Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1) PNG PM praises Jokowi’s Papuan visit

2) Jokowi Strengthens Ties With Papua New Guinea
3) PNG PM Peter O'Neill encourages peace in West Papua during visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo
4) Papua press freedom means  to win over int'l opinion:  Lawmaker 
5) Arrests during Widodo's PNG visit
6) Apotnalogilik Lakobal : We Knew About Pardon at Last Minute
7) Jokowi Evades Questions on Paniai Shootings


1) PNG PM praises Jokowi’s  Papuan visit
Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Port Moresby | Headlines | Tue, May 12 2015, 1:08 PM - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/12/png-pm-praises-jokowi-s-papuan-visit.html#sthash.8bIcS2mk.dpuf

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill praised President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Papua last week, during which Jokowi freed five political prisoners and ended decades-long restrictions on media access to the island.

O’Neill said he was “very much encouraged by the President’s visit to Papuan provinces over the last few days”, especially by Jokowi’s peace-promotion efforts in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

Speaking at a dinner Monday at the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Parliament building, O’Neill expressed his strong desire to work closely with Indonesia to create peace and stability in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, his country’s nearest neighbor, where a long-running dispute between Indonesian security forces and groupings of separatist fighters continues. 

Increased cooperation, he said, would “help our Melanesian brothers and sisters build better lives for themselves”.

“We appreciate that there is also a great deal of passion and emotion in this discussion, but it is a matter for which everyone deep down wants the same outcome. All we want is for there to be peace and there to be calm and understanding between PNG and the Papuan provinces,” he remarked.

O’Neill cited efforts made by several Papuan rebel groups (ULMWP), to become full members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as evidence of the need for stronger communication between the two countries.

 The ULMWP is a grouping of three West Papuan groups, namely the Federal Republic of West Papua, the West Papua National Parliament and the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL). 

Last year at the annual MSG Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby, the WPNCL’s membership application was rejected. The group re-submitted their application at MSG headquarters in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in February, and is still awaiting response.

O’Neill said any application for membership would require Indonesia’s endorsement. 

“As was agreed upon at a recent MSG leaders meeting, this [application for membership] must be endorsed by the Indonesian government,” he said.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Jokowi called PNG “a very important neighbor that not only lives next door, but also shares the same hopes”.

Jokowi said PNG “provides a strategic link between Indonesia and the Pacific region”, saying he was sure that, “as a brother, PNG will help Indonesia forge friendships with other Melanesian countries in the region”.

Jokowi reminded those present of O’Neill’s visit to Jakarta last October for his inauguration as president, when the two countries pledged to boost ties and establish a basis for better cooperation.

“My visit reaffirms that commitment. I am optimistic that bilateral ties between Indonesia and PNG will continue to improve into the future,” Jokowi said.

The President arrived in Port Moresby on Monday. On Tuesday, the two heads of state are slated to hold bilateral talks, where they are expected to sign several memorandums of understanding (MoUs), including on preventing and combating transnational crimes; on human-resource development in the energy sector; and on electricity. -


2) Jokowi Strengthens Ties With Papua New Guinea

By Ezra Sihite on 12:02 pm May 12, 2015

A post at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak)

Jakarta. During a visit to Port Moresby on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo called for closer ties with Papua New Guinea while praising the economic development in the country bordering Indonesia’s easternmost province.

Joko signed two memoranda of understanding, one on the management of natural resources and the other on combating transnational crime.
“I’m optimistic that the bilateral relation between Indonesia and PNG will keep improving,” the president said in a statement published on the Cabinet Secretariat’s website.
Joko said PNG is an important partner for Indonesia, as it shares an island with Indonesia.
“As members of the same family, I’m sure PNG will help Indonesia develop a friendship with the Melanesian nations in the region,” the president said in the statement.
The Indonesian president was accompanied on his trip by Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said and the head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Marciano Norman.
Melanesian Spearhead Group
Indonesia’s relations with its eastern neighbors have been in the spotlight because of a meeting later this month of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, of which a group of Papuan independence activists wants to become an official member.
There have recently been conflicting statements from the Vanuatu government about its desire to open an embassy in Jakarta and Minister Retno earlier this year visited Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji, declaring Indonesia’s commitment to disbursing a total of $20 million in financial assistance to support capacity building of MSG nations.
Peter O’Neill, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, welcomed Joko and the agreements signed, but he has previously expressed concern over the human rights situation in the Indonesian part of New Guinea.
“I think as a country, the time has come to speak for our people about the oppression there,” O’Neill told cabinet ministers on Feb. 4, as quoted by ABC News. “Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on social media and yet, we take no notice. We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded.”
Joko on Sunday announced that restrictions on foreign journalists entering Papua would be lifted, after pardoning five Papuan prisoners a day earlier.



3) PNG PM Peter O'Neill encourages peace in West Papua during visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Updated 12 May 2015, 11:00 AEST

Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill has used his speech at a state dinner for visiting Indonesian president Joko Widodo to promote the cause of West Papua.

He told guests that his government wanted to use its special connection with the Melanesian people of Papua and West Papua to encourage peace and stability.
His comments come just a day after Mr Widodo's visit to Papua where he granted clemency to five political prisoners who had been in jail since 2003. He also lifted restrictions that prevent foreign journalists travelling to the country's restive Papua provinces.
ABC journalist Wesley Manuai is covering the visit, and says President Widodo appeared to avoid the PNG Prime Minister's talk of peace.
Presenter: Richard Ewart
Speaker: ABC journalist Wesley Manuai
4) Papua press freedom means  to win over int'l opinion:  Lawmaker 
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, May 12 2015, 1:22 PM -
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s move to allow foreign journalists to enter Papua is seen as a way to win back the trust of the international community following the recent executions of foreigners, a lawmaker says.
Deputy head of the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing international affairs Hanafi Rais said that Jokowi was trying to win back international opinion by sending a message that Indonesia was an open country that welcomed the international press with open arms.
Aside from that, he added that Jokowi was also trying to prove to the world about Papua’s stability.
“It seems that the President is very sure that Papua’s development processes, such as infrastructure improvement, can become a success story that can be covered by the international media,” Hanafi told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
“Through the principle of 'all-sides covered', the President hopes that Indonesia’s success stories will complement all the negative coverage of Indonesia’s government,” the National Mandate Party lawmaker said.
Hanafi reminded Jokowi to make sure that the Indonesian Military (TNI) would not become a target for the foreign media to promote foreign interests in Papua.
Previously, fellow Commission I deputy head Tantowi Yahya told the Post on Monday that the government must be aware of the potential concerns that the free access might attract, and how to deal with them. (hhr)



5) Arrests during Widodo's PNG visit

Reports from Papua New Guinea say seven people were locked up in police cells for demonstrating for West Papua at the start of a visit of the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo.
NBC reports that they were held for six hours after they waved placards and the West Papuans' Morning Star flag.
Indonesia has banned the flag and some people have been jailed for several years for displaying it.

President Widodo arrived from West Papua where he at the weekend released five political prisoners, who had been jailed since 2003.
He also said he would open the area to foreign media.
6) Apotnalogilik Lakobal : We Knew About Pardon at Last Minute
Jayapura, Jubi – One of five Papuan prisoners pardoned by President Joko Widodo, Apotnalogilik Lakobal, said he was disappointed because he did not received an amnesty instead.
“I am disappointed, that we previously knew we would be granted an amnesty. But when we arrived in Abepura, we just found out that we received a pardon. No one informed us,” Lakobal told Jubi after the granting of pardon ceremonial at Abepura Prison on Saturday (9/5/2015).
In a private interview with Jubi after the ceremonial, Jokowi said it was his idea to grant a pardon. “It’s my idea. If they (Papuan political prisoners) had asked for a pardon, we could hav approve it within two weeks, but if they asked an amnesty, it requires the approval from the Indonesian Parliament. I don’t know whether the parliament will agree with it or not,” he said.
Other political prisoner Linus Hiel Hiluka justified his statement. He said he and other four political prisoners never ask for pardon to the government. “We never ask for it. It’s purely the president’s will and idea. He said it was his idea, not our proposal. He also apologized for what have been done to us for last twelve years by the security forces,” Hiluka told reporters in the press conference at the ALDP Office, Padang Bulan, Abepura on Sunday (10/5/2015).
A pardon is a constitutional right granted by the president to the prisoners no limited to the change, remission, reduction or elimination of sentence against the prisoners. The grating of pardon is the prerogative right of the president.
The granting of pardon is regulated under the Law No.22. The prisoners or their attorney or family who request for pardon should file a written clemency to the president in accordance to the articles 8, 6, 7 of the Law. No.22. Further the article 4 said the request and its copy should be submitted through the Prison Chief to forward the request to the president, while the copy goes to the Court where the case was settled no later than seven days after the receive of the file of pardon and its copy. (Victor Mambor/rom)
7) Jokowi Evades Questions on Paniai Shootings
Jayapura, Jubi – President Joko Widodo evaded questions about a lack of progress in the investigation into the December 8 shootings that killed four students in Enarotali, Paniai.
“I’ll answer it later after this (grant a pardon),” he said when a Jubi reporter asked him about the Paniai case’s settlement in the question-and-answer session during a ceremony granting pardon to five Papuan political prisoners at Abepura prison in Jayapura on Saturday (9/5/2015).
After the ceremony, Jubi asked him the same question in a private interview but Jokowi said repeatedly: ” I’ll give the answer later. I couldn’t answer it now. Because if I answer it now it could eclipse the granting of pardon issue.”
After the plenary session held on 7 – 8 April 2015, the Indonesian National Human Right Commission announced receiving the investigation report from the Paniai Investigation Team.
“We received the report from Paniai Team and endorsed it towards the Law No.26/2000 that the team must complete the report and its requirement (case matrix and legal studies),” Dr. Meneger Nasution, the Chairman of Paniai Case Team before dozens of Papuan students and supporters after the plenary.
Further Nasution who accompanied by other Human Right Commissionaire Natalius Pigay, said the case matrix and legal studies would be presented in the plenary session in May 2015. “One month is required because the report must be compiled with legal studies and case matrix which should be met with the international legal instrument,” Nasution added. But up to now, there is no further decision about the case by the Indonesian National Human Right Commission. (Victor Mambor/rom)

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