Saturday, March 16, 2013

1) In Papua, Development May Be The Answer, but Trust Is the Key

1) In Papua, Development May Be The Answer, but Trust Is the Key
2) Three Dead in Papua as Rains Trigger Jayapura Landslide
4) Freeport’s Tough Stance Induces Govt Compromise
1) In Papua, Development May Be The Answer, but Trust Is the Key
Yosie Sesbania | March 17, 2013
After winning a case in the Constitutional Court over an election dispute, Lukas Enembe is now on his way to being sworn in as the governor of Papua. 

The governor-elect, who won the election by a landslide 52 percent of the vote in local elections in February, has set himself a big task for his first 100 days in office. As his first order of business, Lukas is aiming to address the problems of conflict and violence in the restive province. 

Lukas believes that the root cause of unrest in Papua is the province’s underdevelopment. High unemployment, poverty and a lack of infrastructure fuel calls for separatism led by the Free Papua Movement (OPM), he says. 

By prioritizing development, Lukas aims to bring peace to Papua. 

A complex challenge 

Critics say the 100-day time frame set by Lukas is an ambitious target, as the causes behind Papuan rebellion stretch far beyond a lack of schools, roads and hospitals. But most critics agree that making sure development funds reach their targets is a good starting point to improve the quality of life in the province. 

Poengky Indarti, executive director of human rights monitor Imparsial and the author of “Securitization of Papua: Its Impact Towards Human Rights Situation,” said that Papua needed a governor who would listen directly to the people. 

He added that Lukas would need to work together with his defeated election opponents in order to build a better and more peaceful Papua. 

Poengky recommended improved coordination between the legislature and the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), as well as between district chiefs, traditional leaders, religious leaders and other key figures. 

“Lukas also must spend more time in Papua. He shouldn’t spend too much time in Jakarta,” he said. 

Improved education, health, infrastructure and empowerment in line with the 2001 Law on Special Autonomy, as promised by Lukas, would need to be implemented properly. But most importantly, Poengky said, Lukas must safeguard his government from corruption. 

“If improvements fail to occur within the first 100 days, then there is a great possibility that Lukas Enembe’s leadership will not proceed well,” he said. 

To improve chances of success, Poengky recommended an initial emphasis on education, health and income. 

“The focus of budget allocation must look toward major needs that can and should be addressed, so that [development] can proceed effectively and efficiently,” he added. 

Establishing trust 

Poengky expressed his optimism for the new governor’s first 100 days in office, but admitted that some problems could not be addressed in such a hasty fashion. 

Engaging with the OPM, for example, was an exercise that would take some time as it involved establishing mutual trust, he said. 

“We must not get stuck on groups that do not play an important role, or even common people who do not know anything but claim to be part of OPM, and we must not use development funds to ‘buy’ the OPM.” 

The way to quell the conflict, Poengky continued, was through development and increased prosperity for the people. This style of development can be carried out from the bottom up and include the participation of all Papuan citizens, he added. 

Even more importantly, Poengky emphasized non-physical development, such as acknowledging and preserving Papuan cultures and traditions, to ensure that the Papuan people no longer felt marginalized by development itself. 

Poengky said he hoped that Lukas could also work together with law enforcers to peacefully change perceptions of freedom of expression and social criticism so that these were no longer considered forms of rebellion and were instead seen in a positive light. 

“This is my input ... for establishing a better Papua,” he said. 

Human development 

Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, the former head of the Political Research Center at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P LIPI), agreed that overcoming conflict in Papua would not be easy. 

While recognizing that the province lagged behind the rest of the country in economic terms, Ikrar said that an economic approach was not the best way to resolve the conflict. Instead, he suggested a human development approach. 

Papua’s Human Development Index, gauging the life expectancy, education and income levels attained in the province, was at 63.35 in 2012, the lowest in Indonesia. 

Ikrar suggested that the top priority in Papua’s development should be establishing an education system that could raise the capacity and capabilities of its people. 

“The education budget must be able to overcome the problems of education there, such as how to make children feel comfortable at school, how to make parents feel comfortable in sending their children to school, how to stop teachers stationed there from abandoning their post. Teachers’ wages must not be cut,” he said. 

Aside from education, Ikrar pointed to health as another important issue. Developing health infrastructure, such as hospitals, ambulances and medical workers, must be prioritized, he said. 

The province is flush with special autonomy funds, Ikrar said, and these must be channeled toward developing infrastructure, education and health in a transparent manner. 

He added that past projects had been suspected of siphoning funds away from development and distributing them among officials. 

“If special autonomy funds are just shared out, this will not improve the prosperity of the society,” he said.

As for addressing separatist sentiments, Ikrar said that initiating dialogue was the best approach. However, he admitted that it was not so easy to carry out. One obstacle to dialogue was the absence of a line of command in the OPM, he said. 

“Papua is not like Aceh. In Aceh, GAM [the Free Aceh Movement] had one person in command. There was one person who could be recognized and trusted. Therefore, negotiation was possible,” he said. 

“Meanwhile, in Papua, who can represent the OPM, or people who demonstrate in the forests? And what about the Papuan groups that demonstrate in the international realm?”

2) Three Dead in Papua as Rains Trigger Jayapura Landslide
Banjir Ambarita | March 17, 2013

 A landslide killed three people and injured another after days of heavy rain drenched Papua’s provincial capital.

The landslide destroyed a home in the Gereje Emanuel housing complex in North Jayapura early Sunday morning, police said. Three occupants, ages 17 to 26, were killed in the landslide. 

““They were found dead as soon as they were removed from under the landslide; [their remains] were admitted to Dok II Hospital,” Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya said on Sunday.

Hans Loen, 40, suffered injuries to his legs and chest in the landslide. He was admitted to Dok II Hospital for treatment. 

Heavy rains have fallen on Jayapura since Saturday, leaving some sections of the city inundated with 30 centimeters of water and backing up traffic for some five hours.

3) Papua New Guinea takes regional lead in supporting free West Papua campaign

The free West Papua concert in Port Moresby marking Benny Wenda’s global tour. Image: Masalai blog
Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Airi Ingram and Jason MacLeod in Port Moresby
Melanesian support for a free West Papua has always been high. Travel throughout Papua New Guinea and you will often hear people say that West Papua and Papua New Guinea is ‘wanpela graun’ – one land – and that West Papuans on the other side of the border are family and kin.
In the Solomon Islands, Kanaky, Fiji and especially Vanuatu, people will tell you that “Melanesia is not free until West Papua is free”. This was the promise that the late Father Walter Lini, Vanuatu’s first prime minister made.
Ordinary people in this part of the Pacific are painfully aware that the West Papuan people continue to live under the gun. It is the politicians in Melanesia who have been slow to take up the cause.
But that may be changing.
Earlier this month, Powes Parkop, Governor of the Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District, nailed his colours firmly to the mast.
In front of a crowd of 3000 people, Governor Parkop insisted that “there is no historical, legal, religious, or moral justification for Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua”.
Turning to welcome West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, who was in Papua New Guinea as part of a global tour, the governor told Wenda that while he was in Papua New Guinea “no one will arrest you, no one will stop you, and you can feel free to say what you want to say”.
These are basic rights denied to West Papuans who continue to be arrested, tortured and killed simply because of the colour of their skin.
Governor Parkop, who is a member of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, which now has representatives in 56 countries, then went on to formerly launch the free West Papua campaign.
He promised to open an office, fly the Morning Star flag from City Hall and pledged his support for a Melanesian tour of musicians for a free West Papua.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop (left), long a staunch supporter of the West Papuan cause, and Benny Wenda. Image: Jason MacLeod
Governor Parkop is no longer a lone voice in Melanesia calling for change.
Last year, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill broke with tradition and publicly admonished the Indonesian government’s response to ongoing state violence, human rights violations and failure of governance in West Papua.
Moved by 4000 women from the Lutheran Church. O’Neill said he would raise human rights concerns in the troubled territory with the Indonesian government.
Now Governor Parkop wants to accompany the Prime Minister on his visits to Indonesia “to present his idea to Indonesia on how to solve West Papuan conflict once and for all.”
Well known PNG commentator Emmanuel Narakobi remarked on his blog that Parkop’s multi-pronged proposal for how to mobilise public opinion in PNG around West Papua “is perhaps the first time I’ve heard an actual plan on how to tackle this issue (of West Papua)”.
On talk back radio, Governor Parkop accused Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr of not taking the issue of West Papua seriously, of “sweeping it under the carpet.”
In Vanuatu, opposition parties, the Malvatumari National Council of Chiefs and the Anglican bishop of Vanuatu, Rev James Ligo are all urging the current Vanuatu government to change their position on West Papua.
Rev Ligo was at the recent Pacific Council of Churches in Honiara, Solomon Islands, which passed a resolution urging the World Council of Churches to pressure the United Nations to send a monitoring team to Indonesia’s Papua region.
“We know that Vanuatu has taken a side-step on that (the West Papua issue) and we know that our government supported Indonesia’s observer status on the MSG, we know that.
“But again, we also believe that as churches we have the right to advocate and continue to remind our countries and our leaders to be concerned about our West Papuan brothers and sisters who are suffering every day.”
In Kanaky (New Caledonia) and the Solomon Islands, West Papua solidarity groups have been set up. Some local parliamentarians have joined the ranks of International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
In Fiji, church leaders and NGO activists are quietly placing their support behind the cause even while Frank Bainimarama and Fiji’s military government open their arms to closer ties with the Indonesian military.
This internationalisation of the West Papua issue is Indonesia’s worst nightmare; it follows the same trajectory as East Timor.
The West Papuans themselves are also organising, not just inside the country where moral outrage against ongoing Indonesian state violence continues to boil, but regionally as well.
Prior to Benny Wenda’s visit to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu-based representatives from the West Papua National Coalition for Independence formerly applied for observer status at this year’s Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting due to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia in June, home to another long running Melanesian self-determination struggle.
While in Vanuatu Benny Wenda added his support to that move, calling on Papuans from different resistance organisations to back a “shared agenda for freedom”.
A decision about whether West Papua will be granted observer status at this year’s MSG meeting will be made soon.
In Australia, Bob Carr may be trying to pour cold water on growing public support for a free West Papua but in Melanesia the tide is moving in the opposite direction.
Jason MacLeod teaches and researches at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Airi Ingram is a Papuan musician and activist.
4) Freeport’s Tough Stance Induces Govt Compromise
Tito Summa Siahaan | March 16, 2013

The Indonesian government appears to have softened its position in contract renegotiations with Freeport Indonesia, after the gold and copper miner resisted government requests for change on some issues. 

Freeport has refused to meet the government’s requests on at least two of six key issues on which discussion was sought as part of efforts to expand the economic benefits to Indonesia of resources projects. The two are the obligation to build domestic processing facilities such as smelters, and the requirement to reduce its concession area to no more than 25,000 hectares. 

Freeport senior official Javier Targhetta was quoted by Reuters as saying last week that smelting is a difficult business as it requires large investment and generates a small margin. 

Thamrin Sihite, a senior official at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said on Friday in Jakarta that while the government is still pursuing the full implementation of a raw material export ban next year, a win-win solution with Freeport was still possible. 

On the two known outstanding issues, Thamrin said the government may soften its stance on one in exchange for compliance on the other. 

“We want domestic processing facilities and realize that this will require a huge amount of investment and the availability of security of supply. Therefore, we may agree if they ask for more than 25,000 hectares [of concession area] for domestic processing [needs],” Thamrin said on Friday. 

Thamrin said the government is willing to provide appropriate incentives and to make prime land available should Freeport build the processing facility in the country. 

He added that Freeport can cooperate with local entities because the law does not oblige miners to build smelting facility, but only for them to process the raw minerals domestically. 

Potential partners include Indosmelt, which plans to build a smelting facility and is keen to secure copper supply from Freeport. 

Natsir Mansur, the president director of Indosmelt and also the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said the future of his business was uncertain due to Freeport’s reluctance to feed copper to it. 

“If Freeport thinks that building a smelter is economically unfeasible, then they should give a chance for local businesses that want to build the facility,” Natsir said on Thursday. 

Currently, Freeport processes around 30 percent of the copper extracted from its Indonesian mine domestically. 

The latest negotiations came after the Indonesian government enacted a Mining Law in 2009 that cuts contract periods, reduces concession areas and increases royalty payments. It also requires foreign miners to divest 51 percent of their share to local entities 10 years after operation. 

Miners including Freeport and Newmont argued the new rules only applied to miners operating under new-generation Mining Business Permits, while they themselves operated under the older Contracts of Work. In response, the government sought contract renegotiations with those miners in order to achieve their compliance with the new regulation.


5) A challenging relationship: Australia–Indonesia defence cooperation

1Mar 2013

The signing of a Defence Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia on 5 September 2012 shows a strong intent to deepen bilateral defence ties between Indonesia and Australia. At the time, Defence Minister Stephen Smith said that the tempo of defence cooperation was at its highest point in 15 years. There’s been a substantial increase in ministerial-level exchanges and the establishment of a regular Defence Minister’s meeting and a ‘two plus two’ dialogue between Defence and Foreign Ministers. And the next Defence White Paper will aim to set out a path to even closer and more comprehensive military cooperation.
These are positive developments and indeed ones which receive bipartisan support if Mr Abbott’s frequent use of the term ‘more Jakarta and less Geneva’ is translated into policy. But the fact remains that Australia and Indonesia have a challenging if not difficult relationship. The 15-year high Stephen Smith refers to can be contrasted with the all-time political and strategic low the relationship fell to in 1999 at the time of the East Timor crisis. Then, as Australian forces deployed into East Timor, there were justifiable fears that Canberra and Jakarta might descend into open military conflict. While relations today are positive, tensions remain, as does the potential for serious misunderstanding between two such starkly different countries. The Defence White paper can help strengthen this critical relationship—I suggest four areas of engagement here which could be used to dramatically strengthen ties.
First, it’s time to create a formal mechanism by which the Defence high commands of the two countries regularly meet. Such a grouping met once in the past, in March 1999, known as the CDF–PANGAB Forum. Around 20 senior ADF attended and, although the media statement announcing the meeting rather deliberately underplayed its purpose, the Forum was hoped to become a regular meeting of the top brass in both countries. It fell away with the Timor Crisis breaking a few months earlier, but the time is right to resume such structured connection.
Second, Defence should fund the creation of both an Australian and Indonesian institutional home for IKAHAN—the Indonesia-Australia Alumni Association, brainchild of CDF David Hurley—which has become a successful way to bring military and defence civilian’s together from both countries. The organisation offers a pool of ready talent to help drive the relationship. IKAHAN should be given a physical base in both countries and expand its role to sponsor exchanges and scholarship on strategic issues.
An obvious Australian home for an IKAHAN Centre would be at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Here a core of Indonesia-related thinking and analysis should be established to deepen our engagement. The need for this stronger analytical focus on Indonesia is well reflected in the Asian Century White Paper, but it should not be focused solely on the university sector. There is a deep need for policy practitioners to build their knowledge of Indonesia and for this to reflect itself in strengthened analytical capabilities about Indonesia in Defence, Foreign Affairs and the intelligence community.
Third, we need more structured engagement for ADF officer cadets and graduates joining the Defence Department. If IKAHAN taps the commitment and knowledge base of senior personnel, we also must make sure that young Defence professionals have the opportunity to understand each other’s country and to build personal contacts. Defence should consider programs that would take each cadet graduating year and each new intake of Defence civilian graduates up to Indonesia for a couple of weeks. Early contact of this sort can help to establish connections that prove invaluable in times of crisis when political relations are difficult and communications poor.
These measures should be viewed as relatively low cost add-ons to the plan that is likely to be set out in the Defence White Paper for increasing operational cooperation between the Services, additional exercising and joint operational activities. What I have suggested here would amount to no more than an additional spend of about $10 million annually. In Defence terms this would be a small down-payment for a long-term return. It’s an investment that any likely future Australian government should endorse, as in time it would be able to draw on the good will generated when the next drug mule or live animal trading problem threatens to derail the relationship.
A final element in the defence bilateral relationship with Indonesia needs to be openly acknowledged: the fact is that it’ll take years to build a deeper level of trust between the two countries. Indonesia isn’t New Zealand. It’s possible to imagine strategic circumstances in which Jakarta and Canberra could well be seriously at odds. While no-one wishes that outcome, it would be silly to discount the possibility of deep differences emerging in the future. The intelligent thing to do would be to recognise this reality. Strong fences in the form of capable defence forces will make for more respectful neighbours.
As a footnote to this blog, I should mention that ASPI is well advanced in plans to establish a 1.5 track dialogue with Indonesia on strategic and defence matters. Also, with the support of Defence, we’ll also soon establish an Indonesian visiting fellow position, hopefully to be filled by one or two emerging strategic scholars every year.
 Peter Jennings is executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Image courtesy of IKAHAN.

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