Tuesday, March 6, 2018

1) Melanesian Spearhead Group spat over Indonesia spills over

2) DPM says Fiji should apologise
3) Women stand on knitting bark splints nokens
4)  Papua is in the hands of a retired military officer
5) A learning method by Papua Teaching Movement 
6) In Indonesia, family support groups tackle roots of gender violence

1) Melanesian Spearhead Group spat over Indonesia spills over
1 minute ago

Fiji has hit back at the deputy prime minister of Solomon Islands over criticism about the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Speaking in the Solomons parliament yesterday, Manasseh Sogavare said Fiji should apologise for bringing Indonesia into the MSG.
He said Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama breached MSG procedure by forcing the other four full members to accept Indonesia as part of the sub-regional grouping, whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and FLNKS Kanaks movement of New Caledonia.
Indonesia was admitted to the MSG with observer status in 2011 after Mr Bainimara assumed the MSG's rotational chairmanship.
"There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries," Mr Sogavare claimed.
In 2015 Indonesia had its status in the group elevated. This remains a complicating factor as the MSG wrestles with the sensitive issue of a West Papuan membership bid.
However, in response, Fiji's Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who often represents Fiji at MSG summits, denied Mr Sogavare's claim that the MSG didn't reach consensus on the issue.
"I think he is either suffering from memory loss or trying to play politics with his own constituents," said Ratu Inoke.
"He has forgotten that it was during his term as chair of the MSG when Indonesia was admitted to the MSG as an associate member. All members of the MSG had agreed."

Mr Sogavare had chaired the 2015 meeting in Honiara where, according to Ratu Inoke, MSG leaders reached consensus about Indonesia's status in the group.
"I cannot really understand why he is making this statement, trying to put the blame on our prime minister, because all the (MSG) members agreed to admit Indonesia as an associate member," said the Fiji minister.
Following the 2015 summit, Mr Sogavare spoke of how bringing Indonesia into the fold had been polarising for MSG leaders.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua was itself granted observer status in the MSG in 2015, but its application for full membership continues to divide the five full members.
At their latest summit in Port Moresby last month, MSG leaders approved new clarifications on guidelines around membership in the group.
The Liberation Movement's application has been referred to the MSG secretariat for processing, but Fiji and Papua New Guinea have signalled they remain opposed to the pro-independence West Papuans being given full membership.
Of the other full members of the group, Vanuatu and the FLNKS appear firmly in support of the Papuan bid.

Solomon Islands had until recently also been strongly in support of giving West Papuans full membership in the MSG. But when Mr Sogavare was ousted as prime minister late last year, and replaced by Rick Hou, that support appeared to dim.
The position of PNG and Fiji on the West Papua membership issue had been "really clear", accordig to Ratu Inoke.
"And the new prime minister of Solomon Islands, in the last meeting in Port Moresby, about three weeks ago, he took a similar position," he said.
Mr Sogavare however remains a strong influence in government, and his stand on the Papua issue appears unlikely to diminish.
"Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest," said Mr Sogavare.
Echoing recent statements by Vanuatu's government, Mr Sogavare said the MSG's founding aim of working to decolonise all Melanesian peoples was at risk.


2) DPM says Fiji should apologise
06 March 2018

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Sogavare says Fiji Prime Minister (PM) should apologise to the member countries of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for admitting Indonesia as an associate member.
Speaking on the floor of parliament yesterday, DPM says Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to the MSG member countries for admitting Indonesia as an associate member which was totally un-procedural.

“There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries.”

He said Fiji PM solely made the decision to admit Indonesia into MSG and forced the member countries to endorse it.

But DPM revealed that when it comes to the application for membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) into MSG, Fiji PM talks about the strict criteria to be followed to become a member.

“Which continue to be a difficulty for ULMWP to become a full member of MSG,” said the DPM.

Sogavare said the application by ULMWP is consistent with that of the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLINKS) of New Caledonia when they apply for membership.

DPM was speaking during the question and answer session in Parliament when Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/Langalanga Matthew Wale asked PM Rick Hou to answer the questions related to his apology MSG member countries for the sour relationship over the past years.

He said, MSG is a purely political body to free Melanesia from colonisation but this is not the case today as their interests have been shifted from its fundamental purpose that establish the organisation.

Mr Sogavare said, if MSG stands on the very purpose and the founding principles upheld by the MSG leaders who started the organisation there should not be any difficulty in admitting ULMWP full membership.

He said ULMWP is a political entity representing the indigenous people of West Papua who a Melanesians, so there is no problem to admit them full membership in MSG.

Arguing that MSG has been shift from its original purpose to protects the rights and freedom of Melanesia from colonialism.

“Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest.”

He concluded that Fiji and Papua New Guinea strongly allied with Indonesia therefore their relationship continues to sabotage the work of MSG to uphold its purpose.



3) Women stand on knitting bark splints nokens
Kristina Yoman, a 53-year-old woman from Lanny Region and mother of two daugters, always knit bark splints for producing noken, a Papuan traditional knitted bag, in her spare time. Everyday she works in her garden where is planted with lemongrasses, cassavas, sweet potatoes, galangals and other crops. Then she sells the harvest of her crops every afternoon in the front of shop located in Sentani. Her daughter, who’s not even one year old, always accompanies her.
While waiting for customers, she knits a noken. “I used to make a bark splints noken. In the past, only few people make it. So our income is good enough. But it’s different now. In addition, many people are more likely to by a noken made of yarn from factories,” she told Jubi. She admitted to keep choosing bark splints for her noken. Generally she made it based on order. “In the past, customers liked my creation, therefore they bought it for a gift for their children, sisters, friends and partners. But it’s only a few of customers now. Because many people are now using yarns to make their nokens, as a result, customers prefer to buy those yarn nokens,” she said.
She explained that the process of the production of bark splints noken is quite difficult, and having the bark splints is the most difficult part, because it should be imported from the mountainous areas or Jayapura Region. For these reasons, the quality of materials is not the same. “Some bark splints nokens are washable, while some aren’t. They can be shattered. On the other hands, using yarns is relatively easy. You just buy it and knit it as you wish,” she said.
She usually makes nokens based on the customers’ orders, whether it is a small or big size. Therefore, she always asks her customers before making it. Based on her experience, people mostly like to order the small size than the big one. She told the bark materials are coming from certain trees in the forest, such as kulok, kewa, genemu and so on. Those are usually used in Jayapura. Meanwhile their names could be different in Batom, the border of Pegunungan Bintang and other regions. (*)
Reporter : Yance Wenda


4)  Papua is in the hands of a retired military officer
Arrived at around 06.20 a.m. in Sentani Airport, Jayapura on Tuesday, 27 February 2018, Sudomo slowly stepped down from the airplane. A huge ceramic platter was laid in front of him. Accompanied by dance and the blow of tifa (Papua musical instrument), he received a flower necklace and noken (Papuan traditional bag) and crowned with cassowary feather crown. This procession was to welcoming him as the Governor in Charge while the Governor Lukas Enembe is on leave due to his intention to compete in the current election.
Hard Work for Papua
 An assumption that Papua is one of the risked conflict areas in regional election has required him to work hard. He should maintain the neutrality of government during the provincial election and a series of seven regional elections. He has to be neutral and acts as a mentor who has no hidden mission for the interest of any particular party.
“Welcome to Papua. As legislator, I hope the governor in charge could carry out of his duty very well, and support the implementation of the elections. He mustn’t out of this frame,” said Laurenzus Kadepa, member of the Government, Politics, Legal and Human Rights Commission of Papuan House of Representative on Tuesday (27/2/2018). So far, Kadepa, who’s also politician from National Democrat Party, believes that Sudarmo will do his task in good manner. He did not mind about Sudarmo’s background as former military general. In his opinion, whoever appointed for this position is still a representation of the central government in regions.
Meanwhile, the lecture of Public Administration of the Social and Political Science of the University of Cenderawasih, Dr. Yan Bonsapia, S.Sos, M.AP analyse this appointment must be well determined. The minister certainly had a careful consideration, and believed that Sudarmo has ability to replace the on-leave Governor Lukas Enembe to run the government. Even though, according to Regulation No. 74 2016 of the Minister of Domestic Affairs, the provincial government should propose a candidate of governor in charge. “So I think there is no problem. If we talk about the challenges, I think we should refer to what is he capable to observe the situation in Papua and to implement this task properly,” said Bonsapia to Jubi. He must really understand about the condition and culture of Papuans, especially in this current political situation. “But was this appointment already suitable with the mechanism? If yes, it means someone is already prepared and ready to do it. If there is a candidate for governor in the province, why not he be chosen as in charge? But if not, I think the minister already considered it,” he said.
Before Sudarmo was appointed as the governor in charge, there was a polemic in many parties in Papua. His background as a former high-rank military officer was the reason. However, the First Deputy of Papua People’s Assembly Jimmy Mabel said it was the central government’s decision. It was made to ensure the government would run well in Papua during the election. “It is a worry in regards to his status as a former military major general. It’s normal but we cannot inhibit the central government’s decision. Like or dislike, we must accept it.” said Mabel.
Sudarmo’s Track Records
Even though 

he was a military officer, referring to his track records, Sudarmo had a lot of experiences in government. He was the Aceh Governor in Charge. “We suggest that firstly the governor in charge should invite all customary, religious and community leaders to sit together. Then he talks to the Papua People’s Assembly and Papuan House of Representative about the real condition of Papua,” said Mabel. Furthermore, according to him, the governor in charge needs to conduct a bureaucratically approach with the regional leaders communication forum. He believes if this intercommunication were well established, the government and election in Papua would be well achieved.
Governor in Charge Sudarmono expects that all Papuan communities accept him. He is currently responsible for five tasks. Besides replacing the on-leave Governor Lukas Enembe, he must run the government by involving all stakeholders, such as Papua People’s Assembly, Papuan House of Representative and all members of the regional leaders communication forum.  He will also coordinate with all tribe chiefs in order to support the implementation of peaceful, safety and integrated election.
“The second task is to facilitate the current election, so it can be implemented peacefully and successfully. The third one is I have to able to prevent and maintain the regional security and people safety in Papua,” said Sudarmono when arrived in Sentani Airport. Another task is to fulfil the vacant position as soon as possible, but it must have permission from the Minister of Domestic Affairs. “My task is also including to determine the regional regulation if it’s necessary, in this case I have to work with Papuan House of Representative and have permission from the Minister of Domestic Affairs,” he said.
The Minister of Domestic Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo as launched by CNN Indonesia, on Monday (26/2/2018) has inaugurated the Major General (Retired) Sudarmo as Papua Governor in Charge at the minister office in Jakarta. “This appointment would be applied until 9 April 2018,” he said. The minister in particular asked Sudarmo to maintain the security in Papua during the simultaneously election. He also has been asked to synergise with all elements.
As quoted from humas.acehprov.go.id, the Major General  (Retired) Sudarmo was born Tulung Agung, East Java on 28 September 1956. He was the Aceh Governor in Charge from 28 October 2016 to 11 February 2017. His career in government has been started when he was appointed as the Director General of Politics and Government of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs in mid 2015. Before appointed for this position, he altered his status as high-military officer to civil servant. His last position in military was an expert in the field of ideology and politics of the State’s Intelligent Body.
Sudarmo, who was graduated from the Academy of Indonesian Military in 1983, had greater experiences in the field of defence and intelligent. He served in the Army Intelligent Service (Pusintelad) and run the defence operations in Dilli, Timor Timur and Irian Jaya with General Gatot Nurmantyo, former Indonesian Military Commander, then appointed as a defence attaché for the Indonesian Embassy in Singapura from 1995 to 1997, and become a staff for Legal and Security of the Indonesian Embassy for Malaysia. He occupied the position of defence attaché for the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2003 to 2006.
After serving in the field of defence and security in many countries, Sudarmo finally joined the National Intelligent Body as the Director of Sumatera and Kalimantan, Second Deputy of National Intelligent Body before he was inaugurated as the National Intelligent Body Chief of East Kalimantan on 6 March 2012 and expert in the field of ideology and politics of the National Intelligent Body on 15 September 2014. Since 26 June 2016, he should ended his career in the National Intelligent Body and military because he was assigned for a new position as the Director General of Politics and Public Administration of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs. Now, less than a year he occupied the position in the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, he got lots of appreciation from many parties in regards to his performance, in particular concerning to the successful implementation of simultaneously election in 269 regions in Indonesia on 9 December 2015. (*)
Repoter : Arjuna Pademme
5) A learning method by Papua Teaching Movement 

It is not like common classes where pupils are always being quite and tense, playing games is a learning method for a group of children.  They blend with the nature. Their jokes and laughers fill the atmosphere during the learning.  Their joyfulness is often made teachers to stop for a while to laugh with them. These children are joined the learning group called Papua Learning Movement (GPM).
One of the pupils is Elvius Wakur, 13 years old, the son of Westen Wakur. He lives in Buper and joined the study group because he thinks learning is important. “We usually learn how to draw, count, listen to folk stories, reading a story book, and learn how to write and read as well. I prefer reading the fairy tales, counting and reading a book, and learning together,” said Elvius who is a pupil of VI-A SMP YPPK Padang Bulan. Everyday he must go to his school by public transport, but sometimes he goes with his brother who is a student of STM (Vocational High School) Kotaraja.
GPM Chairman, Alex Giyai, said the organisation was established on 20 February 2012 based on the initiative of Yohana Pulalo, a civil servant of the Provincial Papua Government. She solicited other current members because she thought the learning is important. “So, the first discussion was running, which was attended by Agus Kadepa, Andi Tangihuma, Aleks Giyai, Alfonsa Wayap, Hengky Yeimo, and Arnold Belau. After that we agreed to run the activity,” he told Jubi on Monday, 19 February 2018.  Then another members came for joining.
Pulalo was inspired to establishing this organisation when she saw the children of Papuan women traders in Expo Waena. “There are many children at Buper, so she gathered the children and taught them every afternoon for two months by herself, until some of friends came to join her to encourage the establishment of this study group,” she said.
The presence of GPM is important because these children are victims of city development. Because their parents make a living from morning to afternoon and their children were neglected. “We pay attention to people who live in the suburbs because they are marginalised from development,” he said.
There are twelve volunteers in GPM, but only five remain active. GPM has run its activity in two places, Buper and Kotaraja. Within a week, the learning activity is conducted three days in Buper and three days in a kiosk in Kotaraja. The children were divided into two groups in three levels of learning activities.
Level one is aimed to those who are not able to read and write, they are usually not-attended school and first grade children. While the second level is aimed for those who are already know how to count, read and write but still with efforts. They are generally first to third grade student. In the third level, children are introduced to advance reading such as novel, folks, and academic textbook because most of them are generally in junior high school or minimum fourth grade of the elementary school. The class is opened from 15.30 p.m. to 18.00 p.m.
“So far the number of children who join the GPM class are more than 20 children in Buper and 16 children in Kotaraja,” said Giyai. He added not all of these children go to the formal school, but some of them cannot attend the formal school because of their age. 

 GPM teaches children aged 6 to 17 years.
He said GPM expects this learning activity can develop a contextual education in Papua, therefore it can eliminate the illiteracy among Papuan generation. “GPM progress is significant since it was built in 2013 to 2018. So it has been 5 years,” he said. Its progress indicator is pupils can read and count. Even one of them can have the second rank in her class. “Currently our challenge is some of the parents are still not trusting us as a group of volunteers who really want to teach,” he said. GPM activist,
Tresia Tekege, said her reason to join this group is because she wants to share her knowledge to her juniors. “I hope that they can be improve and give the best for their country and become a master on this Black Pearl country which is rich with milk and honey,” she said. Represented the parents, the Reverence Welkies Kogoya, appreciated this activity. “We didn’t trust them their presence to teach our children at the beginning, but after five years of their integrity, we believe that they really teach and educate our children,” he said. (*)
Reporter : Agus Pabika

Editor : Pipit Maizier


6) In Indonesia, family support groups tackle roots of gender violence

5 March 2018
JAYAPURA, Indonesia – “My daughter used to hide all sorts of things from me,” said Martina, 41, at a support group session in Jayapura, in the far-eastern Indonesian province of West Papua. “But here, we learn to talk to each other openly, equally as friends, and she shares far more now – about problems at school, about boys and growing up.”
Martina and her daughter are not alone. Many families need guidance to become more open about these difficult subjects.
Traditional attitudes towards family and gender-roles prevail in West Papua, where jobs are scarce, infrastructure and services are weak, and poverty is widespread. Young people are often unwilling to approach adults with questions or concerns about relationships. 
Yet having a reliable source of support is critical in a community where violence is all too common. According to a report published in 2015, 60 per cent of men in Jayapura reported they had committed physical or sexual violence against an intimate partner. Nearly half of men reported believing that women should tolerate abuse to keep their family together. 
Martina’s support group is working to bring young people and caregivers together, improve communication skills, and diffuse conflict – part of broader efforts to end violence in the community.
Run by the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association, with support from UNFPA and Partners for Prevention, the programme aims to tackle the attitudes that fuel violence against women. 
“By helping young people and others in the community talk openly about relationships between the sexes, along with sexual and reproductive health and consent, we’re giving them the tools they need to build happy and rewarding relationships for the future,” explained Grace Temongmere, a UNFPA project officer in Jayapura. 

“I understand how they feel”

Budi Astuti, 41, became a group facilitator after solving a problem with violence in her own life.
“The impact [of the training I received] was easy to share, because through my own experiences, I understand how they feel,” she said. 
“The programme looks at gender issues, including gender-based violence, and also how that links up with the risk of HIV,” said Ms. Astuti. Research shows violence can increase the risk of HIV, and vice versa.

“But the most important thing was that, by working with other facilitators, by sharing our experiences and what we learned, I saw my situation differently and changed my own life,” she said.

Courage and change

Thirteen-year-old Rivaldo Taime was empowered to change his own life, as well.
He often shielded his younger brother when their father returned home in one of his whiskey-fuelled rages. Substance abuse is prevalent in Jayapura, a factor closely associated with violence.

“He used to drink all the time,” recalled Emma, Rivaldo’s mother. “He would get home, yell at my children and smash things up.”
She added, “My husband and my boys weren’t close. They barely even talked.”
But Rivaldo did something few youth have the courage to do – he reached out for help. And he found the support group. 
“We learned about emotional violence, physical and sexual violence,” Rivaldo said of the group. “I also learned how to calm people down.”
Eventually, Rivaldo convinced his father to join the group sessions with him.
Life is still far from perfect. But slowly, things are improving, Emma says.
“After [my husband] joined the programme, [my husband and Rivaldo] share more. They’re much closer, and they sit down together and talk things through.”
Hundreds reached
“Over 14 months, the project has reached 131 adolescents and over 131 caregivers,” said Michiyo Yamada, who heads the Partners for Prevention programme, which also works in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam. 
These efforts have been shown to reduce the incidence of violence among participants. In Papua New Guinea, for example, intimate partner violence fell by 10 per cent in just under one year.
“By empowering girls, young people and families to communicate more effectively, we’re chipping away at the negative gender-related beliefs that fuel violence against women and girls, and so stopping violence before it even starts,” said Ms. Yamada
The project in West Papua is now winding down, she noted, but its popularity and success have convinced local governments, community leaders and volunteers to try to keep the support groups going.
– Matthew Taylor  

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