Thursday, April 30, 2015

1) Police Detain Papua Commander, Shoot Suspect in Legs

2) Editorial: Damage Is Done, So What Next?
3) Activists call on Indonesia to open Papua to journalists
4) West Papua Oil Palm Atlas – The companies behind the plantation explosion.
5) Australia and Indonesia: a turbulent relationship
6) LP3BH holds a meeting ahead of May 1st


1) Police Detain Papua Commander, Shoot Suspect in Legs
By Robertus Wardhy on 04:29 pm Apr 30, 2015
Jayapura. Papua Police arrested three members of the outlawed Free Papua Movement organization in the country’s easternmost province on Thursday, shooting a rebel commander in the legs and detaining two fighters.
Papua Police spokesman Patridge Renwarin told the Jakarta Globe that the police’s special task force had nabbed Leonardus Magai, a commander of Paniai chapter of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) at around 10.45 a.m. local time along with two other members.
Patridge said that police officers were chasing five OPM members in a car in Sanoba Atas village in Nabire district, Papua.
Police said Leonardus was shot in both knees after the men opened fire on police.
“We arrested Leonardus and his two other friends, but the remaining two members managed to get away,” said Patridge.
Leonardus is currently being treated at Nabire District Hospital for his injuries, Patridge said.
The OPM, which is seeking independence for Papua from Indonesian rule, has waged a low-level guerrilla war against state security forces since Papua was annexed in 1969.

2) Editorial: Damage Is Done, So What Next?
By Jakarta Globe on 09:16 pm Apr 29, 2015
The execution has been carried out and the damage is done. We have to live with that. While we will unlikely feel any positive impact from the execution — nobody can say for certain that drug trafficking has miraculously gone done, or that drug traffickers are somehow spooked from operating in Indonesia — the negative impacts are already here and will be here to stay every time the world talks about execution for drug crimes.
Forget about the market reaction — the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index closed down 2.61 percent to 5,105.56, for a three-day slide — the memory of the country shooting eight people at the same will remain for a long time to come.
What President Joko Widodo may have accomplished by executing these eight people is to make the point that nobody should meddle in Indonesia’s affairs. But we don’t know what other world leaders think when they encounter Joko.
The government needs to launch a deliberate campaign of damage control.
We believe it’s time for Joko to scrap all plans to execute more convicts. Enough is enough. He should have learned the lesson from this unprecedented international fiasco. This is the biggest diplomatic fallout since Indonesia’s annexation of Timor-Leste.
Joko must now show the world that Indonesia is a nation with full respect for human rights principles — no more arbitrary killings in Papua, no more persecution of religious minorities, and no more murdering of drug convicts just to make a point.
Indonesia can also show Australia how sorry we are, committing that our relations with the country will remain strong. We laud Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s intention to maintain ties with Indonesia. We should humbly welcome his statement that he is a friend of Indonesia.

3) Activists call on Indonesia to open Papua to journalists
  • Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • April 30, 2015

Dozens of activists from different NGOs staged “a silent rally” in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon, urging President Joko Widodo to open Papua to foreign journalists, who have faced difficulty reporting on the embattled region for half a century.
Sealing their mouths with black tape to symbolize the absence of freedom of expression in the region, the protesters — representing the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), National Papuan Solidarity (NAPAS), and Papua Itu Kita — held a banner reading “Presiden, Buka Akses Kemanusiaan untuk Papua” (President, Open Access to Humanity for Papua).
“The media blackout in Papua denies the Papuan people’s right to have their voices heard and allows human rights violations such as killings, torture and arbitrary arrests to continue with impunity,” Zely Ariane, coordinator of NAPAS, told during the rally. 
Similar rallies were organized simultaneously in 20 cities across the world. The UK-based TAPOL, an organization campaigning for human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia, coordinated the rallies.  
In its statement issued on the same day, TAPOL said that for more than 50 years, access for foreign journalists seeking to report on Papua has been severely restricted. 
“Those who have entered Papua on tourist visas have been deported, arrested and even imprisoned. Just last year, two French journalists were sentenced to 11 weeks in detention under immigration charges,” the organization said. 
Thomas Charles Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested on August 7 last year at a hotel in Wamena district with three suspected members of the Free Papua Movement. They were working for the Franco-German television channel Arte.
Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, noted that the blackout “is against the 1999 Press Law”.
According to TAPOL, the de-facto ban on foreign journalists as well as NGOs and humanitarian organizations has contributed to the isolation of local journalists and made independent investigation and corroboration virtually impossible.
“It is extremely difficult to hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account, allowing them to continue to act with impunity,” the organization said.
Viktor Mambor, who heads the Jayapura branch of Alliance of Independence Journalists (AJI), added that in recent years journalists from the Czech Republic, France and the Netherlands have been deported for reporting on peaceful political events in Papua.
Many foreign journalists use tourist visas because of the stringent visa application process, which involves the unanimous approval of 18 separate government agencies known as the Clearing House Committee.
“When access for media is limited, such [human rights] cases can’t be publicly revealed,” said Marthen Goo from Papua Itu Kita.
“What is actually the main reason why this state treats us differently? We are repressed. It’s different from other regions in Indonesia.”

4) West Papua Oil Palm Atlas – The companies behind the plantation explosion.
Indonesia’s oil palm industry is moving east. With large tracts of land increasingly difficult to find in Sumatra and Borneo, plantation companies are now focussing their attention on Indonesia’s eastern frontier: the small islands of the Maluku archipelago and especially the conflict-ridden land of West Papua.
In 2005 there were only five oil palm plantations operating in West Papua1. By the end of 2014 there were 21 operational plantations. This rapid expansion is set to continue with another 20 concessions at an advanced stage of the permit process, and many more companies that have been issued with an initial location permit. If all these plantations were developed, more than 2.6 million hectares of land would be used up, the vast majority of which is currently tropical forest.
Almost without exception, these plantations have caused conflict with the local indigenous communities who depend on the forest – lowland Papuans are mostly hunters and gatherers to some degree. The conflicts have centred around community’s refusal to hand over their land, demand for justice in the cases where they feel the land has been taken from them by deceit or intimidation, horizontal conflicts between neighbouring villages or clans, action by indigenous workers who feel they are exploited, or aggression by police or military working as security guards for the plantation companies.
The West Papua Oil Palm Atlas, published by awasMIFEE, Pusaka and six other organisations, is an attempt to provide a picture of this developing industry. Who are the companies involved? Where are they operating? Which areas will be the next hotspots? The aim is to be part of a process to push for more open and accessible information about resource exploitation industries in West Papua – currently local administrations and companies are often reluctant to share information about permits, meaning that communities often know nothing of plantation plans until a company shows up, trying to acquire their land.
Indonesian law does recognise communal land rights for indigenous customary communities, but in reality those communities often face considerable pressure to give up that land, and are rarely given more than US$30 per hectare in compensation. It is hoped that this publication can become a tool for indigenous peoples and social movements who wish to understand the oil palm industry and defend their forest against these land grabbers, as they themselves should be the ones to determine what kinds of development will benefit their communities.
For environmentalists and supporters of indigenous struggles around the world, we hope that this will also be a useful insight into the dynamics of the plantation industry and the threats it is causing in the third largest tropical forest in the world. Using the excuse of the conflict around the independence movement, the Indonesian government makes it very difficult for international observers to access West Papua, and this has probably also resulted in a lack of awareness internationally about the ecological threats. Yesterday (29th April) human rights groups throughout West Papua, Indonesia and in over 22 cities around the world held demonstrations for open access to Papua, which has long been a demand of many Papuan movements. Publishing this Oil Palm Atlas is also an attempt to break the isolation of Papua, by focussing attention on the issue of indigenous land rights, in a context where local communities which choose to oppose plantation companies often feel intimidated by state security forces which back up the companies.
Download the atlas here: [English] [Indonesian]


5) Australia and Indonesia: a turbulent relationship

By the numbers
Total merchandise trade: $12 billion (10th largest trading partner for each)
Australia’s biggest exports: wheat, live animals
Indonesia’s biggest exports: petroleum, metal structures
Australian investment in Indonesia: $11bn
Indonesian investment in Australia: $1bn
Australian services sales: $1.3bn (chiefly students)
Indonesian services sales: $2.6bn (chiefly tourism to Bali)
Indonesia population: 248 million
Indonesia GDP growth 2014: 5.2 per cent
GDP per person 2014: $4260 (ASEAN average $5000)
Highs and lows
1947: Australia raises Indonesia’s decolonisation at the UN; waterside workers ban Dutch ships taking arms and equipment to Indonesia
1949: Australia, under PM Robert Menzies, is among the first to recognise the new republic
1975: Five Australian journalists killed in East Timor town of Balibo, PM Gough Whitlam assures Jakarta that Australia would not interfere in Indonesian takeover of East Timor
1994: First Indonesia-Australia Ministerial Forum held, under Paul Keating’s government
1999: Australia leads a peacekeeping force in East Timor after the people there vote for independence
2002: A bomb attack by Islamist terrorists kills 202
in Bali, including 88 Australians
2004: Australia gives a $1bn aid package after the Indian Ocean tsunami
2006: Indonesia withdraws its ambassador after Australia accepts 42 asylum-seekers from West Papua
2011: Australia under PM Julia Gillard bans live cattle exports to Indonesia after a TV documentary on cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs
2013: US intelligence renegade Edward Snowden reveals Australia listened to phone calls made by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati, 
promoting the recall of Indonesia’s ambassador
6) LP3BH holds a meeting ahead of May 1st

Statement by the Executive-Director of LP3BH-Manokwari

  Today, Thursday, April 30th. the LP3BH organised a discussion on the subject, Papua's Integration with the Republic of Indonesia on 1
May 1963: A Blessing or a Disaster? Fifteen people  took part in the discussion. including community leaders, academics, activists, LP3BH
staff members and several other people.
One of the important points that was discussed is the immediate necessity for Papuan people to come together and express their full
support for the international campaign which is urging the Indonesian government to immediately allow access to Papua for journalists as
well as Indonesian and international human rights organisations.

  Those attending the discussion agreed that it is very important for the Papuan people to set up  a local political party to provide a
means of communication to support the efforts of the Papuan people in accordance with the provisions in the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

  They agreed  on two points  that should be discussed in another discussion which is to be held next week.

  During today's discussion, we received a report from a colleague in Nabire saying that special police units there had arrested a
journalist, Yohanes Kuaya, from an online publication '' who was reporting on a shooting incident that occurred outside the
Nabire Hospital at noon, today.

  According to the LP3BH contact in Nabire, this colleague was arrested because he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words:
Free West Papua (Papuan Students Alliance) and was accused  of entering a restricted area wearing this T-shirt. After being
interrogated for about an hour, he was released and ordered to change his T-shirt which the police regarded as being completely
unacceptable. He subsequently changed his T-shirt and went home.

  During the discussion organised by the LP3BH today, the chairman of the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) Alexander Nekemen, who was also present at today's discussion, left the meeting before the
discussion it had ended, in order to check the situation of several members of the KNPB who were handing out leaflets to people in the
streets, calling on them to take part in a peaceful action that is due to take place on May 1st.

  As far as we know at the moment, several of these KNPB members are still being held by the chief of police of Manokwari and we have not
yet heard about what is happening to Alex and the other local KNPB


Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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