Tuesday, September 18, 2012

1) Freeport Cars Targeted in Latest Attack Near Grasberg

1) Freeport Cars Targeted in Latest Attack Near Grasberg
2) Freeport Claims to Be Targeted by the Media
3) Govt urged to move on Papua leader's death
4) Sour times with a big neighbour
5) RI refuses to comply with UN on human rights
6) Number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase

1) Freeport Cars Targeted in Latest Attack Near Grasberg
Farouk Arnaz | September 18, 2012

Unknown gunmen fired on two cars along the road between Timika and the Grasberg mine operated by Freeport Indonesia in Papua on Monday but no casualties were reported, police said.

Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, a National Police spokesman, said there were two bursts of gunfire, one at 10:35 a.m. and the second five minutes later.

The target in both cases were Freeport vehicles carrying security personnel.

“The shooting was carried out by unidentified people against cars carrying a group of Freeport security guards who were taking one of their colleagues to get medical treatment for an illness,” Agus said in Jakarta.

He gave no further details on the incident other than that the vehicles sustained some damage and that an investigation was currently under way.

The road linking Timika, the main town in Mimika district, and Freeport’s mining areas has seen a series of sniper ambushes on passing vehicles in the past, with the perpetrators taking advantage of the rugged and forested terrain to evade capture.

The latest incident shooting incident along the road came on Aug. 16 when a Freeport vehicle carrying three police officers deployed to help secure the mine came under gunfire at the Mile 42 mark. No one was injured in that attack.

On July 10, a soldier was killed after snipers fired on the armored personnel carrier that he was in at the Mile 43 point of the road. The five other soldiers sustained minor injuries.

On June 24, unknown attackers shot and wounded a police officer patrolling along the Mile 41 mark. The officer had been patrolling on foot when he was jumped by three men who tried to take his gun. The assailants managed to shoot him before fleeing when another officer rushed to the scene.

On April 14, a convoy of Freeport cars was shot at twice, at Mile 26 and at Mile 36, despite having a police escort. No one was injured in the shootings.

Two Papuans working for the mining behemoth were injured in a shooting along the road on Feb. 9, two days after a police officer was shot dead in the same area.
2) Freeport Claims to Be Targeted by the Media
Tito Summa Siahaan | September 18, 2012
There are two sides to every coin, but according to the chief of Freeport Indonesia, the local unit of US mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, the media often go out of their way to tie the company to bad news, such as shootings near its Papua mine, or a royalty rate that is considered by many as too low. 

“It is understandable because they probably don’t get their information accurately,” said Rozik B. Soetjipto, president director of Freeport Indonesia, which runs the world’s largest gold mine in Papua. 

Violence is a continual concern in the province. On Monday, gunmen fired on two Freeport Indonesia-owned cars along the road between Timika and the Grasberg mine operated by Freeport Indonesia, but no casualties were reported, police said. 

On Friday, another Freeport Indonesia vehicle — this one carrying Indonesian Military officers — was shot at in the same area. 

But those recent shootings are not the miner’s only headache. According to Rozik, a former director general at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the media through their coverage are trying to back the company into a corner regarding the highly contentious issue of contract negotiations over the royalty rate. 

But Rozik said that, in the rush to cover contract negotiations, the work that Freeport Indonesia has done to help the local community has been overlooked. 

He said that company officials understood the need to renegotiate the royalty rate in order to speed development in Papua, which is one of Indonesia’s poorest provinces. 

But in exchange, he added, Freeport Indonesia needs the government to support its massive investment plan. 

“The resources in Grasberg are very large, and some said there will be enough to last until 2041,” Rozik said. “Some say until 2055. To manage this massive amount of resources is not a simple task.” 

Rozik said Freeport Indonesia plans to spend $10 billion through 2021, and $80 billion through 2041 to further develop the Grasberg mine. 

“We need assurances that we can perform our work until 2041,” he added. 

Freeport Indonesia currently holds a contract that will end in 2021, but a stipulation states that it can be extended for another 20 years. New mining regulations have since been passed to force companies like Freeport Indonesia to increase their royalty rates. Freeport Indonesia’s royalty is 1 percent, but the government is pursuing a 10 percent royalty rate.

3) Govt urged to move on Papua leader's death

THE Australian Greens fear the death of a Papuan freedom fighter - and its links to Australian defence personnel - is being swept under the carpet.
Greens senator Richard Di Natale has urged the federal government to reveal what progress it has made with Indonesian authorities over the killing in June of separatist leader Mako Tabuni.
The leader of the West Papua National Committee was reportedly gunned down by Detachment 88, an Indonesian counter-terrorism unit trained by Australian forces.
At the time Foreign Minister Bob Carr voiced his concerns and said he would seek a full explanation from Indonesia.
But the government had since gone quiet, Senator Di Natale said.
"The question is what have they actually done to progress a call for an inquiry and what representation has been made," he told AAP.
"The Australian government's got a responsibility to bring this to the attention of the Indonesian government and not sweep it under the carpet."
Senator Di Natale said senior Australian government ministers were at odds over Papua.
While Senator Carr had acknowledged human rights issues in the Indonesian province, Defence Minister Stephen Smith last week said he had no such concerns.
He said as much while announcing a new deal to sell military hardware to Indonesia.
"You can't claim that you have no concerns when the situation has been laid bare and your own foreign minister makes comments that completely contradict it," Senator Di Natale said.
"There's been a litany of death, torture and political imprisonment."
He noted the case of independence fighter Filep Karma, who is serving a 15-year sentence for taking part in a flag-raising ceremony in 2004.
Senator Di Natale was joined by Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan and about 20 others on Tuesday at a free West Papua rally outside Parliament House.
The pair have vowed not to back off, despite Senator Madigan's condolence motion for refugee advocate Vikki Riley being voted down last week.
Riley, who championed self-determination for Papua, died in Darwin earlier this month after being knocked off her bicycle on her way to visit detainees.
The government and the coalition said they wouldn't support the motion because Ms Riley's involvement in Papua was out of line with their respective party policies.
Senators Madigan and Di Natale said they would move a second, lengthier condolence motion in the next sitting week.


4) Sour times with a big neighbour

THE sooner the federal government produces the Asian Century paper the better. On the eve of its release, Australia's relations with Indonesia are souring, and all because of our actions. The relationship needs urgent attention.
If the report analyses developments in the Asian region correctly, it will point out Australia is facing an entirely new circumstance; not a change in the regional power balance, nor the rise of a new Asian power. These have been experienced before. For the first time in its history Australia will have a large and increasingly powerful, close Asian neighbour -- Indonesia.
Australians have unknowingly enjoyed the benefits of being an island state without large powers as close neighbours. That is about to change.
Australians have recently been reminded that Indonesia, just as close a neighbour as New Zealand and Papa New Guinea, now has a population of 240 million. It has a wealthy middle class that is probably bigger than our total population. Its economy has grown an average of 6 per cent for the past seven years and is likely to continue to grow. The major driver is rising consumption in Indonesia, not Chinese growth which drives most markets in Asia.
Indonesia is now our biggest beef and grain market. It is a natural market for other major exports such as education and tourism. And as Indonesia grows, it will offer important opportunities for Australian construction and infrastructure industries.
Of perhaps greater significance, its military capacity will expand as the economy and its revenue base increase.
Australia is going to have to come terms with this fact -- Indonesians are not terribly interested in Australia. It is we who will have to build and foster an amicable relationship.
It is not that Indonesia thinks less of Australia than other countries, it simply has "large country syndrome". It is a nation with a very strong sense of self.
It has temples and monuments dating back 1500 years and its culture carries values and concepts, symbols and myths which root from the great, ancient Indian civilisations. Islam has been a significant religion in the area for 800 years.
Anybody who leaves an impression with an Indonesian that it is a lesser country in any respect is asking for it.
Australia has recently created severe offence in Indonesia. The relationship is in danger of souring.
First, there was the ban on exports of live cattle. Australia resumed the trade, but the unilateral action in blocking the exports of an important food product offended Indonesian sensibilities. Indonesian agricultural officials are primed to retaliate. They are happy to limit imports, even if it increases prices.
Second, Canberra disregarded both Indonesia's request the government defer its bill to ban imports of illegal timber and its polite warning it will challenge the measure in the World Trade Organisation if enacted.
Indonesia has taken significant action to reduce illegal logging. Little of the product gets into Australia and Jakarta pointed out that even the EU went to the trouble to sit down with Indonesian officials to work out agreed measures to enable timber exporters to demonstrate their product is not illegal. Australia made no such effort.
The Indonesians note as well the ban is being pushed by an Australia-based paper company which unsuccessfully sought anti-dumping duties on paper imports from Indonesia. Australian officials have made clear the illegal logging bill will be used to regulate imports of paper.
As Jakarta sees it, Canberra is co-operating with protectionists and Greens to impose import controls that breach international trade law. Incredulously, Australia at the same time is seeking a bilateral trade agreement and co-operation to deal with the boatpeople transiting Indonesia.
There is more. Recently, ABC's 7.30 program ran a story evidently stimulated by Australian anti-Indonesian activists that an Australian-trained anti-terrorist unit killed a Papuan independence activist. Bob Carr was quoted as supporting an inquiry, giving credence to the activists' claims. This is tricky territory.
An official of the West Papua provincial government observed the Papua independence movement was violent. He was giving a little reality lesson about Indonesia. Subsequently a ranking member of a security committee of the Indonesian parliament said he didn't notice Australian politicians complaining when security forces killed Islamic militants.
Ever since the tragic killing of the Australian journalists in Balibo 35 years ago, local civil rights activists have concentrated on Indonesia. Yet how often do our activists criticise Singapore for controlling its justice system and Malaysia for its policies that discriminate in favour of Malays? Where is the commendation for Indonesia's dramatic, successful transition to democracy?
It is fashion in European diplomacy these days to attempt to dictate to developing countries on human rights, social and environmental standards. Aid is regularly conditioned to advance those interests. That's all very well for Europe. It is remote from those countries.
We are not remote and Canberra has started to emulate this European model. That is why there is an illegal logging bill. Not only that, we are veritably the green mouse that roared, as senator Joe Ludwig declared the ban would contribute to global efforts to halt illegal logging. Nonsense. Australia's share of global timber imports is tiny. The only effect is likely to be lasting resentment and trade retaliation.
Australia needs a successful and co-operative relationship with Indonesia. We cannot achieve that using European perspectives. Only a highly pragmatic, sympathetic and rational approach will deliver the sort of relationship we need as Indonesia emerges as a large, economy and power in Southeast Asia.
That is the major political challenge for Australia in the Asian Century.
Alan Oxley, principal of ITS Global studied Asian history and politics at Monash University and is a former Australian ambassador to the GATT, predecessor of the WTO.

5) RI refuses to comply with UN on human rights
The country will likely register a bleak record in the protection of religious minorities in the next four years following the government’s decision to reject a recommendation from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) urging Indonesia to revoke laws and regulations that curb religious freedom.
The UNHRC’s quadrennial “Universal Periodic Review” in May requested that Indonesia amend or revoke laws and regulations that banned religious freedom, including the 1965 Blasphemy Law, the 1969 and 2006 ministerial decrees on the construction of places of worship, and the 2008 joint ministerial decree on Ahmadiyah.
In response, the Indonesian government has included them on list of items that “the government is unable to support”. The government is expected to present its response at the UNHRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept. 19.
The government maintains that the 1965 Blasphemy Law, for example, is guaranteed by the Constitution.
National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) chairman Ifdhal Kasim said the Blasphemy Law had commonly been abused by the majority to suppress minority groups.
“It’s crucially important that we amend the 1965 Blasphemy Law; otherwise, the government will gradually allow the majority to force those in minority groups to convert to its mainstream teachings,” Ifdhal said.
A coalition of human rights watchdogs have urged the government to change its decision and adopt the recommendation in order to prove its commitment to upholding and protecting minority rights in the country.
“Religious intolerance will continue to grow in the future unless the government revokes discriminatory laws, such as the 1965 Blasphemy Law. Majority groups have been using that law as an excuse to attack minority groups, such as the Ahmadiyah and Shia followers,” Choirul Anam, from the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), said on Monday.
Choirul added that the government could amend or revoke some of the laws, although the Constitutional Court had upheld the 1965 Blasphemy Law when civil rights groups filed for a judicial review in 2010.
In addition to rejecting recommendations on religious rights, the government also states in its report for the UNHRC that it is unable to allow foreign journalists free access to Papua and West Papua, as proposed by the French delegation during the May meeting.
The Indonesian government also refuses to allow the entry of the United Nations special rapporteurs on indigenous people and minority groups into the country. The Foreign Ministry said the government had abided by the Constitution when drafting its response to the recommendations.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene said the government’s refusal to adopt the recommendation on the Blasphemy Law was simply because it was subject to the Constitution.
“The Constitutional Court ruled that the 1965 Blasphemy Law conformed with our Constitution. We must respect the Constitutional Court as it is the highest legal institution in the country,” Tene said.
As for the government’s refusal to allow foreign journalists to enter Papua, Tene said: “This doesn’t mean that we prohibit foreign journalists from entering Papua. We can allow them to go there as long as they follow all the regulations laid out by the government,” Tene said.
In its report, the government also rejects a recommendation to halt human rights violations by military personnel and police officers, and put an end to the general state of impunity in Papua, as recommended by Japan, arguing that “the recommendations do not reflect the actual situation in the province referred to”.
From Tapol
6) Number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase
[COMMENT: Such is the fate of the Papuan people after more than forty years as part of Indonesia!]

September 18, 2012

Jakarta:  The number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase because of the large number of teachers who fail to turn up for work in the interior.

James Modouw, head of education of the Province of  Papua, said that at present, there are more than 900,000 illiterate Papuans out of a total of 2.6 million Papuans living in the interior, most of whom  are living in the districts of Nduga, Yahukimo and the district of Puncak Jaya. In order to solve this problem, Modouw said that  the provincial administration will impose tighter control over the allocation of funds for education out of the special autonomy funds in various districts and cities.

'The second thing we will do is to tighten control over the teachers. The special regulation (perdasi) we intend to introduce  will tighten up this control. Anyone who fails to comply with the regulations will have their salaries stopped.'

Modouw went on to say that without imposing this tight control, the number of illiterate Papuans will continue to increase year on year. The department of education and culture will reveal the five regions where the number of illiterate people is the highest in Indonesia.

Two of these five regions are Papua and West Papua.

Meanwhile, the director-general of formal and non-formal children's education of the Department of Education (PAUDNI), Lydia Freyani, said that the number of illiterate Papuans is 1.9 million. This figure is much higher than the figure announced by the Papuan provincial administration.

Translated from Indonesian

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