Wednesday, April 4, 2018

1) Fatality reported in shootout near Freeport in Papua

2) KNPB categorically denies distributing leaflets announcing the formation of a “Declaration Committee”
3) Adventist missionary killed in Papua, Indonesia
4) Love but Distrust Thy Neighbor: A Glance at Indonesia-Australia Relations

1) Fatality reported in shootout near Freeport in Papua 
Nethy Dharma Somba and Evi Mariani The Jakarta Post
Jayapura/Jakarta | Wed, April 4, 2018 | 06:23 pm

Security personnel secure a baby found in a 'honai' (traditional hut), while hunting down an armed group in the village of Banti in Mimiki regency in Papua on Tuesday. The baby was handed over to the village head. (Cendrawasih Military Command /-)

A clash between the Indonesian Military (TNI) in cooperation with the National Police and the Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM), a Papuan independence group, resulted in at least one fatality in Tembagapura district, Mimika regency in Papua on Wednesday, near the copper mine operated by Freeport.
The TNI said it could not confirm whether the victim was a civilian or a member of the TPN-OPM, which is referred to as an armed separatist criminal group by the TNI. The TPN-OPM claimed the fatality was a civilian.
Both the TNI and TPN-OPM confirmed the identity of the dead man as Timotius Umabak.
The TNI said the clash left two others injured, the victims were identified as Ruben Kupugau, in his 30s, and Kapin Wamang, a 15-year-old boy. Once again the TNI could not confirm whether the two injured were civilians or TPN-OPM members.
Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Col. M. Aidi said on Wednesday that a shootout happened at 10:15 a.m. local time during a hunt for the armed group in the village of Opitawak. 
“The clash lasted for 30 minutes and when the shootout ended, our soldiers entered the village and found one dead and two injured,” Aidi said.
“This group usually uses civilians as shields,” Aidi said. The military said they seized an F-16 rifle in the village.
The hunt was a follow up to an earlier clash on Sunday, in which one TNI soldier, Private First Class Vicky Irad Uba Rumpaidus, was killed.  Before the incident, the group allegedly set houses, a hospital and a school building on fire.
The group had reportedly taken control of several villages in Tembagapura district, namely Utikini, Longsoran, Kimbeli, Banti 1, Banti 2 and Opitawak. On Wednesday, the TNI declared they had retaken all six villages.
TPN-OPM spokesperson Hendrik Wanmang told The Jakarta Post via phone on Wednesday afternoon that there was no shootout with the group in Opitawak on Wednesday morning. "The [Indonesian Military] shot the villagers," he claimed.
Earlier, at about 7:30 a.m. Jakarta time, or 9:30 Papua time, Wanmang said, the TPN-OPM had gathered all villagers in Opitawak for their own protection. He claimed the TPN-OPM fighters had retreated and left the village to avoid civilians being mistaken for armed fighters.
“There were women and children among the 1,000. We told them if the Indonesian Military came, not to run, show yourselves with your hands up,” Wanmang told the Post in Jakarta on Wednesday morning.
The TPN-OPM also denied accusations that it had set locals’ houses on fire, saying it was the TNI that launched mortars on people’s houses. The TNI’s Aidi denied that the soldiers carried mortars or rockets.
“We have 300 civilian witnesses. Ask them, did we use mortars or rockets?” Aidi said. “They were the ones who set the houses on fire before running into the woods,” Aidi went on.
Aidi said that on Tuesday soldiers had found a crying baby in one village, abandoned in a honai, a traditional Papuan house. “We gave the baby to the village head,” he said.
Wanmang of the TPN-OPM said his group had received information from villagers that besides Timotius, a woman, identified as Nataro Omaleng, and a child, named Aprion, also died in Wednesday’s clash. (swd)
2) KNPB categorically denies distributing leaflets announcing the formation of a “Declaration Committee”


General secretary of West Papua National Committee, Ones Suhuniap (middle) after the meeting with High Commisioner of Human Right, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on February 2018 – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – The Central Leadership of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), denied having circulated leaflets inviting the people of Papua to be involved in the preparation of a Declaration Committee for the creation of a West Papuan state.
This outright denial was made by Ones Suhuniap, Secretary of the KNPB.
“The appeals or leaflets that were spread on social media and further distributed in the communities did not officially come from the Central Leadership of KNPB”, Suhuniap told a number of journalists, at the Waena Expos Complex in Jayapura, on Tuesday (3/4/2018).
Suhuniap said his organization was not involved in the formation of any such a “declaration committee”.
He also stated that the group calling itself the “Preparatory Committee for the State of the West Papuan Republic” which will hold its declaration on 5 April 2018, was not part of the organization he leads.
“I reiterate that no single component of the Papuan independence struggle has set up such a preparatory committee for a West Papuan state,” Suhuniap said.
He claimed not to know the group that circulated the leaflets, furthermore, his organization was not given a mandate for such an undertaking, so he was not responsible for any such movements in the land of Papua or abroad. In relation to the emergence of these leaflets by that organization, Suhuniap felt obliged to declare that the Central Board of the KNPB categorically rejected any responsibility if casualties were to arise from this event.
“And by this way we officially convey to the people of Papua that the appeal letter about the declaration was not issued by the KNPB,” he said.
Suhuniap also stated that he did not know if one of the Committee members was a former member of KNPB. With regard to its content, the leaflet in question was an invitation to the people of Papua to attend a declaration by the “Preparatory Committee for the creation of the State of the West Papuan Republic” on 5 April 2018, at the Kalmowker field outside the Waena Housing Complex (Perumnas III) in Jayapura. (*)


3) Adventist missionary killed in Papua, Indonesia
Life of 24-year old remote-region health worker inspiring young people to serve
Apr 04, 2018  Manilla, Philippines  Teresa Costello with additional reporting by Darron Boyd and Wesley Szamko

Berni Fallery Kunu, a 24-year old health worker, serving as part of a two-man team in a remote area of the Star Mountain regency in Papua, Indonesia, was killed on March 29, 2018.
Kunu was a medical missionary serving with Adventist Aviation Indonesia (AAI), a service of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SSD). A nursing graduate of Mount Klabat Adventist University near Manado, Indonesia, he intended to devote his life to serving unreached people in remote areas without health care access.
It has been reported that Kunu was violently killed on Thursday, March 29, 2018 by a group believed to be from an area more than a three day walk away. It appears to be a case of mistaken identity. His body was found the next day in a shallow grave near the river where he was thought to be bathing when attacked. 
His fellow health worker was unharmed and accompanied Kunu’s body to the AAI headquarters a day’s journey away. Other Adventist medical missionaries and teachers in the region were evacuated on Friday. At this time, work in the region is halted. 
According to those who knew him, Kunu had a passion to serve God in the most challenging and remote areas. He was engaged to be married in January, 2019. He and his fiancée, a nurse currently serving as a teacher in another area, planned to serve as a medical missionary team in a remote area after their wedding. 
He understood the dangers of working in remote areas, but trusted his life to God and planned to dedicate his future to such service. Known for his laughter and good humor, “he loved his job [and was] full of his love for his Lord,” according to his family. When they expressed concern for his safety, he would reassure them “with words of faith”.
Police are currently investigating the incident. It has garnered widespread attention up to the highest levels of national government. "We are deeply sorry for the death of our child, Berni Fallery Kunu," said Indonesian Minister of Health, Nila Moeloek, in a written statement in Jakarta. 
An overflowing crowd attended Kunu’s funeral, which was was on Sunday, April 1. Condolence messages continue to flood in with an emphasis on how Kunu’s life of whole-hearted service to God is inspirational. “An exceptional devotion, [such an ]…example for anyone when calling for God's work. Don't just find a comfortable [place]. …Bern is an example to follow,” posted one commenter on social media. A “life and death for God,” wrote another. “Truly noble and valuable life and death,” added another.
In a message to the family, SSD President Samuel Saw wrote,” Through inspiration, Ellen White mentioned that Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven.  They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ (Steps to Christ, 116).  Berni, who was inspired to light the world in Papua, committed his life, his gifts and his knowledge for this ministry that he fully believed in.  He believed fully that life is not about discovering yourself for your own sake, but to be who God created you to be.  
This tragic and sudden death of Berni might cause many of us to wonder, “WHY LORD!”  As human beings, we must admit that we have no control over our lives nor can we fully comprehend what happens in our lives sometimes.  But we have the assurance that God is not unjust as Paul mentioned in Hebrews 6:10 and we have the providence of the “Blessed Hope”.  I know that the Lord will reward Berni on the day of His return.
 Berni Kunu will be always be remembered by us and Southern Asia-Pacific Division as a young man who lived with a sense of mission and purpose.  
Thank you to the Kunu family for raising this precious son, who was young but mature in spirituality, who responded to God’s love with his whole life.”
At first glance, it may seem that this incident would discourage people from serving as Kunu did. Instead, numerous young people and others have stepped forward since his death to say that they also want to serve God and wish to commit their lives to Him in the most challenging areas of service. 
Most touchingly, Kunu’s father commented that this, “death is very big burden for us as parents, but we know that Berni died as a martyr in the glory of God.  I would like also to follow God [with my whole heart and life] in the way that Berni did.”
Due to the current unrest in the area, it is uncertain when Adventist workers will return there. However, when they do, it would seem they will include a number inspired by Berni Fallery Kunu. 
AAI leaders ask for your prayers for the Kunu family and the ministry to which their son devoted his life.
*Note: Due to the ongoing investigation, certain details such as locations and names are not available for publication.


4) Love but Distrust Thy Neighbor: A Glance at Indonesia-Australia Relations

By  Sheany on 9:00 pm Apr 02, 2018 
Category News , Education , Featured , Foreign Affairs
Jakarta. It should be natural that close neighbors, like Indonesia and Australia, seek to forge strong relations and mutually beneficial cooperation. Geographic proximity, however, does not always guarantee this.
Indonesia and Australia established diplomatic ties in 1949, and have had rather steady relations in politics, economy, security and education. In recent years, the ties have been tested by unfavorable public opinion, misunderstandings and governmental tensions, especially after Australia reportedly spied on former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2013, and when Indonesia executed two Australian nationals for drug smuggling in 2015.
According to experts, distrust and anxiety regularly emerge in the bilateral ties.
During a seminar on Indonesian public diplomacy toward Australia in November, Evi Fitriani, head of the Miriam Budiardjo Resource Center (MBRC) at the University of Indonesia, said the relations, which she likened to a rollercoaster ride, have historically been dependent on the attitudes of the countries' leaders. 
Riefqi Muna, a senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said, however, that all crises between Indonesia and Australia tend to normalize quickly.
"Australians have yet to understand Indonesia's development throughout the years, especially in terms of democracy. They still assume it is authoritarian and militarized, though this [presumption] is increasingly less common," Riefqi said during the seminar.
So far, according to Evi, the relations have been the best under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, although strong cultural differences and limited understanding of Islam in Australia often strain them.
Latest Developments
The improvement in bilateral ties is illustrated by the high level of engagement between top officials, such as the recent meeting between Jokowi and Turnbull during the Asean-Australia Special Summit on March 17, and the fifth "2+2" meeting of foreign and defense ministers ahead of the summit.
While Jokowi and Turnbull discussed stepping up cooperation in education and industrial development, the ministers signed an action plan on maritime cooperation to strengthen maritime security, combat transnational crime and maritime pollution.
Meanwhile, pending are the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) and an agreement on common foreign policy priorities in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Right now, many countries are starting to mull over how the Indo-Pacific region can be a peaceful, prosperous and stable. Indonesia has some thoughts on this, and we have been sharing them with our friends in Asean, but also with the United States, India, China, Japan and Australia," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi Retno said after a meeting with her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop prior to the "2+2" session.
Indonesia and Australia will also soon revisit the 1997 Perth Treaty on Maritime and Law of the Sea and are going to discuss their maritime boundaries, following Australia's recent deal with East Timor to resolve similar disputes.
In 2002, the two countries initiated and have since been co-chairing the Bali Process, an international forum with 48 members comprising of countries and international agencies, to facilitate discussion and information sharing about issues relating to human trafficking and transnational crime.
Education Nurtures Friendship
Cooperation in education is one of the main highlights of the relationship between Indonesia and Australia.
In January, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Muhammad Nasir said Indonesia will open its doors to foreign universities. Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and management were identified as priority subject areas.
The minister said the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland were among the institutions that expressed interest in opening their Indonesian branches.
According to data from Unesco's Institute for Statistics on the global flow of tertiary-level students, in 2016 there were 10,676 Indonesians studying in Australia, significantly more than in other countries, with 8,922 in the United States, 8,039 in Malaysia and 2,761 in the United Kingdom
Florischa Ayu Tresnatri, an Indonesian student pursuing her master's degree at the Australian National University in Canberra, said she liked the culture and the fact that Australia is not that far from her country.
"The culture is good, here they really appreciate one another … I think [in Australia] the courses taught are more practical, compared to other countries where they seem very theoretical," she told the Jakarta Globe.
In 2018, more than 2,100 Australian students will come to Indonesia to live, work and study under Australia's New Colombo Plan mobility program.
According to the Australian embassy, from 40 destinations in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines, Fiji, South Korea and Nepal, Indonesia is the students' top choice.
Lachlan Haycock, a recipient of the 2016 New Colombo Plan scholarship, who studied at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta and interned at the Jakarta Globe, explains this in the following way:
"The decision to choose Indonesia made a lot of sense, considering Australia's geographical proximity and strategic links with Indonesia. ... However, it was mostly of high personal value for me as a student, traveler and individual."
Challenges Now and Then
Looking at Indonesian-Australian relations, one needs to consider the role each country played in the history of East Timor.
In 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor and made it become one of its provinces. The move was not opposed by Australia, which proved to be quite controversial, especially as five Australian journalists were killed during the annexation.
Later, Australia was one of the countries that supported East Timor's will to become an independent nation in 1999. This sparked tensions with Indonesia.
Riots, which followed the 1999 independence referendum, claimed the lives of 1,500 civilians, while a quarter of East Timor's population, nearly 250,000 people, were forced to leave their homes until the arrival of the International Force East Timor (Interfet), multinational peacekeepers led by Australia.
East Timor officially became independent in 2002, after a decades-long struggle to secede from Indonesia.
Another critical moment in the relations between Indonesia and Australia came in October 2002, when 209 people, including 88 Australians, were killed in a bomb attack in Bali. The tragedy was, however, followed by increased security cooperation, with Australia helping Indonesia to establish the National Police's counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, and the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) in Semarang, Central Java.
In 2004, the relations were strained when an Australian beautician, Schapelle Corby, was arrested on drug smuggling charges and sentenced to 15 years in jail. In 2012, her prison term was reduced by five years by President Yudhoyono. The decision was reportedly linked to the release of Indonesian minors convicted of human trafficking in Australia.
In 2013, the president and Vice President Boediono were allegedly targeted by Australian intelligence. In order to ease the situation, both countries agreed to set up a hotline to improve communication.
In 2015, despite pleas by Australia's top officials, Indonesia executed Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were sentenced to death for drug trafficking.
It appears that tensions between the two countries have also been used by politicians from both sides as means of gaining popularity, especially during election seasons.
Over the years, one of the key problems has been the issue of asylum seekers transiting from Southeast Asia to Australia. Food has also been at stake, with Australia banning live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011.
Additional reporting by Dhania Putri Sarahtika

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