Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Veronica Koman receives Australian human rights award for West Papua activism

Veronica Koman receives Australian human rights award for West Papua activism

Updated about 3 hours ago

An outspoken lawyer wanted by Indonesian police has won a prestigious Australian human rights award for her work in exposing alleged human rights violations in West Papua at "great personal cost”.

Veronica Koman was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award on Wednesday for documenting and disseminating information about the situation in Indonesia's restive provinces of Papua and West Papua, where recent unrest has killed dozens, injured hundreds and left towns burning.
The accolade recognised Ms Koman for the "courage she has shown to continue to stand up for the human rights of West Papuans … despite intensifying harassment and intimidation”…………………..

1) 'Dark day for human rights': Subianto named as Indonesia's defence minister

2) LMA held a reconciliation meeting in Wamena

1) 'Dark day for human rights': Subianto named as Indonesia's defence minister

General who has been accused of abuses is named in cabinet of Joko Widodo, against whom he ran for president
Jamie Fullerton   Wed 23 Oct 2019 15.10 AEDT 

The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has appointed as his defence minister his former bitter election rival Prabowo Subianto – an ex-army general accused of human rights abuses.
Widodo announced his cabinet line-up on Wednesday having beaten Subianto in April’s general election. At least nine people died and more than 200 were injured due to riots in Jakarta following the fraught campaign, during which Subianto accused Widodo’s government of hosting a “massive, systematic and fraudulent” election.
News of Subianto’s expected appointment has caused unrest among many Widodo supporters. Public unease over Subianto wielding power over the armed forces derives from his previous military record. A former son-in-law of the late Indonesian dictator Suharto, Subianto was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and torture of activists ahead of anti-government demonstrations in 1998 when he was an army commander. He has never been charged in relation to the alleged incidents.

Ahead of Subianto’s appointment, Usman Hamid, Amnesty International’s Indonesia executive, said “it would be a dark day for human rights in this country” if he got the defence job.
The election campaign fought between Subianto and Widodo was marred by a flood of misinformation. However since the result was announced the pair have appeared together in public, with Subianto saying on Monday that his party, Gerindra, was “ready to help if asked” to bolster the cabinet of the president’s coalition government.
When Subianto’s defence minister position was officially announced Widodo said: “I believe I don’t have to tell him about his job – he knows more than I do.”

Elsewhere in the cabinet Widodo focused on appointing professionals rather than political party members. Nadiem Makarim, co-founder of ride-hailing company Gojek, was made education and culture minister. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the former World Bank managing director, was reappointed finance minister.
As his second term begins, Widodo, 58, faces many challenges beyond his main stated goal of improving the nation’s economy. This month a suspected Isis radical attacked his chief security minister and violence broke out in Papua as protestors marched against alleged abuses by officials and demanded Papuan independence.
Widodo has also faced a public backlash over a proposed draconian penal code amendment that would criminalise publicly criticising the Indonesian government and court system. The move has been branded undemocratic by law experts.


2) LMA held a reconciliation meeting in Wamena
Published 1 day ago on 22 October 2019 
By pr9c6tr3_juben

Wamena, Jubi – Indigenous institution (LMA) of Jayawijaya Regency, sub-district LMAs, local leaders, tribal chiefs and the migrant organisation held a reconciliation meeting addressing the last incident of 23 September in Wamena.
The meeting was held in LMA Jayawijaya office on Friday (18/10/19) and attended by Papua Police Chief, XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command and local government officials. All parties agreed that they should forgive each other and support law enforcement against the perpetrators.
During the meeting, the migrant organisation, Paguyuban Nusantara Jayawijaya, told migrant victims of the incident accepted apologies of indigenous people. It also said all fears and suspicions among both sides must persuasively end. Also, they encourage those who fled outside of Wamena to return, and the authorities should take the perpetrators to court. Moreover, they stated their support to the local government in rehabilitating the situation in Wamena gradually.Meanwhile, the Papua Police Chief Paulus Waterpauw said the meeting successfully held due to strong coordination between the LMA, police and local government of Jayawijaya.

“It’s a good initiative because the Mukoko tribal chief had opportunity expressing apologies on behalf of his people to the victims and their family,” said Waterpauw.
Further, he said the Paguyuban Nusantara has also accepted these apologies which he thought would be an excellent starter to solve the recent conflict in Jayawijaya.
“The police could only help to solve this problem morally because the regent can help more to accommodate it,” he said.
Meanwhile, a community leader from Mukoko tribal Agus Hubi said the conflict in Wamena would be gradually solved. Regarding this, Mukoko tribe would fully responsible to resolve it. He further said the result of this meeting would be discussed more in an internal meeting of LMAs.
“We’ll take the result of this meeting to LMA. Today we shake hands and agree to find solutions for the recent problem,” said Agus Hubi.
“Resolution would be a moral burden for each tribal chiefs, but the issue of safety and security would be a responsibility of each person in the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Jayawijaya Regent John Richard Banua said the local government highly appreciate the LMA Jayawijaya for conducting the meeting. Further, he thinks the forum was able to accommodate any ideas and suggestions from the floor to materialise the reconciliation in Jayawijaya Regency.
“Both parties have expressed apologies and forgiveness; therefore, let us hand in hand running and supporting the government. Church leaders, tribal chiefs, and people let’s do together,” said Banua.
“There is no discrimination between one tribe to another. All contribute to the development of this regent and the harmony of the brotherhood relationship,” he added. (*)
Reporter: Islami Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

1) Indonesia denies aid fund aimed at dampening support for Papuan independence

2) Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

3) NU-Jayapura chapter declines calls for jihad in Papua

1) Indonesia denies aid fund aimed at dampening support for Papuan independence
 By Nivell Rayda

22 Oct 2019 07:13PM (Updated: 22 Oct 2019 07:21PM)

Papuan students take part in a rally in Bandung on September 2, 2019, calling for Papua's independence from Indonesia. (Photo: AFP/Timur Matahari)

JAKARTA: Indonesia has launched an international aid agency to strengthen its diplomatic relations in the region, but played down the role of Papua-related diplomacy in the fund. 
The establishment of the Indonesian Agency for International Development (AID) last Friday (Oct 18) came amid international criticism towards Jakarta’s approach in the restive Papua region, which has seen widespread violence since August.

Government watchdogs have said the fund could be useful to win over countries sympathetic towards West Papuan independence.  
However, Mr Cecep Herawan, the ministry's director-general for information and public diplomacy, denied that the agency was introduced to dampen international criticism against Indonesia’s rule over Papua.   

The agency has nothing to do with Papua,” he said in a presser on Monday (Oct 21).

The idea to form a dedicated agency to provide aid to other countries was first conceived in 2016, Mr Herawan said, long before the widespread unrest this year sparked renewed calls for independence in Papua. 
The protests were ignited by a video showing civilians and military officers taunting Papuan students with racist remarks in Java in August. 
Indigenous Melanesians are the predominant inhabitants of Papua, which Indonesia officially annexed as it's easternmost province in 1969. 

READ: Protests in Indonesia's Papua spotlight demand for independence referendum

Jakarta’s crackdown on the pro-independence protesters have prompted several Pacific nations to call for investigations into allegations of violence by security forces in Papua during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last month.

On Monday, Mr Herawan confirmed that Pacific countries will be given priority over other countries in terms of distribution of AID funds, but stressed that the decision has no connection to Papua. 
It is part of Indonesia’s strategy to bring countries in the Indo-Pacific region closer together, he explained.
Speaking to reporters during Indonesian AID’s launching ceremony on Friday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the agency “is a very precious tool for Indonesian diplomacy (that we can use) to strengthen our presence on the international stage.”

On Monday, Mr Herawan stressed that one of the agency’s main objectives is to beef up Indonesia’s clout in the international diplomatic circle.
“With the formation of this agency, we want all of our donations and assistance to other countries to be in line with our foreign policies and politics. I’m sure it is the same case with all countries,” he said.
Indonesian ministries and agencies have been giving grants and technical assistance to their foreign counterparts independently.
Beginning next year - when the agency begins managing the 4 trillion rupiah (US$283 million) endowment fund the central government currently sets aside - all foreign aid projects, technical cooperation and disaster relief programmes will be under the control of the Foreign Ministry.
“All will be centralised. The Foreign Ministry will have a bigger role in determining where aid should be distributed to. So everything will have synergy and thus Indonesia’s diplomatic posture will be further strengthened,” Mr Herawan said. 

READ: Papua unrest reflects long standing issues, locals call for equal development

Indonesia hopes to set aside 10 trillion rupiah in endowment fund for Indonesia AID to manage and distribute at least US$42 million to needy nations every year.
Mr Herawan said the formation of the agency reflects Indonesia’s projections that it could be the world’s fifth largest economy by 2030.
But Indonesia still has 9.8 per cent of its 270 million population living below the US$1.90 per day poverty line set by the World Bank.
Indonesia itself still receives hundreds of millions of dollars in development assistance from countries like Japan, China, the United States and Singapore as well as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Since 2015, Indonesia has been giving aid and grants to Pacific countries when the pro-Papuan independence group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), applied for membership with inter-governmental organisations Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum.

This year, Indonesia has pledged aid to seven countries, five of which were Pacific countries - Nauru, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Fiji.
Given the timing of the aid agency's formation and its focus on Pacific countries, Mr Andreas Harsono, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “It is difficult to say that it was not built to win the hearts of Pacific countries, which have been critical towards the human rights violations in Papua.”

Nonetheless, Mr Harsono pointed out that three countries which have received aid from Indonesia - Solomon Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu - were among the Pacific nations speaking out against the situation in Papua at last month's UNGA.
He said people in the Pacific countries, who have started to become aware of the violence, racism and environmental destruction in Papua, were putting pressure on their respective governments to act.
“Even if Indonesia can lobby Pacific countries, these countries would also need to appease their own people,” he told CNA. 
“We shall see how effective the new agency will be in advancing Indonesia’s political agenda,” he added.

READ: China signs deal to 'lease' Pacific island in Solomons

Professor Hikmahanto Juwana, an international relations expert from University of Indonesia, disagreed.
“If you look at China, they have been successful in using their international aid programmes to rally other countries to support their political agendas and foreign policy. Indonesia is a long way from reaching China’s level of success but it has to start somewhere,” he told CNA.
“Of course there will be controversies domestically if Pacific countries receive funds from Indonesia, but if Indonesia can develop programmes which would truly benefit people in that country, the controversies would die down.”
Prof Juwana said China and India were also aid donors while still receiving aid in the past.
The advantage of providing aid to foreign countries is more than boosting Indonesia’s profile and clout, he opined.
“Indonesia could also make sure that Indonesian contractors are involved in the international development programmes, or have the foreign countries use products manufactured in Indonesia, to provide Indonesian companies with a new market," he said. 

2) Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua
OCTOBER 22, 2019 / 8:07 PM / UPDATED 11 HOURS AGO
During her time in Australia, Koman has met with lawmakers and the U.N. high commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and has vowed to continue to advocate for West Papua. 
“This uprising is actually not over yet,” she said. “This is something bigger than just about me or my family.”   
Reporting by Byron Kaye and Agustinus Beo Da Costa in Jakarta; Writing by Tom Allard; Editing by Ed Davies and Lincoln Feast

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist. 
The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply “Indonesia” and, she says, meant that “Indonesia is running through my veins”. 
The second, which she got a few years later after becoming “exposed to social justice”, has become a defiant riposte to the vitriol she has received for defending activists and advocating self-determination for Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.  
The tattoo reads “DILLIGAF”, an abbreviation for a crude saying which roughly stands for “Do I look like I give a damn?” 
“I’ve actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago,” Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living. 
The threats can come in slickly produced video posted on YouTube or comments from anonymous social media accounts. 
The abuse includes death threats, incitements to sexual assault and racist slurs, online material reviewed by Reuters showed. It also includes the publication of personal information about her and her family.  
“I have never, ever published anything personal about me on social media. Not even fun photos with friends. It’s precisely because I knew that my work is very risky,” she said. 
“It was information that’s only available on family (identification) cards.... I have a feeling it was state-backed, otherwise who else?” 
Asked about her comments, Frans Barung Mangera, a spokesman for East Java police, which has been investigating Koman, said by telephone it was “impossible” for officers to be behind it and noted the lawyer had made many enemies. 
A national police spokesman could not be reached for comment, but an official at Indonesia’s intelligence agency said it would not expose such data because it protected everyone. 
Koman says the online invective has increased since she was charged in September under Indonesia’s hoax news and racial discrimination laws for comments she posted about the recent violence in Papua. 
Koman, who uses her Twitter account to share videos, photographs and comment on the situation in Papua, has denied any wrongdoing and Amnesty International Indonesia has urged police to drop their charges. 
Demonstrators in Papua protesting perceived racism and calling for independence have clashed with security forces for more than two months. 
Dozens have died, including indigenous Papuan protesters, police and migrants from other parts of Indonesia. 
Koman said she left Indonesia in December after she was harassed by nationalist groups for representing Papuan protesters arrested in the East Java city of Surabaya and was warned there were direct threats to her physical security. 
Indonesia police have said they are seeking an Interpol Red Notice for Koman, which could see the lawyer extradited back to Indonesia to face court. An Indonesian police spokesman did not respond to questions about whether the notice had been issued.  
The Australian Federal Police does not comment on individual cases, but is not compelled to act on Interpol Red Notices. 
For any extradition to occur, Australia’s attorney general has to recommend an arrest warrant be issued and the offence must be in the criminal code in both Australia and the country seeking extradition, according to the attorney general’s website. Exemptions to extradition are provided if the offence is considered “political”.  
Koman said her parents moved out of their house for a month earlier this year after they were visited by about 10 police officers looking for her. They were also spooked by the volume of vitriol directed at their daughter, she said. 
“They keep begging me to stop (working on Papua) until today actually. They are really feeling intimidated.”


3) NU-Jayapura chapter declines calls for jihad in Papua
  7 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in Jayapura, Papua’s capital city, expressed rejection to calls for jihad or fighting in the name of religion in connection with the recent Wamena rioting case that killed 33 innocent civilians.

Chairman of the NU-Jayapura Chapter KH Kahar Yelipele appealed to those intent on waging jihad in Papua to not proceed with their plan since their presence would only create new problems.

He pointed out that the district and provincial governments had been handling the Wamena case. Moreover, security personnel have also restored law and order and enforced the law against those accountable for the fatal rioting.

Hence, in his statement in Jayapura on Monday, Yelipele made an earnest request to residents in Papua and outside Indonesia's easternmost province to exercise self-restraint and allow the Indonesian law enforcement agencies to resolve the cases.

Yelipele expressed his deepest condolences to individuals and families suffering deeply from the deadly riot that broke out in the highland city of Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Sept 23, 2019.

The call for jihadists to go for war in Papua was recently echoed by the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI). To this end, this organization opened registration for Indonesian Muslims keen to go for jihad there.

KH Kahar Yelipele straightforwardly refused this call for jihad in Papua, emphasizing that Indonesia is a great nation, with people belonging to diverse ethnicities, who stand united under the state ideology of Pancasila. All elements of the Indonesian society should preserve and continue to echo the spirit of unity in diversity, he explained.

"Let us all echo and spread the spirit of peace by not creating and proliferating hoaxes. Let us continue to uphold our tolerance and brotherhood in the land of Papuans," Kahar Yelipele, also a member of the Jayapura Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB), stated.

Yelipele urged Papuan students in Java and other islands who had returned home before finishing their studies to go back to the universities for the sake of their own future and the nation's future.

The Wamena rioting has caused misery to numerous Indonesians since not only 33 innocent civilians were killed but several thousand survivors were also compelled to seek refuge by abandoning their burned and destroyed properties.

Several survivors, originally from provinces, including West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, have also returned to their hometowns.

The rioting was spurred by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that triggered fury among its residents, according to Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja.

Several local media reports confirmed Rodja's claim that the riot was spurred by hoaxes centering on a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.

Taking into account the casualty count, the Wamena riot has become the deadliest of the string of violence that broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua over the past two months following the Surabaya incident on Aug 16 that had triggered resentment and fury among native Papuans.

The Indonesian police have held Benny Wenda, a campaigner of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) leading a good life in the United Kingdom, accountable for the spate of violence that erupted in these two Indonesian provinces, including the rioting in Wamena.
Related news: Ministry, military join hands to rebuild Wamena's damaged facilities Related news: TNI AU Hercules plane transports 88 refugees back to Wamena

Reporter: Alfian Rumagit, Rahmad Nasutio
Editor: Suharto

Monday, October 21, 2019

1) They are in good condition, says legal counsel team after visiting seven suspects of treason case

2) Papua's crucial problems challenge Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin administration

1) They are in good condition, says legal counsel team after visiting seven suspects of treason case

Published 12 hours ago on 21 October 2019 By pr9c6tr3_juben

Members of Papua’s Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition as the legal counsel team for seven Papuans suspected for treason were in front of the Directorate of Crime and Investigation of the Police Kalimantan Timur. – Jubi/Documentation of Emanuel Gobay

Jayapura, Jubi – The legal counsel team for seven suspects of treason case from Papua stated their clients are in good condition after a visit in Kalimantan Timur.
On 4 October 2019, the Papua Police authority transferred seven defendants namely Buchtar Tabuni, Agus Kossay, Steven Itlay, Alexander Gobai, Fery Kombo, Hengky Hilapol and Irwanus Uropmabin from police’s detention in Jayapura to Kalimantan Timur.

Towards the transfer, the legal counsel team protested it. Despite the fact the team think it was against the law; the removal of defendants would also detain access for the team in providing legal assistance to their clients.
A legal team member Emanuel Gobay said the lawyers’ team succeed to meet their clients in Kalimantan Timur Police Headquarters on Thursday (17/10/2019). The team of Papua Law and Human Rights Enforcement consist of Emanuel Gobay, Latifah Anum Siregar, Yohanes Mambrasar and Ganius Wenda.
“Along with us, a priest from the GKI Church in Kalimantan Timur, and an advocate from the Legal Aid Institute of Samarinda Bernard Marbun,” said Gobay by phone from Samarinda, on Thursday afternoon.
He further said their clients are in good condition and never been intimidated. The guards even always ask about their health condition and provide meals for them. However, their clients still want to transfer back to Papua.
“They ask for being transfer back to Jayapura. If not, (better they transfer us to) Manokwari or Sorong, West Papua Province. Before we arrived, their clients have never been visited by anyone,” said Gobay.
Gobay said these seven suspects had explained the chronology of their transfer to Kalimantan Timur. On 3 October 2019 at around 7.00 pm, four suspects including Steven Itlay, Irwanus Urupmabin, Hengky Hilapok and Fery Gombo were taken from there detention in Papua Police Headquarters, Jayapura to Papua Mobile Brigade Headquarters in Kotaraja. There, they met with other defendants Buchtar Tabuni, Agus Kossay and Alexander Gobai.
Next morning on 4 October 2019, the police checked their health condition and told them it was for a medical check before returning them to Papua Police Headquarters. “The suspects were asked to leave their used clothes and to sign a letter without allowing them to read it. The police said they were in a rush,” said Gobay.
It turns out that the police took them to Sentani Airport, Jayapura Regency. There, they asked the police where did they take them away. The police investigators told them they were going to meet the National Police Chief and then back to Jayapura.
“Our clients then demanded the police for allowing them to contact their lawyers’ team and families. But at that time they still didn’t know where to go,” said Gobay.
At around 8.00 am, the seven suspects were flown to Kalimantan Timur by the Indonesian police aircraft. At noon local time, the plane had stopped over in Ambon and arrived in Balikpapan at around 3.00 pm local time.
“Their hands were handcuffed during the flight. They just found out that they were in Kalimantan Timur once they arrived at Kalimantan Timur Police Headquarters.
Separately, Papua Police Spokesperson Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said the police investigators continue to complete administration files of the suspects. “They still work to complete the administration files. We will inform once it has entered the second phase. The trial will be held in there (Kalimantan Timur),” said Kamal in Jayapura on Thursday.
He asked the public to understand the reason grounded the Papua Police to transfer the custody of the seven defendants from Jayapura to Kalimantan Timur. He confirmed that the decision was made based on public security concern to avoid potential security disruptions in the process of law enforcement.
“This law enforcement means the legal process would be conducted fairly. Therefore, the victims’ families, witnesses, defendants and legal workers would not be intervened. There would be no fear; there would be no intimidation,” he said.
Kamal declared based on the analysis made by the police; the police conclude that Kalimantan Timur is the safest area to continue the legal process against these seven suspected-treason cases.
“If (bringing them to) Jakarta, it’s too far,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier


2) Papua's crucial problems challenge Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin administration

 19 hours ago

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin officially took their oaths of office on Sunday but they have no time for "honeymoon" as Indonesia has been facing tremendous domestic and global challenges over these past months.

One of the serious challenges that the Jokowi-Amin administration should immediately address is related to the issues of Papua because a circle of violence remains unbreakable there, and an ongoing endeavor to internationalize it is so obvious.

Those attempts to internationalize the issues of Papua, particularly human rights abuses and calls for self-determination are not merely non-state actors but also state actors, as revealed by what Vanuatu has often done at the UN General Assembly.

The circle of violence which is mainly triggered and sponsored by notorious armed Papuan separatists through their ongoing campaigns of killing innocent civilians and members of Indonesian military and police has yet to get ended.

Over these past two months, a spate of violence broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident and fake news that had triggered public ire among native Papuans.

On August 28, for instance, violence broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

Protests were again held on August 29 by the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, as they vented their ire over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

Then, on September 23, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, killing 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans for 15 years.

By considering the seriousness of these crucial problems with their political, security, and socio-economic implications on the native and non-native Papuans as well as Indonesia as a nation and state, the Jokowi-Amin administration must solve them comprehensively.

Indeed, the Papuan people are keen to find solutions to the crucial problems in Papua through a dialogue.

Esmon Welilo, a Papuan priest who is also chairman of the Interreligious Harmony Forum (FKUB), has called on President Jokowi to hold the dialogue with the representatives of all Papuan community groups to resolve the problems in the aftermath of his inauguration.

They are keen to have a discussion within the spirit of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia as the central government had done in Aceh Province. "We do hope that the dialogue can be held during his second leadership term," he said recently.

Jokowi is the first Indonesian president who has made 12 working visits to Papua, including three times to Wamena. Under his leadership, it is time for the central government to hold a dialogue to seek comprehensive solutions to the problems in Papua.

Esmon Welilo believes that all the Papuan people will keep supporting the government's programs.

Actually, the call for holding a dialogue with President Jokowi had also been echoed by West Papua Governor, Dominggus Mandacan, on September 12, 2019.

Mandacan said he awaited the president's readiness to meet West Papua's local leaders of various ethnic groups to listen to and comprehend their aspirations following the recent Surabaya incident that infuriated native Papuans.

He had held a series of meetings with communities from various ethnic groups in West Papua and had gained a broader understanding of their collective aspirations over the Surabaya incident and recent rioting that broke out in the province.

The collective aspirations of the ethnic groups and communal organizations in West Papua expressed and recorded during the meetings had been submitted to the central government by maintaining their originality.

Currently, he awaits President Jokowi's readiness to discuss the people's aspirations, he explained. Known as the Arfak ethnic group leader, Mandacan said the incumbent president is expected to comprehensively respond to the people's collective aspirations.

Related news: Wamena riot survivors are still traumatized: Wiranto

Responding to the query on President Jokowi's meeting with 61 figures of Papua and West Papua at the State Palace in Jakarta on Sept 10, Mandacan admitted to being unaware of it, since as a governor and leader of the Arfak ethnic group, he was certain of not having issued any recommendation and insightful inputs on the nine aspirations that the meeting's participants had expressed.

Mandacan revealed that he came to know of the recent meeting after watching a TV news bulletin and claimed to not know the figures partaking in the meeting with the president.

"I do not know the number of those representing West Papua and Papua. Speaking about leaders of customary communities and ethnic groups, I am also an ethnic group leader. I became aware of the meeting after watching TV," he noted.

The 61 figures present at the meeting with President Jokowi did not represent the entire community members, both native and non-native Papuans, in West Papua, he pointed out.

He deplored the recent meeting but supported President Jokowi's plan as a follow-up of the nine aspirations voiced at the State Palace's meeting.

Mandacan clarified that West Papua's present situation has been secure, and the people, at large, are urged to keep it conducive. Moreover, Internet access has been restored.

Related news: Lesson learned from Wamena rioting

The recent meetings with several Papuan figures that President Jokowi initiated at the State Palace prior to his presidential inauguration remain unable to end the circle of violence as revealed in the deadly Wamena rioting which broke out on Sept 23.

Instead, the circle of violence keeps on threatening innocent civilians in Papua and West Papua. This reality has made so many ordinary Indonesians deeply concerned.

On the day President Jokowi and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin took their oaths of office, musician Glenn Fredly sent a message of peace for the homeland of Papuans while performing at the Music for Republic concert on Cibubur Camping Ground, Bogor District.

"Papua represents the eastern part of Indonesia, and I think, voicing eastern Indonesia is undoubtedly important," said Fredly who sang several songs showcasing his great hope for the land and people of Papua, such the "Land of Promise" and "Yamko Rambe Yamko".

Related news: Musician Glenn Fredly echoes message of peace for Papua

Related news: Stay alert, Papua police chief warns Mimika policemen
By Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

Saturday, October 19, 2019

1) Indonesia calls for probe into Papua deaths

2) Indonesia creates development agency to aid neighbors
3) Papuans need Government to solve problems, not an offer in cabinet

1) Indonesia calls for probe into Papua deaths
19 October 2019

Papuan students taking part in a rally push toward a line of police and military blocking them in front of the army's headquarters in Jakarta on 22 August, 2019. (AFP Photo)

Indonesia's human rights commission called for a probe into scores of deaths in Papua on Friday after some of the deadliest violence in years swept the restive region.
Dozens were killed when riots broke out in Wamena city last month, with some victims burned alive when buildings were set ablaze, and others stabbed in the chaos.
Since mid-August, Papua has been hit by waves of mass protests and violence fuelled by racism against indigenous Papuans by Indonesians from other parts of the archipelago, as well as calls for self-rule in the impoverished region.
On Friday, Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas) called for a full investigation into the wave of fatalities, saying that the death toll had hit 43 in Wamena – up from an earlier 33 dead – including some victims who had been shot.
Separately, officials from the agency also said at least a dozen people had died from gunshots or illness in another part of the region after tens of thousands of Papuans were displaced by fighting between Indonesia's military and independence-seeking rebels.
"The police must probe all these deaths," Komnas chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik told reporters in Jakarta Friday.
"Even if some of the alleged perpetrators are from the security forces they must also be investigated," he added.
Indonesia ramped up its military operations in jungle-clad Papua – which shares New Guinea island with the independent nation of Papua 
New Guinea – following a massacre of employees at a state-backed contractor in December.
A humanitarian team comprised of public officials, non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers and local church leaders has said over 200 displaced people died after fleeing the fighting. 
A low-level separatist insurgency has simmered for decades in the former Dutch colony after Jakarta took over in the 1960s. 
A United Nations (UN)-sponsored vote to stay within the archipelago in 1969 was widely viewed as rigged, but Indonesia has long refused to consider another referendum.
Beka Ulung Hapsara, deputy chairman of the rights agency, called on Indonesia's government to solve the crisis in Papua as President Joko Widodo gets set to kick off a second term at the weekend.
"We hope that after his inauguration as President on Sunday, (Widodo) will make Papua a priority for the government," Beka added.
A Papua police spokesman did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment about the rights commission's findings.
In August, protests broke out across Papua and in other parts of the country after the arrest, racial abuse and tear-gassing of dozens of Papuan students, in the city of Surabaya. - AFP


2) Indonesia creates development agency to aid neighbors
REUTERS  OCT 19, 2019

Indonesia launched an international aid agency on Friday to strengthen its regional diplomatic relations, some of which have been strained by Jakarta’s approach to the restive Papua region.
Several Pacific nations have backed calls for investigations into allegations of violence by security forces in Indonesia’s easternmost region, although only Vanuatu has openly voiced support for independence of former Dutch colony Papua.
Jakarta, which has defended the actions of security forces in Papua, said on Friday that the new agency, with an initial budget of about 3 trillion rupiah ($212 million), can provide development aid or disaster relief to smaller countries.
“The main objective is to increase our diplomacy effort to help partnership with other developing countries to tackle issues like refugees or conflicts,” Vice President Jusuf Kalla told a news conference after the launch.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told a news conference that Indonesia’s new Agency for International Development (AID) was a way for the G20 economy to help other countries achieve sustainable development goals.
The government made no link to Papua-related diplomacy during the fund’s launch and a foreign ministry spokesman declined to comment on any connection.
Yose Rizal Damuri, the head of the economics department at the Jakarta-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said the fund should strengthen Indonesia’s diplomacy beyond its usual allies and expand export markets, “including on Papua. For anything related to small countries, one of the most effective instruments is to provide aid.”
A separatist movement has simmered in Papua since it was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 in a widely criticized U.N.-backed referendum. There has been a spike in violence since August after racial slurs against students on the main island of Java, with demands for a new independence vote.
Indonesia has provided grants to seven countries this year, including five Pacific nations for tackling climate change. Other beneficiaries were Myanmar and the Philippines.
“It’s difficult not to conclude that the aid is more a political tool, to win favor from those countries,” Andreas Harsono, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, sai
3) Papuans need Government to solve problems, not an offer in cabinet
Published 4 hours ago on 20 October 2019 By pr9c6tr3_juben
Jayapura, Jubi – Laurenzus Kadepa, Papua parliament member from Politics, Legal and Human Rights Division, said Papuan peoples do not need an offer in the presidential cabinet of Joko Widodo for the period of 2019-2024. What they urgently need at the moment, he further said, is the state’s attention to solve problems in Papua (Jayapura, 16/10/2019).
Moreover, he points out that although during the last few periods of the central administration, Papuans had always “allotted” the ministerial position, problems and difficulties in Papua has never resolved. He takes a series of examples of human rights violations cases that continuously occurred in Papua.

“It seems a demand of Papuan peoples for the State paying attention to many problems in Papua would divert by the granting of ministerial position to some Papuans,” said Kadepa.
According to him, in the first period of his administration, President Widodo had mentioned his intention to solve various issues in Papua, including some cases of human rights violations. But, up to now, none of these cases is settled.

“It seems there is no effort to settle these cases,” he said.
Furthermore, he highlights the statement of President Widodo, claiming his readiness to have a dialogue with a Papuan pro-independence group, but he believes it was not a thing.
“If the central government seriously pay attention to this issue, it should be done for a long time ago. But it has never been materialised. It seems the statement for dialogue (by the president) only at a certain moment. For instance, during a conflict in Papua or the political year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Weinan Watori from the Papua Customary Council said people in Papua would like to be treated fairly and equally rather than offering a position of a minister.
“If we want to build peace, peoples in Jakarta should build a peaceful mind among them first instead of asking Papuans to do that,” said Watori.
According to him, if talking about peace, the central government must consistently conduct every mandate of the Law No. 21 of 2001 about the Special Autonomy for Papua. He said people in Papua has tried to exercise this mandated law, but the central government always declared the implementation of the law is against other legislations.
“So, please stick to this law (Special Autonomy Law) first. For instance, to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR). We should consistently execute the law and regulation we made. It says that we are the state of law, so why don’t we execute it for that reason?” questioned him. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier