Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Summary of events in West Papua for March -11 April 2017

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)    

Summary of events in West Papua for  March-11 April 2017.

(For all the talk from Jokowi that West Papua is now open to journalists, the banning of Journalists wanting to visit West Papua continues).

Timika immigration office deports two French nationals
18 March. Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Tembagapura Immigration Office in Papua province deported two French nationals on Friday for violating their Indonesian visa. The two French citizens, identified as Frank Jean Piere Escudie and Basile Marie Longchamp, violated their visa to make a documentary film under the project "The Explorers" in several places in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua, Head of the Tembagapura Immigration Office Jesaja Samuel Enock said here on Friday. "Based on the results of the interrogation, the two French nationals used visit visas to make a documentary film on nature, culture, and other attractions in Papua, without holding necessary permits from the authorized agencies," he stated. They were deported to their country by Garuda Indonesia flight from Mozes Kilangin Airport in Timika en route to Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Banten province on Friday evening. They would be flown to their country on Friday night or early on Saturday, he noted.

Phelim Kine Deputy Director, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch reported on the issue “Indonesia Steamrolls Media Freedom in Papua, Again”

Indonesian police detained and then deported the two reporters, who were filming a documentary for Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines, for lacking “necessary documents from related institutions,” without elaborating. The authorities have barred the two journalists from returning to Indonesia for at least six months to ensure they get the message.

Tempo  The blacklisting of Jack Hewson, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera, shows the Indonesian government’s paranoia towards foreign journalists.

Protesters outside the Jakarta headquarters of Freeport Indonesia calling for the closure of the giant mine in Papua. Image: Tempo

The blacklisting of Jack Hewson, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera, shows the Indonesian government’s paranoia towards foreign journalists.
The government should allow the foreign press to cover Papua. Preventing journalists from reporting the facts there is not a good testament on the claim of press freedom in Indonesia.
Hewson, who is based in Jakarta, planned to report on the Freeport issue from Timika in Papua. But after leaving for the Philippines last week, he learned that he has been banned from returning to Indonesia for no clear reason. It transpires that the request for the ban came from the Indonesian Military (TNI). According to the Immigration Directorate General, Hewson is suspected of “dangerous activities, endangering security and public order”. What did Hewson do that was deemed to have endangered security? Was he not simply covering and writing reports about Indonesia like other journalists? Was it linked with his plan to cover Freeport? Whatever the problem, blacklisting a foreign journalist without a reason or sufficient evidence is a serious violation of press freedom………..

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health visits West Papua
Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch said in a statement that
“The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health did something remarkable last week: he traveled to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. Dainius Puras’ two-day trip to Papua, part of a two-week official visit, was notable for the simple fact the Indonesian government allowed it to happen. Given the government’s long history of blocking scrutiny of conditions in Papua by foreign media and international observers, including UN experts, this development may indicate a change in policy”.

Jubi also reported on the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pûras. “The purpose of this visit is to learn how Indonesia endeavours to implement the right to health, including the measures the country has taken to date and the challenges it faces,” Mr. Pûras wrote in his press statement. His visit will be the first to Indonesia by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council entrusted to monitor the realisation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. 

WHO appreciates Papua KPA for taking part in socializing prepex
25th March 2017
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed appreciation to the Papuas HIV/AIDS Eradication Commission (KPA) for being active in socializing adoption of circumcision using prepex in the province.  Prepex is the Worlds Only Non-Surgical Male Circumcision Device.
Technical advisor of the Male Circumcision Innovation Group of WHO, Timothy Hargreave, said here on Saturday he came to Jayapura mainly to learn and see the use of Prepex in circumcision in a bid to prevent HIV. "Papua is the first area in Asia adopting circumcision with prepex after Africa. Certainly there is difference . That is what we want to learn and know," Hargreave said.  There must be differences in circumcision with prepex in Africa and Papua because of the need to adjust to situation and condition in each area, he added.  "That is why we are here to learn and see. Hopefully the circumsion is safe for all both the patients, the officers and other involved," he said.  He said he also appreciated the active participation of the local authorities in taking part in socializing circumcision with prepex in this province.  He said, however, that circumcision does not guarantee that the the province would be 100 percent free from the HIV virus, therefore, he advised man to use condoms in having sex with prostitutes to minimize the spread of the HIV virus.(*)

Local News
West Papuan supporters in Sydney join in rallies
West Papuan supporters  joined in a number  of rallies in the past month to fly the Morning Star flag and to raise awareness of the issue of West Papua

                                    At the “March in March” rally  
photos at

and at the Palm Sunday Rally,  

photos at

Punks for West Papua also had a series of showings of their documentary at various venues with more to come, raising awareness of the issue.

The Region
Melanesian Spearhead Group
In a press release (March 16, 2017),  The Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands  described his dialogue with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill as ‘very fruitful.’ The MSG Chair met with Hon O’Neill in the PNG Capital, Port Moresby yesterday, concluding his second and final round of consultations with MSG leaders since taking up the chairmanship of the Melanesian sub-regional grouping in June 2015.

   The MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the PNG Prime Minister, Hon Peter O'Neill.

The key issues of discussion included the following:
MSG Special Leaders’ Summit;
Outcome of the Meeting of the MSG sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues {SCLII) in Port Vila in December 2016. SCLII is the MSG sub-committee that makes recommendations to the MSG Governing Bodies- Senior Officials Meeting, Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Leaders’ Summit;
West Papua;
MSG Free Trade Agreement;
MSG Labour Mobility, Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat; and
MSG Chairmanship Handover from Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea.

Speaking after his meeting with Prime Minister O’Neill, the MSG Chair said “I had a very fruitful meeting with the PNG Prime Minister on the agendas of discussion as I also had with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu, Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji earlier on in February.”

On the issue of West Papua, the MSG Chair said he told Prime Minister O’Neill that the United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP’s) application for membership of the MSG will be dealt with under the Revised MSG Membership Criteria. He said Prime Minister O’Neill expressed the ULMWP’s membership of the MSG is not an issue to PNG but rather the ULMWP proving that it is a united body that represents the collective views of the people of West Papua just as the FLNKS is evidently a united body representing the collective views of the Kanaks of New Caledonia. The MSG Chair said the PNG Prime Minister further stated that any discussion on the issue of sovereignty should be taken up appropriately with the United Nations Decolonisation Committee (C24) in New York and the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Ambassador Peter Ilau: Concerning MSG, Free Papua Not a Sovereign Country
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Free Papua Movement (OPM) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is not a sovereign state. Because of not being a sovereign state then OPM or ULMWP automatically do not meet the requirements of membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). The Ambassador of Papua New Guinea to the Republic of Indonesia, Commodore (Ret) Peter Ilau, DMS, CBE confirmed this in a series of interviews with Netralnews.com in Papua New Guinea Embassy office in Jakarta last week.
"MSG has a very clearly in its charter that whoever wants to be a member has to be sovereign country, so West Papua is not sovereign country that automatically they don’t qualify for membership," said Ambassador Peter Ilau.
Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an international organization made up of four countries in Melanesia, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak National Liberation Front of New Caledonia.
The International organization whose existence is more on Melanesia ethnicity (descent) has strong enough influence. The Indonesian government under President Jokowi seems to look at and consider also the strategic of MSG.
So that in June 2015 Indonesia was accepted as a partner member. Indonesia's entry into MSG of course after MSG thought that Indonesia is a country that is also inhabited by Melanesian descent such as residents of East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and entire population in Papua.
Ambassador Peter Ilau said that MSG indeed contained Kanak National Liberation Front in the New Caledonia which is not a sovereign state.

"The Kanak for New Caledonia is a special case because the French government gave them endorsement to be a member of MSG. It is not different the government of Indonesia gave endorsement to West Papua, which probably never happen. But there is a case for the Kanak [received by MSG] and Kanak that endorsed by the government of French. That's why they are member and in MSG the charter is very clear: You have to be a sovereign country, independent to be the member of MSG," Peter Ilau asserted.
Information background, Papua separatist group, which is the member of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and also OPM, failed to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group during a Summit held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Thursday, July 14, 2016. This dashed hopes of the movement to be recognized as member of group of countries that are in the Pacific Islands. (*)

Solomon Islands police to partner with Indonesia
According to the police minister of Solomon Islands, the country's police force is looking to enter a co-operation agreement with the Indonesian National Police. Peter Shanel and other police ministers of Melanesian Spearhead Group member countries had a conference in Jakarta this month, following meetings of MSG police commissioners. RNZI report ( 27 March)  

In a RNZI report (4 April) The Solomon Islands government says its strong stance on issues relating to West Papua is separate from proposed policing co-operation with Indonesia. Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka however said any co-operation arrangement with Indonesia comes under existing bilateral relations and does not compromise the country's stance on West Papua. "We are at liberty to maintain our good relationship with any country." "Therefore in terms of policing if the ministry of police and corrections see that this is in line with our policy and it is best for our Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that should be quite acceptable," he said. 

Australia, RI strengthen renewed defense ties
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryucudu met with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne in Sydney on Thursday, taking further steps forward since mending ties over a military spat that prompted the suspension of military cooperation. The two met during the annual Defense Ministers’ Meeting.
Ryamizard conveyed his appreciation for Australia’s efforts to resolve an incident that involved one of its military language facilities in November that led to postponed cooperation between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Australian Defense Force for two months. He expressed “happiness over the resumption of military cooperation between the two countries,” according to a Defense Ministry statement. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo agreed with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to fully restore defense cooperation, training exchange and activities during a state visit to Australia in February.
Putting behind past troubles, Ryamizard and Payne discussed, among other things, strengthening defense cooperation in the field of science and technology. Ryamizard particularly emphasized Indonesia’s efforts to develop its defense cybersecurity. (Jakarta Post March 17)

West Papuan people in Timika rally to support global petition and Swim for West Papua
APRIL 1, 2017

In Timika, over a thousand people gathered in a rally to show their support for the Global Petition for West Papua and the Swim for West Papua team that will carry it to the United Nations in August 2017. All participants held up hand-signed posters, reading “We support #BackTheSwim #LetWestPapuaVote INTERNATIONALLY SUPERVISED VOTE FOR WEST PAPUA

Hundreds of people take to street in Papua
14th March 2017
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Hundreds of people from Solidaritas Peduli Bangsa (Nation Care Solidarity) took to the street at the Timika Indah Traffic Roundabout, Tuesday, voicing their opposition to Freeport Indonesia and affirming their support to the government. The people thronged the street around the roundabout since around 9 a.m. local time and brought along an Indonesian flag and pamphlets bearing messages in support of the government.

Tanzil Azharie, the coordinator of the movement, stated that the peaceful demonstration was held as a mark of support to the government for its efforts in handling the complex situation involving Freeport Indonesia and the local government. The demonstrators also voiced eight points of action regarding the issue, including urging Freeport Indonesia to abide by the rules in Indonesia, especially Law Number 4 of 2009 and Government Regulation Number 1 of 2017 that necessitates the company to change its status into a Special Mining Permit and divesting as much as 51 percent of its shares.

The masses also urged Freeport to build a smelter and pay water tax worth Rp3.5 trillion to the Papua government.
 Another demand made was that Freeport should give greater attention to the seven tribes in the Mimika Sub-district where the mine is located. Freeport should also take responsibility of the generated waste that has lead to environmental damage.  They also demanded that Freeport should be held accountable for its selfish acts when it fired its employees without giving prior notice. The masses took to the street for around two hours until around 11 a.m. local time. The activity proceeded peacefully, with around 20 police personnel guarding the masses.(*) (Antara 14 March).

Kontras Lists Human Rights Violations in Indonesia
TEMPO (15 March) reported that  the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), drew 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. On the list, No  17 was “The future of justice in Papua”.

TNI to Build Missile Detachment in Bintuni Bay, West Papua
APRIL, 2017
TEMPO.COBintuni - Commander of Military District (Kodam) XVIII Kasuari of the National Armed Forces (TNI), Major General Joppie Onesimus Wayangkau mentioned about the missile detachment that is set to be established in Bintuni Bay, West Papua.  The detachment, which will be equipped with radar monitors, is included in Kodam’s new strategic territorial plan to secure vital state assets in West Papua. One of them is the oil and gas refinery operated by SKK Migas and BP Tangguh. “We’ll establish one missile detachment under Kodam XVIII Kasuari to secure vital state assets such as the oil and gas mine that are located here,” Wayangkau said on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

Wayangkau also said that they are responding to reports coming in from the local residents regarding drone activities in the area. According to the reports, drone activities have been spying and troubling the people living in the vicinity of Bintuni Bay and the people working at the mining companies. “We have received information about the mysterious spy drone, but we’re having difficulty in detecting it since Papua only has two tracking radars that are located in Biak and Sorong,” Wayangkau said. Bintuni Bay Regent, Petrus Kasihiu, fully supports the plan of establishing a missile detachment in his region. His administration will provide the land needed for the construction. “We will definitely prepare the land, Bintuni Bay regional government welcomes Kodam XVIII Kasuari for the unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI),” Kasihiu said.

West Papuan man shot dead by the Indonesian police in Yapen. 
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has received urgent witness reports that today, 27thMarch 2017, West Papuan man Maikel Merani was executed by the Indonesian police in Konti Unai village, Yapen. A media statement giving a brief chronology of events on ULMWP webpage at    https://www.ulmwp.org/4966-2

Uganda parliament pledges support for West Papua independence 
The Parliament of Uganda has pledged to support West Papua, a province of Indonesia fighting for independence to realise its dream.   This is after its leader petitioned parliament and presented heartrending accounts of sufferings under the rule of the island nation.    In a petition presented to the Parliament deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya on Friday, Jacob Rumbiak, the executive director of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) said they want Uganda to influence other countries in the region to support their bid for independence at the United Nations…………………..

Federal Republic of West Papua’s Jacob Rumbiak (left) hands over a the country's flag to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah , during a courtesy visit to Parliament on April 7, 2017. Photo by Kennedy Oryema - 

Freeport brings ‘no benefits’ to Papuan people, say Jakarta protesters

 Papuans protesting over the Freeport mine in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Image: CNN Indonesia

The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) have held a joint action with the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua] in front of the offices of PT Freeport Indonesia in Jakarta demanding that the mining company with headquarters in the United States halt its mining activities in Papua because it “harms the people”. In another protest in the central Javanese city of Yogyakarta on Friday, police moved in on students demanding the closure of the Freeport Indonesia and self-determination for the West Papuan nation near their university and broke up the rally.
Frans Nawipa from the AMP said that over the past 50 years in which Freeport had conducted mining activities on Papuan land there had not been the slightest benefit obtained by the Papuan people…

Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.

Dates for 48th PIF and Related Meetings Conf 
Samoa will host the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting from 4th to 8th September 2017.

Political risk of neglecting inequality in Papua

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

Environmental Damage, Social Conflicts Overshadow Future of Indonesia’s Palm Oil Sector

Blocking Papua from the Truth

Petition seeks NZ govt stand on abuses in West Papua

Man fined $500 for West Papua protest at Indonesian consulate

Papua allowed to speak out 

AWPA Feb. update

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