Friday, May 17, 2013

1) Yudhoyono asks for investigation of Freeport incident

1) Yudhoyono asks for investigation of Freeport incident

2) Freeport must give priority to work safety: governor

3) MSG examining bid by West Papua for MSG membership

4) New Vanuatu PM looks to shake up foreign relations


1) Yudhoyono asks for investigation of Freeport incident

Fri, May 17 2013 00:49 | 202 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked PT Freeport and security agencies concerned to investigate recent incident in the mining area of the company in Papua to prevent recurrence.

"Every worker in any institution has the right to vocational protection. So, investigate the incident immediately," he said in his twitter account here on Thursday.

The head of state had expressed deep concern over the incident and had asked for the parties concerned to intensify rescue efforts.

"In view of the incident in PT Freeport I call on all companies in Indonesia to improve workers` safety protection," he said.

The Papua regional police command would send a team to investigate the collapse of a training tunnel at PT Freeport on May 13 that has made tens of people trapped in it.

The regional police command`s head of public relations division, Senior Commissioner I Gede Sumerta, said through a short message service on Thursday that the command would carry out the investigation immediately.

"Today or tomorrow the command would send an investigation team led by the director of general crime investigation," he said.

He said the team would collect information from the company`s management and survivors with regard to finding the cause of the incident.

The rescue team has discovered another body trapped in rubble at the Big Gossan mining tunnel in Tembagapura.

Tembagapura sector police chief Adjunct Commissioner Sudirman said to ANTARA who contacted him from Timika on Thursday that the body of the worker had been taken to SOS Tembagapura hospital for identification.

According to PT Freeport data only 15 out 39 people in the collapsed tunnel had been evacuated. (YH/S012)
Editor: B Kunto Wibisono


2) Freeport must give priority to work safety: governor

Fri, May 17 2013 10:58 | 107 Views
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Papua Governor Lukas Enembe asked PT Freeport Indonesia to give priority to the safety of each of its worker who worked in its gold and copper mining areas.

The governor told newsmen here on Friday that the many number of dead victims in the collapse of its underground training facility, Big Gossan, on Tuesday (May14) was a bad history for Freeport which had been operating in Mimika for tens of years.

"This incident is a new (bad) history for Freeport in its tens of years of operations. The incident claimed a big number of victims," said Lukas.

Lukas Enembe, who was appointed governor of Papua two months ago for the 2013-2018 period, reminded Freeport the importance of listening to the various suggestions from the government and local community leaders.

"Listen to what we talks about and what local community leaders say so that all will proceed well," said Lukas.

The government of Papua province, he said, expressed deep condolences to the death of a number workers of Freeport as a result of the collapse of the Big Gossan underground training facility.

Chairman of Commission B of Mimika`s Regional Legislative Assembly (DPRD) Wilhelmus Pigai said that the collapse of the facility in the PT Freeport area and buried 39 workers were an extraordinary accident.

"We should not underestimate this accident. This an extraordinary accident that claimed a lot of victims. This is a humanitarian tragedy," Wilhelmus said.

He called for an independent investigation into the collapse of the training facility and urged the company to carry out an overall evaluation of its underground work safety system.

Wilhelmus said he strongly supported the temporary closure of all PT Freeport`s mining activities there so that it would be able to carry out evacuation of 20 other victims who were still buried in the Big Gossan tunnel.

Of the 15 victims who are already found, five have died. They are Mateus Marandof, Selpianus Edoway, Yapinus Tabuni, Aan Nugraha and Rooy Kailuhu. 

Four of the 10 other miners still have to undergo follow-up treatment in Jakarta because they are still in critical conditions.

PT Freeport said the efforts to rescue and evacuate workers are still continued. Freeport President Director Rozik B. Soetjipto and the Director General for Mineral and Coal Affairs Thamrin Sihite have arrived in Tembagapura since Thursday to observe the evacuation process and to visit the victims who are still admitted to the hospital in Tembapura.

Rozik said on Wednesday that the accident took place on Tuesday. "On Tuesday at 7.30am while the workers were gathering in a training room parts of the tunnel in the area collapsed," he said.

After the incident Freeport immediately conducted rescue efforts but the efforts had been hindered because the room was small and there were risks of further collapse.

"They have to use light equipment such as saws, stone crushers and also work manually," he said.

Rozik said the company had sent 200 rescuers to the scene in an effort to find the rest of the victims, from contractors, geo-technical staff as well as local administrations concerned.

By 3.50pm the rescue team was able to evacuate 10 people safely and four bodies.

The wounded victims have been taken to the company hospital in Tembagapura and their conditions have been stable while another one has been flown to Jakarta for further treatment on Wednesday morning. 

Rozik said until now the company along with mining inspectors from the central and regional governments are still investigating the cause of the collapse.

He said the company has asked the team to inspect the whole underground structure to check its safety.

"This is only a preventive measure as we have so far always conducted periodic checks," he said. ***4***

Editor: Ade Marboen
Posted at 20:39 on 16 May, 2013 UTC
Senior officials with the Melanesian Spearhead Group have been examining the bid for full MSG membership by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.
The officials have been meeting in Vanuatu’s capital this week to finalise the agenda of the annual MSG leaders summit next month in New Caledonia.
The chairman of the MSG Senior Officials meeting, Amena Yauvoli, who is also Fiji’s permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs, says membership and observer status bids by a variety of organisation are on the agenda.
He says the leaders are expected to make a decision on whether to grant the West Papuans full membership in Noumea.
“It’s been brought before the senior officials meeting this morning. At this point in time, we’re still discussing it, to reach a suggested way forward on how we can deal with the West Papua issue.”
Amena Yauvoli.


4) New Vanuatu PM looks to shake up foreign relations

Updated 17 May 2013, 12:52 AEST
Vanuatu's new prime minister says his first hundred days in office will bring significant change to the country's foreign relations.
Vanuatu's new prime minister says his first hundred days in office will bring significant change to the country's foreign relations.
Moana Carcasses Kalosil became prime minister by leading a mass defection in late March from a loose coalition government of six parties and independents that was patched together just five months earlier after Vanuatu's national elections.
The then Prime Minister, Sato Kilman, resigned knowing he would lose a Vote of No Confidence.
Mr Carcasses has spelled out a 68-point plan for his first 100 days in office, and says in a country which often faces political instability, he has the support to see it through.
"I have the support of the main two parties, which is the Vanua'aku Party and UMP," he said.
"They decided to support me not on a racial level, I think on the quality of leadership, someone who can bring everyone together."

Community cabinet

One of the first acts of the new prime minister was to haul his cabinet ministers, senior officials and even the diplomatic corps out of the capital, Port Vila, to a part of the country they don't often visit: the northernmost province of Vanuatu, which borders Solomon Islands.
It's the first time that's been done and they held meetings with community leaders.
But Moana Carcasses Kalosil is used to breaking the mould - Vanuatu's first non-indigenous Prime Minister, he was born in Tahiti and his parents moved to Vanuatu in 1965 when it was still a colony jointly administered by France and Great Britain.
"I went to school here, and I remember my father was sick," he said.
"At the age of 14 I had to stop school and look after the plantation.
"So I'm a self taught man with lots of experience whether it's to build a road, whether it's to build a house, whether it is to manage a company."
The Opposition Leader, Ham Lini, is critical of the cost of taking the whole Cabinet and senior bureaucrats to the provinces.
He questions whether it provided real benefits for the people there or if it was just a stunt.
"The interesting thing is to see after what benefits has done this, has this done to the provinces or the people in the grassroots because all the money that will be spending on this meetings and then no money to go for services," he said.

'Satisfy the people first'

Prime Minister Carcasses invited to Sola, the capaital of the Toba Province, some of those who do have access to funds - the heads of diplomatic missions who provide aid to Vanuatu.
The donors were presented with a list of projects in need of funding, and a Church youth group closed off the meeting with a song saying their province was poor but the donors could solve all their problems.
One notable absence was the Chinese Ambassador, the latest apparent snub in the wake of Mr Carcasses decision to ask a Chinese construction company to relocate a convention centre planned for the capital.
"This is the request of the supporters of the town," he said.
"They say, 'We don't have much of what you call green space. The only green space that is available that we can have is the one in Parliament.'
"So the majority of the citizens of Port Vila are asking us, 'What are you doing in government? We don't want a Convention Centre here!'.
"What we want and I am sure the Government of China will want that investment, their investment will satisfy the people first - not political leaders or someone else like this.
The Opposition Leader, Ham Lini, says the sudden cancellation will spoil Vanuatu's relations with China.
"They have done everything and have signed with the government and were ready to start the job, but then this government comes in and says they have to relocate that," he said.
"What that means is to cancel the whole thing - not only that, but also it will ruin the relationship between Vanuatu and the Chinese Governments."

West Papua

Another project that has been cancelled is a Defence Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia, under which Indonesia was supplying uniforms and other assistance to the Vanuatu police.
Mr Carcasses has long been a supporter of the Melanesian people of West Papua who want independence from Indonesia are claim they are being oppressed.
"I remember calling the then commissioner of police," he said.
"[I said] to them, 'You are signing an agreement with the people who are killing the West Papuans. You going to sleep at night?'."
The West Papuan Council for Liberation has an office in Vanuatu and its Vice President, Dr Otto Ondawame, is delighted.
"Melanesia is not for Indonesia - it's for Melanesia and therefore the Government of Vanuatu made it clear his position that Melanesia is only for Melanesia," he said.
"Indonesia is not allowed to come here in whatever form."
Mr Carcasses is supporting the West Papuans' application to become full members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group of countries when their leaders meet in New Caledonia next month.
He says that ten years ago as foreign minister he tried to set up a peace conference in Vanuatu between the Indonesian Government and the West Papua freedom movement.
"We should have the government of Indonesia and the people of West Papua discussing their issues," he said.
"I've been going around the world to support the issue of West Papua, and today, I'm the prime minister.
"I believe that Vanuatu should stand on its two feet and support the West Papua struggle."

Passport Act

Mr Carcasses has also announced to the foreign diplomats that the Council of Ministers would amend the Passport Act.
His government is revoking the diplomatic passports that the previous government had given to a string of roving ambassadors.
One of these was the roving Ambassador to Russia who had struck a deal to keep fifteen percent of whatever aid money she could attract.
"That was pushed because some politician thought that through her they're going to get further money," he said.
"You see, for the last 12 months the Vanuatu foreign reputation went down and down.
"Lots of passports were given to strangers - more than 187 passports were given to whether they are what you call Honorary Consul or for whatever reason."

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