Thursday, April 9, 2015

1) MMF: gov’t must make clear its stand on West Papua

3) Hope On the Horizon For A West Papua Free Of Indonesian Abuses

4) Islands in focus: Papua  gov wants entrepreneurial  spirit

1) MMF: gov’t must make clear its stand on West Papua

Outspoken pressure group, Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) has strongly urged the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government to make clear its stand on the West Papuan issue.
President, Charles Dausabea said, whilst MMF is very supportive of the government’s policy framework and its progressive works.

“MMF wants the government to make clear its stand on the West Papua issue.”

Dausabea said, MMF has made its stand clear from the previous government that it will stand along its fellow Melanesian brothers of West Papua.

“We have not moved nor changed our stand, freedom for our Melanesian brothers and sisters it is,” he said.

“Where does our Democratic Coalition for Change Government stand on this issue,” he questioned.

The President said, they have heard enough of genocide killings of innocent people and its time the country support them for true freedom.

“Groups and individuals support including that of our government’s support will at least give our brothers and sisters some hope to relief.”

He added acknowledging government whatever steps taken on this issue but wants a clear and strong truth. 

MMF’ General Secretary, Charles Ashley said, like Solomon Islands during the protectorate days, West Papua is striving for freedom except that the situations are different.

The number of deaths and killings in West Papua are in big numbers since it happened. That number could have been the total population of Solomon Islands.

“Imagine, entire Solomon Islands population swiped out instantly as such over decades.”

The government needs to make clear now, our brothers and sisters from West Papua are suffering, said Ashley.


2) New footage of West Papua massacre

Press Release – TAPOL – The Indonesian Human Rights Campaign
(London, UK) New video footage showing the bloody aftermath of the Paniai massacre in West Papua highlights the urgent need for Indonesia to hold an independent and transparent investigation into the tragedy, Minority Rights Group International …New footage of West Papua massacre casts spotlight on military abuses
Thursday 9 April 2015
(London, UK) – New video footage showing the bloody aftermath of the ‘Paniai massacre’ in West Papua highlights the urgent need for Indonesia to hold an independent and transparent investigation into the tragedy, Minority Rights Group International (MRG) saidon Thursday.
In December 2014 four unarmed Papuan teenagers were killed and 17 more Papuans were injured when the Indonesian army and police opened fire on a group of peaceful protestors in Paniai. They had gathered to protest an earlier incident of violence by the Indonesian security forces.
The four-minute video, shot by citizen journalists and released publicly for the first time today, includes first-hand testimony from survivors of the massacre as well as graphic footage taken in the immediate aftermath.
‘This film gives a disturbing insight into the Indonesian military’s casual disregard for the lives of Indigenous Papuans,’ said Esther Cann from TAPOL. ‘The protestors had gathered peacefully to challenge the beating of a young boy the previous day by Indonesian security forces and they were greeted with bullets.’
Both the national human rights commission and the Indonesian police have launched investigations into the incident, known as the ‘Paniai massacre’. However the police — who initially blamed the shooting on armed ethnic Papuan rebels — have been accused of stymying the investigation.
The massacre is one of the worst acts of state violence in Indonesia in years, casting doubt on President Joko Widodo’s commitment to human rights in the region. Six months after President Widodo was sworn into office pledging to ‘give special attention to West Papua,’ there has been little change on the ground.
Despite recent efforts by Jakarta to improve delivery of basic services like health and education, the Indonesian government continues to crack down on peaceful protestors, silence critical civil society voices and shut out members of the international media. Reports of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and detention of indigenous activists are common.
‘President Widodo has left a trail of broken promises on West Papua,’ said Claire Thomas, Deputy Director of MRG. ‘If he is serious about implementing political reform in Indonesia, he needs to ensure that the military is open to public scrutiny and state actors perpetrating abuses against Papuans are held to account. The investigation into the Paniai massacre will be a crucial test of Widodo’s commitment to human rights in West Papua.’
Since the annexation of Papua to Indonesia in May 1963, the human rights of indigenous Papuans has been under sustained attack. Widespread violations – including extra-judicial killings, torture, disappearances, and arbitrary arrests and detentions – have been consistently perpetrated by Indonesian security forces.
The resource-rich region has been systematically exploited by Indonesian and international business interests at the cost of climate change and the indigenous population. Thousands of indigenous people have been evicted from their lands as a result of large-scale development projects implemented without obtaining their free, prior and informed consent.
Indonesia is currently serving its fourth consecutive term as a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council.



3) Hope On the Horizon For A West Papua Free Of Indonesian Abuses

By Amy McQuire
The fight for independence by one of our nearest neighbours shows no sign of abating. And there’s hope says one of its leaders. Amy McQuire reports.
There is a silent genocide in his homeland of West Papua, independence leader Benny Wenda says, but it is slowly becoming difficult for the world to ignore.
“A lot more people are talking about it, a lot more people are finding out the truth,” he tells New Matilda.
“Because it is happening right now. A lot of people from Australia and New Zealand, and the Pacific, all across the Pacific, in Africa and the Caribbean. I’m telling the world what is happening because this is the 21st century and West Papua is still fighting colonisation. People thought colonialism has ended but Indonesia is still practising it.”
In the past 50 years since Indonesia obtained control over West Papua following the departure of the Dutch, an estimated 500,000 Indigenous Melanesians have died in the resource rich province. But their cries have fallen on deaf ears.
The brutal crackdown from the Indonesian military and security forces is largely hidden from the international radar through a foreign media ban. But now, with the explosion of social media, the atrocities committed are regularly flowing out of West Papua.

In mid-March, Indonesian military opened fire on a group of West Papuans who were fundraising for the victims of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in the town of Yahukimo, the only country that has consistently supported a free West Papua. One person died, four were injured, and there are reports of arrests.
“This was humanitarian – it wasn’t talking about independence, but the Indonesian police don’t respect humanitarian issues,” Mr Wenda says.
“Nobody brought justice and people are really scared. Some of them are in hiding but they are continuing to raise funds. Some are singing on the street and collecting money.”
Mr Wenda has been in exile since 2003, when he was offered political asylum by the British government. It followed his escape from a jail in the small town of Abepura, where he was being held as a political prisoner, and was awaiting the outcome of a trial into allegations of inciting an attack on a police station, charges he has consistently denied.
More than a decade later, Mr Wenda is in Australia after he was deported from Papua New Guinea last week on a visa related issue.
He told New Matilda he accepts the PNG government’s reasoning that it was not a political decision.
“I used a British passport and when I arrived I thought you could apply for a visa on arrival. I was held for five hours, I didn’t know what was going on, they didn’t tell me. After two days they decided to deport me. But I understand and respect their law,” Mr Wenda says.
“I don’t want to go into a lot of the speculation that it was a political issue.”
But Mr Wenda arrived in the country to thank PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for recent comments he made against the brutal control of the province by Indonesian military.
Mr O’Neill recently told ABC’s Pacific Beat program that the recently elected Indonesian President Joko Widodo should keep the previous President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s promise to reduce the military presence in the rich province. The matter was discussed with the former President in a meeting held in Indonesia, he said.
“We will try and hold the Indonesian government to that, to make sure that the current government also has the same view about a reduction of presence of military on the island, and of course more autonomy for the people of West Papua,” he said.
Despite the need to take a “diplomatic approach” to the issue of West Papua’s future and have a “cordial relationship with Indonesia”, Papua New Guinea “will not keep quiet about the abuses that are taking place”.
The comments were “shocking” to Mr Wenda, who has said in the past 50 years, no PNG Prime Minister has ever made such strong comments about the future of West Papua.

“My visit to PNG was because in 50 years, no other Papua New Guinea Prime Minister has supported the human rights issue in West Papua,” Mr Wenda said.
“This is also a family issue – we must sort it out amongst the Melanesian family – so I came to PNG to personally thank the Prime Minister and his government.”
Another reason was to personally lobby Papua New Guinea in the lead up to a significant meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in the Solomon Islands in July, which will determine whether the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, for which Mr Wenda is a spokesperson, will be included.
The MSG is a regional group made up of Melanesian countries – Vanuatu, PNG, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste, a pro-independence New Caledonian movement.
As of 2011, Indonesia has observer status at the MSG.
Mr Wenda told New Matilda Mr O’Neill’s comments gave him hope about Melanesian support for a free West Papua.
“Nobody has said a comment or statement like that so I was shocked and it let our spirits up. We thought ‘this has never happened’, that’s why it gave us hope. This is a Pacific issue. It’s a regional issue. That’s why it was a surprise for a Melanesian leader to speak out publicly,” he says.
The situation is urgent, and it is getting worse under President Widodo, who only visited West Papua during his election campaign to gain popularity, Mr Wenda said.
“People thought he was the Indonesian Obama but actually he’s worse. From the beginning I never had trust. You can’t trust them. We are better off going back to where we came from. We are demographically, culturally, linguistically, part of Melanesia,” he says.
Over the past five decades, the Melanesian nation of Vanuatu has been the only country to back a free West Papua, but Mr Wenda says it’s now time for the rest of Melanesia to stand in support.
He says Indonesia has been a key player in keeping the Melanesian countries silent on the issue.
“Indonesia has played clever games, like what happened in 1969 with Indonesia threatening America and the Dutch… the same has been used to get Melanesian countries not to support because they say this is an internal issue, a territorial integrity issue.
“But Melanesian people and leaders are now realising that Indonesia is hiding something. Indonesia does not allow journalists inside and they are committing a secret genocide.”
He believes that the MSG bid will be successful, following on from a meeting of the MSG in Vanuatu last year, where the application for membership was submitted.
“I hope the Melanesian leaders will accept West Papua and welcome West Papua into the Melanesian family. We are campaigning now with our solidarity groups around the world, particularly in Australia, New Zealand the Pacific Islands.
“I really believe we will be a full member.
“We already have a united group with the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, and it gives you confidence.”

4) Islands in focus: Papua  gov wants entrepreneurial  spirit - 
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Thu, April 09 2015, 7:10 AM - 

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has called on communities in the province to make fundamental changes to catch up with other provinces in Indonesia.

“Papuans should change their mind-sets. So far, they have been pampered by nature, it’s time to make use of nature for prosperity,” said Lukas, who was sworn in as governor on April 9, 2013.

Papua’s younger generation wanted to become civil servants, but it was time for them to think about becoming entrepreneurs, he said.

“Papua’s nature is rich, vast and beautiful. It is naturally unique. Papuans should be able to manage their surroundings and make them beautiful, pleasant places to draw visitors,” said Lukas.

The Central Statistics Agency’s Papua office recorded 924,410 underprivileged people in the province in 2014, a decline from 2013 of 960,560. -

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