Saturday, July 2, 2011

AWPA update. June 2011

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

AWPA update. June 2011
A snapshot of events for June,- beginning of July
A number of urgent appeals from various NGO organizations were released this month including from the Asian Human Rights Commission on the stabbing of Derek Adii by soldiers on the 14 May 2011 while he was boarding a ship. It is reported that the soldiers attacked and stabbed Mr. Adii to death after he had complained about the rough conduct by some TNI soldiers against women and children passengers. After the stabbing, Mr. Adii's body was thrown into the sea.
Amnesty International also raised concern for Yones Douw , a human rights activist who was beaten by military officers on 15 June and has been denied medical treatment . He fears for his health and safety , as he has previously been detained and assaulted as a result of his human rights activities.
Amnesty also called for the immediate and unconditional release of seven prisoners of conscience, arrested and charged merely for their involvement in a peaceful political protest and flag-raising. Their case highlights the continued failure of the Indonesian government to distinguish between armed groups and peaceful political activists.

AWPA wrote to all the Pacific Islands Forum leaders asking that the human rights situation be raised at the Forum meeting in September in Auckland

Human Rights Watch has called on the Indonesian Government to use its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council to implement reforms on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and religion,

In an article in the Jakarta Post “Military omnipresence brings gloom to Papua” (11/6), the rights group Imparsial concluded that the provinces of Papua and West Papua had seen very little improvement in terms of security after the region became integrated as a part of Indonesia under the Act of Free Choice (Pepera) in 1969. “One important question remains over why the country’s political move toward a more democratic system has not correlated with security conditions in Papua,” Imparsial executive director Poengky Indarti said .

An article in the weekend edition of the SMH 2-3 July by investigative journalist Tom Allard exposes the threat to a Coral sea paradise. A researcher on West Papuan issues has sent the below actions for people to respond
Threat to Raja Ampat, the amazon of the oceans?
Do you know about Raja Ampat, the amazon of the oceans? It is a place of unparalleled beauty in West Papua. Perhaps you have seen this? The Beauty of Raja Ampat” SMH slide slow >
But it is also threatened. These two articles show how Clive Palmer one of Australia’s richest men is tearing the place apart: Coral Sea Paradise Faces Ruin From Mining” >
Please, if you love beauty do these four simple things now. Do it for the folks who live in Raja Ampat and the fragile and the amazing ecosystem that is there:
1. Contact your local member (for those in Australia) and send them an email. Say something like Clive Palmer would not be allowed to mine the Great Barrier Reef. Why should he get away with it next door in West Papua? Tell your member about the issue and ask what they are going to do about it. Ask them to get back to you as well. To find your local member visit>
2. Send an email to Queensland Nickel click here and tell them what you think of their business practices
3. Contact Hubert Gijzen from UNESCO in Jakarta to ask why Raja Ampat is not a World Heritage Area and what UNESCO is doing about it?
4. Forward this email and the links to the articles and pix to ten people who you know love places of beauty.

A number of rallies also took place this month including on 1st of July to commemorate a declaration of West Papuan independence by the OPM in 1971. There was a heavy police and military presence and it was reported that up to 8 people were taken to a local police station to be interviewed including the coordinator of the rallies Marthebn Goo. and in Manokwari On June 10, over 5000 people gathered peacefully , watched by about 200 security forces to call for the release of political prisoners and detainees in Papua


Dogiyai villagers still in shock after Moanemani incident
JUBI, 28 June 2011
Following the shooting of four civilians by members of the security forces in Dogiyai, Paniai, the people there are still in a state of shock. A local man, Eli Petege said that all the inhabitants of four kampungs have fled their homes after being traumatised by the incident which led to the death of two inhabitants of Dogiyai. 'Three kampungs evacuated but have now returned home, but they are still in a state of shock.' He said that the four kampungs that had been affected by the incident were Ikebo, Kimupugi, Muniyopa and Ekemani. During the tragedy in Moanemani which happened because a group of people were gambling, there were four casualties. The two men who died were Dominikus Auwa, 24 years, and Aloysius Waine, 24, while three others were seriously injured, Otniel Yobee, 26, Agus Pigai, 24, and Wilibrodus Iyai. The material losses included three pigs, the destruction of six homes along with the furniture and two motorbikes. (from tapol)
Pramono to be appointed as new army chief
The Jakarta Post | Wed, 06/29/2011
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has appointed Lt. Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo as the new Army Chief of Staff, replacing Gen. George Toisutta, State Secretary Sudi Silalahi says. The President is planning to install Pramono on Thursday, Sudi said on Wednesday in Jakarta. Pramono Edhi, who is currently the commander of the army strategic reserves command (Kostrad), has long been viewed as a potential candidate for the post, since he was regarded as successful in carrying out his duties in several different posts. Pramono, for example, had been in charge of the army’s special forces (Kopassus). After completing his task at Kopassus, Pramono was later appointed as the new West Java military commander. Aside from the fact that Pramono is Yudhoyono’s brother in law, those who have criticized Pramono say he may not be able to carry his duties as the new army chief because of a severe liver condition.

Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia's Papua province

The Associated Press 06/26/2011
A strong earthquake has rocked parts of Indonesia's Papua province, causing panic among residents but no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said Sunday the magnitude 6.5 earthquake was centered about 53 kilometers northeast of Waren, a town on the northern coast of Papua island. The quake, with a depth of 132 kilometers , caused residents in Serui to pour into the streets in panic, said Daud Yusuf of the agency's local office.
He said the tremor was also felt in nearby Biak island, and Enarotali town on the main island. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 6.4 at a depth of 36.1 kilometers.


Green Senator given special responsibility for West Papua and PNG

Responsibility for West Papua and Papua New Guinea is the responsibility of incoming Victorian Richard Di Natale Meanwhile, as the Australian Greens prepare to take control of the Senate, Senator Brown has announced detailed portfolio responsibilities for the four incoming senators. In an added twist, Senator Brown has split the foreign affairs portfolio, creating mini, country-focused responsibilities. The portfolio of Burma, to be handled by Scott Ludlam, is among them. Responsibility for West Papua and Papua New Guinea is the responsibility of incoming Victorian Richard Di Natale, while Sarah Hanson-Young has been handed Tibet. Senator Brown declared the Greens the "most stable" party in the parliament."We are a happy and cohesive party," Senator Brown said in a statement. (- ABC/AAP)


On-duty officer shot at Papua airport
The Jakarta Post 06/25/2011
JAYAPURA: First Brigadier M. Yazin was shot by a group of unidentified people while on duty at Mulia Airport in Puncak Jaya, Papua, on Friday morning. “Someone suddenly grabbed his gun and shot him in the head,” Papua Police public relations division head Sr. Comr. Wachyono said Friday. The victim is reportedly in critical condition.
Wachyono said the perpetrators, estimated at five in number, then mingled with people boarding a plane to Jayapura. “It was very quick. The victim did not even have the chance to turn around to see the person who grabbed his gun,” Wachyono said. Friday’s shooting of a policeman was not the first in the region. First Sergeant Kaman Nurjaman of the military’s Special Troop Command (Kopassus) was shot by an unidentified person in a crowd at Pasar Ilu, Puncak Jaya, last month. — JP


Statement of deep concern by Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Papua

Bintang Papua, 17 June 2011
Human rights defenders in Papua very worried
Acts of violence and terror that have been perpetrated against human rights defenders as well as against journalists have led to a sense of deep concern among human rights NGOs and religious organisations which are members of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua The following NGOs held a press conference in Jayapura on Friday 17 June, to convey their problems: KomnasHAM- Papua, the Synod of the Kingmi Church in Papua, the Synod of the Baptist Church in Papua, Foker NGO (NGO Working Group) Papua, Kontras Papua, LBH - Legal Aid Institute in Papua, and BUK, United for Truth.
Foremost among the agencies criticised was the TNI, the Indonesian army whose members were involved in a number of acts of violence. They drew attention in particulate to five incidents that had occurred during the past five months in which members of the TNI were involved: 'Up to June this year, there have been at least five incidents which reflect the arrogance and random actions perpetrated by members of the TNI,' said Olga Hamadi, the co-ordinator of Kontras Papua. Others present at the press conference included the Rev. Benny Giay, chairman of the Synod of the Kingmi Church in the Land of Papua, Mathius Murib, representative of Komnas HAM-Papua, Eliezer M, LBH-Papua, Julian Howay of the ALDP, and a number of human rights activists.
They said that the much-vaunted reforms within the TNI were rarely reflected in the activities of members of the TNI on the ground. 'Is this what the commander of the TNI was praising so profusely during his recent visit to Papua,' wondered Rev Giay.
Mathius Murib said that the incident that occurred in Puncak Jaya a few months ago had drawn a great deal of public attention, nationally as well as internationally. [This refers to the acts of torture against Papuans that were circulated by video.]
'All their talk about Love and Peace is far from been applied by members of the security forces on the ground. Isn't it time for them to change their tune?'
They said that the continued occurrence of acts of violence and intimidation by members of the TNI is a clear indication that no actions have been taken against members of the TNI who have violated the law. 'We are concerned about the impact this is having on the reputation of the Indonesian state and wonder what is being done to protect the rights of human rights defenders,' said Olga Hamadi. She said that in cases where members of the TNI had been involved in acts of violence, all that had happened was that they had been moved sideways. 'Or, in those instances where they had been taken to court, they had appeared before a military tribunal and the verdicts were often unclear or had had little if any effect.,' said Peneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of BUK.
The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua therefore issued the following statement:
1. Protection is needed for human rights defenders in Papua in carrying out their humanitarian activities throughout the Land of Papua. Such protection can be provided by the introduction of a special law, while at the same time setting up an independent commission at state level for the purpose of monitoring and advocacy as well as taking sanctions against those individuals who commit violence against human rights defenders.
2. As a short-term measure, we regard it as important to set up a special bureau within Komnas HAM to focus on the protection of human rights defenders.
3. In view the many acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces, we urge the military commander of Cenderawasih XVII military command to take firm measures in the law courts and administration against all violations perpetrated by members of the TNI on the ground.
4. To provide moral guidance to all officers of the armed forces as well as disseminate an understanding of human rights so as to ensure that acts of violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces are not committed against civil society or against human rights defenders in the Land of Papua. [Translated by TAPOL]


Security men slain in latest mine violence
In an article by John McBeth, in The Straits Times (Singapore) June 23, 2011, it reported that authorities are investigating at least two soldiers in connection with the brutal slaying of two Freeport Indonesia security men in a mysterious dusk ambush two months ago. Sources familiar with the April 7 incident, which was initially blamed on Free Papua Movement (OPM) rebels, say Mr Hari Siregar and Mr Daniel Mansawan were run off the road by another vehicle, shot at point-blank range, and then burned beyond recognition. Detachment 88 anti-terrorism police, who maintain a semi-permanent presence at Freeport's Grasberg copper and gold mine, are understood to have traced a soldier through one of the victim's mobile phones, which had dropped off the network at the time of the murder but was detected after being reactivated earlier this month. The soldier's calls were then monitored, and at least one other soldier is under suspicion for a crime that appears to stem from an internal dispute but may well have wider implications. While the police took over security for the mine in 2004, military units still play a role in guarding its outer perimeter. Both benefit from a US$100 million (S$124 million) a year illegal gold-mining operation that has grown up around the mine waste.


HIV/AID spreading to the kampungs

JUBI, 10 June 2011
A member of the Commission to Combat AIDS (KPA) for the district of Merauke has warned that HIV/AIDS has now spread to the kampungs, which is evident from the number of sufferers now being recorded. He said that the disease had now become dominant among housewives and people living in the countryside. Stef Labwoer, deputy chair of the commission, said that it was essential to provide guidance to people in the kampungs to exercise restraint, that is to say, to avoid entering into intimate relationships with anyone. This can only lead to the spread of the disease to the person's next partner.
He also said that the commission is distributing condoms monthly to anyone who needs them. Over the past three months, he said that some thirty thousand condoms had been distributed in the district of Merauke. Sometimes as many as twelve thousand condoms were distributed within a single month. 'We dont hand them round to individuals. We have certain places where we deposit the condoms and it is for those at these places to further handle the matter. While we dont get involved at that level, it is clear that anyone who wants a condom will be able to get one.' (from tapol)


Merauke estate ‘may threaten’ local stocks, livelihoods
Elly Burhaini Faizal, The Jakarta Post, 06/13/2011
The food estate policy that has encouraged foreign investment in agriculture may not prevent potential food crises, activists say. Mohamad Teguh Surya, head of the international affairs and climate justice department at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said the government’s idea to establish the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) under the policy would not end food crises because it disregarded rights of indigenous people on their land and resources needed to cope with their livelihoods. “We can achieve food security by allocating more resources for small local food producers instead of giving generous approvals on food production to private entities,” Teguh told journalists during a Walhi discussion on food security. Food estate policy has been the government’s key program in securing local food stocks amid the growing uncertainty over global supply.
The idea of the MIFEE program was started when Merauke Regent John Gluba Gebze initiated the establishment of the Merauke Integrated Rice Estate (MIRE) in 2007 after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited and made an appeal to make Merauke a national rice barn. The program allows up to 49 percent foreign investment in local plantations but has no requirement of securing a certain amount of crops for local needs.
Teguh said that instead of empowering small local food producers, the MIFEE project initiated by the government has ignored the rights of local people and their own local food patterns. “Thousands of hectares of forests rich in sago and other staple foods have been chopped down for the project and replaced by industrial plants, such as oil palm, or foods such as rice and corn for commercial purposes,” said Teguh. As of February, the Merauke regency Regional Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD) recorded that 46 companies already have licenses needed to develop agricultural businesses in the MIFEE project, such as oil palm, sugarcane, corn and other staple foods, as well as fisheries. Yohannes Petrus Kamarka, a member of Malind tribe in Merauke, said that few approaches had been made by the government to introduce its plans concerning the Merauke food estate to local people. “We have had only several short meetings with officials from the district office telling us that the project is important for the sake of our prosperity,” Kamarka told The Jakarta Post.
Kamarka said for local communities in Merauke, it seems that little prosperity will soon emerge with the existence of a food estate in their areas because it will occupy thousands of hectares of forestland.
“We really depend upon on resources in forests and wetlands for our livelihoods, but they will soon diminish as the project begins operations,” he said, adding that vast exploitation of forests areas might also destroy a wide range of biodiversity in Merauke.
The MIFEE program is projected to be located on about 2.5 million hectares of area, comprising 1.9 million hectares of wetlands and 0.6 million hectares of dry land.

For the sake of unity Papuans want only one Assembly

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura |06/18/2011
Papuan people want only one People’s Assembly (MRP) for the entirety of native Papuan land because they fear that separate MRPs will lead to disparity in policy and decision making with regard to the protection of the basic rights of indigenous Papuans, a local community figure said. Speaking in response to the installation of West Papua MRP chairman, MRP member Yoram Wambrauw, who represents the MRP’s customary faction, said Friday that the Assembly had the task of making sure that the indigenous Papuans remained in existence and would not become extinct in the region. West Papua Governor Abraham O. Atururi swore in new board members of the province’s MRP on Wednesday amid criticism that it violated a consensus that there should be only one MRP in Papua. The swearing-in ceremony, which was held a week after the election of board members in Manokwari, was attended by 11 of the 33 MRP members elected from West Papua province. The 33 West Papua MRP members were inaugurated by Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi in April together with 40 members elected from the province of Papua.
“That has been our philosophy regarding why Papuans want only one MRP, even though new provinces will be established in the region in the future,” said Yoram, who is still also acting speaker of the MRP as elected Assembly board members have yet to be been sworn in. He said that if each of the provinces in Papua had its own MRP and each MRP had different policies regarding the protection of indigenous Papuans’ rights, it would lead to neglect of development focused on Papuans. “If this is the case (the establishment of another MRP) violates the spirit of Papuan special autonomy, as it does not generate social benefits, which means that the autonomy cannot solve issues and will instead create new social problems,” Yoram said. Yoram went on to say that the issue is also related to the “One for Two and Two but One” philosophy mentioned by Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu on Feb. 20, 2007 during a meeting with the West Papua governor on Mansinam Island, Manokwari, West Papua. “This means that culturally, naturally and customarily the greater Papuan tribe is one, but administratively is two: Papua and West Papua provinces,” he said quoting Barnabas’s statement regarding the motto. Papua councilor Julius Miagoni expressed concern that the establishment a West Papua MRP could lead to horizontal conflict between Papuans, especially because of the reported consensus that there should be only one MRP in Papua. “The Home Affairs Minister has to stop the MRP activities in West Papua because he acknowledges that the consensus is there,” Julius told reporters in Jayapura, on Friday.
Institute for Civil Strengthening (ICS) Papua director Budi Setyanto saw interests in Jakarta intending to split the unity of Papuans by establishing a MRP in West Papua.

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