Tuesday, August 20, 2013

1) No consular help for Freedom Flotilla

1) No consular help for Freedom Flotilla
2) Controversy over the opening of Papua separatist bureau in the Netherlands
3) Speedboat with immigrants from Sudan capsized in Papua
4) Asylum seekers detained  in Merauke
5) Indonesian, US marine corps hold joint exercise in East Java
6) Statement  on self-determination by Yan Chrstian Warinussy
7) Merauke Bupati orders Mayora and Astra to Stop Work Awaiting Further Discussions


1) No consular help for Freedom Flotilla

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr says a group of Australian activists planning to sail to Indonesia to highlight the fight for Papuan independence will receive no consular assistance whatsoever if they are jailed.

The stern warning came as representatives from the so-called Freedom Flotilla - three yachts with about 20 Australians and West Papuans aboard - continued to insist they would proceed with their protest.
They are expected to arrive in the city of Merauke in about a fortnight, without authorisation or proper documents.
But Senator Carr, who was in Jakarta on Tuesday for regional talks on people smuggling, said the group had received numerous warnings not to proceed with their plans.
Senator Carr said a formal letter had been sent to the organisation on Tuesday informing them that local laws and penalties would apply in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The members of the group could face up to five years in prison for immigration and other offences if they entered Indonesian waters without approval.
"We've given them this warning. Therefore, should they end up in prison as a result of breaching the law of Indonesia or Papua New Guinea we've got no obligation to give them consular support," Senator Carr said.
"The penalties are clear. The penalties will apply and there is no intervention Australia can make and the provision of consular support where people have received explicit warnings is not an obligation."
Senator Carr said members of the flotilla were perpetrating a cruel hoax on the people of the Papuan provinces, by suggesting Papuan independence was on the international agenda.
"We recognise Indonesia's sovereignty over West Papua," he said.
"There's no way any Australian government, Labor or coalition, would give any support or encouragement to an enterprise of this type. We are opposed to it and we're advising against it."


» 08/20/2013 15:44
2) Controversy over the opening of Papua separatist bureau in the Netherlands
After Oxford, the OPM opens a bureau in the Netherlands. A former Dutch colony, the western half of the island of Papua has pitted Jakarta against separatists for decades, partly because of its mineral resources.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Free Papua Movement (OPM), which advocates independence from Indonesia for the western part of the island of Papua, opened a second foreign bureau in the Netherlands last Thursday, two days before Indonesia celebrated the 68th anniversary of its independence on 17 August, a move that will certainly prove controversial in the country's relations with a Western government.
In May, the OPM opened its first overseas bureau in Oxford, provoking outrage among Indonesian nationalist leaders and activists, baffled by British support for both Indonesia and the aims of Papuan separatists. The opening of an office in the Netherlands is likely to have the same effect on diplomatic relations.
Wim Rocky Wedlama, a spokesman for the West Papua National Committee's (KNKB) whose goal is a peaceful referendum on independence, said that the date to open a second OPM bureau was made by Dutch sympathisers. Still, he noted that the move was another "blow" to Indonesian authorities, following the opening of a bureau in Oxford, England, last April.
Although the Netherlands recognises the western part of the island as Indonesian territory, the province of Papua has been on several occasions at the centre of a dispute between Indonesia and Western governments, including the Dutch government.
The province of Papua is the western half of the island with the same name and has been under Indonesian rule since 1969, after a violent military campaign ordered by Sukarno led to its annexation to Indonesia.
Between the late 1960s and the late 1990s, the Suharto regime ruled it with an iron fist, opening up the province to the invasion of foreign companies to develop its vast mineral resources. This, in turn, has prodded the pro-independence OPM into action.

3) Speedboat with immigrants from Sudan capsized in Papua

Tue, August 20 2013 17:57 | 121 Views
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Fourteen of the 23 immigrants from Sudan whose speedboat capsized in Torasi river in Merauke, Papua, on August 14 are still missing.

The spokesman of the navy main base in Merauke, Captain Guruh, said here on Tuesday nine of the boat passengers were safe but 14 others were missing.

He said the immigrants were believed to seek a political asylum. 

"The nine immigrants who are safe have come to the navy monitoring post in Torasi to report about the incident," he said to ANTARA by phone.

Upon hearing their report navy soldiers in the post along with the local people then searched them. 

"Until now however their fate is still unknown," he said.

He said the nine immigrants would soon be handed over to the local immigration office.

He said on Sunday the navy ordered its KRI Mulga 832 ship to go to Torasi and on Monday it also sent another ship to carry the nine immigrants from Torasi to Merauke.(*)
Editor: Heru
4) Asylum seekers detained  in Merauke
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, August 20 2013, 7:09 PM
Nine asylum seekers from Sudan are in custody at the Merauke Immigration Office after they were picked up by the Indonesian Navy in Merauke, Papua, on Monday.
“The nine Sudanese citizens are currently being held in the office's quarantine facility,” Merauke Immigration Office chief Zul Sianturi told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
It remains unclear how the Sudanese citizens arrived in Merauke because they have lost all their documents.
“They said the documents were lost when their boat sank,” said Zul.
He said the illegal immigrants would be deported. “We don’t know when they will be deported as they are still in quarantine,” he said.
Merauke Navy base commander Brig. Gen. Heri Setiadi told reporters in Merauke on Monday that nine Sudanese citizens reported to the navy’s observation post on Aug.14 after their boat sank in Torasi waters.
He said the illegal immigrants were en route to Australia to seek asylum when their speedboat sank in waters off Blego Island in Papua New Guinea.
According to the detainees, the boat had 23 passengers. "However, the remaining 14 passengers are still missing," said Heri. (hrl/ebf)


5) Indonesian, US marine corps hold joint exercise in East Java

Tue, August 20 2013 23:11 | 108 Views

Surabaya, W Java (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Marine Corps and the United States Marine Corps (USMC) have carried out a joint exercise at the Baluran Combat Training Center of Marine Corps in Karangtekok, Situbondo district, East Java.

Starting on Tuesday, the joint exercise was opened by the Operation Commander of Marine Corps (Asops Dankomar), Marine Colonel Purwadi, as a representative of Marine Corps Commander Major General (Marine) A. Faridz Washington.

The exercise, named Lantern Iron 13-1, will be held until September 6 in Situbondo. A total of 77 soldiers --66 from Batalyon Taifib-1 Marinir and 11 from US MARSOC-- will take part in it.

"The current global situation demands that Marine Corps be comprehensively prepared, especially in the area of maritime security," said Washington in a written speech read out by Purwadi, adding that every Marine troop must be able to deliver the highest standard of technical and tactical performance when tackling various situations.

"The Lantern Iron 13-1 will make them ready to meet such demands, as this exercise focuses on land and sea combat, from the planning stages right until execution," he explained.

During the exercise, the soldiers are expected to share their knowledge and experience while mastering some tactical abilities with respect to amphibious surveillance, jungle war, and sniper operations.

Meanwhile, Commander of the Exercise Working Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Marine Edy Cahyanto, noted that Lantern Iron 13-1 was aimed at not only improving the knowledge and performance of Taifib soldiers, but also establishing cooperation with US MARSOC troops.

Cahyanto said the participants were also taught about Medical/Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Demolition Identification and Reaction during the training.

Training was also provided on sniper operations, scout swimmer operations, amphibious raids, beach landing techniques, jungle and sea survival, and full mission profile, he added.

The joint exercise will also be held at the Lampon Combat Training Center of Banyuwangi.(*)
Editor: Heru

6) Statement  on self-determination by Yan Chrstian Warinussy
Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy  - 19 August 2013

As a human rights activist and practising lawyer in the Land of Papua, I urge people not be to influenced by statements made by the leaders of foreign countries or by ambassadors from other countries based in Jakarta who  always state that they recognise the sovereignty of Indonesia over the Land of Papua.

This should be seen as being something quite normal in bilateral relations between  countries anywhere in the world.

Within the framework of bilateral relations, heads of state must show respect for and acknowledge the position of their bilateral partner.

This is indeed the case when Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his ministers express views  with regard to the peaceful solution to the claims of the Rohingya in Burma and the Moro People in the Southern Philippines.

Papuans and Indonesians living in West Papua need not be influenced by statements made by foreign political leaders which are quoted by local people who live in some parts of West Papua because such statements cannot undermine the right to self-determination of any nation in the world, including the Papuan people  who are part of the Melanesian  Race.

The right to self-determination is a basic right that is guaranteed  under international law as is clear from the Universal Declaration of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration on Hight Rights.

This right is also recognised under Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights, in the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the 1945 Constitution.

This was made clear in the Communique published by the Melanesian Spearhead Group in June this year. which strongly acknowledged the right of the Papuan People to self-determination. The position adopted by the Melanesian Spearhead Group is fully in accord with  the position and principle as recognised universally everywhere in the world.

[Translated by TAPOL]

7) Merauke Bupati orders Mayora and Astra to Stop Work Awaiting Further Discussions

After up to 100 local people occupied PT Mayora’s office in Merauke last week, FORMASI SSUMAWOMA managed to get an audience with Merauke Regency Leader (Bupati) Romanus Mbaraka to discuss their opposition to PT Mayora and PT Astra. During the two-hour discussion they heard some encouraging words from the Bupati, who agreed to sign an order prohibiting PT Mayora and PT Astra from conducting further activities in the area until further discussions can take place.
The Bupati also appeared to hint that a new approach to plantation companies might be on the table by referring to an upcoming meeting in another part of Merauke, Salor. Elected shortly after MIFEE was officially launched, Bupati Mbaraka has often spoken about the need to protect the rights of villagers when companies move in. However this is not always seen in practice, as officials from his government are always present to witness land release settlements, where a maximum of 30,000 Rupiah ($30) per hectare is paid. Therefore it remains to be seen whether his words are a meaningful show of support for villagers, or a means to placate the growing indigenous movement against MIFEE while companies search for new strategies.
Tabloid Jubi journalist Ans.K was present in the meeting and filed three reports for the tabloidjubi.com website. Here are a selection of the comments he recorded from what seems like an interesting meeting:
“I will issue a declaration so that those two companies cannot carry out any more activities before [further talks]. Because there is still a follow-up meeting planned, which will be held between customary landowners and other stakeholders in Salor. I hope this information will be passed on to all the villages”, the Bupati said.
The Bupati also gave some more reflections on the conflict between companies and the Marind people: “I am still looking for the best approach – whether location permits should only be given after there is a prior agreement with the local people, or whether the location permit should be given beforehand. Up to now the permits have been given before the investors have reached agreement with the local people. People also need to understand that issuing a location permit does not mean that an investment is a finished deal and will go ahead.”
“After the location permit is issued”, he continued, “investors present their plans to the people. That means that it is up to the people whether they accept it or not. If the people accept the plan as the rightful customary landowners, then the company will proceed with the environmental impact assessment, mapping the area, negotiating buying rights to the land and other administrative tasks”.
He said that in principle, the government went along with whatever the people wanted. However, they needed to anticipate the possibility that different stakeholders would give conflicting permissions. “We have to be serious about this. If a community opposes a company’s presence, they should let me know, and we can step in to mediate”, he requested.
Bupati Mbaraka added that the people had to be careful. Don’t let anyone in the community start playing Judas. By this he meant where some people agree to plans and others oppose them. People need to be very careful about this so that horizontal conflict doesn’t emerge. “I want to make clear once again that if a community rejects an investor, the government will continue to back them up”, he said.
Catholic Priest Pius Manu reflected on MIFEE as a national program, and said that academic studies were needed as the national government would not accept decisions based on local customary law alone. “People in Jakarta”, he said, “think that the state owns the land from Sabang [tip of Sumatra in Aceh] to Merauke. I think if we could use some scholarly arguments, the central government would be sure to understand.”
Pastor Pius explained that everyone should stop and think about people’s security. Don’t let Indonesia love the Land of Papua more than the people that live there. Millions of people will be brought from outside Papua to work in the companies, but that is killing indigenous Papuans who are already in a minority. They have to remember that Papuans are also Indonesian citizens”
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