Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1) For West Papua, Indonesia’s Entry Into MSG Stirs Up Concerns About Hidden Agenda

2) Discourse on Papua dialogue restarts

3) Melanesia’s New Voices speak up

4) It’s Better Die Speaking Up For Independence, KNPB Says
5) KomnasHAM should Immediately Investigate the Dogiyai Case


1) For West Papua, Indonesia’s Entry Into MSG Stirs Up Concerns About Hidden Agenda

Jakarta. The admission of Indonesia into the Melanesian Spearhead Group  last week has sparked concerns over the future of central government policy in the West Papua region, analysts say.
“My first reaction of the inclusion of Indonesia to the MSG is that Indonesia needs to clarify its motives. Is it trying to dilute the position of the MSG over Papua? Or is it about cooperation?” said Yuyun Wahyuningrum, a senior adviser on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and human rights with the Jakarta-based Human Rights Working Group.
Indonesia’s bid to join the MSG, an intergovernmental organization composed of representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia, has been interpreted as a preemptive move in halting discussion on West Papuan efforts for self-determination.
“The United Liberation Movement for West Papua [ULMWP] expects that the MSG could be a platform where discussion on human rights, sovereignty issues and development concerns in the Papuan provinces could be raised,” Yuyun said.
“But having Indonesia’s leverage in MSG may be a stumbling block in addressing Papuan issues on a regional platform,”  Yuyun said.
The ULMWP, which had also been seeking membership to the MSG, was ultimately granted observer status to the regional body.
Rafendi Djamin, representative of Indonesia to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) believes that Indonesia’s admission into the MSG could lead to the greater involvement of Melanesian states in discussing issues relevant to human rights abuses in Papua.
“The MSG needs to work with Indonesia to establish a dialogue between Papua and Jakarta that works towards a better future in terms of protecting human rights and development,” Rafendi said.
Indonesia’s entrance into the MSG marks the culmination of months of heightened national interest in the Melanesian region.
In March, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi embarked on back-to-back visits to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji  ̶  three countries that had earlier threatened to recognize West Papua as an occupied member state of the MSG.
Moreover, President Joko Widodo visited MSG member state PNG in May, calling for closer ties with the country.
Human rights and development
According to Rafendi, issues of human rights abuses and slow economic development within Papua remain critical in addressing tensions in the region.
“The reports from last year have been very concerning, in that they’ve raised a lot of issues. The fact is that some fundamental principles and freedoms that are enjoyed in other parts of Indonesia are not enjoyed in Papua,” Rafendi said.
“People are being arrested for expressing for their opinions,” Rafendi added.
According to a 2015 report by Amnesty International, an estimated 60 political activists from the Papua region and Maluku province remain imprisoned by the national government.
Efforts to forge a solution between the central government and dissenting political factions in West Papua have been complicated by the slow progress of development and economic growth in the region. 
“A lack of economic development triggers a lot of dissatisfaction among political groups in West Papua,” Rafendi said.
“You have a region with huge economic potential, but a lot of work needs to be done to make sure the benefits are felt all throughout the province.”
Tomi Soetjipto, communication analyst with the United Nations Development Program, notes Papua’s slow progress in development across multiple indicators.
“The Papua region is rich in natural resources, but in terms of human development, it is lagging behind other provinces in Indonesia,” Tomi said on Monday.
“Take a look at poverty figures in the Papua and West Papua provinces. They are the worst out of all of Indonesia’s 34 provinces.”
According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the percentage of poor people in Papua and West Papua stands at 31.53 and 27.14 percent respectively, distinctly higher than the national average of 11.47 percent. 
Meanwhile, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) findings claim that West Papua has the highest rate of HIV infection in the country, at 15 times Indonesia’s national average.
“When you have a population that has decent access to health, you’ll have a positive ripple effect,” said Tomi.
“But if you have a population that doesn’t have access to healthcare, you’ll see a negative ripple effect, with things like high mortality rates and child deaths becoming more common.”
Despite setbacks and slow progress, central government leaders must resolve to improve living standards in Papua, as a means of securing a more constructive relationship between local leaders and Jakarta.
“Desire for political self-determination is strong and is fueled by the sense among Papuans that they are treated badly,” said Michael Bachelard, former Indonesia correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“Economic solutions would reduce some of that.”
Policy contradiction
If equitable change is to be brought to West Papua, central government officials must work towards consolidating their policies into a consistent plan of action, analysts say.
Michael Bachelard cites opposition from within the president’s camp as being an obstacle in shifting policy on Papua, saying: “Jokowi is genuine about opening up, but the hardliners in his own cabinet and in the military will try to stop him.”
“Jokowi will need to follow through and be firm if he wants his policy enacted properly,” Bachelard added, referring to the president by his popular nickname.
Recent months have been marked by a series of contradictory statements regarding central government policy in Papua, confusing efforts to ease tensions in the region.
On May 10, Joko issued a landmark statement inviting foreign correspondents to Papua, reversing years of press restrictions.
“Starting from today, foreign journalists are allowed and free to come to Papua, just as they can [visit] other regions,” Joko said at a press conference in the city of Merauke.
His statements regarding freedom of the press were almost immediately dismissed by Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, who indicated that foreign reporters would still face considerable restrictions on their activities in the region.
“We’ll allow it, on the condition that they report on what they see, not go around looking for facts that aren’t true from armed groups,” said Tedjo. 
Similarly, Joko’s drive to end the nation’s controversial transmigration policy in Papua has been met with opposition from within his cabinet, with Minister for Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Marwan Ja’far instead calling for an acceleration of the program.
Transmigration has long been a point of contention among indigenous populations in Papua, who allege that the program is designed to wipe out local groups.
According to 2010 estimates, the ratio of non-Papuans to Papuans was 52-48, with annual growth rates of the migrant population outstripping the growth of the indigenous Papuan population by nearly tenfold.
In order to contend with rising calls for independence and self-determination, Indonesia must work harder to establish an environment of transparency and accountability in the West Papua region, analysts say.
Human rights observer Yuyun Wahyuningrum notes that Indonesia’s admission into the MSG could foster open communication among involved parties, saying: “I hope MSG can be a forum where the state’s accountability is discussed openly.”
Bachelard concurred, citing a lack of transparency regarding violent conflicts in the region as a critical stumbling block for reconciliation.
“There is also still brutality, such as the incident at Enarotali, that Indonesia does not fully acknowledge,” said Bachelard, who has visited Papua in his capacity as a foreign correspondent twice in the last three years.
Last December, Indonesian police and armed forces were accused of opening fire on demonstrators in the city of Enarotali, killing six and wounding at least 17 others.
Subsequent probes into the incident invited criticism over doubts on the credibility and impartiality of the investigation.
Speaking on the possibility of renewed positive engagement between the central government and local West Papuan leaders, the AICHR’s Rafendi Djamin believes that “in general, with the new president, there is some hope.”
“But it’s not clear whether this hope will be translated into action that will improve the West Papuan human rights situation within the near future,” Rafendi concluded.


2) Discourse on Papua dialogue restarts

Rabu, 1 Juli 2015 21:24 WIB | 348 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - After about a two-year hiatus, the discourse regarding the Jakarta-Papua dialogue to seek a peaceful solution to the polemics and problems in Indonesias easternmost province has now restarted.

During the term of President Joko Widodos (Jokowis) predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the people of Papua in 2013 repeatedly urged Jakarta to initiate a peaceful, neutral, and transparent dialog facilitated by a third party at a neutral location.

Such a dialog had long been called for, however, until the end of President Yudhoyonos term of office, the dialog was never held.

And now, the discourse regarding the dialog has restarted, with the necessary impetus being provided by the Jokowi Grassroots Volunteers (ABJ), which is encouraging the government of President Jokowi to do so.

In a press statement here on Wednesday, ABJ spokesman Veldy Reynold noted that the formation of a Jakarta-Papua National Dialogue Forum to peacefully solve the polemics in Papua has been re-encouraged.

"Papuas problems should be immediately solved in a fast, precise, and accurate way. Therefore, we require the cooperation of all stakeholders to create an intensive dialog with the Papuan community," he remarked.

According to Reynold, the stakeholders must mutually work to gain a comprehensive understanding regarding the current conditions in Papua, so that no further cases of violence and casualties occur when the government formulates a policy. 

In the meantime, senior journalist Rikard Bagun noted that all parties should strive to remove the stigma attached to the people of Papua who are largely viewed as rebels, and instead treat them as equals who love peace.

"It is time to end such form of discrimination, as we and the people of Papua all love peace," he affirmed.

Bagun was optimistic that government policies for solving Papuas problems should have a good narrative, which is acceptable to the people of Papua, since the incorrect use of terms could affect their outlook on the solution to the problems.

In light of this, political analyst Nico Harjanto opined that President Jokowi must adopt a different approach to formulate a policy for the people of Papua.

"For instance, the dialog approach adopted by the president for the people of Papua while releasing five Papuan political prisoners was correct, as there should be no political prisoners in a democratic country," Harjanto noted.

According to Harjanto, such approaches instill new hope in the people, as in this context, the government has positioned itself as a party that is willing to hear the voice of the people of Papua.

Therefore, in response to the ABJ initiative, Harjanto encouraged an effective Jakarta-Papua dialog with a concrete goal.

Meanwhile, presidential special staff member Lenis Kogoya, who is also the chairman of the Institute of Indigenous People of Papua, stated that he was currently working with the president to formulate a stage-wise solution to the problems faced in Papua.

Kogoya noted that the president is highly committed to transform Papua into a land of peace and to solve issues one by one.

He affirmed that any idea proposed by the Indonesian community in order to build the land of Papua, including proposals related to the idea of forming the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue Forum, will be positively welcomed by President Joko Widodo.

Indonesias easternmost island of Papua has abundant natural resources such as gold, copper, silver, and oil.

Ironically, the scarcely populated regions do not seem to be at par with the rest of the country in terms of economic and social development.

In reality, the people of Papua have not enjoyed the fruits of development and feel isolated from the rest of the country.

According to former president Yudhoyonos special aide for regional development and autonomy Velix Wanggai, the injustice felt by the Papuan people with regard to the economic and social gaps was being exploited by the outlawed Free Papua Organization (OPM) by inciting the fight for independence.

He noted that backwardness, disappointment, and dissatisfaction felt by the people of Papua serve as ammunition to incite resistance against the government.

However, the current government is fully aware of the problem and will take steps to reduce the gaps and eliminate the feelings of injustice.

International law and political observer of the University of Cenderawasi (Uncen) Marinus Yaung opined that a peaceful dialogue between Jakarta and Papua is the best possible solution to the problem in Papua.

"We agree that the Papua-Jakarta dialogue will help to solve the problem in Papua," Marinus remarked in Jayapura recently.

He noted that the problem in Papua is not limited to economic and social development; it is a political problem that has to be solved through a peaceful dialogue with Jakarta.

In reality, most of the people in Papua and West Papua are in favor of a peaceful dialog to solve the problems there, and therefore, all stakeholders in the two regions should support the proposed talks.

3) Melanesia’s New Voices speak up

Lowy Institute Program Director for Melansia, Jenny Hayward-Jones writes: 
The Lowy Institute for International Policy, in cooperation with the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat and the support of PACMAS and the ANZ Bank convened a Dialogue with emerging leaders from Melanesia in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 23 June.
A unique feature of Melanesia New Voices: Investing in the Next Generation was the inclusion of New Caledonian participants.  The FLNKS, a group of pro-independence parties in New Caledonia, is a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group which allows for interactions between political leaders of Melanesian countries with FLNKS leaders.  But there are few opportunities for young New Caledonians to mix with their counterparts from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, perhaps complicated by the language barrier.  The New Caledonians were enthusiastic participants, sharing ideas from the struggle for independence and their quest to express a modern Kanak identity in a country dominated by western influence, and soaking up the experience and expertise of their colleagues.
We conducted the Dialogue in an informal style, which allowed all participants to share their experiences and expertise around three key themes of resilience, innovation and political change.  In a one day event, the more informal structure we used permitted much more time for discussion and debate and led to real collaboration between the participants.
The young leaders discussed the challenges of combining their participation in an increasingly western professional environment with their traditional cultural obligations.  They believed their own emerging professional leadership roles and their innovative approaches to helping their communities might lead to some cultural change, particularly for women. The participants were proud of the resilience that is so much a part of their culture but cautioned that the impacts of climate change would test that resilience in the future.
The issue of West Papua has occupied a particular prominence this year, partly due to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s application for membership of the MSG and also Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s advocacy of human rights for West Papuans.  Participants were anxious that their leaders be more active in addressing the concerns of West Papuans as fellow Melanesians.  They wanted to learn more from West Papuans themselves and wanted to offer more practical assistance to West Papuans to help them achieve their aspirations for human rights and self-determination.
Although the participants were drawn from a variety of sectors and professions, they found a number of areas of commonality and identified lessons from each other’s experience that they could apply in their own professions and activities. All the participants recognised the value of connecting with young leaders in other Melanesian countries.  They used the opportunity to build new networks that will enable them to help each other’s career development and also to progress new policy ideas at the national level.
The majority of participants in the dialogue were women.  In organising the event we sought out equal representation of women and men but found that we received nominations and then applications from more women than from men. We think this may be indicative of more young women stepping up to leadership positions in Melanesia and is a very positive development.
We hope the success of this event will inspire the Melanesian Spearhead Group to create more opportunities for young people from their five members to meet on a regular basis.
Jenny Hayward-Jones is Director of the Melanesia Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.  She chaired the Melanesia New Voices event in Port Vila.
4) It’s Better Die Speaking Up For Independence, KNPB Says
Jayapura, Jubi – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) charged that that the Indonesian government did not care about the lives of Papuans who speak up for independence.
“Whether you speak up for independence or not, you will die as long as your lives are in the hands of colonizers,” KNPB spokesman Bazoka Logo said during a special prayer session to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to be a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which took place in Waena, Jayapura, Papua, on Wednesday (24/6/2015).
He said a number of cases including Paniai shootings that killed four students have not been resolved.
“If the four students who were ordinary people could be easily killed, what about those who speak up for independence? Indonesia is only concerned about natural resources and not people ,” he said.
KNPB recorded that there are 29 KNPB member killed in the struggle for peace in the streets. Eric Logo was the first who got killed in April 2009 because of speaking up for independence. The number of killings increased since the killing of Teryoli Wea on June 1, 2012 in Abepura.
He then stated that Papuans can not run away from this reality. Papuans should fight for their right to freedom rather than silence and looking for a safe but reality will face the same fate.
“Not only killing the Papuan who fight for independence, Indonesia will kill any Papuans no matter their background. That’s the mission of this country. It is better to die because of fighting for Independence. We can not run away from reality “.
First chairman of KNPB, August Kosay said many Papuans were killed to protect Papuans’ identity. And it is a reality and will be a collective history. ” For example Arnold Ap, Papuan singer got killed. Many other people will face the same fate”.
Therefore, Papuans should not stand up and end the ongoing slaughter. “We’re into the third generation in the struggle. We must not be silent. We must fight, “he said. (Mawel Benny/ Tina)
5) KomnasHAM should Immediately Investigate the Dogiyai Case
Statement by LP3BH on 1 July, 2015

  We have received information from the Dewan Adat Daerah, (Regional Traditional Council) Paniai and from activists of BUK (United for
Justice) about an incident which we have strong reason to believe is a gross violation of basic human rights which was apparently perpetrated
by members of the security forces in Kampung Ugapuga,  District of Dogiyai, in the Province of Papua during which Yoteni Agapa (19 years old) was killed  and 
another person, Melianus Mote (21 years old) was wounded.

  The LP3BH (Institute for Research, Analyzing and Development for Legal Aid) Manokwari has called on KOMNAS Ham, the National Human
Rights Commission of the Republic of Indonesia, to undertake initial investigations which may reach the same conclusion as we have reached.

   As a lawyer and defender of Basic Human  Rights, I have strong reason to believe that this violation was perpetrated by heavily-armed
members of the security forces from the TNI (Indonesian Army) and the Police who were carrying firearms and sharp weapons. It is likely that other incidents like this will 
continue to occur in the Land of Papua, in particular in the Central Highlands in the coming weeks and months.

  It seems more than likely that this incident was in reaction to a decision adopted by leaders and members of the Melanesian Spearhead
Group/MSG who decided that one of the resistance organisations which struggles for the political rights of the Papuan people, the United
Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), would be allowed to attend its meeting on 26 June this year as an observer in Honiaara, the Solomon Islands.

  It is very likely that there will be more reactions like this perpetrated against the people of West Papua by the security forces 
which continue to use violence against the people of West Papua in violation of basic human rights as stipulated in Article 7, paras 8
and 9, Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

   The security forces have frequently been guilty of acts of violence in the Land of Papua, such as for example the violence that
occurred in Enarotali on 8 December 2014. it is likely that the
security forces are continuing to engage in such activities, which are occurring without any control either from their senior commanders or
from the Head of State of Indonesia

  Such things continue to occur because nothing has been done by way of law enforcement in the Land of Papua for the past fifty years, that
is to say, ever since 1963.

    For all these reasons, it is essential for KOMNAS HAM to send a team of investigators to Dogiyai as matter of urgency to initiate
preliminary investigations into what happened there so as to be able to decide whether a serious violation of basic human fights occurred.

  From what we have heard regarding the chronology of this case as drawn up by the Paniai Traditional Council and BUK as well as from
Kontras Papua, there is every reason to believe that this horrific incident occurred in order to demonstrate the power of the state, all
of which is a shameful example of the violation of the basic principles of human rights which are universally recognised.


Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH and Recipient
of the 'John Humphreys Freedom Award, 2005 in Canada.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo.

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