Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1) Editorial: Beyond Oxford

1) Editorial: Beyond Oxford

2) Papua Officer Tied to Rp 1.5 Trillion From Fuel Smuggling and Illegal Logging

3) Update: 4 Dead, 10 Rescued in Freeport Mine Tunnel Collapse

4) Freeport workers trapped in landslide

5) US State Department Points to Human Rights Problems in Indonesia


1) Editorial: Beyond Oxford

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Paper Edition | Page: 6
Support the President, scholars said, in a rare statement supporting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. In an open letter to Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr, the scholars from campuses across Australia urged their government “to publicly support President Yudhoyono’s willingness for a peace dialogue with Papuans as a way to find a peaceful solution” in the long term for Papua.

Their letter followed the April 30th shooting of civilians that left two dead and three others injured during preparations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the transition of power from the UN Temporary Executive Administration to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.

The incident served to highlight the many cases in which civilians have been shot, the latest late Saturday when a drunk man was shot dead, reportedly in self defense, by a soldier. The man was one of several who had demanded money from a group of soldiers. It seems to have been an unfortunate occurrence but then it is increasingly difficult nowadays to differentiate between such incidents involving security personnel in Papua.

The above two incidents add to the 2013 list, with at least five other cases since February alone. Activists have said this was the most severe warning of the government’s lack of response to calls for real dialogue.

Jakarta’s reaction to the opening of a “Free Papua Movement” (OPM) office in the British city of Oxford on April 28 was predictably much stronger than any response to the daily conditions in the easternmost provinces, where citizens have said they do not feel safe. Violence is not limited to remote areas, Papuans in the cities have also said they fear for their children’s safety.

The vast province is not entirely dangerous. It has just become harder to predict where a single armed soldier or policeman might be driven to pull the trigger.

Rumor is rife and some say residents are prone to exaggeration, as is only to be expected in the absence of reliable sources of information. Echoing earlier demands the scholars called for the protection of local journalists and human rights workers in monitoring and reporting the human rights situation in Papua.

Improving daily conditions and strengthening efforts for dialogue should be the priority — as beyond Oxford the international Papuan lobby will continue its campaigns. These campaigns stepped up after Jakarta showed no intention of dialogue on mutually agreed terms, perhaps gaining confidence that supporting separatist aspirations is no longer an international fad.

But learning from Timor Leste and Aceh, Jakarta cannot continue to rely on security personnel or even loads of cash to keep a population quiet.

Local leaders share much of the blame for problems such as corruption. But Papuans also say they grow up with the impression that they are inferior to the other ethnicities now swarming their cities and who profit most from the resources and income opportunities.

Add the experience of being suspected of treason and testimony of torture, and this becomes similar to the resentment of the Acehnese and Timorese. Here then is fertile ground for rebellion, the only constraint being the reportedly still far from solid leadership of the freedom movement.

It is Jakarta, and not the international lobbyists, which is not providing enough incentive for Papuans to feel they belong to the nation.


2) Papua Officer Tied to Rp 1.5 Trillion From Fuel Smuggling and Illegal Logging

By Banjir Ambarita on 10:10 am May 15, 2013.

Jayapura. Police in Papua have made a shocking revelation linking bank transactions totaling Rp 1.5 trillion ($154 million) to a low-ranking police officer suspected of massive fuel smuggling and illegal logging.
Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, the provincial police chief, said on Tuesday that the figure was based on a report from the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), the government’s anti-money-laundering watchdog.
He was quick to add that the Rp 1.5 trillion was not the amount of money in the account belonging to the officer, identified as Adj. First Insp. Labora Sitorus, but that it was the accumulated value of transactions through the account from 2007 to 2012.
“Some of the transactions amounted to hundreds of millions of rupiah or even billions of rupiah at a time,” Tito said.
“As for the current balance in the account, that’s still being investigated.”
He added that police were investigating Labora, whose rank would entitle him to a monthly salary of no more than Rp 4 million, and that they had linked him to the smuggling of massive quantities of fuel.
“We’re looking into the alleged misuse of the fuel, which we suspect is the source of the money,” the police chief said.
“Our investigators have already seized 1,000 tons of fuel in Sorong district belonging to the officer.”
However, he said that Labora — based in West Papua’s Sorong district, which falls under the Papua Police’s jurisdiction — had not been charged with any crime yet and was still being treated as a witness.
Speculation is rife that Labora oversaw a syndicate that siphoned fuel from tankers out at sea and brought it to shore to sell. Tito did not deny the possibility and said that investigators were still trying to confirm where the fuel came from.
Police have also seized an undisclosed quantity of timber linked to the officer, prompting suspicion that he was also involved in illegal logging.
“We’re still looking into that, but the initial data suggests that the timber was bought from local people,” Tito said.
Police have identified two companies linked to the fuel and the timber, but have yet to confirm that Labora was involved with either of them.
“If we can make that connection, then his legal status will be changed from witness to suspect,” Tito said.
A police source, who declined to be named, told the Jakarta Globe that police had identified 15 containers of timber that had arrived at Surabaya’s Tanjung Perak Port last week as belonging to Labora.
The source also claimed that Labora kicked most of the money up the provincial police’s chain of command, and was considered the biggest earner in the force for high-ranking officers before Tito took over as the provincial police chief last September from the now-retired Insp. Gen. Bigman Lumban Tobing. quoted another police source saying that senior officers had been aware of Labora’s illegal activities for years and that he wielded control over the lush forested islands in the Raja Ampat archipelago, the alleged source of the timber.
This is not the first allegation of a police officer handling huge sums of money from illegal activity, but it is the first leveled against a low-ranking officer.
In June 2010, Tempo Magazine carried an in-depth report based on PPATK data indicating that 23 police generals and high-ranking officers were in possession of suspiciously large bank accounts.
Days after the story broke, unknown perpetrators threw Molotov cocktails at the Tempo office, and a group of assailants attacked an Indonesia Corruption Watch researcher who was involved in breaking the story. No arrests were made in either case, while the National Police cleared all the top officers of any wrongdoing.
Two police generals, Djoko Susilo and Didik Purnomo, the former head and deputy head, respectively, of the National Police’s traffic division, are currently in custody for massive bribery linked to the procurement of driving simulators.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has to date seized 41 assets linked to Djoko, including land, more than a dozen homes, four cars and six buses.
Djoko had reportedly registered the assets under the names of multiple family members and had amassed Rp 100 billion — a substantial amount for an official with a monthly salary of Rp 30 million.

3) Update: 4 Dead, 10 Rescued in Freeport Mine Tunnel Collapse

By Jakarta Globe on 10:20 am May 15, 2013.

Updated: 2:05 p.m.
A police emergency response unit found four bodies and rescued 10 workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s Grasberg complex in Tembagapura, Papua, on Wednesday.
Tembagapura Police Chief Adj. Comr. Sudirman told Antara news agency on Wednesday that the 10 rescued workers suffered wounds and bruises from the collapse that occurred at about 7:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
“The search effort was carried out from [Tuesday] night to this morning,” Sudirman said as quoted by Antara. “It’s been temporarily stopped because the [rescue] crew is resting. We’re waiting for new crew.”
Sudirman said that based on the list of workers given by Freeport, there were more than 40 workers trapped in the tunnel. They were participating in a Quality Management System (QMS) Annual Refresher class, a work safety training, when the tunnel collapsed.
“A tunnel in the underground training area collapsed, trapping a number of employees,” the company said in a statement. “The rescue process is difficult and will take some time to complete.”
Government authorities had been informed, the company said.
The accident happened outside of areas being mined, about 500 meters from the entrance to the Big Gossan underground mine, Bloomberg reported.
It is the biggest incident with the highest number of fatalities in recent years. The mine tunnel previously collapsed in 2003 and killed at least nine workers.
Grasberg in Papua province includes open-pit and underground operations and is the world’s third-biggest copper mine ranked by production capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also produces gold. Output was disrupted in 2011 and 2012 after labor unrest and violence at the site.
Indonesia accounted for $3.92 billion of revenue last year, or 16 percent of Freeport’s sales.
With additional reporting from Bloomberg and Reuters

4) Freeport workers trapped in landslide

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Paper Edition | Page: 5
Dozens of PT Freeport Indonesia employees were reportedly buried by a landslide during safety training at the Big Gossan underground site in Mimika regency, Papua, on Tuesday, at around 7:45 a.m. local time.

Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumertha Jaya said Freeport Indonesia’s Emergency Response Group (ERG) and a local rescue team had been deployed.

As of Tuesday afternoon, rescuers had evacuated three survivors who were later taken to Tembaga Pura hospital.

“Rescuers found it difficult to reach the area where people were trapped,” said Sumertha in Jayapura on Tuesday.

He said that rescuers had yet to report the number of casualties in the incident as the evacuation process was still underway.

The landslide reportedly buried 28 people who were in a 5-by-11-meter classroom.

Sumertha said that two people managed to save themselves before rescuers arrived on the scene.

Freeport Indonesia corporate communications vice president Daisy Primyanti confirmed the incident in a written statement.

“We cannot confirm the exact number of the casualties. The evacuation process will take some time as it is difficult for rescuers to reach the hard-hit area,” she said in a press release.

The company has reported the incident to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Mining Inspector.

Freeport Indonesia, an Indonesian affiliate of US-based miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., operates the Grasberg mine in Papua, which has the largest gold reserves and the second-largest copper mine in the world.

5) US State Department Points to Human Rights Problems in Indonesia

Despite undergoing a dramatic democratic transformation over the last decade, a new report released on Tuesday by the United States Department of State maintains that Indonesia is still struggling with certain human rights matters.
In its 2012 Human Rights Report on Indonesia, the state department highlighted several worrying issues, including the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, abuses by security forces, people trafficking and child labor, that are still taking place in the country.
“The suppression or abridgement of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities was a problem. The government applied treason and blasphemy laws to limit freedom of expression by peaceful independence advocates in the provinces of Papua, West Papua and Maluku and by religious minority groups,” the executive resume of the report said.
The report said that minority religious groups such as Ahmadis, Shiites, other non-Sunni Muslims and Christians were occasionally victims of societal discrimination and violence.
It also pointed out that under the Blasphemy Law, “spreading religious hatred, heresy, and blasphemy” is punishable by up to five years in prison. On July 12, the Sampang District Court sentenced Shiite cleric Tajul Muluk to two years in prison for blasphemy following the issuance of a fatwa (Islamic edict) by a local Islamic clerical council that called his teaching deviant.
On September 21, the court extended the sentence to four years.
Official corruption, including within the judiciary, was also a major problem for Indonesia, according to the report.
“On some occasions, the government punished officials who committed abuses, but judicial sentencing often was not commensurate with the severity of offenses, as was true in other types of crimes,” the report said.
Additionally, the report stated that there were accounts of the government and its agents committing arbitrary or unlawful killings during the year. It cited the shooting of Mako Tabuni, a leader of the National Committee for West Papua, under unclear circumstances on June 14.
On July 27, members of the National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) dispersed a demonstration over land problems by villagers in Limbang Jaya village, Ogan Ilir district in South Sumatra, leaving a 12-year-old boy dead of a gunshot wound. Investigators interviewed 120 Brimob members who took part in the clash, but none were arrested or charged.
Furthermore, a number of violent incidents, including killings by unknown parties in Papua and West Papua, were recorded.
Unknown attackers, whom government officials and human rights contacts suspected to be Papuan separatists, killed a small number of non-Papuan migrants.
Local NGOs reported that torture continues to be commonplace in police detention facilities throughout the country. The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) reported that between July 2011 and June 2012, it received 86 reports of torture involving a total of 243 victims. Eleven of the cases occurred in Papua.
The report also said that conditions in Indonesia’s 428 prisons and detention centers were sometimes harsh or life threatening, and that overcrowding was widespread.

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