Thursday, October 4, 2012

1) West Papua arrests highlight Australian Detachment 88 links

1) West Papua arrests highlight Australian Detachment 88 links
2) Pilot of Downed Airplane in Papua May Be Alive: Foundation
3) PNG PMs  note to Indonesia on abuses in Papua
4) Tribal war breaks out in Timika

1) West Papua arrests highlight Australian Detachment 88 links
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Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 04/10/2012
Reporter: Hayden Cooper
An Australian-funded police unit in West Papua has again been implicated in a crackdown on the region's independence movement.

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: An Australian funded counter-terrorism unit in West Papua is facing new accusations of abusing its power in the troubled Indonesian province.

The notorious squad known as Detachment 88 has launched a fresh crackdown on independence activists, in the wake of an expose by this program in August.

Eight men have been detained and accused of bomb-making.

Separatist leaders claim the explosives were planted and they've been framed to justify the squad's activities.

Hayden Cooper has this report.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: Jayapura, West Papua is a city marred by violence and tension, where independence leaders have been arrested, beaten, killed. And where police have been confronted by unruly and angry demonstrations.

When 7.30 travelled to the province in August, the crackdown on the independence movement was already severe, resulting in several deaths, including of this man, independence leader Mako Tabuni, shot in this street, witnesses say, by the Australian trained and funded police unit Detachment 88.

ERSON WENDA, RELATIVE (last month, voiceover translation): Clearly, it was them who killed him because we saw them shoot him and take him to their hospital.

HAYDEN COOPER: Since then, the crackdown has worsened. Victor Yeimo succeeded Tabuni as leader of the West Papuan National Committee, KNPB. This week, he sent this video to 7.30.

VICTOR YEIMO, CHAIRMAN, KNPB: We are the non-violent activists in West Papua. We will fight for our right of freedom according to the peaceful means in West Papua. We demand our right of self-determination to a referendum to be held in West Papua by UN peacefully and democratically.

HAYDEN COOPER: But the Indonesian authorities don't believe his claim of non-violence and they're pursuing KMPB like never before. In June, Indonesian soldiers went on a rampage in the highlands town and KNPB stronghold of Wamena, and now in a new development, police have raided the homes and offices of KNPB members in the area. Last weekend eight were arrested and witnesses say once again Detachment 88 was involved.

VICTOR YEIMO: When they arrest the KNPB brothers in Wamena, we saw Detachment 88 with one car, and another car with police, joined in by TNI.

HAYDEN COOPER: Indonesian police accuse the eight KNPB members arrested of making bombs and claim to have found explosives during the raid. Victor Yeimo rejects that and says his group is being framed as terrorists to justify Detachment 88's presence.

VICTOR YEIMO: This is how Indonesia is now making a scenario with the terrorist issue in West Papua. As you know that in West Papua we never know how to make a bomb, how to create bomb.

HAYDEN COOPER: Some international observers and West Papuan advocates back that view

CAMMI WEBB-GANNON, SYDNEY UNI: I don't think that the KNPB has any reason to be making bombs because they believe in a peaceful approach to pursuing independence. They want a referendum on independence in West Papua.

HAYDEN COOPER: In West Papua the Institute for Human Rights Advocacy, known as ELSHAM, has studied the arrests and suspects the explosives recovered by police were part of an elaborate set-up.

CAMMI WEBB-GANNON: They don't have the capacity to gain the materials, so ELSHAM has actually said that the materials were probably planted in the KMPB members' houses where they found the explosives and that's not an unusual thing for security forces to do.

HAYDEN COOPER: The weekend raids follow the appointment of a new police chief in Papua, Brigadier General Tito Karnavian. His background as the former head of Detachment 88 generates serious unease among some Papuans, despite his assurances of a new inclusive approach.

CAMMI WEBB-GANNON: They will be opposed to his former role as the head of Densus 88, and as a police chief this just - it doesn't seem to mesh with his new approach of working - to win the hearts and minds of Papuans.

RONNY KARENI, WEST PAPUAN EXPATRIATE: I have no doubt there'll be definitely more crackdowns on KNPB members and those who are very active and very vocal in pursuing and calling for independence for West Papua, and that is for sure, that that's one thing that Jakarta is aiming to shutting down political activists in West Papua.

HAYDEN COOPER: Ronny Kareni is one of many West Papuans living in Australia. He uses music to promote the independence cause on behalf of his friends at home.

RONNY KARENI: Every day, like, I got SMS coming through my phone and then the information is that their lives are under intimidation and they always live in state of fear and they're being followed and it's sad, but this is the reality in West Papua.

HAYDEN COOPER: 7.30 put several questions to the Indonesian Government but received no reply. Attempts to contact the new Papuan police chief were also unsuccessful.

As for Victor Yeimo, he is pushing for the release of the eight activists arrested on the weekend, and with his supporters here, he's pressuring Australia to rethink its funding for Detachment 88.

RONNY KARENI: The Papuans will be pretty much living like prisoners in our own land where our movement, what we do, will be censored, will be monitored, will be followed, and as I said, there's no room for democracy at all.

LEIGH SALES: Hayden Cooper reporting.--------------------------
2) Pilot of Downed Airplane in Papua May Be Alive: Foundation
Jakarta Globe | October 04, 2012
Jayapura. The program manager of Tariku Aviation Ministries Foundation, Robinhood Ratuntiga, said on Thursday that the foundation’s airplane, which went missing in Papua’s Yahukimo district, had managed to send a signal from the scene of the crash.

The PAC 750 XL light aircraft, carrying basic supplies and logistics equipment, went missing on Wednesday morning. There were only two persons on board, pilot Christian Yus and a passenger named Paulus Osu.

A search and rescue team located the downed New Zealand-made airplane on Thursday morning.

“The airplane was located by a search plane, and photos taken from the sky show that the body is still intact,” Robinhood said, as quoted by “[There is a] high possibility that the pilot is still alive, because an airplane signal … was received by the [plane’s] assembler in New Zealand.”

Robinhood said the foundation has suspended flights to all destinations in Papua as they focus on efforts to recover the plane and rescue its passengers.

“We’re hoping there will be miracle from God,” Robinhood told Antara news agency.
3) PNG PMs  note to Indonesia on abuses in Papua

The announcement by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea that he will raise concerns about human rights abuses in neighbouring Papua with Indonesia’s Government represents a departure in PNG government policy.
Peter O’Neill told local tv this week that foreign affairs officials are to deliver a letter spelling out their concerns to Jakarta, and that he will also raise the matter during an upcoming democracy conference in Bali.
Mr O’Neill says the plight of the Melanesian people across the border in Indonesia needs to be brought to light.
He says while his government continues to recognise the territorial integrity of Indonesia it also wants to bring to Jakarta’s attention concerns raised by PNG citizens about human rights abuses in Papua.
“We will deliver a note, through a diplomatic note, raising that our citizens are concerned about some of the reports that we are getting from Irian Jaya, West Papua, on the human rights abuses that are taking place. So it is appropriate for us to sent that note.”
Professor Ron May of the Australian National University’s State, Society and Governance in Melanesia programme says the statement does represent a change from the position of previous governments.
“For quite some time now, PNG has maintained its commitment to recognising Indonesian integrity and has not made a great deal of comment on human rights abuses. There was an incident in the 1980s when a lot of people crossed the border”
“and relations between Indonesia and PNG really deteriorated quite badly. But since then nothing much has happened. However this is a bit of a departure and an interesting one.”
Professor May says there are many implications for PNG from the troubles in the heavily militarised Indonesian territory including the flow-on effect of Papuans continuing to seek refuge in PNG.
“There are a couple of people in parliament now however who have shown some inclination to take this on. But it also reflects the deteriorating situation in West Papua: we’re getting increasing reports of human rights abuses and reports of increasing activity amongst West Papuan separatists.”
Vincent Manukayasie of the PNG Trust NGO which works with West Papuan refugees in Port Moresby says pressure has been building on PNG’s government from two fronts to do something about its neighbour.
“The public in PNG since last year have continuously raised the issue of West Papua. This is like the people on the streets, writing in to newspapers, talking on radio, basically saying PNG has to do something about this issue. Then on the other hand, with recent elections, there’s a number of new MPs coming in who have been following the West Papua issue in their own private lives, they’re raising this issue in parliament.”
He says Peter O’Neill’s announcement is positive because the government cannot claim to be a regional leader by re-opening an offshore asylum seeker processing centre for AUstralia and at the same time continue ignoring the Papua question.

4) Tribal war breaks out in Timika
The Jakarta Post | Thu, 10/04/2012 8:45 AM | Archipelago
Another tribal war broke out in Kwamki Lama, Timika, Mimika regency, Papua, on Wednesday, raising concerns that the local administration had done nothing to prevent it after previous clashes.

The clash, in which the warring parties used traditional weapons including bows and arrows, was reportedly triggered by the alleged murders of two people on Monday and Tuesday.

Papua Police public relations head Adj. Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya said that Hendrikus Beanal of the Amungme tribe was found dead from arrow and stab wounds on Monday. The following day, Pendius Tabuni of the Dani tribe was found dead from arrow wounds.

Sumerta said the alleged murder of Hendrikus may have been triggered by the Dani people’s suspicion that he was spying on them. “He was on public transportation when somebody shouted that a spy was among them,” he said.

Legislator Dias Gwijangge of the Papua electoral district expressed regret that clashes between tribes in Mimika continued to occur.

“I have the impression that they just let people kill each other. There has been no efforts by security personnel or the local administration to find a solution to the problem,” he said.

Responding, Sumerta said that precautionary measures had been conducted by, among other things, conducting raids against sharp weapons in downtown areas.

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