Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1) Rallies in West Papua

2) Activists condemn new crackdown on Papuans – 100 arrested in 4 days
3) NZ MPs want action on West Papua mission
4) Open letter to Mr Andre Siregar Indonesian Consul to Darwin
5) Indonesia to develop special economic zone in Sorong
6) Behind Indonesia’s Red Scare

1) Rallies in West Papua
A large number of rallies took place in West Papua today. Many reports  with photos of the rallies have been posted on various Facebook pages West Papua Media had a live feed.
It is understood that over 700 security force personal were brought in to control the demonstrators.
Just 2 postings on Facebook below plus a report from
1,200 KNPB Members have been arrested and are being held by police in the police station in Jayapura (Polres) in Doyo Sentani. KNPB in are in the Town Hall, Sentani - Jayapura.
source: KNPB Sentani
"KNPB Timika News:- Today, the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Region Timika, NRFPB, WPNCL and thousands of Papuans consisting of several denominations of the Church, of the Government, as well as children of school employees, took part in the action of peace rallies held by KNPB at the Roundabout Timika Indah, before the House Emeneme Yaware on Wednesday June 15, 2016.
There were over a 1000 people taking action in the march, which was obstructed by the TNI/Police in front of the Timika roundabout in Emeneme Yauware
In accordance with the Notice, the KNPB had already given a notification letter to the Police that, KNPB Timika were marching down the road in accordance with the agenda of the National Command. Its targets are in office of Regional People's Representative Assembly (DPRD) Mimika.
Dear people of Papua, Police Chief Yustanto stopped the march saying we can't be in the street. Where is the place to convey the aspirations of the people of Papua?
Wow DPRD (Member of Parliament building) is for who and what? The chairman of the West Papua Parliament in Timika informed the KNPB that he would welcome them into the parliament building, but the Indonesian Police and military blocked and closed the building. The Police lied to the KNPB and the West Papuan people, stating that all the Members of Parliament had a meeting in Jayapura.
The peaceful march was obstructed in Timika's beautiful roundabout at 09. 00 s / d 2.00 WPB today. There is still a roundabout Oration happening in Timika Indah."
source: KNPB Timika - Wendanax'soon Nggembu Enggilek
A google translate. Be -aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

Korlap Action in Housing III Waena Take Action Period Stay Calm

Author Arnold Belau - June 15, 201601

JAYAPURA, Thousands action commanded by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) intercepted by military and police. Coordinator of the action still negotiating with officers who were in the place of action. Action coordinator invites all past actions remain calm. Because negotiations are ongoing.

"We ask all members of the KNPB, the people of Papua and sympathizers to remain calm place. Let old also remain calm. Our action was peaceful and not anarchy, "said Elihud Dabi, Korlap in Housing III Waena, Wednesday (15/06/2016).

Elihud say, if until later authorities did not leave the room to go to the office of DPR Papua, the Papuan people will remain in place.

"If the apparatus is still clean hard and hold us here, we will fill ourselves so arrested. Or until DPRP came to see us here, "he said.

Filep Karma who also participated in the protest said the situation like this is easy once provocateur play action, for that, he hopes all future action can be patient.

"The smart provocateur steal opportunity. Do not give a chance on him. Still participate coordinators. Do not create additional movement, "urged him, as he followed Papua independence slogans.

Until this news was broadcast, korlap action is still negotiating with the security forces.

As reported earlier, 250 mass action were arrested and have been secured at the police station Doyo. In Wamena, 100 people have been arrested and detained at the police station Jayawijaya and hundreds of other Papua masses had reached the parliament office Jayawiaya. While in Timika, blockading forces mass in the central town of Timika.

Announcers: Stephen Yogi

Editor: Arnold Belau

2) Activists condemn new crackdown on Papuans – 100 arrested in 4 days

The Australian West Papua Association has condemned the arrest of 65 KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) and student activists in Sentani and 4 in Nabire on Monday. Local news media, such as Suara Papua, have reported the latest arrests, as well as 31 KNPB activists being arrested in the capital Jayapura last Friday, bringing the total of arrests to at least 100 in four days.
“The Indonesian security forces are doing everything possible to stifle any raising of awareness of the issue of West Papua by cracking down on peaceful rallies,” said Joe Collins of AWPA. “In this case they arresting people for simply handing out leaflets about the upcoming rally planned for 15 June 15  [today].”
Although the activists have been released, many were injured by being thrashed with canes. reported that Allen Halitopo, chairman of KNPB Sentani, had confirmed the arrests of activists and students at the KNPB Sentani.
Now freed
Allen said all the arrested had been freed. There is only one student who was currently experiencing health problems. He was arrested at the airport Sentani.
In relation to the 31 activists arrested on the June 10, the Director of Manokwari’s LP3BH (Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid) reported to local media Tabloid Jubi that  “the deeds of the Jayapura police chief clearly violate the principles of respect for human rights set out in the Criminal Procedure Code and Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which has been ratified by the government of Indonesia”.  [Google translation]
Collins said it was hoped that the governments in the Pacific region (the Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders are due to meet in Fiji) are noting the mass arrests in West Papua.
He called on the MSG to raise concerns with Jakarta about the abuses in West Papua and to urge Jakarta to allow rallies like the one planned for today to go ahead peacefully.

3) NZ MPs want action on West Papua mission
3:16 pm today
New Zealand politicians want the government to press for progress on a high level fact-finding mission to Indonesia's Papua region.
The New Zealand government indicated on several occasions that Indonesia was opposed to the idea but Greens MP, Catherine Delahunty, who leads a now 20 strong group of New Zealand parliamentarians, said this country had to do more.
"We will be writing a collective letter to Murray McCully as Minister of Foreign Affairs calling on him to make a comment on this lack of progress," she said.
"Because it was already agreed. It is clear from the past year that there continue to large numbers of human rights abuses and there is a need for a fact finding mission. So we are going to push our government because they signed up to this, they should be standing up for it."

Barbaric occupation 
4) Open letter to Mr Andre Siregar, Indonesian Consul to Darwin
The story about the Morning Star and Aboriginal flags mural in Darwin has recently been brought to my attention.

In the report I have read, amongst other things, you said that you respect Australia’s right to free speech and political expression, that Indonesians find the Morning Star Flag of West Papua offensive as it is a separatist one that Australians have raised issues with you about the mural and that human rights are improving in Indonesia.
In response, I would like to say that I am pleased that you respect Australia’s right to free speech and political expression even if you consider the Morning Star offensive.
However, you must also appreciate that many ordinary Australians are very concerned about the human rights situation in West Papua as they were with the situation in East Timor when it was occupied by the Indonesian Military (TNI) for a period of 24 years during which nearly a third of the population was wiped out.
Many Australians also know the history of what happened in 1965 when the CIA assisted the TNI to overthrow the Suharno government followed by the massacres of well over a million Indonesians. The Suharto dictatorship which replaced the Sukarno leadership arranged the so-called Act of Free Choice in West Papua in 1969 which was as brutal as it was fraudulent.
It went on to commit genocide and horrific human rights abuses in Aceh, East Timor, West Papua and parts of Indonesia itself. Many of the crimes committed were as serious as those committed by the Nazis during World War 2. Is it any wonder that many consider the TNI to be the largest terrorist organisation in the SE Asian and SW Pacific regions of the world?
We know that not all Indonesians are offended by the Morning Star flag. Former Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid, allowed the flag to be flown and agreed that West Papuans should be allowed to publicly use their cultural symbols. In addition, Indonesians who respect human rights and know the history of West Papua also support West Papuan symbols and independence.
The people of West Papua are Melanesians. They are not Asians. The only reason that the Indonesian government claims that West Papua is part of Indonesia is that it was also colonised by the Netherlands.
The only reason that West Papua is not an independent nation is that the US intervened in the 1960s to stop the Netherlands from giving the people their freedom because it wanted its gold and copper.
The US mining corporation Freeport-McMoRan still makes huge profits from West Papua’s gold and copper and the Indonesian government obtains massive taxes from this mining activity. In contrast, the people of West Papua receive little benefit from the theft of their resources.
The TNI occupation of the country has been barbaric and genocidal. Human rights observers estimate that during the 54 years that the TNI has been there about 500,000 people have been murdered. West Papuans have lost their lands which have been given to Javanese transmigrants with no compensation.
You claim that human rights are improving in Indonesia and yet almost every week we receive stories of TNI atrocities.
It is a positive sign that President Joko Widodo says that he wants to investigate the crimes committed by the 1965 TNI bloodbath in Indonesia and improve human rights in West Papua. To be really genuine, this process has to be supervised by a bona fide human rights organisation and not by former officers of the TNI.
The fact is that Indonesia cannot be considered to be truly democratic and respectful of human rights until it exerts more power over the TNI and prevents its barbarism against West Papuans, Indonesians and others in the region who suffer from its brutal behaviour.
In addition, Indonesia should allow the UN to conduct a referendum tin West Papua to determine the will of the people regarding their future, it should allow the International Court of Justice to put on trial all the TNI officers alleged to have committed war crimes and human rights violations and it should pay compensation to all the victims of the TNI in Indonesia, West Papua, Aceh and Timor-Leste.
If some attempts were made to bring justice to those who have suffered at the hands of the TNI and to markedly increase democratic freedoms within West Papua and Indonesia, there would be greater stability within Indonesia itself and a greater chance for peace in this region of the world.
Yours sincerely
Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer
Australia East Timor Friendship Association (South Australia)
Member: Australia West Papua Association (South Australia)


5) Indonesia to develop special economic zone in Sorong
Atom Amindoni The Jakarta Post  
Jakarta | Tue, June 14 2016 | 09:11 pm
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo decided on Tuesday to develop a special economic zone in Sorong, West Papua, as part of fulfilling his promise to pay more attention to the development of the easternmost region in the country.
"Development in Papua, both Papua and West Papua, needs to be accelerated. Not only to improve connectivity by building roads, bridges, airports and ports, but also to create industrial zones and centers of economic growth," Jokowi said, adding that he had instructed related ministries to speed up development in the region.
In preparation for the special economic zone, Jokowi has instructed his Cabinet to ensure the feasibility of land-acquisition and infrastructure and transportation development, as well as support the necessary supply of power.
Separately, Sorong Regent Stepanus Malak said that the development of infrastructure and facilities in the special economic zone would require Rp 5 trillion (US$373.9 million) in investment. Currently, there are 12 companies in the regency, including international oil and gas company Petrochina, as well as several companies from Japan, Korea and Australia.
"The core business in the special economic zone will be palm oil processing, timber processing, fisheries, petrochemicals and oil refineries," he said.

6) Behind Indonesia’s Red Scare
Why is the Indonesian military again warning of an imminent communist revolution?

Indonesia. Military figures have publicly warned of discreet attempts by communists to launch a revolution and reminded citizens to steer clear of communism or risk imprisonment. Additionally, several organizations associated with the military, most notably the Communication Forum on Indonesian Veterans’ Children (FKPPI), have staged protests and raised banners across the island of Java to warn of communism’s potential ascent.
But the military’s warnings are not just empty threats. Security forces, which consist of the police and the military, have intensified crackdowns on literature, memorabilia, and movies related to communist ideology and the failed September 30, 1965 coup attempt and its aftermath, which saw the imprisonment and killings of hundreds of thousands of suspected communists and communist sympathizers. In May, a shop owner was temporarily arrested for selling reproduced images of a hammer and sickle on t-shirts featuring German thrash metal band, Kreator. Bookstores have had books on leftist ideology and the 1965-66 killings seized by security forces. Ironically, the seizure of academic texts on communism and the killings was supported by the acting head of Indonesia’s National Library. A movie screening in Yogyakarta to celebrate World Press Freedom Day was disbanded by security officials, following a complaint by the FKPPI. The screening, which was organized by a group of journalists and activists, was on a documentary about labor rights, which the FKPPI accused of seeming too left-wing.
Numerous academics, journalists, and activists have spoken out against the “excessive” use of force. Even President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who instructed law enforcement to enforce the laws against the use of communist imagery in May, has said that the crackdowns have been too excessive. National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti also urged security officials to soften up. While the crackdowns have slightly subsided as of early June, the “red scare” has not. On June 3, anti-communist protests, organized by hardline Islamic and nationalist organizations took place at Jakarta’s National Monument. This raises the question: what led to the sudden public and security anxiety on communism?
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Jokowi and the Military
Jokowi came to power with weak political capital. His administration has faced frequent attempts by political parties to block his every move, routine images of fights in his cabinet, and public subordination to his political patron, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri. The military, with its powerful territorial command and famed ability to deliver swift action, seemed like an attractive alternative as a power base. The military already had considerable social influence through the operation of its 13 territorial commands, which operate all the way down to the village level. This allows them to get involved in community-building initiatives, which has the added effect of improving their public image.
May 2015 report by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict worryingly points out how Indonesia’s military is expanding its influence deeper into the realms of domestic affairs and security. For instance, the military has already signed dozens of memoranda of understandings with various civilian agencies in the past two years. They are a key part of Jokowi’s plan to achieve food self-sufficiency by 2017, which empowers the military to set up structures for land cultivation and oversee crop yields. The military is also cooperating with local governments to launch community projects that empower locals, but also has the added objective of collecting information and bolstering nationalism. They have also joined Jokowi’s fight against drugs and terrorism, areas that were previously reserved for the police. Now, the military is also involved in the crackdowns on leftist symbolism.
Ryacudu, whose appointment was mired with controversy, also announced the military’s intention to establish 900 training centers by early 2018 for a civilian defense corps, which has the purpose of defending the country against “proxy wars” waged by communists, radical militants, homosexuals, and other “foreign influences.” The training centers will teach millions of students, civil servants, and others about survival skills and civic education. What is perhaps most worrying about the military’s return to public life is that it is likely to limit the progress to shed light on a long list of past human rights abuses.
Revisiting the 1965-66 Killings
The crackdowns on suspected communist materials coincided with Jokowi’s order for an investigation into the 1965-66 killings. In April, an historic symposium on the September 30, 1965 coup attempt and its aftermath was held in Jakarta and gathered scholars, activists, political figures, and military officials. The event was jointly sponsored by a number of groups, including military officials. Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan (a former army general himself) supports the forum, though he made it clear to participants that the government was not going to offer an apology to the victims of the 1965-66 killings. Nonetheless, he announced that the government will form a team to investigate and excavate mass graves. Panjaitan’s support for the investigation is in deep contrast to that of Rycadu, who decried the symposium. Rather, he argued that there was no need to remember “forgotten parts” of history.
In early May, rumors began spreading around that a communist revolt was imminent. Even a number of prominent retired generals have confirmed that these speculations are genuine. However, it is difficult to see communism gaining much traction in a country where the ideology is already universally panned. History textbooks highlight communism’s failed war with the nationalists. Under the Suharto regime, state-controlled television annually played a screening of Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (Treachery of the G30S/PKI) to remind the public about the communist killings of six respected generals. The Suharto government has succeeded in eliminating any semblance of communism within the Indonesian people’s psyche to the extent that a communist rebellion is unfathomable.
Indonesia’s recent red scare is nothing more than the security establishment’s attempt to steer the conversation away from reconciliation on the 1965-66 killings. There is genuine anxiety about the possibility that the perpetrators of the 1965-66 killings may be held accountable. Indeed, most of the senior security officials who led the campaigns in the 1960s are long dead. However, some perpetrators, many of whom have flaunted their kill lists (as seen in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Act of Killing), are still around and fear for their freedoms. Additionally, security officials may fear that once an investigation on the 1965-66 killings have been conducted, the public may demand investigations on more recent human rights abuses, such as the 1989 Talangsari Massacre, 1998 Jakarta riots, and killings in Aceh and Papua. Most of the senior perpetrators of these events or conflicts are still alive today and continue to wield some level of political influence.
Hardliners within the military are responding to public demands for an investigation over the 1965-66 killings with excessive crackdowns on communist imagery and ideology. Constant reminders by senior military officials about communism’s continued ban in Indonesia are meant to silence those who seek to propagate information about the killings. They have reminded the Indonesian people about the sanctity of Pancasila (Indonesia’s state ideology) and the threats that communism had posed to the Indonesian state’s stability in the past. On the other hand, the anti-communist protests and campaigns, which are led by organizations associated with the military, are aimed at the government. The FKPPI is working together with hard-line Islamic groups, including the notorious Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI), to confront the government about its decision to deal with the 1965-66 killings. It’s also done to remind more liberal-minded security officials (former or serving), such as Luhut Panjaitan and Agus Widjojo (organizer of the symposium), that they risk losing their influence in the military if they side with Jokowi. This is perhaps said perfectly by former General Kivlan Zen to Panjaitan that “he [Luhut] would have betrayed his seniors [in the military]” if he continues forward with the investigation.
The Indonesian military is more influential than it has ever been since its political influence was lessened in 2004. Their response to the Indonesian government’s decision to investigate the killings is proof that some of its members are not only able to mobilize forces to quickly campaign against the government, but that their extended security role allows them to intimidate the Indonesian people. There are two victims in this whole story: the victims of the 1965-66 killings and other human rights abuses, whose perpetrators are unlikely to be put to justice anytime soon, and the rest of the Indonesian people, whose civil liberties have been further curtailed.
Gatra Priyandita is a PhD candidate at the School of Culture, History, and Language at the Australian National University. His research focuses on Indonesian public diplomacy and domestic politics in the post-Suharto era.

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