Wednesday, July 20, 2016

1) Island focus: Papuan students avoid investigation

2) PM criticised for prioritising trade ‘at the cost of human rights’

3) PM puts trade before human rights – academic

5) Infrastructure Development to Boost Tourism in Raja Amat
6) Pacific links: PNG’s O’Neill under pressure; West Papua, Pacific work migration and more

1) Island focus: Papuan students avoid investigation 
Yogyakarta | Wed, July 20 2016 | 07:29 am
Papuan students studying in Yogyakarta have refused to provide official information about police oppression they experienced to a female member of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP), Yanni, who visited them at the Papuan students dormitory in Kamasan, Yogyakarta.
“We will not give information to the lady. Through the media, I heard that the DPRP will form a team [to investigate the case in Yogyakarta], so we’ll wait until the team arrives in Yogyakarta,” said student and People’s Unity for the Liberation of West Papua spokesman Roy Karoba on Tuesday.
Papua DPRD deputy speaker Yanni, together with her expert staffer, Muflih Mussad, came to Yogyakarta to seek the truth about the reported repression of Papuan students holding a peaceful rally at their dormitory on July 15. 
The meeting reportedly became heated when Yanni said her arrival was to “extinguish the fire” caused by the incident. A debate ensued between Roy and Yanni, who was assisted by Muflih.
“We are disappointed with the Papua DPRP. The people of Yogyakarta are more concerned about us. The local community provided us with food when we were under siege last Friday,” said Roy aloud.
Pro-democracy activist, Ernawati, said activists in Yogyakarta were ready to support the struggle of Papuan students there.

2) PM criticised for prioritising trade ‘at the cost of human rights’

Published on Jul 18, 2016
A Melanesian academic is criticising Prime Minister John Key for focussing on economic trade ahead of human rights abuses against West Papuans while he is in Indonesia. One of the main aims of the meeting between the two country leaders is to increase trade, particularly beef exports from New Zealand.


3) PM puts trade before human rights – academic

By Eruera Rerekura - | @erurerekura
Published: 6:22PM Tuesday July 19, 2016
A Melanesian academic is criticising Prime Minister John Key for focussing on economic trade ahead of human rights abuses against West Papuans while he is in Indonesia.
One of the main aims of the meeting between Mr Key and his Indonesian counter-part President Joko Widodo was to increase trade between the two countries – particularly beef exports from New Zealand.
Dr Pala Molisa is a lecturer at Victoria University’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law in Wellington.
He is also a Pacific commentator on the affairs of West Papua – the Indonesian province that borders its Melanesian kinfolk – Papua New Guinea.
West Papua is strictly controlled by the Indonesian army and police with incidences of killings and human rights abuses against tāngata whenua (local people) being reported on regularly.
Dr Molisa said that New Zealand had a record of putting business before human rights in countries where those rights are questionable for more than 30 years.
“We've been prioritising economic development at the cost of human rights and also the civil liberties of people. In fact this whole economic system, especially since the neo-liberal policies that came in in 1984 under the fourth Labour Government,” he said.
A Māori advocate for West Papuan rights, Tere Harrison, agreed with Dr Molisa and told Te Karere she believed the main reason for Mr Key’s Indonesian junket was all about generating more trade over and above human rights. “Kua haere atu a John Key ki Indonesia, ko te take - ko te moni, kei te whai moni te Pirimia o Aotearoa i ngā moni o Indonesia, auare ake ngā tūkinotanga o Indonesia ki a West Papua. Koia te raru, koia te pōuri nui - kei te kōrero moni a Indonesia, kāore i te kōrero mō ngā tikanga tāngata,” hei tāna.
(“John Key has gone to Indonesia, and the reason for that is for trade. The NZ Prime Minister wants to increase trade with Indonesia, never mind the human rights abuse faced by the West Papuans - and that's a big problem and it's very sad. Indonesia also seems more interested in trade than they are with human rights,” she said.)
Dr Molisa was also quick to point the canon at New Zealand’s mainstream media, who he felt under-reported the plight of West Papuans and their independence movement.
He said that while some mainstream media organisations were doing a good job, others were doing what the Indonesian government would want them to do and not report on the atrocities faced by West Papuans.
“One of the great failures of the free press, so to speak, has been a complete blackout of the issue of West Papua for too long. And that's why shows such as Te Karere and Radio New Zealand with some of the reporters like Koroi Hawkins and Johnny Blades - you do a really good function of calling attention to some of the greatest concerns and sufferings of people.”
Tere Harrison believed journalists in West Papua who were trying to report on the Indonesian military and police brutality have been completely censored.
“Kua herea te ao pāpāho i West Papua, i Indonesia. Nā te ringa tūkino o Indonesia kua herea - kua herea te waha, kua herea te kakī, ēngari i Aotearoa nei kāore he paku herehere, ēngari kei te noho ngū te ao pāpāho.”
(“The media in West Papua, and also Indonesia, has its hands tied by the abusive hand of the Indonesian government, they've been heavily censored. But here in NZ we have the opposite situation and mainstream media is doing nothing about reporting on it.”)
In an attempt at appearing to be more transparent, John Key told ONE News the Indonesian government had actually instigated the conversation about human rights.
“So we raised the issue of human rights, in fact they raised the issue of West Papua proactively with us. They're actually keen for us to understand what's happening there and the issues. They did raise the point quite specifically about human rights and said, look, if there are specific issues with human rights then they take up those issues, investigate them and make sure that they're not repeated,” Mr Key said.
It’s understood the leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, who lives in exile in the United Kingdom, will be coming to New Zealand next month to talk to politicians about the issue of human rights breaches in West Papua.
The last time Mr Wenda visited New Zealand in 2013, he was blocked by the government from making a speech at Parliament. Some opposition MPs then accused the government of not wanting to upset the Indonesian government, an important trading partner.
By  on July 19, 2016
At Rainbow settlement in Port Moresby, 38 families of West Papuan heritage live in a drainage ditch approximately 100 metres wide by 200 metres long. To one side, the neighbours’ retaining wall contains pipes which direct runoff water and rain directly into the settlement. On the other side of the settlement is a construction site that doubles as a soccer field for Rainbow’s children. The houses are small structures built with a patchwork of materials that reveals the recent history of external engagement — tarps from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), plywood from a church fundraiser, plastic chairs from a West Papuan who lives outside the settlement. In the context of increasing efforts from Papua New Guinea (PNG) authorities to register West Papuan refugees and provide citizenship status, this post flags some of the relevant historical context and reflects on current challenges. As Papua New Guineans including Oro Province Governor Gary Juffa have suggested, citizenship is not sufficient to improve West Papuan refugees’ living conditions.
Over 100 West Papuan refugees have been living in Rainbow for the past eight years, since being evicted from 9 Mile settlement. According to one community leader, 22 babies were born to refugee families in the settlement in 2015. The children are entitled to access public school education and health services though their residency status remains ambiguous. But like other urban residents in Port Moresby’s settlements, many children do not attend school because their parents struggle to afford sufficient food, clean clothes, transport or extra costs associated with school.
In Rainbow, the women are the primary income earners. They sell fish and shrimp at the local market near the settlement. A few of the middle-aged men, it was explained to me, had held government jobs but struggled with mental health effects of displacement, insecurity and what researchers have called ‘sakit hati’ — an Indonesian term that literally translates to ‘heart sick’ — but which also conveys anger and resentment (Rees and Silove 2011). These feelings interfered with the ability of some refugees to cope with daily life, and some men in the settlement left their jobs.
Community leaders also described feelings of resentment related to the failure of the PNG government to properly assist them to resettle. Specifically, these refugees want land. A community member passionately asserted, ‘We don’t belong in a drain’. They want to grow food for subsistence and for sale, to have sufficient space to be together as a community, and to establish a permanent connection in a cultural context where land is strongly associated with identity and status. Unfortunately, this particular desire makes the Rainbow refugees a lot like many other urban residents with insecure tenure in settlements in Port Moresby (Rooney 2015 [pdf]). As with urban settlers elsewhere in Melanesia, these are people whose rights to care, investment and protection from the state remain ambiguous (Keen and Barbara 2015 [pdf]).
Unlike Papua New Guineans in settlements, West Papuan refugees, mainly civilians and villagers who were not fighting against Indonesian rule, were displaced to PNG as Indonesia’s military forces worked to eradicate Papuan resistance beginning in the 1960s. Over the years, the exodus is estimated to be about 13,000, most in 1984, when 11,000 crossed the border (Glazebrook 2014:2 [pdf]). Today there are an estimated 1500 West Papuans living in Port Moresby. Refugees may continue to see themselves as having unresolved land claims in West Papua. As one Rainbow community member said, ‘In West Papua, I have land. I am a landowner, and I would like to go back to my land.’ But that, he says, is impossible as long as Indonesia governs. PNG has struggled to implement a refugee policy and system, especially for West Papuans living outside the former UNHCR camp at East Awin in Western Province (Glazebrook 2014:1 [pdf]). Citizenship applications were criticised as prohibitively expensive, at 10,000 kina. In December 2015 the PNG government reported it was processing citizenship applications from 3000 refugees from East Awin, and the fee was waived. Recently, more statements have been made about the government’s commitment to registering and providing citizenship to West Papuan refugees. However, some refugees in Port Moresby have questioned what difference this status will make in the absence of supports towards their basic needs. A leader at the Rainbow community remarked, ‘I do not want citizenship unless the government gives us land’. The rights and treatment of West Papuans is a sensitive political issue in PNG, and policy towards these refugees has historically been affected by political consideration for the relationship with Indonesia. The permissive residency visa initially arranged for West Papuans at East Awin prohibited them from engaging ‘directly or indirectly in any political activity that might affect the good relationship between the governments of PNG and Indonesia’ (cited in Glazebrook 2014:3 [pdf]). PNG government leaders typically see Indonesia as an important economic and political ally, and Indonesia has been clear that it will reward governments that support its sovereignty in Papua. West Papuans in PNG carry with them experiences that cannot be depoliticised, but avoiding them because of what they might represent, voice or destabilise is in effect enacting another layer of violence. Perhaps the current mobilisation towards citizenship is an opportunity for the PNG government to acknowledge West Papuan refugees’ experiences of past violence in Indonesia. This would be in keeping with both what West Papuan peace activists want and what Indonesian leaders agreed to in the 2001 law on Special Autonomy for Papua (Braithwaite et al. 2010:97). Politics writ large shapes the identity, sense of community and history of West Papuans in Rainbow, but the everyday politics of getting children to school, putting food on the table and keeping families healthy and together are equally valued. There is a need for research to reveal more about what policies and interventions will help alleviate their health, land, education and livelihood challenges, both as urban settlers and as political refugees. Following the unfolding story of registration for citizenship and changing immigration status for West Papuans in settlements also provides a unique opportunity to better understand how processes of documentation, recognition and dedicated attention could improve the circumstances of other Melanesians living in informal settlements in Port Moresby and beyond.
SSGM logoJenny Munro is a Research Fellow with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program at ANU. This post was originally published as SSGM In Brief 2016/19.
Reference Rees, S. and D. Silove 2011. Sakit Hati: A State of Chronic Mental Distress Related to Resentment and Anger amongst West Papuan Refugees Exposed to Persecution. Social Science & Medicine 73(1):103–10.
WEDNESDAY, 20 JULY, 2016 | 12:32 WIB
5) Infrastructure Development to Boost Tourism in Raja Amat
TEMPO.COJakarta - Developing the infrastructure, including extending the Marinda airport runway to boost tourism in Raja Ampat district, is part of President Joko Widodo`s pledge to focus more attention on the Papua region.
The government of President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, has launched key infrastructure projects aimed at facilitating visitors' access to Raja Ampat.
President Joko Widodo wants Marinda airports runway in Raja Ampat extended to 2,500 meters in order to serve larger aircraft, according to Raja Ampat District Head, Abdul Faris Umlati.
During his visit to Raja Ampat recently, President Jokowi expressed his hope that the Marinda airport could be expanded like other airports in Indonesia with a 2,500 meters runway.
Umlati explained that the local government has agreed and is ready to support the development of Marinda airport, but most of the land around the airport is a conservation area that requires further study by the relevant ministries.
Marinda airport is currently serving only small planes and has a 1,200 meter runway that is 30 meters wide, but the Transportation Ministry will extend it to 1,600 meters.
This will be done after the airport is handed over by the local government to the Ministry of Transportation which will manage and develop it.
In addition, the people of Raja Ampat also want the airport to be expanded to accommodate wide bodied aircraft because the area is a world tourist destination.
President Jokowi said tourism development in West Papua is being undertaken to develop Raja Ampat.
"This year, we have set our focus on development of Raja Ampat," Jokowi said, adding that the budget has been set only for the development of an airport terminal and to extend the airport runway.
The district administration has been told to prepare land for the project. Construction would start when land will be made available.
According to the president, many things were on the agenda for infrastructure development in West Papua, especially in Raja Ampat district.
With no direct flights to Raja Ampat, visitors heading to the islands have to take a domestic flight to the airport in nearby Sorong city, before taking another two-hour boat ride.
The main airport in Sorong will undergo some work to enable it to accommodate international flights, while improvements are also being made to allow Marinda airport in Raja Ampat to service domestic flights from other Indonesian cities.
There are also plans to build five-star hotels on the main Waigeo island, although the local government did not provide a specific timeline for those plans.
Known as the most biodiverse marine habitat on earth, the Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat in West Papua is an ideal destination for both local and foreign tourists to relax and unwind.
The visitors to Raja Ampat have the opportunity to witness a multitude of marine habitats and coral reefs in one glance without having to swim a stroke.
Raja Ampat comprises four large islands and hundreds of dots and specks off the fragmented western corner of the land of Papua, the worlds second-largest island.
Most visitors arrive in Raja Ampat through Sorong, a city on the far west coast of Papua, which has an airport, army barracks, and a karaoke bar called Happy Puppy.
In less than two hours from Sorong, the visitors can reach Raja Ampat, where they can indulge in activities, such as swimming, diving, and snorkeling, or just relax.
Reaching Raja Ampat has now become easier as the Bahari Express fast boat, a public transportation service, is offering rides to foreign tourists from Sorong city to visit the tourist attractions there.
Raja Ampat is home to a multitude of attractions and experiences.
With thousands of people visiting Raja Ampats marine and natural attractions, visitors can skip the crowds and experience it all aboard the Bahari Express fast boat.
"Our ship serves not only the local passengers but also foreign tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat," remarked Erwin, a Bahari Express crew member.
In Raja Ampat, the tourists can enjoy not only the beautiful marine biodiversity but also the scenic beaches and gain local insights into the history of Raja Ampat.
In terms of historic relevance, in the 15th century, the Raja Ampat Archipelago was part of the reign of Tidore Sultanate, a great kingdom centered in Maluku Islands.
To run its government, the Sultanate of Tidore appointed four local kings to rule the islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool, which are the fourth-largest until this day.
The term "Four Kings" who ruled the islands became the basis for the name Raja Ampat, which comprises some 610 islands, with 753 kilometers of coastal line.
Foreign tourists visiting Raja Ampat are enthralled by its beauty, found nowhere else in the world.
Some of the tourist attractions in Raja Ampat are the Kabui Strait, Arborek Islands, Pasir Timbul, the iconic Wayag Islands, and Arborek Island.
Arborek Island is fast developing as a region for marine conservation. The island, which includes the Arborek Village, has gained popularity for its success in developing it into one of the best marine conservation areas.
The success has been recognized both by the local authority and international community.
The island has succeeded in managing its conservation area since several parties, including the national and local governments, non-government organizations, research centers, and the local people have lent their support.
Arborek Island has been simultaneously managed as a conservation area and marine tourism destination.
Tourists visiting the island can experience the beautiful scenery, both on the surface and underwater. They can explore the scenic village on the island and the ocean life.
The visitors can indulge in several activities on Arborek Island, including diving and snorkeling, but they have to carry along their own equipment due to the lack of rental facilities.


6) Pacific links: PNG’s O’Neill under pressure; West Papua, Pacific work migration and more
20 July 2016 3:09PM

  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill will face a vote of no confidence motion in Parliament this Friday. Despite a very healthy majority, lobbying for numbers has been fierce this week in the land of the unpredictable.
  • For a primer on how PNG got to this point, watch ABC’s just released Foreign Correspondent episode, 'A Bloody Boycott', detailing the recent police shooting of students in Port Moresby. You can also read a detailed account from Eric Tlozek here
  • UPNG lecturer Win Nicholas reviews PNG’s recently proposed SME policy, which is extremely protectionist in nature.
  • Jenny Munro writes about the struggle of West Papuan refugees currently residing in PNG trying to gain citizenship.
  • The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders meeting finally met last week in Honiara, where they confirmed the appointment of the new Director-General, Fiji’s Amena Yauvoli. The Secretariat is said to be in a difficult financial position. The full outcomes of the meeting can be seen here.
  • MSG leaders also delayed a decision on the West Papuan liberation movement's bid for full membership (it currently has observer status), until September, appeasing Indonesia. Vanuatu, which has been lobbying for West Papua has expressed strong dissatisfaction over the delay while the liberation movement remains upbeat about its long-term prospects.
  • Former parliamentary secretary for international development assistance Bob McMullen calls for an Australia and/or New Zealand funded, Pacific-focussed development finance institution to assist private sector investment in the Pacific.
  • The ADB has launched its biannual Pacific Economic Monitor, which discusses how sluggish performance of resource-rich economies have dampened growth in the region.
  • The World Bank this week extended its Pacific Possible series with new research on labour mobility. The research, launched in Suva, advocates for an additional 240,000 more Pacific Islanders to migrate and work abroad by 2040. Such reforms could generate up to $10 billion in additional income relative to the business as usual scenario. Comments on the research are still welcome.
  • Other research papers in the series include Deep Sea MiningFisheriesTourism and Non-Communicable Diseases. The complete report will be launched later in the year.
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