Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summary of events in West Papua (13 May 2018-11 June)

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Summary of events in West Papua  (13  May 2018-11 June)

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an urgent action (5June) regarding a customary land dispute between Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa Company and the Mpur Tribe in Tambrauw Regency, West Papua province. The AHRC makes it easy for people to respond to their U/A’s.

A facebook posting has  reported that yesterday,  Sunday 10th June 5 civilians have been arrested in SP. 5 in the district of Iwaka Kampung around 11:00am Timika time. This afternoon at 4:00pm Timika time, a massive sweeping by Indonesian military and police forces are undergoing in the area of SP. 2 in the district of Timika Jaya. More civilians have fled into the near by bushes including my family.  More up to date information  will be posted as comes to light (on daily lists).

In a written submission to the 38th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Asian Legal Resource Centre reported on the situation of extrajudicial executions (summary executions) in Indonesia. In its statement the ALRC said “The recurrence of extrajudicial executions in Indonesia is largely due to the impunity enjoyed by the offenders, especially if they are part of the police or military institutions”.

From the ALRC press release (30 May) 
In view of the above situation, the ALRC requests the UN Human Rights Council to undertake studies to assess the root causes of extrajudicial executions in Indonesia. The Council should not merely work with the Indonesian government, but should also work and support the Indonesian civil society at large in dealing with recurrence and massive extrajudicial executions in Indonesia. The Council should put pressures on the government of Indonesia so that the State officially invites and cooperates with the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions.

Shift in Solomon Islands government's view on Papua
RNZI reported (23 May) that a leading foreign affairs official from the Solomon Islands government said it's now seeing a balanced picture on Indonesia's Papua region.

                                                      Solomon Islands parliament Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

According to the report the SI Government is consulting with the provinces as it formulates an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues following  a visit by a Solomons government-led delegation to Indonesia's provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta.

From the report
The Solomons' Special Secretary on Foreign Relations, Rence Sore, was one of the government officials in the delegation. He said the visit was aimed at achieving a balanced picture of what's going on in Papua. "Before we went we had been listening to the other side of the story. And the story we heard, we were always hearing at that time, was there's always human rights abuse, there's always fighting for independence, someone is being killed and all that. It's one-sided, all one-sided." Rence Sore said that when they went to Papua region, the story was entirely different.
He said that for now the government had yet to decide on its official position regarding West Papua and Papua provinces. "We're trying to give the government a good picture. Both sides of the coin we have to tell the government, and the government independently makes that policy decision."
The delegation's visit and resulting report were indications that the Solomon Islands government, under prime minister Rick Hou, was approaching a different stand on Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.
The Liberation Movement, which Indonesia's government opposes, last month voiced disappointment that it wasn't notified by Solomon Islands about the delegation's visit.
Mr Sore, who said his government consulted with Indonesian authorities for the visit, noted the Liberation Movement's strong connections with civil society organisations in Solomon Islands.
"And to some extent, that strong connection also was with the previous Solomon Islands leadership, government, prime minister. "We went (to Indonesia) with authorisation from the current prime minister, and official authorities were notified.
However Mr Sore would not be drawn on whether the Hou-led government had shifted position on Papua. "That decision is not yet formal. It depends entirely on the report. We did a report when we came back, and we are still doing the consultations on the policy. That policy will go through the government cabinet.”

In a previous report (8 May) RNZI reported that a leader of a Solomon Islands civil society organisation saying  there should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation's visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.
This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia. Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation's departure for West Papua. The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation. Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip.

In response to the Solomon Islands delegation’s visit to West Papua , the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) spokesperson Jacob Rumbiak  described the recent seven-person delegation from Solomon Islands to West Papua as ‘a visitation by robbers’.
From Jubi report 29 May 
Speaking during his meeting with SICA General Secretary Holmes Saeve Monday, Rumbiak said a summary of Chekana’s account of their trip given by Holmes highlighting that the West Papuan people are not united is ‘very misleading’.
“I bring voice from inside West Papua as the delegation that recently visited West Papua was like robbers. They came and hid and never met with the people struggling for their right. “I think they are blind and they do not know what we already have set up.” He said ULMWP is the answer to their report as they have a Federal Republic of West Papua, a 14 political organisation affiliating with the Federal Republic, six organisations affiliating with West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, six affiliating with the National Parliament of West Papua being 26 West Papuan organisations already inside.And the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is a West Papua national political body.

Australian green party conference passes resolution to support self determination for West Papua

The Australian green party has endorsed a resolution on West Papua at their national conference in Brisbane on May 20, 2018, as follows:

That the National Conference of the Green Party, Australia:
Reaffirm our commitment to West Papuan self-determination;
Recognizes United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as representative of West Papuan political aspirations;
Supports West Papua to be re-registered on the UN Decolonisation list at the UN General Assembly 2019;
Requests full disclosure of Australian assistance provided to the police and military of Indonesia used in West Papua, including the Joint Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Special Detachment 88 and TNI;
Asks the Indonesian government to respect the West Papuan human rights, including press freedom and freedom of expression;
 Requests that foreign journalists access to West Papua be opened.
As a result of a workshop / presentation held at the National Conference, a consensus-approved Green Australia Member to approve an urgent resolution of West Papua.
Speakers at this workshop / presentation are:
 Dr. Jacob Rumbiak (ULMWP)
Veronica Koman (Indonesian human rights lawyer)
Jason MacLeod (activist educator, organiser, researcher)
Senator Richard at Natale and Andrew Bartlett (Green party)

West Papua speaking tour

Congratulations to all involved in the West Papua speaking tour. Events includedtalks in Brisbane, Caloundra, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong and Canberra. The tour was supported by  Pasifika, Amnesty International Australia, NCCA, and the Catholic Justice an d Peace Commission of Brisbane. More information will follow on a campaign to secure a moratorium on Australian Government assistance to the Indonesian security forces in West Papua.
Photos of Sydney event at

Two other inspiring and informative events occurred in Sydney.  
Women Decolonising Melanesia lecture  (23 May) at the State Library of NSW,  and the  Women Decolonising Melanesia: Workshop (24 May) at Uni of Western Sydney Parramatta City Campus. 
The events were hosted by the Sydney Pacific Studies Network (University of Sydney) in conjunction with the Oceania Network (Western Sydney University). 

Kanaky (New Caledonia) will hold a referendum on Independence in November. A TRT World report at  
Kanaky (New Caledonia) will hold a referendum on Independence in November. A TRT World report at

Presidential Palace to Ponder Freeport Divestment Price
07 Jun 2018 By : Leo Jegho 
Current Indonesian laws, which followed the rising tide of economic nationalism, oblige foreign-owned mining firms to divest 51 percent of their projects to the government.
Jakarta, – President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has reportedly received a proposal on the purchase price for Rio Tinto’s 40 percent participating interest in a giant copper and gold mining project in Papua. Owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the Grasberg pit is the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine. While different unconfirmed price figures had filled the air over the past days, on Wednesday (6/6) that Rio Tinto had proposed US$5 billion for the 40-percent stake being offered to the Indonesian government.

PTFI is a subsidiary of US-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto is an Australian-British multinational and one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporation.
Quoting an unidentified source, mentioned that State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno had submitted Rio Tinto’s price proposal to the President. The source reportedly also said that Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Panjaitan viewed the proposed $5 billion as too high. That amount is much higher than the potential $3.5 billion purchase price previously reported by Reuters. But, Fajar Harry Sampurno, State-owned Enterprises Ministry’s mining and strategic industry deputy, denied that Rio Tinto had proposed $5 billion for its interest in Grasberg. While not mentioning the actual price proposed, Fajar Harry only said that the State Palace would discuss that matter. “And the President will decide whether or not to accept (the proposal),” the official told

The government had appointed state-owned mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) to negotiate with PTFI and Rio Tinto on the 40-percent stake. That move is part of an agreement for Indonesia to acquire 51 percent state in Grasberg mine through PT Inalum. Meanwhile, it had been decided that transaction for Rio Tinto’s 40 percent interest will take place by 2019. Current Indonesian laws, which followed the rising tide of economic nationalism, oblige foreign-owned mining firms to divest 51 percent of their projects to the Indonesian government.

Rio Tinto to sell $3.5b-worth interest in Freeport
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman  The Jakarta Post May 23, 2018 
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto confirmed on Wednesday that it planned to sell its participating interest in Papua’s Grasberg mine -- the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine -- for $3.5 billion. Grasberg mine is currently owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), a subsidiary of United States-based gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoRan. London-based Rio Tinto says it is discussing the sale with state-owned mining holding PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) and Freeport-McMoran, Rio Tinto says in a statement published in the company website.

Rio Tinto notes reports of the potential purchase by Inalum of Rio Tinto's entire interest in the Grasberg mine in Indonesia for $3.5 billion.
The government has appointed Inalum to buy PTFI’s shares, in line with a law that requires foreign mining companies to divest 51 percent of their shares to Indonesian entities. PTFI has long been in talks with the government on the divestment. The process been taking place since early 2017, with the government initially aiming to conclude negotiations by the end of 2017. However, the government extended the divestment deadline for Freeport until 2019 with the issuance of Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2018 earlier this month.

However, Rio Tinto said a final decision had not been made. "No agreement has been reached and there is no certainty that a binding agreement will be signed," the firm says. Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto established an unincorporated joint venture in 1995, which gave the latter control of 40 percent interest up to 2022 in certain assets and future production above specific levels in one of the blocks at Grasberg.  (bbn)   

Health workers are on demand in Papua
Jubi  By  admin
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Accelerating Health Development Unit (UP2KP) admitted Papua Province still need more permanent health workers said UP2KP team to a legislator of the Indonesian House of Representatives from the Electoral District of Papua. They asked the legislator to enforce a quota of health workers in civil servant recruitment in 2018.“We observe that Papua needs permanent health workers for more effective and efficient health services,” said the First Director of UP2KP Agus Raprap in the press release to Jubi on Sunday (20/5/2018).
He said many health problems such as exceptional condition (KLB) and outbreaks of diseases in Papua, in particular in remote areas, were occurred due to a crisis of health workers.

A member of the Commission IX of the Indonesian House of Representatives from the Electoral District of Papua Roberth Rouw said he is ready to view the input on the health workers recruitment for Papua. He moreover said that health is the most critical sector of human development resources.
“I will learn the data related to the human resources demand (in the health sector). I will give it to the Minister of State Apparatus, but UP2KP should also provide data because this is very important to show a specific map about the existing of health workers in Papua and the number of health workers from outside of Papua that we need,” he said.
According to him, the lack of health workers in Papua becomes a very concerning issue. He agrees with the result of the monitoring and evaluation conducted by UP2KP which reveal that many health facilities in Papua, especially in districts, do not have permanent health personnel. (*) Reporter: Roy RatumakinEditor: Pipit Maizier

Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.

Indonesia Clamps Down on Simmering Independence Effort in Papua

Questions over new Indonesian terror law's implications for Papua

Giant Waste-Spewing Mine Turns Into a Battleground in Indonesia

Waste management rules threaten to derail Indonesia mine takeover

Why is New Zealand and the world turning its back on human rights abuses in West Papua?

No comments:

Post a Comment