Tuesday, March 26, 2013

1) TNI to build civilian roads in Papua

1) TNI to build civilian roads in Papua

2) BP’s Tangguh project may be postponed

3) Densus 88 and the (il)legality of torture

4) Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: Challenge and Hope



1) TNI to build civilian roads in Papua

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The government has taken on the near impossible: building 1,520 kilometers of new roads in less than two years on the harsh terrain of Papua and West Papua — the nation’s least developed and isolated provinces.

As no private contractors have the ability to do the job using the allocated budget, the Presidential Unit to Accelerate the Development of Papua and West Papua (UP4B) has turned to the Indonesian Military (TNI) for help.

According to the unit, the massive infrastructure project will open the isolated provinces at a cost of Rp 1.5 trillion (US$154 million), also with the help of the Public Works Ministry and local administrations.

A presidential decree expected to be issued in the next few months authorizing the TNI to do such work inside the nation’s borders will clear the way for more than a 1,000 soldiers from the Army’s engineering detachment to get to work.

“If we depend on the ministry and local agencies to build the roads, it will take around 60 years to complete,” UP4B chief expert Doddy Imam Hidayat said. “The TNI’s deployment is aimed at speeding up the process at a relatively low cost, as it is not seeking any financial profit.”

Despite the province’s annual budget of around Rp 40 trillion, the seventh-largest in the nation, Papua remains at the bottom of the list for infrastructure development.

Officials have said that the provincial budget has been drained to cover expensive transportation costs and inflated prices resulting from a lack of roads and ports.

“Jakarta thinks that we get a big budget that is sufficient for development,” Pegunungan Bintang deputy regent Yakobus Wayam said. “They seem to be ignorant of the fact that most of the funds have been spent on transportation costs.

He added that around 40 percent of the regency’s budget went to
subsidizing transportation.

With the intended road system, the UP4B wants to bring down the prices of goods and materials so
that regional budgets can be spent efficiently on infrastructure development.

“The planned roads will also help accelerate the expansion of healthcare and education services for people living in the remote areas of the provinces,” Doddy said.

2) BP’s Tangguh project may be postponed

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The plan by oil and gas giant BP to build a third liquefaction train at its Tangguh plant in Papua could be delayed for a year due to an objection from the local administration over revenue sharing from the site.

Aside from the revenue issue, environmental concerns have also become a major concern as the environmental impact analysis (Amdal) that BP submitted has not yet been approved by the local administration.

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, the commercial deputy at upstream oil and gas regulatory special task force SKKMigas, said the prolonged discussions on those matters could serve to potentially delay the Train 3 project.

“Basically, they [local administration officials] still hold grudges on the revenue-sharing issue at the Tangguh plant following the construction of Train 3. If they aren’t happy then it will become a problem,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Train 3, which will have a production capacity of 3.8 million metric tons per annum (MTPA), is the expansion project of the Tangguh facility, located in Teluk Bintuni, West Papua and in which BP holds a 37.16 percent stake.

The plant currently comprises two production trains that are able to produce 7.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year. BP started the first production for the first LNG train in February 2009 and the second one, Train 2, in July 2009.

The third train will produce an additional 3.8 million tons a year for a total combined capacity of 11.4 MTPA of LNG.

Widhyawan, formerly the planning deputy with SKKMigas, said the regulator was currently mediating discussion between the British contractor and the local administration to solve the issue, and cited that “if the situation persists the project may have to be delayed for a year”.

“One of the local administration’s concerns is that it fears the process of constructing the Train 3 facility will lower its share of revenue from Tangguh as whole. We have asked the contractor to ensure that this is not going to happen,” said the official.

The Papua administration has received a 70 percent share of state revenue from the Tangguh facility while the government has received a 30 percent share before tax, according to Widhyawan.

“Once Train 3 starts to operate, the local administration will receive even bigger revenue. It’s just a matter of perspective and we’re working on it,” he said.

Late last year, the Indonesian government approved the US$12 billion Train 3 project.

BP Asia-Pacific regional president William Lin said previously that with the approval, the final investment decision for the project might be taken in 2014, which meant the new train could begin operating in 2018.

3) Densus 88 and the (il)legality of torture

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A video showing excessive force by the Densus 88 counter terrorism unit as it searched for terrorist suspects in Poso, Central Sulawesi, has prompted some religious leaders to demand the dissolution of the unit. Confirmation by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) of the authenticity of the video will intensify the discussion on the handling of suspected terrorists.

This situation may prompt a debate over the (il)legality of the use of torture in terrorism cases, in particular on how should we balance preservation of national security and protection of individual’s rights and fundamental freedom?

The prohibition of torture is a given under international law. Aside from many international human rights and practices that clearly prohibit the use of torture by the state, our national legal system has laws on torture prohibition.

Legislation in 2009 on human rights in police duties categorically prohibits torture.

Torture is not specified as a crime in its own right under Indonesia’s criminal law. The 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (United Nations Convention against Torture) defines torture in terms of three criteria: intensity (infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering), intention (intentional or deliberate infliction of the pain), and purposefulness (pursuit of a specific purpose, such as obtaining information, punishment or intimidation).

If we take a look at the European Court of Human Rights, the court famously declared that torture should “attach a special stigma to deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering.”

In the case of Ireland versus United Kingdom for instance, the court ruled that the minimum assessment of torture is, “in the nature of things, relative; it depends on all the circumstances of the case, such as the duration of the treatment, its physical or mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, age and state of health of the victim, etc.”

Determining whether torture has taken place or not is not always simple. Law enforcement certainly has discretionary authority to choose specific coercive measures in handling a particular case. Given the fact that “uncertainty” is the ultimate weapon of terror, proponents of torture mainly rely on consequentialist arguments.

Such consequentialism, known as the “ticking bomb scenario” argument, refers to a clear and present danger, which may become a larger catastrophe if the legal institution fails to extract information from a suspect.

As the catastrophe itself is essentially uncertain, the scenario simply argues that torture could be necessary in terms of “catastrophe prevention”.

Such uncertainty, by and large, may affect the national criminal law in coping with terror.

To a certain extent there is a need for the state to violate an individual’s rights and fundamental freedom on the basis of preserving national security as a bigger interest. But how should we balance in this kind of conflict?
In the United States a four-part balancing test between national security interests versus individual freedom has been floated: first, the importance of the national interest in question, second, the extent to which the results of the torture advance the public interest, next the severity of the usurping of the citizen’s rights, and finally the purpose of the intrusion as distinct from traditional law enforcement. So despite combating terrorism requiring extraordinary measures, there are human rights principles which the state must comply with.

Nonetheless, it is widely understood that institutionalizing torture of terrorists has detrimental consequences on civil, military and legal institutions, making the costs higher than the benefits.

In other words, the institutionalization of torture cannot fulfill its purpose as a low-cost life saver in the ticking-bomb argument.

In 1999, the Israeli High Court outlawed certain interrogation methods employed by Israeli security forces, arguing that in a democracy not all methods are acceptable, and just because a practice is employed by one’s enemies does mean it can be legitimately undertaken by the state.

Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the rule of law and recognition of an individual’s liberty constitutes an important component of national security.

With no scientific finding on the effectiveness of Densus 88’s catastrophe prevention, an accountable, timely and transparent antiterrorism mechanism is required in every activity conducted by the detachment.

To conclude, national security is definitely a basis for legitimate derogation of human rights.

The enforcement of our anti-terrorism policy ought to comply with universal human rights values as mentioned by the law, so that the conflict between the protection of human rights and the preservation of national security can be reconciled.

The writer is a researcher at the Human Rights Research and Development Agency, the Law and Human Rights Ministry . The views expressed are personal.

4) Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: Challenge and Hope

The Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: A Challenge and a Hope
25 March 2013
This article will present a challenge to all who have a heart for and who are working without reward to save the ethnic people of West Papua which are now heading towards annihilation. This article will in particular consider the question as to whether there is truly annihilation occurring of the indigenous West Papuan people (The term Papua or West Papua below are taken to include both the Papuan and West Papuan Provinces).

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