Saturday, June 11, 2016

1) Airlines serving remote areas in Papua to get incentives

2) Torture-Tainted Countertenor Unit to Face Stricter Supervision from House, Civil Groups

1) Airlines serving remote areas in Papua to get incentives
Nether Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura | Fri, June 10 2016 | 06:55 am
Sandwiched between high mountains and deep valleys, many villages in Papua are isolated. Thus, it is difficult for residents to connect with the outer world by land. 

The only option left for them is to use air transportation services. However, there is a limited number of airline operators that are willing to serve remote areas in the province. Consequently, air passenger tickets are expensive and so are the fees for logistics, making the prices of goods in remote parts of Papua among the highest in the country.

In a bid to encourage airline operators to maintain their services in the province, the Papua administration is considering giving them incentives. For a start, the administration will allocate Rp 80 billion (US$ 6.02 million) in subsidies for flights serving the province’s remote areas. 

Papua Transportation Agency head Djuli Mambaya said on Thursday that Governor Lukas Enembe launched the subsidy program at the Sentani airport in Jayapura on Wednesday. The subsidy is to be handed out to 12 airline operators serving remote areas in the province.

Djuli said the local administration hoped the subsidy would make airline companies more willing to serve remote areas in the province so that people in those remote areas could enjoy the fruits of development.

“With routine flights serving those villages, isolation can be minimized,” Djuli said.

He added that there were 386 airstrips in Papua, most of which were built by missionaries, where small-sized aircraft could land to reach people in isolated villages.

“The governor wants every Papuan, including those living in very remote areas, to see and feel the local administration’s attention,” he said.

The Rp 80 billion fund will be included in the province’s amended budget to be deliberated on around September 2016. The distribution of the fund will be regulated in a bylaw.

“A bylaw on the distribution of the flight subsidy fund will be issued,” said Djuli, adding that people whose regions were recipients of the subsidy would be required to pay for only 30 percent of the ticket price.

The 12 companies to receive the subsidy include AMA, MAF, Susi Air, Cenderawasih Air, Dimonim Air, Alda Air, Trigana Air, Jayasi, Tariku, Kembu Air, Alfatrans Dirgantara and Adventist Aviation.

The president director of PT AMA (Associated Mission Aviation), Djarot, appreciated the governor’s initiative, saying that his company had never received such a subsidy from the Papuan administration. 

“It’s a very good plan to smooth out services to hinterland areas,” Djarot said.

Djarot said his company had worked with the Yalimo regency administration to transport rice for the poor and with the Bintuni and Arfak administrations in West Papua to transport passengers to hinterland areas.

“Subsidies from regional administrations are very important to smooth out air transportation because most of the regions in Papua can only be reached through the air,” Djarot said.
2) Torture-Tainted Countertenor Unit to Face Stricter Supervision from House, Civil Groups
By : Alin Almanar | on 1:22 PM June 11, 2016
Jakarta. A planned unit overseeing counterterrorism operations, which activists have said are rife with rights abuses, will likely comprise representatives from all the party factions at the House of Representatives, as well as several members of civil society groups, a lawmaker said.
Calls by activists for the formation of an oversight team, tasked with supervising the National Police's Densus 88, have grown over the past months amid the deliberation of the government-proposed antiterrorism bill.
Revisions to the 2003 antiterrorism law will likely lead to the establishment of the unit, but details on its work mechanisms have yet to be deliberated for the time being, said Hanafi Rais, deputy chairman of the House's special committee for the bill.
"The formation could resemble that of the intelligence oversight team," Hanafi said recently.

Based on the 2011 intelligence law, the House in late January formed a unit tasked with overseeing the work of state intelligence officials.
The team, whose meetings are held behind closed doors, work in cases where there are allegations of violations such as arbitrary arrests or detentions.
The unit is comprised of 14 members of House's Commission I, which oversees defense and intelligence, and are authorized with bringing people ranging from officials to experts in for investigation into such violations.
"The counterterrorism oversight team could involve those inside as well as outside the House," said the National Mandate Party (PAN) politician. "What is certain is that there will likely be such a unit."
Plans for the establishment of the team come in response to growing concerns from activists that torture against alleged terrorists has been rampant in custody of Densus 88, which is currently being supervised by the National Police's internal affairs unit.

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