Thursday, December 1, 2016

1) Papuan Leaders Tell Pro-Independence Activists to Trust Jokowi Administration

2) NZ MPs among those sending message of hope for Papuans

1) Papuan Leaders Tell Pro-Independence Activists to Trust Jokowi Administration
By : Alin Almanar | on 11:09 PM December 01, 2016

Police disperse a demonstration by the Papuan Students Alliance and the Indonesian Front for West Papua in Central Jakarta on Thursday (01/12). Protesters are demanding the government to hold a referendum for Papuan independence. (Antara Photo/Juan Ferdinand)

Jakarta. A protest in support of Papua's independence in Jakarta on Thursday (01/12) ended up with the police beating up the protesters and drew criticism from fellow Papuans, who called on the demonstrators to heed efforts by the government to speed up development in Indonesia's easternmost province.
The protest was the latest in a string of demonstrations recent years that saw authorities repressing protesting Papuans in various parts of the country as decades-old insurgencies in the province showed no signs of abating.
Around 100 Papuans joined the pro-independence rally at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to celebrate the Free West Papua Movement's anniversary.

The Indonesian government claims it has been intensifying efforts to ease tension in Papua by starting a number of infrastructure projects to boost economy in the island.
But many Papuans say the developmental approach could barely address the root causes of injustice in the province, which has led to rampant cases of human rights abuses.
Hours after Thursday's demonstration, senior Papuan leaders in Jakarta called on the protesters to calm down, saying President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration has been doing its best to find a solution for Papua.

"The government is trying to understand the conditions in Papua while at the same time carrying out those development programs," Nico Yarangga said. "Maybe the protesters have yet to see the results as the programs are still underway."
Police prevented dozens of Papuans from marching from the busy Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in the city center to the Presidential Palace. The police fired water cannons at the protesters before taking some of them to their headquarters.
Protesters wore Morning Star headscarfs, the banned symbol of the Papuan independence movement, prompting police to move against them.

"We brought them into custody because they were wearing accessories that are an insult to the state," Supt. Hendy Kurniawan of the Jakarta Police told reporters after the demonstration.
Papuan insurgents have long protested against a UN-backed referendum in 1969 that saw Papua becoming part of Indonesia, saying it was rigged. They have complained the central government has since given the resource-rich region an unfair share of the state's wealth.
"There will always be insurgencies if Papuans are hungry. But they will calm down if they are happy. And what the government is doing now is trying to make them happy," Nico's colleague, Max, told the Jakarta Globe.


2) NZ MPs among those sending message of hope for Papuans
7:23 pm on 1 December 2016

New Zealand MPs were among those demonstrating today in cities across the country to raise the West Papuan nationalist flag.

t's 55 years since the Papuan Morning Star flag was first flown officially when the indigenous people of the former Dutch New Guinea declared independence.
However 1961's declaration was soon eclipsed by a US-brokered agreement between the Dutch and Jakarta which paved the way for an Indonesian takeover.
The Morning Star was subsequently banned in Indonesia, but each year on December 1st rallies around the world mark this anniversary in support of Papuans by raising the Morning Star.

Up to 20 New Zealand MPs are involved in ongoing West Papua soldarity activities, having voiced concern about human rights abuses in the Indonesian-ruled region.
Half a dozen of them were present to hold the Morning Star at today's demonstration outside parliament.
Global Morning Star flag raising events are also taking place today cross Australia, Britain, South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and elsewhere.
In Wellington, on the steps of the New Zealand parliament, the Greens MP Catherine Delahunty conveyed a message of hope to Papuans.
"People of West Papua who are not allowed to raise their own flag, all over the world today we say to them do not give up hope. Merdeka! Freedom! Solidarity with West Papua."
The MPs gathered to raise the Morning Star in the capital today say Papuans should be able to raise their flag without fear of imprisonment.
Meanwhile, civil society groups planning to demonstrate in Indonesia's capital Jakarta today to raise West Papua's nationalist flag have been warned they face arrest.
And in Papua itself, in recent days, security forces had launched crackdowns in some towns in the region in anticipation of December 1st rallies.


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