Thursday, June 19, 2014

1) Papuans behind bars May update

1) Papuans behind bars May update
2) Pacific churches cautious over SBY Fiji visit
3) Pacific Conference of Churches  comment on SBY's visit to Fiji
5) Members arrival TNI in Papua Student Dormitory in Solo Unsettling

6) Wiranto Sets Record Straight on Prabowo’s Military Discharge

1) Papuans behind bars May update

May 2014: FoE threatened by corporate and institutional agendas

In brief

At the end of May 2014, there were at least 76 political prisoners in Papuan jails.
The unprocedural use of firearms by police in Indonesia continues to pose a serious threat to the safety of Papuans. The death of human rights worker Reverend Ekpinus Magal and the serious injuries faced by three local villagers in Moanemani, Timika, (see below), are the results of a lack of restraint among police in Papua. This excessive use of force suggests a lack of training and awareness of obligations under the Indonesian Police Regulation on the Use of Force in Police Action No. 1/2009 and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. The impunity which so often accompanies such acts of violence runs throughout police units in Papua, from the Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) to district and regional police.
Several incidents this month demonstrated ongoing corporate complicity in the violation of human rights in Papua.  The arrest and firing of two men involved in a labour protest against their employer, PT Tandan Sawita Papua, a palm oil plantation company in Kerom Regency, shows that workers who exercise their right to peaceful assembly and expression are punished heavily. Given the company’s lack of commitment to past promises to improve local infrastructure and provide adequate compensation, local human rights analystsquestioned the intention of their signing on to the UN Global Compact. Human rights workers also questioned the role of copper and gold mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia in the conflict currently occurring in Timika, which has resulted in multiple deaths. Local reports indicate that the lack of free prior informed consent of customary indigenous land owners is a major factor in the conflict, signalling corporate responsibility in the ongoing unrest.
Students at Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) continue to be targeted by university authorities and Jayapura police. Samuel Womsiwor was arrested this month and continues to be detained, reportedly under the orders of the Third Assistant Rector of UNCEN. Like ex-political prisoner and fellow UNCEN student Yason Ngelia, Womsiwor is part of a critical student collective who has been targeted for arrest, harassment and intimidation. Over the last few months they have spoken out peacefully regarding the unprocedural drafting of the Special Autonomy Plus bill, political prisoners and the Jakarta-Papua dialogue, which has been met by police with intimidation, ill treatment and even torture.
In Merauke, the ongoing detention of two KNPB activists, the interrogation of the Head of the Maklew tribe and the reported torture of two men this month suggests a deteriorating environment of terror and surveillance.
full update


2) Pacific churches cautious over SBY Fiji visit

Updated at 8:10 pm on 19 June 2014

Pacific civil society groups have questioned the attendance of Indonesia's president at the Pacific Islands Development Forum.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the chief guest at the gathering which is taking place in Fiji.
The group's spokesman, Reverend Francois Pihaatae of the Pacific Conference of Churches, says regional governments must not let President Yudhoyono's presence at the forum cloud their judgment on the issue of self-determination in West Papua.
He says the forum deserves applause for the recognition it has received but other questions must be asked particularly over self-determination for Pacific people.
The churchman also questioned whether the Indonesian president had made the visit out of necessity because support for West Papuan independence had reached such a critical level within Fiji, the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the wider region.
The Reverend Pihaatae was also speaking on behalf of the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy and the Pacific Network for Globalisation.
The Pacific Islands Development Forum is a Fiji initiative bringing together NGOs, governments and business to discuss sustainable development in the region.

3) Pacific Conference of Churches  comment on SBY's visit to Fiji

THE glamour of State visits must never undermine the community’s responsibility to search for the truth.
And regional governments must not let Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s presence at the Pacific Island Development Forum to cloud their judgment on the issue of self-determination in West Papua.
Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, made the comment on behalf of a civil society group today (Thursday, June 19) in relation to Yudhyono’s visit to Fiji.
Yudhoyono is chief guest at the PIDF meeting at Denarau, Nadi.
“The President’s attendance at the meeting, especially as chief guest, along with the participation of other international dignitaries, indicates recognition of the PIDF’s growing profile in the regional architecture,” Pihaatae said.
“As a Pacific initiative to be more self-determining in regional governance and development, the PIDF, and its architects, are therefore to be applauded for the recognition accorded to it from within the region and beyond.
Pihaatae – on behalf of the PCC, Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) and the Pacific Network for Globalisation (PANG) - said the recognition must be examined carefully to get a fairer idea of what is to be gained by this presidential visit and for whom.
He said other questions must be asked, particularly in the area of self-determination for Pacific peoples.
Pihaatae said Presidential Offices were also diplomatic instruments used to further foreign policy.
“In this sense, the high level visit is very significant. President Yudhoyono’s capacity as chief guest at the PIDF – touted as a new and alternative regional forum with clout – makes the visit even more significant,” Pihaatae said.
“In the context of international diplomacy, authoritative commentators have attributed Yudhoyono’s visit to Indonesia’s longer term strategic interests in the Pacific. Current and projected geopolitical trends support this idea. Others view the high level visit through the ‘West Papuaprism’.
“What agenda do Indonesia and other development partners bring to the PIDF; are they to replace the dominance that Australia and New Zealand have been accused of within the regional architecture centered in the Pacific Islands Forum?”
Pihaatae asked whether the level of support for the self-determination struggle of West Papua had reached such a critical point in Fiji, within the Melanesian Spearhead Group and in wider Pacific region that the Indonesian government saw it necessary for a high level visit.
“Where our self-determination interests are concerned, whether it be in the areas of governance, development and security, or our firm support for West Papuan freedom, we cannot allow the state visit to cloud our prudence and better judgment,” Pihaatae said.
For further information:
Reverend Francois Pihaatae, General Secretary or
Or Netani Rika, Communications Desk
T 679-3311277 M 679-9990439 e or
Skype: fjjourno



                                                                     Melanesia Culture Festival (
Jayapura, 18/6 (Jubi) – The Provincial Government of Papua has confirmed its participation in the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture that will be held from 28 June to 11 July in the Kokopo Beach, Pomio Regency of East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.
The provincial governments of West Papua, Maluku and Nusa Tenggara Timur will also represented in the festival.
“The Delegation of Papua Province is ready to go. We keep our coordination with the local committee, the Indonesian Embassy in PNG as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta,” the Head of the Border and International Cooperation Body of Papua Province, Suzan Wanggai said in Jayapura on Wednesday (18/6).
She further said Papua would be a guest of honor at the opening ceremony. For the festival, Papua has prepared two dance teams from Jayapura and Keerom regencies and would also promote local commodities such as “Buah Merah (Pandanus,Sp) and Papua Batik”.
“So the participation of Papua in the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture is more like a cultural partnership, and how to develop good partnership in the future. During the time we has had a partnership with PNG, and now we want taking the opportunity to work with Fiji, Solomon, Vanuatu and New Caledonia because we come from the same root as Melanesian,” she said.
The Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe and some officials has also been confirmed to attend the festival, she added.
“It would be a great moment for the regents to come and see this event, so for the next four years we could send our teams as much as possible. The Provincial of NTT has confirmed to send 15 people, but we still wait the confirmation from Maluku and West Papua,” she said.
The 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture would be held in next July at Kokopo Beach, Pomio Regency of East New Britain Province, but the festival committee has set up their well preparation welcoming the participants from the Melanesian Culture Brotherhood in the South Pacific.
The Head Advisor Committee of Melanesian Festival of Arts and National Mask and Warwagira Festival, John Robin said to Post Courier and quoted by on Monday (19/5) said the festival would be opened with a ritual dance of Tumbuan Kinavai ceremony to welcome the officials and participants from all over the countries.  The National Mask and Warwagira Festival would be held on 16 July at Kokopo Beach and would present the unique mask culture parade along the opening ceremony. (Jubi/Alex/rom)
A google translate of article in Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

5) Members arrival TNI in Papua Student Dormitory in Solo Unsettling
 Author: Admin MS | Thursday, June 19, 2014 14:36 ​​Read: 236 Comments: 0

Illustration, three current members of the military guard in Puncak Jaya, Papua. Photo: Ist

Solo, STEP MAGAZINE - Residents student dormitories Jayawijaya, Papua, Wim Pilamo in Solo said, the arrival of two members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in dormitory recently made them uneasy.

Sources in Solo this afternoon, Thursday (6/19/14) reported, it was visited by two members of the military one and the other soldiers dressed in plain clothes.

"They came when we were going to college. They entered the dorm and check. Said, they want to record the names of all students in Solo Papua," the source said.

Explained, 2 members of the military had asked the identity boarder, but had not given because at that time there was a boarder at the college.

"We do not know what it is. During this time there was not anything here. We just lecture and go home. Several friends had this timid," he told behind his cell phone.

In fact, he said, there has been conveyed student status to the RT / RW.

The place is visited by both individual members of the military are Wim Pilamo Dormitory, where students from Jayawijaya live in Solo, Central Java. (GE / MS)

6) Wiranto Sets Record Straight on Prabowo’s Military Discharge

Prabowo Subianto's dismissal from the military in 1998 is threatening to scupper his presidential hopes.(Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)
Jakarta. Indonesia’s last military commander under the strongman Suharto has confirmed that presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, a top Army general at the time, was indeed discharged from the force for ordering the abduction of pro-democracy activists in 1997 and 1998.
Retired general Wiranto said in a televised press conference on Thursday that Prabowo’s dismissal was no secret, and denied that the recently leaked letter of dismissal was confidential.
“There were no instructions from military leaders at that time” to kidnap the activists whose protests would eventually lead to Suharto resigning, Wiranto said.
“I did ask Prabowo about the kidnappings, and I believe it [the kidnappings] was done on his own initiative,” he added.
Wiranto said that because the incident involved civilians, it was a case that was in the public interest, and therefore the circumstances of Prabowo’s dismissal should be public knowledge.
“I don’t consider the dissemination of the letter as a leak. The document is not confidential because the victims were civilians,” Wiranto said.
The abductions took place between December 1997 and March 1998. An investigation was launched in March, and Prabowo was subsequently hauled before a military tribunal overseen by Wiranto.
“From the investigation until the dismissal I regularly gave updates to public,” Wiranto said. “[In 1998] I issued a public apology because some of my men had committed ethical, procedural and legal violations, and I promised that they would be punished.”
However, Wiranto declined to say whether Prabowo had received an honorable or a dishonorable discharge.
“I don’t want to be caught up in the semantics,” he said. “The debate about the terminology is no longer relevant.”
But he hinted that Prabowo had been dishonorably discharged, saying that serving personnel only received an honorable discharge if they retired or if they suffered from chronic illness or sustained permanent disabilities.
“But there are soldiers who are fired dishonorably because they have violated [the soldier’s pledge] and the Constitution,” he said.
Wiranto added that the letter issued by the 1998 military tribunal, or DKP, clearly stated that Prabowo had been dismissed.
Wiranto, the founder and chairman of the People’s Conscience Party, or Hanura, has endorsed Joko Widodo, Prabowo’s rival, for the July 9 presidential election.
Prabowo’s supporters have long tried to play down his dismissal from the military, calling it a past incident that has no bearing on his suitability as a presidential candidate.
They have also criticized the leak of the letter, with some calling its authenticity into question. But Wiranto said it should be very easy to verify the authenticity.
“Authenticating the letter is important because this concerns the credibility of a presidential candidate,” he said. “We can do that easily because most people mentioned in the letter are still alive.”
Besides Wiranto, another top military general who served on the tribunal and whose signature appears on the letter ordering Prabowo’s dismissal was one Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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