Thursday, August 10, 2017

1) Indonesia denies claims of Papuan rights
1) Indonesia denies claims of Papuan rights

2:59 pm today 
The Indonesian government has again rejected claims that rights to the freedom of expression and assembly are restricted in Papua region.
Through its embassy in New Zealand, Indonesia has raised issue with reported comments by Vanuatu's government in United Nations forums that basic human rights of West Papuans are being infringed.
Vanuatu has repeatedly called for UN action on human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in Papua.
It has drawn particular attention to arrests of Papuans for participating in public demonstrations.
However, a Minister Counsellor at Indonesia's embassy, Wanton Saragih, denied that Papuans were being arrested for exercising their basic rights such as freedom of expression.
Mr Saragih disputed reports on RNZ and elsewhere that over a hundred Papuans were arrested and harshly treated by police last month in the Papuan city of Nabire.
"On 6 July dozens of people were brought into the police station in Nabire on allegations and complaints that they played a part in distributing brochures calling for unlawful actions," he said.
"The authorities determined that the group did not provide proper notification or hold a permit for holding protests."
Mr Saragih said the Papuans were treated with respect and dignity by police who released them by transporting them to where they had come from on the following day.

He explained that demonstrations were common events across many Indonesian cities.
"The rights of the public to peacefully voice their opinions are protected by the Law," the counsellor said, suggesting that representations by Vanuatu about Papua in international fora were unhelpful.
"Vanuatu should also be contributing positively to the progress and welfare of the people of Papua and West Papua."


2) Baliem Valley Cultural Festival breaks national and world records

Jakarta | Thu, August 10, 2017 | 01:32 pm

The ongoing Baliem Valley Cultural Festival (FBLB) currently held in Baliem Valley, the Jayawijaya Mountains from August 8 to 11 has broken national and world records for the throwing of more than 1,359 sege (traditional spear).
Sege is a war instrument made of wood and has the length of 2.5 meters and the diameter between 5 to 7 meters. The spear is usually painted in black but some tribes decorate it with white and red colors. For hunting purposes, the spearhead is smeared with poison, however, all spears for the festival were painted in black with the tip of the spearhead were made less sharp and poisonless. 
“This Sege-throwing activity made it into the national record number 3344/ORI/Agustus/2017 that was signed by Agung Elvianto and World Record Holders Republic (RHR) that has the main office in London. These records were given to Jayawijaya administration for the throwing of 1,000 sege that was done simultaneously,” said Jayawijaya tourism department head Alpius Wetipo.
Throughout the 28 years, FBLB has been held, this is the first time the spear-throwing activity is included in the festival.
A total of 1,359 men took part in the activity that attracted around 50,000 tourists. Only men were allowed to participate, however the total of men from the 14 participating districts were less than 1,000, the committee then decided to allow tourists to participate as well.
Themed 'Art of Dance & War', the festival showcases the Papuan war tradition and traditional dances including the War Dance. Some of the Papuan tribes such as Dani, Yali and Yani are taking part in the festival where they will perform a mock tribal war battle. (asw)

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