Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1) Your letters: Papua aspect of RI-Aussie ties

1) Your letters: Papua aspect of RI-Aussie ties

2) West Papua governor denies reports of malnutrition
3) Australia, Indonesia boost security, defense ties
4) Australia Pledges Additional $99 Million for Poverty Program in Indonesia


1) Your letters: Papua aspect of RI-Aussie ties

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Paper Edition | Page: 8
This is a comment on “Australia hopes cooperation can end human trafficking,” (The Jakarta Post), April 2, p. 12).

It is hoped that during their visit to Indonesia this week, both our Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defense Minister Stephen Smith would raise the human rights situation in West Papua with their counterparts in Jakarta.

In the past month, there were a number of urgent recommendations made by the Asian Human Rights Commission concerning incidents of arrests and torture of Papuans, including of a pregnant woman and an 18-month-old baby.

Although asylum seeker arrivals in Australia will obviously be high on the agenda during the ministerial talks, we hope the
human rights situation in West Papua will not be ignored.

Hopefully, Smith will raise concerns about the actions of the security forces in West Papua and in particular about any members of Densus 88 counterterrorism unit who have been trained by Australia and may have been involved in security operations in West Papua, which is outside their brief.

West Papua is a very sensitive issue with Jakarta but ideally it would be great if the Indonesian government invited a cross-party parliamentary fact-finding mission from Australia to West Papua to not only investigate the human rights situation in the territory but to see how Australia can help the West Papuan people in
capacity building in the fields of health and education.

Joe Collins


2) West Papua governor denies reports of malnutrition

Thu, April 4 2013 11:27 | 50 Views
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - West Papua Governor Abraham O. Atururi here on Thursday denied information that malnutrition in Tambrauw District, West Papua Province, had claimed 95 lives.

Abraham said there were only four people dead and they died not from malnutrition but from ordinary causes. 

A non governmental organization (NGO) has reported that malnutrition has caused the death of 95 people in five villages in the sub-district of Kwor in Tambrauw District.

"The information that malnutrition has claimed 95 lives in the sub-district of Kwor is false," Abraham said. 

He said based on a report from the West Papua health service, there were only four local people dead. 

He acknowledged, however, there had been cases of malnutrition in that area but not as reported by the NGO.

"No need to make big issue of that," he added.

Editor: Jafar M Sidik


3) Australia, Indonesia boost security, defense ties

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Paper Edition | Page: 1
Common ground: Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (left) and Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro (second left) greet their Australian counterparts Defense Minister Steven Smith (right) and Foreign Minister Bob Carr at Marty’s office in Jakarta on Wednesday. The two neighbors agreed to boost cooperation on security, illegal immigrants and terrorism. JP/Jerry Adiguna
The second annual “2+2” dialogue between the defense and foreign ministers of Australia and Indonesia on Wednesday reaffirmed the good, comprehensive and strategic cooperation, particularly in the defense and military sectors, between the two neighboring countries.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the meeting managed to reflect the broad nature of Australian-Indonesia relations, which had seen so many ups and downs in the past years.

“It was a very constructive and useful discussion. We exchanged views on regional and global issues, such as Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, among other things,” Marty told a joint press conference after the meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

Topics discussed spanned from peacekeeping operations, disaster relief, maritime joint patrols, army and navy joint operations, counter-terrorism, as well as tackling people smuggling and human trafficking.

“Indonesia and Australia has a comprehensive and strategic partnership that is good at every level. Our defense relationship and cooperation have never been stronger,” Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said. “There’s no country in the region more important to Australia than Indonesia.”

The inaugural 2+2 meeting was held in Canberra in March, 2012.

In the meeting, Australia also offered to sell Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft at a bargain price, less than the six previously reported by the Indonesian Military (TNI), including “a simulator and some spare parts,” Carr said.

This would be the second deal after Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and his Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith, signed agreements on defense cooperation in Darwin, Australia, last year, which included a grant of four refurbished C-130Hs.

“The discussion between Smith and I concerned defense to defense cooperation, particularly the implementation of the Lombok Treaty. We also discussed joint exercises, which include [Army Special Forces], as well as other army-to-army and navy-to-navy cooperation,” Purnomo said.

The Lombok Treaty, which came into effect in February 2008, provides a modern framework for intensified bilateral cooperation across all areas of defense, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, maritime security and humanitarian and disaster relief.

In September 2012, Purnomo and Smith signed a defense cooperation arrangement, providing a formal structure for practical defense cooperation under the Lombok Treaty.

In 2012, Indonesia and Australia engaged in a coordinated maritime patrol of the two countries’ shared maritime borders, while the Indonesian Air Force participated in Exercise Pitch Black for the first time.

In a statement, Carr said that Australia also offered cooperation in officer- and English-language training, with some 160 positions in Australia to be offered to Indonesian military personnel this year under the bilateral Defense Cooperation Program.

After the meeting, Carr and Smith paid a courtesy call to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

According to Marty, Yudhoyono expressed his concern over the latest situation in the Korean Peninsula before his Australian guests.

Carr was also slated to deliver a speech to the Indonesia-Australia Defense Alumni Association (IKAHAN)
4) Australia Pledges Additional $99 Million for Poverty Program in Indonesia
Jakarta Globe | April 04, 2013
Australia will give Indonesia an additional $99 million over the next two years to help boost the country's flagship poverty reduction program, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced on Thursday.

Senator Carr said the National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM) benefited around 40 million of Indonesia's poorest people through community grants. 

“Today [Thursday] I’m visiting Manarul Huda Madrasah, an Islamic School that has already seen the benefits of Australian aid through school building repairs and better sanitation facilities,” Senator Carr said in a statement. “Under the PNPM program, more than 30,000 schools and 7,800 health facilities have been built or rehabilitated since 2008.”

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported in September that 11.6 percent of Indonesians, or 28.6 million people, were impoverished, down from 12.36 percent in the same period the previous year. But it also reported that poverty became more severe in more than half of the nation’s provinces, especially in eastern Indonesia.

The funding will also help to expand PNPM Generasi, a program that will provide health and education grants across 5000 villages by the end of 2014.

The program provides pre- and post-natal care, neonatal care such as immunizations, and ensures children can get to school and complete their studies.

To date, more than 64,000 children have been vaccinated, and more than 28,000 women had access to a mid-wife during labour.

The new funding brings Australia’s total support for PNPM to $314 million between 2009 and 2015.

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