Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1) Government refuses to step back in Freeport dispute

2) Kontras Lists Human Rights Violations in Indonesia
3) Author praised for opening readers’ eyes to West Papua’s repression

1) Government refuses to step back in Freeport dispute
Viriya P. Singgih The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, March 15, 2017 | 07:29 am

Members of National University Student Movement (GMNI) hold a rally in front of Freeport Indonesia's office on Jalan Rasuna Said, Jakarta, on Feb. 24. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The government has stated that it will not take a step back in its dispute with gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, reiterating that the company must abide by the rules on contract conversion and share divestment.
Both parties officially started negotiations to find a settlement on March 8, in which the government is represented by officials from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, including secretary-general Teguh Pamudji, while Freeport Indonesia is represented by directors Clementino Lamury and Tony Wenas.
“Today, we have clearly explained our stance to them [Freeport] that we are still in a position that demands they convert the contract of work [CoW] into a special mining license [IUPK],” Hadi Djuraid, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry spokesperson, said following a two-hour meeting with Clementino and Tony on Tuesday in Jakarta.
Hadi also said the company must divest 51 percent of its shares as mandated in Government Regulation (PP) No. 1/2017. “It is clearly stated in the PP. Hence, we can’t take a step back. We have to move forward with it,” he said.
Freeport Indonesia has rejected the idea of contract conversion and divesting 51 percent. The company has also stated that it might take the case to international arbitration if it cannot reach an agreement with the government within 120 days, starting from Feb. 17.
The United States-based mining giant Freeport McMoRan currently owns 90.64 percent of the company, while 9.36 percent is owned by the government. (ags)

WEDNESDAY, 15 MARCH, 2017 | 11:34 WIB
2) Kontras Lists Human Rights Violations in Indonesia

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, Kontras, in short, drawn up a list of 19 human rights issues in Indonesia. The list was drafted ahead to Kontras' 19th birthday on March 20, 2017.
Kontras coordinator Yati Andriyani said that the list reflects the current state of human rights issue in Indonesia.
"Ahead of Kontras' 19th birthday, we found a thesis that the state is not yet mature. Why? We have some yardsticks, the current state of human rights is a far cry from the ideal image of human rights," Yati said in Jakarta on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
According to Yati, Kontras asserted that the government has been very lenient to human rights violators. Yati said that the government seemed to have somewhat collaborated or compromised with them.
Yati also named various human rights violators. "[The violators] used to be security officials, now its corporations," Yati said. Local governments, under special autonomy law, could violate human rights as well, according to Yati.
"For example, the government is stepping up its crackdown on narcotics and terrorism, but the measures were not followed by fair trials and law enforcement agencies reforms and [upholding of] human rights principles," Yati said.
Below is the list of human rights issues drawn up by Kontras:
1. Reconciliation and ambiguity of justice agenda. (For 19 years, the government has yet to provide legal certainty over accountability for gross, serious human rights violations). 2. The faces of revived New Order (Orba/Soeharto administration) in Indonesia. (Kontras has seen growing influence of Orba principles and the rise of figures who once considered as bastions of the 1998 reform agendas and ideas). 3. Long and winding roads to Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 4. The search for social justice for Indonesia's outer islands. (Kontras' findings during investigations in Romang Island and Barat Daya Island in Maluku). 5. Land grabbing by a cement company in Rembang. 6. Reclamation projects in Bali, Romang and Jakarta. 7. Regional elections and artificial voters. (Kontras sees that the public's participation in simultaneous regional elections is dropping.) 8. Evictions and negligence of collective rights of residents. 9. Indigenous people and social justice. 10. Torture by law enforcement agencies. 11. Munir murder case. 12. Yusman and politicization of death penalty. 13. Repressions of freedom of belief and religion. 14. Repression of freedom of association. 15. Expressions and challenges in the protection of vulnerable groups. 16. Law and terrorism. (Kontras found that security officers failed to restore order in terror-ridden areas.) 17. The future of justice in Papua. 18. The future of human rights, anti-graft and environmental movements in Indonesia. 19. Indonesia's ambiguous human rights reputation in the eyes of international society. REZKI ALVIONITASARI

3) Author praised for opening readers’ eyes to West Papua’s repression

By Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt 

Bookstore owners, writers, authors, family, friends and a group hopeful of West Papuan independence squeezed into the Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby last night to celebrate the work of young New Zealand author Bonnie Etherington and her novel The Earth Cries Out.
Not only is the novel being celebrated and praised for Etherington’s mastery of the written word, but because of its ability to make the public more aware of life in West Papua, a region controversially ruled by Indonesia since the 1960s.

Plagued by media freedom and human rights violations, many media freedom and human rights organisations and several Pacific nations have condemned the widespread arrests and imprisonment of West Papuans for non-violent expression of their political views.
These are issues Etherington herself acknowledged speaking with Asia Pacific Report earlier this week, saying she wanted to show readers West Papua’s rich and diverse history, not only its complex political situation.
“I really wanted to show multiple sides of West Papua because it is so often forgotten or stereotyped by the rest of the world.”
This is something those who have already read The Earth Cries Out praise.

Harriet Allan, fiction publisher for Penguin Books New Zealand, commended Etherington in a speech on her ability to provide insight into West Papua through the eyes of a child, that of female protagonist Ruth.
“As Ruth bears witness to what she sees, we too start to hear the voices that have been silenced by politics, sickness, violence and poverty.”
Like Ruth, we come away with a greater understanding of this country and its diverse people and also of ourselves and the bonds of love and friendship.”
‘Shed some light’Although she has not had the chance to read her sister’s entire novel, Etherington’s younger sister, Aimee, says what she has read is very similar to how she and her sister experienced West Papua.
“With the descriptions, I felt like I was back there. She’s done a really good job of capturing how it feels, I guess.”
Aimee Etherington says she hopes her sister’s novel spreads awareness of West Papua.
“Most people that I’ve spoken to don’t really know that it exists, so it will be good to shed some light as to what’s going on there and, I guess, giving a bit of insight on how as New Zealanders and Australians we can actually do something about it.”
‘Almost experiencing it’Like Harriet Allan, Women’s Bookshop owner Carol Beu loved Ruth’s voice.
“I think becoming aware of the situation in Papua through the eyes of this child, Ruth, is really quite special”, Beu told the audience.
“The way it’s revealed, it’s fascinating.”
Beu admits this was also “quite shocking”, due to Etherington’s ability to place the reader in the moment.
“You’re almost experiencing it.”

Bea also acknowledged those in the audience who were supporting the book on more of a political level, such as West Papua Action Auckland spokesperson Maire Leadbeater.
Bea told those gathered she found the politics of The Earth Cries Out “quite astonishing and wonderful”.
“It’s a book that makes you angry in many ways on a political level.”
Leadbeater herself, however, says she is looking forward to reading the novel.
Mister Pip comparisons“I think looking at countries through a literary perspective can be very helpful at times. I can’t help thinking of the book Mister Pip, about Bougainville and how amazingly helpful that was I think in terms of people understanding the conflict.
“It’s done in a fictionalised way but it’s true to the situation, so I’m picking from what I’ve heard about the book it may achieve that as well.”
Leadbeater is not the only one to draw comparisons with Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, however.
Tony Moores, owner of bookstore Poppies in Remuera, reached a similar conclusion.
“This is not Mister Pip, but the issues it deals with are quite similar, from a different perspective.”
Powerful, shockingThe Creative Hub founder, John Cranna, who also noted ties with Mister Pip, praised Etherington on her talent after listening to several excerpts read by Allan and Etherington herself.
“For such a young writer to be writing about such dramatic and shocking events, and to be pulling it off, is quite an achievement.
To write about violent death is … very hard in a reserved, powerful way, but she certainly did that very well.

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