Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for October 2014
AWPA uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea. However, “West Papua” at this time is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua.
French Journalists released
The two French Journalists, Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena were sentenced to two and half months in prison. However, they were released as they had already served that time in custody and are back in France. Numerous rallies were held by solidarity groups around the world calling for their release during their time in detention. In West Papua, rallies called by civil society organisations to demand their release were banned by the security forces. The rallies went ahead on the 13 October and 29 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members were arrested in Merauke and 17 in Jayapura. They demonstrators were eventually released. http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/west-papua-indonesia-bans-rallies-imprisoned-journalists-arrests-29-9013 A lot of media attention was focused on their case during their time in detention and it is hoped that the media will continue to focus on the issue of West Papua. For all the talk about Indonesian being a democracy, West Papuans are still arrested for taking part in peaceful rallies and there are least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails". The Indonesian President, Jokowi who visited West Papua twice in the lead up to the election promised to open West Papua to foreign journalists and non-government organisations if he won the election. "Why not? It's safe here in Papua," he was quoted as saying. "There's nothing to hide." Hopefully he will keep his promise.
One of journalists sources, Areki Wanimbo, who was with the journalists when they were arrested is still in prison. A report in Jubi said that The Indonesian government had issued permits for 39 foreign journalists to undertake activities in Papua and West Papua since last year and only nine foreign journalists were refused permission to cover Papua since 2013. Victor Mambor, Chairman of AJI Kota Jayapura said detail clarification is needed. “Is it true 39 foreign journalists were allowed cover the issues in Papua? It is true that some of them got permission to cover political issues, such as Mark Davis. But I have to say he was strictly watched while doing his reporting,” said Mambor. Additionally, he said most foreign journalists who came to Papua only got permission to report on tourism issues such as events in Raja Ampat Island, or Lembah Baliem Festival or about the handover of Japanese soldiers’ skeleton. “But, it’s not only about getting permits or not, but the process is too long and complicated. It may be called clearing house. The government must be aware, if the permit takes too long, they will lose their momentum,” said Mambor.
Ryamizard Ryacudu's appointed as Defense Minister
There was some hope that the election of Jokiwi would bring an easing of tension in West Papua but with Ryamizard Ryacudu's appointment as Defense Minister it looks like there could be a continuation of solving issues of concern in West Papua by the security approach, not by dialogue. Ryamizard Ryacudu was Army chief of staff between 2002 and 2005 and chief of the Army’s strategic command (Kostrad) between 2000 and 2002. He was involved in operations against the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Free Papuan Movement (OPM). He has held a hardline view on what are termed separatists in Indonesian.
When Chief Theys Eluay (chairperson of the Papuan Presidium Council) was killed by Kopassus soldiers on 10 November 2001, shortly after attending an event at the Kopassus base near Jayapura, General Ryamizard Ryacudu who was chief of staff at the time is quoted as saying, 'I don't know, people say they did wrong, they broke the law. What law? Okay, we are a state based on the rule of law, so they have been punished. But for me, they are heroes because the person they killed was a rebel leader.'The Jakarta Globe has a profile of new ministers at http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesias-new-ministers/
Threat of division and more transmigration
Suara papua.com has reported that the Minister for Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo said that Papua will be a priority for the government and could be divided into one or two provinces. Tjahjo said the reason for choosing Papua as a priority because of the need for a good control of the region. Moreover, the reach of the people to the government is getting closer to be able to ensure better service. "I think this region is essential for equitable development. I will try to consult with all parties. Adding at least one or two provinces in Papua," he said. It was also reported that the Minister of Rural Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, Marwan Jafar is considering encouraging more migration to West Papua. Marwan believes that people are not interested in going to West Papua because of tribal conflict and with the help of the security forces a stable atmosphere could be created. "The atmosphere is safe to make people from the densely populated island is not afraid to live in the area homesteader. The Javanese transmigration in Papua feel comfortable. This is one example, "said Marwan.
Suarapapua.com reported (2 Nov.) that a number of activists in Papua, reject the policy of the Minister as it could spark a new conflict in Papua. "All sectors of the economy, including the bureaucracy currently dominated by non-Papuans, the presence of the migrants from Java would further add a new conflict," said Thobias Bagubau, activists in Jayapura, Papua, to suarapapua.com, afternoon. Failure of development in Papua, continued Thobias, because during this time indigenous people continue to be marginalized, while the non-Papuans be given space and access to develop themselves. "I also see the potential to seize the transmigration current customary lands of indigenous peoples, because later many areas of land used for the migrants, we ask that this policy stopped," he said.
Jubi also reported (2 Nov.) that the Governor of Papua Province, Luke Enembe also rejected the proposed transmigration program plan. This is because, the transmigration program from outside Papua are a big enough impact to communities, especially indigenous Papuans. Where they will be marginalized and become a minority in their own land. As a result, there was jealousy that led to the conflict between indigenous Papuans and non-Papuans. "Government Jokowi do not make new problems in Papua. When it comes transmigration, immigrants coming from various islands. Papuan people will be marginalized and minorities in farming and became poor in their own land, "said Enembe told reporters in Jayapura, Papua, on Sunday (2/11).
News in brief
Papua Police Raid Separatist Group’s Headquarters
On the 11 October the security forces attacked the headquarters of the OPM in Papua’s Pantura Yapen district. Papua ‘s Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono said “A special team from the Yapen Islands district police, lead by the local police chief and assisted by a team from the military, launched a raid at the Free Papua Movement’s headquarter.” Members of the movement, however, managed to escape the raid and reportedly fled into the forest. The police found some 20 rounds of ammunition, five firearms, a Vixon motorbike and a camouflage uniform on the premises.
Clash between military and police
A clash occurred between members of the military and Brimob on Monday the 13 October in Pirime, Lanny Jaya regency. The Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende deployed a team of investigators to investigate the incident in which a soldier was injured. The incident occurred when Brimob personnel conducted routine road checks for illegal arms in Pirime and stopped a truck carrying passengers. During the check, a uniformed soldier refused to be examined. He instead went to a nearby military post. “All of the sudden, the sound of gunfire came from the direction of the post. Brimob personnel then became involved in an exchange of fire with the soldiers, during which Lt. Ali was injured. For that, I sincerely apology to Lt. Ali,” Yotje said on Tuesday. A different statement was issued separately by Cendrawasih Military Commander Maj. Gen. Fransen G Siahaan, who said it was the Brimob personnel who fired first. Commenting on this, Yotje said that he did not want speculate and had therefore formed the team to find out what had really caused the incident. The National Police withdrew 60 Brimob members from Pirime and moved them to Jayapura following the clash. The Brimob personnel were replaced with colleagues from another Papua Police Brimob division.
Papua police arrest Rambo Wonda of outlawed armed group
Minggu, 26 Oktober 2014. Jayapura (ANTARA News) - Papuan Regional Police arrested members of an outlawed armed group including Enggangrangkok Wonda or Rambo Wonda and Darius Wonimbo or Rambo Puncak Jaya as well as Tolikara in Wamena, Jayawijaya District, Papua Province on Thursday (Oct 23). The Chief of Papuan Regional Police Inspector General Yotje Mende said Enggangrangkok had an arsenal gun and ammunition that he had taken by force from Brigadier Mobile (Brimob) officer. "Enggangrangkok Wonda, initially Rambo Wonda, is a nephew of Puron Wonda who is in polices wanted list," Mende said here on Saturday. Police also said Enggangrangkok was allegedly involved in deadly shootings that killed eight police officers. The Jayawijaya Resort Police are still investigating the seven armed separatists who had operated in central Papuan mountainous area. Mende said Police planned to transfer the seven armed separatists to Jayapura to conduct further investigation. (Uu.B019/F001)
Two Indonesian soldiers interrogated over sale of ammunition
ANTARA News reported (30 October) that investigators from the Army Military Police questioned two personnel from the Indonesian Military for their alleged involvement in selling ammunition to the OPM. The two suspects are under police detention
Special Autonomy Plus Draft Agenda ( Otsus Plus) Must be Accounted
tabloidjubi.com Oct 24th. Jayapura, Jubi- Special Autonomy Plus Bill ( Otsus Plus) has been shelved after costing Rp.15 billion for drafting and discussions. Even though pros and cons have occurred internally, still, the budget must be accounted for. “When it comes to the state money, the use must be accounted with details. Since, it was large amount of money,” former director of Elsham Papua, Aloysius Renwarin, said told Jubi on Thursday (23/10). He added that the process of making a bill must go through a proper mechanism in order to be discussed and approved by the House of Representatives. “Look at how community, academics and bureaucrats involvement in the legislative process of the Papua Special Autonomy Law of 2001. though there were opposing but the process was still running ” Renwarin explained Based on the working mechanism of the House of Representatives, first there must be a Standing Committee of “ Otsus Plus “, then the Special Committee of Otsus Plus and the last is hearing about how the bill can be passed into Special Autonomy Plus Law. Separately Dr. Agus Sumule, lecturer at the University of Papua said Rp.15 billion was a large amount of money for draft Autonomy Plus that categorized as undocumented economic and fiscal calculations as well as other academic analysis manuscript that never known to the public. “Both the content of the draft 14 that submitted to the Minister of Home Affairs was from a team formed by West Papua Governor chaired by Secretary of West Papua. The whole work in the province of West Papua and West Papua financed by the provincial budget, ” Sumele, former team facilitation of Papua Special Autonomy Law in 2001 added. Sumule also quoted Yunus Wonda ‘s statement that drafting Plus Special Autonomy Law has spent Rp 15 billion. “It needs to be followed up by the attorney and police department because there are several reasons that the funds are used up. It is Contrary when Papua Special Autonomy Law in 2001 made, only Rp. 3 Billion used which included consultation throughout Irian Jaya and Workskhops , “he said.(Dominggus A Mampioper)
Freeport Indonesia union cancels planned one-month strike
JAKARTA Fri Oct 31, 2014
Oct 31 (Reuters) - Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Inc's Indonesian copper mine have cancelled a planned one-month strike due to start next week, a union official said on Friday, after reaching an agreement with the company's management following two days of talks. Three Freeport unions representing almost 11,000 workers had agreed to take strike action from Nov.6 until Dec. 6, demanding changes to the local management following the death of four workers in a Sept. 27 accident. "Strike cancelled," a union spokesman Juli Parorrongan told Reuters. "Through intensive, informative and constructive dialogue, we successfully reached a win-win solution for everyone," senior union official Sudiro said in a statement. "Our goal is to create a safe and productive work place at Freeport Indonesia for all workers." Freeport Indonesia, which employs around 24,000 workers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Michael Taylor and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Jane Merriman)
Opinion pieces/ reports/ press releases etc.
AWPA media releases
AWPA welcomes the release of the two French journalists
New Indonesian Defense Minister a cause for concern
AWPA letter to foreign minister.
Women and oil palm in an investment region
Ex-Dolly sex workers face Papua witch hunt
Why dialogue matters for Papua
Brutal new Defence Minister undermines Jokowi’s overtures to West Papua
HIV/AIDS is spreading rapidly because of the profound inequalities that afflict Papua