Monday, May 20, 2013

1) Papuan MP says the Aimas Incident was engineered

1) Papuan MP says the Aimas Incident was engineered

2) Indonesia mine collapse death toll rises to 17

3) Trigana Airplane Skids Off Papua Runway

4) Major police cover-up alarms in Labora case


1) Papuan MP says the Aimas Incident was engineered
JUBI, 17 May 2013

A Papuan member of the Indonesian parliament, DPR-RI, Diaz Gwijangge said that he believes the the recent incident in the District of Aimas, Region of Sorong, West Papua on 30 April when two people were killed had been engineered.

'I believe that this incident was stage-managed and unfortunately it led to the deaths of two Papuans and has attracted international attention. The action seems not to have proceed as intended and resulted in the death of two Papuans which has attracted international intention.These days, Papua is under the intenational spotlight; this is a fact that cannot been denied,' he said.

He also questioned the decision that investigation into the Aimas incident would be conducted by the police. In his opinion, the investigations should be conducted by an independent organisation so as to ensure that everything is above board and people do not think that something is being concealed.

'Why should the institution which was involved in the incident be the ones to conduct the investigation? It is necessary to ensure that the investigations are properly carried out and are seen to be fair so as to ensure that nothing is being concealed. It seems to me,' he said, 'that there is an attempt to hide something. We have Komnas HAM, (the National Human Rights Commission) and other organisations or the churches which could handle this case. Why have they not been involved?'

He also said he was not convinced that a Bintang Kejora, a Morning Star Flag, had been found, belonging to the local community as well as a membership card, which the police were claiming as evidence, during their sweepings in the area, as the police are claiming.

'These can easily be said to have been found during searches that took place during the sweeping because no one else was involved in the investigations.. How do we know that this is true? It is just the old refrain  and the local people are the ones who get blamed.'

He went on to say that once again, some Papuans have been killed. Such an occurrence is not going to solve the problems in Papua. On the contrary, it will only mean that  the situation in Papua continues to get international attention.

'We must find a solution that is beneficial for all sides. Killing Papuans is not going to solve anything. The security forces are only drawing attention yet again to the human rights violations that are occurring in Papua,' he said.

Translated by TAPOL

2) Indonesia mine collapse death toll rises to 17

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Rescuers recovered three more bodies Monday from a collapsed underground room at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia, bringing the confirmed death toll to 17, mine officials said. Eleven others were believed buried under the rubble.
The Big Gossan underground training facility at the PT Freeport Indonesia mine collapsed last week when 38 workers were undergoing safety training. Ten injured miners were rescued.
A statement from the company said recovery efforts were continuing around the clock.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he had ordered two Cabinet ministers to personally investigate the accident, but their visits were rejected by the company because rescue efforts were still under way.
Mining operations at the Grasberg mine, owned by Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., have been suspended since the accident to pay respects to the victims and to concentrate on the recovery effort. The company said the accident was expected to have no significant impact on its operations.
"I will continue to order the ministers as well as other concerned officials to thoroughly discuss and investigate to find out what has to be done to ensure safety in the future," Yudhoyono said after presiding over a meeting to discuss the accident. "We will evaluate all mining companies in the country, not only Freeport."
Richard Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, arrived Saturday at the scene and visited the injured workers and the families of those still buried.
"I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this event," Adkerson said, adding that "the entire Freeport family around the world joins Freeport Indonesia in grieving for our lost brothers."
The Grasberg mine is one of the world's largest single producers of both copper and gold.
More than 20,000 workers are employed at the mine, which has repeatedly been targeted by arson attacks, roadside bombs and blockades since production began in the 1970s. It is located in the remote mountains of resource-rich but impoverished Papua province, which is home to a decades-long, low-level separatist insurgency.


3) Trigana Airplane Skids Off Papua Runway

Jayapura. A Boeing cargo airplane operated by Indonesian airline Trigana Air skidded off a runway at Wamena Airport in the Papua district of Jayawijaya on Monday.
The incident took place at about 4 p.m. local time (2 p.m. in Jakarta), after the plane’s right and left tires blew out upon hitting the runway,
It’s not clear yet what had caused the tires to blow.
“While removing goods from inside the plane, police are investigating the scene of the accident,” Papua Police spokesman Sr, Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya said on Monday. “There were no victims in the incident.”
The plane, captained by pilot Jatmiko and co-pilot Andika, was carrying basic staples as it flew from Sentani Airport in Jayapura to Wamena.
Activities at the airport were reportedly undisrupted, as it was the last plane arriving in Wamena on Monday. Airport authorities said the airplane would be relocated on Monday evening so that the airport may operate normally again on Tuesday.
Trigana immediately unloaded the staples after the incident.
“Material losses are still being calculated,” Sumerta said.

4) Major police cover-up alarms in Labora case

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Antigraft and police watchdogs suspect that the sudden arrest by the National Police of Papua policeman Adj. First Insp. Labora Sitorus was part of plot to protect higher ranking officers who could be dragged into the mire of a major graft case.

“It’s inconceivable that LS [Labora Sitorus] acted alone for five years. There have been reports of illegal logging and fuel smuggling that might involve members of the police in Papua, but it has all been ignored.

“It’s impossible for members of the police to be involved in this kind of thing unless they have the support of their superiors,” Neta S. Pane, chairman of the Indonesian Police Watch told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Labora was detained for holding suspicious bank accounts containing more than Rp 1 trillion (US$102 million), allegedly the proceeds of illegal logging and fuel smuggling.

The arrest took place soon after he reported to the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) at its office in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Saturday.

Kompolnas commissioner M. Nasser suspected that the arrest of Labora was the result of machinations within the corps.

Nasser said that Labora was a pawn in a conflict between high-ranking officers who have been engaged in illegal businesses for time immemorial.

“This is only a business competition. There some officers who are fighting for the business interests of others,” he said as quoted by

Earlier, National Police headquarters said it would press charges against Labora for involvement in illegal logging and fuel smuggling. He is suspected of being part of the illicit practices allegedly committed PT Seno Adi Wijaya and
PT Rotua.

In March, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) filed a report with National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo stating that Labora had been linked to bank transactions totaling Rp 1 trillion between 2007 and 2012.

Neta said that prosecution of cases involving Labora, and other graft cases in Papua should involve the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Unless the KPK is involved, the public will see a repeat of cases like the acquittal of Papua’s Police Comr. Marthen Renouw.

Renouw was charged in 2006 for taking a $120,000 bribes to protect illegal loggers but was acquitted by the Jayapura Court.

“This case of MR [Marthen Renouw] shows that a transparent legal process in crimes involving the police, particularly in the regions, requires external intervention. We don’t want the same to happen to LS,” Neta said.

National Police headquarters denied that Labora had been used by his superiors to launder money and insisted that he was acting alone.

National Police Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said Labora was the only member of the police implicated in the case.

Boy however said that “the police will move against any other officers who could have an involvement with his case.”

He also said that the investigation of Labora would be handled by the Papua Police with assistance from National Police headquarters, raising further concern that a major cover-up was underway.

Emerson Yuntho from the Indonesian Corruption Watch said that once the Papua police got a hold of the Labora case, it would most likely be swept under the carpet.

“It is likely that he will be acquitted if his case is handled in Papua,” Emerson said.

Even if Labora is finally prosecuted he will be a sacrificial lamb for his superiors. “We are afraid that the police will sacrifice Labora to save colleagues or bosses who might be involved,” Emerson said.

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