Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for May 2014
Reports from the region
The Special Committee on Decolonization held its 2014 Pacific Regional Seminar in Nadi, Fiji, from 21 to 23 May with a view to accelerating action in implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020). Indonesia is a member of Special Committee of 24 which is formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. An article in the Vanuatu Daily Post (2 May) reported that Indonesia used cheque-book diplomacy ahead of UN decolonization Conference and had contributed a substantial amount of around Vt3 million ($30,000 USD) specifically to help Fiji host the United Nation’s regional conference in Fiji. According to the report Jakarta’s cheque-book diplomacy reflects its determination to silence any murmurs of regional support or discussions within the MSG on the issue of re-enlisting West Papua back on the decolonization list. http://www.dailypost.vu/content/indonesia-exercises-cheque-book-diplomacy-ahead-un-decolonization-conference
NGO's in the region called on the committee for West Papua to be added to the UN list of non self-governing territories. AWPA also urged the committee to visit West Papua to see how the West Papuan people have fared after 51 years of Indonesian administration. http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/region-new-call-united-nations-back-decolonisation-west-papua-8621
Civil society organisations in the Pacific have committed to enthusiastically take up the fight for the people of West Papua and Rapa Nui to break free from the shackles of colonial rule. Although West Papua and Rapa Nui are not on the decolonization list, the renewed call from civil society organisations is to directly engage with governments of the Pacific to keep the struggles for independence for the peoples of West Papua and Rapa Nui on their agenda. http://www.pina.com.fj/index.php?p=pacnews&m=read&o=1435467255537e751be166c197c5e2
At the same time Jakarta is obviously doing all it can using cheque book diplomacy to influence the pacific countries to keep West Papua of the agenda. The Indonesian President will also visit Fiji for the second summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum meeting in Nadi (18-20 June). AWPA has written to the PIF leaders to discuss West Papua at their summit to be held in Koror, Palau at the end of July. Palau http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/open-letter-to-pacific-islands-forum.html
West Papuan -PNG border area
The PNG department of foreign affairs sent a protest note to Indonesia concerning an incident along the Wutung border in West Sepik. According to a report in the The National (16 May), four PNG soldiers were ambushed by an Indonesian military patrol while they were conducting a clearance patrol along the PNG side of the border. The PNGDF Commander said the TNI mistakenly fired shots at the officers thinking they were OPM militants. Papua New Guinea's Defence Minister denied that Indonesia's military had established installations on PNG territory. Fabian Pok says that with Indonesian officials he has discussed reports their military set up a base in PNG's Western Province. Dr Pok says there is no permanent establishment by the Indonesian military in PNG. During a bilateral meeting between PNG and Indonesian in Bali (8–9 May) The two countries agreed to promote cooperation in economic, health and education sectors, especially in Papua province.
An ANTARA news report (12 May) the cross-border trade from PNG with Indonesia includes food, beverages, clothes, construction components and electronics, with total transactions worth U.S. 13 million dollar per year. Antara also reported that the Papua Police Department suspect that cannabis was traded for weapons in the border areas between PNG and West Papua. Narcotics and Drugs Director Senior Commissioner Tornagogo Sihombing said in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday, the police forces presumption was due to the investigations of three suspects believed to be members of a narcotics and drugs networking syndicate, who were arrested on May 2, 2014. "We presume that the cannabis from PNG was sold recently through barter with weapons or other goods, according to the deal," Sihombing said (Antara 12 May).
Vanuatu elected a new prime minister after PM Moana Carcasses Kalosil lost a no-confidence vote. Veteran Vanuatu politician Joe Natuman has been elected the country's new prime minister. Support for West Papua in Vanuatu should not be affected by the change. In an article In The Guardian (20 Jan 2014) by Marni Cordell in relation to the MSG visit to Papua, the report indicates the new prime minister is supportive of West Papua. Extract. “Vanuatu’s special envoy for decolonisation, Joe Natuman MP, told Guardian Australia: “When we received the program last Friday we realised the visit would only talk with the Indonesians and do business with the Indonesians, it had nothing to do with West Papua.”“We decided we are not going to take part in this exercise once we realised that the program and visit had been hijacked by the Indonesian government,” he said”. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/west-papuans-criticise-indonesian-hijacking-of-visit-by-pacific-leaders
The New Zealand government has confirmed that its planned community policing training programme in Indonesia's Papua region will not go ahead this year. The Eastern Indonesia Community Policing Programme had been slated for early 2014. But New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Indonesia advised that it is not able to support the project at this time. The New Zealand Green MP Catherine Delahunty has welcomed the news, saying her country's collaboration with Indonesia's police force, which is linked to abuses in the region, is not helpful to West Papuans. "The Green Party is pleased the programme is not going ahead because we felt it was a farce and we were very concerned about the view of West Papuans that this was aid that kills. So we won't be wasting NZ$ 6.3 million on a whitewash. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/244930/indonesia-scraps-nz-police-training-programme-for-papua
The Australian Government was also urged to adopt human rights safeguards in military aid programs. The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Communication, Tom Clarke, said Australia’s support of Indonesia’s counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, was in desperate need of review, and Mr Clarke said under international law countries have an obligation to conduct due diligence to identify the “risks and potential extraterritorial impacts of their laws, policies and practices on the enjoyment of human rights”. http://hrlc.org.au/australian-government-urged-to-adopt-human-rights-safeguards-in-military-aid-programs-as-west-papua-marks-anniversary-of-indonesian-control/
News in brief
Upcoming news report -West Papua’s New Dawn
Tuesday 3 June 9.30pm on SBS ONE. http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/about/id/601914/n/West-Papua-s-New-Dawn
Urgent action. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an urgent action regarding the indiscriminate shootings against civilians in Moanemani, Nabire, Papua by officers of Moanemani Sub-District Police. Three civilians were injured in the incident and their condition remains critical. Case narrative at http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-068-2014
Papuans behind bars in their April update reported that at the end of April 2014, there were at least 72 political prisoners in Papuan jails and evidence of the Torture of detainees remains rife in Papua. Full report at http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=2895
Police officer shot dead in inland Papua
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 (Fri, May 30 2014)
Anonymous puts Indonesia on notice over West Papua
The global activist network Anonymous has launched a campaign to raise attention on censorship and the killings of indigenous West Papuans in Indonesia's eastern region. Anonymous, which is known for its activist stunts and disruptions to government and corporate websites, says West Papuans have been silenced for too long by Indonesia's military and government.
It also says the United Nations should take responsibility for the sham referendum it sanctioned in 1969 which incorporated the former Dutch New Guinea into Indonesia. Indonesia denies that it censors media coverage of West Papua, and claims it is steadily bringing in development to improve the lives of people there. However Indonesia's military insists it will continue to respond firmly to separatism. Anonymous asks for a UN peacekeeping force, the withdrawal of all non-organic Indonesian troops in West Papua, and a free and fair referendum so Papuans can decide their own destiny. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/245126/anonymous-puts-indonesia-on-notice-over-west-papua
Indonesian ambassador returns to Australia
The Indonesian ambassador to Australia has quietly returned to Canberra in a signal that relations between the two countries are defrosting after last year's spying revelations. Australian foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop confirmed on Monday that Nadjib Riphat Kesoema had returned six months after having been recalled by a furious president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after revelations that his phone and that of his wife and inner circle had been bugged by Australian spies in 2007 (SMH 26 May).
Tribal conflict in Timika
Hundreds of youths and students from the Mimika district and who are members of the Student Solidarity of Papua in Java and Bali staged a peaceful demonstration in Jakarta on the 20 May. The students demanded that the central government and the management of PT. Freeport Indonesia immediately facilitate the establishment of peace ending the horizontal conflict that occurred in Timika. Jubi reported that hundreds of students also rallied outside the Papua governor’s office on Wednesday (21/5) to demand the government resolve the tribal conflict between Moni and Dani people in Mimika. They carried banners that read: “Government of provincial Papua, Papua Legislative Council, Papua People’s Assembly, 16 regents in Central Mountains, the police chief and regional commander, immediately form a team to solve conflict that has caused many causalities”. Another read: “Papua Government, government of Mimika regency and PT. Freeport to return customary rights of Timika – Paniai trans high way to the owner of the land”. Protest coordinator Detinus Magay said the government and local security authorities have not addressed the problem properly. “There have been many casualties, while the government and the security forces do not act proactively to resolve this issue,” he said. The KNPB believes there are a number of actors involved who are manipulating the conflict including government, military, police and PT. Freeport Indonesia. The KNPB believes that all the components in Papua, especially in the humanitarian agencies should monitor this situation very seriously.
Swiss Ambassador visits West Papua. DPR Papua asked Switzerland to become a mediator in a dialogue between Papua and Jakarta
Jubi reported that the Swiss Ambassador, Daniel Dersic, visited Papua to hold talks with Governor Lukas Enembe and the provincial parliament on Monday the 5 May. Dersic said it was his first visit to Papua and the Switzerland Embassy would like to know more about the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua. “The purpose of my mission is to observe and to be in touch with the development in Papua, and to hear about the implementation of the Special Autonomy which is considered a failure by some Papuans. I also wanted to know further about the desire of the Papuan community for a dialogue between the Papuans and the Government of Indonesia,” Dersic said. Jubi also reported that
The Papuan Legislative Council (DPR Papua) asked Switzerland to become a mediator in a dialogue between Papua and Jakarta. The chairman of the Commission A on Political, Law and Human Rights Affairs at DPR Papua, Ruben Magay, said he discussed Special Autonomy and dialogue between Papua and Jakarta during talks with Switzerland Deputy Ambassador Daniel Derzic. “We asked Switzerland to help. If Papua is regarded as part of the Republic of Indonesia, the people’s rights should be respected. The central government should treat the Papuans as people who have political, economic and democratic rights instead of seeing it through the political lense only”
Indonesia’s Interfaith Network (JAII) said it has sought the realization of dialogue between Papua and Jakarta since the JAII 2nd Conference last year. “We have addressed the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue within the last conference which resulted in an agreement to continue to support the dialogue showing the concrete participation of JAII,” the group’s coordinator Elga Sarapung on Monday (19/5). She said JAII hoped the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue could be realized despite differences in views. She said the government has not taken concrete action. “We didn’t get into the technical aspects of how to realize the dialogue, but we have provided our support since 2011. Furthermore, many colleagues from other regions also support the dialogue. Everyone wants the dialogue to be held peacefully, with no violence,” she said. (Jubi 19/5).
The Cenderawasih military command chief of staff, Brigadier General Hinsa Siburian, said on Tuesday – It is too late to conduct dialogue on the status of Papua because it is an inseparable part of Indonesia, (20/5) “A dialogue will very much depend on whose perspective. And from our point of view as the state’s apparatus, a political dialogue is too late. It’s done. Because Papua has been part of the state of the Republic of Indonesia that is recognized by the United Nations. So it’s recognized politically and legally, including the international law,” the Chief said in the press release received by tabloidjubi.com on the 21 May. ( (Jubi 22/5)
Worries over marginalisation of Papuans
The chairman of Papua Customary Council says he is concerned Papuans will become politically disillusioned as they become the minority culture in their own province. Wilem Bonay says he is throwing his support behind the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, as he represents ethnic Papuans, who have become more marginalised after recent elections. In 1961, people of Papuan ethnicity made up 96 percent of the population of the former Dutch New Guinea but they are now roughly 50 percent, the other half being composed of non-Papuan migrants from other parts of Indonesia. Wilem Boney says the role of the Papua People's Parliament is important as it comprises representatives from seven customary areas in Papua, whose task is to protect the existence of Papuans. He told Tabloid Jubi that it was also Mr Enembe's role to protect the people of Papua. (RNZI 12 May)
Hundreds of Leprosy patients seek treatment
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Mon, May 12 2014,
Hundreds of leprosy sufferers seek medical treatment at community health centers (Puskesmas) in Jayapura annually, according to data from the Papua health office. “The number of leprosy sufferers in Jayapura is high. Most of them seek treatment at the city’s community health centers,” Head of the Papua health office’s Leprosy and HIV/AIDS Handling Division Arry Pongtiku said on Sunday. According to Arry, there are more than 600 leprosy patients every year. He said the community health centers are located in Hamadi, Hedam, Waena and South Jayapura. “Those centers always treat leprosy patients,” Arry was quoted by Antara. The health official also noted Papua and West Papua Provinces were two regions that had the highest number of leprosy patients each year. The health office found 1,300 to 1,500 new leprosy cases each year in the two provinces. He added at least 172 leprosy patients were treated in December 2013. They suffered dry and wet leprosy.
SBY SEEN FAILING TO BRING CHANGES TO PAPUANS
tabloidjubi.com May 27th, 2014
Sentani, 26/5 (Jubi) – Ten years of the Yudhoyono administration has not brought any changes to Papuans, a seminar was told. Therefore Papuans must unite to build their region if they want to be involved instead of being the spectators. This is the part of the seminar conclusion on “What President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Has Done during Two Periods of His Government for the People of Papua” organized by the Association of the Papua’s Central Highland Students. The seminar was held at Romongo Pos 7 Baptism Church in Sentani, Jayapura Regency on Saturday (24/5).
Markus Haluk presented twelve violations including severe torture, arbitrary arrests, shootings and killings, rape, burning and destruction of citizens’ properties, bans on peaceful demonstrations, denial of arrest warrants, detention of Papuan civilians accused of treason, access restrictions to members of Parliament, Congress and Foreign Diplomats, restrictions and warnings against international journalists, local and national media and also the threats against human right defenders. Arbitrary arrests are the most common rights violation, involving 560 Papuans and 5 foreign citizens. “The government has failed to develop Papua, therefore Papuans should be aware about who’s their friends and enemies. Do not make enemies partners, it would make us hurt,” Haluk said.
Another speaker in the seminar, Theo Kossay, a lecturer of Fajar Timur Theology School and Papuan Anthropologist, talked about the impact of the splitting of regencies/municipality/province on Papuans. In his paper titled “The Rise of the Regency and Provincial Division Threatens the Extinction of the Indigenous People and the Native Culture of Papua”, he said the Yudhoyono government has produced 84 New Autonomous Regions (DOB), some already established. Another impact from this policy is migrants through transmigration, urbanization or migration who seeking parts in the new extension regions. The extension and migrant would affect to the loss of the human and the cultural identity in Papua. While Bruder Eddy OFM on his paper titled “The Condition of The Indigenous Papuans Related to the Protection on the Basic Rights during Ten Years of Yudhoyono Leadership (2004-2014)” described the economic, social, cultural, political and security issues in chronological order. He concluded the State’s point of view towards the people of Papua has not been changed from the sixties era, because the stigma, terror, killing, arrest and rape are still exist in the Papuan people’s life.
Fien Yarrangga also said the similar case on her paper “The Gender Enforcement and the Protection and Respect towards the Papuan Women Rights during the Yudhoyono Government”. She said there was not a significant change because the Papuan women traders are still have their own place; besides the stigma about they are parts of the Papua Free Movement. Meanwhile the Rev. Sofyan Yoman in this occasion emphasized the Papuan students to be more critical in writing, collecting and analyzing data. “I do not speak about the issues that have been talked the previous speakers that essentially said that Papuans never been independence when the colonialism keep going. We have pushed in our land either by the investors or those who have interest in this land. Therefore we must be aware on this situation and start to arrange our next step. The most important is we should united and collect some data to reveal to the world that along with the Indonesian Government we had no changes,” he said.
The five resource persons agreed that during ten years of the Yudhoyono government, it did not give a significant contribution though there are the Special Autonomy Law, the Development Acceleration Unit of Papua and West Papua (UP4B) and some New Autonomy Region (DOB). This indicates no matter whose the president, without the alteration of the approach pattern, it wont be change Papua. Through this seminar, the speakers also suggested to the youth and Papuans making documentation on all occasions to support the humanitarian works. ( Jubi / Mecky/rom )
Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.
Leading human rights lawyer calls for end to impunity of Indonesian genocide perpetrators
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