Monday, May 15, 2017

1) Papuans join waves of support for Ahok

2) Strides in infrastructure not enough for Papua: Leader
3) A Thousand Candles For The Death Of Human Rights In Papua Held in Wamena, Not For Ahok
4) Planting ‘good fruit’
1) Papuans join waves of support for Ahok
Jayapura, Papua | Mon, May 15, 2017 | 07:31 pm
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post

Thousands of Jayapura citizens in Papua stage a rally to support the release of inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama from detention on Monday, May 15. (JP/Courtesy of Yulika Anastasia)

Thousands of citizens of Jayapura in Papua have joined waves of national and international support for the release of non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama from detention as well as to save the state ideology of Pancasila from efforts to undermine it.
The four-kilometer long march from Papua Regional Representatives (DPRD) to the governor’s office on Monday, which was coordinated by Ecumenical Council of Churches in Papua (PGGP), also demanded the dissolution of Islamic hard-line group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and the arrest of FPI leader Rizieq Shihab.
PGGP chairman, Catholic bishop Leo Laba Ladjar stated that radicalism in Indonesia had reached an alarming level. “We believe the radical movements trouble our security and nationhood. We are becoming polarized,” he stated.
Many believe that the North Jakarta District Court’s decision to sentence Ahok to two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy on May 9 was the result of pressure from hardline groups.
Addressing the rally at his office, Papua deputy governor Klemen Tinal said “the rally’s aspiration is to remind us that we live in the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] under Pancasila and the UUD 45 Constitution.”
Every evening since May 10, Jayapura residents have held a candle light vigil at Imbi park to support Ahok.
Ahok’s conviction has sparked protests from thousands of Indonesians nationwide and worldwide, who have staged gatherings demanding authorities release him from prison, as well as to support the unity of Indonesia against Islamic radicalism. 
2) Strides in infrastructure not enough for Papua: Leader
Jayapura, Papua | Thu, May 11, 2017 | 09:29 pm
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post

Massive infrastructure developments in Papua during President Joko “Jokowi" Widodo’s administration should be appreciated by those in the province, but more needs to be done to develop the region, said religious leader Rev. Sofyan Yoman on Thursday.
“I appreciate President Jokowi’s several visits to the land of the Melanesian people. Honestly and openly, I want to convey to you, Pak Jokowi, that your frequent visits to West Papua and massive developments of road and bridge infrastructure show that the central government pays attention to the Melanesian people in the region. However, these two approaches have not yet tackled the core of problems in West Papua and are not the best and most effective solutions to the problems,” Yoman said on Thursday.
Among core problems he referred to included systematic and structural violations of human rights in Papua, which he said had been ongoing for 50 years.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and Papua Legislative Council Speaker Yunus Wonda expressed gratitude toward Jokowi for the attention his administration gave to Indonesia's easternmost region.
Yunus pointed out that in Jokowi’s three years of leadership, he visited Papua six times and brought rapid progress in infrastructure.
Enembe said he would support the President running for a second term. “We support Bapak for a second term to continue the development here,” the governor said. (dis/ebf)
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

3) A Thousand Candles For The Death Of Human Rights In Papua Held in Wamena, Not For Ahok

Action of a thousand candles for the death of human rights enforcement in Papua ayng held in Wamena, Papua. (Elisa Silence - SP)

WAMENA, - In the middle of the solidarity action for Ahok across Indonesia and Papua in particular, a number of communities, human rights activists and journalists in Wamena waved thousands of candles for the death of humanity over the many cases of human rights violations in Papua and especially in the Central Highlands of Papua Never settled.

The action of the death wax of human rights violation in Papua was held at RumahBina Baku Peduli Wamena on Friday (05/12/2017) with a number of posters that read "Solidarity from Wamena for humanity and resolve of Papua Human Rights case".

Ence Floriano from Yayasan Teratai Hati Papua (YTHP) revealed that this action is a humanitarian action in the midst of thousands of candles for Ahok that many things are forgotten, even the Papuans themselves forget the many cases of human rights violations that have not been resolved.

"This candle act is a humanitarian act that we forget, even the Papuans themselves have forgotten many cases of human rights violations that have not been resolved until now and surprisingly even though the case is heavy there is no solidarity like Ahok" said Ence.

Ence also said, with the action of the death wax of this humanity is not a form of hatred against Ahok, but this needs to be fought, but many cases of human rights violations in Papua that have not been resolved in Papua should be fought.

"So the momentum when people are vocal about justice for Ahok, this is also the momentum for us to fight back the humanity that is being harassed in various cases of human rights violations in Papua," he said.

He hopes that the action of a thousand candles for humanity will inspire the solidarity of humanity from the Papuan people, as well as the people of Indonesia and even the world to fight for humanity, not just one case, but there are many humanitarian cases related to human rights cases.

Action of a thousand candles for the death of human rights enforcement in Papua ayng held in Wamena, Papua. (Elisa Silence - SP)

Anum Siregar, Director of the Papua Democracy Alliance (ALDP), said the action of a thousand waxes is part of an ongoing effort to increase the number of human rights abuses in Papua, especially in the Central Highlands of Papua.

"We continue to warn that cases of human rights violations are still widespread in Papua, especially in the mountainous regions of Papua. Yesterday the president's visit to the development of road construction infrastructure, but we must not forget there is the most important thing is human rights violations that continue to be voiced by the community, "said Siregar.

He added that this part is part of their efforts to keep reminding, but also to invite more people to fight about human rights enforcement in the Land of Papua.


Pewarta: Elisa Silence

Editor: Arnold Belau

4) Planting ‘good fruit’
Visit provides support for mission schools

Wayne von Borstel is pictured with locals he met with in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, seen in the background map. He was among 14 members of Calvary Baptist Church in The Dalles who visiting there to provide support for teachers, who face multiple cultural obstacles. The man next to him is holding a machete, a common tool needed in the jungle environment. Contributed photo

Wayne von Borstel remembers the first few schools he built for the impoverished. 
They were in Africa, and they were big and beautiful. But he saw them as monuments to American wealth, plopped incongruously amongst grass huts.
Von Borstel, who owns von Borstel & Associates, an investment firm with locations in The Dalles and Portland, decided he would take a different approach.
Three or four years ago, he talked with somebody “who knew a guy who knew a guy that knew a guy that was crazy in the jungles of Indonesia. That’s what I was looking for, is crazy.”
He learned about Scott and Heidi Wisley, a Christian missionary couple who did the unthinkable and began schooling their own children with the locals in Papua, Indonesia. The norm was to either move away once kids became school age, or send them to boarding school.
But the Wisleys decided to enlist the locals to build humble schools in their humble surroundings, and they are educating their own children alongside the locals. They have three schools now, teaching 300 students in three villages in an area called the highlands. Their program is called Ob Anggen, which means “good fruit.”
One of the things Wisley wanted most was to have someone come “love on” the teachers, von Borstel said. So he convinced a 14-strong contingent from Calvary Baptist Church in The Dalles to go there recently for the sole purpose of providing moral support to the teachers at the three schools.
They didn’t dig a single ditch, or pound a single nail, von Borstel said. They just hung out with the teachers who, because of local norms, face hostility across the board.

It was a deeply emotional time. When meeting the locals, he said, “they cry in joy. They hug you and start slobbering and crying and snot is going, and this goes on for about five minutes.”
The group split up, supporting the 40 teachers. “Their families don’t like them to go there, the villages don’t like them. The parents don’t respect them. There is no support for them. We spent a week building relationships and giving love to people that don’t get any love from anybody else,” he said.
Many of the teachers, some with master’s degrees, could make more money elsewhere, which angers their families. 
Most of the teachers are native Papuans, “but you can’t put the teachers in their own village, because if you do, their system of uncles — everybody is your uncle — if your uncle asks you to give them a computer [from the school] you have to give them a computer.”
The schools, largely built and paid for by locals as a means of instilling pride, were founded in 2007, and each year a grade is added as the oldest kids move up. Now, they are looking for someone to teach junior high. If they can’t find one, the kids will have to go elsewhere for education or stop going.

He said any person who took the job would see their life changed. 
He added that if an American took the job, “they would probably get the best house in town because they kind of have got it figured out what Americans are like.”
About two-thirds of the teachers are indigenous and a third are from the other islands of Indonesia, a country just north of Australia. “There’s one Hispanic American there,” von Borstel said. “There’s Americans that come in, and there’s a natural jealousy. The locals are black and curly haired and the ones that come from outside are straight-hairs and there’s a little bit of a problem with that. People are people everywhere. People are jealous and create little walls. America has no corner on that market. It’s just different levels.”
He said they were formerly a hunter-gatherer society that was literally untouched by modern civilization as recently as 40 years ago. Now, the men, the former hunters and protectors, have no work and the women raise gardens. They collect government payments and “welfare has taken all their pride away.”
Many of the kids have no parents at home, he said. Very few have two parents.
He said the kids there “have to have the strength and the ability to get out of what is normal there now. And hopefully we’re teaching the leaders of tomorrow. I don’t know. All we can do is give them love and education and try.”
He said, “We in America talk about kids having no chance – these kids have no chance.”
One battle had to be fought with the government itself. The typical government school doesn’t even have teachers in attendance. They just show up a couple times a week before a national test, give the students the answers, and oversee the cheating on the test itself.
“We have the first class in the highlands that passed a national test without cheating,” von Borstel said. “We thought our kids were smart enough to pass, and they all did.”
They had to struggle to keep the cheating functionaries away. “The administration actually walked into the classrooms with the answer sheets and asked the kids and the kids had to say they did not want the answers,” he said. “We’re trying to change that little corner of the world.” 
He added, “Can we bring our faith in, our beliefs in and be a positive thing? And sometimes you have to wonder if you’re being positive or negative because it’s not all black and white.”

He said the locals would describe themselves as Christian, “but one of their biggest concerns is flying witches.
“Their parents were converted and were strong Christians. It’s a pretty interesting mix of spirits. It’s a spirit world. Girls trying to appease the spirits. Older women walk around with no fingers because every time something bad happens they cut off one of their fingers to appease the spirits.”
The schools are a target, and just recently, someone threatened to kill the principal at one of them. “It’s a revenge society,” von Borstel said. “But they found a non-racist way to get around [the problem] so supposedly they aren’t going to kill him now.”
Another school was “having elections and they were literally having a civil war where the people were having to shoot guns to keep them from killing each other,” he said.
Von Borstel said, “I’ve built schools around the world and support schools and they’re all places where you wonder, ‘Why would you go there?’ But I believe God has blessed me and it’s my calling to make a difference in the world, but not on American terms.”
He has funded two schools in Bangladesh and he’s funding a second school in India. He’s helping with the three schools in Papua and he’s helping with a new school in Chad right now. “These are places where nobody would want to go.”
Brian Casady, who works with von Borstel on the schools, was escorted by the army when he went to a location in Bangladesh, because it was so unsafe.
Most of his schools are in Muslim countries, but all are Christian schools. Their mission is both to provide an education and to convert them to Christianity.
“Every place we go is a Christian mission. God has called me to do this. I believe this is my purpose in life. I keep working across the street from you [the Chronicle] so I can continue to afford to do this.”
He got this calling six or seven years ago.
“Most people would look at the schools that I’m helping fund and wonder,” he said. The one he’s building in India he would consider a monument to American wealth, “but the other schools we’re building are shacks. They aren’t fancy schools. We’re just trying to create a safe environment, dry, that’s out of the weather, to go to school.”
He said, “I’m hopeful that 100 years from now, someone will say that I made a difference, that we made a difference. These kids have nothing, and no hope, and we are giving them hope. I don’t know where that will lead. It will be hard to tell. You tell me in 40 years how we did.”

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