1) PNG media council queries 'no West Papua questions' directive for Indonesians
Updated 2 March 2015, 17:45 AEDT
Papua New Guinea's foreign affairs department is being asked to explain how and why local reporters were ordered not to ask the visiting Indonesian foreign minister questions about West Papua last week.
PNG media council queries 'no West Papua questions' directive for Indonesians (Credit: ABC)
Journalists covering the visit of Retno Marsudi to Port Moresby on Friday were told by officials they were not to raise the sensitive issue of the Indonesian-controlled western half of New Guinea island.
And it's believed that reporters were not able to ask questions about West Papua of the Indonesian foreign minister in either Solomon Islands or Fiji.
Alexander Rheeney says he's asked for clarification.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: Alexander Rheeney, new president of the Media Council of Papua New Guinea
2) Solomon Islands reporters also unable to ask questions of Retno Marsud
Updated 3 March 2015, 17:45 AEDT
The fallout from the visit of Indonesia's foreign minister to PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji continues today, with a prominent Solomon Islands journalist criticising the decision to not allow the media to ask her questions.
Retno Marsudi visited Honiara at the weekend, and journalists were told they would not be allowed to speak to her.
Earlier in Papua New Guinea, local journalists were told by the foreign affairs department they would not be allowed to raise the sensitive issue of West Papua.
Ofani Eremae says the West Papua issue is one local reporters would have wanted to raise with the Indonesian foreign minister.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: Ofani Eremae, journalist with Solomon Star newspaper
3) NZ MP slams government as Indonesian minister visits
The Indonesian Foreign Minister is visiting New Zealand today and meeting her counterpart Murray McCully, amid calls in Parliament for them to discuss human rights abuses in Papua.
Retno Marsudi has just completed a tour of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.
Last month, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua formally applied for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The New Zealand Greens MP, Catherine Delahunty has raised in Parliament the matter of human rights abuses in Papua and says it's hypocritical for the government to have the guts to address abuses in Iraq while ignoring closer neighbours.
"This is a quiet war against the people of West Papua. It's very disappointing to have on the one hand the government saying we must participate in a war to protect human rights and yet the war in our region, the attack on West Papuan people, they are really not doing anything about it."
Catherine Delahunty says it's disappointing there was no reaction to the slaughter of school children wearing uniforms in Papua in December.
Maire Leadbeater, from West Papua Action Auckland, says the PNG Prime Minister raised documented violations, and Mr McCully should do the same.
"Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill didn't say anything about necessarily wanting a change of sovereignty or anything but he's talking about a voice at the table, I think, of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. And why should that not be granted, because it's very clear that that's what the united leadership of West Papuan leaders want."
Maire Leadbeater says Indonesia sits at the MSG as an observer, and it's fitting that the Melanesian provinces have the same status.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015, 10:47 am Press Release: Green Party
McCully must be proactive on human rights with Indonesian Foreign Minister
Murray McCully must take a proactive stance on human rights abuses in West Papua during his meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, is currently in New Zealand for joint ministerial talks.
“John Key has built the case for war by claims he is outraged about human rights abuses in Iraq, but he has been very quiet on human rights abuses in our own backyard,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“Where was the outrage and action when school students were shot dead in West Papua last year?
“New Zealand needs to do more than just raise concerns.
“The role of the New Zealand Government should be as a mediator in a peaceful dialogue between Indonesian and West Papuan leaders.
“With the election of the new Indonesian President there was talk of respecting human rights, but reports show that abuses continue to occur under this government too.
“McCully attended the inauguration of the new President last year, fostering close relations with Indonesia, but yet, has done nothing about the human rights violations.
“This Government cannot claim concern for human rights halfway around the world and do nothing when it occurs near New Zealand.
“If John Key’s concerns for human rights are real, we expect to see his Government publically acknowledge this in relation to West Papua as other countries have done this week,” said Ms Delahunty.
Indonesia is home of the largest Melanesian population and has committed US$20 million (K51 million) for capacity-building in Melanesian countries, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Masurdi said on Friday. “Indonesian is home to more than 11 million Melanesian. So Indonesia is Melanesia and Melanesia is Indonesia. We share a common land border and culture with our next biggest Melanesian country, Papua New Guinea.” Masurdi spoke when meeting with her PNG counterpart Rimbink Pato in Port Moresby. Masurdi is touring Melanesian countries PNG, the Solomons and Fiji.
6) Islands in focus: Soldiers on trial for supporting armed groups
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, March 03 2015, 7:21 AM
Three Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers at Cenderawasih Military Command are on trial charged with providing ammunition to armed civilian groups in remote Papua.
The trials of Second Sergeant Martinus Jikwa, village supervisory non-commissioned officer (Babinsa) at Lanny Jaya Military Command, Second Sergeant Arsyad Wagab, and Babinsa member at Kurima Military Command First Private Darius Kogoya were heard separately by the Jayapura military tribunal on Monday.
Military prosecutor Maj. Agung, said the three defendants had supplied ammunition to armed civilian groups and charged them with violating Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on firearms.
The trial was adjourned to March 5 to hear witness testimonies, such as that of former policeman First Brig. Tanggap Jikwa.
The involvement of TNI troops in the supply of ammunition to armed civilian groups was uncovered after the police were able to arrest Tanggap Jikwa, who was stationed at Nduga Police station, on Oct. 26, 2014, in Wamena. -