Saturday, January 25, 2014

1) Building relations with Pacific Island countries

1) Building relations with  Pacific Island countries 
2) Buchtar Tabuni is now in hiding 
3) Finding a fortune in Timika 

1) Building relations with  Pacific Island countries 
Arto Suryodipuro, Jakarta | Opinion | Sat, January 25 2014, 1:02 PM
The foreign ministers of Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Solomon Islands, the representative of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), and the high representative of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) visited Jakarta, Jayapura, Papua and Ambon, Maluku, on Jan. 12-15 to meet with various dignitaries and personalities in the country. They came under the auspices of the MSG, although without one of its members, Vanuatu, which pulled out at the last minute.

Their visit was at the invitation of the Indonesian government, but the MSG ministers were also carrying out the mandate from the 19th MSG Summit, held in New Caledonia last June, namely to assess the bid of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation to become a member of the MSG.

At the end of the visit, the MSG and Indonesian foreign ministers agreed on a nine-paragraph joint statement, which serves as a road map to promote Indonesia-MSG relations. One paragraph stipulates the respect for each others’ “sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and […] non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”. 

The rest of the joint statement is equally important, however. It identifies fields for cooperation, such as food security, education, democracy and good governance, natural disasters and climate-change mitigation, environmental preservation, peacekeeping and policing, social and cultural issues, and other economic and technical cooperations. It promotes contacts and exchange visits between ministers, officials, members of parliament, business representatives, scholars and intellectuals, civil society, youths and athletes.

It provides for the further intensification of Indonesia’s participation in the MSG with the involvement, as appropriate, of relevant stakeholders in Indonesia, including Indonesians with a Melanesian cultural background and heritage.

The visit, the joint statement and Indonesia’s diplomacy with the MSG are consistent with Indonesia’s foreign policy, and should be understood in the broader context of Indonesia’s diplomacy with Pacific Island countries.

One of the precepts of Indonesian diplomacy is the country’s geographic location and characteristics: an archipelago bridging the Indian and Pacific oceans — spanning Southeast Asia and the South Pacific — sharing maritime borders with nine countries and land borders with another two, and sharing ethnicity and cultural heritage with all its neighbors. 

As a matter of principle, Indonesia has been working to build good relationships with all its neighbors and to maintain a stable, prosperous and secure regional neighborhood. These are crucial for Indonesia’s own security, development and prosperity.

While Indonesia’s relations with other Southeast Asian nations, PNG and Australia have been long-running, a conscious and focused policy of mutual understanding and a constructive relationship with the Pacific Island countries is a more recent development, taking shape only in the early 2000s. It has a number of dimensions.

The first is closer engagement with Pacific Island countries. Indonesia now has bilateral relations with all Pacific Island countries (most recently with Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu). On the institutional side, Indonesia obtained post-forum dialogue status with the Pacific Islands Forum in 2001 and established the South-West Pacific Dialogue in 2002 with the Philippines, PNG, Timor Leste, Australia and New Zealand, as a way to bridge Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. 

In 2009, on the sidelines of the World Ocean Conference, Indonesia established the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI) with Malaysia, the Philippines, PNG and the Solomon Islands. In 2011, Indonesia obtained observer status with the MSG.

The other dimension is the content of the policy, namely the promotion of economic ties and development cooperation, focusing on areas of common challenges and mutual interests. 

These include trade, investment and tourism; the sharing of experience and know-how in disaster management, building on the similar challenges faced by island countries; strengthening sociocultural relations by building on the similar cultural backgrounds and heritage shared by those in Indonesia’s eastern provinces and the Pacific Island countries, and exchanging views and policies on how to develop connectivity between remote islands and economic centers. 

A developing country itself, Indonesia has an interest in providing assistance wherever possible, such as is considered desirable by the Pacific Island countries. Indonesia is also working with other countries to aid them in capacity building. On a broader level, Indonesia can facilitate and bridge these countries with Asian-based free trade arrangements.

Finally, Indonesia’s policy is to provide information and address the concerns among Pacific Island countries about developments in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Some of the concerns come from the Melanesian countries, stemming from Melanesian solidarity. In fact, the MSG was established in 1987 as a solidarity group — such as in the case of New Caledonia — and only in 2007 did it morph into a more comprehensive regional organization with broader aspirations related to trade, culture, traditions and values, economic and technical cooperation, and overall economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security.

In conclusion, Indonesia’s policy in its South Pacific neighborhood is aimed at broadening and deepening relationships, to cover as many strands as possible to bind the countries in a mutually beneficial relationship. The expected outcome, like in other parts of Indonesia’s neighborhood, is to secure a stable, prosperous and friendly South Pacific region; underlining the fact that Indonesia is as much a Pacific country as an Asian one. 

The writer is director of intraregional cooperation in Asia Pacific and Africa at Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry. The views expressed here are his own.
From Victor via Facebook
2) Buchtar Tabuni is now in hiding 
I would like to remain people around the world who care of humanity, democracy and freedom that the West Papuan civil resistant movement leader, Buchtar Tabuni is now in hiding and became target of Indonesian Police and Military operation. He has been most wanted after the Indonesian colonial ruler deliberately criminalize the peaceful expression he led on 26 November 2013. At that time he was successfully escaped from police death threats.

I'm here, behind the Indonesian Prison bars, worry about his safety and his current condition as he has no access to get food, hospital, even communication with family and friends. Indonesian colonial Police, TNI, Kopassus and its secret militia have been placed at whole regions and every time monitoring, spaying, and be ready to shoot him dead. This tactic of scenario has been used by them against the late civil movement leader Mako Tabuni.

The freedom of expression truly and hardly blocked in West Papua. My friend Buchtar Tabuni was repeatedly arrested, tortured, imprisoned by Indonesian colonial for just leading peaceful activities in demand the right of self-determination in West Papua. Indonesian colonial with their colonial rules and powers continue to intimidate peaceful activities.

Today, I have just welcomed 12 peaceful activists here in Abepura Prison. They sent by Police from Jayapura Police station. And it was so sad that their condition are unwell. They have been tortured since they were arrested in peaceful rally led by Buchtar Tabuni.

I worried about Buchtar Tabuni's life because there are only two options for him: to be killed in hiding or to be arrested and poisoned by police as Indonesian has done to the Danny Kogoya who has died last month. Buchtar has committed to not escape from the land his people. He is still hiding in West Papua.

What we are calling from West Papua now is people around the to put pressure against Indonesia to respect on human right, democracy and freedom which has been adopted by states and People around the world as universal values. We need Indonesian colonial as a member of UN to commitment in peace building rather than using provocations, criminalize, arresting, torturing and targeting west Papuan activist.

Please to share and call people around you that Buchtar Tabuni, the chairman of the West Papua National Parliament (PNWP), has the right to free from fear, terror, especially from wanted list, to live freely on his own land of West Papua, to freely organize people and continue to fight for his nation and people's right peacefully.

From my deepest heart

Victor Yeimo
Chairman of KNPB
behind prison bars of Abepura

3) Finding a fortune in Timika 
Severianus Endi, The Jakarta Post, Timika, Papua | Feature | Sat, January 25 2014, 3:26 PM
On the road: A local resident selling betel nuts waits alongside the road in Timika. The nuts are carried in a plastic bag.
“Welcome to paradise on Earth” was the cell phone message sent recently by a friend in Papua. 

Timika, the capital of Mimika regency, is the destination of many new arrivals looking to earn a living in the nation’s easternmost province. At Mozes Kilangin Airport, cars are available for rent and ojek (motorcycle taxis) wait for passengers.

The city itself is accessible in about 10 minutes by motorcycle (for Rp 10,000 (8 US cents)) or by car (Rp 100,000). Most of the ojek drivers have made the same journey themselves, coming from other provinces to find their fortunes.

One driver, Ipul, from Makassar, South Sulawesi, graduated from an automotive vocational high school in his hometown. The 18-year-old says he arrived in Timika three months ago and started work as an ojek driver. “I’m working here while waiting for replies to my job applications.”

Ipul says that there’s money to be made in Timika, despite higher prices for some items. “If my applications fail, I may return to Makassar to study at college. After graduation, I’ll be back.”

Another ojek driver, Minggus, from Ambon, Maluku, has plied his trade at the airport for 10 years. “I bought this new motorbike over one year in installments,” the 42-year-old said. “Unlike in Ambon, Timika is a moneymaker. When I got back home, I was surprised by mostly higher prices in Ambon.”

Commuters: Students waiting for transportation in Timika.

One chauffer for hire, Rizal, also from Makassar, has worked for two years in Timika. Although business has been off, the 26-year-old is determined to continue. “The whole-day rental is fairly high, Rp 700,000. Carrying passengers from the airport costs only Rp 100,000.”

The drivers are overwhelmingly foreign: Rizal said that local residents from the Komoro and Amungme ethnic groups did not work as ojek drivers. 

Meanwhile, in contrast to the relative bustle of Timika, the nearby Jaya Wijaya mountain range offers peaks topping 4,000 meters that stretch as far as Papua New Guinea. 

The region’s valleys and mountains offer gorgeous snowcapped views. Cold air pervades, merging with fog that hangs lower than the summits of the peaks and creates the spectacle of a fairyland.

Doddie, 41, a Jakarta native currently working in Mimika, said he experienced the chill of Mount Carstensz when he scaled it in 2007. 

Showing pictures on his cell phone, Doddie said it took six hours to climb from the foot of the mountain to the snow line. “Its slopes have a gradient of 45 degrees or more, with a temperature range of 3 to 5 degrees.” 

The three famous peaks of the Jaya Wijaya mountains are Carstensz Pyramid, Puncak Mandala and Puncak Trikora. Of the three, Carstensz Pyramid, also known as Puncak Jaya, is the highest and the only summit with an icecap in Indonesia. 

“We don’t need to go to Europe to touch the snow. We have it in this tropical country as long as we can climb,” Doddie said.

The name for Carstensz was derived from the Dutch seaman and explorer who was reportedly the first European to discover a snowcapped mountain near the equator. His discovery was initially ridiculed by those who thought it impossible to see snow in the tropics.
Majestic: The Jaya Wijaya mountains as thick fog hovers below the peaks.

Timika, however, is a betel lover’s paradise. Local residents are so fond of chewing areca nuts that in several places there are warnings that read: “Spitting on the floor and wall is forbidden.”

The signs are needed as the saliva of betel chewers is red and causes stains. 

Papuan women selling betel are easy to find. One is Mama Yuli, 45, who sells the nuts while watching over her grandchild on Jl. Ahmad Yani, Timika, almost every day. 

While the nuts are chewed with betel leaves in Kalimanatan, in Papua, connoisseurs also eat the fruit of the betel, which has the same hot taste. “It’s Papuan betel,” Yuli says.

Pariri, 40, from Serui in the north Papua, is a betel lover, saying that local people favored the nuts and frequently served them during rituals.

“In Serui and Biak, fifth graders are chewing the nuts. You may not believe it until you see it,” said the man who has been working in Timika for 10 years.

For fishermen, chewing betel is a defense against the sea breeze, while those living at higher altitudes also say it also has a warming affect.

 “The nuts also maintain the vitality of both sexes,” Paiir said through red-stain teeth. “I’ve proven it myself.” 

The betel nuts can be mixed with lime made from the burned white shells of a local swamp mollusk called bia. 

Another betel lover, Zeth, 34, from Biak Island, said he eats up to 30 nuts daily. “I prefer betelto cigarettes or coffee. After meals, I always chew the nuts.”

While Pariri and Zeth came to Timika, both are native Papuans. They maintain a spirit of brotherhood, shown by their unique way of greeting one another.

When one extends his or her index finger, the other will pinch it with the index and ring fingers before snapping the joints with a slight cracking sound. Then first person has to reciprocate with the same move before they shake hands. 

If one comes from other regions, a greeting word should be uttered when shaking hands. The local term for greeting another is diru for Serui Island, tabeak for Biak Island and amole for Timika, meaning salam, or best wishes in Indonesian. 

Amole, Timika!

Photos by JP/Severianus Endi


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