Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for June 2014
MSG Summit in Port Moresby
Although it was disappointing that the MSG leaders did not grant West Papua membership at its special summit in Port Moresby, it is encouraging that the MSG is keeping the issue of West Papuan membership on its agenda by inviting all groups to form an inclusive and united umbrella group to work on submitting a fresh application https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhU-VtN1Us4 MSG Communiqué from summit. http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/section-of-msg-communique-in-relation.html Victor Yeimo of the KNPB responded to the communiqué with an open letter to the MSG leaders. http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/open-letter-msg-decision-on-west-papua.html
Security forces intimidate West Papuans leading up to the 1 July.
The 1st July is a very important day in the West Papuan struggle for self-determination and independence. On 1st of July in 1971, West Papuan leaders Brig. Gen. Seth Rumkorem and Jacob Prai (exiled in Sweden) made a proclamation of independence. However, the military have made statements threatening and intimidating the local people not to take part in any rallies to celebrate this special day in their history. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/248586/reports-of-indonesian-clamp-in-papua Local media also reported that three members of the KNPB were arrested and the Morning Star flag which had been painted on Kelly Kwalik’s memorial had been painted over. Members of the security forces are believed to be responsible.
Indonesian President visits Fiji The Indonesian President visited Fiji (17-19 June) to attend the second Pacific Islands Development Forum and to strengthen bilateral relations with countries in the South Pacific region. It was the first visit by a sitting Indonesian president to Fiji. It is obvious that Indonesia is becoming concerned about the progress West Papua is making internationally and particularly in the South Pacific region. The Indonesian President said that the forum was “a good opportunity for Indonesia to be able to explain the policy regarding Papua” in order to “reduce misinformation or disinformation”. “Therefore, we hope the matters on Papua, which are often internationalized by certain elements, can be overcome by, among other things, establishing strong and good ties with the countries of the South Pacific”. The Fiji Times reported that Pacific civil society groups questioned the attendance of Indonesia's president at the Pacific Islands Development Forum. 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. "The glamour of State visits must never undermine the community's responsibility to search for the truth," Mr Pihaatae said and "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."
METHODIST church leaders in Fiji donned special ribbons as they made known their stance of solidarity for West Papua. The red and black ribbons were distributed by the Pacific Conference of Churches and the Pacific Network for Globalisation. The Methodist Church in Fiji is a committed member of both the Pacific Conference of Churches and the Fiji Council of Churches," church spokesman Reverend James Bhagwan said. "As such we support the call for the end of human rights abuses in Tanah Papua, for their social, economic and political empowerment and for self-determination. "We stand in solidarity with our brothers, sisters and children of Tanah Papua. "We have received their cry and we will echo it and speak this truth to power." The Fiji Times also reported (23 June) that the liberation of West Papua from Indonesian occupation would be a key feature of Fiji's Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) manifesto to be released next month.That is the message from party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa who says they want the people of West Papua to know that theirs is not a forgotten struggle. "SODELPA's message to the oppressed West Papuans is: You are not alone. Support is growing for your just cause. We are with you," Ro Teimumu said.
ONE of the region's leading human rights activists, Shamima Ali, has called on Pacific Islanders to make a stand with their West Papuan brothers and sisters. The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali joined a chorus of voices around the world by displaying posters to free the women and men whose rights have allegedly been violated by Indonesia. The Indonesian embassy in Fiji says no one has the right to interfere in matters relating to West Papua. Responding to questions from the Fiji Times, the embassy's stance on the issue of West Papua was that it was "entirely an internal matter of Indonesia". The embassy's comment was in response to earlier comments by Fiji Women's Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali regarding a police directive to remove the "Free West Papua" posters on their fences in Suva. "Regarding the 'Free West Papua' posters, sometime in the late afternoon, one of the Indonesian Embassy's staff saw the posters, and then the embassy simply informed the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Fiji," the Indonesian Embassy said. "It was merely to inform the ministry that there were posters written 'Free West Papua' placed on the fence of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre right across Indonesian Embassy." Ms Ali claimed she was issued a directive by police to remove the posters over the weekend.
New Zealand’s police training program
The Jakarta Globe reported that Indonesia had cancelled the New Zealand police training program in West Papua because Indonesian police intelligence reports suggested that there were “hidden motives” behind the New Zealand-funded program. The $5.4 million project which was scheduled to start early this year had been cancelled. The deputy chief of the Indonesia’s National Police, Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, cited concerns about the program’s motives as the reason for its cancellation. “We refused it based on the input from head of the Police Security Intelligent agency, Comr. Gen. Suparni Parto, that there could be a hidden motive behind the aid’. The New Zealand government said that concerns about political motives in funding its training programme had not been raised with its officials. New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, said his country has a constructive relationship with Indonesia. In a RNZI report (16 June) a journalist and academic specialising in West Papua said that New Zealand's efforts to train police in the province were a genuine attempt, but were doomed to fail. Paul Bensemann, who travelled to Indonesia's Papua region to research his thesis last year, says that while that kind of policing may work in New Zealand, it's naive to think that it would have worked in Papua. "There are still people being shot on the streets for raising independence flags, so it's a long way from walking the beat in a small country town." The more than $US5 million project was opposed by activists who were concerned about human rights abuses committed by the Indonesian police in West Papua.
26th session of annual conference of the UN Human Right Council in Geneva
The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) stated its concern about the restriction of freedom of expression in Papua in the 26th session of annual conference of the UN Human Right Council in Geneva on June 11. The ICP asked the UN Human Right Council to review restrictions on the freedom of expression and peaceful gathering in Papua, the international human rights observers, foreign journalists and researchers. http://tabloidjubi.com/en/?p=2640
Papuans behind bars In its May update Papuans behind bars reported that 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. Full update at http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=2918
Prime Minister Abbott visits Indonesia
Prime Minister Abbott stopped over in Indonesian on his way to Europe to take part in the anniversary of the D-Day landings. Jakarta and Canberra have agreed to resolve their strained bilateral relations and to seek new cooperation opportunities in the future. “We have agreed to resolve the problems that once disrupted our relations and to find new partnership opportunities,” said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a press conference following his meeting with Australian Prime Minister. AWPA urged Tony Abbott to raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian Government and encourage the Indonesian President to release all West Papuan political prisoners unconditionally. AWPA press release at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/media-release-abbott-should-raise-west.html
US ambassador visits West Papua
The United States ambassador to Indonesia, Robert Blake, met with Papua Governor Lukas Enembe on Tuesday (10/6) to discuss poverty, education, health and the Special Autonomy Law. After the closed-door meeting, the ambassador told reporters in Jayapura that the two talked about the presidential election, the government programs during one-year governor’s administration in education and poverty elimination and community development in Papua. http://tabloidjubi.com/en/?p=2627 The Ambassador also said that the US government has donated U.S. 8 million dollars for a health program in four districts of Papua Province. The US Ambassador also has expressed hope that further negotiations between PT Freeport Indonesia and the Indonesian government will yield results that will benefit both parties.
Presidential candidate Jokowi also visits West Papua
Presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited West Papua for the second time at the beginning of the month. He pledged to open access to Papua and West Papua for foreign journalists and international organizations, if he was elected president. “Why not? It’s safe here in Papua. There’s nothing to hide,” Jokowi said when asked whether or not he would allow access to the country's easternmost provinces for foreign reporters and campaigners.
Military officer shot in Papua border area
An Indonesian military officer was shot in the border area between Skouw and Wutung, on Tuesday 3 June. Mathias Wenda said it was his group that was responsible for the shooting Because of the number of incidents in the border area including the temporary closing of the border, the number of tourists from PNG, visiting Jayapura has decreased and there has been less activity conducted by civilians at Wutung and surrounding areas. The Jayapura immigration Chief Gardu Tampubolon said that the tourists from PNG have to use the sea route after the land border was temporary closed. Antara news reported that the police are proposing that a detector device should be installed at the Skouw-Wutung entry gate on its border with Papua New Guinea to detect the entry of undesired things such as arms into the country, "We will propose the placement of detector devices at the entry gate to monitor the entry into the country of undesired things such as fire arms and ammunition," Papua Regional Police Chief Insp. Gen Tito Karnavian told ANTARA News here on Sunday.
Shooting incident in Jayapura
A shooting incident occurred in Jayapura, on Saturday 14 June. The shooting occurred as T. Sinaga and his family were travelling from Abepura, Jayapura, to their home in Arso, a district in Keerom regency which is around 40 kilometers from Abepura. Together with his wife and their child, Sinaga who is a teacher in Arso Swakarsa was on his way home when their vehicle was shot at in a location around 17 kilometers from Abepura. A bullet hit the right-hand side of the rear of his car.
KNPB members intimidated
KNPB Secretariat in Digoel was raided by the police on the 28 June. At the time KNPB members were holding a regular meeting in order to address the emerging political situation in the country and abroad and talk about self-determination. Twenty people were detained and police destroyed articles related to the self-determination struggle. On the 18 June the military and police intimidated members of the KNPB Secretariat Building and the PRD Regional Office in Merauke, People arriving at the building were checked and sent home. The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) is also calling for a boycott of the Presidential Election Papua
CHURCHES in the Solomon Islands have agreed to actively support the struggle for political independence of the people of West Papua. The call comes a week before Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attends the Pacific Islands Development Forum Summit in Denarau, Fiji. “We in the Solomon Islands have heard the cries of the people of West Papua and we commit to advocating for their inherent right to gainful political self-determination and true freedom,” said Father Peter Houhou, Vicar-General of the Anglican Archdiocese of Honiara. The re-articulation of this commitment to West Papua’s political self-determination by the church meeting is aligned with the mandate adopted by the Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly – in the same meeting complex last year. The assembly called on all Pacific churches to advocate the freedoms of peoples still under colonial rule in the Pacific…. http://www.solomonstarnews.com/features/religion/2474-sica-supports-freedom-for-west-papua-people
UNITED NATIONS COMMITTED TO HELPING PAPUANS DEVELOP
Jayapura, 2/6 (Jubi) – The United Nations (UN) reaffirmed its commitment to advancing development in Papua, especially in the education, health and economic sectors, during talks with the provincial government on Monday (2/6). The UN coordinator for Indonesia, Douglas Broderick, said after a meeting with Regional Secretary Herry Dosinaen that the world body paid great attention to the health, economic, democracy, education and government issues in Papua. “This is a follow -up to last year’s meeting with the governor. This meeting shows our commitment to assist development in Papua,” Broderick said. “We want to meet directly with the people of Papua, so we can hear directly what is their complaint so far. It is useful for the formulation of targeted programs, “ he added. Dosinaen said the government of Papua province greatly appreciated the attention and seriousness of the United Nations to help build Papua. (Jubi / Alex / Tina) http://tabloidjubi.com/en/?p=2576
Rudi Orerei, the leader of the armed group killed
Jayapura, 11/6 (Jubi) – The police/military joint force managed to shoot dead Rudi Orerei, the leader of the armed group in Angkaseira Sub-district of Yapen Islands Regency on Tuesday (10/6) at around 10:00 Papua time, the Papuan police chief said. Inspector General Police Tito Karnavian said security forces had just returned from Kainui Village, Angkaseira Sub-district to investigate the scene related to the murder of Erens Aninam by Elias Aninam, when Orerei’s group opened fire. “When the joint force arrived at Konti Village, they were confronted by the armed group. Orerei was shot in his head during the gunfire. He is dead while the others ran away,” Tito said.
He said Orerei was suspected to have been behind a series of murders, blackmailing, and attacks on places of worship andthe Angkaseira police station. “He was a criminal. He wasn’t a member of Papua Free Movement. His team members are only about 20-30 persons with five or six guns they had,” he said. “During the ambush on the scene, the officers found five magazines and a gun V5 Sabhara seizing by the armed group from the police officers in Angkaseira Police Station,” he said. (Jubi/Arjuna/rom)
Opinon pieces/press releases/reports etc.
REMEMBRANCE: The Biak Massacre
When: 1:00-2:30 pm, Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Where: The Waverly Cliffs (see attached map)
Please RSVP: http://biak-remembrance.eventbrite.com.au
A year has passed since we held the Citizens Tribunal in Sydney. The
compiled evidence remains on our website for all to view:
http://www.biak-tribunal.org/ On the 16th anniversary we will be hosting a remembrance ceremony on the Waverly Cliffs. Community members will gather in solidarity with the survivors and in memory of the fallen. One group investigating the massacre concluded that "one hundred thirty nine people were loaded on two frigates that headed in two directions to the east and the west and these people were dropped into the sea." On Sunday, July 6th, 2014, we will toss one hundred thirty nine white carnations into the Pacific Ocean from the Cliffs of Waverly in
remembrance of this event. In addition to flowers, feel free to bring
poetry, songs, stories, family, and friends. The Waverly Cemetery is closed on Sundays. We will be gathering at the Waverly Cliffs (see star on attached map), along the coastal walk path. Parking is available on the nearby suburban streets or at the beach in Clovely, a 10 minute walk away. The 360 and 378 bus lines
run nearby. For detailed directions call: 044.827.8400. Please RSVP: http://biak-remembrance.eventbrite.com.au
Graphic novel about West Papua released online
A graphic novel advocating West Papuan independence has been released online, as part of efforts to provide an alternative version of the history of the Indonesian-run province. The illustrated novel, which is called Vanishing Tribes: Unheard Voices from West Papua, is authored under the penname Ahinsa Angel, which means messenger of peace. Plese forward on To view the novel, go to www.vanishingtribes.net You need not download the ebook to rate or review it – you only need to have an account with Apple iBooks (iTunes Store), Amazon (Kindle), Kobo, or Google. Please log in to any or all of these four sites to rate and review Vanishing Tribes. (All versions contain the same content and all except Amazon are free.) Note that reviews will identify your Username. You could also write a review anywhere online about the web version, but vanishingtribes.net won't draw new readers like a popular ebook with the big distributors. Please rate, review, or recommend the ebook now, and thank you for your encouragement and support!
Prabowo or Jokowi for the Jakarta-Papua dialogue?
Senators Madigan and Xenophon question DFAT on West Papua and Timor-Leste
SENATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Community pushes PT Inti Kebun Sejahtera to keep its promises.
No Surrender to PT Inti Kebun Sejahtera
First Ever Coal Shipment from Sorong
MERAUKE REGENCY, MALNOURISHMENT CHILDREN ARE FOUND EVERY YEAR
TEACHERS WORK ONLY FOR TWO MONTHS