Monday, March 3, 2014

1) REGION: Pacific NFIP advocacy delegates seek end to NZ police aid for Papua repression


1) REGION: Pacific NFIP advocacy delegates seek end to NZ police aid for Papua repression
2) Use of ‘noken’ in election remains uncertain
3) Focus on West Papua


1) REGION: Pacific NFIP advocacy delegates seek end to NZ police aid for Papua repression

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Item: 8491

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Fresh calls have been made for the New Zealand government to end its three-year, $6.34 million project training Indonesian police who are involved in the military occupation and repression of the West Papua region.

The government’s police training programme was slated by Pacific and local community leaders and activists at a conference held at AUT University on Saturday to commemorate international Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) day.

Chilling footage was screened showing Indonesian police invading a peaceful meeting of West Papuans, opening fire and then kicking and beating West Papuans while they were being forced to crawl along the ground. The footage has been handed over to local television stations.

Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand representative Kevin McBride said the New Zealand government had falsely billed its police training programme in Indonesia as one which instilled principles of “civil policing and community engagement”.

Former Green MP Keith Locke said it was “clearly not the sort of policing that the New Zealand government should be associated with”.

He doubted that the programme could ever be successful when repressive practices were so entrenched in the Indonesian police and military. 

Sometimes the education could work the other way around, Locke said.  When he addressed the NZ military staff college in Auckland in the 1990s, Locke discovered that the Indonesian officer present had convinced many of his Kiwi classmates that Indonesia's occupation of East Timor was a good thing.

Last month, Victor Mambor, chairperson of the Alliance of Independent Journalists of Papua, told the New Zealand Herald newspaper that New Zealand's police training of Indonesians was nothing more than "aid that kills".

West Papua was colonised by the Dutch in 1660 and was invaded by Japan during World War Two. When the Dutch eventually recognised Indonesian sovereignty over the Dutch East Indies, this excluded Dutch New Guinea.

Journalists banned
Despite indigenous West Papuans drawing up a declaration of independence in 1961, Indonesia invaded the territory in 1962 and has been occupying it ever since due to the disputed "Act of Free Choice" organised by the United Nations.

Foreign journalists are banned from visiting and there have been continuous allegations of Indonesian police and military atrocities and repression.

The campaign for a free West Papua is also being supported by local organisation Oceania Interrupted, which will continue a series of performances for West Papua at the Auckland Pasifika festival next weekend, says organiser Leilani Salesa.

The NFIP day was organised by the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC) in association with the Pacific Media Centre.

The event also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Bravo bombing of the Bikini atoll by the United States. The 15 megaton bombing saw a mushroom cloud of radiation spreading over more than 18,000 square kilometres of the Pacific – the lasting effects of which are the cause of a current standoff between former residents of the Rongelap atoll, just 120 kilometres from Bikini, and the United States government................................................

more with photos at

2) Use of ‘noken’ in election remains uncertain
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Mon, March 03 2014, 9:55 AM
The plan to apply the noken system in the upcoming legislative election in Papua may be dropped due to a lack of legal certainty.

Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD) head Adam Arisoi said recently that the noken system would not be used in the legislative election because the central KPU deemed it lacked a legal basis and was only effective for regional leadership elections.

However, in a recent meeting it was disclosed that the noken system would be used in the legislative election on April 9.

“Despite the lack of a legal basis, in Jayawijaya regency, Papua, the noken system will continue to be applied because it has been the tradition of people living in the Pegunungan Tengah region, in the 3, 4, 5 and 6 constituencies in 15 regencies,” said Jayawijaya Regent John Wempi Wetipo recently.

Wetipo said the noken system in Pegunungan Tengah had been practiced within the society for a long time and was the method used by residents to reach a decision.

“The noken system is very democratic and this democratic system has been practiced within the community. But then came a regulation which prohibits them from using a method with which they are long familiar. Will it not trigger conflict later?” said Wetipo.

Besides that, he went on, in the legislative election, ballot papers all had the photographs, names and numerical order of candidates.

“In general, people living in the Pegunungan Tengah region who practice the noken system don’t know how to read and write. In the previous elections, ballots papers were enclosed with the names and photographs so those who could not read and write could look at the photographs. Voters would face difficulties if the noken system is not put into practice.”

The noken system in Papua is a decision-making process in a particular community represented by a tribal chief. In the noken system, voters place their ballot papers in a noken, a multi-purpose traditional bag.

In the election of a regional leader, a community or a tribe entrust their choice to the tribal chief. A leader is not chosen by the tribal chief, but a consensus is reached beforehand to arrive at a common decision, so there is unanimity among a tribal community.

“The choice is not made on voting day but long before that. It could take months of conducting various activities, such as the bakar batu feast, and then the decision is made to vote for a particular candidate,” said Papua Governor
Lukas Enembe.

Since the system has caused controversy, Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw suggested that a legal basis was necessary to avoid conflict during the upcoming election.


3) Focus on West Papua

Dawn Gibson
Monday, March 03, 2014

PUBLIC lectures will be held this week at USP, FNU and the University of Fiji concerning the reforms and social developments taking place in West Papua.

The lectures, which are free to all members of the public, will contain discussions aimed at raising awareness and creating debate about West Papuan provinces within militia-run Indonesia.

The lectures will include a panel made up of two former West Papuan activists, senior advisers at the Co-ordinating Ministry for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, a first Vice-Chancellor of Representatives of the Papuan People's Assembly and the chancellor of the state University of Papua, an Information Ministry statement read.

"The visit of this delegation builds on the current momentum to strengthen the relationship between the MSG member countries and the Republic of Indonesia," the statement confirmed. "This visit to Fiji is in line with the outcomes of the recent visit by MSG Foreign Ministers to Indonesia in January of this year."


Honai and Julang Ngapak (IST)

Wamena, 2/3 (Jubi) – The idea of the Customary Institution (LMA)  to combine Honai, the traditional house of Wamena with Julang Ngapak, the Sundanese traditional house, has been criticized as an attempt to dilute the culture of the Papuan indigenous people.

A member of MRP’s Women Working Group, Nehemi Yebikon said in Wamena (02/3) that every tribe in the world has their own culture for generations, so that it should be maintained without mixing it with other cultures.

She further said Papua has its cultural characteristics which are rich, unique and diverse and the idea to combine the Papuan culture with the Sundanese culture would hurt the Papua indigenous people.
“It was difficult to integrate different cultures. Moreover the Sundanese culture has no relations at all with that of Papuan,” said Yebikon.

She added that to make such a proposal, the LMA should have the MRP’s recommendation as a Papuan cultural institution.

She said she suspected the LMA had ulterior motives in making the proposal, but did not elaborate.

Earlier, on 27 February, LMA Papua  facilitated Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil to visit Wamena in order to build a Honai that would be integrated with the tradional Sundanese architecture of Julang Ngapak. Chairman of LMA Papua, Lenis Kogoya responded the willingness of the mayor with saying he’s ready to prepare a location for the new integrated Traditional House. (Jubi/Roni Hisage/rom)

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