Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1) Turning a new page in relations with Papua

2) 5,100 HIV/AIDS cases detected  in Wamena
3) Blocked from entering US, West Papuan leader seeks answers
4) Jokowi’s turn to solve the Papua question
5) Elections in Papua may  cost Rp 300b

6) Border Surveillance Should be Tightened


1) Turning a new page in relations  with Papua

Cillian Nolan, Jakarta | Opinion | Tue, May 19 2015, 7:16 AM - 

In his fourth visit to Papua in just over a year, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last weekend told Papuans that he wanted to “turn over a new page” in their relations with Jakarta.

Offering a pardon to five political prisoners and the easing of restrictions on visits by foreign journalists, he seemed to be signaling a new openness in policy on Papua. 

But a real change is going to require a far more coordinated approach.

Jokowi called the release of the five prisoners “a first step” but said little about the reasoning behind it or what would come next. The five were each serving terms of between 20 years and life in prison for their role in a 2003 weapons raid at the Jayawijaya Military Command (rights groups say only two were actually involved). 

Two soldiers were killed in the raid and many more civilians in reprisals that followed. Other political prisoners in Papua have made it clear that they will not accept clemency because it would require an admission of guilt. 

Those close to the President say he is considering a broader amnesty drive, which would not entail admitting wrongdoing and would be more widely welcomed.

If the pardons were meant to signal a greater political openness, they came at time when the police are clamping down on freedom of expression in Papua. 

Their primary target is the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a pro-independence group that occupies the radical fringe of activist groups. 

Some of its members have advocated violence as part of a strategy to turn Papua into an “emergency zone” to attract more international attention. This is clearly unacceptable, but nonviolent meetings are different.

In recent weeks, the provincial police commander has said he is determined to dismantle the KNPB. He has ordered district commanders to break up meetings — public or private — of the organization, which he said were bent on undermining Indonesia’s territorial integrity. 

KNPB demonstrations — some of which have turned violent — are routinely shut down with force, such as when the police allegedly shot at six KNPB activists in Yahukimo in March. On May 1, as KNPB supporters rallied in cities across Papua, the police arrested at least 40. 

If Jokowi’s intention is to look forward rather than backward, one way to change dynamics in Papua would be to commit to upholding basic freedoms of expression and assembly while making it clear that violence (and incitement) by NGOs, mass organizations and security forces alike will be prosecuted. 

This would mean sending a message that peaceful dissent will no longer be considered makar (treason). Jokowi could also commit to improving incentive structures to ensure the best-performing police are sent to Papua, recognizing the challenges of policing there.

At the same time, he would have to commit to dramatically stepped up accountability for violence committed by security forces. One major omission from the trip was any mention of an investigation into the shooting of four civilians allegedly by security forces in Paniai on Dec. 8 last year, a key commitment made by Jokowi on his last visit. 

Ensuring improved accountability is perhaps the single most important confidence-building measure needed in Papua. 

The timing for Jokowi’s visit may have been influenced by the upcoming summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Its members are due to meet later this month to consider an application for membership by an alliance of three pro-independence lobby groups, including the KNPB. 

Jakarta has responded with a renewed diplomatic charm offensive in the Pacific in an effort to block the move, including the President’s follow-on visit to Port Moresby. 

The real challenge for Jakarta is to understand and address Papuan issues as part of an overall strategy on Papua that includes everything from regional division (pemekaran) to palm oil production. 

Jokowi told Aljazeera in an interview in Jayapura last week that “there are no longer any problems in Papua” and thus there is nothing left to discuss. 

A more productive response would be to channel grievances in Papua into a domestic forum and then pair this with a government agency with the authority to do something about them. 

Setting up domestic communication channels has been the goal of the Papua Peace Network since 2009, but Jokowi believes his own occasional visits are a suitable replacement. 

A new page in Jakarta-Papua relations is going to require more productive communication at many levels. It will require making good on Jokowi’s commitment to ensuring Papuans have access to the same economic opportunities as other Indonesians, that the security agencies uphold human rights while responding to the region’s high levels of violence and that the millions of dollars in special funding the two provinces receive are spent more effectively. 

Papuans themselves will have to take responsibility for a large part of this. But they need a more engaged partner.

The writer is deputy director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Jakarta -

2) 5,100 HIV/AIDS cases detected  in Wamena
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Tue, May 19 2015, 10:30 AM 
Wamena, a densely populated town with a population of 48,640 in the central highlands of resource-rich Papua, is known not only for its beauty but also for its high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
According to recent data of the AIDS Prevention Commission (KPA) in Jayawijaya, the number of people with HIV/AIDS in the town has reached 5,100 as a result of rampant prostitution.
In cooperation with NGOs, public health centers and integrated healthcare posts, “we are racing against the time to tackle the high prevalence,” Antara news agency quoted KPA chairman Gad Piramid Tabuni as saying in Jayawijaya, Papua, on Tuesday.
He said that the KPA cooperated with security authorities and the health agency to campaign against unsafe sex and to rid the streets of prostitution at food and beverage stalls.
He called on others, including churches and mass organizations, to work hand in hand with local authorities in the fight against the deadly condition. (rms)(++++)

3) Blocked from entering US, West Papuan leader seeks answers


Updated at 3:02 pm today

Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Tuesday 19 May 2015

The West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda says he has no idea why he was blocked from travelling to the United States last week.


The West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda says he has no idea why he was blocked from traveling to the United States last week.
Mr Wenda was hoping to travel from London, where he lives in exile, to Los Angeles for a speaker's tour of California and Hawai'i.
But when he checked in at Heathrow Airport, an alert came up on his passport, and he was taken in for questioning by an official from the US Homeland Security Department, who then revoked his 10-year business visa.
Mr Wenda told Jamie Tahana he was last in the US a few months ago and has no idea why his visa has suddenly been revoked.
But he says he's certain it's to do with his work on West Papua.
BENNY WENDA: Yeah I was checking in and I handed over my passport to the check-in desk and then there was some issue. So I didn't know what the issue was and then suddenly they called US Homeland Security and they came after about 10 minutes and then after that they grabbed my hand and took me to the corner and then questioned me; 'What are you doing? Why are you going to the United States?' I didn't know what I'd done wrong and why and I have a visa for 10-years and a business visa is not a normal visa and I didn't know what was going on and then in the end they told me that my visa was revoked, but they didn't explain why.
JAMIE TAHANA: So they revoked your visa and they didn't explain why?
BW: No, they said that I had to go to the embassy. You know, this is not the first time I've been in the US. I've been almost three, four times and my last visit was in October when I used the same visa and I met with the Senate and some congress staff and also I was in New York meeting with the State Senator and Congressmen and the State Department and I'm just confused. At the human level I feel that why and I'm a little bit disappointed but, yeah, now I'm trying to use my lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, and she's trying to find out why the visa is invalid.
JT: You were in the few months ago and you made it as far as Capitol Hill in Washington, yet this time you're not allowed beyond Heathrow Airport. What's changed in those few months? Was there any suggestion of that from the Homeland Security officer?
BW: I don't know, I don't know, Homeland Security came and they told me my visa was revoked -- that's all, there wasn't any explanation.
JT: This did happen in Papua New Guinea a couple of months ago. Were the circumstances of this similar to what happened the other day?
BW: Yeah, it's very similar. I don't know what their reasons are but I'm still questioning myself today.
JT: But you believe it is to do with your West Papua work?
BW: Yes, of course. There isn't any other reason because my campaign, the West Papua voice, is becoming louder and louder and also, on the other hand, our enemy is also working very hard to try and convince every country.
JT: So you were told to contact the US embassy, have you done that? Have you heard any kind of response?
BW: Yeah, we did try to send a request and send some information, some documents and we have to wait for five working days so I don't know what will happen.  



4) Jokowi’s turn to solve the Papua question

Authors: Cillian Nolan and Sidney Jones, IPAC
Indonesia’s Papua, covering its two easternmost provinces, simmers with the highest levels of deadly violence — inter-ethnic, electoral, land-related and domestic — in the country. Home to a Melanesian and largely Christian indigenous population, it became part of Indonesia in 1969 after a highly contested referendum and has since been home to a low-level armed struggle for independence.

Papua’s diverse population, with more than 200 distinct indigenous ethnic groups (and a large population of migrants from elsewhere in Indonesia), struggles with some of the lowest development indicators in the country. Successive Indonesian administrations have failed to solve these problems or reduce the grievances that fuel the independence movement. This is despite the gradual ‘Papuanisation’ of the local government bureaucracy since 1999 and the implementation of limited special autonomy since 2001. Will Indonesia’s new President, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who made the region a special focus of his 2014 election campaign, do any better?
The drivers of Papuan grievances include an influx of non-Papuan Indonesians, a failure to address isolation and poor social services in remote highland communities, and the need for more equitable sharing of Papua’s vast natural resource wealth, including that derived from Freeport, the largest copper and gold mine in the world. There are also demands to acknowledge the violence and procedural shortcomings that accompanied the 1969 Act of Free Choice, to ensure more accountability for human rights violations, extortion and rent-seeking by security forces, and to improve governance without exacerbating inter-clan rivalries.
Successive governments have combined a ‘security approach’ and a ‘prosperity approach’ in different proportions. They have confronted the armed Free Papua Movement (OPM) with force and cracked down on non-violent pro-independence groups while simultaneously pouring in poorly targeted and supervised funds for ‘development’.
Jakarta policy-makers and abusive security forces are not the only source of the problem. Local Papuan elites have not helped by competing with each other for spoils. Over the past five years civil society groups have demanded a ‘dialogue’ with Jakarta but lacked the focused agenda to drive one. And while willing to meet with these groups, senior Indonesian government officials have also been wary of anything that smacks of negotiation with a separate party. This is especially the case after Indonesia’s experience with two other separatist areas: East Timor, which voted to break away in 1999, and Aceh, where a negotiated peace in 2005 led to the former guerrillas dominating local politics.
Jokowi’s predecessor, Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, tried several initiatives that were well intentioned but ultimately failed. One was the creation of a government unit intended to coordinate programs across ministries in Papua with a focus on improving education and infrastructure. Hampered by resistance from the bureaucracy and poor leadership, it was disbanded not long after Jokowi’s inauguration.
A second was a draft law on enhancing special autonomy, known as Otsus Plus, an effort to improve the 2001 law that after more than ten years had clearly failed to deliver benefits for Papuans. A draft law written by advisers to the two provincial governors focused too much on unrealistic increases in the value of central government transfers to Papua, but also included creative provisions on affirmative action for indigenous Papuans and protection for customary land and natural resource rights.
Proposals such as reserving smallholder plots in plantations, requiring resource investors to obtain the consent of indigenous communities and provide shares in compensation, and allowing communities to limit the in-migration of outsiders might all have restored a sense of meaningful local political autonomy absent from the 2001 law. But in the end, Otsus Plus also failed through a combination of disputes, delays and public anger over the lack of any consultation with civil society.
A third initiative in Yudhoyono’s second term was a series of meetings with the main advocacy group seeking dialogue, the Papuan Peace Network (JDP). The meetings were exploratory rather than substantive, producing no policy changes before Yudhoyono left office. Their main success was to secure acknowledgement that dialogue — however it might be defined — was an important tool in conflict resolution.
It is now Jokowi’s turn to look for solutions. But the situation on the ground is changing in a way that complicates matters for Indonesia’s new president.
Expanding palm-oil plantations and mines, legal and illegal, have brought in more non-Papuan migrants and increased Papuan migration across clan boundaries, sometimes bringing conflict in their wake. Local elections have pitted clans against one another, starting new feuds. The OPM has increased its attacks on soldiers and police, especially in the highland districts of Puncak Jaya and neighbouring Lanny Jaya. In response, the military and police increased their presence, adding a new police command in West Papua at the end of 2014. More and more new administrative districts have been carved out of existing ones in a way that threatens to further disperse the limited pool of capable civil servants.
Early proposals by Jokowi’s cabinet ministers have done little to signal a new approach. They include suggestions to revive the old unpopular policies of transmigration and to increase administrative division. Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who helped broker the Aceh peace, has a long-standing interest in working toward a ceasefire with the OPM but earlier failed attempts have now given way to other priorities. Without a coherent policy that would address Papua in all its complexity, many are concerned that the new president will be pressured by conservative advisers who stress the ‘security approach’ to Papua.
If the new administration wants concrete ideas, it could do worse than to look back at Otsus Plus and start a new conversation on how to ensure that future large-scale development of Papua’s vast natural resources does not crowd out Papuans themselves. In the meantime, the problems continue to fester.
Cillian Nolan and Sidney Jones are the Deputy Director and Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), Jakarta.
5) Elections in Papua may  cost Rp 300b
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, May 19 2015, 1:19 PM 

Regional elections scheduled to be held simultaneously in 11 regencies in Papua later this year may cost Rp 300 billion (US$22.8 million) as each regency needs between Rp 12 billion and Rp 45 billion to hold elections, a local election official has said.
Papua General Elections Commission’s (KPUD) legal affairs division member Tarwinto said on Tuesday that 11 regencies in Papua scheduled to hold regional elections simultaneously had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on election funding with the KPUD in their respective areas.
“The election budget needed by each regency will vary, depending on the size of its population and area,” said Tarwinto, adding that with the signing of the MoU, Papua was ready to hold simultaneous regional elections.
According to KPUD Papua data, Supiori has allocated Rp 12 billion for the election of its regional heads, making it the regency with the smallest election budget. Merauke has the biggest election budget with Rp 45 billion allocated.
Allocating Rp 42 billion, Yalimo has the third highest election budget, followed by Pegunungan Bintang (Rp 36 billion), Boven Digoel (Rp 35 billion), Asmat (Rp 31 billion), Nabire (Rp 30 billion) and Yahukimo and Waropen (Rp 25 billion each). Meanwhile, Memberamo Raya has allocated Rp 21 billion for the election while Keerom has allocated Rp 20 billion.
As regional election budgets were now available, Tarwinto said KPUD offices in the 11 regencies would recruit and inaugurate regional election committees. (ebf) (++++)
6) Border Surveillance Should be Tightened

Jayapura, Jubi – A Papuan concillor expressed concerned about the rise of marijuana trafficking in Papua, especially in Jayapura where the drug mostly comes from Papua New Guinea.
A member of the Papua Legislative Council’s Commission I on Political, Foreign Relations, Governance, Law and Human Rights , Tan Wie Long said to minimize the entry of cannabis from neighboring countries, surveillance on the Papua-PNG border needed to be tightened.
He said monitoring in the border area has so far been more focused on security.
“I hope the supervision will not only focus on the security aspect. Drugs are very dangerous for young generation. Marijuana from PNG is trafficked through unofficial entry or path that is not routinely monitored. Yet it can not be allowed. All parties must work together in order improve border control,” Tan Wie Long said via phone last week.
He said the rampant circulation of cannabis in Papua is very alarming and needs to be taken seriously by all related parties.
“Why is it so easy to enter Papua? This condition needs to be taken seriously. Do not let the future of the Papuan generation be destroyed because of drugs,” he said.
Previous members of the Parliament of Papua that also chairman of the National Anti-Drug Movement (Granat) Papua, Yan Ayomi said, marijuana circulating in Papua mostly entered through the land courier and sea of ​​PNG.
“It could even happen transactions at sea through fishing. This marijuana enjoyed by all circles. It’s just that we do not have data on the percentage distribution of cannabis in Papua every year, ” Yan Ayomi stated that time. (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)


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