Monday, April 23, 2018

1) Mama Yosepha Met Pacific’s Catholic Church Leaders

2) Writer links recent transmigrants to Papua conflict
3) Oil Palm Plantation Seizes Indigenous’ Rights to Land and Education

1) Mama Yosepha Met Pacific’s Catholic Church Leaders
Mama Yosepha Alomang, Markus Haluk, and the interpreter were talking to Cardinal Ribat and Cardinal Mafi – Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – After the closing of the Federation of Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania that held in Port Moresby from 12 to 16 April 2018, Mama Yosepha Alomang met two Pacific Catholic Church leaders: the Archbishop of Port Moresby Cardinal John Ribat, and the Archbishop of Tonga Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, on 17 April 2018. Mama Yosepha accompanied by a Papuan Catholic figure Markus Haluk during the meeting.
In the meeting, she gave the Cardinals two noken (Papua’s traditional bag) of the morning star and Papuan motives to express a message of natural resources deprivation that leads to the human rights violations and religious and moral degradation. She entrusted her message to both cardinals for the World’s Catholic Church Leader the Pope Francis in the Vatican.
“I am hanging these bones on the shoulders of Cardinal John and Cardinal Mafi who are the representatives of the Holy Father Pope Francis,” said Mama Yosepha while hanging the nokens to the necks of both cardinals.
She believed that the Catholic Church leaders, especially the Pope Francis, must speak about the death occurred in West Papuans due to the repression of the Indonesian Government. She told the Cardinals that the murders still continue to prevent self-determination as well as to exploit the natural resources. “They keep arresting and murdering us because of the picture of the morning star in this noken,” she said.
She further said the Catholic Church leaders in Pacific and the world should speak up to protect the life and nature of Papuans. Praying and doing a real action should be urgent for the church at the moment. “If the Pope does not pray for us, Papuans, we must be dead. The church is our support and last hope. You must take care of us,” she hoped.
Meanwhile, Markus Haluk, who accompanied Mama Yosepha and also the Head of the ULMWP Coordination Office in West Papua, said he appreciated her tireless spirit and struggle. “Mama Yosepha handed over the nokens and her message to Cardinal Mafi and Cardinal John with a stammered and teary voice,” he said.
In separated place, Dominikus Surabut, the chairman-elect of the Papuan Customary Council, said the Catholic Church should listen to the voice of Papuan people. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. “The church has long been silent. Therefore the Catholic Church in Pacific should open the silent door of the Catholic Church in Papua, Indonesia,” he told the reporter on Thursday (19/4/2018) in Expo Waena, Jayapura City Papua. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Pipit Maizier 

2) Writer links recent transmigrants to Papua conflict
2:19 pm today 

Aprila Wayar this month published her third novel, Sentuh Papua, which covered human rights issues and the effects of Indonesian transmigration in Papua.
Transmigration refers to movement of landless people from densely populated areas of Indonesia to less populous parts of the country.
Ms Wayar, a former journalist, said that after Indonesia took over Papua in the 1960s, early migrants settled relatively smoothly.
But those who came since 2001 when Papua gained Special Autonomy Status were a different story, she said.
"They tried to make many conflicts then between native Papuans and Indonesian people. For me, it's heartbreaking because we have a good life before when the first transmigrasi," Ms Wayar said.
"But after that everything disappears, and people not know each other, they make sectarian violence."
Statistics released last year by Indonesia's Statistics Office showed that the proportion of Papuan people as a percentage of Papua region's population was declining and that they were on track to being a minority in coming years.
However, Indonesia's government denied claims that transmigration patterns created conflict and marginalised the indigenous Melanesians of Papua.
It said people in Indonesia were free to move around, and that transmigration helped with a transfer of knowledge from migrants to Papua which in turn assisted with development outcomes.
Ms Wayar's claim came as a newly compiled analysis on data from Indonesia's National Violence Monitoring System showed Papua was the most violent province in Indonesia.
In 2014, the most recent year for which the System's data was available, five percent of the country's reported violent deaths were in Papua province (151 out of 2,943).
This was despite Papua province, with its population of around three million, being only a little over one per cent of Indonesia's overall population of around 265 million.
The analysis, 'Violent Death in Indonesian Papua', found that the leading cause of homicide in Papua was crime. Deaths linked to "separatism" came second.
It found that between 2010 and 2014, violent incidents initiated by so-called separatist groups resulted in more deaths than the actions of Indonesian security forces.
However, a higher proportion of the victims in killings and injuries caused by security forces were civillians, whereas victims in separatists' attacks tended to be security forces.
The analysis included fear and mistrust between Papuans and migrants as a factor behind some of the trends of violence, and identified disputes over land as a leading cause of violent deaths in Papua.

Meanwhile, Ms Wayar's novel, which was published in Bahasa Indonesian language, was written from the perspective of a foreign journalist in Papua and was based on a true story.
"I became the fixer of him, and for me as a novelist it's a very interesting story because it gives me a lot of new perspective about Papua," she explained.
"He understands Papua's story better than me as a Papuan. Because he's from the Netherlands and he knows about Papuan history.
"But there's a little bit of distance between new generation of Papuans now and the history. Because, when the first generation of Papuans fled Papua in the beginning of the 1960s until 1984, they also took the Papuan history with them.”
3) Oil Palm Plantation Seizes Indigenous’ Rights to Land and Education
Jayapura, Jubi – A Papuan legislator Maria Elizabet Kaize said the oil palm investments, especially in the southern region of Papua, have seized the indigenous peoples’ lands and corrupted the education of young Papuans.
Maria Kaize, a native woman from Anim Ha customary area, said oil palm plantations give a negative impact on the indigenous children’s education in the district of Merauke, Boven Digoel and surrounding areas because the school-age Papuans prefer to follow their parents than going to school.
“It is true that the awareness among the school-aged Papuan children, especially in southern areas, for schooling needs to be improved. Many of them prefer to follow their parents in the forest,” Maria Kaize answered some questions from Jubi on Thursday (19/04/2018).
She took Bio area of Boven Digoel District as an example. In this area, many school-aged children join their parents as palm oil workers. Her sister, who is a local teacher, told her about this information.  She further said that the similar thing also happened Genyem and Lereh, Jayapura District, when the oil palm companies just operated in those areas.
“According to a teacher from Genyem whom I met some time ago, they went to the oil palm plantation for looking the children. Maybe this method can be used in some districts in the southern Papua. However, it needs support from the government, customary and church leaders as well as the community,” she said.
When meeting with Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, a local leader from Keerom, Servius Servo said the transition of community land to oil palm plantation harmed the local people because it rated very cheap.  In fact, in some cases, they changed it with sugar and salt.
“Besides for oil palm plantations, community and sago forests mostly used for road construction and government infrastructure,” Servius said. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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