Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1) To kill Papuan youth

2) Protester charged with trespassing on Indonesian consulate-general in Melbourne
3) INSIGHT: Indonesia-Australia relations and the perils of success
4) Freeport may resume copper exports from Indonesia in ‘a day or two’ — authorities

1) To kill Papuan youth
Unless the role and power of security forces is limited in Indonesia’s troubled Papua region, more young locals will end up dead and cases like the Paniai killings will remain unsolved, writes Andre Barahamin. 
On 8 December 2014, five local teenagers were gunned down in Enarotali, a town in the Paniai regency of Indonesia Papua.
The young men were killed by shots that allegedly came from Indonesian security forces after police and military personnel fired on some 800 protesters. A further 12 people, including school children, were injured from the bullets.
The crowd had gathered to protest the beating of a 12-year-old Papuan boy by Indonesian security forces the day before. To further complicate the matter, Indonesian government officials offered conflicting reports of the violence, with some claiming that security personnel warned the crowd to disperse and fired because they had come under attack (as noted by Human Rights Watch).
From the results of a pre-investigation by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), According security forces had used live ammunition and firearms to break up the crowd, but there was no evidence that
the crowd presented any threat to security personnel. In late December 2014, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to solve the killing.
“I want this case to be solved immediately so it won’t ever happen again in the future,” the president said. “By forming a fact-finding team, we hope to obtain valid information, as well as find the root of the problems.”
But the investigation into the case has since been delayed.
At least eight government institutions have sent their respective fact-finding teams to look in to the case. This includes, the Army, the Air Force, the National Police, the Papua Police, the Papua Legislative Council, the Office of Coordinating Minister for Security, Political and Legal Affairs, the Witness and Victims’ Protection Agency (LPSK), as well as Komnas HAM.
But none of these institutions have published a public report of their findings. So, after more than two years, and a President’s pledge, those who seek answers and justice have only been given broken promises, and no significant progress.
Perhaps most disappointing is the failure of Komnas HAM to deliver any real insights into what happened on that fateful day. Expected to be the leading institution in solving the Paniai killings, the human rights commission has spectacularly failed. In March 2015, it formed an ad hoc team to conduct its investigation, but it was not officially inaugurated until October 2016. Nothing has happened since then, and two investigation team members have already resigned.
According to Natalius PigaiKomnas HAM commissioner, the main obstacles to solving the case are the police and military – with both institutions accused of being involved in several rights abuse cases across Papua. Such allegations, understandably, directly undermine the trust for authorities among the victims’ families. Rejecting an autopsy request on the victims’ bodies from Paniai has only increased the uncertainty that the case will ever be solved. Another complication is that investigators are unable to interview soldiers who were at the scene of the shooting.
However, delaying the investigation into the Paniai killings is not surprising at all. There are many cases of human rights violations in Papua that have yet to be solved. The list includes the Biak Massacre of July 1998Wasior in June 2001, and Wamena in April 2003, when hundreds of Papuan were killed.
At the same time, the President’s determination to solve the case and make the perpetrators accountable under law would seem to have waned as well. In late 2016 Jokowi appointed Wiranto, a former general indicted for human rights violations in Timor Leste, as the country’s top security minister.
Jokowi’s decision to appoint Wiranto to such a contentious post has made the situation worse. Wiranto has openly said that he aims to solve all of these cases through non-judicial processes, which could mean impunity for any perpetrators.
Sadly Paniai isn’t even the latest case of violence. Papua Itu Kita have reported that 18 Papuan teenagers aged between 14 and 19 years have been shot by police and the military since October 2016. Eight of them were killed. Of these cases, only three were prosecuted by the institution to which the culprits belonged.
The cases include the Koperapoka shooting in Timika by members of the military that killed four Papuans, the Gorong-Gorong shooting against Fernando Saborefek (18) in Biak by the police force, and Sugapa of Intan Jaya where members of the Papua Police Mobile Brigade were involved with the shooting of Otinius Sondegau (15).
The trend of teen killings in Papua cannot be separated from pro-violence approaches by the Indonesia military and police to dealing with the complicated issue of Papua’s place in Indonesia. The excessive use of force continues because Jokowi has failed from the beginning of his presidency to limit the role and power of security forces in Papua.
Added to this volatile mix is ongoing discrimination towards Papuan youth. Young Papuans are racially targeted and labeled as troublemakers, primitive and potential future members of separatist movements. It would seem that being a young Papuan with dark skin and curly hair is more than enough to make you a target of violence.
Meanwhile, Komnas HAM have vowed to step up their investigation into the Paniai killings, claiming they will send out a team to interview “locals, victims, Papuan public figures and security officers from February 18 to 20.”
Only time will tell if it will achieve anything. It’s telling that it has already taken this much time.
Andre Barahamin is researcher of PUSAKA Foundation, and member of Papua Itu Kita (Jakarta-based solidarity campaign for Papua).

2) Protester charged with trespassing on Indonesian consulate-general in Melbourne

A 42-year-old protester has been charged with trespassing on the Indonesian consulate-general in Melbourne after an incident which came at a time of renewed tensions in the bilateral relationship.
The arrest was made three days after Indonesia criticised Australia for not arresting a man who clambered onto the roof of the consulate-general and waved a separatist West Papuan flag on January 6.

"The Australian Federal Police can confirm it arrested a 42-year-old man in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown on Monday, January 30," the Australian Federal Police said.
The arrest comes just days before Attorney-General George Brandis, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan are scheduled to attend the Ministerial Council on Law and Security in Jakarta.

On January 26, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a parliamentary commission requested the Australian government legally process the trespassing incident "because we know the faces of perpetrators, we have the pictures".
The incident featured a demonstrator waving the separatist West Papuan "Morning Star" flag, which is banned in Indonesia, while another person filmed the event. The video was posted on Facebook and distributed widely.
"The question is why has there been no arrest when 20 days have passed?" Ms Retno said on January 26.
"As close neighbouring countries, we have a very intense relationship and of course problems occur every now and then," Ms Retno said.
Another MP - Tubagus Hasanudin - went further than Ms Retno, saying Indonesia could take diplomatic measures if no legal action was taken.
Many Indonesians remain suspicious of Australia's intentions in Papua, even though it has signed the Lombok Treaty recognising Indonesian sovereignty over the restive province.
However the Indonesian Foreign Ministry stressed its concern was the trespass, which Ms Retno described as a criminal act that was "completely intolerable".
The AFP spokesman said the man had been charged with trespass of a protected premises, contrary to section 20 of the Protection of Persons and Property Act 1971.
Under the act, a person who trespasses on protected premises commits an offence, punishable on conviction by a fine of not more than 10 penalty units ($1800).
The man has been bailed to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on February 23.
"As the matter is now before the court it would not be appropriate to provide any further comment," the AFP spokesperson said.
3) INSIGHT: Indonesia-Australia relations and the perils of success
Jakarta | Mon, January 30, 2017 | 09:06 am
Evan A. Laksmana Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Indonesia-Australia relations seem to have hit another snag this year. In early January, Kompas daily reported that the Indonesian military (TNI) was suspending all military cooperation with the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
As the news was confirmed by the TNI spokesman, the suspension made numerous domestic and international headlines. With the 24-hour news cycle, and the fact that Indonesia-Australia defense relations tend to be controversial, speculations ran wild and included some unnecessary ad-hominem attacks on the TNI commander.
It was only after the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister clarified that the “temporary suspension” only covered language training activities — rather than defense-wide cooperation — that the dust began to settle.
At a deeper level, the incident underscores the perils of success in Indonesia-Australia defense relations, which stems in particular from an overemphasis on (and occasional “public sanitizing” of) the TNI-ADF relationship.
Given the geopolitical history between the two neighbors, Jakarta and Canberra understandably believe that the relationship between their respective militaries is vital to the broader bilateral relationship. The 1999 East Timor debacle and the centrality of the 2006 Lombok Treaty in restoring bilateral relations only served to reinforce this perception.
Indeed, since then, TNI-ADF relations have quietly flourished. Thousands of TNI officers have gone through numerous Australian schools and training programs over the past decade, while exercises and other cooperative activities grew. The presence of an alumni association for graduates of both Indonesian and Australian military education and training programs, IKAHAN, seemingly solidified the defense relations.
These successes, however, may have had unintended consequences.
First, they have created, perhaps unconsciously, the impression that defense relations had matured by 2016. This may have led to complacency in some instances; such as not carefully and transparently managing every detail of the various education or training environments.
In other instances, it could lead to “tunnel vision” during crisis. We can see this in one of the narratives sprung from the latest incident: rogue generals with political ambitions and anti-Australian sentiments are to blame. After all, the argument goes, defense relations have been so successful in restoring military trust that the suspension could not have possibly reflected deeper insecurities within the TNI over separatism or its own history.
Needless to say, such narratives were inaccurate and counterproductive. But perhaps more importantly, they also sidetracked potential opportunities to better review existing defense cooperation programs.
Second, the over-emphasis on and extra care of the TNI-ADF relationship may have inadvertently hindered the broader integration of defense cooperation into the wider bilateral relationship.
Paradoxically, military-to-military relations have been consequently more susceptible to the waxing and waning of the domestic politics in Jakarta and Canberra. One government source told me that during the 2013 wiretapping crisis, some considered defense cooperation more expendable (i.e. able to be temporarily suspended) because there were no “real and practical” ramifications in other areas of the bilateral relationship.
As such, we might want to stop seeing TNI-ADF relations as inherently unique and therefore needing “special status” or “protection”. Instead, moving forward, we could consider ways to expand and deepen the integration of defense cooperation within the broader bilateral relationship, rather than relying on the former to strengthen the latter.
We can do so by deliberately integrating multiple non-military stakeholders — from the police, Foreign Ministry, to scholars and industry players — into pre-existing defense cooperation activities or create new ones to accommodate them. This could integrate the TNI further within the strategic community and create additional stabilizing layers into the bilateral relationship.
We can consider, for example, renewing engagement and institutionalizing partnerships between the civilian defense and strategic communities from both countries that could act as counterparts and counterweights to — and perhaps even communication channels between — the TNI and ADF.
In counterterrorism and maritime security, we could expand joint exercises and training specifically designed for multiple agencies to work together simultaneously. To counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, for example, we need the Navy, coast guard and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, among other institutions. Similarly with counter-terrorism, there are numerous activities that should involve elements of the army, police and intelligence community, as well as civilian agencies such customs or prison authorities.
Developing and expanding various bilateral joint multi-agency activities — from education to exercises — involving both military and non-military elements might also help alleviate some of the bureaucratic infighting and stove-piping prevalent on some of those issues.
Additional cooperation between the legislative and judicial branches of both countries over military policies — such as defense planning and budgeting, or the military justice system— could provide an additional layer too. After all, defense establishments tend to be wider than military organizations alone.
We can also perhaps consider possible joint defense industrial projects — whether bilaterally or regionally with other ASEAN members — to strengthen the business side of defense relations. This might, in the long run, help us jumpstart the relatively sluggish economic relations between the two countries.
Strengthening defense relations by focusing on non-defense policies may seem paradoxical but if done properly it might stabilize both TNI-ADF cooperation as well as the Indonesia-Australia relationship.

4) Freeport may resume copper exports from Indonesia in ‘a day or two’ — authorities

Shares in Freeport McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), the world’s largest listed copper miner, were down on Monday despite reports indicating that Indonesia may issue a temporary permit valid for up to six months to the company's local unit, which could pave the way for the mining giant to resume exports of concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Papua.

The temporary authorization could be issued "in one or two days", Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said according to Reuters. Such permit is being considered to avoid a stoppage to Freeport's exports while it completes the requirements for a new special mining licence, he noted.
Indonesia’s fresh ban on concentrate exports kicked in on January 12 as part of the South East Asian nation's comprehensive change to mining regulations and ownership rules.
Some of the freshly introduced legislation require Freeport to obtain new mining rights before being allowed to resume exports.
The Grasberg mining complex in the remote Papua region of Indonesia is responsible for more than a quarter of Freeport's total output. Before the current troubles, it was set contribute an even greater proportion in 2017 as copper grades improve and gold production is boosted.
But in light of the export ban the company has said it may have to suspend planned spending of around $1 billion per year through 2021 to transition the mine to underground operations.
Last year, the iconic mine produced more than 500,000 tonnes of copper and over 1 million ounces of gold.
Shares in the company were down 1.9% to $16.06 in New York at 11:27AM local time.

Monday, January 30, 2017

1) Mining Boss: Freeport Indonesia is Not Only Just Gold

2) Indonesia blocks websites circulating #LetWestPapuaVote petition
3) Former regent nabbed as suspected drug user in West Papua

1) Mining Boss: Freeport Indonesia is Not Only Just Gold

Freeport Indonesia started operation in Papua in 1967 and is currently Indonesia’s largest mining firm.

The Garsberg mine operated by Freeport in Indonesia. (Photo source: Kompas/Agus Susanto)

Jakarta, GIVnews.com – Giant copper and gold miner PT. Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) is complaining about the company’s image. The main perception of many in the public is that the mining field, which is operated by the firm in Papua, is full of gold.

There is also a perception that the gold that has been mined by the company is already in the form of clods, which can readily be taken offsite.
This complaint was aired by current PTFI president director Chappy Hakim. He was giving a public lecture at the post-graduate school of the Economy and Business Faculty at Universitas Indonesia in Depok, near Jakarta, last Friday (27/1) as reported by mediaindonesia.com. PTFI is a subsidiary of US mining giant Freeport McMoran.
The former Air Force chief said, “Freeport’s mine is located in extreme area. Out of every ton of the ores excavated, only several grams of copper and a small amount of gold can be obtained.”
Moreover, alongside other related agencies, the Indonesian customs and excise office strictly control the processing of clods into ores at PTFI’s facilities. Therefore, it is not true that the company can easily make big money. This is according to Chappy Hakim who took up the president director post last November.
PTFI started operation in Papua in 1967 and is currently Indonesia’s largest mining firm. Chappy Hakim said in the 1992-2015 period, Indonesia received US$16.1 billion from the Freeport’s Papua operation. This compared with the $10.8 billion that went to the company. This means that so far they have got 60 percent and 40 percent in revenue sharing, respectively, he added.
Also in Depok, Chappy Hakim said that they were still reviewing the newly issued government regulations that allow PTFI to continue exporting certain minerals in compensation for a contract extension and a commitment to build a smelter.
He said as quoted by the Jakarta Post, “Since the government regulation has just been issued, Freeport Indonesia is currently trying to reposition itself to see how it can continue to survive.”

2) Indonesia blocks websites circulating #LetWestPapuaVote petition
Launch of the Free West Papua Campaigns 2017 global petition calling for an internationally-supervised vote for West Papua at Westminster last week. Video: Pouk Malay
By Badriyanto in Jakarta
Indonesian military (TNI) chief General Gatot Nurmantyo was relaxed in response to news that there is a West Papua people’s petition seeking to separate West Papua from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).
“Everything’s okay with West Papua right. There isn’t any problem,” said Nurmantyo during a hearing with the House of Representative’s Commission I overseeing information and communications, defence and foreign affairs at the parliamentary complex in Jakarta.
Nurmantyo said he was not going to get upset over the various petitions initiated by “criminal” groups because it was a waste of time and energy on matters that were of little substance.
Nurmantyo also said that the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) had already blocked a number of websites that had been circulating the petition.
“If the petition’s not from an official group then why should we bother about it, it’s tiring right. Who made this [petitions], who makes them, there’s no end to them,” said Nurmantyo.

As already reported, an online petition has been circulating supporting West Papua’s separation from the NKRI.
The petition is targeting 20,000 people and will be taken to Geneva and handed over to the United Nations.
First published by Okezone in Bahasa on January 26. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was “Tanggapi Masalah OPM, Panglima TNI: Papua Barat Baik-Baik Saja”.

3) Former regent nabbed as suspected drug user in West Papua
Jakarta | Mon, January 30, 2017 | 01:21 pm

Police in West Papua will continue the legal process against a former regent, who was arrested on Sunday for allegedly using drugs, even though several parties have tried to intervene with the case.
Manokwari Police chief Adj. Comr. Christian Rony Putra said on Monday the police had named Teluk Wondama former regent Alberth Torey as a suspect for consuming crystal methamphetamine.
“Some parties have tried to intervene, but I will thoroughly process the case,” Rony said as quoted by tempo.co“Drug cases can’t be resolved through customary law,” he added.  
Alberth was arrested at his house in Manokwari early Sunday with 0.02 grams of crystal methamphetamine. He is now being treated at Manokwari Regional Hospital.
Alberth also faced drug charges with his second wife Viviani Idriyani in April 2011.  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1) Shifting demographics in West Papua highlight conflict, says academic

2) Papuan video advocacy faces regular pressure for permits

3) Papuans still unhappy over Merauke food and oil palm project


1) Shifting demographics in West Papua highlight conflict, says academic
JIM ELMSLIE: You’ve got to handle the figures with some degree of care and you’ve got to sort of doubt the accuracy to some extent because the large area that’s there, the terrain, the fact that large areas of the Highlands, I don’t know if you’d call it a revolt, but there are certain areas that are conflicts between certain areas of the island and the state are fairly entrenched. So the figures – what you can get clearly from them is the trend and the change over time and that’s clearly continuing because of the large-scale inward migration of non-Papuan settlers drawn into the region mostly for economic opportunity, and most of that economic opportunities are on the plains.
JOHNNY BLADES: You’ve established that the Melanesians – the Papuans – their growth rate is quite a bit less than the non-Papuans.
JE: That’s what the research shows and that’s even given that the numbers are a bit rubbery. Because for [Indonesia] to conduct an accurate census would be damn-near impossible and the figures that we have to use, so we use them. But anecdotally as well – from talking to health experts and looking at what’s going on on the ground compared to say PNG – then yeah the birth rate clearly is lower. There’s a whole range of reasons for that. One is the infant mortality and the maternal mortality rate is very high, there are untreated diseases that cause infertility. But that’s fairly clear and it’s also clear that large numbers of migrants are coming in, the government is building new ports, there are ships that come in on a weekly basis, there’s many flights every day from other parts of Indonesia. There’s clearly the demand, and as we’re talking, they are clearing tens of thousands of acres of rainforest and putting in labour-intensive things like oil palm plantations, where the workers are being brought in from Java rather than being recruited locally.
JB: Back in 2010 you had estimated that the total population of West Papuans in West Papua, that whole Papua region, was some 48 percent. And now with these new BPS [Indonesian Statistics Office] figures it’s indicating that their percentage is something like 66 percent. Isn’t that in some ways a positive, given that in the last couple of years a lot of the discourse around the West Papuan diplomatic wrangle has been around them having become a minority in their own land?
JE: Well, when you extrapolate these figures forward, and there’s two different population growth rates, you come up with these figures of the minoritisation of the Papuan population. And that was a projection, I guess, if all else remained the same. And I think the exact figures may vary but the trend is still there. So in terms of whether that’s positive or not… I think it certainly is positive that large areas of the Highlands of West Papua are still populated very strongly by groups of indigenous Melanesian people, even if that’s not the case in the lowlands. But it means that the Papuans, certainly in the Highlands, are not on the verge of disappearing under the weight of inward migration. So yes, I think that’s a positive thing. Some people seem to feel that the general conflict in West Papua would disappear over time as the Papuan population became a minority. Well that’s obviously not going to happen. That is happening in the lowlands, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon in the Highlands, even though – I must stress again – that there’s a lot of development going on there which will bring in outsiders, bring in more military, which will always be a threat to them [Papuans].
JB: Transmigrasi is no longer an official programme, is that right? But these people are still coming in?
JE: Yeah so there’s no official transmigration, but it’s the policy, I think, of the Indonesian government because looking at the bigger picture of Indonesia and the Indonesian  economy – and people talk about it growing – West Papua makes up something like 23 or 24 percent of the land mass of Indonesia and it’s got huge resources: obviously the forestry, when most of the rest of the trees of Indonesia have been cut down, so Papua is really the last place where there’s huge stands of rainforest; there’s also the mineral wealth which is possibly the richest part of the entire world – the Freeport mine is probably the biggest gold mine in the world, the biggest copper mine, it’s also the biggest economic entity in Indonesia and also the biggest taxpayer. So looking into the future, the Indonesians’ capacity to exploit the natural resources of West Papua, and with all that brings, that will be one of the factors that allow Indonesia to grow as people are predicting it to grow, and become one of the main economies in southeast Asia, and certainly bigger than Australia. Which is one of the fears, I guess, which is underlying Australian policy, that in some future when the Indonesian economy overtakes the Australian economy in size, and Indonesia becomes a more important country internationally, then that’s going to be quite a different situation than has been the case in this part of the world up until now, where the Australian economy and therefore its military resources and the rest of it were superior to the Indonesians. So a lot of that long-term growth will come out of West Papua. And if that continues, it will involve shifting more and more people down to that region.


2) Papuan video advocacy faces regular pressure for permits
3:16 pm today 

A West Papuan video-based advocacy organisation says Indonesian security forces commonly demand that it show a permit to conduct its activities.

However, one of the filmmakers behind Papuan Voices says there's no legal requirement for a permit to shoot the type of videos they do.
Wensi Fatubun said Papuan Voices was established to help West Papuans tell their own stories about everyday issues such as struggles for education, saving the environment, equality and dignity.
He said they were routinely bothered by police and the military.
"They always ask to us, if we need to filming, we need a permit from the authorities, Indonesian authorities. No, why we need to? Because under Indonesian rule, filming people, we don't need a permit."
Wensi Fatubun said this was an example of the tight control exerted by Indonesia's military and police on Papuans.


3) Papuans still unhappy over Merauke food and oil palm project

9:51 am today 
Strong distrust remains among the indigenous Papuans of Indonesia’s Merauke regency about a major "food estate" project

Jakarta has thrown high level support behind the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate, or MIFEE, a project in the far south east of Papua province
Eventually expected to cover 1.6 million hectares, MIFEE has attracted dozens of investors, looking to grow food crops and palm oil.
Billed as a project to address food security concerns for parts of the country, local Papuan communities have complained that MIFEE is alienating them from their land.
A member of the video-based advocacy organisation Papuan Voices, Wensi Fatubun, said young Papuans in Merauke have begun using video to convey their opposition.
"We try to empower the community to do how they can protect their own land, their own rights, from the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate project."
However, the government said MIFEE was aimed at helping create improved living standards for Papuan communities.
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has personally visited the MIFEE site as part of his campaign to foster greater economic development in Papua.
Earlier this month, Government Affairs Assistant Secretary for Law and Human Rights in Papua, Wakerkwa Doren said a presidential special envoy was heading to Merauke to check on food security, and people's economic development.
He told Tabloid Jubi that as merauke is a regency bordering a neighbournig country, PNG, it was important to work with provincial government to address the people's concerns.
Meanwhile, recently released statistics released by Indonesia's Bureau of Statistics on the ethnic composition of Papua region's population identified Merauke regency as one of five regencies with a majority of non-Papuans.
Based on the population figures from Indonesia's 2010 census, non-Papuans make up around 63 percent of Merauke's population.
Australia-based specialist in West Papuan demographics, Dr Jim Elmslie expected that as Indonesia's economy grew, demographic change in Papua regions like Merauke would continue.
"So a lot of that long-term growth will come out of West Papua," he said, "and if that continues, it will involve shifting more and more people down to that region."
Other regencies where the indigenous Melanesians make up the minority of the population include two other regencies that, like Merauke, are close to the border with PNG.
The regencies where the non-Papuan population is concentrated tend to be areas where access to health and education services is best.