Friday, February 24, 2017

1) Australia must work on a stronger relationship with Indonesia

A chance for people this weekend to get letter/opinion pieces/comments in the media around Jowiki’s visit.
Rally Sunday
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will be visiting Australia on the 26th of February 2017 
 West Papua supporters in Sydney will be marching to protest what Indonesia has been committing in West Papua , The Lombok Treaty, and also to raise awareness to the Australian people in Australia.  The march wll begin Sunday morning at channel seven Martin Place to coincide with channel seven's morning broadcast of Weekend Sunrise from 7am-10am then we will proceed to DFAT New South Wales State Office and then through the malls and onto Town Hall where we will disperse.  We hope to see all supporters there!  PS: Permit has been authorised by City Police for this march to take place. 

1)  Australia must work on a stronger relationship with Indonesia
2) Jokowi and Turnbull to focus on economic, strategic links

3) Police beef up security in Intan Jaya
4) Joko Widodo, Malcolm Turnbull mending fences
5) Indonesia’s huge Papua mine run by Freeport long a source of friction 

6) President Jokowi leaves for Australia


1)  Australia must work on a stronger relationship with Indonesia
In November 2015, President Joko Widodo invited me to join him on one of his famous blusukan – or impromptu visits – through a bustling garment market in Central Jakarta. As local traders and shoppers crowded about us, I felt the energy, enthusiasm and excitement of a country with a dynamic future.
Indonesia's potential represents a golden opportunity for Australia. As I said on the day, the prospects for our two countries to work together – to grow our economies – have never been better. This weekend, Lucy and I will host President Widodo and First Lady Iriana Widodo during their first state visit to Australia.

I look forward to picking up where we left off in the markets of Jakarta by discussing ways to grow our 21st-century partnership.
Indonesia is a nation of extraordinary significance to Australia. We share a commitment to values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Indonesia should be proud of its transformation over recent decades into a diverse and democratic nation, proving, as the President often says, that democracy, Islam and moderation are compatible.
And the co-operation between our two nations grows stronger by the day. This has helped to advance common interests across our region, from defence exercises to disaster relief and combating human trafficking and people smuggling. Our defence and security co-operation is built on the bedrock of the Lombok Treaty. We are absolutely committed to the treaty and resolutely support Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Our countries are also partners in the fight against terror. President Widodo's unqualified rejection of extremism is not only significant for the future of his country, it enhances regional security and the safety of Australians. As the democratically elected leader of the largest Muslim-majority nation on earth, President Widodo disproves the view held by some that Islam and democracy are incompatible.

Australia values the important role Indonesia has played, as a founding member of ASEAN, in bringing our region closer together. ASEAN is helping to build a rules-based order that promotes a common vision of peace and stability in our region.
Australia will host an ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018. This will allow Australia to deepen our economic and strategic links with south-east Asia. It is critical that we continue to work with our nearest neighbours to shape the future of our region.

Our relationship with Indonesia is growing deeper by the day but it has not yet reached its full potential. For example, Australia trades more with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand than with our much larger northern neighbour.
The opportunities for Australian businesses are immense. Consider the following: Indonesia makes up more than a third of ASEAN's gross domestic product. It is on track to be one of the seven largest economies in the world by 2030 and its consumer class is expected to grow to as many as 135 million people. Indonesia is also our No.1 holiday destination, with more than 1 million Aussies travelling to Bali alone last year.
The potential for Australia and Indonesia to expand our economic relationship is clear. That's why President Widodo and I want to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement later this year. This agreement will benefit Indonesians and Australians alike, promoting business and boosting investment ties.
We will also discuss the importance of working together on infrastructure development, and our mutual commitment to co-operating on agriculture and food security. We have already made progress on building a transparent and integrated supply chain in cattle and beef.
And we will emphasise our growing people-to-people ties, which underpin our ambitious economic and security agenda. While there is still much more to do, we should be proud that when Indonesians head overseas to study, more choose to come to Australia than anywhere else. For our part, Indonesia is already the most popular New Colombo Plan destination, with more than 3000 Australian undergraduates working and studying there between 2014-17. This deepens our understanding of each other's country and culture.
Australia is proud to stand alongside a united, democratic and increasingly prosperous Indonesia. I look forward to working with President Widodo in the months and years ahead to build an even closer bilateral relationship – a relationship anchored in our shared values, underpinned by mutual interests and delivering real benefits for our people.


2) Jokowi and Turnbull to focus on economic, strategic links
Jakarta | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 09:11 pm
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement on Friday that he looked forward to welcoming Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to Australia this weekend, saying the visit would highlight “Australia’s deepening economic and strategic links with Indonesia”.
Jokowi and First Lady Iriana are scheduled to spend the weekend in Australia to discuss several things with Turnbull. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has said the visit will, among other issues, push the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that Jakarta expects to conclude this year.
Turnbull confirmed in his statement that the IA-CEPA would be included in the discussion.
“The bilateral relationship with Indonesia is vitally important to both countries and has never been stronger,” Turnbull said in the statement.
“As close friends and neighbors, Australia and Indonesia have a long, shared history. And as multicultural democracies, our countries have developed a strong 21st century partnership spanning broad areas of cooperation, including trade, tourism, counterterrorism, education and disaster relief,” the prime minister went on.
“I look forward to my talks with President Widodo and returning the warm hospitality I enjoyed during my visit to Jakarta in 2015,” Turnbull said.
Jokowi was slated to return the visit on Nov. 6-8 last year but because of the domestic political situation with a huge rally of Muslim protesters on Nov. 4, the palace decided to cancel the visit. (evi)

3) Police beef up security in Intan Jaya
Jayapura, Papua | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 10:27 pm
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 10:27 pm
The Papua Police deployed additional personnel from its Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit to Sugapa, the main town in Intan Jaya regency, on Friday to strengthen security following clashes between supporters of election candidates that left one person dead. 
“The 81 deployed officers are in addition to the current 400 personnel on duty there [in Sugapa],” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said in Jayapura on Friday.
Besides sending the 81 Brimob officers the Papua Police also received backup of 200 personnel from the National Police headquarters, who will be sent to regions that are conducting plenary meetings on the regional elections results.
The extra backup followed a clash on Thursday during the plenary meeting of 2017 Intan Jaya regional election. The plenary decided not to consider the votes from eight polling stations from Wandai and Agisiga districts as the local officials were still completing the count and had not yet delivered the ballots to the Intan Jaya Regional Elections Commission (KPUD). The counting should have been completed before the KPUD started the plenary meeting on Feb. 22.
Several people objected and called for the plenary to be delayed.
“The arguments led to a clash that claimed the life of one man, Kolengan Wenda, 45,” Waterpauw added.
The clash continued the next day as eight houses of campaign workers of one candidate were set on fire on Friday morning.
The police are looking for one suspect who is reported to have incited the mob to start the blaze.
Four pairs of candidates ran in the Intan Jaya regional election during the simultaneous regional elections in 101 regions nationwide on Feb. 15. The pairs running for the regent post were Bartolomius Mirip - Deny Miagoni, Yulius Yapugau - Yunus Kalabetme, Natalis Tabuni - Yan Robert Kobogoyauw and Thobisa Zonggonauw - Hermanus Miagoni.
No precise information has been provided on which candidates’ supporters were involved in the clashes.
Intan Jaya was among 11 regencies and municipalities in Papua that held regional elections this year. Waterpauw said that apart from the incident in Intan Jaya, the local elections in Papua ran smoothly and safely. (rin)

4) Joko Widodo, Malcolm Turnbull mending fences
  • The Australian

AMANDA HODGE South East Asia correspondentJakarta 
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first state visit to Australia had been scheduled to occur in the middle of a rare purple patch in relations with ­Indonesia, a neighbour whose friendship and trust we have long coveted even as we have taken the occasional peek over the fence. 
Instead the Indonesian President, who was forced to cancel his November trip amid trouble at home, arrives in Sydney this morning as both countries are dusting themselves off from yet another scrap.
That a relationship historically characterised by volatility should hit a road bump is not surprising, even if it was between the two defence forces whose ties are considered one of the great strengths of the broader partnership.
What is more noteworthy is the speed with which the nations have recovered and that even a recent part suspension of military ties, over allegedly offensive training materials at Perth’s Campbell barracks has proven no obstacle to an expansion of the relationship.
In an exclusive interview ahead of his two-day visit this weekend, Widodo tells Inquirer what Canberra has long been waiting to hear: that Indonesia is ready and prepared to conduct joint patrols with Australia through the contested waters of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest and most valuable shipping lanes.
Widodo sees joint Australian-Indonesian patrols in the South China Sea, potentially around Indonesia’s Natuna Islands where its navy had several skirmishes last year with Chinese poachers, as “very important”, as long as they do not raise tensions in the region.
“If there is tension like last year, it is difficult to decide this program, but if there is no tension I think it’s very important to have the patrols together,” he says.
“We will discuss this with PM Turnbull.”
This is a significant step forward for the relationship, as it is for Indonesia, which has long resisted abandoning neutrality over regional maritime disputes even as it has faced its own issues with ­Beijing. China claims ownership of more than 90 per cent of the resource-rich waters and shipping lanes of the South China Sea, under its Nine-Dash Line map, which includes waters around Indonesia’s gas-rich ­Natuna Islands, but not the islands themselves.
Senior Indonesian government ministers were quick to wind back on Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu’s revelations late last year that he had discussed possible joint patrols with Australia’s foreign and defence ministers.
But things have changed since then. While China has long been working to lure Asian countries from Washington’s orbit and shift the regional balance of power in its favour, what is new is the more antagonistic rhetoric coming from the Trump administration.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a confirmation hearing last month the US would not allow China access to its artificial islands, and that its control and militarisation of those islands in waters claimed by neighbouring countries was “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea”. Former Australian defence chief Angus Houston warned this week against supporting any US-led blockade that could trigger open conflict, advising the best way forward would be for Australia to concentrate on building regional alliances.
Widodo would not be drawn on Tillerson’s comments but tells ­Inquirer he, too, sees diplomacy as the only way to resolve the ongoing territorial disputes, and that Indonesia will work through ASEAN to “pursue a code of conduct to govern the waters”.
“We understand it is in everyone’s interests for there to be peace and stability in our region. It is very, very important. And our countries should avoid increasing tension over the South China Sea, for whatever reason,” he says.
Australia conducts joint exercises in the South China Sea with India and the US, as well as regular maritime patrol surveillance flights out of Malaysia’s Butterworth air base with the Royal ­Malaysian Air Force.
But naval patrols with ­Indonesia would be a coup, enhancing our relationship with a country we see as a critical intermediary with southeast Asia.
Says John Blaxland, senior fellow at ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre: “We have to recognise that China has what it wants pretty much. There is no point fighting them over what they have now.
“The question is whether we put up a fuss about them going any further, and that is where we are keen to work with Indonesia. Because we just don’t know what’s around the corner. We don’t want the South China Sea to become a closed Chinese lake.”
Joint patrols would also handily refresh defence and security ties forged out of the carnage of the 2002 Bali bombs and 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, ties Blaxland says have since atrophied as Indonesia’s security forces, including Australian-trained counter-terrorism units, have come of age.
“We need to add strings to this relationship because the ones we have are frayed. The whole thing with (Indonesian defence chief) Gatot Nurmantyo suspending military ties was symptomatic of a relationship that is still too fragile.”
There is little consensus among Indonesia-watchers over Australia’s relative importance to Jakarta. Those who would paint Australia as a somewhat unrequited suitor say we are too small, both in military and in economic terms, to figure heavily in Indonesia’s foreign priorities.
Marcus ­Mietzner, an Indonesia expert at ANU’s College of Asia and the ­Pacific, says the key obstacle to a closer relationship is that Indonesia does not see Australia as a middle power to be reckoned with.
“Australia is not a big enough market for Indonesia to target as a primary export destination; doesn’t produce anything the country would be particularly interested in with the exception of cattle; and doesn’t have a big enough military to count as one of the significant players in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mietzner says.
“(Widodo’s) priorities are China, Japan, the US and Germany, which he views as places of technological innovation and economic power. Australia doesn’t register in this regard.”
Yet there is undeniable warmth between Widodo and Malcolm Turnbull, as the Indonesian President was at pains to emphasise this week, along with the recognition that the relationship has unrealised potential. Turnbull’s November 2015 visit is widely credited with having reset the relationship.
Amity between leaders is in contrast to the relationship under Tony Abbott, whose tenure coincided with revelations Australia spied on former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; the executions of Bali Nine leaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; and Abbott’s asylum boat turn-back policy. Jakarta made no secret of its dislike for Australia’s hardline solution to the flow of asylum-seeker boats from Indonesia, but Turnbull has been a beneficiary of the policy, which has shifted a former key irritant in the relationship to a relative side issue.
The issue is unlikely to feature prominently in talks this weekend beyond Indonesia’s standing request that Australia accept some of the 14,000 refugees it now hosts.
But Widodo confirms he will raise that with Turnbull.
“You know, we understand each other,” he tells Inquirer of his relationship with Turnbull. “We come from the same background, business. I know PM Turnbull was a businessman before, and me also. We want to achieve concrete things with PM Turnbull.”
Both leaders see economic engagement as the linchpin of the relationship and aim to conclude the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, a broad deal designed to remove barriers to trade and investment and to better integrate the region’s two largest economies to increase trade.
Australia will seek to shore up its $1 billion-a-year live cattle trade to Indonesia, under threat from Jakarta’s push for self-reliance through its own breeding program, and Widodo has listed trade, investment and tourism as key areas for stronger engagement.
But Turnbull may be disappointed if he has been counting on Indonesia backing Australia’s ­efforts to revive the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Widodo says Indonesia had intended to join the trade deal, but “now President Trump said he wants to scrap the TPP”.
In those changed circumstances, a bilateral trade deal with Australia must come first, “because we need to increase trade between Indonesia and Australia”.
“We must work harder to strengthen (that) because investment from Australia is still very low if we compare with the other countries.”
Indonesia is Australia’s 13th largest trading partner. Two-way annual trade of goods and services is valued at $15 billion and Australian direct investment in Indonesia was just $5.5bn in 2015-16.
Widodo wants more investment in infrastructure, mining, education and tourism. He has made the expansion of ­Indonesia’s tourist industry a key plank of his economic revival plan, alongside infrastructure, to ease reliance on raw commodities.
He wants Australia to help design and manage the expansion of Indonesia’s tourist infrastructure beyond Bali, which attracts a million Australians each year.
He says: “You must explore my country, like Raja Ampat (a chain of islands off the West Papuan coast); we have Labuan Bajo (gateway to ­Komodo); we have Borobudur (Buddhist temple in central Java); we have Toba Lake (Indonesia’s biggest) and Ambon, which is also close to Australia.”
A fault line in the relationship has been a lack of understanding of each other’s histories and cultures, as seen again last month when Gatot suspended military ties over materials used in an officer exchange language course.
The material was believed to have included a pejorative reference to Indonesia’s five founding principles, known as Pancasila, as well as an essay question asking students to discuss whether West Papua should be an independent state. For the ultranationalist Gatot, who has expressed suspicions that Australia uses the military exchange program to “recruit” its best officers, it was a flashing red line. There are still deep resentments within the Indonesian army in particular over Australia’s support for East Timorese independence.
Australia has since signed the 2006 Lombok Treaty, recognising Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.
For a day or two at least it looked like last month’s spat was to have broader implications for the relationship. That it did not says much about the commitment on both sides to maintain ties, and a mutual ­acknowledgment that the two countries are too close not to get along, says Dave McRae, a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute.
“For a president who by all accounts has no special interest in Australia and has been accused of being too distant from broader issues of foreign policy, I think this visit underlines not that Australia necessarily has become a burning issue for Indonesia, but that there is a commitment to maintain constructive ties,’’ McRae says.
McRae says the emergence of Islamic State has injected “fresh impetus” into the relationship by underlining the importance to both countries of intelligence-sharing and counter-terrorism co-operation. Both are grappling with how to deal with the recruitment and possible return of terrorist fighters from Islamic State battlefields in the Middle East.
That is undoubtedly true, says Yohanes Sulaiman, a former Indonesian government security adviser and now lecturer at Indonesia’s General Achmad Yani University. “But for Indonesia, the biggest problem is not foreign policy but domestic politics, which is why ­Jokowi decided to postpone his visit to Australia last November,” says Sulaiman.
And it is the same motivation behind the rescheduling of the ­Indonesian leader’s trip at the earliest window after the Jakarta elections. “He wants to reciprocate Malcolm Turnbull’s visit,” says ­Sulaiman. “But at the same time I think he really wants to show that he now has everything under control in Indonesia. Maybe you could call it a mini victory lap.”
Widodo’s November trip was postponed after mass protests by conservative Islamists and political opposition groups demanding the jailing for blasphemy of Jakarta’s incumbent governor, a key political ally, turned violent.
A subsequent prayer rally in December attracted an astonishing half-million people to the centre of Jakarta, where they prayed for Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s incarceration.
Ahok, the city’s first Christian, ethnic Chinese governor in half a century, now faces trial for blasphemy, even as he prepares to contest a second-round election after failing to secure an outright majority last week.
Ahok’s trial is said to have exposed not only the rising influence of conservative Islam in Indonesia but the weakness of its democratic institutions in the face of mob pressure. Widodo insists Indonesia will remain tolerant and pluralistic because — with more than 700 ethnicities and 1100 local languages — “it is in our DNA and nothing is going to change that”.
Whether the country should abolish its blasphemy laws, however, is for the Indonesian people to decide.
“I will ask my people,” he says when asked about the two laws. “I always go to the ground. I listen to my people. I ask them what they need, what they want.”


5) Indonesia’s huge Papua mine run by Freeport long a source of friction 

By Reuters PUBLISHED: 21:24 +11:00, 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 21:24 +11:00, 24 February 2017   

By Fergus Jensen
Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned this week it could take the Indonesian government to arbitration and seek damages over a contractual dispute that has halted operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine.
Freeport's Grasberg mine holds more gold and copper reserves than any other in the world, but has frequently been a source of controversy over the revenue share Indonesia and Papua get from the mine and the impact of its tailings on local water systems.
Here are some facts on the Grasberg mine in Papua: GRASBERG MINE Freeport-McMoRan began mining in Papua in 1967, the first company to sign for mineral resource rights under a foreign investment law put in place by former President Suharto. Open-pit copper and gold mining at Grasberg began in 1990.
Mining at the open pit, which is visible from space, is due to cease in late 2018, when underground mining will become the main source of copper ore.
An estimated 94 percent of the mine's remaining reserves are recoverable only underground. As of December 2015, Grasberg accounted for 28 percent of Freeport's total recoverable proven and probable copper reserves of 99.5 billion pounds.
In 2017, the mine is expected to account for 1.3 billion pounds of Freeport's global copper sales of 4.1 billion pounds. LABOUR AND SAFETY Freeport employs more than 32,000 in Indonesia, including 12,000 employees and 20,000 contractors. Around 97 percent of its workers are Indonesian nationals, many of them Papuan.

The mine area suffers regular earthquakes, and torrential rainfall can trigger landslides. Its position on top of a mountain also means workers can suffer altitude sickness, and visibility is often poor due to thick mists.
At least partly because of these factors, safety at the mine has been a longstanding source of friction with unions. A tunnel collapse that killed 28 workers in 2013 raised worries about Freeport's plans to ramp up its underground mining operation.
Workers also staged a strike for three months in 2011, seeking a bigger slice of the revenue from record copper prices. SECURITY AND TAXES Security at Grasberg has been volatile with pro-independence rebels in Papua waging a low-level conflict for decades. Analyst have also linked violence at or near the mine to conflicts between the police and military over security arrangements and related business ventures.
Between 2009 and 2015, shootings within the mine project area killed 20 and wounded 59. To protect workers and infrastructure, Freeport contributed $21 million toward government-provided security in 2015.
Freeport Indonesia is one of the largest taxpayers in Indonesia, with more than $16 billion paid to the government in royalties, taxes and dividends between 1992 and 2015.
The Freeport unit is currently in a dispute over $469 million in water taxes and penalties claimed by Papua province that date back to 2011.
The mine was at the centre of a scandal in 2015 after Indonesia's parliament speaker was accused of attempting to extort shares worth $1.8 billion from Freeport.
Setya Novanto denied the allegations but resigned amid the scandal in December 2015. He was reinstated in November last year after an investigation was dropped. ECONOMIC IMPACT Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto - which is entitled to a share of Grasberg output via a joint venture signed in 1995 - have been targeted by campaign groups over alleged human rights and environmental issues at Grasberg.
Rio Tinto has said it is considering exiting its interest in the mine, which has yielded no benefit for it since 2014, when exports were suspended for six months while Freeport negotiated mining and tax rules with Indonesia.
On Sept. 9, 2008 one of Rio Tinto's major shareholders, Norway's sovereign wealth fund, sold its entire $850 million stake in the company citing environmental damage at Grasberg.
Freeport was excluded by the Norwegian fund in June 2006 for the same reason. Sources: Reuters,
(Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

6) President Jokowi leaves for Australia

3 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his entourage left for Australia for a state visit from the Bali international airport on Friday. The visit will last until February 26.

Improving relations between Indonesia and Australia, both neighboring countries, will be the key agenda of the presidents February 25-26 visit, Bey Machmudin, chief of the Press Bureau, Media and Information Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat, said in his press statement here.

The president will visit Sydney, Australia, and will meet with Prime Minister Turnbull.

The President and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, along with the entourage, left from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Bali airport by the Presidential Aircraft Indonesia-1 at around 10.00 p.m. Central Indonesia Standard Time (WITA).

The entourage is expected to arrive at the Kingsford-Smith Sydney Airport on Saturday morning (February 25).

President Jokowi plans to discuss bilateral ties with Prime Minister Turnbull for mutual benefit and respect. 

As for economic issues, Jokowi and Turnbull will talk about the importance of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IACEPA).

Additionally, the two leaders will also discuss cooperation in investment, tourism and education sectors.

Regarding the presidents agenda, Bey Machmudin informed that on Saturday afternoon (Feb 25), the head of state will attend a meeting in Sydney with Australian entrepreneurs and will attend a Gala Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Turnbull at his private residence.

On the second day of the visit, the president will attend a bilateral meeting with PM Turnbull, and will also meet the Australian Governor General, Lady Cosgrove, before returning home in the afternoon.

During the visit, the president will be accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung, head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong, and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who has been in Sydney since Friday, Feb 24.

(Reported by Hanni Sofia Soepardi/Uu.B003/INE/KR-BSR)

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