Wednesday, June 13, 2012

1) President, TNI Commander Admit Soldiers’ Overreaction in Papua

1) President, TNI Commander Admit Soldiers’ Overreaction in Papua
2) Yudhoyono asks minister to investigate Papua problems
3) Tensions fuel clashes in Indonesia's Papua
4) Violence in Papua: Christian-Muslim activists denounce Jakarta's inertia
5) OPM deny responsibility for recent shootings
6) Environmental organisation intends to work in Papua
7) Time to End Papua’s Security Problems
8)  Minister says there are no political detainees in Papua

 1) President, TNI Commander Admit Soldiers’ Overreaction in Papua
Arientha Primanita | June 13, 2012
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono admitted on Tuesday that security officers had overreacted with their handling of the security situation in Papua, where violence has escalated for the past couple of weeks.

“Security officers with the TNI [Indonesian Military] and the National Police have been deemed over reactive in their responses to activities committed by certain elements, such as the killings of citizens and TNI soldiers stationed in the region,” Yudhoyono said on Tuesday while opening a Cabinet meeting on the recent security situation in Papua.

Yudhoyono stopped short of further explaining the statement, but TNI commander Admiral Agus Suhartono made a similar confession after the meeting.

Agus referred to the alleged attack of a village in Wamena, Papua, by a group of TNI soldiers, reportedly in retaliation for the killing of a fellow soldier by an angry mob after he and another soldier, critically wounded, almost hit a child while riding a motorcycle through the village.

“We should take lessons from this situation. They [TNI soldiers] shouldn’t have overreacted. But we must also understand the emotional states of the soldiers,” Agus told reporters after the Cabinet meeting at the presidential office.

“We don’t want other overreactions by the TNI there because we don’t want any human rights abuses,” he added.

Agus said the TNI had made an agreement with residents of Honai Lama village to build tents as temporary shelters for some villagers who lost their houses, reportedly burned down by TNI soldiers.

“We’ve also agreed to question TNI members that overreacted, and have agreed that police should at the same time investigate murders of TNI soldiers. Investigations must run both ways,” he said.

Besides the Wamena village attack on June 7, at least seven shootings, some of them fatal, have been reported in the Papuan capital of Jayapura. A German tourist was shot and wounded on May 29. In the latest case a security guard at the Cenderawasih University campus was killed.

No one has been arrested for the attacks. State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Marciano Norman has accused the Free Papua Movement (OPM) of being behind the Jayapura shootings, but the OPM has denied any responsibility.

Yudhoyono has ordered a thorough investigation into the incidents and said he would dispatch the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Djoko Suyanto, to Papua to monitor the situation.

2) Yudhoyono asks minister to investigate Papua problems
Tue, June 12 2012 18:57 | 318 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked chief security minister Djoko Suyanto to examine the cause of problems in Papua that have led to a number of violent acts in the region recently.

"Before leaving, I hope you could make efforts to overcome the problems in Papua. Study them to see if there are political or social aspects involved, which later affect security and local aspects. If we could find the cause of the problem, it would be easier to find its solution," he said, before holding a limited cabinet meeting on security and political affairs here on Tuesday.

President Yudhoyono expressed hope the planned visit of Djoko and other ministers to Papua would result in a solution to the problems in the violence-ravaged area, where a number of civilians were killed recently in a shooting incident.
"While you are there, you must also give a proper explanation to the international media," he said.

President Yudhoyono stated the government had decided to take a welfare approach in order to settle the problems in the easternmost province.

With regard to cases linked to separatism, he said, they were against the law and would be dealt with as per the law. Yudhoyono added the law of the country also applied to Papua and there was no discrimination involved.

"The law and security must be upheld for the sake of the people and its enforcement must be carried out based on the existing law. Papua is a legitimate part of our sovereign country and, therefore, the law that we make also applies there," he said.

President Yudhoyono noted separatist activities violated the law and would be dealt with legally. Speaking about armed separatist members who broke the law by conducting violence and causing deaths, he said: "We must not condone them. I believe death-causing acts are not part of the freedom of speech. That is a violation of the law and the law must be enforced."

"We must be firm and be able to differentiate between human rights and non-human rights issues. Everything that we do, as I have always said, must also be accountable. Inform the public through the media about what we have actually done so that local people and even the world community would know the real problem," President Yudhoyono added. He said although the security disruptions in Papua could be categorized as small-scale incidents, the government would not ignore the loss of lives and take action immediately.

The cabinet meeting was attended by coordinating minister for security, law and political affairs Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for people`s welfare Agung Laksono, coordinating minister for economic affairs Hatta Rajasa, minister of justice and human rights Amir Syamsuddin, minister/state secretary Sudi Silalahi, cabinet secretary Dipo Alam, defense forces commander Admiral Agus Suhartono and national police chief General Timur Pradopo.

A number of shooting incidents have occurred in several locations in Papua in the past few months, with the latest one recorded on June 6 at the Cenderawasih University compound.
Editor: Suryanto


Al Jazeera's
3) Tensions fuel clashes in Indonesia's Papua

Tensions have sparked violence in the Indonesian province of Papua after the
United Nations criticised Jakarta's human rights record there.
A series of attacks in the country's eastern province have left 16 people dead and Papuans and the Indonesian military are blaming each other for the ongoing unrest.
While Papuans are calling for an international investigation, the government insists the problem must be solved locally.
Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta.
» 06/13/2012 10:45

4) Violence in Papua: Christian-Muslim activists denounce Jakarta's inertia
Mathias Hariyadi
In the last two weeks eight confirmed dead, while the guilty go unpunished. The Bishop of Jayapura hosts an interfaith meeting, to restore peace in the province. Muslim activist: need to promote love and tolerance, but better to "stay home". Authorities and separatist leader trade accusationss.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - After days of silence, dozens of Catholic and Protestant religious leaders in Papua, along with fellow Muslims, have denounced the inaction of the central government in Jakarta, unable so far to stem the tide of violence in the province. In the last two weeks alone, clashes and ambushes have killed at least eight people, but the toll is still provisional. Known as "Dutch New Guinea" in the days of colonialism, Indonesian Papua is a resource rich region, but is still underdeveloped and poor compared to the rest of the archipelago. The regioni s also plauged by tensions - which leads to violence - between the authorities related to the central government and movements claiming an ever greater territorial self-government.
The Islamic-Christian activists gathered in the offices of the Diocese of Jayapura on June 10 last year and, after the meeting, they decided to take a firm stand against the perpetrators - so far unpunished - of violence. The closed door meeting was also attended by the local bishop, Mgr. Leo Laba Ladjar, also "concerned" about the escalation of fatal accidents. The leaders of the interfaith committee also encouraged the promotion of a culture of love and respect among the different ethnic groups that characterize the province of Papua.

Other attendees included Pastor Albert Yoku, head of the synod of the churches in Indonesia, the Rev. Lipiyus Binilux, the Reverend Herman Saud and other Muslim leaders, including Abdul Dudung Koha, Jayapura section of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) . Basimo, a local Muslim leader, spoke to  AsiaNews of the need to "nurture a culture of love and tolerance" but also warns that "it is better not to go out at night, unless absolutely necessary " until that the situation will improves.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian intelligence chief, General Norman Marciano, points the finger at the "separatist groups", he claims are leading of the wave of violence in Papua in recent weeks. Among these there is also the armed independence movement for a Free Papua (OPM). However, the group leader Lambert Pekikir rejects these accusations and claims that he does not know anything about "alleged shootings." The tension is likely to rise in the coming weeks, the anniversary of July 1, when OPM celebrates their founding.

In 2001 the authorities in Jakarta granted a "special autonomy" for the province, but its practical application has never materialized and the indigenous people continue to report "unfair treatment". The area was the scene of a violent military campaign in the days of Sukarno, who led the annexation in 1969 by exploiting a United Nations Interim Directive. The iron fist used by the Suharto regime between 1967 and 1998 and the massive invasion of foreign multinationals and companies in Indonesia have encouraged the emergence of a separatist movement. The current name of Papua was sanctioned in 2002 by former president Abdurrahman Wahid.
5) OPM deny responsibility for recent shootings
from tapol
JUBI, 12 June 2012

The leader of one of the OPM group which is based along the border with PNG insists that the OPM is not responsible for the series of terror shootings that have occurred around Jayapura recently.

The OPM leader, Lambert Pekikir, said that the Indonesian government is always trying to demonize the OPM  He said that they (the OPM) are well aware of the recent spate  of shootings since shots were fired at a German visitor some weeks ago, having read all about it in the local media. 'Like others, we too are very confused with these developments.' He said: 'We have written to the govrnment and to all relevant governmental institutions that we are not responsible for these acts of terror.'

He said the OPM as making preparations to fly the Morning Star flag on 1 July this year to mark the organisation's anniversary but this is in no way connected with any acts of terror. 'Such actions are simply not on our agenda,' he said.

The NGO, ELSHAM-Papua said that these acts of terror  are part of a project by the government to stigmatize indigenous Papuans as being people who are spreading anarchy  and willing to murder anyone.

He drew attention to the fact that the latest series of shootings have occurred at a time when the international community is showing greater attention to the violations of human rights in Papua. He pointed to the fact that the targets of these latest shootings  were all foreigners or immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia.'There is no reason to believe that the military wing of the OPM - the TPN-OPM - would have the slightest reason to shoot ojek drivers  or schoolchildren.

Ferdinand said that  the authorities want to convince the international community that the TPN-OPM want to kill immigrants. They have made it clear that they are waging their struggle peacefully and will not allow themselves to pursue the path of violence.

'We once again call on the  police to thoroughly investigate these acts of terror and reveal who it is who is behind them so as to put an end to these attempts to demonize the Papuan people.'

[Translated by  TAPOL]

 6) Environmental organisation intends to work in Papua
JUBI, 12 June, 2012

The environmental organisation WALHi has announced that it intends to start working in Papua in order to focus on the environmental problems there.

WALHi's executive-director Abetnego Tarigan told a press conference in Abepura, Papua that actually WALHi is quite well-known in Papua and has been operating there since 2008 but it had to abandon its work there for administrative and technical reasons.

As from 2014, it intends to operate in Papua. He said that  WALHi's regional branch along with WALHi nationally  intends to function in Papua to develop  a more dynamic environmentalist movement there .

'We will be working with local organisations in the territory which have agreed with the criteria set by WALHi.'

He went on to say that  his organisation is very concerned about environmental problems in Papua, and these concerns are not unconnected with the exploitation of natural resources which are taking place on a huge scale. 'There are many of managerial problems as well, such as the disposal of waste.'

But he went on to say that the problems in Papua are huge. 'There are many threats to the ecology and to people's livelihoods. Many companies are involved in huge operations and these operations are a matter of many discussions.

In the 1990s, WALHi took Freeport (the copper and gold miners) in Timika to court in connection with problems connection with the disposal of  'tailings' which have a very significant impact on the environment, so the organisation has a long history of involvement in Papua. 'Local NGOs in the territory have expressed their support for WALHi's intentions with regard to Papua.'

WALHi operates in all 27 provinces in Indonesia and since 1980, the organisation has worked on the basis of democratic principles.

[Translated by TAPOL]


 7) Time to End Papua’s Security Problems
Wednesday, 13 June, 2012 | 14:47 WIB
TEMPO InteractiveJakarta:A recent string of shooting incidents points to a serious security problem in Papua, but the root of the problem is more complex than a group of people trying to gain independence from the Indonesian government. 

Other factors such as dissatisfaction with the distribution of profits from Papua’s natural resources, resentment toward the government, efforts to internationalize the conflict and local politics related to regional elections also play a role.

Such complexities have rendered the government ‘helpless’ to overcome the multitude of challenges in the region.
The most recent shooting incident in Jayapura and Wamena claimed the lives of two civilians and 43 people have died in shooting incidents since 2009, including security officers.

The government should immediately take action. Violence not only claims lives, it disrupts the daily activities of the local people and government. As a result of the recent shootings, economic activities have been crippled. Stores and markets in Jayapura and Abepura have been forced to close early. Prior to that, regional head elections were already suspended due to riots in Tolikora regency.

Eradicating acts of terror is not an easy task.
The police are concerned because perpetrators mingle with civilians. The police also often hesitate to take action because they fear being accused of committing human rights violations. If necessary, the central government should dispatch a counter-terror team to curb the violence. Arresting perpetrators has nothing to do with human rights violations and therefore the police should not hesitate in applying austere measures. Only through firm actions can peace and civil order be restored.

8)  Minister says there are no political detainees in Papua
Margareth S. Aritonang, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 06/13/2012 4:03 PM
Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsudin said Wednesday that the Indonesian government had never detained any Papuans, as well as other citizens elsewhere, without clear and honest legal procedures.
"We have never detained anybody for expressing his/her freedom of speech as has been accused by some parties,” he said.

He continued that the people, who had been under detention, including those in Papua, were those who had obviously violated Indonesia's laws.
“Therefore, it's misleading to address them as political detainees," Amir told reporters on the sidelines of a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing law and human rights.
The minister’s was responding to lawmakers’ questions on the escalating violence in Papua and human rights violations against several Papuans, including Filep Karma, who some claim has been imprisoned solely for his political beliefs.
Papuan activist Filep Karma is currently serving a 15-year in prison for promoting separatism.

He was first detained in 1998, when he led a ceremony to raise the Rising Star flag in Biak, Papua. Karma's case was in the spotlight during the United Nations Human Right’s quadrennial Universal Periodic Review last month. Some countries, such as Germany, asked the Indonesian government to release Filep and other Papuans detained for political reasons, saying they had the right to peaceful assembly and association.

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