Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1) SBY Seeks to Quell Melanesia Over Papua

1) SBY Seeks to Quell Melanesia Over Papua
2) Indonesia-Solomon Islands  leaders talk about Papua


1) SBY Seeks to Quell Melanesia Over Papua

By Ezra Sihite & Novy Lumanauw on 8:17 am August 13, 2013.

Members of the Indonesian military have been deployed to Papua in great number in the past decade. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has sought to quell growing support for Papuan self-determination among Indonesia’s Pacific island neighbors, on Monday seeking to demonstrate the area’s recent economic progress to visiting Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.
Members of the intergovernmental Melanesian Spearhead Group have recently expressed sympathy for self-determination for the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, and some officials in Jakarta fear it could bolster wider international support for secession.
The MSG comprises Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia, a special collectivity of France.
The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, an umbrella group for organizations seeking West Papuan independence, applied in June for membership of the MSG during the group’s summit in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Only after intervention from Jakarta did the MSG delay its decision on the WPNCL application by six months.
“President Yudhoyono invited the Solomon Islands prime minister so they can discuss various bilateral issues, including Papua,” Teuku Faizasyah, a presidential spokesman for international issues, said after the meeting. “The president has explained to his guest that Indonesia has done many things to make Papua prosperous and that the development will continue.”
Faizasyah said officials from Melanesian countries had also visited Papua, and claimed all the officials had praised Indonesia’s development there.
“[The] Solomon Islands has never supported Papuan independence. They understand how serious Indonesia is in developing Papua and empowering the Papuans. On several occasions, they said they respected Indonesia’s territorial integration. The MSG also has a similar understanding of Indonesia’s serious efforts.”
Faizasyah said the visit would counter negative reports about Papua.
Indonesia’s military and police have been accused of gross human rights violations in Papua, including extra-judicial killings of pro-independence activists.
Several videos circulating online show police torturing Papuans while foreign media outlets have reported on efforts to spy on Papua activists and limit their freedom.
Jakarta has maintained a massive military presence in Papua and implemented a tight screening process for foreigners wishing to enter the provinces, raising suspicion about national government activities there.
Aleksius Jemadu, dean of Pelita Harapan University’s School of Social and Political Sciences, said the Indonesian government needs to boost relations with Melanesian countries if it is to prevent the push for independence gathering momentum.
“I think Indonesia has the economic leverage to persuade the Melanesian countries to support its territorial integrity,” he said. “Jakarta can convince the countries that Indonesia is a gateway to an Asian economic miracle and they can be part of the economic prosperity through Indonesia.”
The western portion of Papua was integrated into Indonesia following the 1969 so-called Act of Free Choice, but tensions have long persisted.
Faizasyah said Lilo’s visit “reflects the determination of the two nations to build their friendship based on the respect of their respective sovereignty.”
He added that dealings between the Solomon Islands and Indonesia had been productive over the past five years.
“Our trade relations even registered an average annual increase of 17.28 percent,” he said. “The Solomon Islands also works with Indonesia in the fields of energy, fishing, development, media and culture.”
Bilateral trade volume was at $15.9 million in 2012, with Indonesia posting a $9.1 million surplus.
Faizasyah said the two leaders also discussed economic cooperation and development programs for the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asian regions.
Lilo is scheduled to remain in Indonesia until Wednesday.



2) Indonesia-Solomon Islands  leaders talk about Papua   

Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | World | Tue, August 13 2013, 11:13 AM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo discussed restive Papua among other issues during their bilateral meeting in Bogor, West Java, on Monday.

Lilo, who started his three-day visit on Monday, told journalists after the meeting that he was “quite impressed with the [ongoing] progress in Papua,” but did not elaborate further.

He recalled a visit to Papua by representatives from his country some months ago upon invitation from Indonesia to observe the situation there.

The Indonesian government had invited foreign ministers from Melanesian nations grouped under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to Indonesia to receive briefings on development in Papua, a move that could be seen as a way to obtain international support for the country’s sovereignty over its easternmost region.

Human rights watchdogs have often criticized Indonesia for state violence against Papuans.

The MSG consists of the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a pro-independence group from French-ruled New Caledonia.

Presidential spokesman for foreign affairs, Teuku Faizasyah, confirmed Lilo’s visit was not only to strengthen bilateral relations, but also reflected both country’s determination to respect the sovereignty of each country.

He added that he believed the Solomon Islands never supported West Papua’s independence movement.

The Free West Papua movement, in this case the West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL), is pushing for independence from Indonesia and sees membership of the MSG as a step toward international recognition.

“But clearly we see MSG members, in general, understand how serious we are in our efforts to solve various problems, including those in Papua,” Faizasyah said. “And they asserted on various occasions their recognition of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia.”

In mid June, MSG summit meeting deferred the membership bid by at least six months, saying it was important to engage with Indonesia. They agreed to establish a process of dialogue and consultation with Indonesia and welcomed the invitation for foreign ministerial mission to come to Indonesia, although they also concluded that the group fully supported the rights of the people of West Papua for self-determination.

Two-way trade between Indonesia and Solomon Islands was valued at US$15.88 million in 2012 with an average annual increase of 17.28 percent during the last five years. Indonesia recorded a $9.1 million trade surplus with the Solomon Islands in 2012.
Posted at 03:30 on 13 August, 2013 UTC
The prime minister of Solomon Islands Gordon Darcy Lilo says he is impressed with progress he’s seen in Indonesia’s Papua.
Mr Lilo has been in Indonesia since Sunday and Antara News reports he made the comments meeting the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in West Java.
Mr Lilo is the first Solomon Islands prime minister to visit Indonesia.
The agency reports a presidential special aide for foreign relations, Teuku Faizasyah, as saying the Solomon Islands delegation has witnessed the serious efforts made by the Indonesian government to develop Papua.
He said the visit has opened their eyes to the Indonesian government’s serious commitment to improving regions like Papua and they could help stop the spread of negative information.
Solomon Islands and Indonesia work together in the fields of energy, fishing, development, media and culture, and trade has increased on average by 17 percent over the last five years.
Posted at 03:30 on 13 August, 2013 UTC
Police in Indonesia’s Papua region have reportedly banned a number of protests and cultural parades planned to protest against the signing of the 1962 New York Agreement.
The deal between the UN, the Netherlands and Indonesia was a precursor to the Act Of Free Choice seven years later which led to Jakarta imposing its rule on the former Dutch colony.
The protests by the pro-independence West Papua National Committee have been planned throughout Papua in Wamena, Yahukimo, Nabire, Biak, Sorong, Manokwari and Timika.
The rallies are also to show support for the opening of the Free West Papua Campaign office in the Netherlands.

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