way to witness MSG’s decision on West Papua’s fate as well as their own leaders’ summit.
A feeling of anxiety pervades him as he prays – prompting him to write this letter as he recognises the many challenges ULMWP faces and warns them that they cannot afford even the slightest misstep.
Inspiring Papuans and ULWMP leadership to remember fallen comrades, heroes and ancestors.
Papua – Purom, August 22, 2023
Reverend Dr. Ambirek G. Socratez Yoman
The president of the Alliance of West Papua Baptist Churches (PGBWP).
Member: Papuan Council of Churches (WPCC).
Member: Conference of Pacific Churches (PCC).
Member: Baptist World Alliance (BWA)