Wednesday, April 12, 2017

1) Indonesia eyes truce with Freeport as losses mount for both sides

5) Rio Tinto ponders future in Indonesia’s Grasberg copper mine
6) AGO to set up special unit to tackle past rights abuses
7) Weather Hampers Search For Missing Cessna C208 in Papua

 Wed Apr 12, 2017 | 4:57am EDT
1)  Indonesia eyes truce with Freeport as losses mount for both sides

By Fergus Jensen | JAKARTA
Losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars appear to be pushing the Indonesian government and mining giant Freeport McMoRan to resolve a row that has crippled operations at Grasberg, the world's richest copper mine, for three months.

Freeport says it has lost revenue of about $1 billion since the export of copper concentrate from Grasberg was halted on Jan. 12 under new rules issued by the government. The government has lost millions of dollars in royalties and is worried about layoffs and a slowing economy in the restive Papua region, where the giant mine is located.
"There's a lot of grandstanding in public – that, with our economy being close to a $1 trillion a year now, Freeport is a small matter," said a senior Indonesian government official, who estimated the lost royalties and taxes from the mine at about $1 billion a year.

"But truth be told, a $1 billion a year reduction in fiscal revenue is a lot," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Indonesia halted Freeport's copper concentrate exports under new rules that require the Phoenix, Arizona-based company to adopt a special license, pay new taxes and royalties, divest a 51 percent stake in its operations and relinquish arbitration rights.
Freeport threatened in February to take the dispute to arbitration, saying the rules were "in effect a form of expropriation".
But now, Indonesia has promised to allow Freeport to export its copper concentrate once again, while negotiations continue over the next six months on contentious issues, including on divestment, economic and legal protection and smelting investment.

The compromise comes ahead of a visit to Indonesia by U.S. Vice President Mike Spence next week. Pressure to resolve the row could also come from Freeport's third-biggest shareholder, activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been appointed a special adviser to President Donald Trump.
For Indonesia, tensions at Grasberg could hamper its efforts to calm the Papua region, where a low-level insurgency has simmered for decades. The mine's social and environmental footprint also remains a source of friction.
Papua's GDP growth is expected to drop to 3 percent this year due to the Freeport dispute, down from 9.21 percent in 2016, according to the Papua branch of Indonesia's central bank.
A slump in Papua's economy could aggravate tensions with Jakarta, complicating efforts by President Joko Widodo to enforce policies to extract more from its natural resources.
"When there is a crisis at Freeport, it will send major ripples through Papuan society," said Achmad Sukarsono, an Indonesian expert at the Eurasia consultancy.
In Timika, a sprawling town of around 250,000 people and a supply hub for Grasberg, the Freeport dispute has hit businesses, caused a slump in house prices and stalled credit, residents say.
Mastael Arobi, who owns a car rental business there, has cut his fleet by two-thirds because of slow business and is worried about the interest he pays on loans.
"We are half-dead thinking about repayments," he said. 
Transport operators in Timika had similar complaints, with a motorcycle taxi driver saying it was hard to make even a third of the up to 300,000 rupiah ($22.50) he used to make each day.
"Since these furloughs and layoffs began we have stopped providing credit to Freeport workers," said Joko Supriyono, a regional manager at Bank Papua in Timika, who said ATM transactions had declined by around two-thirds since January. 
Freeport, which employs more than 32,000 staff and contractors in Indonesia, has now "demobilised" just over 10 percent of its workforce, a number expected to grow until the dispute is resolved.

Persipura, the main soccer club in Papua and one of Indonesia's most decorated teams, announced last month that Freeport, its top sponsor, had stopped its funding.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in a recent interview that while he did not anticipate political pressure, Washington should not politicize the Freeport issue.
Another Indonesian government official said moves to allow Freeport to export temporarily were aimed at showing that the government is willing to find a solution, and to send a positive message, especially to foreign investors, who are watching the saga closely.
"We are not changing our stance. Our basic stance on 51 percent divestment, our demand for smelters - all that is still there. But in negotiations, you should give a little to assure the other side that we are still open to some options," said the official.
The two sides had opted for a temporary solution to break a deadlock in issues that "cannot be resolved quickly," said Bambang Gatot, Director General of Coal and Minerals in the mining ministry,
A spokesman for Freeport Indonesia declined to comment on the warming ties with the government.
A senior Freeport McMoRan executive said last week the company was awaiting details of a temporary export permit from the Indonesian government that would allow it to ramp up production. 
($1 = 13,330 rupiah)
(Additional reporting by Hidayat Setiaji, Wilda Asmarini and Kanupriya Kapoor in JAKARTA and Samuel Wanda in TIMIKA; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)


Processed wood ready to export to China at Jayapura Port–Jubi/ Sindung Sukoco

Jayapura, Jubi –  Papua Province governor, Lukas Enembe has officially released an export processed wood to China through Jayapura Port of Papua. Assuming the value of exports or foreign exchange of 100 containers reached Rp22 billion.
Papua Provincial Forestry Office Yan Yap Ormuseray said the exported processed wood has based on timber forest product utilization permit (HPH) in Papua. The timber comes from Keerom District, Jayapura and Sarmi processed by PT Batasan, PT Hanurata, PT Mojalindo, and Papua Hutan Sari Makmur.
“The wood is processed in primary and secondary wood industry in Jayapura, coordinated by ISWA (Employers’ Association of Indonesia Processed Timber) Papua and Komda Papua,” said Ormuseray in his speech to release of 100 containers of yellow Merbabu woods to China on Monday, April 10th 2017.

It is expected, he said that exporters’ entrepreneurs will make regular efforts to export timber overseas and local governments are expected to support it.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said very grateful that Papua has become an exporting region overseas. He argues that Papua’s natural resources have yet been utilized well.
“We can export every month, but there must be enough labor as well in Papua. But at the moment it is good that the number of export is constantly increasing. It will be better if coupled from other commodities that have not been well explored such as tuna, coffee, coconut, and seaweed,” said Enembe.
Papua Governor wished for the government officials to maximize other commodities as Indonesian Port Company (PT. Pelindo) claimed to look for the market.
“Pelindo will find the market, I hope the government officials can work hard on this case,” he said. (*)


AdminApr 12, 2017

Jayapura, Jubi – It was difficult to apply Regency Regulation (Perda) No 3/2000 related to preservation of sago in Jayapura regency. One of the reasons, according to Orgenes Kaway, a Papua Ondoafi (Sentani-Papua indigenous) in Bambar Village, Waibu District, Jayapura regency, most indigenous has released their customary land right.
He said sago forests are closely related to customary rights. These customary rights do not belong to the government, but the indigenous people. Either individual or tribal clans may limit customary owners of the communal land.

“I think it’s difficult to make and implement legislation regarding preservation of sago. There are various factors that sometimes led community to release their customary rights. Economic factor is one of them, and the pressure of progress and development,” said Kaway recently.
According to Papuan legislators from the National Awakening Party (PKB), government has role to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the forest sago. Invites people to keep the sago forests in certain areas.
“But the government too should show their role and concern for the preservation of sago. If you want to get serious on this, it is not about making a program for one or two months. It should be sustainable because sago cultivation is a routine,” he said.
Other Papuan legislators, Mustakim see the problem of sago preservation in Papua is that the areas are diminished, eroded by construction of buildings, shops, residential and road infrastructures.
“Every year sago palm are diminished, while efforts to replace the lost sago are very minimal. The government needs to establish sago palm as local wisdom in Papua,” said Mustakim.
It also because sago is the staple food of Papuans from time of the ancestors, before they know anything about rice.
He asked the government to encourage the development of large scale sago processing industries. (*)


Admin Apr 12, 2017

By Michael Hart

                                                          Campaign to support West Papua liberation – IST

In the Indonesian province of West Papua, a movement for independence has existed since the early 1960s. Located at the country’s easternmost point, West Papua came under Indonesian control in a disputed UN-backed referendum in 1969, sparking an independence struggle which has taken place far from the gaze of the outside world.
Over the past five decades these seemingly intractable conflicts have been largely forgotten by those outside the region. In recent years however, the dispute has gained greater international attention as a result of more organized efforts on the part of independence activists, alongside a growing network of concerned politicians around the globe.

Yet despite this upturn in media coverage, civil society action and political maneuvering, the call for a new referendum on West Papua’s future remains unlikely to be granted.
Over the last five decades, information on the situation in West Papua has been difficult to obtain and verify, as foreign journalists and non-governmental organizations have largely been banned from the province. However, numerous human rights violations have reportedly been carried-out by the Indonesian security forces, including accusations of torture, murder, intimidation and arbitrary arrests. In addition, many people from other parts of Indonesia have been moved into the province, in what could be viewed as an attempt to lessen the influence of West Papuan culture.
The conflict long-ago reached a point of stalemate, with the dispute refusing to recede despite the fact that almost 50 years have passed since the original referendum took place. There are multiple reasons why the dispute has become so intractable, not to mention the firmly-ingrained competing interpretations of the situation, which prevail on each side of the debate.
From the perspective of the West Papuan independence movement, the grievances felt in the 1960s have not subsided over time, and continue to drive the struggle today. First and foremost, the perceived historical injustice at the way the referendum was conducted remains strong. Other secondary factors have added to this feeling of injustice in the years since, including reports of human rights violations, cultural marginalization and economic disadvantages.
From the perspective of the Indonesian government, the territory was always rightfully obtained under a legal referendum, with the result sanctioned by the UN, thus resulting in legitimacy to govern and support from the international community.
Many of Indonesia’s allies and closest neighbors – notably Australia – have long supported Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua. The province has come to occupy a central location in Indonesia’s national imagination, and is of huge economic importance due to its rich mineral resources. As a result, Indonesia has gone great lengths to secure control over the area, through maintaining a strong military presence and effectively closing the region off to international observers.
In recent years, Indonesia has been accused of carrying-out large-scale arrests of demonstrators and members of the independence movement, whilst the government has repeatedly urged other nations to respect Indonesia’s sovereignty. In this sense, the status-quo has undergone little change.
Yet last year, the independence campaign appeared to pick up pace, with a global conference on West Papua held in London in May 2016. Members of the ‘Free West Papua’ movement were in attendance, along with members of the ‘International Parliamentarians for West Papua’ (IPWP) group, including the current UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. At the meeting, prominent pro-independence leader Benny Wenda urged the UN to initiate and supervise a new vote for independence in West Papua, to make up for the perceived failings of the 1969 UN-backed vote.
The reinvigorated pro-independence campaign serves as evidence that despite Indonesia’s tight control of the province, and despite doubts over whether West Papua would be able to survive as an independent nation, calls for a new referendum are unlikely to subside. In fact, the independence movement appears to be more resilient and better-organized than at any time in recent history.
The involved parties are aware that persuading Indonesia to hold a new referendum is an unlikely prospect. Yet irrespective of the campaign’s long-term success or failure in terms of achieving an independence vote, it serves an important purpose in raising awareness of the human rights situation faced by civilians in West Papua.(*)
Michael Hart is Freelance Writer & Researcher, run a weblog:
Editor: Zely Ariane


5) Rio Tinto ponders future in Indonesia’s Grasberg copper mine

Diversified miner Rio Tinto restated on Wednesday its decision to continue discussions regarding the future of its stake in the Grasberg mine in Indonesia.
"There is no doubt that Grasberg is a world-class resource. However, there's a difference between a world class resource and a world class business," Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said on Wednesday, responding to a shareholder at the company's annual general meeting in London.

"Rio Tinto will have to come to a conclusion about whether we want to stay or not... we will inform the market as and when the situation evolves," he added.
Rio Tinto has a joint-venture with Freeport-McMoRan for the Grasberg copper and gold complex in remote Papua, with rights to 40 per cent of production above specific levels until 2021 and 40 per cent of all production after 2021.
Freeport's exports of copper concentrate from Grasberg, the worlds richest copper mine, have been at a standstill since mid-January, when Indonesia introduced rules that are intended to improve revenues from its resources and create jobs.
The company, the biggest publicly-listed copper miner, has lost $US1 billion since the export of copper concentrate from Grasberg was halted. 
The government has lost millions of dollars in royalties and is worried about layoffs and a slowing economy in the restive Papua region.

6) AGO to set up special unit to tackle past rights abuses
Margareth S. Aritonang The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, April 12, 2017 | 09:15 pm
The Attorney General’s Office is planning to create a special directorate, which will handle the settlement of past human rights violation cases.
Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo announced the plan during a hearing with members of the House of Representatives’ Commission III, which oversees law and human rights, on Wednesday.
The special directorate will be led by an echelon-two official and will focus its work on finding solutions to past human rights violations, he said.
“We hope the establishment of this directorate will effectively push forward efforts to settle cases of past rights abuses,” Prasetyo said.
Among past rights abuses, which remain unresolved, are the anticommunist massacres of 1965; the mysterious shootings of criminals between 1982 and 1985, known as Petrus; the Talangsari massacre in 1989; and the forced disappearances of anti-Soeharto activists in 1997 and 1998.
Other cases include the Tri Sakti tragedy in 1998; the Semanggi I and Semanggi II student shooting incidents in 1998 and 1999; as well as a string of abuses that occurred in Wasior and Wamena, Papua, in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
During the meeting, Prasetyo reiterated the government’s stance against resolving past abuses through a human rights tribunal. He said insistence on a judicial mechanism would prevent settlement efforts from progressing because of the sensitive nature of rights abuse cases.
Prasetyo further explained that the new directorate would collaborate with other related government institutions in search of win-win solutions. “It is needed to prevent gross rights violations in the future,” he said, when asked about the significance of the directorate. (ebf)


WEDNESDAY, 12 APRIL, 2017 | 20:14 WIB
7) Weather Hampers Search For Missing Cessna C208 in Papua
TEMPO.COJakarta - A Cessna C208 plane owned by PT Spirit Avia Sentosa (SAS) lost contact roughly five miles from Oksibil, Papua on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Head of the Search and Rescue Agency, Rear Admiral Muhammad Syaugi said that the search for the missing plane is currently hampered by bad weather.
"Up until this moment we haven't discovered any findings under bad weather and difficult terrains, even though the plane departed this morning under clear skies," Syaugi said on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Syaugi said that the agency has established a post in Oksibil, he still needed to add extra personnel from Jayapura, Papua.
"There are 10-15 people from Jayapura, [arriving] tomorrow morning," Syaugi said.
Syaugi also revealed that the plane’s ITV emergency signal has yet to be detected.
"We would be able to detect the ITV if it's activated," Syaugi said. The agency is partnering with Australia in attempting to locate the missing plane. "[Australia] isn't able to detect the plane too."
The Caravan C208 is piloted by Rio Pasaribu. The PK-FSE coded plane took off from Boven Digoel at 02:44 UTC with its last contact at 02:49 UTC with a scheduled landing at 03:24 UTC.

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