Saturday, April 16, 2016

1) Indonesia CSOs : Stop Repression on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!

2) Ceremony and Pomp in Papua
3) Contacts Weapons in Sinak, one TNI Injured
1) Indonesia CSOs : Stop Repression on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!
12 April 2016

                                                              Press conference by Indonesia’s CSOs – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of civil society organisations comprising elements of the labour, student, women’s, urban poor and other social movements support the Papuan people’s right to freedom of expression.
“Many people have been arrested in Papua since 2013. According to International Coalition for Papua data, 653 people were arrested between April 2013 and December 2014 (ICP 2015). The KNPB has calculated that 479 people were arrested between the 30th April and 1st June 2015 alone,” Alghiffari Aqsa, the Director of Jakarta Legal Aid told reporter in Jakarta, Tuesday (12/4/2016).
He added in the 18 months which Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have been in power, more than 1000 arrests have taken place, especially targetting pro-independence activists, indigenous people fighting to keep their customary lands and ordinary people who have become the object of state repression for no clear reason.
“Bearing in mind the patterns of repression and police/military impunity that keep on repeating themselves in Papua, as demonstrated once more last April 5th, it is reasonable to believe that the Papuan people will face more repression,” he said.
For this reason, he state that Jakarta Legal Aid and dozens of Civil Society Organization fully support the Papuan people’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression.
“We also urge the joint police and military forces not to take repressive action against the Papuan people, and in particular against the further actions,” he added. (Victor Mambor)


2) Ceremony and Pomp in Papua

9 April 2016
Recently, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Luhut Panjaitan, made a three-day visit to Papua. His trip to the nation’s easternmost region stood out for two key reasons.
First, Papua is a priority for the current administration, and the visit by one of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s closest trustees follows the President’s earlier travels to the disaffected area. Clearly, this latest trip was important — not only for the central government but also for Papuans.
Second, Luhut’s visit showed a strong commitment to ensuring that Jokowi’s policies for the region are fulfilled — especially the special autonomy law, which has been widely criticised as ineffective when it comes to improving the welfare of Papuans.
Across the board, however, Luhut’s visit was nothing more than a symbolic gesture, and totally meaningless for Papua’s many powerless indigenous people.  The key issue was whether Luhut’s visit would thoroughly address the fundamental concern of most Papuans – genuine trust for Jakarta. In this, the trip was an utter failure.
Since becoming part of Indonesia through the deeply flawed Act of Free Choice, facilitated by the United Nations in 1969, Papua has been treated poorly by the government and many Indonesians. This mistreatment includes inefficient policies, intensive and brutal ‘security’, and racial prejudice – all of which has led to distrust and limited sympathy on the part of Papuans toward the Indonesian government.  Thus, a visit by a political figure as prominent as Luhut made locals skeptical rather than optimistic.
Their cynicism was warranted, as Luhut’s visit did not touch on Papua’s fundamental problem: its political status. Instead of addressing Papua’s aspirations for independence, Luhut preferred to discuss the progress of developmental programs. And the more he avoided talking about Papua’s political problems, the more the current administration showed to the international community its inability for handling ethnic-based conflict.
Adding salt to the wound, the concept of dialogue, which many have repeatedly vowed to be an important and long overdue step for resolving longstanding grievances, did not receive the minister’s attention at all.
In contrast to this Papua visit are Luhut’s recent trips to PNG and Fiji, two supporters of Indonesia’s ‘internalisation’ of the Papua issue.
Using economic diplomacy, in the form of ad hoc economic assistance and bilateral agreements, the primary objective of these visits was to defuse the Papuan issue in the Pacific — particularly the role of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), which was granted observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015. In exchange for Jakarta’s support, the Indonesian government hopes PNG and Fiji can either contain the Papua issue or keep it on the sidelines in the Pacific region.
Luhut’s visit to Papua also failed to make any breakthrough in the security sphere. Given his background as a former army general and his current position related to security matters, he was expected to tackle one of the most contentious issues in Papua — initiatives to build a new army territorial command in Manokwari and a police brigade headquarters in Wamena.
Another key security issue overlooked was the so-called joint expedition involving the Army, or TNI. While the expedition includes civilians, it is dominated by 670 military personnel, including the Special Armed Forces Command (Kopassus) – a group that has been accused of gross human rights violations in the region.
Supposedly, the expedition is conducting research and collecting data related to Papua’s natural resources and its people – even though this is at odds with the Army’s primary duties as stated in the TNI law Number 34/2004.
Instead, Luhut merely promised to resolve past human rights cases, without giving any details on how such a promise would be met. This commitment can mostly be seen as lip service, particularly since two prominent cases involving security forces from the past two years remain unresolved — the shooting of civilians at Paniai in 2014, and a raid, burning and arrests at Timika in 2015.
Luhut’s visit also failed to address the contentious problem of massive investment across Papua. Investment-driven policies have been widely criticised as not improving Papuans’ quality of life.  In fact, many “giant” private investors — mostly palm oil plantations and massive agricultural projects such as the Rajawali group, Sampoerna Group, Medco Group, Sinar Mas Group, Salim Group, Musim Mas Group — have been exploiting many local forests after receiving forest utilisation licenses (HPH) from Jakarta.
Many indigenous Papuans have lived in these forests for centuries. In many cases, these “giants” have bypassed and sidelined local tribes to run their businesses. Additionally, such investment is useless as the bulk of Papuans lack sufficient skills to take benefit from these projects.
Migration was another issue overlooked by the minister. According to the Justice and Peace Secretariat of the Jayapura Bishopic Mission, huge numbers of people transmigrating on a daily basis has negatively affected the indigenous population by subordinating Papuans in the cultural, political, and economic spheres.  This shift in population leads to never-ending conflict between settlers from outside islands and indigenous Papuans. If not addressed, the transmigration policy will only exaggerate the current demographic structure in Papua, further straining relations between the central government and locals.
Without discussing any of these crucial issues, Luhut’s visit casts doubt on how the government is handling the area and most importantly whether it can build trust for Jakarta among Papuans.
Accordingly, his visit will be seen by Papuans as another ‘show’ by government officers rather than as genuine and meaningful action. All in all, Luhut’s trip to Papua remains merely symbolic for many indigenous people. It would seem that once again pomp and ceremony has trumped the needs of Papuans.
Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge is a researcher at the Marthinus Academy, Jakarta.  

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

3) Contacts Weapons in Sinak, one TNI Injured
Jayapura - XVII Cenderawasih Military Commander Maj Hinsa Siburian confirmed on Friday (15/4) afternoon a clash between soldiers by the armed civilian groups (KSB) in Sinak, the Peak District, Papua Province.

In the clash was a member of the TNI Sergeant Abdus Salam rekoset hit by a bullet in the left leg. "Sergeant Abdus Salam rekoset only exposed to injury in the left leg," said Maj Siburian told Antara in Jayapura, Friday night.

He said, from reports received known that armed clashes occurred at around 15:30 CET, when the military troops on patrol in the vicinity of Mount Yiwe, Sinak District, the Peak District.

However, the condition of soldiers with bullets rekoset quite stable and is still in Puskesmas Sinak, and scheduled for Saturday (16/4) were evacuated to Jayapura.

Earlier, March 9, 2016, KSB Yambi group tried to attack the road workers who were doing roadworks shaft Noble-Sinak done PT Irwan, but the reply to the armed contact.

The management of PT Irwan as executor roadworks requested security assistance from the military.

Furthermore, March 15, 2016, gunmen again attacked employees of PT Pacific Jayapura Permai, a subsidiary of Modern Group that is conducting roadworks Majesty Sinak up four road workers were killed. (Ant / don)

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