Friday, June 29, 2012

1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua

1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua
2) Govt acknowledgement of past crimes crucial for peaceful Papua
3) Members of Papua Independence Group to Turn Themselves In as Proof of Innocence
4) 'The National Police are getting worse': watchdog
1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Fri, 06/29/2012 9:56 AM
Issues on Papua — and its sister West Papua — have always drawn the interest of both domestic and international communities. Both regions are as attractive as the country’s capital Jakarta and resort island of Bali.

While Jakarta is the center of gravity for politics and the economy of the country and Bali remains a magnet for foreign tourists, the provinces of Papua and West Papua are rich in natural resources and beauty — many of which have yet to be explored or tapped. It is the two regions’ natural resources and beauty, as well as the political sensitivities of their history, that have made these regions sexy and hotly debated subjects.

As the police continue to investigate and pursue suspects in a series of shooting incidents that wracked both Papua and West Papua provinces in the last few months, and as separatism remains a thorny issue, proposals calling for the establishment of four new provinces, from the existing two provinces, are yet another test of the Jakarta-initiated “Special Autonomy Status” in both provinces.

Three regions in Papua and one in West Papua are looking to become new provinces in the hope of reversing sluggish development under former and current administrations. The petitioners have urged the Papuan Consultative Assembly (MRP) to issue a recommendation approving their formation.

The four proposed provinces are named South Papua, Central Papua, Teluk Cendrawasih (currently part of Papua province) and Northwest Papua (currently part of West Papua province), each comprising several regencies and municipalities.

Since the introduction of regional autonomy over a decade ago, Indonesia has seen the formation of 205 new autonomous regions — seven provinces, 164 regencies and 34 municipalities. In total, the country now has 529 autonomous regions: 33 provinces, 398 regencies and 98 municipalities. 

The government declared a moratorium in 2009 against the formation of new regions in light of the fact that the new regions were largely under-performing in four areas: Good governance, public services, competitiveness and social welfare. Still, proposals for additional regions have continued to be put forward and the House of Representatives agreed on bills for the creation of 19 new regions (one province and 18 regencies) in April.

Aspirants do have legitimate grounds in pursuing the creation of the new provinces, citing gaps in public service delivery. Many people at the grassroots level claim to still be waiting to benefit from the special autonomy status granted to both Papua and West Papua provinces.

But, their proposals were no less controversial, as they apparently neglect the principles of efficiency and appropriateness. According to 2010 data, the population of Papua stood at 2,833,381 with West Papua at 760,422. Both are relatively densely populated regions. Establishing new provinces — and regencies — will only lessen the size of each province and regency, and trigger serious problems in the availability of infrastructure and skilled manpower to fill new governmental posts in each new provincial and regency administration. These limitations exclude considerations of the financial capacity of both the local and central governments to support the whole process until the new provinces and regencies are financially and institutionally capable of standing on their own two feet.

Their proposals also come at a bad time. Although the country has booked significant economic growth in the past few years, its economy is not completely immune to the potential impacts of international economic or financial crisis.

It is indeed within their rights to demand the establishment of new provinces and regencies, but the final decision on whether to endorse their proposals should also consider the overall impact on the country’s financial condition and development programs.
2) Govt acknowledgement of past crimes crucial for peaceful Papua
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, 06/29/2012 3:43 PM
The cycle of violence in Papua has deep roots back in the earliest days of Indonesia’s history as a nation.
The victims and witnesses of human rights abuses still feel the grief today.
In a joint report released on Friday, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM-Papua) reviewed Papua’s recent history, including the 2001 Papua Special Autonomy Law governing the relationship between the province and Indonesia, within a transitional justice framework.

“Even as we were conducting this research, new outbreaks of violence and cases of gross human rights violations continued to take place,” ELSHAM director Ferry Marisan said in a joint press statement.
“We interviewed more than 100 victims, many of whom have profound feelings of distrust, deeply rooted in the past and direct experiences of human rights abuses today. Official acknowledgement of this violent past is a prerequisite to building peace in Papua.”
The NGOs said reconciliation would remain elusive unless these grievances were recognized and addressed in a practical way through a transitional justice strategy.
Such a strategy, they said, should include truth-seeking, criminal accountability, reparations, institutional reform to prevent recurrence of human rights violations, and a focus on the rights of indigenous women.
“We are at risk of repeating the past through using force to deal with unrest, instead of opening a process of genuine dialogue. The first step is acknowledgment,” said New York-based ICTJ senior associate Galuh Wandita.(mtq)


3) Members of Papua Independence Group to Turn Themselves In as Proof of Innocence
Banjir Ambarita | June 29, 2012
Jayapura. A person claiming to speak for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) says members of the pro-independence group will soon surrender themselves to Indonesian authorities as proof of their innocence in relation to the series of shootings that have rocked Jayapura in recent weeks.

Victor Yeimo, who said he was the KNPB spokesman for international affairs, said the organization was not responsible for the attacks, which have killed at least eight people, mostly civilians.

Mako Tabuni, the deputy chairman of the KNPB, was shot dead on June 14 during a police raid to find those responsible for the attacks. He was accused of being one of the perpetrators. 

A riot erupted in Jayapura the same day, soon after his death, in protest of the shooting.

The KNPB and Indonesian rights organizations alike have slammed Mako’s killing. Indonesian authorities have defended it, saying Mako tried to resist arrest and grab a gun belonging to a police officer.

By surrendering themselves to police, Victor said the KNPB hopes authorities will no longer find a reason to scapegoat its members.

“Police must investigate the mysterious shooters that have been doing all those actions instead of continually accusing the KNPB of being behind all of them. As proof of our non-involvement, all of the members of the KNPB are ready to turn ourselves in to the [Papua] Police,” Victor said in Jayapura on Thursday.

He alleged that a massive conspiracy was behind the shootings and subsequent KNPB scapegoating, accusing the central government of playing a major role, supported by the police and military.

“The police have accused the KNPB of being the perpetrator behind the series of shootings, but they can never legally prove the accusation.

The KNPB, in our fight, never exercises a method of violence.

“If we used violence, then it is a setback to our fight,” Victor said, adding that if any KNPB member committed a violent act, they did so on an individual basis and not on behalf of the organization.

He did not mention exactly when the KNPB members would turn themselves in to the Papua Police, only saying it would be in the “near future.”

4) 'The National Police are getting worse': watchdog
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, 06/29/2012 3:15 PM

Neta S. Pane: Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman. (
Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) released on Friday a sobering report on the state of the National Police, just days away from its 66th anniversary, which falls on July 1.
The report showed that police behavior and accountability has been on a general decline over the past three years.

For instance, IPW reports an increasing number of police personnel dismissals, which it says is a reflection of worsening police behavior.
IPW says that 429 police were dismissed in 2009. This number decreased to 294 in 2010 but jumped even higher in 2011 to 474.
"There have been 12,987 police personnel who have violated National Police code of conduct in 2012 thus far. However, we'll have to wait until December to find out how many of these violators will be dismissed," IPW chairman Neta S. Pane said on Friday, as quoted by
Neta said that some of the key problems of police conduct included the use of torture and intimidation by police personnel when dealing with issues.
Then there were also instances of violence including shootings and excessive force. In 2011, IPW says that police shot 97 innocent civilians. Of these, 19 were killed.
So far in 2012, there have been 18 cases of police brutality involving 34 of its officers. Eight of these cases were related to the misuse of weapons. Ten were torture cases.

Neta says that bad behavior on the part of the police has the effect of making people more violent and combative.
For instance, IPW reports that 65 police stations were vandalized and burned down in 2011, whereas 2010 saw only 20 reports of such incidences.
In the first five months of 2012, IPW said that 28 police officers had been attacked.
If this trend of public-police conflicts were to continue, IPW says that the two sides could end up becoming sworn enemies.
"All of this has to be stopped. The National Police elite and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government have to care about this grave situation," Neta said.
In order to help improve the police's image, IPW said that the National Police leadership should fire its deviant officers.
"The National Police elite have to realize that now is not the time to blindly protect those among their ranks who are deviant. These deviants have to be fired," Neta said.

The reason why these violations of police standards occur, the IPW said, was because of the low level of awareness among those at the top of the police hierarchy of the situations facing those on the ground.
Adding to the problem was the National Police's swelling bureaucracy, which IPW notes includes 261 generals.
What results is a lack of enforcement of internal controls, so that rule-breaking personnel do as they please and avoid the punishments that the IPW says they deserve.

On this point, the IPW pointed to an example in June where North Sumatra Police did urine samples of their ranks and found that 114 of their personnel had used drugs. However, these police weren't punished, but rather were quarantined.
"If the police discovered a civilian in that kind of scenario, the civilian would definitely have been firmly processed. This shows how the National Police is still discriminatory," Neta said.
"The government, the House of Representatives and the public have to build external watchdog institutions that prevent bad behavior in the police and help guide them along the path of reform.
"What is really needed to maximize the police's work performance is to strengthen the system of oversight and to better coordinate police personnel in the field," he said. (png)

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