Friday, December 4, 2015

1) Repression of Papuans could spell trouble for Indonesia

2) Indonesia Gives Freeport Until January 12 to Propose Divestment Price
3) Freeport Indonesia Head Says Speaker Tried to Extort Shares

1) Repression of Papuans could spell trouble for Indonesia
Crackdown will only strengthen resolve for independence
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta Indonesia December 4, 2015

Indonesian police in riot gear face hundreds of Papuan students during a Dec. 1 protest in Jakarta. (Photo supplied by Kontras)

Indonesian rights activists said the brutal response of police toward protesting Papuan students has incited hatred and could further strengthen the resolve among Papuans to demand independence.
"If this approach continues, it is possible that in a few years no more Papuans will claim to be part of Indonesia," Budi Hernawan, activist with the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, said at a Dec. 3 press conference in Jakarta.
Several hundred protesters, mostly Papuan students, rallied Dec. 1 in Jakarta to commemorate the anniversary of Papua's 1961 independence from Dutch colonial rule, in which the Morning Star flag was first unfurled. The Indonesian government has banned the raising of the Morning Star flag.
Police used tear gas and forcibly dispersed the protesters. At least a dozen students were injured, with one reportedly suffering a fractured skull. Some 306 students were arrested and later released.
In Nabire in Papua province, 32 people were also arrested during a simultaneous protest and later released.
Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian told reporters that the police responded with tear gas after students threw stones at police. Two police officers were injured in the melee, he said.
Hernawan — a former Franciscan missionary — said the tactics used by police against Papuan protesters was similar to what was done against the people of East Timor, when that country was still part of Indonesia.
"The pattern is similar. Brutality committed in East Timor made people angry, fearful and increasingly consolidated the opposition movement," he said.
Puri Kencana Putri from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence said repressive acts indicate that there is no good news for human rights in Papua. She also questioned the commitment of the government for peace in the restive province.
"Police should have behaved in a more humane way," she said.
Meanwhile, Frans Nawipa of the Papua Students Alliance who participated in the rally said Papuans should have the right to determine their own future.
"We want to live in a society without constantly being victims of violence and cruelty," he said. He also questioned why a struggle for self-determination was considered a separatist movement.
"What we understand is that separatist movements use weapons. What we did was peaceful," he said.
Divine Word Father Paul Rahmat of Vivat International-Indonesia said he lamented the lack of church support in Papua in addressing the repressive violence used by Indonesian authorities against the Papuan people.
"Efforts in education, health and others have been made. However, we also need the voice of the church as an institution to protest such violence," he said.
A low-level insurgency has simmered for decades in resource-rich Papua

2) Indonesia Gives Freeport Until January 12 to Propose Divestment Price
By : Wilda Asmarini | on 1:40 PM December 04, 2015
Jakarta. Freeport McMoRan must propose a price for a 10.64 percent stake it is required to divest from its Indonesian subsidiary on or by January 12, a mining ministry official said, amid a parliament probe centering around the stake.
"They have 90 days after October 14," Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot said on Friday, referring to Freeport.
Once it has received the offer from the U.S. copper mining giant, Indonesia will decide within 60 days whether it will buy the stake or offer it to a state-owned enterprise or regional government, Gatot told reporters.

3) Freeport Indonesia Head Says Speaker Tried to Extort Shares
By : Fergus Jensen & Wilda Asmarini | on 2:37 PM December 04, 2015

Jakarta. The operator of one of the world's biggest copper and gold mines was at the center of a major political scandal in Indonesia after confirming that the speaker of parliament tried to extort shares from the company to ensure its contract extension.
Maroef Sjamsoeddin, head of Freeport McMoRan Inc's Indonesian operations, told the parliament's ethics panel he secretly recorded a meeting in which speaker Setya Novanto asked for a 20 percent stake, estimated to be worth billions of dollars, in the US-based company's Indonesia unit.
His remarks on Thursday came after Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said reported Setya to the ethics panel last month and submitted a transcript of the conversation recorded by Maroef.
In the recording, Maroef said, Setya indicated that a 20 percent stake be given to President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Setya allegedly told the Freeport executive that he could ensure the miner's contract would be extended from 2021 to 2041.
The Indonesian government already has a 9.36 percent stake in Freeport's Indonesian operations, and is due to take another 10.64 percent stake under existing regulations.
Freeport had asked for an extension of its contract to give it legal certainty before investing billions of dollars in an underground phase at its Grasberg gold and copper sites in Papua province. Freeport generated 8.4 percent of its revenue last year from Indonesia.
The contract extension and now the political scandal are more headaches for Freeport in Indonesia, where new rules have banned the export of unprocessed minerals, forcing mining groups to build local smelters.
'Tip of the iceberg' 
Joko is "monitoring and following this carefully," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung told reporters on Friday.
"Some of it is hyperbole and some of it is fact. Let the ethics council investigate it," Pramono said, referring to the recording.
Vice President Kalla was quoted by Kompas newspaper on Friday as saying the Freeport case was just the tip of the iceberg and the government will pull out all stops to "clean up corruption no matter what happens."
Indonesia is routinely ranked as one of the world's most corrupt countries and the anti-corruption NGO Transparency International says its surveys show Parliament is perceived to be among its most corrupt institutions.
The allegations threaten to further erode investor confidence in Indonesia, analysts said.
"The multifarious affair surrounding Setya reeks of the sort of shady dealings and political conspiracy theories which makes investing and operating in Indonesia extremely precarious and challenging," Concord Consulting said in a note.
Suharto's Golkar
The parliament speaker is from Golkar, the party that the late and authoritarian president Suharto used as his political vehicle. Golkar supported Joko's opponent in the country's 2014 presidential election.
Freeport's Maroef told the ethics panel he met speaker Setya along with businessman Muhammad Reza Chalid at their request to discuss business at a Jakarta hotel in May and June.
"I took the initiative to record it ... because I was by myself and there was two of [them]," Maroef said, adding he'd used his phone to record the last meeting with the pair.
"The parliament speaker and his friend Reza told me they wanted a 20 percent stake and also asked for a hydroelectric power project," he said.
The pair said they were working with Chief Security Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and also wanted to be involved in Freeport's planned smelter project, Maroef added.
Luhut said earlier this week that Jakarta would not do an early extension of Freeport's contract because local regulations say negotiations can only begin two years before the contract ends in 2021, local media reported.
This was the parliament speaker's second brush with the ethics council in recent months. He was criticized after appearing next to US presidential candidate Donald Trump at a news conference in September in New York.

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