Saturday, June 13, 2015

1) ANALYSIS: MSG Solidarity To Be Tested

2) There Should Be No Discrimination in Papua, Councilor Says

3) No More Other Team to Investigate Paniai Case
4) Jayapura Regency Faces Shortage of Teachers

5) Seven Employees Reportedly Taken Hostage in Lanny Jaya

6) Kamoro People Resist Freeport Smelter Developmenon their Ancestral Land

7)  What the Kamoro are opposing: briefing on planned industrial developments for Timika


1) ANALYSIS: MSG Solidarity To Be Tested

 by Nemani Delaibatiki, SUVA
June 13

The   Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in the Solomons next week is crucial in many respects.
It will, for one thing, determine the future of the MSG solidarity.
Originally set up as a voice of the Melanesian bloc, the MSG unity has been found wanting on some issues.
There has been no clear position by the MSG on the issue of West Papua and the role of New Zealand and Australia in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Tagged to this is the MSG position on the future of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
The importance of this Honiara meeting is underscored by the fact that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will lead the Fijian delegation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola usually represents Fiji. He will also attend as part of the delegation.
West Papua
It is generally known that MSG members have different positions on West Papua. Vanutau supports the struggle by some Papuans for independence from Indonesia. The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), the newly-formed West Papuan co-ordinating body which comprised the three main resistance groups, namely Federal Republic of West Papua, West Papua National Parliament and West Papua National Coalition for Liberation submitted their application for MSG membership in Port Vila, in February.
From Fiji’s perspective, the growing relationship with Indonesia on the diplomatic, trade and economic fronts is a major consideration. Given Indonesia’s stringent position on West Papua and the ULMWP’s equally strong stand, it would not be an easy decision for Fiji. This is after Fiji was instrumental in getting Indonesia admitted as an observer at the MSG.
Papua New Guinea is changing its position from the past that West Papua was an integral part of Indonesia. It used to be reluctant to talk about alleged human rights abuses or on behalf of Melanesian separatists.
In a major policy shift in February this year, PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill promised to do more to speak out on behalf of Melanesians in West Papua.
“Sometimes we forget our own families, our own brothers, especially those in West Papua,” Mr O’Neill said.
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka says the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government has decided to maintain the last government’s position to go along with a united stand on the West Papua’s bid for full membership of the MSG.
Minister Tozaka said the MSG would make a united stand on the question of West Papua’s bid for membership adding, as chair of the MSG meeting next week, it could not just make decisions on an ad-hoc basis.
He said the coalition government had decided to maintain the last government’s position to go along with a united MSG stand.
Fiji may struggle to get other MSG members to endorse its views on NZ’s and Australia’s roles in the PIF because they still depend on them for aid.
Fiji wants NZ and Australia to relinquish their membership of PIF and become donor partners.
There should be no problem with PIDF because MSG members see it as a development agent and a voice for the small island nations.
Fiji is likely to get full support on its position on climate change.
2) There Should Be No Discrimination in Papua, Councilor Says
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Legislative Council’s speaker reminded all elements of society not to create divisions in Papua.
“From now on, there is no longer the term of mountain, coastal, immigrants and others. All the people who live on the land of Papua are the creation of God that must be protected. We are all family and there is no difference on this land, ” Yunus Wonda stated on Thursday (11/6/2015).
“Everyone who lives on this land has the same right to enjoy the development in Papua. And now our task is to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere together in society, “he said.
“If among fellow Papuans could live in harmony and peace, then they can also live harmony with non- Papuans. How good and pleasant it would be if everyone lives in unity,” he said. (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)
3) No More Other Team to Investigate Paniai Case
Jayapura, Jubi – The Special Committee of Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) on Human Rights continues to encourage the completion of an investigation into shootings that killed four high school students and wounded dozens of civilians in Enarotali, Paniai on December 8, 2014.
DPRP said it does not want a rival team formed by another institution.
The chairman of the Special Committee on human rights, Laurenzus Kadepa, said all parties should support the efforts of the completion of the case especially the various efforts made by the National Commission on Human Rights.
“I have communicated to the National Commission on Human Rights ( Komnas HAM), and they had recommended the establishment of an ad hoc team or Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM).
Komnas HAM stated Paniai case is of serious violations that should not have a rival team formed by an institution or any specific country, ” Kadepa said via phone on Thursday (11/6/2015).
He said, if such continues, when the case can be completed and how long the victims and their families have to wait for justice.
“Special Committee of DPRP on Human Rights requested all institutions support the work of the National Commission on Human Rights, which has formed an investigation team to Paniai, and then recommended the establishment of adhoc teams or KPP HAM.
” All state agencies and institutions, including the TNI / Polri should appreciate and support the efforts of the National Commission on Human Rights,” he said.
Six months after the bloody case, there was also no clarity who the perpetrators behind these actions. Various state agencies and institutions have formed a team to investigate into Panai, yet there was no result.
One of the tribe youth Mee, Luke Gobay to Jubi few days ago, said all parties including religious leaders, tribal leaders, community leaders and community need to support the efforts of Special Committee of DPRP on human rights and National Commission on Human Rights.
“All parties need to support the resolution of the case, and KPP HAM Commission, so that this issue can be brought to the court,” Lukas Gobay said at that time. (Arjuna Pademme)
4) Jayapura Regency Faces Shortage of Teachers
Sentani, Jubi – Jayapura regency is facing a shortage of teachers in the various schools with only 234 people available, said the head of the education and teaching department.
He said the lack of teachers is because many private schools have opened without having staff teachers.
“As a result civil servant teachers are also teaching at private schools,” department head Alpius Toam told the Jubi in Simporo village on Thursday (11/6/2015 ).
“Teachers who are civil servants are forced to do their duties at private schools as the foundations that own the schools do not have teachers. Therefore he hoped that the schools run by the foundation to provide teacher before school opens, ” he added.
Meanwhile, one of elementary teachers Bernadus.T, admitted that school in Simporo village still need teachers . The students often come to school, play and then go home due to no teacher in class.
“The school is not far from the city but is lacking of teachers. As a result, we are forced to teac in two classes in a day,” he explained. (Engel Wally/ Tina)
5) Seven Employees Reportedly Taken Hostage in Lanny Jaya
Jayapura, Jubi – Seven employees working for PT. AS Jaya have been taken hostage by a group of people in Lanny Jaya Regency on Wednesday (19/6/2015), police and a source told Jubi on Thursday (11/6/2015).
“The scene is around Balingga Sub-district, Lanny Jaya. The perpetrators were approximately 20 people who alleged GM’s group. The employers are Daniel Duma (36 years old), Soni Barama (22), Suryanto Saraba (30), Desri Pailin (22), Danunan alias Danias Puya, Giriton Tabuni (24), and Biasa Tabuni (23),” said the informant, who declined to be named, through a short message.
According to him, the incident occurred when the victims conducted on location survey for road construction project. They were confronted by a group of people and had no chance to escape. But there’s no information about who did it and what is their purpose. “The hostage has no connection with politic or ransom to Lanny Jaya Local Government. It is still under further investigation,” the informant said.
Papua Police Spokesperson Senior Commissionaire Patrige Renwarin confirmed the incident. However, he said the police were still investigating. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

6) Kamoro People Resist Freeport Smelter Developmenon their Ancestral Land


PT Freeport Indonesia is planning to build a smelter in Mimika, in Papua, but this plan has met with opposition from the Kamoro indigenous people because their ancestral land will become even more polluted by the company’s waste. Their environment has already been destroyed by mine tailings from Freeport’s ongoing operation.
And the plans are not only to build a smelter but also a fertilizer plant, cement factory, power station and industrial fishing operation It would be a major industrial zone.
“The indigenous people have lived with an extraordinary trauma for decades. Mine tailings have spread over thousands of hectares, leaving the land destroyed. The river area has been polluted to the point that five villages have been moved to other areas”, said John Nakiaya, a representative of the Kamoro Indigenous Consultative Organisation (LEMASKO) in Jakarta on Saturday (6/6/15)
He said that Freeport’s mine waste has devastated river estuaries which have become much more shallow. Many fish are dead, or their meat contains toxins. Thousands of hectares of mangroves haave been destroyeed “We are forced to consume fish and other marine life which is actually polluted by the mine tailings”.
He said that there no-one from the government or the company ever came and explained their plans to build a smelter. That means that there has not been any community involvement in putting together plans.
“Many of the Kamoro indigenous people are getting sick because of decades of exposure to mine waste. The rate of miscarriage amongst pregnant women has increased. The same goes for babies born with disabilities”, he said.
He urged the government to cancel their plan to build a smelter. “Why do they keep on building on Kamoro land, which has suffered for decades because of the tailings from Freeport?”
The Kamoro people’s ancestral land is a coastal area rich in mangroves, sago palms and fish. The main way they sustain themselves is through gathering products of these ecosystems. If the factory development goes ahead it will represent a serious threat to their livelihood.
Currently, he says the people have held a sasi ritual. This ritual is to show that the land, mangrove forest and coastal areas must not be disturbed.
Muhnur Satyahaprabu, a lawyer with the Public Interest Lawyers Network stated that the case of the Kamoro people proves that the government does not understand how to protect indigenous peoples.
“In all sorts of places from Aceh to Papua, the same problems keep on occurring. It proves that the government does not understand its obligation to protect the indigenous people”.
The government, he said, imposes their own preferred development model. However, the number of agrarian and environmental conflicts keep increasing, year after year. The government has never taken up this as a matter which needs evaluation, in order to audit development systems in different areas.
“In all kinds of development projects, they always tell communities their situation will improve because they will be given jobs. But wherever you look, communities near mines are never rich. They are poor. This must become an argument for stopping developments such as this.
Actually, Papua’s natural environment is in good condition. It should really be protected and defended.
Walhi’s national campaign manager Edo Rakhman said that coastal mangroves must be protected because of their ecological function. The presidential instructions establishing a moratorium on permits for primary forest and peatland also stipulate that this area cannot be used except for study, education and conservation.
“I think because of this background situation it makes a lot of sense for the indigenous people to reject this development. It is the source of their livelihood. The government can’t just decide to change ecosystems into industrial zones like that”.
He said that Walhi was pushing for the government to carry out an environmental audit on the whole process surrounding Freeport to date. “From the point of view of supporting downstream industry, it is true a smelter must be built. But it doesn’t have to violate and ignore indigenous people’s rights”.
The government, he said, must ensure that development in Papua is grounded in local and cultural characteristics. “Don’t just base it on what global industry needs or asks for. Don’t just build new infrastructure without thinking about people’s needs. I think that the Papuan people surely want progress but it has to be in line with their wishes”.
Iwan Nurdin, the General Secretary of the Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPU) expressed a similar sentiment. He said that at first, building a smelter sounds like a good idea. However, it will adversely affect the Kamoro people
“They have always lived from gathering food. They own the largest area of mangrove forest in Asia. Their lives depend on fish and sago palms. But mining waste has caused problems for them for years.”
With the tailing problem still unresolved, now their land is threatened by this smelter construction. “That’s something which in truth will bring them no benefit”.
Iwan suggested that the government should study their plans and look for more suitable place. “Don’t just look in places where it might be convenient but would cause problems for many people. That’s Jakarta’s version of development for Papua. In Timika they want to build a ‘mall’ of industry. There’s oil palm, fertilizer, a power station, the Freeport smelter, the port and so on”.
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7)  What the Kamoro are opposing: briefing on planned industrial developments for Timika

The Kamoro indigenous people living near Poumako port, Timika have had to live with the effects of toxic tailings from the Freeport mine for decades. Now that a plan has emerged to build a smelter to process the copper and gold the mine produces, they have stated that enough is enough, and have held a sasi ritual so that no company can take any more of their ancestral land. This week, members of the Kamoro Indigenous Consultative Organisation (Lemasko) have been in Jakarta to talk about their opposition to the plans.
What exactly are the plans for the smelter and accompanying industrial zone? Here’s a background of what’s been talked about over the last few months:
A smelter is being built because of regulations issued in 2012 implementing provisions in the 2009 mining law that prohibit the export of unprocessed ore or other mine products. That meant that Freeport couldn’t export copper concentrate as it had previously been doing, but would have to process it on Indonesian soil. Freeport’s preference was to build the smelter in Gresik in East Java, adjacent to the country’s only existing copper smelter, presumably because the better infrastructure in Java would reduce costs.
However, there was a swift response from others, notably the Papua provincial government, who believed that the new development should be in Papua instead, ostensibly to contribute to the Papuan local economy.  In March this year a delegation including the provincial governor went to China to meet potential investors who might build a smelter in Timika, on land near the village of Poumako, need PT Freeport Indonesia’s current export port.
However, in their enthusiasm, they forgot to ask the local Kamoro people, who hold indigenous land rights in the area. It turns out that they weren’t interested in any more industrial development that would further destroy the forest, mangroves, rivers and sea that their livelihood depends on. So on 21st March local people in the area held a sasi ritual, using their customary law to prevent anyone from using their land for industrial development.
Investors have shown interest; several names were mentioned in a government focus group discussion into accelerating the development of an industrial zone in Mimika in February 2015, as reported on the Coordinating ministry for the economy’s website:
Plans for smelter development in Papua would use SKS technology from Canada which has been developed by ENFI, a subsidiary of the Non Ferrous China Company. NFC has already built smelters in various countries and this technology is a “continuous process” system, so the heat generated can be used to generate electricity. The copper cathode produced will be sold for export, but if there is domestic demand that will be the priority.
…Aside from that, the Papua smelter company would be supported by the Investment Bank of America1 , and the process of building the smelter and refinery by NFC would be financed by the Bank of China.
Other media reports in April and May claim that the Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe has signed a cooperation agreement with a different Chinese company, Felix Gold  (in some reports Golden Felix) which operates a smelter in Anhui province, China.2

These reports are not necessarily contradictory, as the two Chinese companies have different interests – Felix Gold would want to operate the smelter whilst NFC is principally engaged in the technical and engineering aspects of smelter design. It appears that no formal contracts have been signed with either company.

Not just a smelter.

It is not only a smelter which is planned for the Kamoro people’s land, but other industrial development as well. In the report of the focus group discussion held in late February into accelerating the development of an industrial zone in Mimika, the Co-ordinating ministry for the economy notes the following:
There is a plan to develop an industrial zone in Timika, Papua, to include a smelter for PT Freeport Indonesia (fertilizer industry, cement industry), industry based on plantation products, fish-processing industry and forest products industry.  In the meantime, the government needs to prepare facilities for the industrial zone development, to include:
(a) adequate infrastructure with all facilities integrated (internal roads, electricity, clean water, telecommunications, waste management, and logistics such as a dry port, seaport, airport, access road network);
(b) supporting the growth of priority industries (commercial areas, research and development, vocational training centres);
(c) supporting a quality working life (housing, education, healthcare, social, sport and recreation).
Big plans indeed.
Much of this industry is connected with the mine in some way. For many years, there has been talk of using the tailings from Freeport’s mine to make cement. The rationale for a fertilizer plant is to make use of the sulphuric acid which is a waste product from the smelter. A power station would be needed to provide electricity for the smelter.
The other proposed industrial developments are concerned with processing products of other resource industries in the area: A large oil palm plantation, PT Pusaka Agro Lestari3  is operating nearby, and there are at least two more oil palm companies in Mimika Regency that are trying to obtain permits (PT Tunas Agung Sejahtera and PT Prima Sarana Graha). The Arafura Sea is also one of the richest fishing grounds in Indonesia, with several industrial fishing operations at other ports in the area.
Joko Widodo’s government is on a mission to develop Eastern Indonesia. They have issued a National Medium Term Development Plan which outlines their ambitions in the period to 2019. That plan defines a number of strategic development zones. The industrial plan for Timika is one of three new industrial areas, the others being at Bongrang on the shores of Lake Sentani near Jayapura, and Arar near Sorong in West Papua province, connected with the petrochemical and mineral processing industries. An integrated economic development zone (KAPET) in Biak (originally established in 1996) and an Economic Development Zone (KPE) in Wamena are also mentioned, as well, of course, as MIFEE, the huge industrial agriculture project in Merauke.

Powering Development

If the Timika industrial zone is actually built, the smelter, refinery, cement works and so on are all power-hungry industries. There is talk of a gas or coal fired power station being built in the industrial zone to meet those power needs. However, it is likely that this further industrialisation would be a key incentive for pushing through with the planned Urumuka dam, which is also mentioned in the medium term development plan as part of the infrastructure needed to support the industrial zones.
This dam, which would be on the Urumuka River as it flowed down from the highlands in Deiyai regency to the West of Timika, would generate 300MW of energy, but would likely displace the Mee indigenous communities in the area and is almost certain to cause problems between the military and the Papuan population, as the Papuan conflict is particularly accentuated in the highland areas. The dam has been planned for years, and one of the reasons it hasn’t gone ahead is because of corruption.  In May the head of the Energy and Mineral Resources Board for Papua, Bangun Manurung, suggested that another reason was down to a lack of demand for the energy, but the smelter plan would solve that.  Also, in February, Freeport reportedly promised $100,000 towards the costs of the dam.
Joko Widodo’s government appears to be pushing full steam ahead to bring industrial development to Papua. On 21st May this year, he signed Presidential Decision 16/2015 which created a team to study natural resource management policy to develop the Papuan economy consisting of nine ministers, the two provincial governors and heads of relevant bodies.
When he first took office, Jokowi seemed receptive to engaging with the Papuan people to try to address some of the underlying problems in Papua. In recent months he has appeared unwilling or unable to commit even to the process of dialogue which parts of the movement in Papua has been pushing for, and has instead repeatedly claimed that economic development will sort out all the problems.
However, the totally understandable opposition of the Kamoro people to a development that will further pollute their environment and make their means of livelihood even more difficult, in the same way as the Marind people opposing MIFEE plantations further down the coast, shows that this development approach, as it is currently framed, is actually just bringing new problems to Papua, rather than solving the old ones.

  1. Indonesian original:  Bank Investasi dari Amerika Serikat. It is unclear whether the author is referring to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is the investment banking arm of the Bank of America, or some other unspecified US-based investment bank.  
  2. Neither ‘Felix Gold’ nor ‘Golden Felix’ come up in internet searches, indicating that there are unlikely to be current operations on the ground under those names. It may be that the namesare connected with the Tongling Non-Ferrous Metals Group. Reports indicate that the delegation from Papua which visited China went to Tongling Prefecture where the TNMG  is based, however it must be stressed that this is only speculation.  
  3. Although this plantation was closed down by the Bupati in December 2014 because of the flooding it was causing and other adverse impacts for the Kamoro people, the local government’s legal position was not strong enough and the company was able to restart operations  
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