Monday, June 23, 2014

1) West Papua 'government' opens Melbourne office

1) West Papua 'government' opens Melbourne office
2) PCC media man followed by Fiji police over West Papua views
3) Papua sites qualify for  UNESCO list
4) TNI to Get First Delivery of Leopard Tanks

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http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/247961/west-papua-'government'-opens-melbourne-office

1) West Papua 'government' opens Melbourne office

Updated 8 minutes ago



The organisation calling itself the Federal Republic of West Papua is today opening an office in Melbourne.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the organisation, Jacob Rumbiak, says the new office in Melbourne's Docklands business district will help build relations between West Papua, Indonesia and Australia.
He says these relations were hijacked by the UN's New York Agreement in 1962, which provided for the transferral of the former Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia.
The Prime Minister and President of the so-called Republic, Edison Waromi and Forkorus Yaboisembut, are currently incarcerated in an Indonesia jail in Papua province for declaring West Papuan independence at a rally in Jayapura almost three years ago.
The new office is funded by Australians who have assembled themselves into a "West Papua Rent Collective".
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2) PCC media man followed by Fiji police over West Papua views

Updated at 6:50 am today


A spokeman for the Pacific Conference of Churches in Fiji says he was followed by special police for the duration of last week's Pacific Islands Development Forum because of his organisation's vocal stance on West Papua.
Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhyono, was the keynote speaker at last week's forum meeting in Nadi.
Indonesia has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with groups fighting for independence in West Papua, which was controversially annexed by Jakarta in the 1960s.
Netani Rika says he travelled to Nadi last week for matters unrelated to the PIDF, but he says he was informed by staff at the hotel he was staying at that police had visited several times to see where he was.
"I arrived on Tuesday night and went to a hotel and was told by the staff there that police had been around looking for me earlier in the evening, the next morning I had a visit again, twice on Wednesday and then one again on Thursday night. Apparently the policeman who spoke to the hotel staff said it was due to my being vocal about the West Papua issue."
Netani Rika says he went to the police station to ask for an explanation, but received none.
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3) Papua sites qualify for  UNESCO list
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Mon, June 23 2014, 6:27 AM
Three archaeological sites in West Papua could be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, said head of the Jayapura Archeological Center, Muhammad Irfan.
“Research conducted by the Jayapura Archeological Center of places or areas in Papua and West Papua show there are 310 archeological sites. Three have the potential to be included in the World Heritage List,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
The three sites are the Misool sedimentary rock art site in Raja Ampat, the Kokas sedimentary rock art site in Fakfak and the sedimentary rock art site in Kaimana.
“The three sites have a great chance to be included. However, there should be a further study and attention from the local community and administrations,” he said.
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4) TNI to Get First Delivery of Leopard Tanks

By Markus Junianto Sihaloho on 08:15 am Jun 23, 2014
Category FeaturedNews


Jakarta. Indonesia is preparing to receive the first batch of armored vehicles it procured from Germany — from an order of 164 units — as the archipelagic nation strives to meet its minimum essential force requirement amid rising tensions in the region.
A total of 52 combat vehicles, consisting of 26 Leopard main battle tanks and 26 medium-sized Marder infantry fighting vehicles, will be shipped from the city of Unterluss following a brief ceremony early this week, which will be attended by Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, Indonesia’s deputy defense minister, and Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo, retired Army chief of staff.
Pramono said he initiated the deal to purchase the 164 German combat vehicles — inked last year — before retiring.
“We will be in Unterluss to oversee the final preparations — including technical inspections and testing — involved in shipping the Leopard tanks to Indonesia,” Pramono said in a statement on Sunday before departing for Germany.
The former general declined to give the exact expected delivery date for the first batch of combat vehicles, but mentioned they would be arrive in time to be displayed in Jakarta for the Indonesian Military’s (TNI) anniversary on Oct. 5.
The purchase is part of the government’s larger plan to modernize Indonesia’s aging military equipment and weaponry — an overhaul that was last carried out over 30 years ago.
“Indonesia has fallen behind in terms of armory, even compared to several of our Asean neighbors,” Pramono said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Indonesia is a leading member. “We have been relying on light tanks, such as Scorpions and AMX-13, which are getting on in years.”
Germany had given defense firm Rheinmetall the green light in 2012 to export 104 Leopard 2 tanks, 50 Marder 1A2 infantry fighting vehicles and 10 other military carriers — including armored recovery vehicles, mobile bridges and military engineering vehicles — to Indonesia, German news portal Spiegel Online reported.
According to Indonesian officials, the initial agreement for 130 tanks was valued at $280 million, while Rheinmentall’s press released placed the figure at 216 million euro, or $293.7 million. The deal includes training sessions, logistical support services and an initial supply of practice and service ammunition.
The deliveries are scheduled to be concluded between 2014 and 2016.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched strategic plans in 2010 to help Indonesia meet its minimum essential force (MEF) — an effort to revamp the country’s aging weaponry and military equipment. Under the program, the country’s military procurement plans are divided into three phases — the first stretching from 2010 to 2014 — until the MEF is reached, which is targeted for 2024.
The archipelago’s domestic defense industry will also be fostered to grow under the program.
The Ministry of Defense has been among the largest recipients of government funds over the past several years. In addition to the annual budget, which amounted to Rp 86 trillion ($7 billion) this year, the government has also allocated some Rp 156 trillion toward modernizing military equipment throughout 2014.
Nevertheless, Indonesia only spent 0.8 percent of its gross domestic product on defense in 2012. Though the figure adds up to a substantial amount of money in real terms, the spending still pales in comparison to those of Indonesia’s regional peers.
The ideal budget, according to Sjafrie, would be 1 percent to 2 percent of GDP, which is the amount being spent by many of the world’s developing nations.
The deputy defense minster said he hopes Indonesia is able to reach that level of spending by 2024.
After dedicating more than $15 billion to building the country’s defenses system since 2010, Indonesia has managed to reach 40 percent of its MEF — well above phase one’s goal of 30 percent, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said.
Achieving these goals, he added, are crucial for tackling security challenges of the 21st century, with the global security focus shifting from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region, where disputes over resource-rich areas have continued to escalate, involving major players such as China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
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