Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1) Flag-flying across West Papua planned for 1 July; Police are ready to respond

1) Flag-flying across West Papua planned  for 1 July; Police are ready to respond
2) Ecumenical groups address issues in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
3) Churches Report on acts of violence in May and June 2012. Part I
4) Local leaders want to divide Papua to save it

1) Flag-flying across West Papua planned  for 1 July; Police are ready to respond
Bintang Papua, 26 June 2012

The OPM has announced that it intends to fly the Morning Star flag on July 1, the anniversary of the creation of the TPN, the military wing of the OPM. The flag flying across the territory of West Papua will be accompanied by a fireworks display.

The announcement was made by Lambert Pekikir, general coordinator of  the TPN/OPM from his base, Victoria, on the border between West Papua and PNG. He said that troops of the TPN are preparing themselves for the flag-flying which will continue from 1 - 3 July. The OPM will also read out a statement which says among other things that the UN must accept responsibility for all the violations that have occurred in West Papua.

He also said that civilians throughout the territory, Papuans as well as non-Papuans,  are advised to stay at home so as to avoid any unnecessary things from happening.

In response to the flag-flying plans, the police force in Papua have announced that they are making preparations for this,  and will do everything possible to ensure that no Morning Star flags are flown. A spokesman said that Papuans should not play round with the flag, like children flying kites. The police say that they will take the persuasive approach  and have no intention of using firearms in anticipation of the flag-flying. Police spokesman, AKBP Yohannes Nugroho Wicaksono, appealed to those groups who intend to flag the flag not to do so.

The police chief has issued an order for no flags to be flown but if any flags are nevertheless flown, they will be pulled down without the use of violence. He also said that in advance of 1 July,  there will be sweepings  [of people's homes] and patrols by the police will be intensified.
[Translated by TAPOL

2) Ecumenical groups address issues in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea

ENInews Staff 
26 June 2012

(ENInews). Two ecumenical groups -- the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) -- respectively highlighted initiatives in the Tanah Papua area of Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea, which shares the Pacific island of New Guinea. 

The WCC addressed the ongoing human rights crisis as the Papuan people seek greater self-determination and WACC said it is supporting a communications project to benefit villagers seeking to protect their river environment from mining activities. 

In Tanah Papua, WCC General Secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit said that "we urge an end to the ongoing violence and impunity. We support the call for social and economic justice through serious dialogue and a concrete political process that seeks to address root causes of the present problems." 

The Papuan people have been demanding freedom of expression and the right to self-determination, but their demands have been suppressed by Indonesian authorities, sometimes violently. During his visit to Tanah Papua from 17 to 20 June, Tveit met with Indonesian and Papuan church leaders, according to a WCC news release. 

Tanah Papua has a prominent Christian presence, with more than 45 diverse denominations. The province has remained the focus of tensions between the authorities and the Papuan people. In February, the WCC's Executive Committee expressed concern over continuing violence and urged a peaceful resolution. 

"The Indonesian government must consider the realities of Papuan people and ensure a secure future for them," said Tveit. While in Tanah Papua, Tveit visited several churches including WCC member church the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua, Protestant Church in Indonesia, Evangelical Church in Indonesia, Baptist Church in Papua, Christian Church of Holy Word and the Christian Missionary Alliance. 

Tveit also met with government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, independent movements and interfaith networks for updates on the Papuan situation. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI). CCI General Chairman the Rev. A. A. Yewangoe noted that the "cultural and ethnic identity" of the Papuan people needs to be appreciated in addition to the socio-political situation. 

The Toronto-based WACC announced in late June that it is involved in a project in Papua New Guinea that will help villagers along the Sepik River identify communications tools as they assess the effect of a nearby copper-gold mine on their environment. 

The project, which includes a campaign on, is intended to help indigenous people living in 50 small villages who "have been fighting to have their voices heard by the government and the management of a new mine," according to a WACC news release. 

The mine is a joint venture with the Switzerland-based mining company Xstrata plc (which owns an 81.8 per cent share), Highlands Frieda Ltd. and OMRD Frieda Co. Ltd. 

WACC said the villagers rely heavily on the Sepik River for water, food and transportation and they are worried about sedimentation of the water and heavy metal pollution from mining operations. 

The Sepik Wetlands Management Initiative (SWMI), a local wetlands management and community development organization, found an increase in silt in the river after test drilling, WACC reported. "The people anticipate environmental, social and cultural disruptions," said Jerry Wana, chairman of SWMI, according to WACC. 

"Communities need to be able to communicate their concerns and voice them to the rest of the world," said the Rev. Akuila Yabaki, President of WACC Pacific. 

Yabaki said that marginalized groups, like the villagers in Middle Sepik River, benefit from learning strategies to communicate the impacts of such mining projects with stakeholders such as the government and mining companies. He said that by learning about communication rights, communities in the Pacific can collaborate with partners across the globe facing the same issues. 

WACC's General Secretary, the Rev. Karin Achtelstetter, said the project merits support because "these villagers face issues that are not uncommon in other countries in the Pacific and across the globe."

From Tapol
3) Churches Report on acts of violence in May and June 2012. Part I
[First section only of a nine-page report]

Violence, shootings and incidents by OTK (unknown persons) have become a daily event in Papua during the past three weeks. So-called petrus (mysterious killings) continue to occur, while the perpetrators have been identified in only a few of the cases. The following chronological reports  are about incidents that occurred in May-June 2012 with analysis by the KPKC, the Catholic Pedagogy and Catechism Centre.

A.    Mysterious shooting incidents and Violence against the civilian population during May.

1.    15 May shooting in Degeuwo.

       At 5.30 am, Selpius Kegepe, Lukas Tobeeta, Amos Kegepe and Yulianus Wagepa left the G 99  location for Location 45, for a game of billiards. Melkianus Kegepe followed they went on their journey to Location 45, Degeuwo.

       At 6am they arrived at the billiards hall where they met a woman called Ibu Ona. They told her that they wanted to play a game of billiards and asked her for some balls. She said she couldn't give them the balls until they had paid. The men said that they would pay later, but she refused to give them any balls. The men then went to a cupboard where the balls were kept, took out some balls and began to play. Melianus Kegepe arrived  later and stood by the door. At this point, Ibu Ona phoned the commander of the Brimob post at Kilo 99, not far from Kilo 45 location.. As they were playing billiards, Ibu Ona turned  off  the lights, so that they were playing billiards in the dark. The men asked her why she had turned  off the lights, when they had said that they would be paying.. As they were arguing, some Brimob troops appeared.

The commander of the troops arrived and went straight to the billiards hall. One of them  pulled out a pistol and shot Melianus Kegepe, chief of the Muda Clan.,in the side, with the bullet coming out on the other side. He died on the spot, as he was standing by the door of the billiard hall. The Brimob troops then started shooting the four youths in the hall, and hit Amos Kegepe. The first two shots seriously injured his left leg while the third shot hit him in the calf of his right leg. He was rushed to Nabire hopsital. Yulianus was shot in the back and the bullet is still in his body. Selpius  Kegepe was hit in three places, in the right arm and then  in the chest and then hit  in the right waist. Lukas Tobeta  was shot in the stomach and was rushed to hospital.

The victims:

Melianus Kegepe, was 23 years old, Protestant, with two wives. He died instantaneously, standing by the door of the billiard hall.

Four men were seriously injured.
Selvius Kegepe, 22 years, Protestant, bachelor. Leg seriously injured. Hit in three places of his body, and is now in Nabire Hospital.
Amos  Kegepe, 22 years, Protestant, bachelor, shot twice, hit in the waist. Is now in hospital.
Lukas Kegepe, 20 years, Protestant, bachelor, shot in the stomach.
Yulianus Wagepa, 24 years, Protestant, bachelor, hit in the back, with the bullet stll n his body.


All the gold panning areas in Paniai and Nabire  is located on land occupied by traditional tribes but exploitation of the gold  is controlled by outsiders having paid a pittance for the land and in some cases, having paid nothing at all because the land is under the control of the security forces as a result of which the newcomers set up businesses and get involved in panning the gold, while being obliged to pay the security forces for their security.

As for Ibu Ona, she has opened the billiards hall under the protection of the security forces which can only be used by newcomers. She seems to have been
involved in business for a long time in Degeuwo. The young people there know her well and call her kakak (older sister). The youngsters who come there to play became the victims of shooting  by  the security forces, who adopt an uncompromising  attitude towards the local inhabitants, and dont even show any respect for the clan chief, the owner of the land where they must grow food for their upkeep.

These things happen in Degeuwo, killings and shootings of the local people, whose land is controlled by the newcomers.None of these cases in Degeuwo has ever been .solved. All that has happened is rotations of the personnel who are responsible for all the violence.

[Translated by TAPOL]
4) Local leaders want to divide Papua to save it
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Wed, 06/27/2012 6:58 AM

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.

“We have received four proposals to form new provinces in Papua and the MRP has formed a special committee to study the proposals and determine whether or not it is feasible for them to split,” MRP special autonomy committee member Samuel K. Waromi told reporters at his office on Tuesday.

The four proposed provinces are named South Papua, Central Papua, Teluk Cendrawasih (Papua) and North West Papua (West Papua), 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.

The declared moratorium, which is expected to end in December, was also triggered by an ugly conflict over a proposed province in North Sumatra that led to the death of then North Sumatra Legislative Council speaker Azis Angkat in 2008.

Despite the moratorium, 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.

Samuel said people’s desire to create new provinces was due to gaps in public service, so much so that despite special autonomy status being granted to Papua, people at the grassroots level had yet to benefit from the legislation. 

He likened the condition to grass roots becoming so dry that smoke starts to rise from it.


“Will the grass roots be ignored and left to dry and burn? Grass roots need water to survive and nourishment to thrive,” he said.

Earlier, in calling for the establishment of Central Papua province, former Nabire regent AP Youw; former Yapen Waropen regent Philip Wona; former Jayapura naval base commander Dick Henk Webiser; and the former head of the Mimika Legislative Council, Andarias Anggaibak, met interim Papua Governor Syamsul Arief Rivai to request his consent to form Central Papua province.

“We have prepared a draft to form the province of Central Papua and we only have to meet two more conditions: Approval by the governor of Papua as the parent province and approval from the MRP as mandated in the 2001 Law on Special Autonomy,” said Youw.

“We have minerals but we remain poor. So, we want to form Central Papua so that public services will cater to everyone,” Andarias said.

Papua’s caretaker governor said people had the right to express their aspirations but that the ratification for the formation of new provinces were the central government’s authority.

“I can offer no promises in response to their wishes because all decisions belong to the central government,” Syamsul said.


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