Friday, February 2, 2018

1) UN high commissioner to visit Indonesia


1) UN high commissioner to visit Indonesia 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein is scheduled to visit Indonesia next week to observe the human rights situation in the country.

"He will hold discussions with the government, the National Commission on Human Rights, and some other institutions, such as the National Commission for Child Protection, the National Commission on Women, and the Witness and Victims Protection Agency," National Commission on Human Rights chief Ahmad Taufan Damanik said here on Friday.

The visit, he continued, is expected to encourage the commission to improve its performance.

Zeid will also hold a meeting with the South East Asian National Human Rights Institutions Forum and the Indonesian Human Rights Defenders.

The high commissioner`s visit was planned in response to the government`s invitation. He is scheduled to meet with President Joko Widodo and some cabinet ministers to discuss several issues, including the human rights situation in Papua, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, and past cases of human rights abuse.

Reported by Rangga Pandu Asmara Jingga
Editor: Heru Purwanto


Jakarta, Jubi/– Indonesian authorities have issued four new permits for palm oil expansion in the provinces of Papua and West Papua covering an area equivalent to more than 60,000 soccer fields – almost the size of Singapore – major parts of which are comprised of forest with high-density forest cover.
The issuance of these four new palm oil permits by the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) took place from late July to late November 2017, more than a year after President Joko Widodo announced a moratorium on palm oil expansion in mid-April 2016.
The technical process involved in the issuing of the permits was performed by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

“These four new palm oil permits obtained approval in principle from the previous government administration in 2013-2014. The boundary arrangements for these ones are completed. This is an unavoidable legal process needed to proceed in a bureaucratic system in coordination with BKPM.”
Professor Sigit Hardwinarto, the Ministry’s new Director General of Forestry Planology and Environmental Planning, who took up his post in early November last year, explained this in a conversation with (Jan 31) at the ministry building.
He went on to say that, in the event that a legal basis underpinning the palm oil expansion moratorium is issued, concessions which consist of good forest cover – whether from new palm oil permits or old ones – would remain objects for evaluation.
Below are some examples taken from Google Earth images (2010-2014) of the high-density forest cover which dominates the four new palm oil concessions whose permits were issued in Papua and West Papua.
Meanwhile, time-series USGS Landsat 8 and ESA Sentinel-2 images confirm that the new palm oil concessions are still mostly made up of intact forests with their predominating high-density forest cover yet to change.
One of the four new palm oil permits in the Papua region is for a company under the Ganda group, one of the key suppliers to Wilmar International. In fact, part of this new concession has already been developed. As it turns out, another company under this group is also developing new palm oil plantations in Papua by clearing HCS forests.
Most permits on hold
It is worth noting, Professor Sigit continued, that – despite the issuing of these four new permits – as of now there are about 1.5 million hectares for which the processing of new permits – most notably for palm oil concessions – remains on hold by the ministry in the wake of the President’s announcement of the moratorium on palm oil expansion.
“Delaying almost all new permits is one of our strategies for controlling deforestation, while we are waiting for a legal basis supporting the moratorium on palm expansion,” the director general pointed out.
Three of the four new palm oil permits issued in the area are located in West Papua province and the majority of these concessions are composed of high carbon stock (HCS) forests. The following Google Earth images (2010-2014) depict a representation of the present forest cover situation in these three new concessions.
The director general underlined that a legal basis for the palm oil expansion moratorium is also very necessary to assess the extent to which palm oil companies have met their obligation to allocate 20% of their concessions to local communities.
“Current evaluations have shown that the fulfilment of this requirement is very low. This is one of the main concerns that will be seriously addressed,” he cautioned.
The clearing of these intact Papuan forests can only be prevented with the release of a legal basis for implementing the moratorium on palm oil expansion.
In addition, considering the presence of peat ecosystems, including peat protection zones, in parts of the newly-granted concessions, Indonesia’s new peat regulations could also prevent the clearing of these peat ecosystems for new palm oil expansion.(*)

Jayapura, Jubi – Special Autonomy (Otsus) Papua will be ended in 2021, but one of the mandates of Special Autonomy Law, namely the formation of local parties, has not been implemented.
Several years ago, indigenous Papuans formed local political parties. Papua Legislative Assembly (DPR) then issued a special regional regulation (Perdasus) of local political parties. However, the effort was foundered in the hands of central government in Jakarta.
The Minister of Law and Human Rights annulled the decree of local political party, Partai Papua Bersatu. The Minister of Home Affairs also rejected the Perdasus of local political parties, for no apparent reason.

“If there is anything that needs to be fixed in the Perdasus, it should be submitted to us. Sitting with us to discuss that,” said Papua legislator in charge on legislation body, Natan Pahabol to Jubi.
The Papuan House of Representatives will invite Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), as a cultural institution, to jointly promote the recognition of Perdasus and the presence of local political parties in Papua, before the end of Otsus.
“At that time we went alone because MRP members have not been inaugurated. In the future, we will invite them to coordinate with Domestic Affairs Ministry (Kemendagri), to discuss which articles or paragraphs in the Perdasus need to be revised,” said Natan.
If necessary, the Papuan Legislative Assembly will present to the ministry the intention and purpose of forming a local political party in Papua, as it is permitted under the Special Autonomy Law.
“Local political parties need to be formed immediately to accommodate the rights of indigenous Papuans. There is no reason for the central government against it, because it is mandated by the Special Autonomy Law, we do not ask for anything else,” he said.
Political ‘dowries’ to political parties
In the midst of the chaotic nomination of regional heads in Papua, when ‘political dowries’ favored wealthy candidates cannot be avoided, the existence of local political parties is considered necessary.
The so-called local political parties can be the solution to break political transaction links, which are carried out by members of national party at the central board level.
“If we only hope that national political party, whose decision is on the party’s in Jakarta, it is difficult to bring out a figure that is really supported by public, since the recommendation of political party support will lead to ‘political dowry’,” he said.
“That is bad for democracy and deadly for its potential for the region. There are candidates who really supported by the community, but because of dowry, he did not pass it,” he continued.
The existence of local political parties and its Perdasus, are not only rejected by the central government, but also still debated in Papua itself. There are parties who approve the formation of local political parties. However, some are judged to have no permanent legal force.
The mandate of Chapter VII article 28 paragraph 1 in the Special Autonomy Law of Papua said, indigenous Papuans are entitled to establish a political party, not a local political party, so it is not strong enough to be used as a legal reference for the establishment of local political parties.
It need further legal guidance or judicial review to the Constitutional Court (MK), to get a legal certainty of article 28 paragraph 1 in Papua Special Autonomy Law, to avoid multi-interpretation.
From the institutional side, the Papua Election Commission supports the existence of local political parties, even this institution will fight for special KPU Regulation (PKPU), if local political party in Papua have got legal recognition.
“We often discuss the issue of these local political parties at the national level. We have even visited Aceh to see how the local political parties in the province,” said Chairman of KPU Papua, Adam Arisoi.
Adam agrees the need for further legal advice on the establishment of political parties in Special Autonomy Law, as it is not specified.
“This is a broad explanation, so it needs further legal guidance, because it could be a national political party but domiciled in Papua,” he said.
Papua United Party
That is why the efforts of local political parties, Partai Papua Bersatu (Papua United Party) to register as one of the election participants to the Election Commission of Papua, in October 2017 ran aground. KPU does not want to take risks because there is no clear legal umbrella.
“In principle we accept that. But please respect the institution, because we have rules. If it is said that the local political party is legal, we will not refuse,” he said.
The reason KPU Papua could not accommodate local political parties is understandable. In order to perform its duties and functions, KPU refers to the mechanisms in its law and PKPU. A political party is in the Law Number 7 Year 2017 on General Election.
The existence of local Papuan political parties is different from Aceh. Local political parties in ‘Serambi Mecca’ Aceh were recognized by the state because one part of the Helsinki agreement, 2005, said so. They even have three legal forces, which are accommodated by laws, government regulations, and provincial regulations.
Chairman of the Partai Papua Bersatu, Kris Fonataba said that his party established local political parties several years ago, to implement the amendment of the 1945 Constitution and Chapter VII article 28 paragraph 1 of the Special Autonomy Law of Papua, which calls indigenous Papuans entitled to establish a political party.
“We already have 29 regional chapters in 29 districts and cities in Papua. The existence of this local party is an implementation of the Special Autonomy Law,” said Fonataba.(

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