Friday, October 31, 2014

Indonesian Defense Chief May Smooth Path for Army Novice Jokowi

Indonesian Defense Chief May Smooth Path for Army Novice Jokowi

Former Suharto-era general Ryamizard Ryacudu, tapped by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for defense minister, could become a conduit to the powerful armed forces for the country’s first leader to rise from outside the aristocracy or the military.
Ryamizard, who spearheaded anti-separatist crackdowns in his time as army chief of staff in the early 2000s, said he’s waiting for instructions from Joko for defending an archipelago that would stretch from New York to Alaska.
“Wait, let me learn first,” Ryamizard told reporters Oct. 26. “I don’t want to speak presumptuously. I’m awaiting the president’s roadmap.”
Joko, known as Jokowi, is a former furniture dealer who entered politics in 2005 and had little experience in security policy in his time as a mid-city mayor and then governor of Jakarta. His selection of Ryamizard, 64, could smooth ties with the armed forces, though it has raised concerns among rights groups and questions about his capacity to modernize a military that for most of Indonesia’s history has been focused on internal threats.
“Ryamizard gives Jokowi a defense minister who is well liked within his own military,” said Ken Conboy, country manager at RMA Indonesia, a Jakarta-based risk management firm. “Ryamizard was a soldier’s soldier, but never really known as a diplomat. So there is perhaps some risk to Jokowi that Ryamizard will be prone to making politically inappropriate statements.”
Ryamizard rose through the ranks during the rule of dictator Suharto in the 1990s and has defended soldiers convicted of killing a Papuan independence leader as “heroes” and said rights groups “contribute nothing to this country.” The son of a regional army commander, he has ties to former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of founding President Sukarno and now leader of Jokowi’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P.

‘Highly politicized’
Megawati nominated Ryamizard to be commander of the armed forces in her final days in office in 2004, a move that was blocked by her successor as president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a former general. His appointment to Jokowi’s 34-member cabinet is a political concession to Megawati, said Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch.
“He comes from the Suharto era where military officers were highly politicized,” he said. “His father was loyal to President Sukarno. He is loyal to President Megawati. I think that is the only explanation.”
Ryamizard will oversee a defense budget that Jokowi has said he wants to increase to 1.5 percent as a share of the economy, which is Southeast Asia’s largest. The president has said he wants to modernize the armed forces, particularly the navy, which is responsible for patrolling the more than 17,000 islands that make up the world’s fourth most-populous nation.

Military spending
Military spending has increased over the past decade and reached Rp 81.96 trillion ($6.8 billion) in 2013, or 0.9 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
“Percentage wise it looks pretty impressive,” said Richard Bitzinger, coordinator of the military transformations program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “But that basically means going from a very low level to not much of a higher level.”
If Indonesia wants to modernize its military it must commit the necessary resources over a sustained period of time and focus that money on the navy and air force rather than ground troops, he said.
“It’s not something you can nickel and dime,” he said. “It’s going to take time. If you’re going to add equipment you’ve got to add personnel. So you need more sailors and you need more pilots and things like that and that takes a long time and that costs money too.”

Malacca Strait
Jokowi has said he wants to stop smuggling of Indonesia’s natural resources and has suggested building a network of drones to patrol the country. The Malacca Strait, a shipping lane that links the economies of countries such as India, China and Japan, also runs through Indonesia.
At his inauguration on Oct. 20, Jokowi likened himself to a “captain trusted by the people” and said it was time for Indonesia to return to “Jalesveva Jayamahe,” the Indonesian navy motto meaning “in the seas we will triumph.”
“I would think that Ryamizard would be pressed to reflect Jokowi’s maritime emphasis in his defense planning,” Conboy said. “I suppose there could be some concern that he will favor the army when it comes to purchases, rather than the maritime emphasis voiced by Jokowi.”

China’s rise
Indonesia also faces an increasingly assertive China, which has been pushing its territorial claims to most of the nearby South China Sea. While Indonesia is not an official claimant to areas in dispute and has sought to stay out of the spat, officials have said that China’s interpretation of its nine dash-line map — the basis for its claims — is seeping into Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
China must not create regional instability, Indonesian military chief Gen. Moeldoko told reporters Oct. 29 in Singapore. The defense force has “hundreds of ships” to secure the country’s maritime lanes within its borders, he said.
“China is a great economic superpower, however we don’t want this great force to create instability in the region,” Moeldoko said. “Just a small disturbance within this maritime zone will give a big impact” and create turbulence in the region.

‘Conservative instincts’
Still, Ryamizard’s background suggests that he will focus internally, perhaps overlooking potential military threats from outside, said Marcus Mietzner, an associate professor at the Australian National University in Canberra.
“He’s not a strategic thinker,” said Mietzner, author of “Money, Power and Ideology: Political Parties in Post- Authoritarian Indonesia.” “He has deeply conservative instincts, and these are likely to guide him. This means preserving military privileges, less emphasis on transparency in the name of guarding ‘state secrets,’ and no genuine  attempts at improving civilian oversight of the armed forces.”
While he may take a tough stance on separatist ambitions in Papua, Ryamizard won’t be responsible for countering the threat from militants, including the potential return of Indonesians who left to fight with Islamic State in the Middle East. That responsibility lies with the police and intelligence agencies.
Gen. Moeldoko said he believed Ryamizard was the right man for the post.

‘Proper figure’
“Based on his huge experience as well as vast academic background, I’m quite sure that General Ryamizard Ryacudu is indeed a proper figure,” he said. “I’m also quite sure that later he’s going to produce some kind of political policies that are indeed quite proper for the military and the state.”
Ryamizard has in the past made comments about meddling by “foreign imperial powers” and his appointment could complicate military cooperation with allies such as Australia and the US, said Kevin O’Rourke, a political analyst and author of “Reformasi: The Struggle for Power in Post-Soeharto Indonesia.”
“A question is whether Ryacudu will involve himself in foreign policy issues, perhaps taking stances that conflict with those of the new foreign minister,” O’Rourke said.

Democratic transition
When asked about Ryamizard, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US was aware of “allegations of human rights violations committed by the Indonesian army while the general served as army chief of staff.”
“We are not, however, aware of any allegation that ties the defense minister explicitly to a specific human rights violation,” she told reporters on Oct. 28 in Washington. “Indonesia’s military, like the country as a whole, has reformed in significant ways over the past 16 years in line with Indonesia’s democratic transition.”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Two Indonesian soldiers interrogated over sale of ammunition

Two Indonesian soldiers interrogated over sale of ammunition

Kamis, 30 Oktober 2014 17:42 WIB | 584 Views

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The investigators from the Army Military Police have questioned two personnel from the Indonesian Military for their alleged involvement in selling ammunition to Papuan separatists, stated a military spokesman.

The two suspects are under police detention since Wednesday, but their names have not yet been revealed to the public, Rikas Hidayatullah, the spokesman of the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command Colonel, remarked here on Thursday.

"I do not know their names. I have just heard that two army personnel from Wamena have been detained and questioned by the Army Military Police," he noted.

The two army soldiers and a retired army personnel had allegedly got involved in the sale of ammunition. The truth came to light following the arrest of a suspect named First Police Brigadier Tanggap Jikwa on Sunday (October 26).

Tanggap Jikwa, who was arrested along with five armed separatists, confessed that he had got the ammunition from his uncle, who was an Indonesian Military personnel.

The retired army personnel's case is being handled by the local police

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1) French reporters land in Paris after release from Indonesia jail

2) Indonesia's democractic credentials questioned
3) Ryamizard Threat to Progress on Human Rights in Papua, Rights Group Says
4) Special Autonomy Plus Draft Agenda ( Otsus Plus) Must be Accounted
5) World Habitat Day in Kali APO, Jayapura City

6) Participatory Mapping with Indigenous Papuans to Protect Land’s Rights


1) French reporters land in Paris after release from Indonesia jail

© iTélé Twitter account / Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat at their trial in Jayapura on October 20
Text by FRANCE 24
Latest update : 2014-10-29

Two French journalists who were jailed for illegal reporting in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua landed at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport early on Tuesday.

Thomas Dandois, 40, and Valentine Bourrat, 29, were detained in August while making a documentary for Franco-German television channel Arte about the separatist movement in eastern Papua.
The pair were tried two months later in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, on charges of breaking immigration laws since they were reporting on tourist, not journalist, visas – a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.
Indonesia is deeply sensitive about journalists covering Papua, where a low-level insurgency against the central government has simmered for decades, and rarely grants visas allowing foreigners to report in the region.
Prosecutors had sought a four-month sentence during the trial, saying the journalists had admitted their mistake and apologised.
However, a panel of judges handed them a sentence of just two months and 15 days, most of which they had already served.
Speaking soon after the verdict last week, the reporters’ lawyer Aristo Pangaribuan had welcomed their imminent release, though adding that "from a legal perspective, this is not very good because it opens the door for the criminalisation of journalistic activities."
Foreign journalists detained in the past for illegally reporting in Papua have been swiftly deported.
Indonesia's Independent Alliance of Journalists has said this is the first time that foreign journalists have been tried for immigration violations in Papua.
Andreas Harsono, a Jakarta-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, urged Indonesia to overhaul the complex system for foreign journalists to apply for visas to report on Papua.
Currently, 18 different government agencies have to approve a foreign journalist visa for Papua, he said.
"Reporters won't use tourist visas if it is fair to apply for journalist ones," he said.
Dandois was detained at a hotel in the city of Wamena with members of separatist group the Free Papua Movement and Bourrat was detained shortly afterwards, according to authorities.
The Free Papua Movement has been at the forefront of the fight against the central government in the resource-rich region, which is poor and ethnically Melanesian
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

2) Indonesia's democractic credentials questioned

Updated at 7:03 am today

A group of New Zealand protestors have questioned whether Indonesia's new President will support genuine media freedom in West Papua.
The group gathered outside Indonesia's embassy in Wellington yesterday, calling for media freedom in West Papua.
This follow's last week's conviction of two French journalists for misusing their tourist visas to work in Indonesia's Papua province.
The pair, who were arrested and detained in August, were sentenced in Jayapura to two and half months in prison.
One of the protestors, the New Zealand MP Catherine Delahunty, says Indonesia seems unprepared to open up Papua region to journalists because it has something to hide.
"Will the new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who claims to want a new approach to West Papua and is in fact visiting West Papua as a first act of his Presidency, will he support genuine media freedom?"
Catherine Delahunty says unlike in West Papua, journalists are still able to report in the most troubled parts of the world such as Syria and Palestine.

3) Ryamizard Threat to Progress on Human Rights in Papua, Rights Group Says

Jayapura, Jubi – The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) criticized President Joko Widodo’s decision  to name Ryamizard Ryacudu as Minister of Defense.
“The assignment of such authoritarian person like Ryamizard Ryacudu showed the President Widodo is not serious about promoting  human rights or concerned about Papua,” ETAN Coordinator, John M. Miller said Monday (27/10).
Miller further said Ryacudu is the historical legacy of the human rights violations by the military and his assignment could be a threat to human rights defenders and firmly confirm military intervention in civilian affairs.
“Although eradicating corruption is a priority for his administration, President Widodo clearly has not  considered Ryacudu’s background and track record on human rights issues in Indonesia,” he added.
Prior to the Presidential Election, the Indonesian human rights defenders group urged the new administrative after the election to disconnect with the past. An Indonesian human rights activist said Ryacudu’s assignment is likely inheriting the impunity on the human rights violations in the past.
“It would reveal the lack of accountability in solving the human rights violation in the past, as well as in the present. It also a threat to the expansion of human rights enforcement, especially in Papua,” Papuan young activist Robert Jitmau said.
Ryamizard Ryacudu is known as the military general who often condemned the human rights defenders. He had doubt about the ability of civilian to rule this country.  At the end of 2003, Ryacudu stated those who opposed the military’s policy should be considered as anti-government; therefore they could be removed.  He also offended Papuan people by saying the members of Kopassus (Military Special Force) who killed the Great Papuan Leader Theys Hiyo Eluay as heroes.
“People said they were guilty, they broke the law. What was it? Yes, this is a State of Law. But for me, they are the heroes because they killed the leader of the rebels,” said Ryacudu at that time. (Victor Mambor)

4) Special Autonomy Plus Draft Agenda ( Otsus Plus) Must be Accounted

Jayapura, Jubi- Special Autonomy Plus Bill ( Otsus Plus) has been shelved after costing Rp.15 billion for drafting and discussions. Even though pros and cons have occurred internally, still, the budget must be accounted for.
“When it comes to the state money, the use must be accounted with details. Since, it was large amount of money,” former director of Elsham Papua, Aloysius Renwarin, said told Jubi on Thursday (23/10).
He added that the process of making a bill must go through a proper mechanism in order to be discussed and approved by the House of Representatives. “Look at how community, academics and bureaucrats involvement in the legislative process of the Papua Special Autonomy Law of 2001. though there were opposing but the process was still running ” Renwarin explained
Based on the working mechanism of the House of Representatives, first there must be a Standing Committee of “ Otsus Plus “, then the Special Committee of Otsus Plus and the last is hearing about how the bill can be passed into Special Autonomy Plus Law.
Separately Dr. Agus Sumule, lecturer at the University of Papua said Rp.15 billion was a large amount of money for draft Autonomy Plus that categorized as undocumented economic and fiscal calculations as well as other academic analysis manuscript that never known to the public.
“Both the content of the draft 14 that submitted to the Minister of Home Affairs was from a team formed by West Papua Governor chaired by Secretary of West Papua. The whole work in the province of West Papua and West Papua financed by the provincial budget, ” Sumele, former team facilitation of Papua Special Autonomy Law in 2001 added.
Sumule also quoted Yunus Wonda ‘s statement that drafting Plus Special Autonomy Law has spent Rp 15 billion. “It needs to be followed up by the attorney and police department because there are several reasons that the funds are used up. It is Contrary when Papua Special Autonomy Law in 2001 made, only Rp. 3 Billion used which included consultation throughout Irian Jaya and Workskhops , “he said.(Dominggus A Mampioper)

5) World Habitat Day in Kali APO, Jayapura City

Abepura, Jubi – World Habitat Day  was celebrated in Kali APO, Jayapura city, with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature urging communities to care for the environment.
In this event, marked every first Monday in October,  WWF in collaboration with the Development Unit Water Supply Management of Papua Province carried out joint activities with the community in a program called ‘Urban Housing Aspirations’ on October 23, 2014.
WWF urged communityies to improve the drainage, water supply and green space.
WWF is helping the government to establish communication with citizens in managing slums.
Third, WWF was to raise public awareness to preserve and maintain the living environment of the aspect of cleanliness, comfort, safety and health. The last was to increase public involvement and public awareness will be revamping urban settlements.
A series of activities were held such as planting 200 trees in locations vulnerable to landslides, conducting interactive dialogue to accommodate the aspirations of the people and extension urban farming and fire disaster response simulation.
Piter Roki Aloisius, program coordinator of WWF said it aimed at accommodating the aspirations of the community and communicating of information for environmental regulation that can be achieved.
Its success depends on the cooperation of all parties. Cooperation between the government, particularly related agencies for socialization city planning. “We need to work together,” he said.
Bayangkara headman ( Lurah), North Jayapura District, represented by his secretary, Bonefar Bonay welcomed the activities held in the urban village.He also invited members of the community in order to build clean and conforatble settlements particularly in the slum village territory.
“This village is prone to flooding, and there have been victims of flood,” he added.
Meanwhile, Medito Kabuari represented the Head of the Provincial Department of Public Works Papua Michael Kambuaya in the the speech, encouraged all elements to create a good living climate towards community dwellers viable and healthy.(Mawel Benny/Tina)

6) Participatory Mapping with Indigenous Papuans to Protect Land’s Rights

Jayapura, Jubi -  The village participatory map program is a means of protecting the rights of indigenous peoples to land, the executive director of the Assessment and Empowerment of Indigenous Papuans (pt.PPMA-P), Zadrak Wamebu, said.
He there has been disagreement between indigenous peoples’ policy and the state’s policies. Many indigenous people frequently lose their rights due to state policies, prompting them to rebel.
“Most of indigenous Papuans have been fighting for  their rights. For example, they took the option of armed resistance. So, we try to give an explanation to the public to not fight against the state. Because the state is always equipped with the military, the police, judges and everything, ” Wamebu said told Jubi on Thursday (23/10).
The change can only be done if the community expressed injustice that they experienced. It will promote a change in policy.
“As, we did almost 25 years and now a change has occurred. Only, we must remember that the state is unlikely to change without any encouragement. Besides that the regulation is always too late which is as we know that it regulates everything and we try to bridge it, “he said.
The mapping is a part of protecting the customary rights of indigenous peoples. Only with maps and information, it could be explained the position of Indigenous Peoples. He hopes that it will be interpreted into regulation.
“Our struggle is how to make it into legal recognition. So I used to say, this country belongs to indigenous peoples from Aceh to Papua, “he added
While Walesi Indigenous Foundation Director , Deny Rahadian said Papua is actually a pioneer in mapping participatory and it has been doing  since two years ago.
“In conducting mapping participatory program in Papua, some indigenous peoples are assisted by Samdhana Institute through its partners ,” he stated.
Samdhana facilitated these activities to support indgenous mapping in order to empower them in land and resource. Samdhana also encouraged the Indogenous peoples map indigenous peoples to be recognized legally. (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)