Talk:Western New Guinea

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Former good article nominee Western New Guinea was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 14, 2004 Peer review Reviewed
June 16, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee


Archive 1 (pre-2010 discussion)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Western New GuineaWest Papua (region) — Common English name for the territory is West Papua. Daeron (talk) 23:36, 1 May 2010 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Oppose - firstly on lack of disambiguation with the Indonesian province. Further, it is not established that "West Papua" is the established English name. It is certainly the accepted name amongst those supporting independence from Indonesia (such as, User:Daeron), the editor who's proposed the move. Ie, West Papua is a politically motivated term, whereas Western New Guinea makes an unambiguous geographic reference, and not a political charged term geographical reference. While of course Google is not the arbiter, it does show this distinction b/w the terms (including the nature of the usage, and the users). --Merbabu (talk) 23:43, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose West Papua is a province of Indonesia. (talk) 03:17, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
  • scratching my head - hmmm...not sure but leaning support - I am not familiar with the subject but my initial recall is that it is called "West Papua" when mentioned on the news...I will look into it. Whichever name is used is politically loaded, so we really need some hard numbers and names of what official news and government sources around the region and the world call it. Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:07, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
  • How is Western New Guinea politically loaded? It's used by neither "side". It's not like I'm arguing for "Irian Jaya". --Merbabu (talk) 04:12, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
  • It was politically loaded enough that the Papuans in 1961 renamed it West Papua, the UN renamed it in 1962, the Indonesians renamed it in 1963, 1973, 2000, and split it in two in 2003, and then in 2007 used "West Papua" as the name of the political administrative region of the Bird's head. In colonial tactical terms, it has created difficultly for NGOs to use any name that the Indonesian authorities wished to acknowledge. For forty years western reporters and documentaries have most commonly referred to the region as West Papua. Hope that helps. (talk) 04:48, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
My guess is something along the lines of above - i.e. loaded in that it is not West Papua. As I said, my knowledge is limited. Will look into it. Intriguing question. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:00, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I suppose the question could be re-phased, what do English speaking journalist mean when they say 'West Papua' to their audience? As far as I know, the ABC and SBS have continued using 'West Papua' to mean the region including the Freeport mine, Timika, Jayapura, and the OPM irrespective of the current Indonesia name for the areas. YouTube results for 'West Papua' likewise seem to refer to entire region and not the current political Province. That's why I think West Papua (province) would be the better name or this article.Daeron (talk) 05:39, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Support—Before seeing Daeron's remark, I went straight to the ABC's site. They use "West Papua". Good enough for me. But why does it have to include "(region)"? Tony (talk) 08:11, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Why region? Because the only official use of the term "West Papua" is an Indonesian province that does not cover the same area. This is clear by actually linking to West Papua. --Merbabu (talk) 08:33, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
It is irrelevant what the Indonesian government calles things, this is the English edition of Wikipedia. P.S. Wiki authors have been using West Papua for years in other articles.Daeron (talk) 11:43, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Daeron, you suggest the (region) (province) distinction. Or are you getting confused? --Merbabu (talk) 11:49, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
The Province article already uses West Papua (province), and the base name West Papua is already a Disambiguation page; so there is no problem in this article being West Papua (region).Daeron (talk) 20:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Support. Perhaps I need to state up front that I am not a supporter of independence for the place formerly known as Irian Jaya. My position is that it's an issue for Indonesians and the inhabitants of that place to determine, but if I have to go on the record it would be that the full and effective implementation - rather than just the formal legislative passage - of "Special Autonomy" would seem to be in the best interest of the Indonesian state as well as the people of western New Guinea. Now, with that disclaimer to hopefully forestall any accusations of having a political agenda, I think the term "Western New Guinea" is untenable. No one uses it. It is merely a geographic description. "West Papua" was certainly used in the Suharto era as a politically loaded term that connoted support for independence. This connotation became less strong under Gus Dur, and then under Megawati, someone finally was smart enough to recognize that by splitting the province into two and calling the western half "West Papua", that seriously undermines the independence rhetoric. ("You want West Papua? It already exists!"). Many or most of the book examples laid out by Daeron are not activist sources, but rather academic ones - including Verlag, Univ. of New South Wales, etc. There is even a travel guidebook written by a consultant who works for Freeport mine. The term "West Papua" is used by supporters of independence both in and outside the region, but it is also used generally - though not exclusively - to refer to the provinces of Papua and West Papua as a catch-all. Given the academic references to West Papua, I think the article should be renamed as such, and the article on the province by that name should be sub-categorized under it. Personally, I use the term "Papua" to refer to the place, since that is what it was called before they split it into two, but given the widespread academic and other non-activist usage of "West Papua", that seems to me the de facto accepted term. Sorry Merbabu, I just can't agree with you on this. "Western New Guinea" is untenable. I have been on travel and so am writing this in some haste to get comments in before the discussion is closed, but will be happy to further limn this argument. Cheers, Arjuna (talk) 06:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

Merbabu, I believe the other three writers were banned from Wikipedia. There is no ambiguity between West Papua (province) and the proposed West Papua (region), one is a new PROVINCE of Indonesia, and the other is about the geographic REGION referred to as "West Papua" since 1961. I do not think Wikipedia should be used as a tool for whimsical perversion of the English language, "refractor" has a specific established meaning, as does the common usage of the term "West Papua". In addition to editing my comments, I note you also attempted to replace the West Papua entry with a re-direct to your province article, thankfully somebody else spotted and reverted that. I hope people looking at the West Papua page would be able to quickly see whether West Papua (region) is a better title for this article or not.Daeron (talk) 01:04, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

  • How is it that there is no ambiguity when it depends on qualifying it with either "(province)" or "(region)"?
  • That "Western New Guinea" is a term made up by a couple of wikipedians cannot be sustained. There is ample usage of it (and the very similar West New Guinea) - indeed, Google suggests it's many times more common than West Papua. WNG is a simple geographically-based descriptor, unlike, either West Papua or Irian Jaya as terms for the region which are both politically motivated albeit from opposite sides of the spectrum. Ultimately, we're looking for accuracy and neutrality, not truth, so any argument based solely on what a certain group (in your case independence-minded Papuans), is an argument based on POV.
  • I'm don't know who the "other three writers" you refer to are/were, and I don't know why that is relevant to this discussion. Also, language such as "your province article" highlights for me a lack of arms-length dispassionate discussion. Can we stick to the actual issue at hand? --Merbabu (talk) 01:55, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The terms West/ern New Guinea are used in many texts going back well before any wikipedians - indeed, a lot more so than West Papua. I accept that West Papua is used a lot by supporters of independence, but that's hardly a NPOV endorsement of the term is it? --Merbabu (talk) 02:10, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
If you have finished repetition of your claim, the fact remains that I agree with the writer at the top of this page. It is sad that Wikipedia has been used for six years to promote yet another name for the region, none the less, the region is known by all English speakers involved with the region as West Papua and West Papua (region) would be a more suitable name than the current Wiki title.Daeron (talk) 02:55, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
If I've repeated anything, it's only because you're repeating you base premise that WNG is a made up wikipedia-ism without any substantiation. --Merbabu (talk) 12:33, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

The fact is, we are talking about a region. It is not an officially recognised entity. The officially and internationally recognised are the two provinces. I'd be happy even to see the name using a lower case "western". The Republic of West Papua is what Daeron is talking about. This article, ie Western New Guinea is a geographic region - ie, the Indonesian part of New Guinea. --Merbabu (talk) 12:14, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

1) It is not relevant that some government does not wish to 'recognise' the region which English speakers refer to as "West Papua" and which the government called "Irian Jaya" for thirty years. It is a geographic region with a important social, environmental and historic subjects relevant for Wikipedia. 2) The fantasy topic of "The Republic of West Papua" may have your's and Gzornenplatz's support, but I certainly doubt that it should be in Wikipedia.Daeron (talk) 18:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I've started to list a few of the terms used in non-news media and non-activist sources...

  • Hamish MacDonald: "Irian Barat" - admittedly that's a 1980 book.
  • Adam Schwarz: "Irian Jaya" or "West New Guinea". No "West Papua". 1994
  • Theodore Friend: "Irian Jaya (Papua)" 2003
  • MC Ricklefs: "West New Guine (see Irian Jaya)" (no West Papua).
  • Adrian Vickers: "West Papua (see Irian), West New Guinea (see Irian)" 2005
  • Jean Gelman Taylor: "West New Guinea (renamed Papua)" 2003
  • CIA Factbook: (Papua).

Make what you will of that. --Merbabu (talk) 12:33, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

And I've started to list a few of the terms used in non-news media and non-activist sources...

  • Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman: "The Voice of Churches for Suppressed People, Blood and God’s Tears in West Papua"
  • Kal Muller: "Indonesian New Guinea: West Papua/Irian Jaya" (Periplus Adventure Guides)
  • Karina Arifin and Philippe Delanghe: "Rock Art in West Papua", 1995, UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 2004. ISBN 92-3-103906-7
  • Jan Pouwer: "Gender, ritual and social formation in West Papua: A configurational analysis comparing Kamoro and Asmat", 2010, ISBN nr. 978 90 6718 325 3
  • "Indonesian North Sulawesi and West Papua for Divers and Snorkelers.", 2009, ISBN-10: 3275017160
  • Rupert Stasch: "Society of Others: Kinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place", 2009, University of California Press
  • World Bank: "Investing in the Future of Papua & West Papua: Infrastructure for Sustainable Development", 2009
  • Diana Glazebrook : "Permissive Residents: West Papuan refugees living in Papua New Guinea" 2008
  • Toru Hisada: "Indigenous Development and Self-Determination in West Papua: Socio-Political and Economic Impacts of Mining upon the Amungme and Kamoro Communities", 2008
  • Len Courtens: "Restoring the Balance: Performing Healing in West Papua", 2008, ISBN: 978-90-6718-278-2
  • Esther Heidbüchel : "The West Papua Conflict in Indonesia: Actors, Issues and Approaches" 2007, ISBN: 978-3-937983-10-3
  • Fr Neles Tebay: "Interfaith Endeavours for Peace in West Papua", 2006, ISNN 1618-6222
  • Clinton Fernandes: "Reluctant Indonesian: Australia, Indonesia and the Future of West Papua", 2006
  • Fr Neles Tebey: "West Papua: The struggle for peace and justice", 2005, ISBN: 1852873167
  • Brad Simpson: "Indonesia's 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by 'Free Choice'", 2004
  • Peter King: "West Papua and Indonesia since Suharto: Independence, Autonomy or Chaos?", 2004
  • Brundige, Elizabeth, Winter King, Priyneha Vahali, Stephen Vladeck and Xiang Yuan: "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control", 2003, Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School, Yale University
  • Patrick Emek : "Indonesia's state of terror: West Papua", 2003
  • Ben Bohane, Liz Thompson: "West Papua: Follow the Morning Star", 2003. 152 pp. ISBN 0 9586647 6 5.
  • ICJ: "Seeking Refuge: the Status of West Papuans in Papua New Guinea (Report of the January 2003 Joint Mission of the Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists and the Refugee Council of Australia to Papua New Guinea)", 2003
  • George Monbiot: "Poisoned arrows: an investigative journey to the forbidden territories of West Papua", 2003, ISBN: 1903998271
  • Keith and Christine Berry: "A description of Abun: a West Papuan language of Irian Jaya", 1999
  • "West Papua: The Obliteration of a People", 1983, ISBN-10: 0950675113, ISBN-13: 978-0950675114

Make what you will of that.Daeron (talk) 21:46, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh come on, one only has to look at the titles to see that they are almost all partisan sources. ""Indonesia's state of terror: West Papua" - lol. Just proves my point. --Merbabu (talk) 02:36, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Do not overlook that the Asmat are not in West-Papua-province, the books by Jan Pouwer and others use the English meaning of West Papua. I admit I have included one item by mistake, the World Bank report is referring the province, but all the other books are referring to the region of West New Guinea by the name West Papua. As to Mr Emek's book, he seems to be suitably qualified to write a book without being called an 'activist' which neither he nor NATO are. Some years ago Merbabu and Wik insisted on moving this article from "West Papua" to "Western New Guinea", the WNG name is politically better for Indonesia; but the common English name for the region is West Papua, therefor I think this article should be renamed West Papua (region).Daeron (talk) 09:22, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Daeron, this article has been called Western New Guinea since at least Feb 2005. That's over a year before I came to wikipedia. My contribs and the article history are there for all to see. Do I need to ask you to stop making things up? --Merbabu (talk) 12:17, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I apologise if I have you mistaken for another editor. However, your opening allegation that I purposed the return of the article to a West Papua name is motivated from advocacy was not reasonable. This article should never have been moved from West Papua in the first place irrespective of Indonesian cultural upset about the English title; when the territory was divided administratively and the government decided to rename one of those as 'West Papua' it was appropriate for that Wikipedia to title that article as West Papua (province) to distinguish it from the traditional West Papua. I don't think there is real need for the current West Papua disambiguation page, but I think West Papua (region) is a compromise that allows use of the common English name without upsetting the Indonesian readers too much. The article needs to progress.Daeron (talk) 00:37, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

In support of the name change to West Papua, I have found some news articles from independent news sources. All of them refer to it as West Papua, not Western New Guinea. The sooner this page name change takes place the better. West Papua is the name used by everyone from politicans through to journalists and environmentalists. It is not a separatist political term as Merbabu hollowly attempts to state. BBC News website
Sydney Morning Herald
Guardian Newspaper
Antara (Indonesian) news article on recent plane crash:
Zevion —Preceding undated comment added 23:08, 5 May 2010 (UTC).

Nobody in the real world (that is off-line) talks about Western New Guinea, whatever their politics are ... You'd be laughed at. This is another excellent example of why Wikipedia is often regarded as a joke as a source of serious information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


I moved it. regards --Merbabu (talk) 00:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


The introduction talks about the territory being 'controversial' but does not mention an apparant elephant in the room (so to speak), many people believe it is a colony which is a definition the Indonesian government refutes. Indonesia says the New York Agreement gave it legal possession and that the population in the Act of Free Choice unanimously voted to become part of Indonesia; however other people claim it is a colony and that United Nations resoltion 1541 (principles 4 and 5) provides an agreed definition of what a colny is. Should the dispute over the status as a colony be included in the opening text? (talk) 22:18, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

It depends on who the "many people" and "other people" are, and their stature. Hearing it from scholars and diplomats is much more sound than some anonymous group called "Free West Papua". Splittist (talk) 22:48, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The membership of the United Nations during 1960 agreed on the definition of a colony (territories subject to requirements of section 73e of the UN charter) in resolution 1541 (principles 4 and 5). Who are the "scholars" and "diplomats" with a different definition? (talk) 14:33, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Papua is not and has never been part of Indonesia. West Papua is a trust territory of the United Nations under the Trusteeship System Chapter XII of the Charter of the United Nations, and General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII). Indonesia is only the UN member that volunteered to administrate the colony on behalf of the other UN members, see / vdfLkdM3fQ

So i prefer the name West Papua Colony, because on paper and in reality it is a colony! --ArmTheInsane (talk) 10:03, 29 June 2013 (UTC)


Perhaps the Geography of the region (which the article is about) should come before the history. It would seem more logical to me if the order of the sections was along the lines of Georgraphy, Ecology, Culture, Demography, and then History. Also the "Regions" sections seems to be about political administration which should be more suitable for the Province articles.

Isn't the "Act of Free Choice" sub-section mostly redundant when there is already an Act of Free Choice article? And I'm not convinced that the "History of Indonesia" box isn't misleading, I think it can not be honestly claimed that this article was written or neccessary for the History of Indonesia project and in support of my suspicion I notice neither the region's colonial administration 1963-1969 nor the 1969 incorporation, nor this article itself are acknowledged in the box or it's timeline of Indonesian history. Historically there may also be another disconnection of the subjects as the region was a Pacific war Ally nation, where as Sukarno was a important Axis leader and Indonesia's supply of oil and volunteer militia while it was a Axis member seems to be a different subject and path to the hisory of this region. (talk) 05:00, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, I removed the "History of Indonesia" template. While I think it's better removed, I'm not sure it's for the reasons you put forward.
I agree that the order of sections could certainly be reconsidered as you suggest. And, there is indeed a significant amount of redundancy (eg, the Act of Free Choice section which could be summarised down given it has it's own article).
Sukarno being an "important Axis leader" is a very dubious comment, however, either way, I'm not sure of the significance of this to the article. --Merbabu (talk) 07:57, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I have shifted the History section down as per your suggestion. --Merbabu (talk) 01:50, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Restoring to position at 7:52 9 August. The edit in-between may have been in haste, and it is unclear how the editor was trying to improve the article. Please note that the article is about the region, as I mentioned yesterday it seems to me that the article would benefit by addressing the geographic first and the human activity second. I think the Introduction is also better in this format. I appreciate the editor is no doubt concerned that important information is not obscured but I think the Introduction yesterday was an improvement in structure which deserved improvement or at least discussion, not unexplained removal. Probably for political reason there is great naming confusion - as stated above "by splitting the province into two and calling the western half "West Papua", that seriously undermines the independence rhetoric". Because of that confusion I think there is need for this article to clarify what it is talking about, although there are important political and other issues regarding this region as a whole I believe those have to wait until the article clarifies the extent and nature of the territory being talked about.Daeron (talk) 00:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Apology on my edit description - the first sentence is different, I decided to write on the Talk page before hitting the submit button and forgot that I'd decided to include an attempt to address the name issue which seems to have been causing trouble during 18-21 July. Could we get consensus on the first sentence first? It seems awkward and should be unnecessary to have to explain that it's the 'English' name as this is the English languish version; but it might be necessary to discourage ongoing naming edits. I would welcome some thought on this.Daeron (talk) 00:34, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


Where is the morning star flag? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

There's no Indonesian flag either. --Merbabu (talk) 06:00, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Requested move to Western New Guinea[edit]

Considering Wikipedia's Neutral point of view policy and Naming policy the article should be renamed to Western New Guinea.

The arguments for the move are:

  • Precision:
    • The subject of the article is the geographic region defined as the western half of the island of New Guinea, thus it is a clear term for the geographic area it describes.
    • The current article title West Papua is a term easy to be confused with the Indonesian province West Papua, or mistakenly taken as the western part of Papua Region of Papua New Guinea.
  • Naturalness:
    • "Western New Guinea", without brackets, is widely used and sounds natural, whereas "West Papua (region)", with brackets, is a Wikipedia created term coined for the purpose of disambiguation
  • Recognizability:
  • Neutral point of view
    • As a geographic term "western New Guinea" is neutral, unlike "West Papua". The subject of the article is not the proposed/possible future political entity, for which the article Republic of West Papua is already there.

Note regarding previous move: it is important to note that "Western New Guinea" was the name of the article prior to its rename in 2010. I contest the outcome of the discussion which lead to the present name as it was closed by a non-neutral editor based on numbers of supports, and not on arguments. A recent discussion regarding related categories, highlighted that there are a number of editors which did not had the chance to provide input to the previous discussion, but is likely that would have influenced the outcome. Please provide comments below. --Elekhh (talk) 06:21, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Support - for all the arguments above. They were essentially mine in the previous discussion - just more articulately put this time around. Western New Guinea is a-political. It's a geographic description. Further, some of the arguments for "West Papua" were along the lines of "that's what the BBC use - good enough for me". or similar. While the secessionist position (and hence "West Papua") tends to garner the most international sympathy and is the trendy "morally" correct position, this should be cast aside in deciding a neutral name. regards --Merbabu (talk) 06:58, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Support: If we are to maintain this clunky and confusing "(region)" construction, we should have good reason to do so. But in fact, as Elekhh convincingly demonstrates, "Western New Guinea" is both the common and the scientific name; both the natural and the precise name. The BBC has its own guidelines, such as using "Burma" instead of Myanmar to cater to a British audience. However, Wikipedia strives for an international and not an ethnocentrist outlook, and so Western New Guinea is the logical choice. Quigley (talk) 07:13, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Against: Papua and New Guinea are synonymous. Also traditionaly West Papua and Western New Guinea are. Instead West Papua Province is a totally new conception (2007). If we use google hits, we can also use youtube hits, where west papua has 2090, versus western new guinea at 563, but actually this last is about West Papua New Guinea. This demonstrates that inhabitants from this region prefer this term and it is gradually increasing with use. --Mauricio (talk) 23:33, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Let's not confuse things: Papua and New Guinea are not synonyms. While google is only proof of general internet coverage, Youtube is less representative (as your numbers show), indicating most recent use of the term, and mostly in political context (as the links show). In geographic use, since 1600 the island is called New Guinea, not Papua. --Elekhh (talk) 23:58, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Support: West Papua is the name of a separatist political unit, used by separatists and their supporters or those who write about the separatist issue and are not aware they are using a partisan term. It is not used by the country to which the territory belongs both de facto and in the view of most countries in the world. If the article were purely about the political issue, West Papua might be used, but not if it is about the geographical entity, which should be called Western New Guinea, since the whole island in English is commonly called New Guinea, not Papua. Mewulwe (talk) 10:26, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
To be precise: "West Papua" is also the official name of a province of Indonesia so is not a term exclusively used by the Free Papua Movement, but is true that it is politically charged and there are other articles about each past, present and proposed future political entities within the region. --Elekhh (talk) 12:46, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that is in a different sense. I should have said, "West Papua" is only used for the western half of the island by those I described. It is used by Indonesia for a province which makes up only a small part of the island-half. Mewulwe (talk) 12:50, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. Strenuously. Didn't we already have this discussion, settled in favor of WP? Western New Guinea is not a term that is used anywhere outside of Wikipedia discussions. WP was formerly a politically-laden term that connoted support for Papuan independence. That is no longer the case, and so sorry Mewulwe, but you have no case whatsoever. The western part of the province is now named "Papua Barat" (West Papua), with support from Jakarta. Supporters need to come up with a valid list of references that use the term "Western New Guinea" as the primary signifier of that territory.
I'm sorry, but this argument has been settled, and this is pointless rehashing. Arjuna (talk) 11:32, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
What about Papua Barat? Papua in this case refers not to the whole island, but to the Indonesian part. By that logic the article should be under Papua. But the most common English name for the whole island is still undoubtedly New Guinea, therefore Western New Guinea is the proper descriptive term for the western half of it. The whole point is that is no longer a political unit, but being only half of an island it does not have its own proper geographical name either. The only reasonable alternative would be "Indonesian New Guinea", but surely the "West Papua" supporters would like that even less. There is no need to find references for a descriptive term, so long as there is no evidence for the existence of a neutral proper name, which "West Papua" cannot be, given that the country to which the territory belongs uses that very term, as you say, for only a small part of the territory. Mewulwe (talk) 12:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Arjuna - did you read the nominator's rational? You haven't addressed it. --Merbabu (talk) 11:48, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I haven't had time to compose a thorough response, but let me just add for now that the suggestion that "Western New Guinea" is "widely used" is simply not accurate. Most of the Google hits for that term are those in which the word "western" appears in combination with "New Guinea" - indeed many of them refer to PNG, not the Indonesian side of the island. This claim is a canard. If WP is rejected, a far more accurate and justifiable term would be "Indonesian New Guinea", not WNG, which almost no one uses except for (some) Wikipedians. Again, someone needs to explain to me why this debate has been re-opened after it was previously settled. Arjuna (talk) 11:40, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Consensus changes. I'm not sure the above section was closed with a clear consensus anyway. –Moondyne 13:41, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Please read more carefully the nomination and follow the links, answers are there. And how many times will you repeat a statement like "no one uses [western New Guinea] except for (some) Wikipedians" which has been proven to be wrong? And why bring "Indonesian New Guinea" into the discussion since we are looking for the most appropriate neutral term for a geographic region? --Elekhh (talk) 20:09, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Support. Article is about a geographical entity and WNG is both accurate and neutral. WP is politically laden and is more likely to confuse readers as to what the content of the article is about. Some of the content here might be better moved to West Papua (province), but that's another matter and for another time. –Moondyne 05:05, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. The common English name for the region since 1961 has been "West Papua"; it is not appropriate for Wikipedia names to be determined by the political needs of various groups. The need for the bracketed qualification was created after the Indonesian government decided to use the Papuan people's preferred name for a new sub-division, an action which created confusion for some people but which allowed other people to exploit the new province names to create unnecessary Wikipedia articles. There is questionable motive/need for the Wikipedia English edition to have an article on the Indonesian Provinces "Papua" and "West Papua", the three articles should really be amalgamated back into the original article called "West Papua". But until editors are willing to relinquish their political goals, the best solution is the current working solution of qualifying the three as West Papua (region), West Papua (province), and Papua (province).Daeron (talk) 02:47, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
A few things:
  • You won't find too many editors supporting your request to delete the "unnecessary" articles on the two provinces - these are government entities (which by default, WNG no longer is). It's not like we're talking about something like East Timor, Palestine, or Tibet. The status of WNG within Indonesia is recognised by the UN and every government in the world (except of course Vanuatu).
  • I think it's a little bit disingenuous to talk about the political goals of others when you have identified yourself as a pro Papuan independence activist and owner of an activist website.
  • The "common English name" since 1961? Who are you trying to kid? It was known as west New Guinea well before that, and another of other names since. West Papua was a name determined by a disparate and unorganised group of Papuan's seeking independence - that's a big difference to a common name.
  • You didn't address the four reasons for the move - the neutrality merits of WNG being just one. It's not like we're requesting "Indonesia New Guinea" or "Irian Jaya". WNG is a perfectly neutral geographic descriptor for what is a geographical region, as opposed to a political/government entity. --Merbabu (talk) 11:19, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
1) I did not make a "request to delete the "unnecessary" articles on the two provinces", and 2) you are obscuring the fact that the current names were the result of previous Wikipedia votes on this same issue.Daeron (talk) 04:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
1) I think Merbabu's point was that the 2 provinces you mentioned are notable administrative entities on their own just as the other 31 provinces or the states of the US, and merging them into this geographic article would not get much support. 2) You missed the fact that such discussion need to be closed on arguments not on "votes". --Elekhh (talk) 07:38, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with what you said, but if your inclusion of Tibet in your list—which is very inappropriate, considering the other members—was to imply that there is any country that does not recognize China's sovereignty in that respect, then that is simply not true. Quigley (talk) 23:06, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
My point was that the status of WNG as part of Indonesia is recognised internationally, and that the suggestion to delete the two province articles is somewhat absurd. If the comparative examples I threw up were poor or ill considered, it doesn't actually change the point about WNG. It's status is clear without having to use other examples - the last thing we want to see is a name change discussion becoming a discussion about other countries. Sorry if the examples unnecessarily clouded the issue. I'm happy to move on without the examples! --Merbabu (talk) 00:04, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Dear Quigley, the problem is that Merbabu and others want to use Wikipedia titles as a political platform - they view West Papua as an insult unless it is in accord with current Indonesian government approved policy. They also have a dislike for myself and it must upset their community that Wikipedia decided to set aside the silly Western New Guinea name which was invented by Gzornenplatz and Wik during their edit war when they created the silly Western New Guinea name and replaced this article with a West Papua redirect. The group accused me of "original research" and slandered me with POV allegations etc. It is not my fault that published government records document a history which upsets people wanting to do business in Indonesia. Wikipedia titles are NOT meant/required to be politically neutral, they are meant to be the common name used in the language (English for this edition of Wikipedia). When English speakers say "West Papua" they are normally referring to the region and not the Indonesian government setup in the Bird's Head region.Daeron (talk) 10:08, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
These are false allegations as far they are directed to the nomination. To be very very clear, and without being able to reply to all the misrepresentations above: (1) There is no political agenda in the nomination, quite the contrary, the intention is to de-politicize an article title about one of the main (half)-islands of Indonesia; (2) I don't see political movements for self-determination as an insult, rather I see such an accusation as an insult; (3) The policy of Neutral point of view does apply to titles; (4) Your assertion that "there is questionable motive/need for the Wikipedia English edition to have an article on the Indonesian Provinces "Papua" and "West Papua"," renders the questioning of your neutrality here legitimate. --Elekhh (talk) 17:15, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I did not say anything about 'Elekhh' — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daeron (talkcontribs) 31 January 2011
Neither did I say anything about 'Daeron'. Since I requested this move, and there has been an allegation made that there would be a broader ("Merbabu and others") political agenda behind such a move, and some kind of "insult", I felt compelled to clarify my position. In any case we shouldn't discuss personal background, but focus on arguments regarding the title. --Elekhh (talk) 07:27, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
And the name WNG was not invented on wikipedia. That's just fanciful. --Merbabu (talk) 19:41, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Support - it's a no-brainer. The article is specifically about a geographic region - there are other articles covering the political region. West Papua is clearly not correct as a geographic description, as the island's name is New Guinea, not Papua. -- Wantok (toktok) 01:48, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Any ya been there? The whole island's name is Papua; the people are Papuans. New Guinea is an artifact of colonialism, just like Bombay and Peking. Irian Jaya was just a passing political name; teh deal with JFK (and it doesn't mean 'west' as someone said, above).
    Cheers, Jack Merridew 05:28, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

(see nomination and discussion in the section above)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved: no concensus after 24 days. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:23, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

West Papua (region)Western New Guinea — Request a neutral admin (current nomination is a redirect) to move the page per nomination. I believe there is clear consensus as none of the opposers brought forward valid reasons for not moving, instead confused the discussion with claims such as that "Papua and New Guinea are synonymous", "WNG, which almost no one uses except for (some) Wikipedians" and "Western New Guinea name which was invented by Gzornenplatz and Wik during their edit war" which have been demonstrated to be false. Suggestions of alternatives such as "Indonesian New Guinea" or merging "the Indonesian Provinces "Papua" and "West Papua"," into this article, missed basic policy such as NPOV and Notability. --Elekhh (talk) 23:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

  1. I agree with Arjuna's first statement above "I'm sorry, but this argument has been settled, and this is pointless rehashing."; but the re-naming request compels us to do so
  2. When English speakers say "West Papua" they are normally referring to the region and not the Indonesian government setup in the Bird's Head region; and
  3. actually, Papua is an English "geographical name" for the island and for the former British territory in it, technically 'New Guinea' was the German name for the island and their territory in it. West Papua is both a logical English name and the commonly used name for the western half of the island.Daeron (talk) 04:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
This “argument” is far from settled. Such decisions do not work by “vote” as you suggest, but rather based on the merits of the argument. The previous move (which you initiated) was premature and the recent subsequent discussion confirmed that. I’m embarrassed to say that the premature closure was my doing (but you most likely consider my error in judgement at the time fortunate – but it was not fortunate for wikipedia). Smarter wikipedians than you or I have articulated this above. --Merbabu (talk) 04:59, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I've been engaged with other stuff so haven't been following this lately but it seems just as intractable as it was before. I do wish to address the comment by Elkhh above regarding my previous assertion that almost no one uses WNG. Contrary to his claim that this is unsupported, I think the shoe is quite on the other foot. I can't find a single news source that uses WNG (though I acknowledge this was not a comprehensive search). The article has a responsibility to be of service to outside readers who read something about "West Papua" and wish to learn more from the Wikipedia article of the same name. As is well-known from numerous of my previous postings, I explicitly have no political agenda, and for the record I do not support the WP independence agenda. Here is an unassailable fact: the name of this political geographic entity has frequently changed over the last 50 or 60 years and there really is no good answer as to what to call it. WNG is descriptive and accurate only in the letter, but it's like saying "western Idaho" - it's descriptive without signifying anything that resembles how people refer to the entity in the real world. Yes, WP was frought with political overtones from the early 1960s until quite recently (if not now), but is much less so since the Indonesian government effectively co-opted (and thus largely neutralized) the name by splitting Papua province into two and calling the new province "West Papua". Before this happened, it would have been easy and accurate to just call the darn article "Papua (province)". I really don't have a problem with WNG other than the fact that practically no one uses the term except for (some) Wikipedians and mad botanists. I challenge other editors to prove that statement wrong. In the meantime, let's not lose our sense of humor. Cheers, Arjuna (talk) 03:30, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Against. The region is known in the English speaking world as West Papua, even by the English-speaking Indonesians who live there. You will not hear them say I live in western New Guinea. It's worth adding that the primary way to measure someone's ignorance about the region is whether they call it western New Guinea. If they do, you know they trawled up their info from this pillar of unreliability, Wikipedia, and from a web page guarded and controlled by Indonesian apologists. Also - and this is important - the Youtube hits (2000 for West Papua and 500 for western New Guinea, many of the latter refering to PNG) vs the Google hits noted below is instructive and revealing. The large number of google hits derive primarily from the 5 years or so when this page was named western New Guinea. In other words the argument is circular. People ignorant about West Papua - let me say that again - the group of people you would classify as knowing little about West Papua went to Wikipedia (because that's where people who know little on a subject go) to source their info and then they reposted it elsewhere online, thus reinforcing and spreading the New Internet Name for West Papua which is exactly the agenda Indonesian apologists want. Now, the Youtube films are made by people who have Actually Visited West Papua or Actually Live There and have first hand experience of What It Is Called. Trust them, because they know what they are talking about, not the lazy millions behind foriegn computers who recycle slices of Wikipedia. Oh, and claims that western scientific/academic/ news/popular literature prefers Western New Guinea to West Papua are false, as anyone with a little time may demonstrate at extraordinary length. These are non-political sources - legitimate evidence for Wikipedia names. Because (1) English-speaking Indonesian immigrants who live there don't call it Western New Guinea, and do call it West Papua, and (2) as the mountain of non-political English-speaking sources make plain, changing the name would not reflect the Real English Speaking World and hence, is Wrong. 17:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC) (talk)

Update. This is embarrassing for the original poster. Does he realize that the 'Scientific literature ethnography' link above, trumpeted as evidence of a scientific concensus to call the region Western New Guinea is actually a print out of pages from .... Wikipedia. That's what LLC books publish. It's basically a scam. And he may well have contributed to it himself, unwittingly (?) It's a bound collection from wiki category: languages of western new guinea, and its offshoot pages. Feel free to order it and confirm. Much more importantly, search for "western new guinea" (with quotes around) on books and you get only about a dozen hits, after you remove the PNG books with western in the title and the rip-off LLC Wikipedia printouts - you're left with a few titles about birds and world war two, almost all from the 1950s/60s and earlier, decades out of date. Yes, even the 2009 book at the top is actually a reprint of a 1950s book. Whereas "West Papua" brings in over 100 titles in EVERY genre from Sport, Fiction, Religion, Business, Law, Photography, Literature, Mysteries & Thrillers etc etc. That is, NOT just Politics. And let's not forget those books published on West Papuan politics are not all on one side - those who think that are mistaken. Sport Fiction Religion Law Entertainment Photography Technical Travel and so on. This demolishes claims that western New Guinea is the contemporary common name for the province in the English speaking world. It simply isn't, and it reinforces the important point made by the Youtube results. (That we should listen to the Knowledgable rather than the Ignorant) The terminology used by those English speakers who are deemed such experts on the region that they are given publishing deals and write books, demands respect. They are experts and professionals. (And they need not have anything to do with politics as demonstrated by the range of subjects on which they write) On the other hand, amateur wikipedians in favour of changing the name are forced - either underhandedly or ignorantly - to present printouts of wikipedia as their best evidence - because it's so difficult to find respectable evidence to support their claims. The reason why they do this is for another day. (talk) 19:44, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Update 2. In fact a google search for "West Papua" yields 2,350,000 results not 629,000 as claimed above. The original poster is either unreliable or not to be trusted. Beware. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

To lay this idea to rest that WNG is a Wikipedia invention, consider this Google Book Search for 1969-2000: 23,900 hits for West(ern) New Guinea, 6,710 for West Papua. Mewulwe (talk) 20:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I just did a google search myself. Typing in “West Papua” (with inverted commas) does get me 2.7m hits. Typing in “Western New Guinea” gets me 2.19m hits, while “West New Guinea” gets me 7.78m hits – and scanning the first few page of results, usage is both current and relevant. So, the latter two combined give 9.97m hits. Either Western or West seems like the perfect geographic descriptor (which is what this article is about) and not about a political entity (either existing or proposed).--Merbabu (talk) 21:51, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, seems clear enough. This is about the western half of New Guinea, not about West Papua, which primarily refers to the province of that name. Why give an ambiguous and confusing name when there's a perfectly clear one available?--Kotniski (talk) 15:03, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
  • No. In the English speaking world it doesn't Kotniski. Nor do the inhabitants call it Western New Guinea, they call it West Papua. How many do you know? For political reasons, there is a campaign in progress to use wikipedia to try to change the world's mind about what the region is called. Because it doesn't have authoritative evidence, the original evidence presented had to be faked by the campaigners. (The google search results for West Papua are 2.7 million not 600,000 and the books? One is a wiki printout and the other about an expedition in the 1920s, so uses an old term. Neither book counts as acceptable wiki evidence for the contemporary common name.) (talk) 15:24, 4 February 2011 (UTC)0
  • From Mewulwe more deception. He has confined his results to searching in books only from the last century. Why? By excluding both the present decade and the last decade in which the name West Papua has become the accepted term he rids himself of all the inconvenient results for West Papua, and by searching for both the west and western new guinea at once he gets to double results in his favour. Remove time restrictions and the true figure for West Papua is 20,000 not 6000. (talk) 15:27, 4 February 2011 (UTC)o
I used that cutoff precisely to exclude any Wikipedia influence. So now you make the opposite argument that "West Papua" only became accepted in recent years? As to your complaint below, no one claimed WNG is a proper name. It is a descriptive term for an area that is neither a proper geographical unit (like a full island etc.) nor a political one (since the province was split), so doesn't have a proper name - except for the separatists who want to make it an independent political unit, which is why most of the references to "West Papua" concern the political issue, and almost always represent the separatist or sympathizing POV (like the "genocide" texts mentioned below); it doesn't mean it has become the accepted term in other contexts. Mewulwe (talk) 00:38, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Correct. It's being shown that West Papua has become the accepted term in recent years. During the end of the last century, the land was most widely known in international media as Irian Jaya, while over the past 10-15 years West Papua has become the most widely used term in all contexts (I hesitate to type 'all' but when the evidence is weighed I can't find any counter-examples, where WNG outweighs WP). To take one, examine the innumerable international tourist brochures online, their survival as businesses depends on masking any political trouble that might scare tourists, and yet a clear majority use West Papua referring to the whole region, no actual tour operators I could find use Western New Guinea as their first choice term. So, contrary to your final assertion; there is a general concensus in the International tourist industry that West Papua is the accepted term for the whole region. Furthermore, it's easy to demonstrate that it is the preferred term in anthropology, science, the international news media, I could go on. And on. But you're aware of this.
I also agree on other points: It is important to make clear on the front page that separatists use the term politically, but to deny that bodies with no political axes to grind don't use the term is manifestly false. To the contrary, Freeport employees abroad talk of West Papua and they have every vested interest in the Indonesian state, having been defending their company against separatist attacks since the 1960s. (talk) 12:53, 6 February 2011 (UTC)0

To add to the many reasons why google results are vague and misleading (see above, but primarily because they come indirectly from wikipedia, and not an independent authority) is that a great proportion of references to western new guinea do not refer -directly- to the region under discussion, but refer firstly to the term irian jaya or west irian or west papua. They are explaining where it is. The term is not being used as a de facto proper name (which is what the apologists wish to manufacture - note the capitalization of Western on the front page.) Thus western new guinea and variations thereof will be found in the same text which refers to the region as Irian Jaya or West Papua. (talk) 15:48, 4 February 2011 (UTC)o

In summary, there is no credible body of evidence that Western New Guinea is the contemporary Common name in the real world for this geographic region, though certain factions are trying to hijact wikipedia to spread their preferred term around the web for what are arguably nefarious reasons. If we on wikipedia decided to change the name of Java to Marzipan for 5 years we could do so and the google results for "Marzipan Indonesia" would indeed become massive, but it would have no effect in the real world, on the ground. Wiki's Western New Guinea was widely ignored by Authorities for the last five years and will be again. Cease faking evidence (and the fact that evidence must be either manipulated drastically or faked is a measure of it's absence) and find a collection of credible authorities that Outweighes the combined might of the BBC World Service, the Discovery Channel, Hilary Clinton, Youtube, National Geographic, the majority of the Worldwide News Nedia,, the discipline of Anthropology, the Tourist Industry and the people who actually live there and try again. A wikipedia printout you wrote yourself won't do. (talk) 16:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)o

So can you explain, if "West Papua" is the local name for this whole region, why the authorities chose to give the name West Papua to a province that occupies only a small part of that region? Presumably most of these Google hits you got for that phrase refer to the province, which is not the same thing at all as the region that is the subject of this article. --Kotniski (talk) 17:04, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Kotniski, the "authorities" (Indonesian government) used the name "West Papua" to confuse Americans & others who wanted to learn background to the videos or purported conflict between Indonesia and the indigenous peoples. The pre-existing English language name for the region was West Papua, e.g. US Department of State (DoS), "Security forces were responsible for numerous instances of, at times indiscriminate, shooting of civilians, torture, rape, beatings and other abuse, and arbitrary detention in Aceh, West Timor, Irian Jaya (also known as Papua or West Papua), the Moluccas, Sulawesi, and elsewhere in the country.", DoS 2000; e.g. the 2004 Yale University report "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control"; e.g. "West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census: “Slow Motion Genocide” or not?". West Papua has been and is the name by which English speaking people refer to the region irrespective of the names of the Indonesian provinces.Daeron (talk) 22:48, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Kotniski, Daeron's answer "the "authorities" (Indonesian government) used the name "West Papua" to confuse Americans & others " is one of a self-identified Papua activist and advocacy web site owner. --Merbabu (talk) 22:52, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
The wishy washy vagueness of google hits has been dispensed with above, but the answer to your second point is that the term West Papua has been around for a full half century, and over the last 10-15 years has become the International community's clear term of choice for the region, including for the people who work there, and the people with no interest in internal Indonesian disputes. For this reason the overwhelming majority of the google results refer to the whole land. By contrast, West Papua province (it's a renaming of West Irian Jaya, when the Government wanted to return the term Papua to the island) has only been in existence since 2007 and only now is beginning to spread online. When you read the term West Papua in English the chances you are reading about an internal Indonesian bureaucratic term is small. (talk)o
  • In summary, Elekhh is forced to withdraw his original proposition for a name change because the evidence he presented is hopelessly fraudulent LOL. Those who present faked evidence (covertly present a wiki printout as a scientific book, knock millions off google results, or narrow their searches to exclude WP from the results) disquality themselves from having a voice, in my view. The popularity of WP in all contexts that don't derive from the previous version of Wiki can be demonstrated at length. is a useful index because it casts the net wide right across communities and an advanced search in Titles for WP (with quotes around for accuracy) shows 46 books published since 1999 across genres (and the political ones are Not all pro-separatism). By contrast, Western New Guinea turns up a single title published this century. Look closer, it's a reprint of a 1950s book, so that's NO authority in favour of WNG. (talk) 14:10, 6 February 2011 (UTC)o
hmmm - an IP contributor who hasn't made a contribution to wikipedia in a year and never on WNG. Interesting. Be that as it may, it seems you have missed the main point - the neutrality of the WNG as a geographic descriptor, not as one that defines a political unit (whether existing or proposed). His reasoning (most of which you have ignored) is hardly "fraudulent" and you cannot make a case be withdrawn by commanding it withdrawn. --Merbabu (talk) 20:09, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
hmmmm - LOL when they start on the ad hominen it's because they know they've lost the argument. Interesting. Be that as it may it seems you have missed the main point. WP is used as a neutral geographic indicator by the overwhelming majority of the international community who use it, only to the separatists, a few poorly armed rebels in the highlands, does it have a political dimension. Most tourists who visit don't even know there's a separatist conflict but they still call it West Papua. If you wish to rename all places that have political connotations to the thinking of certain groups "in line with wikipedia guidelines" you'd going to have to rename most of the Earth.
Elekh's data is fraudulent, which makes the reasoning based on his data worthless. Effectively, his proposition is withdrawn, because the foundations have pulled from under him. WP is the common contemporary name for the region in non-political circles. The arguments I ignored such as his personal feeling that the phrase Western New Guinea has a "naturalness" to it were ignored because, in my view, these "arguments" LOL don't deserve addressing. (talk) 11:47, 7 February 2011 (UTC)0
I appologise for that wrong link to a non-reliable source, and I stroke it out. I indeed was not aware that such "books" are published nowadays, and can assure you that there was no intention of deceiving anybody. Certainly, this regretable error does not change any of the arguments in this nomination. In response to your arguments, I wish to remind you that we talk about the geographic area here (i.e. region), not a political entity. The issue of naming should be looked at in the light of Wikipedia guidelines, as put forward in the nomination. There is certainly avid competition to "own" the name for the region, hence a recent publication chose the name "Papua" identified as the best "informal" name for the region. Neverthless the same publication explains the various names for the region here. Elekhh (talk) 03:28, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Elekh why haven't you amended your Google hits from 600,000 to the true figure of 2.7 million? And your other piece of evidence is an online essay (vs 43 books). You merely draw attention to the weakness of your argument, again. It has been demonstrated inarguably that for all Authorities the most popular contemporary term is West Papua. Those in favour of the move do not, and will not, address this because they can't. Those against being part of Indonesia prefer the term, but so does every other community (with few exceptions) who use it as a non-political Geographic Indicator. The evidence is hugely One Sided against those wisjing for a name change. Arjuna is right. The matter has been settled - in the Real World. The question is whether Wiki should be true to the Real World or false to it.
The onus is on those in favour of the move to find a collection of credible authorities that Outweighs the combined strength of the the Tourist Industry, the majority of the Worldwide News Media, the BBC World Service, the Discovery Channel, Youtube, National Geographic,, the discipline of Anthropology, the majority of the Missionary community - all of whom will use the term West Papua as a geographic indicator and without taking political sides - and restate their case. They can't of course, which leaves only the option of drawing attention to the fact by backsliding into Ad Hominem. (talk) 12:10, 7 February 2011 (UTC)o
Google hits do vary over time, and those in the nomination reflect the results on that day. I don't understand what you mean with "online essay"? Please, when replying to this try to follow the talk page guidelines. Thanks. --Elekhh (talk) 18:15, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • tl;dr. *oppose*, as above. Jack Merridew 05:28, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Perhaps it is explained somewhere in the article and I've missed it, but the population isn't consistent with the population for the provinces. This page says the region's population is 2,646,489 (as of 2005). The articles for the provinces say:

Papua - 2,900,000
West Papua - 761,000

Obviously, this doesn't add up, but which is correct? Or, do the provinces not lie entirely within the region? Or even, has there been a significant population increase since 2005? Anoldtreeok (talk) 07:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

There is no reference for this page's figure, however, the figures for the two provinces refer to the national census, so this article should use the two provinces' combined. This region is made up entirely of the two provinces, and the two provinces are entirely within the region. --Merbabu (talk) 09:15, 4 April 2011 (UTC)


The article appears to be being used for political purpose, e.g. "violent separatist movement" omits the published reports of Indonesian military activities before and after the Act of Free Choice, e.g. New York Times in 1968 published "Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 4 (AP) - The Indonesian Army announced that 6,000 troops began a drive against rebel nationalist in the mountainous northwest region of West Irian today." and the New Zealand papers kept reporting rocket and other government attacks throughout 1969. The Yale study "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua" is worth a read on this subject.

POV example: "Sukarno" ... "his continuing struggle against Dutch imperialism" - belongs in a 1950s propaganda film and not in Wikipedia. As do lines like "were unwilling to see a repeat of their eventually futile efforts in the armed struggle for Indonesian independence"

Example "The Dutch knew" is somebody's speculation / fantasy which is not based on any credible source; as is the nonsense about "futile efforts".

The current article is riddled with POV treatment that conflicts with the available publications. Indonesia did not have logistical support for any successful military invasion; the problem for the Dutch before 1961 were the commercial interests including the church that wanted to protect their assets in Indonesia from nationalisation by offering Papua to Sukarno. What tripped the balance was the Kennedy administration, the Netherlands could not risk a US embargo so they submitted to the Washington plan which was being promoted by the NSC under Bundy.

"United Nations supervised the Act of Free Choice" is fabrication, the 1962 Agreement gave the UN no authority to control or shape the Indonesian event in 1969, it was not supervised by the UN. The UN was required to watch the event but had no supervision of it. There are half page news reports from UN representative Ortiz complaining about Jakarta's refusal to allow direct voting (a referendum), as the UN rep he could do nothing except complain to the newspapers which he did. (talk) 06:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)


Good faith edits have been reverted by User:Merbabu (talk) without discussion and without apparent reasonable consideration of the text he was removing.

My edit improved the article by addressing the geographic location in the first sentence, and then the political designation in the second sentence, a complete idea in each sentence provides clarity. Further, the term "Western New Guinea" is a Wikipedia invention by User:Wik, it is a redundant geographic description which to the best of my knowledge has never been a title; however "West New Guinea" is a reference term which was at least used by the United Nations in the New York Agreement drafted by the United States, so I deemed the later was an improvement. The second sentence had a redundant use of the word "two" and did not provide context for the "provinces" which are part of Indonesia, so I added "Indonesian" to the second sentence that deals with political designation.

I did not like the word "informally", however it addresses the POV which Merbabu and Wik were asserting several years ago (and still?) in a edit war against myself and others that "West Papua" is an insulting term for the Indonesian community and should not be included in Wikipedia. I was not willing to remove the term informally myself.

I feel the revert description by User:Merbabu is a personal attack, was not helpful to Wikipedia, and was designed to re-ignite a edit war. I suggest User:Merbabu consider how he could improve the text instead of reverting good faith edits by people he dislikes. It appears to me that he promotes a Indonesian centric "political correctness" POV which may assist his relations with the Indonesian community and improve their tolerance for subjects like the 1965-66 killings, but I do not believe Wikipedia should sacrifice honesty in one set of articles so as to buy tolerance for another.Daeron (talk) 20:39, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Any other geographic article would start by saying what country the entity is in within the first sentence. Your edit pushes this into the second sentence, and then it is only "administered by" and not "part of" Indonesia. I have reverted this to WP:BRD until a new consensus has been reached. If you don't like this, then you may seek dispute resolution. ALthough, I suggest going straight to Jimbo's page as previously would only reinforce the perception that you do not understand wikipedia process.
To your comments about me, if you continue to assume bad faith as you have for several years, then I am more than happy to seek further advice and commence dispute resolution. Your final paragraph above is particularly ludicrous. You really do not have a clue about me. On the other hand, you have identified yourself as an activist for the West Papuan independence cause. And, your contributions confirm to me at least that your account is WP:SPA --Merbabu (talk) 21:39, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Official Indonesian name[edit]

The article has no information on what the official Indonesian appellation for the "region" has been since it was split into two provinces. Perhaps official sources simply refer to "Papua and West Papua" without attempting to coin an umbrella term covering both. Perhaps they avoid mentioning them together at all. FWIW, the Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia article is called "Papua Barat (wilayah)". It might also be worth pointing out that Regions of Indonesia are not official (or even well-defined) units in the way, say, Regions of Denmark are. jnestorius(talk) 15:26, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Introduction text[edit]

The article currently starts with the text "West Papua or Western New Guinea was annexed by Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1969". - So the logical question is what was the territory from 1962 to 1969? The Dutch left in 1962, Indonesia was administrating the territory, so who was Indonesia administrating it for, and from whom did Indonesia annex the territory in 1969? Daeron (talk) 03:58, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 05 November 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. As has been discussed below, the naming of this region is quite controversial, and there are several valid ways of referring to the western half of the island of New Guinea. However, for the purposes of Wikipedia, and where 'West Papua' has been shown to be quite ambiguous in a way that 'Western New Guinea' is not, it makes sense to follow the guidance provided by WP:NATURAL and use 'Western New Guinea' as the title of this article. The question of whether 'West Papua' is a more common name in English for the region (as opposed to the province) has not been conclusively decided, but, in any case, WP:NATURAL suggests to us that it is right to use 'an alternative name that the subject is also commonly called in English reliable sources, albeit not as commonly as the preferred-but-ambiguous title'. Therefore, as various editors have suggest below, 'Western New Guinea' serves as a neutral descriptive title that avoids the need for parenthetical disambiguation, and as our policies and guidelines suggest this approach, it makes sense to follow it. Moreover, because of the controversial nature of this discussion, WP:TITLECHANGES suggests that a move to 'West Papua' would only result in an unproductive cycle of requested moves that would provide no clearer determination on the 'correctness' of either proposed title than this one has. For these reasons, I find that consensus as expressed in this discussion, rooted in our policies and guidelines, can only suggest a retention of the status quo. (non-admin closure) RGloucester 18:12, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Western New GuineaWest Papua (region) – See Talk Page agreement in May 2010, until a new editor without explanation moved the article while alleging it was a "minor" edit on 1 May 2016 – Daeron (talk) 00:02, 5 November 2016 (UTC) --Relisting. Bradv 00:06, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

This is a contested technical request (permalink). Feinoha Talk 02:16, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
The new name doesn't seem much easier to find than the old one. Perphaps we should get a more recent discussion to see if consensus is still for moving the page? Feinoha Talk 00:16, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

My preference for English titles would be to use "West Papua" for this article, and "Papua Barat" for the "West Papua (province)" article.

The name was most recently debated in 2010, see the top of this Talk page.
Some Google numbers using English preference with "-wikipedia -site:id" in the queries:
- "Papua Barat" 452,000; "West Papua Province" 98,000; "Papua Province" 389,000;
- "West Papua" 447,000; West New Guinea 324,000; Western New Guinea 149,000.
Also the top "Western New Guinea" response is that lists 6 stories.
But lists 10 stories, and each of those stories occur in the Papua Province section of West Papua. So I submit the common usage in English 'West Papua' refers to the entire Indonesian administrated half. Daeron (talk) 17:19, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
My top responses lead to wikipedia pages, so that is all dependent on the location from where you are searching and the pages you've visited in the past... Encyclopædia Britannica, which is usually the golden standard for Wikipedia, uses "West Papua" to refer to the province, not the region. --HyperGaruda (talk) 18:52, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
That is because Encyclopædia Britannica uses the title "Papua" instead of "Western New Guinea" fo this subject, see | Encyclopædia Britannica Papua. If you regard Britannica as the "golden standard" THEN you should REJECT the fictional "Western New Guinea" title that user:Wik created in 2004 because Encyclopædia Britannica does not use it and has never heard of it, see | Encyclopædia Britannica search.Daeron (talk) 10:31, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually, the Britannica article covers Papua province; there is no article on Western New Guinea as a whole. What is "fictional" about a descriptive term? The island is called New Guinea and the article is about the western half, hence Western New Guinea. Since the area now is neither an administrative unit nor a natural one (such as a full island), it is normal it doesn't have a proper name. Mewulwe (talk) 11:08, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, all page moves are minor, so the fact that it is a minor edit is meaningless. Pppery 01:26, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Merged discussions. (This discussion was already here, but the request wasn't taken off WP:RMTR. Steel1943 (talk) 02:35, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the preferred WP:NATURAL way of dismbiguating titles over using parentheses. Additionally, this source clearly states that West Papua -when referring to the entire western part- is a partisan name, ergo a violation of WP:NPOV. By the way, some browsing on GBooks indicates that "West New Guinea" gets double the amount of hits compared to "Western New Guinea". --HyperGaruda (talk) 11:51, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Your own source uses the name "West Papua" not because the author is Papuan but because the author is writing in English. A fair and proportionate review of English texts would confirm most use "West Papua" and not "Western New Guinea".Daeron (talk) 17:19, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
My own source says "While Indonesians now use West Papua to refer to the western province, Papuan activists continue to use West Papua to refer to the whole territory of western New Guinea." --HyperGaruda (talk) 18:52, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
YES most English speakers asking about "West Papua" want the region, and not the province. Even when Indonesians hear "West Papua" they think a separatist is talking about the region, not the Indonesian province. Quoting Wikipedia Policy: "In some cases, the choice of name used for a topic can give an appearance of bias. While neutral terms are generally preferable, this must be balanced against clarity. If a name is widely used in reliable sources (particularly those written in English), and is therefore likely to be well recognized by readers, it may be used even though some may regard it as biased."; therefore the titles English sources use have priority over what Indonesian readers think is separatist bias. If a English speaker means either of the Indonesian provinces, they normally prefix it as "Indonesian province of West Papua" or "Indonesian province of Papua"; but when they only say "West Papua" they most often mean the region.Daeron (talk) 14:08, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

I am a New Zealander working in PNG and I have travelled across both ends of the island; my wife is Australian and works in Jakarta. There is no consensus on either side as to what to call the Indonesian end of the island and the naming is an extremely sensitive political issue because of the separatist movement. West Papua is a province, so cannot be used, Papua Barat is just the Indonesian of the same thing and would serve to confuse, Papua cannot be used, despite Britannica, as this also is a province. Retaining West Papua (province) and West Papua (region) sort of works although its a bit clonky and invites many users to end up in the wrong page until they have read enough about it to make a discernment. The penchant for counting google hits just compounds group ignorance rather than attempting to get to the truth. New Guinea is an accepted name for the whole island so my recommendation is to use Western New Guinea because it is not a formal name but just a description, it's an adjectival subset of a recognised name. Not very satisfactory but maybe the lesser of several evils and is the most likely to steer folk to what they are looking for. Ex nihil (talk) 11:31, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Support. "West Papua"

A UN document of 1969 refers to "The territory of West New Guinea (West Irian)"

However current practice of Pacific nations is to describe the Indonesian part of the island as "West Papua". See quotes of speeches at Radio NZ

or at the website of the Free West Papua Campaign "Seven countries support West Papua at the UN General Assembly! SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 History for West Papua was made at the United Nations General Assembly in September as a record breaking seven Pacific Island nations raised the plight and struggle of the West Papuan people."

While nihil notes that "what to call the Indonesian end of the island and the naming is an extremely sensitive political issue because of the separatist movement". However I would support the use of "West Papua", as that is the name now used by leaders of Pacific countries, news media organisations (e.g. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio NZ, BBC ...) and is likely to be the key search term used on Wikipedia or on search engines. MozzazzoM (talk) 07:22, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

  • Support. "West Papua" seems to be the most common name ([1] vs. [2]) and the one preferred by residents.[3] The latter source shows that while "West Papua" may be somewhat partisan when referring to the whole region, the present title of "Western New Guinea" is an out of date name.--Cúchullain t/c 18:19, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Oppose. Western New Guinea is a neutral descriptive term. "West Papua" is the name of the independent state proclaimed by separatists but not internationally recognized nor effective, and can't be considered NPOV unless the article were specifically about the proposed state rather than the geographical area - but such article already exists under Republic of West Papua. Mewulwe (talk) 11:08, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support more preferably West Papua (Indonesia) (thinking similar to Victoria (Australia)). "Western New Guinea" is now quite ambiguous, it used to mean all of New Guinea west of Papua New Guinea, before the Indonesian national government divided this remote place into the separate political sub-entities West Papua and Papua. "Papua" is a name of uncertain origin, is it quite ambiguous to most readers, and the disambiguation of "(Indonesia)" is most important. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:35, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is english wikipedia; the island's name in english is New Guinea, it is only natural to describe this geographic region as Western (half of) New Guinea. The move to West Papua (region) is valid only if the name of the island (in english) is also change to Papua as well. Gunkarta  talk  06:15, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.