Friday, September 25, 2015

1) PNG’s Sandaun Governor to maintain links with Papua

2) Magnitude-6.6 earthquake strikes off Indonesia’s Papua provinces, injuring more than 60
3) Army Chief Calls on Kopassus to Dial Back Its Misconduct

1) PNG’s Sandaun Governor to maintain links with Papua
Updated at 7:27 pm on 25 September 2015
The recently elected Governor of Papua New Guinea's West Sepik province says he wants to keep building links with the neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua.
Last month Amkat Mai won back the governorship in a by-election after the seat was vacant for two years after the Supreme Court ruled that Mr Mai's 2012 election victory was invalid.
Mr Mai says PNG's relationship with Indonesia is important and offers a range of opportunities.
He says he wants to maintain good understanding between himself, his counterpart in Papua province and the mayor of Jayapura, as well as the mayor of Vanimo.
“So that we try to create and see that border line not as a border line but as a line that we can connect and create friendships, relationships with the people of Papua province and the people of Sandaun province and Papua New Guinea."
2) Magnitude-6.6 earthquake strikes off Indonesia’s Papua provinces, injuring more than 60
A powerful earthquake in remote eastern Indonesia has injured more than 60 people, left hundreds of houses damaged and rattled an idyllic island chain popular with foreign tourists and divers.
People were woken and ran from their homes when the magnitude-6.6 undersea quake struck in the Papua region at about 1:00am local time on Friday, not far from the coastal city of Sorong. 
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake's epicentre was at a depth of 24 kilometres.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 17 people were so far known to have sustained serious injuries and 45 suffered minor injuries, while 200 houses were damaged. No deaths have been reported. 
The quake also caused blackouts in Sorong where patients were evacuated from a hospital. 
"We are still collecting data, and we expect the number of victims and damage to increase," Mr Nugroho said in a statement.
The quake was also felt strongly in Raja Ampat, north-west of the epicentre, an archipelago popular with tourists and divers due to its palm-fringed islands that are surrounded by an underwater kaleidoscope of coral and fish. 
Yona Niki, a receptionist at Waisai Beach Hotel on Waigeo island, said staff and four guests staying at the hotel ran outside when the quake hit and waited until the intense shaking had stopped. 
The manager of another hotel said the quake left cracks in the walls. 
However there were no reports of injuries in the area, with hotel operators saying it was the low season so there were few tourists. 
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. 
In July, a teenage boy fell into a river and died, and several buildings were damaged when a magnitude-7.0 quake rocked Papua. 
A huge undersea quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that engulfed Aceh province on western Sumatra island, killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in other countries with coasts on the Indian Ocean.

3) Army Chief Calls on Kopassus to Dial Back Its Misconduct
By : Robertus Wardhy | on 6:17 PM September 25, 2015
Jakarta. Indonesia’s Army chief has lashed out at members of Kopassus, the notorious special forces, over two recent incidents in a litany of criminal conduct.
“There are still soldiers from the Indonesian Army who taint the name of their force and the Army with their arrogant and selfish attitudes […] by engaging in misdeeds or even acting against the law,” Gen. Mulyono, the Army chief of staff, said at a ceremony at the Kopassus headquarters in East Jakarta on Friday.
Mulyono stopped short of elaborating, but appears to have been referring to a pair of incidents this year involving Kopassus members. The first occurred in June in the Central Java town of Sukoharjo, when a group of Kopassus members attacked four Air Force personnel during a brawl that erupted at a local cafe. One of the Air Force members was killed in the incident, while the others were injured.
Less than two months later, two Army soldiers – including a Kopassus member – were investigated for their role in the kidnapping of a Malaysian businessman in Jakarta. They were allegedly hired to force the man to pay off his loans to his Indonesian business partners.
“Like the rice plant, the more its buds are filled with grain, the more it bows downward,” Mulyono said of the importance for the elite unit to stay humble. “As soldiers, the higher our ranks and the more professional skills we have, the more humbled we should be and the more ready to give our best service to the public.”
Kopassus has a long history of engaging in criminal conduct, including myriad human rights violations during the military’s occupation of East Timor, Papua and Aceh. The most notorious incident in recent years occurred in March 2013, when a fully armed group of the special forces soldiers stormed a police jail in Yogyakarta and gunned down four detainees being held on suspicion of killing a Kopassus member.
The military justified the summary execution as an expression of the soldiers’ loyalty, and a court martial later sentenced the perpetrators to jail for 21 months to 11 years.

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