Wednesday, July 22, 2015

1) East Timor’s former president Jose Ramos Horta says West Papua ‘part of Indonesia’

2) Situation in Tolikara Papua more conducive after riot

3) Officials Fear Backlash After Papua Mosque Burning
4) Criticism of BIN Over Tolikara Arson Misguided: Intelligence Chief
5) Tolikara incident: Police accused of circulating provocative letter

1) East Timors former president Jose Ramos Horta says West Papua part of Indonesia'

Posted about 6 hours ago

East Timor’s former president, Jose Ramos Horta, says that he does not think an independence campaign for the Indonesian province of West Papua will be successful.
"I don't believe in that," the now United Nations special representative told the ABC.
"Well everything is possible in the world," he added, "but I wouldn't advocate that. 
"It is very much a part of the Republic of Indonesia.
"Solutions for the betterment of the people of West Papua, ending any human rights abuses, economic, social exclusion of West Papuans have to be realised in the context of Indonesian sovereignty." 
Mr Ramos Horta's comments go against the calls of West Papua's pro-independence supporters who seek to separate the region from Indonesia.
East Timor struggled for decades for its own independence which it achieved in 2002.
"I believe that if anyone can help redressing the challenges and problems in West Papua would be [Indonesia's] president Widodo," Mr Ramos Horta said.
"I would urge West Papuan elites to seize on the opportunity with a new president to find the best possible arrangement between Jakarta and West Papua."
Meanwhile, Mr Ramos-Horta said he believed the relationship between Australia and East Timor was good but stressed there were differences when it came to the neighbouring countries' borders.
"Canberra, in a very simple manner, would like to see Timor Leste forgetting about wanting to have a maritime boundary," he said.
"Any international attempt at litigation, at arbitration could end today if Canberra were to signal to Timor Leste that let's sit and settle the maritime boundary, let's draw a median line."

2) Situation in Tolikara Papua more conducive after riot

Rabu, 22 Juli 2015 19:37 WIB | 550 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The situation in Karubaga in Tolikara, Papua province, is more stable now, after the incident that took place in the district on Friday, July 17, Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said here on Wednesday.

"I was there (in Tolikara) for a day, yesterday. It was peaceful. There was no problem at all. I met with all community members and shook hands with them," he stated after exchanging Eid greetings with President Joko Widodo and other cabinet members at the State Palace.

He added that the TNI (military) and community members worked together to clean up the debris of the kiosks and a house of prayer (mosque) that were burned down during the attack.

In addition, interfaith leaders witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony to rebuild the structures.

"We are now concentrating on rebuilding the kiosks and the musholla to make the economy run again," Kumolo remarked.

During the meeting, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) ordered the police to continue to investigate the case thoroughly.

On the occasion, TNI Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo emphasized the need to ensure that such an incident does not recur in the future.

All followers of a religion must respect adherents of other religions and the countrys diversity because the movement to fight for the independence of Indonesia was based on the concept of "unity in diversity."

"As the nation was built on the ideology of Unity In Diversity, (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika) we must not allow national harmony to be affected by such an incident. I think religious leaders have already stressed how we must strengthen our unity to build the nation," he pointed out.

After exchanging Eid greetings, President Joko Widodo gathered a number of ministers and security leaders in a limited meeting to discuss the Tolikara incident.

At the meeting, they called for the enforcement of law with regard to the incident and the holding of dialogs with local religious, traditional and community leaders to calm the tension in Tolikara.

Moreover, Jokowi also ordered for funding of Rp1 billion to be extended as assistance to rebuild the burned facilities in the district.

According to General Nurmantyo, Jokowi is coordinating with the regional military commander to ensure that 70 kiosks are rebuilt and 14 new ones are constructed to accommodate local inhabitants.

"A musholla will be built on a plot of land belonging to the sub-district military command, upon the agreement of the district head. All work will be completed within a month so the economy can come into operation again. They will be built like before,” he affirmed. 
3) Officials Fear Backlash After Papua Mosque Burning
By Jakarta Globe on 07:42 pm Jul 21, 2015

According to Papua Police, 58 shops were destroyed in the flames on Friday, apart from a small mosque, while 211 people were left homeless. (Antara Photo/Trisnadi)

Security across the country has been raised as provocative messages spread online in the aftermath of the burning down of a small mosque in Karubaga, in Papua’s Tolikara district last week.
Several firebrand clerics have even been calling on Muslims to wage jihad against Christians in Papua, and at least one church in Central Java has already received threats.
Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists speculated that the burning of the mosque, which occurred just as local Muslims were preparing to perform their Idul Fitri prayers on Friday, was the work of “intelligence agents.”
The possible motives, the theorists suggested, varied from further destabilizing the restive province for the benefit of security rackets to fanning intolerance and spreading conflict elsewhere in the archipelago.
In 2001, a wave of sectarian conflicts across the country paved the way for the impeachment of president Abdurrahman Wahid, better known as Gus Dur.
The Jakarta Police and the Jakarta Military Command on Tuesday met with leaders of various Muslim organizations to try and prevent such provocative and speculative messages from spreading.
“We must examine the incident in Tolikara rationally and wisely, putting forward unity and tolerance,” military commander Maj. Gen. Agus Sutomo said.
Agus added that he believed various groups across the capital must work together with security officials “to monitor, communicate and proactively take preventive measures so people wouldn’t get provoked.”
‘Isolated incident’
The chief of Jakarta Police, Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, who previously led the Papua Police, said the burning of the mosque was an isolated incident.
“Papuans are very moderate and tolerant in religious affairs. There has never been any sectarian conflict there. Many churches [in Papua] were also quick to condemn the incident,” he said.
Tito, a former chief of the National Police’s counterterrorism unit Densus 88, told the Muslim groups attending Tuesday’s meeting to stop using the incident to fan hatred and intolerance.
“This is a very sensitive issue. We hope [Muslim leaders] can calm their followers down and examine the Tolikara incident wisely. We don’t want people to take the wrong step based on a misunderstanding of what happened,” he continued.
“We will also monitor [activities of] radical groups that often commit acts of terrorism.”
Police chiefs in other provinces have taken similar measures, trying to convince local Muslim leaders of the need to spread messages of peace in the wake of the incident.
Dozens questioned 
The deputy chief of the Papua Police, Brig. Gen. Rudolf Alberth Rodja, has said the mosque was burned by accident and that no Muslims were hurt.
“The mosque was not burned down [intentionally]. There was a riot and a few stores were set on fire and the mosque, which is located nearby, caught fire as a result,” he said.
“The mosque was also empty at the time. Local Muslims safely performed their Idul Fitri prayers on a field near a military compound. When the attack happened, officials immediately secured the area.”
Rudolf said there were flyers, purportedly from the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), which barred Muslims from performing Idul Fitri prayers en masse because the holiday coincided with a national conference held by GIDI.
The church group has however denied issuing such flyers.
President Joko Widodo’s chief of staff, Luhut Panjaitan, has provided account of the incident, saying that several Christians were offended by the use of loudspeakers near their church.
Prior to Idul Fitri, which marks the end of Ramadan, Muslims traditionally celebrate by chanting prayers, an activity that often lasts all night and into the morning.
Rudolf said whatever the motive, police have recorded some individuals provoking a group of 200 strong, pelting stones and setting fires to shops owned Muslim migrants.
“Including a shop selling gasoline. This is what caused fire to rage and get out of control,” he said. “Police have questioned 32 witnesses … No one has been arrested yet. As instructed by the president, we must act carefully to prevent [violence] from spreading.”
Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rudolf Patrige said 58 shops were destroyed in the flames, while 211 people were left homeless.
Tolikara Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Suroso said police were still investigating the origins of the provocative flyers.
“The GIDI’s president never sanctioned such a restriction,” he said.
Regulations scrutinized 
Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said that his office was seeking clarification from district chief Usman Wanimbo about several discriminatory regulations in the province (perda).
“I personally have repealed 139 perda [across the country], particularly those that are against pluralism,” he said.
Tjahjo was referring to a perda cited in a press release from GIDI president the Rev. Dorman Wandikmbo. In the statement, Dorman said several GIDI youths were merely reminding the Muslims that according to a perda all religious activities must take place indoors, without the use of loudspeakers.
The youths, Dorman claimed, were protesting peacefully before they were shot at by security officials. One of the 12 youths who were shot died.
The church had also sent a letter to Suroso, the Tolikara Police chief, two weeks before the incident reminding him of the perda.
Usman denied the existence of such regulation during a meeting with the minister in Jakarta on Tuesday but acknowledged that of another discriminatory regulation, which bars other Christian denominations (aside from GIDI) from establishing a church in Tolikara.
“Yes, there is such a regulation. It is the [local] people who forced us not to allow any other denomination from entering,” he said.
The regulation was passed by the local Regional House of Representatives in 2013, Usman explained.
The Home Ministry’s director general for politics and governance, Soedarmo, said the ministry has not endorsed the regulation, which is needed for the perda to enter into force.
“Exclusivity will create resistance from other religious groups. We want the [Tolikara] government to review the perda. Especially since the minister has not signed off on it,” he told Usman.
Neles Tebay, a Catholic priest and Papuan community leader, called the attack “unacceptable” and said it could not be justified by any religious person.
Neles, who also coordinates the Papuan Peace Network (JDP), said the attack has no place in Papuan culture.
“Our cultural traditions teach us that Papuans are not allowed to disturb places seen as sacred,” he said. “When you do disturb a holy place, according to Papuan beliefs, there will be consequences in the lives of those who interfered in that place.”
“As a Papuan, I ask for forgiveness for this event that violated the norms of our tradition [adat],” Neles said.
Calling for restraint, the priest also urged police to quickly get to the bottom of the case, finding not only those responsible for the attack, but also establishing what triggered it.
The freedom of religion in Indonesia has in recent years been under pressure from both hard-line groups and even government officials, with minority groups like Shiites, the Ahmadiyah sect and various Christian denominations usually bearing the brunt.
Nusron Wahid, general chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama’s youth wing GP Ansor, said that a lesson can be learned from the Tolikara incident for all of Indonesia, namely that a tyranny of the majority is not acceptable anywhere.
“There has to be empathy. In mainly Islamic areas, the Muslim majority cannot just do whatever it wants, and neither can the non-Muslims in their areas,” he said.

4) Criticism of BIN Over Tolikara Arson Misguided: Intelligence Chief

By Jakarta Globe on 05:41 pm Jul 22, 2015
Category Front PageNewsReligion
Jakarta. Indonesia’s newly inaugurated intelligence chief, Sutiyoso, has dismissed criticism that his agency failed to prevent a small-scale sectarian incident in Tolikara district, Papua last week in which a mosque was torched.
Sutiyoso claimed that the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) had detected signs of religious tension between the mostly indigenous Christian majority and the predominantly migrant Muslim community since July 11, six days before a group of 200 men attacked shops and houses belonging to Muslims during the Idul Fitri celebration.
“BIN’s job is to provide information. And we have provided [intelligence] on July 11,” Sutiyoso said after attending a meeting between President Joko Widodo and senior security officials at the State Palace on Wednesday.
“The criticisms were misdirected,” he said. “These critics don’t understand BIN’s roles and functions.
“Police were guarding [the local Muslim community] on July 17. It wouldn’t happen without information from us.
“BIN is not an executive, it’s job is to provide information.”
Sutiyoso stressed, however, that his remarks did not mean that the local police were doing a bad job with the intelligence they were provided, saying that the local police have very limited resources.
“A small town like that, the officers are limited. There are only 42 officers there,” he said.
Sutiyoso added that critics and opponents of the president were quick to heap blame on the government, possibly to deligitimize Joko’s leadership.
“There are those who are using this incident to attack Jokowi, attack the government, me as BIN chief and attack the National Police chief [Badrodin Haiti],” he said referring to the president by his popular nickname.
Sutiyoso has also instructed BIN officials across the country to anticipate a possible backlash in the aftermath of the incident, “particularly in areas which have radical groups.”
Joko on Wednesday met with Sutiyoso, Badrodin, military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, Coordinating Minister on Security Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin and Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo.
Teten Masduki, a member of the president’s communication team, said Joko issued three instructions in light of the incident at the meeting.
“Firstly, [Joko said] the law must be upheld,” Teten said.
The president also said officials in Jakarta and Tolikara must work together to rebuild the damaged facilities. The central government has earmarked Rp 1 billion for the reconstruction and military personnel will assist with the work.
“The president will stage dialogues with religious, tribal and community leaders in Papua to calm the situation there,” Teten continued.
Regulation scrutinized
Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo said his office has formed a team to investigate the existence of a regional regulation that supposedly bars Muslims from performing mass prayers like the one on Idul Fitri.
The regulation was cited in flyers circulated to Muslims in Tolikara, purportedly from the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), the largest religious group in the district. GIDI has denied issuing the flyer but confirmed that its members were there to stop Muslims from violating the said regulation.
Tolikara district chief Usman Wanimbo denied the existence of the regulation during a meeting with Tjahjo in Jakarta on Tuesday.
However, Usman acknowledged another discriminatory regulation, which bars Christian denominations aside from GIDI from establishing a church in Tolikara.
Tjahjo said his office will send a team to Tolikara and examine documents related to all regional regulations.
“We have asked this to the district chief and the leaders of the regional house of representatives.
“They said they will scour through their files but even they couldn’t find [the regulation] because their filing system is a mess,” he said.
“All regional regulations must be sent to the Home Affairs ministry so we can verify whether it is in line with the Constitution and other [national] laws and regulations,” he said.
“I have repealed 139 regional regulations but none of it is from Tolikara. We have certainly never heard of such regulation let alone signed off on it.”
Tjahjo said the district could face an administrative sanction for enforcing a law that has not secured ministerial approval — a step necessary to get a regional regulation to enter into force.


5) Tolikara incident: Police accused of circulating provocative letter

Suara Papua - July 20, 2015

Oktovianus Pogau, Tolikara -- The president of the Indonesian Evangelical Church (Gereja Injili di Indonesia, GIDI), Reverend Dorman Wandikmbo insists that the letter issued by the regional GIDI in the Tolikara highland district of Papua that has been circulating in the mass media and social networks is forgery or hoax.

"From the beginning I have explained that the letter being circulated by a certain group is a forgery, and the actors behind the circulation of the forged letter need to be found. Because on account of its leak in the social media is in fact stirring things up", said Wandikmbo when contacted by Suara Papua on Monday July 20.

According to Wandikmbo, the GIDI central board must be advised of all letters that are issued by and are received in areas served by GIDI churches.

"My signature is not on the letter, nor is there the signature of the chairperson of the seminar organising committee and the KKR [Spiritual Awakening Service], so we can say that the letter is a forgery, and untrue, so because of this I am asking that people not be provoked", he asserted.

Wandikmbo suspects that the source of the forged letter is the security forces, namely the Indonesian police (Polri), because it appears from the letter that it is addressed to the police.

"Please check with and ask the Tolikara chief of police and his officers, also ask the Papuan regional police, we were surprised at how only one hour after the incident the letter was already being circulated in the media, it is a manipulation by the security forces", he asserted.

According to Wandikmbo the internet and cell phone network in Tolikara is very poor, so what surprised him is that the letter and the photographs could be circulated so quickly.

"We suspect there are people who planned this scenario, and in fact the letter is intended to legitimise and at the same time justify brutal actions by the TNI [Indonesian military] and Polri who shot 12 youths from the church, this approach cannot be justified", he said.

When the media questioned a statement by the head of the Tolikara regional department of religion, Yusak Mauri, on the authenticity of the letter, Wandikmbo asked which letter Mauri had declared was authentic, because the regent and himself as the president of the GIDI had already given permission to the Muslim community to celebrate the Idul Fitri holidays at the end of the fasting month.

"The letter that we knew about contained an appeal not to use loudspeakers or megaphones during prayers because it could disturb the 2,000 or so youth taking part in the church activities and all parties were aware of this appeal".

"For almost 30 years Islamic houses of prayer in Tolikara have always [been allowed to] use loudspeakers, only this time round did we forbade it because there were thousands of youths from churches outside of Tolikara, the local regent who is a leading GIDI church member has also provided assistance to the Muslim community", said Wandikmbo.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "Surat Edaran Ternyata Palsu, Presiden GIDI: Tangkap Pelaku Penyebaran!"]



INDOLEFT News service

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