Tuesday, May 31, 2016

1) Indonesia detains protesters in insurgency-hit Papua

2) Two foreign vessels detained in northern waters of Papua

3) Lecturers strike as students blockade campus at Papuan university


1)   Indonesia detains protesters in insurgency-hit Papua
Jakarta (AFP) - Indonesian police briefly detained hundreds of pro-independence demonstrators in Papua on Tuesday, the latest round-up of protesters in the insurgency-hit eastern region.
Police said demonstrators staged rallies calling for the release of political prisoners and for an organisation representing Papuan resistance groups to be given full membership of a regional trade and security body.
A low-level insurgency has simmered for decades in resource-rich Papua, with Jakarta keeping a tight grip on the region through a heavy military and police presence.
Papua police chief Paulus Waterpauw said that around 300 people, some in traditional tribal dress, were briefly detained as they were demonstrating in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, and several other cities without a permit.
"These people were supporting groups who demand Papuan independence, and they did not have permits to stage a protest," he told AFP.
He said the demonstrators were rounded up and addressed by police and local politicians before being released.
Victor Yeimo, from pro-independence youth group the West Papua National Committee, said that the demonstrators had requested a permit to stage a protest but police refused.
"This is a peaceful act and the right to express our opinions is protected by law -- why do the police always try to stop us?" he said.
Earlier this month 1,200 pro-independence demonstrators were briefly detained in Papua to stop rallies planned to mark the anniversary of Indonesia taking control of the region from former colonial power the Netherlands in 1963.
Tuesday's demonstrators were calling for the release of dozens of Papuan separatists jailed for committing treason for acts such as raising the pro-independence "Morning Star" flag and taking part in anti-government protests.
They were also demanding that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) -- an umbrella body representing resistance groups in the Papua -- be given full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a trade and security body.
Indonesia last year joined the group as an associate member, but the ULMWP was only given observer status.
Insurgents are fighting on behalf of the mostly ethnic Melanesian population, whose livelihoods President Joko Widodo has pledged to improve.



2) Two foreign vessels detained in northern waters of Papua

Selasa, 31 Mei 2016 20:27 WIB | 528 Views

The two foreign vessels were a Philippine-flagged MV Jessica 006 vessel weighing 12 gross tonnage and a Vietnamese MV Pha Ong vessel of 14 gross tonnage, Commander of the Eastern Sea Security Armada First Admiral I.N.G. Sudihartawan stated here on Tuesday.
Ten crew members, including an Indonesian, of the Philippine vessel were arrested. The police also detained 13 crew members of the Vietnamese vessel.

The two vessels were intercepted by the Indonesian Navy Ship KRI Multatuli on Friday (May 27) in the Pacific waters north of Fani Island and were escorted to the Sorong Naval Base (Lantamal XIV).

During the operation, the local authority did not find any haul of marine resources aboard MV Jessica 006, but the crew members failed to present a legal permit to enter the Indonesian waters.

"On the Vietnamese vessel, we found eight tons of sea cucumbers suspected to be hauled from the Indonesian waters. The ship also had no permit to enter the Indonesian waters," Sudihartawan revealed.

The crew members of the two ships are being investigated by the local authority.

(Reporting by Ernes B. Kakisina/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

3) Lecturers strike as students blockade campus at Papuan university
By PMC Editor -  May 31, 2016
East New Britain Students Association members from the University of Papua New Guinea are calling on Prime Minster Peter O’Neill to step down and face allegations against him. NBCTV News video.
While university students in Papua New Guinea have continued their national political “awareness” campaign into the fifth week, a blockade of a campus across the Indonesian border in Papua has prompted staff to go on strike.
The blockading of the campus of Cenderawasih University in Waena, Abepura Jayapura, Papua, from Monday to Thursday by its students has resulted in a strike by its 615 lecturers and 321 administrative employees, The Jakarta Post reports.
“The strike is a protest against the students who have been frequently blocking the campus,” said university rector Onesimus Sahuleka on Friday, explaining that the students had been blockading the campus at least twice a month.
Onesimus welcomed students’ aspirations but encouraged them not to express them by disturbing the teaching and learning activities at the campus.
The blockading of the campus was held to demand that the campus prolong the enrolment period and to give 80 percent of its available seats to Papuans.
“I cannot extend the enrolment period because the registration was conducted online and nationwide,” Onesimus said.
He added that the university had also been prioritising Papuans.
Lecturer’s car stoned
Last year, he said, of the new students accepted, 79 percent were Papuans and the remaining 21 percent were “outsiders”.
During the protest on Thursday, a lecturer, John Kawatu, of the university’s school of teacher training (FKIP) was injured as protesters pelted his car with stones.
In Papua New Guinea, 18 students were arrested in Wewak at the weekend over a peaceful “awareness” programme.
Students in PNG are calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stand down and face a police investigation into corruption allegations.

1) More mass demos in West Papua

2) Papua searches for new council members



1) More mass demos in West Papua

3 minutes ago

There have been more demonstrations in Indonesia's Papua region today, in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
Over a thousand demonstrators gathered in the Papua provincial capital Jayapura to express their support for the Liberation Movement and its bid for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
In the past month and a half there's been a series of large, peaceful demonstrations in most Papuan urban centres in support of the Liberation Movement.
The largest and most widespread demonstrations occurred on May 2nd when police arrested around two thousand people in Jayapura alone.
The demos have mainly been organised by the West Papua National Committee which is part of the Liberation Movement.
There were also large gatherings in Manokwari, Fakfak and Wamena, one of Papua's major Highlands towns.
Initial reports from Wamena indicate a large police and military forces presence, with police shooting two demonstrators.
Citizens have had no access to Wamena hospital as the security forces have blocked it off.
Police reported that a Papuan who has been on their wanted list, Kelenak Telenggen, was one of the people shot.
In Jayapura, police stopped the demonstration moving from Waena to Abepura while in nearby Sentani they detained 33 members of the West Papua National Committee.

Earlier, BBC Indonesia reported that a hundred West Papuans had been arrested in Jayapura and Wamena in the past few days for handing out flyers calling for people to join today's demonstrations.
As well as showing support for the Liberation Movement's MSG membership, the demonstrations have been another clear expression of indepedence aspirations among West Papuans.
However, a police spokesman indicated that security forces would not tolerate freedom of expression in public where it involved promoting the idea of independence for Papua.

University turmoil

Staff at Papua's Cenderawasih University are reportedly striking over a continued blockade of the campus at Abepura.
The Jakarta Post quotes the university director, Onesimus Sahuleka, as saying the strike is a protest against the students who have been frequently blocking the campus.
The students are demanding that the campus extend the enrolment period and ensure that 80 percent of the places available are assigned to Papuans.
He praised the students' aspirations but urged them to not disturb teaching and learning activities at the campus.
Onesimus said the enrolment period oculd not be extended because registration happens online and across Indonesia.


2) Papua searches for new council members

Nether Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post  
Jayapura | Mon, May 30 2016 | 07:27 am

As the tenure of the second batch of the Papuan People’s Assembly ( MRP ) ended last month, the nation’s eastern-most region is due to select new members to sit at the special council. The selection, however, has been put on hold until the selection process for the Papuan People’s Representatives’ Council ( DPRP ), also designed to accommodate the region’s special autonomy status, is complete. 

The MRP is a local council, equal to the region’s governors, consisting of representatives of religions, indigenous regions and women, while the DPRP is another council that consists of representatives of political parties. 

“The tenure of MRP members in the second period ended on April 12, 2016, but according to regulations the service period of MRP members ends with the swearing in of new MRP members. However, as the swearing in ceremony for the third period has yet to take place, the service period of current MRP members must be extended,”’ said MRP chairman Timotius Murib in Jayapura.

The period will be extended for three months from Apr. 12 to July 13.

“If, in the next three months new MRP members have yet to be elected for the third period, the home minister must extend the MRP service period again,” said Murib.

Reportedly, the MRP has yet to initiate the selection of new MRP members due to the ongoing DPRP selection process in accordance with the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

The DPRP selection will influence the number of MRP members as per the regulation stipulating that the number of MRP members should be equal to 75 percent of the number of DPRP members.

“So, when the DPRP members have been sworn in, its likely that the number of MRP members for the third period will increase,”’ said Murib.

Currently Papua has 56 DPRP members and 42 MRP members, Murib explained, adding that when the 14 new DPRP members are selected, the number of DPRP members will rise to 70, allowing the MRP a total of 52 seats.

The DPRP recruitment process is ongoing but recently entered the selection stage for candidates from five indigenous regions.

The special committee head for DPRP selection, Emus Gwijangge, said 355 candidates, across five indigenous regions, had registered their names with the selection committee.

“Currently, the selection committee members are undertaking administrative selection in the indigenous regions, each with 37 candidates who will participate in selection at the provincial level,” said Emus.

The five indigenous regions are Me Pago, La Pago, Saireri, Anima and Mamta. Mee Pago covers Nabire, Dogiyai, Deyai, Paniai, Intan Jaya and Mimika. La Pago includes Pegunungan Bintang, Jayawijaya, Yahukimo, Central Mamberamo, Tolikara, Lanny Jaya, Puncak, Nduga, and Yalimo. 

Mamberamo Tami or Mamta includes, Jayapura city, and Jayapura, Sarmi, Keerom and Mamberamo Raya. Ha Anim covers Merauke, Mappi, Boven Digul and Asmat while Saireri encompasses Biak Numfor, Supiori, Yapen and Waropen.

Me Pago has been granted three seats, La Pago was allocated four, Saireri was allocated three, Ha Anim and Mamta, two seats.

The Papua DPRD election is expected be complete by July, Emus said, adding that the process of selecting the MRP members could begin.

The selection of MRP members, said Emus, would be based on the indigenous regions.

The structure of Papua’s special autonomy will remain the same for a while as the central government has refused to amend the Papua Special Autonomy Law. The law has been deemed by some to be ineffective in improving the welfare of Papuans. 

The Home Ministry’s regional autonomy directorate general, Soni Sumarsono, said recently that the government, along with the Papua administration, should first focus on issuing supporting instruments for the law, such as Special Regional Regulations ( Perdasus ).

“The law isn’t perfect, that’s why we need to arrange the Perdasus. How can we revise a law when it has yet to accommodate any comprehensive instruments for implementation?” Soni asked.

Besides focusing on arranging Perdasus, Soni added that the government would try to improve the quality of human resources in Papua.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Media release- ACP and MSG leaders should condemn the crackdown on KNPB activists in West Papua

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

31 May 2016
Media release- ACP and MSG leaders should condemn the crackdown on KNPB activists in West Papua

ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) and MSG leaders should condemn the crackdown on KNPB activists in West Papua

Reports from West Papua indicate there will be another crackdown on rallies to be held in West Papua today. The rallies are to show support for the ULMWP to be granted full membership at the MSG, and calling for the release of all political prisoners in West Papua.

The intimidation of KNPB activists started on Saturday when 50 were arrested in Sentani and Jaypura. Although they were released the mobile phones of a number of activists were confiscated. 
On Monday 30 May  local media (Jubi) reported three members of KNPB in Yahukimo and 21 people in Wamena were arrested for distributing leaflets about the rallies to be held on the 31 May.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, “Yet again the Indonesian security forces are trying to intimidate activists into not taking part in peaceful rallies. Next door in PNG the 8th Summit of the ACP is meeting and AWPA believes the leaders should have West Papua as a major topic of discussion at the Summit. The Leaders of the ACP including the MSG leaders should immediately raise concern with Jakarta about the dangers of a crackdown today on peaceful demonstrators and hopefully avoid the mass arrests that occurred on the 2 May when up to 1800 West Papuans  were arrested”.


Updated with photos

Photo in Jubi

KNPB action today (Tuesday, 05.31.2016) to provide support to ULMWP - Jubi / IST

A number of photos posted by Victor Yeimo on Facebook

Under the terror, intimidation, and arrest by Indonesian colonial forces, the People of West Papua going down the roads in entire of West Papua today. We call the leaders of African, Caribbean, and Pacific to fight for West Papuan's right of self-determination.
As part of a clump of Melanesia in the Pacific, the right of self-determination for West Papua should be the issues to be raised during the summit of the 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, in Port Moresby, which has begun from 30th May – 1st June.
The States of Africa and the Caribbean in the history have been rejected the manipulation of the "act of free choice" in 1969 in West Papua, which led to the UN only "took note" without permanent decision.
Victor F. Yeimo
Chairman of KNPB

MSG leaders to talk about summit

 MSG leaders to talk about summit

2:28 pm today
Leaders of Melanesian Spearhead Group member states are mulling over where and when to hold their special summit which has been postponed twice.
A special MSG leaders summit, which was originally scheduled for Port Vila at the start of May, was rescheduled for Port Moresby late last week before being postponed again.
It's understood the summit may be held at the end of June.
The MSG chair Manassaeh Sogavare is now in the PNG capital in his capacity as Solomon Islands prime minister to attend a summit of the EU's African, Carribean and Pacific Group.
The secretary to the MSG Chair, Rence Sore, said while in Port Moresby Mr Sogavare would be in talks with other MSG leaders.
"The leaders are talking. The leaders are talking at the margins, at the margins of the ACP meeting. They are going to decide on the new dates, on the venue. It's going to be anywhere: either Port Vila, either Nadi, Suva, Solomons or New Caledonia."
Rence Sore said the Solomons government was concerned that the secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement, Octo Mote, was denied entry to PNG in recent days.
It's understood that Mr Mote was travelling to Port Moresby to assist the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands governments in their representations on West Papua at the ACP summit.
He had also been preparing for the upcoming MSG summit when a decision on the Liberation Movement's bid for full membership in the MSG was to be discussed.
Mr Sore said that as the ULMWP leader, Mr Mote should have been accorded some courtesy, but that it was PNG's jurisdiction to assert its authority as it saw fit.
However, with Mr Mote and other Liberation Movement representatives expected to attend the upcoming MSG summit, there's an increased likelihood that the venue could be moved from Port Moresby.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

West Papuan leader’s barred entry ordered from the “top"


West Papuan leader’s barred entry ordered from the “top"

less than a minute ago

The secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua says he was given no explanation why he was barred from entering Papua New Guinea.
Secretary general Octo Mote was travelling to Port Moresby to assist the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands governments in their representations on West Papua at the African, Carribean and Pacific summit this week.
He had also been preparing for an upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting to deliberate on the Liberation Movement's bid for full MSG membership.
Mr Mote, who has a US passport, said that the two immigration officers who disallowed his entry were respectful but gave no explanation.
"These two gentlemen were just saying this is the order from high top. So I really don't know why they stop me there. I've been in and out so many times to Papua New Guinea, and I'm possessing all the legal process which is on-arrival visa."

Media release -Octo Mote refused entry to PNG

Forwarding on FYI

Media release -Octovianus Mote, Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua forbidden entry to Papua New Guinea

United Liberation Movement for West Papua|ULMWP
116 Oberlin Road, Hamden, CT 06514
Tel | +1 203 5203055
Email | Tuarek61@gmail.com

May 30, 2016
Octovianus Mote, Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua forbidden entry to Papua New Guinea
30 May 2016

On the 28th of May 2016 Octovianus Mote, Secretary General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua was refused entry to Papua New Guinea.
“No reason was given why I was refused permission to enter the country. I was not presented with any written explanation, I was just told it was an ‘order from the top’. Although I am seeking clarification about why I was denied entry I accept this decision of the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea.”

“I was treated very respectfully as a wantok by Immigration and I want to emphasise that I was not deported” said Mr Mote.

This is the second time a leader from the United Liberation Movement for West Papua has been refused entry to Papua New Guinea. Benny Wenda was also refused entry in 2015 when he attempted to lobby the Papua New Guinea government.

Mr Mote was travelling to Papua New Guinea as a guest of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu government. “I was invited to assist both delegations with various resolutions they planned to table at the African Caribbean Pacific meeting of the European Union which is being held in Port Morseby.”

“I would like to express my thanks to the MSG countries for their ongoing support of West Papua. I look forward to the forthcoming MSG Leaders’ Summit to clarify all matters relating to ULMWP’s application for full membership.”

“I wish to extend my gratitude to the people of Papua New Guinea for their ongoing support. I look forward to a clearer and better understanding of Papua New Guinea’s position on West Papua.”

 For more information please contact Mr Octo Mote on +61 451015720

1) West Papua activist testing PNG PM’s invitation

2) Protecting human rights in Papua


1) West Papua activist testing PNG PM’s invitation

23 minutes ago
A prominent West Papua independence activist is calling on Papua New Guinea's prime minister to extend his invitation to all West Papuans to him.
Peter O'Neill has spoken of the need to speak out about human rights abuses in neighbouring Indonesian territory, and last week told a radio talkback programme that West Papuans are welcome in PNG.
But Benny Wenda, who lives in exile in the United Kingdom, has been denied entry into PNG twice in the last year.
Mr Wenda, who is the spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, said he was trying to apply for a visa to enter PNG to attend an upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group summit.
His movement gained observer status in the MSG last year, and Mr Wenda said he hoped to be able to attend.
"They don't really give a reason [about] why they try to stop me, but I hope they will allow me again because I'm officially a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and I'm officially the spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement."

Vanuatu Daily Post 
from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra

2) Protecting human rights in Papua
Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2016 8:00 am
Commentary by Sade Bimantara, Spokesperson for the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra | 0 comments
The ancient philosopher Laozi wrote that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Indonesia still faces obstacles in protecting the human rights of her citizens. This is a nation-wide legacy problem that the government of President Joko Widodo is determined to address one step at a time. Recently, President Widodo personally instructed relevant government agencies to take actions to settle past human rights cases, including those related to Papua, and to put in place safeguards to prevent future incidences.
Leading an inter-ministerial meeting last April, the coordinating minister for security, Luhut Pandjaitan listened to the views and reports of human rights activists and Papuan public officials. Paulus Waterpauw, an ethnic Papuan police chief of Papua, is personally heading the efforts to resolve four cases of alleged rights abuses. While the Chief of the National Police, Attorney General and the National Commission on Human Rights are in charge of another five rights cases. In past trials, Indonesian courts have prosecuted and convicted a number of individuals for rights abuses including those committed by members of the security forces.
This is a small move on the way to resolve a number of past cases of alleged unjustified killings. Killings, especially those involving security forces do deserve greater scrutiny to bring justice and put the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. Prosecutions send a strong message that no one is above the law and in turn discourage potential rights abuses.
Rights abuses are not the monopoly of the security forces however. The United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) single agenda is to take possession of sovereign territories of Indonesia: Papua and Papua Barat (West Papua). In pursuit of that goal, it wages an international propaganda campaign. As part of its strategy, the armed faction of the Papuan separatist group including the West Papua National Liberation Army (WPNLA), the Purom Okinam Wenda Group and their affiliates are systematically conducting armed attacks designed to terrorize Papuan residents, the Papuan Police and security personnel as well as local and multi-national businesses.
Benny Wenda, the spokesperson of the ULMWP is himself [allegedly] a fugitive of the law wanted on the charges of involvement in attacks in Abepura, Papua in December 2000. In those [alleged] attacks, Police Staff Sergeant Petrus Epaa and security guard Markus Padama died of their injuries. Wenda [allegedly] escaped in the middle of his trial and fled to the UK.
This separatist group has committed many human rights abuses including towards ethnic Papuans. A number of Papuan casualties that are repeatedly used by the ULMWP in their scare and smear campaigns are oftentimes a result of armed contacts between the Police against the armed WPNLA and its affiliates.
To illustrate, on March 2016, an armed separatist group of 20 people ambushed workers who were building roads to connect the cities of Sinak and Mulia. Four workers, Anis and the Demena family of Andarias, Daud and David died from gunshot wounds. On 30 November 2015, separatists attacked military officers in Namuniweja Village, Mamberamo Raya. One officer, Major Jhon E deFretes who was also a priest, died from his wounds. On July 28 2014, the Lanny Jaya faction of the WPNLA under the command of Enden Wanimbo attacked eight police officers who were travelling for a community counseling program. Two officers, Second Brigadier Zulfikli and Second Brigadier Prayoga Ginuni died at the scene from gunshot wounds. On 31 July 2013, an armed separatist group linked with the Purom Okinam Wenda Group attacked civilians only 100 meters from an army station. The group attacked and shot an ambulance owned by the Puncak Jaya Hospital and [allegedly] killed Hery Yoman, a health worker from the local hospital. On 27 November 2012, an armed separatist group attacked and burned the Perime Police Station in Lanny Jaya. Three police officers, Rolfi Rakubessy, Jefry Rumkorem and Daniel Makuker died of gunshot wounds and burn wounds. The list goes on and on.
In that context, consider this hypothetical scenario. Suppose a group of seemingly peaceful group of people is holding a rally in front of the Port Vila Parliament House. The group is waving the ISIS flag and calling for an establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Vanuatu. On a different day, the group’s more extremist faction wielding automatic rifles attacks and kills a number of Vila police officers who were patrolling the Port Vila Market and a number of shoppers on their Easter shopping. How would the Vanuatu Police react?
They would probably take those demonstrators for questioning. The Police would possibly scour the neighborhood of the suspects to obtain lead. Maybe the Police would then conduct house-to-house search and perhaps must resort to using lethal force to stop the terrorists in their tracks.
How is this then, any different from the reaction of the Police in Papua towards those groups of people—that are not just peacefully calling for their goal that threatens the national security and the existence of Indonesia as a sovereign country—but their violent and extremist wing that do not hesitate to use lethal force against Papuan civilians and the Police?
We should reject the use of [alleged] terrorism, for any purposes, whether to establish an Islamic State or to break Indonesia up and establish a new state in place of its territories.
Let us not forget that the ULMWP aims to take possession of territories of a sovereign country. Let us not forget that the Papuan voters have fairly and freely elected their government and legislature. Let us not forget that the ULMWP seeks to overthrow this democratically elected government and their people’s representative for their own political agenda.
Two wrongs do not make a right. The Government of Indonesia is taking steps in that thousand miles journey. Is the ULMWP and its armed wing taking any actions to right what is wrong?

1) Match Words with Action on Papua Abuses

2) Freeport Owes Ten Trillion in Debt to Papua Government

3) People Asked to Anticipate Two Months Dried Season

4) President Pays Serious Attention To Papuan


1) Match Words with Action on Papua Abuses

27 May 2016
Jayapura, Jubi/TFC – The detention of more than 1,500 Papuan independence supporters on May 2 for “lacking a permit to hold a rally” speaks volumes of the government’s stubbornly problematic approach to dealing with dissent in the restive territory of Papua. This approach has for decades provided impunity for security forces, despite their abuses against Papuans and turned dozens of those exercising their universal rights to freedom of expression and association into political prisoners.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has promised Papuans a change, beginning with “an open dialogue for a better Papua”. But aside from the release of a few political prisoners, there has been barely any signs of meaningful change on the ground in Papua.
Jokowi’s December 2014 pledge to thoroughly investigate and punish security forces implicated in the death of five peaceful protesters in the Papuan town of Enarotali that month has remained unfulfilled. And the Indonesian bureaucracy continues to obstruct international media from freely reporting in Papua despite the President’s May 2015 declaration to lift the decades-old restrictions.
Last month the government announced a new approach to Papua’s long history of serious rights abuses and lack of accountability: It was going to try to resolve them.
On April 20 chief security minister Luhut Pandjaitan opened a one-week meeting in Jakarta, which was attended by more than 20 human rights activists and ethnic Papuan officials from Papua and West Papua, along with officials from the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office ( AGO ) and various ministries.
The meeting followed increasing international scrutiny of Indonesia’s human rights record in Papua, including a September 2015 proposal by the Pacific Islands Forum, a political grouping of 16 Pacific nation states, for a possible human rights “fact finding mission” in Papua.
The meeting aimed to develop a roadmap to investigation and resolution of a number of the region’s most serious human rights abuses. The initiative was a follow-up to Jokowi’s commitment in December 2014 to seek an end to human rights violations in Papua.
The government has compiled a 17-page report detailing 11 high-priority human rights cases in Papua that it aims to solve. They include the Biak massacre in July 1998, when security forces opened fire on participants of a peaceful flag-raising ceremony on the island, the military crackdown on Papuans in Wasior in 2001 and Wamena in 2003 that left dozens killed and thousands displaced and the forced disbandment of the Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011 that left three people dead and hundreds injured.
The government has also prioritized individual cases such as the disappearance of Aristoteles Masoka, the driver of murdered Papuan leader Theys Eluay in November 2001. Although Eluay’s body was found inside his car, and seven Army Special Forces soldiers were convicted in 2003 for the murder, Masoka has never turned up.
The list is an encouraging sign that the government recognizes the role of the security forces in human rights abuses in Papua and the need for accountability. However, mass killings that took place between the 1960s and 1970s, including a military operation in 1977-1978 against Free Papua Movement ( OPM ) insurgents that allegedly involved indiscriminate aerial bombings and strafing, have been deliberately omitted.
Papuan activists have also called for investigations into the killing of anthropologist-cum-musician Arnold Ap in April 1984 and rights abuses linked to the Indonesian security forces in the lead-up to the July 1969 UN-sponsored referendum that resulted in a much-contested unanimous vote for continued integration with Indonesia.
The government’s plan to resolve these cases involves deploying agencies including the National Police, the AGO, the National Commission on Human Rights ( Komnas HAM ) and the military police to investigate. The plan specifies the need for compensation for survivors and victims’ families for incidents in which the evidence clearly indicates the culpability of government officials and security forces.
Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, the Papua Police chief, has promised to prosecute individuals implicated in those abuses. The government has yet to publicly disclose a timeline for these investigations.
Papua’s troubled history and ongoing serious human rights abuses demand a meaningful government response to both address the crimes of the past and to enact measures to prevent future abuses. The ongoing low-level conflict with the small and disorganized OPM obligates the government to ensure security for the population.
Security forces repeatedly fail to distinguish between violent acts and peaceful expression of political views. The government has denounced flag-raisings and other peaceful expressions of pro-independence sentiment in Papua as treasonous. Heavy-handed responses to peaceful activities have resulted in numerous human rights violations.
In the past eight years, Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of cases in which police, military, intelligence officers, and prison guards have used unnecessary or excessive force when dealing with Papuans exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and association.
The government also frequently arrests and prosecutes Papuan protesters for peacefully advocating independence or other political change. More than 35 Papuan activists are in prison on treason charges.
Human Rights Watch takes no position on Papuan claims to self-determination, but opposes imprisonment of people who peacefully express support for self-determination.
Papuans are likely to be skeptical of Luhut’s plan to resolve past human rights abuses unless the positive rhetoric is matched by meaningful investigations and prosecutions for those crimes. (*)

This article was published by The Fifth Column

2) Freeport Owes Ten Trillion in Debt to Papua Government
26 May 2016
Denpasar, Jubi – Head of Papua Energy and Mineral Resource Office Bangun Manurung said PT. Freeport Indonesia has failed to pay the water surface tax amouting to about Rp 10 trillion.
He said Freeport should have paid for the use of water surface since the signing of its second contract of work in 1991 to present.
“What we asked is clear; it is very confirmed and clear. We are optimistic that the Tax Court would agree with us and could see this clearly. In my opinion the government’s credibility is tested,” he said after attending the meeting with the Special Committee on Freeport Issue of Papua Legislative Council that held in Nusa Dua-Kuta, Bali on last week.
According to him, Freeport’s annual obligation to the local government is Rp 400 billion. If this amount was counted since 1991, the total amount would reach more than Rp 10 trillion,
“It should be Rp 10 trillion, but based on the tax legislation, it’s only counted for the last five years. So, it would approximately Rp 2.7 trillion. I am not sure whether our claim since 1991 would be counted or not. Well, about the legal aspect we don’t know. But we prepared all technical materials,” he said on Wednesday (25/5/2016).
Though he had no idea about why Freeport filed a legal notice against Papua Provincial Government related to tax payment, he thought it is an obligation for Freeport to pay the water surface tax.
“If not, we have not considered yet for further solution. Regarding to the committee’s advise to Papua Provincial Government to present an expert, it’s a good idea. We will see the progress in the court. It’s very good to strengthen the bargain position of Papua Provincial Government whether it is related to the contract of work or regional regulation,” he said.
Meanwhile the First Deputy Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Edoardus Kaize said Freeport’s legal notice against Papua Provincial Government was not make sense, because it was filed when Papua Provincial Government demanded its rights.
“Freeport should have a good ethics. It’s ridiculous if it filed a charge against the government. This company gets a permit from the government to conduct the mining operation in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, in particular Papua. Because of it did not run its obligation properly or did not want to pay its debts, then filed the legal notice against the government,” said Kaize.
According to him, instead of filing a charge, Freeport should fulfill its obligation by paying its debts of more than Rp 2.7 trillion to Papua Provincial Government.

“What it should pay is not for debts from decades. It is only for certain period. Freeport should not make it a problem to file a charge against the government,” he said. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
3) People Asked to Anticipate Two Months Dried Season
27 May 2016
Wamena, Jubi – Several areas in Papua central highland is expected to experience a weather transition from the rainy season to the dry season.
The Head of Wamena Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) Diedrech Benny Marlisa said the dried season in Papua is divided into six zones of season (zom); four in Papua and two in Papua Barat. In Jayawijaya Regency, there are two zones; the northeastern is categorized in Zom 339 and other areas are included into zom 341 with different rainfall.
He predicted the dried season in Zom 339 would start in the early of June to July, while in Zom 341, it would start in the early of July.
“Well, currently the rain intensity in Jayawijaya and the Central Highland is quite reduced, usually it indicates the coming of the dried season,” he said in Wamena on Thursday (26/5/2016).
The climate change in the mountainous area was affected by El Nino and Indian Ocean Divolt System. It used to be happened due to sediment from the Indian Sea penetrating to the territory of Indonesia. Further the Asia-Autralia Moon zone circulation also affects the weather in Indonesia, as well as inter-tropical air areas which usually entering the Indonesian territory; from the north, south and affected by temperature at the southern Papua.
“If the sea surface temperature was hot, it indicates the water evaporation which would form a cloud and become a rainfall. But, However, BMKG forecasted the evaporation would less occurred during June and July to impact to the rain intensity,” he said.
Therefore he expected the local residents to grow the plants that usually planted in the dried season. Meanwhile Jayawijaya Regional Secretary Yohanes Walilo expected people to adjust with the climate in planting.
“So, if the last time was dried season then it came to rainy season and now it returns to dried season, we need to anticipate it. People must know the time to plant and to harvest,” he said.
He said the Jayawijaya Regional Government does not want the drought in the last year would be occurred.
“Therefore, people must be smart in farming. They should not only do planting in the swamp areas but also in the mountainous areas, therefore they have food supplies when the drought was occurred,” he said. He also asked the Forest and Plantation Office to provide assistance to the people to educate them for not burning the forest randomly leading to erosion. (Islami Adisubrata/rom)

4) President Pays Serious Attention To Papuan

25 May 2016

Merauke, Jubi – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has visited Papua on several occasions to see for himself problems on the ground.
The visits demonstrate the president’s commitment to pay serious attention to Papuans, said the First Deputy Assistant of Presidential Staff Office Ferry Tetelepta during the meeting with Merauke Regent Frederikus Gebze and local government’s officials some days ago.
“The purpose of President Widodo’s visits is only to see and hear from the people about their problems directly, because Papuans must get attention like the others from other regions,” he said on Tuesday (24/5/2016).

“I also come to Merauke Regency to verify the program launched by the president as well as to compile a report and submit it to the president for a review and follow-up actions,” he said.
Merauke Regent Frederikus Gebze said the visits by the Indonesian President to Papua including Merauke Regency have been done several times, because he wanted to see and hear the people’s problems directly. Thus, it needs to be addressed or followed up. He added the president has launched the national barns as well as food sovereignty program in Merauke Regency. Thus, the history should be returned when Merauke received award from the United Nations in 1984. (Ans K/rom)