Friday, March 18, 2016

1) Armed Rebels have no Place in Indonesia: Defense Minister

2) Allegations of Human Rights Abuse in West Papua Raised at the UN

3) Govt to resolve past human  rights cases

4) Komnas HAM demands thorough investigation into cases of violence in Papua

5) Lack of healthcare spurs fears of more deaths in Papua

FRIDAY, 18 MARCH, 2016 | 10:00 WIB
1) Armed Rebels have no Place in Indonesia: Defense Minister

TEMPO.COJakarta - Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Thursday that armed rebels have no place in the country, including those attempting to free Papua from Indonesia, because allowing them to keep existing would only create fear among the people. 
"Their existence cannot be tolerated," he told journalists in response to the separatist movement in Indonesia and the need to promote a state defense program.
Ryamizard said he believed in the involvement of parties in foreign countries in every separatist movement. Therefore, he warned that their unlawful acts would not be tolerated.
For the armed rebels in the Indonesian province of Papua who launch attacks, they would be stopped to avoid the people feeling terrorized. "We have been patient enough and this must be stopped in the best way," he said.
Ryamizard also touched on the importance of having a state defense program. In this connection, the Indonesian Defense Ministry has launched a program called "Gebyar Aku Indonesia" (The Sparkle of I am Indonesian) to educate young Indonesians about the necessities of state defense by employing an arts and cultural approach.
Among the arts and cultural activities that would be displayed from April through December 2016 in different parts of Indonesia are a musical festival, stand-by comedy, and various games, he said.
The "Gebyar Aku Indonesia" program will be held in such cities as Kota Batu and Surabaya (East Java), Semarang (Central Java), Palembang (South Sumatra), Sorong (Papua), Medan (North Sumatra), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan), Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Bandung (West Java) and Jakarta (capital city).
In resolving conflicts in Papua Province, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Papua Peace Network (JDP) have recommended a dialogue between the central government and representatives of the Papuan people for the sake of building a peaceful Papua.
The dialogue would give legitimacy to the central government and help resolve the Papua conflict peacefully, LIPI and JPD revealed in a policy brief entitled, "Building Peaceful Papua Together (2015)."

Friday, 18 March 2016 10:11 AM

2) Allegations of Human Rights Abuse in West Papua Raised at the UN

Solomon Islands has raised concern about human rights violations in the Indonesian Province of West Papua at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Its diplomat in Geneva, Barrett Salato, has told the Council that human rights violations need urgent attention by the world community.
Mr Salato said Solomon Islands remains concerned by arbitrary arrests, summary executions, tortures, ill treatments and limitations of freedom of expression committed by Indonesian security forces.
He encouraged Indonesia to establish a dialogue with West Papuan representatives and to cooperate with the Council by allowing UN special procedures planning to visit Indonesia.
Mr Salato highlighted the request made by the Pacific Island Forum to allow for a human rights fact-finding mission to be sent to West Papua. He said access to education and health services for the Papuans has deteriorated, adding to a decline of the indigenous West Papuan population.
The people of West Papua have refused to be part of Indonesia and the vast majority of them have pushed for independence ever since. There are regular mass protests throughout West Papua in support of independence, with many alleging that the Indonesian military and police often use lethal force to disperse them.
The Free Papua Movement (OPM) was set up to provide a formal resistance towards Indonesian rule. Local and international protest followed the impact of human rights abuses and transmigration by other Indonesians into the region.
3) Govt to resolve past human  rights cases
Ina Parlina and Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, March 18 2016, 7:21 AM - 

As a result of public demands that the truth behind decades-old cases of human rights abuse be revealed, the government has declared its readiness to resolve and find solutions to all past human rights cases.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters on Thursday that the government had no intention of forgetting past cases of human rights abuse, and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had ordered the government to resolve them.

“We want to resolve all cases [of past human rights abuses], as well as cases in Papua. We will solve this using our way,” Luhut said, adding that the Indonesian people should find solutions, and not only seek to decide who was right or wrong.

“We expect to settle six cases by May 2,” he added.

The six cases are the purge of communists following the Sept. 30, 1965 killing of six Army generals, the Talangsari, Trisakti, Semanggi I and II shootings and the disappearance of pro-democracy activists. 

Luhut underlined that Indonesia should stop following “others’ points of view”.

It was reported that a government-sanctioned team was set up last year and tasked with finding options on how to resolve past rights abuses. 

The team had concluded that a truth and reconciliation committee should be established to answer directly to the President. It recommended that the choice between using judicial or non-judicial mechanisms should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The team consists of officials from the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office, the National Police, the National Intelligence Agency, the military and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

On Thursday, Komnas HAM commissioner Nurcholis said the commission had sent a letter requesting the US government release its documents on the events of 1965. This was part of the efforts by the commission to obtain more documents on the case although there is no decision as yet on whether or not to settle the case, along with other past atrocities, through legal proceedings or reconciliation.

“Whether it will be reconciliation or prosecution, it depends on the [future] decision. However, such documents [from the US] are still relevant. The more complete the data is, the better it will be,” Nurcholis told reporters.

The Associated Press previously reported that Komnas HAM had met with US State Department 
officials and had made a formal request to President Obama for the release of files from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other agencies that would help in “encouraging the Indonesian government to redouble its own efforts to establish the truth” and promote reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Thomas Blanton, director of the nongovernment US National Security Archive, said the Obama administration had quite a good track record on declassifying documents for human rights accountability, as it did last October for Chile, revealing that former dictator Augusto Pinochet ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat. -

4) Komnas HAM demands thorough investigation into cases of violence in Papua

Jumat, 18 Maret 2016 08:14 WIB | 532 Views
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has urged the police to investigate thoroughly cases of violence in Papua, as well as the motives behind them.

Komnas HAM member Siane Indriani said to newsmen after meeting with the Chief of the Papua Regional Police Command, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, here on Thursday that Komnas HAM was very concerned over the incidents.

They must be dealt with seriously because they have claimed lives, including the recent one involving the killing four workers of the Modern Group in k Sinak, in the district of Puncak on Monday, March 15.

She said Komnas HAM would support the police with its planned law enforcement operations so long as they are carried out with respect for human rights. 

Since 2015, Komnas HAM has recorded many violent incidents happening in Papua, she said, adding they must not be allowed to continue happening and the perpetrators must be given harsh punishment, regardless of their reasons for committing the crimes.

"Violent incidents have long happened in Papua and caused many victims. Komnas HAM hopes they will never happen again," she said.

She said Komnas HAM would monitor the law enforcement efforts made by the police to find the perpetrators of the incident on Monday because what happened in Papua would not only be heard in Indonesia, but also in the world.

An armed group had attacked Modern Group workers while building a road from Sinak to Mulia on Monday, killing four workers identified as Anis, Andi, Daud and David.(*)
5) Lack of healthcare spurs fears of more deaths in Papua

Spate of deaths raise concerns that medical disaster is looming in remote villages

Children play at St. John Church in Samenage in Indonesia's Papua province. A church foundation has teamed with the government to provide healthcare to the remote village. (Photo by Flori Geong)
Flori Geong, Wamena, Indonesia

March 17, 2016

When nurse Geno Wetipo first visited Samenage in Indonesia's Papua province in December 2013, she recalled seeing thin-limbed children with distended bellies.
She arrived in an area in the throes of a health calamity — some 60 people, mostly children, had died during the preceding months. Wetipo says the deaths were not due to a mysterious plague or an outbreak of illness, but simply to the lack of availability to adequate healthcare.
The lack of access to medical care continues to plague the region, she said, as evidenced by 43 preventable deaths in nearby Nduga district late last year. The area, comprised of several small villages has a population of about 5,000 people.
"When I came here for the first time, almost all the children had bloated tummies. When I diagnosed them, they had parasitic worms inside their stomachs," says Wetipo. On that first trip, she traveled only with basic medicines such as penicillin and other antibiotics.
A spate of 12 deaths in Samenage late last year along with the Nduga deaths renewed fears that a greater tragedy in the region was looming, she told A dearth of medical workers and limited healthcare facilities remain a major concern here and in other remote areas of Papua, she says.
Wetipo, based at a hospital in Wamena, continually visits the area with a team of medical practitioners sponsored by the Lotus Heart of Papua Foundation, which was founded by Father John Djonga, a noted human rights activist in the region.
While the foundation's primary mission is to promote justice and peace, it also provides medical funding to assist people who otherwise would have little-to-no access to healthcare.
In 2013, most of the children died from parasitic diseases, Wetipo said. Children rarely bathed; there was no soap available for bathing and hand washing, she recalls. But on her most recent visit in February, "I could hardly find a child with such a condition," she says.
Naomi Kwambre, 28, a foundation staffer, says a team of people from Christ the Redeemer Church in Hepuba do their best to monitor and provide healthcare to the people in Samenage, but can only visit the region twice a year due to the high cost of travel.
In order to reach the area, their team of seven people needs to charter a small plane for a 12-minute flight at a cost of US$1,500, she says.
The mortality rate in the area remains high because of the lack of access to medical care, she says.

Naomi Kwambre (white shirt) and Geno Wetipo, (blue shirt), volunteers with the church-run Lotus Heart of Papua Foundation, with children of Samenage village in Papua's district of Yahukimo. (Photo by Flori Geong)

Church-state cooperation
"Our people here die without any health services," says Emanuel Esema, a tribal leader in Haleroma village in Samenage. Villagers often go years without seeing a doctor or medical practitioner, he said.
Naftali Yogi, head of Papua's social welfare agency of Papua province, said the government has started a cooperative program with local churches this year to help bridge the region's healthcare gap. Funding is being provided to church-run organizations to provide medical care to those most in need.
Funding also is being provided for community healthcare education, Yogi says.
"We lack not only health service, but also education," says Esema. For many years, the local elementary school did not have a single teacher.
But in June last year the school began regular activities after the local authorities appointed a new principal, who with the help of two volunteers, started a school from scratch, albeit with limited faiclities.
Wetipo says she and the other healthcare volunteers also teach children on healthy living and basic hygiene.
"I teach the children to bathe using soap," she said.

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