Friday, February 26, 2016

1) Indonesia’s West Papua crimes laid bare in award-winning documentary

2) Police Question Customary Activists over Pro-independence Office Launch

3) Hundreds of Merbau Logs Seized by Papua Forestry Office
4) Islands in focus: Jayapura  supports plastic bag policy 
5) Women District Chief Wants Pig Statue
6) Indonesian Military Finds Boundary Markers of Indonesia – PNG Border
7) Police Seize Thousands of Pig-Nosed Turtles in Timika
8) Quote Increase Offered as Solution to Overcome Scarcity of Fuel in Central Highlands
9) Papua’s Unsafe Reputation Hurts Tourism


1) Indonesia’s West Papua crimes laid bare in award-winning documentary

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Punks For West Papua
Directed by Anthony Brennan
46 minutes
A friend's request to film a punk rock concert and a rushed drive across Sydney to do a last-minute interview with West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda — without even knowing who the twice Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist was — was the catalyst for filmmaker Anthony “Ash” Brennan to make his award-winning film Punks For West Papua
The deeper origins of Brennan's motivation to be a social justice filmmaker can be traced back to his childhood. Growing up in a Western Sydney multicultural neighbourhood, he had ideas of social justice at an early age: “It's in my blood to be working class and my parents were always very welcoming to anyone who came in the front door.”
This included Greek and Italian migrants, and later Vietnamese refugees. “Initially there was a bit of a stand-off — 'who are these people blah blah' — eventually they became our mates and to this day I'm still friends with them,” Brennan told Green Left Weekly.
“I remember one of them telling me his story of coming on a boat and how his father hid him and his sister under the floorboards because pirates wanted to come and take him. 
“I remember going, 'I'm just a 15-year-old playing footy and my biggest worry is getting my homework done and cracking onto girls'. I didn't think that [sort of thing] happened.” 
Then Brennan got involved in the mass anti-war movement and environmental campaigns. This started his interest in advocacy films. “A couple of years ago I got a bit more handy with a camera,” he said. This led to him shooting videos on community campaigns against destructive mining, such as the struggle of farmers in Gloucester against coal seam gas mining.
Brennan has spent a lot of his life working for commercial TV, which has led to a healthy scepticism of the mainstream media's selection of messages. “It is not the news of the day, it's just the news they want to feed you,” he said. “There are too many stories we just never see.” 
The oppression of West Papua by Indonesia, with the support of the Australian government, is one of those stories. For more than five decades Indonesia has occupied West Papua with the complicity of multinational corporations and global powers.
The origins of the film came about when, in June last year, Brennan was contacted by friends Jodi Bartolo and Neil Carrington from Sydney band Diggers with Attitude to film a benefit concert for West Papua. 
“It was just meant to be five bands to raise a little bit of awareness and a bit of money for what's happening in West Papua and they asked me if I could come and film the night. 
“I said OK, let's interview a couple of people, maybe do something cool, it could be a good promo for your next album or something.” 
It was never meant to be the start of a feature-length documentary. It did, however, get Brennan thinking. “I got off the phone and went 'West Papua, everyone knows there's something there, but no one really knows [much about it]'. So I started reading up on it. There's a genocide happening there.”
Other bands began to follow Diggers with Attitude's example and started planning their own benefit gigs around the country. Brennan was already travelling around the country with work, so it seemed obvious to “do my other job and I can just do interviews with the other bands”.
However, it was not until two weeks after that initial phone call that the real catalyst for the documentary came. The Free West Papua campaign in Australia got in contact with Diggers With Attitude and said United Liberation Movement for West Papua spokesperson Benny Wenda was in town and available to be interviewed. 
Brennan's first thought was, “Cool, a West Papuan, that would be good. I had no idea who he was. Basically we got the phone call and had to get to the other side of Sydney in 45 minutes.
“I didn't know that he'd been nominated for two Noble Peace Prizes. But I can only say in my own experience, in that hour that he just turned me around in a heartbeat. 
“He told me what's been happening there. Half-a-million people have been murdered in the past 50 years. You're not allowed to fly [West Papua's] flag, or it's 15 years' jail. 
“They're killing kids there — just opening fire on people. One thing that stuck with me is that they are just north of Australia, we are practically neighbours, but nobody knows about this.”
“Once I interviewed Wenda, I knew we needed to make a documentary. That's when the word 'documentary' first came into it and so for the next two months I travelled the country interviewing people.”
Brennan began by interviewing the headline act of each of the Punks4WestPapua concerts. The documentary starts off like a punk rock music clip, it is fast with strong music and heavily stylised shots. It is not something you see often in a documentary. 
Brennan explained: “I felt the need to just throw punk rock in people's faces, startle people straight away. For the most part, punk rock is about caring for your fellow people, standing up for the rights of the downtrodden.”
Using punk rock as the opening for the documentary is more than just a hook. It is also very connected to the West Papuan independence struggle. Brennan said: “There's actually a massive relationship between that part of the world and punk rock. 
“In fact some of the punk rockers who have played in this benefit gig are starting to send over gear to them, old guitars and stuff. But they systemically get rounded up by the government and get thrown into jail.
“But I couldn't really have a documentary with [just] punk bands talking about the injustice of West Papua — I needed a voice of credibility.” 
That came in the form of Hugh Lunn, a multi-Walkley Award-winning journalist who has written extensively about West Papua. “That [interview with Lunn] really made the documentary. He was there, he saw what was happening. Those photos in the documentary are his personal photos that he took. Hugh Lunn just gave credibility to the whole thing.”
Lunn had previously tried to get documentaries made about West Papua, but was unable to generate enough interest. Brennan said he was only able to make his documentary by self-funding, with most of its $10,000 budget going towards rights to use footage and music. 
“I work in film and TV and I do alright out of it, so I started to use my powers for good rather than evil for a change,” he said.
Getting footage from West Papua was one of the film's biggest challenge, as the Indonesian government does not allow people to film freely.
Luckily, Brennan made contact with one person in West Papua who shoots video for Papua Storyteller, which can be found on Youtube and Facebook. 
“He just does a lot of day in the life sort of films and his stuff is actually quite good. He was quite happy for me to use his footage if the proceeds went to the campaign.”
Brennan's main regret is that he was unable to film in West Papua. “I feel like I did cheat in this documentary a bit because I didn't go over there. That's the one thing I wish that had been different.” 
Brennan feels the campaign for West Papua is finally starting to gain momentum in the past couple of years. “Just the other day, [Greens Senator] Scott Ludlum was talking about it in the national parliament. Every day there is a new social media group starting about what's happening in West Papua.”
Ultimately, Brennan is proud of the film, which allowed him to pull two of his biggest passions together. 
“I had a musical upbringing. I played in punk bands through the 80s and 90s. Obviously politics was an interest of mine, so to be able to combine music and politics in one doco was pretty special.” 
Punks For West Papua has just won the Award of Merit — Documentary Feature at the Indiefest Film festival in San Diego, the first festival it was entered into. 
It is currently being screened around the country. You can find out more details about the screenings or buy the film at 
Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

2) Police Question Customary Activists over Pro-independence Office Launch
25 February 2016
Wamena, Jubi – Three persons have been questioned by Jayawijaya Police over the opening of a local office of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on 15 February 2016 in Wamena.
The ULMWP office launch coincided with the office launch of the office of the Baliem Lapago Customary Council, sparking a controversy.
The three questioned were the chairman of the Baliem Lapago Office Launching Committee, Bonny Mulait, Engel Sorabut and Pieter Wanimbo.
Jayawijaya Police had summoned Pieter Wanimbo to be questioned on Saturday (20/2/2016), while Boni Mulait and Engel Sorabut were quizzed on Wednesday (24/2/2016) at Jayawijaya Police.
As Chairman of Office Baliem Lapago Launching Committee, Bonny Mulait told reporters at Customary Council Office on Wednesday (24/2/2016) explained the first summon has been filed on the last week end, but because he has not yet coordinated with his attorney, Mulait and Engel Sorabut submitted a letter to request delay on their examination.
“Therefore today I and Mr. Engel Sorabut came to the Police office and we were questioned as witnesses. The Police asked me 23 questions related to ULMWP,” said Boni Mulait.
He explained the Police asked about the activity done related to the launch of ULMWP Office as well as about the establishment of both customary council and ULMWP offices. “I explained the customary council office was built under support of customary people of Yalo, Hubula and Lani. When the construction was set up after five months and fourteen days in construction, we agree to launch it on 15 February 2016,” he said.
He admitted the Police also asked about the letters from the committee concerning about the development of customary council, about the agenda of office launch. “I said the agenda were including praying, reading the accountability report by Committee Chairman, and installation of the office signs of Customary Council and ULMWP,” said Bonny Mulait.
They also asked about the list of guests. “I said those who attended the event were the customary council chiefs and tribal chiefs. The point is there are 23 questions that I answered. The examination was started from 11:45 at noon to 15:00 in the afternoon at the Crime and Investigation Department of Jayawijaya Police. And there is no force in this investigation,” he said.
Engel Sorabut similarty said he asked the same questions. “I said those who attended the events are local people, Lapago customary council members, and apart of members were Markus Haluk and Edison,” he said. “I explain that in MSG, ULMWP has same position with Indonesia, that is the member of MSG. There are some questions that I answered all of it, and I told I don’t know if I really don’t know about it,” said Sorabut.
Meanwhile the attorney Anum Siregar accompanying two witnesses said witnesses would get support of 15 lawyers in this case and investigation. The first examination of two witnesses was accompanied by four lawyers.
“The lawyers are the coalition of NGOs including ALDP, LBH and so on. We will improve the team, but this is urgent because these witnesses were called after the second summon. They have told us about the first summon and requested us to give them company. So they must submit the letter to the Police but must be accompanied by a lawyer,” said Siregar.
“The lawyers team consisting of four that are Welis Doga from Wamena, Suhut Maduyanto and Yulius Lalaar from LBH and myself, Anum Siregar. We would see the progress of this case whether the three people would be called for further question or not. We still don’t know,” she added. (Islami/rom)
3) Hundreds of Merbau Logs Seized by Papua Forestry Office
24 February 2016

                                                                                Illegal logging in Papua Province – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – A team from the Papua Forestry Office seized 20 cubic-meters of merbau wood while being transported in five trucks without legal documents on Tuesday morning (23/2/2016).
“We seized five trucks from Nimbotong, Nimboran Sub-districk, Jayapura Regency,” said the head of Conservation and Reserve Department at the Papua Forestry Office, Yohanis Huik.
He said hundreds of merbau logs and five truck drivers have been secured at the Papua Forestry Office
The action, said Huik, was taken after an inspection that they had no legal documents. The move followed a tip-off from citizens reporting about the rise in log mobility from Nimborang region.
Therefore, on Monday (22/2/2016) at around 21:00 Papua time, team moved to Nimboran and found five trucks transporting logs in Nimboton.
“When being asked, the five truck drivers admitted the logs were belong to a timber businessman domiciled at Nimbokran, but after checking it was not true,” said Yohanis Huik. (*/rom)
4) Islands in focus: Jayapura  supports plastic bag policy 

The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Sat, February 27 2016, 9:23 AM - 
JAYAPURA: The Jayapura municipal administration in Papua is making preparations to apply the plastic bag fee policy, Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano said on Friday. The new policy, to be applied in 22 major cities including Jayapura, requires modern retailers to charge costumers for plastic bags.

Mano said that his administration would disseminate information regarding the policy to the public so as to both increase awareness and invite opinion on the matter before implementation, Antara reported.

However, several retailers in the city have already begun to charge customers Rp 200 (1.5 US cents) per plastic bag. -

5) Women District Chief Wants Pig Statue
27 February 2016
Wamena, Jubi – Chief of Wamena district, Jayawijaya, Lince Kogoya is seeking to build a statue of a pig as a symbol of the mountainous region.
According to her, name of Wamena has a great meaning to Jayawijaya people and  central mountain areas, so there should be a symbol that represents the town of Wamena.
“Wamena stands for Wam (Pig) Ena (pet). It is important because it’s our identity as a mountain man, “she said in Wamena on Friday (26/02/2016).
She said almost all indigenous people in the central mountainous especially in Jayawijaya has pig as a pet.
“This is necessary, because pig is a treasure and is also commonly used to pay dowry, conflict settlement, as well as for traditional ceremony or celebration,” she added.
“So, I hope Jayawijaya parliament to plan and realize it,” she continued.
She explained, pig is sacred animal to Papuan people who live in central highlands, especially Jayawijaya.
Chairman of  Jayawijaya parliament, Taufik Petrus Latuihamallo said construction of a statue as a symbol of regional culture  is on the agenda of the board.
“We’ve submitted to the board, and will be discussed together,” said Taufik Latuihamallo. (Islami/Tina)
6) Indonesian Military Finds Boundary Markers of Indonesia – PNG Border
26 February 2016
Jakarta, Jubi – Indonesian soldiers have found boundary markers on the border between Papua and Papua New Guinea, the military said.
Indonesian Military spokesperson Colonel Czi Berlin G in Jakarta told reporters on Thursday (25/2/2016), in addition to secure the border area at North sector located between Keerom and Pegunungan Bintang regencies, the members of Infantry Battalion 406 are responsible to control the markers along the Indonesian-PNG boundary, from MM 4.3 to 7.2.
“Of those markers, after carrying patrol they found MM 4.3, MM 4.4, MM 4.5 and MM 6.3 while the rest has not yet checked,” said Berlin.
He further explained in doing their task, Infantry Battalion 406/Candra Kusuma task force led by the First Lieutenant Infantry Mustamin who brought 12 personnel from Batom Post and 6 Batom villagers heading to Point MM 6.1 by long boat.
“Because of the long distances to reach each points, soldiers could take two or three days on foot and down the river by long boat, the topography was dense forest and vertical reef,” he said.
Soldiers must do patrols considering land, sea or air boundary between two countries is strategic area to be maintained and secured, because it reflects a State’s sovereignty and might triger a conflict of interest between two countries including political and economic interests.  Moreover, the area is also prone to border crossers and illegal activities such as smuggling of drugs, firearms and wildlife.
“In Indonesia, we share land borders with 10 neighboring countries, which in developing countries the boundary often becoming a problem leading to tensions between both sides. In accordance to the Law No. 34 of 2004, the Indonesian Military has the main task that one is to protect the State’s soverignety. Therefore, it will hold security iperations in the territory by land, sea and air,” he said. (*/rom)
7) Police Seize Thousands of Pig-Nosed Turtles in Timika
Indonesian Military Finds Boundary Markers of Indonesia – PNG Border
26 February 2016

Timika, Jubi – Mimika Police are working with Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) to immediately release thousands of young pig-nosed turtles to their habitat in Asmat Regency after they were seized from smugglers in Timika.
Mimika Police Chief Yustanto Mudjiharso said in Timika on Thursday (25/2/2016) half of the turtles seized were already dead and the remaining should be released immediately.
“We are focusing to immediately release those protected animals to their natural habitat in Asmat Regency because most of them are dead. Young dead turtles are preserved to keep as evidence to complete the investigation of this case,” said Yustanto.
In order to minimize cases of smuggling of pig-nosed turtles outside of Papua, the Police continuously work with relevant stakeholders. “We have relied with the Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Fisheries Quarantine, and KSDA representatives in Timika. We need to synchronize our perception on how to prevent the smuggling of those animals to outside of Papua,” he said.
BKSDA Papua has deployed an expert and two civil investigators to work with us in handling this case.
The protected and endangered pig-nosed turtle is Papuan endemic animal whose habitat in the swamps located in the border between Asmat and Mimika regencies. Thousands of pig-nosed turtles was about being smuggled from Mozes Kilangin Airport in Timika by a culprit on Monday (15/2).
To fool the officers, a total of 3,230 young turtles have been put into boxes and packed into four suitcases. Security officer in Timika Airport suspected someone who brought four suitcases to get in the luggage of Sriwijaya Air flight destination to Jayapura and Jakarta because not passed entrance of X-ray examination.
“Perpetrator with initial S is employee of ground handling department of an airline company in Timika, therefore those packages could escape the X-ray scanning at the airport,” said the Section Head of KSDA Region II Timika, Frans Mansay.
The Head of BKSDA Papua MG Nababan said the pig-nosed turtle is one of protected animals regulated in the Law No 5 of 1990 and Government Regulation No 7 of 1999.
The perpetrator, he said, may be subject to a maximum penalty of five years sentence or a maximum fine of Rp100 million. Pig-nosed turtle is also one of endangered animals listed in the Appendix II CITES that only live in the swamps of the Southern Papua, Southern Papua New Guinea and North Australia. (*/rom)
8) Quote Increase Offered as Solution to Overcome Scarcity of Fuel in Central Highlands
25 February 2016

Wamena, Jubi – Officials are considering an increase of the fuel quota as a solution to the scarcity of fuel in Jayawijaya and Central Highlands.
The solution was discussed during a meeting between Jayawijaya Council Speaker Taufik Petrus Latuihamallo, Jayawijaya secretary and head of Industrial, Trade and Cooperatives Department (Perindagkop) and Papua governor Lukas Enembe on Wednasday (24/2/2016).
The officials proposed the quote be increased by 875,000 on top of the proposed minimum of 2 million liters per month.
Although it will have implications for fuel subsidies of state budget by increasing the quota, it was considered the most needed in communities.
“For us it’s real need, so we must strive for it. We hope the governor to talk to the Ministry of Energy, “he told Jubi in Wamena on Wednesday (24/02/2016).
A second solution requiring a study about the proposed price of fuel subsidy by the central government through the state budget and had no specificity for Papua.
“This means that fuel prices are determined by the provincial government of Papua. For example if the state budget set a price of 6,950 rupiah per liter, especially for Papua should be 8,000 rupiah per liter. The difference of price will be recorded in the budget of each region, and it will be used to hold a new fuel, “he said.
“Well we’ve share it to the governor and are is being studied. Although, it would be contrary to the laws of the state budget, because the budget is already set prices, “he continued.
Furthermore Jayawijaya parliament requested that areas which have abundant fuel should be supplied to the mountainous region.
“This is a solution offered to the provincial government. Only the problem that is still faced by Pertamina is who will be responsible for the cost of delivery ?” he added.
Previous requests to the addition of fuel quota for Jayawijaya and Papua’s central highlands have also been addressed by Jayawijaya Society Forum across Papua’s central highlands.
They urged Jayawijaya government to propose the addition of fuel quota to the central government, so that scarcity is not repeated. (Islami/Tina)
9) Papua’s Unsafe Reputation Hurts Tourism
25 February 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – The head of the Papua Tourism and Creative Economy Office, David Pagawak, said Wednesday (24/2/2016) that Papua tourism has not improved due to the stigma that the region is unsafe.
The image has deterred both domestic and international tourists from visiting Papua.
“If it was crimes and public security problems, it’s normal because it’s also happening in other regions. Papua in general is safe, why do they not want to come, because there is a stigma obstructing both domestic and international tourists to come,” he said.
According to Pagawak, many travel bureaus in Jakarta distorted many tourists who want to come to Papua to other destinations such as Bali, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and other regions.
“Scaring the tourists was not good, further diverting their destinations. This is often done by the travel bureaus. Let them to come here because there are many good objects to be seen in Papua,” he said.
In order to promote the tourism in Papua, said Pagawak, it could not be done only by his office, all groups must be involved. So it should ne a synergy between stakeholders. “I can not work alone because our responsibility is to promote the existing natural resources,” said Pagawak.
Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the tourism potency in Papua is not only need to be promoted widely but also need to repackage to bring the regional revenue (PAD).
“If all potencies in Papua was well packaged by involving all relevant stakeholders, it would attract many local and foreign tourists to visit Papua,” said Lukas Enembe. (Alexander Loen/rom)

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