Friday, August 30, 2019

1) One dead, several wounded in Indonesia's unrest-hit West Papua


2) President Jokowi leads limited meeting on Papua
3) Melanesia Solidarity rejects Papuan referendum

4) Wiranto Vows to Withdraw TNI, Police from Nduga, Papua
5) URGENT ALERT: United Nations intervention needed before Santa Cruz like massacre takes place in West Papua
6) Why are protestors dying in West Papua?
7) Papua police chief asks businessmen to resume activities
8) DPR denounces vandalistic attack on ANTARA office in Papua 
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AL JAZEERA NEWS

1) One dead, several wounded in Indonesia's unrest-hit West Papua
by Febriana Firdaus  3 hours ago

A local official in Jayapura confirms death amid warnings that the situation in the easternmost region worsens.


Jakarta, Indonesia - At least one person has been killed as police fired rubber bullets after residents in the West Papuan city of Jayapura in Indonesiaattacked Papuan demonstrators, according to an official and a witness.
Rustan Saru, the deputy mayor of Jayapura, confirmed the death to Al Jazeera on Friday, adding that the attack, which also wounded several people, came in response to the protesters destroying public facilities a day earlier. 
On Thursday, demonstrators damaged shops and a local government building as they protested against alleged racial discrimination by security forces and bystanders against ethnic Papuan students in Surabaya, on the main island of Java, earlier in August. The two-week demonstrations have since evolved into demands for self-determination and a referendum on independence, in a region where a low-level armed rebellion against the Indonesian government has rumbled for decades.
The residents, most of whom own kiosks and restaurants, were angry at the protesters and blocked some roads to prevent them from marching forward, including a traditional market and the Entrop area, according to Rustan. 
He added that the residents in Jayapura were also checking on people passing through, especially Papuan demonstrators who came from the highlands of Meepago, where Deiyai district is located - witnesses on Wednesday said at least six people and one soldier were killed after security officers clashed with demonstrators demanding independence.
A meeting between local elders and police was scheduled to discuss the situation, Rustan said. Since the protests began, authorities have deployed 600 extra paramilitary police from North Borneo to Jayapura.

'Very extreme, very alarming'

At midday on Thursday, residents in Jayapura's administrative village of Argapura stopped a car carrying six Papuans from the highlands, a witness who requested anonymity told Al Jazeera.
They dragged the Papuans out of the car, before brutally assaulting and stabbing them with machetes and badek - a traditional knife or dagger. "But the police came and evacuated them to a house," the witness said.
The residents followed the Papuans after they were evacuated, but police had surrounded the house to ensure their security. As the situation escalated and residents threw rocks, police responded by firing rubber bullets, according to the witness. One of the residents was hit and died when the crowd tried to take him to hospital.
Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for Jayapura police, told Al Jazeera that he had not yet received any information about the shooting.
Vidhyandika Djati Perkasa, a researcher at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) described the ongoing civil unrest in West Papua as "very extreme, very alarming", calling it a red flag for the Indonesian government.
He described it as the worst the region has seen in years and warned the situation was worsening.
"The only way the government can do is to show the courage to solve the main issue - law enforcement - not sending more troops," he told Al Jazeera.
"If we cannot resolve the civil unrest, there will be a possibility the international community will intervene," Vidhyandika said.
The government, he added, also needed to assess the effect of the unrest, particularly on the non-Papuans.


video
Indonesia deploys troops to West Papua as protests spread (1:57) 


Indonesia's West Papua region is divided into two provinces: West Papua and Papua. Jayapura is the biggest city in Papua province, home to some 500,000 people.
Overall, there million people live in the ethnically diverse and resource-rich region, where migrants from other parts of Indonesia have more access to the economy than the indigenous West Papuans, resulting in inequality.
The easternmost region was a Dutch colony until the early 1960s when Indonesia made it a part of the country in a controversial 1969 referendum backed by the United Nations
Since 1964, more migrants have come to the region, with research showing that the percentage of Papuans as a proportion of the population has fallen dramatically under a policy known as transmigration.
Transmigration began under Dutch colonial rule during the early 20th century and was continued by the Indonesian government after independence, with the aim of moving millions of Indonesians from the densely populated inner islands of Java, Bali and Madura to the outer ones to achieve a more balanced demographic development.
Under former leader General Muhammad Soeharto, who ruled for 32 years until 1998, there was a significant increase in transmigration, including to West Papua.

video
Indonesia's West Papua protests turn violent (2:14) 

Veronika Kusumaryati, an anthropologist working on West Papuan issues at Harvard University, described the ongoing unrest as a proof of the complexity of Jayapura's social culture.
"This is not merely about ethnicity, but the different interests between them [ethnic Papuan and migrants]," she told Al Jazeera.
As Jayapura's economy has grown quickly, it has attracted more people to the region, Kusumaryati said, with the gap between the indigenous people and the migrants increasing.
"There is no law enforcement, the law only serves those who have access to the economy and politics," she said, referring to the rich and the elites.
As a result, she said, protesters - who have been blocked from getting political access - expressed their anger, not only by marching but also by destroying the public facilities, shops and other buildings.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS
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2) President Jokowi leads limited meeting on Papua
2 hours ago



President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)  led a limited meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Friday to discuss the latest situation in Papua (ANTARA/Desca Lidya Natalia)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) conducted a limited meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta Friday to discuss the latest situation in Papua following a series of violent rallies in the easternmost Indonesian province.  

"At this limited meeting, we discussed efforts to handle (the situation) in Papua. I hope that the security and public order there can be maintained," the President said.
 

Also present at the meeting were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Chief of the State Intelligence Body Budi Gunawan, Chief of the National Defense Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, Chief of the National Police General Tito Karnavian, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
 

The President asked security apparatuses to take firm measures against lawbreakers.
 

"We have security rules. Anybody violating the law must be dealt with sternly. We do not tolerate rioting and anarchy. We order security apparatuses to take stern measures against anybody engaging in a racist slur in any form," he said.
 

He had been informed of the legal measures imposed on the civilian and military personnel involved in the racist slurs, Jokowi said.
 

"The measures have been imposed without exception. I have also ordered the immediate restoration of security and public order in Papua. The dignity and self-respect of all citizens without exception must be protected," he said.
 

The President has also ordered the immediate reconstruction of public utilities damaged in the rallies.
 

On Thursday, the residents of Jayapura, the Papua provincial capital, staged another protest against the alleged racist slurs targeting Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, but the rally turned violent.
 

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, setting ablaze several government buildings. The demonstrators also damaged the office of the ANTARA national news agency in the city.
 

On Wednesday, violence had erupted in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, Papua Province’s capital city, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians. 

Related news: Indonesia grapples with ending tensions in Papua and West Papua

Related news: President orders crackdown on rioting, anarchy in Papua

Related news: DPR denounces vandalistic attack on ANTARA office in Papua

Reporter: Desca Lidya/Suharto
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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3) Melanesia Solidarity rejects Papuan referendum
 2 hours ago




The Papuan Youth Solidarity and Melanesia Race Movement took to the street in Jakarta on Friday to reject Papuan referendum and foreign intervention in the province (ANTARA/Dok. Istimewa)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Papuan Youth Solidarity and Melanesia Race Movement has dismissed a call for a Papuan referendum on self-determination and rejected foreign intervention in Papua that may put the Indonesian unity on the line.  

Some 300 people including Papuan youths and activists of the Indonesian Institute for Law Studies held a peaceful rally in Jakarta, Friday, to express their objection towards a referendum.

During the rally, Ismail Marasabessy demanded the arrest of people hoisting Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag in front of the palace.

"Indonesia must not be damaged due to the act of irresponsible people. The entire nation recognizes freedom and belief and Melanesia race is not a handful of people wishing damage in this country," he said.

The other speaker, El Hakim said Papua is an integral part of the NKRI. All Indonesian citizens must bow to the law. If anybody is guilty he or she must be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Alan MS appealed to his brothers in Papua to be conscious of the fact that peace should prevail again in Papua. Security agencies must deal with the handful of people who do not want a peaceful Indonesia, he added.

"We must maintain the NKRI so we will be able to create togetherness," he said. 

Related news: Papua police chief asks businessmen to resume activities

Related news: President orders crackdown on rioting, anarchy in Papua


 
Reporter: Anom P/Suharto
4) Wiranto Vows to Withdraw TNI, Police from Nduga, Papua
 Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny   Editor: Markus Wisnu Murti 
30 August 2019 19:03 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, has pledged to withdraw military troops from Nduga, Papua, should conditions return to normal.
“If the conditions [in Papua] are conducive and safe from attacks and disturbances, I will withdraw [the officers]. I will demand the President and the TNI commander pull back the troops from Nduga,” said Wiranto at his office, Jakarta, Friday, August 30.
Previously, Nduga Regent Yairus Gwijangge urged President Jokowi to immediately withdraw military and police personnel who had been launching military operations in Papua since early December last year.
The military operations sought to hunt down several suspects who killed workers of the Trans Papua project. The suspects were alleged members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) or the Armed Criminal Group (KKB).
“With high hopes, we demand the President through the DPR speaker withdraw non-organic and organic troops of TNI and National Police deployed there,” said Yairus at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Monday, August 5.
Yairus explained that Papuans were fearful of the presence of military and police personnel in Nduga. He added that people were abandoning their homes due to this situation and thus 11 districts in Nduga were left empty.
DEWI NURITA

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5) URGENT ALERT: United Nations intervention needed before Santa Cruz like massacre takes place in West Papua
August 30, 2019
The people of West Papua need urgent international attention. I am calling on all the world’s governments, parliamentarians and media to shine the spotlight on West Papua. If the world and international media ignores West Papua now, the Indonesian security services may turn it into a bloodbath.
The UN must act. Currently, the people of West Papua are occupying the Parliament and Governor buildings in Jayapura, West Papua’s capital. Electricity and internet services have been cut off, and 300 more officers from the murderous Brimob police unit have been deployed. Footage shows tear gas being used on non-violent demonstrators and latest information suggests the Indonesian military, police and nationalist militias may be preparing to storm the peaceful gathering.
Already in Deiyai, six Papuans were shot dead on Wednesday after being tear-gassed by Indonesian police and military and at least 15 West Papuans were shot with rubber bullets in Jayapura. An 18-year-old student was shot and has not been seen since. There will be more bloodshed unless the world pays attention.
The people of West Papua are no longer afraid. They are marching in their tens of thousands, flying the Morning Star flag. For flying this banned symbol of our liberation, the coloniser will put us in prison or shoot us. The events of the past two weeks are all related: the racism, demonstrations and killings, the desire for self-determination. My people refused to celebrate Indonesian independence day on August 17, instead commemorating the 1962 New York Agreement, the beginning of the historic violation of our right to self-determination. All the while, the people and leaders of the Pacific condemned human rights abuses in West Papua and called for the UN High Commissioner to visit the region.
In Surabaya, Papuan students suffered an extreme act of racism that is part of the daily life of Papuans under colonial rule, called ‘monkeys’ and ‘pigs’ by Indonesian military and state-supported militias. This racist discrimination against my people was the spark which lit the fire of 57 years of sentiment for freedom and independence: the West Papua Uprising. The second wave of this uprising has begun, and my people will not rest until we are granted our basic right to self-determination and a referendum on independence from Indonesia.
This is an emergency situation in West Papua today and things are only getting worse and worse. We urgently need the UN to intervene. I call upon the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and all international for a to please take immediate action to help prevent further massacres. We cannot allow another Santa Cruz massacre to take place in West Papua. The world needs to know and intervene now before it is too late. The world’s media must do all they can to help cover the situation and shine an urgent light on what is really happening. This has the very real power to help save lives.
With the internet and phone lines cut off and tens of thousands of social media posts being taken down, the world must do everything it can to expose the situation. If the world stops looking, Indonesia will launch a crack-down, as it did again and again in East Timor, and in West Papua in 19691977-8199820012014, and countless other occasions. Hundreds of thousands of us have died already. The lives of my people today, fighting with great courage and dignity for their freedom, depends on the world acting.
Benny Wenda
Chairman
ULMWP
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6) Why are protestors dying in West Papua?
30 August 2019

Joel Evans sums up the past month of unrest in the long-running fight against Indonesian occupation.

August was a busy month for those advocating for the West Papuan cause. The last two weeks saw protests – the biggest for over two decades – across the region which culminated in violence and left seven reported dead and many more injured.

If you’re not entirely sure why West Papuans are fighting, you can’t be blamed. While the occupied country – the western half of the island of New Guinea, which lies some 250 kilometres off the north coast of Australia – has a long, bloody history which has seen over 500,000 indigenous West Papuans murdered at the hands of the Indonesian military, their cause is neglected by the international community and its media. (But well reported by New Internationalist – see NI 502 for more – Ed.)
The current unrest came two days after the 57th anniversary of the New York Agreement – the pivotal UN deal that effectively gifted West Papua from Dutch to Indonesian hands.
The agreement, signed on the 15 August 1962, transferred the territory from the Dutch to the United Nations. It would later be handed to Indonesia in 1963, all without Papuans’ knowledge. The agreement stipulated that West Papuans be allowed the chance to vote freely and fairly on becoming an independent nation-state before 1970. But the Indonesian 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ violated the agreement. In reality, 1,026 West Papuan men, handpicked by the military, were forced to vote at gunpoint for integration into Indonesia. Ever since, Indonesia has fiercely defended their claim over the territory, which they consider to be their easternmost province.
The most recent chaos was sparked by two significant events. On 15 August, the multilateral Pacific Island Forum released a communiqué that finally recognized the need to ‘address the root causes’ of the unrest that has gone on for over five decades. Although falling short of calling for an independence vote, it’s the most significant statement issued by the Forum for years.
This positive political development gave cause for optimism. But it was swiftly followed by a violent confrontation between Papuan students and the Indonesian military in the city of Surabaya, East Java on 17 August, Indonesian Independence Day.

Security forces accused Papuan students of disrespecting the Indonesian flag and fired tear gas into their dormitory before raiding the building and arresting them. Dozens of far-right Indonesian nationalists, who had gathered outside the building, began chanting racist slurs aimed at the Papuan students as they were led out and bundled into police trucks. ‘Bantai Papua!’ ‘Bantai Papua!’, which translates as ‘slaughtered Papuans’, joined chants of ‘monkey’ .
Footage of the incident went viral, sparking an eruption of protest. The next day tens of thousands of West Papuans surged on the streets of the two biggest cities in West Papua, Jayapura and Manokwari in an anti-racist protest. It wasn’t long before independence sentiment surfaced. Shouts of ‘Papua medeka!’ (‘Papua freedom!’) were heard and the banned Morning Star flag was soon flying over the crowd. In response, Indonesia deployed 1,200 Indonesian security personnel to West Papua.
Over the next few days West Papuans – tired of decades of under-development, inequality and state-sponsored land grabbing, which has seen Western corporations profit from the territory’s rich natural resources – took to the streets to demand independence. As the situation has escalated, the much needed and long sought-after international media coverage of the protests began to emerge.
‘The racist discrimination towards the West Papuan people is the spark which has lit the fire of over 50 years determination to be free,’ exiled West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda told US broadcaster CNN.

On 21 August phone and internet lines were cut to ‘accelerate the process of restoring security and order’, according to Indonesian state sources. A week later, according to local witnesses, on 28 August, in Deiyai regency, six people were killed by Indonesian security forces and several others injured during a pro-referendum protest. Gruesome photographs have since emerged online. The Free West Papua Campaign are reporting that there have been other fatal shooting across the country.

In an effort to quell the pro-independence sentiment Indonesian President Joko Widodo invited Luks Emembe, governor of Papua province, to the Indonesian capital Jakarta for talks.

Meanwhile, on 29 August, several buildings in Jayaprua were set alight. With the internet cut off and phone lines down it is hard to get an accurate picture of what is happening in the provincial capital but social media posts have described burning buildings and Indonesian military in the street. Campaigners are fearful that the Indonesian military will carry out a repeat of the massacres that happened in Dili, East Timor back in 1990s or on Biak island in 1998, when scores of unarmed civilians died.
This month also marks two years since the West Papua People’s Petition, signed by more than 1.8 million people was smuggled out of West Papua to Geneva, Switzerland.
In the last great stage of its journey a team of swimmers – including myself – carried the petition 69km across Lake Geneva to the United Nations. The petition remains the largest piece of evidence displaying West Papuans desire for independence from Indonesia.
Joel Evans is a producer and founder of Swim for West Papua, based in London. His short documentary – ‘Swim for West Papua’ can be viewed here



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7) Papua police chief asks businessmen to resume activities
 2 hours ago
Jayapura (ANTARA) - Chief of the Papua Provincial Police Inspector General Rudolf Rodja has appealed to local business agents to resume their activities and assured them that the Indonesian military and police would ensure their security.  

"Please resume your businesses so the economy will run again. The Indonesian military and police are ready to guarantee the security of residents and business agents," he said in Jayapura, Friday.
 

Overall, the security situation in Papua is relatively peaceful although a handful of people are still not satisfied with the situation and prefer to wait around their residence, he said.
 
"We are still investigating (the alleged) provocateurs and the team is still working," he said adding there were no provocateurs and demonstrators who vandalized government-owned installations, houses and business sites on their own," he said.

 
"We regret the demonstration which turned into anarchy," he said.

 
The National Police Headquarters dispatched some 1,250 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel, along with 300 military personnel to keep Jayapura safe, he said.

 
The military and police have conducted joint patrols in Jayapura, he said.
 
On Thursday, the residents of Jayapura, the Papua provincial capital, staged another protest against the alleged racist slurs targeting Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, but the rally turned violent.
 
The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, setting ablaze several government buildings. The demonstrators also deliberately damaged the office of the ANTARA national news agency in the city.
 
On Wednesday, violence had erupted in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, Papua Province’s capital city, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians. 

Related news: President Jokowi leads limited meeting on Papua

Related news: Samuel Tabuni urges Papuan youth to reduce anger

Related news: Shopping malls, schools in Jayapura remain closed day after rioting

Reporter: Evarukdijati/Suharto
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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8) DPR denounces vandalistic attack on ANTARA office in Papua 
 3 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives' Commission I Deputy Chairman Satya W. Yudha deplored, Friday, the vandalism on ANTARA news agency’s office in Jayapura, Papua, during a rally held a day earlier to protest against alleged racist slurs.

"(The demonstrators) deserve to be condemned, as they have destroyed the national news agency," Yudha stated.

Yudha has urged security personnel to tightly protect strategic offices until normalcy has been restored.

The government, especially the National Defense Forces (TNI) chief, must act promptly to placate tensions, so that the people will not engage in anarchic acts.

He vociferously denounced those anarchic acts that involved separatism, adding that they can, at no cost, be tolerated.

The TNI chief must mobilize his men to prevent anarchic acts and should not hesitate to take firm action against them since they reject four grand national consensuses covering the 1945 Constitution, state ideology of Pancasila, Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and Unity in Diversity, he stated.

On Thursday, the residents of Jayapura, the Papua provincial capital, staged another protest against the alleged racist slurs targeting Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on Aug 16, but the rally turned violent.

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The demonstrators also deliberately damaged the office of ANTARA national news agency in the city.

On Wednesday, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, Papua Province’s capital city, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians. Related news: President orders crackdown on rioting, anarchy in Papua

Related news: Travel ban on 7 involved in racist speech

Related news: Police, military still controlling security in Papua

Reporter: Imam Budi/Suharto
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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