Thursday, March 31, 2016

1) Pacific churches warn about Indonesian conditional aid

2) Five Minutes with with Ash Brennan, Producer/Director of Punks For West Papua - 
3) Melanesian Leaders are Well Informed of Papua Situation : ULMWP
4) Luhut Says Military Operation is Last Resort

1) Pacific churches warn about Indonesian conditional aid
4:24 pm today
The Pacific Conference of Churches says donors and foreign governments must treat victims of disaster with dignity and not attach conditions to relief efforts.
The call coincides with this week's visit to Fiji of Indonesia's Co-ordinating Minister for Political Affairs, Law and Security, Luhut Binsar Padjaitan.
Mr Padjaitain is reportedly to give Fiji an assistance package worth up to 5 million US dollars and a contingent of engineers for the country's rehabilitation efforts in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston last month.
PCC General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, said Indonesia's offer should be welcomed but noted that Padjaitan's visit had glaring political overtones.
He noted the minister had been "extremely vocal against groups seeking self-determination in Papua" and had publicly called for West Papuan activists to be removed from the country.

Diplomatic overdrive

Back in Jakarta, a senior government official told Indonesian media earlier this week that the ministerial visit was to suppress regional support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
As the ULMWP was recently granted observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Jakarta has increased its diplomatic overtures to the region.
But Reverend Pihaatae said that any bilateral talks between Indonesia and Fiji on the issue of West Papua should not be influenced by assistance to cyclone victims.

"We call on all donors - including NGOs - not to attach conditions to their aid and to refrain from providing assistance along with a discreet message to support a political cause," he said.

Paula Makabori of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua looks at Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama who has forged closer ties with Indonesia on behalf of his people. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Reverend said that New Zealand and Australia - long seen as opponents of Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama - had rushed to Fiji's aid following the cyclone, setting no pre-conditions for humanitarian assistance.
"By accepting conditional aid," he said, "regional governments do their people a great disservice."

Self-determination talk off limits

As part of his Pacific trip, Luhut Binsar Padjaitan is also to visit Papua New Guinea where he is due to arrive in Port Moresby tomorrow.
PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato indicated that talk of West Papuan self-determination remains off limits.
Mr Pato said that at the political level, PNG's relationship with Indonesia was at its peak, and people-to-people engagements are growing.
"For example, Papua New Guinea is, I think, the only country in the Pacific Islands that Indonesia has given free visas to. Every citizen from PNG can enter Indonesia without applying for visas," he enthused. "This is even better than visas on arrival."
But Rimbink Pato insisted his government considered West Papua an integral part of Indonesia and was committed to not discussing West Papuan self-determination.
"So we're not interested in entertaining the issue of self-determination, because that's never an issue for us, and that's never a concern for us.

Mr Pato said however that PNG would continue to discuss concerns over human rights issues in Indonesia's Papua region, pursuant to a resolution by the Pacific islands Forum last year at its leaders summit in Port Moresby.

Mr Padjaitain last week announced government intentions to have a number of human rights abuses in West Papua probed.
However, earlier this month the provincial government of Papua province urged the minister, a former military leader, to resist from making provocative statements that might cause anxiety in the region, after he signalled a hardline security forces response to a recent mulitple killing.

2) Five Minutes with with Ash Brennan, Producer/Director of Punks For West Papua - 

Punks For West Papua deals with the ongoing West Papuan genocide. Can you give a brief rundown of the conflict for those who might not be aware of the tragedy? - 

After WWII, Indonesia and Papua, or the Dutch East Indies as it was known, was still a colony of the Netherlands. Indonesia officially claimed independence in 1949 after declaring war on the Dutch colonisers. President Sukarno had his eyes firmly set on West Papua as it’s full of resources, including the world’s largest gold and silver deposits. Over the last 50 years, it is estimated that over half a million West Papuans have been murdered. Waving a West Papuan flag, or any act of nationalism, is punishable by 15 years’ prison. 
 The genocide is ongoing, as the Indonesian government forbids journalists or human aid workers into West Papua.    

The documentary focuses on Jody Bartolo and his attempts to raise money and awareness for the Free West Papua cause. How did you become involved with him? 

Neil Kellington, bass player for the Diggers With Attitude, is a long-time friend of mine. It was Neil that first contacted me regarding the first Punks for West Papua (P4WP) gig that the band had set up. He just asked me if I would be interested in shooting DWA perform at P4WP in June at the Town & Country Hotel in St Peters. Two weeks after that phone call, Jody called me to say Free West Papua campaign leader Benny Wenda was in town and offered us an interview to promo the P4WP gigs. Within that 30-minute interview, my life was turned on its head. Benny told us things that I didn’t think were possible in this part of the world. That one gig at the Town & Country Hotel grew to 51 bands in seven cities around the country. 
 In 2016, P4WP is now a global event.  

 Given its content, was the documentary difficult to make? 

I never thought about making a documentary until after I spoke to Benny Wenda. Even then I had no real plan. I have worked in television for over 25 years and am quite handy with a camera and edit software, as well as producing. So I figured it would just come together. The main issue I had was footage from West Papua. I obviously wasn’t going there, but I needed the rights for footage to tell my story. West Papua media and local West Papuan filmmakers helped me out with some great footage and it saved the day. Despite what most people may think, I did go easy on using footage that was too horrific. The pictures and video coming out of the place are just horrific.   

Do you remain optimistic about the future of the West Papuan cause? 

Indigenous West Papuans make up less than 50 per cent of the population. The Indonesian government opened up all the land for Indonesian citizens as free settlers. Even if another ‘act of free choice’ was held, the population on numbers would ensure Indonesia would continue its rule.   

 Indonesia is an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. As an associate member, it has the power to vote down West Papua’s observer status, so their voices will never be heard. Thirdly, for West Papua to have any chance of self-determination, it needs the support of Australia. Unfortunately, successive governments on both sides of politics have publicly supported Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua. Punks For West Papua (dir. Ash Brennan) shows at Wayward Brewing Co. on Wednesday April 6; and is also available to rent at and screening nationally. - 

3) Melanesian Leaders are Well Informed of Papua Situation : ULMWP
31 March 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was coy about Luhut Panjaitan’s plan to visit two Melanesian Spearhead Group country members, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
“Only these two countries can take Indonesia,” said ULMWP Secretary General Oktavinus Mote to Jubi on Tuesday (29/3/2016) by phone.
Because, according to him, PNG and Fiji are in trouble right now. Fiji was recently hit by Winston hurricane while PNG is facing an economic turmoil.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Human Rights Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said his visit to Fiji and PNG has no connection with the Papua issue in MSG forum or a strengthening the position of Indonesia in regional organization in the Pacific region.
“It is because of a movement to make Papua seems not part of Indonesia, such as in Melanesia. But East Nusa Tenggara, Ambon, those are anthropologically part of Melanesia as well. So, there is no reason about it,” said the minister.
However he acknowledged the Indonesian relationship with the countries in Pacific is less warm. “Why did it happen? We might be too busy with other business,” he added.
But the ULMWP Secretary General Octovianus Mote said the Melanesian leaders are among the world leaders who know the reality in Papua. Their credibility as leaders has been tested in the past, including when they decided to recognize and accept the ULMWP to resume as family member of Melanesian and South Pacific’s big family.
“At the moment, West Papua nation and people are not alone in their struggle anymore. Papua has become a member of Melanesian family since 2013 and strengthened by recognition as observer in Honiara last year,” continued Mote.
He added, the Indonesian effort to affect the Melanesian leaders would not succeed.
In the MSG Summit held in last June 2016, Fiji and PNG are the countries that supported the acceptance of Indonesia becoming the Associate Member in MSG. two other countries, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu didn’t give their supports. Both countries along with Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) gave supports to ULMWP to become a member as observer in MSG. (Victor Mambor/rom)

4) Luhut Says Military Operation is Last Resort

31 March 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said a military operation was a last resort for to overcome the insurgency in Papua.
“We can have military operation at any time, but it is a last option,” said the minister in Jayapura on Tuesday (29/3/2016).
Besides, he added, President Joko Widodo was unlikrly to approve the option, because he wanted the government to take a welfare approach. “President isn’t comfortable with the option. He emphasized the welfare approach is still the best option,” he said.
The welfare approach, said the minister, is considered the most effective because people were prosperous the security would be more improved. Therefore, he appealed to the opposite parties to come down and join the government to build Papua.
“To those in the highland who are still making trouble, please come down, let us build Papua together. Because the president wanted a welfare approach to resolve the problem in Papua,” he said.
In addition, he also refused perceptions of unsecured Papua spreading in some countries. Therefore he asked to both religious and customary leaders to call the opposite parties to come down to build Papua.
“There are rumors abroad saying Papua is a savage region. I think it’s not true. We want telling them if they come safely they would go home safely as well. Therefore we also never want to affiliate with military alliance,” he said. (Alexander Loen/rom)
photos etc.

1. Congratulations! Why did you make this film?
I made this film to bring Australia’s attention to the ongoing genocide occurring in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian Military. The Australian Media ignores West Papua as Journalists are forbidden to enter. The Punks of Australia have to stood up for the West Papuans, and I think it’s a great story.
2. Why do you think the situation in West Papua resonated so much for the punk groups?
At its heart, Punk rock stands up for the downtrodden and always asks questions of the government. Most punks are very politically and socially aware about the situation in West Papua and feel very strongly about it. And Punks just love to play for a cause, and more importantly play for nothing.
3. As an eyewitness Hugh Lunn discusses the staged Act of Free Choice in the 3 minute clip on We are moving stories. Why did you decide to include his testimony?
Hugh Lunn is a multi award winning Journalist. It was an honour for me to have Hugh Lunn in my film. He was there at the time of the act of free choice in 1969 and saw first hand the brutality of the Indonesian Military. Hugh has great credibility and someone to whom we should listen.
4. You also made the short film 26 January. Australia Day. Do you see any similarities between the plight of the West Papuans and Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders?
Both situations are about the indigenous peoples being moved off their traditional lands by force for corporate interests. I especially feel strongly about the Australian indigenous. They have been here for over 60,000 years. We should be celebrating and respecting their culture.
5. What type of feedback have you received so far about the film?
The feedback so far has been great. Most people say the same thing: ‘how come we don’t know about this?’ and want to do something straight away. The film has picked up a couple of awards in the US as well so it looks like the message is getting out there. We have also received these endorsements:
"Music has always played a crucial role in the struggle for Independence in West Papua. All Papuans are musicians & it is part of life to sing. The Punks for West Papua movement is fantastic! The documentary is fantastic. It’s helping to bring our voices to a whole new audience. It’s helping the world to wake up." 
Benny Wenda, Leader Free West Papua Campaign
"Punks for West Papua captures the whole 50-year sorry story of West Papua in a very brave and poignant way. George Orwell would have said it "sees things as they are". Which is what he always tried to do himself."
Hugh Lunn – 3 time Walkley Award Winner
"This is the most significant film to come out on West Papua in the last decade. Not since Mark Worth’s 'Land of the Morning Star' have we seen a doco that tells it like 'Punks for West Papua'. It’s to their credit that ‘crazy’, tatooed anti social punk rockers lead the charge to prick our consciences in the West, along with Papuan activists prepared to risk death and cruel torture by speaking out in the film. 'Punks for West Papua’ makes naked Indonesia’s policy of slow genocide over the last 50 years of occupation. This film which reveals what is really happening to our nearest northern neighbor."
David Bradbury – 5 time AFI award winner, 2 time Academy award nominee

6. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
People’s reactions haven’t really surprised me as it affected me the same way when I was doing my research.
7. What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
I would like as many people around the world to see this film, to spread awareness of the genocide in West Papua. Awareness is the most important thing. As Voters, we can pressure or governments to do something about it.
8. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message and audience? 
Yes, obviously all of the above would be very helpful in getting the message out there.
9. What type of impact would you like this film to have?
Since the films release in January, it has inspired punk bands from around the world to create an international Punks for West Papua in June this year. That alone is an amazing achievement for the film. I hope it can inspire more organisations and more genres of music to do the same thing.
10. Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this issue and film?
Why is Australia so afraid of Indonesia?


No comments:

Post a Comment