Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1) Matter of time for Papuan self-determination, says lawyer

2) Indonesia may require miners to pay share of after-tax profit under proposed rules

1) Matter of time for Papuan self-determination, says lawyer
20 minutes ago 

An international law specialist says it's not a question of if but when West Papuans will be granted a genuine act of self-determination.

The United Nations is being urged to review the process which transferred sovereignty over Papua from the Dutch to Indonesia in the 1960s.
The international lawyer, Melinda Janki, has analysed this process and the controversial plebiscite it culminated in - 1969's Act of Free Choice.
She said this referendum didn't adhere to the rules of self determination under international law, as it was not free, and did not feature a range of choices.
The 1969 referendum took place over a number of weeks and involved around 0.2 percent of the population at the time, selected by Indonesian officials and military.
"What happened is that the Indonesian government rounded up about 1025 people, forced them to declare that they wanted to remain with Indonesia, and then went to the United Nations and said 'we've held an act of self-determination, that's all we need to do'. Clearly that was not all they needed to do," Ms Janki said.
"It's a complete breach of international law, and it's complete and fundamental violation of the West Papuan right to self-determination."
According to the lawyer, the UN General Assembly did not even approve of the Act of Free Choice result, but merely noted it.
"So all the General Assembly said is we take note of this report. There is no where anywhere in the United Nations General Assembly a resolution which says the General Assembly approves the integration of West Papua into Indonesia."
Indonesia said the referendum legitimised Papua's incorporation into the republic, and in government statements describes the matter as final.
Questions over the Act of Free Choice have fresh impetus following the emergence last week of a West Papuan petition to the UN which seeks a self-determination vote and Papua's reinscription to the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation.
Jakarta's claims that the petition is a hoax have gained momentum after the Committee's chairman denied a claim by the Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, that he had handed the petition to the Committee. Yet the petition has served to remind the international community of what Ms Janki and others call its failure to decolonise Papua.

2) Indonesia may require miners to pay share of after-tax profit under proposed rules

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Miners operating in Indonesia will have to pay a share of their after-tax profits to both the central and local governments under new tax rules under consideration for next year, according to documents outlining the proposal reviewed by Reuters. 
Indonesia is revamping its tax code for metal miners as part of a broader shift to a system of special mining permits, which will replace existing mining contracts. 
The most high-profile company involved in the transition to the new permit system is the local unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc, which operates the Grasberg mine in the eastern province of Papua, the world’s second-biggest copper mine. 
Freeport agreed in August to divest a 51 percent stake in Grasberg in exchange for a 10-year extension of its operations from 2021 with potential control kept through 2041. 
Under the new rules, special mining permit holders would need to pay a levy on their after-tax profits of 4 percent to the Indonesian central government and 6 percent to the regional governments where they operate, the document said. 
The proposed plan would set an income tax rate of 25 percent, alongside a value-added tax on financial transactions and a land tax. 
Most companies currently pay a 25 percent rate or less if they are publicly listed. 
However, Freeport’s current contract, signed in 1991, sets an income rate of 35 percent, which was fixed higher in exchange for certainty that the government would not change the rate for the duration of the contract, which expires in 2021. 
Freeport and other miners currently do not pay a share of profits to central or regional governments. 
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati declined to confirm the details in the draft, but said the government “is preparing new rules that will regulate companies that need fiscal and non-fiscal certainty” and that the tax and royalty rates they pay will follow prevailing rules. 
Indrawati also declined to comment on a Freeport letter addressed to her ministry and reviewed by Reuters, reflecting persistent and deep divisions between Freeport and the government over the valuation of the shares it must divest. 
Reporting by Jakarta bureau; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo and Fergus Jensen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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