Wednesday, March 4, 2015


2) FIJI: Many support ECREA petition backing justice for West Papua
3) Reports journalists were banned from asking about West Papua condemned
4) Gas-supply woes hamper  investment in Papua
5) Govt presses Newmont to  amend contract as MoU expires 
6) German Company To Build Industrial Plant in West Papua

7) Indonesian Soldiers Ordered to Watch ‘The Look of Silence’


The Solomon Islands Government has invited Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi to attend the Melanesian Spearhead Group Meeting in Honiara.
The meeting takes place in July this year.
A Government statement says Foreign Affairs Minister Milner Tozaka extended the invitation during Ms Marsudi’s visit in Honiara on Saturday.
The statement says both Ministers agreed to involve Indonesia in the MSG Meeting by intensifying communication on MSG issues.
The statement said Minister Tozaka invited his Indonesian counterpart to attend the meeting as an observer.
2) FIJI: Many support ECREA petition backing justice for West Papua

ECREA supporters for the West Papua cause. 
Image: Kimberley Sachs/Fiji Times
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Item: 9145
Siteri Sauvakacolo
SUVA (The Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch):  About 1000 signatures supporting West Papuan self-determination have been collected by the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA).
This is in solidarity with the West Papua people who have applied to officially join the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
ECREA director Sirino Rakabi said while petitions had been sent to all their networks and friends, forms had also been distributed to all the 56 divisions of the Methodist Church.
"We have received news from our civil society organisation network that many people throughout Fiji are supporting and signing the petition," Rakabi said.
"We have disseminated forms already and have emailed soft copies to those that requested online.
"This week, we will be disseminating petitions with the DVDs covering the march and launch of the 'Fiji Solidarity Movement for West Papua's Freedom' to all Christian denomination headquarters, theological and Bible schools and also to NGOs in our network.
"We are also working on a documentary to be circulated virally for people to be aware of the oppression and injustices happening in West Papua."
ECREA hopes to submit these petitions in May to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Last Friday, ECREA staged its first public awareness march on the West Papua campaign to coincide with World Social Justice Day.

3) Reports journalists were banned from asking about West Papua condemned
Journalists in Papua New Guinea say they were told not to ask Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi about West Papua and reporters in the Solomon Islands say they were ‘uninvited’ to an event with Marsudi

Members of the Papuan Students Alliance protest in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2013. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty
Wednesday 4 March 2015 18.23 AEDT

Reports journalists were instructed not to ask questions about West Papua during a three-nation tour by the Indonesian foreign minister have been met with disappointment by media advocacy groups, who say Pacific nations should not assist Indonesian officials in avoiding accountability.
There have been numerous reports over the years of human rights abuses and violent crackdowns by Indonesian authorities against a long running pro-independence movement in West Papua.
The Indonesian foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, recently visited Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji, but reports have emerged that journalists attending a Port Moresby press conference by Marsudi and her PNG counterpart, Rimbink Pato, were told not to raise the issue of West Papua, and that a Solomon Islands media opportunity was cancelled.
Alexander Rheeney, president of the Media Council of PNG, told Guardian Australia he raised the issue with the Department of Foreign Affairs after local journalists told him about the directive given in Port Moresby.
“The department is yet to respond to me and take up the council’s offer to discuss a way forward as the gag on the media is unfortunate and should not have happened,” said Rheeney, who is also editor-in-chief of the Post Courier.
“Papua New Guineans will continue to sympathise with West Papuans and their struggle for independence from Indonesia due to our Melanesian roots and cultural similarities.”
Following the Port Moresby event Marsudi and Pato said in a joint statement the bilateral relationship was strong enough to discuss sensitive issues, and they would step up communications around the Melanesian Spearhead Group – which West Papuan independence groups wish to join. West Papua was not specifically mentioned, however on Sunday the PNG prime minister, Peter O’Neill, said Pato had raised the issue of West Papua with Marsudi.

In response to questions on the reported media ban, a spokesman for O’Neill told Guardian Australia his understanding was the two ministers were to make statements only, and then provide door-stops or interviews to their own media contingents.
“This often happens following bilaterals, sometimes due to language preferences or protocols such as being able to cover broader international issues beyond the content of the bilateral,” he said in a statement.
“After the conference, minister Pato had a follow-up Q&A at which he discussed and took questions in relation to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.”
In the Solomon Islands an invitation for media to attend a session between the Solomon Islands foreign minister and Marsudi was withdrawn at the last minute, the editor of the Solomon Star, Ofani Eremae, told Radio Australia.
“Just a few minutes before the actual ceremony was about to start we were told the media was being uninvited to go to that,” Eremae said.
“There was no chance given to the media and I think that’s the saddest thing about the treatment. I’d like to think that Indonesia or the visiting foreign affairs minister should be upfront and open up to the media about her visit here. I believe that she kept herself away simply because she wants to avoid the issue of West Papua being asked about.”
A spokesman for regional media advocacy group, Pacific Freedom Forum, Titi Gabi, said the reported ban was “disappointing” and an example of Indonesia avoiding accountability.
“This ban does nothing for Indonesian credibility within the international community, or their hosts,” Gabi said in a statement on Wednesday.
In a significant move for the PNG government, O’Neill last month said publicly his country should speak up more for West Papua.
In a speech to the National Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby O’Neill said PNG had played a leading role in strengthening democracy in other Pacific nations, but “sometimes we forgot our family, our brothers and sisters, especially those in West Papua”.
“I think as a country the time has come for us to speak about oppression our people. Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on social media and yet we take no notice,” he said.
“We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded.
“Again, Papua New Guinea, as a regional leader, we must lead these discussions with our friends in a mature and engaging manner.”
In a later statement O’Neill clarified that his concerns relate to human rights, not sovereignty.
Indonesian media has also reported support within Fiji and the Solomon Islands for the application.

4) Gas-supply woes hamper  investment in Papua

Uncertainty over the gas supply for planned industrial development in the eastern part of the country, particularly Papua and West Papua, has hampered the government program aimed at accelerating the realization of investment in the area, says the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

BKPM head Franky Sibarani made the statement on the sidelines of a visit to Manokwari, West Papua over the weekend.

“Several projects planned in the area, such as those involving Pupuk Indonesia [a fertilizer firm] and Ferrostaal [German firm Ferrostaal AG] have been delayed because of the gas-supply problem. We need support to debottleneck the issue so that we can encourage investment,” Franky said.

He added that the price of gas was also a specific issue bottlenecking the realization of Ferrostaal’s planned investment in West Papua.

The German firm previously said that it had planned to develop a petrochemical plant in West Papua with an estimated cost of US$900 million. The company initially planned to start construction in 2013 and would have finished the project by 2016. However, the planned project is now stalled.

Papua and West Papua hold natural resources that can support energy for industrial development in the country. Teluk Bintuni regency, for example, has a significant amount of gas resources. The regency is home to the Tangguh LNG plant project involving the development of six gas fields in Wiriagar, Berau and Muturi blocks. The Tangguh LNG is operated by BP Berau Ltd., which is now working on the development of the plant’s Train 3.

BP Berau has committed 40 percent of the LNG to be produced at Tangguh Train 3 for domestic-market allocation. BP Berau and state-owned electricity firm PLN previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) highlighting that the Tangguh LNG operator would provide LNG to PLN.

“The 40 percent also includes the allocation of 20 mmscfd [million standard cubic feet per day] gas for the West Papua province, including Bintuni and Fakfak, which can use the supply to fuel electricity,” said Rudianto Rimbono, a spokesman for the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKKMigas).

Given the commitments, no more gas can be allocated for other industries unless new resources are found.

According to Rudianto, new gas supply may come from Kasuri block, which is currently operated by Malaysian Genting Oil. “However, Genting Oil is still in the exploration stage and we are still waiting for its POD [plan of development],” Rudianto said, adding that SKKMigas expected Genting Oil’s exploration in the West Papuan block to continue despite the declining price of oil, which has affected oil and gas firms’ investment calculations.

Investments in Papua and West Papua, which are the country’s eastern most provinces, have been sluggish in past years. According to BKPM figures, foreign investment in Papua province was $1.26 billion in 2014, down from $2.35 billion a year earlier. Meanwhile, investment by domestic players was worth Rp 249.9 billion last year, a drop from Rp 584.25 billion in 2013.

Domestic investment in West Papua province also slipped to Rp 100.1 billion last year from Rp 303.95 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, foreign investment in the province stood at $153.3 million in 2014, a significant rise from $54.16 million.
5) Govt presses Newmont to  amend contract as MoU expires 
Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, March 04 2015, 6:31 AM 

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is urging copper miner PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara to complete negotiations over the amendment of the firm’s contract of work (CoW) as a previous deal that filled the void has just expired.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said stated on Tuesday that the government did not need to extend a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Newmont, which expired on Tuesday, as it did with another copper giant, PT Freeport Indonesia, which had its MoU extended by six months.

“As I understand it, an extension is not compulsory for an MoU. We won’t talk about the MoU; we will talk about matters that are legally needed,” Sudirman said, referring to the CoW amendment.

The government has been struggling to renegotiate a number of existing mining and coal contracts to comply with the 2009 Mining Law. To fill a void in the legality of miners’ operations, the government has signed MoUs with several miners.

The MoU with Newmont highlighted several points to be adjusted and drafted in the amendment of its contract, which should have been completed six months after the signing of an agreement on Sept. 3 last year between Newmont Nusa Tenggara, a subsidiary of US-based Newmont Mining Corp., and the Ministry’s mineral and coal directorate general.

The signing was done after Newmont withdrew its international arbitration appeal against the Indonesian government’s policy of banning ore exports. The MoU also secured Newmont the permit to resume export of its semi-finished copper concentrate products.

Under Newmont’s MoU, the company has principally agreed to pay higher royalties of 4 percent for copper and 3.75 percent for gold, up from the current rates of 3.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

The company’s mine size must also be reduced to 66,000 hectares from the around 86,000 hectares it is at present, according to the MoU, which also highlighted Newmont’s support for the domestic mineral downstreaming policy by establishing a copper smelter.

Mineral and coal director general R. Sukhyar said that although Newmont’s MoU was not extended, his office would continue to work on Newmont’s CoW amendment to make it conform to the 2009 Mining Law and ensure that previous terms agreed to would continue to be valid.

“We will accelerate the amendment process and are expecting to finish it in April. We have sent a draft of the amendment, but we haven’t received any reply from Newmont,” Sukhyar said.

Newmont is now considering sending its copper concentrate to a planned copper smelter that will be built by Freeport.

A deal between the two companies would determine whether the government would issue a permit for Newmont to extend exports of copper concentrates. The permit, issued last year and only valid for six months, is scheduled to expire on March 18.

The possibility of such deal emerged after the government found out that copper concentrate supplies would not be enough to feed to many smelters in the country.

There is currently only one copper smelter in the country, which is operated by PT Smelting Gresik and has a capacity to process up to 1 million tons of copper concentrate per year. Under a plan by Freeport, a new smelter with a capacity of 2 million tons will be built in Gresik. Another smelter is also planned by the Papua administration with a capacity of 900,000 tons.

6) German Company To Build Industrial Plant in West Papua

Jakarta, Jubi/Antara – Ferrostaal, an industrial service provider from Germany, will likely build an industrial plant in West Papua province and will seek the Indonesian government’s approval for supplying gas.
“We expect to get the approval by mid-year,” Ferrostaal CEO Klaus Lesker said after meeting with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla here on Tuesday (3/3/2015).
According to him, the plant will be operating in the petrochemicals sector, which will require pure gas supply as the source of energy.
According to Lesker, the Vice-President has promised to help the company get gas supply. The investment is expected to create new employment opportunities and increase economic activities in West Papua.
Previously, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) set a high investment target of Rp265 trillion in Papua and West Papua for the next five years.
This target is an increase from the total investment of Rp67 trillion made in the country’s most backward regions during the previous five years that ended in 2014, head of BKPM Franky Sibaranai said recently.
He remarked that the investment target for the two provinces has been set at Rp33.2 trillion in 2015.
Moreover, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla recently revealed that the government was looking to reform the country’s bureaucracy and processes involved in issuing investment permits by implementing the Integrated One-Door Licensing Service (PTSP) program of the BKPM.
“We have understood that our administrative processes have weaknesses and that our permit procedures for investments are complex. However, the government is trying to rectify these problems,” Kalla emphasized.
According to Kalla, President Joko Widodo launched the one-stop service (OSS) program to shorten and expedite permit processes for starting investments in Indonesia.
“We often hear that potential investors complain about our complex administrative processes. We hope the OSS program will resolve all issues related to permit procedures,” Kalla remarked while addressing the Japanese Nikkei Forum.
According to the BKPM, the implementation of the OSS is dedicated to provide easy, fast, precise, accurate, transparent, and accountable licensing and non-licensing services. (*)


7) Indonesian Soldiers Ordered to Watch ‘The Look of Silence’

The screening of 'The Look of Silence' was held in the headquarters of the district military command, attended by the commander, Lt. Col. Taufik Zega, as well as chiefs of subdistrict military units under his supervision (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Military)

Semarang. Hundreds of members of the military command in Central Java’s capital, Semarang, attended the screening of “Senyap” (“The Look of Silence”) last week by award-winning American director Joshua Oppenheimer — a documentary movie on Indonesia’s bloody past of anti-communist purge, which has often been blamed on the Indonesian Military.
The screening was held about the same time that “Look of Silence” was awarded a Bodil Award from the Danish Film Critics Association for best documentary film.
The screening was held in the headquarters of the district military command, attended by the commander, Lt. Col. Taufik Zega, as well as chiefs of subdistrict military units under his supervision.
“The screening was aimed at clarifying the intention of the documentary production, in order to avoid misunderstandings,” Central Java’s Diponegoro Military Command said on its website, although it stopped short of explaining what misunderstandings.
“The screening was part of efforts to examine facts about what actually happened in 1965, because many people have conflicting opinions in regards to what happened in 1965,” it added.
By watching the movie, soldiers were expected to be able to explain to the public the content of the movie and its connections with the Indonesian Military, when confronted about the issue, the website added.
Indonesia’s anti-communist purge in 1965-66, during which at least 500,000 people were estimated to be killed, was led by the Indonesian Military, following a failed coup attempt by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which has been banned since then.
“Look of Silence,” which first screened last year, is a follow-up to Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Jagal” (“The Act of Killing),” released two years before.
While “The Act of Killing” explores the anti-communist pogrom by getting the perpetrators to re-enact their crimes, “Look of Silence” looks at the massacre through the eyes of its victims.
In 1965, Ramli was murdered as a teenager for his alleged support of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The film crew follows his brother, Adi Rukun, who was born 1968, as he meets and confronts Ramli’s murderers and their families.
When “The Act of Killing” was released in 2012, it was screened in secret in Indonesia, for fear of government retaliation.
“The Look of Silence,” though, premiered with a public viewing in Jakarta on Nov. 10 — Heroes Day — last year.
Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has reaffirmed its support for the screening of the movie throughout Indonesia, stating that this is a part of human rights education and national reconciliation in the nation.
Nevertheless, the movie has met with rejection from some groups, such as the hard-line Islamic People’s Forum, whose members stormed the campus of Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta in December last year while a student organization was screening the movie
The protesters mistakenly argued that the film promoted communism — a “known enemy of Islam” — and its return to Indonesia.

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