John Martinkus

Quarterly Essay 7 Paradise Betrayed

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In Paradise Betrayed John Martinkus details what is being done to West Papua by its Indonesian overlords. He illustrates how those who seek independence are killed and tortured for their cause. There is now no one like the Papuan leader Theys Eluay, murdered in 2001 by the Indonesian military, and a campaign of death and terror has been launched on those who raise the Morning Star flag.

Martinkus shows how the wealth of the Freeport mine underpins a regimen of repression and he reports on the rise of Laskar Jihad, the imported Islamic extremists who spread fear in the name of Indonesian domination. In a powerful, groundbreaking piece of reportage, Martinkus shows how West Papua is another East Timor waiting to happen and how this is made possible by the indifference of everyone from the United Nations to the Australian government.

‘The violence in West Papua today … is being orchestrated by the same figures in the Indonesian military who were behind the events in East Timor … the whole repressive network of the Indonesian military that laid [it] waste.’ —John Martinkus, Paradise Betrayed

‘John Martinkus' narrative is as engrossing as it is appalling. It is full of menace and madness and the smell of death.’ —Peter Craven

‘A lively account of a foray into the province.’ —Australian Financial Review

‘The Indonesians know that the spirit of independence burns in the heart of West Papuans – that the only way to win is to stop all West Papuan hearts from beating.’ —New Internationalist

John Martinkus is an Australian investigative reporter on the Asia region. In 1999 he was nominated for a Walkley award for his coverage of the violence in East Timor. His book A Dirty Little War, an eyewitness account of East Timor’s struggle for independence, was shortlisted for the NSW premier’s literary awards in 2002. His other books include Indonesia's Secret War in Aceh and the Quarterly Essay, Paradise Betrayed – West Papua’s Struggle for Independence.
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196 printed pages
Original publication



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