Sunday, May 29, 2016

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)

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