Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1) West Papuan Leader Calls Vanuatu PM ‘Beacon Of Hope’

1) West Papuan Leader Calls Vanuatu PM ‘Beacon Of Hope’
2) Trust deficit taxing Indonesia-Australia  relations
3) Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy 11 February 2014
1) West Papuan Leader Calls Vanuatu PM ‘Beacon Of Hope’Campaigner Benny Wenda grateful for Carcasses’ UN speech
By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, March 21, 2014) – Founder of Free West Papua Global Campaign, Benny Wenda has described Prime Minister Moana Carcasses’ staunch address to the United Nations Committee for Human Rights Abuse in Geneva, Switzerland, against the atrocities inflicted by Indonesian soldiers on West Papuans as a "beacon of hope" for all West Papuans who have been crying for freedom, justice and true self-determination for the last 50 years.
Wenda who passed through Port Vila on his global campaign trail over one year ago wrote a two-page letter to the Prime Minister to express his people’s heartfelt gratitude for speaking up for West Papuan human rights at the United Nations.

Wenda wrote, "Now with your support, my people are beginning to wipe away their tears as your Melanesian brothers in the Pacific boldly lead the world into supporting true freedom for our people.
"I am deeply moved by your speech and felt delighted when you called for immediate action in the presence of the Secretary General of the United Nationals in Geneva and so many other distinguished leaders, who, as you rightly put it, are working in "the noblest organ of the United Nations".
"It was highly significant that you recalled the tragic history of West Papua, including horrific human rights abuses, such the torture and murder of innocent Melanesian Papuans; Yaweri Wayeni, Telenga Gire and Anggen Pugu Kiwo".

Wenda said by calling for a UN investigation into the human rights situation in West Papua as well as full access for human rights NGOs, international journalists and UN Human rights monitors, the Prime Minister has done an incredible service to the West Papuan people as the world no longer can ignore their plight.
[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said "any self-determination efforts in Indonesia's Papua region must be made in conjunction with Jakarta. ... Mr Lilo, who says Jakarta has taken heed of his call for an end to abuses by security forces in Papua, describes Indonesia's legitimacy over the region as unquestionable."]
Wenda continued, "By raising such issues, you have pushed past the boundary of fear and blindness, which has been so evident in the history of the United Nations, leading the world into breaking the wall of silence whish has tried to stop the voice of our people for the last 50 years.
"I have always believed that when once nation supports West Papua, others will soon follow. We have always been confident that our brothers and sister Melanesians would be the first of the nations to give their support.
"My brother, I thank you with all my heart for spreading the message of our suffering people. On the day you made the historic speech, almost exactly a year after you became Prime Minister of your great country, thousands upon thousands of my people came out, on to the streets of West Papua, to demonstrate their support.

"History was made once again as Papuans from every organisation within the country signed a joint statement to thank you and welcome your speech. They called on all other nations to stand up in support of your noble actions, asking for an investigation into the condition of human rights in West Papua at the UN level, supporting your country for making such a bold statement and calling for full self-determination in west Papua.
"I want to offer you my full encouragement in making this speech and thank you for your continuing support of my people. Please keep raising our voice at the international level. My people have been crying since 1963 for a leader to take up our cause at the United Nations. It was not the nations directly responsible for the occupation that raised our voice when we cried but our Melanesian brothers across the Pacific Ocean.

"I want to also say thank you for your support of West Papua joining the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Although many other Melanesian states have submitted to Indonesia’s false image of West Papua and even accepted money, we are so delighted to see our brave brother Vanuatu once again perceiving the true suffering of our people and accordingly, refusing to go to Indonesia and West Papua with the recent MSG delegation.
"We will always hope and pray that all of our brothers in Melanesia and the Pacific, such as yourself, will continue to support the cries of our people against genocide and colonialism, so that one day we may all stand together in the Melanesian family of nations. May God bless you, the Republic of Vanuatu and all of Melanesia".

2) Trust deficit taxing Indonesia-Australia  relations
Imron Cotan, Jakarta | Opinion | Tue, March 25 2014, 10:40 AM
Australia is one of Indonesia’s closest neighbors. However, the two countries differ markedly in terms of geography, history, race, values and norms.

To start with, Indonesia is an archipelagic state that is sandwiched between two continents, Asia and Australia, and two oceans, the Indian and the Pacific.

Indonesians used to host seafarers coming from and going through these two continents and two oceans. Indonesia slowly developed an archipelagic mentality, welcoming people from all around the world, despite already being home to around 350 ethnicities.

On the other hand, Australia is a continental country, far “down under”. In the past, it really required a special effort to land on Australian shores. This certainly led to the formation of a continental mentality, which some pundits sometimes mistakenly identify as “alien-fear”.

Indonesia emerged and bonded together as a nation out of extreme exploitation by western powers, notably the Dutch, and later by eastern power Japan. Australia went through a far different trajectory to become an independent country under commonwealth traditions.

Indonesia struggled to free itself from the colonial powers that grossly siphoned off its natural resources. This explains why nationalism has been deeply rooted in the psyche of the nation.

Indonesian cultures, norms and values are basically Eastern-based. Islam notably plays a significant role as around 80 percent of the country’s population professes Islam as its religion. On the contrary, Australia is Western-based with Christianity and European traditions being key in molding its values, norms and outlook.

Politically, Indonesia tends to take a neutral stance vis-à-vis regional and global issues. Australia cemented a number of alliances — military or otherwise — as dictated by its national interests.

In short, Indonesia and Australia are oceans apart in terms of political and sociocultural fabric, orientation and inclination. However, we share common things upon which our relations should be based, deepened and widened.

First and foremost, we share the same region, Asia and the Pacific. Indonesia cannot chase Australia away from this commonly shared region, nor can Australia expel Indonesia. Second, both are democracies, governed democratically by elected leaders. Government policies have therefore to be publicly debated and endorsed by parliament. Gone are the days when only one leader made decisions in Indonesia.

The system is still far from perfect, but is nonetheless functional.

Differences should not deter us from cooperating to provide our respective citizens with a strong sense of stability while mutually enjoying the prosperity presented by the Asian Century.

The impasse with which Indonesia and Australia are currently confronted arguably resulted from a skin-deep understanding of the countries’ respective social fabrics, providing the opportunity for mistrust to mushroom. This trust deficit has to be admitted and hence confronted rigorously by both.

The issues of boat people, drug convict Schapelle Corby being granted parole and spying thanks to leakages by Edward Snowden, will be solved once both countries fully understand each other in a genuine and in-depth manner.

Together with other nations, both countries have always excelled in sealing deals to tackle those symptoms. A series of politically and legally binding commitments have therefore been produced.

Reality sinks in immediately, however, when it comes to their implementation.

Take the Bali Process, meant to deal with boat people. There are no practical measures put in place to really curb this perennial problem, which involves the countries that send, provide transit points for and receive migrants. As a result, Indonesia continues to serve as transit country, often trying to unilaterally address the issue, such as by revoking the visa exemption previously extended to Iranians.

Some of these migrants allegedly smuggled drugs into Indonesia to be sold to finance their trips to Australia, which is extremely dangerous, particularly to Indonesia’s future.

These boat people coming, among others, from countries in the Middle East as well as Central and South Asia also create social problems. One only needs to go to West Java’s Puncak mountain resort area to witness some of the negative impacts on locals.

Many such migrants exploit the Indonesian archipelagic mentality of welcoming outsiders.

No doubt Indonesia wants this exploitation to stop, but it can only do so if and when all countries concerned get involved, as unilateral action can only address the symptoms, not the root cause.

One should now wonder whether it is appropriate to gauge the relationship between Indonesia and Australia by using Corby, Snowden, or boat people as a yardstick. It should not and cannot be appropriate, as our national interests far exceed those issues. Moreover, we share the same future. To make it brighter, the two countries need to work jointly to help promote regional stability and prosperity.

One should not underestimate their ability to do so, Indonesia being the world’s fourth most populous nation and 15th biggest economy, and Australia being one of the regional centers of excellence.

It is against this strategic backdrop that we should rapidly go beyond Snowden, Corby, or boat people. Sending the Indonesian
Ambassador back with a clear mandate to resolve the issue at hand is certainly an excellent step in that direction.

Trust deficit has heavily taxed the relationship between the neighbors. Extra efforts need to be taken to significantly improve it.

It can no longer be tolerated.

It can only be addressed by first, revamping Indonesian studies in Australian universities, halted by John Howard’s government and partly revived by Kevin Rudd’s. Indonesians still see Australia as a favorite destination for study.

Thousands of our students currently study across Australia, and China is catching up, hosting around 17,000 Indonesian students. Yet Australia sends only a few to Indonesia, its travel warning being one of the impediments.

Second, promoting more second-track diplomacy, involving community leaders, public opinion molders, concerned citizens, journalists and religious leaders, to name but
a few.

Third, taking concrete actions — as a matter of follow-up — on all our bilateral and regional commitments, especially on issues that attract public attention, before the media sets the tone (megaphone diplomacy).

Fourth, establishing “direct hotline communication channels” connecting top leaders of the two countries, to be employed during crises to speedily contain contentious bilateral issues and resolve them accordingly.
The writer was former Indonesia ambassador to Australia and was ambassador to China and Mongolia. The article is an abridged version of his presentation at the Indonesia–Australia Senior Advisory Group in Jakarta on March 20, 2014.

3) Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy 11 February 2014

The Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems to be unable
to make any  suggestions based on his own personal opinion  as well as
in his official position  as the head of state to resolve the question
of Papua, either by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.

I am speaking in my capacity as executive director of the LP3BH
Manokwari after coming under pressure from various groups in Indonesia
and overseas.

The social-political conflict which is continuing to this day  is
marked by the use of armed violence by the security forces, the TNI
(Indonesian Army) and the police force  in many regions of West Papua.

This must stop immediately and should be replaced by the willingness
to hold peaceful dialogue facilitated by a third party which is both
neutral and independent.

As a human rights defender working in the Land of Papua, I would like
to point out that this social and political conflict has been going on
since the late President Sukarno issued his Tri Komando Rakyat (Triple
People's Command) on 19 December 1961 in Yogyakarta. Since then acts
of violence perpetrated by the security forces are estimated to have
led to the death of around 100,000 people.

It is highly regrettable that the measures provided for in Articles 7,
8 and 9 of Law 26/1999 on Basic Human Rights, Law 26 on Human Rights
Courts as well as Articles 45 and 46  of Law 21/2001 regarding
Special Autonomy for West Papua are [....... some words missing].

It is evident that the Indonesian government does not have the
political will to seek a resolution of the grave human rights being
violated in West Papua.

All those responsible for these violations, particularly those
operating in the field, are never called to account. In fact, some of
these people are now putting their names forward as candidates for
election as the head of state in the presidential election to be held
later this year.

These human rights violations have been occurring since 1961 and 1963,
that is to say for fifty years and are now continuing in the 51st
year, as indicated by civil society organisations such as the Papuan
Peace Network, which could be used as indicators for preparing for a
dialogue between Papua and Indonesia.

As a human rights defender, I should like to make the following
concrete proposals to President SBY for consideration in preparing for
a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.

The suggestions being put forward on behalf of the Indonesian
government  by the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, and the governor
of West Papua  Abraham Octavianus Atururi as well as their respective
provincial legislative assemblies in the form of a draft for Special
Autonomy Law - Plus are unconstitutional and violate the
constitutional rights of the Papuan people as provided for in the 1945
Constitution, as well as Law 24/2003 on the Constitutional Court.

One thing that the SBY Government and the provincial governors need to
remember is that the idea of holding a dialogue as proposed by the
Papuan people is something that is based on their history and  the
customary and cultural values of the Papuan people.

This means that it is not enough for these ideas to be responded by
the President by making nice remarks about dialogue while at the same
time failing, to this very day, to announce any decision to start
making serious preparations for such a dialogue to take place.

[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]

Apologies for the delay in circulation this translation.

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