Thursday, February 26, 2015

1) Foreign minister to visit Pacific countries to strengthen Indonesia-Pacific relations

2) South Africa: West Papua's "Cry for Help, Cry for Freedom"
3) Papua Governor Proposes Task Force to Stop Illegal Logging
 4) Students Criticize Regent Wetipo’s Statement on Mobile Brigade Headquarters
5) Otsus Arrangement Not Included in Regional Budget 20156) Gwijangge: Councilors Should Unite to Fight for 14 Seats in Parliament


1) Foreign minister to visit Pacific countries to strengthen Indonesia-Pacific relations

Kamis, 26 Februari 2015 17:49 WIB | 548 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi will visit three Pacific countries, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Fiji, with the mission to strengthen relations between Indonesia and the Pacific nations.

Minister Marsudi will visit Papua New Guinea on Feb. 26-28, Solomon Island on Feb. 28, and Fiji on March 1. 

Indonesia is keen to strengthen its relations with the Pacific nations, particularly in the areas of economy and connectivity, Foreign Affairs Ministrys spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, stated during a press briefing here on Thursday.

"It will be the second working visit of Minister Marsudi after visiting Malaysia as the ASEAN chairman. This implies that Indonesia is serious about increasing cooperation with the Pacific countries as mentioned by the government in the annual press statement," Nasir explained.

Even though economic cooperation between Indonesia and Pacific was still relatively insignificant, but it has shown a steady increase in the last few years and has the potential to be developed further, Nasir noted.

Minister Marsudi also aims to encourage private sector companies in Indonesia and Pacific countries to increase trade and investment, as well as connectivity.

"It cannot be denied that Indonesia is a gateway for Pacific countries to the ASEAN and Asian region, hence the connectivity must be developed," Nasir remarked.

Nasir added that during Indonesias chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the issue of connectivity was also raised, and now, Indonesia is keen to enhance it.

In 2013, Indonesia committed to donate US$20 million to the Pacific countries to be used in various fields.

"The ministers visit to the Pacific countries is also aimed to gain a better understanding about what they need," Nasir noted.

After visiting the three Pacific countries, Minister Marsudi will depart to New Zealand to attend the 7th Joint Ministerial Commission in Auckland, on March 2-3, 2015.


2) South Africa: West Papua's "Cry for Help, Cry for Freedom"

By Joshua Maserow

On 17 February Equal Education hosted a talk by Benny Wenda of the Free West Papua Campaign at the Wits School of Education. He is in South Africa to spread awareness about the West Papuan fight against Indonesian colonialism and gross human rights abuses of the West Papuan people. He said he was also here to "learn how [South African] leaders fought against apartheid, for justice and against [racial] discrimination."
Doron Isaacs, deputy general secretary of Equal Education opened the proceedings - which were attended my Wits students, members of the PAC and Equal Education staff and members - remarking that EE has a tradition of supporting campaigns, irrespective of locality, which fight oppression under the banner of social justice. He stated that national borders, which are largely constructs of human history, although separating us geographically do not separate us as human beings. He hoped that 'in a small way we can assist in the struggle' to free West Papua from the internecine oppression of Indonesia.
Wenda is a political exile residing in the UK. He escaped prison, and the sustained threat made on his life by the oppressive forces of the occupying Indonesian militia in his native West Papua (three attempts were made on his life while in prison by Indonesian military men). He eventually broke through a ventilation shaft and jumped the wall of the prison in which he was held. After a two week journey on foot through the dense West Papuan forests, he acquired a fake passport and escaped to the UK where he helped form the Free West Papua Campaign and International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP)
He is a founder and spokesperson for the Free West Papua Campaign, founded in 2004, which strives 'to give the people of West Papua the freedom to choose their own destiny through a fair and transparent referendum - a freedom they have always been denied'. According to Wenda there is a total ban on media coverage of West Papuan life: 'On every corner there is a military man holding a gun', preventing local people from documenting, and disseminating to the rest of the world, the atrocities committed on their friends and family.
Wenda, the chief of the largest West Papuan tribe - the Lanu tribe - said that he was honoured to be in South Africa among young people who have political freedom, freedom from discrimination based on race, and access to education - fundamental rights which the children of West Papua are denied. 'We never learned the map of the world, only the map of West Papua up to Indonesia... .I never learned about my mountains, my rivers... .they [Indonesian authorities] the names of everything', he said. West Papuan culture and identity was brutally suppressed and wrested away from its people.
He began his talk with a song, called the 'cry song' which is about West Papuan 'land, culture, identity and their way of life'. The song has been banned in West Papua where raising the national flag, 'morning star', carries with it a 15 year jail sentence. Regaled in traditional attire of the Lanu tribe he ended the final notes of the song for freedom by saying I am 'fighting for who I am and who we are... .This is who I am'.
According to Wenda, West Papuans are regularly abused (he told the story of a 50 year old man who had his genitals burnt by the Indonesian militia), murdered (his uncle was buried alive) and raped by the Indonesian colonial forces. They are treated like animals because they are black, he said. He estimates that close to 500,000 West Papuans have been murdered by the Indonesian military since the beginning of their occupation. Few people around the world know about this "secret genocide".
He recounted a personal story of dehumanisation in which, while a student new to high school, a girl spat in his face on two consecutive days because "[his] skin was black". He eventually went to university and studied politics "to fight back".
West Papua, situated in the Western half of the Island of New Guinea, was a former colony of the Dutch East Indies but also saw waves of British and German Colonial rule until it was annexed by a newly independent Indonesia in 1963 under the UN sanctioned New York agreement.
According to Wenda, under the increasing threat of Indonesia siding with the Soviet Union during Cold War, the US and UN acceded to Indonesia's desire to take West Papua into its control. Indonesia effectively told the US and UN, "if you don't give West Papua to us we will side with the Soviets in the Cold War."

3) Papua Governor Proposes Task Force to Stop Illegal Logging

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe called for a task force to combat illegal logging in the easternmost province of Indonesia.
“Actually this problem of illegal logging has occurred for several years ago and it is massive, ” Enembe told reporters in Jayapura, Papua on Monday (02/23).
He said illegal logging is so rampant that every night containers containing wood board the ship.
“Everyone knows it, but no one dares to fight it,” he said.
For the problem of illegal logging, the officials who made the report also violated it, so it is impossible for them to crack down this practice.
“This country is chaos. Many regulations are made, but can not be enforced well. It is regrettable,” Enembe added.
Therefore, he urged the Forestry Agency and related parties to immediately stop the perpetrators of illegal logging practices in the forests of Papua.
“If illegal fishing, the ship can be sunk, yes illegal logging vessels should also be scuttled and car transporters should be burned. It is to be established by the Minister of Forestry,” he hoped. (Alexander Loen/Tina)

4) Students Criticize Regent Wetipo’s Statement on Mobile Brigade Headquarters

Jayapura, Jubi – Jayawijaya students have criticized Regent Wempi Wetipo for supporting the establishment of a Mobile Brigade police headquarters in his region.
“We are the students and Papuan people in Jayawijaya Regency regretted the Jayawijaya Regent’s statement saying the Mobile Brigade Headquarters will be and must be established in Wamena. We thought his statement did not totally make sense,” the student activist Soleman Itlay told Jubi on Tuesday (24/2/2015) in Jayapura.
According to him, the regent’s statement about the Mobile Brigade Headquarter was ran counter to people’s aspirations.
Even the landowners have rejected it.
“Do not make any excuses. If drunken people or crimes are behind the reason, the local police could help. What do they do if we cannot optimize their role? Or there is something behind it?” Itlay said.
The regent shouldn’t take a policy to smooth his own interest, but on the other hand he must embracing all related stakeholders to sit and discuss together. “If he didn’t do, it would potentially raise a conflict of clans in Wamena. At the end, people will get suffered. Because people in Wamena has a traumatic experiences in the past and it still continues under their conscience until now,” Itlay said.
Meanwhile, the Jayawijaya Regent Wempi Wetipo told reporters at his office on Monday (23/2/2015) that not a single person could stop the government’s plan on Mobile Brigade Headquarter in Jayawijaya Regency.
“So what we have discussed is for the public interest not mine. I don’t have any interest, but I speak for the sake of people’s secure. We saw snatchers acted everywhere; drunken people walk on the street. During this time the government just acted like a fire fighter, and I don’t want to do this anymore,” Wetipo said.
When asked about the Jayawijaya people who protested to reject the Mobile Brigade Headquarter, he questioned who are they? Because he had a guarantee from the landowners who are ready to handover their land.
“Who are they and which one? If they said they were Jayawijaya people, so they aren’t. They are not Jayawijaya people. I am Baliem native; so I knew the landowners. I didn’t come from outside of Papua to be appointed as regent in here. I am Baliem native. I was born in Baliem and know who the landowners are,” he said.
“I talked with the landowners and they agreed to handover their land, so why are they now talking about a rejection. If it is said about the political interest, I don’t do politic. I only care about the development,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)

5) Otsus Arrangement Not Included in Regional Budget 2015

Jayapura, Jubi – The head of Papua’s Financial and Regional Asset Management, Benyamin Arisoy, said the government did not allocate a budget for the New Special Autonomy Law (Otsus) preparations for 2015.
“I want to clarify there is no budget allocated for the New Special Autonomy Law preparation in the Regional Budget Plan 2015. But I admit it was allocated in 2014,” Arisoy told reporters in Jayapura on Tuesday (24/2/2015).
He said Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, Parliament’s members and related government officials have left for Jakarta using the office travel budget instead of Regional Budget.
The statement was made in response to remarks to the contrary by Papuan councillor Yan Mendenas.
“So Mr. Mandenas’ assumption was wrong. Instead as councilor, he should know about it,” he said.
Although he accepted Mandenas’ point of view as positive critic for the government to improve its service; however he expected it should be referred to accurate information to avoid the public opinion misleading.
But speaking about the Special Autonomy that has been implemented for 12 years in Papua, he said both former administration and parliament had no effort to establish a regulation in concerning to the Special Autonomy fund management.
“But in the early period of Governor Lukas Enembe and Vice Governor Klemen Tinal’s administration, the government has just thought and taken action to create a regional regulation to manage the special autonomy fund,” he said.
According to him, the Governor’s policy to distribute 80 percent of fund to each regency/municipality started since 2014 and this year would be the second year. Related to the evaluation of Special Autonomy in the recent administration era, we need 2 or two years ahead to find out whether it has been well implemented of gave benefits to the community.
“With 80 percent allocation for local governments, I hope we could take it as collective responsibility. Thus this fund could certainly use to improve the community welfare in Papua,” he said.
On this occasion, he also said during his assignment as government official, he saw the governor always works at his office or regularly visit the regions. “Even he stays at the office till night. It’s outstanding. As his staff, I am very proud of him. So, people’s thinking about he is rarely at the office was not true. Because if he traveled to other regions, it’s for official business,” he said.
Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the distribution of 80 percent of Special Autonomy Fund has just started since 2014 and currently steps to the second year. (Alexander Loen/rom)

6) Gwijangge: Councilors Should Unite to Fight for 14 Seats in Parliament

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan Legislative Council member Emus Gwijangge said it was a mistake if councillors objected to 14 seats for indigenous Papuan representatives through appointment.
The statement was in response to remarks by Hanura faction chairman Yan Permenas Mandenas objecting the appointments.
Gwijangge said it should be understood that the 14 seats are regulated in the Papua Special Autonomy Law 2001 and must be implemented.
“Do not act as if there was a contradicting atmosphere in the parliament. Papuan people want the 14 seats to be filled in the parliament and we are fighting for it now. If it’s about personal interest, please do not talk,” Gwijangge said on Tuesday (24/2/2015).
According to him, the Papua’s legislators should be together to fight for it for the sake of Papuans. Furthermore, he said due to 14 seats, many Papuans have become victims. He further said the differences at the parliament are common in the political dynamic, however it shouldn’t disturb the situation because the Special Regional Regulation on 14 Seats has been authorized and now in the stage of socialization.
“His fraction accepted this in last period. And he was also the Legislative Body member. So why did he refuse it now? Who’s actually behind him? We are Papuans,” he said.
While other Papua’s Councilor Nioluen Kotouki similarly asked why did a councilor said his objection now after the Special Regional Regulation on 14 seats has launched.
“What’s a matter with this? Or he did it for attention? People already understood about the 14 seats. Its mechanism is running. We asked to all parties for not disturbing the situation. On the other hand, we should fight together to deliver it in the parliament. It’s about the people,” he said. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

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