Saturday, July 30, 2016

1) Governor tells Papuans to avoid politics

2) Jayapura hosts evacuees after Timika clash

1) Governor tells Papuans to avoid politics
Bambang Muryanto The Jakarta Post
Yogyakarta | Sat, July 30 2016 | 08:06 am

A mediation session between Yogyakarta Governor Hamengkubuwono and Papuan students in Yogyakarta on Friday failed to bridge their differences. The provincial leader insisted on banning the students from engaging in political activities.

The governor said he would not allow the Papuan students to voice their political beliefs, particularly on the campaign for Papuan self-determination.

He conveyed the message during a meeting with representatives of the Papuan students alongside councilors from the Papuan legislative council.

“With regard to politics, the sultan kept restricting us. Nonetheless, we will continue speaking about it. We will not stay silent,” Papuan Students Association chairman Aris Yeimo said after the hearing.

The mediation session was held following a mid-July crackdown against Papuan students to prevent them from conducting a rally in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) campaign for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

During the mediation session, Aris said he told the sultan that following the incident, Papuan students did not feel safe as they were often the target of racist comments from unidentified passersby in front of their dormitory on Jl. Kusumanegara. 

A student was even hit by an unidentified motorist in Maguwo, causing him to suffer a broken leg.

Aries said that during the meeting the sultan had expressed his willingness to offer security assurances to Papuan students but refused to apologize for labeling them separatists and for banning them from being in Yogyakarta.

“He just said that if Papuan students engaged in introspection, the statements would be withdrawn,” Aris said.

Aris added that the Sultan had also promised to censure mass organizations yelling racist words against Papuans and to ask the Yogyakarta Police to refrain from surrounding their dormitory.

“We expect the sultan to issue an instruction that will be heard by the people to clean up the negative stigma around us. We want to develop Yogyakarta together,” he said.

Laurenzus Kadepa, a Papuan provincial councilor who joined the meeting, also asked the sultan to take care of Papuan students and people living in Yogyakarta, saying that they were valuable assets.

“That is what we do to people coming to Papua. We take good care of them,” he said.

With regard to the restriction on Papuan students from engaging in politics, Laurenzus said it was their right and should not be restricted. As long as the acts were conducted without violence, then no regulation was violated. Repressive acts, he said, would only create a bad image.

Previously, Natalius Pigai from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) also said that freedom of speech was guaranteed by the Constitution and that the Convention on Civil and Political Rights had already been ratified by Indonesia.

After the mediation session, the Sultan was not available for comment. The Yogyakarta administration’s acting secretary Rani Sjamsinarsi, who joined in the hearing, also declined to comment.

Yogyakarta Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Anny Pudjiastuti has repeatedly denied accusations that the Yogyakarta Police committed repressive actions and violated human rights when dealing with the Papuan students’ rally.

“All was conducted according to standard operating procedures,” she said.

2) Jayapura hosts evacuees after Timika clash

Nether Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura | Sat, July 30 2016 | 08:07 am
The Jayapura administration has begun collecting data on 353 evacuees from Timika currently being accommodated at the Toli dormitory in the GIDI Church compound in Polomo, Sentani, Papua.

“We are collecting data on their needs and we will report it to the provincial administration for further measures,” head of the Jayapura Nation Unity Agency, Yanto Dago, said on the sidelines of a visit to the evacuation center on Friday.

Based on the data, eight additional evacuees arrived at the site on Friday on board Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Air flights.

“There are many others who want to come here but they cannot get flight tickets,” said Joni Wonda, who is in charge of evacuees in Polomo.

He said evacuees began fleeing to Jayapura following a clash between people of different ethnic groups in Timika on Sunday.

Nundison Kogoya, a third grader of SMA Kuala Kencana senior high school in Timika, who was among the evacuees in Jayapura, said that when his village Jile Jale SP III Timika was attacked on Monday, he was at home, preparing to go to school.

“All of a sudden they came to our village and attacked us. An arrow hit me on my leg and I ran away into the forest,” Nudison said, showing his wounded leg.

He said he only returned to his house in the afternoon for medical help. He arrived in Jayapura on Thursday together with family members. He said they bought flight tickets by themselves.

Mira Kogoya, 25, another evacuee, said the latest clash was brutal and went beyond customary rules.

Mira said people attacked the village in the morning, killing anything they found on the street, such as pigs and dogs. They also burned houses, attacked women and children and reportedly raped and killed people.

“I was very terrified seeing all of that. We evacuated to the GIDI Church in SP III Timika and then flew here to Jayapura,” Mira said.

The coordinator of the evacuees from Timika, Danison Wenda, said people had lost their homes and possessions as the attackers had burned and looted their houses.

“It’s a brutal war. The customary regulations in war ban people from attacking women and children, but this time they even killed school children,” Danison said.

He said the evacuees had been left homeless as they were too traumatized to return to their village. “They will only return when there is a guarantee from the government that no more war will prevail there.”

During their stay at the evacuation center in Timika, the evacuees depended on residents for food as their own local administration had not provided anything. A similar situation can be seen at their current evacuation center in Sentani.

“Local people here cook at their own houses and then bring food here for us to eat together,” Danison said.

The clash in Timika erupted on Sunday, with three people killed and dozens injured, along with 25 houses burned down and dozens of others damaged. Scores of vehicles were also set alight. Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw is in Timika to help create peace between the two warring groups and has approached community figures on both sides.

“If peace is difficult to achieve, the security apparatus will take stern action,” he told reporters in Timika.

Members of both the military and the police have been put on guard in Kwamki Narama village to prevent the conflict continuing.

Chairman of the Paniai customary institution, John Gobay, asked the police to arrest the commanders on each side of the clash, arguing that they took control of the conflict.

“After that, reconcile them by involving all the regents in the mountain range regions and PT Freeport,” John told The Jakarta Post in Jayapura on Wednesday, while suggesting that during the reconciliation period, parties should have heart-to-heart talks to uncover the root causes of the ongoing conflict.

He added that many of the people in the mountainous regions were actually related and that everything could be solved through dialogue.

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