1) Indonesia-Papua New Guinea Oil and Gas Collaboration
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-The Indonesian government is planning to cooperate with Papua New Guinea to develop the national oil and gas sector in Eastern Indonesia. The Energy and Mineral Resource Ministry has launched a shift of focus on exploration and exploitation of oil and gas activities within the vicinity.
“Private sectors also have the opportunity to take advantage of this cooperation,” said Director General of Oil and Gas, I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmadja as cited by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resource on Wednesday, October 21.
The collaboration will be done through the information exchange of oil and gas policy of the two countries, feasibility of study and survey as well as in the policy management for liquid natural gas. These activities will be supervised by the newly formed Indonesia-Papua New Guinea oil and gas task force.
The task force, Wiratmadja said, is the implementation from the MoU created in 2013. For the long term, Wiratmadja expects the collaboration will be included in a more realistic agreement.
Wiratmadja uttered that related State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) including PT Pertamina and PT Pupuk Indonesia also have the chance to rake the advantages from the collaboration. The fertilizer factory will also be incorporated in the development plan within Eastern Indonesia’s border.
In the presentation, Wiratmaja conveyed that Papua New Guinea owns hefty oil and gas and mineral contents. Unfortunately, little could only be explored. “Indonesia has been focusing on the western region,” he said.
2) Indonesia says Papuans can benefit from more competition
Updated at 4:30 pm today
The new Pharaa Market under construction in Sentani, Papua
Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins
An Indonesian government representative on development in Papua says the region's indigenous communities can benefit from learning more about trade, rather than just bartering.
Judith Dipodiputro is overseeing the construction of a major new market facility for Papuans to sell homegrown and fresh products in Sentani.
It is the latest in Jakarta's efforts to foster grassroots involvement in development in Papua.
Many Papuans complain that Indonesia's transmigration programme over the years has left them as bystanders to in economic activity while non-Papuans dominate.
Ms Dipodiputro says there is a need for Papuan communities to learn to be competitive.
Some tribes as very competitive, are traders, since hundreds of years. Some tribes are not really traders, they are more - let's say - living on a day by day, so they don't really have his concept of competing in trade. But we have to work on creating a balance, of bringing them into a competitive level that is acceptable to them as well.
3) Papuans in Seven Indigenous Territories to Welcome PIF Team
4) Muslim and Christian faiths co-exist, says Papua Reverend
Updated at 2:52 pm today
A Papua church leader says media reports about the recent burning of a small mosque in Tolikara have largely mis-represented relations between different faiths.
Reverend Dormon Wandikbo, is a leading member of GIDI, or Gereja Injili di Indonesia, a Protestant church which, unlike other leading Protestant churches in Papua, has a presence in other parts of Indonesia.
Reverend Wandikbo was in Jayapura this month to meet with representatives of the GIDI church from Jakarta to foster economic empowerment by members of their church.
He says the Tolikara incident was not a conflict between Muslims and GIDI Christians as reported by mainstream media.
Because Muslims and GIDI people there, they don't know what happened there. There's another people who created the conflict. Because we know during twenty years, nothing happened there. But last incident, in July, it happened and we know that it was created by other people there.
Reverend Wandikbo says the two faiths generally co-exist well in Papua.
He adds that two teenagers arrested for the incident should be freed.
Meanwhile, he admits that the Papua region does have isolated cases of religious extremism which had the potential to cause problems for society.
A survey conducted by Indo Barometer shows public satisfaction with Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kala has fallen to 46 percent in September, from 57 percent last March.
Joko Widodo, who is known as "Jokowi" swept to power on a wave of popular support for his hands-on approach and his image as a corruption-free, fresh face in a country long dominated by oligarchs from the era of former dictator, General Suharto.
The biggest disappointments regard several issues on which he had strongly campaigned on, such as fighting rampant corruption, one of the country's main problems.
He recently faced criticism over his nomination of a controversial figure as the new national police chief, a close friend of his, that most Indonesians believe to be corrupt.
"He made a lot of mistakes in his first year so I would call it a fisaco because it was actually something that would have been avoided," Yohanes Sulaiman, a political professor at the University of Defense in Jakarta, told RFI.
"It destroyed Jokowi's credibility in his fight against corruption. It made a lot of people angry really. He had set the bar very high, and people's expectations were too. We'll have to see what's next now..."
He blames Jokowi for the nomination, saying it triggered a row between the notoriously corrupt police and the popular anti-graft agency, which accused the nominee of bribery.
Another point of his campaign was to reform the government's plans on economy.
He got off to a good start by cutting fuel subsidies that ate up a huge chunk of the government's budget. That in turn freed up billions of dollars to invest in the slowing economy.
But his attempts to attract foreign investors have been undercut by protectionist policies announced by his ministers, such as the abrupt cancellation of thousands of import licences.
"He has really increased spending on infrastructure, which I think a lot of economists hope will push economic growth. But he has a couple of problems: Global economic conditions are not particularly favorable," Dave McRae, a senior research fellow at the Asia Institute, told RFI.
"A lot of his budget assumptions are based on a level of growth that Indonesia isn't simply going to be able to achieve. And at the same time, you have Jokowi stressing that foreign investment is really important for Indonesia, yet his ministers pull out of deals. So I think you need a clearer policy agenda there on the economic front."
And on an international level, he started off by launching a massive anti-drug campaign within the country, and to show how serious he was, he has not succumbed to international pressure over the execution of several foreign drug convicts.
"He tried to deal with human rights problems, he released five political prisonners, he opened up Papua... But there are still 90 other political prisonners. There are still a lot of issues for foreign journalists going to Papua," Andreas Harsono, the Human Rights Watch representative in indonesia told RFI.
"He also ordered the executions of 12 death row convicts, this year only. Including Brazilian, Nigerian, Australian citizens, and still has a French man (Serge Atlaoui) on death row right now. These are problematic decisions, especially considering it's straining the relations between countries who are withdrawing their ambassadors."
One year on, it might be too early to see clearly where Jokowi is headed, but he undoubtely has a lot on his plate for the next four years.
6) NZ students protest over Papua violence
Updated at 2:39 pm today
Dozens of students marched on the Indonesian Embassy in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, today to protest over continuing violence from the security forces in West Papua.
The students, many of them from Melanesian countries, had walked from Victoria University and were joined by several MPs, including the Green Party's Catherine Delahunty.
She says it is important the Indonesian diplomats understand the levels of concern in this country at the ongoing violence directed at the indigenous Melanesian people in West Papua.
"Despite alleged improvements around representation on the MSG [Melanesian Spearhead Group] and the Pacific Forum talking about a fact-finding mission, there are still deaths, there are still military killings happening. So just a month ago, people may have heard two young students were killed. And I think these students here, believe they are the ones who can speak out - they are speaking for all of those who don’t have a voice.”
7) Rallies Serve as Reminder to Police, Jayapura Bishop Says
8) Some Students at SMPN Buti Cannot Read or Write
9) Most Teachers in Mountainous Areas Lack Certification
10) 4 High School Students in Jayapura City Unable to Read Properly
11) Hot spots increase in Papua, South Sumatra
thejakartapost.com, Jakarta | National | Wed, October 21 2015, 12:18 PM -