Monday, July 23, 2018

1) State-run Banks Will Not Fund Freeport Divestment

2) Indonesia escalating violence against West Papuans 
3) Melanesian Spearhead Group failing - Ralph Regenvanu  
4) 32 foreign diplomats enjoy visit to Raja Ampat: Yembise


1) State-run Banks Will Not Fund Freeport Divestment

TEMPO.COJakarta - State-owned mining holding company INALUM has announced the financial backing to acquire 51 percent of Freeport Indonesia’s shares will be funded by foreign banks so as not to disrupt the rupiah echange rate.
“We do not want to affect the rupiah’s conversion because the transaction will be conducted overseas utilizing US dollars. INALUM and Freeport Indonesia’s income are in dollars, which is why it will not disrupt the exchange rate of the rupiah,” said INALUM head of corporate communications Rendi Ahmad Witular today.
However, Rendi stopped short of pinpointing which foreign banks would be invloved in the funding. 
Earlier, the head of the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara), Maryono, said four state-owned banks would not participate in funding INALUM. He added that the funding would possibly be done by privately-owned or foreign banks.
“Yes, the reason is to flow cash into Indonesia from other countries that will increase our foreign exchange,” said Maryono.
On Thursday, July 12, the Indonesian government represented by INALUM ratified the head of agreement for Freeport McMoran Inc share sales and the participation rights for Rio Tinto in Freeport Indonesia to INALUM.


2) Indonesia escalating violence against West Papuans

Press release - Indonesia escalating violence against West Papuans 
Reports and footage of villages burning from Indonesian military strikes in West Papua in the last week indicate a new escalation in violence against West Papuans according to solidarity group, West Papua Action Auckland [WPAA] 
“ The exact locations and number of civilian injuries and deaths are hard to quantify, but the Alguru village area has clearly been under violent attack and many families have fled into the forest with no support. Our organisation is deeply concerned about this escalation and has written to the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs calling for him to immediately raise the need for in independent investigation of these events. If security forces in the highlands are attacking communities with or without Indonesian Government endorsement they must be stopped. As a neighbour we cannot just sit in silence while villages are firebombed. The Prime Minister hosted President Widodo of Indonesia recently and made some small reference to human rights concerns. This is far a from adequate response to the ongoing situation in West Papua whereby human rights and self determination are actively suppressed. The latest incidents show the Indonesian Government allowing state violence against communities and our Government needs to speak out against this,” said WPAA coordinator and former MP Catherine Delahunty. The group is still waiting for a response from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

3) Melanesian Spearhead Group failing - Ralph Regenvanu
4:53 pm today

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister says he's lost faith in the Melanesian Spearhead Group because of a lack of consensus and political engagement.
The group had become especially contentious after including Indonesia in 2015, which had clashed with United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which holds observer status.
In an interview with Australian thinktank the Development Policy Centre, Ralph Regenvanu, said the MSG was disappointing and becoming less relevant.
"That consensus approach to decision making is failing in the MSG. Vanuatu's been consistently saying that it's not happy with the way that decisions are made, that they're not made in the consensus manner, and that's continuing."
Mr Regenvanu said if the group returns to its purpose it could become relevant again.


4) 32 foreign diplomats enjoy visit to Raja Ampat: Yembise

Sorong, W Papua (ANTARA News) - Some 32 foreign diplomats, participating in the 2018 diplomatic tour to Raja Ampat District in West Papua Province, enjoyed their visit, according to Women`s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yembise.

The foreign envoys were captivated by the view of Raja Ampat from the Piaynemo top, the minister stated here, Monday.

They also lauded the environmental preservation efforts made owing to the local, traditional, and cultural wisdom, she pointed out.

Yembise expressed hope that the foreign ambassadors and diplomats would spread the word around on Raja Ampat`s scenic beauty in their countries.

The minister is optimistic that the diplomatic tour would help to increase the number of foreign tourists to Raja Ampat.

"Let us preserve the underwater natural scenery of Rapa Ampat, so we can benefit from sustainable tourism for the sake of the children and grandchildren," she emphasized.

The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat, fondly monikered the "living Eden" or "paradise on Earth," was earlier a lesser-known tourist spot, familiar only to intrepid travelers and avid divers.

A crown jewel of Indonesia, Raja Ampat has crystal-clear turquoise waters and isles that are covered by thick, green carpets of dense forests and mangrove swamps.

Located in the Coral Triangle, the heart of the world`s coral reef biodiversity, between the Pacific and Indian oceans in eastern Indonesia`s West Papua Province, the world is now taking notice of Raja Ampat after the Indonesian government intensified its tourism promotion here.

Editor: Otniel Tamindael

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