Friday, August 16, 2013

1) West Papua demonstrations for self-determination proceed peacefully.

2) West Papuan Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Indonesian territory
3) Indonesia to Purchase 8 Apache Longbow Choppers


Posted at 06:51 on 16 August, 2013 UTC
Demonstrations proceeded peacefully in several main centres of West Papua yesterday marking the region’s incorporation into Indonesia despite a reported police ban on the protests.
Rallies to mark the 51st anniversary of the New York agreement and express support for West Papuan membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group reportedly took place without incident in Nabire, Timika, Jayapura and Biak.
The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation’s Paula Makabory told Johnny Blades the demonstrations appear to have proceeded harmoniously within the police restrictions.
PAULA MAKABORY: And in fact even though eight people were arrested on the preparations for the rally yesterday before on the 13th August but yesterday they keep doing the rally and also some students from AMP organisations and KNPB were together they did the rally as well in the city of Java.
JOHNNY BLADES: So it sounds like there wasn’t an excessive response from the security forces?
PM: Yeah I think there is no shooting and they didn’t stop the rally even though the police banned it so the main point is you can see how strong the West Papuan would like to stand up to spread the message out here and their rights, especially the right to self-determination. They all stand up also for the same message to support the opening office of the Free West Papuan movement in the Hague, in the Netherlands.
JB: And do you think that the Indonesian security forces are becoming a bit more reasonable in their approach, in their response to these sorts of occasions?
PM: I think after Indonesia being criticised at the UN critical reviews of the Human Rights Committee this is like a positive attitude, while really on the ground, you cannot control them. So for me you cannot say yes or no to these situations because they can do anything anywhere anytime to the West Papuan.
JB: There’s a cultural element to a lot of these demonstrations in that they are displaying their Melanesia roots.
PM: Yeah I think the message is quite strong and especially it was done yesterday in memory of that New York Agreement back in the 15th of August 1962 where I think the claims of the West Papuan there is really strong which is they would like to know the legality of this agreement. Then the legality of the Act Of Free Choice back in 1969 and the legality of the Freeport McMoRan deal even before the Act Of Free Choice took place. And here on this ground in West Papua with all the cultural rallies yesterday with the strong support and calling for the right to self-determination of the West Papuan they would like to show the whole region of Pacific Islands or Melanesian countries and the world that they still don’t think that they belong under Indonesian rule.

2) West Papuan Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Indonesian territory

Activists risk arrest or worse to highlight abuses faced by West Papuans under Indonesian rule
A group of Australian and West Papuan activists will set sail from Cairns on Saturday for the Indonesian territory of West Papua, despite fears they could face arrest or worse for arriving in the country illegally.
The West Papuan Freedom Flotilla will make the trip to highlight the abuses faced by West Papuans under Indonesian rule. It is estimated that as many as 500,000 Papuans have been killed since Indonesiaacquired the territory in the 1960s.
Approximately 50 people will take turns crewing at least two yachts up the east coast of Australia, through the Torres Strait and on to Papua New Guinea, from where they hope to make the trip to Merauke on the southern coast of Papua.
Participants include Aboriginal elder Kevin Buzzacott and West Papuan leader Jacob Rumbiak and it has been described by organisers as an Indigenous cultural exchange.
But one of the participants acknowledges that the trip is also a potentially deadly act of resistance.
AP Stacey, 47, a former Australian soldier who will be on one of the boats, told the Guardian: "Because I've been in the military myself I probably have a better understanding than everybody else of what might happen if it goes pear-shaped.
"There are a number of possibilities. The Indonesian authorities could quite simply turn us back. They could arrest us. I guess the worse-case scenario is they could shoot us."
The Indonesian military and police opened fire on a peaceful protest gathering in the West Papuan capital of Jayapura in October 2011, killing at least six people and injuring dozens.
The Freedom Flotilla participants have been denied Indonesian visas and will be entering Indonesian waters without a sailing permit. They plan to land in Merauke within a fortnight.
The last time Australians arrived in Merauke unannounced and without the proper documentation they were detained in Indonesia for nine months.
The "Merauke five", as they became known, were reportedly looking for tourism opportunities in Indonesia when they landed their small plane in Merauke in September 2008, under the mistaken belief that they could obtain visas on arrival. The five Australians, all aged in their 50s and 60s, were originally given two- and three-year sentences for visa violations.
The Guardian spoke to one of the five, who issued words of warning for the flotilla participants, saying they should expect to be jailed if they turned up without documentation.
A spokesperson for the Freedom Flotilla, Nicky Stott, told the Guardian that they had gone "through all the proper channels" to apply to sail in Indonesian waters and while they were initially granted a permit, it had since been revoked.
"When we applied for our individual Indonesian visas we stated that our intention was to travel to West Papua for a cultural exchange between Indigenous people from Australia and indigenous people from West Papua," she told the Guardian.
"As soon as [the Indonesian government] became aware of that, we were told that our sailing permit had been revoked."
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Indonesian government had raised concerns about the Freedom Flotilla with the Australian government, but that the boats would not be prevented from leaving Australian waters.
Once they reached Indonesian territory it was a "matter for Indonesia" how they dealt with them, the spokesman said.
Papua provincial police spokesman I Gede Sumerta Jaya told the Guardian over the phone from Jayapura on Thursday that he had no idea a group of Australians were planning to arrive by boat without documentation in Merauke.
"We co-ordinate with the [Indonesian] immigration office regarding foreigners entering Indonesia. If they come in without a visa, that's obviously breaking the immigration regulation and we need to coordinate with immigration on that," he said.
Stacey told the Guardian that upon entering Indonesian territory the group would "just have to play it by ear, and hope that the Australian flag counts for something among the Indonesians, which I won't be betting money on.
"If Australia is to retain any sense of moral decency we must take a stand against what is being done right on our doorstep," he said.

FRIDAY, 16 AUGUST, 2013 | 10:22 WIB
3) Indonesia to Purchase 8 Apache Longbow Choppers
TEMPO.COJakarta - Army Chief of Staff General Moeldoko confirmed that the Defense Ministry had agreed on the purchase of eight units of United States Apache Longbow Choppers.
The request was previously rejected by the House of Representatives, saying the price was beyond expensive. "Both the House and the Defense Ministry have agreed on the purchase," the Army Chief of Staff said.
Moeldoko did not specifically mention the price of the eight notorious choppers, saying he had not noticed the technical matter. He said that the government will begin paying the U.S. by this year. The eight choppers will be sent to Indonesia starting 2018 to 2021.
The House Defense Commission, in regards to this purchase, said they eventually agreed to strengthen the Army despite the relatively expensive cost.

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