1) Secessionists accuse TNI of false
propaganda, deny killing civilian
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post,
Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, July 04 2012, 7:04 AM
Paper Edition | Page: 5
A leader of the Free Papua Movement (OPM)
admitted to having fired gunshots at a military motorcade but denied any role
in the latest civilian death. “If this is about the shooting of the battalion
commander of the 431/Kostrad [Col. Indarto] ... yes, my men spied on him since
dawn and shot him before they retreated,” Lambert Peukikir told The Jakarta
Post over the phone on Tuesday. Indarto was on his way back from inspecting
his soldiers when his car became the target of a barrage of gunfire on Sunday.
He escaped the attack, but his driver sustained an injury from the car’s broken
window. Some 300 meters behind them, Yohanes Yanafrom, the head of Sawoi Tami
village, Keerom regency, lay dead with local authorities blaming the
secessionist movement under Lambert’s command. Lambert denied responsibility
for Yohanes’ shooting, claiming that the deceased was an OPM member.
He said that on June 29, Yohanes came to
see him at the group’s headquarters and handed Rp 300,000 (US$33), which
Lambert later used to buy some things, including phone credits. “At that
moment, I told Pak Yohanes to stay behind closed doors on July 1 because I had
made plans to go into action that day,” he said. On Friday morning,
Lambert said, his men snuck into the street between Sawoi Tami and Workwana
village. Yohanes happened to be on the road at around 9 a.m. on his way from
Sawoi Tami to Workmana. Lambert’s men stopped him and urged him to go
back to his village. “My men knew him because they were in the same troop,” he
said. Several minutes later, Col. Indarto came down the street and his
car was strafed with gunfire. “Five minutes later, we heard that Pak
Yohanes was gunned down. But the question is who shot him?” Lambert
said. According to an informant, Lambert continued, there was another
car following Indarto’s car.
He suspected that the police had targeted
Yohanes because he was a member of OPM. “Every Papuan wants freedom. So
did Yohanes, but he was too scared to express his feelings. Therefore, even
though he was a village head, he was still a member of OPM,” said Lambert. In
a bid to uncover the truth, Lambert encouraged the formation of an independent
team to conduct an investigation, instead on playing the blame game. “If they
do not make a move, people will continue blaming OPM. Lambert pledged to
continue fighting until a dialogue was initiated, mediated by an international
body, between the government and the Papuans. Ruben Magai, the speaker
of Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP) said that the accusations against TPN/OPM
over the shooting would have to be proven in order to ensure that people were
not misled. “We have heard so much on the news that the perpetrators are
members of OPM or unidentified people. There has been such a stigma against
OPM. It is time to prove it to ensure trust among people,” he said.
Indonesia and Australia's leaders this week
have signed deals on defence cooperation, and Australia has gifted Indonesia
with four refurbished heavy transport aircraft.
While Australia and Indonesia are
strengthening their military ties, other nations, such as the Dutch are
concerned by the Indonesian military's dismal human rights track record.
(Credit: Reuters) But as Australia's military ties with
Indonesia grow stronger, other western nations are keeping their distance. Indonesia has had to pull out of a $280
million deal to buy 100 battle tanks from the Netherlands after waiting several
months for the Dutch parliament to approve the sale.
Dutch media reports that the majority of
parties in the Dutch parliament opposed the deal because of Jakarta's poor
human rights record.
Peter King, a research associate in
international relations from the University of Sydney spoke to Radio
Australia's Connect Asia.
He says that the Dutch's concern with human rights in Indonesia harks back to
their historical relationship with the region.
"Well the Dutch have been very
sensitive to human rights violations in Jakarta. I think there is a historical
reason for that." he said.
"They themselves mucked up the whole
West Papua issue during their own colonial administration, they held it back
from Indonesia and then in the end had to give in to international
"So they compensate that by kind of
indicating that being forced to hand West Papua to Indonesia, even in this post
Suharto democratic period has been a risky business because the army continues
to dominate affairs so much in West Papua.
The United States and the European Union
have similarly imposed military embargoes on Indonesia, says Peter King, for
example, those imposed after massacres committed by the Indonesian military in
1991 and 1991.
The US reinstated military sales to
Indonesia in 2006, supported by Australia.
"It wasn't a very good idea because
the army has continued to abusive, particularly in Aceh for a time, but Aceh
got autonomy and a proper peace deal in 2005."
"In West Papua the human rights
violations by the military and the police have continued."
Australia has pursued a strategy of working
with the Indonesian military with the hope of improving its record on human
rights issues that way. But Mr King says the continuing power of the military
in Indonesia is a danger to its democracy.
"I think it is long term danger for
Indonesian democracy that the military hasn't been brought in to line on these
human rights issues, particularly in West Papua now," he said. "The
Government has just been too reluctant to give up its use of military force to
get its way in West Papua. It needs to negotiate with the West Papuans rather
than use the so-called security approach."
Freeport Indonesia, the local unit of the
world’s largest copper and gold miner, is considering an initial public
offering to abide by government rules on foreign ownership and improve
corporate governance, its chief executive said.
“We are considering several options,
including an IPO,” Rozik Soetjipto, the president director of Freeport
Indonesia, said on Tuesday. He disclosed the plan in a meeting with BeritaSatu
Media Holdings, which the Jakarta Globe is part of.
Rozik said the capital market debut was
expected to boost corporate governance and transparency at the company.
“The IPO would be good for Freeport
Indonesia, as it tends to be more accountable and transparent,” he said. He did
not disclose possible terms of the IPO, such as the time frame and the size of
“Should everything go smoothly, a real
strategy heading to that [IPO] direction would be carried out by 2013,” he
said. But Rozik emphasized that the parent company, US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper
& Gold, would have the final say on the matter and an IPO was just one
Rozik said the company, which runs the
country’s biggest copper mine in Papua, was focused on renegotiating its
contracts ending in 2021 with the government.
Indonesia has urged foreign miners
operating in the country to sell stakes to local companies, eventually bringing
overseas ownership to less than half. The move is meant to protect the
country’s abundant natural resources and generate more revenue from extractive
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a
regulation in February requiring foreign investors with mining business permits
(IUPs) and special mining business permits (IUPKs) to reduce their stakes to 49
percent in mining operations in Indonesia within a five-year period.
Freeport-McMoRan owns a 90.64 percent stake
in Freeport Indonesia and the government owns the rest.
Freeport Indonesia claims to be the largest
single taxpayer in the country. Last year it contributed $2.4 billion to the state
coffers through taxes or dividends, and it spent another $2.5 billion through
indirect means such as employment.
It had invested a total of $8.6 billion in
Indonesia as of 2011 and planned to spend at least $16.9 billion through 2041,
should its contract be extended another 20 years.
If Freeport Indonesia lists its shares, it
could be the largest-ever IPO in the country. The company claimed on Tuesday to
be responsible for 1.59 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Indonesia’s economy grew 6.5 percent to $817 billion last year, according to
Freeport-McMoRan, which is listed on the
New York Stock Exchange, has a total market capitalization of $32
billion. Astra International, Indonesia’s largest
automotive distributor, is valued at $30 billion, while Unilever has a market
value of $20 billion.
Indonesia itself accounted for $5 billion
of Freeport-McMoRan’s total $21 billion in revenue last year, Bloomberg data
Analysts and economists in Jakarta were
divided over the potential IPO, particularly about whether the share sale would
benefit native Papuans, some of whom have been clamoring for independence for
the resource-rich island.
“They should not be allowed to have an IPO
instead of a divestment,” Ikhsan Modjo, an economist at the Institute for
Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), said on Tuesday. “Their contract
of work clearly stated that they must divest the shares to the government
first. “The move [to hold an IPO] would not
benefit Indonesia, let alone Papuans, as the stake would just end up in the
hands of foreign investors.
Pri Agung Rakhmanto, an executive director
at the Reforminer Institute think tank, said an IPO could create
“As previous cases have shown, divesting
mining company shares to the regional government is problematic,” he said. He
was referring to the divestment of Newmont Nusa Tenggara, which runs the Batu
Hijau mine on Sumbawa Island, a process that has been mired in controversy and
allegations of embezzlement and corruption. Pri Agung and Ikhsan agreed selling the
stake directly to the government or local companies would be better than an
IPO. “An IPO would not be well received,” Pri
Agung said. “I think the government would prefer for Freeport to sell its
shares to them, rather than to the public, because they do not want to be
Ikhsan urged Freeport Indonesia to sell the
stake to Papuans. “For the sake of Papuans, regionally owned Papuan companies
should cooperate with listed state-owned companies to bid for the divestment,”
he said. “That way, many eyes would oversee the process.”
Freeport Indonesia has been at the center
of criticism over tailings pollution around its mining site and a major
political conflict between the regional and central governments.
Additional reporting by Dion Bisara &