1) Hundreds of villagers seek refuge after shootout in Papua
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, April 5, 2018| 06:28 pm
The recent clash between Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and a local armed group at the Sinai Opitawak Church in Tembagapura, Papua, has forced hundreds of villagers into hiding in nearby forests. One person was killed while three parishioners were injured in the violence.
Parishioner Timotius Umabak was shot dead in a raid conducted by TNI and National Police personnel at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. He was buried in Opitawak on Wednesday afternoon.
Sinai Opitawak Church reverend Deserius Adii said Timotius, along with other parishioners, had been standing on the church's front porch when the shooting happened.
“All of them were waving the Red-and-White national flag and raised their hands to show the Army personnel that they are not involved with the armed group, but they shot them anyway,” Deserius told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Thursday.
Deserius said he still did not know what had happened to the rest of the parishioners, because they dispersed as they tried to hide from the Army. “I haven’t been able to contact any of them since last night,” he said.
In response to the shoot-out, Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) secretary-general Rev. Gomar Gultom said the communion expressed its condolences. It also urged the armed forces to start using a cultural approach instead of military force to solve issues in Papua.
He urged the military and armed groups in Papua not to take out their hostilities on civilians. (dpk/ebf)
At least eight residents of Keerom and Lanny Jaya regencies in Papua died of consuming unlicensed alcohol (oplosan) in the past week.
“In the latest case, two people died after consuming oplosan in Lanny Jaya. Previously, six people died in Keerom in a similar incident,” said Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. M. Kamal on Thursday.
The two Lanny Jaya residents, Lapis Wenda, 26, and Yondiron Tabuni, 28, died after they, together with several other residents of Kampung Popome in Mokoni district, consumed six bottles of a highly alcoholic drink called cap tikus.
“Lapis died on the scene while Yondiron passed away at Tiom Regional General Hospital (RSUD), which he had been taken to for medical treatment,” said Kamal.
Two other residents, Malik Tabuni, 35, and Obed Murib, 42, are still undergoing medical treatment at the same hospital.
Meanwhile, the six Keerom residents died of bootleg liquor ostensibly containing brandy and whiskey of global brands, which they consumed on Sunday.
Keerom Police’s criminal investigation head, Second Insp. Hotma Manurung, said nine other residents were receiving medical treatment.
Indonesia Papua Female Journalists Forum head Yuliana Lantipo said alcohol misuse in Papua had grown to an alarming rate.
"The government and security authorities must take tougher measures to ban the distribution of alcoholic beverages and sweep suspected locations of bootleg liquor manufacturing." (ebf)