Thursday, March 31, 2016

1) Indonesia to be consistently present in S. Pacific: Senior Minister

2) Indonesian minister hands over aid to Fijian prime minister
3) Luhut Says Pacific Trip Does Not Reflect Foreign Minister’s Diplomatic Failure

4) Central Government to Spare Special Budget for Border Area

5) Papua will continue to  use none voting system:  KPU -
6) Papua bans alcohol consumption
7) RI mulls appointing envoy  to South Pacific


1) Indonesia to be consistently present in S. Pacific: Senior Minister
Kamis, 31 Maret 2016 22:34 WIB 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will be consistently present in the South Pacific by sending ministers to 16 countries in the region, Indonesias Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said here Thursday.

"To Prime Minister Josaia Bainimarama and foreign minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola I have conveyed that we will be consistently present in the region," he said during his visit to Fiji.

During the visit he had met with Prime Minister Bainimarama, Minister of Agriculture, Resettlement, Maritime and Disaster Mitigation Affairs Ina Seriaritu and had a lunch with minister Kubuabola, Luhut said in a written statement received here this evening.

At the meetings he reiterated Indonesias commitment to help and cooperate with Fiji, in the economic, fishery, agricultural, cultural and military fields.

The cooperation in the military field includes disaster mitigation management, such as training to deal with disaster and in peacekeeping affairs.

"I hope the ministers of agriculture and trade will soon come to Indonesia to realize the cooperation. This is important to show Indonesia's seriousness," he said.

Regarding the Melanesian Spearhead Group issue, Luhut said that it had been touched upon in the meeting with Foreign Minister Kubuabola.

Minister Kubuabola revealed the wish of the government of Fiji to propose upgrading the status of Indonesia at the MSG from an associate member to a full member to strengthen 
Indonesias position in the group of Melanesian countries, he said.

He would report it to President Joko Widodo and discuss it with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on his arrival home, Luhut said in response to it.

After completing his agenda in Fiji, minister Luhut left Suva Thursday evening for Port Moresby for a two-day official visit to Papua New Guinea.

(Reporting by Syaiful Hakim/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

2) Indonesian minister hands over aid to Fijian prime minister

Kamis, 31 Maret 2016 20:25 WIB | 424 Views
Suva, Fiji (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan here, Thursday, symbolically handed over aid worth US$5 million to 
Fijian Prime Minister J.V. Bainimarama to help rebuild the country after Cyclone Winston.

Pandjaitan also expressed his sympathy and condolences to the Fijian government and people over the disaster that devastated the South Pacific country last February.

Bainimarama held a closed-door meeting with Pandjaitan, who was accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to Fiji Gary R.M. Jusuf, the vice governor of Papua, and the governor of Maluku.

Later, the Indonesian delegation held a meeting with Fijian Minister for Agriculture, Rural, and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu. 

Indonesia offered cooperation to Fiji in the areas of agriculture, disaster mitigation, and fishery. 

The minister remarked that Indonesia will deploy engineer troops to help reconstruct Queen Victoria School in Lawaki.

"In early May, the TNIs (Indonesian Defense Forces) engineer troops will arrive. We will also send 100 units of hand tractors to help develop agriculture here," Pandjaitan noted.

Minister Seruiratu hailed the aid and cooperation offered by Indonesia.

He said Indonesia was a key player in the Asian and Pacific region, and the countrys success in disaster management and mitigation had received international recognition.

However, he hoped that the two countries would intensify cooperation in other crucial fields such as education, agriculture, economy, and food security. 

As part of the delegations agenda, Indonesian Chairman of the General Election Commission Husni Kamil Manik signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation 
for the management of general elections with his Fijian counterpart. 

Ambassador Jusuf stated that Fiji was a good friend of Indonesia in the South Pacific region and will always remember its assistance when the nation was isolated following a peaceful coup in 2006.

Indonesia helped Fiji transform itself from a military regime into a democratic nation and offered technical cooperation in the fisheries sector in areas such as seaweed cultivation, the envoy added.

After concluding the trip to Fiji, the Indonesian delegation headed on a working visit to Papua New Guinea.(*)

3) Luhut Says Pacific Trip Does Not Reflect Foreign Minister’s Diplomatic Failure

31 March 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan brushed aside suggestions that his visit to Fiji and Papua New Guinea reflected failure by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi to the prevent the Papua issue from taking center stage in the Pacific region.
“No, it’s not true. I always consult with her (Retno),” said Luhut in Jayapura this week, answering reporter.
“Because of I’ve already been here (Jayapura), so I just go on (to Fiji), because there was a hurricane and so on,” Luhut said.
He said Retno is the person behind his mission to the two Melanesian countries. “I just spoke with her on the phone. She arranged all of this,” he said.
However the minister acknowledged that Indonesian relationship with the countries in the Pacific, in particular Melanesian countries, is less warm. “Why did it happen? It might because we are too busy with other things. Now, there was hurricane, so we send an engineer army troupe to help them (Fiji) to reconstruct the houses damaged by hurricane,” he said.
He also added the Indonesian President Joko Widodo provides donation of US$5 million to Fiji to rebuild their infrastructures after beating by Winston hurricane last month. (Victor Mambor/rom)

4) Central Government to Spare Special Budget for Border Area

31 March 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe asked the Central Government to spare a special budget to manage the border area since Papua is considered the veranda of the Republic of Indonesia in the Pacific Sea area.
“Inclusive authority is needed to manage the border area. I expect all government’s programs at national and regional levels could be integrated and well managed in both coordination and implementation,” said Lukas Enembe when laying the first stone of Skouw Integrated Cross Border Station (PLBN) in Jayapura on Tuesday (29/3/2016).
Rebuilding PLBN is to show that the border area is the Indonesian window and yard as well as gateway for the Southern Pacific region.
‘Skouw region is part of the Republic of Indonesia which lie alongside Papua New Guinea and directly face the Pacific region. It spreads along 860 kilometers from the northern to southern area marking by 52 benchmarking stones built in two countries,” he said.
Enembe explained that each year about 30 thousands legal and illegal travelers crossed the border. In fact, since 1965, both countries have involved in negotiation to build the infrastructure for the border area, and now the President Widodo has included the PLBN construction in program development since last year.
However, Enembe admitted the current service is not yet optimal, particularly the cross border service. As the result, it raises many illegal activities, such as illegal fishing, fuel and firearm smuggling as well as drug trafficking.
“It is very important to build a cross border station for that reason, particularly to consider the tenure customary rights in Papua and Papua New Guinea,” he said.
He added until now there is no road access to cross the border from the northern to the southern region. Therefore Governor Enembe asked the Ministry of Public Works building a road access from Pegunungan Bintang Regency to Jayapura.
“We also need the support of the Central Government to open access to direct flight fro Papua New Guinea to enable access and good delivery. Earlier we have sent letter to airline company to open the flight service,” he said. (Alexander Loen/rom)
5) Papua will continue to  use none voting system:  KPU -
Nethy Dharma Somba,, Jayapura, Papua | Archipelago | Thu, March 31 2016, 8:22 PM - 
The noken voting system will be still used in regional elections in Papua, as the social custom of the Papuan people, which has been passed across generations, has many good values, an election official has said.
General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Husni Kamil Manik said that as a gauge of public opinion in Papuan culture, noken could not be totally removed from either regional head elections or general elections. 
“Several values in the noken system are in line with general election principles, but some other values are not yet in accordance with election principles, so we need to alter how they are implemented,” he said in Jayapura on Tuesday.
Giving an example, Kamil said the noken system adopted Indonesia’s widespread “musyawarah untuk mufakat” (deliberation for consensus) style of decision-making. In a general election under the noken system, there is also a campaign period, during which a candidate conveys his or her vision and mission to all constituents. The constituents are also be given time to analyze the candidate and deliberate until consensus is reached, he added. 
However, Kamil further said, that the noken system did not protect voters’ right to confidentiality, which was not in line with Indonesia’s principle of direct, public and free elections. Under the noken system, the choices of voters can be seen by all people present at a voting station. 
“This could potentially trigger political resentment because a candidate will be fully aware who chose him or her and who did not support him or her,” said Kamil.
Under such conditions, the KPU chairman said, the Provincial General Elections Commission (KPUD) must alter the practice so that it maintained voter confidentiality.
“Until now, [voting takes place via] a noken [traditional Papuan bag] with the name of a chosen candidate attached to it. As the result, everybody knows ‘who chooses who’,” said Kamil.
“There should be a new method. We can still use a noken but we put it in a booth so that the confidentiality of our choice is maintained. The noken will be put into a ballot box before they are counted,” he said.
To adjust the noken system so that it complies with Indonesia’s direct, public and free election principles, Kamil said, all KPUD officials in areas still using the noken system must start a dialogue with the public about the positives and negatives of the noken voting system. 
“One thing that they must tell the public is that it is important for a voter to be able to cast his or her vote directly. Although there has been an agreement that they must choose a certain candidate, they should still be allowed to participate in the voting process directly, and not be represented by others as has happened under the noken system until now” said Kamil.
KPUD Papua chairman Adam Arisoi said 11 regencies and municipalities would participate in regional elections in Papua in 2017. Of the total, six regencies, namely Dogiyai, Nduga, Lanny Jaya, Puncak, Puncak Jaya and Tolikara, would still use the noken system.
“However, not all polling stations in the six regencies will apply the noken system. Only some of them will use it and the remainder will allow for vote-casting in line with nationally-adopted direct, public and free election principles,” said Adam.
He further said that in the 2017 regional elections, tribal chiefs would no longer represent their tribes in casting votes. All voters will cast their votes directly.
KPUD Puncak Jaya chairman Jennifer Darling Tabuni said the noken system would be used at only eight locations. “Voters in other areas of the regency will cast their vote in line with the direct, public and free election principles,” he said. (ebf)
6) Papua bans alcohol consumption

Nethy Dharma Somba,, Jayapura | Archipelago | Thu, March 31 2016, 8:06 PM - 
Alcohol distribution and production are officially prohibited in Papua province starting Thursday to save Papuans from the disastrous effects of alcohol consumption, the Papua governor has said.
The prohibition came into effect with the signing of an integrity pact on Thursday. The document was signed by Governor Lukas Enembe, regents and mayors in Papua, the Papua Provincial Council (DPRD), Papua Police, military command and district court chiefs during a coordinating meeting.
The integrity pact would support the existing 2013 Provincial Regulations on alcohol prohibition to prevent alcohol distribution in Indonesia's easternmost province, Enembe said.
Several regional leaders expressed their support of the integrity pact, saying that alcohol had only brought issues such as domestic violence to Papua.
"Alcohol destroys Papuans. It could be the cause of their extinction," Enembe said on Thursday.
The integrity pact consists of several points, including prohibition of the production, distribution and sale of alcohol, cooperation with relevant offices in monitoring alcohol prohibition and implementation the 2013 Provincial Regulations.
Fien Yarangga, an activist from group Papuan Women (Perempuan Papua), applauded the provincial administration’s move, saying that it showed that local officials cared about the issues.
"Women are most often the victims of alcohol consumption. They fall victim to domestic violence triggered by alcohol," Fien said.
The group is currently assisting three victims of alcohol-related violence. One of them is the wife of a Jayapura public official who was tortured by her drunk husband. The two other women were raped by drunk men.
The group urged the provincial administration to promote the regulation and integrity pact among the public to raise awareness.
According to Papua Police data, 86 people have died, 264 have been heavily injured and 839 suffered light injuries since 2013 in alcohol-related cases. (rin)
7) RI mulls appointing envoy  to South Pacific
Tama Salim, The Jakarta Post, Suva | World | Thu, March 31 2016, 8:11 AM - 
Indonesia is looking to strengthen its diplomatic ties with South Pacific countries by appointing a special envoy to the region.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan on Wednesday said he would propose assigning an official from the Foreign Ministry to engage with the easterly neighbors and underscore Indonesia’s commitment to resolving complicated issues surrounding Papua.

Luhut said Jakarta’s eastward gaze was part of its wider efforts to counter the separatist narrative that had thus far prevented the government from developing Indonesia’s easternmost province.

“I will propose this to the President [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] and the Foreign Minister [Retno LP Marsudi]. It is important that there is an envoy who can deliver our message to the Pacific island countries,” he told The Jakarta Post aboard an Indonesian Air Force aircraft en route to New Caledonia.

Luhut is in the region to consolidate support from member states of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), which have struggled to balance their growing ties with Jakarta with ongoing support for regional grassroot movements dedicated to protecting the rights of indigenous people of Papua and West Papua during decades of separatism.

The MSG is a sub-regional grouping in the Pacific, comprising Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. Indonesia is an associate member.

Luhut said it was crucial that the government start to “aggressively” inform the international community on its many undertakings in Papua, with support from MSG members a crucial factor of success.

To this end, Luhut invited a number of Papuan regional heads and representatives of other provinces with a large Melanesian presence — Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara and West Papua.

“We have to thoroughly explain what’s being done — and we’re doing a lot,” he said.

According to him, the government is supporting Papua on a number of fronts, starting with increased regional funds, a renewed focus on health and education initiatives, the promise to resolve past human rights abuses and plans for more infrastructure and logistics projects.

Kicking off a three-day tour to countries in the region, Luhut will be in Fiji for bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and Agriculture, Maritime Development and Disaster Mitigation Minister Inia Seruiratu.

Meanwhile Luhut’s advisor Djauhari Oratmangun said the visit aimed to strengthen Indonesian ties with Fiji, consolidating the Pacific Island country’s continued support of Indonesia in the MSG forum.

Fiji, along with Papua New Guinea, has supported Indonesia’s role in the sub-regional forum as the country with the largest population of Melanesians.

Djauhari said the trip also had humanitarian goals, with Indonesia providing Fiji with US$5 million in disaster relief as well as a container of supplies from the Indonesian Army’s engineering directorate.

Meanwhile, General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Husni Kamil Manik is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Fijian government on the transfer of knowledge on election organizing.

After Fiji, Luhut and his entourage plan to visit Papua New Guinea before returning to Jakarta. - 

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