Monday, March 16, 2015

1) PM wants strong ties with Indonesia

2) Army Posts to Be Built in 97 Villages Next Year
3) Opposition Grows to Plans to Build Mobile Brigade Base in Wamena
4) Workers Block Access to Grasberg Mine in Labor Dispute

5) Air Force Commander: Military Air Force Officers Help Securing Biak Airport


1) PM wants strong ties with Indonesia

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the new Indonesian Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Ronald Manik said they want to see a strengthened bilateral relationship between their two countries.
The duo expressed this desire when they met Thursday in Honiara during a courtesy visit the Indonesian envoy paid theprime minister.

Mr Manik was in Honiara to present his letters of credence to the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui.

 “My Minister for Foreign Affairs who was here recently wants to see the relationship between our country and your country strengthened and she is working to ensure this,” he said.

“She was very happy with her visit to Honiara. She said it has had very fruitful discussions with your deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister.”

In response, Mr Sogavare said:

“Solomon Islands and Indonesia are next door neighbours. We both share borders with Papua New Guinea and I would also like to see our relationship kept intact and bolstered.

“Our relationship has always been based on mutual understanding in that you respect our sovereignty and we respect your sovereignty.

“When issues affect our mutual interests we should continue to see each other as friends and address them through our diplomatic missions.”

Ambassador Manik also used the opportunity to advocate for Indonesia as a young but vibrant democratic country.

“Indonesia has been a free and open country since our leadership change in 1998.

“There is now freedom of speech and expression in that people can freely speak their minds and the media can freely report on issues.

 “Claims that four people in West Papua died in December 2014 as a result of genocide by the Indonesian Government were unbelievable.

“We are now living in a global village and Indonesia is not too ignorant to commit genocide.”

He said an investigation has been launched into the claims by a national commission for human rights and the Indonesian Government is determined to make the outcome public.

Prime Minister Sogavare welcomed the news of Indonesia’s adherence to the rules of democracy in the last 16 years and urged Jakarta to tell the world of these positive developments.

“This is indeed good news to us.

“It’s good to hear that you are now enjoying the freedom of speech and expression but you need to tell world of all these positive developments because all we’ve been hearing is bad news.

 “As far as Solomon Islands is concerned, when it comes to the issue of human rights, it is a concern that we will have but there is a better way of addressing such issues.

“It’s good to know you have an independent human rights council in Indonesia, you also the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva to fully address human rights violations.

“As far as Solomon Islands as a member of the international community is concerned, we would like to see that the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva take active part in addressing human rights violations in Indonesia if there are any.”


2) Army Posts to Be Built in 97 Villages Next Year

Merauke, Jubi – Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka said if was reelected, he would build army posts at 97 villages of Papuan indigenous people.
He said it in his speech in the evaluation on the administration and implementation of development that held by Kima-Khima Customary Law Institute last week in Merauke. He said the army post is intended to be a shelter for soldiers who assist the local community preparing their farm areas and growing the local commodities such as sweet potato, banana, coconut, paddy and other crops.
“It is my commitment to start this program in next year. Papuan indigenous people must have two hectares of productive area ready to grow many types of crops. Then, the military officers would help to provide coaching and monitoring to the local community,” he said.
He further said he has consulted the program with the Minister of Politic, Legal and Human Right, Indonesian Police Chief as well as other related stakeholders in Jakarta. And they all agreed to give their support because this is a positive step to encourage and mobilize the local community to produce something of their own. The military officers at 97 local villages would arrange the schedule for local community as well as to monitor them doing their work. “We will arrange the schedule. People will work for three days in their farm while they could use two days left, Friday and Saturday, to go to the forest. And Sunday they go to the church,” he said.
In addition, he said this idea was raised after seeing the life improvement among the migrants; they only have two hectares of land but they can increase their income every year, they can build a house and fulfill their daily needs including send their children to the school.
‘This way should be done or applied towards native Papuans at the villages. The government certainly will not stay behind but it will highly support by providing the farming tools and so on until this program could be well implemented,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sabon Village community leader Soter Kamiawi said the regent’s program is very proper and must be realized. “I believe that the assignment of military officers at local villages would motivate people to keep working,” he said. (Frans L Kobun/rom)

3) Opposition Grows to Plans to Build Mobile Brigade Base in Wamena

Wamena, Jubi – Opposition is growing to the government’s plan to build Mobile Brigade headquarters at Maloma, Jayawijaya Regency. But some tribal chiefs approved of the project.
Following up on their promise, the Jayawijaya Legislative Council’s Commission A sent three teams to Assolokobal, Wouma and Walesi sub-districts last week in order to hear public opinions on the project, located at the border separating these three sub-districts.
Based on the result of the discussions held at Asolokobal Sub-district between the local community and Commission A representative Esau Wetipo, most of those consulted rejected it.
“Where would our children and grand children go if we kept giving our land like this? We don’t agree,” said Assolokobal resident Rafael Asso.
A local youth leader Alius Asso also similarly said,” We speak based on our trauma towards military violence. We have our own record about Mobile Brigade’s violence. If the reason was drunken people or mugging, those social impacts happened everywhere. Their presence would not heal it. It’s the police’s task not them,” Alius Asso firmly said.
“If the government kept insist, they must explain it first. What was the main reason? Because the split of 40 sub-districts did not result the local police or military stations at each sub-district, and now why they thought to invite the Mobile Brimob here? Asso said.
However, two local representatives who attended in the discussion agreed about the plan with the reason of security. “We are tired to advise the stubborn and drunken young people. If the Mobile Brigade was here, they could eliminate the thieves and drunken people,” a tribe chief Wesakin Asso told in the local dialect.
After the hearing with local community, the Jayawijaya Legislative Council’s Commission A member Esau Wetipo concluded the Asolokobal community in general rejected the Mobile Brimob. “Most of them rejected, but as suggested by Chief Wesakin Asso, we will invite some related stakeholders or tribe chiefs who have the important role in this region,” Wetipo said.
The Wouma sub-district community similarly rejected the plan to grow the Mobile Brigade Headquarter at Wouma regiona. A Wouma representative Isaias Wuka said the residents generally rejected the plan. “People trusted me to guard this area and their message is to reject the plan of Mobile Brigade Headquarter. The government should observe the human resources and economic development as well as the community welfare before talking about this headquarter,” Wuka said. He said people reject it because the location is their only source of living. Meanwhile a Wouma resident Usman Wuka who agreed with the plan of Mobile Brigade Headquarter asked the government to clarify the area boundaries on the location to be set as headquarter.
Meanwhile, the Jayawijaya Legislative Council’s Commission A member Ronny Elopere confirmed the similar situation at Walesi Sub-district. “Most of Walesi people rejected this plan. Most of them are educated or intellectual group. But there are also those who accepted. Therefore we agreed to conduct a further meeting,” Ronny Elepore told by phone after the visit. (Ronny Hisage/rom)


4) Workers Block Access to Grasberg Mine in Labor Dispute

By Banjir Ambarita on 01:54 pm Mar 16, 2015
Category News
Jayapura, Papua. Freeport’s operations at the Grasberg mine in Papua are being hampered, the company confirmed on Monday, as hundreds of upset employees were blocking access to the facility.
“It is true that we have received a report that some employees have staged a protest this morning,” Freeport spokeswoman Daisy Primayanti told the Jakarta Globe.
Angry workers from seven mining areas in Papua were blocking the access to the mine to express their disappointment with Freeport management, accusing the company of firing and suspending a number of their colleagues for going on a strike recently.
The protest on Monday cut off completely the supply of food for miners still underground.
“The access to the mine … has been interrupted,” Daisy said.
The spokeswoman added however that there was no unsafe situation at the mine as a consequence of the blockade and that management was communicating with the protesters.
Freeport Indonesia is a local unit of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan.

5) Air Force Commander: Military Air Force Officers Help Securing Biak Airport

Biak, Jubi/Antara – Manuhua Air Force Base Commander Colonel Gustav Brugman said Indonesian Military Air Force was involving to secure the Frans Kaiseipo Airport security.
“Military Air Force is to help securing the airport as government’s main facility because it provides the public flight services,” Air Force Commander Colonel Gustav Brugman said this week.
He admitted the international airport status obtained by Frans Kaisiepo Airport require it to be a safety zone for any commercial airlines flying into and outside of Papua. He further said in doing their tasks at Frans Kaiseipo Airport, the military air force officers keep working closely with the internal airport security guards and local police officers and prioritizing the applied operational procedure by local airport authority.
“Yes, the officers who assigned at Frans Kaiseipo Airport are expected to provide a sense of secured and comfort to local passengers and visitors,” he said.
By Saturday morning a number of air force officers and airport security guards were doing a patrol with vehicle at the airport surrounded area in order to block any vehicles crossing into the airport area.
Earlier, the Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan during his visit suggested to Frans Kaisiepo Airport authority to improve the standard of airport security because some vehicles often found crossing into runway area. (*/rom)

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