Tuesday, September 10, 2019

1) Indonesian police arrest dozens over Papua riots

2) Police Issue Second Summons Letter for Veronica Koman
3) Papua New Guineans commended for 'Bold Statement' on West Papua

4) Weaving tapestry of hope for Papua

5) Jokowi promises 4G internet, presidential palace and jobs for Papuans
6) Jokowi Agrees on Provincial Division in Papua, West Papua

7) Gov't Re-opens Internet Access in More Papua's Districts Tonight

8) Spikes of Violence: Protest in West Papua


1) Indonesian police arrest dozens over Papua riots

Authorities in Indonesia say they are still looking for another 20 suspects, after arresting 85 others since mid-August.

Indonesian authorities have arrested 85 people linked to weeks of deadly unrest in Papua, police said, as Jakarta accused an exiled separatist leader of stoking riots in its easternmost territory.
Tens of thousands protested across Papua -- on the western half of New Guinea island -- as anger over racism and fresh calls for self-rule fuelled mass demonstrations and violent clashes with security forces.
Video 7 September: Australians rally in support of Papua protesters
Officially, five demonstrators and a soldier were killed, but activists say the civilian death toll is higher.
Jakarta blocked internet services in Papua, making it difficult to independently verify information. The ban has been gradually lifted though remains in effect in some cities.
Foreigners have also been restricted from entering the region over what the government said were security concerns.
Indonesian police said they have arrested 85 people in Papua since the unrest broke out in mid-August and are hunting for another 20 suspects.
Authorities have arrested suspects in other parts of the country and issued an arrest warrant for a prominent Indonesian lawyer and Papuan rights defender over allegations she spread fake news about the unrest on her social media account.

2) Police Issue Second Summons Letter for Veronica Koman

Laila Afifa

TEMPO.COSurabaya - East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said investigators have issued the second summons letter for Veronica Koman, the advocate of Papuan students in Surabaya. Veronica, who is currently in Australia, did not respond to the first summons.
Luki said the police investigators are collaborating with the National Police's International Relations Division who will deliver the summons letter to the Indonesian Embassy in Australia.
If the second letter is ignored, police will issue a wanted status for the human rights activist, which is followed by the red notice.
“This will be difficult [for her] if we issue the red notice because she will not be able to go anywhere. While we know that she has a lot of activities abroad,” said Luki in East Java Police HQ, Surabaya, Tuesday, September 10.
He reiterated that the examination is scheduled on September 13. However, given her position in Australia, Luki will give time until the next week. "We hope she will make it into the summons. If she intends to take another legal path, such as pretrial, that’s okay. Do not only give comments on social media," Luki added.
He went on to say that investigators have communicated the case with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Law and Human Rights Ministry, State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Immigration Directorate General to call in the advocate. Discussions with those institutions have been established in accordance with the procedure. 
“We have held communications, and the immigration office and Foreign Affairs Ministry have responded well too,” he said.
Additionally, investigators are also developing the case by examining the financial transaction in Veronica’s bank accounts. She reportedly has two accounts, domestic and international. 
Previously, East Java Police named Veronica Koman as a suspect for spreading hoaxes about the incident in Papuan students’ dormitory in Surabaya on August 16 and 17. The police said Veronika’s tweets contained provocation as they were made without facts.

3) Papua New Guineans commended for 'Bold Statement' on West Papua
Port Moresby  Governor Powes Parkop has commended the hundreds of Papua New Guineans who turned up this morning at the Jack Pidik Park in Port Moresby to show their support for West Papua.
He says it is time for Papua New Guineans to be brave, bold and fearless in showing their support.

The NCD Governor says PNG cannot prosper if West Papua is not free.

Governor Parkop was joined by fellow Northern Governor Gary Juffa who reiterated similar sentiments, saying PNG cannot celebrate it's 44th Independence this year while West Papua has been suffering for 57 years.

Following these addresses, the two Governors led the hundreds of people chanting 'Free West Papua' with the PNG and the Morning Star Flags carried side by side as they marched from Jack Pidik Park onto the Sir John Guise Stadium where Prime Minister James Marape is expected to address the people as well.

Police personnel are out in full force providing security for this solidarity March.

NBC News / PNG Today


4) Weaving tapestry of hope for Papua

Teuku Faizasyah
Jakarta   /   Wed, September 11 2019   /  01:03 am

As I took off from Sentani Airport in Jayapura last July 4, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape seen from the plane window. It was such a magnificent view and I praised God for giving Indonesian people and the government a long chain of islands, stretching from Aceh’s Sabang in the west to Papua’s Merauke in the east.
I was also elated for an opportunity to meet with Papuan brothers and sisters during my two-day visit to Jayapura for a discussion on human rights with various stakeholders there. 
Human rights is not an easy topic of discussion, especially when the issue of past injustice continues to linger in collective memory in Papua. Yet, this is the very issue Indonesia has been trying to deal with constructively since the start of the Reform Era in the late 1990s.
No country has unblemished human rights records. Then again, the Indonesian government has been seriously addressing some of the basic rights in Papua and West Papua provinces, such as the right to education, access to health and infrastructure. Moreover, as mandated by the Special Autonomy Law, elected officials from among Papuans are authorized to regulate and manage the interests of locals. 
Having said that, the government was caught by surprise and has difficulty in grasping the unprecedented scale of recent unrest in some cities in West Papua and Papua, and cities outside Papua. The unrest was triggered by an isolated incident in Surabaya. 
Upon learning that the symbol of the nation, the red-and-white flag was desecrated in front of a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya, some individuals took the law into their own hands. In the process, they mocked their Papuan brothers and sisters with derogatory slurs. 
Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in Indonesia, where pluralism serves as the backbone of our nation. Every single person in Indonesia— regardless of their background, ethnicity and even creed — and in line with Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) as the national motto, must have their dignity respected. 
Therefore, we as a nation commend the decision of the National Police to file charges against the perpetrators of such isolated incidents. Similarly, we also applaud the military for taking disciplinary actions against those who within their ranks and files were involved in the incidents.
East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has openly apologized on behalf of East Java people to the students and assured their safety. Local authorities and the community leaders have joined hands to ensure the students can continue to feel at home. 
Verbal abuse against any ethnic group or subculture in a pluralistic society such as Indonesia is taboo. When the founding fathers declared Indonesia’s independence — free from the shackles of colonial power — they dismantled all parochial barriers that separate us and promote togetherness. 
By consent, we embrace the richness of Indonesia’s diversity within our unity. 
To bring together various ethnic groups as one nation despite the centuries-old divide and rule strategy of colonial powers, pitting one ethnic group against another, is an achievement in itself. To borrow from the late scholar Benedict Anderson, Indonesia was a manifestation of imagined communities that was born out of nationalism.
Nationalism will continue to be the key for Indonesia’s survival; then during the struggle for independence and today in the era of global uncertainty. As Indonesia progresses as a nation, boosted by economic growth and other achievements, we should never take for granted the state of our nationalism. 
We must remain vigilant against rapid, constant developments that might weaken our sense of nationalism, or perhaps instead strengthen a cult form of nationalism. 
At the global level, we have witnessed a new surge of parochialism in expressing nationalism, such as by imposing immigration restrictions and trade protectionism. New-Right populism is also on the rise in some parts of the world. 
At the national level, nationalism can also be eroded by ignorance about our history, including the history of Indonesia’s independence and the stark contrast between the status of Papua as part of Indonesia and Timor Leste in the past. 
Indonesia’s independence was the combined efforts of armed struggles and diplomacy to win international recognition of Indonesia as a nation state. In a nutshell, the proclamation of independence in 1945 was the exercise of self-determination by the people of Indonesia. 
It is a historical fact that the transfer of authorities of Papua by the Netherlands to Indonesia, the successor state of the Netherland East Indies (based on international law doctrine uti possidetis juris), was somewhat delayed. 
The United Nations Resolution 2504 in 1969 confirmed that the status of Papua as part of Indonesia — in the aftermath of the Act of Free Choice (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat or Pepera) — was final. It is irreversible and permanent. Hence, attempts to demand a referendum by a few quarters within and outside Indonesia to challenge the legal status of Papua as part of the unitarian state of Indonesia is obsolete. 
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi during a hearing on development in Papua lawmakers on Sept. 5 sent a clear message that any demand for a referendum in Papua and West Papua was crossing a red line for Indonesia. 
Therefore, and in the wake of such attempts, Indonesians of all walks of life need to unite, because the government cannot do it alone. Back then, we had high spirit and were resolute for winning our independence, and now it is timely for us to rekindle the same spirit. 
As a final note, we as one nation have a noble task ahead of us, that is to win the hearts and minds of those among our brothers and sisters in Papua. Let us work together to weave a tapestry of hope for our brothers and sisters in Papua, because we know for sure that Papua is Indonesia. 
-------Adviser to the foreign minister on political and security affairs and former Indonesian ambassador to Canada.


5) Jokowi promises 4G internet, presidential palace and jobs for Papuans
Gemma Holliani Cahya The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Tue, September 10, 2019   /   04:35 pm

“Next year we will start building a presidential palace in Papua,” President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Tuesday morning in front of dozens of Papuan figures. His statement was televised live.
Around 60 Papuan figures - who visited the presidential palace to meet Jokowi and were wearing Papuan traditional headbands and colorful Papuan-style batik - applauded his promise.
Jayapura Legislative Council head Abisai Rollo was the one who suggested the idea to the President that morning. He assured Jokowi that Papuans would give him 10 hectares of land for free so the President could build his palace in Jayapura.
“Building a presidential palace in the capital city of Papua is needed, so Mr. President you will not only visit Papua but you also have an office there,” Abisai said in the meeting.
Besides building a presidential palace in Papua, Jokowi also promised that by the end of this year the government would complete the development of a broadband network in the easternmost provinces in Indonesia under the Palapa Ring project.
“So there will be 4G connection in all cities across Papua,” Jokowi said.
Papua is notorious for its poor internet connection.
Jokowi also promised to provide more opportunities for Papuans to work in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
“Many Papuan students wonder where they will go after graduating from university. If they return to Papua, where will they work. And that’s our big undertaking. (…) I will ask the SOEs and large companies to accept 1,000 university graduates from Papua,” he said.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto and National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Gen. Budi Gunawan also attended the meeting.
It was the first meeting between Jokowi and Papuan figures after a recent incident of racial abuse against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, which was followed by rallies of protests in cities across Papua.
“I have to manage my time so I can visit Papua again. I will try to fly there this month, but if I can't make it this month, then I will go there in October to inaugurate the Holtekamp Bridge,” the President said.
6) Jokowi Agrees on Provincial Division in Papua, West Papua

Laila Afifa

TEMPO.COJakarta - President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has agreed on the provincial division (pemekaran) in Papua and West Papua as requested by Papuan figures during a meeting in the State Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday, September 10.
During the session, they demanded the President carry out the administrative division to five areas. However, Jokowi only agreed on two or three regions.
“I agree, but perhaps it will not be five, but two or three regions,” Widodo said.
According to the president, a thorough study is necessary to commence a regional division as there are regulations concerning the matter. “This requires a study because it is ruled by the law, and I’m pleased to hear the suggestion from grassroots,” he added.
A total of 61 Papuan and West Papuan consisted of religious figures, customary figures, communities, and students attended today’s session.
They proposed nine demands to Jokowi, viz. provincial division, the formation of a national agency for land affairs, recruitment of Papuan as echelon I and II in ministry offices, and construction of a national dormitory for Papuan students across the country.
They also asked for an amendment of law on special autonomy to be listed in the 2020 national legislation program, issuance of presidential instruction about promotion of temporary workers to be civil servants (PNS), immediate resolution of eastern palapa ring in Papua, inauguration of customary institutions, and construction of state palace in the province.
7) Gov't Re-opens Internet Access in More Papua's Districts Tonight

Laila Afifa

TEMPO.COJakarta - The government decided to re-open the internet access in two Papua districts, namely Mimika and Jayawijaya. The revocation of internet restriction will commence at 21:00 Eastern Indonesia Time (WIT) today, September 10.
"The revocation of internet restriction is done as the situation and safety level in Jayawijaya and Mikimika districts are under control," said the acting head of public relation bureau at the communication and informatics ministry, Ferdinandus Setu, in a press release in Jakarta, Tuesday, September 10.
Previously, the government decided to open internet access in Papua and West Papua provinces that was previously blocked following rioting in several locations. The government said the internet blocking was aimed at reducing hoaxes spread on the internet, including social media.
From the total of 29 regencies/cities, the internet block in 27 regencies in Papua has been revoked, including Mimika and Jayawijaya districts.
Meanwhile, in West Papua, 11 from 13 regencies/cities can now enjoy internet access. "We're still monitoring the situation in Manokwari and Sorong for the next 1 or 2 days," Ferdinandus remarked.


8) Spikes of Violence: Protest in West Papua

Monday, 9 September 2019, 12:51 pm 

Article: Binoy Kampmark

Like Timor-Leste, West Papua, commonly subsuming both Papua and West Papua, remains a separate ethnic entity, acknowledged as such by previous colonial powers. Its Dutch colonial masters, in preparing to leave the region in the 1950s, left the ground fertile for a declaration of independence in 1961. Such a move did not sit well with the Indonesian desire to claim control over all Dutch Asia Pacific colonies on departure. There were resources to be had, economic gains to be made. The military duly moved in. The New York Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, brokered in 1962 with the assistance of the United States, saw West Papua fall under United Nations control for the duration of one year. Once passing into Indonesian control, Jakarta would govern the territory “consistent with the rights and freedoms guaranteed to the inhabitants under the terms of the present agreement.” Education would be a priority; illiteracy would be targeted, and efforts made “to accelerate participation of the people in local government through periodic elections.”  One article stood out: “Indonesia will make arrangements, with the assistance and participation of the United Nation Representative and his staff, to give the people of the territory the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice.” In 1969, a ballot was conducted in line with the provision, though hardly in any true, representative sense. In the rich traditions of doctored representation and selective enfranchisement, 1,026 individuals were selected by Indonesian authorities to participate. Indonesia’s military kept an intimidating watch: the vote could not be left to chance. The result for Indonesian control was unanimous; the UN signed off.
 Unlike Timor-Leste, the historically Melanesian territories of Papua and West Papua remains under thumb and screw, an entity that continues to exist under periodic acts of violence and habitual repression from the Indonesian central authorities. A policy of transmigration has been practiced, a point argued by scholars to be tantamount to genocide. This has entailed moving residents from Java and Sulawesi to West Papua, assisted by Jakarta’s hearty sponsorship. 
The Indonesian argument here has been ethnic and political: to confect a national identity through assimilation. Under President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”)), one keen to push the idea of “Indonesia Maju” (“Advanced Indonesia”), renewed stress is being placed on infrastructure investment, economic growth and natural resources, of which Papua features heavily.  The indigenous populace has had to, in turn, surrender land to those transmigrants and appropriating authorities. “The rights of traditional law communities,” notes Clause 17 of Indonesia’s Basic Forestry Act of 1967, “may not be allowed to stand in the way of transmigration sites.”
Appropriations of land, the relocation of residents, and the odd massacre by Indonesian security forces, tend to fly low on the international radar of human rights abuses. West Papua lacks the cinematic appeal or political heft that would encourage around the clock coverage from media networks. Bureaucratic plodders in the various foreign ministries of the world prefer to render such matters benign and of little interest. Geopolitics and natural resources tend to do most of the talking.
In late 2015, for instance, Scott Busby, US deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and James Carouso, acting deputy assistant secretary for Maritime and Mainland Southeast Asian affairs, ducked and evaded anything too compromising in their testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. The consequences of demographic policies directed by Jakarta were assiduously ignored. Massacres and institutional accountability in the territory were bypassed, as were Indonesian efforts to prevent scrutiny on the part of human rights monitors, the UN Special rapporteur and journalists. This year, more instances of violence have managed to leach out and gurgle in media circles. It took a few ugly incidents in the Javanese city of Surabaya to engender a new wave of protests which have had a rattling effect on the security forces. Last month, pro-Indonesian nationalist groups, with reported encouragement from security forces, taunted Papuan students with an array of crude insults in East Java. (“Dogs”, “monkeys” and “pigs” were part of the bitter mix.) The fuse was lit, notably as arrests were made of the Papuans themselves. “Papuans are not monkeys”, proclaimed banners being held at a rally in Central Jakarta on August 22.
Government buildings have been torched in Jayapura. Additional forces have been deployed, and internet access cut. There are claims that white phosphorous has been used on civilians; prisons are being filled. There have even been protests in Indonesia’s capital, with the banned Morning Star flag being flown defiantly in front of the state palace. (Doing so is no mild matter: activist Filep Karma spent over a decade of his life in prison for doing so.) The struggle for independence, at least in the international eye, has been left to such figures as Benny Wenda, who lobbies governments and groups to back the “Free Papua” campaign. He is particularly keen to take the matter of the Free Choice vote of 1969, that nasty instrument that formalised Indonesian control, to the United Nations General Assembly. Last month, he had to settle for taking the matter to the Pacific Islands Forum as a representative of Vanuatu’s delegation. In January, he gifted the UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet a petition with 1.8 million signatures seeking a new referendum for the territory. The response from an Indonesian government spokesman was emphatic, curt, and conventional. “Developments in Papua and West Papua province are purely Indonesia’s internal affairs. No other country, organisation or individual has the right to interfere in them. We firmly oppose the intervention of Indonesia’s internal affairs in whatever form.”  The hope for Jokowi and the Indonesian authorities will be simple: ride out the storm, conduct a low-level suppression of protests, and place any talks of secession on the backburner. In this, they can count on regional, if hypocritical support. In thewords of a spokesman for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Australia recognises Indonesia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over the Papua provinces. Our position is clearly defined by the Lombok Treaty between Indonesia and Australia.”  Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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