2) 30 Police Members Killed by Papua Armed Group in the Last Decade
3) Papuan Fat Cats
1) Gov't Needs New Approach to Resolve Papua Issue, Experts Say
By : Sheany | on 7:36 PM July 04, 2018
Papuan citizens await President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's arrival in Asmat, Papua, in April 2018. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)
Jakarta. Indonesia's easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua still suffer from a persisting separatist stigma and the government's security-centered approach to addressing grievances in the region, which experts emphasize require a humanitarian approach.
During his 2014 election campaign, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made several promises to the people of Papua, including developing the region's infrastructure and resolving cases of past human rights violations.
Since then, Papua has seen massive development of roads and bridges, which the government hopes will improve access and connectivity, thus paving the way for development in other areas also.
However, according to Imam Aziz, executive chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, the emphasis on infrastructure development must be in line with the aspirations of ethnic Papuans.
"The current approach is inadequate to address issues in Papua thoroughly. I think they are on track with this path, but it's not enough. You must steal the hearts of Papuans; that's most important," Imam said during a recent public discussion in Jakarta.
He said the Jokowi administration focuses on security rather than a cultural approach, which emboldens the assumption that Papuans are inherently separatists.
"There's this assumption that every Papuan is a separatist, unless proven otherwise," Imam said.
In a report published this week, Amnesty International claims that Indonesian security forces have committed nearly 100 extrajudicial killings in Papua and West Papua between January 2010 and February 2018.
Most perpetrators, which comprise members of both the police and military, have been let off with little to no accountability. None of them has been taken to a civilian court.
Through the years, officials have used the anti-separatist argument to justify the excessive use of force in security operations in Papua, but Amnesty's report reveal that most unlawful killings took place in nonpolitical settings.
Imam believes the Jokowi administration must step up its game and improve its understanding of the people and social environment in Papua.
"Infrastructure is good, it's one way to do it. But the approach must be more convincing, that they are indeed developing Papua; not only the physical aspects, but also the people and their culture," Imam said.
Speaking during the same event, Sylvana Apituley, an expert on politics, law, defense, security and human rights at the Presidential Office, said the current approach has actually prioritized the anthropological aspect.
Sylvana cited a 2017 presidential instruction on Papuan development, which she said was a product of comprehensive discussions involving the people of Papua, as part of an effort to ensure that the final result reflected the needs of the people in the region.
"Our priorities are to save Papuans through education, health facilities and economic empowerment," Sylvana said.
The government's focus on infrastructure is seen as the best option to support economic development in Papua, she added.
The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) said in a report last year that the government miscalculated its policies in Papua, which were largely based on the assumption that economic intervention alone can address deep political grievances.
'Blood Bond' With Violence
In 2014, police fired shots during a protest in Paniai, killing four people and injuring 11 others. According to witness accounts, police officers shot a protester at close range after he fell to the ground.
The incident sparked a response from Jokowi, who was recently elected at the time, who said he would bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible.
Latifah Anum Siregar, director of the Papua Democracy Alliance, said similar incidents occur more often than otherwise in Papua, and every member of the citizenry in the two provinces will likely have their own memories as victims, or being related to one.
"There is disappointment, sadness and anger, and they express it in a variety of ways, sometimes through music or other artistic performances. Across Papua, everyone has a blood bond with violence," Anum said.
She stressed the importance of a judicial process to address these cases in order to stop the ongoing cycle of violence.
Furthermore, the stigma against ethnic Papuans continues to pose a challenge.
"There is this stigma that if we talk about Papua, it's always a matter of independence. But what is the government doing to make Papuans love Indonesia?" Anum said.
There are many layers to the ongoing issues in Papua, including health, education and land rights, which require new approaches that are in tune with local contexts, she added.
Sylvana said the Jokowi administration keeps an open ear to the ongoing issues in Papua and tries to carefully address any conflicts that arise.
"There should be no doubt that Jokowi's heart is in Papua. Just look at how many times he's visited, with a spontaneous approach toward the people. This is our biggest capital to continue discussion on more serious matters," she said.
However, the government cannot do the work on its own and requires support from relevant stakeholders, Sylvana added.
In spite of Jokowi's annual visits to the country's poorest region, Papua continues to face a variety of struggles. Those who were affected by the extrajudicial killings for example, are still demanding justice and due process.
Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, believes Jokowi is aware of what is happening in Papua, but unable to create policies at the central level to improve the situation.
There is a slip in commitment towards Papua despite initial progress at the beginning of his presidency, Usman said.
He said this was largely due to the position of chief security minister, which at the beginning of Jokowi's administration was held by Luhut Pandjaitan and later handed over to Wiranto. Both are retired army generals.
"The role of the same minister replaced by Wiranto, has changed so much the state of willingness [and] commitment of Jokowi's administration [to Papua]," Usman said.
Though the human rights agenda may not seem like a priority at the moment, Usman said he believes international coverage and more public attention on Papua can encourage Jokowi to reprioritize.
However, the lack of progress thus far is yet another barrier that must be addressed effectively.
As Indonesia heads toward a presidential election next year, NU's Imam said it could be a golden opportunity for the people of Papua to voice their aspirations.
"This is a chance for the people of Papua to forge some kind of a political contract with Jokowi – if he's running for president, what will he do [for Papua]?" Imam said.
Anum of the Papua Democracy Alliance warns that if the government continues to leave human rights violations in Papua unresolved, it will only further cement disappointment towards the country.
"At this point, there is a lack of trust. A step must be taken to establish goodwill and support to once again gain the trust of Papuans," Anum said.
2) 30 Police Members Killed by Papua Armed Group in the Last Decade
TEMPO.CO, Jayapura - During a first semester reflection, Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar revealed that the Papua Police recorded 30 of its members throughout 2008-2018 were killed in the region’s numerous armed group attacks.
The complete data showed that 30 police members were killed and had injured 57 members. Meanwhile, the civilian deaths were 78 people and 117 were left injured.
“The police personnel who were killed by the armed group include the two Puncak Jaya police members who were shot while they were securing the gubernatorial election in the Torere District,” said boy on Tuesday, July 3.
The police members who died while securing the elections were Police Insp. Second Class Jesayas H. Nusi and Brigadier Sinton Kabarek. Both men were briefly considered to have disappeared before they were tragically found lifeless.
Furthermore, Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli explained that most of the casualties that the police faces happened at the Puncak Jaya, Puncak and Mimika highlands.
“Shootings against police members often take place on mountains,” said Boy Rafli who also said that police have not taken lightly of these cases and is continuously countering the threats from local Papua armed groups.
3) Papuan Fat Cats
The Fight in Indonesia’s Dark Dirty Secret
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by CRAIG HARRIS
In the jungle of West Papua the Indonesian military was on the move. Freedom fighters were hiding out in a certain village, and make no mistake, the military knew of their presence. Papuan lookouts caught sight of the military 10 miles before the village. Quickly, through ancient communication skills, the village was warned. All women and children ran to higher ground and safety. The freedom fighters laid the foundation for evident battle. These small skirmishes happen throughout the highlands of West Papua, at times on a daily basis. As the military approached, the first arrow was shot and laid to rest in a soldier’s leg. Papuan war cries echoed through the jungle canopy.
In a land the size of California with a population of two million Papuans, the region remains one of the most isolated in the world. Many human rights activists call Papua “Indonesia’s dark dirty secret.”
Indonesia’s latest president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, is desperate to keep hidden its brutal 50-year war in its eastern-most province. Indonesia seized West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea ,in 1963, shortly after the Dutch colonists pulled out. Since then all foreign journalists have been banned from the territory. A police state has shackled the vast region ever since. It battles a low-level tribal insurgency and suppresses independence aspirations with such vigor that raising the Papuan national flag, Morning Star, can land you 15 years in prison. It’s estimated, according to Yale University research, that over 200,000 Papuans have lost their lives, 10 percent of the population.
Most Papuans consider themselves Melanesian, with more in common with darker-skinned Pacific populations, such as the people of Vanuatu or Solomon Islands. Indonesians often treat Papuans as racially inferior. Culturally, linguistically, and ethnically, Papuans have little in common with Indonesians. For the overwhelming majority, nothing short of independence will suffice.
However there is another truth to the Papuan struggle, those who have turned their backs on their own people — otherwise known as “fat cats.” These so-called Papuans have learned to work both sides of the confrontation and have profited largely. Their ambition seems to be strictly monetary. Well-connected to the government they strategize in hopes of keeping the conflict never ending.
Theys Eluay, at one time the Papuan tribal chief, mastered the game. In 1965 at the early age of 27 Eluay became chief of the Sentani tribe. Sentani is located in Jayapura, the capital of Papua. At 32 he voted to join Indonesia under the fraudulent UN“Act of Free Choice.” Unlike most chiefs, he believed it was the best choice. He cooperated with the military and provided intelligence about the resistance movement. Years later, he was imprisoned on charges of treason, accused of plotting Papua’s violent succession. While in jail he confessed to friends that he had given authorities information that led to the deaths of Papuan independence fighters.
In 1977 Eluay was given a seat in the provincial parliament as a member of President Suharto’s ruling Golkar party. Eluay’s transformation to Papuan hero began in the early 1990s. Denied reappointment to parliament by his party after 15 years in office, he became preoccupied with restoring his name. He saw that his future lay in fighting for independence.
In 2002, Eluay was killed by Kopassus, Indonesia’s elite military. Many Eluay supporters believe it was assassination by the government to squash Papua’s growing separatist movement.
Eluay recognized in his later years that his passion lay in supporting his people toward a better life. He had a vision above and beyond money. “Those Papuan’s that continue to profit from the chaos have no vision and will meet their destiny at a later date.”
As I write this, the world is becoming more aware about Papua. Through social media and lobbying by hardworking Papuans living in exile in other countries, progress is moving forward in a multitude of ways. Benefits, concerts, and demonstrations across the world are bringing attention to the Papuan cause.
Even the world surf community is asking its followers to boycott Indonesia. Under websites such as akrockefeller.com word is getting out.