Monday, May 18, 2015

1) House Speaker Lauds Govt Allowing Foreign Media Access to Papua

2) Police Disperse Activists at KNPB Merauke Office
3) Kareni: West Papuan Governors represent Indonesia not Melanesians
4) GempaR Urges Jokowi to Keep Promises

5) Arrests at demo demanding justice from PT Permata Putera Mandiri in Sorong
1) House Speaker Lauds Govt Allowing Foreign Media Access to Papua
TEMPO.COJakarta – House speaker Setya Novanto has welcomed the government’s decision to open access to Papua for foreign media.
“The House viewed that the government’s policy to give freedom to foreign journalists to enter Papua is a positive move to give information to the global community, “ he said at the House complex in his speech to open the House 4th session for 2014-2015 on Monday.
Setya, however, reminded that the policy could backfire. “The concern is if this kind of freedom can create loopholes for [foreign] intelligence operations as often found by the authorities thus far,” he said, adding that increased supervision was necessary to keep non-journalism activities from taking place in light of the policy.
“Papua has seen improved democracy as other regions have. So there is no need for us to cover up anything amid the more wide-open world. We just have to be careful of those who mean harm to us,” he said. 
2) Police Disperse Activists at KNPB Merauke Office
Jayapura, Jubi – At around 11:50 Papua time, police disbanded a gathering of activists at the secretariat of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and Regional People Parliament (PRD) in Merauke, an activist said.
“That’s right, the Operation Unit Chief and dozens officers came to the secretariat and forced those who were in the secretariat to go,” PRD Chairman for Merauke Region, Pankrasia Yem told Jubi by phone from Merauke on Saturday (16/5/2015).
He explained two Military Special Forces members passed by the secretariat before the police came to take some pictures of motorbikes that were parked in front of the secretariat.
About thirty minutes later, the police came.
“The Police came at the time when we want to hold a meeting to discuss about the preparation of a national demonstration on 21 May in Merauke. They came and dispersed us. They said KNPB was not allowed to hold any activities, even if it was only a gathering,” Yem cited the police.
He also said the police entered their secretariat and took some their belongings, including clothes, bags, flask disks, old banners, camera and handycam.
Related to this incident, the Central KNPB Spokesperson Bazoka Logo said despite to prohibition and dispersion of KNPB activities, Indonesia must change the article of freedom of expression in public of its Constitution. “The police could stop our entire activities if that article was removed. We have a right to express and voice our aspiration in public because the Constitution 1945 guaranteed it,” Logo firmly said.
He further asked the Operation Unit Chief of Merauke Police doesn’t misinterpret the Constitution 1945. He affirmed the Indonesian Constitution guarantees KNPB activities while the chief did violation on it. “We hope the police could immediately stop this old-fashioned acts. The Central KNPB urged the Merauke Police to stop this boring act,” said Logo. (Arnold Belau/rom)


3) Kareni: West Papuan Governors represent Indonesia not Melanesians
Updated 18 May 2015, 16:55 AEST
A prominent West Papuan independence advocate says the plan by PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to have governors from Indonesia's Papuan provinces represented at the Melanesian Spearhead Group is deeply flawed.

Mr O'Neill says the elected Governors are more representative of the West Papuan people than the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which has lodged an application to join the MSG.
But Australia-based West Papuan independence advocate Ronny Kareni says the opposite is true; the governors represent the Indonesian state not Melanesians in West Papua.
He says Mr O'Neill is sending 'mixed messages' after announcing earlier this year that he would speak out about human rights abuses in West Papua.
Presenter: Liam Fox
Speaker: Ronny Kareni, West Papuan independence advocate
4) GempaR Urges Jokowi to Keep Promises
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Students and People Movement (GempaR) urged President Joko Widodo to keep his promise to solve the conflict in Papua.
GempaR said after six month in office, Jokowi’s policies had not favored indigenous Papuans. The transmigration program, the December shooting dead of four students in Paniai and the shooting incident in Yahukimo during the event of West Papua Solidarity for Vanuatu were proof of the government’s failure.
Other evidence include the illegal mining case in Degewo, oil-palm plantation in Nabire, criminalization of human right activists Areki Wanimbo and Gustaf Kawer, violence toward Papua journalists in Nabire and Biak, the random shooting and arrest against hundreds of protester on 1 May, GempaR said.
“Therefore we asked Jokowi to resolve all these problems, because it was happened under his government that considered to weaken the position and dignity of Papuans on their own land,” the Secretary General of GempaR, Samuel Womsiwor told Jubi by email on Sunday (17/5/2015).
He said GempaR asked Jokowi to be responsible on the human right violation in Papua (under six month of his government) and other human right violation since the integration of Papua into Indonesia and to immediately open the wide access for democracy in Papua.
“We also asked Jokowi to materialize his statement related to his statement about to open the access for foreign journalist and to immediately withdraw both organic and non-organic forces from Papua. We asked him to stop the discussion on the Mobile Brigade Headquarter because Papuan people are clearly rejecting this plan,” he said.
Further, he said the president also must discontinue the discussion to establish 34 DOB (new autonomy region) in the National Legislation Program because the people of Papua do not need the Extension (Development).
Meanwhile, Majalah Selankah wrote the Papuan Parliament’s Human Right Special Committee Chairman for Paniai and Yahukimo Cases, Laurenzus Kadepa asked the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to openly express to Papuan people about the settlement of Paniai and Yahukimo cases during his visit to Papua on 8 – 11 May 2015.
Jokowi must talk about the settlement of Paniai and Yahukimo cases and other severe human right violation cases in Papua to the people of Papua,” said Kadepa. According to him, the president must talk about it to avoid the negative impact to both institution and the State. It’s our decision whether we could meet and talk with him about this issue. “Firstly, he must solve the Paniai and Yahukimo cases and other human right violation cases in Papua as well,” he said.
(Arnold Belau/rom)

5) Arrests at demo demanding justice from PT Permata Putera Mandiri in Sorong

Dozens of local people involved in the IPPMI (Union of Iwaro Youth and Students) held a protest action outside the offices of PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) on Jalan Ahmad Yani in Sorong City on Friday lunchtime. The participants were demanding justice and a resolution of the situation whereby local people had lost out due to work carried out by PT PPM. This oil palm plantation company is owned by the Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group.
IPPMI together with others from Imeko have held several demonstrations and dialogues since the beginning of the year, in Sorong City, in Teminabuan [capital of South Sorong regency] and at the work site in Puragi village. At the end of March 2015, local people demanded that PT PPM compensate the people in the Metamani area’s losses to a value of 6 trillion Rupiah, that the company should withdraw the organic army and police mobile brigade troops stationed there, and the government should review the permits which they believe have been misused to fell valuable ironwood trees and explore for oil. However, the company has yet to show any signs that it will accede to the people’s demands.
At the protest action on Friday 15th May, the participants were angry because they found that PT PPM’s offices had been closed suddenly, with the fence locked and the office door shut. Tensions rose because there were no staff from the company present. Dozens of joint security forces from the city police station were guarding the site, but also could not get anyone from the company to come and talk, so anger rose.
Participants on the action forced open the fence and concreted1 PT PPM’s office door. At this point the police who were present reacted directly, arresting dozens of local people who they then took to the Sorong city police station, including several leaders of IPPMI including Simon Soren, Fiky Utoy, Leo Iji and Fery Onim.
By Friday night, most of the arrested were released. On Saturday morning (16/5), Pusaka’s local contact, Wenan, reported from Sorong that two of the participants on the demonstration were still being held, Obeth Korie and Lodik Aitago. It appears that they are being threatened with being charged under article 170 of the Indonesian Penal Code concerning violence towards people or property, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and six months.

IPPMI’s protest actions against PT PPM.

February 2015
IPPMI held a demonstration outside the offices of PT ANJ Agri in Sorong.
March 2015
IPPMI reported the company’s wrongdoings and their demands to the leadership of the West Papua Province Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP). On 31st March a meeting was held with the company and the South Sorong administration, which was attended by the local Bupati (district head) and police and military leaders, and took place in a meeting room at the South Sorong police station. IPPMI conveyed seven demands which had been agreed by the people of Imeko.
April 2015
IPPMI threatened to blockade PT PPM’s office and occupy the office of the South Sorong Bupati.
May 2015.
IPPMI urged the South Sorong administration to find a solution to the PT PPM issue, or if not it could cause chaos in the forthcoming election of a new district head. During a meeting to sit down together based on customary law, someone who was thought to be following company orders punched one of the students in full view of the police.
  1. awasMIFEE note: not sure this is the right translation. Bahasa Indonesia original: mengecor 
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