Monday, October 5, 2015

1) Solomon Islands PM Calls on UN to Address West Papua

3) Honor 1960s victims, albeit  public’s fuzzy memory -

1) Solomon Islands PM Calls on UN to Address West Papua
EMTV online
on Monday, 05 Oct 2015. Posted in Home

Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, has called on the United Nations Human 
Rights Council to increase 
efforts in carrying out investigations and monitoring allegations of human rights abuse and violations 
in West Papua.
"All states have a legal duty and moral responsibility to uphold, respect and promote human rights 
and where necessary take 
preventive, protective and punitive measures against human rights abuses or violations in accordance 
with the UN Charter 
and applicable international laws,” Sogavare said.
PM Sogavare said that the UN cannot shy away from the root causes of violations against the ethnic
 Melanesians of 
West Papua.  
The head of the Pacific nation made these comments during his address at the 70th session 
of the United Nations 
General Assembly.
He told the summit that Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have approved for a fact finding mission 
to West Papua; this 
decision, he said, was made at the recent Pacific leaders’ summit held last month in Port Moresby.
 He said the summit 
resolved to appeal to the Government of Indonesia to allow free and unrestricted access to this
 mission 'in the true spirit 
of regional cooperation.'

Solomom Star

2) AWPA condemns Papua shooting

The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) condemns the shooting of two high 
school students in Timika on Monday the 28 September by the Indonesian security forces.
The incident occurred around 19.30hrs.

Caleb Bagau, aged 18, died while his friend Efrando Sabarofek, aged 17, was wounded in the chest and legs.

He is receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Mimika, Papua. The family, local community and religious leaders 

have condemned the shootings.

At approximately 19.00hrs while the students were sitting in a market culvert with their school friends, dozens of police 

officers armed with weapons and cars surrounded the area.

Because they were afraid the two students ran, however the police shot in their direction killing Caleb Bagau

 and wounding Elfrando who was shot in the chest and leg.

One report said the reason the police arrived was that it was because the students were reported for making a noise.

Another report indicated they were pursued by the police because their fathers are reported to be members of the OPM.

Joe Collins of AWPA said:

“The shooting of the two students by the security forces shows yet again that the Indonesian security forces can act 

with impunity in West Papua.

“AWPA believes that the Indonesian President should ensure that not only is this incident investigated but that all cases 

of human rights violations committed by the security forces in West Papua are investigated and those found guilty of
 human rights abuses prosecuted”.

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) urged Indonesia’s Government to conduct an investigation for this shooting.

MRG, as quoted by said perpetrators must be held accountable.

“There is no justification for these senseless murders and the Indonesian government must urgently establish an 

independent inquiry to hold perpetrators to account,” said Claire Thomas, Deputy Director at MRG.

“Extrajudicial killings in West Papua have reached unacceptable proportions, with the indigenous population living in daily 

fear of security forces and for their lives.”

MRG added, “The shooting resurrects concerns about extrajudicial killings and impunity in the conflict-torn region, despite

a pledge by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to address human rights concerns in West Papua.” “It is not enough for
 President Joko Widodo to make bold promises about promoting human rights in Papua unless it is followed up with
 concrete action,” said Thomas.

“This must include addressing the underlying causes of violence and insecurity in West Papua, including endemic impunity

 for state-sponsored violence and the disregard for minority and indigenous rights.” The police chief, Inspector 
General (Pol) Paul Waterpauw apologised and admitted the incident but tried to claim the shooting was in self-defense.

But the families of the students rejected the apology from the Chief of Police Papua, Inspector 

General (Pol) Paul Waterpauw.
3) Honor 1960s victims, albeit  public’s fuzzy memory -
Maria Pakpahan, Edinburgh, Scotland | Opinion | Mon, October 05 2015, 4:47 PM - See more at:
At Thursday’s commemoration of the date when 50 years ago six generals and a young officer were killed, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo put to rest reports that the state would apologize to the millions of victims, survivors and the families of the 1960s tragedy.

I think the refusal to apologize is wrong and holds us hostage to the past, and the history as created by the New Order regime.

An apology is vital to bring the state a step closer to healing society, as it would reach out to victims and their families. We should stand up and speak out when wrongdoing takes place.

In the weeks and months following this week in 1965, scores were murdered, tortured and arrested. It is estimated that between 500,000 to 1 million people were killed during the cleansing of people with any leftist connections, regardless of their age or level of “connection”.

The historical narrative of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), says that the organization was bad, dangerous, seditious and therefore deserving of its fate — this was the anthem played throughout the General Soeharto regime.

The New Order demonized the leftist movement by dehumanizing anyone associated with the PKI. Civilians — people who were politically ignorant, afraid, confused and possibly had some disagreement with elements or members of PKI at the local level — were co-opted into the killing machine in the crushing operations, as many of these civilians did the dirty work, massacred fellow countrymen and women, without awareness of their wrongdoing, let alone giving them a fair trial.

It is essential that people from all walks of life learn from history. Indonesians need to have a critical perspective about what happened on Sept. 30, 1965 and the following atrocities.

Providing a better understanding and countering the narrative choked down our throats via our schooling, propaganda films, regulations and laws that contradict the spirit of our Constitution, which guarantees human rights, is one way to honor the victims and survivors.

The dehumanizing of the PKI led to a genocide that until today is difficult for us to grapple with. Here it might be useful to use Hannah Arendt‘s The Human Condition.

The political theorist recognized that to retain direction and meaning of such a significant human action, in this case the 1960s violence, another human capacity is required — remembrance.

The present binds the past and future together. As a nation, our present can be the product of the past, so thus our future depends on how we give meaning to the present.

So, what is preventing us from recognizing this wrongdoing in the past?

The present, regardless of how confusing “1965” was, is an opportunity to inspect our memory. A chance to collect more information, to gain better knowledge and evidence about what happened 50 years ago.
This act of remembrance is just one step before we can talk of reconciliation. An act of remembrance will reorient us in the direction of the future.

Public remembrance with counter narratives about post Sept. 30 1965 is one way to honor the victims. Public memory is not singular and may be fuzzy, nonetheless trying to maintain its integrity is a worthwhile attempt. It is not an easy road, as meaningful action requires a public outlet and one such meaningful action is an apology.

Thus, it is still important for the Jokowi administration to apologize unreservedly. We have to accept the tragic reality that the state did not prevent the mass violence following Sept. 30, 1965, and that state institutions were directly involved in the rampant killing and persecution of anyone considered left-wing.

An apology is appropriate given the gravity of the violence and how it affects us a nation-state, and as a reminder of our history. Apologizing to the victims and survivors of the tragedy, and their families, brings us closer to potential reconciliation and closure on the 1965 saga.

It is important for the nation’s leadership to show that the way forward is not to argue about whether to apologize, but to lead by example and do the morally right thing.

We need to see considerable progress toward justice for the victims and their families. Therefore, decisive political action is required. People need to learn about the past atrocities, the escalation of killings, arbitrary arrests and persecution, the decades of stigmatization of many innocent people simply because they were branded as leftist, including the PKI, the Gerwani women’s organization, the CGMI students’ organization and many more — the list is endless.

This 2015 commemoration of these events gives us a chance to pause and reflect, to think about how to guard our future by honoring the victims, by apologizing and educating ourselves so that these atrocities will never, ever happen again. A more balanced narrative is needed, an alternative version of what happened for new generations.

It will most definitely require political will and courage. I do not say it will not be controversial. I simply say the state needs to act, to apologize in honor of the victims, their relatives and survivors — there are so many of them.

We have to accept the tragic reality that the state did not prevent the mass violence ...

The writer is a feminist human rights activist and the Scotland, UK Coordinator of the upcoming International People’s Tribunal 1965, scheduled for November in The Hague, the Netherlands


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