Thursday, May 9, 2013

1) Rainbow Warrior welcomed in Papua

1) Rainbow Warrior welcomed in Papua


West Papua pro-independence activist calls for Pacific support

3) West Papua may join MSG next month

4) Wamena airport reopens

5) Petition Urge the Appeal to Conscience Foundation to withdraw its award to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He is no statesman.

1) Rainbow Warrior welcomed in Papua

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Greenpeace’s legendary campaigning vessel the Rainbow Warrior arrived in Jayapura port, Papua, at around 11 a.m. local time, on Thursday, to start its week-long campaign highlighting Indonesia’s biodiversity. The ship has a crew of 15, six female, from various countries.
Jayapura is the first Indonesian port of call after sailing from Australia a week ago.
Papua and Jayapura City administrations gave the Rainbow Warrior and its crew a warm welcome, expressing their pride in the historic arrival of the iconic vessel in Jayapura.
“The Rainbow Warrior has cruised around the world since 1987 to campaign for protecting the earth,” said the Rainbow Warrior’s captain, Pete Willcox.
He said Indonesia was a home to globally important biodiversity; however, deforestation and marine destruction had threatened its sustainability.
“Our seas and forests are our future. Greenpeace is calling on the Indonesian government to take immediate action to ensure the protection of the country’s biodiversity, including extending and strengthening the moratorium on issuing new permits for forest and peatland conversion,” said Greenpeace Indonesia chairman, Longgena Ginting.
He added that all industrial players, especially Freeport in Papua, should stop harmful extractive practices and should start to move toward a sustainable business for the sake of the country’s people, environment and economy.
The Rainbow Warrior will be at anchor in Jayapura from May 9 to 11 and open to visitors. Various activities conducted during the event will be focused on campaigning for the rescue of forests and the sea environment. (asw/ebf)



Posted at 07:45 on 09 May, 2013 UTC
A pro-independence activist in the province of Papua in Indonesia says the recent shooting deaths of demonstrators is a chance for Pacific nations to challenge Indonesia.
Yoab Syatfle says two people were shot dead and others injured in Sorong, and a third died on Monday in hospital, while one person was shot dead on Biak Island and four were injured in Timika.
He says all the events were peaceful demonstrations organised to mark fifty years since the United Nations transferred what was West New Guinea to Indonesia.
Mr Syatfle says the Melanesian Spearhead Group has given its support to Papua and West Papua but all Pacific nations should voice their concerns.
He says it’s a matter of life and death.
“If the Pacific region, still recognises Indonesian territory on West Papua, the Pacific region supports Indonesian destruction, to kill West Papuan people. If you support West Papuan independence, you save West Papuan lives.”
Yoab Syatfle


3) West Papua may join MSG next month

Updated 9 May 2013, 8:57 AEST
West Papua could become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group as early as next month.
A founding father of the MSG, former Solomon Islands prime minister, Ezekiel Alebua, says the summit in New Caledonia next month is likely to grant membership to West Papua.
Mr Alebua was speaking during 25th anniversary celebrations for the MSG in Vanuatu.
Presenter: Hilaire Bule
Speaker: Ezekiel Alebua, a founding father of the Melanesian Spearhead Group & former Solomon Islands prime minister
ALEBUA: The challenges as I see it one of the main reasons they've fast-tracked the formation of the Melanesian Spearhead Group was the independence for New Caledonia, independence for West Papua, and of course the issue of Fiji coup also came into play in 1987 when a lot of other countries seemed to be condemning Fiji unnecessarily without realising that it's a coup in the Pacific. So those are the challenges to MSG. And furthermore, another challenge is in-country and within the organisation itself and that people do not really understand what the MSG is and the role of MSG. People expected MSG to deliver merchandise, goods onto their doorstops, while it is not MSG's, it's merely there to provide opportunities for people to have access to.
BULE: You were one of the fathers of the MSG and after 25 years of this organisation, what is your view on the development of this Melanesian organisation?
ALEBUA: I can say confidently that it has grown, it has developed, due to solidarity like I said. Solidarity's based on the principles of cooperation and the growth is based on the constitution. Now bearing in mind we must not lose sight of the fact that the MSG Secretariat was formed much, much later, it was established here in Vanuatu much later. So they do not have much time before then, but for the time being since they've opened up they've done a lot, they've done a lot. And now we can see people moving freely in trade and commerce moving. So it's been very positive so far.
BULE: What do you expect from this organisation?
ALEBUA: What I expect and I'm sure my two brothers from PNG and the late Walter Lini expects is that we wanted peace in the region and that peace can only come about through independence of everyone, each country be able to make their own political decisions about their own future, and about how we can interact socially, economically and culturally with one another, that's what we wanted to see more of.
BULE: What is your advice to the young leaders of the MSG today?
ALEBUA: What I would like to say young leaders is this, is that I said it's up to them now to captain or to champion MSG, to take it not only into the region and in the Pacific and the sub-region in the Pacific, but to the world so that they will see and understand our role in what we stand for is that we wanted equal treatments for everyone in the Pacific, including the independent and those who still have not been independent. Maybe grant of independence to those countries that have not been independent could bring them to the same path we are being able to decide our own fate and own future.
BULE: What is your view on the issue of West Papua, do you think that West Papua should become a full member of the MSG?
ALEBUA: Well definitely I don't want to preempt any decision of the New Caledonia meeting, but I believe having concern for each nation and West Papua is not only a neighbour but a brother to Papua New Guinea, I have full confidence that West Papua will be admitted into the MSG in June.


4) Wamena airport reopens

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Wamena airport in Jayawijaya, Papua, reopened on Thursday after a temporary closure following an aircraft fire incident yesterday.
“The airport has reopened as of this morning; but its flight frequency, especially for cargo aircraft, is reduced because at the moment, the damaged aircraft is still on the airport’s apron,” head of Wamena airport, Junikar Pankondo, told The Jakarta Post over the phone, on Thursday.
A British Aerospace 146-200 QT Trader cargo aircraft operated by Nusantara Air Charter (NAC) with flight code PK-JKC caught fire at the airport at noon local time on Wednesday. Two people suffered injuries in the incident.
An investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) team on the causes of the incident is still ongoing.
“Four investigators of the KNKT team are still examining the causes of the aircraft fire. After the investigation is complete, NAC will be requested to remove the plane wreckage so that flight schedules can get back to normal,” said Junikar.
There are five cargo flights operating from Sentani airport in Jayapura to Wamena daily. Following the incident, the flight frequency has temporarily been reduced to a maximum of only three flights per day.
The passenger flight schedule is unaffected.
Junikar said there were four commercial flights from Sentani to Wamena. “Only PT Trigana Air currently serves regular flights to Wamena,” he said.(asw/ebf)

5) Petition Urge the Appeal to Conscience Foundation to withdraw its award to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He is no statesman.

Sign the petition today:, the undersigned urge the Appeal to Conscience Foundation to withdraw its World Statesman Award to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. This award shocks our conscience.On May 6 in Jakarta, a coalition of victims of religious discrimination and human rights groups in Indonesia urged the foundation to drop its plan to give the award. We support this call.

The foundation says that it works "on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world" and "promotes peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution."

It is regrettable that the foundation is so ready to bestow such an award without first seriously examining the situation in the country to see if the recipient truly merits the award.

In Indonesia there is continuing religious violence, governmental inaction, and official impunity. Giving President Yudhoyono the World Statesman Award dishonors to both the foundation and mocks its recipient.

Under President Yudhoyono’s leadership, religious intolerance in Indonesia has escalated. Houses of worship have been attacked and the followers of religious minority faiths have faced discrimination, assault and worse. Police and public officials often refuse to stand up to the intolerant bullies. Sometimes they take the side of the attackers, using their office to spread bigotry and enforce discrimination.

President Yudhoyono has established an unprecedented discriminatory legal infrastructure in Indonesia. He has issued a discriminatory regulations, defended the blasphemy law at the Constitutional Court, and promulgated a decree threatening to five years in jail for anyone who “propagates” the Ahmadiyah teaching.

In recent years conflict and repression have escalated in West Papua, where its indigenous people face discrimination in their own land. At the end of April, there were at least 40 Papuan political prisoners.

Under President Yudhoyono leadership, impunity continues for past crimes against humanity and war crimes. Police and military often act with limited accountability throughout the archipelago.

Sign the petition today: to support ETAN. Thank you.

BackgroundThe Appeal to Conscience Foundation plans to give the award to President Yudhoyono on May 30 in New York City.

When President Yudhoyono first took office, he promised that his administration would promote human rights and tolerance. Nine years later, the prospects for accountability for past rights violations have receded; religious intolerance has grown. Indonesia’s security forces have become increasingly abusive in West Papua. Police and soldiers who violate human rights are rarely held accountable. Serious human rights violations by members of the military are tried in military courts where soldiers, if convicted, receive light sentences.

Recent examples of religious persecution include the March 21 demolition of the HKBP Taman Sari church in Bekasi after an order from the regional government. Four Ahmadiyya places of worship were closed within a month in West Java. Last August, members of the Shia community in Sampang, East Java, were forced from their homes members of the majority Sunni attacked them for so-called blasphemy. They continue to struggle in a makeshift camp in a sports stadium.

In 2006, President Yudhoyono issued a regulation on building houses of worship that makes it extremely difficult for religious minorities to construct their buildings. He signed a law that allows the listing of only six religions on Indonesian ID cards, basically discriminating against more than 350 other small religions. In 2009, Yudhoyono sent his cabinet members to defend the blasphemy law when it was challenged at the Constitutional Court. They mobilized Muslim militias to harass the petitioners and their lawyers. In April 2010, the Constitutional Court upheld the law, which provides criminal penalties for those who express religious beliefs that deviate from the six officially-recognized religions. The court said it is lawful to restrict minority beliefs because it allows for the “maintenance of public order.” In 2008, Yudhoyono issued an anti-Ahmadiyah decree, threatening to five years jail term for anyone who “propagates” the group’s teachings.

An ad hoc tribunal to investigate and prosecute the 1997-98 the disappearance of human rights activists has yet to be established, though it has been approved by the legislature. Yudhoyono's own coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs and Attorney General have rejected the official human rights commission's findings that the government's anti-Communist purges of 1965 and 1966 - which included mass killings of up to one million people, enslavement, torture, rape, and enforced disappearance  - constituted a crime against humanity. The truth commission and human rights courts authorized by the 2006 law on Aceh have yet to be established. There has been no accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Indonesian forces in Timor-Leste, where as many as 183,000 were killed, or West Papua, where an estimated 100,000 have died.

On taking office, President Yudhoyono declared that solving the September 2004 murder of Munir Said Thalib, Indonesia’s best known human rights activist, would be a test of "whether Indonesia had changed." The President and Indonesia have failed the test. He has refused to release the report of the fact-finding team he set up early in his Presidency. The murder involved the national intelligence agency and serving and former military officers; none of them have been brought to justice.

see alsoHuman Rights Watch, In Religions Name Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN),   Human Rights & Justice page

Amnesty International: Victims of the Aceh conflict still waiting for truth, justice and reparation 

Human Rights Watch Indonesia: Civilian Courts Should Try Abusive Soldiers

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2013 annual report 

US Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 - Indonesia

Sign the petition today: to support ETAN. Thank you. 

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