Friday, August 23, 2019

1) 'They label us with degrading prejudices': How Papuan students deal with everyday racism

2) Papua Shootout; Jayawijaya Regent Calls on People to Stay Calm
3) Palace accuses OPM of exploiting Papuan racism issue to create riots
4) 6 TNI Officers Examined over Racist Remarks against Papuan
5) Policewoman Dismissed for Giving Papuan Students Packs of Liquor
6) Police names 10 suspects in Timika riots  

7) Three suspected of loot, rioting in Manokwari under police arrest

8) Papua unrest reflects long standing issues, locals call for equal development


1) 'They label us with degrading prejudices': How Papuan students deal with everyday racism
Gemma Holliani Cahya and Benny Mawel The Jakarta Post
Jakarta/Jayapura   /   Fri, August 23, 2019   /  09:49 am

For many Papuans, being able to study on the island of Java — home to the nation’s top universities — is both a privilege and a curse.
With limited access to higher education in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, many young Papuans decide to leave their hometown and migrate to major cities in Java, including Surabaya in East Java and Jakarta, to get a better education.
However, that opportunity, given only to a lucky few, also comes with a price: having to deal with everyday racism making their lives more difficult.
Andi Marani, 26, a native Manokwari who has been living in Yogyakarta for the last eight years, said that while he enjoyed the city and had made strong and loving friendships with fellow students from various cultural backgrounds, as a young Papuan, he also found it challenging to find a place to live there.

It was not unusual for landlords to express their approval of his rent application by phone only to reject him once they found out where he was from.
“They would say all the rooms were occupied or that they were doing renovations,” he told The Jakarta Post.    
“Sometimes, as I hang up the phone after another rejection from a kos-kosan[rooming house] owner, […] I think to myself, ‘What if I told them that I am from Makassar or other parts of Indonesia?’ If I told them that, would they allow me to stay, would it be easier for me to find a place to sleep?”  
When he begins to feel desperate, he said, he was willing to beg the kos-kosan owners to give him and his fellow Papuans a place to stay.
“I told them we are university students. We need a place to live and sleep in our own room to study well. I told them if they need an agreement letter or they want us to meet the community around the house and the head of neighborhood units to ensure them that we are going to [behave], we would do that. But it’s still hard,” he said.
For Papuan students outside of Papua, racism is the norm.
Fennie Kocu, who was born Timika, left his family to study in Yogyakarta when she was 13 years old, only to be the brunt of racial slurs.
“I hear them talking in Javanese, telling each other to stay away from me because they think people like me, Papuans, smell bad. They also ask me whether I have a television at home. They label us with degrading prejudices. As a kid, I did not have the courage to stand up for myself, so I just kept my mouth shut. But it hurt me and really affected my self-esteem,” she said.

With strikingly different features – darker skin, curly hair and a larger physique – from the local Javanese, Papuan students are easily spotted. Like Andi and Fennie, many have experienced a form of racism that rarely, if ever, made national headlines. That is, until a few days ago, when security personnel and members of nationalist groups called Papuan students “monkeys” during a fracas in Surabaya and Malang in, East Java.  
The incident triggered a wave of protests across Papua and West Papua that began on Monday and continued until Thursday.
The protestors argued that the derogatory terms showed that some Indonesians looked at Papuans as subhuman, which supported the narrative of pro-independence groups who believe that racism is at the core of injustices in the region.
Anie Soetjipto, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) School of Social and Political Sciences, explained that the stereotypes given to most ethnic groups in Indonesia were based on their cultural characters. But when it comes to Papua, these stereotypes are based on their physical differences.
“In Surabaya, when they call Papuan students ‘monkey’, they attack these students’ physical features and their race – this is racism,” she said.
The commonly held stereotypes of Papuans, she explained, were thus different from the ones about Javanese, Bataknese or Minangkabau people.
In its strongest statement, the Papua’s People Assembly (MRP) called on Papuan students living outside of their province to return home. The assembly said it would send 50 of its members to Manado in North Sulawesi, Makassar in South Sulawesi, Yogyakarta and Bali next week to pick them up.
“Papuan university students must return home. We will come to them and [convince them to] return to their homeland, to this monkey city, to this monkey zoo,” MRP deputy chairman Jimmy Mabel said in Jayapura on Wednesday.
Jhon Gobay, the chairman of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP), said the incidents in Surabaya and Malang were only the tip of the iceberg of discrimination and racism Papuan students must face every day.
“This [what happened in Surabaya] has happened for too many times in other cities. This is how Indonesia has been treating Papuans. And I don’t think it will stop anytime soon (…) It is never about the lack of development in Papua; it is about how they treat us as human beings; it is about how they violated our human rights. For us, the only solution for this never-ending racial abuse is a referendum, giving Papuans the freedom to have their own nation,” he told the Post.
For Andi and Fennie, what matters now is for Indonesia to end racism against Papuans and they be treated as individuals who should not be judged by the actions of other Papuans and whose actions do not represent all Papuans.
Andi said: “If one or two Javanese people or other students from other ethnicities make a mistake, their groups of friends won’t be judged by their mistake. But that is not the case with Papuan students. My friends and I are not seen as individuals; our actions will represent everyone from Sorong to Merauke. One mistake that we make will bring stigma to all Papuan students. And this is just not fair.”
Fennie expressed a similar sentiment: “I always feel the need to prove myself as a ‘good Papuan’ to them. There is a fear that I will not be accepted by them, that I am not good enough because of where I am from. And that makes me very sad.”
2) Papua Shootout; Jayawijaya Regent Calls on People to Stay Calm

Markus Wisnu Murti

TEMPO.COJakarta - Jayawijaya Regent Jhon Richard Banua called on citizens of Papua to stay calm and composed following the recent shootout between a local armed criminal group (KKB) and a joint Indonesian law enforcement team (TNI-Police) at the Jibama Market.
What is worrying is that a member of the criminal group had threatened locals prior to being shot by law enforcers.
“People, do not be provoked by rumors stating that a member of the public were shot. [The group's member] was armed and forced to be neutralized,” said Banua in Wamena on Friday, August 23
Banua said that the suspect, who was considered a separatist, would have possibly turned attention to civilians present at the market if law enforcers did not act quickly.
The Jibama market was suddenly deserted following the shootout and was immediately secured by members from the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the National Police.


3) Palace accuses OPM of exploiting Papuan racism issue to create riots

Detik News - August 22, 2019

Noval Dhwinuari Antony, Jakarta -- Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP) Moeldoko believes that there is an armed group and political axis that is exploiting racism issue to cause riots on Papua. The Free Papua Movement (OPM) is one of them.

"There is something that's a paradox, on the one hand Pak [Mr] Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] wants to develop Papua to quickly to bring prosperity to the Papuan people, the same (as other regions), quickly improve things for the better, and this is being enjoyed by a section of the Papuan people, but as it turns out there are certain groups both from the armed axis movement as well as the political axis movement, who actually feel disturbed and there is very real anxiety", said Moeldoko when speaking at his office in Central Jakarta on Thursday August 22.

Moeldoko was responding to the issue of racism which has been cited as the cause of the riots in West Papua province over the last few days.

Moeldoko says that this armed group and political axis do not want Papua to advance because if Papua develops they will not have any suitable issue to sell overseas.

"As an example, these armed groups before, as a region is developed, the people's prosperity improves, so the level of influence of these armed groups among the people declines", he said.

Likewise in the case of political axis groups. According to Moeldoko if Papua advances then these groups will not have any issues to sell to the Papuan people who are marginalised.

"There is an indicator, when development is underway its always disrupted. After education infrastructure developments [teachers] have been abducted. Right now we also see that there are efforts like this, buildings which should be protected are burn down. This is one of the indicators which is very clear", he asserted.

Moeldoko asserted that there is a real anxiety among these armed and political axis groups who do not like development in Papua. Moeldoko also explained that the OPM is one of these groups.

"It's already clear right, this is the OPM group, the group I mentioned earlier, there's a political group, there's an armed group, there's a political axis", he said.

One of the ways in which the riots in Papua are being exploited by these groups is to fly the Morning Star independence flag in the midst of the riots.

"I think that indeed there are groups exploiting this situation. It's clear who they are. They're manipulating the situation that's taking place, but praise be to Allah with full awareness the people as it turns out were not drawn into their plot, [government] officials have been very wise and capable", said Moeldoko.

Moeldoko believes that the OPM axis is capitalising on the issue of racism so the riots which they have sparked do not appear to have a clear reason. "Yes, they're taking advantage of it", said the former armed forces chief.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Moeldoko: OPM Cemas Hilang Pengaruh, Manfaatkan Rasisme untuk Rusuh".]



INDOLEFT News service


4) 6 TNI Officers Examined over Racist Remarks against Papuan

Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny   Editor: Laila Afifa 23 August 2019 12:43 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - Brawijaya Military Command (Kodam) V is examining its six personnel who are suspected to have thrown racist remarks against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday, August 17.
According to the Brawijaya Military Commander May. Gen. Wisnu Prasetya Budi, they have been questioned the personnel since video footage showing the siege of the university students’ dormitory went viral on social media platforms.
“We have reported the case to the Military Police Command (POM) for further investigation,” said Wisnu via a phone call, Friday, August 23.
Wisnu explained the sanctions for perpetrators would be delivered through a military court. As of date, the investigation is still afoot, and the OPM has not submitted the case to the court yet.
Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko earlier stated that President Joko Widodo or Jokowi demanded Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto take stern action against officers who are proven to commit racist acts against Papuan students.


5) Policewoman Dismissed for Giving Papuan Students Packs of Liquor

Markus Wisnu Murti

TEMPO.COJakarta - West Java Police Chief Insp. General Rudi Sufahriadi announced that he had fired Comr. Sarce Christiaty from her position as subprecinct police chief for distributing liquor to a number of Papuan university students in Bandung.
Prior to her dismissal, Sarce underwent stringent questioning by the West Java Police's internal affairs division (Propam).
“I already questioned the police member. In the end, we agreed to deactivate the person from her position within the police institution,” said Insp. Gen. Rudi in a press conference at the Bandung Police headquarters on Friday.
Rudi also issued a formal apology to the Papuan students who were understandably offended by the incident, in which they were handed two boxes of liquor.
“We apologize to the Papuan students currently studying in Bandung for the acts done by our member who handed out liquor,” he said.
Previous reports suggested that the Papuan Student Association in Bandung refused two packs of liquor delivered by two police officers. A student named Miles C. Jikwa said the police officers in full uniforms sent the liquor Topi Koboi to the secretariat office in Cilaki, Bandung, Thursday, August 22.
According to Miles, the drinks were given when he and other students held a solidarity event at Gedung Sate, Bandung city. Miles claimed he was shocked when the officers came to deliver two packs of liquor, rice, and instant noodles to his office.


6) Police names 10 suspects in Timika riots  
7 hours ago

Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - The police has released the names of 10 suspects who were allegedly involved in vandalism and looting and for owning sharp weapons at a peace rally of Papuans in Timika Wednesday, August 21, 2019.  

The police named the 10 suspects after having earlier detained 34 persons following the violence that occurred at the otherwise peaceful rally, Chief of the Police Investigation Unit of Mimika Police Adjunct Commissioner I Gusti Agung Ananta Pratama said here Friday.

The police has conducted investigations at crime scenes in four different locations in Timika Thursday, August 22 following the incidents at the rally.

"With the help of the Papua Police investigators, we conducted crime scene investigations and sought more evidence of the riots in Timika that broke out after the anti-racism protest last Wednesday. Of the total 34 persons that we arrested, 10 of them will now face further legal action," Pratama said.

Nine of the suspects were allegedly involved in the vandalism at the Grand Mozza Hotel, and Mimika BNN office. They also set fire to an excavator and looted kiosks belonging to residents on Cendrawasih Street.

The police arrested one suspect for carrying a sharp weapon during the riot while they released 23 others.

Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Agung Marlianto said earlier that the police had arrested 34 people following Wednesday’s protest.

Thirteen of them were arrested for carrying sharp weapons, forcing workshop owners to part with their used tires, and carrying Papua separatist attributes.

The unrest in Timika is estimated to have caused Rp1 billion in damages.
Related news: 200 Brimob personnel reach Timika to ensure conducive atmosphere
Reporter: Evarianus Supar, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto

7) Three suspected of loot, rioting in Manokwari under police arrest

Manokwari, W Papua (ANTARA) - The West Papua Provincial Police arrested three for allegedly looting an automated teller machine (ATM) and setting fire to the Red-and-White flag during a demonstration in the provincial capital of Manokwari early this week.

"Today, we have arrested three people, of which two are suspected of looting an ATM in front of the office of the Papua People's Assembly (MRP). They stole money from the ATM and then set it on fire," Chief of the West Papua Provincial Police Brigadier General Herry Rudolf Nahak stated in Manokwari on Friday.

Nahak noted that the two suspects, identified by their initials as MA and DA, had come clean about the criminal offense they had committed.

The other guy, identified by his initials as MI, is suspected of setting ablaze the Red-and-White flag.

Nahak affirmed that all suspects are the residents of Manokwari.

The West Papua provincial police are yet investigating the case as a response to the order from President Joko Widodo, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, and Chief of the National Police General Tito Karnavian to arrest the other suspects, he stated.

"It is implausible for us to allow the burning of the MRP office to go unheeded. Demonstration is different from arson," he stated.

The suspects are criminal offenders rather than demonstrators and merely capitalized on the situation during the riot to commit criminal offenses.

On Monday, several thousand people in Manokwari had rallied in agitation over alleged racist behavior targeting Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java. The demonstrators lit tires in several parts of the city and main streets.

The police confirmed damage caused to 10 public facilities in Manokwari and 15 facilities in Sorong in the wake of the rioting.

Related news: Deployment of 570 Brimob personnel in Manokwari to maintain security
Related news: Police Chief confirms situation placated in West Papua
Related news: Police dispatches four units of Brimob personnel to West Papua
Reporter: Dyah Dwi Astuti/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati


8) Papua unrest reflects long standing issues, locals call for equal development

23 Aug 2019 08:19PM (Updated: 23 Aug 2019 08:20PM)

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s resource-rich Papua region has seen a string of riots in several of its big cities this week, the biggest such outbreaks of violence in the country in years.
It began with an incident in Surabaya, East Java last weekend, where Papuan university students living in a dormitory were accused of damaging the Indonesian flag before the country’s Independence Day on Saturday (Aug 17).
Angry nationalist groups surrounded the building, while police and military officers in riot gear stormed the boarding house forcing the students to get out. Some students were hauled up for questioning but were later released.
Videos of the events at the dormitory spread like wildfire online. Racist taunts calling the students derogatory names could be heard in the videos, which infuriated the Papuans.

The first riot broke out on Monday in Manokwari, West Papua, where thousands took to the streets and set the local parliament house on fire.  

Mr Markus Yenu, a Papuan activist who took part in the protest, said the protest was the people’s response to the situation.
“The people were angered by the racist language and the treatment (on the students in Surabaya).
“We Papuans are perfect human beings, just like Acehnese or other people. The situation upset us, so we decided to protest,” Mr Yenu told CNA.
Following the riot in Manokwari, Surabaya leaders apologised for the incident in their city, and President Joko Widodo on Monday urged people to forgive each other.

READ: Indonesia president urges calm after violent protests in Papua cities

But more riots followed. In Sorong, a prison was set ablaze and more than 250 prisoners escaped. Thousands rallied in Jayapura in Timika near the world’s largest goldmine Grasberg, while a market was set on fire at FakFak.

The government has deployed more than 1,000 security personnel from across Indonesia to Papua to quell the protest and cut off internet access since Wednesday evening to prevent provocative posts from fuelling the violence.
Authorities have also detained at least 30 people in Papua over the violent incidents, and on Thursday, the national military chief, police chief and coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs visited Manokwari.
Analysts cautioned that unless the government takes firm action to solve Papua’s long standing issues, such problems will continue to haunt the country’s easternmost region.

READ: Indonesia jailbreak: Convicts return to Papua prison

Protestors who took to the streets of Papua wanted to urge the government to take action.
Mr Yenu claimed the protest in Manokwari was meant to be peaceful, but protestors lost their cool when they saw police troops on the streets.  
“The fire (at the parliament) was not our intention. It happened suddenly because there was not just one person or two there, but thousands of people,” he said.  
He added that they protested because they felt the government did not respond to the incident in Surabaya quickly enough.
“They should immediately get their act together and gather all the leaders - the church leaders, youth leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, for us all to sit together and talk how to sort things out,” he told CNA.

READ: Indonesia arrests 34, blocks internet in Papua to curb protests

Mr Beni Gurik, who was among the thousands who marched through the streets of Jayapura, said they wanted to protest against racism and the way the Papuan students in Surabaya were treated.  
“After rallying, we went home escorted by dozens of police and military trucks in a safe and orderly manner,” he said.
Mr Fernando Ginuni from Sorong, on the other hand, said people have decided to take a break from protesting for the time being because they wanted to give the authorities a chance to investigate the Surabaya incident.
Even though the situation had calmed on Thursday, the government thinks the Internet restriction is still needed, despite criticism of that move.
Mr Ferdinandus Setu, the communications ministry’s spokesman, told CNA that only the Internet from cellular providers is blocked, but broadband and landline services are still available.
Lieutenant Colonel Eko Daryanto, Papua’s military spokesman, said things were under control again after they communicated with local tribe leaders. He urged people not to believe the fake videos and pictures circulated online, and promised action against perpetrators of the Surabaya incident.

READ: Indonesian police kill separatist in Papua

Papua, a former Dutch colony, was initially declared independent in 1961. The Netherlands signed an agreement for a temporary United Nations administration, which also stated that a referendum would be held.
The referendum, known as the Act of Free Choice, paved the way for Indonesian sovereignty over Papua in 1969.
However, until today, some people argue that the outcome of the referendum - to join Indonesia - is invalid because only 1,000 handpicked Papuans were allowed to vote.
Some also believe that Papua does not belong to Indonesia because Papuans are Melanesians, unlike the majority of Indonesians.
Ever since, a low-level separatist movement fighting for independence continues to flare in the region, often taking the lives of civilians.

READ: Four dead in post-election riot in Indonesia's Papua

The Indonesian government gave Papua special autonomy in 2001 and in 2003 divided the region in two provinces, West Papua and Papua.
Despite this, problems and conflicts keep recurring.

“The problem with Papua is in its history,” Manokwari-based tribe leader Paul Finsen Mayor told CNA.
“The problem is that the political identity of Papua is wrong, and the Indonesian government hasn’t corrected it. If Papuans are treated cruelly, it’s better that Papuans decide their own fate,” he said.  
Human Rights Watch Indonesia’s researcher Mr Andreas Harsono noted that there are five basic problems in Papua.
“First, its history and political integration into Indonesia and second, marginalisation of Papuans, when immigrants take over the economy and land.
“Third, violation of human rights such as extra judicial killings and sexual violence and fourth, limited press freedom. Finally, slow development such as limited access to healthcare and education,” he said.

READ: Malnutrition, disease kill at least 139 displaced in Indonesia's Papua: Aid group

Mr Yenu, the Papuan activist, concurred, adding that Papuans are suffering from poverty.
“If we speak truthfully, we are not part of this country. Despite that, our love for this country is big.
“But how come Papuans remain poor? The price of goods is expensive, people suffer. There is no free education, there is no free hospital,” he said.
He added that they do not receive free healthcare and the Smart Indonesian Card distributed to villagers is not enough to cover the educational costs in Papua.

West Papua and Papua are among Indonesia’s poorest provinces. The region is resource-rich and has the world’s largest gold mine Grasberg, although Arizona-based Freeport-McMoran owns approximately 49 per cent of it. 
Mr President Joko Widodo ordered the police chief to take legal action against racist and ethnic discrimination but, as of Friday, no arrests have been made in the Surabaya case.
East Java police spokesman senior commissioner Frans Barung Mangera said that the case was still under investigation and the police did not want to act recklessly in times like this.

Human Rights Watch Indonesia’s Mr Harsono said a short-term solution to the unrest in Papua would be to arrest the perpetrators responsible for the Surabaya incident.
“Just catch the perpetrators first. Investigate them. That will calm things down. At least the Papuans will then feel that there is justice,” he said.
In the long term, Mr Harsono said discrimination in Papua must end to bring a lasting peace.  

READ: Indonesia jails Pole for treason in Papua after meeting activists

Mdm Adriana Elisabeth, an expert on Papua at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said the lack of dialogue between the central government in Jakarta and the locals in Papua contributed to the longstanding problems in Papua.
Since Mr Widodo became president in 2004, he has visited Papua about ten times – more than any other president. He has made infrastructure development in Papua a priority, but locals think it is still not enough.

Mdm Elisabeth thinks more dialogue is needed.
“The government should also empower local potentials and introduce trauma healing, especially for women, children and adolescents.”
However, tribe leader Mr Mayor opined that unless a referendum is held, there will always be problems.
“If the result is to stay with Indonesia, then fine,” he said.

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