Thursday, February 28, 2019

1) Papuans plan to boycott Indonesian elections, say activists

2) Freeport Copper Production Predicted to Drop to 41mn Tons
3) WCC mission criticises Papua rights violations in plea for ‘openness’

4) Let’s Tell A Story: Initiative puts Papua in the spotlight
1) Papuans plan to boycott Indonesian elections, say activists
Published 4 hours ago on 28 February 2019 
By pr9c6tr3_juben
Papua, Jubi – West Papuan people will not take part in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections, say the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP).
This is because they accuse the Indonesian government of illegal political practices in Papua, of failing to uphold the rights of the Papuan people and because both presidential candidates have a bad track record on Papua.
“Indonesia is a state which since the declaration of the Trikora operation on December 19, 1961, has conducted illegal political activities in the territory”, said FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) offices in Central Jakarta last week.
“Because of this we are taking a position and declaring that we will not take part in the 2019 presidential or legislative elections,” he said.
Anta explained that what they mean by the territory of West Papua was an area extending from Numbai to Merauke, Raja Ampat to Baliem and Biak Island to Adi Island.
The groups also believe that the contestants in the 2019 election on April 17 are the same as those in previous elections where candidates are only interested in gathering votes from the Papuan people.
However, there has been no effort by the legislative, presidential or vice-presidential candidates to uphold the rights of the West Papuan people, they say.
Maintaining colonialism
Speaking in the same vein, Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) national collective secretary-general Samsi Mahmud said that the Papuan people were not interested in the 2019 elections.
Aside from Indonesia’s illegal political activities, according to Mahmud none of the political parties are articulating the wishes of the Papuan people and the elections are only aimed at maintaining the practice of colonialism.
“[The elections] are a tool for the colonial government to put local power holders in place to safeguard their interests”, said Mahmud.
AMP member Erepul Sama said there was no difference between the two presidential candidates, incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, particularly in their handling of human rights violations.
“Prabowo himself has a bad track record in Papua such as the Mapenduma incident. But this doesn’t mean that Jokowi is any better”, said Sama.
“Jokowi has allowed human rights violations to occur again and again, for example in the bloody Paniai case which has still not been resolved”, he added.
Aside from declaring that they will not take part in the 2019 elections, the FRP-WP and the AMP made three other demands: West Papuans be given the right to self-determination, All organic and non-organic troops be withdrawn from Papua, and Journalists be given free access to Papua.
Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961.
It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.
The Mapenduma operation was a botched rescue operation in the remote Mapenduma area of West Papua led by then Kopassus commander Prabowo Subianto in 1996 to secure the release of World Wildlife Fund researches taken hostage by the Free Papua Movement.
The attempt ended in a military attack on Geselema village resulting in the death of up to eight civilians.
On December 8, 2014, barely two months after Widodo was sworn in as president, five students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency.
Shortly after the incident, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but four years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings. ( Indonesia)
Source: Pasific Media Centre
2) Freeport Copper Production Predicted to Drop to 41mn Tons

Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny
   Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana 
28 February 2019 07:49 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - The mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia or PTFI predicted its copper production will be at around 41 million tons this year, drastically dropped when compared to last year’s 178,100 tons daily.
PTFI president director Tony Wenas explained that the declining production was in line with the transition process from an open pit into an underground mining operation. He predicted the production would be relatively the same and would not see a significant increase until next year.
However, the poor condition, Tony added, would go better in 2021. “The production in 2021 will raise up to 60 million tons copper per year, and in 2022, we will return to a normal production level,” said Tony Wednesday, February 27.
Throughout 2018, PTFI’s copper sales reached 1.13 billion pounds with the production at 1.16 billion pounds. As for gold, the sales amounted to 2.37 million ounces with the production at 2.42 million ounces.
CEO Freeport-McMoRan Inc., one of PTFI shareholders, Richard C. Adkerson said that the open pit mining operation in Grasberg would complete in the first semester of 2019. The company also further developed its production in underground mining during the shift.
Richard expressed optimism that the gold and copper mining company could achieve the set target on Freeport`s underground mining operation, which was daily producing over 200,000 tons of gold and copper ore.
3) WCC mission criticises Papua rights violations in plea for ‘openness’
A special mission from the World Council of Churches has criticised the ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in the West Papua region after its five-day visit to Indonesia last week and has called for “more openness” by the authorities.
It is also said Papuan people seemed to be “systemically marginalised” and urged more dialogue without conditions.
The ecumenical delegation coordinated by the WCC visited Indonesia on February 15-22, including the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat (West Papua) – where increasing violence and discrimination against indigenous Papuan people was recently highlighted in a joint statement by five UN human rights mandate-holders.
The purpose of the delegation’s visit was to express solidarity and encourage member churches and related organisations in their efforts for justice and peace in Indonesia.
While in Papua and Papua Barat, the delegation members met local church leaders, victims of human rights violations and conflict, traditional leaders, the governors of both provinces and other local government representatives, and Indonesian military and police officials in Jayapura, Manokwari, Merauke and Wamena.
“Access to the Papua region has been severely restricted in the past,” said WCC director for international affairs Peter Prove.
“We greatly appreciate the fact that Indonesian authorities enabled our delegation’s visit to take place, and we hope that this will be the beginning of more openness and increased access for others to the territory and its people.”
Severe problems
However, members of the delegation were alarmed to hear from almost all the Papuans they met of the severity of the problems they continue to face.
Dr Jochen Motte, deputy general secretary of United Evangelical Mission, said: “As somebody who had the opportunity to be part of the WCC team visit in 1999, it was sad to realise that the issues mentioned in the report at that time today are almost the same and that the Special Autonomy Status … could not meet the expectations of the Papuan people and bring an end to discrimination and human rights violations.”
The Special Autonomy Law was enacted in 2001 as a basis for Papuans to play a role in determining their own political, social, cultural and economic development within the Republic of Indonesia.
But almost all Papuans the delegation members encountered – including local government officials – considered Special Autonomy a failure, and that its most important elements had not been implemented.
The delegation was concerned to learn that due to migration and demographic shifts, indigenous Papuans now form a minority in their own land.
Landgrabbing, environmental degradation and accelerating destruction of the forest and river resources upon which Papuans’ livelihoods traditionally depended were frequent complaints heard by the delegation.
According to Papuan counterparts the prevailing development model in the territory “is for others, not for us”.
‘Systemically marginalised’
Dr Emily Welty, vice-moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, said: “Papuan people seem to be systemically marginalised and excluded in all areas of life.”
In Wamena and Jayapura, delegation members met internally-displaced people who had fled from conflict and Indonesian military and police operations in the Nduga region following an incident on 2 December 2018 in which 21 road construction workers were reported killed by an armed group.
The total number of IDPs is unknown, but many are thought to be still taking refuge in the forest without support.
Bishop Abednego Keshomshahara of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania said: “It was painful to see so many child victims of this violence who fear to return home because of the presence of military and police who should be the ones protecting them in their villages and schools.”
During the visit to Papua the delegation received a joint appeal from the leaders of four churches in Papua – the GKI-TP, the KINGMI Church in Tanah Papua, the Evangelical Church in Tanah Papua (GIDI), and the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua – calling for international ecumenical support for a comprehensive political dialogue for the resolution of the situation in Papua.
Rev. James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, said: “It is clear that dialogue without preconditions is the only path forward in such a situation as we encountered in Papua.”
Organised as part of the WCC’s “Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace”, the visit focused on issues concerning religious freedom and inter-religious harmony in Indonesia, and the human rights situation in Papua.
Bomb attacks
The delegation was hosted by the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) and the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua (GKI-TP).
Delegation members also visited churches and their Muslim community partners in Surabaya, where suicide bomb attacks took place in May 2018, and welcomed the “extraordinary inter-communal and inter-religious solidarity” they observed.
However, in a meeting with Minister for Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, delegation members also expressed concern over still high numbers of prosecutions under Indonesia’s blasphemy law, and the ways in which the 2006 Religious Harmony Law is used to marginalise religious minorities


4) Let’s Tell A Story: Initiative puts Papua in the spotlight


Jakarta  /  Thu, February 28, 2019 

While most people are familiar with Indonesia’s picturesque destinations – think Bali and Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara – Papua rarely comes up in conversation.
In reality, Papua, as frequent travelers can attest, has some of the country’s most scenic views and unique culture, such as pristine waters and the rich marine diversity of Raja Ampat in West Papua.
In an effort to encourage conversation, and to foster recognition of Papua, nonprofit organization EcoNusa launched an initiative called MaCe Papua, highlighting Papuan stories.
MaCe – short for Mari Cerita (Let’s Tell a Story) – comes in the form of a monthly discussion that highlights various topics, from local Papuan languages to culinary adventures.
For its initial discussion on Wednesday, EcoNusa brought in homegrown Papuan talents, inviting singer Michael Jakarimilena, author Raden Lukman and activist Lisa Duwiry.
Lisa has been active in championing social issues surrounding Papua. One of her first initiatives was to participate in a book drive called Buku Untuk Papua (Books for Papua).
“At first I was a volunteer, and at that time Twitter was abuzz with all sorts of social initiatives, but then I noticed there was next to nothing for the people of Papua,” she said. “I looked around and I finally found Buku Untuk Papua founder Dayu Rifanto.”
The book initiative grew over time to include free classes and a crowdfunding drive for a library.
After taking a break from the initiative and finding herself still wanting to do something for the Papuan people, Lisa started #UntukKorowai after finding a story on Facebook about a Korowai child named Puti Hatil in need of medical assistance.
“Initially, I went just to help spread the word around, but eventually it got bigger through celebrities and influencers highlighting the issue. We eventually managed to raise around Rp 136 million (US$9,697) to pay for a teaching assistant for the village as well as medical supplies.”
Lisa believes that growth and progress for Papua should not be limited to infrastructure and natural resources, as it should also include the people.
“The people of Papua are brilliant, and imagine if we can harness that potential. Indonesia will be immensely rich if we can involve Papua more in our development.”

Michael, known for his stint in the first season of Indonesian Idol, was born and raised in Jayapura, leaving his hometown to study in Surabaya in 2001 before making it to Jakarta three years later for the singing competition.
Throughout his singing career, which has taken him to numerous places, both at home and internationally, Michael often sings songs about Papua and asks his audience whether they have been to Papua as a way to introduce the region.
“I always say to them, ‘Papua is more beautiful than the stories I tell you’. Papuan children, with all of their disadvantages, venture out into the world to gather knowledge and to know their brothers and sisters from across the country.
“I make a point of saying, ‘If you’re Indonesian, visit Papua to get to know your Papuan brothers and sisters’,” Michael said, describing Papua as Indonesia’s “paradise on earth”.
Michael is aware many Papuan children often dream of being either a civil servant for financial stability or a soccer player for the fame and glory.
He himself once dreamed of being a player for Persipura, a soccer club based in Jayapura.
“It is every Papuan boy’s dream to play for Persipura, because the club’s vision is to bring glory to God and to bring honor to the Papuan people. When you see a player out on the field, you’ll see that he doesn’t play for himself, but he plays for his family and friends, carrying their hopes and dreams.”
Meanwhile, Raden, who was born in the Papuan city of Sorong, said that even though his father is from Banten and his mother from Jakarta, he reserved a special place in his heart for Papua.
His love for Papua is manifested in his book Ku Kenalkan Papuaku (Introducing My Papua), which he wrote to provide a different perspective on Papua for those who have never stepped foot there.
Raden, who recently graduated from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, said he intended to return to Sorong to become a city planner, using his knowledge to improve his hometown.
“For me, Papua is not only built by material things. What we need is for people to put their hearts into it. I always tell my friends that the sun rises in the east, and because of that, hope also comes from the east. This means that we are people with hope in our hearts,” he said.
“Whenever my Papuan friends say we’re not experienced enough, I always reply that what we can offer is the future.” (ste)

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