Monday, July 1, 2019

1) Papua Church network seeks reconciliation

2) Papua pins high hopes on Jokowi continuing infrastructure development
3) Grasberg Mine 
4) West Papua rebels unite to form new army
5) KPK arrests former Papua Highways Public Works head
6) Korowai people ask health ministry for their promise on health services
7) Indonesia to make major Pacific pitch at NZ expo


1) Papua Church network seeks reconciliation
But clashes in the restive Indonesian province continue amid mutual suspicions
Veni Mahuze, Jayapura  Indonesia  July 1, 2019

The new leader of the Papua Peace Network, Father John Bunday, says that reconciliation is needed to unite divided Papuans. (Photo by Veni Mahuze/
After the death of co-founder Father Neles Tebay in April, the Papuan Peace Network (PPN) sought a replacement who would also be passionately committed to facilitating dialogue in Indonesia's troubled West Papua Province.
A month later, human rights' activists, religious leaders, academics, lawyers and others involved in the network held a meeting
And they decided that Father Jhon Bunay was the right man to take over as the organization's coordinator.
Prior to his election, Father Bunay was a professor of Christian spirituality at the Fajar Timur School of Philosophy in Jayapura, the capital of West Papua Province that borders with the independent nation of Papua New Guinea.
Father Bunay previously worked closely with the popular and much-missed Father Tebay.
Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, remained part of the former Dutch colony after the rest of Indonesia gained independence in 1945 but was annexed by Jakarta in 1963.

A United Nations supervised, but none-the-less rigged, vote on self determination in 1969 settled little.
Amid a controversial internal migration scheme bringing in landless people from other parts of Indonesia, sporadic clashes and intermittent massacres have continued since.
In the early years, the independence movement was dominated by the Free Papua Movement, best known by its Indonesian acronym of OPM standing for 
Organisasi Papua Merdeka.

There have been various new and splinter secessionist groups in West Papua and at some stages military-dominated nationalist governments in Jakarta directly accused prominent members of the Catholic Church in both Indonesia and PNG of supporting poorly armed Papua independence guerilas.
Internal divisions in the province have been exacerbated because there are 'Indonesianized' Papuans who support Jakarta's rule, akin to what happened in former East Timor, now the independent nation of Timor Leste.
The PPN, which is also known by the Indonesia acronym JDP (Jaringan Damai Papua), was established in 2010 to restart a stalled reconciliation process both locally and nationally.
Father Bunay said that isolating Papuans from outsiders caused many people to see the situation only in terms of an independence struggle.
Reconciliation, while attempting to overcome prejudices, should still allow ordinary people to speak of their suffering from decades of injustice and discrimination, the priest said.

Why reconciliation and how?
There is still sporadic violence.
For example, a conflict involving the people in central Nduga district started in December when Papuan gunmen shot dead construction workers, with reports of the death toll ranging between 17 and 31.
There have been dozens more deaths on both sides since in this area and the number of internally displaced people has been estimated at more than 30,000.
Father Bunay, when stressing the need for enhanced reconciliation efforts, cited this strife as well as the killing in May by government security personnel of four people in south-western Asmat district during local election-related unrest.
With most Papuans being Christians in a majority-Muslim nation, both the Catholic and Protestant churches have a role to play in striving for peace, including reconciliation with non-Papuans.
Internal reconciliation could be followed by a next step of reconciling with the government, military and police, Father Bunay said.
In this context, the military and police would be asked to explain why Papuans had been targeted for "torture or killing".
"As a Catholic priest, my task is to bring peace and spread the Good News so that people live happily and love each other," he said.
Father Bunay said in the near future, his group was scheduled to meet President Joko Widodo to further discuss ways of advancing the Jakarta-Papua dialogue.

People's support
Marta Bano, a mother from the northern coastal town of Abepura, said she agreed with the reconciliation process provided Papuan people benefit.
Meanwhile, some other Papuans are doubtful that divisions will be ended.
They cite problems in the implementation of 'special autonomy status' that saw the allocation of some US$5 billion in development funding by Jakarta between 2001 and 2017.
James Modouw, an expert at the Education Ministry and also a member of PPN, said that training Papuans as 'peace facilitators', including religious leaders, teachers and students, would be a key to success.
Elga Sarapung, director of the Indonesian interfaith group called Dian Interfidei, said churches in Papua have become a last hope for peace.


2) Papua pins high hopes on Jokowi continuing infrastructure development
7 hours ago
Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Papua provincial government is upbeat about President-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi) continuing infrastructure development, so far, conducted in the province, during the second term of his administration.

Secretary of the Papua provincial government Hery Dosinaen stated here on Monday that infrastructure development projects so far implemented in the province, including construction of the TransPapua road, will be continued.

"The development of local infrastructure has a major impact on boosting the economy of Papuans," he remarked.

Dosinaen expressed gratitude for the safe and smooth implementation of all stages of the presidential election for the appointment of the new elected president and vice president.

"The success of the presidential election is, of course, inseparable from the hard work of the TNI (Indonesian national army) and Police apparatus, and other related parties in maintaining a conducive situation, as are the people who contribute in maintaining safety, especially in Papua," he affirmed.

He also called on all Papuans to not be incited easily by any parties that intent to hinder the security and stability in Indonesia, particularly in Papua. EDITED BY INE
Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Eliswan Azly


Atlas Obscura

3) Grasberg Mine 
This mile-wide crater high in the mountains of Indonesia is the largest gold mine in the world. 

The Grasberg Mine is a vast open pit mine in Papua, Indonesia, forming a crater an entire mile wide. For years it has been one of the most productive mines in the world, with massive reserves of gold and copper. Situated high in the rugged Sudirman Mountains near two rare equatorial mountain glaciers, it is also the world’s highest quarry, some 14,000 feet above sea level. 

This massive mine sits at the collision point of two tectonic plates, where millions of years ago hot magma intruded into sedimentary rock layers during the uplift of the local mountains, resulting in the formation of copper- and gold-bearing ore. Since the early 1990s, the Grasberg operation has been busily extracting this ore at a staggering volume. In 2016, the vast mine produced more than 1 billion pounds of copper and 1 million ounces of gold.
Once the precious metal is extracted, it is crushed in the mine’s milling and concentrating complex, which is the largest in the world. The grinding units at the mill can process a daily average of 265,000 tons of ore. The ore is then sent in a slurry along three pipelines to the seaport of Amamapare, over 70 miles away. It is filtered and dried at the port, after which the copper, gold, and silver can be shipped to smelters around the world.

Today, the pit mine has been all but exhausted. But while production has temporarily fallen away, the huge reserves of gold and copper remain—albeit deeper underground. Grasberg is now transitioning to underground block carving, with underground mines replacing the work in the pit.
Unsurprisingly, such a massive mining project has not gone without its share of controversy. To start are the environmental concerns: Each year, the mine dumps tens of millions of tons of waste into the local river system, which is now almost devoid of fish and generally considered unsuitable for aquatic life. Freeport-McMoRan, the U.S. company in charge of the mine, has long insisted that its practices meet industry standards. That, however, is not a position held by environmental groups and local citizens. Tensions have also flared at Grasberg due to the low share of revenue going to local Papuans, and questionable payments made by the mine to the Indonesian security forces that protect it. 
Know Before You Go
Grasberg Mine is located in the village of Tembagapura in the Papua province of Indonesia. It’s about 60 miles north of Timika, and not far from Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Papua. Tours of the mine can be arranged.


4) West Papua rebels unite to form new army
4:09 pm on 1 July 2019  

Armed rebel groups in Indonesia's West Papua have reportedly united to form a new army under a single command.
A release from the office of the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, says it's the first time the three major factions have come under a single arm.
Under the This 'Vanimo Border Declaration', the Liberation Movement is taking political leadership of the new grouping, formed today and dubbed the West Papua Army.
Mr Wenda says they are ready to take over Papua and are calling for international and domestic support.
"We welcome any assistance in helping us achieve our liberation. Indonesia cannot stigmatise us as separatists or criminals any more, we are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting," he said in a statement.
The new force includes the West Papua Liberation Army, which is fighting a bloody war with state forces in Nduga regency.
Also joining the united front are the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army.
5) KPK arrests former Papua Highways Public Works head
7 hours ago
The former Head of the Public Works Agency of the Highways of Papua Province was detained for the next 20 days at the Jaya Guntur Regional Military Detention Center today
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Monday detained former Papua Province Highways Public Works Head Mikael Kambuaya (MK), in a corruption case involving a road project of Jayapura District in Papua. The case was regarding the procurement of a project to improve Kemiri-Depapre road in Jayapura District on the Papua Provincial Budget in 2015.

"The former Head of the Public Works Agency of the Highways of Papua Province was detained for the next 20 days at the Jaya Guntur Regional Military Detention Center today," KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said here Monday.

In addition, the KPK last week also accepted the calculation of the state’s financial losses from the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) with regard to the case, said Febri.

"It is suspected that the state suffered a loss of Rp.40.9 billion," Febri said.

Earlier, the KPK, Friday, June 28, also arrested another suspect in the case, identified as the majority shareholder of PT Bintuni Energy Persada (BEP), David Manibui (DM).

Manibui was detained for the next 20 days at the KPK Branch Prison, behind the KPK Red and White Building.

The KPK has named Kambuaya as a suspect in the case of alleged corruption in the procurement of Rp. 89.5 billion for road improvement on the Kemiri-Depapre road section which resulted in losses to the state amounting to Rp. 42 billion in February 2017.

Kambuaya is suspected of violating Article 2 Paragraph (1) or Article 3 of Law Number 20 Year 2001 regarding Amendment to Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning Eradication of Corruption Crimes in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) 1st Criminal Code.

As the Head of the Papua PU Office and a budget user at that time, Kambuya was suspected of committing an illegal act, misusing his authority to benefit himself, others, or the corporation related to the increase of the Kemiri-Depapre road section in Papua Province with a project value of around Rp.89.5 billion.

The winner of the tender was PT BEP headquartered in Jakarta.

PT BEP is located at Jalan Binyamin Sueb Blok A5 B.10 A17 Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, according to the Papua Province Electronic Procurement Service (LPSE) page.

The budget ceiling is valued at Rp.89,530,250 with PT BEP's bid price of Rp.86.89 billion for 24 kilometers of road. Sixteen companies participated in the tender.

Manibui as the majority shareholder of PT Bintuni Energy Persada (BEP) through PT Manbers Jaya Mandiri (MJM) is alleged to have committed an illegal act and misused his authority to enrich himself or others or a corporation related to the procurement of road works of Kemiri-Depapre in Jayapura District.

For his actions, David Manibui is suspected of violating Article 2 Paragraph (1) or Article 3 of Law Number 20 Year 2001 jo. Article 55 Paragraph (1) 1st Criminal Code.


Reporter: Benady/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Suharto

6) Korowai people ask health ministry for their promise on health services

Jayapura, Jubi – KOPKEDAT (The Remote Area Humanitarian Care Community) invoked the promise of the Ministry of Health when visiting Korowai for a survey in 2017. The Chairman of KOPKEDAT Yan Akobiarek said the promise has never actualised until now. “The main purpose of their visit was ‘Puti Hati’, the Korowai girl whose injury formed a hole on her cheek and became a concern of the central government,” he told Jubi on Friday (28/6/2019).
Further, he said the locals urgently need adequate health services, in particular in Danowage and Brukmakot villages where located in the forest areas. “ I think there will be a huge change after the integrated team returned to Jakarta. But there is no significant change. I hope the newly elected president along with the Papua Governor can help us to accommodate the issue of health here,” he said.
Similar with Akobiarek, a health cadre in Danowage Mrs Perin Lambe, who also the wife of an evangelist Jimmy Weyato, asked both the elected president and governor to pay more attention to the importance of health services in Papua’s remote areas. (*)
Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Pipit Maizier
7) Indonesia to make major Pacific pitch at NZ expo
Mackenzie Smith MackSmithNZ 
Johnny Blades Johnny Blades, RNZ Pacific Journalist

9:53 am on 1 July 2019 
The Pacific Exposition, which will take place in Auckland from July 11-14, is expected to bring together the foreign ministers of Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia, as well as senior government officials from across Polynesia and Melanesia. A bilateral agreement is to be signed with the Cook Islands at the same time.
The event is the latest foray in a determined diplomatic outreach in the Pacific region that Indonesia's government of Joko Widodo has overseen in the past few years.
Jakarta has made no bones about its aim of greater connectivity with a region that has been critical of Indonesian administration of restive Papua. The Auckland expo is the strongest sign yet of Indonesia's intent.
Pitched as a trade, investment and tourism forum, it will involve dozens of government and private sector representatives from several Pacific Island countries, with most of their expenses paid for by the Indonesian government.
"The exposition is also the first step towards connecting goods and people of the Pacific and Southeast Asia," reads a flier for the event.

Flier for the Pacific Expo 2019 in Auckland, organised by Indonesia's government. Photo: RNZ Pacific
Indonesian embassy officials -- who in April quietly toured several Pacific nations to drum up support for the forum -- said it has been well-received across the region. Still, according to one person who has advised embassy officials, Vanuatu's government has refused to attend, the only Pacific nation approached to do so.
The person, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the matter, said Indonesia also hoped to establish a trade "hub" in one Pacific Island country which it could use to facilitate the flow of goods throughout the region.
Although Indonesian embassy officials stressed that the event was apolitical and trade-focused, they said they were worried it would be protested by activists and advocates critical of Indonesia's handling of human rights in Papua. Local government officials from Papua and West Papua will be in attendance and stalls promoting investment in the two provinces will be set up as part of the trade show.
It comes as Papua has reentered the spotlight, after an escalating war between the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesia's military forces since December sent the Central Highlands region into chaos.
Rights group estimate tens of thousands have been displaced by the violence -- which was sparked in part by the massacre of at least 16 Indonesian construction workers by the Liberation Army in Nduga regency. Disputed accounts from military forces and rebel fighters indicate dozens on both sides have been killed in ongoing skirmishes.

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affair Marise Payne and her New Zealand counterpart Winston Peters Photo: RNZ/ Tom Furley

High level attendance

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who is expected to attend the expo alongside his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, last month said he would raise concerns over human rights abuses in West Papua with Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi. It is unclear whether talks would take place during the exposition, and the offices of Mr Peters and Ms Payne did not respond to emailed questions.
Senior Indonesian cabinet members have in recent months openly talked about influencing the Pacific Islands into supporting its claims over Papua.
In September, local media reported Indonesia's top security minister, Wiranto, as proposing $US4 million in funding toward convincing South Pacific nations that Jakarta was promoting development in Papua. He also invited the leaders of Vanuatu and Nauru to see the positive work in Papua for themselves. Neither took up his offer.
Ms Marsudi, the Foreign Minister, recently said her country considers the Pacific Islands as "family", noting that technical cooperation and capacity building with regional countries will grow significantly in the coming years.
Despite their strong ties with New Zealand, Niue and the Cook Islands have been in Indonesia's sights and bilateral relations are expected to open for the first time in the coming weeks. In March, while pitching the opening of ties to Indonesia's House of Representatives, Ms Marsudi said the two countries did not support "separatism" in Papua.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna will be attending the exposition next week -- the only head of state to do so -- and an official with his office said a cooperation agreement would be signed on July 12 in Rarotonga. Niue Premier Sir Toke Talagi was also slated to attend the event and sign a similar agreement but illness has reportedly expected to prevent him from attending.
Among those attending will be New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Maori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta. According to a draft agenda of the event, Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister, Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika is also expected to attend. Tonga's Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva is a vocal supporter of West Papuan self-determination aims. His government advocates for the relisting of West Papua on the agenda of the UN Decolonisation Committee so that there is UN oversight over the human rights of West Papuans. Vanuatu is preparing a UN resolution along these lines, but will be hard pushed to gain majority support in the General Assembly, given Indonesia's growing influence.
The appearance of high level officials will be a boon for Indonesia's investment pitch to the Pacific, a region where strategic competition between Western powers and China has overshadowed Indonesia's growing economy and regional leadership ambitions.
A Western diplomatic source who spoke on condition of anonymity said Indonesia had "relentlessly pursued" Pacific Island nations into attending the event, adding that its no-expenses-spared policy of providing travel and accomodation costs to delegates had likely encouraged many to attend.

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