Speaking in front of the Judges’ bench in the Sorong District Court, state prosecutor Katrina Dimara accused Obet and Obi of having violated article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and asked the council of judges to hand down prison sentences – one year for Obet Korie and eight months for Odi Aitago, less the time already spent in prison.
Obet Korie and Odi Aitago are indigenous Papuaans from the Iwaro ethnic group in South Sorong Regency, who have become victims of injustice from oil palm company PT Permata Putera Mandiri, a subsidiary company of Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Group, which operates on land belonging to the local indigenous people.
Three subsidiary companies of PT ANJ are starting oil palm operations in South Sorong and nearby Maybrat Regencies: PT. Putera Manunggal Perkasa (PMP), PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) and PT Pusaka Agro Makmur, with permits covering a total area of 91,209 hectares. ANJ also has another business unit called PT ANJ Agri Papua which manages the sago forest and associated processing industry in Metamani and Kokonau Districts of South Sorong Regency, an area of 40,000 hectares.
On 5th May 2015, Obet Korie (52 years old) and Odi Aitago (27 years old) and dozens more people from the Iwaro people who protested at the PT PPM office in Sorong City, were arrested and held at the Sorong City police station, with Obet Korie and Odi Aitago remaining in detention.
According to Simon Soren, a representative of the Iwaro students, “The people protested against the company which is unjustly seizing land and forest which rightfully belongs to the community, giving an unfair level of compensation (75,000 Rupiah (around $6) per hectare), with a lack of transparency so information is manipulated, using intimidating practices and so on, as well as the environmental crimes of damaging natural resources, destroying food sources and the source of the community’s livelihood”.
It was these injustices and development practices which violate indigenous rights which were the basis for the demands of Obet Korie and Odi Aitago, the other arrested community members, youth and students in their demonstrations and attempts to negotiate with the company. However, their demands for justice and for their rights to be upheld were not met, and instead they have been criminalised.
Simon is asking that the Council of Judges at the Sorong District Court give the lightest possible sentence, taking into account the efforts of the two men to struggle for justice and the future livelihoods of the Papuan people.
“We also want to ask law-enforcement officers and local and national government to form a team which would involve the community to investigate and examine the allegations the ANJ Group has broken the law, and impose a just penalty”, said Simon, who was also present at the hearing where the prosecution’s demands were read out.
Kuala Lumpur, Jubi – It seems that Papua remains unfamiliar among Malaysians. Some of them thought it is the name of a country instead of a province located in the eastern region of the Republic of Indonesia.
A Malaysian taxi driver, Armahadi bin Saudi said he just heard the name of Papua during conversation with Jubi.
“Papua is a country, isn’t it? Where is it? What currency it has? Is there a Malaysian Embassy there?” Armahadi asked Jubi on Wednesday (12/8/2015).
Jubi told him that Papua is Indonesian province next to Papua New Guinea.
“What? Is it part of Indonesia? I don’t know about this fact. I’ve been to Makassar but I don’t know that Indonesia has a place called Papua,” he said. According to him, as far as he knew Indonesia has only consisted of some provinces located in Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and so on.
“There is Malaysian too in Papua? Are people there Malay also?” he asked.
Jubi briefly told him that there’s Malaysians of Chinese origin in Papua. They came to Papua as investor of oil palm plantation. The indigenous Papuans are not Malay but Melanesian. Additionally, many Indonesian citizens from other regions came to stay in Papua.
“Is there oil palm plantation area? Papua is near to Australia, isn’t it? So people could go directly from Papua to Australia. Indigenous Papuans look like this fellow, isn’t it? he asked while point towards Jubi reporter Engel Wally.
This time, Jubi told him though Papua is located near to Australia, but people could not go directly to Australia. They must arrange their visa firs in Jakarta, then fly through Jakara or Bali. “Everything must go through Jakarta? It’s not efficient if must go from Papua through Jakarta,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jubi reporter Engel Wally said it’s normal if Malaysian citizens think Papua is not part of Indonesia, because they might be only familiar with other regions such Java, Sumatera, Sulawesi and Kalimantan. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua New Guinea soldiers have taken down Indonesian flags at Jaknyu Village of Sota Sub-district, Merauke Regency, Papua Province.
A witness said 15 people believed to be PNG soldiers took down three Indonesian flags during a border patrol on August 7.
“They dropped down the flags in three locations, namely at in front of the church, in front of the house of the neighborhood unit chief, and at RI-PNG border. Their commander instructed them to do so, because he thought as located in the neutral international region, both Indonesian and PNG’s flags should be standing side by side,” said a witness who decline to be named.
He added the soldiers immediately lowered the Indonesia flags when local residents said they didn’t want to do it. Antara News Agency reported the Military Regional Force Chief of Cenderawih XVII, Brigadier General Tantang Sulaiman explained based on the report the Indonesian flags were being drop because the PNG soldiers thought it’s a neutral region therefore the flags of both countries should be stand side by side. Before dropping the Indonesian flag in the three locations, they were recognized to come into Indonesian area without permission. However, he said their motive is still unknown.
Meanwhile, Military District Commander of 174 Merauke, Brigadier General Supartodi admitted PNG soldiers came into Indonesian region without permission in the early of August.
“On last 7 August, a group of PNG soldiers came into Jaknyu Village and Rawa Bening Village of Sota Sub-district in Merauke Regency without prior announcement to the local government and security forces as well,” said the commander as cited by Antara News Agency on Thursday (13/8/2015). The report said they came to the villages to bring foodstuffs to eleven family units who stayed in that location.
Brigadier General Supartodi admitted those foodstuffs was given to Jaknyu Village, although the village is 1,200 meters away from the RI-PNG border. “Before this incident happened, we have coordinated this matter with the Merauke Regent and planned to replace the eleven family units to the nearest village but they refused,” he explained.
According to him, the villagers do not want to move because besides get provision from the Merauke Village, they also get attention from the Indonesian Government and PNG. For that reason they do not want to be moved,” he said by adding that in July the eleven family units consisting of 68 people has been listed and provided with ID cards. It needs six hours to reach the village by land or three hours using the motor board from Rawa Biru, Sota Sub-district, Merauke Regency (Victor Mambor/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Provincial Government expects the new National Development Planning Body Sofyan Djalil who was just inaugurated to replace Andrinof Chaniago could see Papua as a whole in determining development programs.
One of some important issues should be taken seriously by the minister is about the access of transportation to support the development of infrastructure in Papua. “The most important is, in developing Papua, the National Development Planning Body could see Papua as a whole, not partial,” the Head of Papua Transportation Head Yusuf Yambe Yabdi at Jayapura on Thursday (13/8/2015).
Besides of the access of transportation, another thing should be taken into account by Bappenas is the availability of electric as a development support. “The development of energy should be a priority. We build road because many people is still lived in the darkness. If it so, it’s just waste of time,” he said.
The sustainable management for Papua, according to Yusuf is to develop the infrastructure according to regulation, that yet to be operated by established sector. However, it needs a great human resource that could understand the regional needs instead of sector. “The human resources we already had only the understanding on sectorial instead of regional. The understanding of sectorial is needed to develop a region to be connected with others and to improve any existing potential in that region,” he said.
Earlier, the Regional Development and Planning Agency (Bappeda) considered the development in Papua Province was very different if compared with other province in Indonesia due to its unique geographical condition.
Geographical condition of Papua is very unique; so the concept of development in Papua Province is very different with other provinces in Indonesia because the development in Papua should be done on regional base. “The uniqueness of its geographical condition creates a concept of development on regional base,” Muhammad Musa’ad, the Head of Bappeda Province Papua told reporter in Jayapura on Tuesday (21/7/2015). (Alexander Loen/rom)
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An aircraft with 54 people on board crashed in Indonesia's remote and mountainous region of Papua on Sunday, a government official said, the latest in a string of aviation disasters in the Southeast Asian nation.
"The latest information is that the Trigana aircraft that lost contact has been found at Camp 3, Ok Bape district in the Bintang Mountains regency," Air Transportation Director General Suprasetyo told reporters. "Residents provided information that the aircraft crashed into Tangok mountain."
There was no immediate word on whether anyone survived.
Earlier, the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) said a twin-turboprop plane had lost contact with air traffic control as it flew over the forested area of eastern Indonesia but efforts to trace it were difficult because of failing light.
Trigana Air Operations Director Beni Sumaryanto said that within 30 minutes of hearing that the aircraft was missing, the airline sent another plane to scour the same flight path but it had found nothing because of bad weather, local media reported.
According to the official BASARNAS Twitter account, the aircraft, a short-haul ATR 42-300 airliner belonging to Trigana Air Service and built in France and Italy, was carrying 44 adult passengers, five crew and five children and infants.
The plane was flying between Jayapura's Sentani Airport and Oksibil, due south of Jayapura, the capital of Papua province.
Air transport is commonly used in Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province, where land travel is often impossible.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, an online database, the ATR 42-300 that went missing made its first flight 27 years ago. ATR is a joint venture between Airbus and Alenia Aermacchi, a subsidiary of Italian aerospace firm Finmeccanica.
The airline has been on the EU's list of banned carriers since 2007. Airlines on the list are barred from operating in European airspace due to either concerns about safety standards or the regulatory environment in their country of registration.
The airline has a fleet of 14 aircraft, according to the airfleets.com database. These include 10 ATR aircraft and four Boeing 737 Classics. These have an average age of 26.6 years, according to the database.
Trigana has had 14 serious incidents since it began operations in 1991, according to the Aviation Safety Network. Excluding this latest incident, it has written off 10 aircraft.
Airline officials were not immediately available to respond to enquiries from Reuters.