Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1) Rights abuses shade Indonesia’s Pacific move

2) MSG CHAIR WELCOMED INDONESIA’s ASSISTANCE TOWARDS FIJI RECOVERY

3) Byron screening of film to highlight plight of West Papua

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1) Rights abuses shade Indonesia’s Pacific move
8:38 am on 12 April 2016
Indonesia’s government has been increasing efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties with Pacific Island countries as it seeks to become a full member 
of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. However, as Johnny Blades reports concern is only growing about rampant rights abuses continuing in Indonesia's restricted Papua region.
Indonesia’s government has been increasing efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties with Pacific Island countries as it seeks to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. 
However, as Johnny Blades reports concern is only growing about rampant rights abuses continuing in Indonesia's restricted Papua region.
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Transcript

Indonesia's government has been increasing efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties with Pacific Island countries.
Jakarta's move comes in the face of ongoing Pacific concern about human rights abuses in Indonesia's region of West Papua where a separatist conflict has simmered for decades.
Johnny Blades reports
Indonesia is seeking full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
This regional grouping of states - Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia's Kanak movement - has a special interest in assisting self determination for all Melanesians.
Jakarta's efforts to join the fray have gone into overdrive since the United Liberation Movement for West Papua was granted MSG observer status last year.
Last week Indonesia's Political and Security minister Luhut Pandjaitan visited Papua New Guinea and Fiji where he said support was secured for full MSG membership.
PNG's foreign minister Rimbink Pato says his country's position has always been that West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia.

RIMBINK PATO: So we're not interested in entertaining the issue of self-determination, because that's never an issue for us... The issue of human rights in
 West Papua is a matter in respect of which the Pacific Island leaders Forum here in Port Moresby passed a resolution.
The Forum leaders' resolution to approach Jakarta about a human righs fact-finding mission to Papua has made little impression on Jakarta.
Minister Luhut has warned Pacific states not to meddle in Indonesia's affairs.
The Liberation movement's exiled spokesman Benny Wenda is suspicious of Indonesia's claims to be part of the Melanesian family.
He points out that in recent days West Papuans were arrested in Timika for showing support for Melanesian solidarity at a prayer event .
BENNY WENDA: There was 13 people arrested just for flying the Melanesian flags like Papua New Guinea, Solomon flag and Kanaky flag were raised with the banner 
for full membership campaign [for the Liberation Movement], just a prayer meeting. They were arrested, beating and torture. This is while [Minister] Luhut was campaigning 
for the joining full membership [for Indonesia] in Melanesia. And then back home, the killing continue.
Minister Luhut said Jakarta aimed to convey accurate information about its efforts in Papua region, includng what its doing in the field of human rights.
However the information about Papua coming from Haris Azhar, the co-ordinator of Indonesia's leading human rights body, KONTRAS, is grim.
HARIS AZHAR: I checked the data in my office. It showed the number last year of more than 1,200 people suffer from harassment, killings, torture and ill-treatment. 
We haven't put the other issues into this number - the economic and social rights issues.
A Liberation Movement member, Markus Haluk, says that in Papua itself, grassroots support for the Liberation Movement was huge.
MARKUS HALUK: The people are really supportive because our people, from the beginning, they’re fighting for justice and freedom and they're more safer with the 
Melanesian and pacific family than Indonesia. with Indonesia, over fifty years, five hundred thousand men, women have been killed until today.
MSG leaders are due to meet for their annual summit next month in Port Vila. 
It remains to be seen whether the full membership of the group will support Indonesia’s bid.

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2) MSG CHAIR WELCOMED INDONESIA’s ASSISTANCE TOWARDS FIJI RECOVERY
Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has welcomed Indonesia’s ‘generous’ assistance towards Fiji’s recovery effort from Cyclone Winston.
Office of the Prime Minister says an Indonesian Government delegation led by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, General Luhut Pandjaitan presented a 
cheque of FJD$10 million to the Fijian Prime Minister in Suva, last Friday.
The MSG Chair and Solomon Islands Prime Minister greeted Indonesia saying the generous contribution demonstrates a clear need for the MSG to hold on to the core values of self-determination for West Papua.
These core values were agreed upon by the MSG Leaders in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2014.
The PMO says the visit by Indonesia is a sign of increasing solidarity of the MSG member countries.

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3) Byron screening of film to highlight plight of West Papua


A group of surfers travelled to West Papua looking for waves and adventure but instead found the country’s people living under a brutal regime.
Their story is the subject of a film, called Isolated, that will screen at Pighouse Flicks in Byron Bay on Friday night, for one showing only.
The film follows the surfers – Travis Potter, Andrew Mooney, Josh Fuller, Jenny Useldinger, Jimmy Rotherham – as they travel into the ‘no media’ zone of West Papua in search of 
unexplored waves.
Josh Fuller will make a special appearance at Friday’s film session to speak of their experience and answer questions.
Organiser Emma Capp, who attended the West Papua Freedom Forum in Darwin last year, said all proceeds from the film would go to the Free West Papua Campaign and United 
Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
‘West Papua one of the most forgotten conflicts on earth,’ Ms Capp said.
‘Ever since the Dutch left and Indonesia brutally occupied West Papua in 1963 its people have been traumatised by the military controlling their daily life.
‘In 1969 the UN officially and shamefully handed West Papua over to Indonesia, this and a series of events leading up to it were orchestrated by the US and their hunger for 
control of natural resources.
‘This was the beginning of oppression and slow-motion genocide of the West Papuan people that continues to this day.
‘The military presence dominates and often they shoot before asking questions.’
Ms Capp said anyone attending the film night with personal experience of West Papua would be welcome to speak at the event. They should contact her on 04166 34774.
The film will be screened on Friday at 6.30pm. Tickets are $18 and the film is not suitable for children.
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