1) Freeport’s Threat Is Not New, Jatam Says
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Melky Nahar, Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) Campaign Leader said that Freeport Indonesia's attempt to settle the dispute between the mining company and the government at an international arbitration was not a new move. According to Melky, there are three issues frequently brought up by Freeport.
"The issues are layoffs, supports from local ethnics for Freeport's operation, and settling disputes in the international arbitration," Melky said in a discussion held in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
Melky pointed out that the issues had been frequently brought up to pressure the government. As a result, Melky added, the government had always fulfilled Freeport's demand.
"I think this is a huge challenge for our government," Melky added.
Melky believed that Freeport has a full understanding of the government regulation on the mining license. However, Melky viewed that the US-based mining company refused to comply with the laws and regulations.
Melky hoped that the government would not give in to Freeport, although the government would have to face a lawsuit.
"These natural resources are for our children. Don't let Freeport dictate [how the government] manage the resources," Melky said.
2) Minister Expresses Confidence in Dispute Against Freeport
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said that the government has taken steps to face PT Freeport Indonesia's lawsuit. Luhut said that the options provided by the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister did not violate any laws.
However, Luhut said that the government is ready to face the lawsuit if Freeport insisted on bringing the dispute to the international arbitration.
"It's fine. We're ready. We will serve them well," Luhut said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
Luhut believes that the Indonesian government has an opportunity to win the dispute. Under Law No. 4/2009 on mineral and coal mining, Luhut said that Freeport should have fulfilled its obligations since 2009. Included in the obligations are the requirements to divest 51 percent of its shares and construct a smelter.
"Freeport has not built a smelter and divested [its shares]. So, what else?" Luhut revealed.
Compared to other foreign companies in Indonesia, such as Chevron, Luhut said that Freeport should have been professional. Luhut viewed that laying off its employees was an unprofessional move.
Luhut explained that the dispute with Freeport was a business-to-business issue. Luhut asserted that as a sovereign country, Indonesia cannot be dictated. Therefore, Freeport Indonesia is expected to be professional in addressing existing issues.
On Monday, February 20, 2017, Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson said that his company gave a 120-day period to Indonesia to consider the dispute between the government and Freeport.
Adkerson said that Freeport would bring the dispute to the international arbitration if the government failed to meet Freeport's demands.
3) PNG, Indodesia sign agreement on Indonesian Bahasa Language training
By Staff Reporter : PNG TodayThe Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Indonesian Course Training.
The MOU was signed by His Excellency Ronald Josef PariamanManik, Ambassador of the republic of Indonesia and Mr. William Dihm, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
Twenty Foreign Service Officers from the Department and Five from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and Department of Defence will participate in the Bahasa language training for three months with an aims in building capacity for Foreign Service Officers and to equip officers to communicate effectively.
The MOU will bring Indonesia and PNG together more closely, to promote people to people exchanges and cultural exchanges as agreed to by both countries in the 2013 PNG- Indonesia Plan of Actions. Participants will not only learn the Indonesia Bashasa language but also deepen their understanding and appreciation of the relations between PNG and Indonesia and thus contribute to better management of issues of mutual interest and of border management activity and security cooperation.