Sunday, September 9, 2012

1) ‘This is the Life We Live’: Seeing Papua through friendly eyes

1) ‘This is the Life We Live’: Seeing Papua through friendly eyes

2) West Papua Responses to Australia, U.S. and Indonesia

3) Indonesia parliament elects committee to monitor West Papua

1) ‘This is the Life We Live’: Seeing Papua through friendly eyes

Papua province, Indonesia’s easternmost territory, is so far from the country’s capital — geographically, culturally and historically — that many people in Jakarta have little understanding of what life is truly like on the faraway island.

Development worker Mitu M Prie has had the opportunity to live and work in both Jakarta and Papua during the last 10 years.

Working on public health campaigns, she travels to the highlands of Papua, crosses the deep and often choppy waters of Lake Sentani, plunges her feet onto the beaches in Beiji and looks out to the Pacific from Jayapura.

There, she meets Papuan people, learns their languages and falls in love.

Mitu travels with her several cameras. There are professional SLRs and small point-and-shoot pocket cameras. Everywhere she goes, whether to the markets, the soccer fields, the airports and seaports, the hills and the beaches, she captures the faces of contemporary Papua. Her pictures are rich in human emotions, against a backdrop of majestic Melanesian nature.

Neles Tebay, a Papuan human rights activist and rector of the Fajar Timur school of philosophy writes in an introduction to Mitu’s book of collected photos from Papua, that “[S]he looks at Papua through the eyes of love”.

“Viewing Papuans without love is to treat them like an enemy,” he writes.

And that was what Mitu aimed to break through with the photographs that she took, which are collected in the book, Ini Tong Pu Hidup (This is the Life We Live).

“I want people to support, to love and to know, so that the gap of [knowledge] will be narrowed. And the stories that come from there are not only from irresponsible parties,” she said at the Cemara Gallery in Central Jakarta, where her photos were being exhibited in early August.

“Many of us here have an unkind tendency [toward Papuans] because we don’t know them,” she said.

Papua continues to be the most impoverished province in Indonesia, despite being home to the world’s largest gold mine.

Years of conflict in the region from the military operation in the 1960s that officially placed Papua into the territory of Indonesia and decades of resource looting have left deep wounds.

Reports show that military operations hunting down so-called “separatists” have forced many Papuans to flee to the forests as their villages were razed to the ground.

“There is anger but, it’s not only political grief; simple cultural ignorance is also one of the factors,” Mitu said. She added that there was once a family planning campaign that utilized the same teaching materials aimed at Javanese culture, with Malay models on the posters, depicting life in urban Java. Unsurprisingly, the campaign failed and did not go down well with the locals, she said.

Her encounters with Papuans have often resulted in their becoming annoyed, as Muti hails from Java. “Sometimes, I’m like a representation from here [Java]. I’m ready to be scolded and I gladly take it,” she said.

Her book includes forewords from academics. Apart from Tebay’s essay, there is a detailed history of Papua by Agapitus E Durmatubun, a lecturer in the school of anthropology at Cendrawasih University in Jayapura.

Durmatubun provides an interesting read about Papua, from the geographical information of the island — “The island of Papua is shaped like a giant bird, of which 47 percent consisting of the bird’s head, nape, neck, back, breast and belly is the territory of Papua” — to the history of Papua’s name, which means “curly” from the Malay word, pua-pua.

But the pictures speak for themselves.

Local Papuans take three-wheeled Javanesse-style becak around Wamena in one of her pictures. In another, youths sporting rasta hairstyles smile into the camera. There are also little boys preparing for a soccer game in a field overlooking a great mountain range in the highlands.

Tak kenal maka tak sayang (if you don’t know it, you can’t love it); so goes an old proverb. Mitu has traveled to get to know Papuans and her love shows through the pictures that she takes.

Her book can be a tool for people to get to know the many faces of Papuan people and fall in love with them as Mitu did.

Ini Tong Pu Hidup 
Mitu M. Prie
KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia), 2012
209 pages

2) West Papua Responses to Australia, U.S. and Indonesia
By Victor F. Yeimo
Last week, Australia, the United States and Indonesia strengthen their economic, political and security when the people of West Papua were lamenting oppression. That's a sign that the practice of colonialism and capitalism will continue in West Papua. We do not know how much more blood of the people of West Papua will fall victim by the Indonesian military.
The world seems blind and deaf to the repression in West Papua. The world does not care about the Papuan struggle in upholding truth, justice, honesty and humanity. Instead, World trampling of human values, truth, justice, honesty and all the rules of its international law. The world is only cares on its political  and economic interests.
West Papua has become the object of transactions of economic and political interests of U.S and Indonesia. The dirty practice is still applied in the open era. The lust of economic and political expansion of the states, without feeling guilty, continued to increase the suffering of the West Papuans. The people of West Papua are not stupid.
People of West Papua fully understand how colonialism and exploitation scenarios in this modern century. Making indigenous people as terrorists and then kill and control of land and its natural resources are the ways that are always used by the colonial countries and capitalist. Australia, Britain, the U.S. and Indonesia are implementing those ways in West Papua.
Peaceful resistance movement in West Papua silenced by the Indonesian military forces. The Space of peace and democracy closed and Indonesia accidentally open space of violence that they can easily kill and destroy the struggle of the people of West Papua with the stigma of terrorists, then with that stigma military cooperation between Indonesia, the U.S., Australia and other countries considered essential. for them, It is important to kill Papuans and to accoupy the land of West Papua.
Violence was created by rulers who oppress and exploit the people and the land of West Papua. Terrorism created for global rulers who have an interest in mastering the fields of exploitation. Terrorism was created by the colonial rulers who invaded to take control of someone else's land. The territory of West Papua controlled by Indonesian. The people of West Papua were massacred by Indonesia. Military power funded, supported and trained by Australia, the U.S. and other countries pro-colonial and capitalist.
This is evidenced by the attitude of the Australian government and the presence of three ministers from Australia and the vist of U.S. Foreign Minister in Indonesia and support for the Indonesian defense forces. Meanwhile, thousands of Indonesian troops deployed to West Papua. Meanwhile, police in West Papua, led by the former head of Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorism, and the officer at the criminal detective of Papua Police controlled by members of Detachment 88.
Their target is only one, to kill peaceful resistance movement in West Papua, to eliminate the people of West Papua and to rule the roost on this land for the benefit and prosperity of colonialism and global capitalism. So, who is the real terrorist?


Victor F. Yeimo,
Chairman of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ]

The Southeast Asian Times
3) Indonesia parliament elects committee to monitor West Papua
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 9: Twenty-seven members of the People’s Representative Council’s nine parties have been elected to the parliament’s new committee to monitor West Papua.
The Parliament’s Commission 1, which deals with defence, foreign affairs and information, formed the working committee last Monday.
The committee’s purpose was to encourage the government to compensate for its failure in West Papua with the formulation and implementation of comprehensive and peaceful programmes, The Jakarta Post quotes Commission 1 chairman, Prosperous-Justice-Party-member Mahfudz Siddiq, as saying.
The continuing violence in West Papua illustrated the government’s failure to deal with the problems, he said.
“This working committee will help the government bring together various stakeholders in Papua to search for the best solutions with the unity of Indonesia in mind.”
Commission 1is one of the parliament’s 11 such committees that prepare legislation between plenary sessions of the People’s Representative Council.
Its members listed at least four major causes of the violence after a visit to West Papua in June:

The lack of trust West Papuans have in the central government; the politics and history of the province’s integration into Indonesia at the end of Dutch rule; the poor performances of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua; the regional administration and an increase in armed violence.
“We suggest the government evaluates the significance of setting up the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua – the two supposedly autonomous provinces of West Papua because it has done almost nothing in Papua after almost two years,” said Mahfudz Siddiq.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a decree for the establishment of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua in mid-October last year and its brief is to coordinate, synchronise, facilitate, monitor and evaluate development programmes in West Papua.
In April, West Papuan students studying in South Sulawesi announced their opposition to the unit.
The students – members of the Students Solidarity Forum for Papuan People in Makassar – voiced their opinions at rally at the Western Papua Liberation Theatre Monument, Makassar.
The students demanded a tri-partite dialogue between the central government, Amnesty International and the West Papuan people as a way to solve their problems.
The nine parties represented in the People’s Representative Council are the Democratic Party, the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Prosperous Justice Party; the National Mandate Party; the United Development Party; the National Awakening Party, the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
The Southeast Asian Times

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