Friday, August 29, 2014

1) New Indonesian president offers hope for West Papua

1) New Indonesian president offers hope for West Papua
3) Australian Senator wants more pressure over Papua 
4) Jokowi: Indonesia’s Best Chance?
5) KNPB leader buried without  autopsy

6) EAST TIMOR: IFJ launches petition protest against draconian ‘press law’


1) New Indonesian president offers hope for West Papua

Pat Walsh |  31 August 2014

Since its foundation as a modern state in the 1940s, Indonesia has been plagued by a series of conflicts that have threatened the dream of a united republic, inflicted grievous human rights violations and poisoned perceptions of the place, not least in Australia. In recent years, these have included independence movements in Timor-Leste, Aceh and West Papua and violent communal unrest in central Sulawesi.
West Papua is the last of these major conflicts to be tackled. Though they involved the spilling of much blood and many secondary issues remain, each of the other issues has been resolved with varying degrees of success. Only West Papua, perhaps the most complex and intractable of them all, remains. Attempts at a settlement by previous post-Suharto presidents, particularly Gus Dur and SBY, have failed. It is now the turn of Indonesia’s incoming president, Jokowi, to address the issue.
Jokowi is well positioned to act. He is expected to focus more on getting Indonesia’s house in order than on world affairs and he has already clearly indicated that this agenda includes West Papua. West Papua was the first place he visited at the start of his election campaign where he underlined a personal connection by taking his wife Iriana with him; her grandfather taught there and she is named after Indonesia’s original name for the region. He acknowledges the need to address West Papua’s serious development deficit including the cost-of-living disparity between eastern and western Indonesia and has committed to lifting the standards of education, health and the public service that are his trademark concerns and are central to the interests of the poor in West Papua.  
Jokowi comes to the issue fresh and free of political baggage and hang-ups. He is not part of the old regime that has caused such grief to West Papuans over the last 50 years. He has turned dialogue, a modus operandi also advocated by West Papuans, into an effective art form. In one of his presidential debates with Prabowo, an ex-Kopassus commander, he pointedly highlighted his preference for dialogue over military solutions. West Papuans seem to like what’s on offer. Roughly 70% of voters across the region’s two provinces opted for Jokowi over Prabowo. Experts predict that Jokowi’s vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, who is credited with helping settle the conflicts in Aceh and Poso referred to above, is also keen to try his hand in West Papua.
The old guard can be expected to resist Jokowi on West Papua including his belief that foreign media and human rights organisations should be allowed to visit the region. But he will enjoy the support of many Indonesians who share his concern for West Papua. The issue is no longer off-limits in Indonesia. Indonesians are aware of the many challenges to be addressed. Regularly reported in the mainstream media, these include clashes between the military and the OPM, human rights, HIV-AIDS, domestic violence, ethnic fracas and the Freeport mine. Communications, including social media, tourism and travel in and out of the region are routine and non-Papuan civil society is better educated today about the history of Indonesia’s annexation, the dubious legal basis of that claim and related West Papuan grievances such as fears of being marginalised in their own land.
Though Jokowi was conspicuously silent on Timor-Leste during the presidential campaign, Indonesia’s former 27th province holds, I believe, important lessons for him in relation to West Papua. One obvious lesson is not to place too much store on defections from the OPM. Like Nicholas Jouwe, the co-founder of the OPM who was recently awarded a distinguished service medal by President SBY in Jakarta, some senior Timorese also collaborated at various points in their campaign. Another is that West Papua, like Timor-Leste previously, is not just a developmental challenge. Indonesia spent heavily on development in Timor-Leste but neither this nor the offer of special autonomy in 1999, of the kind since implemented in West Papua, addressed the underlying political and identity grievances of the Timorese. Though much needed, development recipes on their own will not be enough to meet all West Papua’s aspirations. Jokowi would also be well advised to listen to the Protestant and Catholic churches in Papua. They represent well over 70% of the population and, as with the church in Timor-Leste, are an influential and credible force.
Settlement of the West Papua issue can only come from Indonesia and the Jokowi presidency offers the best prospects for this in half a century. Creating the conditions in which inclusive dialogue based on mutual respect can occur will tax the political imagination and creativity of all involved. The trust and goodwill Jokowi enjoys, including in West Papua, make for an excellent start to this important enterprise.

Religious Freedom, Military Accountability, Women’s Rights Among Issues for Action
AUGUST 28, 2014
(New York) – Indonesia’s newly elected president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, should focus efforts on tackling the country’s persistent human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president-elect.

Human Rights Watch made specific recommendations on issues concerning religious freedom, impunity of the security forces, women’s rights, free expression, Papua, domestic workers, child migrants, corruption, and indigenous land rights.

“As president, Widodo should reverse the failings of the previous administration by giving priority to the human rights problems that have gotten worse over the past decade,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The new president needs to act decisively to signal that his government will protect the rights of all Indonesians and roll back the country’s culture of impunity.”

Widodo inherits a number of serious human rights problems that worsened during the decade-long administration of outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The rising violence and discriminatory local laws against religious minorities is of gravest concern. Widodo should seek the revision of these discriminatory laws and ensure that government officials who incite violence against religious minorities are prosecuted.

There is still widespread impunity for members of the state security forces for their involvement in serious human rights abuses. Widodo should press for full investigations and prosecutions in key cases from the Suharto period to the present, and urge parliament to revive a bill that would provide civilian criminal court jurisdiction over military personnel responsible for offenses against civilians.

In Papua, the failure of Indonesia’s security forces to distinguish between violent acts and peaceful protests has contributed to rising tensions and insecurity in the province. Human Rights Watch urged Widodo to order the immediate and unconditional release of everyone imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their political views, and to permit foreign journalists and human rights organizations unimpeded access to the province.

In response to the deteriorating situation faced by women in Indonesia, Widodo should eliminate all discriminatory bylaws against women, and take stronger measures to address violence against women.

“Indonesia has all the ingredients to become a global model of an emerging democracy that both respects human rights at home and actively supports universal human rights standards internationally,” Kine said. “But that requires President Widodo to take a firm stand to protect the human rights of Indonesia’s marginalized groups, whether religious minorities, domestic workers, or Papuans.”


3) Australian Senator wants more pressure over Papua 

Updated 29 August 2014, 10:36 AEST

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has signed a new agreement with her Indonesian counterpart that allows the two countries' relationship to return to normal.
The deal was signed during the Minister's visit to Bali and focused on intelligence matters after revelations last year that Australia had spied on the out-going president and his inner circle.
But Democratic Labour Party Senator John Madigan says Ms Bishop should also be talking about Indonesia's treatment of indigenous people in its province of Papua.
Senator Madigan says it's important to mend fences with Indonesia, but Australia also needs to raise human rights concerns.
Presenter: Kerri Worthington
Speaker: Senator John Madigan, Democratic Labour Party

4) Jokowi: Indonesia’s Best Chance?

Indonesia’s next president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will be inaugurated in October, now that nation’s Constitutional Court rejected a challenge to the election result from rival candidate Prabowo Subianto.
The Diplomat’s Anthony Fensom spoke to Indonesian analyst, Griffith University Adjunct Professor Colin Brown, on whether the self-made businessman and Barack Obama-style “man of the people” can deliver on reform expectations for Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth-most populous nation.
Jokowi has been described as foreign investor-friendly, is that your view?
Compared with [former army general] Prabowo, certainly. That’s what the market sees. He’s someone who for a start has been a genuine businessman in his own right, who built a company from the ground up, who’s made it domestically and in international business. As far as I’m aware, this is the first Indonesian president who’s ever done that.
The fuel subsidy is the biggest fiscal issue for the Indonesian government – what are you expecting from Jokowi in this area?
Jokowi is going to make decisions which many of his supporters don’t like; I think he’s got the political legitimacy to get away with some of those. Clearly, the fuel subsidy cannot be maintained. Looking at the current budget, it shows something like 20 percent of central government expenditure goes on the fuel subsidy alone, and if you add in electricity and so on, it’s about 33 percent. Everybody acknowledges that that’s not sustainable, but the political cost of reducing it is high. Jokowi has got the political legitimacy to be able to do that and pull it off.
Prabowo currently has a bigger parliamentary coalition – could that change with Jokowi now confirmed as president?
Yes. Coalitions in Indonesia tend to be single-issue coalitions. Those parties lined up behind Prabowo only on the issue of winning the presidential election, and even if he had won, that coalition wouldn’t necessarily have stayed together. We’ve already seen that Golkar is seriously split…its support for Prabowo was manipulated by its current chair.
[Jusuf] Kalla, who is Jokowi’s vice-president, is a former head of Golkar and several other parties are clearly wavering. You’re in politics to achieve things, and you can’t achieve much if you stand behind the guy who’s lost. So I think you’ll find there will be continued splintering of the Prabowo coalition, but that doesn’t mean that Jokowi’s coalition will support him on all issues. There will be a constant series of negotiations on virtually every major legislative initiative he wants to take.
Will that make reform difficult for Jokowi?
Reform is always difficult in the Indonesian context, precisely for this reason. Political power has been so dispersed, and you have to scratch so many backs. My contention would be that Jokowi has significantly reduced two things: firstly his debt to the political parties – he’s nowhere near in debt to the other parties as other candidates have been, politically and financially. He won despite [party leader] Megawati, not because of her. He’s demonstrated his political legitimacy outside the political parties – that’s a major step because it’s reduced the authority of the political parties and reduced their capacity to manipulate the system. Having said that, he will still have difficulties – the Indonesian political system is almost designed to produce a difficult policymaking environment.
More than half Indonesia’s population is aged less than 25 years. What impact will this have on the new leader and what he can do?
They’ve got very little personal knowledge of the Suharto era, and the Indonesian education system is very selective [on history]. But I think in some respects the crucial element there is going to be not just youth, but also where they are. Particularly urban, educated people, Jokowi is counting on to support his initiatives. There was a small debate before the election about what the impact of the large number of first-time voters would be; my feeling is that they would have been more likely to vote for Jokowi. Prabowo might have offered certainty, but young people tend to go for ideals more than certainty.
Australia and Indonesia have reportedly signed a deal over the spying row; how will relations change under Jokowi?
[Outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] SBY has been known as Australia’s great friend – the best Indonesian president Australia has ever had. But for many Indonesians, it’s been a negative. Having said that, and saying that Jokowi will be more focused on domestic issues than international ones, I think we will be vastly better off with an Indonesia under Jokowi than an Indonesia under Prabowo. Prabowo is a loose cannon; he has an appalling record on human rights issues. If you look at the issues which have previously cruelled relations between Australia and Indonesia, it’s been human rights.
The situation has improved considerably since the end of the Suharto regime, with the exception of the two Papuan provinces. Jokowi has visited Papua on a number of occasions, and I think he gets it more than Prabowo does…I think we will be well served by a Jokowi president as opposed to a Prabowo one, but he won’t see himself as Australia’s best friend in Jakarta, nor should he.
Indonesia is seen as one of the future BRIC economies, and it also contrasts with India as one of Asia’s two big democracies.
The BRIC group looked good 10-15 years ago; I’m not sure it looks quite as good today. In comparing Indonesia with India, where Indonesia voted for the Jokowi candidate, India voted for the Prabowo candidate in terms of someone with a harsh record on human rights and religious tolerance, so they’ve moved in different directions.
Indonesia’s economic development comes back to things like good financial management, but overriding all of that are issues of corruption and efficiency. Both those things are ones where Jokowi has a chance of making a difference. What Jokowi really brings to the marketplace is not so much specific policies, but transparency and certainty in government, and neither of those two things have been a feature of Indonesia financial and monetary administration.
Rather than specific policies, it’s his approaches to policy that will benefit Indonesia the most and makes it more likely to achieve its potential as a reasonably significant regional economic power, if not a global one. In that context, it will do better than it’s done in the past, where that potential has often been stymied by those inefficiencies.
When I talk to businesspeople, the major problems they see in Indonesia are structural problems rather than the real economy, such as if we have a contract, how do we know we can enforce it? How do we know we can repatriate profits or do this, that and the other? Often the answer has been you need good personal relationships…a lot of them get put off by the belief that it’s all going to be far too hard.
How are you seeing the outlook under a Jokowi presidency over the next five years?
It won’t be all smooth sailing, but Indonesia has got a chance at something here which you don’t get very often: a chance to break with the past and go off in a new and potentially much more desirable road, socially as well as economically and politically.
I think the odds are that Jokowi will make a success of it. He’s learnt his political craft by moving up from local government to provincial government and now to national government. He knows how the systems work and he knows what he has to do…One of the things he’s asked his transition team to do is look at the business mafia – the small group of companies which wield excessive control over the Indonesian economy. He’s recognized the need to do something about breaking their power; previous governments have tried and failed to do that. I think he’s got the right ideas and skill set, and I think he can bring enough people along with him to make those things happen.
In five years time, my guess is people would say on balance it’s been a very positive presidency; there are some things that could have been done better, should not have been done or whatever, but that’s normal. He ain’t god, despite what some of his supporters might occasionally think.
The other issue is the significance Jokowi places on improving the education and health systems. These are two things he’s done in Jakarta as governor, and he’s recognized that without a better education and health system, the nation as a whole is never going to achieve its potential. They’re not the glamorous areas, but I’d be looking at those two areas to see what kind of initiatives he takes in the next six to 12 months.

5) KNPB leader buried without  autopsy
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, August 29 2014, 7:43 AM
The body of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) leader Marthinus Yohame, buried at the Sorong city cemetery on Aug. 27, reportedly did not undergo an autopsy.
“Yes, Marthinus’ body has been taken by his relatives and has been buried without going through an autopsy. The Wamena tribal chief in Sorong, Tias Kogoya, approached the Sorong Police chief and expressed his reluctance about the autopsy,” Papua Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo told The Jakarta Post in Jayapura on Thursday.
Without an autopsy, Pudjo said, it would be difficult for police to ascertain the cause of death. “We don’t know whether he was killed before his body was found at sea or [if he died from] other causes. We could not uncover the [cause of] death due to the lack of an autopsy,” he said.
Marthinus’ body, which was discovered tied up inside a sack, was found by fishermen in Nana waters behind Dom Port in Sorong on Aug. 26.
6) EAST TIMOR: IFJ launches petition protest against draconian ‘press law’

East Timorese journalists … an endangered species in the face
of the controversial media law. Image: Cafe Pacific
Friday, August 29, 2014
Item: 8931
SYDNEY (International Federation of Journalists / Pacific Media Watch): The Sydney-based Asia-Pacific office of the International Federation of Journalists has launched a global petition protesting against a controversial 'press law' passed earlier this year by Parliament, partially rejected by the Appeal Court as "unconstitutional" and awaiting presidential approval.
The IFJ's online petition describes the law as "incompatible with the basic principles of freedom of expression, the practical workings of a free media and the needs of a modern democracy".
The petition added: "Journalism should not be criminalised. Journalists should not be licensed at the whim of government appointed committees."
Thirty three international journalists, including SBS Dateline's Mark Davis, Crikey editor Marni Cordell, broadcaster George Negus, investigative journalist John Pilger, ABC Four Corners produce Peter Cronau and Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie, are among those who have signed the petition launch document.
The petition statement said:
"We, the undersigned journalists and media of Australia, respectfully urge the President, Government and Parliament of Timor Leste, to reject the current proposed Media Law. The laws are incompatible with the basic principles of freedom of expression, the practical workings of a free media and the needs of a modern democracy.
"Whatever the best intentions of the proposed legislation are, the potential for political abuse by future administrations is enormous.
"The proposed legislation will leave journalists open to an endless array of fines and criminal prosecutions. It will force journalists to work to a vague list of national and economic objectives. It will place the right of both citizens and journalists to write, publish and express themselves into the hands of a potentially politicised committee.
"Journalism should not be criminalised. Journalists should not be licensed at the whim of government appointed committees.
"We urge you to reconsider this legislation."
Mark DavisDateline, SBS TV
David Marr, Journalist, The Guardian Australia
Ruth Pollard, Middle East Correspondent, The Sydney Morning Herald
Tony Jones, Presenter Q&A, ABC TV
Ben DohertyThe Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax
Sophie McNeill, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV
Steve Pennells, Journalist, The West Australian
Chris Bath, TV Anchor, Seven Network News
Rove McManus, Presenter, The Project
Zoe Daniel, Presenter, Foreign Correspondent, ABC News
Marni Cordell, Editor, Crikey News
George Negus, Veteran International Journalist
Ginny Stein, African Correspondent, ABC News
David O'SheaDateline, SBS TV
Sue Spencer, Executive Producer Four Corners, ABC TV
David Dare Parker, Photojournalist
Jock Cheetham, Journalist, The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax
Sarah Ferguson, Journalist, ABC TV
John Pilger, Journalist, Author & Documentary Filmaker
Dr David Robie, Director, Pacific Media Centre
Mark Colvin, Presenter, ABC Radio
Peter Manning, Former Head of ABC TV News and Current Affairs; Former Head of Current Affairs, Seven Network.
Yalda Hakim, Presenter/Correspondent, BBC World News
Olivia Rousset, Independent Journalist
Yaara Bou Melhem, Dateline SBS TV, Al Jazeera International
Matt Brown, Middle East Correspondent, ABC
Helen Davidson, Journalist, The Guardian Australia
Michael Bachelard, Indonesia Correspondent, The Sydney Morning Herald
Chris Graham, Editor, New Matilda
John Garnaut, Asia Pacific Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald
Lee Glendinning, Journalist, The Guardian Australia
Phil Thornton, Freelance Journalist in Southeast Asia
Peter Cronau, Senior Producer/Journalist, Four Corners, ABC TV

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