Thursday, November 12, 2015

1) Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua

1) Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua: (Peace and Conflict Series)
2) WEST PAPUA: Melanesian Dreams doco exposes secrets in portrayal of struggle
4) Human Rights of a Colleague of Nekenem is Violated

New book
1) Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua: (Peace and Conflict Series)
West Papua is a secret story. On the western half of the island of New Guinea, hidden from the world, in a place occupied by the Indonesian military since 1963, continues a remarkable nonviolent struggle for national liberation. In Merdeka and the Morning Star, academic Jason MacLeod gives an insider's view of the trajectory and dynamics of civil resistance in West Papua. Here, the indigenous population 
has staged protests, boycotts, strikes and other nonviolent actions against 
repressive rule.
This is the first in-depth account of civilian-led insurrection in West Papua, a movement that has transitioned from guerrilla warfare to persistent nonviolent resistance. MacLeod analyses several case studies, including tax resistance that pre-dates Gandhi's Salt March by two decades, worker strikes at the world's largest gold and copper mine, daring attempts to escape Indonesian rule by dugout canoe, and the collection of a petition in which signing meant to risk being shot dead.

Merdeka and the Morning Star is a must-read for all those interested in Indonesia, the Pacific, self-determination struggles and nonviolent ways out of occupation.
2) WEST PAPUA: Melanesian Dreams doco exposes secrets in portrayal of struggle
The Melanesian Dreams trailer.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Item: 9480
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Dutch film maker Rohan Radheya has released a new independent documentary film on human rights and life in West Papua.
A trailer for Melanesian Dreams has been posted on YouTube and this is what he says about the 59 minute film made under cover:
I have just come home from five consecutive months undercover inside the country, collecting footage for my film.

 have entered Papua four times in the last two years on an tourist visa.

I had applied for an journalist visa to Papua in 2014 at the Indonesian consulate in The Hague, The Netherlands, but I was ignored and even mocked.

My film will be opened in the European Parliament in Brussels under guidance of the UNPO  (Unrepresented Nations and People Organisation) at a member meeting in December.

West Papua is one of the 51 UNPO members along with Taiwan, Kurdistan and Tibet.

Melanesian Dreams does not  actually end where it ends at present but is to be continued.

I am currently editing part two, which will be released in summer 2016 and part three by the end of that year.

Part two is about 10,000 West Papuan refugees living in neighbouring Papua New Guinea, and part three features live fighting between an OPM faction and the Indonesian army on the frontlines in Puncak Jaya, West Papua.
The whole film focuses on human rights in West Papua which are among the worst in the world.

Political prisoners, activist movements, political refugees are all part of the film.

Furthermore the documentary gives an unique glimpse of the outlawed military independence movement, TPN-OPM.
The film also reveals some very rare secrets that have never came out before, not even for a local audience.

The movement has been fighting a low scale guerrilla war against the Indonesian army for nearly 50 years.

They are fighting for independence from Indonesia.
12 November 2015
World leaders often cite Indonesia as an example of tolerance and democracy, both for Asia and the Islamic world. With the recent coup in Thailand, and growing protests in Malaysia, it is considered a rare beacon of light in the region, a country that is moving in the right direction.
An Indonesian child pauses to view the city skyline in Jakarta, Indonesia.
(AP/Dita Alangkara)
“Indonesia progressed rapidly in the years immediately following the fall of [General] Suharto in terms of building and strengthening democratic institutions,” says Paul Rowland, an Indonesia-based elections expert.
But just half a century ago, one of the bloodiest episodes in modern history took place across the Indonesian archipelago.
On 30 September, 1965, six top generals were killed by a group allegedly made up of left-wing Indonesians. To this day, the circumstances surrounding their deaths remain unclear but the murders allowed a previously little-known military leader, General Suharto, to assume power and launch a nationwide campaign against the perpetrators of the killing, which, according to him, were the Indonesia Communist Party (PKI) and its left-wing allies.
Within two years, Suharto was in firm control of the country, the PKI had been completely destroyed and countless Indonesians were dead.
"By not addressing the past, the regime of silence and fear continues, as those in power know that the public is still afraid,” says Joshua Oppenheimer tells whose 2012 documentary film, The Act of Killing, sparked global discussions on the abortive coup and its aftermath.
To many, the appearance of civility – exemplified by the forthcoming local elections in December – is merely a fa├žade. At the core of Indonesian society, critics claim, something dark and violent remains hidden.
“If you want to understand what is happening in your present society, you have to look back at the past,” John T Miller, Executive Director of the East Timor Action Network, tells Equal Times.
In fact, Miller and other justice advocates argue that Indonesia’s endemic corruption, lingering inequality, and continued environmental degradation are directly connected to what happened in 1965, and without confronting the past, Indonesia is doomed to see its democratic potential halt, or, disappear completely.
“We don’t know the extent of the genocide – people say 500,000, most likely [academic] guess is one million, but the main perpetrators say we killed three million,” says Professor Saskia E. Wieringa, a women’s rights expert based at the University of Amsterdam and chair of the International People’s Tribunal 1965, an organisation set up to address the crimes against humanity committed in Indonesia after 1965.
Of special concern to activists is the situation in West Papua, which was annexed during Suharto’s rule in 1969 and has seen waves of violence and repression throughout its history. The military still remains firmly in control of West Papua, where sporadic violence between locals and government forces still occurs regularly.
“The violence of [1965-66] continued in East Timor, and I’m fearful it will continue in West Papua,” said Wieringa.

“They have blood on their hands”
Suharto fell from power in 1998 following the economic devastation wreaked by the Asian Financial Crisis. Then, with ample international assistance, Indonesia moved to build a democracy that, contrary to the expectations of many, has survived several elections. One thing it did not do, however, was create a space for victims of Suharto’s three-decade long rule, most notably families of the 1965-66 killings, to gain justice.
“Indonesia is still ruled by corrupt, blood-hungry people with blood on their hands,” Wieringa tells Equal Times. The Tribunal is in session for the first time this November in the Netherlands in an attempt to fill the information gap and provide some form of justice – and awareness – to the families of victims of the killings.
The tribunal will be trying to do something the post-Suharto Indonesian government has so far failed to do.
“There really was not thorough accounting of the Suharto years, or a cleaning of house,” says Miller. This legacy has meant that, to this day, perpetrators of the violence continue to hold high-level positions both within the Indonesian government, and in the country’s myriad provinces and districts.
“Power is still unchecked...and it is impossible for Indonesia to make progress on human rights or in checking corruption if these people still remain in power,” says Wieringa.
Earlier this year, Indonesia’s new government, led by President Joko Widodo, looked into implementing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look at the abuses of the Suharto era. Advocates fear a weak commission won’t provide justice to victims.
“Any truth or reconciliation commission needs a strong justice component,” says Miller.
Moreover, foreign governments have a role to play, most notably the United States, which supported the Suharto regime and has yet to release records about its role in the coup.
“The United States wanted to keep Suharto happy as he was their big ally in the region,” says Miller. “The more information from that time that is released, not just about US actions but Indonesian government actions in all its various facets, will allow all of us to understand what happened, and help prevent similar things from happening again, and identify who was responsible.”
In the end, it will be the world coming together, and acknowledging the tragedy in Indonesia’s past, that will make the most difference.
“The world has to understand that this was a genocide, and the world has to take responsibility,” says Wierenga.
4) Human Rights of a Colleague of Nekenem is Violated
Statement by the Executive Director of LP3BH
10 November 2015

  Speaking on behalf of the LP3BH - Manokwari [Institute of Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid] as well as the Co-ordinator of
the defence team of Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues, it is my opinion that the Prosecutor, Syahrun SH from the Prosecutor’s Office
in Manokwari has violated the basic human rights of one of my clients.

   A statement issued by the Court stated that the length of detention of my clients should be prolonged for sixty days, from 30
September till 28 November 2015.

    A copy of this decision was sent to the Director of the Prison in Manokwari. But where should these extra days be spent, in which
prison?   Why is it that that Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues continue
to be held in custody at the Brimob Command Centre. Is this the prison where Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues are to spend the rest of
their detention?

    Furthermore, it is clear that the Prosecutor in this case has violated the rights one of the colleagues of Alexander Nekemen. This
is all the more so in view of the fact that this colleague, Narko Murib, was taken ill during a hearing in the case and should therefore
have been allowed to be absent from the Court and held in a custodial cell at the State Prison in Manokwari.

   The Chairman of the Panel of Judges instructed the Prosecutor to take the afore-mentioned prisoner for examination and given whatever
medical treatment he required.

    However, regrettably, the Prosecutor’s Office did not act to ensure that Narko Murib was taken for a medical check-up. All that
happened was that his blood pressure was checked  and he was given some tablets to bring his temperature down.

    As a result, Narko Murib was unable to attend the court hearing on Tuesday, 10 November because he was still unwell.
Yan Christian Warinussy,, Recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award
2015 in Canada., Human Rights Defender in the Land of Papua, and
Member  of the Steering Commission of Foker LSM for the Land of Papua.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

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