Monday, April 9, 2018

Summary of events in West Papua for March -10 April 2018

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Summary of events in West Papua for March  -10 April 2018

Clashes near Freeport
On Sunday the 1st April a solider and one TPN  member were  killed in a clash between security forces and the TPN in Banti village, Mimika.  The clash resulted in a security sweep of the area by  members of the Indonesian Military's (TNI) Cendrawasih Military Command XVII . The military said that before the clash the armed group had set fire to a hospital in Utikini and an elementary and junior high school building near resident’s houses that were also burned. 

Hendrik Wanmang, commander of the TPN group  admitted that rebels had earlier burned down a hospital and a school in the area. He said the hospital was owned by Freeport but did not help Papuans while the school was used by Indonesia to indoctrinate young Papuans.
"We have never and will not burn villagers' houses," he said. "We also strongly deny the TNI’s  statement saying that they have managed to free the villages previously held hostage by us. It is not true, since those villages were our villages, our own homeland.” Hendrik  said indigenous Papuan villagers, mostly women and children, fled into the jungle after Indonesian soldiers set fire to their homes. "Their condition is now safe in the jungle with us although they only eat whatever they find in the forest," he said.

Jubi  reported (6 April) that  The Coordinator of Justice and Peace of KINGMI Church for Puncak Jaya Region, the Rev. Deserius Adii S.Th, said one of its congregation was shot dead while three others were injured in Sinai Opitawak, Kampung Banti, Tembagapura sub-district. He said the incident happened when the Indonesian Military and Police joint force pursued the members of the Papua Liberation Army in Banti village, Tembagapura on Wednesday (4/4/2018). He further explained that at the time, the congregations of Sinai Church in Opitawak have gathered in the yard. They raised the red-and-white flags and their hands to indicate that they were not part of the insurgents, but the troop acted brutally. “They raised their hands but the joint force came and tortured the people, and Timotius got shot,” he said. He further said the body of the victim, who was a civil servant of Tembagapura sub-district, was buried at 12 p.m. The villagers have moved to the forest to avoid the joint force that takes a control over the village. In regards to this incident, Adiie urged the Indonesian security force and the Papua Liberation Army to find a war zone. Do not open the fire in the people’s settlement, moreover in the church area. “We hope they do not enter the civilian area, our congregations’ area. Civilians cannot be the scapegoat,” he said.

However, the Indonesian Military stated the victim Omabak was a member of the separatist group. As quoted by Antara News Agency, the Indonesian Military estimated three insurgents died during a firefight, two was dead during on Sunday evening, whiled, one died in a firefight occurred on Wednesday morning at around 10:15 pm, in the area around Opitawak Village. The name of the last victim was Timothy Omabak. “During the first gunfire, we knew about the victims from the picture taken from the drone, and we found the body of an insurgent who identified as Timothy Omabak in the location,” said the Head of Information of the Military Command XVII / Cenderawasih, Colonel Inf. Muhammad Aidi in Timika. (*)

And from the The Jakarta Post  April 5) , 
The recent clash between Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and a local armed group at the Sinai Opitawak Church in Tembagapura, Papua, has forced hundreds of villagers into hiding in nearby forests. One person was killed while three parishioners were injured in the violence. Parishioner Timotius Umabak was shot dead in a raid conducted by TNI and National Police personnel at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. He was buried in Opitawak on Wednesday afternoon.
Sinai Opitawak Church reverend Deserius Adii said Timotius, along with other parishioners, had been standing on the church's front porch when the shooting happened. “All of them were waving the Red-and-White national flag and raised their hands to show the Army personnel that they are not involved with the armed group, but they shot them anyway,” Deserius told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Thursday. Deserius said he still did not know what had happened to the rest of the parishioners, because they dispersed as they tried to hide from the Army. “I haven’t been able to contact any of them since last night,” he said.  In response to the shoot-out, Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) secretary-general Rev. Gomar Gultom said the communion expressed its condolences. It also urged the armed forces to start using a cultural approach instead of military force to solve issues in Papua.  He urged the military and armed groups in Papua not to take out their hostilities on civilians. (dpk/ebf) 

Arrests in Jayapura
On Wednesday the 4th April at least 44 people were taken into custody at the University of Cenderawasih campus in Jayapura during a raid, which the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) described as an attempt to distract attention from fatal clashes elsewhere in the region.

Dozens of students and activists have been detained by Indonesian security forces at a West Papua university. It comes amid fatal shootouts in the region and the release of a high-profile activist from prison. More than 40 people were taken into custody at the University of Cenderawasih campus in Jayapura on Wednesday morning, according to the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), and were still being questioned on Wednesday afternoon. The university is considered one of West Papua’s top institutions and has a history of student activism and violent clashes with Indonesian authorities.

Gustaf Kawer, who is part of the Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua, told Guardian Australia three women and 41 men had been detained and taken to mobile police (Brimob) facilities where his team was able to meet with them, and then transferred to police headquarters in Jayapura. “No formal charges have yet been issued. Usually in cases like this they use the ‘makar’ provision of the law for rebellion – a broad allegation the state can make,” Kawar said through a translator………..

The Guardian reported (7th April) that on Friday the 6th April,  Indonesian authorities said 42 people had been released.  “Three are still under examination,” the spokesman for the Indonesian embassy in Australia, Sade Bimantara, said.

The KNPB chairman, Victor Yeimo, said his organisation was not responsible for the unsourced “propaganda” about a proposed event. He suggested the raid – which he claimed involved Indonesian police, Brimob, military and intelligence agencies – was to shift attention from armed clashes near Timika in which at least two people died.

The Central Leadership of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), also 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. (Jubi 4th April).

From Jubi 6th April
Jubi reported (6th April) that  400 personnel of the Papua Police, Mobile Brigade and Jayapura Military Command 1701 were mobilised to raid rent flats in Perumnas III, Waena, Jayapura Municipality, Papua on Wednesday (4/ 4/2018).
Jayapura Municipality Police Chief the Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Gustav Urbinas said their primary goal was in response to leaflets disseminated by the KNPB committee for the preparation of independence of the West Papua Republic, which was planned to be held at Camp Wolker area on Thursday (5/4/2018), as well as to develop some cases of vehicles theft in Jayapura,” said Urbinas in his office on Wednesday (4/4) / 2018).
The joint force raided the four units of rent flats and managed to secure 35 motorcycles, 130 laptops either in a complete or dismantled condition that were allegedly stolen goods. In addition, Urninas said the joint force found two active ammunitions for long barrel gun and two empty bullets. They also found that a room in a rented flat has been occupied as a secretariat of a group against the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Then the police seized a morning star flag and organisation flag, banners and other attributes in this room.

The KNPB Chairman Victor Yeimo told Jubi that the security forces did not only arrest a number of people, including their activists but also destroyed the door of the KNBP secretariats and a number of items. The police also took some computers to their offices. Several rooms in the secretariat were also raided.

Some of the 45 people arrested in a raid occurred at Uncen rented flats – IST complex (In Jubi 6 April)

Melanesian Spearhead Group
Wale slams politicians
Solomon Star 12 March 2018
Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke-Langalanga Mathew Wale has lashed out at the country’s Parliamentarians who have bowed down to Fiji’s economic interests when the issue of West Papua was brought up at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meetings. Speaking in Parliament last week, Wale said Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela was wrong to have apologised in the recent MSG leaders meeting in Port Moresby last month because this only shows that Solomon Islands is weak and will therefore continue to allow Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to always ride over Solomon Islands at the regional meeting. Wale, who sits at the Independence Bench in Parliament, said the Solomon Islands must stand firm on its position on West Papua and not to apologise at the regional level because this only shows the country is weak. He was speaking on the session where the question on the apology by the Prime Minister Houenipwela in the recent MSG meeting was raised……

Letting Indonesia join MSG was a mistake - academic
RNZI 16 March 2018 
A Solomon Islands academic says the leaders of Melanesian Spearhead Group member states made a mistake in granting Indonesia associate member status in the group. The five full members of the MSG are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS Kanaks Movement of New Caledonia. Tarcisius Kabutaulaka's comments come as another rift surfaces within the sub-regional group this time between the leaders of Fiji and Solomon Islands over the Indonesia issue. The latest spat began with comments from Solomon Islands deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare saying Fiji should not have forced other countries to accept Indonesia……………..

Indonesia not in MSG to undermine West Papua freedom push

RNZI  21 March 2018 
A war of words between Fiji and Solomon Islands has broken out over Indonesia's admission, as an associate member, to the sub-regional group in 2015. The Solomon Islands deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare accused Fiji of forcing other MSG countries to accept Indonesia.
But Fiji's defence minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has said this is not true.
A Solomon Islands' academic Tarcisius Kabutaulaka said letting Indonesia in was a mistake because it's openly trying to undermine the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which applied to join the MSG as a full member. But an Indonesia's embassy spokesman in Australia Sade Bimantara said this is not why Indonesia joined the MSG……………………………

In a RNZI report (23 March 2018 ), Fiji's Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it is deeply disturbed about allegations that the Fiji First Government acted forcibly to have Indonesia admitted as an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. In a statement today, the shadow minister of foreign affairs and defence Mosese Bulitavu has urged other Melanesian countries to stay true to the decolonisation vision of the MSG..........

Does Indonesia belong in the Melanesian Spearhead Group?
From RNZI 26 March 2018) 
Indonesia's place in the Melanesian Spearhead Group has come under scrutiny from regional leaders and experts after allegations were made by Solomon Islands' deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare earlier this month that Fiji pressured other countries to accept Jakarta's bid to join the sub-regional group. The leaders of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and the FLNKS indigenous New Caledonian pro-independence group granted Indonesia its associate member status in 2015. But as Koroi Hawkins reports while Indonesia has secured itself a seat at the table it does not mean it is being welcomed across Melanesia.

In a RNZI report (28 March 2018), Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister said  rumblings over Indonesia being part of the   MSG will cool down
PNG's Rimbink Pato said as the current MSG chair holder, his country will work to maintain Melanesian unity. Speaking in New Zealand, Mr Pato said it is typical of Melanesian peoples to have their differences. "But there's a time to party together and get together and shake hands and move forward," he said. "So I think those rumblings will come to an end.”

ULMWP raises West Papua’s right to self-determination in Dutch Parliament
April 5, 2018 – The Hague
On 5th April 2018, The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) EU Mission organized a conference on West Papua’s right to self-determination. It was an historic day.

                                   The public hearing held in the Dutch parliament

Prior to the conference, the Dutch Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs officially welcomed the ULMWP to discuss West Papua’s right to self-determination in a public hearing. It was a significant milestone. ULMWP Chairman, Mr. Benny Wenda proposed a follow up on Prof. Drooglever’s research on the conduct of “Act of Free Choice” and invited the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs to visit West Papua. ULMWP’s proposal and invitation was welcomed and will be considered. It was a fruitful meeting….

The Indonesian president visited Sydney for, The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit from the 17-18 March. Local civil society organisations raised concerns about the human rights abuses being committed in a number of the ASEAN countries including Burma and Cambodia. A final communiqué from the summit noted a resolve to protect the human rights of our peoples, but failed to condemn, in particular Myanmar's treatment of the Muslim-minority Rohingya.

Jowiki continued on to New Zealand to be greeted by protestors calling for West Papuan independence when he arrived at New Zealand's parliament.

West Papua Action Auckland wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urging her to raise human rights and the “suffering of the people” of Indonesian-ruled West Papua when she met with President Widodo

Palm Sunday Rally
The theme of the Palm Sunday rally was again for refugees.

There was a large show of solidarity at  the Sydney Rally including West Papuan supporters wearing many hats. The rally started at Belmore Park and marched along Broadway to Victoria park. Photos at

Freeport has cost $13 billion losses in environmental damage, says BPK
Jakarta Post | Tue, March 20, 2018 
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has said that ecological damage resulting from PT Freeport Indonesia's (PTFI) mining operations in Papua had caused Rp 185 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in state losses. “Based on the calculations of experts at IPB [the Bogor Institute of Agriculture], the environmental damage caused by Freeport’s mining waste reached Rp 185 trillion,” BPK commissioner Rizal Djalil said in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by He added that the mining company dumped its waste into forests, rivers and estuaries. Rizal said the BPK had received data on the scale of the damage from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan). He added that Freeport Indonesia also utilized 4,536 hectares of protected forest for their operations in direct violation of Law No. 19/2004 on Forestry. “It has been 333 days since we issued the report, but it has not been followed up,” said Rizal, adding that the BPK had recommended sanctions for the company to the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company had followed up on two BPK reports on violating the license on the use of protected forests and its environmental impact. Riza said the ministry had imposed administrative sanctions on Freeport in October 2017 for violating the terms of the environment permit. (bbn)

Freeport faces threat from armed gangs of criminal: Police
Reporter: SYSTEM  27th March 2018

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Papua Police Chief Ins.Gen. Boy Rafli said there are still armed gangs of criminals seeking to create trouble for US mining company PT Freeport Indonesia. Freeport, which has large copper and gold mine in Tembagapura, Papua, is still facing threat to security in mining operation, Boy said here on Monday. He said the existence of the armed criminals is also a threat to the security officers including police and the military personnel in Papua. The armed groups, police called armed gangs of criminals, are believed to be separatists hiding in the mountain jungle of Papua sporadically launching attacks on patrolling security officers. Boy said the criminals had caused also trouble for the people such as when they attacked and set fire on a hospital in the village of Banti recently. Boy said despite the growing intensity of attacks, he did not think Papua needs additional police personnel to help improve security in the region.

However, he did not rule out additional personnel if the situation is worse, saying,"We still study the situation, and it is not impossible that we would need additional personnel if the situation is worse. He said the the Banti hospital has ceased operation after the attacked around five months earlier as all paramedics have not returned from evacuation. Only native people dare to stay in the village of Banti, away from police station, he said. He said police have difficulty to reach that village as the unpaved road was badly damaged. The armed criminals apparently dug big holes in the road to hamper mobility of both the villagers and patrolling police, he said. "If police tried to use the road they would be an easy target like a sitting duck for snipers hiding behind the jungle trees," he said. The nearest police station to Banti is at Utikini Lama around one kilometer away, he said. (AS/a014) (T.SYS/B/H-ASG/A014) 
Editor: Heru Purwanto

Demo at Freeport office in Jakarta calls for self-determination for West Papua
By Pacific Media Watch -   April 2, 2018

Papuan protesters outside the offices of PT Freeport Indonesia in South Jakarta last Thursday. Image:
By Tony Firman in Jakarta

Calls for West Papuan self-determination were prominent during a demonstration in front of the offices of PT Freeport Indonesia in the Kuningan area of South Jakarta at the start of Easter.
The action was held by about 70 protesters from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) who held the demonstration last Thursday to demand the closure of the Freeport copper and gold mine in Papua. FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta said that the international community must take a position on the forced incorporation of West Papua into the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). “Since May 1, 1963, until now, West Papua was removed from the Dutch decolonisation list without the West Papuan people’s knowledge,” said Anta. Surya also accused Freeport of being an entry point for the colonisation of West Papua on the grounds that the first work contract between Freeport and Indonesia was signed in 1967. Meanwhile, the Act of Free Choice (Pepera) which resulted in the incorporation of West Papua into the Indonesia was held in 1969. Anta said that the Pepera was manipulated and undemocratic.

No prosperity or peace
Dorlince Iyowau, a resident of the mining town of Timika who took part in the action, added that Freeport’s presence in Papua had not brought prosperity or peace to the West Papuan people.
“Violence against the people and damage to the environment by waste tailings discarded into the Ajkwa River is a concrete form of Freeport’s colonial presence”, said Iyowau. In a media release received by Tirto, the FRI-WP and the AMP made nine demands, three of which were:
the closure of PT Freeport, the withdrawal of the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (National
Police) from Papua, and self-determination for the people of Papua The media release also stated that based on a report by the Papuan Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (Elsham) in 2002, numerous cases of violence had been committed by security forces in Papua.The report noted that thousands of people had died, scores had disappeared and hundreds more had been arrested and tortured.

 In addition to this, it also noted places of worship that had been burnt down, villages and other locations that had been destroyed, many of which have yet to be properly documented.
The demonstrators began leaving the Freeport offices at around 3.15 pm. Similar actions are planned to take place simultaneously next Saturday in several different cities, including Yogyakarta and Semarang (Central Java), Bandung (West Java), Surabaya and Malang (East Java), Makassar (South Sulawesi), Palu (Central Sulawesi), Ternate (North
Maluku) and Papua itself.
Tony Firman is a reporter for Tirto news website in Indonesia. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was “Demo di Kantor Freeport Juga Serukan Penentuan Nasib West Papua“.

Papuan political prisoner freed

A member of the pro-independence West Papua National Committee has been freed from prison having completed his jail term. Yanto Awerkion was given a ten-month sentence for treason by an Indonesian court. Mr Awerkion was arrested in May 2017 in Timika because of his involvement with a petition calling for West Papuan independence from Indonesia.  After 17 court appearances, trial delays and over nine months in jail, the political prisoner was sentenced mid last month. With time already served, Mr Awerkion was due to be released by the end of the month. Mr Awerkion had been facing a potential 15-year sentence, the maximum in Indonesia for treason. (RNZI 4 April 2018)  

EDITORIAL: Defuse Sentani tension
The Jakarta Post Thu, March 22, 2018
 Authorities in the Papua regency of Jayapura should act fast to defuse the sectarian tension building up in the wake of local Christian church leaders’ objections to the ‘’overly tall’’ minaret of a new mosque in Sentani. It is good to hear local government, police and Muslim authorities’ assurances that there is nothing to worry about because all parties are working on finding a solution. However, the undercurrents remain unknown.
The Christian-majority township showed signs of religious tension last week after the Jayapura Churches Association gave the regency administration until the end of the month to have the minaret of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is under construction, shortened to the average height of churches in the area. In a petition filed with the local government on March 15, they threatened to take their own action unless the authorities met their demands.

Apparently, the mosque project is only a symptom of simmering conflict between mostly Christian indigenous people and generally better off and more skilled Muslim migrants. In their letter, church leaders also conveyed the complaint that the Muslim community had built the mosque without prior consultation with their neighbors — a mandatory procedure under a joint ministerial decree on construction of places of worship. They also expressed disappointment that their long-standing objections to the blaring call to prayer, the adzan, from mosque loudspeakers have gone unheeded. Any sign of sectarian conflict in restive Papua, especially, should be handled swiftly yet carefully because of its extremely high sensitivity. The minaret row is only the latest in a string of conflicts fueled by complex social, economic and political problems in the resource-rich territory long beset by secessionist issues.
The influx of migrants that started in 1974 under the state-sponsored transmigration program, and which continues as individual migration, has helped the local economy. But their rising numbers coupled with heavy military presence have caused fear among indigenous people that they are being “colonized”, outnumbered and their culture is being threatened.

That is why in Papua any religiously or ethnically charged conflict has immense incendiary potential. The present ripples recall the ramifications of the 2015 Muslim-Christian clash in Tolikara, southern Papua in which an indigenous resident was allegedly shot dead by police. It triggered retaliatory attacks on churches in Java and exacerbated Papuans’ distrust of the police, whom they suspected of pandering to the migrants. Christian and Muslim leaders in both Jakarta and Papua should refrain from issuing provocative statements that will only inflame the already tense situation. Influential religious organizations like the Indonesian Ulema Council, Nahdlatul Ulama, the Indonesian Communion of Churches and the government should work hand-inhand in finding a peaceful settlement. We hope that the government and religious leaders will soon be able to resolve the brewing conflict amicably. If not, the tension could escalate and provide grounds for militants from both religious groups to take the law into their own hands. The police, notoriously trigger-happy when handling rowdy crowds in Papua, should be particularly careful so as not repeat the mistakes of Tolikara.

The Mysterious Death of a Papuan Child 
HRW. Andreas Harsono  Indonesia Researcher March 27, 2018

Indonesian Authorities Should Investigate Conflicting Accounts
There are multiple accounts of how Rico Ayomi, a 17-year-old student, died in Sorong, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, after 24 hours in police detention.
Police initially said Ayomi was found unconscious near an empty bottle of 70-percent alcohol when they detained him at midnight on March 11, indicating that his death 27 hours later was due to “alcohol poisoning.” But Simon Soren, a relative of Ayomi’s, told Human Rights Watch that when police returned Ayomi to his family 24 hours after they detained him, he was unconscious and had injuries including “bruises on his left cheek, left shoulder, a bleeding nose and a broken jaw.” Ayomi never regained consciousness and died three hours later. Soren said eyewitnesses told him that a mob had assaulted Ayomi on the evening of March 11, accusing him of theft.

On March 21, Sorong’s deputy police chief, Chandra Ismawanto, told Human Rights Watch that the police assessment of “alcohol poisoning” as the cause of Ayomi’s death was “controversial” and that police now suspected Ayomi died from a combination of excessive alcohol consumption and a mob beating. He declined to say whether police were investigating. Ismawanto said the results of an autopsy would be available last week, but neither we nor the family have been able to get the results.

Questions about police conduct in Ayomi’s case don’t end there. Ismawanto confirmed that police waited 23 hours after they detained Ayomi to take him to a hospital, attributing the delay to slow official approval. He said police noted Ayomi’s failure to regain consciousness while in detention as “strange,” but that a doctor at the hospital certified that he was “healthy.”
The circumstances of Ayomi’s death demand a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. But that is unlikely to happen. Indonesian authorities rarely investigate security forces implicated in the deaths of Papuans. In cases in which investigations do occur, police found culpable in unlawful killings invariably face administrative wrist-slaps rather than criminal prosecution.
Until there is political will in Jakarta to meaningfully investigate and prosecute the killings of Papuans by security forces or unidentified attackers, the lives of Papuans such as Rico Ayomi will remain at risk.

Bloody Paniai” settlement is a key to public trust
Jubi. admin26 March 2018
Jayapura, Jubi – Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, should think of a settlement of “Bloody Paniai” case, which happened in 2014 as a key to win a public trust if he wants to run in the next election. The families of victims are still waiting for Jokowi’s promise to solve this case. “If Joko Widodo wants to run in the presidential election 2019, he must settle the case of bloody Paniai as he promised,” said Yohan You, a brother of the death Alpius Yau, recently. He voiced the same opinion to Amnesty International team who recorded the database of the families of the death, survivors, community and customary leaders as well as religious leaders in Paniai last week. “If not, we will boycott him. It’s our commitment and his capacity as the head of state in doubt.” The Campaign Manager of the Amnesty International in Indonesia, Puri Kencana Putri said the bloody Paniai case is the only entrance of other violence happened in Paniai. “This data is collected and compiled for being launched in 150 countries. In Papua, we choose three regions.” (*) Reporter: Abeth You Editor: Pipit Maizier

Infrastructures to improve Asmat`s quality of life
Antara News Reporter: Bayu Prasetyo  22nd March 2018
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The willingness of Indonesian government to develop a number of border, outermost and remote areas in the country is implemented through building basic infrastructure needs to improve the quality of life of the local people. Current issues of development challenges that should be tackled immediately by the government in Papua are malnutrition and measles that have affected children of Asmat tribe. It is not about the viral issues, nor building image of the Indonesian government. The most important issue is the development of humanity and equity to the people in Papua.

The adequate infrastructures are considered to be one of the key development in rural areas to upgrade the locals` living quality. The Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, said during his visit to Asmat District of Papua on March 15, 2018 that the availability of accessible clean water is an essential requirement to improve the environment quality of Asmat District.
The Ministry has the matrix data of the development activities in Asmat District for short to middle terms, such as clean water channel, sanitation, bridges, access road improvement, and houses repairmen, as well as new developed residential complex. "Most of the region is swamp area. We need to treat the water to make it drinkable. We already have a water reservoir of 1.000 m3. We still need more water, thus we will construct 9 more reservoirs with bigger capacities. Besides, we will also build artesian wells," said Minister.

The people in Asmat District has utilized an artesian well. The ministry will build five more wells with 150-200 meters of depths measured at Rp6 billions of budget. The drilling equipment has been assembled and ready to be shipped in a whole package. The visit of Hadimuljono to Asmat District was held by the order of President Joko Widodo, who has asked for the update of the problems in the remote area. The President is scheduled to visit Asmat when the project was started. Additionally, the Asmat Head District, Elisa Kambu, explained the extraordinary incidents of measles and malnutrition in Asmat have been resolved. He expressed his gratitude towards the President for his attention, particularly in the sustainable development of basic needs infrastructure such as clean water, sanitation, waste management, transportation, and houses. "By better infrastructure availability, I hope no more extraordinary incidents occurred in Asmat," he said.

When visiting the Asmat community, Hadimuljono asked the people to pay more attention to the waste management by not throwing gargabes under the stage houses and put them in the particular place to avoid polluting beaches. The waste can be managed by implementing 3R system which are consist of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" to make more healthy environment. In order to support the cleaner living management, the drinking water piping system will be also developed by the government and Non-Governmental Organization. The City of Agats in Asmat district already has a Drinking Water Supply System (SPAM) with 10 liters/Sec capacity to provide 230 houses which would be optimized in 2018. Other SPAMs will also be built in Atsy and Sawaerma Sub-districts, which have the capacities of 5 liters/Sec with the operating expense budget around Rp2 billion and Agats city`s SPAM for 10 liters/Sec with Rp5 billion of budget.

Besides, an additional 24 units of SPAM with 1 liter/Sec capacity will be built with an estimated operating budget around Rp39, 7 billion through the Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Based on Community activity or "Pamsimas". The Non-Government Organization, National Amil Zakat Board or "Baznas", shared their attention along with the government by constructing the drinking water installation development for Asmat people. The installation of the drinking water sterilization of Baznas has been built in An-Nur Mosque in Agats Sub-District of Asmat District and was officially operated. The Distribution Director of Baznas, Mohd Nasir Tajang, said the installation system was funded by the institution and donors.

As an initial stage, a water installation will also be constructed in Asmat Regional Hospital for the community with a cheaper payment system and "barter" program that exhange the waste of drinking water plastic bottles.
Editor: Heru Purwanto The agency hopes Agats Sub-district can be more beautiful, clean and healthier. The lack of access to clean water has caused many diseases like diarrhea, as well as skin iritating as problems. The issues also triggered the recent extraordinary incidents of measles and malnutrition in Asmat District. In all this time, people of Asmat have to buy bottled mineral water for their daily need of clean water for cooking in a higher price. After visiting Kaye Village, Basuki crossed the river to view the construction site of 114 units of special houses that have been built since 2016 at a cost of Rp19.9 billion located in villages of Amanamkai and Syuru, of Agats Sub-district.

The government in 2018 plans to build 100 units of houses in four villages such as 34 units in Priend Village of Fayid Sub-district, 33 units in Ass Village and Atat Village of Pulau Tiga Sub-District, and 33 units in Warkai Village of Betsbamu Sub-district. The government will also repair houses that are not suitable for habitation by a program of 1,000 self-help houses.

To support the daily activity of Asmat people, the government will also build four suspension bridges with a budget of Rp46 billion located in Baru Syuru Village of Agats Sub-district (72 meters of length), Yerfum Village of Der Koumor Sub-district (84 meters of length), Hainam Village of Kasuari Beach Sub-district (120 meters of length), and Sawaerma Village (150 meters of length). The construction of infrastructures such as water sterilization, waste management system, adequate houses and bridges is hoped to improve the life quality of people and eliminate the malnutrition cases in Asmat. (T.B019/B/KR-BSR/B012)  Editor: Heru Purwanto

Eight months sentences for military culprit the fishermen shooter: It’s not fair, Father John Jonga said
Jubi admin 26 March 2018
 Jayapura, Jubi –Father John Jonga, Yap Thiam Hien Award winner 2009, said the military judge’s verdict to sentence 8 months prison to the First Sergeant Yusuf Salasar in a military tribunal held in Jayapura on Tuesday (20/03/18) was not fair. According to him, the act of Salasar who’s Deputy Commander of Intel II Military Resort Command 174 Timika could not be justified. He fired a gunshot during a quarrel between traditional and migrant fishermen in KP3 Office Pomako Port Timika on 9/8/2017. As a result, it caused the death of a traditional fisherman Theo Cakatem, while other fishermen, Rudolf Saran and Gabrial Nawipo were injured respectively in their arm and left palm hand. “The verdict of 18 months sentences is embarrassed. It is not a new case; this kind of shooting case is about human’s life. It’s not professional if it has done by a military officer,” Father John Jonga told Jubi on Thursday evening (22/3/2018).
In addition, Jonga said, this verdict signified that the Military Tribunal is very unfair. His self-defense reason when firing a gun cannot be an excuse. “If he said he did it for self-defense, what for?”

A human right attorney Gustaf Kawer, in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (21/3/2018), said considering the legal process to the verdict, it assumed that law enforcement officers who involved in this trial already had a ‘design’ to protect the defendant. Firstly, from the process of investigation to the trial, all were handed over to the court for about six months. It is considered to violate the principle of a fast and low-cost trial. “Secondly, this case was not conducted at the scene or in Timika. It should be conducted in the location nearby to the victims’ families in order to guarantee a sense of justice as well as to facilitate the presence of victims to witness in the court. So the trial is supposed to be done in Timika,” said Kawer. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme Editor: Pipit Maizier

Papuans detained over PNG quake victim relief collection
RNZI 9 April 2018 
Indonesian police have denied claims that they arrested a group of people in Papua province for a public action to collect funds for victims of Papua New Guinea's recent earthquake

 A Papuan group was taken in by Indonesian police on 7 April 2018 after holding a public collection for donations to a relief fund for earthquake victims in neighbouring Papua New Guinea. Photo: Solidaritas Papua Barat Untuk Korban Gempa Bumi Di Papua New Guinea

Jayapura municipal police chief Gustav Robby Urbinas said that five Papuans were secured and taken to the police station after being found to have not gained a permit for their public collection. Suara Papua reports that the group were detained by police last Thursday after collecting relief donations at a main street junction in Abepura for victims of February's 7.5 magnitude quake in PNG.
Police Superintendent Urbinas said the men were not arrested, and suggested they were intoxicated and posed a threat to public disorder.
However, on Saturday, eleven more people were arrested and held briefly for public collecting of funds for the PNG relief cause. The group, West Papua Solidarity for Earthquake Disaster, told RNZ Pacific it had already submitted to both municipal and regional police written notification they would be collecting in March and April. According to the group's chief, Kris Dogopia, the collection was purely aimed at assisting quake victims in a neighbouring country with fellow Melanesian people. He said the collection had no link with politics, and nor did it pose a security threat as police suggested. "They thought that we had disturbed the security in Indonesia, they talked like that to us," Mr Dogopia said.

"And we said we not disturb your security in Indonesia, but we do a solidarity for our brothers and sisters in PNG." He explained that some of the group's cash collection had been confiscated and not returned. "They take our money... the policemen take it. Today I and my friend, we will go to the policemen's office to ask them our money, where they take it." Kris Dogopia said the amount of collection money which was confiscated was small, but added that his group wanted to help PNG people in a time of need.

Government to continue building road along PNG border in Papua
Reporter: SYSTEM  18th March 2018

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will continue building a road along the border between the country and Papua New Guinea in Papua, a cabinet minister has said. Until the end of 2017, around 891 kilometers of the total length of 1,098 kilometers were already completed, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono. "In 2019, all border roads between Merauke in the south and Jayapura in the north would be connected," Basuki said in a news release received here on Saturday. Basuki issued the statement on his way to inspect the condition of a 424 kilometer part of road between Merauke and Boven Digul. The condition of road, which largely unpaved, is relatively good although there are around 58 kilometers need repairs. The Minister said he would send a special team from Jakarta to speed up work for the road repair.
He said the border road had given concrete results for the border people.
"Normally in the past, it took weeks to cover the distance, but now it needs only 8 hours and when the condition is better it would take only 6 hours," he said.
District Head of Boven Digul Benediktus Tambonot, who accompanied the minister in the inspection said the condition of the road between Merauke and Bouven Digul had improved gradually. "I thank the government for the serious attention that in three to four months the repairs would be finished," Benediktus said. He said the road has greatly facilitated transport of goods and people and the impact is a decline in the prices of goods needed by the people in interior areas. Previously when the roads were badly damaged and were not yet connected the prices were high , but now the prices of essential goods, building materials are much cheaper, he said. The repair of the road between Merauke-Boven Digul were difficult because of the swamp area and soft soil. It needs much of land filling. (AS) (T.SYS/B/H-ASG/F001)  Editor: Heru Purwanto

Opinion pieces/press releases/reports etc.

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Democracy takes a step back in Indonesia

“It’s forest that we can live from, not oil palm”

West Papua’s enduring struggle for independence

West Papuans cry out for freedom

South Korean company under fire for alleged deforestation in Papua oil palm concession

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