Thursday, November 14, 2013

1) West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders

1) West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders
2) Wasior Flood Victims Found Dead
3) Wasior flood , Allegedly Triggered Illegal Logging
4) Indonesia and the school  of the Americas
5) Indonesia MP opposes Papua ban for foreign journalists

1) West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders
While they are keenly awaiting the decision on their membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), West Papua activists are travelling the Pacific lobbying countries to support their bid. One such activist is exiled investigative journalist Octovanius Mote, who has just returned to his adopted home in Washington D.C in the United States last month, after island hopping the Melanesian states. He is an activist and lobbyist in the world’s greatest democracy.
However, like the torrid history of his country under Indonesia and the failures they have suffered at the hands of the United States, United Nations and their closest neighbours Papua New Guinea in securing autonomy, Mote is taking one stride at a time. Mote said after 40 years of Indonesian rule, joining a group like MSG would enhance their endeavours for independence. In 1961, he said 1025 of his kinsmen were selected by the Indonesians when the United Nations gave West Papuans a chance to determine its own destiny in what is known as the ‘Act of Free Choice’. However, Mote said their leaders were shown footage of how they (Indonesia) tortured the people. “The obvious result of that was they voted for Indonesian rule and we became a province of Indonesia,” he told ISLANDS BUSINESS. “Under these circumstances, we inherited this government and these issues are well documented and not made up. Since then, he and freedom members of the Free Papua Movement have been calling on the international community to give them recognition. 
Mote is also recognised for his part in trying to address self-determination. As a former bureau chief of Kompas newspaper in West Papua, he served as a rapporteur for a national dialogue on the issue in 1999 between then Indonesian President Habibie, who had claimed the reformists tag, and West Papuan community leaders. However, his (Habibie’s) participation came on the condition that the issue of independence was not to be discussed. However, the West Papuan leaders presented their petition and Mote and four other organisers of the meeting found themselves blacklisted on charges (allegedly trumped up) of buying arms. Habibie postponed a decision on the autonomy petition. Fortunately, Mote was already on his way out of Indonesia for the United States as part of a United States Information Agency Visitors programme. It was the last he was to see of his homeland. In exile, Mote continues to cry for the support of his eastern cousins and has seen a change in heart in various Melanesian governments. “I met with support groups in Fiji to basically get updated on what is the progress on our application,” he said. He says he is encouraged by the support shown. “So for that we really would like to thank all the Melanesian leaders for being united on this after 50 years of Indonesian rule.” Mote was also enthusiastic about the response from West Papua’s closest neighbour Papua New Guinea who in the past tended to side with Indonesia. Former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, a founding member of the MSG, said West Papua should engage with Melanesian society because culturally they (West Papuans) are Melanesians. “We don’t see any MSG leader opposing our right for self determination and our opposition to crimes against humanity in West Papua,” Mote said. He said they were also keen to see MSG leaders visiting West Papua after they visit Indonesia—an invitation extended to MSG Foreign Affairs leaders by Jakarta and accepted this year during the MSG summit in Noumea in June. 
However, he echoed fears of his kinsmen that once the MSG foreign ministers arrive in Jakarta, Indonesia could stop them from entering West Papua based on security risks. “If the visit does happen, it will be an historic one because many years ago people were not allowed to visit us particularly journalists, human rights workers and advocates and our people definitely will not harm their wantoks,” Mote said. “For journalists who get accreditation to work in West Papua, they would have to apply for special permission and when they do get there, they are assisted by Indonesian security personnel.” Mote said he visited Papua New Guinea in August and met with cabinet members asking them about their position over West Papua’s self determination. “They told me they don’t oppose our right but since being directly on the border with Indonesia they have to look for a way where they can maintain good relations with Indonesia. “So I don’t see them having a formula on how to address our situation. “But I definitely have seen a different attitude from them concerning our struggles.” From PNG, Mote went on to Port Vila where the indigenous West Papuans have the greatest ally. Mote said it was former Vanuatu Prime Minister Father Walter Lini who said if there remained a Melanesian country still colonised, then Vanuatu is not free. The current Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil has not changed that stance and Vanuatu is regarded the most active government in the fight for West Papuan struggle. But Mote is concerned about how the Indonesian Government has started to woo Melanesian leaders individually, particularly Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo who visited Indonesia in September

People trying to save their belongings during a flood that inundated the Yotefa Market in Jayapura, Papua (2/9). ANTARA/Anang Budiono

FRIDAY, 15 NOVEMBER, 2013 | 07:26 WIB
2) Wasior Flood Victims Found Dead
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Two people who went missing in a flash flood that hit Wasior, Teluk Wondama District, West Papua Province, on Wednesday have been found dead.
"Karen Nunaki and Charles Torey, who went missing yesterday, were discovered. Their bodies have been taken by their families and buried," Payung, a staff member of the Teluk Wondama Disaster Mitigation Agency, (BPBD) said on Thursday as reported by

Payung said the agency is still trying to confirm a report that four more people are still missing, but efforts are hampered by floodwaters.
The Wasior flood destroyed three bridges, eight houses and a number of public facilities in the city.
Flash floods hit three sub-districts in Teluk Wondama District, West Papua, on Wednesday morning, affecting hundreds of people.
Wasior was badly hit by flash floods after several rivers, such as the Angris, Mangurai, Wanayo and Kabuow, in Teluk Wondama District broke their banks following incessant heavy rains. The floods also cut off all land transportation connecting Wondiboi and Kaibi.
Victims of the flash floods in Wasior are still waiting for the government to send relief aid, a local resident said. (*)

A google translate of article in Bintang Papua. Be-aware google translate casn be a bit erratic. 
original bahasa at
Friday , 15 November 2013 06:02

3) Wasior flood , Allegedly Triggered Illegal Logging

Two Victims Found Dead Missing

Jayapura - West Papua Provincial Legislative Chairman , Yohan Auri , suspect illegal logging activities in Wasior which then have an impact on the occurrence of natural disasters . For that he asked the law enforcers to act decisively and combing the area which is included in the protected forest area in West Papua .
" I am so far not received a formal report for illegal logging there , but I guess there is . But to my knowledge this entry Wasior area within the protected area , and the existing Regulation (Regulation ) which prohibit existing logging activity , and even since the Dutch . However, this back again , acts of persons who are not responsible for and impact to the people who were affected, " he told Bintang Papua , on Thursday ( 14/11 ) , when met at the sidelines of the trial in the District Court of Jayapura .

He expressed concern at the catastrophic events in the region Wasior where is the place of origin . He claimed based on information he had , the disaster has claimed 6 lives , where 2 of them died and 4 were found to drift away from the water .
" I'm concerned because it fits in my hometown too , disaster was I suppose to be reprimanded . Why do I say so because I have seen from the government in this case to bottom leadership is rarely in place , and this is how the public can be considered properly , how an area can develop into a better direction . It's no secret that I am a native son from there , very concerned about this . I hope the people who were there had a lot of praying and doing good , " he explained .
He continued , since becoming chairman of West Papua DPRD he has often called on the government in order to be as precise as in Wasior down from central funds , term originally used to perform normalization should rivers .
" The main reason was due to the floods that overflowed rivers , so there the problem . So that when the river is normalized properly , only then we did the development of infrastructure , or building a house for the community . But the district government because of public demand and then build a house there , so this is a new problem , " he said .

Two people found dead Missing
Meanwhile , officials said BPBDs Wondama Bay District residents who lost two swollen rivers swept away on Wednesday ( 13/11 ) morning have been found in a state of lifeless again aka dead .
" Karen and Charles Torey Nunaki who was listed as missing was found yesterday afternoon . Information that we receive his body was taken and the family are buried , " said Umbrella , officers BPBDs Wondama Bay District of Jayapura ketikla contacted Reuters , Thursday ( 14/11 ) .
As alluded to what people actually listed as missing more than two people , Umbrella say today it is being mengkroscek the information field .
" We 're no longer browse the information that four people were said to be missing , it's just that we are constrained by the situation Wasior town and several villages were beaten river water so much material soil , sand mixed trees flooded several places , " he said .
Not to mention , recorded three broken bridge , eight homes were damaged and a number of public facilities that participate flooded by mud and water .
" For we are record losses , can not be sure how much including how many people were injured or displaced , " he said, adding the city also access information is limited because there are a number of damaged tissue .
As reported earlier , hundreds of residents of the three districts or districts and a number of villages in the district Wondama Bay , West Papua , on Wednesday at around 09:55 CET overflow panic because there are a number of creeks in the area . ( Art/antara/don/l03 )


4) Indonesia and the school  of the Americas
Andrew de Sousa, Bangkok | Opinion | Fri, November 15 2013, 11:38 AM

This Nov. 22-24, thousands of people from across the United States and Latin America will converge upon Fort Benning in Georgia, USA, to demand the closure of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA).

In what has become an annual ritual for more than 20 years, activists will employ civil disobedience in attempts to enter the SOA, facing arrest rather than accept the continued injustices embodied by the institute.

The activists have good reason to protest. The military institute is notorious for training over 64,000 foreign soldiers in subjects such as counterinsurgency, military intelligence, interrogations and psychological warfare. Many of the military officials responsible for some of the worst atrocities committed in Latin America were trained there, and some have even served as guest instructors.

Since 2004, six Latin American countries have now pulled out of the school, and each year opponents come closer to finally closing the school down. Over the years, the US has provided similar training to Indonesia. The US government was a chief backer of the New Order regime and supplied the Indonesian military with the intelligence, equipment and training used for some of the worst human rights atrocities of the last century.

Indonesian military officers among the graduates of Fort Benning are Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto, who was allegedly behind atrocities in Timor Leste and the kidnapping of democracy activists in 1998. Other Indonesians trained in the US include Lt. Gen. (ret) Sjafrie Sjamsuddin and Lt. Gen. (ret) Johny Lumintang, both reportedly linked to the violence around the 1999 referendum in Timor Leste.

Following the Nov. 12, 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre in East Timor, citizens pushed the US Congress to restrict military training and other assistance to the Indonesian military. While Congress banned IMET, the main program that brought Indonesian officers to the US for training, the Pentagon quietly continued to train soldiers in surveillance, psychological operations and other tactics to be used against civilian populations under other programs.

Grassroots pressure forced the US to take very minor steps towards addressing the atrocities of the Pentagon’s Indonesian students: Prabowo is currently barred from travel to the US and Lumintang was found liable of gross human rights violations and ordered to pay US$66 million to Timorese victims by a US District Court (the verdict was later overturned on a technicality).

Inside Indonesia impunity continues to reign supreme: despite some modest gains in reforming the military over the past decade, regular human rights violations continue in Papua and elsewhere, and the US-created Detachment 88 reportedly kills suspected terrorists at will.

Past crimes continue to go unpunished, with those believed to be responsible enjoying prominent positions: Prabowo has formed his own political party and is a leading contender for president, Sjafrie is a deputy minister at the Defense Ministry and Lumintang is set to be the next ambassador to the Philippines. Gen. Wiranto, indicted in Timor for his role as military commander in 1999, is also planning a presidential run.

It is clear that the Pentagon has also failed to absorb the lessons of the past. With the State Department as a willing ally, human rights conditions on US military training and other assistance to Indonesian security forces have been systematically dismantled.

Despite its rights rhetoric, the Obama administration, like its predecessors, has made engagement with Indonesia’s security forces a priority. This is what makes actions like the annual mobilization against the SOA so important.

The writer is with the NGO Focus on the Global South.


Posted at 04:22 on 15 November, 2013 UTC
An Indonesian parliamentarian, Eva Sundari, says there should be no restriction for foreign journalists wanting to go to Papua.
Ms Sundari, who is a member of the Human Rights and Security Committee, says she was surprised to hear that foreign journalists were banned from the easternmost province.
She says the chief of the military had assured her that Papua was as free as other regions.
“Why if you have freedom for press for Indonesian journalists, but not for foreign journalists, what is the point here? Is there anything you want to hide from foreigners? I cannot accept this because if we employ a democracy it must be all over Indonesia at the same time, and also if you employ a freedom for press it must also be applied for Papua.”
Eva Sundari says from her point of view, the situation for human rights is bad all over Indonesia

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