Wednesday, October 4, 2017

1) Opposition SODELPA disappointed by UN decision

3) Indonesia on notice: West Papuans still want independence
1) Opposition SODELPA disappointed by UN decision
TALEBULA KATE Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Update: 4:22PM ALMOST all the nations in the Melanesian group in the Pacific support the freedom of West Papua except Fiji whose government?s position on indigenous rights have never been strong given the blatant disregard of the same at home in Fiji.
Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa made the comment in a statement expressing the disappointment of the Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party at the decision by the United Nations to reject a petition by the people of West Papua. 
Ro Teimumu further deplored the move by Fiji on a Melanesian entity like West Papua to abandon and betray the will of the people of West Papua and support Indonesia in return for the tacit support it is getting in aid from the oppressors of West Papua.
"We would like it to be known that the rejection of the petition to free West Papua by the United Nations is in no way going to diminish our will to support and agitate for the freedom of the West Papuan people. We stand by them as do the rest of the Pacific States," Ro Teimumu said.

Jakarta, Jubi – Police Headquarters said the police weapons procurement is aimed at mass control in conflict-prone regions such as Papua and Poso, Central Sulawesi. It is also the reason for the procurement of weapons for the Brimob corps.
The police elite troops imported 280 grenade launcher guns and 5,932 grains of ammunition.
“The weapon is used for dalmas (mass control), for Poso and Papua, where operations are in the forests,” said Inspector General Inspector General Setyo Wasisto at the Pancasila Sakti Monument complex in Lubang Buaya, East Jakarta, Sunday (October 1 ).
Setyo said the weapons are still in the Airport Cargo of Soekarno-Hatta is still waiting for permission from the relevant agencies. The application for a license has been given to the Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) of the TNI under the applicable provisions.
Furthermore, Setyo said that related to the polemic of this weapon was immediately taken over by the Ministry of Politics, Law and Security.
“Now that the problem has been withdrawn by the Ministry of Polhukam, it has been handed over to BAIS and has been appointed to Polkam (Kemenkopolhukam),” said the two-star general.
On different occasions, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Wiranto deplored the heavily armed purchasing problem carried out by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Police.
“Actually there are many things that do not need to be a public commodity, there are problems that are solved by way of consensus, my job as Coordinating Minister for Political and Security on the order of the president to coordinate the institution under me to so;ve this,” he said.
Former Armed Forces Commander (now TNI) stated that he would sit together with TNI Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo, National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, BIN Chief Budi General Gunawan and PT Pindad to solve the polemic of weapons procurement.(*)

Article from Crikey magazine 
3) Indonesia on notice: West Papuans still want independence
There is widespread international sympathy for resolving the issue of West Papua, but the hurdles are immense.
Damien Kingsbury —

In a move that is expected to whip Indonesia’s military into a frenzy and will again start an Indonesian witch-hunt for Australian supporters, a West Papuan petition calling for a vote on independence has been presented to the United Nations’ Decolonization Committee.

The petition demands a free vote on West Papua’s independence as well as the appointment of a UN representative to investigate reports of human rights violations by Indonesian security forces. The petition was signed by 1.8 million people, or about 70% of the indigenous population.
Indonesian authorities knew that the petition was being prepared and banned it online. But it was still smuggled across the territory, receiving overwhelming support wherever it was able to be presented.
The petition comes following a crackdown on indigenous West Papuan separatists and others over the past two years, including the killing of human rights defender Joberth Jitmau. Jitmau’s suspicious death was deemed by Indonesian police to be a “traffic accident” and was not investigated.
Crimes by police and the military against indigenous West Papuans, including torture, rape and murder, are rarely investigated. When such crimes are investigated, they usually result in light sentences.

Despite the reforms that have been seen elsewhere in Indonesia, West Papua remains marked by the impunity from justice that characterised Indonesia’s often brutal Suharto era. Last year alone, more than 5300 West Papuans were arrested on charges related to peaceful political protest.
About 40% of West Papua’s population is now non-indigenous, following the Indonesian government’s former “transmigration” program and a subsequent voluntary flow of other Indonesians into the territory. The Indonesian government is now increasing administrative regions in the territory to accommodate more police and army posts for the further expansion of internal migration.
Living standards among indigenous West Papuans have remained the lowest in Indonesia, despite unfulfilled promises of increased spending on education and healthcare. Despite being granted “special autonomy” in 2001 under then-president Abdurrahman Wahid, in 2003 the territory was divided by the Indonesian government under his successor, Megawati Sukarnoputri.
In 2015, President Joko Widodo released five West Papuan political prisoners and announced that the previously closed territory of West Papua would be opened to journalists and human rights observers. Military commanders immediately contradicted Widodo’s announcement, and the territory was again effectively closed.
In response, the petition for a vote on independence was organised by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), an umbrella organisation representing West Papua’s pro-independence organisations, including the small armed resistance movement, the Free Papua Organisation (OPM).

There is widespread international sympathy for resolving the issue of West Papua, but the ULMWP and its petition face an immediate hurdle. West Papua’s incorporation into Indonesia under the sham 1969 “Act of Free Choice” — in which 1025 Papuans of about 800,000 declared, at gunpoint, that West Papua was part of Indonesia — was recognised as “legitimate” by the United Nations.
Unlike in the case of East Timor, which was never legally recognised as part of Indonesia, the UN would have to dissolve or ignore its recognition of West Papua as being part of Indonesia in order to support a vote on independence. Unlike West Papua, Indonesia has powerful friends in the UN, which seek to retain strong economic and diplomatic ties and which therefore limit such an outcome.
West Papua has few international advocates, with the former colonial power the Netherlands, having washed its hands of the territory many years ago. Australia has guaranteed that it respects Indonesia territorial sovereignty — code for not raising the West Papua issue — or else faces a complete breakdown in that important bilateral relationship. The US has major investments in West Papua as well as wishing to retain good relations with strategically important Indonesia.
Despite the timidity of much of the international community, the West Papua issue remains compelling. After earlier massacres, human rights abuses, including official killings, have remained at a lower but steady tempo for several years, increasing again recently.

The West Papua issue seems, therefore, intractable; achieving a vote on independence faces all but insurmountable difficulties, but circumstances compelling such a vote continue as, or more, strongly than ever. In the middle of this, Widodo, like former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before him, seems powerless to fundamentally improve the lot of indigenous West Papuans, much less prise West Papua from the grip of the police and the military.
But, as this new petition shows, even in the challenging clandestine circumstances in which it was prepared, after almost five decades of forced incorporation, indigenous West Papuans overwhelmingly remain opposed to remaining as part of Indonesia.
*Damien Kingsbury is Deakin University’s Professor of International Politics, and has been banned from entering Indonesia since 2004, including for allegedly supporting West Papuan independence

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