1) SI GIVEN LEADING ROLE TO ADVOCATE ON WEST PAPUA ISSUES
18 August 2016
Solomon Islands has been given the leadership role in advocating on the issues of human rights violation and allegations in West Papua.
The leadership role was bestowed upon the country following last week’s Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers meeting in Suva,Fiji.
This will see Solomon Islands play a leading role in ensuring issues of West Papua remains active amongst Forum leaders.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Joseph Ma’ahanua told SIBC News, Solomon Islands should be pleased as this will allow West Papua issues to be sustained and maintained during foreign leaders meeting.
“We can be pleased by the fact that the issue will be sustained and maintained in the agenda that’s coming out from reports of the Forum official committee that will be presented to leaders.”
THE Methodist Church in Fiji has opened its schools to students from West Papua.
This was among the many resolutions passed during the conference at the Centenary Church in Suva yesterday.
The church's secretary for communications and overseas mission, Reverend James Bhagwan, said the conference came up with the resolution following discussions on how the church could help the people of West Papua with the difficulties they faced.
He said the church held the issue of suffering of the West Papuan people very dear.
"We pray for West Papua and provide spaces for students to come and study here at our Methodist institutions. One is education and the resolution is that the education department of the church to prepare a project paper on this and with our ecumenical partners," Mr Bhagwan said.
He confirmed the communication department has already started on a similar initiative.
A journalist from West Papua is currently on a three-month attachment with the department. This was made possible through their work with the Pacific Conference of Churches.
3) Morning Star Flag Raised at Two Schools in Yahukimo ahead of Indonesian Independent Day
The Morning Star flag was raised for a few hours in the schoolyard in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency – Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – The Morning Star flag was raised for a few hours in the schoolyard in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency before an Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday (17/8/2016), but it was not clear who did it.
“About 5 hours, I was called by a man who was jogging in the morning. He saw the morning star flag raised in the two schools, junior and high schools. So he called me to let me know. He knew that I am a journalist,” said Piter Lokon, a Jubi contributor in Yahukimo.
“Around six o’clock, I went to SMPN 1. I saw the morning star was flapped at the flagpole at the school. It’s not red-white flag but the morning star. It was still quiet; I just saw two people, they were wearing the regular clothes entering the schoolyard to take a picture. I was also captured,” he said.
Students of SMPN1 Dekai, Yahukimo were allowed to go home because they were afraid of the presence of police officers around their school. He also said not far from SMPN 1 Dekai, the morning star flag was also raised at the schoolyard of SMAN 1 Dekai where located behind SMPN 1 Dekai. Only the iron fence separates the two schools. “Then I went to SMAN 1. The school gate was opened and there are many people watching it and taking the picture,” he said.
Then people were starting to come, junior and high school students as well as the police officers from the area. The distance of the two schools with Yahukimo Police station is less than 1 kilometer. “Almost at 7, I saw the flag has been lowered. I saw the police officers there,” he said.
SMPN 1 Dekai Principal Yan Makomirin said he received the information at midnight, but he didn’t know who called him.
While the students looked panicked after the police officers came to their schools. Until the report was sent to Jubi at 8.30, the Police were still guarding the scene and the streets. According to the principal, the officers at lowered the flag 7.15 Papua time. The students were allowed to go home while some of them were gathered at the schoolyard to be dropped to the regency office for the independent ceremony.
“Our students are panic, they are fear. Police officers are everywhere to check our school, so we allow them to go home. Meanwhile some teachers will go to represent the school to participate in the commemoration at the regent office. If the situation was secured and conducive, we could take our students to go there, but some already go home,” said the principal.
A teacher said he is preparing his students from SMAN 1 Dekai to go to the regent office. “We are waiting for pick up. If many people want to joint, we will use the bus and police’s truck,” he said. (*/rom)