Friday, October 16, 2015

1) Indonesian Battle Over Freeport Threatens to Mar Leader’s US Trip

2) Churches criticise Indonesia’s Papua record
3) RI, PNG agree to open new flight route
4) Statement by the LP3BH on President Jokowi’s forecoming visit to the USA
5) Long-distance immigration  services launched in Sorong 
6) Timika’s airport closed  following thick haze

1) Indonesian Battle Over Freeport Threatens to Mar Leader’s US Trip
By : Randy Fabi and Wilda Asmarini | on 8:54 PM October 16, 2015

Freeport wants certainty to spend $18 billion to build what would be the world’s biggest underground mine. But under law the government cannot begin to renegotiate until 2019, two years before the contract expires. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Jakarta. Indonesian ministers are battling over control of U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan’s future in the country, threatening to mar the president’s first trip to the United States later this month.
President Joko Widodo starts a five-day trip to Washington and San Francisco on Oct. 25, as investor sentiment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy brightens following a cabinet reshuffle and a series of new stimulus measures.
One of Widodo’s first stops will be with Freeport executives at a breakfast ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, according to a tentative schedule obtained by Reuters.
At the heart of talks will likely be Freeport’s years-long bid to renew its contract, allowing the firm to continue operating beyond 2021 at the lucrative Grasberg mine in Papua, one of the world’s biggest deposits of gold and copper.
Freeport wants certainty to spend $18 billion to build what would be the world’s biggest underground mine. But under law the government cannot begin to renegotiate until 2019, two years before the contract expires.

A mines ministry official said this month the rules were being revised, possibly allowing companies to propose an extension earlier.
Mines minister Sudirman Said assured Freeport in a letter last week that the government would “promptly” approve a contract extension once it completes the process later this year.
“For the government, it is better to make a decision instead of delaying the problem. If it’s postponed, it will burden the government,” Said Didu, the minister’s senior adviser, told reporters when asked about Freeport’s contract extension.
But Said’s boss, chief natural resources minister Rizal Ramli, and security czar Luhut Pandjaitan have sharply criticized Freeport’s 48-history in Indonesia and say a contract extension will not be decided for at least another four years.
“We have a regulation ... 2019, two years before the contract expires,” Pandjaitan told Reuters late Thursday. “We cannot change our regulation just because of Freeport.”

The mines ministry has dismissed statements from the two senior ministers on the issue, saying they do not have the authority to decide on such matters.
Didu said the mines ministry has Widodo’s support to extend the company’s contract as quickly as possible.
“The president doesn’t want many parties involved in this negotiation with Freeport because, based on experience, many parties have political and business interests.”
But when reporters asked the president on Friday to provide some clarity, Widodo said: “The extension can be done two years before the end of the contract, it means 2019.”
Freeport officials were not immediately available to comment.
Additional Reporting by Hidayat Setiaji and Kanupriya Kapoor

2) Churches criticise Indonesia’s Papua record
Updated at 4:38 pm on 16 October 2015
Pacific churches say Indonesia must seriously address human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings in Papua.
The call by the Pacific Conference of Churches comes after the killing of a student in Timika and Indonesia's denials at the UN General Assembly of human rights abuses in the territory it annexed in 1961.
The organisation's general secretary, the Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says the situation in Papua is made worse by Indonesian denials when the evidence of abuse was clear.
He says social media makes it impossible for Indonesia to hide the atrocities committed by its security forces on a people who want to determine their political future for themselves.
The Reverend Pihaatae says despite the obvious and overwhelming evidence, the Indonesian government insults the intelligence of Pacific people by its denials.
He says Papuans are killed and tortured merely because they want self-determination, a right guaranteed by the UN of which Indonesia is a member.
3) RI, PNG agree to open new flight route
Sabtu, 17 Oktober 2015 00:26 WIB | 380 Views
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The governments of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to open the Jayapura-Port Moresby flight route, reaching the decision at their two-day meeting that ended here on Friday.

"The opening of the new flight route linking Indonesia, particularly Papua, to Papua New Guinea will hopefully enhance economic cooperation between the two countries," Chief of the Border Area and Foreign Cooperation of the Papua Provincial Government, Suzana Wanggai, said here on Friday.

She said the opening of the new flight route will not only benefit bilateral and economic cooperation but will also allow both sides to develop other sectors.

"The agreement to open the new flight route was reached at wide-ranging talks between the two countries which also discussed commonly-debated issues such as security, borders and so on," she said.

The opening of the new flight route is also part of the effort to ensure connectivity between Papua and other areas and is in line with the vision and mission of the Papua governor and vice governor to develop their region, she said.

"Hopefully, the new flight route can be realized next year, enabling the two countries to soon develop the way they have planned," she said.

She added that the opening of the new flight route can also enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.(*)

4) Statement by the LP3BH on President Jokowi’s forecoming visit to the USA

Statement by the Executive-Director of the LP3BH
15th October

   President Joko Widodo, the head of state of the Republic of Indonesia, will be visiting the USA later this month. According to his
schedule, he will pay a visit to President Barack Obama in Washington on 26th October.

   As has been happening here in Indonesia, particularly in the Land of Papua for the past fifty ears, the POLRI, (Indonesian Police Force)
and the TNI, (Army of Indonesia) continue to resort to violence, committing grave human rights violations as specified in Articles 7, 8
and 9 of Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. Such operations are most frequently directed against the Papuan people (OAP).

   Recently, POLRI directed their operations against six monks of the Catholic Church, which included aiming their weapons at a journalist
from Media Online Suara Papua, Abraham Youw, who was intending to record this visit.

    Such acts of violence will  be a serious challenge for President Barack Obama when he welcomes the President of Indonesia in

   According to the plan of the visit, the two heads of state will discuss the issue of human rights. This is according to an
announcement by Keith Harper, the US ambassador to Indonesia, at a session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on Tuesday
13th October. According to the agenda of the visit, the two heads of state will  discuss the most appropriate actions that need to be taken
in compliance with the principle of basic human rights.   It is very likely that media representatives will focus their
attention on the fact that President Joko Widodo spent several years as a child in Jakarta.

    It is widely expected that special attention will be paid to the issue of human rights and why it is that so many operations that
violate human rights are organised against Papuan people whenever they take part in peaceful demonstrations.

    As a lawyer and Defender of Human Rights in the Land of Papua, I am convinced that during the discussions between the two heads of
state, attention will be drawn to the fact that grave human rights violations have been occurring in the Land of Papua for the past fifty
years. We should bear in mind the fact that this issue has drawn the attention of regional and international meetings that have been held
in the past few months by President Barack Obama.   As the Executive-Director of the LP3BH (Institute of Research,
Analysing and Development of Human Rights), I urge the President of the Republic of Indonesia to do everything he possibly can as the head
of state of the Republic of Indonesia, to ensure that the security forces of Indonesia put an end to acts of repression in the Land of
Papua.  The security forces in the Land of Papua should not be allowed to
continue to engage in repressive operations whenever the Papuan people hold peaceful demonstrations.

   In my opinion, the security forces in the Land of Papua need to be thoroughly overhauled so as to ensure that they comply fully with the
principles of peace and human rights. This must involve all the stakeholders in the Land of Papua, including those groups which are
always being referred to as separatists.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.
5) Long-distance immigration  services launched in Sorong | Archipelago | Fri, October 16 2015, 5:38 PM -

Long-distance passport and visa application services have been launched by the Law and Human Rights Ministry in Sorong, Papua, on Friday.
Initiated by Sorong Immigration Office head Sigit Setyawan, the services will enable the residents of Fakfak, Raja Ampat and Kaimana regencies to apply for visas and passports without having to come all the way to Sorong. Using the new system, they can easily send the required documents by email or submit them through immigration posts in respective regions.
After the documents are received, the Sorong Immigration Office will conduct a verification process. After being verified, local immigration officers will visit the applicants' home to take photos and fingerprints. The passport will then be issued within three days.
Regarding Sorong's poor internet connection, the ministry's director general of immigration Ronny F. Sompie said that he was optimistic the issue would improve over time and thus increased the service's effectiveness.
“We want to help the people who live in remote areas to be able to apply for passports without having to spend a lot of money just to travel to Sorong. Since the geographic condition in Papua is a little different than in other parts of Indonesia, we'd like to spend a small amount of funds to assist and facilitate the people of Sorong and its neighboring regions,” said Ronny.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the ministry and the regents of Raja Ampat, Fakfak and Kaimana during the service’s launching ceremony on Friday. (nov/kes)(++++)
6) Timika’s airport closed  following thick haze
Nethy Dharma Somba,, Jayapura | National | Fri, October 16 2015, 7:20 PM - 

Officials closed Mozes Kilangin airport in Timika for two days following haze coming from the southern part of Papua, officials said on Friday.
John Rettob, transportation and information office chief, said that the visibility in the airport was only 500 meters out of the minimum 1,500 m required by the Transportation Ministry.
"Smog has been seen in Timika since last week but the density kept rising especially over the past two days when the visibility only reached 500 m," he said.
John said that regular flights to Timika of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and private carriers Sriwijaya Air and Air Fast could not operate in the airport since Thursday.
"Timika is currently closed because no airplanes can come in or out from here," he said.
The haze also disrupted shipping as boats and ships are banned from getting out of Timika port.
John said that the smog is coming from the southern part of Indonesia's eastern most province.
Sem Padamma, chief of the Jayapura branch of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said that the hot spots are recorded in two districts, 92 hotspots in Merauke district and 12 in Merauke district.
He explained that as the wind blew from south to north, the haze was sent to Timika even though no hot spots were found there.
Based on BMKG data, the hot spots had started since the beginning of September and were not only in the southern part of Papua but in the neighboring West Papua province as well.
"We did not know whether the source of the haze is forest or land fires. We only found hot spots on our radar," Sem said.
Brig. Gen Supartodi, military resort commander of Anim Ti Waninggap, said that local people burned land during the dry season, which caused the hot spots.
"They expected grass to grow in the burned land during the rainy season for a hunting place," he said adding that he had assigned his personnel to cooperate with the locals to extinguish fires if hot spots were found. (rin)

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