Sunday, November 13, 2016

Summary of events in West Papua October

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

  Summary of events in West Papua   October –14 November 2016).

The Region

Jakarta is becoming increasingly concerned at the internationalization of the issue of West Papua particularly in the pacific region. During her visit to Indonesian Australia’s Foreign minister Julie Bishop was asked by the Indonesian defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu to pass a message to the Solomon Islands asking that it should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Indonesia, including the issue of West Papua. The Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was one of the seven Pacific leaders who raised the issue of West Papua at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Because Australia contributes aid to the Solomon’s. Ryacudu seems to believe it has influence over the Solomon Islands Government.
AWPA Media Release  “Australia must not respond to Jakarta’s request” at 

RNZI also reported (1 Nov) that Ryamizard told media that he had implored Canberra to speak to Honiara on the matter because Australia contributes a big aid package in the Solomons. Detik News reports the Minister saying Australia has accepted the request. Ryamizard said friendly countries do not disturb each other by interfering in domestic issues. He warned that Indonesia will not stay silent when its sovereignty is compromised. He described Indonesia as a tiger that can attack if disturbed. The Minister urged Australia to pass on the message to Solomon Islands and other Pacific states that they should not invite West Papua to join the MSG.

During her visit Julie Bishop praised relations between Indonesia and Australia, saying she considers the relationship to be in good shape.

The support of the Pacific Island governments should never be taken for granted as Indonesia continues to lobby, offer aid and increase cooperation with Pacific Countries.

The Solomon Islands Parliamentary Opposition Group urged the Prime Minister and his Government to reassess its approach on the issue of West Papua with Indonesia. In a statement the Opposition Group says the stern warning by the Indonesian Foreign Minister conveyed to his Australian counterpart must not be taken lightly by the Government. “We all have concerns for human right issues in West Papua. But there are other means of dealing with this issue rather than the confrontational approach taken by the current Prime Minister. This is not only interfering with Indonesia’s sovereignty but also with that country’s domestic affairs,” it said. The Opposition Group recommended that the Prime Minister embrace the relationship established by the previous government and work through the Solomon Islands Ambassador in Jakarta. “The continuous disrespect to Indonesia as demonstrated by the Prime Minister will not help the course of West Papua at the international level, not to mention the damage this will cause to Solomon Islands relationship with Indonesia,” it said. (Solomon Times 10 November).

At a Joint Sub-Committee on Security Matters (meeting on the 9th November) officials from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea discussed a number of issues with regard to security.  Issues discussed included he case of the Papua fishermen who went missing from Merauke in 2014 and the case of the lowering of the Indonesian flag in Nyakyu. The Indonesian delegation has also proposed an exchange of visits by military officials at the regional military command levels of the two countries to improve relations between security officials assigned at the Indonesia-PNG border, and joint sports activities.

Fiji looks to grow defence links with Indonesia
Fiji is developing its defence links with Indonesia. Fiji's Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has invited his Indonesian counterpart General Ryamizard Ryacudu to an official visit to Fiji. This follows a meeting between the two in Jakarta on Saturday when their two governments reaffirmed development ties and discussed defence co-operation. The Fiji Times reports that areas of strategic interest, including peacekeeping and counter terrorism, were discussed. Ratu Inoke indicated that Fiji is keen to pursue technical assistance and capacity-building opportunities in these areas coupled with joint training exercises.
Earlier, Indonesia's Antara news agency reported that General Ryacudu signalled intelligence sharing initiatives with Fiji, and offered an Indonesian-made weaponry system as well. The system includes arms and ships. Ratu Inoke said the two sides were committed to improve defense cooperation, and planned to sign a memorandum of understanding related to defense cooperation in the first quarter of 2017. The FBC reported that Ratu Inoke was in Jakarta last week for the 7th Indonesia Defence Expo. There, he acknowledged Indonesia's assistance towards the establishment of the Regional Police Academy and other forms of assistance. He also noted that Fiji and Indonesia have enjoyed over 40 years of bilateral relations that were further strengthened by the Fiji-Indonesia Police Cooperation MOU signed in 2011. (RNZI 7 Nov).

Stand on West Papua, NC unchanged: PM Salwai
Vanuatu Daily Post    By Godwin Ligo October 13
Vanuatu Prime Minister has reiterated the government and the country’s stand for the independence of West Papua and New Caledonia, as unchanged. Prime Minister Salwai, made the statement Tuesday afternoon when he officiated at the opening of a Kanaky-West Papua Exhibition at the National Cultural Centre in Port Vila. He said despite Vanuatu being supportive of the New Caledonia Government, and that of French Polynesia for them to become members of the Pacific Islands Forum, this does not change the stand of Vanuatu and the people of Vanuatu which remains strong and unchanged for West Papua and New Caledonia and French Polynesia towards self-governing. The Vanuatu Prime Minister went further to stressed that the exhibition is a self-evidence of the desire for the Melanesian people of Kanaky, West Papua to run their life and freedom

He said emphasized that Vanuatu continues to support their struggle for freedom of the two Melanesian neighbours at regional and international level. Prime Minister Salwai pointed out that the recent call by Vanuatu in support for their freedom was at the United Nations Meeting in New York. He assured the people of West Papua who organized the exhibition that Vanuatu’s position in support of West Papua becoming member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) remain unchanged. Prime Minister Salwai, said the MSG Meeting that was supposed to have taken place in Port Vila week before last, will now take place in December of this year, to address the application of West Papua to become member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, MSG.

Pacific peoples lead push for Papuan decolonisation

              Deforestation is rife across New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

In a RNZI report (18 October) An academic specialising in West Papua says Pacific Islands peoples are taking the lead on issues of decolonisation within the region. Dr Cammi Webb-Gannon is a research fellow at Western Sydney University's School of Humanities and Communication Arts.
She says the unprecedented level of discussion about West Papuan self determination and human rights at the recent UN General Assembly reflects a new momentum towards decolonisation in the Pacific.

West Papua resources fray discussed alongside climate
RNZI 3 November 2016 
A conference getting underway in Sydney today looks to address two major areas of concern to people in the Pacific region in the same sitting.
‘At the Intersection: Pacific Climate Change and Resource Exploitation in West Papua' runs for two days, hosted by Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney's West Papua Project.
The keynote speaker is Vanuatu's Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ralph Regenvanu. Others attending include climate change scientists and West Papuan analysts. The conference has been organised by Dr Cammi Webb-Gannon from Western Sydney University who said climate change and pernicious resource extraction in West Papua had a deep connection. She said there was a need to find common strands of the two problems, and how it might it be useful to address them together.
"The Indonesian colonisation of West Papua is what has led to this gross resource exploitation, and the flow-on effects of human rights violations and environmental destruction in West Papua. So the two are very related," she explained. "They've never been discussed in tandem, but that's the point of this conference, to do so." Dr Webb-Gannon said there were various critical issues that required attention. She noted how the impacts of climate change throughout the Pacific Islands region highlight the importance of preserving West Papua's rainforests from rampant logging and forest clearance. "We want to question in this conference whether if we can halt or even stop some of the resource exploitation - whether that's mining at Freeeport, gas mining along the coast of West Papua or even looking at reducing the land clearing in Merauke - then maybe this can help slow down Pacific climate change which is also quite alarming." The conference will utilise Open Space Technology to elicit creative strategies and policy advice from expert participants.

Asia Human Rights Commission statement on Paniai case (28 October)
INDONESIA: Investigation into the Paniai case in Papua goes nowhere
Ever since the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) established the Ad Hoc investigation team for the Paniai case, under the decision 1 March 2016 letter of the Chair of the Komnas HAM (Number 009 / Komnas HAM / III / 2016), there is no progress in this case (see case details at AHRC-UAC-089-2015 and a related joint statement here). The case reflects the failure of Indonesian government in upholding human rights in order to protect civilians, as mandated by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. The Covenant obligates the government to protect the right to life as fundamental and non-derogable rights of its citizens. In line, the government is also mandated under Paragraph 28A of the Indonesian Constitution (UUD 1945) on the protection of the right to life.

Indonesian military officer shot in shootout with separatists in Papua
Minggu, 23 Oktober 2016.
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News)- An Indonesian military officer was shot in an exchange of gunfire with separatists in Philia, Gurage, Puncak Jaya District, Papua Province, on Saturday. "Thats right, one military officer was shot in an exchange of gunfire with armed group members," Major General Hinsa Siburian, commander of the Cenderawasih XVII Military District, said here, Sunday. The shootout occurred in Philia, Gurage, when several military officers were on patrol. First Private Yani was shot at his right hand and left leg, Siburian said. The injured officer was rushed to Mulia Hospital.

West Papua to get regional military command soon
Selasa, 8 November 2016

Commander of Regional Military Command (Kodam) XIII/Cassowary in West Papua, Major General TNI Joppye Wayangkau Onesimus. He was born in Serui, Yapen Islands Regency, Papua, and alumni of the Military Academy in 1987, as the first Regional Commander XIII/ Cassowary formed in November 2016. (

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Chief of the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command XVII, Major General Hinsa Siburian, has expressed support for the creation of a Kasuari Regional Military Command XVIII in West Papua province.
General Mulyono, Army Chief of Staff, is set to officiate the new regional military command in Manokwari, capital of West Papua province, later this month, coinciding with the inauguration of Major General Joppye Onesimus Wayangkau as its commander, he said here on Tuesday.
"Of course, that is a pride for the people of Papua. He (Joppye Onesimus Wayangkau) has made history by being the first chief of the Kasuari Regional Military Command XVIII. What is more, he is a native of Papua," he said.
The personnel of the new regional military command will include all army soldiers assigned in West Papua, some personnel of the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command XVII, and the rest from units of the army headquarters in Jakarta. The new regional military command was built on the former site of companies C and D station of the district military command 1703 at Arfai village, South Manokwari sub-district, West Papua.

The regional military command will oversee Biak and Sorong military resort commands. National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo said the creation of the new regional military command was aimed at serving defense interests. "There are no political interests and purposes in the creation of the new regional military command in Papua. The TNI only wants the aspect of defense fulfilled in the region. Thus, the operation control can be conducted properly, should undesirable situations occur,” he said. (Reported by Evarianus Supar/Uu.S012/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

Papuan rebel leader reiterates call for referendum
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
Jakarta Post | Wed, October 26, 2016 
Papuan pro-independence leader Filep Karma has called on the government to hold a referendum on independence for the country’s easternmost region.
Filep, a former political prisoner of 11 years, claimed the long-demanded referendum was a win-win solution for both the government and the Papuan people, who still suffered from mistreatment and abuses despite the region being granted special autonomy status. The referendum would provide a fair mechanism for Papuans to decide for themselves whether they wanted to remain as part of the unitary state of Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) or wanted independence, Filep said.
“We used to fight for separation, but now a referendum is better to find out the true aspirations of Papuans. If they want to still be a part of Indonesia, why should [Papuan rebels] continue to struggle for independence?” Filep told the journalists on Tuesday. Should the referendum result in Papuans wanting to remain Indonesian citizens, the rebels would stop demanding for separation, Filep said, however, the government should also promise Papuans a peaceful transfer of independence if the referendum showed otherwise. Filep went on that in 2008, when he was still imprisoned, he had sent a letter to then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, demanding a referendum. Papuans also had long-awaited dialogue with the government over the referendum plan, even though President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had given the green light, Filep said. (bbn)

UN requests Indonesia response to allegations of violent discrimination
Fiji Times RUBY TAYLOR Saturday, October 15, 2016
Update: 1:14PM THE request made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to Indonesia to formally respond to allegations of racial violence and discrimination against Papuans by November is a sign that the attitude of the UN to West Papua's case is beginning to change, a PACIFIC Islands Association of NGO's (PIANGO) press release has stated.
In the statement, Pacific Islands Association of NGOs executive director, Emele Duituturaga expressed these sentiments following UN CERD chair, Anastasia Crickley's notification to Indonesia's UN Permanent Representative, Triyono Wibowo that the committee's recent session had considered allegations of killings and violence of indigenous Papuans in West Papua.
"I write to inform you that in the course of its 90th session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has considered, under its early warning and urgent action procedure, allegations of excessive use of force, arrests, killings and torture of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people in West Papua, Indonesia, and allegations of discrimination against this people, that have been brought to its attention by a non-governmental organization," Ms Crickley stated in the October 3rd dated correspondence. Duituturaga said the committee's specific requests for information indicated how seriously it was treating the allegations made by civil societies to the UN about the treatment of indigenous West Papuans by the Indonesian government.
"The  ball is in their court now and Pacific civil societies are eagerly awaiting November 14 alongside UN CERD to read their response," Duituturaga was quoted as saying.

Peter Tatchell dedicates Gandhi Peace Award to West Papua
OCTOBER 31, 2016

Koteka Wenda and Peter Tatchell with other members of the Wenda family and the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award

Today at the House of Lords in the British Parliament, the renowned Human Rights activist Peter Tatchell was awarded the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award which he dedicated to the people of West Papua and their struggle for freedom. The dedicated award was accepted by Koteka Wenda, the daughter of West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda.
As a lifetime campaigner for human rights and a consistent supporter of West Papua’s freedom, Peter Tatchell has a close connection to the West Papuan struggle and the Campaign is truly honoured that he chose to dedicate the award to West Papua. Upon receiving the award, he spoke of his life’s work and why he was dedicating the award to West Papua.

Freeport workers return to work
Senin, 10 Oktober 2016
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Thousands of mine workers of the Grasberg mine of PT Freeport Indonesia Tembagapura, Mimika District, Papua, began to return to work after more than a week in strike starting 28 September 2016.
A legal advisor to the local union leader, Tri Puspita, said the workers began to work on Saturday after an agreement was reached with the management of PT Freeport Indonesia.

"Starting Saturday they began to work again," Tri Puspita said here on Sunday.
She said the union leaders accepted offer from the company management of additional bonus of 15-17 percent effective as from Oct 5, 2016. 
As for the workers demand for evaluation of the performance of a number of staff of the Grasberg Operation, will be made in the next three months, she added.  PT Freeport Indoensia, a subsidiary of the US McMoRan Cooper and Gold has large gold and cooper mines in Papua.(*)

Calls Mount for Jokowi to Implement ‘Papua Roadmap’
Jakarta Globe

President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo during a visit to Wamena, Papua, in December 2015. Calls are mounting for him to start implementing a proposed roadmap for reconciliation in the restive province. (Antara Photo/Prasetyo Utomo)

By : Alin Almanar | on 10:36 PM October 13, 2016
Jakarta. Calls are mounting for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to start implementing a proposed roadmap for reconciliation in Papua, with human rights activists claiming that he has failed to calm tensions in the restive province in the two years since he took office. The Jokowi administration has been focusing on infrastructure development projects to boost the economy in Papua, where a decades-old insurgency has led to several cases of alleged human rights abuses. Activists say the president's developmental approach could barely address the root causes of the tensions, with the insurgency apparently having shown no signs of abating. They have repeatedly urged the government to start dialog in an attempt to resolve the situation, beside forging ahead with social and economic development. The move includes implementation of the "Papua Roadmap" published by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in early 2009, with a series of inclusive dialogs in the province. These dialogs should involve native Papuans, Indonesians from other regions, government officials and insurgents. "The process can hopefully end with reconciliation," Papua Peaceful Network coordinator Neles Tebay told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday (13/10). "We hope the dialogs can dig deeper into the root causes of the conflict in the province."

LIPI based the roadmap on research conducted over four years, starting in 2004, during which researchers identified several main causes of conflict in the province. These include failed development in education, health and the economy, discrimination and marginalization of native Papuans, state violence resulting in human rights abuses, as well as various different interpretations of the integration of the province into Indonesia in 1969. "We should keep pushing for dialog if the aim is to achieve peace," Setara Institute deputy head Bonar Tigor Naipospos said. "It doesn't matter if the process fails. Failure doesn't mean that we should stop trying." The Free Papua Organization (OPM) has frequently called for international support from the Melanesian community in the Pacific. Rallies in support of the province's independence in parts of Indonesia have seen dozens of Papuans repressed by authorities in recent months. "The chain of violence can only be broken through dialog," human rights advocate Benny Soesetyo said. "We still believe the president is a humanitarian who has the willingness to listen to the people through dialog."

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
original bahasa link at
Manokwari worst incidents of post 1999, the National Human Rights Commission expressly requested LP3BH

             The people of Manokwari carrying the bodies of Onesimus Rumayom - Doc. LP3BH

Jubi | News Portal Papua No. 1,
Jayapura, Jubi - The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) condemned the incident of stabbing, shooting and persecution in Manokwari, West Papua, which occurred on October 26, 2016.
The tragedy that claimed seven Papuans. Two of them died and the remaining injuries were critical and twists.

"Son of Papua named Vigal Pauspaus origin Fak-Fak stabbed, then officials issued a fire that resulted in the death of a community named Onesimus Rumayom (40) and several other civilians were seriously wounded and was being treated in hospital Lift Sea Fasharkan Manokwari," said Natalius Pigai, Komsioner Commission, through information received Jubi, Thursday (27/10/2016). Komnas HAM request immediate legal proceedings against the perpetrators, "must be transparent and objective," said Pigai. Inside the release Pigai again stressed that one of the main factors of human rights violations continue to occur in Papua because until now the President Jokowi never mentioned a word about human rights conditions in Papua. According to him, Jokowi respond to all cases of human rights violations ranging from past human rights violations, agrarian conflicts, to freedom of expression, but not human rights issues in Papua.
"It is unfortunate that not a single word about the human rights situation in Papua is delivered. It shows the president deliberately allowed human rights violations in Papua and can be categorized as an omission (by ommision), "he said. In the records of Komnas HAM, Pigai remind some state violence that also killed many civilians such as the shooting and killing of the activists.
In Yahukimo allegedly committed by Brimob shootings on March 20, 2015; shooting incident also occurred in the District Dogiyai on June 25, 2015; while in Tolikara on July 17, one person was killed and 11 people injured 015. Then Timika shooting case in the District on August 28, 2015 killed two people and wounded six; and previously as many as 18 people died in Jayanti, Timika.
"We also witnessed in April and May two Papuans were arrested; likewise not in July and August 2016 more than 2,000 people were arrested and detained, "said Natalius. Separately, the Executive Director of the Manokwari LP3BH, Yan Christian Warinussy asserted, reports of violence in recent Manokwari will be delivered through a network of international human rights advocacy.
"We continue to network in Geneva, Switzerland, London, United Kingdom, complete with chronology data and photo of the person alleged to have suffered gunshot wounds from weapons belonging to the security forces Polda Papua Barat, Police Manokwari and the Police Mobile Brigade West Papua" he said in a release received Jubi Thursday (27/10). "We also urge the Commission to request information directly from Manokwari police chief, Adjunct Senior Men's Christian Roni visible along West Papua Police Mobile Brigade, Pol. Desman Tarin and West Papua provincial police chief, Brig. Drs. Royke Lumowa allegedly responsible for these violent events, "said Warinussy. LP3BH noted, Manokwari event has become the worst record of human rights violations in Manokwari since 1999. "After the events of Manokwari bloody September 1999 that killed John Wamafma and have not been resolved by law until now," said Yan Christian Warinussy. (*)

Upcoming event. West Papuan National Flag Day. 
The 1st of December is West Papuan National Day or National flag day . The West Papuan people continue to raise their flag as an act of celebration but also of protest against the injustices they suffer under Indonesian rule. They can face up to 15 years jail for doing so.

On Sunday the 4th of December 2016, we will be marching again for #WestPapua to commemorate the Dec 1 True Independence Day of the oppressed nation.
Join us at the Opera House Sydney and walk with us to Town Hall to stand with a defiant and brave people who have been fighting for freedom and independence for more than 50 years.
We will be walking in protest of all of the things that the people are fighting for but most importantly to continue to:
-Press for human rights monitoring -Press for open access to foreign journos
-To protest against our government funding and training the Indonesian military and police to commit genocide in West Papua.
-To raise and address this issue in Sydney and beyond 
Every year we raise the flag of West Papua (Morning Star) on Dec 1 to remind the world that We are standing in solidarity with the West Papuan people.
This is a cultural event and everyone is invited to attend in cultural attire.

Individuals can also contribute to raising awareness about West Papua on the 1st December by wearing a West Papuan t-shirt or badge or writing articles/opinion pieces for your church/trade union newsletter. All these simple actions will help raise the issue of West Papuan in the minds of the Australian public.

Opinion pieces/press releases/articles/etc.

Jokowi`s emotional relationships with Papua

The $100bn gold mine and the West Papuans who say they are counting the cost

ULMWP and the insurgent Papua by Dr Budi Hernawan

Complaint against a palm oil company in Papua held in limbo by RSPO

West Papua: Widow’s Infrastructure Projects Won’t Fix Human Rights Issues, Activists Say

France and the Forum

Countdown on for Indonesia’s response

Continuing Restrictions on Free Expression in West Papua

GUEST BLOG: Maire Leadbeater – Pacific Nations diplomacy for West Papua puts New Zealand to shame.

Goodhope Asia Accused Of Land Grabbing In West Papua For Palm Oil

Jakarta diplomacy odd and backwards, ULMWP

Complaint against a palm oil company in Papua held in limbo by RSPO

Photos Commemorating Peace Heroes at historic local anti-conscription site

Last AWPA update


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