Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1) Fear and doubt about Indonesia

1) Fear and doubt about Indonesia
2) Dozens  of Morning Star flags unfurled in NRFPB Demonstration
3) WPNA supports  the Freedom Flotilla

1) Fear and doubt about Indonesia

ALMOST 50 per cent of Australians believe Indonesia is a threat to our national security, according to a landmark study that testifies to government concern about the effect of popular attitudes on bilateral relations.
In the opinion poll ordered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, more people (59pc) agreed with the mostly misleading statement that Indonesia's law-making is based on Islamic codes than were able to recognise our neighbour as a democracy (47pc).
The survey of 1,202 people, carried out by Newspoll in 2012 and yet to be released, is the first of its kind and will be used in efforts to promote better "people to people" relations as DFAT pursues so-called public diplomacy.
The gap between popular suspicion and warm official relations has been shown by Lowy Institute polls but the latest 91-page study is more detailed and has added significance because it reveals a government anxious to know what underlies the often awkward state of public opinion.
"Despite (a third of Australians having visited the country), our factual knowledge of Indonesia is poor - and we know it," says the Newspoll report for DFAT.
Murdoch University's professor of Southeast Asian studies, David Hill, said he believed the study was the first to demonstrate a link between the learning of Indonesian language and more positive, informed attitudes to Indonesia.
In the survey, the No. 1 policy issue troubling Australians was people smuggling via Indonesia.
Only 9pc thought Indonesia had made a "strong effort" to do something about this, 31pc acknowledged a "moderate effort", and 18pc believed our neighbour had made no effort at all.
People were more concerned about the welfare of cattle sent to Indonesia than about fair treatment of our citizens in Indonesia's prisons and courts.
Two words that Australians most immediately associate with Indonesia were "holiday" and "Muslim", while nearly one fifth of those surveyed thought Bali was a country all its own.
More than two thirds saw Indonesia as corrupt, and only a quarter thought it had a good political system.
"Some attitudes are based on real problems that Indonesia faces - for example, corruption," said Indonesia expert Dave McRae of the Lowy Institute.
But other attitudes reflected prejudices - such as the apparent belief that Islamic codes are a major influence on Indonesia law.
"Prejudices are a concern, because they reduce the likelihood that individuals and businesses will take the initiative to engage with Indonesia, something that is needed to deepen bilateral ties," Dr McRae said.
"As long as prejudices prevail, there will always be the risk also that Australia's politicians will play to these prejudices for domestic political gain, rather than act in the long term interests of the relationship."


2) Dozens  of Morning Star flags unfurled in NRFPB Demonstration

Bintang Papua, 28 August 2013

Manokwari:  Although controversy is still raging about the Freedom Flotilla which has a number of Papuan activists on board,  a group of Papuans who recently proclaimed the establishment of the Federal Republic of the State of West Papua (NRFPB) in Manokwari held a demonstration on 27 August.

The demonstration which was organised by the NRFPB was highlighted by a number of Morning Star flags. The demonstration started from the office of DAP (Dewan Adat Papua  - Papuan Customary Council) on Jalan Pahlawan and continued until 10am. In a speech at the demonstration, the deputy governor of NRFPB Yenu called on all Papuans living in Manokwari to welcome the Freedom Flotilla which is sailing from Australia to West Papua.

Security forces composed of members of the Indonesian police force mounted a strong guard  round the demonstration. The demonstrators marched round the City of Manokwari distributing leaflets proclaiming freedom for the Papuan people.

Morning Star flags were unfurled in several places but the security forces failed to take action. They just stood along the route without doing anything to confiscate the flags being carried by the demonstrators.

As has previously been reported,  the Freedom Flotilla  with Papuans on board as well as Aboriginals (Australia)  who have expressed deep concern about the situation in West Papua is now sailing towards Papua New Guinea. From there, the Flotilla will sail to Merauke West Papua.  The Flotilla is due to arrive in West Papua at the beginning of September.

[Translated by TAPOL]
3) WPNA supports  the Freedom Flotilla

Bintang Papua, 26 August 2013

Jayapura: In a recent statement, the Chief of Police  of Indonesia, Inspector-Commissioner  Muhamad Tito Karnavian  said that the ships taking part in the Freedom Flotilla are trying to do something sensational. This statement was countered by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA)  whose secretary said that the Chief of Police should send his statement to the Central  Government and should call on the government to enter into dialogue with leaders of the state of West Papua.

'The Secretariat of the WPNA strongly  rejects the statement made by the Chief of Police who wants to cause a sensation via the local media in Papua.

The spokesman of the WPNA who name is Marthen said that the Freedom Flotilla which is sailing to Papua has a clear vision and mission., namely the cultural vision of the people of West Papua. 'We the people of West Papua have relations with the Aboriginal People of Australia as well as with the people living in the Torres Archipelago. Thousands of years ago, there was a link between West Papua and Australia but the colonialists pulled us apart.'

Marthen went on to say that the Freedom Flotilla now sailing to Papua is pressing for the liberation of the West Papuan people because they are concerned  about the humanitarian crisis in West Papua  as well as the political status of West Papua which has come about as a result of  Indonesia's grip which was made  possible by the New York Agreement of 1962 and the Act of Free Choice in 1969.

'This has led to widespread human rights violations in the Land of Papua which still occur while the Indonesian Government is doing everything possible to convince the international community  that Indonesia is undertaking development in West Papua.The fact is that during 2012 and up to the present day, twenty-two KNPB activists have been murdered which is clear a crime against humanity.'

He went on to say that the Chief of Police claims, based on information from Australia, that the Freedom Flotilla does not have any support and is simply a fabrication  to undermine public opinion.

'The Prime Minister and President of the Federal Republic of the State of West Papua were appointed by the decisions taken at the Third Congress of the People of West Papua.'

'We activists of the WPNA herewith declare that the President and the  Prime Minister of the NFRPB have sent a letter  stating that we will allow them to come here and saying that we are willing to receive them. This is the State of West Papua, not Indonesia,' he said, speaking firmly.

Referring to a recent statement made by the Australian Government and the government of Papua New Guinea  that they  support Indonesian sovereignty, he said that this had been said because it is in their interest to preserve bilateral relations with Indonesia.

'They can go on saying this but the fact is that  this is our state  and we are the legitimate owners acting on behalf of  the people of West Papua. We have never recognised Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.'

When Indonesia says that  it regards the Freedom Flotilla as nothing more than sensationalism,  this is a clear sign that Indonesia  is very much afraid that crimes against humanity have  been perpetrated in West Papua and that this is widely acknowledged by the international community .

'We would like to express our appreciation to Vanuatu for declaring its support for independence for West Papua.'

He also said that people in a number of districts in West Papua will be welcoming the Freedom Flotilla with prayers and by fasting, all of which has been going on for a number of weeks.

There are also plans to hold a Papuan cultural demonstration which will take place in the streets.  This will occur  at times that have already been fixed. When this happens, we will clearly show that we have a clear vision and mission, namely the liberation of the West Papuan people from Indonesian colonisation.'

[Translated by TAPOL]

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