Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1) Crowds gather in Papua to protest alleged police shooting of students

2) Suharto’s Purge, Indonesia’s Silence
3) Hostage-Taking Incident Used as Pretext for Extra Troop Deployment
4) No Schooling for Children of Yakyu Village For Almost Nine Years
5) Many Pupils at Wandos Elementary School Cannot Read
6) Two Local Languages in West Papua Province Extinct
7) Linus Hiluka Confirm His Rejection on State’s Offer


1) Crowds gather in Papua to protest alleged police shooting of students
Updated at 8:55 am today
Crowds have reportedly gathered in the Papuan town of Timika to protest the police shooting of two high school students.
An Australia-based West Papuan campaigner, Paula Makabory, says the 17-year-olds were shot, one of them fatally, near a market in Timika on Monday when they were pursued by Indonesian police.
She says the police were pursuing them because their fathers are said to be members of the rebel organisation, the Free West Papua movement, the OPM.
Ms Makabory says the Papua police chief, General Paulus Waterpauw, has reportedly apologised to the victim's family, but that's been rejected because similar incidents have gone without prosecution.
She says crowds gathered in the town last night to protest the killing.
"I have heard that a house has been burned, but I haven't got detail yet. I have heard that people are now demonstrating against this shooting by the Indonesian police and then the family are gathering to mourn together in the KNPB office." 

Paula Makabory says Monday’s shooting is the latest in a string of incidents of Indonesian security forces shooting Papuan youth.

2) Suharto’s Purge, Indonesia’s Silence
CreditSam Brewster

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a mass slaughter in Indonesia. With American support, more than 500,000 people were murdered by the Indonesian Army and its civilian death squads. At least 750,000 more were tortured and sent to concentration camps, many for decades.
The victims were accused of being “communists,” an umbrella that included not only members of the legally registered Communist Party, but all likely opponents of Suharto’s new military regime — from union members and women’s rights activists to teachers and the ethnic Chinese. Unlike in Germany, Rwanda or Cambodia, there have been no trials, no truth-and-reconciliation commissions, no memorials to the victims. Instead, many perpetrators still hold power throughout the country.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, and if it is to become the democracy it claims to be, this impunity must end. The anniversary is a moment for the United States to support Indonesia’s democratic transition by acknowledging the 1965 genocide, and encouraging a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.
On Oct. 1, 1965, six army generals in Jakarta were killed by a group of disaffected junior officers. Maj. Gen. Suharto assumed command of the armed forces, blamed the killings on the leftists, and set in motion a killing machine. Millions of people associated with left-leaning organizations were targeted, and the nation dissolved into terror — people even stopped eating fish for fear that fish were eating corpses. Suharto usurped President Sukarno’s authority and established himself as de facto president by March 1966. From the very beginning, he enjoyed the full support of the United States.
I’ve spent 12 years investigating the terrible legacy of the genocide, creating two documentary films, “The Act of Killing” in 2013 and “The Look of Silence,” released earlier this year. I began in 2003, working with a family of survivors. We wanted to show what it is like to live surrounded by still-powerful perpetrators who had murdered your loved ones.
The family gathered other survivors to tell their stories, but the army warned them not to participate. Many survivors urged me not to give up and suggested that I film perpetrators in hopes that they would reveal details of the massacres.

I did not know if it was safe to approach the killers, but when I did, I found them open. They offered boastful accounts of the killings, often with smiles on their faces and in front of their grandchildren. I felt I had wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power.
Today, former political prisoners from this era still face discrimination and threats. Gatherings of elderly survivors are regularly attacked by military-backed thugs. Schoolchildren are still taught that the “extermination of the communists” was heroic, and that victims’ families should be monitored for disloyalty. This official history, in effect, legitimizes violence against a whole segment of society.
The purpose of such intimidation is to create a climate of fear in which corruption and plunder go unchallenged. Inevitably in such an atmosphere, human rights violations have continued since 1965, including the 1975-1999 occupation of East Timor, where enforced starvation contributed to the killing of nearly a third of the population, as well as torture and extrajudicial killing that go on in West Papua today.
Military rule in Indonesia formally ended in 1998, but the army remains above the law. If a general orders an entire village massacred, he cannot be tried in civilian courts. The only way he could face justice is if the army itself convenes a military tribunal, or if Parliament establishes a special human rights court — something it has never done fairly and effectively.
With the military not subject to law, a shadow state of paramilitaries and intelligence agencies has formed around it. This shadow state continues to intimidate the public into silence while, together with its business partners, it loots the national wealth.
Indonesia can hold regular elections, but if the laws do not apply to the most powerful elements in society, then there is no rule of law, and no genuine democracy. The country will never become a true democracy until it takes serious steps to end impunity. An essential start is a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.
This may still be possible. The Indonesian media, which used to shy from discussing the genocide, now refers to the killings as crimes against humanity, and grassroots activism has taken hold. The current president, Joko Widodo, indicated he would address the 1965 massacre, but he has not established a truth commission, issued a national apology, or taken any other steps to end the military’s impunity.
We need truth and accountability from the United States as well. U.S. involvement dates at least to an April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulting in the decision to “liquidate” President Sukarno, the populist — but not communist — founding father of Indonesia. As a founder of the nonaligned movement, Sukarno favored socialist policies; Washington wanted to replace him with someone more deferential to Western strategic and commercial interests.

The United States conducted covert operations to destabilize Sukarno and strengthen the military. Then, when genocide broke out, America provided equipment, weapons and money. The United States compiled lists containing thousands of names of public figures likely to oppose the new military regime, and handed them over to the Indonesian military, presumably with the expectation that they would be killed. Western aid to Suharto’s dictatorship, ultimately amounting to tens of billions of dollars, began flowing while corpses still clogged Indonesia’s rivers. The American media celebrated Suharto’s rise and his campaign of death. Time magazine said it was the “best news for years in Asia.”
But the extent of America’s role remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy: C.I.A. documents and U.S. defense attaché papers remain classified. Numerous Freedom of Information Act requests for these documents have been denied. Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, will soon reintroduce a resolution that, if passed, would acknowledge America’s role in the atrocities, call for declassification of all relevant documents, and urge the Indonesian government to acknowledge the massacres and establish a truth commission. If the U.S. government recognizes the genocide publicly, acknowledges its role in the crimes, and releases all documents pertaining to the issue, it will encourage the Indonesian government to do the same.

This anniversary should be a reminder that although we want to move on, although nothing will wake the dead or make whole what has been broken, we must stop, honor the lives destroyed, acknowledge our role in the destruction, and allow the healing process to begin.
Joshua Oppenheimer is a documentary filmmaker.
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3) Hostage-Taking Incident Used as Pretext for Extra Troop Deployment
Jayapura, Jubi – The hostage-taking of two Indonesian citizens by an alleged rebel group in Papua New Guinea has been used as a pretext to deploy more troops on the border, accoriding to a Papuan legislator.
A member of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council for Politics, Law and Human Right Affairs, Laurenzus Kadepa, claimed that the incident was a plan to legitimize military deployment to Papua, in particular in border area.
“I think it was intentionally done in order to expand the number of military personnel at Indonesia – Papua New Guinea border area. If they were been hostage, why they could be released easily?” Kadepa told Jubi by phone on Sunday evening (27/9/2015).
According to him, after this incident was blown up to the public, in the same day, on Saturday (12/9/2015), hundreds of Military personnel from Battalion Infantry 406 Unit – Purbalingga, Diponegoro IV Regional Military Command and Battalion Infantry 411 Raider Salatiga and Brigif 6 Army Command were departed to Papua to be assigned as Special Security Force on Indonesia – PNG border area.
“As reported by an online media, they were departed from Tanjung Emas Seaport, Semarang. They were launched as Border Special Guard by Diponegoro IV Military Regional Commander Major General Jaswandi and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo,” he said.
Earlier, on 12 September 2015, two Indonesian citizens who work in a logging company, Sudirman and Badar were reportedly taken hostage and detained by an armed group to PNG area while were in the forest.

On 17 September 2015, both hostages were released. After their release, Papua Police Chief stated the Police still couldn’t determine the perpetrators or the rebel group who kidnapped Badar and Sudirman. Meanwhile, the Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Commander Major General Hinsa Siburian said there is no extra deployment at the border area. “Not yet. We don’t think about it now. I think we have enough strength,” said the Commander Siburian at that time. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

4) No Schooling for Children of Yakyu Village For Almost Nine Years

Merauke, Jubi – Since 2007 settling in Dusun Yakyu, Rawa Biru Village of Sota Sub-district, Merauke Regency, the children of Dusun Yakyu had never get education since there is no school or teacher there, said Rawa Biru Village Chief, Marwan Hamid, to reporter on last week.
“This situation has lasted about nine years, the children of that village never learned the alphabet or number because there’s no teachers,” he said.
He further said those children are supposed to have an opportunity to get education. But, their current status is not clear whether they are Indonesian citizens or not. This is a reason why they have lack attention from the government.
“Yes, but now their status is already clear, so the education system is also automatically running,” he said. Since few weeks ago, he said, the Military personnel assigned at Yakyu Village, has began to teach the children as well as to attempt the learning method gradually. “The children could get better education starting now,” he said.
Military District 174/ATW Commander Brigadier General Supartodi some times ago said TMMD (Military Integrated Village Development) Program would be implemented in this village with several activities. “I hope the local residents could be directly involved with our soldiers in this program,” he said. (Frans L Kobun/rom)


5) Many Pupils at Wandos Elementary School Cannot Read

Supiori, Jubi – Many fourth grade pupils at Wandos Elementary School, Douwbo Village of Supiori Timur Sub-district, Supiori Regency, Papua, cannot read or count, said a teacher at that school who wants to be identified as AW to Jubi on last week in Biak.
“The first time I was hired as a non-staff teacher, I was assigned to teach the third grade pupils. Of seven pupils of the third grade, only one knew the alphabets,” said AW.
For that reason, he tried hard to teach the pupils how to read and count.
“Although they are now at fourth grade, but they are still very slow in reading,” he said.
He further said this situation occurred due lack of teachers in that school. The consequence is many pupils of fourth and fifth grades are still not able to read. In addition, lack of attention from the pupils’ parents to escort their children at home is also another factor.
In separate place, the Chairman of Biak Youth Intellectual Forum, Markus Komboi, said the learning activity at school should run everyday. “Why the pupils still can not read? This is so embarrassing!” he said. Then he asks the parents, teachers as well as local Education Office staffs as the implementators to give a notice on Wandos Elementary School, so the case would not continue to happen. (Marten Boseren/rom)

6) Two Local Languages in West Papua Province Extinct
Manokwari, Jubi – The Papua State University in West Papua Province conducted research on local language and culture related to the extinction of two local languages.
Dean of the Faculty of Letters of Papua State University, Andreas Deda in Manokwari on Sunday (27/9/2015) said those languages are the native languages of Tandia and Dusner tribes of Teluk Wondama Regency.
Another language that is currently almost extinct is the native language of Sebiar tribe of Teluk Bintuni Regency.
The research is aimed to protect the local languages and being used in daily conversation among Papuan communities.
“For English Department students, we oblige them to do research and scientific report on local languages for final project in English,” he said. According to him, Papua local languages are still interesting to be researched and developed since most of Indonesian local languages are from Papua. “Of 700 languages in Indonesia, more than 300 are in Papua,” he said.
Deda further explained that in Papua, each tribes or even clans have their own languages. Those languages are bounded with the characteristic of local people. It is found in the previous research that local public art in Papua was expressed into the language through songs that usually used in traditional rituals.
Papuans are spreading in the coastal to mountainous areas with various atmospheres and languages. This is also affecting their character and way of thingking. “No wonder, if the problems in Papua are quite complex and difficult to solve,” he said.
He considered 50% of Indonesian diversity is found in the Land of Papua. It’s a richness of nation that should be maintained with serious efforts. He thought currently the readiness of human resources in maintain the Papuan languages is almost not existed. This condition would adversely affect the presence of the local languages. With modernization, currently there is a phenomenon among Papuans to not consider the local identity including the local language, as something required to be protected. (*/rom)

7) Linus Hiluka Confirm His Rejection on State’s Offer

Wamena, Jubi – An ex-political prisoner Linus Hiluka confirmed he would keep refusing any offers of Central Government in any ways.
He stated it when Jayawijaya Police Chief Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Semmy Ronny Thabaa visited him on last week at his residence located in Pelima Village, Ibele Sub-district, Jayawijaya Regency.
“Until now some people act on behalf of our name –five political prisoners- telling Jakarta that we want some goods, but now I stand with Jayawijaya Police Chef to say I and my colleagues do not want any offers in any ways, it’s our commitment,” Hiluka said.
Meanwhile, in the same plance the Jayawijaya Police Chief Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Semmy Ronny Thaba said the Jayawijaya Police attempts to study this rejection. According to him, based on conversation with Linus Hiluka, he found out there is an issue increased among Jayawijaya residents that Linus Hiluka has received funding from the Papua Provincial Government as well as the Central Government or president in this term.
In regards to the protest would be taken by Linus Hiluka, the chief explained Hiluka intend to do it to openly clarify that the accusation over five ex-political prisoners was wrong, because Hiluka didn’t accept anything. “Five ex-political prisoners never submitted any proposal to the governor or president, and they never received IDR 2.6 billion as rumored,” said the Jayawijaya Police Chief.
He added the Jayawijaya Police Chief would do a clarification related to this issue. “I have talked with the presidential special official Lenis Kogoya to clarify this issue and would ensure that the five ex-political prisoners would not accept anything from the government,” he said. (Islami/rom)


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