1) Free Papua Movement calls for international mediation
1:53 pm today
The Free West Papua Movement, or OPM, has called on the international community to mediate negotiations with Indonesia's government to end conflict in Papua region.
OPM Free West Papua Movement members alongside two PNG MPs at a press conference in Port Moresby, February 2019. Photo: Supplied
Armed conflict in Papua's Highlands between the OPM's armed wing, the West Papua Liberation Army, and Indonesian security forces has intensified since last year.
Indonesia's military has increased it operations in the region after the Liberation Army massacred nineteen Indonesian road construction workers in December.
According to its co-ordinator for negotiation, Akouboo Amatus Douw, the OPM is willing to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
But he said it would only negotiate with the government of Indonesia through an internationally mediated process.
Mr Douw said the OPM rejected other forms of internal "dialogue" or "consultation" with Jakarta, citing the controversial referendum through which Papua's incorporation into Indonesia culminated in 1969.
"In that 'consultation' (the Act of Free Choice), 1025 men and women selected by the Indonesian military were threatened to accept incorporation into Indonesia," he said.
"That process, orchestrated by Indonesia with the support of the United States and the Netherlands via the United Nations, violated all internationally recognised principles of self-determination and was hence illegitimate.”
Indonesia's government insists its territorial sovereignty over Papua is final, and has vowed to crush the Liberation Army which it brands a criminal armed group.
The Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, recently ruled out any negotiation with the OPM or its armed wing.
He warned that OPM was spreading misinformation through propaganda that was creating anxiety about the situation in Papua.
Meanwhile, the OPM welcomed current efforts by the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to send a team from her office to visit Papua.
Noting concerns about human rights abuses in Papua, Ms Bachelet last month said her office was talking to Indonesia in the hope of securing permission to access the remote region.
Mr Douw said that the OPM hoped Ms Bachelet could make recommendations for addressing the conflict towards a final peace agreement.
The OPM also urged the Netherlands, as West Papua's former colonial power, to accept moral responsibility and support the call for internationally mediated negotiations.
Hundreds of students have fled fighting in Indonesia's restive Papua province, a local NGO said, amid unconfirmed reports of violent military reprisals after a massacre of civilian workers by separatist rebels.
The deaths of 16 government-linked employees at a remote jungle work camp in early December, marked a dramatic escalation from decades of mostly sporadic skirmishes between poorly armed and disorganised guerrillas and a powerful Indonesian military.
Subsequent clashes prompted the Nduga district government to evacuate more than 400 students to the neighbouring Jayawijaya district, according to Humanitarian Volunteers for Nduga and a local education agency official.
"Some of the students are suffering from trauma," said Ence Geong, a coordinator at the NGO, told AFP.
"When the military came to the school in uniforms, some of the students ran" in fear.
Scores of other residents are believed to have fled to neighbouring districts or into the jungle amid allegations soldiers carried out arson, harassment and the killing of livestock and civilians, residents and activists said.
Local resident Sripona Nirigi told AFP her elderly father Gemin -- a priest -- was shot dead in December during a sweep of the area by the military.
His burned corpse was found by one of her siblings some two weeks later, she added. Her account could not be independently verified.
Papua military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi rejected claims the military had fired on civilians, calling it a "hoax".
"If there are claims of civilian victims, they're definitely not ordinary civilians," Aidi told AFP.
"They are part of the (separatists) that are attacking the military."
Aidi said the army had investigated the alleged killing of the priest and denied he was shot by soldiers, saying it was still unclear whether he was alive or dead.
He added that two soldiers have been killed and several more were injured in clashes with rebels since the December massacre of workers who were building bridges and roads in Indonesia's most impoverished region.
The rebels claimed they were legitimate military targets.
Local commander Binsar Sianipar separately confirmed the students had been evacuated, but said it was due to a teacher shortage in the area not the military presence.
Indonesian security forces have long been accused of rights abuses against Papua's ethnic Melanesian population including extrajudicial killings of activists and arrest of peaceful protestors.
Papua, which shares a border with the island nation Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, has been the site of low-level insurgency since the 1960s.
The former Dutch colony declared itself independent in 1961, but neighbouring Indonesia took control of Papua two years later on the condition it hold an independence referendum.
Jakarta annexed the mineral-rich region in 1969 with a UN-backed vote that is widely seen as a sham.
1) Papua Governor: No more negotiation with Freeport
Published 17 hours ago on 20 February 2019
Demonstration of former Freeport employees, students and Papuan people in Papua Parliament building on Tuesday (21/08/2018). – Jubi / Mawel
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe consulted an ultimatum against PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) management and its subcontractors to reinstate 8,300 striking employees immediately.
This statement revealed by the Head of Labor Inspection Office of the Papua Manpower Office, Melkianus Bosawer, in Timika on Thursday (14 /02/2019). He said the governor gave a deadline of two weeks for PTFI to follow up the letter.
“The governor expects that the Mimika Regional Government, the regent and parliament members and all relevant offices of Mimika Regency to follow up this issue seriously. The problem of employment occurs in Papua, not in Jakarta. So, if within two weeks, the management of Freeport does not respond to the governor’s letter, we will report this issue to the governor,” he said as quoted by Antara News Agency.
Regarding the labour issue of PTFI that have been taking place since May 2017, the Manpower Office of Papua has sent labour inspectors to conduct investigations and inspections in Timika since May 2018. The results state that the strike by the employees of PTFI and its subcontractors in May 2017 was legal.
Meanwhile, related to the labour inspectors’ recommendation, the management of PTFI has been given seven days to clarify, but until now they have not yet submitted the requested data related to the labour issue.
Based on that, he said, Governor Enembe issued a decree covered three points, namely order the management of PTFI and other subcontractor companies to immediately pay wages and provide the right of workers who did a strike as included in the Collective Labour Agreement Handbook 2015-2017 and the Industrial Relations Guidelines.
Moreover, PTFI is asked to immediately reinstate all former employers on strike and prohibited from recruiting new employees before the employment issue is completely solved. The governor also stressed that there was no more negotiation with the management of PTFI regarding the issue of on-strike employees.
“There are too many victims; 41 employees who joined the strike died, whereas other employees cannot access the health services because the company blocked it,” said Bosawer.
He added the governor’s attitude toward this issue driven by a humanitarian concern to many problems faced by the on-strike employees, given that more than two years 8,300 employees have not found a better solution to their problem. However, Papua Provincial Government suggested the former employees do not conduct any acts that possibly taken by PTFI to the court.
On the other hand, he said, the government is also ready if they should face PTFI in the court to stand for the right of thousands of employees who unilaterally dismissed by the company under the pretext of voluntary resigning.
Separately, Freeport spokesperson Riza Pratama said the former employees are part of around 3,500 workers of PTFI whose their contract has terminated due to prolonged absence. Based on labour regulation, they qualify to be considered resigned.
“The company have conducted some efforts to call these employees to return to work, including an announcement in newspaper and radio, advertisement, poster, a letter via the community letter, and direct letter to the employees calling them to work. However, only a small portion of them answer this calling,” said Riza Pratama. (*)
Indonesia and Norway have agreed on a first payment from a $1 billion deal under which Indonesia preserves its rainforests to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
The agreement comes nearly a decade since the deal was signed in 2010, with the delay attributed largely to the need for legislation and policy frameworks to be put in place, as well as a change in the Indonesian government since then.
The amount of the first payment still needs to be negotiated by both sides, with Indonesia pushing for a higher valuation than the $5 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent that Norway paid Brazil under a similar deal.
Indonesia still has work to do to ensure a consistent pace of progress and tackle the forest fires that account for much of the loss of its forests.
JAKARTA — It’s taken nearly a decade, but Indonesia is finally set to receive the first part of a $1 billion payment pledged by the Norwegian government for preserving some of the Southeast Asian country’s vast tropical rainforests.
Indonesia’s environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, and her Norwegian counterpart, Ola Elvestuen, made the announcement in Jakarta on Feb. 16. The payment, whose amount is yet to be determined, is for Indonesia preventing the emission of 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) through reducing its rate of deforestation in 2017.…………………...
Indonesia, for a country of 260 million people covering a vast archipelago, is often remarked to have a small global profile. This wasn’t always the case. In the early years after gaining independence, for example, Indonesia’s Sukarno was a leader of the non-aligned movement during the Cold War. Indonesia even dramatically left the United Nations in 1965 after newly-independent rival Malaysia, who Sukarno had refused to recognise, was granted a seat on the UN Security Council. Indonesia thrn formed the short-lived left-wing UN alternative CONEFO (Conference of the New Emerging Forces…………………….
The word genocide is simple enough to understand, whether in Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia or in West Papua. The stories and intent are the same, a policy to annihilate the people considered the enemy of those in authority. Describing the horrifying methods used in these countries to eliminate people by state-sponsored activity is mind-boggling.
The genocidal activities of the colonial government of Indonesia against the people of West Papua is benign to the level of subjugation and will take time to achieve maximum effect but will produce the same result, the obliteration of the Papuan people.
The program is called Operasi Tumpas or OperationAnnihilation. Spearheaded by the military, it is an operation of total obliteration of not only the people but also the resources that sustain their existence as a social unit. In the long run these methods will alter or destroy the social infrastructures that maintain the existence of the people.
The current military operations in Nduga District in the Highlands of West Papua (West New Guinea) is yet another “tumpas” because there have been many during the past 57 years.
Subsistence infrastructure decimated as an objective
Whenever an area is declared a DOM (an area of military operation) no one, not even family members and churches are allowed to enter the area to deliver humanitarian assistance. It is strictly off limits to international contacts.
The people have grown used to this cycle of military operations. That is why whenever it happens the whole population abandons their villages to the safety of the cold mountains and the jungle. They move with full knowledge that when it is safe to return there will be nothing left for them to return to. Their homes, churches, schools, clinics, including crops and animals will have been destroyed. While in hiding, exposed to the elements, many of their members, especially the young and the old, will die from exposure and from malnutrition.
Military operations are a major factor, but there are other contributing factors, for example, colonial settlers called transmigrasi. They arrive every week in their thousands, facilitated by the authorities to occupy traditional lands and marginalize Papuan owners.
Other contributing factors include poor health and less education. The people have demanded improvement in these areas but instead the government has put infrastructure, including road construction, as its priority. This is a priority that will mainly benefit its military operations and colonial settlements.
Crimes that Indonesia does not want the world to see
Permanent military operations have been Indonesia’s legacy in West Papua for years and are the reason why the international media is banned from the territory. Direct requests for fact finding missions by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) have been flatly denied for this very reason. Calls for Indonesia to end human rights violations by the United Nations Human Rights Council and major international agencies such as Amnesty International, the Red Cross, World Council of Churches, Franciscan International and scores of others, including governments, have all been ignored. Meanwhile human right abuses continue more devastating than ever, with the use of chemical weapons.
It is well established that there is an undeclared war of resistance against Indonesian occupying forces.
The indiscriminate use of chemical weapons dropped from helicopter gunships against fleeing Villagers of the Nduga region in the Highlands of West Papua indicates the intensity of the war. The colonial army is using these banned weapons in desperation to terrorise the Papuans and reduce resistance. The tactics are well rehearsed. If the resistance does not create an incident the army will produce one as a pretext to launch a major operation.
Such pretexts have included, firstly, the death of so-called “civilians”. It is well-known that the TNI (Indonesian National Armed Forces) has long been involved in businesses in West Papua. This is part of their strategy to monitor and defeat the OPM (West Papua Independence Movement). Dressing as civilians is part of their concealed strategy to secure success.
Secondly,the people in the Nduga area are opposed to the decision by Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo to grant a permit to a TNI contractor to build the Trans Papua Highway. The highway will run through Nduga District - a stronghold of the TPN (West Papuan Liberation Army). Tensions have been high since they entered the area and conflict of this magnitude was bound to happen. In late November the contractor was advised in writing by the regional commander of the TPN to cease activities on December 1 [the anniversary of the first raising of West Papua’s flag of independence, the Morning Star] and advising that employees should not interfere with the activities of people celebrating December 1, including the flag-raising ceremony.
In spite of this advice, a company employee made a video of the flag-raising ceremony - an action considered very serious by the TPN. The people asked him to stop and even followed him to their camp demanding that he delete the video, but he refused to do so.
The action by TPN troops on December 2 was a surprise to the people of Nduga but they accepted the rationale of self-defence by the TPN, because the video would have been used by the military as evidence against the people. The making of the video proved beyond doubt that employees of the company are members of the military. Some even carry weapons.
Tensions in this district have remained high ever since the massacre in Mapenduma in 1996. In the Mapenduma case, TPN commander Kelly Kwalik had reached agreement with church leaders to release hostages, including foreigners, which were being held by his group. The people came together to witness a traditional ceremony on the day of the release. People, especially children, gathered excitedly to welcome the Red Cross helicopter that they thought would be bringing an official to receive the hostages. But there was no official, instead the military arrived with machine guns blazing, mowing down unsuspecting women and children. The incident was documented in a 1999 ABC Four Corners report, Blood on the Cross.
Repressive military operations are a government policy of annihilation. Whether armed or not, Papuans must be eliminated.
UK-based Amnesty International documented in their 2018 report, Don’t bother, just let him die: Killing with impunity in Papua, the abuses, arbirtrary arrests and unlawful killings that have been carried out by members of the Indonesian military against the people of West Papua. This has been going on for the past 57 years and with the current instructions issued by the president, who is the highest commander of the armed forces of Indonesia, we are expecting the worst.
Rex Ramakiek is the Secretary of ULMWP [United Liberation Movement for West Papua].
2) The officer was drunk, says Merauke shooting victim
Published 17 hours ago on 19 February 2019
Jayapura, Jubi – Fransiskus Gebze, a resident of Merauke who is currently in hospital after the shooting incident by a police officer, denied the police’s statement in an online media saying he attempted to attack the officer with a knife.
Papua Regional Police’s spokesman Commissionaire Police Ahmad Musthofa Kamal gave this statement at the Media Center of Papua Police Headquarters on Wednesday (13/02/2019).
“The officer was doing a patrol when caught this alleged perpetrator who known by residents often committed an act of mug or theft. When the officer addressed him, he did not accept it and attacked the officer with the knife that he often carried,” Kamal explained as quoted by the online media.
Meanwhile, Fransiskus denied this report and also said that he wasn’t stealing or mugging. “I am not a thief. I was walking to work at around 7 am, and the officer suddenly stopped me. He was extremely drunk. Without an alert, he pulled out the weapon and shot it down three times. It was only one meter distant. Two bullets went straight into my leg,” said Fransiskus on Friday (15/2/2019).
Furthermore, he suspected that the officer wanted to trap him by asking him about the fish he took from a ship. Fransiskus works as a fish loader at the Merauke Harbour. “What’s wrong if I take two or three fish for meals?” he said.
He also admitted that he never have a personal problem with the officer. However, he didn’t argue that he often faced with the officer when taking fish for meals.
Meanwhile, his wife, Susana Wanggaimu, also revealed that her husband shot by an officer when he was going to the fishing port. The incident occurred not far from the port at the 7 am local time.
“There was no problem between my husband and SM (the officer). Why should he shoot my husband’s leg twice? This is unfair. I want him to be responsible for his action,” she said. (*)
West Papuan people will not take part in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections, say the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP).
This is because they accuse the Indonesian government of illegal political practices in Papua, of failing to uphold the rights of the Papuan people and because both presidential candidates have a bad track record on Papua.
“Indonesia is a state which since the declaration of the Trikora operation on December 19, 1961, has conducted illegal political activities in the territory”, said FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) offices in Central Jakarta last week.
“Because of this we are taking a position and declaring that we will not take part in the 2019 presidential or legislative elections,” he said.
Anta explained that what they mean by the territory of West Papua was an area extending from Numbai to Merauke, Raja Ampat to Baliem and Biak Island to Adi Island.
The groups also believe that the contestants in the 2019 election on April 17 are the same as those in previous elections where candidates are only interested in gathering votes from the Papuan people.
However, there has been no effort by the legislative, presidential or vice-presidential candidates to uphold the rights of the West Papuan people, they say.
Maintaining colonialism Speaking in the same vein, Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) national collective secretary-general Samsi Mahmud said that the Papuan people were not interested in the 2019 elections.
Aside from Indonesia’s illegal political activities, according to Mahmud none of the political parties are articulating the wishes of the Papuan people and the elections are only aimed at maintaining the practice of colonialism.
“[The elections] are a tool for the colonial government to put local power holders in place to safeguard their interests”, said Mahmud.
AMP member Erepul Sama said there was no difference between the two presidential candidates, incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, particularly in their handling of human rights violations.
“Prabowo himself has a bad track record in Papua such as the Mapenduma incident. But this doesn’t mean that Jokowi is any better”, said Sama.
“Jokowi has allowed human rights violations to occur again and again, for example in the bloody Paniai case which has still not been resolved”, he added.
Aside from declaring that they will not take part in the 2019 elections, the FRP-WP and the AMP made three other demands:
West Papuans be given the right to self-determination,
All organic and non-organic troops be withdrawn from Papua, and
Journalists be given free access to Papua.
Background Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961.
It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.
The Mapenduma operation was a botched rescue operation in the remote Mapenduma area of West Papua led by then Kopassus commander Prabowo Subianto in 1996 to secure the release of World Wildlife Fund researches taken hostage by the Free Papua Movement.
The attempt ended in a military attack on Geselema village resulting in the death of up to eight civilians.
On December 8, 2014, barely two months after Widodo was sworn in as president, five students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency.
Shortly after the incident, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but four years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings.
2) Papua Regional Secretary Named Suspect in Alleged Assault on KPK
Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny
Editor: Markus Wisnu Murti
18 February 2019 21:31 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The regional secretary of Papua, Hery Dosinaen, was named suspect in an alleged assault against investigators of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Borobudur Hotel, Central Jakarta, on late Saturday, February 2.
“From today's investigation, we have raised the status of the Papua regional secretary from witness to suspect,” said Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono in his office on Monday.
According to Argo, the decision was based on witnesses' testimonies and pieces of evidence as well as other indications collected by the police. However, Argo stopped short of detailing Hery’s role in the incident. “The examination is still underway, so [the role will be revealed] later,” he added.
Hery was grilled at the Jakarta Police’s General Crime Directorate. He arrived at 12:30 p.m. with his lawyer.
According to Argo, Hery was suspected of violating Article 351 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on persecution and faced a possible sentence of five years behind bars at maximum. Argo, however, could not confirm yet on the suspect's detention. “That depends on the investigators,” he noted.
Earlier, KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said that two KPK investigators were assaulted while stationed at Borobudur Hotel on February 2. The two personnel were tasked to investigate a public report on alleged corruption committed by officials of the Papua administration.