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)
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.