Monday, September 21, 2015

1) Opposition Acknowledges PM’s Stand on West Papua

2) Govt to Set up Institution to Accelerate Development in Papua

3) Seven Hostage Takers Arrested by PNG Military
4) Released Indonesian Hostages Recount Abuse by Captors
5) Elementary Teachers in Mamberamo Raya Leave their School for Months

6) West Papua: Indonesian police beat high school students for leafleting


1) Opposition Acknowledges PM’s Stand on West Papua

Jayapura, Jubi – The Parliamentary Group has acknowledged the Prime Minister for his firm stand on the issue of West Papua during the recent Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Port Moresby.
In a statement today (Monday, 21/9/2015), the Parliamentary Opposition Group said Solomon Islands push for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua at the PIF was timely.
“The Prime Minister has taken onboard the plight of our Melanesian brothers and sisters and of course the mounting pressure from the public and Opposition,” it said.
However, the statement said whilst this must be acknowledged, the Opposition Group was also concerned about the appointment of the country’s Special Envoy to West Papua.
The statement said the Parliamentary Opposition is concerned with information from sources within the Government that the Government has bypassed Foreign Affairs and diplomatic protocols in the appointment of the special envoy.
“Whilst we support West Papua, we should utilise our office in Jakarta for that cause to avoid Solomon Islands becoming a diplomatic embarrassment to other countries,” it said.
The statement adds that reports that Solomon Islands Ambassador to Indonesia has been summoned recently because of the appointment of the Special Envoy should be a concern.
The Parliamentary Opposition is also seeking clarification from the Government on the terms of references regarding the Special Envoy’s role and whether this appointment comes under the MSG Chairmanship or rather a prerogative appointment under the discretion of the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Opposition said whilst the Prime Minister has been firm on regional issues, the challenge now is for him to also treat domestic issues in the same manner.
“If the Prime Minister can stand firm on such regional issues then he must also do the same with the outstanding issues that he is yet to answer to the people in this country,” it said.
The Parliamentary Opposition said the Prime Minister must not shy away from these national issues as they have direct impact to citizens of this country. (*)


2) Govt to Set up Institution to Accelerate Development in Papua
Timika, Jubi/Antara – The government will set up an institution tasked with accelerating natural resource-based development efforts in Papua to speed up the regions economic development, said minister Sudirman Said here on Sunday (20/9/2015).
“The institution will later act as a liaison between the central and regional governments as well as businesses in Papua,” the minister of energy and mineral resources said.
He said the move was taken to follow up on Presidential Decree Number 16 of 2015 regarding a study team on the policy of natural resources management for economic development of Papua.
Minister Sudirman made the statement after meeting with local leaders along with the minister of national development planning/head of National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) as head of the team, Sofyan Djalil.
He said it is hoped the institution will ease coordination of development efforts in Papua while planning could also be done with more synergy together.
This institution will later be the partner of regional governments and businesses in communicating plans and business opportunities that have and will be taken, he added.
The minister explained a legal umbrella would be sought for the setting up of the institution and a scope of work would also be determined to avoid overlapping with other institutions.
In the framework of accelerating economic development in Papua, the government has considered that a natural resource-based development policy is needed.
Based on the idea President Joko Widodo on May 21, 2015 signed Presidential Decree Number 16, 2015.
The study team on the policy of natural resources management for economic development of Papua consists of minister of energy and mineral resources, minister of finance, minister of home affairs, minister of justice and human rights, minister of environment and forestry, minister of state enterprises, minister of industry, minister of trade, minister of agrarian affairs and spatial management/head of National Land Agency, the attorney general, the head of Investment Coordinating Board, the governor of Papua, the governor of West Papua and first deputy for monitoring and evaluation of the presidential staff.
The secretariat of the office is led by deputy for political, legal and security affairs of the ministry of national development planning/Bappenas and director general of minerals and coal of the ministry of energy and mineral resources.
“The team is tasked with evaluating and studying policies on natural resource management in Papua in the framework of economic development in Papua,” the president decree states.
The evaluation is done based on the synergy of the policies of the central and regional governments.(*)


3) Seven Hostage Takers Arrested by PNG Military

Jayapura, Jubi/Antara – The commander of the XVII Cenderawasih military region, Major General Hinsa Siburian, said here on Sunday (20/9/2015) that the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces have arrested seven people who have recently taken hostage two Indonesian citizens.
“Based on the report that I received seven members of the group that has taken hostage two Indonesian citizens have been held by the PNG army,” he told to press.
He said the seven were arrested during the operation to free the hostages carried out by the PNG army.
He said there was no complete report about the process of the arrest and holding of the hostage takers because it was the PNG armys affairs.
The hostage taking problem had been settled without any barter or payment being involved, he said.
He expressed appreciation to the efforts that have been made by the PNG government and army to release the hostages safely.
He admitted that the Indonesian military has actually prepared an anti-terror unit to free the hostages.
The anti-terror team consisting 50 members would be sent to free the hostages but because the location of the hostage taking is in PNG they had so far only stood by to wait for orders, he said.
The two Indonesian citizens – Badar and Sudirman – were freed by the PNG army on Friday (Sept 18) after being held hostage since September 9. (*)
4) Released Indonesian Hostages Recount Abuse by Captors
By : Robert Isidorus | on 1:54 PM September 21, 2015
Papua. The two Indonesian loggers held captive by a Papuan separatist group earlier this month in Papua New Guinea said they were stripped naked and beaten by their captors during their week-long ordeal.
"They forced us to crawl on the ground while yelling, 'Free Papua.' They forbade us to speak in our local Butonese [South Sulawesi] dialect; we had to speak Indonesian instead," Badar, 29, told Papua Police Chief Ins. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw at Bhayangkara Hospital in Jayapura, Papua.
Badar and Ladiri, 28, were among a group of Indonesian loggers working in Skopro village, located in Papua's Keerom district, who were attacked by seven armed men believed to be members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) some 100 meters from the Papua New Guinea border.
While their coworkers managed to flee, the pair was captured and taken across the border, into the dense jungles of Mount Victoria.
Badar and Ladiri said they spotted a helicopter flying overhead on their fourth day of captivity and attempted to catch the pilot's attention by waving their shirts in the air, but to no avail.
Neither knew why they had been captured.
They were handed over to the Indonesian government through the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea, last Friday before being transported back to Papua.
5) Elementary Teachers in Mamberamo Raya Leave their School for Months
Biak, Jubi – A number of elementary school (SD) teachers in Mamberamo Raya regency has left their jobs and live in the cities, said the regency’s Secretary of Indonesian Youth National Committee (KNPI).
They have settled in Serui city, Jayapura city and Jayapura regency as well as the capital city of Mamberamo Raya for months but still receive their salaries and benefits each month, Nelius Awaki told Jubi on last week.
As a result, teaching and learning activities are not running well and when students graduated, they can not read and count properly
“It shows that the quality of education in primary schools is poor, “he said.
He said he hoped the local education authorities to deal with those teachers.
“If they have been warned to return to the work place but they ignored. Consequently, their salary must be stopped temporarily “Awaki said.
He then hoped the education department to provide teachers’ housings so that can live in the work place comfortably.
Separately, chief of Sawai district, Mamberamo Raya, Yosias Sembai confirmed that there are many elementary school teachers who leave their duties for months.”I am disappointed with them,” he said. (Marten Boseren)


6) West Papua: Indonesian police beat high school students for leafleting

Monday, September 21, 2015

Demonstration in solidarity with West Papua. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Indonesian police beat two West Papuan students in Yahukimo, Papua Province, on September 16 for handing out leaflets about the Pacific Islands Forum.
Free West Papua Campaign relayed reports from West Papua that in Yahukimo two high school students, Hariel Lulu and Arpius Magayang, were handing out leaflets which described the outcome of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)held the previous week in Port Moresby. Police stopped the students, beat them and forced them to eat the leaflets.
This occured on Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day.
Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Benny Wenda explained why West Papuans mark PNG Independence Day in a statement: “We West Papuans always celebrate PNG’s Independence Day too because we are always the same people as you and before this borderline was put we all lived on this land together in freedom. We remain One People with One Soul and we are very happy that half of our people and our land are already independent and free.”
This isn’t the first time an independence day has been marred by Indonesian state violence. On Indonesia’s independence day, August 16, Fredi Wenda, a relative of Benny Wenda, was stopped by Indonesian police at a checkpoint. He was questioned but refused to reveal his name. When he tried to escape he was beaten. When police finally found out his surname, they killed him by stabbing him in the neck with a knife.
“I know that the Indonesian military is targeting my family to target me … Neither I nor my people will be terrorised into submission by Indonesian state brutality against us,” Benny Wenda said on August 19.
The PIF had discussed West Papua the previous week. But the issue has divided opinion among forum members. PNG, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji have tended to side with Indonesia over the matter.
Wenda had been invited to a human rights refugee conference in PNG, and also wanted to take part in the PIF. But his visa applications were rejected twice so he was unable to attend. Wenda disputed the PNG government’s claim that he had not completed the application process, saying he had a lawyer check his forms. “I respect the decision by PNG government and its immigration department, but I hereby appeal to the government to not penalise the struggle of the people of West Papua,” he said.
The PIF communiqué recognised Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua but noted concern for human rights abuses. It resolved that the forum chair, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, convey these views to Indonesia and pursue a fact-finding mission to West Papua.
PNG foreign minister Rimbik Pato said his country will not endanger the good relationship it has with Indonesia when it comes to West Papua, Radio New Zealand International said on September 9.
New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully said he did not support a PIF fact-finding mission to West Papua. “I haven't seen a role for a fact-finding mission but I think a healthy discussion about this matter amongst leaders will be useful and I think that Papua New Guinea and the chair will bring a good sense of balance and judgement to that discussion,” he said.
Indonesia’s vice minister for foreign affairs Abdurrahman Mohamed Fachir said: “I think this is not the right forum to discuss West Papua for a number of reasons. We are here discussing important economic development, co-operation, how to address climate change, maritime, fisheries and ICT connectivity for the Pacific,” the September 11 Solomon Star reported.
But West Papua was not entirely without friends at the summit. Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare included in his delegation his Special Envoy on West Papua Matthew Wale and leader of the ULMWP Octavanius Mote.
Sogavare said: “Bringing West Papua to the agenda of the Pacific Islands Forum is within the framework of the Leaders meeting. We are not going outside that mandate … By virtue of our membership of the UN we recognise the sovereignty of Indonesia over West Papua. But the same United Nations recognises the rights of people for self-determination and violation against human rights,” the Solomon Star reported.
West Papuans and their supporters praised Solomon Islands for upholding its tradition of supporting the West Papuan cause. When Sogavare returned to Solomon Islands on September 15, he was greeted by a large crowd of West Papua campaigners, the September 16 Solomon Star reported.
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From GLW issue 1070


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