Monday, August 20, 2018

1) Vanuatu could be alone on West Papua bid at UN

2) Separatist Group Members Killed 2 Military Officers in Papua
3) Papuans feel differently about Indonesia's Independence Day
4) ‘PNG Will Not Back Vanuatu Push For WPapua’
5) Special envoy confident of support for UN resolution on West Papua
Vanuatu could be alone on West Papua bid at UN
3:13 pm today 

Vanuatu's government could be alone among regional administrations in its bid to have West Papua inscribed on the United Nations de-colonisation list.

Vanuatu prime minister Charlot Salwai speaks at the UN General Assembly. Photo: UNGA
The Charlot Salwai-led government plans to submit a draft resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum, calling for Indonesian-ruled Papua to be inscribed on the list at next year's UN General Assembly.  The intention was conveyed at this month's meeting of Pacific Forum foreign ministers in Apia.  Despite claims in Vanuatu, however, that other Pacific governments had indicated they would back the draft, no other countries committed support in Apia.  Vanuatu's announcement of its intention to table the draft was met with demur by Papua New Guinea, Australia and Fiji, while other countries did not make a comment.  Mr Salwai said he would take the draft resolution to Nauru where Pacific Forum leaders hold their annual summit next month.

2) Separatist Group Members Killed 2 Military Officers in Papua

TEMPO.COJayapura - Two officers of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) were killed by armed separatist group members in Tigginambut, Papua Province. The assailants equipped with guns and arrows.
The two officers were identified by their names as second lieutenant Amran Blegur and first private Fredi. They respectively served as commander and staff of the Tingginambut post.
According to deputy commander of the Cenderawasih XVII Military Command Lt Col Dax Sianturi on Monday, the victims were about to distribute food to Papua children. They were attacked by separatist in a bridge.
The report about the separatist ambush was received by Tingginambut military office from local people. The military officers were found dead with arrow and gunshot wound and their bodies were rushed to Mulia Public Hospital.
Their remains were expected to be taken to Jayapura and later to Jakarta on Monday.


3) Papuans feel differently about Indonesia's Independence Day

Ivany Atina Arbi and Nethy Dharma Somba
Jakarta/Jayapura | Mon, August 20, 2018 | 01:21 pm

The 73rd celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day was tinged with reports on actions from some Papuans outside and inside the provinces, which upset authorities over their perceived refusal to celebrate Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch. 

On Aug. 15, a clash occurred between Papuan students and mass organization members on Jl. Kalasan in Surabaya, East Java, as the students reportedly refused to raise the country’s red-and-white flag in front of their dormitory.

The men demanded the Papuan students comply with a regulation mandating the raising of the Indonesian flag every Aug. 17.

A release signed by Azizul Amri of the National Students Front and Nies Tabuni of the Papuan Students Association in Surabaya said the students actually did not object to raising the flag. They accused people from the mass organizations of attacking their dormitory before the dialogue between them had concluded. 

According to the students, about 30 people from mass organizations asked them to raise the Indonesian flag. The students claimed they did not object to it but they needed time to “coordinate” with the dormitory’s caretaker, who was out of Surabaya at that time. 

A clash ensued, in which a man was injured. Basuki, one of the mass organization members, said as quoted by that one of his men had been attacked by a dormitory resident wielding a sharp weapon. The students said in their release that three members of the organizations had beat one student. The student later ran to the kitchen to retrieve a machete. He brandished the weapon and the men ran away in a panic. “One of them collided with another and he hurt himself from a fall,” the release stated. 

Surabaya Police officers then visited the scene and took dozens of students living in the dormitory to police headquarters for questioning.

But by Thursday, the students had returned to the dorm, and none of them were taken into custody.

“As many as 48 students have been returned to the dorm,” said Surabaya Police criminal unit chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Sudamiran. He said the police would first gather evidence on the injured man.

After the clash, local residents of Jl. Kalasan eventually raised the country’s flag in front of the dormitory, named Kemasan III.

Separately, during the orientation event for freshmen at Cendrawasih University in Jayapura, Papua, on Aug. 14 and 15, senior students required the freshmen to chant free Papua slogans and bring Morning Star attributes to the campus. Morning Star refers to a flag used by the Papuan independence movement. 

During the opening ceremony of the event, the seniors reportedly prohibited the freshmen from singing the national anthem, “Indonesia Raya”.

The university’s rector, Apolo Safanpo, confirmed the incident, accusing some people of imposing their political motives on the orientation event.

“The intruders required the freshmen to bring Morning Star attributes and chant slogans contrary to Indonesia’s ideology,” Apolo said, adding that the orientation events had been halted. 

Meanwhile, Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Gustav Urbinas said the use of Morning Star attributes could be linked to treason, and therefore he had called Cendrawasih University student executive body chairman Ferry Kombo and the chairman of orientation events Agus Helembo to the police headquarters.

“We asked for some explanations about the use of Morning Star attributes and the chanting of free Papua slogans,” Agus said. Both of the students had signed a statement citing that they would not let the same incident happen again at their university, or else they would be prosecuted for treason.

A prominent youth figure in Papua, Samuel Tabuni, who is also the director of the Papua Language Institute, said what happened at Cendrawasih University was the students’ “spontaneous action to show their intention to create a future that is free from all threats”. 

According to a 2018 Amnesty International report titled “‘Don’t bother, just let him die’: Killing with impunity in Papua”, unlawful killings by security forces remains high in Papua even after the 1998 reform began.

Amnesty International has recorded 69 cases of alleged unlawful killings between January 2010 and February, with 95 victims. Eighty-five of them were native Papuans, the report said.


4) ‘PNG Will Not Back Vanuatu Push For WPapua’ 

Papua New Guinea Will Not And Does Not Support The Issue Of West Papua Now Being Pushed By Vanuatu At The United Nations. August 16, 2018

Papua New Guinea will not and does not support the issue of West Papua now being pushed by Vanuatu at the United Nations.
This is because according to Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato, West Papua is still an integral part of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea under its foreign policy will not interfere with that and the international law on the matter.
Pato was asked about PNG’s stand on West Papua, given the fact that Vanuatu is now pushing for West Papua at the UN.
He said: “We object to it, so Papua New Guinea will not and doesn’t support any action taken by Vanuatu, so we object to it.”
“Any action to support will be a breach of the international law, you know West Papua or Papua is still part and parcel, an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia and we have a bilateral relationship with the Republic of Indonesia, so we will not support that,” he said.
Papua New Guinea is a bigger player in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Island Forum, let alone the Pacific. There has been lobbying from MSG countries and Pacific to support the West Papua in their quest for independence.
Vanuatu this week has announced that they would be pushing for West Papua at the United Nations meeting this month.
Mr Pato said PNG’s stand is that the government will not support Vanuatu in its push for West Papua at the UN level.


Pacific Beat with  Catherine Graue

5) Special envoy confident of support for UN resolution on West Papua
By Richard Ewart on Pacific Beat

While the rest of Melanesia has cooled on supporting the push for an independent West Papua, Vanuatu has raised the stakes with plans to take a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly calling for the disputed Indonesian territory to be included on the UN de-colonisation list. 
To ramp up their campaign, the Vanuatu government has appointed Lora Lini, the daughter of the country's first prime minister, Walter Lini, as Special Envoy for West Papua. 
Duration: 4min 46sec

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