Saturday, September 7, 2019

1) She tweeted about the attack on Papuan students. Now, she is state enemy No. 1

 

2) Extra care for Papua brethren crucial to maintaining Indonesia's unity

3) Hearts, minds approach instrumental in tackling Papuan issues: speaker

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1) She tweeted about the attack on Papuan students. Now, she is state enemy No. 1

Karina M. Tehusijarana The Jakarta Post  
Jakarta   /   Fri, September 6, 2019   /  12:51 pm

Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman is firmly in the government’s crosshairs after the East Java Police named her a suspect for allegedly provoking protests and riots in Papua and West Papua. 
The government’s focus on Veronica was in evidence on Thursday, when Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto mentioned her as “the most important part” of his press conference regarding the situation in Papua. 
“I think it’s already viral, what she said as provocation, inciting [Papuans] to continue to carry out resistance, to conduct violent demonstrations. She has been named a suspect,” Wiranto said, adding that she was being “pursued by Interpol” because she was currently outside the country. 
On Wednesday, the East Java Police announced that they had named Veronica a suspect for allegedly violating four different laws, including the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law. East Java Police chief Insp. Luki Hermawan said the activist had “aggressively provoked” citizens via twitter account @VeronicaKoman by giving out information on the recent protests and riots.
Veronica, who is also a lawyer for the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), has regularly tweeted videos of marches and rallies in various cities and regions since protests first broke out in Papua and West Papua on August 19.
Since the government instituted an internet blackout for the country's easternmost provinces on August 21, her tweets have been one of the only sources of information from the restive region, including those surrounding the protests that broke out in the two provinces.
Veronica has a long track record of human rights activism and advocacy. She first became known for her advocacy for Papuans after she represented two Papuan university students who were charged with assaulting police during a demonstration on self-determination in Jakarta in 2015. At the time, Veronica was working for the Jakarta Legal Aid Society (LBH Jakarta).
In 2016, Veronica joined a group of lawyers who petitioned the Central Information Commission (KIP) to release the investigative findings from a government-commissioned fact-finding team on the murder of Munir Said Thalib, a prominent human rights activist who died from arsenic poisoning in 2004.
She was also among a group of lawyers who petitioned the Constitutional Court to strike down several articles regarding treason in the Criminal Code in 2017. The lawyers were representing Papuan petitioners, as many Papuan activists have been charged with treason over the years. 
Being named a suspect is also not the first time Veronica has fallen afoul of the government. 
In 2017, Veronica made headlines after Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo distributed a photograph of her e-ID card to a WhatsApp group for journalists who cover the ministry. 
Veronica had spoken at a rally condemning the blasphemy conviction of then-Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's regime "is worse" than that of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a statement that Tjahjo apparently took issue with. 
“What did Pak Jokowi do wrong? Why is he always linked with the Ahok issue?” he said in the WhatsApp group. 
More recently, the Communications and Information Ministry labeled a tweet Veronica made during the incident in the Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya as a “hoax.”
17/8/19 Surabaya, Java

2 orang pengantar makan minum untuk penghuni asrama yang belum makan minum sejak siang barusan ditangkap polisi

2 people delivering food and water for the students who haven’t eaten and drunk the whole day were just arrested


In the tweet, Veronica said that two people who were delivering food and water for the students trapped in the dorm had been arrested. 
A screenshot of her tweet with the word “hoax” stamped on it was posted on the ministry’s official website, with the explanation that the two people had not been “kidnapped,” despite Veronica never using the word “kidnapped” in her tweet. The ministry later took down the post and apologized for the mistake. 
Veronica has yet to make a public statement about her status as a suspect, but has continued to post videos and updates from Papua and West Papua. 
As of the time of writing, among her latest tweets was a video of the burial preparations for Pilemon Waine, a protester who was shot dead in a clash between protesters and security forces in Deiyai on August 28.
Aside from the ITE Law, Veronica may also be charged under Article 160 of the Criminal Code, and Law No. 40/2008 on the elimination of race and ethnicity discrimination, for allegedly instigating unrest.
Rights group Amnesty International has condemned the police’s decision, and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) has urged the police to lift Veronica’s status as a suspect “as soon as possible.”
United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULWMP) chairman Benny Wenda called the charges against Veronica absurd in an interview with ABC Radio Australia on Thursday. 
"This is a woman who is defending human rights, she is not engaged in any political games," he said.

Several netizens have also defended her, tweeting the hashtag #SayaBersamaVeronicaKoman (IStandWithVeronicaKoman).
 Asep Komarudin @Aufklarung00  
#SayaBersamaVeronicaKoman

Activist Ivana Kurniawati, who created the "Save Veronica Koman" illustration, said she was motivated to make it because she thought the real root of the conflict in Papua was the racial abuse perpetrated by security forces, among others.
"I think the uprising in Papua and West Papua is an explosion of the disappointment and anger that has been held in for a long time," Ivana told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
 Editor's note: The headline of this article has been updated to more accurately reflect the content of the reporting.



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2) Extra care for Papua brethren crucial to maintaining Indonesia's unity
13 hours ago

The Indonesian government has been facing the ultimate litmus test to placate public outrage rife among members of the native Papuan community in the provinces of Papua and West Papua over these recent weeks.

The public ire, sparked by alleged racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, has again put Indonesia in the spotlight of global media organizations.

Benny Wenda, a Papuan separatist figure staying in the United Kingdom, attempted to gain traction out of this incident to expose his political agenda. A group of Papuan students, who staged rallies in Jakarta recently, also echoed the Free Papuan Movement's agenda.

The government has taken prompt measures to assuage public fury in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, marked by acts of burning, vandalism, and looting during the local people's violent protests.

In order to restore law and order, several hundred police mobile brigade members from some provincial police headquarters were stationed to offer assistance to the law enforcement mission in the two provinces.

However, several parties believe that the security approach is inept at helping to tackle the root-cause of Papuan problems.

Incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has hinted at his commitment to optimally tackling Papua’s issues. On Sept 3, Jokowi had lunch with several native Papuan figures, including village chiefs, from the Nduga and Yapen Islands Districts, Papua Province.

Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Zainut Tauhid Saadi too put his weight behind applying the approach of soft diplomacy that respects Papuan dignity.

Saadi has appealed to the government to tackle problems plaguing Papua and West Papua judiciously and resolve them in a comprehensive manner by encouraging socio-cultural dialog by involving religious, customary, and community leaders representing the people of Papua.

House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo also proposed dialog as a means of seeking a comprehensive solution to the Papuan issues.

This top politician of Golkar Party sought the government’s attention for getting respected figures from seven cultural areas of Papua involved in the dialog, held as part of what he termed a hearts and minds approach in resolving Papuan issues.

The seven cultural areas are Mamta/Tabi, Seireri, Bomberai, Doberai, Meepago, Haanim, and Lapago, he told participants at a discussion forum on finding ways to find a permanent solution to the Papua issues, held at Kompas Tower, Jakarta, on Friday.

The hearts and minds approach is a short-term solution essentially adopted by the government in its efforts to tackle Papuan issues.

The need for a dialog through the hearts and minds approach is quite apparent since the Papuan people are currently seeking the state and government's presence in the aftermath of the Surabaya incident.

Soesatyo suggested that each cultural area of Papua may sent three representatives.

Each cultural area must also have the representatives of the Papua People's Assembly (MRP), regional legislative council (DPRP), the Forkopimda (Regional Leadership Communication Forum), as well as religious, young, and female figures.

In the meantime, the middle-term solution concerns the government's affirmative actions by giving opportunities to native Papuans, meeting the requirements, to fill the echelon one and two positions at the ministries and government agencies.

Such affirmative action may also be applied in the Indonesian military and national police's recruitment policies.

He believes that holding prestigious positions in ministries, government agencies, as well as the military and police would be a matter of pride for Papuans and their big families.

It is also overdue for native Papuans to get opportunities to be part of the board of directors of the gold mining company, Freeport Indonesia, with majority of its shares, or 51 percent, being owned by the country.

State-owned enterprises and all companies operating in the provinces of Papua and West Papua should also apply similar affirmative policies for indigenous Papuans by employing them, he emphasized.

Such affirmative actions are expected to help end all forms of prejudice likely arising from maltreatments meted out to Papuans since long.

Soesatyo also highlighted a need for a policy on restricting the migration of non-native Papuan workers into Papua to prevent marginalization of native Papuans.

Related news: Hearts, minds approach instrumental in tackling Papuan issues: speaker

Soesatyo's perspectives on the significance of such affirmative actions raised the hopes of Chairperson of the Papuan Women's Solidarity (SPP) - Mimika Chapter Ros Namsa Kabes.

Kabes believes that the civil servant recruitment policies remain conducive for non-native Papuans.

"In the Mimika district administration, for instance, almost all strategic structural positions there are dominated by non-native Papuans; not those from the Amungme and Kamoro ethnic groups," she remarked.

To best handle this condition, the Mimika district government should send the children of Amungme and Kamoro ethnic groups to receive high-quality education, so that they become well-educated and are able to rise up the ranks to occupy strategic positions.

Speaking in connection with efforts to empower native Papuans on August 31, she suggested that the district government and legislative body should issue regulations safeguarding the interests of sellers of varied traditional goods, including areca nuts and sago, in order to offer protection to native Papuan merchants at traditional markets.

"Please protect the areca nut and sago sellers from indigenous Papuan communities. Do not let non-native Papuans also sell the same goods since locals cannot compete with them. If this can be managed well, Papuans do not want to do negative things," she explained.

With such affirmative protection initiatives, the district government is concerned about the fate of "mama-mama" (mothers) in Papua, as they give birth to members of the future Papuan generation, Kabes affirmed.

"These Papuan mothers must feel that they also belong to important parts of this country," she affirmed.

With better governmental care, the native Papuans can be shielded from being influenced by people propagating the ideology of separatism against Indonesia, she stated. Related news: Military, police chiefs meet figures of different faiths in Papua

Related news: Provocation to cause anarchy continues in Papua: Wiranto


EDITED BY INE
By Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf


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3) Hearts, minds approach instrumental in tackling Papuan issues: speaker
16 hours ago


Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives Speaker Bambang Soesatyo sought governmental assistance in getting respected figures from Papua’s seven cultural areas involved in a dialog under what he terms a hearts and minds approach in resolving Papuan issues.

The seven cultural areas are Mamta/Tabi, Seireri, Bomberai, Doberai, Meepago, Haanim, and Lapago, he informed participants at a discussion forum on ways to find a permanent solution to Papuan issues, held at Kompas Tower, Jakarta, on Friday.

The hearts and minds approach was a short-term solution essentially adopted by the government in its endeavors to solve Papuan issues, Soesatyo stated, adding that the government should also have in place mid- and long-term solutions.

As part of the short-term solution, the necessity of a dialog through the hearts and minds approach is apparent since Papuan people are currently looking for the state and government's presence in the upshot of the Surabaya incident.

Soesatyo suggested that every cultural area of Papua may sent three representatives.

Each of these cultural areas must also have representatives of the Papua People's Assembly (MRP), regional legislative council (DPRP), the Forkopimda (Regional Leadership Communication Forum), as well as religious, young, and female figures.

Soesatyo further added that the middle-term solution is linked to the government's affirmative actions by giving native Papuans, meeting the requirements, opportunities to occupy echelon one and two positions at ministries and government agencies.

Such affirmative action may also be applied in the Indonesian military and national police's recruitment policies.

Soesatyo believes that it would be a matter of pride for the native Papuans and their big families to take up respected positions at ministries, government agencies, as well as the military and police.

Moreover, it is long overdue for native Papuans to receive opportunities to be part of the board of directors of the gold mining company, Freeport Indonesia, with majority of its shares, or 51 percent, being owned by the country.

State-owned enterprises and all companies operating in the provinces of Papua and West Papua should also apply similar affirmative policies for indigenous Papuans by employing them, he emphasized.

All these affirmative actions were taken to end any form of prejudice that can arise from maltreatments against Papuans, Soesatyo noted, calling on the need for a policy to restrict the migration of non-native Papuan workers into Papua to prevent marginalization of native Papuans. Related news: House backs restrictions on foreigners in Papua

Related news: Military, police chiefs meet figures of different faiths in Papua


EDITED BY INE
  
Reporter: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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