Thursday, February 23, 2017

1) Long-serving American Samoa congressman dies

2) Indonesia seeks to strengthen cooperation with Australia

3) Freeport`s threat evokes a sense of nationalism: Hikmahanto

4) How Freeport Finds Deadlock with Indonesian Government
5) Jokowi to raise joint patrols in South China Sea
6) Gov’t Offers Three Options over Dispute to Freeport  
7) Airlangga University Supports Freeport’s Nationalization  
8) Jokowi’s visit to Australia ‘special’: Foreign Ministry

Vale Eni Faleomavaega, a good support of West Papua
1) Long-serving American Samoa congressman dies
8:16 pm on 23 February 2017
Jamie Tahana, RNZI Journalist
Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, American Samoa's former long-serving representative to the United States Congress, has died in Utah, aged 73.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin died on Thursday in the US State of Utah. He was American Samoa's congressman from 1988-2015. Photo: AFP

His death was confirmed by his sister-in-law, Theresa Hunkin, who said he died peacefully at his home in Provo, surrounded by family and a few close friends.
Born in Vailoatai Village in American Samoa, Faleomavaega grew up in Hawaii, where he went on to study a Bachelor's degree in political science, before studying law on the United States mainland.
He then joined the United States Army, where he fought in the Vietnam War, eventually rising to the rank of captain. While in Vietnam, he said was exposed to the toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, which he claimed had contributed to health issues he experienced later in life.
After leaving the army in 1969, Faleomavaega served as the administrative assistant to American Samoa's delegate to Washington before returning to the islands of his birth in 1981, where he briefly became the territory's attorney-general before deciding to pursue a career in politics.
He was elected the territory's lieutenant governor in 1985, under the governorship of Aifili Paulo Lutali, before running for the territory's sole seat in Washington in 1988. Running on the Democratic Party ticket, he narrowly won that election against independent Lia Tufele with 51 percent of the vote.
But once he reached Washington, he became an established leader who went on to grow his support and hold the seat until his ouster by Aumua Amata in 2014.
RNZ International's correspondent in American Samoa's capital Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, said that with 26 years in congress, Faleomavaega was a hugely popular leader, who won elections with large majorities.
"He was a strong leader," she said. "Not just as a political leader, but with the Fa'a Samoa (the Samoan way) because he holds that chiefly title, and despite the fact that he's in Washington most of the time he still was able to speak that Samoan language in fluently addressing in the cultural way and speak from one traditional leader to another. He had a lot of respect."
American Samoa is the only territory of the United States where its people are considered residents, not citizens. But, like other territories, American Samoans are also unable to vote for president and its sole representative in Congress is unable to vote on legislation.
That limited his efficiency and ability to get things done in Congress, but Ms Sagapolutele said that only made him more committed to the fight. In his 26 years in Washington, Faleomavaega served as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources, which have jurisdiction over the US territories.
In terms of legislation, Faleomavaega successfully pushed for more funding for the territory - particularly for roads, schools and other infrastructure - and opposed deals that would have threatened American Samoa's tuna industry.
He also fought, unsuccessfully, for greater rights for American Samoa. In Congress, he proposed legislation that would have allowed residents of territories to vote in presidential elections if they were active members of the military, and, towards the end of his tenure, for the people of American Samoa to consider a push towards greater autonomy, if not independence from the United States.
Faleomavaega also became somewhat of a representative for the other countries of the Pacific in Washington, Ms Sagapolutele said. During his tenure he spoke on issues such as climate change, the West Papua independence movement, and other issues affecting the region.
"One big example was in 1996 when he boycotted an address by the French president at the time before Congress due to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific," she said.
However, as health problems began to present themselves in the early 2010s, Faleomavaega's popularity began to wane. In 2014, he was ousted by the current congresswoman Aumua Amata. In an interview with KHJ News at the time, he said his loss had come as a surprise, and that despite the result, he had no intention to retire from politics.
At his farewell speech in Washington, he said he never expected the people of American Samoa to support him for so long: "I go forward ... knowing that the best is yet to come and hoping I will be remembered for trying my best. For the times I fell short I ask for forgiveness. And to each of my colleagues, and to you, Mr Speaker, I extend my kindest and highest regard."
Ms Sagapolutele said Faleomavaega's health had been a concern in recent years, with a couple of high profile medical evacuations to Hawaii which he had attributed to Agent Orange poisoning. She said that despite promising to stay involved in politics, he had been relatively low profile since 2015, apparently writing a book.
Ms Sagapolutele said funeral arrangements were yet to be announced, including whether Faleomavaega's body would be returned to American Samoa for burial. The territory's governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, and Ms Aumata were expected to release statements in the coming day.
Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is survived by his wife, Hinanui, five children, and 10 grandchildren.


2) Indonesia seeks to strengthen cooperation with Australia

4 hours ago | 535 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is seeking to enhance its cooperation with Australia during President Joko Widodos state visit to the neighboring country on Feb 25-26 over the weekend.

"This will be an important visit, as it is a visit to a close neighbor," spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arrmanatha Nasir noted during a press briefing here on Thursday.

President Widodo is scheduled to have a state dinner with Prime Minister Malcom Turbull accompanied by their spouses during the visit to Australia, Nasir stated.

President Widodo will discuss several issues and areas of cooperation, such as the acceleration of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the expansion of cooperation in the education, tourism, cybersecurity, maritime, and investment sectors.

Moreover, Indonesia will promote its sustainable products, such as timber, palm oil, and pulp and paper, in the Australian market.

In terms of people-to-people cooperation, Indonesia will inaugurate three Indonesian language centers in Canberra, Perth, and Melbourne.

President Widodo will also meet Australian businessmen and enterprises as well as Indonesian citizens residing in Australia, Nasir revealed.

The suspended military cooperation between the two countries is also expected to continue. 

"It depends on the investigation result delivered to the TNI," Nasir noted.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi is scheduled to accompany the president along with several high-ranking Indonesian officials.

President Widodo had earlier postponed his plan to visit Australia in November after a protest in Jakarta turned violent.

The volatile situation on the domestic front had required the president to stay in Indonesia.(*)


3) Freeport`s threat evokes a sense of nationalism: Hikmahanto

4 hours ago | 405 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Freeports threat to bring its legal dispute with the government to the International Court of Arbitration will evoke a sense of nationalism, an international law professor of the University of Indonesia, Hikmahanto Juwana stated.

"The legal measure planned by Freeport against the Indonesian government will have a boomerang effect on the company. The public will support the government of Indonesia," Juwana noted here on Thursday.

Juwana remarked that Indonesian society would recall its history lesson on the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The VOC was able to conquer kingdoms in the archipelago. 

"Freeport will be perceived equally by the Indonesian public as a VOC in the digital age. Freeport cannot use threat to lay off employees as a tool to apply pressure on the government. The company also cannot toy with Papuas issues," he affirmed.

Juwana pointed out that the government of Indonesia has offered a way out for Freeport by issuing Government Regulation No. 1 of 2017 on the fourth amendment to Government Regulation No. 23 of 2010 on the implementation of coal and mineral mining business activities.

"The government does not violate the working contract (KK). In fact, Freeport ignores article 170 of Law Number 4 of 2009 on coal and mineral mining," Juwana noted.

State Regulation No. 4 of 2009 changes the status of KK into a special mining business permit.

The Indonesian government headed by President Joko Widodo, who has a business background, will prioritize Indonesias interests.

"Freeport cannot use its government to apply pressure, as its position is not very strong. Other coal and mineral mining companies, who hold working contracts, abide by the regulations that have been applied," Juwana emphasized.

Member of the House Representatives Commission VII Adian Napitupulu had earlier called on coal and mineral mining companies to abide by the regulations that have been applied, including large corporations, such as Freeport.

The governments courage and consistency in enforcing Regulation No. 4 of 2009 that includes divesting 51 percent shares, changing the KK status, increasing the use of domestic products in production processes, developing smelters, and taxation and negotiation access with investors is still within a mutually beneficial framework, Napitupulu added.

The regulation will demonstrate the governments control over Indonesias natural resources and the country, Napitupulu stated.

Indonesia is not against foreign investors, but much like other nations in the world, the country should also get a fair share, Napitupulu remarked.

"If Freeport refuses to accept the governments guidelines and wants to merely continue operating with special benefits that the company has enjoyed in Indonesia for 48 years, then it is reasonable for the government to take a firm stance," he added.(*)

4) How Freeport Finds Deadlock with Indonesian Government
Thursday, 23 February 2017 | 09:36 WIB
JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Indonesian government has given PT Freeport a chance to carry out concentrate exports for one year, although it is still negotiating the continuation of the US-based company's license to operate in Indonesia.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has issued a recommendation for PT Freeport to export raw minerals for a period of one year. However, according to the Ministry of Trade, PT Freeport has yet to submit application for the export agreement letter (SPE).
Based on the recommendation, Freeport is allowed to export 1,113,105 wet metric tons of copper concentrates. The permit allows it to carry out exports from Feb 17, 2017 to Feb 16, 2018. According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, the reluctance of Freeport to carry out the export of copper concentrates when it is offered an option could have negative impact on its performance in the long run.
"Freeport is a public company; if it stops (exports), its stocks will fall. So, in this case, no party will lose or win," Mulyani stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The Indonesian government is still continuing its negotiation process with Freeport to seek the best solution for the national economy and for the continuation of Freeport's investment in Indonesia.
"We can mutually look at facts contained in the Work of Contract (WoC) and those in the mining law. Since it is difficult to agree to it, the best option indeed is to safeguard our common interest," Mulyani added.
PT Freeport Indonesia's parent company Freeport McMoRan Inc, said it would continue to operate in the country despite disagreement on its contract status with the government of Indonesia. "We are committed to staying in Indonesia. This is an important resources for Freeport, also an important object for the government of Indonesia and Papua," says President and CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson in Jakarta on Monday.
PT Freeport Indonesia has large copper and gold mines in the country's easternmost regions of Papua, but now , the company has stopped operation as it is not allowed to continue export its copper concentrate over contract disagreement.
In 2009, the government had taken a decision to ban the export of raw minerals and made it mandatory for mining companies to build smelters. It decided to ban the export of unprocessed mineral ores as of January 2014 in a bid to encourage miners to process ore domestically. However, after protest from the industry, the implementation of the ban was pushed back to January 11, 2017, to give an opportunity to mining companies to build smelters.
Recently, the government issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 1 of 2017 necessitates mining companies to change their contract of work (CoW) status to a special mining business license (IUPK), if they want to continue exporting concentrates. But they are given a five year deadline to build smelters.
Freeport has called for applying old regulations that were used when it was operating under a CoW status. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan however noted that if it changes the status into an IUPK, several provisions (of the CoW) will also be altered.
"If (the status of a company) is changed into an IUPK, it will have many provisions. Let the finance minister review which old regulations can be used as this falls under the domain of the tax law similar to the regional government laws, levies, and others," Minister Ignatius Jonan remarked.
It was previously reported that Freeport claimed it had not yet reached a common ground with the government on the change of status from CoW to an IUPK. "We are awaiting a temporary IUPK to carry out exports (of raw minerals), but the government has not yet issued a permit to us," Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama stated after a hearing with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Feb 9.
According to CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson, the U.S. mining giant had invested US$12 billion and is investing US$15 billion in Indonesia providing jobs for 32,000 Indonesians.
The government of Indonesia also had earned 60 percent of financial benefit directly as a result of the operation of Freeport. Taxes, royalty and dividends paid to the government since 1991 have exceeded US$16.5 billion and Freeport McMoRan had received US$108 billion in dividend, he added. "The taxes, royalty and dividend to be paid to the government in the future until 2041 is estimated to exceed US$40 billion." 
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said that Freeport contributed to more than 90 percent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP) of Mimika District and about 37 percent of Papua Province's GDP. Therefore, Deputy Chairman of Kadin for eastern Indonesia affairs Andi Rukman Karumpa asked to manage the Freeport issues well, so that it would not become counterproductive.
"The issue of PT Freeport should be properly managed, in a measured manner, and with a clear target," Karumpa said in Jakarta on Wednesday. According to him, the turmoil between countries and some major corporations such as Freeport is a common one, such as the dispute between Aramco and the Saudi Arabian government in the past.
As a result, Aramco fell into the hands of the Saudi government, he stated. "Contract dispute with multinational companies is common, but there should be measurable goals. The volatility is managed, so that it can be more productive in the long run or short term."
He remarked that Kadin supports the government's firmness against PT Freeport, because the enterprise is considered to have continued stalling its obligation to build smelters in the country.
Freeport also left the impression that it always tried to dictate its will on the government. "It (Freeport) met 'stubborn' Minister Jonan who does not want to be dictated." However, Karumpa reminded that this issue would be managed well, because it affects the economy in Papua as well.

5) Jokowi to raise joint patrols in South China Sea
  • The Australian

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has opened the door to joint Indonesian-Australian patrols of the South China Sea, telling The Australian in an exclusive interview ahead of his first state visit tomorrow that he will discuss the issue with Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Joko also hinted that a part suspension of military ties, impose­d last month by his defence­ chief, would be lifted following the annual leaders’ talks.
And he moved to reassure Australians that Indonesia’s toler­ant, pluralist traditions were etched “in our DNA”, notwithstanding a polarising Jakarta election fought along race and religio­us lines and the concurrent trial of the city’s ethnic Chinese, Christian governor on what many see as political-motivated blasphemy charges.
The Indonesian leader known popularly as Jokowi said he saw joint Australian-Indonesian patrol­s in the South China Sea, potentially around Indonesia’s own Natuna Islands at the southern edge of the waters, as “very important” — as long as they did not raise tensions in the region.
“It depends. If there is tension like last year it’s difficult to decide this program,” he said.
“But if there is no tension I think it’s very important to have the patrols together. We will discuss this with PM Turnbull.”
Indonesian naval vessels clashed at least three times with Chinese poachers fishing in the resource-rich waters around its Natuna Islands last year. While Beijing makes no claims over the Natuna Islands it does insist the waters surrounding them are part of historical Chinese fishing grounds, as marked in its “nine-dash line’’ map, which claims about 90 per cent of the South China Sea.
An agreement between Australia and Indonesia to conduct joint patrols through the disputed waters of one of the world’s busiest and most valuable shipping lanes — one critical to Australian trade — would be a huge coup for the federal government, which has been lobbying Jakarta over the issue as it seeks closer defence co-operation with Indonesia.
It would also be emphatic evidence that defence relations between­ the two neighbours sustained­ no permanent damage from last month’s defence stoush.
Indonesia’s ultra-nationalist military chief Gatot Nurmantyo suspended a language training course over concerns at teaching materials, said to have included an essay question asking students to discuss whether West Papua should be an independent state.
The incident tapped deep-seated resentment within some quarters of the Indonesian milit­ary at Australia’s support for East Timor’s independence, and linger­ing fears it might one day also support a long-running liberation movement in West Papua.
General Gatot accepted a personal apology this month from Australian Army chief Angus Campbell but has not yet lifted the suspension. Mr Jokowi said the issue underlined Australia and Indonesia’s ability to work through their differences. Asked if the suspension would be lifted before his visit tomorrow he replied; “I think after I discuss (it) with PM Turnbull …. I believe that we can build mutual trust and understanding.”
He repeatedly emphasised his warm friendship with Mr Turnbull, whose November 2015 visit to Jakarta is seen to have reset a relationship battered by successive knocks over the executions earlier that year of Bali Nine leaders Andre­w Chan and Myuran Sukamaran, Tony Abbott’s 2014 boat turn-back policy, and the 2013 WikiLeaks revelations that Australia spied on former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and senior ministers.
“You know, we understand each other. We come from the same background, business,” Mr Jokowi said of Mr Turnbull.
“We want to achieve concrete things with PM Turnbull; not only trade, but trade, investment and tourism. We must work harder to strengthen (the economic relationship) because investment from Australia is still very low if we compare with the other countries.”
Indonesia currently lags as Australia’s 13th-largest trading partner, with Australian direct investm­ent in Indonesia of just $5.5 billion in 2015-16.
Improving trade and investment would help the relationship, Mr Jokowi said.
He added that he was confident the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement could be concluded by December. But he was lukewarm on Australian attempts to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership multi-lateral trade deal after US President Donald Trump scrapped it.
This weekend’s trip will be a truncated version of the previous schedule. He will meet with Mr Turnbull and senior ministers, business leaders and Indonesian students, and have lunch with the Governor-General on Sunday before flying home.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said yesterday it would be a “special­” visit, marked with a priv­ate dinner at Mr Turnbull’s Point Piper mansion.
“The visit will be special. Unlike other state visits, the President has been invited by Prime Minister Turnbull for a private dinner at his residence. So there will only be the President, the first lady, the Prime Minister and his spouse. This shows how close the two leaders are,” Mr Nasir said.

THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 22:50 WIB
6) Gov’t Offers Three Options over Dispute to Freeport  

TEMPO.COSurabaya - The central government has not yet reached an agreement with PT Freeport following the issuance of a new bill. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan offered three options to the US-based mining company.
"We gave [Freeport] six months for negotiations," Jonan said after giving a public lecture at Airlangga University in Surabaya on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
The first option is to urge Freeport to comply with existing regulations while sitting in negotiations on investment stability. The second option is to amend the Law on Mineral and Coal. The last one is to settle the dispute in an international arbitration.
However, Freeport refused the options, as they viewed that the shift from the contract of works (KK) to special mining license (IUPK) would threaten their business sustainability. Freeport planned to file a lawsuit against the government with arbitration if the solution to the dispute remains deadlocked.
In response to the threat, Jonan insisted on the three options.
"There were three options at that time. If they don’t like them, they are welcomed to discuss them with the parliament or us to discuss an amendment to the Law on Mineral and Coal. Or, they can take it to arbitration," Jonan said.
Jonan added that the government is ready to face the lawsuit.
"We're not only ready, but we can also take this case to arbitration," Jonan added.
Jonan asserted that the shift from the contract of works to the special mining license is not an obligation. Contract holders are allowed to maintain their contracts provided that they comply with Law No. 4/2009 on mineral and coal mining.
"We don't force [miners to shift to the IUPK]. For instance, PT Vale remains a contract of works holder, but they follow the rules," Jonan explained.
Contract holders are required to build smelters within five years as mandated in Article 170 of the Law on Mineral and Coal.
"It's already been three years. If there's still time, [miners] must immediately shift from contract of works to special mining license,” Jonan said. ARTIKA RACHMI FARMITA

THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 22:42 WIB
7) Airlangga University Supports Freeport’s Nationalization  

TEMPO.COSurabaya - Hundreds of students of graduate and doctorate programs at the Airlangga University in Surabaya declared their supports for the government in addressing the issue with PT Freeport Indonesia.
The declaration of supports was set forth on a banner signed by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan on the sidelines of a public lecture held at the university on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
The white banner contains a red colored writing that says, "Freeport, land and water in Indonesia shall be used for the greatest benefit of the Indonesian people, not for foreign countries!"
"There's nothing wrong with the declaration. It's set forth in Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution," Jonan said in response to a question related to the declaration. 
Jonan added that there is no law that is not based on the 1945 Constitution. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Jonan added, welcomes investment from foreign and domestic investors.
Jonan revealed that the central government expects the economy to grow, because it would be impossible to depend on the State Budget without private sector’s participation.
Airlangga University rector Mohammad Nasih said that the university supports the government and Jonan in addressing the dispute with Freeport.
"In accordance with Article 33 paragraph 3 of the 1945 Constitution, natural resources, including mineral and coal shall be under the powers of the state and shall be used to the greatest benefit of the people," Nasih reiterated.

8) Jokowi's visit to Australia 'special': Foreign Ministry
Liza Sani The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, February 23, 2017 | 10:39 pm
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set for his first state visit to Australia on Feb. 25 to 26, with an emphasis on strengthening trade and maritime cooperation.
The neighboring countries aim to strengthen bilateral relations that are "mutually beneficial and respectful", the Indonesian Foreign Ministry says. 
Ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told a press briefing on Thursday that Jokowi's visit was "special", saying that unlike usual state visits, the two heads of states were set to have a private dinner. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and wife Lucy Turnbull would host a dinner for Jokowi and First Lady Iriana Widodo.
"This shows a closeness between the two leaders," Arrmanatha said. 
The visit is set to focus on boosting economic relations between the two countries, especially to push the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that Jakarta expects to conclude this year. 
Indonesia also aimed to expand market access on sustainable products, Arrmanatha said, noting the example of export of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)-licensed timber, which guaranteed that the timber had been harvested, processed and exported in accordance with national laws.
Three memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were also currently in the final stages of discussion, namely in maritime cooperation, maritime security and the creative industry, he added.  
Other areas of focus between the two countries would include cyber security training, investment, tourism, as well as Indonesian language education. The President is set to inaugurate a language center during his visit. (evi)

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