Wednesday, December 19, 2018

1) Peaceful resolution to Papua’s war for liberation

2) Talking Indonesia: roads, development and violence in Papua
3) Government to solve environmental crimes and human rights violations
4) Indonesian lawmakers worried about Manus naval base plan

1) Peaceful resolution to Papua’s war for liberation
Veronica Koman
Jakarta / Wed, December 19, 2018/ 11:12 am

Hundreds of people march in Surabaya under the banner of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) to commemorate Dec. 1, the day they consider the West Papua Liberation Day. (JP/Sigit Pamungkas)

While we mourn for the more than a dozen lives lost in the Papuan regency of Nduga recently, we should spare a thought for the thousands of other lives lost in the natural resources-rich territory since this conflict began. We should ask why it is one of the world’s longest-running struggles and what can bring it to a close.

On Dec. 13, the speaker of the House of Representatives stated that he would provide support for a “military operation other than war” in Papua. Papuan people have suffered through at least 16 official military operations since 1961. Further operations would only deepen Papua’s wounds and make a peaceful resolution more difficult to achieve.

In previous military operations in Papua, civilians made up the largest numbers of victims. Furthermore, military
impunity and a weak legal system means there has never been accountability for these civilian deaths. As a first step toward justice, instead of sending more troops, an independent team from the National Commission on Human Rights should be deployed to investigate the conflicting claims in Nduga.

There is a strong movement for peaceful resolution of the Papua conflict via an exercise of the right to self-determination. This non-violent movement is growing fast and not only in Papua itself. Thousands of people, Papuan and non-Papuan, have participated in meetings, public discussions and peaceful demonstrations in dozens of cities across Indonesia in recent years. Of the 537 people arrested for peacefully demonstrating on Dec. 1, alone, 185 were non-Papuans.

If the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) freedom fighters in Nduga are captured or killed in a military operation, we can expect that they would be replaced. Papuan youths who are members of non-violent organizations
show tremendous support for the TPNPB. To them, TPNPB freedom fighters are elders making extreme sacrifices. Crushing the TPNPB in Nduga would not solve the conflict in West Papua; it would outrage and radicalize the non-violent wing of the movement.

The same goes for the repressive tactics being used against the non-violent movement. Non-violent activists in Papua’s urban areas have been subjected to illegal arrests, harassing surveillance, arbitrary destruction of property and
other forms of interference. Many have told their lawyers, including me, that this repression leaves them feeling
 there is no room for peaceful action in urban areas and that they would do better to take up arms with the
TPNPB in the jungle.

Papuan students in Java face additional repression from civil militia groups who threaten violence without
fear of arrest. Some of these students have told me that if they have to fight off thuggish militias determined
to stifle free speech, they might as well go all the way and fight the Indonesian military by joining the TPNPB.

The origins of the TPNPB show that the Papuan people have long fought to remain independent. In 1942 during the Japanese occupation, Papuans in Biak declared their independence. Tens of thousands of Free Papua Movement members in 1965 resisted Indonesia in the lead-up to the fatally flawed 1969 “act of free choice”. This history
illustrates the fact that today’s TPNPB freedom fighters are continuing a longstanding “war of national liberation”.

International humanitarian law recognizes them as combatants and not, as the government prefers to describe them, merely members of an “armed criminal group”. Wars of national liberation are addressed under Additional
Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Although Indonesia is not yet a signatory to this protocol,
combatants on both sides must still respect basic international humanitarian law as a matter of customary
international law during the armed conflict.

Until President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo fulfills his long-neglected promise to open access to Papua for foreign
 journalists, the outside world will cry foul. Free domestic discussion is also imperiled: Police have threatened
 a Papuan senator with prosecution under the draconian Electronic Information and Transactions Law after he
 spoke about six civilians who were allegedly killed in a joint military and police operation in Nduga.

Since last year, security forces have made similar threats against ordinary civilians and human rights defenders
 monitoring military and police operations in Papua’s remote areas. Any accounts differing from the biased military
line are declared to be “hoaxes”.

We must urgently resolve the conflict in Papua once and for all. The government is misguided in its belief that an infrastructure program will placate Papuans’ abiding demand for self-determination. As the Indonesian Institute
of Sciences has recognized, the root cause of the conflict is the forceful integration of Papua into Indonesia.Indonesian lawmakers would do well to acknowledge this reality.

As a newly elected member of the UN Security Council, Indonesia’s stated priority is fighting for the noble cause of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. It should be no less a priority for Indonesia to democratically address the same fundamental demand being voiced by the Papuan people.
The writer is a human rights lawyer representing hundreds of activists who rallied on Dec. 1.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post


2) Talking Indonesia: roads, development and violence in Papua

In early December, at least 16 civilians and one soldier were killed, with five others missing, in attacks on workers 
constructing the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga district in the Papuan highlands. The armed wing of the
 pro-independence Free Papua Movement, the TPNPB, has claimed responsibility, as part of the protracted
 conflict between the Indonesian government and sections of Papuan society. Indonesian police and military
 have launched joint operations in response, reportedly also causing several fatalities.
The two Papuan provinces – Papua and West Papua – have the lowest human development index scores in 
Indonesia, and the Jokowi government has placed infrastructure projects like the Trans-Papua Highway at the 
centre of its approach to the area. In the wake of this attack, questions inevitably arise about Papuans’ attitudes 
to these development projects, and more broadly, the Indonesian nation and Papuans’ place within it.
In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Dr Jenny Munro,(link is external) an anthropologist
 from the University of Queensland’s School of Science, and author of the book Dreams Made Small: the 
Today’s episode is the final instalment of Talking Indonesia for 2018. The podcast will return on Thursday 17 January.
The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, 
Dr Jemma Purdey(link is external) from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi (link is external)from the Singapore Management University 
and Dr Dirk Tomsa(link is external) from La Trobe University.
Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here
subscribe via iTunes(link is external) or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

3) Government to solve environmental crimes and human rights violations

Published 15 hours ago on 19 December 2018 
By pr9c6tr3_juben
Jayapura, Jubi – Environmental activists and NGOs such as Yayasan Pusaka, SOS Tanah Papua, KPKC GKI Tanah
Papua and PAHAM urged the central government to immediately solving the human rights violations and 
environmental crimes occurred in Papua.
This call is related to the 75th World Human Rights Day on 10 December 2018 that concern over violations 
and crimes against humanity and the environment.
A human right defender Yohanis Mambrasar said he received a report said that many civilians in Nduga Regency 
forced to take refuge and leave their villages. There is no guarantee of security and food for them.
“They are worried and suppressed by the security forces that involved in the evacuation of shooting victims. 
We also heard that a church activist was shot and died in Nduga,” said Mambrasar.
Meanwhile, the Rev Matheus Adadikam, the Director of ELSHAM (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy) 
Papua, in a press release to Jubi said President Joko Widodo had given less priority to human rights enforcement
 in Indonesia, particularly in Papua, even though he promised to solve a number of past human right violations 
in Papua including the incidents in Abepura, Wamena and Wasior.
The development pattern and security approach in handling many problems in Papua considered ineffective, 
because people have traumatized since 1 May 1969. Therefore, the government and politic elites must be wise 
in responding the shooting incident in Nduga Regency. People had traumatised by Mampenduma Military 
Operation of 1986.
“We asked the Military and Police to prioritise professionalism and uphold the applied laws and human values 
according to the UN Human Rights Convention.
We also asked the armed group to be fully responsible for this incident. Do not involve the civilians because it
 would take more casualties.
 Environmental crimes
Pressure on the environment as a source of life for indigenous Papuans also occurs in several regions through 
land clearing and deforestation for plantation, mining and logging activities on a large scale which involving 
the capital owners, transnational companies and state officials.
“Our sacred and sago forests in Muting and Bupul, Merauke Regency, have been evicted and demolished by
 private companies without consultation and agreement. They did it quickly and gave improper
 compensation for 
the lands and our loss,” said Bonefacius Basikbasik Kamijae, the Chief of Kamijae clan.
Both central and regional governments have ignored and failed to protect the rights of the community started 
from the issuing of business permit and license for land and forest use. Furthermore, the government also 
considered for not being consistent regarding policy and regulation on the protection of forests and peatlands.
Aish Rumbekwan from WALHI Papua described that land conversion and large-scale deforestation from oil palm 
plantations, commercial plantations, mining and logging activities have triggered the climate change and raised 
the greenhouse emissions.
Therefore, the government should take immediate actions to reduce the earth temperature to below 1.5 degrees
 to ensure the safety of the people and their living space.
“We asked both regional and central governments to immediately implement a program to evaluate, review and 
revoke the business permits of forests and lands use that violate and contradict the regulations and customary 
laws,” said Rumbekwan.
Maratha Resolution
Environmental organisations in Papua have just completed their meeting in the Forum of Policy Dialogue and 
the Conference of Papua Customary Community held on 7 – 8 December in Susteran Maranatha, Jayapura City.
The meeting has set a resolution to address human rights violations and environmental crimes in Papua.
The resolution urged the government to thoroughly solving the human rights violations and humanitarian issues 
n Papua through a transparent legal process and provide justice to the victims and their families.
The government must take immediate action to restore and rehabilitate the rights of victims and their families.
The government must immediately recognize, protect and respect the existence of indigenous Papuans and the 
rights of indigenous people, the right towards lands and forests, the right of freedom of expression, the right of 
customary institution and the right of freedom of organisation, the right of development, the rights of customary 
laws and customary court.
The recognition, respect and protection of rights are effective methods to prevent human rights violations, 
environmental crimes and deforestation.
Meanwhile, Franky Samperante from Yayasan Papua said that the rights of indigenous Papuans to determine 
the development and take a decision on the land use by the outsiders have included in the Papuan Autonomy Law
and derivative regulations.
However, the government has not fully acknowledged, protect and respect it.  “The government takes the interest 
of capital owners on behalf of the economic development as a priority. It also failed to monitor and conduct 
law enforcement towards the company who violate and commit environmental crimes and commit violence 
against the community,” said Samperante. (*)
Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier


4) Indonesian lawmakers worried about Manus naval base plan
12:42 pm on 19 December 2018  

Indonesia has expressed concern at Australia's plan for a naval base on Manus Island in neighbouring Papua 
New Guinea.

The plan, which Australia's government recently said was being developed with PNG, also has buy-in from the 
United States.
It has been seen as a strategic move to counter Chinese influence in the region.
However, The Australian reported that Indonesian lawmakers are concerned that the Lombrum naval base will 
lead to escalation of international tensions and disrupt trade relations.
A government-aligned MP, Satya Widya Yudha, said parliamentarians regret the plan to build a military base in 
PNG just like they regret China's plan to build a base in the Pacific Islands.
An Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the government does not yet have a clear 
picture of plans for the Lombrum base.
But he said Indonesian MPs want to ensure there is no power projection or instability in the region.
Indonesia's government has said Canberra should brief it on its plans for the naval base which is located close 
to Indonesia and in a passage of sea lane strategically important to it.
A parliamentary spokesman for President Joko Widodo's People's Democratic Party of Struggle described the 
plan as a "worrying development that could threaten regional stability".
Evan Laksmana, a senior researcher with Jakarta's Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said while 
Indonesia-Australia defence co-operation has increased in recent years, Australian strategic planning 
"should not assume passive neutrality on the part of Indonesia in thinking about a future regional conflict".
Canberra was already upgrading the Lombrum base on Manus Island in collaboration with the PNG government
 when US Vice-President Mike Pence announced at the APEC leaders summit in Port Moresby last month that 
Washington would join the effort.
The Lombrum naval base was originally built by the US in 1944 during the second world war.
The plan to redevelop it follows months of speculation that Beijing was interested in building its own deep 
water port on Manus, and amid concerns over China's increasing economic influence over Pacific Island nations.

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