Wednesday, April 25, 2018

1) Facebook still censors West Papua photo – ‘nudity’ or politics?

2) Indonesia hits back over Freeport's Grasberg mine environmental claims
1) Facebook still censors West Papua photo – ‘nudity’ or politics?

                            The Facebook "censored" Ben Bohane image after a "facelift" by the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Facebook has censored a West Papuan image by a Vanuatu-based photojournalist for the second time in less than four days – this time “within one minute” after the photograph was posted.
Port Vila resident Ben Bohane has specialised in Melanesian, kastom (custom) and conflict photography for more than two decades. He runs the agency Wakaphotos and is the author of the book The Black Islands: Spirit and War in Melanesia.
Last weekend, a two-page feature spread authored by him about a perceived threat to the region’s stability because of Indonesian political influence in the Melanesian Spearhead Group was published by the Vanuatu Daily Post under the headline “Caught in a pincer”.
The article was subsequently republished in the Pacific Media Centre’s Asia Pacific Report on Monday under the headline “China? No, let’s face the elephant in the Pacific room”,
Facebook alerts on the Vanuatu Daily Post, Asia Pacific Report, Pacific Media Centre along with Ben Bohane and PMC director Professor David Robie’s newsfeeds were removed with blocks saying the featured image had “violated community standards”.
The Bohane image taken in 1995 showed an armed OPM (Free West Papua) guerilla and several other men wearing traditional nambas (protective sheaths).
The photo has previously appeared in The Black Islands and other outlets, and can be seen in a 2006 Bohane photoessay at Pacific Journalism Review.
Facebook ‘test’
Bohane today carried out a Facebook “test” by posting his OPM image again.
He told Pacific Media Watch that within one minute he was “notified that the content has been removed and I am now banned from posting anything on FB for 24 hours”.
Bohane wrote on his Facebook page:
“Facebook seems to be censoring West Papuan images of mine used in news stories, saying they don’t meet ‘Community Standards’ because of “nudity”. 
“Either that or the Indonesian government is reporting the images to be removed because they don’t want Papuan resistance photos spread on the web. 
“Memo to Facebook – this is how Papuans live! Your ‘Community Standards’ obviously don’t include Melanesian culture. 
“I have sent FB messages to complain, as have some regional news media outlets, and am posting images here as a test to see if they will be removed again and the problem persists….”

2) Indonesia hits back over Freeport's Grasberg mine environmental claims

Jakarta: The Indonesian government has hit back at suggestions that tough new environmental regulations imposed on the giant Grasberg copper mine are politically motivated, or related to the partial-nationalisation of the mine.
The Grasberg mine is the world's second-largest copper mine and is located in the highlands of the restive Indonesian province of Papua. It is 90.64 per cent owned by US miner Freeport McMoran, while Rio Tinto also holds a stake.

The Indonesian government has asked Freeport to reduce the volume of "tailings", the waste byproduct from the mining operation, disposed of in nearby rivers from 50 per cent to five per cent. The rest of the tailings are disposed of on land.
That request has drawn an angry response from Freeport, which is negotiating with Indonesia to sell down part of its stake so the government would control at least 51 per cent of the mine.

But the Inspector-General at the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ilyas As’ad, on Wednesday fired back at criticism from Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson over the new rules.

Mr Ilyas explicitly dismissed suggestions the new edict was politically motivated or designed to force Freeport's hand during the divestment negotiations.

"We are only talking about environmental issues," Mr Ilyas told journalists on Wednesday, "it’s completely about the environment".
Mr Ilyas, one of the most senior officials in the Environment Department, said the government planned "intense discussions" with Freeport over the next six months to resolve the problem. Meetings are planned with the company about every two weeks to resolve the matter.

"We have to find out what technology [can] handle it [the tailings], we have to seek the way out, we won’t sacrifice everything, right, because 16,000 people are working out there," he said.
Earlier, Mr Adkerson had told journalists that a deal had been struck 20 years ago with the Indonesian government on how and where to dispose of the tailings and that change, given the mountainous terrain, was simply unachievable.
“I’m concerned that behind it was political motivations,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Freeport's share price has tumbled on news of the proposed change to tailings disposal.
"It cannot be done within six months, 24 months, five years. This is so far out of bounds it cannot be done and as I said it is addressing a problem that doesn't exist," Mr Adkerson said.
Mr Ilyas said the government did not want all operations to halt at the mine but that "some operations did not have permits yet. We want them to process the permit. So [the order to] stop operations is only related to activities that do not have permit yet".
He said the legal division of his Department had found 47 violations of environmental regulations during a visit to the site in September 2017. Thirty-nine had subsequently been fixed but "the big ones left are mostly related to tailings".
The ministry's view, put by officials a meeting with journalists in Jakarta, is that Freeport's Indonesia office was notified some time ago that stricter regulations about how and where the tailings were to be disposed of were imminent.
The Grasberg mine creates produces 10,000 tonnes of tailings per hour, half of which is disposed of in rivers, according to the Department.
Back in March Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo ordered his Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan to conclude long-drawn out negotiations over Indonesia taking a majority stake in the mine, through a state-owned company, by the end of April.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has the right to 40 per of copper produced by the mine above a certain quota until 2021, and after 2021 it is due to receive 40 per cent of all production.
Rio has been negotiating with Indonesia to sell its stake in Grasberg, which would go some way towards Indonesia realising its desire to hold a majority stake in the mine. 

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