Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1) Editorial. Courting Papuan people

2) Team seeks solutions following student attack
3) Police Deploy Mobile Brigade in Deadly Papua Tribal Clash

1) Editorial.  Courting Papuan people

Tue, July 26 2016 | 07:30 am

Relations between Yogyakarta Governor Hamengkubuwono and Papua have been fairly close, with the sultan of the country’s only ruling monarchy opening his arms to people from the easternmost province, many of whom come to the city to pursue an education. 

Moreover, the sultan has repeatedly shown a commitment to protecting Papuan people when they are in trouble.

For his inclusive, tolerant views and efforts to promote respect for diversity, the sultan earned the Pluralism Award in 2014, which was conferred to him in Sentani, near Jayapura, the capital of Papua. No doubt the sultan contributes a lot to the preservation of the country’s heterogeneity and the DNA of this nation, something that sadly eludes many other regional and national leaders. 

It was therefore quite surprising when Hamengkubuwono made a statement that went beyond his characteristic behavior, concerning a recent conflict between Papuan students and locals. The sultan asked any Papuan students who supported or aspired for an independent state in Papua to leave Yogyakarta, in response to tensions brewing because of a plan from a group of Papuan students to take to the streets in a show of support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) on July 15.

Security authorities and members of community groups preempted the move, besieging dozens of Papuan students at a dormitory. The incident escalated into more widespread anti-Papuan sentiment, with many boarding house owners across the city openly refusing to accept Papuan students.

The National Commission on Human Rights sent a team headed by Natalius Pigai, who is a Papuan, to resolve the conflict, by holding talks with the sultan, among other things. Of course the sultan’s statement, which was made just a day after he met with Pigai, sparked controversy.

In a city like Yogyakarta, where traditions are well maintained, words from the sultan are still considered an order. Fears have been rife that his statement would justify a move to expel Papuans from Yogyakarta, a city long known for its hospitality and tolerance. God forbid reports of a crackdown on Papuans, which would shatter the city’s bedrock of civility. 

Apparently in anticipation of a widespread anti-Papuan movement, the students opted to leave Yogyakarta and return home to continue their studies, which has not only exaggerated but also exacerbated the problem.

As a leader, the sultan holds the responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of his people. Repeated tensions between Papuans and locals may, however, have sapped his patience and prompted him to draw a line separating the migrants.

Like other rulers, the sultan has unfortunately exercised power to stifle freedom of thought, although Papuans, like other Indonesian citizens, have the right to live anywhere in the country regardless of their views. 

The sultan should invite Papuan representatives for talks before it is too late. His endeavors to address local tensions could serve as a model for a comprehensive solution to the Papua issue.

2) Team seeks solutions following student attack

Nether Dharma Somba and Bambang Muryanto The Jakarta Post
Jayapura/Yogyakarta | Tue, July 26 2016 | 09:28 am

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has sent a team to Yogyakarta following an attack by a number of community organizations at a Papuan student dormitory in Kamasan, Yogyakarta, on July 15.

The team will seek information and verify a call made by a Papuan student association in Yogyakarta for Papuan students in the province to return to Papua on account of a lack of security assurances from the Yogyakarta authorities over their safety.

“In response to developments following the attack on the Papuan student dormitory in Yogyakarta, the governor has sent a team to consolidate the Yogyakarta provincial administration, Governor Hamengkubuwono and the [Papuan] students,” said Papua provincial secretary Hery Dosinaen in Jayapura on Monday.

The consolidation team, which left Papua on Sunday, was led by Papua Legislative Council (DPRD) speaker Edo Kaize, deputy speaker Yanni and DPRD Commission I head Elvis Tabuni.

Dosinaen said Enembe expected the students to return to campus and continue their regularly scheduled activities, and to not feel afraid or alienated because the children of Papua were Indonesians and had the right to study anywhere in the country.

“They don’t have to return to Papua. Disagreements are common so don’t leave Yogyakarta simply because of this,” said Dosinaen.

Enembe expressed hope that Papuans studying in Yogyakarta would be accommodated by the local administration, and that any further issues would be communicated. 

Papua human rights observer and Yap Thiam Hien Award recipient Rev. John Jonga said the case in Yogyakarta should be resolved by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo because the separatist label attached to the Papuan students would put their safety at risk.

“The President should not consider the problem faced by the Papuan students as trivial, because they no longer feel comfortable there, especially with the separatist label given to them, as it puts pressure on them and makes them fearful,” he said.

He further said that a statement from the Alliance of Papuan Students (AMP) in Yogyakarta that they would return to Papua because they did not feel safe was a slap in the face of the Jokowi government for not being able to protect its citizens.

“What’s the use of coming to Papua to build if the government is unable to provide security and comfort for Papuans in other areas in Indonesia? The students are not separatists, and expressing aspirations is not treason,” said Jonga.

Jonga expressed concern that if the Papuan students in Yogyakarta returned to Papua, they would be followed by other students on other islands, which would eventually trigger international attention.

“The government must immediately address the problem in Yogyakarta so that everything returns to normal,” said Jonga.

Earlier, the AMP in Yogyakarta declared its plan to return to Papua in the absence of assurances over its members’ safety following an accusation by the Yogyakarta governor that they had been involved in separatism.

“We have decided to go back home [to Papua],” said Roy Karoba of the AMP on Sunday.

The decision was made, Roy added, following a meeting of Papuan students in Yogyakarta last Thursday. He, however, declined to mention when and how many of them would return to Papua. There are about 8,000 Papuan students studying in Yogyakarta.

General secretary of the Association of Papuan Youths and Students (IKPMDP), Ruben C. Frasa, said earlier that the decision was triggered by the repressive acts of security authorities in Yogyakarta against their planned rally on July 15 in support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), and also by the governor’s statement that there was no place for separatists in Yogyakarta.

3) Police Deploy Mobile Brigade in Deadly Papua Tribal Clash
By : Jakarta Globe | on 3:35 PM July 26, 2016

Jayapura. Police in Papua have deployed more than 45 personnel of its mobile brigade, or Brimob, following a tribal clash in Kwamki Lama, a village in the Timika district of Papua, which left two people dead and wounded dozens of others, an official said on Monday (25/05).
Papua mobile brigade chief Sr. Comr. Matiuf Fakhiri told Antara news agency the Brimob officers are now at the village with Indonesian army soldiers to prevent further clashes between two warring tribes in Kwanki Lama.
The two-day clash which started on Sunday has killed two residents and wounded 25 others. More than 60 homes were also damaged. 25 homes and 13 motorcycles were also burnt by attackers.
“We've pleaded to the tribes' leaders to tell their people to stop fighting, so the clash will not spread to other areas,” Matiuf said in Timika on Monday evening.
According to some reports, the tribal clash was allegedly triggered by assaults to Amungme tribal chiefs Petrus Benal, Anton Penimet, Tomas Kum and his family on Sunday. It is not clear why the chiefs were assaulted in the first place.
In retaliation, dozens of men from the Amungme tribe attacked an area called Ile Ale, also in Kwanki Lama, where the assailants allegedly lived. The Amungme attackers damaged homes and burnt dozens of motorcycles.
Mimika district head Eltinus Omaleng has held a meeting with officials on Monday evening to try to put an end to the tribal clash.
Tribal clashes have been happening in Kwanki Lama for decades as local tribes demand "an eye for an eye" retribution every time an incident happened between them.

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