Thursday, May 12, 2016

1) Police question 21 people over Freeport invasion

2) West Papuan plight a humanitarian issue, says church leader
3) Indonesia Supports Palestinian Independence - What About West Papua? 

1) Police question 21 people over Freeport invasion
Nether Dharma Somba
Jayapura, Papua  Posted: Thu, May 12 2016 | 08:35 pm

Gold digger – Activities at a mining site owned by US-based gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia in Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua. ( Dharma Somba)

The Tembagapura Police in Mimika, Papua, are questioning 21 residents who allegedly trespassed into a mine owned by US-based gold and copper mining company Freeport Indonesia ( PTFI ) early Thursday. They are accused of taking tailings from the mining site located at Mile 74.
“We have taken 97 residents into custody for questioning. Currently, 21 people are still undergoing questioning at the police station,” Tembagapura Police chief First Insp. Hasmulyadi told on Thursday.
The incident began when around 400 local residents tried to enter the Mile 74 area to take the tailings at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, but at Mile 73, they were blocked by around 120 security personnel. “Prevented from entering the site, the residents tried to burn security posts and damage several vehicles belonging to the company,” said Hasmulyadi.
The police chief further said the invasion seemed to have been triggered by residents’ suspicions that the mining company had shut down its operations because in the past month, it had not channeled tailings into a river near the mining site. Traditional miners used to take the waste to find gold left over in it.
“It seems local residents were provoked by the fact that the company had stopped its operation because there was no more tailings, while in fact, the waste was not channeled into the river because waste channeling equipment was damaged,” Hasmulyadi said.
Papua Police chief Paulus Waterpauw deplored the invasion and called for an investigation into the case. “I have ordered the Security Task Force commander Sr. Comr. Joko Priadi to go to Tembagapura to investigate the incident. I also have asked the Mimika Police chief [Adj. Sr. Comr. Yustanto Mudjiharso] to continue to monitor the security situation in Tembagapura,” he said. ( ebf )

2) West Papuan plight a humanitarian issue, says church leader
3:46 pm on 12 May 2016
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A church leader from Indonesia's Papua region who is in New Zealand raising awareness about conditions in his homeland says West Papua is a global humanitarian issue.
The chairman of the Papuan Baptist Church Alliance, Reverend Socratez Yoman says abuses against West Papuans by Indonesian security forces have not abated since his last visit to New Zealand ten years ago.
According to him, transmigration and Indonesian government policy have steadily left the Papua region's indigenous people marginalised demographically, culturally and economically.
Reverend Socratez told Johnny Blades that despite the new president Joko Widodo vowing to help Papuans, the Indonesian state is distrusted.
SOCRATEZ YOMAN: Their character they never change and also their attitude never changes. They change their clothes their heart never changes. Papuans are undermined, they ignore Papuans. This is our direct experience, our daily experience. West Papua is dominated by migrants by Indonesians. A lot of military in Papua, they are removing, a genocide of local people. This is a humanitarian problem, as long as the Indonesian government continues to commit human rights abuses this is a humanitarian problem this is a global issue, a global concern. My concern is my people, the owners of the land how come they are treated like animals.
JOHNNY BLADES: Does the government have any control over the security forces there?
SY: Now in Papua it is not civil government control know it is military control, the civil government is powerless. For example when the President SBY , Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono period we met him, 16th of December 2011. We met him in his residence we are asking him and conveyed that to solve West Papua cases peacefully negotiations. But he said to us, he replied that okay I am willing to solve West Papua cases through peaceful negotiations but behind me are hardliners that say no. Our question is why? Here is a former military general, how and the second thing is you were elected by 300 million he has power how come he is controlled by the hard liners? But now Jokowi he is civil, he is powerless he has many time visited Papua, he plays games. He wants to tell the international communities you see I have visited Papua many times. West Papua does not need a lot of visits, we need real action. For example when the president Jokowi released five prisoners, this is real action, this is real action. We need like that. And he is also now constructing the long roads in West Papua. West Papua does not need long roads, who will use those roads? It is the military who will use them.
JB: Many times you have called for dialogue but dialogue with a third party like in Aceh. Are you still calling for that?
SY: Yes this is our standing we are church leaders, I as one of the church leaders from West Papua this is their way non-violence way is dialogue is the way. Now our call is a long time stand of ours in the media and all over the world. They said okay now Indonesia and West Papua go around the table to talk mediate by third party for example Aceh. Why Aceh they solved? Indonesian government they solved Aceh cases mediated by international communities why not?
JB: What is the difference?
SY: Yes what is the difference, this is our question, why? By now Indonesia it is too late, too late to control West Papua.
JB: You were asking for New Zealand help 10 years ago and further back. So what do you want the government to do?
SY: Yes so we need the New Zealand government to engage with their counterparts Indonesia government to open the way foreign journalists to visit Papua to gathering our coverage of what is happening inside. And also secondly New Zealand government also to engage with counterparts dialogue peacefully on negotiations to solve West Papua cases. West Papua today has become a part of Melanesian communities and they are like a lost son returned to his own family. And Melanesian communities or in Pacific communities the West Papuans are very happy because they come back, return from the other people. Vanuatu is the strongest long-standing supporter of West Papua. Now Solomon Islands supports West Papua, now Tonga and the Kanakys. And Fiji okay the government is friendly with Jakarta but all the churches and grassroots one hundred percent they are with Papua. PNG also the people they see our people, their people from their heart they see they are suffering. The West Papua suffering is Melanesian suffering.
JB: So all this international support which is growing, grassroots support which is growing plus the things like the London summit and the MSG focus on West Papua. Is that having an impact? Is Jakarta taking note?
SY: Yes Jakarta now should be aware yes and understand that West Papua is not alone anymore. Now West Papuan people have many friends and a lot of solidarity's in each corner of the world today now it is my prediction that West Papua will increasing its demonstrations, big huge demonstrations will be will come. Because now where they are now they have friends now all over the world support them. Now they have got like moral support.
JB: Do you have trouble getting out? I mean you have left the region last week to come here have you had any trouble?
SY: No no no I am a church leader. Who will interrupt me, I am talking about my own people. This is my responsibility I am an educated man, I understand what is happening, I will not be silent anymore. Historically I understand the background, what happened in 1969. I know I learned about that. I have written 19 books about West Papua. No we not be silent anymore when the West Papua undermine their dignity their life, their future, we will speak every where now it is time. Nobody is stopping us.
3) Indonesia Supports Palestinian Independence - What About West Papua? 
Benny Wenda 05/12/2016 03:58 pm ET

Earlier this year, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its extraordinary summit in Jakarta with the theme “Independence is the right of all nations“. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia reaffirmed its support for the independence and sovereignty of Palestine. In fact, through a bilateral meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, Indonesia stated it had already opened an Honorary Consulate of Indonesia in Ramallah. The commitment of the Indonesian Government to support Palestine is in full accordance with its own Constitution of 1945 which stipulates that all colonialism must be abolished in this world.

At the same time, the Indonesian Government is hiding from the West Papuan political conflict, which involves a territory which was taken over forcefully in 1962, annexed illegally in 1969 and which has been occupied and subjugated up until today through militaristic and colonialist practices, causing acute humanitarian crisesdevastation to the environment, considerable appropriation of natural resources, as well as the massive migration of Indonesians to West Papua.
Since 1961, the Papuan people have pledged to stand alone as a nation and as a State. And since then, the people of West Papua have waged a struggle filled with sacrifices in their quest for independence and sovereignty for nearly half a century, with no amicable solution between West Papua and Indonesia in sight. If the Indonesian Government is committed to help achieving the independence and the sovereignty of Palestine, the question is what about West Papua, which lost its right to independence and sovereignty?

We, as organizations which have come together under the umbrella of the national struggle of the people of West Papua, that is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULWMP), which is also a member observer in the sub-regional organization known as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), are of the opinion that in reality, if one is passionate about liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation, one should also be passionate about decolonizing West Papua. How can Indonesia supports Palestine’s independence and sovereignty, while the Papuan People are still colonized by Indonesia? How can Indonesia actively be involved in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question at the UN, while it is rejecting any form of peaceful settlement of the political status of West Papua?
If Indonesia joins the efforts of the OIC to support Palestinian independence, Indonesia should also, as an associate Member of the MSG, promote the right to self-determination of the People of West Papua, in accordance with the 2013 MSG final communiqué. If Indonesia is also pushing the OIC for various fact-finding teams in Palestine, why does Indonesia, as a “dialogue partner” of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), not want to open access to West Papua for the fact-finding team from South Pacific nations, as agreed in the communiqué at the Forum’s last Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby, in September 2015? And what more, why does the Indonesian Government persist in rejecting the call of H.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare, Chairman of the MSG, for a dialogue with the ULMWP.
Therefore, on behalf of the People of West Papua, we convey to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, and all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that:

We support the OIC’s efforts for a peaceful settlement of the political conflict between Palestine and Israel.
We are hopeful that the Government of President Joko Widodo will join to seek a peaceful solution to the independence and sovereignty of the nation of West Papua.
We also sincerely hope that member countries of the OIC will actively urge Indonesia to stop their illegal occupation of West Papua, and, together with the ULMWP, to resolve the political status of West Papua peacefully.

Benny Wenda is an exiled West Papua independence leader living in the UK. He is the International Spokesman for United Liberation Movement for West Papua(ULMWP) and founder of the Free West Papua Campaign.
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