Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1) 306 Papua Student Activists Detained at Jakarta Police

4) Is Freeport stepping into  a political minefield?
5) Setya Mentioned ‘Papuan Palace in Conversation Recording 
6) The Knowmad’s Journey Along Indonesia’s Eastern Border
7) 50 years ago today, American diplomats endorsed mass killings in Indonesia. Here’s what that means for today.

Victor Mambor Des 02, 2015

Student were detained at Polda Metro Jaya – Jubi

Semarang, Jubi – Dozens of Papuan students activists were arrested during a street rally in Jakarta to commemorate the political manifesto day that is regarded by many Papuans as their national day.
From Jakarta, the Alliance of Papua Students (AMP) chairman of Kota Semarang Committee, Bernardo Boma told Jubi he and other student activists were being detained at Polda Metro Jaya (Jakarta Police Headquarters).
“I am currently detained at Polda Metro Jaya with other AMP activists. We were headed by the police before the rally,” Boma told Jubi by phone on Tuesday (1/12/2015).
He explained, besides him, some activists who came from Cawang, Tangerang and Bandung to Jakarta also blocked by the police, so now their position was under the police’s control.
“The fact is the Central AMP has sent a notice to the police long before the rally. We did it to respect the Indonesian democracy and legal system. But before we run the rally, the police have deployed its full-equipped troop. We regret it,” explained Boma.
Meanwhile, the activist from AMP Kota Malang, Wilson Nawipa told Jubi the same thing but in more detail. “Today we were headed and suppressed by the police.
Now about two hundreds of student activists were detained at Polda Metro Jaya. Two activists were reportedly shot by the police,” he said. However, he could not provide more detail information about the shot activists.
“I will give the chronology and the names of arrested students soon after I get detail information,” he said.
Director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Alghiffari Aqsa told Jubi the police have not only forced the crowd to disband, but also arrested them brutally.
In this case, the police had no warrant, so the arrest considered illegal by Law. 128 activists were reportedly detained.
This incident is not the first time to be happened, but has repeatedly occurred.
The police have violated the right of freedom of speech in the public. “While the right of freedom of speech in public for Papuans is guaranteed by the constitution,”Said Alghiffari Aqsa.
Similar with Aqsa, the Division Head of Case Handling Division of LBH Jakarta thought the forced dissolution, the arrest and repressive act by the Police is an abuse against the right of freedom of speech in public. “It’s regretful, the law enforcement authority should be respect, protect and fulfill the human rights without discrimination, including towards Papuans,” he said.
For that reason, LBH Jakarta demanded the Minister of Legal, Politic and Human Right Affairs, Indonesian Police Chief, and Metro Jaya Police Chief to release the activists of the Alliance of Papua Students of Java and Bali. “Respect, protect and fulfill the right of the freedom of speech in public!” stated Aqsa.
On Tuesday (1/12/2015) night, most students was released by police. But two students are still being detained for questioning. (Arnold Belau/rom)

Victor Mambor Des 02, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – Former political prisoner Filep Jacob Samuel Karma said he was concerned about the current situation facing indigenous Papuans. He said currently discrimination is not only being practiced by non-Papuans to Papuans or vice versa, but also among Papuans. He described the situation as a time bomb that is ready to explode at anytime.
Racism is not only coming from non-Papuans but also emerging among Papuans. We accuse the Indonesians of being racist, but the fact is we are also racist against them. It means we are doing the same thing. Instead of solving the problem, it will trigger a new problem. We don’t have to vengeful. Striking back with violence would not solve the problem but create a new one instead,” stated Karma at Kingmi Synod Office, Jayapura City on Monday (30/11/2015).
He said the state is racist towards Papuans. However, sometimes Papuans who are fighting for their rights also do the same. Rather stopping the racism, he said, Papuans promote it.
“I see this is like a time bomb. When Papua was succeed and Indonesia returns home, the time bomb would be exploded, but I don’t want it going to be happened,” he said.
Karma thought it is a trick played by the Indonesian Government to bring Papuans into a conflict among each other, including the regional extension that recently happened. It is a way to split Papuans.
He further said now the terms such as the highlander and the beach, north and south, or the valley and the coast are rising among Papuans.
“It is not different from the divide and rule politics used in Dutch era. Before I was put in jail, I have told this to Parjal activists whether they saw this situation. I am concerned, if Papua gained independence; there would be a tribal war. If Papuans killed each other, I would regret to fight for its independence,” he said.
Karma also thought the prison had been used to silence some activists, especially those who live in Papua. But he reminds them to not be afraid. They must turn on their voice even facing a prison. “If we are still together to build public awareness, we could even destroyed the prison,” he said.
Karma demonstrated his consistency when he was sentenced for 15 years in prison eleven years ago. Although he was behind the bar, he never stops to voice for the injustice against Papuans.
At that time, he said, he just spoke about his aspiration, not the intention of building a new State and yet to meet a criteria of treason. “I was confused why I was charged for treason. The article used to punish me wasn’t appropriate. I admit that I have an intention to it, just it. I am waiting the State to admit its mistake,” he added.
He also refused his release from the prison, but both authorities of Abepura Prison and the Legal and Security Affairs Papua Region forced him to accept this.
The Division Head of Legal and Security Affairs Papua Region, Johan Yarangga, said he was obliged enforcing Karma and everyone who declared officially free from the charge should take their freedom.

“We don’t have any rights to detain people without a legal reference. Mr. Filep Karma is currently free, there is no reason for us to detain him,” Johan Yarangga said during the day Karma was released. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

Victor Mambor Des 02, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – Nabire Police arrested about 20 people who were preparing for a prayer gathering to commemorate the West Papua Anniversary.
A Nabire activist Gunawan Inggeruhi said they were arrested at 10:30 AM local time while gathering at Bunga Bangsa Park, Oyehee, Nabire.
“At that time, the police were doing raids. Their cars were driven into the field near the park. We were outside the park to prepare the place for worship event. Suddenly they were out of car and arrested us. They also beat us with rattan,” Inggeruhi said.
Until now, he said, he didn’t know the reason behind their arrest. He claimed they only wanted to do worship, raising the morning star flag wasn’t on their agenda.
On Saturday (29/11/2015), Antara News Agency reported the Nabire Police arrested and detained 17 residents.
The Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw said they were detained for raising the morning start flag. But not longer, he corrected his statement through the same media, said they were arrested for combatting the officers when disbanded while doing the activity at Lapangan Gizi Nabire.
Inggeruhi denied his friends attacked the police while being disbanded on Saturday morning. “We didn’t fight the police. They just come to arrest us. We only brought some bamboos to build a stage. We didn’t fight at all,” he said.
Seventeen residents  were released on 30 November. (Victor Mambor/rom)

4) Is Freeport stepping into  a political minefield?
Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Opinion | Wed, December 02 2015, 4:39 PM - 

Freeport Indonesia is an enigma. The subsidiary of the US-based Freeport McMoran Gold and Copper Inc. owns the right to mine one of the biggest gold and copper deposits in the world located in the Grasberg Mountain in Papua, yet after nearly half a century of Freeport operations, Papua remains the poorest and the most backward province in Indonesia. 

Freeport has been a thorn in the pride and the consciousness of many Indonesians. It has been a source of resentment among Indonesian elites because after 70 years of independence, the country is not in control of its richest mineral resources.

Freeport operations have created constant questions among Indonesians about whether the government’s management of its natural resources has been in line with the spirit of the Constitution — providing utmost prosperity to the Indonesian people through its control over natural resources. 

Every talk and discussion about Freeport reveals how this giant mining company is perceived and misperceived by Indonesian elites. It is hard to have a clear and objective point of view regarding Freeport. Talk about Freeport is always accompanied with political undertones, prejudice and conspiracy theories.

Now Freeport is in the spotlight again after revelations that its CEO, Maroef Sjamsoeddin, the former deputy chief of the National Intelligence Agency, met with House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto, allegedly to discuss Freeport’s request to get a new license for its operation. 

Novanto’s action is considered to be unethical and the matter has been reported to the House ethics council by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said. 

According to the law, Freeport can only submit its request for a new mining license in 2019, two years before its current contract of works expires in 2021. As the time would be too short, this would create problems for Freeport’s long-term investment plan that includes a US$17 billion plan to develop new underground pits. 

The planned divestment by Freeport of 20 percent of its shares and how these shares are to be distributed among Indonesian elites were also discussed. 

In the transcript of the tape, the names of the President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the Vice President Jusuf Kalla were mentioned as being among the would-be beneficiaries.

Freeport is keen to get the green light from the government quickly to continue its operation beyond 2021. 

For Freeport the stakes are high. One estimate showed that its gold production in Papua accounts for 70 percent of its gold production worldwide. 

Understandably, Freeport would fight at any cost, would use any available venues to get the license as early as possible. Maroef might think the request of Setya to have a meeting in which he offered his help was such a venue. 

Although Maroef was likely a passive participant in the meeting, the public perceived the meeting as lobbying by Freeport to solicit support for their efforts to get a new mining license. 

The exposure of the meeting could pose a risk for Freeport as it could be considered as being complicit with the unethical conduct of Setya. 

Setya has been named in several corruption cases in the past, although he always escaped criminal prosecution. Mohammad Reza Khalid, who is a powerful oil trader who controls the oil import monopoly of Pertamina through its subsidiary, Singapore-based Petral, which has been recently disbanded by the government, was also present in the meeting. 

Understandably, Freeport would fight at any cost, would use any available venues to get the license as early as possible.

Both men are cunning businessmen who could quickly spot and seize business opportunities.

The episode reinforced the belief in the public that during all these times mining licenses were issued through a corrupt system involving state officials, rent seekers and brokers and company owners. 

The resulting uproar from the meeting between the Freeport CEO and Setya would increase the pressure on the government to be more transparent and accountable in issuing mining licenses. It has also pushed Freeport into a difficult situation.

Although the decision to issue mining licenses is a discretionary power of the President, Jokowi should also consider the public sentiment about Freeport before he decides. 

If past actions were any guide, Jokowi’s decision on critical issues closely aligns with the direction of public sentiments. He also would listen to his ministers and his close advisers. 

But two of his coordinating ministers, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli, have been highly critical about issuing a new license to Freeport. The time when the government will decide Freeport’s fate in 2019 will be the election year. 

During the campaigns preceding the general election all hell could break loose, especially when it relates to the sovereignty of the state over natural resources. 

Would President Jokowi have the willpower to swim against the political currents? 

Between 1991 and 2014 government revenues from Freeport amounted to $15.8 billion, most of which (81 percent) was in the form of the company’s income taxes, while royalties and dividends were 10.1 percent and 8.9 respectively. 

However, total revenues from Freeport have dropped significantly from $1.9 billion in 2010 to only $500 million in 2014 because of the fall of commodity prices. President Jokowi might use the magnitude of these revenues as it relates to the size of the government budget as one of the considerations to determine the worthiness of issuing a new mining license to Freeport, but because nationalist sentiment will be at its highest pitch at the time of the election, rational analysis on the costs and benefits of the continuing presence of Freeport in Indonesia will be lost. 

As Freeport is facing its most critical time in its history in Indonesia, it is also facing an adverse political situation. 

The worst-case scenario for Freeport would be the dimming of its prospects to get a new mining license and that for Freeport getting the new license is not a foregone conclusion.

The writer is a commissioner at a publicly listed oil and gas service company. This is a personal view. - 

WEDNESDAY, 02 DECEMBER, 2015 | 20:24 WIB
5) Setya Mentioned ‘Papuan Palace in Conversation Recording  
TEMPO.COJakarta - The House of Representatives' Ethics Council, has finally decided to play the controversial recording of a conversation between House Speaker Setya Novanto and businessman M. Reza Chalid during a meeting with Maroef Sjamsoeddin, a representative from PT Freeport Indonesia. In the recording, Setya was requesting for a 'Papuan Palace'.
In the recording, Setya claimed that the palace will be built for political purposes. Setya said that Papua needs its own palace to compete with Bogor, which has the Bogor Palace and Bali, which has the Tampak Siring Palace.
"I said buid a palace in Papua. 'I agree' said the President. They have the Tampak Siring [Palace] and the Bogor [Palace]. How can there be no palace in Papua. I scouted the area, there is an empty land, looking out to sea. So politically, we will head there in the future," Setya said in the recording.
In addition to the palace, Steya also mentioned several other things in the recording, including divestment, smelter construction, and increasing state revenue.
A complete one hour 20 minutes and 17 seconds recording of the conversation between Setya, Riza, and Maroef was made known to the public on Monday, November 30, 2015. Earlier, an 11 minutes short-version transcript of the conversation had been publicly published.
Although confirming that he had met with Freeport, Setya repeatedly denied that he had 'borrowed' President Joko Widodo's name.

6) The Knowmad’s Journey Along Indonesia’s Eastern Border

For the locals, the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border is so vague that they could not differentiate which part belongs to which country. Here is a story from Indonesian travel writer and photographer Agustinus Wibowo, who have spent a significant amount of time at the border area.

Students at Tais, a coastal village located at Papua New Guinea’s Western Province. (Photo source: Agustinus Wibowo)

Singapore, – At one point of our life, we all question our identity. Agustinus Wibowo takes it a step further, as he makes it his quest. Many who are familiar with his works will agree that they are hardly classified as the typical travel writings like Lonely Planet guidebooks or reviews of glamourous hotels and establishments.
Instead, Agustinus travels to contemplate intrapersonal conflicts and writes about them, taking readers along to experience his physical and mental tribulations.
No doubt, he is a great storyteller and in Singapore, GIV had the privilege to sit down and listen to his adventure in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia’s closest, yet the furthest, neighbour.
“So how can they survive? So this is the reason of the anger. The injustice, economic wise, the opportunity to survive, is very unjust.”

Papua New Guinea or Papua Province?

Despite being neighbours, citizens of both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea know near to nothing about each other. When Agustinus was in Papua New Guinea, he was asked, “How is life in Indonesia as a communist country?”
He finds the borders intriguing, as it is created neither by Indonesia nor Papua New Guinea, but by another country during the colonization era.
“It is interesting to see how a straight and artificial line like this separates people from both sides,” said the writer. This triggers him to go and to explore along the line.
“In reality, the line does not exist: we cannot see the line as it is deep in the jungle,” Agustinus shared to GIV.
So, he went to the Western Province, the most isolated area in Papua New Guinea. Agustinus hitchhiked canoe, and travel along the river. There are not many public transportations in that country, so he waited at each village for a fisherman to come and hitchhiked in his canoe.
“All along 400 km of river, and it took me one and a half months,” he stated. The road on Indonesia’s side of border is more efficient and will only take eight hours. He mentioned it as one of the highlights of his journey, as he may be the first foreigner who hitchhiked canoe.
The knowmad told GIV that one of the most interesting part of his journey was staying with the OPM (Operasi Papua Merdeka or Free Papua Operation; people of Indonesia’s Papua who fight against the government of Indonesia for their freedom) rebels.
According to Agustinus, Indonesians referred to them as refugees, but actually many of those people migrated from Indonesia’s Papua to Papua New Guinea as part of their struggle against Indonesia’s central government.
“These people are forgotten. Nobody writes about their struggle. Nobody covers them. And they are full of fear of Indonesia and Indonesians so it was quite hard for me to get accepted by the people,” recounted the travel writer, mentioning that he eventually stayed with them at their camps.
Many of the OPM camps are located in the southern area of Indonesia’s border but they are hard to reach from the populated part of Indonesia. If you go there from Papua New Guinea, you need to cross three rivers; but from Indonesia’s side, you have to cross five deep rivers.
For the locals, the border itself is so vague that they could not differentiate which part belongs to which country. There is even a village of OPM members, with facilities such as schools, that was built on Indonesia’s land, but they put Papua New Guinea’s flag and the people go to Papua New Guinea’s market; because they did not realize that they are on Indonesia’s territory.
“Nobody knows where the border is,” emphasized Agustinus. He also explained the story of OPM people.
“These people are the children of people who are struggling. In the 1984, they moved to Papua New Guinea,” said the knowmad.
But that generation passed away and their children did not know about the struggle. “They don’t even know whether they are Indonesian or Papua New Guinean!”

“What will be their future?” Agustinus wonders while taking this photograph at Tais in Papua New Guinea. (Photo source: Agustinus Wibowo

Cultural Destruction and Responsible Travel

It was indeed a compelling story and a thrilling journey but do not pack your bag just yet, Agustinus may advise. Responsible travel is more important than the quantity of travelers, said the travel writer and photographer.
“Many places in Papua have been destroyed culturally by visitors, by outsiders especially,” he stated.
“I started to understand about OPM struggle after I live with them,” he added. After crossing the border from Papua New Guinea to Papua province (on the Indonesian side), within 30 km, you do not experience Papua or see the local Papuans anymore. You see mainly Javanese people, speaking Javanese, opening Javanese restaurants.
“Now many cities are drowned by outsiders. If you go to Merauke (the most Eastern outer part of Indonesia in Papua), about 80 percent are outsiders.”
Although, on the contrary, the more foreign culture has positive contribution where local Papuans pick up technology from them, evident from their ways of living. He noticed that the ways of cooking are different and food are more delicious on the Indonesian side of Papua.
Generally, Papua is less developed than other parts of Indonesia. The people in Papua are still living quite traditionally as compared to, for example, those in Java. So, as Agustinus put it, “How can these people compete with the outsiders?”
When these outsiders migrate to Papua, they prefer to hire outsiders as they are more educated and have more relevant working experiences. It causes inequality as Indonesians of other ethnic groups may find job anywhere in Indonesia while people of Papua is being discriminated.
“So how can they survive? So this is the reason of the anger. The injustice, economic wise, the opportunity to survive, is very unjust.”
However, Agustinus does not mean to discourage people from visiting Papua. “I encourage people (to travel) of course, when they are responsible to society, they respect the culture,” he argued.
The thing is, when some places in Indonesia open up to tourism, they offer their tribal culture and primitiveness, and yet some tourists may exploit and may not be responsible enough to respect the locals as fellow human beings.
“This is reducing the value of their culture, reducing the value of their humanity,” he urged travelers to treat local as how they would like to be treated, with dignity and respect. editor, based in Singapore.
Tangerang-based journalism student specializing in written content. Manage a personal blog: Has published a digital short novel about stereotype titled “Ingatkah Engkau."


7) 50 years ago today, American diplomats endorsed mass killings in Indonesia. Here’s what that means for today.

By Kai Thaler December 2 at 12:00 PM

Fifty years ago today, the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia sent a cable to the State Department asking for funding to help civilian groups that the United States knew were engaged in a violent effort to eliminate communist influence in Indonesia. At the time, these civilian groups and the Indonesian military, led by Gen. Suharto, were massacring and purging communists and suspected communists, in response to what the military alleged was an attempted coup on Sept. 30, 1965.
The ensuing civilian-military campaign resulted in the mass killing of about 500,000 people. Around 750,000 more civilians were imprisoned, tortured and discriminated against for decades. This marked the beginning of a shift to military rule in Indonesia. The highly repressive military has retained influence. Reforms have been slow and incomplete, even after Indonesia’s transition to democracy in 1998-99. Those responsible for the mass violence have never been punished.
The documentaries “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” have brought greater attention to the massacres and the impunity their perpetrators enjoy. But Indonesian forces are not solely responsible for what happened.
As I explore in a forthcoming book chapter based on declassified government documents, U.S. officials were accessories to this mass murder. The United States helped create the conditions for the killings. It supported, rather than restraining or condemning, the perpetrators. The United States was not alone; British and Australian officials also supported the killings.
The United States has never officially apologized, though, for its involvement in what the CIA called “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.” America also continues to support the Indonesian military despite its culture of repression. In fact, during Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to the United States in late October, President Obama and he largely ignored human rights issues.
In the early 1960s, Indonesia had a left-wing president, Sukarno, and the third-largest communist party in the world, the PKI. The U.S. government believed that Sukarno and the PKI were threatening to make Indonesia the “next China,” endangering U.S. strategic and commercial interests. The United States took covert action against Sukarno in the 1950s and restricted aid in the 1960s, primarily funding military assistance programs. U.S. officials cultivated relationships with anti-Sukarno leaders. In February 1965, as tensions were rising in Indonesia, the United States approved a covert action plan to “chip away at the PKI” through “black letter operations” and support for anti-communist groups.
The political situation exploded Sept. 30, 1965, when a group of junior military officers killed six top generals. By the next day, the army, under the command of Suharto, had crushed the officers. There is no evidence that the Sept. 30 attack was organized by the PKI or part of a larger plot, yet Suharto moved quickly to smear the PKI and leftist organizations and painted the events as a communist coup attempt. The military sidelined Sukarno and immediately launched a campaign with student and Muslim organizations to “crush” the PKI.
U.S. officials had long hoped that the military would repress the PKI and moved to bolster the military. On Oct. 5, Ambassador Marshall Green recommended that the United States spread anti-PKI propaganda, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk wanted to encourage the military “to follow through against PKI.” By Oct. 12, aware that the army was organizing anti-communist attacks, the United States secured assurances that the British would stand down from their confrontation with Indonesia in Malaysia to allow the Indonesian military to “straighten things out” domestically.
Later that month, Green expressed approval that the military was “working hard at destroying PKI” through executions, and Rusk affirmed U.S. support for the “elimination of the PKI.” U.S. officials also provided detailed lists of thousands of PKI members for the military and anti-communist civilians, with American officials reportedly checking off who had been killed or arrested.
Amid reports of massacres throughout the country, in late October, Rusk and U.S. national security officials made plans to unconditionally provide weapons and communications equipment to the Indonesian military, while new U.S. aid was organized in December for the civilian anti-communist coalition and the military. By February 1966, Green stated approvingly that“the Communists…have been decimated by wholesale massacre.” U.S. support deepened in March 1966 as the military pushed Sukarno further off the scene, with the United States releasing economic aid that was frozen while Sukarno was in power, even as killings slowed but continued through 1968. In September 2015, the CIA released Presidential Daily Briefings from Lyndon Johnson’s administration confirming that Johnson was well aware of events in Indonesia and did nothing to halt the killings.
Suharto remained in power until 1998, retaining strong U.S. support. U.S.-Indonesian military ties likewise continued, despite Indonesia’s illegaldeadly 1974-1999 occupation of East Timor and its ongoing highly repressivecounterinsurgency campaign in West Papua. Research has shown that governments that commit one mass killing and remain in power, like those of Suharto, Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, are likely to employ thesetactics again. Close allies are best positioned to pressure governments to avoid or halt mass atrocities. But in the Indonesian case, the United States assisted and encouraged the killing.
In a January 1966 speech, Sen. Robert Kennedy said, “We have spoken out against inhuman slaughters perpetrated by the Nazis and the Communists. But will we speak out also against the inhuman slaughter in Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged Communists have been not perpetrators but victims?” Kennedy argued that the United States must speak out against all mass killings. If the United States explicitly acknowledged and atoned for its role in the violence that engulfed Indonesia in the 1960s, it could help Indonesia confront its past and move toward justice and reconciliation.
The survivors and relatives of victims still suffer from discrimination in Indonesia, and the alleged threat of communism is still used to justify political and social repression.
Half a century after the massacres began, Widodo and his ministers have refused to apologizeespousing the false narrative that the PKI bear equal responsibility for the violence, even though there was minimal PKI resistanceat the time. Perpetrators still hold positions of power locally and nationally.
If the United States were to pressure the Indonesian government and military to follow international law, it could help minimize or even prevent contemporary abuses in West Papua and elsewhere in the country. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) has twice proposed a ‘Sense of the Senate’ resolution seeking both a truth and reconciliation commission in Indonesia and further clarity on the U.S. role in the massacres, though this has not spurred further legislative or executive action. U.S. acceptance of responsibility for its own role in the massacres could reinforce American human rights rhetoric and bolster the claims of survivors and victims’ families in Indonesia.
Kai Thaler is a PhD candidate in the department of government at Harvard University, studying civil wars, political violence, and state building, and is on Twitter @KaiMThaler.

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