Friday, June 13, 2014

1) SICA supports freedom for West Papua people

2) With Democracy, a Stronger Diplomacy for Indonesia

3) Kontras: Prabowo Case to Be Brought to Human Rights Court

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1) SICA supports freedom for West Papua people
CHURCHES in the Solomon Islands have agreed to actively support the struggle for political independence of the people of West Papua.
The call comes a week before Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attends the Pacific Islands Development Forum Summit in Denarau, Fiji.

“We in the Solomon Islands have heard the cries of the people of West Papua and we commit to advocating for their inherent right to gainful political self-determination and true freedom,” said Father Peter Houhou, Vicar-General of the Anglican Archdiocese of Honiara.

The re-articulation of this commitment to West Papua’s political self-determination by the church meeting is aligned with the mandate adopted by the Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly – in the same meeting complex last year.

The assembly called on all Pacific churches to advocate the freedoms of peoples still under colonial rule in the Pacific.

“Whilst we in the Solomon Islands need to embark again on a journey to rethinking our own self-determination, we make this statement in recognition of our moral responsibility to heed the cries of our brothers and sisters in West Papua who are struggling for justice on a daily basis,” Fr Houhou said..

Two weeks ago Solomon Islands church leaders learned that the Churches must continue to exercise without fear, its prophetic role in ‘speaking truth to power’, and in reclaiming this voice, stand up to  defend, affirm and announce its solidarity with all peoples who suffer mightily under colonial oppression.

Reverend Wilfred Kurepitu, Moderator of the United Church in Solomon Islands (UCSI) called on churches to do their duty.

“It is the moral duty of the church to counter oppressive regimes of authority and to actively engage the struggle for justice, freedom and peace.
“We are hereby called, not only to wish freedom on people that remain under colonial rule, but to actively work in striving for all  oppressed people’s freedom, which also includes our brothers and sisters in Kanaky (New Caledonia) and Maohi Nui (French Polynesia),” he said.

In applauding its Government’s support in sponsoring Maohi Nui’s (French Polynesia) re-inscription onto the UN Decolonization List last year, churches in the Solomon Islands called on government to urgently show similar support to West Papua’s struggle for political independence, and in solidarity with the example set by the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

The workshop on Rethinking the Household of God in the Solomon Islands took place June 2-3 and was jointly organised by the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) and the Pacific Conference of Churches.

Source: PCC
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http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/democracy-stronger-diplomacy-indonesia/

2) With Democracy, a Stronger Diplomacy for Indonesia

By Vita A.D. Busyra on 08:40 am Jun 13, 2014

Jakarta. Indonesia’s confidence and competence in playing a leading role on the international stage will continue to grow in line with its assertive stance about its political stability and human rights protections relative to its neighbors in the Southeast Asian region, foreign policy experts said on Thursday.
The country was an active player in international diplomacy during the New Order era of the late Suharto, but lacked legitimacy because of its poor record on human rights, former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda said at a discussion in Jakarta.
Sixteen years after the strongman’s downfall, and with democratic reforms still being implemented, the country has won much-needed diplomatic currency thanks to its improved rights record and fast-growing economy.

“I can’t say that the reforms we enjoy today are [the result of] a revolution, but they were more of a corrective effort by the country for the injustices that we committed in the past to advance democracy,” Hassan said. “Before, there was no democracy. So now we’re strengthening our rule of law, our law enforcement, including eradicating the practices of corruption, collusion and nepotism, honoring our human rights [obligations], introducing regional autonomy, and finding ways to overcome various crises.”

In line with that progress, he said, Indonesia’s foreign policy has also improved during the reform era, particularly under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Hassan, who served as foreign minister from 2001 to 2009, including in Yudhoyono’s first administration from 2004 to 2009, said the president had shown that Indonesia could be a peace and unity to other countries by offering solutions to those countries in conflict such as in the Middle East and, closer to home, Myanmar, where ethnic Rohingya Muslims continue to be persecuted.
Jakarta’s top diplomats have in recent years become increasingly engaged in regional and wider international issues, while Indonesia’s participation at international forums have been marked by a more assertive stance.

Indonesia’s rise contrasts with its neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, many of which cannot claim to enjoy a true democracy.
Thailand last month experienced its 12th military coup in 80 years. Some civil liberties have suffered under the ruling parties in Singapore and Malaysia.
The Philippines enjoys a thriving democracy, but remains one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists, compared to Indonesia’s nearly unfettered press freedom.
Myanmar has begun introducing democratic reforms, but the military remains in charge of the government; in Cambodia, the government of Hun Sen has been widely accused of abuses of civil and human rights; and Vietnam is still nominally communist, while Laos is socialist.
However, Hassan warned that Indonesia still had several domestic issues that it needed to properly address if it wanted to increase its international clout, primarily its handling of low-level separatist insurgencies in Papua and Maluku, two of the least-developed regions in the country.
“There are human rights violations,” he admitted. “The people of Papua and Maluku continue to demand independence and sovereignty. But even though they’re free to voice their wishes, their demand to set up independent states cannot be accepted.”
Resolving both conflicts peacefully would boost Indonesia’s international standing significantly, experts say, citing the prominence afforded to the Yudhoyono administration after it managed to end a nearly three-decade armed insurgency in Aceh province in 2005.
Arif Susanto, an international relations lecturer at the London School of Public Relations, which hosted Thursday’s discussion, said he hoped the younger generation of Indonesians would play an increasing role in promoting political and foreign affairs issues and human rights concerns, including through social media.
With the advent and spread of this platform, he said, once-abstract issues like foreign affairs were now open to wide public discourse.
More and more, he said, it is the public, not the government, that has the say in determining policies.
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FRIDAY, 13 JUNE, 2014 | 19:12 WIB
3) Kontras: Prabowo Case to Be Brought to Human Rights Court
TEMPO.COJakarta - Coordinator of Commission for the Displaced Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Haris Azhar, said they do not urge that Prabowo Subianto's case is to be resolved in the military court. "We urge that human rights case is to be brought before Human Right Court," Haris told Tempo.
Kontras has been dealing with human rights cases related to the military, added Haris. "We have monitored such cases from back then. Now, its intensity is growing due to technology advancement," said Haris.
As for the demand for the resolution of Prabowo's case, social media plays a major part in it. "Five years ago, when Prabowo was running as a deputy for Megawati, there was no one dispersing the informaton," Haris said. "Now, it is revealed that investigation has taken place. [We] can simply continue that."
AISHA SHAIDRA

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