1) Asian ecumenical group describes “grave human rights violations” in West Papua
Posted on: December 12, 2017 3:32 PM
Members of the CCA Pastoral Solidarity delegation with the leadership of the Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua – the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua.
Photo Credit: CCA
A pastoral solidarity team from the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) are reporting “grave human rights violations and repression against the indigenous West Papuans in their own home land” after a visit to the Indonesian-controlled West Papua. The visit, carried out last week, was part of CCA;s pastoral accompaniment to churches and people who live in vulnerable situations in Asia.
West Papua was part of Dutch East India until the colonial power relinquished most of its land to a newly independent Indonesia in 1945. The Dutch held onto West Papua – the two Western peninsulas of the island of New Guinea, until Indonesia invaded in 1961. A disputed referendum of 1,000 tribal chiefs – hand-selected by the military and forced to vote unanimously in Indonesia’s favour – was held in 1969; but residents have continued to call for independence from Indonesia.
The CCA say that a three-member pastoral solidarity team spent four days in West Papua with an “intensive” programme of visits and meetings. “Indigenous West Papuans shared with the CCA delegation about the on-going repression and systematic human rights violations in West Papua, including the passing of laws that suppress freedom of speech and freedom of association,” the CCA said.”
They spoke of the growing concern at the impunity for human rights abuses enjoyed by the police and the military; and described the Special Autonomy Law, which – amongst other measures was supposed to enshrine respect for local socio-cultural expressions, including the restoration of the Papua name over the Indonesia-preferred Irian Jaya; and the freedom to fly the Papuan flag and sing the community’s national anthem, as “a dismal failure”, saying that it did not meet the basic needs of the indigenous people of West Papua.
“The Indonesian government systematically restricts the right to freedom of the press as well as the initiatives of West Papuans who come forward to monitor human rights violations,” the CCA team said. “Many indigenous West Papuans are being arrested and detained for non-violent expressions of their political opinion. The indigenous West Papuans constantly face discrimination as well as violent attacks.
“Peaceful demonstrations are often dispersed by force. In many instances, non-violent participants have been arrested, detained and tortured, while others have been killed. Many prisoners and human rights activists have died while in detention. Reports of torture and ill treatment of political detainees have been increasing. Civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are being violated”.
The Bishop of Jaffna – the Church of South India diocese in Sri Lanka – Dr Daniel Thiagarajah, is a member of CCA’s programme committee. He said that CCA’s visit to West Papua was “an opportunity to express solidarity with the struggling West Papuan indigenous people” and to listen “to their grievances on behalf of CCA’s member constituencies and the Asian ecumenical movement.”
The Revd Cindy Huang Shin-Yi, from the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, a member of CCA’s executive committee, said that the “long-delayed pastoral solidarity visit” was “an expression of Asian churches and the CCA’s commitment to the CCA’s member church Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua [the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua] and the people of West Papua.”
The delegation met with members of the Papuan Parliament, the Office of the Governor of Papua, faculty members and students of the Izaak Samuel Kijne Theological College, and local church and community leaders.
Local leaders urged the CCA delegation to persuade the international community to “come forward to implore the Indonesian government to stop human rights abuses in West Papua and to respect and protect the human dignity of West Papuans; to support the appeal of West Papuans to the government of Indonesia to open the door in order to seek a just and dignified political solution and respect the right and dignity of the indigenous people of West Papua to determine their own future through an all-inclusive Papua-Indonesia national dialogue.”
2) Declassified US Files about Papua a Gift for Indonesia
Papuans display "Morning Star" separatist flags during a protest commemorating the 50th year since Indonesia took over West Papua from Dutch colonial rule in 1963, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Prominent Papuans pleaded for the U.S. to give them money and arms in the mid-1960s to fight Indonesia's colonization of their vast remote territory, according to recently declassified American files that show the birth of an independence struggle that endures half a century later. AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Human Rights lawyer Veronica Koman considers the declassified US files on the history of the Papua independence struggle as a gift for Indonesia.
“This is a gift for Indonesia as a nation, which means that it is a historical political debt that must be solved,” Veronica told Tempo on Tuesday, December 12.
According to Veronica, the documents issued by the US reopened one of Indonesia’s dark pasts, especially regarding human rights violation. She argues that it is similar to the alleged human rights violation of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) massacre in September 30, 1965.
“The files’ declassification means that Indonesia has two historical debts that must be solved,” she said.
The Papua independence struggle files state that in 1967, before the Pepera referendum, Indonesian military forces conducted a human rights violation by massacring 1,000-2,000 indigenous Papuans. The massacre was said to be retaliation after two Indonesian military personnel were injured by Papuans.
“They shot on Papuans who walked past, that is clearly a war crime,” said Veronica.
The US files also suggest that in 1960, the people of Papua asked the United States to fund Papuans with firearms to fight the Indonesian military. The files also documented the complaints of Papuans clashing with the Indonesian security forces.
Veronica hopes that the Indonesian government will be able to solve the case if it truly contains elements of human rights violation. She also suggests that the government must publicly apologize for past mistakes. She argues that the root cause of the conflicts in Papua can be traced back to the exact conflict.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician and member of House of Representatives Charles Honoris said that society does not need to overreact in responding to the declassified files on Papua. He reasons that the files are packed with subjective views of the US Government in Indonesia at the time.
4) Fishermen allegedly conducting blast fishing detained in West Papua
Reporter: antara 1 hour ago
Sorong, West Papua (ANTARA News) - The West Papua Water Police have detained 14 fishermen suspected of catching fish by using explosive materials in the waters of Uisang Island, Fakfak District, and in Arguni Bay of Sorong District in West Papua.
West Papua Water Police Chief Senior Commissioner Giuseppe Renhard Gultom remarked here on Tuesday that the 14 fishermen are temporarily undergoing investigation for further legal proceedings.
"The other pieces of evidence we seized from the fishermen are 97 fish bombs, some compressors, diving tools, two bags of potassium as raw material for fish bombing activities, and 500 kilograms of fish," Gultom noted.
He revealed that the fishermen were detained by a joint team of the Water Police Directorate of West Papua while patrolling the waters of Papua by using an Enggano ship from the Police Headquarters.
Initial inspection results indicated that these fishermen have repeatedly conducted blast fishing activities in the waters of West Papua, so the West Papua Water Police had initiated operations since long to catch them.
According to Gultom, the fish bombs used by the fishermen are quite large, and the explosive power of the bombs can destroy coral reefs in the waters of West Papua.
The long-standing, environmentally harmful fishing practices have also damaged the reefs in the Cendrawasih Bay Marine National Park in West Papua.
5) Papua, Mimika most prone to security disruptions in 2018 regional elections
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Tue, December 12, 2017 | 06:30 pm
Papua and Mimika have been categorized as two among 171 regions participating in the 2018 regional elections that are most prone to security disruptions.
“In the provincial election category, Papua is considered the most vulnerable, followed by Maluku and West Kalimantan,” said Papua Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) head Peggy Wattimena in Jayapura on Tuesday.
“In the regency election category, Mimika is the most vulnerable regency, followed by Paniai and Jayawijaya. Both are in Papua province,” she went on.
Friets Edward Siregar, from the Bawaslu headquarters in Jakarta, said three indicators had been used to measure the vulnerability level of a region in the 2018 election.
“They are the condition of contestation in those regions, the implementation of elections in the previous years and voter participation in previous elections,” he said.
“The vulnerability is closely related to whether candidates had prioritized programs or just highlighted ethnic sentiments in their campaigns in the previous elections, to whether the election organizers had violated ethics and to whether the elections were marred with turmoil," he added.
Friets further said in the 2017 regional elections, out of a total 11 participating regencies and municipalities, only one region had no dispute that had to be settled at the Constitutional Court.
Unrest in last year’s elections resulted in 11 deaths, 77 injured victims, and the several offices being burned down.
Meanwhile, the Papua Police categorized four regions in the Pegunungan Tengah region, namely Puncak, Deiyai, Paniai and Mimika, as most prone to turmoil in 2018 because many armed groups reside in those areas. (nmn/ebf)
Papua New Guinea has expressed interest to start a dialogue with Indonesia on terms of the level of engagement towards a bilateral partnership on the Carbon Offset Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, (CORSIA).
December 11, 2017
During the International Senior Officials APEC meeting (ISOM) last week in Port Moresby, the Climate Change and Development Authority was fortunate to coordinate and arrange the Chief Executive Officers dialogue for the APEC TMM10 (10th Transport Ministerial Meeting) meeting during which ministerial discussions were held on the role of APEC economies in CORSIA.
CORSIA is set to start in 2021 with the pilot phase, where 13 out of 21 APEC economies including PNG will be the first participants.
Indonesia is one of the 13 and its Minister for Transport supported CORSIA and openly invited APEC economies to partner with them on a bilateral level on CORSIA in the conclusion of its presentations on “Green Infrastructure” related to sustainable aviation.
The Indonesian Minister made a call to develop safe, secure, resilient, efficient and sustainable transportation systems and to promote innovation in the transportation sector, which includes aviation.
This partnership will strengthen Indonesia and PNG’s economic commitment towards a responsible transport system and with CCDA being the focal point for Climate Change in PNG, and will assist it’s implementing stakeholders including the Department of Transport and Civil Aviation Safety Authority prepare to address emissions from international aviation.
The Paris Agreement which PNG is a Party to, did not include international bunker fuels, which means Airline Industries in PNG should not be pressured by the International Transport Association (IATA).
and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to comply unless IATA and ICAO decides otherwise.
Air Carbon Offset Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
All APEC economies who are also members of ICAO including some council members, all supported the adoption of these resolutions.
The implementation of CORSIA will be done in three phases;
• The Voluntary Phase (starts in 2021);
• The actual implementation phase starts after 2030 which the CCDA will be coordinating how PNG and its aviation sectors will be participating while maintaining a registry that tracks these emissions;