Monday, June 15, 2015

1) Asia Pacific Greens adopt West Papua resolution

2) More signals from Jakarta about opening up Papua
3) Islands in focus: Military  exercise goes on amid ‘bribery’  claim 

1) Asia Pacific Greens adopt West Papua resolution
Updated at 1:06 pm today
The 3rd Congress of the Asia Pacific Greens Federation has adopted a resolution on the West Papuan self-determination struggle.
The congress was held at the weekend in Silverstream, near New Zealand's capital, and featured delegates from a range of countries including Iraq, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
The resolution, proposed by Greens delegates from PNG, Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Indonesia recognises and supports the human rights and self determination of the people of West Papua as Melanesians and supports their bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group
The Federation requests that the Indonesian government has dialogue with West Papuan leaders.
It also supports West Papuans' Pacific identity as Melanesians who should have a voice in Pacific leadership groups.


2) More signals from Jakarta about opening up Papua
Updated at 2:34 pm today
There are further signs from Indonesia's government that it is willing to open up access to the Papua region.
The Minister for Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, who is Indonesia's first Papuan minister, says by reporting on Papua, journalists can help address the region's main problems, such as violence.
Yohana Yembise says violence, including domestic and sexual violence, is Papua's number one problem, and that men still hold the economic power in the region.
According to Ms Yembise, President Joko Widodo has made developing Papua one of his top priorities, and that his claim last month about lifting media restrictions is a sign things are changing.
While subsequent comments by senior government figures contradicted the president's claim about relaxed restrictions, the Director General of Information in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists the process has changed.

Esti Andayani says the 'Clearing House' made up of representatives from the major government departments, including the military and police, with the power to reject visa applications, has been abolished. She says the hope is that if journalists can go to West Papua they will be able to tell more balanced stories about what happens there.Ms Andayani says that up until now, what is reported in the media are just small parts of the story.
3) Islands in focus: Military  exercise goes on amid ‘bribery’  claim 
The Jakarta Post, Kupang | Archipelago | Mon, June 15 2015, 8:53 AM -
Against the background of recent claims that Australian authorities paid an Indonesian ship’s crew to transport dozens of migrants back to Indonesia, the Indonesian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have continued their joint military exercise held in sea border areas between the two countries.

Australia has been in the media spotlight after the crew of an Indonesian ship admitted that they had received thousands of dollars from personnel aboard an RAN ship to transport 65 migrants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar back to Indonesia following the crew’s failed attempt to take them to Australia. 

Kupang naval base commander Marine Brig. Gen. Denny Kurnia, however, said the allegation did not affect military cooperation between the two countries. “This joint military exercise has nothing to do with the recent expulsion of 65 migrants [by the RAN]. This is a regular exercise,” he told The Jakarta Post over the weekend. 

The exercise, named Exercise Cassowary 2015, held from June 8 to June 16, has involved two Indonesian warships, KRI Hiu-634 and KRI Tombak-692, and two Australian warships, HMAS Wollongong and HMAS Glenelg. 

A follow-up exercise will also be held between June 18 and June 28 in Darwin under the name of Corpat Ausindo 2015. - 

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