Friday, May 22, 2015

1) OPM Declares Open War on Security Forces, Non-Papuan Civilians

2) Manokwari under control  following arrests

3) Papua is not a problem but the way we talk about Papua is


1) OPM Declares Open War on Security Forces, Non-Papuan Civilians

Armed fighters from the Free Papua Organization (OPM) in Lanny Jaya district, a stronghold of the separatist group, which on Friday declared all-out war against the Indonesian security forces and non-Papuan civilians. (JG Photo/Banjir Ambarita)

Jayapura. Armed separatists in Indonesia’s Papua province have declared open war on the military and non-Papuan civilians, insisting that their decades-long struggle for independence is not over and denouncing as a lie President Joko Widodo’s reassurances that the region is peaceful.
Enden Wanimbo, a commander of the National Liberation Army (TPN) of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), told the Jakarta Globe on Friday that his group was declaring “a total revolutionary war from Sorong to Merauke,” referring to the westernmost and easternmost ends of the region.
“This means all-out war against all Indonesians in the Papuan land,” he said by phone.
Enden, long sought by the Indonesian authorities and believed to be based in Lanny Jaya district, an OPM stronghold, rejected any notion of dialogue with Jakarta, saying that Papuan independence from Indonesia the was at the heart of the group’s demands.
Indonesia annexed the territory, comprising the western half of the island of New Guinea, in 1969, following a ballot now widely considered a sham. The OPM has for decades mounted a low-level armed insurgency against the Indonesian security forces, who are regularly accused by residents and rights activists of a litany of human rights violations in their attempts to quash the insurgency.
President Joko, in a visit to the region earlier this month, said he wanted to tackle perceptions of the region as a conflict zone, and declared it open to foreign journalists for the first time since the annexation.
However, Enden said the impression that Joko was giving to the world about the situation in the region was a lie.
“We want to show that President Jokowi’s statement, that Papua is at peace, is not true,” he said.
Puron Wenda, another OPM commander also based in Lanny Jaya, agreed that the president’s assessment was false.
“The OPM is ready for war. We no longer want any more dialogues that are rigged by Indonesia [...] which likes to cheat us,” he said.
“Indonesia should get out of Papua, because we will continue to fight for an independent Papua,” Puron said.
He said that the group of fighters he led with Enden would attack not just the security forces, but also civilians who were “non-Papuan,” or not ethnic Melanesian.
“Businesspeople, construction workers, civil servants — all Indonesians will be killed, chased out; not just soldiers or police, anyone with straight hair,” he said.
“We’re not a criminal group, we’re not troublemakers, we’re not a small group. We’re Papuan freedom fighters.”
Enden welcomed the foreign press to come to Papua and witness the coming war.
“International reporters and national ones must be free to report the news from Papua,” he said.
There was no immediate response from the military on Friday to the OPM’s declaration of war, which comes just days after police arrested dozens of activists for staging a demonstration in support of de facto recognition of an independent West Papua state by a group of Pacific island nations.
At least 70 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were arrested during the rally in Jayapura on Wednesday and held for questioning by police, the group’s spokesman Sarpas Mbisikmbk said.
Sarpas said protestors had gathered to show support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULM), formed late last year by the KNPB, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation and the Federal Republic of West Papua, to gain full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group, an inter-governmental grouping of Melanesian states.
The MSG is expected to decide on the ULM bid for membership in July, and Indonesia has recently stepped up its lobbying of Melanesian states to prevent the proposal succeeding.
2) Manokwari under control  following arrests
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, May 22 2015, 2:01 PM - 
The situation in the Papuan town of Manokwari has remained peaceful following the recent arrests of 70 pro-independence activists grouped in the National West Papua Committee (KNPB).
West Papua Police chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said the situation in Manokwari and other towns in the province remained under control thanks to good coordination between the police and the military in the province.
“The situation in Manokwari and other towns in the province is under control and there were no social disturbances following the arrests of 70 activists,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Seventy pro-independence activists were arrested while staging a rally in support of Papua becoming a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) on Wednesday.
Four of the 70 arrestees have been named suspects as organizers of the rally and for failing to obtain a permit for it.
Waterpauw stressed that people were not prohibited from expressing their aspirations, but that demonstrations that utilized public facilities such as roads, parks and other public spaces had to obtain permits from relevant authorities. He added that his side would not tolerate any form of anarchism. (++++)

3) Papua is not a problem but the way we talk about Papua is
21 May 2015, 12.02pm AEST
Author. Budi Hernawan Research Fellow at Abdurrahman Wahid Centre for Interfaith and Peace at University of Indonesia
Many of us were surprised but pleased when Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced early this month that the decades-long restriction on foreign journalists in Papua would be lifted.
Access to Papua for international press and observers has been a longstanding issue. It was not only raised by rights organisations but also featured prominently during the 2012 Universal Periodic Review on Indonesia at the UN Human Rights Council.
But the pleasant surprise did not last very long. Less than 24 hours later, Minister for Security and Political Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno told Indonesian media that the access will be subject to the scrutiny of an agency. Indonesian military commander General Moeldoko confirmed this statement separately, saying that the government has yet to formulate new rules of the game for foreign journalists. Without waiting for further instruction from the national authorities, Papua police acted independently by announcing that foreign journalists will have to report to them.
While these statements reflect the ongoing conflicting policies on Papua, they reveal something much more problematic: the framing of Papua as a problem.
Papua is not a problem. The way we talk about Papua is.

Conflicting policies for Papua

This is the fundamental issue that we have to address. Papuans have repeatedly expressed their concerns over crimes against humanity, including the recent killings of four students by the Indonesian security apparatus in Paniai. But the response of the government is simply to delay the case until it withers away.
They asked for an evaluation of the Special Autonomy Law, but the response was establishing UP4B, a government task force to accelerate economic development programs. This policy perpetuated the existing conflicting policies of Papua until the team finished its term last year.
Papuans have raised their voice over the shifting demographic composition, with an increased influx of people from other islands coming to Papua. The government responded by planning a new transmigration program, overlooking the creeping threats of ethnic conflicts.
Papuans have asked for dialogue with the national government, but so far the government only holds closed-door meetings with the Papua Peace Network. They asked for open access for foreign journalists, but the response is a cacophony of mixed messages.
The government’s off-target responses have often been informed by analyses that typically frame Papuans as incompetent. These analysts hold the view that government services in Papua such as health care, education and public services are declining because the groundwork personnel, who are largely Papuans, are absent from their work. This analysis is partly true if they isolate the case to the local level.
But such analyses ignore the question of conflicting government policies on Papua that contribute to the low quality of implementation. The Papuan public service is an integral part of the larger government machinery. Even when a policy has clear guidance and is equipped with strong supervision and mentoring, implementation could go wrong; let alone when there are conflicting policies with minimal supervision.

How outsiders frame Papua

If we look back to the history of Papua, since their first encounter with outsiders Papuans have been construed according to the mindsets of the outsiders. The first encounter with the Sultanate of Tidore through the hongi fleet between the 17th and 18th century was marked by violence and slavery. Although the contact was limited to the Islands of Raja Ampat, the Bird Heads area and the Island of Biak, this mistreatment illustrated that Papuans were framed as objects by the sultanate.
Following the unconditional transfer of sovereignty from the Netherlands to Indonesia in 1949, the Dutch retained then West New Guinea as the last resort of its imaginary empire legacy in Asia. In 1966 Yale historian Arend Lijhart described this act as “trauma of de-colonisation”.
Since the territory was integrated into Indonesia in 1969, the name of the land has changed three times, illustrating the ways in which the government construed the land of Papua: from Irian Barat during Sukarno’s period to Irian Jaya during Suharto’s period and back to Papua under Abdurrahman Wahid, widely known as Gus Dur.
The change was not merely about names. It was also about different visions of Papua.
Sukarno envisioned the liberation of Irian Barat from the Dutch. Suharto promised a glorious and prosperous Irian Jaya. Gus Dur simply showed respect for Papuans and listened to their wishes by restoring the original name of the territory into the original name. As a result, among the three names, Papuans highly appreciate only the last change.

Friends in the Pacific

Papuans have been subjected to various framings without proper consultation with them. So, it is understandable that they have shifted their attention from the national government to the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Although the Western world may never hear about this forum, Papuans found genuine dialogue and a warm welcome from the members of this sub-diplomatic forum in its neighbourhood: the Pacific.
They found ample space to express themselves as members of the Melanesian family. They have no worry about being judged or measured against foreign criteria any more because they have their own say and can speak for themselves despite all formal procedures.

Listen to Papuan voices

This is what we missed in the discussion of opening access for Papua: let Papuans speak for themselves. It is not a romanticism. Rather, it is a call on national and international policy-makers that Papuans should be given space to speak for themselves, whether with the national government, foreign governments, foreign journalists or international observers, so they are no longer framed as a problem.
Gus Dur set a clear example of how to engage Papuans with respect. This example can be translated into some form of governance that accommodates Papuans’ concerns in a comprehensive policy based on justice, peacemaking and a spirit of reconciliation.

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