Friday, May 3, 2013

1) US envoy meets Neles Tebay to discuss peace in Papua

1) US envoy meets Neles Tebay to discuss peace in Papua
2) UN rights chief asks RI to open Papua to int’l journalists
3) Your letters: Papua’s May Day
5) Workers at Freeport projects end three-day strike
6) UN High Commissioner Airs Serious Concerns Over Papua Violence
7) More photos of May 1st rallies on KNPB web

1) US envoy meets Neles Tebay to discuss peace in Papua

Fri, May 3 2013 13:56 | 47 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Ambassador Scot Marciel met on Thursday with Neles Tebay, the leader of the Papua Peace Network and recent winner of the Tji Hak-Soon Peace and Justice Award, according to the US embassy here on Friday.

The two have met regularly, both in Papua and Jakarta, to discuss developments in Papua, including shared aspirations for peace and security in Papua.

The U.S. Government recognizes the territorial integrity of Indonesia, with Papua as an integral part.

The U.S. Government also encourages development and dialogue that go to the heart of settling long-standing grievances.(*)
Editor: Heru


2) UN rights chief asks RI to open Papua to int’l journalists

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The latest violence carried out by the security forces in Papua and West Papua provinces on April 30 and May 1, 2013, have been met with a strong response from the United Nations. Among other things, the UN has asked Indonesia to allow international journalists to enter the country’s easternmost province.
The UN's high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, expressed deep concern on Thursday over a police crackdown on demonstrators in Papua and West Papua in recent days that reportedly left several people dead.
"These latest incidents are unfortunate examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and the excessive use of force in Papua," Pillay said in a statement received by
Media reports state that police shot and killed two protesters in the city of Sorong, West Papua, who were preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of Papua becoming part of Indonesia, while at least 20 demonstrators were arrested in the cities of Biak and Timika on May 1, the statement said.
"There has not been sufficient transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in Papua," Pillay said, urging Indonesia to allow international journalists and UN observers into the province.
Head of the Papua branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Victor Mambor, said earlier that there was no judicial regulation to prevent foreign journalists from entering Papua.
In practice, however, they are always refused entry by a number of ministries, such as the Foreign Ministry and the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Ministry.
“This is strange. There is no judicial regulation, but the government prevents them [foreign journalists] entry with a variety of reasons, like visa and security issues,” Victor said.
“If a few happen to enter Papua, they go undercover as tourists or with a tight escort from the security apparatus, such as BIN” he said, referring to the National Intelligence Agency.

3) Your letters: Papua’s May Day

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Paper Edition | Page: 8
This is a comment to an article titled “Australia-Indonesia bilateral ties: Challenges ahead”, (The Jakarta Post, April 30) by Ratih Hardjono.

I think most Australians are aware of the great progress Indonesia has made toward democracy since the fall of former president Soeharto. However, just by geography alone we are also aware of the human rights situation in Papua.

May Day is celebrated around the world as a day for workers but I wonder how many Indonesians know that in Papuan history, May 1 (in 1963) was the day that the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred the then Dutch colony to Indonesia’s administration?

This was a failure by the International community in its responsibility to give the people of Papua a say in their future. A number of civil society organizations in Papua have called for rallies to protest this UNTEA handover but the authorities have banned any commemorations from taking place.

 A report just issued by the UK-based NGO, TAPOL, states that there are 40 political prisoners in jails across Papua and West Papua and yet we keep hearing about how Indonesia is now a democracy. What better way for the Indonesian government to prove this than to immediately release all Papuan political prisoners unconditionally as a sign of good faith to the Papuan people.

Joe Collins

Posted at 23:23 on 02 May, 2013 UTC
A leading West Papuan academic says dialogue remains the best hope for a peaceful resolution to the problems in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The US-based Octo Mote, who is part of a group of exiled West Papuans promoting dialogue with Jakarta, says violence and human rights abuses have been increasing in Indonesia’s eastern region over the last couple of years.
He says while it’s been difficult to facilitate dialogue with Indonesia’s leadership, it is important to make progress on this before the term of President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono ends next year.

Johnny Blades asked Mr Mote if there was any political will to listen to the West Papuans.
MOTE: Right now what we have is a political promise, there is no legal... As I said, as a negotiator, I believe that it is very important for Indonesia as a nation. This is not only for West Papua, but if Indonesia would like to build their performance as a democratic nation, West Papua is the only issue that still exists in Indonesia, besides religious freedom issues. So I think this is very important for Indonesia, really, to solve the issue through negotiation with West Papua’s representative.

BLADES: There seems to be some momentum. Is it because there is seemingly increasing violence and increasing reportage of incidents in both those provinces?
MOTE: That’s very true. The last couple of years there’s been more and more violence, a huge military intelligence operation. They target, in particular, groups of West Papuans that are leading peaceful movements in West Papua. So I think if Indonesia keeps assassinating the leader, the issue will never be solved. And today, West Papuan people back home are commemorating 50 years of colonisation. I think it’s very historical, this moment, to end this 50 years of colonisation through peaceful dialogue.

BLADES: What do you make of the prospect of the West Papuans given membership at the Melanesian Spearhead Group? It seems like it’s the best chance ever in June, in Noumea?
MOTE: It is very important. Finally, after 50 years of struggling, our Melanesian nation really recognises us as a part of them. And they’re willing to support. At least, up till now, we already get support endorsement from four nations - Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomons and Kanaky. And we hope very soon, this month, we’ll also get support from PNG. So I’m confident that the current leadership in regencies, they really see that we are about to be extinct from our land. In 10 years from now we will only be 20%. So after we become a minority in our land, the next target is really PNG. In order to protect the whole New Guinea islands, I see the support by the Melanesian leader right now, it’s important. Not only for us, but for Melanesians entirely. Because as soon as we get this support, we’ll give a very significant influence into our struggle for the right of self-determination. And if you look at the history of the South Pacific Forum, back in the ’50s, West Papua has always been part of this process. So I think this is important and very significant. We are looking really forward to becoming members.

BLADES: So you really think PNG would possibly be at risk of some sort of incursion, invasion by Indonesia if left unaddressed?
MOTE: Of course. It is a matter of time, you know? I visit four times now to PNG after I got citizenship in the US, before I was a political asylum refugee there. The influence by Indonesia, it’s always in the grassroots. It’s already in Wewak, not only in the border area, Vanimo for instance, but over in Wewak where you can really see a lot of Indonesians work in the logging companies. And I talk to a lot of the Wewak people and they explain to me that there’s Indonesian activities all the way up there. So you can imagine when West Papuans are only 20% how fast this inflation will happen in the PNG side.

BLADES: So just back to the MSG quickly, you think that will significantly help to get some movement on the issue?
MOTE: Absolutely. And that is very, very important because right now the Indonesian government really doesn’t see us as a equal political bargaining right now since we don’t have support. We don’t have military resistance as strong as Acehnese when they try to negotiate. We don’t have any political kind of support internationally, for instance, if you compare with the East Timor case. So that’s why the recognition from the Melanesian nation is very important to build our leverage, so that we can really negotiate with the Indonesian government equally.


5) Workers at Freeport projects end three-day strike

Fri, May 3 2013 14:19 | 40 Views
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Around 1,500 workers of three local contractors for PT Freeport Indonesia in Papua, resumed work on Friday ending a three day strike.

"Mobilization of the workers will start this morning by the three contractors after the agreement on Thursday with the contractors and representatives of PT Freeport," a local union leader Irwanto Hasan told Antara new agency here on Friday. 

Leaders of the local units of Indonesian labor union (SPSI) had reached an agreement on pay hike with the managements of PT Jasti Pravita, PT Osato Seike and PT Srikandi Mitra Karya (JOS),which are carrying out projects owned by the US company which has big copper and gold mines in Papua. 

Irwanto said part or around 650 workers would be transported to Tembagapura and the rest to LIP Kuala Kencana and the port town of Portsite Amamapare, the places where they had worked for the contractors. 

Irwanto said under the agreement, the minimum hourly pay is Rp11,850 calculated on minimum monthly pay of Rp2,050,000 on regular time.

They pay agreement is retroactive as from January, 2013, he said. 

Overtime pay is Rp13,563 per hour, he said, adding the difference in pay until April would be paid in May. 

The pay increased by 3 to 6 percent depending on the duration they have worked for the companies, Irwanto said 

It was also agreed that the companies may not take disciplinary action against striking workers and reduce allowance and other rights entitled to them earlier, he said. 

The workers, therefore, will fully receive pay for regular time of seven hours per day during the strike from April 30 to May 2.(*)
Editor: Heru

6) UN High Commissioner Airs Serious Concerns Over Papua Violence

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