Thursday, January 21, 2016

1) US signals concern about West Papua forests

2) Team evaluating share price of PT Freeport Indonesia: Minister Sudirman

3) Freeport’s price unrealistic,  assumes contract extension:  House members -

5) Indonesia urged to take  concrete action over past  human rights abuses - 

1) US signals concern about West Papua forests 

Updated at 5:24 pm on 21 January 2016

The US Ambassador to Indonesia has visited West Papua and indicated American interest in helping to keep the endangered forests of Papua region intact.
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The United States government has indicated it wants to help protect the endangered forests of West Papua.

This follows a trip to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua this week by the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Robert Blake.

Among a range of consultations he had while in the remote region, Mr Blake met with Papuan activists in Jayapura on Tuesday 19/1/16 to discuss issues such as human rights.

Mr Blake also discussed ongoing, rampant clearance of forest and peatlands in Papua which has some of the world's last remaining substantial tracts of rainforest.

One of the people Mr Blake talked with was Father Neles Tebay of Papua's Catholic Justice and Peace Secretariat who spoke to Johnny Blades.
NELES TEBAY: In the meeting between the US Ambassador and we Papuan activists, the US ambassador was keen to know about the present situation in Papua. He wants to know about issues related to forests because of the climate change personal commitment on climate change made in Paris last year and how it can be implemented in Papua. So he discussed about how to keep the Papuan forests intact. Because the Papuan forests are considered as the world's lungs. So once the lungs are destroyed, it is not only the Papuans or only the Indonesians but the internatinoal community who will pay the price.

JOHNNY BLADES: Did he give you any sign that the US can do something to help with the rights or the forests?

NT: Yeah, I think he's willing, he's at least willing to help, of course in collaboration with the government of Indonesia, and the local government here, also in collaboration with some local NGOs.

JB: But what practically can the Americans do?

NT: I think he might raise the issue with the government of Indonesia. In the meeting, he didn’t say he's committed to help the Papuans through local government or GOs, but in my understanding, knowing the destruction of forests in Papua and its implications, he might raise the issue in his conversations with central government of Indonesia in Jakarta.

2) Team evaluating share price of PT Freeport Indonesia: Minister Sudirman
Kamis, 21 Januari 2016 19:39 WIB |
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Sudirman Said an evaluating team is will determine the share price of Freeport Indonesia.

"I would not comment on the price . There are experts for that," the minister said in reply to a question here on Thursday.

He said the government has asked for expert opinions of two state owned securities companies PT Danarakesa and PT Mandiri Sekuritas.

"Let us rely on them as they have accountable methods of evaluation," he said.

He said the ESDM ministry would take part in looking for an appraiser, ADDING, "We would wait for the result of evaluation by the two valuers named by the BUMN minister Rini Soemarno."

"We hope to get the result of valuation by March," he added.

PT Freeport Indonesia, which has large copper and gold mines in Papua, already set the price for 10.64 percent stake it is to divest this year at Rp23 trillion (US$1.7 billion).

Rini, however, said the price is too high especially as the prices of the commodities produced by the U.S. company are on the decline.

Sudirman said Freeport has not given dividends to its shareholders in the past three years on shrini8king profit.

Whether the dividends would be paid or not depending on the decision in the shareholders meeting, he said.

Acquisition of the 10.64 percent stake would give the government significant voting power of 20 percent, he said.

Currently the government has 9.36 percent stake in Freeport.

Freeport is required under its contract to divest 30 percent of its shares to the government or Indonesian companies named by the government.

Divestment is to be made by phases -- 20 percent this year and the rest in 2019.

This year divestment is only 10.64 percent as the government already has 9.36 percent stake in the subsidiary of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold.
3) Freeport’s price unrealistic,  assumes contract extension:  House members -
Ayomi Amindoni, | Business | Thu, January 21 2016, 10:56 AM - 
House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing the energy sector has described a share value that PT Freeport Indonesia offered to the Indonesian government as unrealistic.

Freeport Indonesia must explain the basis of valuation for the offering price of US$1.7 billion (Rp 23.69 trillion) for 10.64 percent of its shares to the government, said Commission XI member Ramson Siagian.

"We want a realistic calculation. They must give a realistic offer, by taking into account the updated market situation," Ramson said in a meeting with Freeport Indonesia at the legislative complex in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The price, he continued, was too high as the market value of Freeport McMoran was currently around $4.8 billion, amid a fall in the share price in the market to around $3.85 per unit.

Likewise, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Fallah Amri urged the government to review the price as it was made based on the company's assumption.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's minerals and coal director general, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said the government would form a special team to calculate a fair price for the stake.

"The $1.7 billion was based on the assumption the company made. However, that is not the government’s benchmark. It will be evaluated by the team," Bambang said.

Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia vice president Clementino Lamori confirmed that the share price offered to the government was calculated assuming Freeport Indonesia continued operations after the contract was renewed in 2021.

"Including the investment of $4.3 billion for underground mining and $15 billion for the development of underground mining," he said.

Freeport Indonesia must sell the government a 10.64 percent stake in the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua as part of the process to extend its operating contract beyond 2021.

Under current regulations, the central government will be first in line to purchase the shares, followed by Papua's provincial and regency/municipal administrations, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local administration-owned enterprises.

They have to express their interest within 60 days after Freeport's offer. If none are interested, the right to buy the shares will be taken over by private Indonesian companies. (ags)(+) - 

Medical staff taken sample of blood of Mbua residents – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan youths and activists grouped under Solidarity with Mbua Victims (SKJWM) urged the government to seriously deal with the disease caused by pertussis virus that has hit the region since last October.
“We urge the Central Government, especially the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Papua Provincial Health Office and Nduga Health Office to be more serious in handling the case occurred in Mbua, because until the early of January the victims reportedly was still occurred,” said the SKJWM Coordinator Peneas Lokbere told reporters on Saturday (16/1/2016). in KontraS Jayapura Office.
Lokbere with activists from IPMNI, AMPTPI, FIM, GMKI, PMKRI, PK, FPHAMP, GempaR, SKP Fransiskan, and SKP HAM-Papua said the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Papua Health Office and Nduga Health Office are those who most responsible to search the cause and announce what disease or virus causing the death of more than 50 Mbua residents.

“Besides pertussis virus, it might be another virus that has not yet detected. Because the death of residents in Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma sub-districts was followed the death of cattle and pets as well as plants,” he said.
In addition, this solidarity has some points to endorse the stakeholders to pay attention to Mbua case, including to urge the Papua and Nduga legislative councils to immediately form a special team or special committee to ascertain how many humans and animal that mysteriously died.
“The government also should provide some medical specialists, nurses and medical facilities including required drugs logistic, because we have reported about expired medicines distributed there,” he said.
Further, the Central Government and both Papua and Nduga government must pay attention on water sanitation and proper housing for local residents.
“We saw that only the Military and Police to provide food aid, we think it’s not right because the government who suppose to be most competent in handling the case has impressed to slowly react,” he said.
In separate place, the Papua Provincial Health Office Chief, Aloysius Giay told Jubi in his office that the medical team has been prepared to depart to Nduga Regency.
“It is a follow up action and we have sent two pediatricians, nurse, housewife and nutritionist. Currently we are still checking the budget availability from provincial budget amounted 1 billion allocated to Nduga Regency,” he said.
When asked about what virus that cause the death of dozens of toddlers, he said can not give a conclusion as he can only receive data from the survey team 1 and team 2 of the Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Office that stated the cause of death is pertussis disease.
“It’s pertussis from bacteria that affect the lungs and trigger a long-drawn pneumonia that accumulated by several factors,” he said.
Regarding to the number of victims due to this case, he said the information is still confusing.
“The survey 1 and 2 stated the number is 38 people but another team said 42. While the religious, customary and community leaders reported the number is 72. But when we gave the Freeport’s aid to the region, it revealed the number is 55 people,” he said. (Roy Ratumakin/rom)
5) Indonesia urged to take  concrete action over past  human rights abuses - 
Liza Yosephine,, Jakarta | National | Thu, January 21 2016, 3:01 PM - 
The government must take a real step toward settling unresolved human rights abuses by first issuing a national apology to the victims and their families in a bid to move forward as a nation, a non-governmental organization has said.
The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a government regulation arranging settlement of the past human rights violations that still shadow Indonesia as a country.
“President Jokowi should apologize to the victims and their families since they have been victims of past government policies, as well as to Indonesia in an acknowledgement of past wrongdoings so that we can all move on as a nation,” INFID senior program officer for Human Rights and Democracy Mugiyanto told on Wednesday.
An official statement of regret can be the initial step toward the resolution of the past human rights violations, such as 1965 Communist purge, the Talangsari killings, the Tanjung Priok incident, the students murdered during the 1998 movement, along with forced disappearances, the Wamena and Wasior incidents in Papua, up to the murder of human rights activist Munir.
"An apology was necessary because such a statement indicates a commitment from the government that such acts would not be repeated again in the future," he said adding that that the step must be followed by the fulfillment of victim’s rights for truth, justice and reparations.
A thorough and fair settlement begins with the revelation of the truth, Mugiyanto said, highlighting that it was important for people to know what happened behind those events.
Mugiyanto himself was a student leader in the anti-Suharto reform movement in 1998 and was one of the pro-democracy activists who was kidnapped and later released alive.
President Jokowi vowed to settle all past human rights violations by mid-year.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan suggested for the settlement would be made through a non-judiciary mechanism to speed up the process, explaining that a lack of evidence might hamper the investigation if the cases were to proceed to a legal settlement.
Another urgent suggestion put forward by INFID was the need for the government to accelerate the preparation of a roadmap in pursuit of reducing the Gini ratio – a measure of income inequality – from 0.41 to 0.36 as included in the National Mid-Term Development Plan (RPJM).
Citing an example from Brazil, which took 15 years to obtain that goal, INFID program manager Siti Khoirun Nikmah stressed the urgency of immediate concrete action.
"A 0.05 point drop is an ambitious goal that has been set to be reached within five years and the government has already wasted time throughout 2015," she said.
The organization's executive director, Sugeng Bahagio, expressed hope that the government will take into consideration INFID's suggestions in shaping their policy developments toward a better path throughout this year. (rin)(+)

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