Monday, June 11, 2012

Opinion pieces/media articles re recent events in WP

1) Govt urged to begin dialogue in Papua to avoid foreign intervention

2) OPM behind recent shootings in Papua: BIN

3) Indonesia's Intelligence Chief Accuses Papua Separatists of Plotting Recent Attacks

4) Lawmaker: SBY 'the Main Problem' With Solving Papua Conflict

5) Jakarta-Papua dialogue: Between a rock and a hard place

6) Police detain three in Papua

7) Another civilian gunned down in Papua

8) Student Dies in Latest Spate of Shootings Plaguing Papua
11) Imparsial: SBY must take action to stop the terror in Papua
 12) District chief criticises brutal actions by soldiers
13)  Rights activist condemns police for preventing activities  by KNPB

1) Govt urged to begin dialogue in Papua to avoid foreign intervention

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The government has been urged to be more active in beginning an initiative for a peace dialogue for Papua to avoid international intervention.
“The problems in Papua should have not attracted the international community if the government seriously resolved them,” lawmaker TB Hasanuddin of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction said Monday.
The vice chairman of the House of Representative’s Commission I on intelligence, defense and foreign affairs added that foreign roles had been identified in the recent escalating violence in the country’s easternmost province.
“I just had a meeting with a high ranking official who informed me that there were foreign agencies participating in worsening the conflict in Papua. The government has also identified Papuans who were trained [to be involved in conflicts],” Hasanuddin said. He, however, refused to disclose the details.
“Information on the international intervention in Papua is not for the public. However I can assure that the undisclosed violence in the land during the recent United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, has contributed to the escalating violence there,” said Hasanuddin, who represents the West Java IX electoral district consisting of Majalengka, Subang and Sumedang regencies.
Some quarters in Indonesia are suspicious that the US marines deployment in Darwin, Australia, is related to problems in Papua and might serve as an intervention force, an allegation which has been denied by the US.
Commission I chairman, Mahfudz Siddiq, said that people in Papua understood the urgency for a dialogue due to escalating violence there, but were uncertain about what and how the dialogue should be carried.
“We learn that Papuans know very well the importance of dialogue to resolve ongoing violence in Papua, but they don’t have any ideas about the form of the dialogue or parties in charge of the initiative. Therefore, the government must take the initiative because President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed his agreement upon a peaceful dialogue there,” said Mahfudz of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction.
He has recently led a group of Commission I lawmakers to meet and discuss with various groups of people comprising the natives, activists, religious leaders, academics, as well as the government.
Mahduz, representing West Java VIII electoral district of Cirebon and Indramayu regencies and Cirebon mayoralty, described that the streets in Jayapura and Abepura were empty, with not even a single person daring to be out during the evening as the people were haunted by the mysterious shootings.
“During our three-night stay there, we found out that the people were so haunted by the unresolved shootings that they didn’t dare to come out. It is obvious that there is suspicion between the people and members of the police and the military accusing each other as perpetrators,” he said. (nvn)


2) OPM behind recent shootings in Papua: BIN

Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman: The National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief.(

The National Intelligence Agency (BIN) has accused the Free Papua Movement (OPM) of being behind the recent shootings in the country's easternmost province.
BIN chief Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman said Monday that members of the OPM, who he said normally operated in rural areas, had dared to run its armed operations within city limits.
"They want to ensure the public and the government that they exist and are able to take control of the province. They are using the international attention, as well as international reports on the land, to attract empathy from the international community to support their movement," Marciano told reporters on the sidelines of a closed-door meeting with House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs.
Marciano added that BIN had also identified international support for the OPM in terms of moral courage and cash.
"We found out that the OPM is divided in two groups: those who focus on politics and those on running armed operations. Both groups have been in constant contact these days. They have also made contact with colleagues abroad. We are still investigating to search for more details on this," he said.(iwa)

3) Indonesia's Intelligence Chief Accuses Papua Separatists of Plotting Recent Attacks
Ezra Sihite | June 11, 2012
The head of Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency (BIN) said on Monday that the separatist group the Free Papua Organization (OPM) are behind the runaway violence Jayapura. 

"Surely they are members of OPM," Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman said after a meeting at House of Representatives on Monday. "It is a new development that the [OPM] political front in the city and the armed front that fights in the jungle are now combined. So the group that fights in the jungle has moved to the city."

The BIN chief said that a recent string of shootings in Jayapura was part of a bid to attract international attention to the restive province. Separatist groups in Papua are engaged in an ongoing fight for independence with the Indonesian military. The province was officially annexed in 1969.

Mahfudz Siddiq, head of the House Commission I, said the shootings were meant to coincide with the OPM's July 1 anniversary. 

“Police need to put an end to their hesitation and should strengthen their ties with the Indonesian military as people have demanded the police reveal the mastermind behind the violence,” Mahfudz said. 

But the OPM has denied the allegations, explaining that all OPM members have been ordered to stay at the organization's secret headquarters in preparation for the anniversary of the OPM's military win, the National Freedom Troop (TPN). 

“All members have been gathering at our defense headquarters,” Lambert Peukikier, the commander of the TPN office in Keerom, a neighboring district to Jayapura, told on Monday.

At least 13 civilians and 15 members of Indonesian security forces have been killed in Papua in the past 18 months. The violence has intensified in Jayapura where at least seven people have been shot in the last week. 

The latest incident occurred on Sunday when police found a local resident dead in front of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.

An investigation into the spate of violence has found all sides pointing fingers. 

"I'm worry [this] will escalate public's distrust to the law enforcement,” Mahfudz said. “This is bizarre, when talked to the people, [they said] they were suspicious of law enforcement. When we talked to the law enforcement, [they said] the perpetrators were armed civilians.”


4) Lawmaker: SBY 'the Main Problem' With Solving Papua Conflict
Ezra Sihite | June 11, 2012
Amid ongoing attacks in Papua, a lawmaker on Monday called for the president to focus on solving the problem in the restive region.

“As long as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refuses to respond to all of the recommendations, such as starting a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua, the shootings will continue,” lawmaker from House Commission III Eva Kusuma Sundari said. 

“The problem has been identified, possible solutions have been recommended, but the president stays still. The main problem is with the president.”

At least 13 civilians and 15 security officers have been killed in a spate of attacks by unknown gunmen during the past 18 months. The situation was getting worse last week with more people killed.

The latest shooting happened on Sunday night. A Papuan local was found dead in front of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.

Defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said only police should be focusing on solving the problem. The military can only be involved if the cases are related to separatism.

“Intelligence might also be involved, but they should be very careful as Papua is a sensitive case,” Purnomo said on Monday. “There is indeed an internal threat, but the problem is related to the public order so it is the authority of the police. Let them solve it, we are ready to help if needed.”

Regarding Eva’s criticism about Yudhoyono, Purnomo said the government had come up with the right approach by improving the welfare of the Papuan people through the government’s Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B).


5) Jakarta-Papua dialogue: Between a rock and a hard place

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It has been four months since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono convened the second meeting with Papuan church leaders in the Presidential Palace. During the meeting the President gave an order to Vice President Boediono to follow-up the meeting with technical preparations for negotiations. Yet, we have not seen much follow-up.

In parallel to the meeting, two events occurred. The Unit for Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) was inaugurated and led by Lt. Gen. (ret.) Bambang Darmono with promises to speed up delayed development programs under the Special Autonomy package. One of its promises is to promote “constructive communication” between Jakarta and Papua.

The second event was the appointment of Dr. Farid Hussain as the President’s special envoy for peace negotiations with Papua. Farid’s first challenge has been to convince various elements of the government that dialogue is a good idea to end the protracted conflict in Papua before he can begin to engage with different factions of the Papuan leadership. In other words, the idea of dialogue has gone nowhere.

What can we see from the Papuan side? Following the February meeting, the church leaders went back to their work and have been busy with their day-to-day jobs.

This situation reminds us of the aftermath of the so-called national dialogue between then President BJ Habibie and 100 Papua representatives in February 1999.

Welcomed home as heroes, these leaders had to juggle between disseminating the result of the meeting to fellow Papuans and enjoying the small win, while at the same time confronting intimidation from the state security services.

History looks to repeat itself this time around.

Apart from the continuing spate of violence in Papua, which has killed both civilians and security personnel, we have witnessed many things take place in national politics recently.

The fuel subsidy policy remains a thorny issue. An increase in religious violence has met with little effort from the Yudhoyono administration to address it. This is not to mention the controversy around the President’s decision to grant clemency to Schapelle Corby, a convicted Australian drug smuggler.

In such a whirlwind of political saga, the government’s position on Papua-related issues remains reactive and elusive rather than creative and assertive.

For instance, when some MPs from Pacific countries convened a meeting in Canberra last February to declare the creation of Inter Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP), Jakarta panicked. It demanded an explanation from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta as if it were a decision by the Australian government.

When it comes to the idea of Jakarta-Papua dialogue, Jakarta remains divided: An unusual condition for any government. However, among this division at least five positions can be identified.

One argument says “the dialogue is all about Papua not between Jakarta and Papua”. This argument dismisses a bipartisan model that considers Papuans an equal party for Jakarta. As an approach it contradicts the other position, which clearly refers to Aceh’s bipartisan model, which involved international mediation.

Another voice asserts, “Anything but NKRI [Unitary State of Indonesia]” imagining the broadest concession that Indonesia can give, but territorial integrity remains a non-negotiable condition.

Many bureaucrats simply embrace the position of “wait and see”, while some others actively engage in activities to integrate outspoken Papuans into the narrative of the state.

On the Papuan side, the situation is also marked by a plurality of approaches: A natural condition for any community. Here, six positions can be identified. The first argument says, “Dialogue no, referendum yes”. This argument suggests that dialogue with the government is a submission and is hence unacceptable.

Another voice pursues the recognition of Papuan independence premised on the position that Papua gained political independence in 1961 from the Netherlands.

A further argument persistently seeks opportunities to engage with the Indonesian government to hold dialogue.

A similar (yet distinct) approach only wants to deal with the highest level of Indonesian leadership. Just like the government side, so the Papuan side is in a position of “wait and see”, which represents the views of many ordinary Papuans.

Finally, some Papuans have chosen to disengage with anything related to Indonesian representations as they do not have faith in any of them.

How can we reconcile these differences? That is what the whole idea of dialogue is all about. It is meant to address differences in order to achieve compromise. Dialogue certainly will not generate peace and deliver justice overnight but it will certainly create what the British thinker Mary Kaldor terms “an island of civility”.

Such islands are where violence ends and civility begins. It may start with a small violence-free zone as agreed upon by two warring parties that will be expanded to cover more territorial, social and political space.

 This is the renewed call of Catholic priest Neles Tebay, who led the Papua Peace Network to speak with the Yudhoyono government recently.

The NGO clearly does not want to repeat 1999, where the idea of dialogue went nowhere. They are determined to create an island of civility in Papua under the framework of the Papua Land of Peace.

Violence must cease so that Papuans can live with dignity. It is time for the government to translate the promising signals of a peaceful solution for Papua into reality.

The writer, a Franciscan friar, is the former director of the Office for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church in Jayapura, Papua and currently is a PhD scholar at the Regulatory Institutions Network, the Australian National University, Canberra.

6) Police detain three in Papua

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Police in Papua have arrested three people in connection with the escalating violence in the country’s easternmost troubled province.

Deputy chief of the Papua Police, Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, said the three people were now being
detained in two different locations.

“We arrested two people in Abepura on June 7 and detained one in Sentani on June 9,” he told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview on Sunday.

Paulus added that these three were perpetrators in “the recent assaults”, and that the attacks were all connected.

Papua has experienced escalating violence in the past few weeks with 15 people reported as having died.

Last week, two civilians were killed in separate incidents involving Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and police officers.

In the second incident, Teyu Tabuni, 19, was shot dead by police officers in Jayapura on Thursday last week.

Mahfudz Siddiq, chairman of the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs, who had just returned from the commission’s two-day working visit to Papua, said the detained suspects were “members of armed groups in possession of short-barreled weapons”.

“The Papua military commander, the Papua Police deputy chief and intelligence officers all told us [members of Commission I] that armed groups had orchestrated the attacks, as the OPM’s [Free Papua Movement] anniversary, which falls on July 1, was drawing near,” Mahfudz said.

Mahfudz said that although the anniversary fell on July 1, the organization often celebrated the event on Dec. 1.

Last December, hundreds gathered for mass prayers in Sentani, Jayapura regency to observe the 50th anniversary of what they called the freedom of Papua.

Clashes occurred in other parts of the region prior to and during the celebrations.

Mahfudz suspected that the groups had also arranged the attacks to disrupt the President’s planned visit to the province.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono is scheduled to visit Papua on July 3, to join an event organized by the Indonesian Scouts Movement (Pramuka).

During their stay in Papua, Commission I members visited Jayapura and Abepura and held meetings with various religious communities and representatives from local community organizations.

“The situation there is complicated. Locals suspect that the police and the military are behind the incidents. The latter, on the other hand, blame separatists in the region. There are also people who demand Papua’s independence,” he told the Post on Sunday.

Separately, intelligence analyst Wawan Purwanto said that conflicts in Papua had been going on for far too long and that it was time for the government to change its policy toward Papua.

“While the concept of Papua as a region with special autonomy is good, its implementation has so far only been damaging to locals. Now, there are too many conflicting parties in Papua and each has its own interests, be they political or economic,” he said. (tas)


7) Another civilian gunned down in Papua

A- A A Andrew Suripatty
The series of mysterious shootings in Papua has continued, with a motorcycle taxi driver shot dead by his unidentified passenger in the courtyard of Cendrawasih University’s School of Teacher Training on Sunday.
The victim, identified as Tri Surono, was employed elsewhere as a security guard but worked part-time as a motorcycle taxi driver. He hailed from Ngawi, East Java.
After driving his customer to the university, the customer shot Surono twice. Surono died instantly.
Papua Police detective chief Sr. Comr. Wachyono said a team of police personnel had been deployed to pursue the perpetrator. (asa/dic)

8) Student Dies in Latest Spate of Shootings Plaguing Papua
Monday, 11 June, 2012 | 20:54 WIB
TEMPO InteractiveTimika:Another shooting incident occurs in Jayapura. The target this time was a student of the Cenderawasih University in Papua, Sunday, June 10, 2012.

An unidentified man at 21:15 local time attacked a person who was riding a Yamaha DS 3816 AE motorbike. The still unidentified motorcyclist at Cenderawasih campus died from the assault. His body was taken to Abepura hospital.

When shot, the victim happened to be on the courtyard of the Cenderawasih University School of Teachers Training. Papua deputy police chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said Sunday police were still investigating the crime scene.



9) NGO claims Indonesian military deliberately de-stabilising Papua region.
RNZI Posted at 03:22 on 11 June, 2012 UTC
The Australia West Papua Association says the Indonesian military has an interest in further destabilising Indonesia’s troubled Papua region.
In the wake of increased violence in Papua, the Association has renewed its call for Australia’s government to press Indonesia to rein in the military in the territory.
Indonesian soldiers allegedly conducted a violent rampage in Wamena last week, with reports saying they killed up to 17 locals.
And the Association’s Joe Collins says recent shootings in Jayapura, which police have attributed to unidentified gunmen, could be linked to the military.
“They will actually use West Papuans, they will pay them to create incidents and then blame it on separatists, so-called separatists. And also there are militias in operations there as well. West Papuans have reported that there are pro-Indonesian militias - so these will create incidents. It’s all to do with keeping the local people terrorised while at the same time having an excuse to be involved in resource extraction.”
Joe Collins

RNZI Posted at 18:47 on 11 June, 2012 UTC
A Green Party MP says New Zealand must take more action to express concerns over human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces in Papua.
Catherine Delahunty’s comment comes after a violent rampage by Indonesian soldiers in the Papua town of Wamena last week, with reports saying they killed up to 17 locals and destroyed dozens of homes.
Furthermore ongoing shootings by unidentified gunmen in Jayapura have triggered fears of escalating military presence in the provincial capital.
Catherine Delahunty says New Zealand should review its training relationship with a military like Indonesia’s.
“When we have deaths where no one is held accountable which are highly likely to have involved the military. And so the ambiguous role of the military in West Papua is something New Zealand should be challenging about rather than engaging in training in unquestioning support for the Indonesian military as if their hands are clean when clearly, they’re not.”
Catherine Delahunty

from tapol

11) Imparsial: SBY must take action to stop the terror in Papua

JUBI, 11 June 2012

Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, has expressed concern about the many acts of terrorism such as shootings by OTK - Orang Tak Dikenal  - in Papua. The executive director of Imparsial, Poengky  Indarti,called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to get involved in solving the problem and accept responsibility  for a situation that threatens the lives of civil society..

'These mysterious killings  are a threat to innocent people and must be stopped without delay,' she said. 'The President must summon all the authorities, the chief of police, the military commander, the chief of BIN - the intelligence agency, and the Minister of the Interior and acting governors .He must take responsibility for safeguarding the lives of the people.

'There are indications that  neither of the governors are conducting an oversight of the activities of the troops in Papua who seem to be out of control.'

'This situation must not be allowed to continue,' she said, adding that the  President 'must immediately start making preparations for a Jakarta-Papua dialogue so as discuss what the problems are  in Papua.'

She also said that according to Imparsial one of the problems is the process of electing the governors. Her organisation sees the shootings as preparatory to the forthcoming elections of the governors. This is what happened some time ago in Aceh when the same kind of thing happened. There are vested interests in Jakarta who want to benefit from disturbances in the regions as the year 2014 approaches [the next round of presidential, parliamentary and gubernatorial elections.]

[Behind the speaker is a poster with the words: WHO IS THE MASTERMIND?]

[Translated by TAPOL]

 12) District chief criticises brutal actions by soldiers
JUBI, 6 June 2012

The bupati  (head) of the district of Jayawijaya, Jhon Wempi Wetipo has expressed his deepest regret  at brutal actions taken by members of the 736 Wamena battalion  who went on the rampage, damaging a number of government facilities, following the death of a soldier who had been set upon by local people.

He said that the correct way to respond to the attack of one of their colleagues  was to hand the case over to the police for the matter to be handled in accordance with the law.

'I very much regret what happened in Honai Lama, seeing it spread to the city. Facilities that have been built by the government should be guarded by forces of the state, not destroyed,' he said.

'What is the purpose of such actions? It means just destroying things that have been built with money from the people' He said that the various government authorities  in the district  will hold a meeting to discuss what needs to be done in this matter. The facilities that were destroyed included some offices and a shopping mall that had only just been built.

He said that the attacks on members of the security forces  had occurred after local people were infuriated because two men on a motorbke knocked down  a young child.

One of the soldiers who was attacked has since died  after a stab pierced his heart. The other soldier is in a critical condition afer been stabbed in the chest.

Following the atack on the soldiers,  dozens of their colleagues went on the rampage in the town of Wamena and the situation became uncontrollable. 'Even the police were unable to do anything.'

[Translated by TAPOL]
13)  Rights activist condemns police for preventing activities  by KNPB
UBI, 5 June 2012

The independent human rights activist, Sebby Sambom, said that it was deeply regrettable that the police force in Papua had used acts of brutality to prevent the KNPB, the National Committee for West Papua, from conducting an action on Monday 4 June. As a result of the police actions, one life was lost and others were injured,  including KNPB members and members of  the security forces.

He said in a brief message to JUBI that the security apparatus had acted against the law and violated freedom of expression which is guaranteed according to Article 19, para (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Indonesia ratified the Covenant  under Law 9/1998.

Sebby accused the police for not respecting basic human rights which has resulted in the serious crisis situation now prevailing in Papua. 'This is a humanitarian crisis  by a colonial government  which refuses to respect universal human rights,' he said.

'The fact is,' said this former political prisoner, 'that colonial powers never respect the situation of its colonised people.'

He said that the problems in Papua can only be resolved  if there is intervention by the international community.

'We call  for the full attention and intervention of the international community, in particular, the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council

[Translated by TAPOL]

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