Friday, February 19, 2016

1) Papuan protesters want local control of Freeport mine

2) Government Urged to Send Teachers to Wamena, not Build Brimob Headquarters
3) Blog to Build Warehouse for 3,500 Tons of Rice in Merauke
4) Island in focus: Tolikara  defendants get two months  in jail 
5) Indonesia environment ministry detects 370-500 hotspots in Papua
6) Nabire: Akudiomi village government forbids forest and marine resource exploitation.
1) Papuan protesters want local control of Freeport mine
 Promised benefits to tribal communities have never been fully realized


Papuan protesters call for local control of the Freeport-McMoran copper mine during a Feb. 18 protest outside the governor's office in Jayapura, Indonesia. (Photo by Benny Mawel)

 Benny Mawel, Jayapura, Indonesia February 19, 2016

 Protesting tribal youths in Papua urged the Indonesian government to seize operations of the U.S.-based PT Freeport McMoRan copper mining company and install a Papuan as the company's head.
"Other people from Indonesia and the U.S. gain benefits, but the Papuan people only receive the leftovers," Decky Ofide of the National Papuan Youths, who organized the Feb. 18 protest, said in a speech outside the governor's office in Jayapura, the provincial capital.
About 300 people participated in the protest.
He said the central government should take concrete steps to give more opportunities to local people in managing the company, which has operated in the province since 1967.
Freeport’s former president Maroef Syamsuddin resigned last month following an extortionscandal involving House Speaker Setya Novanto, who allegedly asked for shares in the company, an action leading to a probe by the parliament's ethical commission.
"The vacant post of president director must be given to a Papuan. The Papuan people must manage the company," Ofide said.
Father John Djonga, a human rights activist in the region, noted that the Papuan people have seen little benefit from the billions of dollars reaped from the mine.
"If the company says that the Papuan people aren't capable of managing the company, so what has the company been doing for more than 50 years? Well, we can say that the company steals from the Papuan people," he told
Papuans would not stage protests if the company benefitted them ... so now the company must respond to the Papuan people's aspirations," he said.
Freeport-McMoRan obtained its first contract to operate in the region in April 1967, two years before Papua was annexed by Indonesia following a controversial 1969 referendum. The second contract was given in December 1991. In 2014, the company obtained its third contract, which will expire in 2021.

Freeport-McMoRan's mining operations have drawn frequent criticism for various environmental, human rights and workplace safety abuses. Benefits the company promised to local indigenous communities have never fully materialized, leading to frequent protests and clashes between local residents and security forces.
2) Government Urged to Send Teachers to Wamena, not Build Brimob Headquarters
Victor Mambor 5 hours ago 
Jayapura, Jubi – Activists and students from Jayawijaya urged the local government to pay attention to people’s need for health and education by bringing in teachers and doctors, instead of building police headquarters for the Mobile Brigade unit. “The construction of Mobile Brigade (Mako Brimob) headquarters in Wamena is not an urgent need for the people,” said Julian Mawel, Community Development Coordinator for Jayawijaya Care Forum told Jubi in Abepura, Jayapura, Papua, on Thursday (18/2/2016). He dismissed a statement by the Jayawijaya regent on Monday (15/02/2016) that the building had been agreed by all levels of society in Jayawijaya. “Like or not, we must place members of Brimob here by May in order to ensure public safety,” said Wetipo to the media in Wamena. Male added, the urgent need in Jayawijaya is not about security but about the improvement of health service, education and economic adequate as well as road infrastructure. “It is better to send teachers and doctors to Wamena than members of security forces since will provide enormous benefits, “he said. “Doctors can guarantee public health but Brimob makes people afraid. Community still remembers physical violence and shooting from a previous apparatus,” he said. Separately, Soleman Itlay, a student from Jayawijaya said regent’s policy is very one-sided and insistent as all districts have refused it in demonstration some time ago. “It is strange when he (Wempi Wetipo) said public agreed members of Brimob are placed here. How did he know? This is very one-sided decision for reasons of violence due to alcohol and which can be handled without adding troops,” he said in Abepura, Jayapura on Monday afternoon (15/2/2016). If the reason criminals, Itlay said, the government must take concrete measures in order to reduce crime rates, circulation of alcohol and unemployment. “Adding Brimob does not solve the problem but only adding the problem on the existing problems,” he said. (Mawel Benny/Tina)
3) Blog to Build Warehouse for 3,500 Tons of Rice in Merauke
Victor Mambor 5 hours ago 
Merauke, Jubi – The State Logistic Agency (Bulog) in Merauke will build a warehouse with a capacity of 3,500 tons of rice in Kurik District district. The head of Bulog, Zulcarnean Nurdin, said on Thursday (18/02/2016) he was still awaiting instructions from the central government. “Indeed, this year, construction of warehouses will be realised,” he said. Furthermore Nurdin explained, Bulog had approximately eight warehouse. However, the capacity to accommodate the rice is still very limited. So it takes a larger building and can accommodate rice in large quantities. “We must admit that, from year to year, production of rice from farmers increased,” he said. He explained, it needs a larger building to accommodate the rice from farmers. “Yes, the construction of warehouses have been started this year. So it can be completed on time and can be utilised,” he said. Papua provincial government plans to build a warehouse of rice in Merauke, Nurdin further said about the plan of Papua provincial build a warehouse of rice, has been heard. Only the location of the warehouse or construction site is not known for sure. Chief of Semangga district, Rekianus Samkakai said some time ago, Semangga became one of the centers for the development of agriculture, especially rice. (Frans L Kobun/Tina)
4) Island in focus: Tolikara  defendants get two months  in jail 
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, February 19 2016, 7:18 AM -
The Jayapura District Court sentenced on Thursday Jundi Wanimbo and Ariyanto Kogoya each to two months and 26 days in jail for inciting a riot that led to damage being caused to dozens of kiosks around a mosque.

“Hopefully the defendants will accept the verdict and return to Karubaga, Tolikara, and resume working,” presiding judge Adrianus Infaindan said.

The verdict means the defendants are now free as they have been detained for the period of their sentence already. The verdict was lighter than the sentence demanded by prosecutors who demanded four months in jail.

The defendants’ lawyer Gustave Kawer said his clients were still considering whether to appeal the verdict or not.

Jundi, a civil servant at Tolikara regency office, and Ariyanto, an employee at Bank Papua in Karubaga, were charged after the riot on July 17, 2015. The riot occurred after a group of people protested Muslims performing Idul Fitri prayers using a loud speaker. 

Seventy kiosks were damaged and burned down and the fire spread to a musholla (small mosque). One of the protesters was shot dead by security officers.

5) Indonesia environment ministry detects 370-500 hotspots in Papua
Jumat, 19 Februari 2016 21:24 WIB 
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has said her ministrys team found some 370 to 500 hotspots of forest fires in Papua early this year.

"It is a matter of worry since there was no hotspot in Papua last year, and this year the number is already around 370 to 500," Nurbaya said here on Friday.

The fires were not being caused by any act of corporations but resulting due to the local peoples lifestyle habits, she said.

Her ministry and the newly set up Peatland Restoration Agency (BGR) continue to coordinate to curb forest fires in Papua, which is one of the seven provinces being closely monitored.

The ministry sent a team to Papua last January and found local people burning old grass in order to prepare the ground to grow fresh grass for cattle.

Besides, fires were also lit up on purpose along the banks of rivers and lakes to catch fish.

The central and local governments need to inform the communities regarding certain traditional slash and burn methods that are allowed, the minister said.

"It should be firmly ensured that there must be no fire in peatland area, and that it is allowed in other areas with clear restrictions," she said.  

She said use of fire in hunting must be avoided because it could spark a bigger fire.
Akudiomi village in Yaur subdistrict of Nabire Regency (also known as Kwatisore village) looks out over the Cenderawasih Bay Marine National Park, and is home to whale sharks which are frequently visited by local and foreign tourists.
Several days ago (10/02/2016) in the Akudiomi village hall, the village administration held a meeting with the community, tribal leaders and religious and church leaders to discuss prohibiting the exploitation of forest and marine products by companies. Many companies have been operating in the village’s administrative area recently, damaging the environment.
The village took this step because its natural environment is being plundered and destroyed by people acting irresponsibly. Fishermen from outside Akudiomi are destroying the sea which provides local peoples livelihood by dynamite, potassium and poison. Villagers say that large numbers of dead fish can be seen floating around the area due to people using these destructive techniques.
Another reason is that the sea around their village faces the protected Cenderawasih Bay National Park, which should compel the community and village administration to take a firm stand in looking after the area for the future.
This prohibition also applies to their forest, where they will stop all businesses that try to operate. This represents the shared commitment of the Akudiomi village community.
Following on from this decision, all businesses will be cleared out of the Akudiomi customary and administrative territory on the 22nd February 2016, when the village government and the whole village community will join in a ‘cleaning’ operation. Copies of the decision were also sent to the Consultative Leadership Board (Muspida) and other relevant parties.
Report by Robertino Hanebora

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