Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1) New MSG meeting on West Papua scheduled



1) New MSG meeting on West Papua scheduled
2) MSG chairman says meeting to discuss West Papua will be called
3) MSG visit still worthwhile says West Papua group
4) Some MSG opposition to West Papuan group membership bid
5) 12 Personnel of SSK of the Indonesian Army were removed to Puncak Jaya
6) UPDATE 2-Freeport to defend itself against Indonesia export tax


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http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/233859/new-msg-meeting-on-west-papua-scheduled

1) New MSG meeting on West Papua scheduled

Updated at 9:44 pm on 21 January 2014
The director general of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has confirmed a special Leaders meeting will be held in Vanuatu next month.
Peter Forau says the agenda is still being consulted on but it will address issues of importance to MSG cooperation, notably the West Papua issue.
The MSG Chairperson Victor Tutugoro, who is also spokesperson of New Caledonia's indigenous FLNKS movement, is calling for the meeting, just days after a controversial MSG mission to Indonesia and Papua.
Foreign ministers from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands took part in a delegation last week, which was meant to learn more about the bid by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation to become a member of the MSG.
Vanuatu's foreign minister, Edward Natapei, pulled out because the itinerary did not include meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
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2) MSG chairman says meeting to discuss West Papua will be called

Updated at 2:44 pm on 21 January 2014
The Chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group says a special MSG meeting will be held in Vanuatu next month over the issue of West Papua.
Victor Tutugoro, who is also spokesperson of the FLNKS in New Caledonia, has not elaborated on the agenda
but says the meeting will take place in Port Vila in the middle of next month.
Foreign ministers from PNG, Fiji, and Solomon Islands took part in an MSG mission to Indonesia and Papua last week, which was meant to discover more about the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, which wants to become a full member of the MSG.
Vanuatu's foreign minister, Edward Natapei, pulled out because the itinerary did not include meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
Mr Natapei said the MSG might have to meet West Papuan civil society leaders elsewhere.
Radio New Zealand International hasn't been able to get confirmation from the secretariat of the MSG about the meeting.

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http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/233939/msg-visit-still-worthwhile-says-west-papua-group

3) MSG visit still worthwhile says West Papua group

Updated at 2:41 pm on 22 January 2014
The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation believes a visit by a Melanesian Spearhead Group delegation to Papua last week would have been revealing, despite no meetings with civil society groups taking place.
The MSG Chairperson Victor Tutugoro, who is also spokesperson of the FLNKS in New Caledonia, has called for a special Leaders' Summit next month to address issues of importance to MSG cooperation, including the West Papua issue.
Last week's MSG mission to Indonesia and Papua, was boycotted by Vanuatu because the itinerary did not include meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
The trip was meant to discover more about the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, which is seeking membership of the MSG and its vice-chairman, Otto Ondawame, believes the trip can still achieve that.
"They witnessed themselves Indonesian behaviour, they have to build their own opinion on the visit so I'm sure that Melanesia is Melanesian, not Indonesians, Melanesians have their own opinion on these matters."
Otto Ondawame.
Foreign ministers from PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands took part in the trip.
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4) Some MSG opposition to West Papuan group membership bid

Updated at 7:40 pm on 22 January 2014
A member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group says it is not possible to accept the application of a West Papuan group into the MSG because it's not the only organisation that represents West Papuans.
A special MSG leaders' summit has been scheduled to address issues, including about West Papua, following last week's controversial trip by MSG foreign ministers to Indonesia
The trip, which was boycotted by Vanuatu, was meant to discover more about the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, which is seeking MSG membership.
Yvon Faua, who took part as an envoy of New Caledonia's FLNKS, which currently occupies the MSG chair, says there are other groups that also claim to represent West Papuans and the people would be better served if they worked together.
"The report FLNKS has to make to the leaders is that it is not possible to accept the application. I think the Melanesian Spearhead Group has to join all the others because as we know there are also other organisations."
Yvon Faua says it might be possible for an umbrella West Papuan organisation to apply for MSG membership.

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/101355215

6) UPDATE 2-Freeport to defend itself against Indonesia export tax

Published: Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 | 10:41 AM ET
Jan 22 (Reuters) - Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc said on Wednesday it would "defend its rights" in Indonesia against a new export tax it said contravenes its agreement with the government, as it reported a drop in fourth-quarter earnings.
The world's biggest publicly traded copper producer, which has operated in Indonesia since the early 1970s, said it would defer production of some 40 million pounds of copper and 80,000 ounces of gold per month until the issue was resolved.
Freeport, which also produces oil and gas, said the new regulations conflicted with the deal it signed with the Indonesian government. It said the terms of that contract stated it would not be subject to any new taxes, duties or fees.
"We've never had a violation by either party of the contract, and we're confident that we will find a way to work ... that will represent the interest of our shareholders and be responsive to the government," Freeport Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said in a call with analysts and investors.
Sources close to the situation have said the dispute between Freeport and the Indonesian government may end in arbitration.
The government on Jan. 11 gave Freeport and fellow miner Newmont Mining Corp a reprieve from a controversial mineral ore export ban, but then surprised the U.S.-based majors by imposing an export tax.
As a result, Freeport could pay around $5 billion more in taxes over the next three years, according to Reuters calculations.
SEEKING CLARITY
Freeport's Grasberg gold and copper complex, one of the world's largest copper and gold deposits, is located in Papua, Indonesia, and the company's Indonesian operations contributed 23 percent of its consolidated pre-tax income in 2012.
Freeport halted concentrate exports on Dec. 15 amid rising uncertainty about the new policies, which are meant to force miners to process more material in country and narrow a current account deficit that has battered Indonesia's currency.
Under their current contracts, Freeport and Newmont pay corporate income taxes of 35 percent plus royalties and other fees. Freeport paid some $1 billion in taxes and fees in 2012.
It said it was working with the government to "clarify the situation and defend its rights" under the contract of work.
The tax, starting off at 25 percent, is set to rise to 60 percent by the end of 2016 before exports of concentrate are banned from 2017.
Under a joint venture agreement, Rio Tinto gets a 40 percent share of the output from Grasberg above certain levels until 2021, and 40 percent of all production after 2021.
PRICE SLIDE HURTS
Shares in Freeport slipped 1.4 percent to $34.77 in early trading on Wednesday, alongside other major mining companies.
The company reported a drop in fourth-quarter earnings following a decline in copper and gold prices. Net income fell to $707 million, or 68 cents a share, from $743 million, or 78 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding unrealized losses on oil and gas derivatives and other charges in the fourth quarter, earnings would have been 90 cents a share.
Analysts had expected earnings of 80 cents a share on revenue of $6.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Freeport said it expects to sell about 4.4 billion pounds of copper, 1.7 million ounces of gold and 60.7 million barrels of oil equivalents in 2014.
RBC Dominion Securities analyst Fraser Phillips said in a note to clients the adjusted earnings topped his expectations, partly because of better-than-expected mining costs, and sales of gold, oil and gas.
Revenue rose to $5.89 billion from $4.51 billion, boosted by the company's recent oil and gas acquisitions.

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