Monday, March 6, 2017

1) Papua and Montara oil spill raised with Julie Bishop in Jakarta talks

1) Papua and Montara oil spill raised with Julie Bishop in Jakarta talks
2) Julie Bishop slaps down reports of joint patrols with Indonesia in South China Sea
3) Indonesia UNHCR reaction diverts from serious violations in Papua: PIANGO
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1) Papua and Montara oil spill raised with Julie Bishop in Jakarta talks


Jakarta: The sensitive topics of Papua and the impact of the worst oil spill in the history of Australia's offshore petroleum fields have been raised in talks with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said the "openness of Papua" had been discussed and revealed Ms Bishop had agreed to visit the province later this year.

"We love to see other countries visit Papua to have a look at what is really going on," Mr Pandjaitan said.
The proposed visit comes as seven Pacific nations last week called on the United Nations to investigate allegations of widespread human rights violations in Indonesia's restive Papuan province.
Vanuatu's Justice Minister Ronald Warsal said various UN bodies had raised concerns about extrajudicial executions and beatings of West Papuan activists committed by Indonesian security forces.
The Indonesian Foreign Ministry replied last week that Vanuatu's statement did not reflect the current situation in Papua, which had seen big changes under the leadership of President Joko Widodo, with infrastructure development boosted to improve the quality of life of the Papuan people.
Ms Bishop said she planned to return to Indonesia later this year for a range of reasons including the opening of the new Consulate General in Surabaya. 
"There hopefully will be an opportunity for me to visit Papua at that time," she said.
There has been a deep-seated mistrust of Australia's position on Papuan independence among some elements of Indonesian society ever since Australia's intervention in East Timor in 1999.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull emphasised that he had assured President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, of Australia's commitment to Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity during his visit to Sydney last month.
He said the 2006 Lombok Treaty, which recognises Indonesian sovereignty over Papua, was "the bedrock of our strategic and security relationship".
Meanwhile Mr Pandjaitan said he and Ms Bishop had also discussed the 2009 Montara oil spill, which fishermen and seaweed farmers from East Nusa Tenggara say devastated their livelihoods.
More than 13,000 seaweed farmers have launched a $200 million class action in the Federal Court in Sydney against PTTEP Australasia, a subsidiary of Thai state-owned oil company PTTEP.
"Australia as a very good partner can do something also to help the people of the area in eastern part of Indonesia especially in that Montara area," Mr Pandjaitan said.
Ms Bishop said the Australian Embassy was continuing to work with Indonesian authorities in relation to the oil spill.
"It will be a matter before the courts so there is a limit to what I can add to it," she said.
"But we most certainly had a very open and frank discussion about the matter and we will continue to work closely with Indonesian authorities to the extent we can."
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2) Julie Bishop slaps down reports of joint patrols with Indonesia in South China Sea
By Indonesia bureau chief Samantha Hawley Posted 30 minutes ago

The prospect that Australia and Indonesia would jointly patrol the South China Sea near Natuna Islands has been slapped down by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who denied reports the Indonesian President had ever suggested it. 
During a visit to Jakarta for a regional summit, Ms Bishop was adamant that Joko Widodo had never meant that Australian Navy boats would take to Indonesia's northern-most waters. 
"But if there is no tension, I think it is very important to have the patrols together," The Australian newspaper had quoted Mr Widodo as saying before his visit to Sydney just over a week ago.
The denial that the joint exercises were being contemplated came just hours before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull landed in the Indonesian capital to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association Summit. 
Maritime security and countering radical extremism have been dominating discussions at the summit, which for the first time in 20 years will be held at a leaders' level today. 
On the sidelines of the official event, Indonesia's Security Minister Wiranto said of the more than 500 Indonesians who had travelled to join Islamic State militants in Syria, 53 foreign fighters had returned. 
He said Indonesia was trying to use them as "agents" to garner information about Islamic State activities.

Bishop to visit Papua towards end of year

One of Mr Turnbull's priorities during his visit to the Indonesian capital will be securing a free trade agreement with Indonesia.
Both countries say they hope a deal can be done before the year is out, but few details have been made public about what any agreement will ultimately include, and who would be the winners or losers.
China's so-called nine-dash line stretches into waters near Indonesia's northern Natuna Islands, with tension rising between Beijing and Jakarta last year
After a meeting with Ms Bishop, Indonesia's coordinating Minister for Maritime affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan said he did not know if joint patrols were necessary. 
"But for sure for economic activities we can do a lot," he said, referring to the area while also indicating that Australia could play a role in boosting Natuna Islands' tourism. 
He also revealed Ms Bishop would visit Papua towards the end of the year. 
"We don't mind, we love to see some other countries visit Papua to have a look what is really going on," he said.

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3) Indonesia UNHCR reaction diverts from serious violations in Papua: PIANGO
7:30 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2017, Fiji


Indonesia’s scathing attack on Vanuatu at the 34th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session is an attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from the on-going human rights violations taking place in West Papua.
These sentiments were echoed by the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs(PIANGO)executive director, Emele Duituturaga after Indonesia criticised Vanuatu of “politicising the issue of West Papua for its domestic political purposes” at the UNHRC in Geneva.
“Indonesia’s reaction was quite telling of its unwillingness to respect and uphold the values of what it means to belong to the international community of nations – the UN.”
“Their response was to resort to divide and conquer by picking on Vanuatu and then again offering to help Vanuatu with its alleged human rights issues in response to the Pacific coalition’s request to treat a member of the Pacific family – West Papua - with respect and dignity,” Duituturaga said.
She said the Pacific Islands Coalition on West Papua (PICWP) of which PIANGO is a member of would not be requesting the UN to send special rapporteurs into West Papua if they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that West Papuans were suffering.
“Indonesia plays an important role in Pacific stability and peace, their contribution to the region is widely known and appreciated. Pacific governments and civil society would not just as easily undermine such an important relationship.”
“However, when there is overwhelming evidence that thousands of West Papuans who are Pacific Islanders have lost their lives as they tried to raise alternative views in the governance of their resources with state authorities and even to motivate seven Pacific countries to form a coalition on West Papua, Indonesia must realise it can no longer afford to feign innocence at the UN.”
She said according to several human rights reports, the number of victims and cases of extra-judicial killings and torture in West Papua have not significantly reduced between 2012 and 2016.
“The number of political arrests has exponentially increased over the last 3 years and all victims of torture and killings that our partners were able to find were indigenous Papuans. While indigenous Papuans make up only some 40% of the population, they make up 100% of the victims. There is a clear element of racial violence in the practice of security forces.”
Duituturaga said the systematic disempowerment of West Papuans is such that literacy rates in remote regions have dramatically decreased, with some villages registering literacy rates as low as 20 percent.
“Since 2007, Indonesia has not allowed any special procedures to visit West Papua. The region is largely closed for international human rights observers. Foreign journalists get either no access or are accompanied by intelligence, making independent fact finding impossible.”
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg and that’s what PIANGO representative, Laitia Tamata is helping to support the PICWP delegation raise awareness on in Geneva.”

Tamata was one of the six panellists at the UNHRC side event jointly organised by the Permanent Mission of the Solomon Islands, state members and the Office of the Chair of PICWP called, “Shining the Light on the Human Rights Situation on West Papua” was held on 3rd March 2017.
Other panellists included the Solomon Islands Special Envoy for West Papua, Rex Horoi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Vanuatu Prime Minister and Head of Desk for Decolonisation Johnny George Koanapa, Jakarta-based Indonesian Human Rights Lawyer Veronica Koman, Executive Officer of Justice and Peace of Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia, Peter Arndt and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Facilitator, West Papua, Octovianus Mote. The discussions will be moderated by Vanuatu Ambassador to EU, Roy Micky Joy.
Indonesia’s scathing attack on Vanuatu at the 34th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session is an attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from the ongoing human rights violations taking place in West Papua.
 
These sentiments were echoed by the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs(PIANGO)executive director, Emele Duituturaga after Indonesia criticised Vanuatu of “politicising the issue of West Papua for its domestic political purposes” at the UNHRC in Geneva.
 
“Indonesia’s reaction was quite telling of its unwillingness to respect and uphold the values of what it means to belong to the international community of nations – the UN.”
 
“Their almost childish response was to resort to divide and conquer by picking on Vanuatu and then again offering to help Vanuatu with its alleged human rights issues in response to the Pacific coalition’s request to treat a member of the Pacific family – West Papua - with respect and dignity,” Duituturaga said....PACNEWS

SOURCE: PIANGO/PACNEWS
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