Wednesday, March 19, 2014

1) Noam Chomsky interview JP. ‘There have been efforts to move to an independent Asia’

1) ‘There have been efforts  to move to an independent  Asia’
3) Freeport Proposes Partnership
6) The New Face of Indonesian Democracy
7) US grant of F-16 fighter jets to arrive in October

1) ‘There have been efforts  to move to an independent  Asia’
The Jakarta Post | World | Wed, March 19 2014, 11:31 AM
Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and philosopher, was a vocal advocate for formerly occupied East Timor (now Timor Leste) and continues to be a proponent of the Papuan struggle for self-determination. He spoke recently with The Jakarta Post’s contributorProdita Sabarini in his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, US, on the impact of US foreign policy on Indonesia and how Southeast-Asian countries should be more independent. 

Question: What do you think are the main factors enabling impunity on cases of abuses such as in the 1965 communist killings, the war crimes in East Timor and continuing human rights violations in Papua? 

Answer: There’s a very simple reason for it. The US supported it all, every one of them. The US was ecstatic in 1965. In fact, the support was so overwhelming that it was just public. The New York Times and other journals were euphoric about it. They didn’t suppress it. They described the massacre as wonderful. Same in Britain. Same in Australia.

What happened in East Timor was because the US and its allies supported it for 25 years. West Papua is the same. As long as the US primarily and its allies as well — the Western powers — support atrocities, they are carried out with impunity, just like their own atrocities are. I mean, the Vietnam War was the worst atrocity in the post-World War II period but nobody’s [found] guilty for it.

Indonesia’s election is just around the corner. How do you see the potential shift from the desire for more political freedom to a return to the old powers in Indonesia? 

Same as everywhere else, the powerful win. I mean the overthrow of the dictatorship in Indonesia was important. Part of the reason [for the overthrow] was Soeharto not carrying out roles that the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the US demanded. And in fact, Madeline Albright, the [then] secretary of state at one point said that the US was dissatisfied with what Indonesia was doing and they ought to think about real change. About four hours later, Soeharto resigned. I don’t know if there was a causal connection but it was awfully suggestive. It is the great powers who decide. Mainly, the US in recent years decides what happens.

What can citizens do to guide where their country’s heading, given these external forces? 

Well it’s not hopeless. In fact there are changes. Striking ones. Take Latin America. Ever since the beginning, for 500 years Latin America has been under control of Western imperial power. But now, South America is pretty much liberated. Just in the last 10 years, the changes are enormous.

When the spying scandal broke, Brazil was by far the most outspoken opponent. And in general, Latin America has witnessed a stark change. They’ve pretty much freed themselves, not totally, but largely from imperial control.

There’s recently a study of rendition of which country cooperated: all of Europe — Sweden, France, England, Ireland — Canada and the Middle East of course because that’s where they send them for torture; and Asia mostly cooperated.

One region refused to cooperate: Latin America. And if you think, Latin America not long ago was just the backyard, they did whatever they were told. That’s a pretty astonishing change. I think that should be kind of a model for what could be achieved.

So it’s not hopeless. Latin America was the last place one would have expected to find real independence, given its history, and now it’s maybe the most independent area in the world.

Do you think Indonesia should look into the experiences of Latin America? 

You can’t carry over the model. Latin America doesn’t have security problems. Outside of the US there’s no real threat to Latin America. Indonesia does. China’s there. All countries in Southeast Asia have to be concerned with Chinese power.

What do you think of the role of ASEAN is in terms of resisting China’s power? 

My feeling is that there have been efforts to move to an independent, non-Chinese Asian system. Like Asian Development Bank for an example. Most have been blocked by the US in the past.

There was a Japanese-based effort to form a kind of Asian Development Bank, but the US undercut it. They want the World Bank, which is US-run, to handle it. But those things can be done and it has to be done in a way which doesn’t form a part of an alliance against China. I don’t think it’s impossible for Southeast and East Asia to become a sort of independent bloc in world affairs, separate from China, separate from the United States.

They’re not doing it now. They’re becoming part of the US system but that’s not good for anyone. That could lead to major serious confrontations.

The US is now strengthening their relationship with Asia.

Pivot to Asia. Well, unfortunately it’s being done in a way which is really threatening to China. I mean, China is not a nice government. They’re not going to be nice to people, but they do have their problems. They’re surrounded and contained.

Take a look at the conflicts between the US and China now. The conflicts are mostly over the seas near the China coast. The US wants to have free rights to send military vessels into those waters and China wants to control those waters. So that’s a confrontation.

There’s no confrontation over the Caribbean or over the waters near California. That would be inconceivable. That tells you about the balance of power.

China is encircled. There’s a ring of military bases from Japan, South Korea, Australia. These are hostile bases and they just surround China. In fact that’s one of the reasons why China is moving to Central Asia where they don’t have these barriers.

If East Asia and Southeast Asia move toward more independence in world affairs, they have to be careful not to be just part of a ring of military containment around China, preventing it from exercising pretty legitimate rights to have free access to its own maritime [sources] in the area.

Jayapura, 18/3 (Jubi) – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said armed an attack on security personnel by  a group of armed men in Yambi Mulia, Puncak Jaya regency, was purely criminal.
“We received a report about the shooting from the Papua police chief. The Yambi group has always engaged in extortion and all that stuff. For that, they deserve to be hunted by the security forces, ” Enembe told reporters in Jayapura, Papua on Tuesday (18/3).
Security forces killed one and arrested several members of the group who attacked their patrol in Mulia last Thursday (13/3). Two members of the armed group were injured in the clash.
“They are not fighting for independence. This group’s action is purely criminal,” Enembe said.
Meanwhile, the injured two were being treated in hospital and are recovering, said Papua police chief Inspector General Tito Karnavian.
“Other suspects are being questioned by Papua police investigators,” Tito said. (Jubi / Alex/ Tina)


3) Freeport Proposes Partnership

By Tito Summa Siahaan on 08:49 pm Mar 19, 2014
Jakarta. US mining giant Freeport is finally indicating a degree of willingness to comply with its legal obligations in terms of divestment and value-adding, according to comments by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa on Wednesday.
The minister revealed that he had received a letter from Freeport Indonesia, which operates the Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua, containing a request for a public-private partnership to build a copper smelter.
“I have tasked my team to look into the proposal,” the silver-haired minister said in Jakarta, adding that it was too early to discuss details since he had just received the letter.
Under the Mining Law passed in 2009, the export of raw minerals is banned since the beginning of this year, part of the nation’s push for in-country value-adding to develop industries before rapidly dwindling natural resources are mined out.
Despite a five-year window to comply with the House of Representatives’ move, both government and mining companies have so far failed to play their roles in encouraging the development of domestic smelters and secondary industries.
A further provision in the Mining Law, and in the older “Contract of Work” regulatory system which it replaced, requires foreign-owned mining companies to sell at least half their shares to local firms or governments.
In most cases, the deadline for this sell-down is long past, yet companies continue to defy the divestment requirement.
Rather than enforcing the law, the government has chosen to enter into individual negotiations with mining companies, with Hatta, also the National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman, saying on Wednesday that “Freeport was ready to return land to the government, increase royalty payments from 1 percent, divest 20 percent of its shares and undertake an initial public offering,” referring to the six main negotiation points.
While the divestment proposal by Freeport was still short of its obligation to sell 51 percent of its shares, Hatta said that the letter showed that the negotiations with Freeport were going well.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Trade Minister M. Lutfi revealed that he had met with the Japanese ambassador to Indonesia to discuss the country’s objection to the 2009 ban on raw mineral exports.
Bachrul Chairi, director general for international trade at the ministry, said that the government was confident in facing down threats of WTO action, saying WTO rules clearly supported the Indonesian government’s right to enact public interest provisions such those in  the Mining Law.
Andy Ayamiseba (left) with West Papua Journalist, Victor Mambor (Jubi)

Jayapura, 17/3 (Jubi) – Living in exile for decades has not changed the  political views of Papuan musician Andy Ayamiseba. Ayamiseba said he would only return to Papuan if it gained independence.
He was responding to an invitation to return home from Frans Alberth Joku and Nick Messet, two Papuan figures who recently visited Vanuatu.
“Who does not want to return to his beloved country? But I have reasons why I cannot accept (the invitation,” Ayamiseba said by phone on Monday (17/3).
He said there were still human rights violations against Papuans .
“The reason has to do with our political status and our security. It is not about social welfare that Indonesia can provide for us. We were born in Papua and want to die for Papua,” he said.
“We are not Indonesians. Indonesia raped our human rights with the support of the United Nations. I will return to my country Papua, only if it gains independence and be recognized as a nation,” he added.
Ayamiseba, the frontman of legendary band The Black Brothers, said he respected the choice of his two former colleagues who had fought for Papuan independence of West Papua.
They believed if they could not win against their invaders, it would be better to join them in order to improve the situation for the people of West Papua.
“I prefer to continue to fight and to suffer for the rights of Papuan people. Of course we want to enjoy the same level of welfare as that enjoyed by the Indonesians, but that can only happen when we escape from our suffering and become a free nation,” he said.
During their visit to Suva last week, Joku and Messet invited Ayamiseba and another Papuan, John Otto Ondowame, who have lived in exile for decades, to return home to Papua.
Barack Sope, former Vanuatu prime minister and currently an advisor to the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) warned that Ayamiseba and Ondowame could be killed if they returned to Papua.
“When I was prime minister in 2000, I invited the head of the West Papua Presedium Council, the late Theys Eluay, to attend the 20th anniversary of my country in Port Villa. Two weeks after his return, he was kidnapped by members of ‘Kopassus (the army’s special forces)’ while returning home from an official event at night. He was killed and his driver was missing until today. His killers were arrested and jailed for couple of years then released,” Sope told Jubi by phone on Monday (17/3).
He said Indonesia’s military is much more powerful than the head of the state and can act unilaterally by killing anyone in West Papua they see as a threat.
He also said that both Messet and Joku  knew that their invitation would be rejected because they have chosen a different path.
“There are two different roads. Messet and Joku followed the Indonesian road, a road paved with  the human rights violations, mistreatment and killing of West Papuan people by the Indonesian military for years,” Sope said. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/rom)

Jayapura, 18/3 (Jubi) – Police’s claims that armed tribesmen were directing their weapons towards officers during tribal clashes between  who were in conflict in Timika were false, a human rights activist said.
Police officers trying to calm the conflict between members of the Moni and Dani tribes killed two people on March 12.
But Markus Haluk, a Papuan human rights activist, denied the police’s version of the incident that killed Rev. Ekpinus Tugume Magal and Joen Wandagau.
“The late Rev. Ekpinus Magal was a head division for human rights at Yahamak. He was shot when doing his job to gather data in the conflict area,” said Haluk told Jubi on Tuesday (18/3).
He said after the clashes stopped, the victim stood at a distance from the scene to gather some information and take photographs.
“But then the officer opened fire and he was shot in his chest, killing him instantly. The police’s claims that he resisted  security forces were not true. The people who were in the conflict did not  attack or point their arrows to the police either,” he said.
The director of Yahamak (Human Right and Non Violence Foundation), Yosepa Alomang, said police had not made any attempt to arrest the shooters, even though the two victims were not involved in the conflict.
“We urge the Police Chief of Papua to immediately arrest and put the perpetrators of the shooting of  Rev. Ekpinus Tugume Magal and Joen Wandagau in justice,” said Alomang.
Papuan Police Chief Inspector General Tito Karnavian told to Jubi that officers were forced to shoot the two victims in self-defense.
“I firmly said that the act of Brimob (mobile brigade police unit) at that time was not revenge, but it was self defense, because they were attacked by the warring people. The attack injured a member of Brimob by arrow in his neck,” he said on Wednesday (12/3).
To solve the conflict between the Moni, Mee, Amungme and Dani-Damal tribes, Alomang urged the governor to facilitate reconciliation between all parties involved.
“Because the warlords don’t believe in local leaders, nor the regent, the Chief Police, the Chief Military Region or legislators of Mimika Regency. They only believe in the governor of Papua,” she said.
She added that the government needs to protect the status of landowners in the land of Amungsa-Kamoro and identify tribes that own and use the land. ( Jubi / Victor Mambor/rom )


6) The New Face of Indonesian Democracy

By Derwin Pereira on 08:33 pm Mar 19, 2014

Jakarta governor Joko Widodo. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Indonesia’s democratic consolidation took a step forward with the nomination of Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo as the presidential candidate of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). The presidential election, which will be held in July following parliamentary elections next month, could be expected to entrench the political gains made in the vast archipelagic state since the downfall of the autocrat Suharto in 1998.
Jokowi, as he is popularly known, promises to renew Indonesians’ faith in a democracy sullied by corruption and inefficiency. The Suharto court was known for its opulent corruption, but much of that was blamed on autocracy and closed circuits of power and influence. The survival of those ills into the democratic era undermined the idea that popular rule could provide a better life for the people through the honesty, transparency and accountability of their leaders.
Jokowi could prove that democracy is self-correcting. His personal integrity anchors his charisma as a young, forward-looking and accessible leader. His governorship of Indonesia’s capital city has been free of the huge corruption scandals that plague the rest of the country. His tolerance of criticism and his ability to reach out to his detractors differentiate him from politicians who are either defensive or aggressive because they fear that their time is up.
If elected, Jokowi could anchor Indonesian politics in another fundamental way — symbolically. All countries have political symbols, but in Indonesia, symbolism has a country. Suharto surrounded himself with the symbolic aura of Javanese kingship, casting his rule as the modern equivalent of a benign ancient reign. He expected his acts of noblesse oblige — primarily economic development, and law and order — to be viewed reverentially by a grateful populace that would accept him as one invested with almost a divine right to rule. His liveried retinues of economists, technocrats and security courtiers played up that image relentlessly. When he fell, his faked mandate of heaven was deposed along with him.
Suharto’s successors tried to reverse his legacy. However, B.J. Habibie distinguished himself more by his phlegmatic nationalism than by anything else. The devout Abdurrahman Wahid did not leave a deep imprint on Indonesian politics. Megawati Soekarnoputri’s privileged background as daughter of founding President Sukarno was useful only up to a point in a post-iconic age. The cerebral and distant Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is presiding over his party’s decline. These presidents all discarded the symbolism of Suharto’s imperial presidency, but were unable to replace it with a credible political image of their own.
The 52-year-old Jokowi’s boyish looks, unaffected ways and ability to remain unspoiled by his gubernatorial power endear him to Indonesians who have had enough of political egotism, whether autocratic or democratic. He could inaugurate Indonesia’s first post-imperial presidency. If he does, he will move the country closer to the idea of democracy as a political mechanism that reduces the existential distance between rulers and the ruled.
In this sense, Jokowi resembles the presidential hopeful Barack Obama in 2008. The Bush presidency had polarized America into two political nations co-existing in one constitutional state. Obama sought to reconnect the two Americas of imperial elites and everyday masses. Similarly, Jokowi wishes to remind the Jakarta elite that it owes its privileged position to the tolerance of toiling Indonesians.
An important factor in Jokowi’s favor is that he is a pan-Indonesian phenomenon. His popularity has spread across the geographically and ethnically diverse country, from Aceh in the west to Papua in the east.
His likely rivals in the presidential race — businessman Aburizal Bakrie of the Golkar Party and retired general Prabowo Subianto of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party — cannot match that breadth of support. Moreover, the first is weighed down by accusations of business wrongdoing and the second by alleged human rights abuses when he was in the army. Jokowi is not.
Jokowi is so attractive to a corruption-tired populace that it is possible that he will win in the first round of the election. Although poll numbers now give him less than the 50 percent threshold to avoid a run-off in the second round, the momentum behind him is strong and growing. But even if he falls short in the first round, he is poised to prevail in the second round.
Of course, he will not win by default. Given his popularity, the other candidates will bring to bear on him their undoubted firepower. For the 63-year-old Prabowo, the prospects of Jokowi winning and remaining in power for 10 years would be chilling. Prabowo, who has invested huge financial resources and time in a nationwide campaign, is hardly willing to see his chances of becoming president being destroyed. He could be expected to mount a vigorous campaign to regain the political initiative.
Finally, Jokowi will now have to make a transition from a municipal stage to the national stage. He will have to present his views on key national and international issues. For example, will he continue with the nationalist bent in economic policy so evident in the past year? How can he safeguard Indonesia’s interests at a time when China’s maritime assertiveness and the American pivot to Asia are leading to big-power games being played out in Indonesia’s sphere of influence?
Indonesians are waiting for the answers. However, they are waiting even more for a new face that they can look up to, to entrench democracy as a way of life but also to cleanse it of the toxins that have accumulated in the body politic since the departure of the Suharto regime.
Derwin Pereira, who covered Indonesia as a journalist for more than a decade, heads Pereira International, a Singapore-based political consultancy. He is also a member of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. 
This article was first published in the Business Times (Singapore).

7) US grant of F-16 fighter jets to arrive in October

Wed, March 19 2014 22:12 | 401 Views

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The first batch of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, which are a grant from the United States, is expected to arrive in Indonesia in October, according to Indonesia Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia.

"The F-16s will arrive before the commemoration of the TNI (Indonesian military)'s anniversary on October 5," he said when inspecting the Roesmin Nurjadin air base here on Wednesday.

The F-16 fighter jets will arrive in Indonesia in stages. "In the initial phase, eight planes will be delivered," he said. Those F-16s composed A and B variants will be upgraded from Block 25 to Block 52.

Marshal Ida bagus, who was accompanied by chief of the Air Force's operations command I Rear Marshal M Syaugi and commander of the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base Col Andiawan, inspected the air base that will house a squadron of F-16 fighter jets. 

"We are monitoring directly the development of the F-16 squadron. So far, the development is quite satisfactory. All the devices are complete. We hope that in the future this squadron of F-16s will stay at the forefront of our effort to safeguard the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia," he said.

He added that the 16 F-16 fighter jets will be stationed in the air force base.

According to Andyawan, the squadron, which was built on 7 hectares of land, is equipped with hangar, maintenance hangar, aircraft parking lots, ammunition depot and dormitory. 

Pekanbaru was chosen as the squadron of the F-16s because of its strategic location to protect the western part of Indonesia, he said. 

So far, Indonesia has only one squadron F-16s in 3rd Air Squadron based in Iswahyudi Main Air Force Base, East Java. Syaugi was amongst the first generation of those F-16's fighter pilots.
Editor: Ade Marboen

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