Thursday, August 18, 2016

1) President Jokowi sending 24 professors to develop Papua`s education, food sectors

2) RI views Oz positively, Oz views RI negatively: Study
3) Wiranto and low trust in Papua


1) President Jokowi sending 24 professors to develop Papua`s education, food sectors
Kamis, 18 Agustus 2016 20:39 WIB | 679 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is sending 24 professors, who are working in the United States, to Papua to assist in developing the region, especially its education and food sectors.

"I have urged 24 professors to strengthen the education sector in Papua and to build vocational schools," the president noted in a welcome speech at a hospitality event held in the State Palace in Jakarta, Thursday.

President Jokowi remarked that the 24 professors were part of the 74 Indonesians working in the United States as professors.

The plan to build vocational schools is still being discussed with the Cenderawasih University and the University of Papua.

Furthermore, the professors will be urged to develop a rice research center in Merauke, Papua.

"Not only the 24 professors but I would also like to get all 74 of them involved," he noted.

The president emphasized that it was time for the nation to give due recognition to talented individuals, who are willing to work hard and do not create a ruckus.

The head of state believes there could be more than 74 Indonesians, who now reside in the United States, as they had obtained their doctorate degree and were working there.

"They are all very talented and excel in their respective fields. The recorded figure in the United States is 74, and it does not include those in Japan, Korea, and Germany. There could be hundreds of them out there," he reiterated.

President Jokowi also affirmed that the large number of Indonesians working overseas could have been employed in the country. 

"In the United States, for instance, there are hundreds of Indonesian employees engaged in the center of the information technology industry, Silicon Valley," he remarked. 

Hence, the president has called on Indonesian nationals working overseas to harbor aspirations to return to the country and work here.

The president expressed keenness to retain talented Indonesians in the country instead of them moving to other countries or choosing to work overseas. 

President Jokowi welcomed hundreds of talented individuals from all over the country at the State Palace. Apart from holding a dialog, he also invited them for a luncheon.

They were also invited to attend the ceremony to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the countrys independence in the State Palace, Jakarta.

Among the guests were teachers, lecturers, doctors, science Olympiad winners, and athletes.

2) RI views Oz positively, Oz views RI negatively: Study
Tama Salim The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, August 18 2016 | 08:28 am
Indonesians generally view Australians in a positive light even though their neighbors Down Under might not feel the same way, a recent study has shown, giving weight to the widely-held perception of a “love-hate” relationship between the two countries.

A recent survey by the Australian government-sanctioned Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) shows that 87 percent of Indonesian respondents perceive Australia favorably, compared to the 43 percent of Australians who feel a similar way toward Indonesia.

According to the report, the majority of Australian respondents (47 percent) view Indonesia with a “subdued, if not pessimistic outlook,” due to the impact of negative coverage on Indonesian issues.

This view is further compounded by the indifference of Australians to their nearest geographical neighbor — only 19 percent of Australians feel they have a good understanding of Indonesia.

Jakarta and Canberra have endured a long and tumultuous relationship, which has in recent years been marked by trust-eroding incidents like last year’s execution of two jail-reformed Australian drug-ring leaders and a major spying row during the time of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) presidency.

Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Canberra in 2013 amid allegations that the Australian government had spied on then president SBY, his wife and other top state officials.

Both nations are also at loggerheads over the handling of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly with regard to Australia’s “turn-back-the-boats” policy, which has recently come back into the spotlight following revelations of child abuse at Australian-led offshore detention camps.

Several government changes later, both countries have tried to smooth things over in an effort to restore strained ties, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flying into Jakarta in November 2015 in his first state visit after ousting the out-of-favor Tony Abbott.

“We hope it kickstarts discussion about ways to improve the relationship,” AIC director Paul Ramadge told The Jakarta Post in a statement on Tuesday. “The AIC is setting out to create a knowledge base on Australia-Indonesia attitudes and perceptions that makes a positive and longlasting impact.”

The Indonesian Embassy in Australia declined to comment on the report.

The study, conducted by EY Sweeney on behalf of the AIC, aims to understand the awareness, perceptions and knowledge of the citizens of each country toward the other, as well as identify the influences and drivers of such attitudes.

Trade, education, health, security and cultural knowledge are seen as the “key drivers of a closer Australia-Indonesia relationship”, according to the findings of the research.

The study involved 2,103 face-to-face interviews in 11 of Indonesia’s 33 provinces and 2,008 online interviews in all Australian states and territories.

Separately, international relations expert Teuku Rezasyah said he was wary of the results, raising the possibility that the sample used by the AIC might not represent reality on the ground.

He urged Australia to seriously consider the profiles of the people who take the survey and place an emphasis on Indonesians who will influence bilateral ties in the future, such as private sector players, young civil servants and decorated law enforcers.

Rezasyah also reminded Australians that the level of education varies between the two countries.

Even so, the Padjadjaran University lecturer acknowledged Australia’s tendency not to share Indonesia’s comparatively buoyant and optimistic outlook.

“[Indonesia’s] stance has been to acknowledge Australia as a friendly ally, but Australia likes to meddle in our country’s domestic problems. That in itself is an unfriendly policy,” Rezasyah told the Post, while noting both countries’ interdependency with the other.

“We have never been the ones to be prejudiced [against Australians]. It is they who rate Indonesia negatively.”
3) Wiranto and low trust in Papua
Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge
Jakarta | Thu, August 18 2016 | 07:34 am

Trust is the most crucial factor for a state dealing with regional dissatisfactions that turn to conflict. And the absence of this vital prerequisite for constructive engagement is clear to see when there have been no truly genuine and consistent efforts to build it. 

Trust, or the lack thereof, is a significant challenge faced by the newly appointed coordinating political, 
legal and security affairs minister, Wiranto. 

Since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo selected the former New Order general Wiranto to replace another retired general, Luhut B. Pandjaitan, as chief security minister, one long overdue matter to 
be immediately addressed is the Papua problem. 

Two prominent issues so far are the internationalization of the Papua issue across the South Pacific under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG); and the unresolved human rights issues and serious underdevelopment in Papua. 

Those two issues were addressed by Luhut during the past two years, but there are no obvious signs that results have been forthcoming. A key concern is that Wiranto will take the same stance as his predecessor.

The Papuan international campaign has been massive in the last decade, particularly in the South Pacific. Nonetheless, for years the government has not adopted any comprehensive strategy to deal with the issue. In contrast to the South China Sea dispute, internationalization of the Papua issue has attracted little public discussion. 

During his short tenure as a coordinating minister, Luhut made certain efforts to deal with the internationalization of the Papua issue. 

His last visit to Papua and trips to England and Australia clearly sent a message not only for the central government and Papuans, but also for the international community. 

Yet such efforts have had little effect on Melanesian communities in the South Pacific, the main supporters of an independent “West Papua”. 

To contain the international campaign for Papua in the South Pacific, Luhut traveled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji, two proponents of Indonesia’s “internalization” of the Papuan issue. 

Using economic diplomacy, specifically ad hoc economic assistance and bilateral agreements, the primary objective was to defuse the Papua issue in the Pacific — particularly thanks to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), which was granted observer status in the MSG in 2015. 

In exchange for Jakarta’s support, PNG and Fiji successfully contained ULMWP’s lobbying to attain full membership status at the MSG meeting last month in Honiara, Solomon Islands, and they will make a similar effort at the MSG Meeting next month in Port Villa, PNG. The whole objective of such efforts is to keep the Papua issue on the sidelines in the South Pacific region.

The other three members of MSG, namely the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Kanak National Socialist Liberation Front, are in favor of the West Papua campaign. Melanesian communities tend to sympathize with the struggle of Papuans. 

Wiranto is unlikely to pursue a different path. As a former military commander who dealt with regional disputes in the early days of Reformasi, there is little chance for a breakthrough on the internationalization of the Papua issue. 

The defensive diplomacy of the past, and its concomitant denials of the human rights violations that brought Papua to international attention, will seemingly remain the prominent approach. 

Another prominent agenda item during Luhut’s short period was addressing human rights violations in Papua. Accordingly, he formed a special task group to discuss and find solutions to the issue. 

This group comprises officials, human rights activists and Papuan figures. Three cases have been categorized as human rights violations and received much attention: the Wasior incident in 2001, the Wamena incident in 2003 and the Paniai shooting in 2014. 

The inclusion of only these cases has drawn criticism from Papuans, since many past human rights cases have been overlooked. 

Among the incidents that have been deliberately ignored by the government are the massacres in the 1970s, including a military operation in 1977-1978 that cost many indigenous lives, and a dozen shootings in various cities in Papua. 

The Third Papuan’s People Congress in Jayapura in 2011 has also been off the government’s radar.

The three cases chosen by the task group have another shortcoming, which is the most important one: the lack of the perspective of the victims, particularly Papuans who have been treated unfairly by security forces. 

There is not sufficient room for victims’ families to counter the arguments of the security apparatus, which has often labeled Papuans as separatists simply because they expressed their political and cultural rights in public. 

This omission is amplified by the government’s resistance to holding a dialogue to discuss Papua’s issues more comprehensively, from historical to environmental problems. 

Furthermore, Wiranto with his negative reputation on human rights, such as the incidents in East Timor in 1999, will hamper his ministerial performance and programs to deal with gross human rights violations in Papua. 

Wiranto was closely related to the Biak Massacre in July 1998, which claimed over 100 Papuan lives, when he was the armed forces commander and defense minister. His reputation contrasts with the long-overdue spirit of reform needed to deal with human rights issues in Indonesia’s easternmost region. 

The appointment of Wiranto is another sign of the Jokowi administration’s unwillingness to comprehensively address the sensitive problems in Papua, rather than its standard sole reliance on development programs. 

The President’s unwillingness will be perceived as another half-hearted gesture by most Papuans and will exaggerate the problem of trust between Papuans and Jakarta.

The writer is a researcher at the Marthinus Academy, Jakarta

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