Thursday, July 17, 2014

1) West Papuans want international help

1) West Papuans want international help
2) Comments on Lowly Institute blog "The interpreter" in response to article on MSG & West Papua


1) West Papuans want international help

Updated at 7:34 pm on 17 July 2014

The organisation called the Federal Republic of West Papua says it supports new moves to form a united West Papuan application for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
This comes as a statement from the imprisoned President of the organisation identifying itself as the government of the Federal Republic has extended an offer to Jakarta for negotiation over the future of Papua region.
Forkorus Yaboisembut and other members of his administration have been in jail since the Third Papuan People's Congress in October 2011 when they were elected.
A spokesman for the administration, Jack Wanggai, says Mr Yaboisembut is expected to be released soon.
He says the administration wants the international community to help address ongoing abuses by Indonesian security forces in its region.
"South Pacific (Forum) or Melanesian Spearhead Group must make, facilitate the peace dialogue to finish the problem in West Papua."
Jack Wanggai
2) Comments on Lowly Institute blog "The interpreter" in response to article "MSG manoeuvres: What next for West Papua?"

  • There was little coverage in the mainstream media of the fact that the West Papuan people responded to the call of civil society groups to boycott the presidential election.
    Up to 80% of West Papuans did support the boycott.
    Leading up to the election graffiti on walls calling for a boycott were painted over by the security forces and up to
    13 members of the KNPB were arrested and beaten for distributing leaflets calling for a boycott.
    The lesson for the Australia Government in all this is that the issue of West Papua is not going away. Instead of the
    usual mantra of, “we recognise Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua”, DFAT should be encouraging Jakarta to dialogue with West Papuan representatives as is the MSG.
    As the July issue of Islands Business magazine noted. West Papua has never had this much regional support. Churches and human rights organisations have tried for years to keep the issue alive.
    Now, as Fiji prepares for elections, at least one political party has decided to enter the fray and challenge Indonesia’s occupation of the Melanesian land.
    Joe Collins
    Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

      • The curious thing is that Vanuatu has not yet faxed an agenda item for the UN Trusteeship Council to consider the issue of trusteeship and General Assembly resolution 1752. Could this be a sign that Vanuatu does not really support the goal of a free West Papua?
        Tess, you have a degree in law and interest in West Papua and foreign relations; so what is your opinion whether West Papua may be an United Nations trust territory? And would there be any disadvantage if the Trusteeship Council asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its opinion?
        Here is a link to an explanation of the American plan,
        And here is a link to the United Nations resolution 1752 that appears to satisfy the requirements of article 85 and Chapter 12 of the UN Charter;



      Jayapura, 16/7 (Jubi) – Public mining sites in Papua are reserved for local communities and not to be used by private companies, said Fred Boray, the Secretary of Department of Mining and Energy in Papua.
      “For example, public mining site at Degeuwo, Paniai Regency. We have asked the Regent to withdraw the existing mining permits, because the site is reserved for the local community, not private companies. Currently there are 42 mining companies operating in Degeuwo, but only six have permits,” Boray said on Wednesday (16/7).
      He said the mining companies are frequently conducting illegal mining in Nabire, Paniai, Intan Jaya and Deiyai regencies though the mining sites within these areas are set for local communities. He added people should be aware Papuans have limited assets to do the mining with modern equipment; therefore the government should made a concrete solution for the local community.
      “We had the governor’s instruction to put them in control. That’s also have been planned since the last governor’s administration. We will write a letter to the local government who arbitrary issue the mining permit,” he said.
      In one occasion, the Governor Lukas Enembe stated he would withdraw the permit issued by two former Governors in Charge for approximately 60 companies related to forest management, mining and plantation.
      “During the time, it’s about 60 companies of forest management, mining and plantation got the new permit to work in Papua. And finally they dominated all natural resources including land and forest. This mechanism should be regulated for avoiding the monopoly by one group or one company,” Enembe said at that time.(Jubi/Arjuna/rom)



      Jayapura, 15/7 (Jubi) – Police Chief of Federal Republic of West Papua (NFRPB) asked all components of Papuan community to respect the great Papuan leader, Forkorus Yoboisembut and colleagues who would be released from the Abepura Prison on next Monday (21/7).
      “I asked to both supporters and Non-Papuan community to participate in securing the situation on the day of liberation of the great Papuan leader,” the Police Chief Elias Ayakiding said in the press conference held in the Papuan Customary Secretariat Office in Waena Jayapura on Tuesday (15/7).
      As requested by the President of NFRPB, he further asked people for not carrying weapons or Morning Star flag, but allowed to wear the traditional costume, playing the traditional music instrument ‘suling tambur’ or dancing the traditional dances.
      “Seven leaders of seven customary areas would also welcome and accompany the President Yoboisembut to his resident in Sabron, Sentani Timur,” said Ayakiding. He also asked the Indonesian Police/Miltary to respect and help the NFRPB Police that it would be run smoothly as expected by all parties. (Jubi/Aprila/rom)
      (Visited 21 time, 19 visit today)



      Jayapura, 16/7 (Jubi) – A presidential advisor on regional autonomy, Velix Wanggai, said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has issued a letter that could pave the way for passage of  the Government Special Autonomy Bill.
      “The President has issued the permit to Parliament and is currently run by the Home Ministry” Felix Wanggai told reporters in Jayapura, Papua on Wednesday (16/7).
      The bill will soon be discussed by the House of Representatives.
      “Because it was not included in the 2014 National Legislation Program, the President issued a permit ” he said.
      According to him, currently the Ministry of the Interior has conducted inter-ministerial meetings and had been run for over a month to discuss the draft of the 14th of Papua and West Papua on January 28, 2014.
      The Home Ministry was a facilitator and the bill has been incorporated to the ministry and is currently being taken by the Minister of Internal Affairs Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to do the level of harmonization and synchronization.
      “We hope that in three weeks there would be harmonization at the level of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. After that in early August it would be entered in the trial period of the Parliament to be discussed, “he said.
      He added that the president will end his term in October and is taking full attention to the bill.
      “President Yudhoyono hopes there would be a new foundation for Papua in the context of accelerated development, of institutional strengthening in Papua and political reconciliation in Papua, public participation in government and other Papuan development sectors, ” he said.
      Earlier, chairman of tWest Papua People’s Assembly, David Meisiro said, the Draft Law has long been thought by both the Governor of Papua and West Papua Governor.
      “So, I hope that under the umbrella of Papua’s Special Autonomy, which includes the Papua Province of Papua and West Papua would have a better future,” he said. (Jubi / Alex/Tina

      6) Trouble in the East?

      In a posting immediately after polling day last week, Marcus Mietzner and I argued that having failed to win the election, it was now likely that Prabowo Subianto’s camp would try to steal the result. We found it hard to discern any other reason for producing and publicising fake quick counts that purported to show that Prabowo was the winner.
      Now that the formal count is well underway, reports have emerged that Prabowo’s super-wealthy brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo made a visit to Papua and West Papua provinces a few days after the poll. Sydney Morning Herald journalist, Michael Bachelard reported on twitter that Hashim said he went there for “Monitoring Results” and that he visited 19 places in the provinces (though this, he said, included places he visited before the election). His visit also raised questions in the Indonesian media, specifically the dailySuara Pembaruan.
      We have no direct evidence that Hashim was doing anything untoward in Papua. Even so, the visit is suspicious and has excited much social media commentary among Jokowi supporters. If Hashim, the second most important person in Prabowo’s campaign, was most interested in checking results why wouldn’t he go to provinces with large numbers of voters (e.g. West Java with 33 million voters or East Java with 31 million) rather than Papua and West Papua with 3.2 million and 715 thousand respectively? Why wouldn’t he go to places where the Prabowo campaign had done particularly well, such as West Sumatra, or West Nusa Tenggara province?
      One possible explanation is that Papua and West Papua provinces are the places where it would be easiest to buy the count. It’s not only that the governors of both provinces – Lukas Enembe in Papua and Abraham Atururi in West Papua – are Prabowo supporters (and Hashim was reported meeting with Atururi on his recent visit, and may have met with Enembe as well).
      More importantly, electoral administration is notoriously poor – and electoral fraud notoriously rampant – in this part of Indonesia. One reason is simply the poor infrastructure, especially in upland parts of Papua province that makes distributing the ballots and collecting them particularly fraught.
      This remoteness, and poor governance generally, also breeds manipulation, such as inflation of voter lists and turnout. In the April 2014 election, Cillian Nolan of the Institute for Policy of Analysis of Conflict found voter turnout as being recorded at over 99% in more than half of Papua’s districts – a fantastical figure given that voter turnout was about 75% nationwide.The inflation of voter lists has also been identified by Nolan as a significant problem, and there is every reason to believe it persists in this election. The figure of 3.2 million voters in the list held by the KPU (General Election Commission) is higher than the 2010 census result of 2.7 million for Papua’s entire population. In most provinces, the voter roll is about two-thirds of the 2010 population.
      Finally, and most significantly, the so-called ‘noken system’ of communal voting in which votes are not secret or where community leaders vote on behalf of their entire communities makes the vote particularly open to manipulation. Upheld by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, Nolan writes that “noken voting is best understood as meaning bloc voting and an avenue towards fraud”. It often produces results in which entire communities vote en bloc for a single candidate and, when combined with manipulation of the electoral roll and the count, can produce hugely inflated results in support of a particular candidate in a local or parliamentary election.
      In other parts of Indonesia, and abroad, the Jokowi camp has been able to detect many cases of apparent fraud or manipulation in the count. For example, in Malaysia, postal votes were heavily weighted in favour of Prabowo, way out of proportion with the ballots that were cast at polling booths in the country. In parts of Madura (which we identified as one danger area in our earlier article) Jokowi recorded no votes at all.
      In most places, however, the presence of witnesses for the Jokowi campaign at polling booths, a parallel count being carried out by Jokowi’s supporters, and a remarkable crowdsourced monitoring effort initiated by citizens, is allowing instances of manipulation to be identified. Many individual examples have been identified in which C1 forms – the forms that record a polling booth result – have been manipulated to inflate the count for Prabowo. Overall, however, these instances of fraud appear – so far – to be isolated and will probably not have a significant impact on the overall result, given the likely margin of Jokowi’s victory.
      One of the problems with Papua is that it is already proving to be very slow in collating the results. At the time of writing, 98% of C1 forms have been uploaded on the General Election Commission website, with many provinces already having achieved 100% upload rates. In Papua province the figure is 19.85%, and in West Papua it is 59.47%. In many uplands districts where noken voting is practised no forms have been uploaded at all. This is in itself perhaps not surprising, given the difficulties of transportation, communication and administration in some of these places. In a few districts where the forms have been uploaded, remarkable results in favour of Prabowo have been recorded: in one village in Lanny Jaya, for instance, four polling booths had 500 votes for Prabowo, one had 400, and none had a single vote for Jokowi.
      To be fair, however, in some other polling booths I’ve looked at on the KPU website, the noken system has advantaged Jokowi. The first reports of district results coming in from Papua so far all show handsome victories for Jokowi. So this could all come to nothing.
      Even so, it’s worth asking: could widespread manipulation in Papua and West Papua make a difference to the national result? In the quick count carried out by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (the group with the largest sample of polling booths in its quick count) Jokowi won with about 70% of the vote in both provinces.
      Potentially that’s about 2.8 million votes if we use the KPU’s obviously inflated voter list as our base. In our earlier piece, Marcus Mietzner and I estimated that Prabowo’s camp would need to shift about 3 million votes to win the election. Shifting the entire Papua vote would of course be an impossibility. Even so, a concerted attempt at fraud in this part of Indonesia could make a significant contribution toward the overall sum. According to Suara Pembaruan , Prabowo’s Merah-Putih Coalition claims 60% of the vote in Papua. Even shifting this amount would likely be easily detectable.
      All reports suggest that the Jokowi camp is increasingly confident that the vote count is going well and that the final result will be in line with the estimates produced by the professional quick counts.
      Nevertheless, Papua and West Papua are definitely provinces to keep an eye on as the results roll in over coming days. Perhaps Hashim’s trip really was just an innocent visit to check on supporters. But there is one Southeast Asian precedent to keep in mind: in 2004, Gloria Arroyo won the Philippine presidential contest by way of extensive fraud, most of it conducted in the Mindanao region, another poorly governed and conflict-afflicted region on the nation’s periphery.
      The fact that we can even speculate that Papua might play a role like that in Indonesia is one more reminder that problems of conflict and poor governance in this region are long overdue for serious attention from Jakarta.
      Edward Aspinall is Professor at the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University’s College of Asia & the Pacific.

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