Saturday, May 31, 2014

President's visit to Fiji reflects Indonesia's drive in region

President's visit to Fiji reflects Indonesia's drive in region

Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Friday 30 May 2014

Description: The President of Indonesia to make a rare visit to a Pacific island country with confirmation he will attend next month's Pacific Islands Development Forum meeting in Fiji. An analyst looks at Jakarta's strategy of integrating with the Pacific region.
Duration:  6′ 4″ 


The Indonesian President will visit Fiji next month for the second annual Pacific Islands Development Forum meeting in Nadi.
The Fiji leader, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, says Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit shows the relevance of the Development Forum in the region.
The visit is seen as another step to Jakarta's goal of greater integration in the Pacific region,
according to an expert in Indonesian history and politics, and Australia-Indonesia relations, Dr Richard Chauvel of Melbourne's Victoria University.
He spoke to Johnny Blades who began by asking about SBY's visit in proximity to current difficulties in Jakarta's relationship with Canberra.
RICHARD CHAUVEL: The combination of the spying with the issue asylum seeker boats... In a way the spying thing was a once-off crisis, whereas the boats issue and the new Australian government's policy of returning boats is clearly an ongoing irritant.
JOHNNY BLADES: So would you see SBY's visit as some sort of slight against Canberra given the fallout over those issues?
RC: I would only have thought at the margins at best. I think the Abbott government is probably much less concerned about the governance issues, the human rights issues, how Bainimarama came to power, sustains himself in power, rather than the previous Labour government. I can't recall any commentators making those links, seeing Indonesia-Fiji relations as much related to Australia's ongoing difficulties with Indonesia on one side and the bad odour with Fiji... I think it's in part because Australia's relationship with Indonesia is amongst our most critical and under current circumstances the most difficult, whereas Fiji is much more at the margins in terms of priority, importance and so on.
JB: Nonetheless, the Pacific regional architecture is changing and we know Fiji in particular is trying to change it away from the Pacific Islands Forum-centric framework so to speak.
RC: Yes, in Indonesia willing to be part of that, whether it's a way of understanding SBY's motivation in wanting to be associated... in the sense creating Indonesian involvement in the Pacific in a forum in which Australia is not present, whereas the Pacific Islands Forum is part of the regional architecture which Australia has exercised considerable influence whereas this one isn't.
JB: Do you see it as part of Indonesia's long term goal of integrating more in the Pacific?
RC: Yeah, I think in a way Indonesia views the Pacific through the West Papua prism, if you like. But clearly it has longer term strategic ambitions beyond its difficulties in West Papua.
JB: And what about that issue? Because obviously with the West Papuan bid to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group ramping up in the last year or so, Indonesia has also brought some representations to bear over that, hasn't it?
RC: Oh absolutely. The way the (MSG) Foreign Ministers visit (to West Papua) was hosted; you'll remember (PNG Prime Minister) O'Neill was in Jakarta when the MSG meeting was held. I think the cultivation and Indonesian lobbying in the Pacific - you can trace it back to 2000 if not before and the presence of people like (West Papuan) Franz Albert-Joku in Indonesian diplomatic delegations, and I imagine he'll go along to Fiji with SBY as well - I think is indicative of the importance that Indonesia places on developing relations with the South Pacific and in some cases directly combatting the lobbying efforts of various West Papuan groups. But I also think there is a broader strategic interest.
JB: And what does Indonesia offer the Pacific island countries?
RC: I think probably two things. One is money and resources. And the other is another channel entree into the outside world other than through Australia and New Zealand. If I recall correctly, Bainimarama's visit to Jakarta in April 2011 was in part to negotiate or at least discuss the possibility that Fiji might get observer status in ASEAN. But I think there are mutual interests there in Indonesia trying to assert more influence in the Pacific, and also countries like Fiji, who have their own difficulties in the Pacific with countries like Australia and New Zealand, trying to develop alternative relationships which in a sense bypass Australia and New Zealand.
JB: SBY is obviously the outgoing President of Indonesia, there's not much time left in his term. Does that dilute the importance of the visit at all?
RC: I think to some extent. But whether it's Joko Widodo or Prabowo who becomes President, I can't see any reason why a new administration would not broadly try and continue this initiative, the lobbying in the Pacific, trying to exert influence in the Pacific predates SBY, and I think this is one of the elements of continuity in Indonesian foreign policy and probably unlikely to change.

Friday, May 30, 2014

1) Police officer shot dead in inland Papua

1) Police officer shot dead in inland Papua

2) Freeport & Newmont Pay $140m Guarantee for Smelters Development


1) Police officer shot dead in inland Papua

Fri, May 30 2014 19:18 | 394 Views

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - A police officer was shot dead at 4.30 p. m. local time on Friday in Tiom, the capital of the district of Lanny Jaya in inland Papua.

The spokesman of the Papua Regional Police Command, Senior Commissioner Pudjo, confirmed the incident to ANTARA, saying that Second Brigadier Irvan was shot by armed civilians while passing a fuel oil retail shop on his motorbike.

The victim was taken to a local hospital but he could not be saved, he said.

The situation in Tiom and its surrounding areas is still tense with police officers and military personnel standing on guard in several locations.(*)
Editor: Heru


2) Freeport & Newmont Pay $140m Guarantee for Smelters Development

An aerial view of a giant mine run by US firm Freeport-McMoran Cooper & Gold Inc., at the Grassberg mining operation, in Indonesia's Papua province in this July 2005 file photo. (Reuters Photo)
Jakarta. Freeport Indonesia and Newmont Nusa Tenggara, two of the country’s largest copper miners, plan to transfer as much as $140 million to an escrow account determined by the government, as part of their commitment to build in-country refining facilities, according to an Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry official.
“They planned to wire the money next Monday to a Bank Mandiri [account],” said R Sukhyar, director general for coal and mineral resources at the ministry.
Freeport will wire $115 million, while Newmont will account for the remaining $25 million, Sukhyar added.

The government has demanded Freeport and Newmont to put up a deposit guarantee after both failed to meet the self-imposed deadline for in-country refining requirements, as stated in the country’s 2009 Mining Law.
Officials then roll-out punitive export duties and a more stringent requirement for companies to acquire a permit to export unrefined minerals, which stood at more than $5 billion last year, but is effectively at a standstill since then.
Both miners had already processed their copper into a byproduct called concentrates but are still short of the refining requirement.

“For concentrate producers, the deposit will be less than 5 percent of the smelter investment,” Sukhyar added.
The new coordinating minister for the economy, Chairul Tanjung, hosted a meeting on mineral policy on Wednesday, at which energy and mineral resources minister, Jero Wacik, and industry minister, MS Hidayat, were also in attendance;
The government had set an export quota of 850,000 tons of copper concentrates worth around $1.5 billion for both Freeport and Newmont, but will not issue the export permit before both miners agree with  terms of the ongoing contract renegotiation, according to Chairul.
Rozik Soetjipto, president director of Freeport Indonesia, said after the meeting that the miner will team up with a state-controlled counterpart, Aneka Tambang, to build a copper smelter in Gresik, East Java. The project is schedule for a groundbreaking in the second semester this year.
The facility is expected to cost some  $2.3 billion and produce 400,000 tons  of copper cathodes from 1.6 million tons of copper concentrates.

Newmont will also participate in the project by supplying its concentrates to the facility, according to its president director, Martiono Hadianto.
Industry Minister, MS Hidayat, said the government had no plans to annul or revise the regulation on punitive export duty, but will introduce a separate rule that would cut tariffs as part of an incentive package. The discounted rate would be determined by the progress made by each smelter project, he added.
“If the smelter is completed in 2017, then the duty will be zero, but if the company fails to meet the deadline, then the government will increase the export tariff  and confiscate the deposit.”
Newmont is desperate to obtain an export permit or 80 percent of its 4,000 employees will face the risk of being sent home, according to Martiono. He added that Newmont would need the permit by the end of May.

1) AUDIO: Pacific media 'too cosy' with political power, says author

1) AUDIO: Pacific media 'too cosy' with political power, says author


1) AUDIO: Pacific media 'too cosy' with political power, says author

Pacific Media Centre's Dr David Robie ... critical of Australian, NZ stance on West Papua. Image: Ryan Butler/AUT
Friday, May 30, 2014
Item: 8640
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch / Australian Broadcasting Corporation): The Pacific Media Centre's director, Professor David Robie, has called for more emphasis on critical development journalism in the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking on ABC's Media Report last night, Professor Robie said there was a tendency globally - and not just in the Pacific -  for journalism to be a "bit too cosy with political power".
"Agendas are often set in the media based around press galleries and what's seen as priorities by governments, whereas critical development journalism is really a proclamation - if you like - for ordinary people getting their values and their needs investigated and getting some sort of result from policy changes," Dr Robie toldpresenter Richard Aedy.

He added it was "farcical" for journalists practising this approach to be accused of being activists as much as journalists.

Discussing the state of media freedom in the Pacific, Dr Robie said West Papua was the most neglected region in the Pacific in terms of media coverage, mainly because there was "virtually no ready access into West Papua by journalists".
To report from West Papua without being sanctioned by the Indonesian government was risky for journalists, and even more so for their contacts and sources, added the author of Don't Spoil My Beautiful Face, published last month.
Because the Australian and New Zealand governments were "far more concerned with their ongoing relationship with Indonesia and they don't want to rock the boat", relatively speaking few journalists had shown an interest in reporting on West Papua.
Challenging restrictions
The military backed government of Fiji posed a "huge problem" to the media although there were signs that some journalists were really starting to challenge many of the restrictions placed on them.
In Tonga, there had been welcome and "momentous changes", he said, adding thatTaimi 'o Tonga and Matangi Tonga magazine were doing excellent work.
But in French Polynesia, on the other hand, this month's closure of Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, a major daily that had been publishing for more than 50 years and investigating corruption, was a "big blow to journalism".
In the Phillipines, the so-called electronic martial law criminalising online libel adopted in 2012 and confirmed by the Supreme Court earlier this year as "constitutional" had unfortunately spread across the region, Dr Robie said.

The new law prescribed six-year jail terms for so called "electronic libel" instead of the six months for print media, and similar laws were being enacted in Papua New Guinea and Thailand.
These would "put a chilling factor on the media", he said.

In general, Pacific journalists needed a lot more support and training, as they were often expected to hit the newsrooms straight out of secondary schools, with just "a little bit of short course training," Dr Robie said.


Suva , 28/5 ( Jubi ) – Papuan activist Sebby Sambom is surprised to read the news that three clans — Tabuni, Jikwa and Kogoya — dominate legislative seats throughout Papua.
Some people believed that the three clans are closely connected to the Papua Independence Movement but it is not true.
Earlier, chairman of the Papua Amber, Mega Petrodaz revealed that by the results of the study after the announcement of the names of candidates at the central , provincial, regencies and city levels, discovered that the three clans dominated the legislative seats.
“Although, they come from the same clans, the people who are fighting for Papuan independence never seek wealth from Indonesian table, “ Sambom said.
“They are not Kogoya – Tabuni , Wenda and Jikwa Tabuni who are speaking about Papuan independence, but they are people who want to accumulate wealth and forage by the colonial Government of Republic of Indonesia,” he added.
Sambom said Tabunis, Kogoyas, Wendas and Jikwas  who are fighting for independence never ask the government of the Republic of Indonesia for anything. They still exist to fight for the political rights of the people of West Papua nation to achieve full independence.
Some of them are now members of the legislature and have no power to defend the rights of the Papua people , because the colonial money influence their thinking. They have become comfortable with the positions. Sambom cited as an example his friend , Yeke Melkias Gombo , who used to speak out for Papuan independence and had been sent to the Abepura prison.
His was even once forced by the police to take the paper that says Papua Merdeka and also to drink his own urine, the activist said. However, after becoming a member of the legislative period 2009-2014, he has become silent and never defended  activists and also the people who were killed by the Indonesian military.
Sambom said other members of the Legislature are likely to do the same because they are only after money, wealth and women.
“We still exist for Papuan independence and still exist. Still, it is difficult to believe them, Papuan people who are members of the legislature.”
Meanwhile, Fakhabuk , another Papuan activist told Jubi via short message.
“We, Papuans what we do is always suspected of this or that group. It makes us unable to build our country freely.” (Jubi / Mawel / Tina)