Monday, November 9, 2015

Summary of events in West Papua for October 2015

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088                                                   

Summary of events in West Papua for October- 10 Nov 2015

Arrests and shootings
On Thursday the 8 October, 18 peaceful activists (6 who were priests) were arrested for holding a peaceful rally in front of a Catholic Church in Abepura, Jayapura.  The Rally was organised by SKP-HAM  (Solidarity with Victims of Human Rights Violations Papua). The purpose of the rally was to bring attention to the Indonesian authorities that so far nobody has been held accountable for the killing of four students in Paniai on the 8 December 2014 by the security forces.  As the rally progressed a police truck arrived with sirens blaring driving into the demonstrators nearly hitting a number of them.   A large number of police jumped of the truck breaking up the rally and arresting 18 demonstrators.  A number of journalists who were reporting on the rally were intimidated by police and banned from taking photographs. One journalist had his camera stolen (at gunpoint) and the entire contents of photos and videos were deleted.  Although the demonstrators were eventually released, during the arrests the Police acted in a brutal and heavy-handed way. The heavy-handed action by the police was condemned by NGOs and church groups from around the world. 

         (FromTabloidjubi) One Catholic monk of the Franciscan Province of Papua, 
                              Julian Pawika when intimidated police in Abepura, Thursday - Jubi / Beny Mawel

A statement by the Executive-Director of the LP3BH on the 11 October said that the Security Forces of the regional police in Jayapura have yet again committed serious human rights violations/illegal acts by resorting to violence against six monks from the Catholic Church on Thursday 8th October in Abepura and that “The actions taken by members of Polresta Jayapura were in violation of the principles set out in Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights and the Indonesian Constitution of 1945 which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and opinion. They were moreover against the Principles laid down for handling demonstrations, Law 9/1998 on Freedom of Expression”. AWPA wrote to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop concerning this incident. Other incidents raised with Julie Bishop in the letter were the shooting of two high school students by the Indonesian security forces in Timika on Monday the 28 September. 
Caleb Bagau, aged 18, died while his friend Efrando Sabarofek, aged 17, was wounded in the chest and legs. Also the arrest and torture of Levi Gebze a 16-year-old West Papuan boy by the Indonesian police in Merauke on Monday 28th.AWPA letter Foreihn Minister Julie Bishop at

The Australian Prime Minister will shortly visit Indonesia and AWPA also wrote along similar lines (to the foreign minister ) urging  that on his coming trip to Indonesia he raise AWPA’s concerns about the grave human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President, the crackdown on peaceful civil society groups, the intimidation of journalists simply doing their job and the tragic killing of civilians including school children by the security forces and to support the request from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders to Jakarta to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to West Papua and urge you to encourage the Indonesian Government to allow such a fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights situation in the territory to take place. AWPA also raised concerns about the about censorship in relationship to the writers’ festival and of the military’s increasing (again) role in civilian affairs.

West Papuan National Flag Day. 1st December
The 1st of December is West Papuan National Day or National flag day.  Its now fifty four years since the Morning Star flag was flown officially for the first time on the 1st of December 1961. The West Papuan people continue to raise their flag as an act of celebration but also of protest against the injustices they suffer under Indonesian rule. They can face up to 15 years jail for doing so. As usual there will be flag raisings in Australia and around the world to celebrate West Papua’s special day. Events of where flag raisings will be posted out by those involved. Individuals we can also contribute to raising awareness about West Papua on the 1st December by simply wearing a West Papuan t-shirt or badge on the 1st. Writing articles/opinion pieces for your church/trade union newsletter. West Papuan flags can be bought from various flag shops in Australia. In Sydney WP flags are available at Sambar flags (if in stock).

News in brief

West Papuan Independence Leader Rigo Wambo has died
Benny Wenda’s office has just reported (9 November) that West Papuan Independence Leader Rigo Wambo has  died today after being tortured by the Indonesian police when he supported a West Papua-wide boycott of Indoensian Independence Celebrations. Rigo Wambo was the Chairperson of the West Papua National Committee [KNPB] in the Central Mamberamo Region and we have recieved reports that on 17th August (Indonesian Independence Day), Rigo was arrested and tortured by the Indonesian police for his role in supporting the boycott. He was tortured until his body was battered and was seriously ill ever since. After 3 months, he was finally taken from this remote part of West Papua to the Capital City Port Numbay/Jayapura for treatment.
His family brought him to the Abepura hospital but there was no change and today he died in hospital at around 17:00, West Papua time.

KNPB continues to be targeted by the security forces.
On the 13 October the office of the West Papua National Committee in Sentani was surrounded by the police although there was no activity taking place by its members.  The Chairman of the KNPB Region Sentani, Allen Halitopo, saying, "no action was nothing in the office KNPB, and we are not madmen or those unofficial, we struggled to open peace and dignity, we also know the laws of Indonesia and International Law ".

                                               Secretariat KNPB in Sentani, Jayapura, Papua (Photo: Ist).suarapapua

Again on the 24 October the Police surrounded the office of the KNPB in Sentani. The Chairman of KNPB Sentani, Halitopo Allen said in a report in that the raid was conducted by police officers from the Police Jayapura district. "Members of the police along the Papua Police Mobile Brigade platoon led Jayapura Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Siagian Sondra, raided the secretariat KNPB Sentani,” During the raid the security forces painted over Morning Star designs on the wall with white pasint.
On Friday the 6 November the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) deputy chairman Agus Kossay and two other Papuans, Bano Kalaka and Nodi Hilka, were interrogated in connection with the arrival of French journalist Marie Dhumieres in Papua on Oct. 1. “This morning, I was summoned by the Associated Mission Aviation [AMA]. I arrived at the AMA office at 9 a.m.,” Agus told after his interrogation. He said that he, along with Bano and Nodi, was interrogated by officials from the Papua Immigration Office and an unidentified security institution. According to Agus, they were questioned for 30 minutes about Dhumieres’ activities while covering the inauguration of the executive board of the KNPB’s Bintang chapter in Okhika, Papua, on Oct. 1., and about Dhumieres’ journalistic activities in Okhika in general. Agus explained that the French journalist had come to Papua after she had been informed that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had allowed foreign journalists to enter to carry out their work. “The journalist came to Papua on her own initiative. We did not invite her. “The journalist left Okhika on Oct. 2., and went home,” Agus added.

Tonga hints at visit to Papua over human rights concerns RNZI 14 Oct 2015)
Tonga's Government has responded to Indonesia's accusation that claims by Tonga's Prime Minister at the United Nations were misleading. 'Akilisa Pohiva told the UN General Assembly in New York that the UN should investigate allegations of human rights abuses in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. He said the UN has the moral obligation to follow up the issue and take any necessary action to stop the "brutal and inhumane activities”. However Indonesia responded saying it strongly rejects the references and the comments by Mr Pohiva as well as the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Va'inga Tone, told Radio Tonga the government wants to work together with Indonesia to seek clarification bilaterally or through a joint visit to the country on a fact finding mission. He says it’s the joint concern of Pacific countries not to leave anyone behind and it is within the power of leaders to take action.

I’m committed to West Papua’s plight: PM Sogavare
Victor Mambor Nov 04, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi/SIBC – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assures a visiting West Papuan delegation of his determination as Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to continue the push for West Papua’s freedom from all forms of human rights abuses and oppression in that region. A government statement today says Mr Sogavare made the assurance during a courtesy meeting with a visiting eight-member West Papuan delegation in his capacity as Chair of the MSG. Prime Minster Sogavare made the assurance to the delegation as MSG is founded on decisions and principles of tolerance and human rights. Mr Sogavare assured them he will ensure the issue is dealt with properly during his Chairmanship as he is also aware many Melanesians have supported the West Papuan struggle against forced oppression. Meanwhile in their response, the visiting delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his bold stand as a Melanesian leader to push for West Papua’s admission as an Observer of MSG during its meeting in June this year. The members described Mr. Sogavare as a “shining” example of firm leadership not only in Melanesia but internationally, for his courageous decisions and ongoing support to ensure human rights abuses and the oppression of West Papuans is stopped. The West Papuan delegation consists of representatives from the West Papuan political leadership, civil society, NGOs, churches and academics. (*)

West Papuan women left isolated and beset by violence under Indonesian rule
Rochelle Jones. 22 October 2015
When the Indonesian president Joko Widodo visits the White House later this month, human rights violations in West Papua should be firmly on the agenda. A woman in Jayapura, West Papua, holds the grandchild of the murdered independence leader Theys Eluay, who is seen in the portrait to her right. Photograph: Idealink Photography/Alamy
West Papuans have struggled for their freedom since they were annexed by Indonesia and robbed of their right to a fair referendum in 1969. While the independence struggle slowly gains more visibility due to a courageous network of civilian journalists on the ground, it is the stories and struggles of West Papuan women that are often silenced. Under Indonesian rule, indigenous West Papuans are routinely subjected to violence and oppression. They have been disenfranchised, tortured, threatened and murdered, suffering multiple rights violations affecting their economy, land, culture, political participation, dignity and survival. Indeed, a 2013 Sydney University study called the situation “slow-motion genocide”, arguing that Indonesia has acted with intent in its strict control over the population – and with impunity over human rights violations such as the Biak massacre in 1998. The Asian Human Rights Commission has also described the situation as genocidePresident Joko Widodo recently announced lifting the decades-long restrictions on foreign media, but so far this appears to be little more than diplomatic lip service. Foreign journalists still require screening; they are not allowed to report on anything that “discredits” Indonesia, and are excluded from “forbidden areas”. 

The restrictions have meant that the rest of the world hasn’t paid attention to the situation for West Papuans – and women in particular have felt this isolation.  In 2009, a group of West Papuan women documented patterns of violence in a report entitled Enough is Enough! Testimonies of Papuan Women Victims of Violence and Human Rights Violations 1963-2009. The study details how women have experienced and resisted violence along a trajectory of two distinct, but intertwined struggles: the struggle imposed on them by Indonesian occupation, and the struggle within their indigenous culture and society.  The introduction to the report read: “We have experienced rape and sexual abuse in detention, in the grasslands, while seeking refuge, no matter where we were when the army and police conducted operations in the name of security. Furthermore, in our own homes we repeatedly have been victims of violence. When we cry for help, they say, ‘That’s a family matter, take care of it in the family.’” The hope was that the broad pattern of violence against women could be exposed and addressed.  Unfortunately, little has changed for West Papuan women since the report was published in 2010. Ferry Marisan worked on the study and is the director of the Institute for the Study and Advocacy of Human Rights in West Papua. She says that, though the report was distributed to parliamentarians and various state institutions – including the provincial government of Papua province, regency and municipal governments, police and the military – the government still fails to protect the rights of women, and violence continues.
The capture of data on violence against women in West Papua is inadequate. Organisations like Komnas Perempuan (the independent national commission on violence against women) attempt to document cases of gender-based violence across Indonesia. In 2011, for example, they documented 119,107 cases of violence against women. Their most recent “annual note”, from 2014, mentions multiple forms of violence suffered by indigenous women in Papua, resulting variously from armed conflicts between state security forces and armed civilian groups, conflicts over claims for natural resources, and discriminatory policies. Legal and policy frameworks that deal specifically with violence against women do exist, starting with the Indonesian criminal code. Indonesia has also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) in 1984. However, while the framework is there, and the government has taken steps to improve women’s rights and protections, there is a lack of political will at all levels. 

Indonesia’s last periodic report to Cedaw, carried out in 2011, acknowledged a “lack of synergy and coordination among decision-makers”, adding: “This has led to a situation where many women’s rights issues remain unattended, both at the central, and much more so, at the regional levels. Many parties … have identified many discriminatory regional bylaws.” In West Papua, special autonomy law No 21 (Otsus) was passed in 2001 as part of a plan to transfer political, economic and cultural authority to the Papuan people. However, the majorityregard Otsus as a way of pouring an abundance of cash into the province that that will end up in the hands of corrupt local politicians, and as a mechanism to silence calls for independence.  Widodo pledged to champion human rights during his time in office but, more than 12 months into his term, little has changed. International pressure will be crucial in pushing for Indonesia to at least live up to its obligations under international law – or, at best, to support West Papua’s desire for self-determination and push for a referendum, as in East Timor in 1999. As West Papuans remain under Indonesian rule, women’s rights will continue to be caught in the middle. Groups supporting self-determination recently came together in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, a broad coalition looking to press their case within West Papua and internationally. For an end to the violence, and especially for the women of West Papua, independence must be taken seriously. • Rochelle Jones is a writer/editor at the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (Awid)

Transmigration deemed critical threat to Papuans RNZI 23 October 2015
The Governor of Indonesia’s Papua province has warned that indigenous Papuans could disappear as a people if they remain marginalised in their own land. Lukas Enembe's warning came as he delivered a stern rebuke for transmigration - Indonesia's state programme of resettling people from over-populated regions into less crowded regions such as Papua. Mr Enembe has called for an end to transmigration in its current form which has changed the face of society in Papua in recent years. However Jakarta has recently recommitted to it, with various national government figures arguing transmigration is beneficial to Papuans by encouraging them to learn new skills and to compete in modern systems. One government spokesperson explained that Indonesians have a right to move around the republic without hindrance. But the Governor says indigenous people struggle to compete with the migrants in economic terms, and warns transmigration introduces new social problems and further dilutes Papuan culture. "If you asked me 10 or 20 years again in the future, I thought Papuans might be gone already, if we don't protect them. I mean, they'll vanish because nowadays we haven't got the exact number of Papuans but it's decreasing very rapidly." Meanwhile, Lukas Enembe says Papua needs a new, remodelled package of the special autonomy which Indonesia granted it a decade and a half ago, one which he says must focus serious efforts on building Papuan capacity and protect their interests as a sustainable society. The current special autonomy package was formally rejected by the Papuan People’s Assembly several years ago.

Military and police urged to stop backing “Togel” gambling and alcohol activities.
Victor Mambor Nov 05, 2015. Jayapura, Jubi – Paniai Regent Hengki Kayame urged the chiefs of the military and police to crack down on gambling and alcohol rackeeting involving their subordinates. “I have stressed that soldiers or police officers to not get involved in backing the sale of alcohol and togel gambling activities,” he said when contacted by Jubi via cell phone on Wednesday (4/11/2015). The regent even reprimanded police chief, officer of Paniai district military command and Brimob Commander after after looking directly “togel”gambling activities at Enarotali market and visiting several places of Alcohol sales. “Unscrupulous officials must stop backing up the activities that bring the problems in the society. This area must be secure and peaceful, “he said. According to him, the matter has been reported to the military commander and Papua Police chief. “Therefore, I have reiterated that the institutions in the area of providing guidance and discipline, before giving sanctions,” he said again. During his tenure, said Kayame, the area should be secure and peaceful.. “I do not like people get drunk and make noisy even casualties because of togel. Hence, it should be abolished, not to be opened again, “said Paniai regent. He then appreciated those parties who also agreed that “ togel gambling or alcohol and other types of gambling to be prohibited in Paniai. Meanwhile, the coordinating of Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) in Paniai, Rev. Gerad Gobai, S.Th recently stated that religious figures in Paniai also supported government policy to exclude all gambling activities. “Gambling and alcohol should be banned, and we strongly support it since there are many problems resulting from these activities,” Rev. Gobai added. Previously, Paniai community leader who is also head of Awabutu village, Yermias Kayame said that a number of community leaders also committed to fight on the prohibition of alcohol and gambling. He then hoped that government policy will be realized optimally. (Abeth You)

Gold reserves valued at RP569.7Trillion, but Freeport pays 1 percent in royalty?
Jayapura, Jubi – PT Freeport Indonesia denied allegations by the Minister of Maritime Rizal Ramly that it pays a small royalty to the Indonesian government. As one of third larger gold and copper company in the world operating in Papua, PT Freeport Indonesia was accused raking in huge profit, while Papua indigenous around the mining areas are living under poverty. The Minister Ramli accused PTFI only pay 1 percent of royalty for gold exploitation on the Amungsa land. But the company’s spokesperson Riza Pratama denied the allegation, saying that the company has increased the royalty for copper, gold and silver since 2014. “In line with the renegotiation of the Contract of Work, since July 2014, PTFI has increased the amount of royalty for copper, gold and silver respectively from 3.5%, 1% and 1% to 4%, 3.75% and 3.25%,” Riza said. During the time it was estimated that PTFI has produced 40.9 tons of gold per year. If the price of a gram of gold is Rp 300 thousand so 40.9 tons equals with Rp 12.3 trillion per year. 1 percent of the company’s gross income is Rp 123 billion, it’s excluding the copper and silver. Based on Freeport’s data, the stock of gold in DOZ (Deep Ore Zone), Deep MLZ, Big Gossan, Grasberg Bloc Cave and Wild Cat mining areas is recognized 67 million ounce or approximately 1.899 tons (1 ounce = 28.35 gram). PTFI plans to work on these gold mining till 2042. Refer to the price of Rp 300 thousand/gram, PTFI has earned Rp 569.7 trillion from the gold stocks during its operation in Papua. Because of since 1967 to 2014, Freeport only paid 1 percent of royalty to the government, including the indigenous Papuans around the mining from its profit, the government asked for the increment to 7 percent. “We (the government) asked Freeport to pay 6 to 7 percent royalty,” said Rizal Ramli during his presentation at the Indonesian House of Council in the mid October. (Victor Mambor/rom)

Indonesian parliament wants to expand military base in Biak.
Victor Mambor Nov 02, 2015. Jayapura, Jubi – The House of Representatives said the military should expand its base in Biak to anticipate security problems in eastern Indonesia. “I support the Indonesian Military to build a bigger base to secure Indonesian territory. If we can see the potential of the Asia Pacific is better, we can mobilize our armament here, then we can obtain recognition in the Pacific,” the Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Fahri Hamzah, during a visit in Biak Numfor, Papua on Saturday (31/10/2015). A larger military base could also serve as a deterrence against outside threats “Of course (to remind) the United States will find out who’s in charge and dominate our territory,” he said. He said several countries in the Asia Pacific region such as Fiji, Solomon, Vanuatu might already have connection with the United States. “But to build the Military Base in Biak is to give our signal to them as well as business providers that Eastern Indonesia is safe for investment,” said this politician. In addition, he also proposed the Indonesian Military to conduct a military exercise in Biak although regarding to accommodation it might be difficult. “I propose the military to hold the exercise here. If we conduct the military exercise in the eastern region, it will more positive. Indeed we have the vital region such as Jakarta where located in the Java Island, but if we talked about the exercise, we cannot do it in the western region, but we can do in the area where people is less populated and widespread land. I also propose to celebration of the Military’s Anniversary could be held in Biak, Papua,” he told. (*/rom)

Food estate project may turn Papua into forest fire hotbed 
Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post October 30 2015
While the annual land and forest fires usually occur in Sumatra and Kalimantan, a large agricultural project in Merauke, Papua, could turn the eastern part of Indonesia into a new hotbed of fires in the archipelago. The prediction was based on a latest finding by Greenpeace Southeast Asia, which monitored 112,000 hot spots from Aug. 1 to Oct. 26.  “One of the most worrying things is the fact that 10 percent of the hot spots were found in Papua, the newest agriculture industry development. Fires of such a scale had not happened before in Papua,” Greenpeace Indonesia forest political campaigner Teguh Surya said during the launching of the finding on Thursday.  The largest number of hotspots during that period, 25 percent, was detected in Central Kalimantan with 28,368, followed by South Sumatra with 24,406 or 22 percent. Papua came in third with 11,590 or 10 percent.  Papua usually does not suffer from forest fires as the operation of palm oil concessions is still limited in the province.  However, this year marks a turning point of the annual forest fires in Indonesia, with the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) starting to detect hot spots in southern areas of Papua, with 92 spotted in Merauke regency and the remaining 12 in Mappi regency in mid-October. 

 Flights in several parts of West Papua and Papua provinces, including in Jayapura, Manokwari and Timika, were canceled after visibility dropped to as little as 150 meters in places. Almost 80 percent of the smog in Manokwari is coming from fires in Merauke. The light haze even reached as far as Micronesia.  With the hot spots in Papua concentrated in Merauke, it is easy to see the correlation between the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) program in Papua and the sudden appearance of hot spots in the province, according to another Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner, Yuyun Indradi. “The connection is clear. If you look at the map, the concentration of the hot spots in Merauke is in the MIFEE area,” he said on Thursday.  The number of hot spots in Papua was even bigger than the 2,423 hot spots detected in Riau, which usually held the dishonorable distinction of being the province with the highest number of hot spots in previous years.  While Greenpeace believed that the forest fires in Papua were caused by the project, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said that the fires might be caused by nomadic people. “If the forests are burned and rain falls after that, grass will grow back and become green and animals will come. It will become hunting ground for nomadic groups. These aspects are being investigated by us,” she recently said.  The MIFEE project is expected to cover a 1.2 million hectare area, or a quarter of Merauke. The idea of the MIFEE program was started when Merauke Regent John Gluba Gebze initiated the establishment of the Merauke Integrated Rice Estate (MIRE) in 2007 after former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited and made an appeal to make Merauke a national rice barn. The program allows up to 49 percent foreign investment in local plantations, but has no requirement for securing a certain amount of the crop for local needs. -

Editorial: Back to dark  days
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Mon, October 26 2015 - See more at: 
To prevent a rapid return to the fearful, censored and militaristic days of the New Order, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, after a year in office, can and must lay down the law. As recent developments show, the President has sent a clear indication of his views regarding freedom of expression, ending historical stigma, the battle against corruption, freedom from fear and the military’s non-defense role.  On all these issues the President needs to loudly and swiftly declare a clear stance to boost the spirit of continuing reformasi that got him elected.  Many understand his need to compromise with the sharks in the political sea. However, his silence over the recent deportation of a foreign national for visiting the grave of his slain ancestor, “restrictions” on a campus magazine and the forced cancellation of certain sessions at an international literary event in Bali — all related to the 1960s upheaval — show too much compromise and silence on the part of the President, coincidentally just before his departure for a US state visit. On Thursday human rights groups, press organizations and many individuals met with the National Human Rights Commission following the restriction on Lentera, a student magazine of the Satya Wacana Christian University (UKSW) in Salatiga, from being sold outside the campus. 

According to the campus leadership, the action was taken because it “failed to follow procedures” and contained content that caused negative reactions. The restricted issue of Lentera had reported on the 1965 murders in the Central Java town, just one example of the increasing efforts to reveal our unresolved past: efforts mostly instigated by our curious and creative younger generation. Earlier on Oct. 16 a Swedish citizen, Tom Iljas, who was among the scores of children orphaned in the 1965 upheaval, was deported and blacklisted from returning to Indonesia after he attempted to visit the grave of his father, who was killed in his hometown in Pesisir Selatan regency, West Sumatra. Tom’s entourage was prevented from praying at the mass grave by the village head and they were reportedly then intimidated by a group of civilians and police.  This is a complete setback as many former exiles who, like Tom, lost their citizenship while on scholarships to various countries in the 1960s, but have been free to visit Indonesia in the reformasi era. The 1965 issue is certainly sensitive and everyone claims to be a victim. But we must at least end the stigma and intimidation against anyone associated with the “wrong side” of ’65. Then ahead of next week’s annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival(UWRF) in Bali, organizers announced the cancelation of sessions related to 1965 — rather than have police cancel the entire festival — leading to widespread outcry and international embarrassment. Together with the “civilian defense program” launched on Thursday and the proposed presidential draft allowing the military to play an increased role in civilian affairs, we will likely see more examples of an increasingly bold old guard.The President needs to appease the influential groups around him, but not at the cost of turning reformasi on its head. By taking a stance of unequivocal intolerance of inhumane and undemocratic attitudes, Jokowi will see some resurgence of his dwindling support. - See more at:

Brigadier General Richard Joweni: A Soldier and Revolutionary Diplomat

Uria Hans Joweni, passed away on 16 October – Jubi

Posted by : Admin October 18, 2015. 
Jayapura, Jubi – The people of Papua, especially the West Papua Liberation Army (TPN) has mourned the death of a charismatic figure in Brigadier General Richard Joweni. The man whose real name was Uria Hans Joweni, passed away on 16 October at 23:00 Papua time at 72.Joweni had been taken to the Vanimo Hospital to get medical treatment for gastrointestinal problems and physical weakness related to old age, after spending half of his life or 48 years as a guerilla fighter in the jungles of Papua. His death is a great loss particularly for his three children because his wife had earlier passed away on 22 September 2014 due to illness. The late General Joweni who was the Supreme Commander of West Papua Revolutionary Liberation Army (TRP PB) Liberation Army was born on 3 December 1943 at a village located in Teluk Wondama Regency, West Papua Province. As the TRP PB Supreme Commander, he headed 9 Papua Regional Command and 10 Military Command that partially covered the Papua Highland areas. General Joweni also the Chairman of West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) that incorporated with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to fight for West Papua through diplomacy at the MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) Forum and PIF (Pacific Islands Forum). Besides leading the guerilla, he was also known as a diplomat who lobbied a number of leaders of Melanesian countries at South Pacific to support West Papua for independence. For his services to Papua and as the Supreme Commander of West Papua Revolutionary Liberation army, he was awarded the tittle of the General of Guerilla (Posthumous) during his funeral procession at Endokisi Yokari Village, Tanah Merah, Jayapura Region. According to Jonah Wenda, the TRP PB Military Council spokesperson, in addition to be known as a persistent guerilla soldier in the jungle, Richard Joweni was also known as a charismatic figure in leading the struggle to the national liberation of West Papua nation. “He has taught ways to fight in dignity, peaceful and respect to others,” recalled Wenda. Further he said, in order to continue the leadership at TRP PB, the Colonel Amos Serondanya is appointed to temporarily replace the late General Joweni until the next determination of the Supreme Commander. The determination would be held after fourteen days of mourning that is marked by rising the Morning-Star flag at half-mash in both military and Papua regional commands under TRP PB. The funeral ceremony of the late Richard Joweni was held peacefully with the worship and military procession to honor him. The late Richard Joweni joined the West Papua Liberation Army in 1968 when he was 25 years old. Previously he had worked as a clerk in the Government of Netherlands in Papua. When the guerilla was led by Seth Rumkorem, he got several strategic positions until he was later appointed as the Supreme Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) until his death. (J. Howay/rom)

Opinion pieces/reports/press releases/urgent actions etc.

Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?

West Papua Oil Palm Atlas: The companies behind the plantation explosion

Video about resistance of the Marind tribe to reject food security and energy (MIFEE) project in Merauke.  This video has English subtitles. 

Palm oil’s new frontier is the vast rarest covering the world’s second-largest island

Freedom of Expression Under Fire in Indonesia

Jakarta cautiously lifts the veil in West Papua

No comments:

Post a Comment