Saturday, July 25, 2015

1) Papuan religious leaders meet Jokowi, commit to peace

2) Discrimination, Injustice, Roots of Tolikara Incident: Setara
3) Tolikara: Majority-minority  ties and its discontent - 
4) Regional leaders` forum can resolve Tolikara incident: Indonesia minister
5) One Freeport Worker Dies in Work-Related Accident  
6) Surakarta Muslim groups  condemn Tolikara incident 

1) Papuan religious leaders  meet Jokowi, commit to  peace 
na Parlina and Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta/jayapura | Headlines | Sat, July 25 2015, 4:02 PM - 
In an effort to further establish peace after last week’s Tolikara incident in Papua, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo hosted religious leaders from the regency and the province for a meeting at the State Palace on Friday.

Lipiyus Biniluk, Papua’s Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB) head, who is also the head of Papua’s chapter of the Communion of Indonesian Evangelical Churches and Institutions (PGLII), said that he and his Muslim counterparts had reported to the President that Tolikara and Papua were now safe.

“And now the people in Tolikara can continue their lives as normal,” Lipiyus told a press conference after the meeting.

“Tolikara was not about religion. The basic problem was a failure to communicate about existing joint commitments,” Lipiyus explained referring to a commitment between all parties in Tolikara that allowed Muslims to hold Idul Fitri prayers there. “And that is what I told the President,” he added.

The commitment had been made at a meeting between the Tolikara Police, representatives of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), local Muslim leaders and representatives of the Tolikara administration, which saw the revocation of a letter allegedly prohibiting Muslims from holding Idul Fitri prayers in the area.

According to Lipiyus, the two confirmed suspects in the case triggered the incident of their own initiative.

“I assure [you] that there was no involvement of any other parties,” he added. “This was purely because of failed communication.”

Jokowi invited on Thursday representatives from various religious organizations to a dialogue to discuss efforts to maintain interfaith harmony following the Tolikara incident.

In a joint statement, the religious leaders called on the public, including religious and indigenous leaders and figures, to deepen interfaith dialogues to maintain harmony, saying that everyone, the government included, must learn from the Tolikara incident.

In his speech during the meeting, Jokowi said he had ordered police to act firmly in their follow up investigations “so that everyone, regardless of religion, [was] treated equally before the law”.

The President reminded everyone that Indonesia was a pluralist nation, underlining the importance of maintaining interfaith communication, and saying that the Tolikara incident could have been avoided with better use of communication.

In the follow-up investigation, the police said on Friday that they would charge suspects JW and AK with violations of articles 160 and 170 of the Criminal Code, for assault causing damage to property, which carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

“Both were involved in the attack and the forced dispersal of those gathered to pray. They were also involved in the burning of the kiosks,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said in Jayapura.

The two suspects, both bank employees in Karubaga, Tolikara, were brought from Tolikara to the Papua Police headquarters in Jayapura for questioning. They were flown on an Express Air flight from Wamena, Jayawijaya, after taking an overland trip on Thursday from Tolikara, and arrived at the headquarters at 1 p.m. local time.

Yotje said that his team had been developing its investigation and questioning witnesses, looking for other suspects in the incident.

He said the police had so far examined 50 witnesses, 23 of whom were security personnel and 27 civilians.

The police will summon on Monday GIDI Papua president Dorman Wandikbo, GIDI Tolikara chairmen Yanus Wenda and Marthen Jingga as well as Tolikara Regent Usman Wanimbo in his capacity as the chairman of the organizing committee of GIDI youth’s international seminar and spiritual revival service. -
SATURDAY, 25 JULY, 2015 | 19:32 WIB
2) Discrimination, Injustice, Roots of Tolikara Incident: Setara

TEMPO.COJakarta - Chairman of human rights watchdog group Setara Institute Hendardi, said on Saturday, July 25, 2015, that the roots of Tolikara incident are injustice and continued discrimination.
According to him, almost all findings and statements of people there denied that there was an attack.
"It means there’s another force that initiated the incident,” Hendardi said in a written statement on Saturday.
He went on to say that one of the short-term measure to investigate the accident that must be made is by disclosing the motivation of the shooting to 12 Papuans and punishing police officers who used guns in an unaccountable way. 
He also said that the statement made by the chief of the national police General Badrodin Haiti that said that the shooting was done to protect the rights of Moslems there to perform Idul Fitri prayer was groundless.
As for the long-term measure, he said that Setara urged President Joko Widodo to made a policy that eliminates discrimination and violence in Papua and to bring to justice those who committed human rights crimes in Papua.
For the record, a riot occurred in Tolikara last Thursday between Muslims and Christians that led to the destruction of several kiosks. One person died in the incident while several others were injured.
The riot started after people, thought to be members of GIDI, threw rocks at those performing Idul Fitri prayers.

3) Tolikara: Majority-minority  ties and its discontent - 
Al Khanif, London | Opinion | Sat, July 25 2015, 10:11 AM 

Most Indonesians were shocked by the incident in Tolikara, Papua, when Muslims who held an Idul Fitri prayer service in a local mosque were disrupted by a violent Christian mob affiliated with the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI). Some Muslims overreacted and wanted to retaliate, while others called on their fellow Muslims to exercise restraint. 

Some Christians were also convinced that the incident had no bearing to Christianity, even though the restrictions on celebrating Idul Fitri in Tolikara were written in an official letter signed by the local chair of the GIDI. 

The Tolikara incident shocked us because Muslims, the majority faith in Indonesia, were the victims, even though they are a minority in Papua. In regions that are predominantly Muslim, Christians and 
other religious minorities are usually the victims. 

In the post-reformasi era, repression of minorities is still increasing, even though there has been significant development regarding religious freedom in the Constitution. This shows social norms and cultures have yet to include respect of minorities. 

Yet, whatever the reason, we must realize that similar incidents have already occurred and will potentially occur in other regions. Until recently, the segregation of intra and interreligious public spheres in Indonesia often causes social and religious disharmony, which usually results in the alienation of religious minorities. 

When there is advocacy to protect these minorities, the majority often sees it as the promotion of liberal human rights, which is considered alien to Indonesian legal norms and culture.

Tolikara and similar incidents suggest that majority groups generally justify their repressive actions against minorities because they accuse minorities as being transgressive. They argue that minorities break or challenge established community norms, or the communal character of religious practices. 

In many cases, these “community norms” generally force minorities to follow certain rules set up by the majority, which are potentially detrimental to their rights. 

This practice illustrates that most religious majority groups in Indonesia have inadequate knowledge of human rights, especially regarding how to respect religious differences.

However, the government usually prefers to accommodate these “community norms” when enacting regulations. 

For example, a Joint Ministerial Decree that regulates the construction of places of worship requires each religious organisation to obtain 60 signatures from people in the surrounding area who agree to support the establishment of the place of worship. 

Additionally, it also requires agreement from 90 people who will use the place for religious congregation. 

This decree basically regulates two main matters; protecting religious harmony and controlling the establishment of places of worship. 

Even though the decree was enacted by the government to prevent conflict and to preserve religious harmony, in practice it has caused rather than prevented religious violence. 

The repression of religious minorities in Indonesia also suggests that the majority still monopolizes the interpretation of constitutional religious freedom and religious pluralism as a foundation of the nation. They repudiate the Indonesian concept of religious pluralism that all minorities should have the right to religious freedom equal to that of the majority faith. 

This means that Tolikara and any other similar incidents demonstrate exclusive interpretation of religious faith from the majority, which generally sees religious difference as a threat to their community members. 

When the majority has this kind of interpretation, they create socio-religious barriers to segregate communities. If the minorities demand particular rights without fulfilling their obligations to respect the “community norms” determined by the majority, it is seen as a kind of social confrontation, or more specifically a human rights confrontation; basically a sort of a clash between individualism and communalism. 

It is especially so in rural communities like Tolikara because this discourse is closely related to customary norms that generally give precedence to the larger community over minorities and individuals. 

This also suggests that even though Indonesia does not uphold a theocratic state where the state is the manifestation of the social group that adheres to a certain religion, repressions of minorities show an uneasy relationship between religion and the state, and the position of religion as a pillar of collective identity within society.

Therefore, the protection of religious freedom and the recognition of religious pluralism do not only require non-interference from the government, but also oblige other religious groups to have adequate knowledge of the rights of others.

If the majority does not have adequate knowledge, they claim to represent themselves as the will of the people and as the source of legal order that leads them to oppress minority groups. 

Thus minority groups are threatened not only by the state, but also by the social majority that renders minorities vulnerable to significant injustice at the hands of the majority. 
The author is a PhD student at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and is writing a PhD dissertation titled “Protecting religious minorities within Islam in Indonesia: A challenge for international human rights law and Islamic law”.

4) Regional leaders` forum can resolve Tolikara incident: Indonesia minister

Sabtu, 25 Juli 2015 22:14 WIB 
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Regional Leaders Communications Forum (Forkompimda) of Papua province will be able to resolve the Tolikara incident, according to a minister.

"In a meeting, local leaders from all sides affirmed that they will be able to resolve the Tolikara incident," Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Tedjo Edy Purdijatno said here on Saturday.

The minister added that the local forum expressed their commitment to handling the issue in a meeting held at the governors office. They discussed the Tolikara incident when Muslims were attacked while they were performing their Eid prayers on Friday last week.

"The Muslims and Christians themselves asked for the problem in Tolikara to be settled. They told the authorities they want to resolve their own problems. The statement was made by religious figures such as Toni Wangga of Papua, including members of NU, Indonesias largest Muslim organization," Purdijatno pointed out.

He further noted here on Saturday that the situation in Tolikara, Papua, has been calm since the riot broke out on July 17.

"The situation has been peaceful and stable. That is the important thing. I reiterate that Tolikara has been peaceful. It was also assured at a meeting of the Regional Leaders Communication Forum yesterday," he affirmed.

Purdijatno added that the situation had been confirmed as peaceful based on reports from various parties, including security agencies, religious figures and Papuan executives.

"According to reports I received, including from you journalists, the Friday prayers were held peacefully yesterday in Karubaga (the capital of Tolikara district). There were no prohibitions or disruptions," he stated.

The peaceful Friday prayers reflected how the local and provincial governments and stakeholders, including Muslims and Christians in Papua, had worked to settle the problem, he remarked.

"Papuan religious figures wished they could settle the Tolikara problem themselves because Muslims and Christians in the province live harmoniously and with tolerance. They said they could settle it among themselves," the minister said.

Moreover, he appealed to journalists in Papua to disseminate balanced information with professionalism.

"We hope you journalists are wise while reporting a case with potential to have huge impacts. Together, let us promote humanitarian attitudes," he emphasized.

The minister and his entourage met with the Forkompinda of Papua at the Papuan governors office on Friday to discuss the Tolikara incident.

He arrived at Sentani Airport at 12:00 hours East Indonesia Time and immediately proceeded to the governors office with the sixth deputy for political, security and legal affairs, Arif Mukiyat.

Purdijatno was welcomed at the airport by Jayapura District Head Mathius Awoitauw, Chief of the Jayapura 1701 Military Command Lieutenant Colonel Yoyok Pranowo, Assistant of the Governor of Papua Doren Wakerkwa, and Chief of the Jayapura Airbase Colonel I Made Susila Adyana.

At the governors office, he was welcomed by Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe, 7th Cenderawasih Military Commander Major General Fransen Siahaan, Papua Regional Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende, Chairman of the Papuan Legislative Assembly Yunus Wonda, Head of the Papua High Prosecutors Office Herman da Silva, and President of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) Dorman Wandikmbo.

He held the discussion over dinner in a restaurant at the provincial capital with journalists and the executive board of the Papuan regional branch of the Indonesian Youth National Committee (KNPI).

A group of people believed to be members of GIDI attacked Muslims who were performing Eid prayers on Friday, July 17.

According to the chairman of the Communion of Evangelical Churches and Institutions in Indonesia, Roni Mandang, there was chaos after police officers fired shots at them, which led to the torching of kiosks. Flames from these fires spread to the Islamic house of prayer, once it was known that a person had been shot dead.

Furthermore, Spokesman for the Public Information Division of the National Police Senior Commissioner Suharsono revealed that the police had opened fire to control the rioters and to keep them away from the mosque.

It was later confirmed that one person was killed and 11 others wounded in the incident.

Following the incident, the country was gripped with tension.

SATURDAY, 25 JULY, 2015 | 19:46 WIB
5) One Freeport Worker Dies in Work-Related Accident  

TEMPO.COJakarta - A worker of mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia died in a work-related accident, the company confirmed on Saturday, July 25, 2015, saying that it happened at 12.30 local time at Mile Post 74 mining area.
PT Freeport Indonesia spokesperson Riza Pratama, also said that the worker was working in a concentrator area when he fell off to a conveyor belt and was later squeezed in it.
“The victim was severely injured and died on the spot,” Riza said, adding that the worker’s body has been taken to Tembagapura hospital.
In accordance with the procedure, Riza said that PT Freeport Indonesia has reported the accident to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. However, Riza declined to reveal the identity of the victim.
He further said that PT Freeport Indonesia would normally provide compensation to workers who become victims of work-related accident.
“We’re going to provide the details later on. What we are prioritizing now is investigating (the accident) and returning the body to the next of kin,” he added.

6) Surakarta Muslim groups  condemn Tolikara incident 
Ganug Nugroho Adi, The Jakarta Post, Surakarta, Central Java | Archipelago | Sat, July 25 2015, 10:27 AM - See more at:

Despite a peace agreement after an incident in Tolikara, Papua, thousands of Muslims from various groups in Surakarta, Central Java, staged a rally on Friday to protest the violence. 

Under tight police security, the protesters from koran Interpretation Council (MTA), Islamic People’s Soldiers, Muslim Students Action Front, Surakarta Sharia Council, Muhammadiyah and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), marched the three kilometers from Jl. Slamet Riyadi to the Gladag circle.

Thee march was followed by speeches from various leaders including Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) Surakarta chapter head Zainal Arifin Adnan, Ngruki Islamic boarding school director Wahyuddin and politician Mudrick Sangidoe. 

Zainal said the peaceful rally was in support of Muslims in Papua, blaming the incident on outsiders who tried to undermine the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

“This is not only for Muslims, but also for non-Muslims. We have been fooled by foreigners and masterminds pitting all Papuan residents [against eachother]. We want religion to prosper in Papua,” said Zainal in his speech after the protesters assembled at the Gladag circle.

Meanwhile, Mudrick Sangidoe urged the entire Muslim community to continue pressuring the government to thoroughly deal with the Tolikara riot. 

“The riot masterminds must be immediately caught. Don’t allow them to roam freely. Don’t tolerate the masterminds in Jakarta,” said Mudrick.

Along the road, the crowd shouted and condemned the incident in which angry masses burned down a kiosk and a small mosque on July 17, one of the days of Idul Fitri.

Traffic along Jl. Slamet Riyadi was paralyzed as protesters filled the road at the circle to listen to the speeches. 

The protesters urged the government to immediately resolve the issue and take legal action against the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) leaders in Tolikara, as well as those who were involved in the incident.

They urged the government to take firm measures against the perpetrators to avoid the public getting the impression of state negligence and legal discrimination.

“The attackers of Muslims must be immediately arrested. Don’t let there be exceptions that will anger Muslims. Don’t be discriminatory,” said House of Representatives (DPR) member from the Justice and Prosperity Party faction, Abdul Kharis in his speech.

While Surakarta Muslim groups condemned the Tolikara incident, leaders in other regions made joint statements to protect religious harmony and tolerance.

The Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB) Banten chapter head Suparman Usman on Friday said leaders from Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism have called on their followers to avoiding provocations related to the Papua incident.

“All followers [of a religion] should maintain calm and preserve religious harmony. They should avoid disinformation related to the incident and let the security authorities handle the case,” Suparman was quoted by Antara as saying in Serang.

Similarly, in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, leaders from Indonesia’s five officially recognized religions: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, made a declaration on Friday to maintain religious harmony as well as avoiding provocations related to the incident in Tolikara. - 

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