Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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.

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