Sunday, September 30, 2018

1) Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua

2) Bad state of education in the Indonesian province is what makes it the country's poorest, says its new governor

1) Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua
Three Pacific leaders have called out Indonesia at the UN for their human rights abuses in West Papua.

10 minutes ago  
Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai, a long time supporter of West Papuan self-determination, told the General Assembly in New York that decolonisation must remain on the UN agenda.
He said the Human Rights Council must investigate human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.
The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, told the assembly's 73rd session that the Pacific Islands Forum supported "constructive engagement" with Indonesia on the issue.
While Tuvalu's prime minister Enele Sopoaga continued his call for recognition of the indigenous people.
"The United Nations must also engage with the people of West Papua to find lasting solutions to their struggles."
Indonesia rejected what it called attacks on its sovereignty with vice president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla demanding respect for its territorial integrity.
He added that he "deplores" countries supporting separatist movements.
Improving education is an uphill battle in Papua

2) Bad state of education in the Indonesian province is what makes it the country's poorest, says its new governor

September 29, 2018
Benny Mawel, Jayapura  
Papuan children study at Kleublouw Elementary School in Sentani Timur, in Jayapura district. (Photo by Benny Mawel)
Abraham Hubi, thinks he's a very lucky boy to be studying at St. Antony of Padua, a Franciscan-run school in Sentani not far from Papua's provincial capital Jayapura.
The ninth grader who comes from a small, remote village in the hills says it is nothing short of a miracle considering he was still unable to read or write after going through elementary school.
That was why he didn't mind having to do another preparatory year before finally attending the Catholic-run junior high school, which he said offers him his only realistic chance of a better future.
"After leaving elementary school I could only pronounce words and letters. But now I can read and write," he said.
Illiteracy is a major problem in Papua, with many children unable to read or write despite having finished elementary school.
There are many reasons for this, but the most serious are a shortage of teachers and school facilities.
The shortages come as a surprise to many observers considering Papua — besides its natural wealth — has received billions of dollars over the years from central government to help support its special autonomy status.
Local authorities in Papua say they have tried to improve education through programs such as building schools in remote areas. However, critics say they were not supported by sufficient numbers of teachers.
Many Papuan children live in remote villages, however, the good schools are located in cities, said Gabriel Payong, 28, the principal at St. Anthony's school.
He said the best solution for these Papuan students, particularly at elementary and secondary levels, is boarding.
St. Anthony's offers boarding which enables students to focus more on their studies, according to Payong.
"This kind of school is useful for children from villages, who are economically poor but have the will to learn," he said.
He also said boarding school helps make Papuan children responsible people, through the rules and regulations they live by.
"Here students can study, become involved involve in every day things, and we can monitor their progress," he said.
Make use of autonomy fund
After his inauguration at the state palace in Jakarta on Sept. 5 — together with other newly elected governors — Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said that over next five years he and his deputy, Klemen Tinal, would focus on improving education in the province.
He said he would introduce better educational infrastructure in districts and municipalities, as well as offer more scholarships to native Papuans to pursue further studies.
"There are many Papuan children who don't get a proper education," Enembe said.
He said this was the root cause of poverty in Papua, making it the poorest province in Indonesia.
According to the Central Statistics Agency a high proportion of the 26 million Indonesians officially listed as poor live in Papua.
"In the next five years, we expect to see more people being educated," said Enembe.
According to Professor Baltazar Kabuaya from Cendrawaih University, in Jayapura, local government efforts to improve education and other services will likely succeed if there is strong leadership and a will to better manage natural resources and the special autonomous region fund.
Since Papua was given special autonomy status in 2001 in part to help build the province economically, central government has provided more than US$3 billion in additional funding, and plans to provide more in the years before the special status expires in 2025.
The province is home to 3.6 million people, of whom 61.3 percent are Protestant, 21 percent Catholic, and 17.4 percent Muslim.
Kabuaya said the autonomy fund is a large amount when taking the size of the province's population into account so there should not be any excuses for not providing better education for Papuans.
"Otherwise, Papua will be back to square one, after special autonomy status runs out," he said.
More scholarships
This year the provincial government in cooperation with the Ministry of Education is offering scholarships to more than 1,000 native Papuans to pursue higher education at various universities.
All are expected to graduate in teaching and to be placed in secondary and tertiary education.
Ferige Uaga, 28, a medical student in Jayapura, said he appreciated Governor Enembe's good intentions regarding the scholarships, but said they do not go far enough.
Scholarships should not only be given to those pursuing a career in education, but also in other fields.
"Offering scholarships must be objective, and also free from nepotism," she said
Benyamin Lagowan, 28, another medical student, said more people are desperately needed in the health sector so more scholarships in this field should also be a priority.
"Many clinics don't have doctors, so it makes sense the government should support those wanting to become doctors," he said, adding that schools will certainly need health workers too to ensure students are healthy.

Friday, September 28, 2018

1) Heads of State of Tuvalu and Marshall Islands include West Papua in their UN address

2) Vanuatu 

3) Indonesia
4) Vanuatu steps up UN bid for West Papua rights
5) Freeport shifts focus to smelter construction after reaching divestment deal
6) Freeport, Rio Sell Majority Stake in Grasberg Mine to Indonesia

1) Heads of State of Tuvalu and Marshall Islands include West Papua in their UN address

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
At the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly Prime Minister Sopoaga of Tuvalu and President Hilda Heine President of the Republic of Marshal Islands both addressed West Papua in their General Debate speeches that prioritized such important topics as Climate Change, Nuclear Testing, Trade, and National Security. Vanuatu is expected to be the next to speak about West Papua during the morning session on Friday September 28th. Vanuatu will join Samoa, Fiji, and Solomon Islands representing Pacific Island nations on Friday. Papua New Guinea and the Philippines will speak on Saturday September 29th
2) Vanuatu 

Vanuatu championing self-determination for New Caledonia and West Papua

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
Today during the general debate of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, spoke clearly and emphatically in support of decolonization for New Caledonia and West Papua. In the prime minister’s progressive speech he also prioritized Vanuatu’s improvements on women’s health, the serious threat of climate change, reform of the UN’s human rights system,  de-nuclearization and sustainable ocean conservation. 
Here are the prime minister’s remarks on New Caledonia and West Papua:
“Madam President, Since the establishment  of the United Nations some 750 million people from more than 80 former colonies have achieved political independence. However, the situation of millions of others aspiring to self-determination remains desperate.
Vanuatu places a crucial importance on the work of the special Decolonization Committee. The elimination on all forms of colonialism must remain a top priority on the United Nations agenda, in the spirit of the United Nations charter. 
New Caledonia is in the process of determining its destiny through a referendum which will take place on November 4th, 2018. We call on the international community to support the right of the people of New Caledonia to participate fully in this referendum, and above all, to ensure that it takes place in a free and fair manner. 
Madam President, the international community has witnessed violence and violations of human rights that have been suffered by the people of West Papua. We call on the Human Rights Council to investigate these human rights abuses.
We also call on our fellow leaders of the world to pay greater attention to these inhumane acts, and together with Indonesia, to put an end to all forms of violence and find common ground with the populations to establish a process that will allow them to freely express their choice.” 
See Prime Minister Tabimasmas’ full speech here:


video in english
west Papua mentioned just over 11min in
Statement Summary: 

H.E. Mr. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister 
28 September 2018
Statement Summary: 
CHARLOT SALWAI TABIMASMAS, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, highlighted the many achievements of the United Nations in the past seven decades, noting that extreme poverty had been reduced by half and “more girls are in school than ever before”. Women, particularly in rural areas, are contributing to the global economy and the health of mothers and children have improved.  However, overshadowing those achievements are the United Nations failures, including the inability of the Security Council to take decisive action on Syria.  Calling on that organ to demonstrate leadership in preserving global peace, he welcomed the reform efforts of the Secretary‑General.
Turning to human rights, he noted that every country must have a resilient national human rights system to achieve meaningful success in development.  The Pacific region has committed to strengthening its climate resilience.  As the earth rapidly approached a point of no return as evidenced by heatwaves, extreme droughts and the frequency of weather phenomena, it was crucial to take concerted action.  According to the World Risk Report of the United Nations University, Vanuatu is the country most at risk in the world in terms of exposure to natural disasters, which is putting tens of thousands of its citizens’ lives at risk.  If greenhouse gas emissions remain at the present level, there will be increasing costs to deal with, he cautioned.
Developed counties had committed to mobilize $100 billion for climate finance for vulnerable countries by 2020, he continued.  Yet, how this will be achieved remains unclear.  Calling for the adoption of a specific road map for the collection of those funds, he stressed, “climate change will not wait”.  In addition, more flexible access to climate funding was crucial.  The Pacific region cannot afford to see the Paris Agreement relegated to the archives of the United Nations.  That represented a real danger for the survival of their future generations.  Calling on the parties to the Agreement to step up their determination, he noted that as the largest oceanic continent, the Pacific islands are focusing on sustainable policies for the sound management and conservation of the oceans.  Welcoming proposals to support those regional efforts, he highlighted the work of the Pacific Islands Forum. 
While 750 million people from more than 80 former colonies had achieved political independence over the past seven decades, the aspirations of millions of others were still denied, he noted.  Commending the work of the Organization’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), he said that decolonization must remain on the United Nations agenda.  New Caledonia is in the process of determining its own destiny, he said, calling on the international community to support their right to participate fully in the upcoming referendum which must take place in a free and fair manner.  Further, the Human Rights Council must investigate the human rights abuses in West Papua.
Ensuring national sustainable development was a priority for his country, he said, adding that Vanuatu’s Sustainable Development Goals are people‑focused and flexible so that it could achieve a balance between the three dimensions.  Eradication of poverty is essential.  Nonetheless, the country cannot shoulder that responsibility alone.  The difficulty of that task is amplified because Vanuatu gets exposed to natural disasters in increasing number, including recent volcanic activity in one of the islands that led to evacuations.  Expressing gratitude to development partners who helped the country at this time, he noted that Vanuatu would graduate from least developed status in 2020, and asked them to continue supporting the country.


3) Indonesia
"Madam President,
To create peaceful, sustainable and equitable societies, all countries must respect international law and principles of the UN, including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In this connection, Indonesia strongly deplores the attempts of one country to support or even worst... become part of the separatist movements.
This act of hostility has no place in the UN system.... An act which is clearly in violation of UN principles.
For far too long... Indonesia has chosen to build friendly relations with this particular country, including in showing our solidarity and sympathy during difficult time.
But when such hostile acts continue... Indonesia will not remain silent.
Indonesia will not let any country undermine its territorial inte rit .
Like any other sovereign country, Indonesia will firmly defend its territorial integrity... I repeat: will firmly defend its territorial integrity. "
Full statement


4) Vanuatu steps up UN bid for West Papua rights
Published 20 hours ago on 28 September 2018 By admin
By James Halpin
West Papua has been sidestepped by both the the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum. But, reports James Halpin of Asia Pacific Journalism, Vanuatu is undeterred as leading champion for the West Papuan cause and is pressing for United Nations support.
After the failure of the Pacific Islands Forum to move on the issue of West Papuan self-determination earlier this month, Vanuatu is now taking the issue to the United Nations next week
Vanuatu raised the plight of political prisoners charged with treason at a UN working group of arbitrary detention and involuntary disappearances, reports RNZ.
Ninety three West Papuans have been arrested this month for their involvement in peaceful protests.
Simply peacefully raising the Morning Star flag representing an independent West Papua risks 15 years’ imprisonment.
Vanuatu has traditionally been the major supporter for West Papuan self-determination but has recently stepped up his diplomacy with the appointment of Lora Lini, daughter of the late founding prime minister Father Walter Lini, as special envoy for West Papua.
Port Vila wants West Papua to be added to the UN decolonisation list. Netherlands New Guinea had previously been on the UN decolonisation list but was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 in controversial circumstances.
The UN decolonisation list, or officially the United Nations List of Non-Self-Governing Territories, engages member states in charge of those territories to move towards granting self-determination.
Tokelau on list
Currently, Tokelau, which is a dependency of New Zealand, is on the decolonisation list.
Support from the Melanesian Spearhead Group bloc is divided with the Papua New Guinean government declaring this week it would not support Vanuatu, reports the PNG Post-Courier.
The Pacific Islands Forum has failed to bring change for the issue of self-determination and West Papua.
“I can’t say there’s been a huge amount of success,” says Marie Leadbeater, spokesperson of West Papua Action Auckland and author of a recent book See No Evil: New Zealand’s Betrayal of the People of West Papua.
Vanuatu brought a draft resolution for the UN to the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru, reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.
The draft was labelled the “Realisation of the right of Papuan peoples’ self-determination in the former colony of the Netherlands New Guinea (West New Guinea)”.
However, the West Papua issue was not supported by other Pacific nations and was left off the outcomes document of the Forum, reports Asia Pacific Report.
Limited goals
The Forum has been a place to push for limited goals, such as fact-finding when it comes to West Papua.
Leadbeater says New Zealand following Vanuatu’s lead could be a “game changer”, but it is not willing to challenge Indonesian sovereignty.
Similarly, on the recent issue of returning the Chagos archipelago to Mauritius, New Zealand did not support the case to be considered by the International Criminal Court.
Leadbeater is critical of the Ardern government not shifting policy towards West Papua self-determination, “realistically, so far they haven’t.”
At a meeting in Nauru as part of the Forum, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand recognised Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.
Peters added that New Zealand would follow PNG’s lead as its nearest neighbour, reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.
“I think as a Polynesian, or Melanesian or Pacific concept, the first person I’d be consulting on an issue like that is the nearest neighbour to the issue that might be a problem, namely PNG.”
Support from NZ MPs
However, Leadbeater did identify a large number of NZ government MPs who would support West Papuan self-determination, including all of the Greens and high profile Labour MP Louisa Wall.
Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley of the University of Auckland says that since West Papua’s integration into Indonesia in 1969, the cards have been stacked against them.
“You have to go back to 1963. The UN urged Indonesia to hold an act of free association. Indonesia allegedly manipulated the vote.”
Indonesia claimed that Papuans were not advanced enough to deal with democracy and instituted a meeting of tribal elders.
“They handpicked tribal leaders. This vote was contested by local folk who accused Indonesia of manipulation, bribes, and intimidation.”
After the flawed vote, Indonesia instituted a policy of transmigration into West Papua where Javanese were moved from Java to colonise less populated provinces around Indonesia, including West Papua. This policy was ended by current president Joko Widodo in 2015.
However, discrimination against the indigenous Melanesians had become endemic. For example, the courts were stacked with Javanese judges and Javanese got favourable preference.
Little appetite for criticism
Because of examples such as this, an independence movement sprang up in 1963 called the Free Papua Movement.
In the realm of international relations there was no appetite to criticise Indonesia in the 1960s.
Indonesia was sidelined during the cold war and US mining multinationals hadn’t started drilling in the province yet, says Professor Hoadley.
But, things haven’t changed in the past 50 years.
Dr Hoadley says liberal Western countries such as the Australia, New Zealand, United States, and the United Kingdom are status quo powers.
“If you redraw one boundary, then all boundaries are up for change. Better to leave things as they are.”
A consensus among Western nations is that Indonesia has “things under control” and their transgressions against human rights in West Papua are not bad enough to consider attention, claims Dr Hoadley.
Success story
After the end of the Suharto regime in 1999, Indonesia was seen as a success story; a Muslim country that has adopted political parties, elections, and freedom of the press.
“The US thinking is that they’re on a good track and we shouldn’t criticise them too much,” he says.
Ominously, nothing has come of the Rohingya genocide and there is no foreseeable future for West Papuan self-determination unless outside international influence or domestic upheaval forces Indonesia to start the process of decolonising. (Pacific Media Centre)
*James Halpin is a student journalist on the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies (Journalism) reporting on the Asia-Pacific Journalism course at AUT University.


5) Freeport shifts focus to smelter construction after reaching divestment deal
News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Fri, September 28, 2018 | 04:48 pm
After reaching a divestment deal on Thursday, gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) will now focus on a smelter construction plan, which is required for the company to obtain the special mining permit (IUPK) that is needed to operate the Grasberg gold and copper mine in Papua.
“The smelter is part of our agreement. So if the divestment is completed, we will turn to [smelter] construction,” PTFI vice president of corporate communications Riza Pratama said in Jakarta on Thursday as reported by
He said PTFI had showed a commitment to constructing a smelter through engineering design and land preparation processes at the planned location of the smelter in Gresik, East Java.
After years of negotiations, Indonesia signed on Thursday an agreement with American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX), on the purchase of a majority stake in PTFI, which operates the gold and copper mine.
To conclude the deal, however, state mining holding PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), which represents the government in the talks, needs to settle a payment of US$3.85 billion to FCX and Rio Tinto Group within six months.
The planned smelter in Gresik would manufacture 60 percent of the total copper concentrate mined from Grasberg, while another 40 percent would be manufactured at the existing smelter in Gresik.
When asked if PTFI would continue with the plan to construct a smelter in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, Riza said it was still in the works.
The company is currently assessing the feasibility of constructing a smelter on the island. (bbn)

6) Freeport, Rio Sell Majority Stake in Grasberg Mine to Indonesia
By : Wilda Asmarini and Bernadette Christina Munthe | on 12:12 PM September 28, 2018
Jakarta. Global mining giants Freeport McMoRan and Rio Tinto have struck a binding accord to sell a majority stake in the world's second-biggest copper mine, Grasberg, to Indonesia's state mining company, Inalum for $3.85 billion.
The sale brings Freeport close to ending more than nine years of often fractious negotiations with Indonesia over ownership rights to Grasberg.
The agreement gives the parties six months to close the deal and process several permits including those related to antitrust laws in China.
Inalum chief executive Budi Gunadi Sadikin said at a press conference his company would be ready to complete the transaction in November.
Several matters must still be resolved before the share transfer, he said. "There are documents, administrative permits and there is the money," Budi added.
After the transfer Inalum will hold a 51.23 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, which will then be issued with a special mining permit for Grasberg, ending its existing operating contract for the mine.
Inalum has the option of financing the transaction using a combination of bank loans, bonds, and internal cash reserves, Budi said, noting that the composition would depend on interest rates at the time of the deal.
Freeport McMoRan chief executive Richard Adkerson told reporters the deal signed on Thursday (27/09) is a "definitive sales and purchase agreement," which he hoped would end the controversy surrounding Freeport's business in Indonesia.
"This completes the negotiations and fixes and binds issues that were not dealt with," he added. "Now the next step is to go to closing."
"We've responded to the government's ambitions, so our hope is that this allows us to stabilize our operations," Adkerson said.
Rio holds a 40 percent participating interest in the Grasberg mine, which will be converted to an equity stake that will be transferred to Inalum, as part of the transactions.
Freeport Indonesia executive vice president Tony Wenas earlier said he hoped the deal would be closed "this year."
Freeport has been at the crossfire of debates on Indonesia's natural resources management for decades and today's deal should give some relief to the country. Inalum's Budi tweeted after the signing:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

1) Indonesia now holds majority of shares of Freeport

2) Freeport, Rio formally yield control of giant Grasberg mine to Indonesia

1) Indonesia now holds majority of shares of Freeport

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government officially became the majority shareholder at PT Freeport Indonesia following the signing of a number of agreements at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources here on Thursday.

"Yes, the divestment process in PT Freeport has now been finished, leaving only the administrative process that has to be completed by Freeport and Inalum," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said, after witnessing the signing of the agreements.

Indonesian state-owned mining holding company PT Inalum, Freeport McMoRan Inc. (FCX) and Rio Tinto signed a number of agreements to follow up the Head of Agreement regarding the sales of CFX shares and Rio Tinto`s participating right in PT Freeport Indonesia to PT Inalum here on Thursday.

The agreements include PT FI`s divestment agreement, PT Rio Tinto`s shares sales and purchase agreement, and an agreement on PT FI shareholders.

The agreements were signed by PT Inalum`s president director Budi G.Sadikin and FCX`s CEO Richard Adkerson, witnessed by Minister Jonan, State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno and Finance Minister Sti Mulyani.

Under the agreements, PT Inalum`s shares at PT FI have now increased from 9.36 percent to 51.23 percent, while the regional governments of Papua will receive 10 percent of 100 percent shares of PT FI.

The change in the shareholding will be official after payment of US3.85 billion (Rp56 trillion) to CFX, which is to be completed before the end of this year.

"Following the signing of the agreements, the government will issue IUPK (mining license) for a period of 2x10 years until 2042," Jonan said.

PT FI`s obligation to build a copper smelter with a capacity of 2 to 2.6 million tons would continue to be monitored and evaluated with regard to its progress, Jonan said, adding that the project was expected to finish in less than five years.

Minister Rini Soemarno said Inalum`s commitment to meeting the target of the settlement of the divestment was worth praising.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, on the other hand, said, "With regard to support investment for Freeport and Inalum, the government had given certainty regarding tax obligations and non-tax obligations at national and regional levels that must be met by PT FI."

With the conclusion of the divestment process, and following a change from a working contract (KK) to a mining business license (IUPK) system, it is assured that PTFI`s contribution to state income will be larger in the aggregate.

Reporting by Afut Syafril Nursyiwan
Editing by Yoseph Haryadi

Editor: Suharto

2) Freeport, Rio formally yield control of giant Grasberg mine to Indonesia
 |   |

Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) signed Thursday final agreements that give Indonesia a majority stake in their Grasberg copper mine, the world's second-largest, and which would be transferred to the state-owned mining company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum).
The "definitive" and "binding" agreements end a long-drawn-out, three-way dispute over the mine, centred on bringing Indonesian ownership up to 51%, a main requisite set by the government to allow Freeport-McMoRan, operator of Grasberg, to keep doing so.
It could also bring closure to years of disagreements between the Phoenix, Arizona-based copper miner and the country’s government, which last year curbed output at the mine, impacting metals prices worldwide.

The transfer of majority shares to Inalum will happen once the miner makes a payment of $3.9 billion to Freeport and Rio Tinto, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said in a statement.
As announced earlier this year, once Inalum becomes Grasberg's majority stakeholder, the government will issue a special mining license extension to Freeport allowing ore extraction until 2041.
The permit, known as an IUPK, is the “government’s commitment to maintaining the investment climate so as to provide certainty and security to foreign investors to invest in Indonesia,” minister Jonan noted.
The authority added that Freeport’s local unit will have to build a copper smelter with a capacity of 2 to 2.6 million tons per year, which should be completed in less than 5 years.
PT Freeport Indonesia is already drafting a roadmap to manage all environment-related issues surrounding the facility, Minister for Environment and Forest Siti Nurbaya said in the statement.

Government's victory

Today's deal is considered a victory for President Joko Widodo, who faces re-election in 2019 and who has insisted that mining companies must divest majority stakes in order to continue operating in the country.
Grasberg, the world’s second-largest copper mine and fourth largest gold operation, is transitioning to an underground operation, set to reach full capacity by 2022, when it will produce 160,000 tonnes per day of ore.
The additional Deep Mill Level Zone block cave mine, currently under construction, is projected to contribute an additional 80,000 tonnes per day of ore once at full capacity, expected in 2021.
Currently, Grasberg’s reserves are estimated to be worth about $14 billion. Lasst year it accounted for 47% of Freeport’s operating income, according Bloomberg Intelligence.

1) Answers sought over death of Papuan machete suspect

2) Papua Governor says will facilitate Morobe Governor to visit Freeport

1) Answers sought over death of Papuan machete suspect
Activists demand probe into how man accused of chopping off someone's hand died while in Indonesian police custody

Family members mourn over the body of Yudas Gebze at his home in Ilwahab, in Papua’s Merauke district. (Photo supplied)

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta  Indonesia  September 26, 2018

Human rights and church activists have called for an investigation following the death last week of an indigenous Papuan who died in police custody.

Yudas Gebze, from the Malind tribal group died on Sept. 14, a day after he was arrested in Ilwahab, in Papua province's Merauke district for allegedly chopping off a man's right hand with a machete.

He had spent three months on the run prior to his arrest following the alleged machete incident.

In a joint statement, Amnesty International Indonesia and Pusaka, an Indonesian NGO working for indigenous people's rights, called for a prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigation into allegations of torture leading to Gebze's death.

They said several wounds to his head, hands, thighs, and back were the result of torture by security forces. 

According to police spokesman, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, Gebze died from a heart attack.

"Injuries to his body were not the cause of death, he died of a heart attack," he claimed, citing an autopsy report.

He claimed Gebze fell on broken glass while trying to resist arrest. Police took him to hospital, where he died a few hours later.

Yosafat Franky from Pusaka told on Sept. 25 the police's version of events did not sufficiently explain the wounds and that photos of Gebze reveal that he may have been the victim of torture.

He cast doubt on the autopsy because a doctor from the police forensic team carried it out. 

Members of the victim's family witnessed the autopsy but the absence of an independent forensic expert breached impartiality requirements, he said.

"A prompt, independent and impartial investigation is required to avoid similar cases from occurring," he said.

The dead man's family said they want a fact-finding team to investigate the case and present its findings in court.

Human rights defender, Father John Djonga, said the police must show transparency when handling cases such as these.

"Based on the long history of violence against the Papuan people, there is lack of trust in Indonesian authorities," he told

According to Amnesty International Indonesia there have been 95 cases of extrajudicial killing in Papua since 2010. Of those cases 85 were indigenous Papuans.


2) Papua Governor says will facilitate Morobe Governor to visit Freeport

Published 10 hours ago on 27 September 2018 By admin

Jayapura, Jubi – Ginson Sauno, the Governor of Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) asked Papua Governor Lukas Enembe to facilitate the visit of Morobe Provincial Government to the mine site of PT. Freeport Indonesia in Timika.
He conveyed this during a dinner that held by Morobe Provincial Government in Lae City on Thursday (09/20/2018) to welcome the governor and the contingent of Papua provincial government.

“Morobe’s capital, Lae City, often hosts some national events on mining. Therefore, we ask the Governor of Papua to facilitate us visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia,” said Governor Sauno.
Morobe is crucial for PNG because it has main ports in the Pacific region, agricultural industry and plantations, as well as cattle and poultry farms, mining and other major industries. So,  it provides and distributes most of the daily needs of the national community.
Geographically, Morobe is a province located on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea with a population of around 750,000 people living in 33,705 km² area. As a result of the division of the Southern Highlands Province in 2012, the province becomes the most populous province in PNG which consists of Huon Peninsula, Markham River, Delta and the coastal areas along the Huon Bay.
In responding the request of Governor Saonu, Governor Enembe promised to facilitate a team of Morobe Province to visit the mining site of PT. Freeport Indonesia. “As far as known, we just gained 10 of 51 per cent of Freeport’s shares. So I will help to facilitate the visit of Governor Morobe and his team,” said the governor.
Besides visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia, Governor Saonu also offered Governor Enembe the teaching and learning exchange program. According to him, the main obstacle for two provinces in the collaboration is language. Therefore, Morobe Province will send their English teachers to Papua, and in turn, Papua Province will send the Indonesian language teachers.
Meanwhile, for the student exchange program, Governor Saonu offers a scholarship program for Morobe students who want to continue their higher education in Papua.
Governor Enembe has very welcomed this offer. “We have sent many Papuan students abroad for study. So we will follow up the offer from Governor Saonu soon,” he said.
He also regretted not being able to meet with Governor Saonu last year to sign the Letter of Intent (LoI) because at that time he had to report to the President of Indonesia in Jakarta.
“I also regret not being able to bring my office staff because I was just appointed as a governor for the second period a few days ago,” he added.
Regarding the demand of beef supply in PON (National Sports Event) 2020, Governor Saonu has a positive response.  “We are ready to supply meat for PON 2020. We have the largest cattle farm in PNG as well as the chicken farm. This cooperation will benefit the two provinces,” said Governor Saonu.*