Friday, October 23, 2015

1) The young Papuans risking life and limb in the name of resistance

2) Glimpse at Papuan experience under Indonesian rule
3) BMKG: 51 Forest Fires Raging in West Papua
4) Mimika Declares Haze as Region-Wide Disaster
5) 50 Hectare-Forest Belonging Burned
6) Legislators Urge to Tighten Security on Merauke-PNG Border
7) Papua New Guinea to resettle refugees from Australian camps, Papua province
8) Indonesia to host Melanesian festival, aimed at enhancing regional cooperation

1) The young Papuans risking  life and limb in the name  of resistance 
Neles Tebay, Abepura | Opinion | Wed, October 21 2015, 4:48 PM - 

This year has seen a new development in the Papuan struggle. The resistance against Indonesia’s rule over the territory of the western half of New Guinea is no longer led by the old guard of Papuans who had experienced Dutch colonial rule and had witnessed the 1969 Act of Free Choice that resulted in Papua’s integration into the Republic of Indonesia.  

Today’s resistance is no longer directed from Papua’s jungles by a commander of the National Liberation Army of West Papua, a military wing of Papuan resistance groups called the Free Papua Movement known as Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM).  

The resistance is now organized and led by the younger generation of Papuans.  

The shootings and torture of Papuans that has gone on since December 2014 until today, accompanied by various incidents of unrest, indicate that the young Papuans who were outsiders in the past are now front-liners in the Papuan resistance.  

The latest shooting of young Papuans — as recorded by police and NGOs, among others — took place on Sept. 28 in Timika, the capital of Mimika regency. Kaleb Bagau, 21, was shot to death and Erfando Sabarofak, 17, sustained injuries during shooting by the police. 

On Aug. 28, responding to Papuans gathering in front of a Catholic church for a thanksgiving celebration, two military members opened fire in Timika, resulting in the killing of two Papuans, Yulianus Okoare, 18, and Imanuel Marimau, 23. The shooting injured Thomas Apoka, 16, and three others in their early 20s — Moses Umapi, Marinus Apokapo and Moses Imipu. 

On Aug. 27, three young Papuans, Wilhelmus Awom, 26, Soleman Yom, 27, and Yafet Awom, 19, were abducted and severely tortured by police in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province.  

On July 17, 12 Papuans were shot by security personnel in Karubaga, the capital of Tolikara regency, in the central highland. One, Endi Wanimbo, 15, was killed and 11 others were injured by the shootings. The shooting was a response to Papuans who had protested. 

The shooting of Papuans might not reflect institutional policy of the military and police.

On June 25, Yoseni Agapa, 15, was shot to death, allegedly by security forces, in Ugapuga village, Dogiyai regency. 

On March 19, a clash erupted between police and hundreds of young Papuans who had gathered in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo regency, to show support for the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). One was killed and Intel Senegil, 16, was wounded by the shooting. Meanwhile three young men, Elkius Kobak, 23, Putih Bahabol, 28, and Era Kobak, 26, were arrested and detained by the police.  

On Dec. 8, 2014, some 22 Papuans were shot, allegedly by security forces, in Enarotali, the capital of Paniai regency. Four — 17-year-olds Alpius Youw, Yulian Yeimo and Alpius Gobai and Simon Degei, 18 — were killed on the spot. Meanwhile some 18 others were injured and taken to the hospital for further medical treatment. The Papuans were shot while they were holding a peaceful demonstration, while performing a traditional dance, to call for justice.
Each of these violent incidents could be isolated cases. They might not have been planned actions. They might have occurred accidentally out of misunderstanding. The shooting of Papuans might not reflect institutional policy of the military and police. Nevertheless, the fact shows that all of the victims of the violent conflicts are indigenous Papuans from 15 to 27 years old. Many were high school students. 

The young Papuans were killed because this generation of native Papuans makes up the front-liners in the resistance against the military and police who are representative of Indonesia.  

These young Papuans do not know the Dutch language at all, only Indonesian. They were born in 1990s and therefore educated by the government of Indonesia, but resist Indonesia.  

They opt for unarmed resistance. They manifest their resistance through peaceful demonstrations in all the towns of Papua and West Papua provinces. 

They also openly argue with the military and or the police, with the full knowledge that they might be beaten, tortured, detainedor even murdered. 

As a result, the military and police are forced to deal with the young Papuans. Many clashes, therefore, take place between the security forces and the young Papuans. The young people-led Papuan resistance is no longer based in the jungle, nor in remote and isolated villages. 

 Rather, as manifested by the above cases, young people are resisting the security forces in Papua towns such as Timika, Karubaga, Enarotali and Jayapura. 

 The Papuan resistance is no longer a secret war. It is an open campaign visible to all urban dwellers.

The youth use cellular phone facilities and Internet networks available in all Papuan towns to easily and immediately spread the news of their resistance and the killing and torture of Papuans, especially through local and national media and social media.  

Consequently, many people within and beyond Indonesia obtain information about the human right abuses from Papua and West Papua, although foreign journalists are not allowed to visit the region. 

With the formation of the ULMWP, young Papuans raise resistance against Indonesia with better coordination and communicate their aspirations in one united voice to all parties concerned. 

The military and police should leave the security approach and refrain from the shooting and torture of Papuans. The government needs to explore more peaceful ways to deal with young Papuans. To engage in dialogue with the Papuans represented by the ULMWP would be helpful in seeking a just and peaceful solution to the Papua issue. 

The continuation of the security approach being applied in Papua and West Papua will, in turn, damage Indonesia’s image in the eyes of the international community. Consequently, the Papuan resistance will become an international issue and Indonesia will face international pressure. 

The writer is a lecturer at the Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and coordinator of the Papua Peace Network in Abepura. In 2013 he was awarded the Tji Hak Soon Justice and Peace Award in Seoul.
2) Glimpse at Papuan experience under Indonesian rule
Updated at 7:21 pm on 23 October 2015

For the first time, Radio New Zealand International journalists have been able to enter Indonesia's eastern region of Papua, offering us a glimpse at a Melanesian society long closed off from outside access.
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For the first time, Radio New Zealand International journalists have been able to enter Indonesia's eastern region of Papua.
Papua has long been restricted to outside access, but during a visit to the region in May Indonesia's president Joko Widodo announced that foreign journalists were now free to enter.
RNZI's Johnny Blades and Koroi Hawkins took up the opportunity.
Johnny spoke to Don Wiseman who asked how easy it was to get a visa to enter Papua as a journalist.
JOHNNY BLADES: It was pretty difficult and a lengthy process. There's a lot of endorsements from local officials that were required in order to advance the application. It took months. So many hoops to jump through. It's still not clear that various wings of government understand the role that journalists are supposed to fill. I detected a kind of suspision among various officials that foreign journalists are agents tasked with destabilising Papua region.
DON WISEMAN: Did you experience any restrictions while doing your work in Papua?
JB: Not directly. Although access to officials is hard to secure. But I think the main thing, coming in, is knowledge of the threats and attacks that local journalists in Papua have faced. That's restrictive enough, in a way.
DW: So, you got there, what was it like? How do Papuans fare as part of Indonesia, which is a huge country that has undergone significant democratic reforms in the last decade or so, and with an economy that has made big strides in recent years?
JB: It was just a glimpse of course and we didn't look at the whole region, but it seems like the Papuans are just sort of by-standers to, for instance, economic activity, which we hear so much about. In the capital Jayapura, and as is typical of the urban areas, the vast majority of the  businesses are run by Javanese and other non-Papuan Indonesians. Papuans appear to have very few jobs, they struggle that much more for educational opportunities. These were things that were supposed to be created under the Special Autonomy package that Jakarta granted Papua some fourteen, fifteen years ago. Papua region's two provinces have, I understand, the biggest budgets of all the Indonesian provinces, but it's said that for years a lot of this money has been misdirected, hasn't made it through to grassroots communities. People I spoke to explained that often the money is diverted to business interests of personnel with Indonesia's military and security forces, who have quite a presence in Papua, and their various family and friends who have migrated to Papua at a steady rate for years.
DW: The Papuans have been stressing their identity as Melanesians. So culturally, how does this Melanesian identity stand in this wider Indonesian context?
JB: It's just been overwhelmed, it seems, by the greater Indonesian culture. Papuans you speak to - as you say - identify as being Melanesian before Indonesian. That's generally the case. But Papua culture is not very visible. This has a lot to do with the ongoing policy of transmigration. Transmigration is a state-sponsored programme whereby people from over-populated parts of the republic are resettled in less crowded regions, particularly Papua. And it's just meant this rapid change in the demographic fabric of Papua society. The estimate is that Papuans are no longer the majority of the population. So it's been overwhelming: as I said the jobs and business activities are dominated by non-Papuans. Subsequently, I think the Papuans culture has sort of been pushed to the side. It's possibly a little stronger in the rural areas and the Highlands, but these are also the parts where we're hearing more of the alleged abuses by security forces, crack-downs on any form of expression of self-determination aspirations or complaints about (lack of) access to basic services. But in recent times, interestingly the government has made recent moves to showcase Melanesian culture, and has also has been pushing a formal co-operation between this new bloc of five provinces that Jakarta says have clear traces of Melanesian ethnic stock. That is: East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua. Now, this move can be seen in relation to the decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to recently consider having the five provinces formally involved at the MSG with associate membership status. That of course, follows on from the MSG's decision to grant observer status to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
DW: Now, if Indonesia's Jokowi government is persisting with transmigration, this is really a regression, isn't it?
JB: Government figures say transmigration is actually helping Papuans to become more competitive in trade and learn more skills. On another note, the Jokowi government is doing things which it seems previous government haven't often done, and there's a lot of hope around this: freeing political prisoners, opening up Papua to foreign media, and it seems to be taking a new hands-on approach to fostering grassroots development among Papuans. we went and saw a big new market that the government is building for the Mamamamas in Sentani, supposedly to help their trade become more efficient, to make the most of their talents, to diversify their products and so forth. So, Jakarta is trying something.
DW: So, a recognition of their Papuaness?
JB: Yes. Yet the government figures explain it in such a way that it's almost trying to modernise the Papuans (their traditional ways). They talk about how the Mamas sit on the floor to sell their produce, as is typical of Melanesian markets. They want them to gradually learn to sit up in a chair. Is this being imposed on the Papuans? Are they trying to change their culture? It's still unclear.
DW: We continue to hear of this dissatisfaction among Papuans with life under Indonesian rule, particularly about not benefiting from exploitation of the vast natural resources which we know exist there. Were there signs of this?
JB: Definitely. It's a subject which the Papuans talk about a lot. The Papua provincial Governor Lukas Enembe was criticising the operations of Freeport McMoran, that US company which operates a huge mine in Papua province that is the single largest corporate tax payer. Enembe and others say Papuans have had practically no benefits from the mine since it began operations in the 1960s, and that there's been no real compensation to the landowners while the whole mountain ecosystem where the mine is located has been ruined. Interestingly, the landowners from the Freeport mine area are suing Freeport for something like 15 billion US dollars, and Enembe says he wants a divestment system put in place whereby a greater share of this mining operation is given directly to Papua province so that they can get some control over the mining resource and over their land.
3) BMKG: 51 Forest Fires Raging in West Papua
Manokwari, Jubi – The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics station (BMKG) in Sorong city, West Papua, said satellite images showed 51 forest fire locations there .
“The largest forest fires caused heavy smog to spread to Inanwatan, South Sorong Regency,” the head of BMKG Jefman Station, Frans Rahawarin stated in Sorong on Tuesday (20/10/2015).
He added, there are also seven largest forest fires in Fakfak which resulted airport to be closed down temporarily due to smog.
He further said these hot spots will continue to spread if not addressed immediately.
Therefore, he hoped the local authorities coordinate with BMKG to show the hot spots so they can be extinguished.
He also urged people to not do the burning of land and forests, to reduce forest fires that can affect air pollution that will harm public health.
He said the forest fires in South Sorong Regency and Fakfak lead to smog blanketed the town of Sorong and surrounding areas so that visibility is decreased.
“The haze from forest fires will continue to increase and if not addressed then the next week predicted that the activity in Sorong city will be paralyzed as a result of the smog,” he said.
He added, the haze can be resolved in two ways, first is to extinguish forest fire points by humans and the second is precipitation, but rainfall is predicted to occur in November. (*)
4) Mimika Declares Haze as Region-Wide Disaster

Timika, Jubi – Regency (Regency) Mimika has finally declared the haze problem as a region-wide disaster because it has a major impact on daily life.  
Regional secretary of Mimika, Ausilius You in Timika, this week, said the decision was taken after following the situation and conditions in the past week. Smog in the area was the result of growing forest fires in Merauke, Mappi and Yos Sudarso Island, he said.
Officials held an emergency meeting to discuss the issue with the head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), Julian Sasarari, Head of the Department of Communication and Information (Dishubkominfo), Jhon Rettob. Head of Health Office (DHO), Erens Meokbun and a number of assistant and expert staff at his office.
“During the meeting, Mimika regional government has prepared a letter to the Governor of Papua and the central government about the circumstances that happened today,” he said.
He added that he has instructed the relevant agencies to work together in handling this issue. In addition, there will be a meeting to discuss it as well as to anticipate the economic impact of this disaster.
“There will be a distribution of masks to the public. We also anticipate the impact of the economy. Particularly to employers and the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, John Rettob said smog that plagued this region has occurred during the month. However, the intensity of haze was felt in the last week.
“We had a meeting with several relevant agencies, including BMKG, reported that there are about 1800 smoke points in Yos Sudarso Island, Merauke, and Mappi. As a result of wind southeast Mimika affected, including Fakfak,” he said.
He continued, due to this haze, number of Garuda and Sriwijaya flights in and out Mozes Kilangin Airport since Thursday (15/10/2015) and Friday (17/10/2015) were delayed.
” Many of passengers are piled around 700 people. Only two ways that could make smog completed, whether waiting until January or coordinating with the provincial and central government, ” he added.
He said, based on the Regulation of the Minister of Transportation (Permenhub) No. 77 of 2011 on insurance delay planes, lost baggage and accident, when passing 4 hours will be given compensation of 300 thousand, and if more than 4 hours, then passengers venue will be provided by the airline operator.
“Except the passengers from Makassar to Timika, but had to switch to Jayapura, then it is the responsibility of the operator,” he explained.
However, for the passenger who is not carrying out the flight, and had already bought the tickets, but the case of bad weather, then there is no replacement cost. Only if he would cancel his departure.
” This is natural condition, then it can not be applied. It should be understood by the passengers and the public, “he said. (Eveerth)

5) 50 Hectare-Forest Belonging Burned
Merauke, Jubi – Merauke police were deployed to the area of PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (ACP) in Muting district to extinguish forest fires after about 50 hectares of land were burned.
Chief of operational division of Merauke police, Marthen Koagouw, told Jubi in his office on Tuesday (20/10/2015) that in addition to helping to extinguish the fire, police will also investigate the incident.
“We’re not sure if members of the public or the company started the fire,” he said.
Furthermore he said, a number of witnesses will be examined by a task force team that was formed to facilitate the process of further investigations.
He continued, this team will also conduct an investigation in a few other places like in Okaba and Kimaam related fires in the district.
“Yes, we are just starting from Muting and later will move to other places to ask for information from the local community in order to further investigation,” he said.
Head of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) of Merauke, Sugeng Widarko said, fire – forests have begun occurred nearly all districts. Only at most point the fire is in some villages in Tabonji village. (Frans L Kobun)

6) Legislators Urge to Tighten Security on Merauke-PNG Border


Jayapura, Jubi – The border between Merauke and Papua New Guinea (PNG) is prone to drug and fuel smuggling, a Papua legislator said. 
A member of Commission I of the Papua Legislative Council on politics, foreign relations, governance, law and human rights, Kusmanto said, to minimize smuggling, surveillance in the border region of Merauke-PNG needed to be strengthened.
“Yes I think supervision should be tightened not only in official entrances but also the unofficial entrances,” said Kusmanto onTuesday (20/10/2015).
He said smugglers often brought their illegal goods from PNG to Marauke through the unofficial entrances that often escape observation border services.
“During this time Merauke residents often transact with residents of PNG. For example people of Merauke sell antlers or meat to the people of PNG or sometimes barter for goods from PNG,” he said.
This happened not only on the Merauke-PNG border, but also in border areas in Skow, Muara Tami District, Jayapura City.
Early September, the chairman of the Council of Indigenous Keerom, Papua, Herman Yoku told reporters that in the area of Keerom there are three unoffiical entrances for carrying illegal goods to Jayapura and the surrounding areas which are in the District of Waris, Senggi, and Komratoro.
“Remember there are four border crossings in Keerom district. Three of them are footpaths. Three of the area is timber business competition, alcohol and even drugs, “said Yoku at the time. (Arjuna Pademme)

7) Papua New Guinea to resettle refugees from Australian camps, Papua province
There were no further details on where in PNG the refugees would be resettled, whether they would be allowed freedom of movement and what employment rights they would be given
Agence France-Presse @afp Published 5:26 PM, October 23, 2015 Updated 5:26 PM, October 23, 2015

SYDNEY, Australia – Papua New Guinea said Friday, October 23 that refugees held in contentious Australian-run detention camps will be resettled on the island, amid fresh scrutiny over the treatment of asylum seekers in the remote facilities.
The policy will encompass not just refugees from Australian camps but also those from Indonesia's Papua province and others who arrive independently.
Under Canberra's tough immigration policy, asylum seekers who try to enter Australia by boat are turned back or sent to camps on Nauru and PNG's Manus Island. 
They are blocked from resettlement in Australia even if they are found to be genuine refugees.
Since the Manus Island processing camp was opened under the previous Australian Labor government 3 years ago, some 50 asylum seekers have reportedly had their refugee applications approved.
More than 900 men are held on Manus Island, while some 600 men, women and children are detained on Nauru, according to immigration figures from last month.
Those in Manus who are found to be refugees are housed in Australian-funded accommodation but not allowed to work, subject to a curfew and not permitted to leave the island, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported.
"Papua New Guinea has a proud tradition of helping people in need," PNG's immigration minister Rimbink Pato said in a statement.
"This policy affirms our humanitarian values and our strong regional leadership."
There were no further details on where in PNG the refugees from Manus would be resettled, whether they would be allowed freedom of movement and what employment rights they would be given.
The government only noted that the Manus refugees would be given work at "various locations" in a scheme starting soon.
At the same time, more than 2,000 refugees from Papua would have their citizenship applications assessed from next month, it added.
The announcement was welcomed by Pato's Australian counterpart Peter Dutton, who said it "demonstrates that people who are on Manus have the potential, if they're found to be owed protection, to be settled in Papua New Guinea but they will not be settling in Australia".
"And we're able to provide others with assistance to return to their country of origin if they're found not to be owed protection and that's a very important step," Dutton told reporters on Friday.
There have been several protests by asylum seekers at the Manus facility, including a riot in February 2014 when Iranian man Reza Barati died and 69 people were injured.
Canberra has also been under pressure in the past few weeks over the treatment of female asylum seekers held at the Nauru camp who were allegedly raped, according to Australian media reports.
At the same time, medical professionals and refugee advocates have voiced fears a new Australian whistle-blower law could block colleagues working at the detention facilities from reporting abuse allegations.
The PNG announcement came a day after Nauruan police raided the offices of international charity Save the Children for the second time this month, reportedly looking for the source of leaks to Australian media about the plight of asylum seekers. –
8) Indonesia to host Melanesian festival, aimed at enhancing regional cooperation   2015-10-22 21:40:39
JAKARTA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) — Indonesia's eastern city of Kupang was scheduled to host the initial Melanesian Festival from Oct. 26-30, aimed at encouraging Melanesian 
countries to further explore cooperation among them so as to attain collective welfare, an Indonesian senior official said here on Thursday.
Besides Indonesia as the hosting nation, the upcoming festival would be attended by delegates from Melanesian countries consisted of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, 
Timor Leste, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, Cultural Director General at Indonesia's Education and Culture Ministry Kacung Marijan said here.
The festival would also be attended by representative official of Vanuatu-based Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG), Marijan added.
Marijan said the festival was highly expected to improve international community’s understanding on Melanesia race and their culture, encouraging further cooperation among 
Melanesian countries.
"Cooperation improvement was expected to occur in sectors of culture, education and economy. Cooperation in maritime was also highly expected as Indonesia has initiated it with 
several Pacific countries," Marijan told a press conference in his office here.
"Commonality in cultural and social values would be significant factors to further expand cooperation among Melanesian countries," Marijan added.
According to Marijan the appointment of Indonesia to host the Melanesian Festival was due to the facts that Indonesia has 80 percent of Melanesian race living in the world, 
Marijan pointed out.
He said Indonesia's provinces mostly inhabited by the Melanesian race were Papua, West Papua, North Maluku, Maluku, East Nusa Tengggara and Southeast Sulawesi.
The festival themed "Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Melanesian World" was scheduled to be officially opened by Indonesian Education and Cultural Minister Anis Baswedan.
Marijan said the festival would be filled with several events consisted of international conferences, art performances, cultural exhibition and movies.

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