Wednesday, February 13, 2019

1) Over 80 teachers take refuge following exchanges of fire in Papua

2) International award for film about journalism in West Papua
3) 'Violated' Ex Freeport Workers Opens up to President Jokowi

4) Forum SG says Vanuatu position on self-determination issue admirable


1) Over 80 teachers take refuge following exchanges of fire in Papua

Wamena, Papua, (ANTARA News) - Over 80 teachers along with several hundred of their students have taken refuge in safer places in the Jayawijaya District's areas following recent exchanges of fires between armed Papuan rebels and security personnel.

A teacher in Nduga Sub-district, Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, informed Antara here on Wednesday that the teaching staff, who have taken refuge, teach at 10 elementary schools, five junior high schools, and two senior high schools in the sub-district area.

"We cannot as yet give you further information on this matter. Let the head of the sub-district's educational affairs office do that," the teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted.

A total of 406 students fled their houses without carrying along their school equipment, such as books, pencils, and pens, owing to the shock and trauma they experienced on hearing the sounds of exchanging gunfires.

Meanwhile, Ence Geong, coordinator of the Voluntary Team for Assisting Nduga Sub-district's Refugees, noted in the Sinakma area of Jayawijaya District that the local authorities continue to gather detailed information on the displaced teachers.

"According to our statistical data, there are 120 teachers in Nduga Sub-district," he remarked, adding that the teachers taking refuge will be placed in emergency classrooms, so that their students could still be taught.

Those teachers would be spread across 12 classrooms.

"We are so thankful for the teachers' initiatives to give each of their students a book and pen," Geong noted.

A circle of violence remains unstoppable in the Indonesian province of Papua. On February 2, 2019, a civilian was gunned down by armed Papuan rebels in a village of Jayawijaya District.

This murder of Sugeng Efendi, a resident of Wuyukwi Village, Mulia Sub-district, has increased the death toll of civilians in the hands of armed Papuan rebels following the killings of 31 construction workers in December 2018.

The 25-year-old kiosk keeper was shot dead by an armed Papuan rebel on Saturday evening. Efendi's murder took place two days after the Free Papua Movement (OPM) announced its official support for its armed wing's declaration of war against Indonesia.

According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the announcement was made by OPM spokesman Jeffrey Bomanak at a press conference held in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea, on January 31, 2019.

RNZ quoted Bomanak as saying that the war against the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia "would not end until Jakarta agreed to meet for peaceful negotiations, for which the OPM is establishing a team of negotiators."

In fact, over the past year, the armed Papuan separatists had not only campaigned a series of killings of civilians and security personnel, but they were also involved in other serious crimes, such as holding civilians and hostages and raping the victims.

Reporting by Marius Frisson Yewun, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati

2) International award for film about journalism in West Papua

6:41 pm on 13 February 2019 

A short documentary which highlights the risks of being a journalist in Indonesian-ruled Papua region, or West Papua, has won an international film award.

Aprila, directed by Rohan Radheya, took out the best short film award at the 16th Pacific Fifo Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia.
The Dutch journalist and film-maker's documentary tells the story of a young local journalist who stopped doing her job after receiving death threats.
According to Fifo's website, audience members in Tahiti expressed interest in the insight the film offered into a region and freedom struggle largely unknown to the world.
Mr Radheya said while international attention on Papua often focused on restrictions that Jakarta placed on access for foreign journalists, the plight of local journalists was ignored.
"What we endure as foreign journalists is nothing compared to what local indigenous journalists in Papua are facing," he said.

3) 'Violated' Ex Freeport Workers Opens up to President Jokowi

Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha  
 Editor: Laila Afifa 
13 February 2019 16:12 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo met with former Freeport Indonesia worker representatives at the Presidential Palace today who came to explain what they experienced in the past several weeks.
The representatives were former Freeport Indonesia’s team head Jerry Jerangga, dump truck operator Stefen Yawan, and machine operator Oktopia Yeimo.
They came to meet Jokowi to complain about the inhumane treatment they received as Freeport workers. “We ask the president to take firm action against the employment norms violation we experienced as workers of Freeport Indonesia in Papua,” said one of the representatives.
The former Freeport workers asked to be reemployed and demand the company to fulfill the rights of the workers by stop implementing foreign policies on Indonesian soil as it violates Indonesian laws.

Vanuatu has always been very principled in its approach to West Papua, in the issue of self-determination of any country, particularly in our own region, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor said.
She says the approach by Vanuatu is a very admirable position to take.
Dame Taylor says some of the countries don’t come out as strongly as Vanuatu.

“There are countries that have different views on this but they have come together with a collective decision.
“In all their communiques they (Forum Leaders) have expressed their concerns about human rights issues until last year.
“Last year they instructed the secretariat to keep a more proactive engagement with Indonesia,” she stated in an interview with Kizzy Kalsakau from 96 Buzz FM.
Dame Taylor said last year Prime Minister O’neil addressed the University of the South Pacific and raised human rights issue and has been supportive of UN Human Rights Commission Mission to go into West Papua.
“I myself as SG met with Human Rights Commissioner last year when they came through the Pacific after they visited Jakarta, we raised the issue as well that, that is what we want to see.
“From the Secretariat itself what we have done over the last two years is we’ve gone into West Papua and Papua provinces to observe the elections there to see indigenous West Papuan people participate in those processes.
“Our reports are written and are sent out to member states.
“The situation of West Papua in the last couple of weeks has been desperate.
“People have died. People from Java and other provinces but most of all people of Melanesian decent, there have been tragedies there.
“I understand Indonesian Government has asked for the UN Mission to go in.
“Pacific countries should be on that (UN) mission,” Dame Taylor said.

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