Jakarta: Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to West Papua was as ephemeral as spray - the next day there was no indication it had happened, according to a Papuan MP.
Mr Joko released five political prisoners and announced an end to a decades-long restriction on journalists reporting on West Papua during a visit earlier this month.
However his co-ordinating minister for politics, law and security, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, later said journalists would still need permits and be subjected to "screening". This suggests no change to the current tight media restrictions.
"Don't just come to West Papua and make promises," he said. "I think the world should question why the government should close access of international media to West Papua."Ruben Magay, a member of the Papuan House of Representatives, said Mr Joko should listen to West Papua and not mistakenly think its problems were solved.
West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1963 but insurgents continue to fight government forces.
The separatist movement is an extremely sensitive topic in Indonesia, with many seeing parallels between West Papua and East Timor, which won independence in 2002.
Foreign journalists caught without permits - which are notoriously difficult to obtain - face criminal charges. Last year two French journalists making a documentary on the Papuan separatist movement were arrested and jailed because they did not have the proper permit.
And despite the release of the five political prisoners, who were convicted over a 2003 raid on an Indonesian military weapons arsenal, about 60 remain incarcerated on charges including treason.
These include Papuan independence activist Filep Karma, who was jailed for 15 years for raising the separatist Morning Star flag.
Mr Magay said Mr Joko should listen to Mr Karma's daughter, who has launched an open petition calling for the release of her father and other political prisoners. He also called for justice for the four students killed in clashes with security officers in Enarotali last December.
"The visit of Jokowi is like spraying a body. The day after it's gone and nothing has happened in West Papua," Mr Magay said.
Victor Mambor, the chairman of the alliance of independent journalists in West Papua, said Mr Joko had told foreign journalists on May 10 they could access West Papua the following day.
"The day after the chief political commander and law minister said 'not like that - foreign media still need permits'. Who is the president of Indonesia? I don't know," Mr Mambor said.
He said West Papuans didn't know what to believe because some local journalists worked as informants for the special forces and police.
Adriana Elisabeth, from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said during Mr Joko's first visit to West Papua in December he had called for a dialogue to build peace.
"For me this is a good signal. But on his second visit he said Papua didn't need dialogue, just better welfare," Dr Elisabeth said.
Father Neles Tebay, co-founder of the Papua Peace Network, believed Mr Joko was still committed to addressing the grievances of West Papua.
"There are at least 25,000 Papuans in Papua New Guinea, 2000 in The Netherlands and hundreds in Australia. They need to be consulted too for issues to be settled," he said.
"I still have trust in Jokowi that he is willing to engage with Papuans, especially in the jungle and the diaspora. He called Papuans in jungle to come down and talk."
2) Paniai Shootings Human Rights Violation, Kadepa Says
Jayapura, Jubi – Remarks by Papua police chief Inspector General (Pol) Yotje Mende that President Joko Widodo had given police two days to report progress on the investigation into the shooting of four students in Paniai on December 8 drew criticism from the Special Committee of Papua Legislative Council on Human Rights.
The Chairman of the House Special Committee of Papua on Human Rights, Laurenzus Kadepa, said Mende’s statement did not make any sense because the shootings were a case of human rights violations, not an ordinary crime. ” The president should have urged the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM), or now known as Adhoc team, to resolve Paniai case. It is a human rights violation, not an ordinary crime,” Kadepa said via telephone to the Jubi last week.
According to him, cases of human rights violations do not lead towards the criminal. The shooting case is not a criminal action that the president should order the Papua Police to ensure the completion of the case within two days. “It does not make sense. Moreover, the alleged perpetrator is ordered to investigate the case. It is insane . Police should appreciate the work done by National Commission on Human Rights. They must give full support and wait for the process of the Commission in accordance with Law No. 26 of 2000 on the human rights court, “he said.
Previously, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General (Pol) Yotje Mende said he phoned President Jokowi and ordered the Papua Police immediately to ensure the completion of shootings in Papua at the end of last year. “I phoned President Joko Widodo that the case be reopened and completed the case. The president wants to get a reply within two days, “Police Chief Yotje said onTuesday (12/05/2015). (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)
3) Police Received Rp. 2.28 Billion from Sarmi Regency
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua police denied media reports that they received Rp. 4.4 billion in social aid funds (Bansos) from the Sarmi regent.
“There was a flow of funds from Sarmi regency to the account of Sarmi Police with total of Rp2,281,300,000 and not Rp4.4 billion,” Papua police spokesman Commissioner Pol Patrige confirmed in Jayapura last week. “And the rest Rp.2.2 billion, we do not know for certain where the funding source from. Yet to earn these funds, we have met the existing mechanisms which begins with the submission of a proposal for financing political and social activities,” he said.
Actually the funds were used for securing the election of governor in 2013-2017, a routine patrol activities, the 2013 Bhayangkara anniversary, securing May 1, 2013 and securing regents cup tournament in 2013. “We believe that the investigators have had a number of supporting evidence on the case. So we follow the processes that are running, “he said.
At the beginning of the month, the defendant of social assistance funds, head of financial officer Bartholomeus Sato said about Rp.50 billion has been used appropriately and reserved in accordance with the rules.
The recipients in 2013/2014 period were Sarmi Police worth of Rp. 4.4 billion and Kodim Sarmi worth Rp4.6 billion.
Regional Military Commander XVII / Cenderawasih G Major General Fransen Siahaan claimed not to know about it and promised to check the correctness of the information or news.
Sarmi Bansos fund case also turned out allegedly involving the regent Mesak Manibor who have captured by a combined team of AGO, Kejati and Papua Police on Thursday (14/5). (*/ Tina)
Sentani, Jubi – Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to Pharaa Traditional Market, Sentani this month has brought great expectations among local women traders who struggle every day for a proper place.
“As ordinary people we can only hope that Jokowi and the Government to pay attention to our tables. When he came here (to Pharaa traditional market), we wanted to say several things but we couldn’t because he shortly left,” said Kristina, one of the women traders at Pharaa Sentani Traditional Market on Monday (18/5/2015).
Like other women traders, Kristina, who has sold vegetables at Pharaa Market for five years, doesn’t have a decent stall for selling her products. “When will the construction of new market be finished? Its progress is too slow. At the time when Jokowi came, the activities around the construction area suddenly looked very busy. The Regional Government must be serious about this,” she said.
Her fellow trader from Pos 7 Sentani, Yustin talked about stalls and market structuring. According to her the government did discrimination by placing non-Papuan traders at the entrée while indigenous Papuan traders must crowding at the market border area. “In the future, new market must provide separated stalls for vegetable traders from other products and they must be placed at the first row,” she proposed.(Engel Wally/rom)
5) Wewak Government Signed Agreement with Jayapura Government
Jayapura, Jubi – The Wewak municipal government, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea agreed to build cooperation in all sectors with the Jayapura municipal government.
Wewak Mayor Hon Charles Malenki and Jayapura Mayor Benhur Timmy Mano signed a letter of intent at the city hall on Monday (18/5/2015).
Hon Charles Malenki told reporters this visit was the first year to bring quite a lot of delegates. Further he said the visit is very important to open access for both governments due to the readiness of infrastructure at the border area. He hoped the signing of lettter of intent would be followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). “The most important thing is building cooperation at the first place. We really want to learn, especially on the sectors of agriculture, fisheries, education and tourism as well. We’re interested at the fisheries since there are many rivers in our town,” Malenki told reporters.
“Once we returned to our county, we will report to the East Sepik Governor concerning to the follow up of LoI,” he said. He also said this cooperation is the follow up from the Indonesian President’s visit to Papua New Guinea few times ago. Wewak is the city located in the East Sepik Province with 50 million of population who live in 16 sub-districts.
Meanwhile, Jayapura Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano said the Jayapura Municipal Government opens to other country and wants to share knowledge in many sectors. “During my administrative, Papua New Guinea is very intense to cooperate with the Jayapura Municipal Government,” Mano told reporters on Monday (18/5/2015). He also said they want to work with the Jayapura Municipal Government in many sectors. “We want to share our achievement in Jayapura Municipality in many sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, education and health as well,” he said. In regards to the broader partnership, he said the municipal government should report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. (Munir/rom)