Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
AWPA update. April 2011
A snapshot of events in West Papua during April
Six activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were arrested by police in Wamena on the 30 April. They were arrested while they were distributing leaflets regarding demonstrations to be held on the 2 May. It is 48 years since the administration of West Papua was handed over by UNTEA (the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority) to Indonesian and still West Papuans are being arrested because they are peacefully demonstrating against Indonesian rule. According to Victor Yeimo, international spokesperson for KNPB, the names of the activists arrested are Baroy Sambom (24), Etus Wandik (29), Victor Kepno (19), Yarimi Yare (10), Agustinus Mabel (20), Tohmas Loho (21). "We got information directly from Simion Dabi as chairman of KNPB in Wamena that the six man still questioned by Indonesian Police in Wamena. We are disappointed that Indonesian Police is still close the room democracy in Wamena", said Victor. The situation will need to be monitored in the next few days and people will need to respond to any urgent actions received if the security forces crack down on any demonstrations that are held.
Incident in Dogiyai district
Two civilians where killed in an incident in Dogiyai district over what the police claim was a raid on an illegal gambling den although officials from the Kingmi Church said there was never any raid. They claim officers shook down two people for money, one of whom, Dominikus Auwe, who was selling tickets for togel , a popular lottery-like game. Amnesty International released a statement about the incident which can be found at
Tapol also received a report about the incident (below)
Serious situation in Dogiyai district following shooting dead of 2 people
Translation of a report received today, 20 April from a reliable source in West Papua.
PRESENT SITUATION IN THE DISTRICT OF DOGIYAI FOLLOWING THE BLOODY TRAGEDY
People living in the district of Dogiyai have been leaving their homes, following the bloody tragedy that occurred on 13 April. On 13 and 14 April, troops from the Indonesian Army and the Police killed two civilians, Dominikus Auwe and Alosius Waine. Joint forces of the army and the police then conducted searches in several kampungs in the district. A number of homes, gardens and lifestock were flattened and killed. According to information received from the area.on 15 April, ten homes were flattened and people's lifestock were destroyed. 'We are not able to say how many people may have died in the aftermath of this incident, or how may lifestock were killed. The district capital is now deserted,' said a source. The number of heavily-armed troops has been increasing, having been brought in from the neighbouring districts of Deiyai, Nabire, Paniai and Timika. Convoys of troops are continually arriving in Moanemani, going back and forth, with army and police troops carrying out searches in a number of kampungs. The capital town of Dogiyai district and several other districts are quite deserted. The people in these districts are suffering from severe food shortages and disease, while some may well have died. Here are some examples: An eight-year old boy, Detianus Goo with his mother fled into hiding, and on 15 April, the child died. In addition, a forty-year old woman, Rosia Goo left her home in Mauwa for Udekebo to seek a place of sanctury but died there on the following day.
This is a brief report about the current situation in the district of Dogiyai, sent by Selfius Bobii,chairman of te Pepera Front.
Freeport car crash duo died in fire, police claim
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura 04/11/2011
The funeral for two employees of mining giant PT Freeport took place Sunday while a police report said the two died in a fire. Daniel Mansawan was buried in Timika on Sunday while Harry Siregar’s remains were flown to Jakarta for burial. The two, who were security officials in the company, were found dead Thursday night in their burned-out car at the mile 37 marker of the Tanggul Timur road near Nayaro village. The car itself had bullet holes, raising speculation that the men were shot dead. However, police say autopsy results proved otherwise. “The results of the autopsy conducted by our forensics team show that the cause of death was fire,” Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono wrote in a text massage to The Jakarta Post. Although the cause of death was confirmed to have been the fire,
Wachyono said police would continue to investigate the discovery of the bullet holes in the car and a shooting incident that occurred the day before. Abdul Simanjuntak and Agus Patah, both also Freeport employees, were fired upon on Wednesday while driving. They were not hit, but were injured by shards of glass from the windscreen.
Military authorities in the province said they were helping the police conduct sweeping raids to search for the shooter. “We have been continuously involved in security operations,” Mimika military commander Bonni Christian Pardede was quoted as saying by Antara news agency. He denied suggestions that the military and police were not serious about providing security for employees of Freeport or its subcontractors. Freeport employees had staged a rally outside the Mimika legislative council building following the two incidents.“We are serious. We never assume duties in a not-serious manner. We all want security. No one wants such incidents happening,” he said.He said guaranteeing security for Freeport employees and Mimika residents in general was a shared responsibility.
“There is a need for better cooperation all sides, including the company and the government, if we are realize that the company and employees are state assets,” he said. Local leaders and councilors were also criticized by protesters, who on Saturday staged a rally for their two dead colleagues. They said they believed the two men were killed before their car was set on fire. The death of Daniel and Harry was an inhumane act because they were killed and then burnt like animals,” a protester said. “The government and the council do not seem concerned about the case while they live on royalties and employees’ taxes.” They voiced their disappointment at the treatment they received from councilors following a rally on Friday, in which no council members met with them. Freeport spokesman Ramdani Sirait said the company hoped the incidents would not distract employees. “The workers’ union instructed employees to return to work and to leave the case to the authorities to investigate the security disturbances,” Ramdani said.
Latest Papua killing reflect pattern, says anthropologist
RNZI April, 2011
An anthropologist who has conducted extensive research on deadly incidents around Papua’s Grasberg gold and copper mine says the latest shootings near the mine must be seen within a history of impunity. Reports from Indonesia say that unidentified gunmen killed two workers at Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold Inc’s giant gold mine in Papua province yesterday. The mine has been a frequent source of friction because of its environmental impact, the share of revenue going to local Papuans and the legality of payments to security forces who guard the site. Eben Kirksey of the City University of New York says there’s a history of shootings at Freeport. “In 2002 there were American schoolteachers killed. A few years back you had an Australian national killed as well as number of Indonesian citizens who were in the area of the Freeport mine. And in all these cases, the authorities have failed to bring the masterminds behind the attacks to justice. In the 2002 killing, there’s very clear evidence that those masterminds are Indonesian intelligence agents.” Eben Kirksey
Komnas HAM report on 2003 arms dump assault
(From Tapol) JUBI, 5 April 2011
Assault on arms dump in Wamena was a manipulation, says Komnas HAM member
The deputy chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Papua branch Matius Murib, has told the press that the solution to the assault on the arms dump of the Wamena district military command on 4 April 2003 now depends on the state and the attorney-general's office. 'The Komnas HAM, as a state institution, has completed its task of conducting a /pro justicia/ investigation and has delivered its evidence and associated data to the attorney-general. But the attorney-general has responded, saying that the evidence is not strong enough,' he said. 'Our job is finished and we cant do anything more on the matter,' he told JUBI. The /pro justicia/ report recorded that nine people were murdered, 38 people from 25 kampungs were forcibly evicted, 42 people died from starvation and fifteen others were treated unjustly.
With the Konmas HAM having done its work, it now depends on the goodwill of the state and the attorney-general's office to solve the case. In his opinion, this would mean bringing the case before the judiciary, and in this case, this would mean submitting it to the human rights court because, he said, ' this was a case of gross violation of human rights which must be heard before the human rights court.' He went on to explain that this was not a case involving any bloodshed. It should be regarded as something that was deliberately manipulated. 'I was at the location at the time,' he said. 'Just imagine, the arms dump is in the centre of town, yet even so an assault took place. This can only have been a deliberate manipulation,' he said. He also referred to the Wamena Tragedy of 6 October 2000 which resulted in many casualties and much spilling of blood. 'Many ordinary were tortured. This was also a case of serious human rights violations,' he said.
MSG facing credibility test over West Papua issue
RNZI 07 April, 2011
The Papua Peace Network says the credibility of the Melanesian Spearhead Group will be tested by its decision to grant Indonesia observer status. The move has met with disapproval by many Papuan advocate groups who say West Papuans should have their own seat at the MSG. But the Network’s co-ordinator, Pastor Neles Tebay, says that the move could be a positive step if it helps facilitate a peaceful solution to the West Papua conflict. He says Melanesian peoples want the MSG leaders to rise to the challenge of addressing the West Papua issue. “The West Papuans know much about the MSG and they expect that the MSG will say something about the West Papua conflict. if West Papua is given the status of observer, the people will be glad. But if not, then the MSG should say something about how to settle the West Papua conflict.” Neles Tebay.
Former chair of Papua People’s Assembly , Alua dies.
RNZI April, 2011
A veteran West Papuan leader, the former chairman of the Papua People’s Assemblyin Indonesia, Agus Alue Alua has died in a Jayapura hospital.
Local media is reporting that Alua is understood to have collapsed suddenly yesterday and was rushed to Dian Harapan Hospital in Papua’s provincial capital where he was dead on arrival. The cause of death is not yet known. The late Agus Alua served as chairman of the MRP during its first term which recently ended. He is credited with having introduced policies such as the decree that Papua’s regional head and deputy must be indigenous Papuans. He is survived by his wife and three children.
German firm to invest $900m in West Papua
Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 04/18/2011 10:00 PM | Business
German engineering firm Ferrostaal AG announced plans to build a petrochemical plant in West Papua at a cost of US$900 million, a senior company executive says.
“The investment is about $900 million but it can change depending on the project and everything needed, including the gas supply,” Ferrostaal petrochemical division senior executive manager Soenke Gloede said after a breakfast meeting with a forum of industrial gas users in Jakarta hosted by the Industry Ministry on Friday. Gloede said his firm planned to procure gas for the plant from the Tangguh LNG plant to support the operation of the plant, which would produce methanol and dimethyl ether (DME). Gloede said he expected his company to complete all planning and preparation in the next one or two years and start construction in 2013. The plant, set to commence operations in 2016, would produce around 1 million tons of methanol and up to 200,000 tons of DME annually. He said the methanol will be sold both domestically and exported, while the DME, which can be used as an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), would be sold on the domestic market. Industry Minister MS Hidayat said the operation of the petrochemical plant was feasible because it could receive supplies of gas from the Tangguh field.
The Tangguh LNG plant in Papua, along with the Arun plant in Aceh and the Bontang plant in East Kalimantan, are the largest contributors to the country’s LNG production. “It is very possible to develop a petrochemical industry there. Papua is also a site where we want to develop an oil and gas-based industrial cluster,” he said. Hidayat said he would discuss Ferrostaal’s investment plans with the President and Cabinet ministers in Bogor, West Java, on April 18-19. Earlier this year, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa and National Development Planning Minister Armida Alisjahbana launched an economic master plan to grow the economy by 7 to 8 percent per year from 2013 to 2025. The plan covers the development of six economic corridors throughout the archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, and the Papua and Maluku corridors. Economic growth in the Papua and Maluku corridor is targeted to increase six-fold by 2030. However, this would require infrastructure, such as a trans-Papua highway, including to Merauke, Jayapura and Merauke ports, and the coal-fired power plant in Urumka.
Komnas HAM on Lack of commitment to solve human rights issues in Papua
(from Tapol ) JUBI, 8 April 2011
The deputy chairman of the Papuan branch of Komnas HAM, the National Human Rights Commission, Mathius Murib, has accused the regional authorities of lack of commitment to solve human rights violations in West Papua. He said that the local government had failed to enact a regional regulation known as Perda regarding human rights . Komnas HAM has already prepared the draft of a Perda but the provincial governor and the provincial legislative assembly have as yet failed to enact it as a regulation. He cited as examples of the government's lack of commitment the fact that the Wasior case in 2001 and the Wamena case in 2003 were still unresolved although Komnas HAM had carried out pro justicia investigations of these cases and had reached the conclusion that both were cases of gross human rights violations. However, the attorney-general's office had a different opinion about the cases.
Murib made three recommendations that the victims might consider in order to bring such cases to a resolution. They could find ways to use legal mechanisms within the Indonesian judiciary, adding that it might be possible to bring these cases before an international mechanism. A second possibility was for the provincial government to enact the Perda regulation as drafted by Komnas HAM. The third possibility was for Komnas HAM to become a regional human rights commission under the framework of the special autonomy law within the powers of authority of the governor of the province of Papua.
RI, Australian navies to strengthen cooperation
Mon, April 18 2011
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian navy (TNI-AL) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of education, exercises and sea border security. "As has been known a lot of illegal activities still continue to happen on the two countries` border such as illegal fishing, smuggling and territorial violations," TNI-AL spokesman Commodore Tri Prasodjo said after attending a meeting between the Australian Fleet commander Vice Admiral Steve Gilmore and TNI-AL`s deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Marsetio here on Monday.
He said the high rate of illegal activities in the Indonesian eastern region and on the border between Indonesia and Australia had made the two countries to develop constructive cooperation in various fields such as joint patrols, exchange of officers and joint exercises. "Although political relations between the two countries ebb and flow the military relations so far especially between the two navies have gone well and continued to increase," he said. To maintain and increase the capability and professionalism of navy soldiers the two countries` navies have conducted a joint exercise code-named "Cassowary Exercise" routinely so far. "We continue conducting and increasing joint exercises including with the Australian navy based upon mutual respect and trust," he said. (T.R018/H-YH/HAJM/A014) Editor: Priyambodo RH
Press releases/reports etc.
US Department of State 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
2010 Human Rights Report: Indonesia
Fiji's military ruler uses Melanesian Spearhead Group to end pariah status
Co-operation among Pacific islands will be tested by Frank Bainimarama's leadership of the group. Johnny Blades Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 26 April 2011
There aren't many international summits where the leaders sit down to a round of sedatives before settling into formal talks. But getting together around the kava bowl in laid-back Pacific style is their way of reaching consensus………………………..
Two new DTE publications & DTE newsletter 88
Two new publications from DTE are now available on our website:
Plantations and Poverty: Notes from a village deep in oil palm territory, by Betty Tiominar, English translation and editing by Carolyn Marr, April 2011. Available in English and Indonesian.
Tangguh, BP and International Standards. An analysis of the commitments made by BP in relation to BP Tangguh in West Papua and their social and environmental responsibilities, by Andrew Hickman and Paul Barber, edited by Carolyn Marr, April 2011.
Our latest newsletter, DTE 88, is also now available online. Download the complete PDF newsletter or click on individual articles:
DTE 88, April 2011
Oil palm plantations:
100 years of oil palm
New DTE book: plantations and poverty
Agrofuels in Indonesia
Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil to speed up plantation development
RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change
The local-global (dis)connection
Papua / Tangguh:
Holding BP to account: new publication
DTE activities update
Papuan lawmaker wants police chief fired after two people shot dead
Pacific Scoop: Report By Banjir Ambarita in Jayapura
A Papuan legislator has called for the firing of the provincial police chief following two people being shot dead in Dogyai district in Indonesian-ruled West Papua this week. Ruben Magai, a Democratic Party lawmaker at the Papua Legislative Council (DPRD), said on Friday that the Papua police chief should be held accountable for his men opening fire on civilians with live rounds on Wednesday………………………
(The below opinion piece is of great concern. In it states that “MIFEE will require an estimate of four permanent laborers per hectare. This means more than 4.8 million external workers will be needed”. Already West Papuans are in danger of being a minority) .
Mifee must benefit indigenous Papuans, everyone
Norman Jiwan, Jakarta | Sat, 04/30/2011 8:00 AM | Opinion
The Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) program is very strategic in terms of the nation’s food security and energy programs. The program is expected to produce 1.95 million tons of rice, 937,000 tons of corn, 167,000 million tons of beans, 64,000 cows, 2.5 million tons of sugar and 937,000 tons of crude palm oil (CPO) every year. However, to make that happen MIFEE needs greater support from both investors and the local gov-ernment. According to the Merauke Investment Promotion Board, in May 2010 principal permits to cultivate more than 2 million hectares of land areas were awarded to 36 domestic and foreign private companies. Recently, the Agriculture Ministry reported that there were 40 investors who were awarded permits in Merauke………………………………………….