Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1) Local Residents Blockade Papua Airstrip, Cite Lack of Compensation

1) Local Residents Blockade Papua Airstrip, Cite Lack of Compensation
Jakarta Globe | August 08, 2012
Residents of the Asmat district in Papua have organized a blockade of the local airstrip there, calling for compensation owed for land used in an expansion of the facility, an air transportation official said on Wednesday.

“It has now been two weeks since Trigana Air planes have been able to fly to Ewer due to the blocking of the airstrip by local people,” John Rettob, who heads the Air Transportation section of the Mimika district Transportation, Communication and Informatics office, said.

He was quoted by state-run news agency Antara as saying that the blockade is taking place because citizens in the district are demanding reimbursement for land used by the local district authority that was used to extend the length of an airstrip. The goal of the extension was to allow bigger planes to land there.

The airstrip is currently serving flights from Timika and Merauke.

Rettob commented that other flights to outlying airstrips using small planes, such as the ones going to Ewer, were mostly unaffected. He said that problems usually arose from bad weather conditions.

“There have been some flights delayed because of bad weather. In one week there are usually three to four flights that cannot proceed as scheduled,” Rettob said, according to Antara.

Recent assaults on small airplanes flying to the region have also hindered travel to this remote section of the country. An attack on a Trigana Air Twin Otter airplane on April 8, 2012 in Jayapura left one passenger dead and four others injured, including the pilot and co-pilot. 

There are 17 outer routes served by Timika, and three airlines serve these routes,as well — Tribana, Susi Air and Jhon Lin Air. 

Papua contains a very limited land road network, and thus relies heavily on air transportation to access the hinterland.

Jayapura (7/8) --- West Papua National Committee (KNPB) requested that the security forces not to be arrogant when continue to chase, arrest and interrogate people who do not know anything without procedures are applicable in this country.

This statement is conveyed by KNPB spokesman, Wim R. Metlama. KNPB  also condemned strongly the arrest of former Chairman of the KNPB, Buchtar Tabuni. Buchtar, now as Chairman of the National Parliament of West Papua (PNWP) is prosecuted without evidence and the legal facts are not clear.

Metlama explained that the request is also associated with the presence of arbitrary kidnappings of Doga Tabuni (29 years) and Alex Dagay (25 years) by plainclothes security forces on Monday (6/8) at 15.00 CLT at Perumnas III Waena, Jayapura, Papua, in Cenderawasih University's Dormitory area.

"Then, bring them for interogation process under the bridge at Jalan Baru. The security also asked them to speaks about few people who in the police search listing.

They even offer to the victims some facilities if the victim is able to inform where the people which they are looking for, like pigsty and a mini kiosk," said Metlama, accompanied by activists of KNPB, Tinus Yohame, in the press conference in Abepura, Tuesday (7/8).

Metlama also urged the disclosure of the shooting of Mako Tabuni, including the efforts to arrest the new Chairman of the KNPB, Victor F. Yeimo by the police before Buchtar Tabuni trial in the Court.
"Thus KNPB urge the police to stop the brutality outside the legal procedures against the Papuan, particularly the activists of KNPB," he said. (Jubi / Eveerth)

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