Saturday, September 29, 2012

AWPA update September 2012

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

AWPA update September 2012

A snapshot of events in West Papua for September

Victor Yeimo of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ] has reported that eight members of KNPB were arrested on the 29 September by members of Densus 88 without any reason. They were arrested during a raid on the KNPB Regional Secretariat in Wamena . Victor believes they will try and blame the activists for a bomb accident in Wamena. Last week 5 members of KNPB were also arrested in Timika by the police and released after been questioned  and intimidated.  Victor is urging people to call for the release of those arrested in Wamena. The number for the  local Chief of Police is +628125421793.

Congratulations to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund who has decided to end its investment in the Freeport-McMoRan mine in West Papua because it breaches the fund's human rights standards. Also to the Indonesia Human Rights Committee (IHRC) who lobbied the Super Fund for years to disinvest from Freeport.  Maire Leadbetter from IHRC said “We’ve given them a really hard time over six years. We’ve had demonstrations outside their front door, we’ve been on deputations where we’ve argued pretty strongly with them. They’ve sometimes had bad press... and the whole drive towards ethical investment has probably been a factor in this too. But yes it’s a win, a win for the people of West Papua indirectly because they’re the ones who really stand to benefit if Freeport is challenged.”

AWPA is also concerned with the recent news that Australia will sell military equipment to Indonesia particularly in light of the ongoing human rights abuses being committed by the security forces.
Senator Richard Di Natale  raised concerns about the proposed sale of equipment stating that “Australia should require assurances that our military support will not lead to further violations of human rights. And we must call for West Papua to be opened up to foreign journalists and human rights monitors so that we can hold those assurances to account”

The United States is also planning to sell eight 8 Apache Helicopters to Indonesian
In March of this year more than ninety organizations urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide the deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia.

Brig. Gen. Tito Karnavian, former head of Densus 88 is to become the head of police in West Papua. Because of the large number of shooting incidents in the past months, bringing international attention to the territory, it is believed that he is being appointed to try and solve the troubles in the region.  For all his talk about touching the hearts of Papuans
it is hard to imagine that a former head of an elite unit will not use such a unit to crackdown on so called separatists. AWPA press release

Amnesty International released an urgent action concerning West Papuan human rights lawyer Olga Hamadi who has been threatened after investigating allegations of police torture and ill-treatment in Wamena, Papua province, Indonesia. There are concerns for her safety and she is at risk of further intimidation and attacks.

A security operation was undertaken again in the Paniai region with local people afraid to move about freely because of the security forces. A google translate of a  posting on the Australia West Papua Facebook page re the operation in Paniai can be found at.
Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa below article

In Brief
 22 members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), including a prominent leader Daniel Kogoya were   arrested in a hotel in Jayapura  on the 2nd Sept.
According to police Daniel Kogoya was treated at Bhayangkara hospital for wounds suffered after being shot while he was trying to escape. Although 22 were arrested  only five are being held on charges of being involved in offenses committed by the group. The police reported that a team of the hospital doctors decided to amputate Daniel Kogoya wounded right leg.

A number of shootings occurred in West Papua in the past month.
A police officer guarding a road project in Jayapura was gunned down by unknown assailants on the 10 September. He was shot 14 times.
On the 14 September gunmen fired on a Freeport Indonesia car in Mimika.
Members of the Indonesian Military were riding in the car and one soldier was injured from broken glass in the attack. No one was killed
On the 17 September two Freeport cars were also attacked by unknown gunmen  on the road between Timika and the Grasberg mine. No casualties were reported.

The Jakarta Post reported that a man accused of extorting motorists on Jayapura’s Trans Papua Road was shot by police after a brief firefight on the 25th Sept. Kristian Songgonau allegedly set up a blockade along Trans Papua Road with several other men. The group was demanding payment from motorists to continue driving down the road — which links several provinces in Papua.
Tabloid Jubi reported that the coverage about the incident “ has been described as ‘public deception’ by human rights activists in Nabire”

Two West Papuan activists currently in police detention in Yapen Island in West Papua are being threatened with twenty years jail by the Indonesian police for organising a nonviolent march in support of the United Nations International Day of Indigenous People which this year celebrated the role of indigenous media.

For Papua, a Continuing Struggle to Provide a Good Education
Banjir Ambarita | September 07, 2012
Papua receives about Rp 1 trillion ($104 million) a year from the central government for education, but the province continues to be plagued by a lack of teachers and crumbling schools. 

“Education in Papua is frightening due to poor management in remote areas as a result of the lack of attention from the head of the regional working unit,” said Kenius Kogoya, a member of Papua’s regional legislative council. 

The regional working unit oversees education, and Kenius pointed the finger of blame squarely at it when talking about the problems in the province. 

“Schools in remote areas are inadequate,” he said. “Many of the teachers don’t show up for classes because they prefer to stay in the city. The number of teachers is very limited. One teacher has to handle two to three classes a day, and there are no new recruits coming in.” 

With schools struggling to provide an adequate education, he said, Papua will not have the educated work force needed to lift the province out of poverty. 

Papua has had special autonomy for 11 years and the central government has sent tens of trillions of rupiah in development funds to the easternmost province. 

But with few signs that this money has brought the kind of improvements expected for the education sector, some regional legislators are beginning to question how much money is actually going to education, and how it is being spent. 

“The mandate under the special autonomy law is to allocate 30 percent of the budget for the education sector, but only 7.15 percent was disbursed [last year],” Kenius said. “So it’s obviously very small. How can you radically improve education in Papua that way?” 

Syamsul Arief Rivai, Papua’s caretaker governor, responded to the concerns by saying that the regional government continued to build new schools and other facilities and repair old ones across the province. 

“For fiscal year 2011, money was allocated for the construction of official residences for school teachers and principals,” he said. 

“There was also money allocated for elementary, junior high and high school teachers working under contract. The money allocated by the Papuan provincial government for the education and health sectors is in line with the mandate in the special autonomy law.”

West Papua Responses to Australia, U.S. and Indonesia
 By Victor F. Yeimo
 Last week, Australia, the United States and Indonesia strengthen their economic, political and security when the people of West Papua were lamenting oppression. That's a sign that the practice of colonialism and capitalism will continue in West Papua. We do not know how much more blood of the people of West Papua will fall victim by the Indonesian military.

The world seems blind and deaf to the repression in West Papua. The world does not care about the Papuan struggle in upholding truth, justice, honesty and humanity. Instead, World trampling of human values, truth, justice, honesty and all the rules of its international law. The world is only cares on its political  and economic interests. West Papua has become the object of transactions of economic and political interests of U.S and Indonesia. The dirty practice is still applied in the open era. The lust of economic and political expansion of the states, without feeling guilty, continued to increase the suffering of the West Papuans. The people of West Papua are not stupid. People of West Papua fully understand how colonialism and exploitation scenarios in this modern century. Making indigenous people as terrorists and then kill and control of land and its natural resources are the ways that are always used by the colonial countries and capitalist. Australia, Britain, the U.S. and Indonesia are implementing those ways in West Papua.

Peaceful resistance movement in West Papua silenced by the Indonesian military forces. The Space of peace and democracy closed and Indonesia accidentally open space of violence that they can easily kill and destroy the struggle of the people of West Papua with the stigma of terrorists, then with that stigma military cooperation between Indonesia, the U.S., Australia and other countries considered essential. for them, It is important to kill Papuans and to accoupy the land of West Papua.

Violence was created by rulers who oppress and exploit the people and the land of West Papua. Terrorism created for global rulers who have an interest in mastering the fields of exploitation. Terrorism was created by the colonial rulers who invaded to take control of someone else's land. The territory of West Papua controlled by Indonesian. The people of West Papua were massacred by Indonesia. Military power funded, supported and trained by Australia, the U.S. and other countries pro-colonial and capitalist.

This is evidenced by the attitude of the Australian government and the presence of three ministers from Australia and the vist of U.S. Foreign Minister in Indonesia and support for the Indonesian defense forces. Meanwhile, thousands of Indonesian troops deployed to West Papua. Meanwhile, police in West Papua, led by the former head of Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorism, and the officer at the criminal detective of Papua Police controlled by members of Detachment 88.
Their target is only one, to kill peaceful resistance movement in West Papua, to eliminate the people of West Papua and to rule the roost on this land for the benefit and prosperity of colonialism and global capitalism. So, who is the real terrorist? Victor F. Yeimo, 
Chairman of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ]

Indonesia parliament elects committee to monitor West Papua
From News Reports:

Jakarta, September 9: Twenty-seven members of the People’s Representative Council’s nine parties have been elected to the parliament’s new committee to monitor West Papua.  The Parliament’s Commission 1, which deals with defence, foreign affairs and information, formed the working committee last Monday.
The committee’s purpose was to encourage the government to compensate for its failure in West Papua with the formulation and implementation of comprehensive and peaceful programmes, The Jakarta Post quotes Commission 1 chairman, Prosperous-Justice-Party-member Mahfudz Siddiq, as saying. 
The continuing violence in West Papua illustrated the government’s failure to deal with the problems, he said. “This working committee will help the government bring together various stakeholders in Papua to search for the best solutions with the unity of Indonesia in mind.” Commission 1is one of the parliament’s 11 such committees that prepare legislation between plenary sessions of the People’s Representative Council.  Its members listed at least four major causes of the violence after a visit to West Papua in June:
The lack of trust West Papuans have in the central government; the politics and history of the province’s integration into Indonesia at the end of Dutch rule; the poor performances of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua; the regional administration and an increase in armed violence. 
“We suggest the government evaluates the significance of setting up the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua – the two supposedly autonomous provinces of West Papua because it has done almost nothing in Papua after almost two years,” said Mahfudz Siddiq.  President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a decree for the establishment of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua in mid-October last year and its brief is to coordinate, synchronise, facilitate, monitor and evaluate development programmes in West Papua.  In April, West Papuan students studying in South Sulawesi announced their opposition to the unit. The students – members of the Students Solidarity Forum for Papuan People in Makassar – voiced their opinions at rally at the Western Papua Liberation Theatre Monument, Makassar.
The students demanded a tri-partite dialogue between the central government, Amnesty International and the West Papuan people as a way to solve their problems. The nine parties represented in the People’s Representative Council are the Democratic Party, the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Prosperous Justice Party; the National Mandate Party; the United Development Party; the National Awakening Party, the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
From the Southeast Asian Times online

No witnesses appeared at the trial of Buchtar Tabuni
Bintang Papua, 13 September 2012
Jayapura: A hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni took place today in the Jayapura district court, without the presence of any witnesses  who might have been able to testify in court in support of the charge that the defendant had damaged Abepura Prison where he was being held at the time. One of his team of lawyers, Gustaf Kawer, said that there were a number of people who the prosecutor could have summoned to appear in court during the trial but he had not done anything to call these witnesses Kawer said this was already clear at the earlier hearing on 10 September when the prosecutor  said that Matius Murib would be called to testify, but at the following hearing,  Murib did not attend as a result of which the presiding judge suspended. the hearing. At the next hearing, it was the defendant, Buchtar Tabuni who was questioned. The presiding judge, Haris Munandar, asked Buchtar to tell the court  what he had done on 3 December 2010 when the prison was damaged. Buchtar told the court that he had done everything he possibly could to prevent a crowd of people from inflicting damage in the prison. 'I shouted to a crowd of people, calling on them not to enter the prison and start damaging it.' This is the same as what Buchtar Tabuni told the court at the begining of the trial. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]
Bintang Papua reported on the 11 September that  Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers defending the former chairman of the KNPB  said , that the judges hearing the case of Buchtar Tabuni should have the courage to release the defendant  in the absence of any witnesses to testify against him.

Many Papuans have never had any medical treatment since the day they were born Bintang Papua, 14 September 2012
A senior official of the province of Papua said that people living in many parts of the province have never had any medical treatment since the day they were born, and even don’t understand what is meant by the term medical personnel.
Drs Elia I. Loupatty, second assistant for economic affairs and development, was giving the opening address at a seminar on the role of the provincial government in Papua. He said: 'This is problem for all of us.' He hoped that the seminar would produce a programme which can have a direct impact on the lives of the people because 'there are many  Papuans who have never had an treatment since the day they were born.' He also said that budgetary funds should be used not only in the towns and districts. This was because people living in the kampungs  should be helped because they could only travel from their homes by helicopter.
Speaking to journalists after the end of the seminar, he recognised that many Papuans  are very isolated and live in places where medical personnel cannot reach them. He expressed he hope that the seminar would find ways to help these people and ensure that everyone can receive medical treatment. Asked to say which kampungs were not able to get medical facilities, he spoke about his experiences when he was working in the area. Speaking about the district of Welarek, he said : 'We can reach Welarek but it is very difficult to reach the kampungs . The district of Benawa  is only accessible by helicopter because planes cannot land there.' He also said there were not too many of these inaccessible places but there were certainly places which cannot be reached to provide the people with medical treatment. And furthermore, it is necessary to charter planes to reach such places because there are no routine air services operating in the area. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]

From Tapol
Number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase
[COMMENT: Such is the fate of the Papuan people after more than forty years as part of Indonesia!]
September 18, 2012
Jakarta:  The number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase because of the large number of teachers who fail to turn up for work in the interior. James Modouw, head of education of the Province of  Papua, said that at present, there are more than 900,000 illiterate Papuans out of a total of 2.6 million Papuans living in the interior, most of whom  are living in the districts of Nduga, Yahukimo and the district of Puncak Jaya. In order to solve this problem, Modouw said that  the provincial administration will impose tighter control over the allocation of funds for education out of the special autonomy funds in various districts and cities. 'The second thing we will do is to tighten control over the teachers. The special regulation (perdasi) we intend to introduce  will tighten up this control. Anyone who fails to comply with the regulations will have their salaries stopped.'

Modouw went on to say that without imposing this tight control, the number of illiterate Papuans will continue to increase year on year. The department of education and culture will reveal the five regions where the number of illiterate people is the highest in Indonesia. Two of these five regions are Papua and West Papua. Meanwhile, the director-general of formal and non-formal children's education of the Department of Education (PAUDNI), Lydia Freyani, said that the number of illiterate Papuans is 1.9 million. This figure is much higher than the figure announced by the Papuan provincial administration.
Translated from Indonesian

From Tapol
West Papua: Lack of medical provisions for political prisoners
The following report was received from Suara Perempuan Papua on 23 September  2012

Last August, BUK (United for Truth) and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations organised street collections for the treatment of Tapols (Political Prisoners) and Napols (Convicted Prisoners) in Papua. While they were collecting money, they were forced to disperse by members of the police force and some of them were taken into custody for causing traffic congestion. They were subsequently released. The lack of government attention is what triggered the decision of BUK and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations to start collecting money to cover the cost of medical treatment for Tapols/Napols in the centre of Apebura and Waena, for a  period of a month.

This was not the first time that street collections were organised. They had on previous occasions organised collections of money to cover the medical costs for Napol Filep Karma  for whom doctors at the General Hospital RSUD, Jayapura said that special treatment was needed , in the form of a colonoscopy at the PGI (Protestant Churches of Indonesia ) Hospital in Cikini Jakarta. Filep Karma  is a political prisoner who was arrested for treason (makar) in 2004 and sentenced to fifteen years. Several months ago, Karma underwent an operation to remove a tumour.  The incision that resulted from the operation became infectious and Karma needed further treatment at a hospital in Jayapura but had to wait nine months before he was transferred to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment.

Karma is not the only Napol who has fallen ill during incarceration and has had to wait for many months before receiving the necessary treatment. Another one was Ferdinand Pakage who lost the sight of one eye after being beaten by a prison warder in Abepura Prison. Another was Jefrai Murib who suffered a severe stroke, and Kimaus Wenda  who had a tumour in the stomach back in 2010 but who was not taken to Jayapura until February this year for an operation. This was only  because of help from several international organisations. Kimaus was cured and then returned to prison in Nabire.

Another prisoner, Kameus Murib suffered, psychological problems but has nevertheless remained in custody, while Yusak Pakage, a former Napol  had to rely on money collections for treatment that he needed.. He has since been released  because his state of health was considered to be serious enough for him to be released Another Napol, Ardi Sugumoi, who was being held in Cipinang Prison  suffered  a very serious illness and died in prison. According to Paneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of  BUK,  things like this would not happen if the government authorities were to pay attention to the health problems of prisoners. But the authorities simply ignore these problems, showing clear discrimination against Tapols and Napols. 'Their right to life must be respected by the state. If not, it will reflect badly on the country's international reputation,' he said.
Proper attention must be paid to the dignity of the prisoners who must be  treated like human beings. At the moment, there are about eighty (80) Tapols and Napols being held in West Papua. They are spread across a number of prisons in Abepure, Biak, Nabire, Manokwari, Fak-Fak and Wamena. Ten of these prisoners have not yet been tried. It is the responsibility of the government  to pay proper attention  to as to ensure that each prisoner has access to medical treatment. According to Melania Kirihio from the Papua branch of National Human Rights Commission, 'It is the responsibility of the state to provide whatever is necessary to guarantee the health of people in custody in the various prisons. If the necessary treatment is not available in the prison, the state  must grant permission for the prisoner to been examined elsewhere in accordance with their needs.' This also includes making sure that they have whatever  treatment or medication they need for their ailments.
Certain standards are required by the government/state that meet with the needs of prisoners, those already convicted or not yet convicted, its responsibility towards the international community as a consequence of having ratified international covenants.This is something, she said, that human rights activists  pay too little attention to, the need to pay attention to the economic, social and cultural rights of prisoners.' Attention must be paid at all times to  the basic needs of prisoners, including Tapols and Napols. she said.  This is also in order to be able to make whatever is needed for international advocacy on behalf of the prisoners. The immediate need is for data to be collected  about the health conditions of all Tapols and Napols. 'As things stand at the moment, guaranteeing the good health of prisoners  has become something very expensive indeed for the families of prisoners in Papua. Lack of attention can result on some of these prisoners suffering ailments or injuries that could cause them permanent harm'
Immakulata Butu [Translated by TAPOL]

Papuan Prisoner of Conscience Filep Karma in Jakarta for Medical Treatment
Press Release Jakarta, Indonesia [27 September 2012].

Filep Karma, a political prisoner of conscience from Papua, has attended a two-week medical treatment in Jakarta hospital and now is back in the Abepura prison in West Papua. He arrived in Jakarta on September 14 and took a colonoscopy treatment in PGI Cikini hospital, Jakarta.  Indonesian physicians in Jayapura, who earlier examined Karma with simple equipment, suspected that he has a colon tumor. As it is not possible to conduct a colonoscopy in West Papua the physicians referred him to the hospital in Jakarta. Karma was imprisoned in 2004 and is serving 15 years in prison for participating in a peaceful independence demonstration and for raising the Morning Star flag, an important Papuan symbol of independence.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared him a political prisoner in September 2011, asking the Indonesian government to immediately and unconditionally release Karma. The government, however, denies the existence of „political prisoners‰ in Indonesia. His injuries were sustained from acts of torture inflicted on him while in prison. He also injured his hip during a falling in 2006.

It took nearly six months for Karma to be able to be transferred to Jakarta despite this referral. Abepura prison officials, under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, have refused to cover cost of his medical treatment and travel. The Indonesian government‚s refusal to cover his costs is in direct contravention of national and international law.  According to United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24), and Indonesian law (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners' Rights in Prisons) it is required that all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital be borne by the State.

Despite the Abepura prison authorities recently giving permission for Karma to travel to Jakarta, they still refuse to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. Funds have been raised through donations from the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund (London), Rev. Socratez Yoman‚s church service (Timika), STT Walter Post (Jayapura) and many individuals. Not only Karma, there are seven political prisoners in Papua with variety of illness. They are Apotnagolik Lokobal (stroke); Ferdinand Pakage (stroke); Forkorus Yaboisembut (impaired vision); Kanius Murib (memory loss); Kimanus Wenda (hernia); Jefrai Murib (stroke); and Yusak Pakage (indigestion). Karma urges the Indonesia government should release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and give them the proper medical treatment.
For further inquiries, please contact:
Margareth Karma : +6281242950809
Cyntia Warwe : +6281344910243

Reports/opinion pieces/ press releases etc.

All the ingredients for genocide: is West Papua the next East Timor?
Jim Elmslie. Visiting Scholar, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Sydney

They are just Papuans: Representing the Papuan conflict in a foreign country 
Budi Hernawan

We Need The Truth On West Papua
By Richard Di Natale

Australia lets human rights takes a back seat with Indonesia
The Drum opinion
Australia should take a number of steps to ensure that our security cooperation with Indonesia does not in any way aid operations which may lead to human rights violations, writes Phil Lynch.

Votes in the bag? The noken system and conflict in Indonesian Papua
September 11, 2012 by Cillian Nolan

Razors Edge
An elite Indonesian counter-terrorism unit trained and supplied by Australia 
is being accused of acting as a "death squad" in Indonesia's troubled West Papua 

Analysis: Aid access challenges for Indonesia's Papua region
IRIN humanitarian news and analysis
a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Comprehensive dialogue urgent for Papua
Activists and rights campaigners have called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to use his visit to Papua next month to initiate a dialogue with all members of the Papuan community to find a lasting solution to tension in the country’s easternmost province.
Margareth S. Aritonang, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Vanuatu's Masamp Crew sings for West Papua
Radio Australia Updated 20 September 2012
Take a listen to Masamp Crew's entry into Pacific Break 2012, "West Papua".

Indonesian Police's Pot of Gold in Papua
John McBeth - Straits Times | September 20, 2012
It is time for the critics to forget about the Indonesian military's businesses for a moment and look at the money-making ventures of the national police that assumed responsibility for Indonesia's internal security over a decade ago.

Fifty years on, Australia’s Papua policy is still failing
Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono isn’t getting the right kind of encouragement to create a long-term solution, writes Richard Chauvel
Inside Story September 27, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fifty years on, Australia’s Papua policy is still failing

Fifty years on, Australia’s Papua policy is still failing
Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono isn’t getting the right kind of encouragement to create a long-term solution, writes Richard Chauvel
Inside Story September 27, 2012

West Papua National Committee chair, Victor Yeimo, on ABC TV’s 7.30.
Photo: ABC TV

‘Yep. The world is behind Indonesia now. It means they all compromise with Indonesia to kill West Papua.’ Victor Yeimo, the chair of the West Papua National Committee, was describing to journalists Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main how Papuans are losing their struggle because Indonesia has so effectively deflected international attention from the conflict. The two Australians had gone undercover in Papua for ABC TV’s 7.30 and discovered what they called ‘a police state operating with impunity.’
Despite the brevity of the visit and the fact that Cooper and Main were not able to travel outside the provincial capital of Jayapura, the documentary gave an insight into not only how the Indonesian security forces have been able to maintain their physical control, but also why the government has not been able to resolve the conflict. Indeed, the means by which Indonesia sustains its control in Papua are among the major factors that help explain why successive Indonesian governments have failed to find a viable solution. The criminalisation of peaceful political activity, state violence against pro-independence activists and human rights abuses not only sustain Indonesian control but also fuel Papuan antagonism towards Indonesia.

Cooper and Main’s assertion that members of an Australian and US–trained and funded Indonesian police anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, were involved in the murder of pro-independence leader Mako Tabuni once again made Papua an issue in Australia’s relations with Indonesia. Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the ABC that Australia had made representations to Indonesia about Mako Tabuni’s death and requested that an investigation be held. Carr added that since becoming foreign minister he had not hesitated to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Papua with the Indonesian authorities, including his counterpart, Marty Natalegawa.
After Carr’s first meeting with Marty Natalegawa in March this year, Democrat Senator Richard Di Natale, whose portfolio includes West Papua, had questioned Carr about Papua. Carr told the Senate that the first thing he had done when they met was to assure his counterpart that both sides of Australian politics recognised Indonesian sovereignty in Papua, as had been reaffirmed in the 2006 Lombok Treaty. In keeping with Indonesian aspirations for the treaty, Carr added, perhaps with the questioner in mind, ‘It would be a reckless Australian indeed who wanted to associate himself with a small separatist group which threatens the territorial integrity of Indonesia and that would produce a reaction among Indonesians towards this country. It would be reckless indeed.’ Carr went on to repeat this argument, adding, ‘That is reckless and it is not in Australia’s interests.’
According to Carr, Marty Natalegawa volunteered that Indonesia had ‘a clear responsibility to see that their sovereignty is upheld in respect of human rights standards.’ Carr interpreted this as an indication that Indonesia listened to Australian representations. But statements like these have lost their credibility with each act of state violence and abuse of human rights in Papua. As Carr himself noted, previous Labour foreign ministers had made representations to Indonesia about these acts — as, he presumed, had his Coalition predecessors.

In August, the Indonesian vice-president’s adviser on matters relating to Papua, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, lamented that whenever something ‘negative’ happens in Papua it becomes an issue in Australia. The difficulty for both governments is that ‘negative’ things happen frequently in Papua and Indonesian government attempts to quarantine Papua from international scrutiny are not always effective, as Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main’s documentary demonstrates.
Mobile technologies in particular have made the strategy increasingly redundant, if not counter-productive. The video of Indonesian security forces’ violent disbanding of the peaceful Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011 was easily accessible on the internet within days of the event and broadcast by Al Jazeera to an international audience. Indonesian soldiers’ ‘trophy’ videos of colleagues torturing Papuan villagers, posted on the internet in 2010, belied their government’s representation of Indonesia’s policy in Papua and the security forces’ behaviour.
IN HIS statements in the media and in parliament, Bob Carr was doing no more than restating a position that all Australian governments have held on Indonesia’s sovereignty in Papua for half a century. In January 1962, the external affairs minister, Garfield Barwick, convinced his cabinet colleagues that it was not in Australia’s interest to support the emergence of a small and, in Barwick’s view, unviable state in West Papua. Barwick reversed the twelve-year-old Menzies government policy in support of the Dutch in West Papua and withdrew Australian support for Dutch promises of self-determination for Papuans and decolonisation separately from Indonesia.

Barwick argued that supporting the emergence of an independent West Papua was incompatible with Australia’s strategic imperative to develop close cooperative relations with a preferably non-communist Indonesia. Australia accepted the New York Agreement of 1962, under which Papua passed from Dutch to Indonesian control. But the government didn’t anticipate that the resolution of the Indonesia–Netherlands dispute would sow the seeds of a seemingly intractable conflict between the Indonesian government and many of its Papuan citizens. Barwick expected that the young Dutch-educated Papuan politicians who had demanded the right to form an independent state in the early 1960s would be accommodated within Indonesia.

The 2006 Lombok Treaty, to which Carr referred, not only re-stated Australian support for Indonesian sovereignty in Papua, but also went further. The ‘Papua’ clause committed the Australian government to ‘not in any manner support or participate in activities by any person or entity which constitutes a threat to the stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of the other Party, including by those who seek to use its territory for encouraging or committing such activities, including separatism, in the territory of the other Party…’ Indonesia hoped, naively, that this provision would oblige the Australian government to limit the pro-independence activities of exiled Papuans and their supporters.
The treaty has not restrained the criticisms of Indonesian policy and the campaigning of Papuans and their supporters in Australia. But the Australian government, caught between its desire not to offend Indonesian sensitivities and the flow of reports of on-going violence and human rights abuses in Papua, has been rendered mute. Conflict and human rights abuses in Papua are not part of the story the Australian government is keen to tell a sceptical public about Indonesia; it wants Australians to believe that this neighbour is no longer a military dictatorship and has grown into a vibrant democracy with a rapidly developing economy. It wants to convince Australians that the relationship with Indonesia is of the greatest importance, as is reflected in the fact that the embassy in Jakarta is Australia’s largest and the aid program in Indonesia is Australia’s most generous.
The Lombok Treaty was negotiated after the shockwaves generated by the arrival of forty-three independence-flag-waving Papuan asylum seekers on Cape York in January 2006. Australia’s decision to accept the Papuans as asylum seekers and grant protection visas led to the recall of the Indonesian ambassador. In the often turbulent history of Australia’s relations with Indonesia, this is the only time an Indonesian government has acted in this way.

Although the treaty codified cooperation between Indonesia and Australia in counter-terrorism, intelligence, maritime security, law enforcement and defence, it is Australia’s commitments in relation to Papua that are most important for Indonesia. When president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spoke to the Indonesian media after his discussions with Julia Gillard in Darwin in early July this year, the first issue he discussed was Papua, telling the Indonesian press that Gillard fully supported Indonesia’s sovereignty in Papua. In turn, he assured Gillard that his government was raising the level of welfare and standards of justice for Papua.
In contrast to Yudhoyono’s emphasis on Papua in his comments to Indonesian journalists after the meeting, Gillard was silent on the issue. Instead, she highlighted the areas of cooperation important to the Australian government, including defence, people smuggling, economic development and trade, as well as cooperation in the multilateral fora like the G20 and APEC.
Indonesian leaders seem to feel that they need to remind Australia of its commitment to Indonesia’s sovereignty in Papua at every opportunity, which suggests that the serial repetition of that commitment by Carr and his predecessors is not taken on its face value. As Dewi Fortuna Anwar noted, ‘There is still a strong belief in some Indonesian circles the separation of East Timor from Indonesia resulted partly from Australian pressures… We know there are people in Australia who support the Free Papua Movement.’ The subtext: ‘For twenty years you said that East Timor was Indonesia’s, then you changed your mind when the crunch came.’ Australian opinions and activities in relation to Papua, both within the government and civil society, are viewed in Jakarta through the prism of the separation of East Timor.

Responding to Carr’s interview, Mahfudz Siddiq, the head of the Indonesian parliament’s Commission for Foreign Affairs and Security, suggested that Carr’s call for an investigation into Mako Tabuni’s murder reflected double standards. Mahfudz had never heard an Australian politician complaining about the security forces killing Muslim terror suspects. He considered that the Detachment 88 was doing its job in Papua, combating terrorism.
THIS criticism of Bob Carr highlights some of the complexities of the bilateral relationship and the different security priorities of the Australian and Indonesian governments. Detachment 88 was established after the 2002 Bali bombing, with US and Australian support, to combat terrorism. The military and police skills developed within the unit can be used for pursuing Islamist terrorists, as desired by the United States and Australia, and equally for repressing Papuan separatists, who many Indonesians regard as terrorists too. There have been reports that Detachment 88 was involved in the killing of Kelly Kwalik, another pro-independence leader, in December 2010, and in the violent breakup of the peaceful Papua Congress of October 2011, which reportedly left three dead. Richard Di Natale reminded Carr about the differences between Indonesian and Australian security priorities when he referred to a bipartisan recommendation of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties to ‘increase transparency in defence cooperation agreements to provide assurance that Australian resources do not directly or indirectly support human rights abuses in Indonesia.’

Like many Indonesian politicians, Mahfudz Siddiq is sensitive about any foreign interest in Papua. But he and the deputy head of the commission, T.B. Hasanuddin, have been calling for change in the Indonesian government’s Papua policies. Their concerns about Papua became more acute with the spate of shootings in May and June around Jayapura, which included the murder of Mako Tabuni. The commission visited Papua during the violence and became aware of atmosphere of fear that the shootings had created. Mahfudz and Hasanuddin realised that foreign interest in the conflict was partly a result of the failure of government policies to resolve it. Since the June visit, they have advocated for government to take a comprehensive and peaceful approach using dialogue. They recognised that Papuans had little trust in the authorities and that the history of Papua’s integration into Indonesia during the 1960s had become a political issue.
Three months of advocacy brought no progress with the government. As a result, the commission had established a working committee on Papua. ‘If all these problems are allowed to go round and round and become a tangled web…’ Mahfudz argued, ‘it will become a time bomb for this Republic.’
Mahfudz’s frustration is understandable. Towards the end of 2011 and at the beginning of this year there were signs that the Yudhoyono government was rethinking its approach to Papua. In November, the president announced that he was prepared to conduct a dialogue with Papuan leaders to resolve the conflict peacefully. He appointed retired general Bambang Darmono and Farid Hussain (who was involved in the peace negotiations in Aceh) as special representatives with briefs to promote dialogue.
In December and February, the president and key ministers met with two groups of Papuan church leaders. To an extent this initiative reflected two years of advocacy and lobbying for dialogue by the Papua Peace Network, led by Papuan Catholic Theologian Neles Tebay, and Indonesian Institute of Sciences researchers under Muridan Widjoyo. Together, they had developed a systematic process to mobilise support for dialogue as the best means to resolve the conflicts in Papua.
There seems to have been little progress since the February meeting, however. Indeed, at the end of June, after a month of violence in Papua, President Yudhoyono told officer cadets in Bandung that he was not prepared to enter into a dialogue about issues related to national unity or a referendum on independence. He disparaged Papuan interest in re-examining the history of Papua’s integration into Indonesia. He emphasised that the United Nations and the international community recognised Papua as part of Indonesia, and said that it was the government’s responsibility to secure Papua and act firmly against any separatist movement. He requested the security forces not to be excessive or abuse human rights.
While President Yudhoyono did not dismiss the possibility of a dialogue entirely, he rejected any discussion about those issues that most concern Papuans. It is difficult to imagine a lasting resolution of the conflict that does not involve a frank dialogue about human rights abuses and the history of integration, among other sensitive issues. If the Papua conflict had been easy to resolve it would have happened decades ago. The president’s comments to the officer cadets identified core nationalist reasons why any Indonesian government will be reluctant to have a dialogue with Papuans. Many Papuans assume that dialogue means a discussion of a referendum, while the government in Jakarta can only countenance a discussion about the resolution of Papua’s problems within the Unity Republic of Indonesia.

Although the pattern of violence and human rights abuses in Papua has created an awareness in the media and among academics and some politicians in Jakarta that government policies are not working, there is no significant Indonesian political constituency for an accommodation of Papuan interests and values. The national consensus that Papua is an integral part of Indonesia, constructed by President Sukarno during the struggle against the Dutch in the 1950s and early 1960s, remains strong today. Indonesians, who have a strong sense that Papua is Indonesian, find it difficult to appreciate and accept that many Papuans do not share this national identity. Sukarno made Papua the object of a unifying nation building campaign within which Papuans saw no place for themselves.

The policy impasse in Jakarta and the conflict in Papua places the Australian government in a difficult position. Like all its predecessors since 1962, the Gillard government doesn’t question Indonesian sovereignty in Papua. It shares the assessment that close and cooperative relations with Indonesia are a strategic imperative. Nevertheless, it has a strong interest in a resolution of the decades-old conflict that accommodates Papuan interests and values, not least because it is aware of the long shadow that the separation of East Timor cast over the bilateral relationship. The crisis over the asylum seekers in 2006 remains a reminder of the Papua conflict’s capacity to destabilise Australia’s relations with Indonesia.
Bob Carr supports President Yudhoyono’s ‘commitment to raise the living standards of the people of Papua and reinvigorating special autonomy.’ He says that ‘Australia believes that this is the best path – the best means – to achieving a safe and prosperous future for the Papuan people.’ Unfortunately, it is unlikely that such anodyne support will encourage the president to make the difficult policy changes that might make resolution possible. •
Richard Chauvel teaches in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Victoria University.

1) Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) Human Rights Abuses in Indonesia

1) Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) Human Rights Abuses in Indonesia
4) They are just Papuans: Representing the Papuan conflict in a foreign country 


1) Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) Human Rights Abuses in Indonesia

I have written about the problems at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) on several occasions pointing out the fact that this is not just a wage dispute, it is far worse.
What is happening is that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) Graberg mine sits in an area that there is a decades-long insurgency waged by members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
Freeport can not side step the issue as they are at the centre of the fight. Freeport under a deal with the Indonesia Government are stealing the natural resources that belong to the Papua people, and the Papua people are getting nothing.
Grasberg is not a place to be invested as this situation is getting worse as the battle for Papua heats up.
Any one considering themselves an ethical investor or a supporter of democracy could not in all good conscience hold Freeport stock.
New Zealand’s public pension fund pulled more than $1 million in investment from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold over allegations of human rights offenses committed by security forces around the company’s controversial Grasberg mine in Papua.
The $15.7 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced on Wednesday that it would cease investment in four companies that violate international ethics standards.
The fund raised concerns over “breaches of human rights standards by security forces around the Grasberg mine, and concerns over requirements for direct payments to government security forces by the company in at least two countries in which it operates.”
Indonesian security forces have a heavy presence in the restive province, where police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) are beating down a revolt.

But Human Rights Watch, citing leaked military documents, has alleged that security forces have targeted everyone from tribal leaders to political activists in Papua. Security forces routinely suppress pro-independence groups in the province, jailing those caught flying the “Morning Star” flag for treason and killing local leaders suspected of being separatists, like Reverend Kinderman Gire and Mako Tabuni, of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

Security forces hired by Freeport’s local subsidiary also engage in regular firefights with unknown gunmen along a road leading to the mine in Timika, Mimika district. The OPM operates from a base in Puncak Jaya, near the Grasberg mine.
The fund concluded that while Freeport’s human rights policies have improved in recent years, the activities of the government forces it employs are beyond the company’s control.
“This limits the effectiveness of further engagement with the company,” the fund said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch applauded the move, calling it “a sound decision indeed.”
“Businesses are getting more and more conscious about human rights abuses,” said Andreas Harsono, a researcher with HRW. “Sound businesses do care about human rights.”
The Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the move. Papua Police, local representatives of the TNI and Freeport Indonesia were unavailable for comment by deadline.
The fund had $1,062,061 in holdings in Freeport as of June 30.
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company, China’s Zijin Mining Group and construction and defense firm KBR were also dropped from the fund’s portfolio.
All four were dropped after the fund decided that they were unlikely to affect any change in their policies.
“In making a decision to exclude a company from our portfolio, one of the tests we apply is whether engagement with the company might realistically lead to sufficient improvements,” the fund said. “We have come to the conclusion that further engagement by the Fund with these companies is not likely to be effective.
“We would rather focus our efforts on companies where we believe we can make a difference.”
The fund’s equity portfolio includes shares in more than 6,500 companies. It manages the government pension fund available for all New Zealand residents 65 and older.
Freeport, which runs the largest copper mine in the world at Grasberg, has a market capitalization of $37.29 billion and pulled in $3.17 billion in net income last year.
Seventy-three percent of its shares are held by institutions and mutual funds.

RNZI Posted at 23:08 on 27 September, 2012 UTC
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has decided to end its investment in the huge copper and gold mine in Indonesia’s Papua region operated by US-based company Freeport McMoRan.
Until now, the Fund, of more than 15 billion US dollars, has had just over a million US dollars directly invested in the Grasberg mine, and had rejected calls that this was an inappropriate investment of public money.
Ongoing human rights breaches are a key factor in the Super Fund decision.
The Fund’s manager for responsible investment, Ann-Maree O’Connor says they became concerned at a recurrence of security issues at the world’s biggest mine.
“The context is such that there have been fatalities at the mine, that there have been reports by MSCI and other sources of information that these have breached human rights standards so we believe that the situation is one that could continue well into the future, and those are the standards that we look at when we considering reviewing the behaviour of companies.”
Freeport’s policy of contracting Indonesia’s security forces to provide security around the mine has been controversial.
Amid an ongoing turf war between police and the military for the various Freeport security contracts, violent attacks near the mine and an industrial dispute have resulted in over a dozen deaths in the past year alone.
The Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr says they engaged with Freeport for some time to try and help improve the rights standards of the mine operations.
He says they’ve now a hit a wall.
“Comparing the standards that they’ve set against what we expect - the United Nations global compact standards around human rights - we’ve come to the conclusion that those standards are not going to be good enough. They’re not going to meet our level of comfort and respect. And further engagement from us isn’t going to make sufficient difference.”
Meanwhile, the co-leader of New Zealand’s Green Party Russel Norman is welcoming the withdrawal, which follows a similar Freeport divestment by the Norwegian Pension Fund several years ago on environmental grounds.
“The people of West Papua will, I think, will receive the information very gratefully, the fact that the New Zealand government, the New Zealand Super Fund is taking a stand against the terrible practices of this miner. I think it’s great news.”
The New Zealand-based Indonesia Human Rights Committee’s Maire Leadbetter feels that extensive lobbying by the Committee over Freeport’s Papua record has played a part in the Super Fund decision.
“We’ve given them a really hard time over six years. We’ve had demonstrations outside their front door, we’ve been on deputations where we’ve argued pretty strongly with them. They’ve sometimes had bad press... and the whole drive towards ethical investment has probably been a factor in this too. But yes it’s a win, a win for the people of West Papua indirectly because they’re the ones who really stand to benefit if Freeport is challenged.”
Maire Leadbetter is pushing the Super Fund to now divest from Rio Tinto because it is a joint partner of Freeport’s in the Papua mine.
But Adrian Orr says their decision is based on who is the operating company and that Rio is only a minor partner.
However he says some companies remain on the Super Fund watchlist.
Posted at 03:38 on 28 September, 2012 UTC
An academic says it’s doubtful whether the creation of a third province in Indonesia’s Papua region would help improve service delivery for Papuans.
Indonesian lawmakers are opposed to the government moratorium on the creation of new administrative regions in place since 2009.
Discussion this week in the House of Representatives included calls to prioritise previously shelved plans for the creation of a South Papua province.
Jim Elmslie of the West Papua Project at Sydney University says there is little enthusiasm for a third province among ordinary Papuans after their region was split into two provinces a decade ago.
“After 2000 there was a rapid there was a rapid escalation in the number of regencies (from 9) until there’s now about 33. So the bureaucracy has proliferated enormously. But the delivery of services in basic things like health and education has if anything dropped.”
The West Papua Project at Sydney University,, Jim Elmslie.


4) They are just Papuans: Representing the Papuan conflict in a foreign country 
Budi Hernawan
We gather together here to reflect on the essence and challenges of representing the Papuan conflicts in a foreign context, like Australia. We ask questions of how the protracted conflicts of Papua can be made intelligible for the outside world; how to deal with the challenge of presenting the Papuan conflict vis-à-vis the growing concerns of the Australian public towards the boat people who continue to flow in to this country.........