Friday, September 13, 2019

1) Why do the US, China and international community remain silent on Papua?

2) Police Uncover Plot to Stage More Riots in Papua and West Papua
3) Komnas HAM urges Jokowi to hold dialog in Papua
4) Police Trace Suspicious Transactions in Veronica Koman's Accounts
5) Police arrest KNPB leader Steven Italy over alleged role in Papua riots
6) Freeport’s copper export quota triples to 700,000 tons
7) Indonesia, Australia conduct joint maritime patrol exercise in NTT


1) Why do the US, China and international community remain silent on Papua?

Author: Amelia Joan Liwe 
Date 9/13/2019 5:19:52 AM
(MENAFN - The Conversation) The recentfatalanddestructiveconflicts in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, part ofdecades-long violenceagainst the people of Papua, have received little reaction from the United States, China and Indonesia's neighbours. 
Countries well known for their human rights commitments have refrained from offering any comment or criticism. There has also been little, if any, comment from neighbouring countries like the Southeast Asian bloc of ASEAN member states, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Has the international community completely turned its back on Papua – an island with rich resources and potential but with thelowest human development indexin Indonesia?
Indonesia's strategic position in today's geopolitical configuration helps explain this silence. 

Influential and important
Indonesia is geopolitically important. As the largest archipelagic nation in the world, Indonesia is located between the Pacific and Indian oceans. It is the fourth-most-populous nation with the largest Muslim population in the world. 
Indonesia, as the largest market in Southeast Asia with a significant number of Chinese diaspora, is important for China and vice versa. 
As the co-founder of ASEAN, Indonesia hosts its secretariat and contributes significantly to its key policies. 
Indonesia, for example,proposedthe ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific and had it endorsed by all member states in less than one year. What makes the outlookbetter than other initiatives relating to the vast Indo-Pacific region is its inclusivity principle, to ensure the new regional architecture would be inclusive and open to all. This took Indonesia even further onto the global stage.

Lack of response from big names
US and China are key actors in today's geopolitical configuration. The world's twolargest economiesobviously have their own national interests. 
As they are involved in an ongoingtrade war , their balancing strategy matters significantly.
China is expanding its global influence through the Belt and Road Initiative. This global development strategy focuses on infrastructure development and investments. 
Indonesia's current administration prioritises massive infrastructure development, which is in line with China's global development strategy. Indonesia needs Chinese investment. In return, China needs Indonesia for its global expansion. 
Thus, China does not want to upset Indonesia, as Chinese infrastructure and investment interests in Indonesia are at stake. The lack of response from China on the Papua issue is also probably because the Chinese government has been traditionally less interested in human rights issues. 
At the same time, to protect its global interests, the US recently launched itsIndo-Pacific Strategy Report , in which Indonesia's geographical position is important. 
As well as having economic interests such as the Freeport investment and mining production in Papua, the US perceives Indonesia as critical to stability and progress in Southeast Asia – a key region in its Indo-Pacific Strategy. 
The US is reluctant to make any comment on Papua. At arecent meetingbetween US Assistant Secretary for the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau David R. Stillwell and Indonesian presidential chief of staff Moeldoko, both high-ranking officials avoided discussion on Papua.
These bilateral relations with Indonesia serve the geopolitical players' interests well. They see no reason to upset their relationship with Indonesia by offering criticism on the Papua issue. 

Neighbours' silence
In Australia, Human Rights Watch hasvoiced concernsover the situation, but the Australian government have not been as vocal.
As for ASEAN nations, they are barred by the bloc'snon-interference principlefrom even insinuating concern about Papua. 
Recently, thousands of people in Papua New Guinea, which borders Papua, held asolidarity marchin support of West Papua. Yet the government of Papua New Guinearegardsthe issue as an Indonesian domestic problem. 

Actions still needed
Indonesia seems to have executed its balancing strategy well through bilateral relations and has been getting support for its policies on Papua. However, it has to work hard to continue do so. 
If Indonesia mishandles Papua's resentment and commits human right violations, military cooperation with the US will be harmed. USlaw prohibitscooperation with any party with a record of human rights violations.
Equally as important, Indonesia needs to adjust its interests in foreign investment with China's economic interests in the country, particularly in Papua, so as not to create further resentment among Papuans. 
TheNdugaincident in Papua last year is a reminder that infrastructure development projects are not always the best approach to narrow the economic and social gap between Papua and the rest of Indonesia.

Keep feet on the ground
While the geopolitical actors are individually reluctant to upset their established bilateral relationships with Indonesia, the international community does not turn a deaf ear to the pleas from the people of Papua. 
A few days after four civilians died in a rally in Jayapura on September 2 2019, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rightsreleaseda statement of concern. 
The office encouraged Indonesian authorities 'to engage in dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua on their aspirations and concerns, as well as to restore internet services and refrain from any excessive use of force'.
The international community is now keeping watch over Indonesia's commitment to protect the universal rights of the people of Papua.
    Indonesia Human rights Geopolitics Papua International affairs 

2) Police Uncover Plot to Stage More Riots in Papua and West Papua
SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 
Jakarta. Police say they have uncovered a plot to stage more riots in Papua and West Papua until Dec. 1, following the arrest of the head of the West Papua National Committee's (KNPB) branch in Mimika, Steven Itlay, on Wednesday. 
"We are investigating Steven's role in the riotsthat occurred in several areas in Papua, especially in Jayapura, last month," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said in Jakarta on Thursday.
Steven is suspected of working with Benny Wenda, the chairman of the United Kingdom-based United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), to organize mobs at the riots, Dedi said.
Earlier, National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said Benny was the main person responsiblefor a series of violent pro-independence protests in Papua and West Papua in August.
The protests in Indonesia's two easternmost provinces were initially triggered by ethnic and racial discriminationsagainst Papuan students on the island of Java. 
Tito said people behind the riots had wanted to attract international attentionto gain support for an independence referendum for Papua.
Police say they have since found that the group also planned to stage more riots in Papua and West Papua until Dec. 1, a day commemorated as Papua's independence day by supporters of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
3) Komnas HAM urges Jokowi to hold dialog in Papua
12 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Human Rights National Commission (Komnas HAM) has urged President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to hold a dialog with all Papuan communities in Papua Province to solve problems in the upshot of the recent Surabaya incident.

"The Rights Commission has, in fact, suggested President Joko Widodo to visit Papua and hold a dialog directly with all communities, so that all problems can be solved," Head of the Rights Commission Ahmad Taufan Damanik stated.

Conversing with journalists after receiving a visit of John Gobai, a member of Papua's House of Representatives (DPRP), in Jakarta on Thursday, he noted that the Papuan community members were keen on holding a dialog with the incumbent president though he lauded Jokowi for inviting several Papuan figures for a meeting at the State Palace.

"Please do not just meet with certain groups but with all community groups in Papua," he stated, adding that the government's security approach to solve Papua’s problems will fail to promote a comprehensive solution to the problems.

On the contrary, the security approach will pressure community members and security personnel. Hence, a dialog is deemed necessary to solve the Papua problems.

In the meantime, Gobai affirmed that he had visited the rights commission to appeal to the commissioners to help release several Papuans still in police custody.

"They may have been involved in the recent rioting due to racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya. For us, it is just a form of expression of the Papuan community members," he stated, adding that some six thousand security personnel deployed to Papua had also made the locals uncomfortable.

Related news: Indonesian police to prioritize handling Papua's armed criminals
Related news: Jokowi has lunch with Papuan village chiefs, youths

On a separate occasion, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo noted that the police will direct its attention on handling armed criminals targeting civilian attacks after potential protests and anarchic acts in Papua could have been considerably curtailed.

"The threats have become minor now, but we are striving to focus on issues concerning armed criminals. They assault people. This is what we must take optimal precautionary measures against," he told newsmen on the sidelines of the Setara Institute's discussion forum in Jakarta.

Security measures against armed criminals were aimed at maintaining law and order in the easternmost province.

Despite Papua's current situation having been conducive, some three thousand police personnel were still deployed in the province until December 2019. Several thousand policemen are also assigned to secure West Papua Province.

The police personnel would not be withdrawn over the likelihood of certain parties intending to create security disturbances in the provinces until the end of this year.

The recent violent protests that erupted in several cities in Papua and West Papua held in opposition to the alleged racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16 might have also been related to the High Commissioner for Human Rights' meeting on Sept 9. By having so, the Papua riots could be adopted into this commissioner’s report.

At the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept 23-26, the representatives of all member nations will express their views and standpoints, he stated.

"To this end, we optimally mitigate to ensure that Papua's condition is really conducive," he noted.Related news: Police chase down 12 persons wanted in West Papua unrest
Related news: NGO in Papua facilitates victims of violence to report incidents

Reporter: Syaiful Hakim, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati

4) Police Trace Suspicious Transactions in Veronica Koman's Accounts


Markus Wisnu Murti

TEMPO.COSurabaya- TheEast Java Police claimed to have found suspicious transactions in the bank accounts of human rights advocate Veronica Koman, a suspected spreader of provocative contents during the Papua riots. The police said there were big withdrawals in the conflicted area.
“There are several significant fund transfers [to the accounts],” said East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan during a press conference at the East Java Police HQ, Friday, September 13.
Luki explained the huge fund transfers were illogical since the suspect was a mere college student.

He added that six out of her eight bank accounts received significant amounts of money. However, he stopped short of detailing the nominal. “It’s quite huge,” said Luki.
He also declined to mention the money sender, yet assured his team had detected several withdrawals in Surabaya and Papua. 
The investigation into the senders and the purposes of the transfers is still afoot, he said. The East Java Police are coordinating with the National Police to track suspicious transactions in bank accounts belonging to the lawyer of Papuan students.
Meanwhile, the police set a deadline for Veronica Komanto meet the police summons at September 18. The police will declare a wanted status if she, who is reportedly staying in Australia, skips the second call.
5) Police arrest KNPB leader Steven Italy over alleged role in Papua riots
CNN Indonesia – September 12, 2019

“Yes that correct [the information] from Papua is that they are in the process of investigating the suspect in relation to the riots in Jayapura and several other places in Papua”, said national police spokesperson Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo when contacted by CNNIndonesiaon Thursday September 12.
Prasetyo said that Italy is also suspected of communicating with United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Chairperson Benny Wenda.
Based on information gathered by CNN Indonesia, Italy was arrested on Wednesday September 11 at aroven Italy – Undated (Istimewa)
Jakarta – Police have arrested the chairperson of the Mimika West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Steven Italy, for allegedly playing a role in the riots and protest actions which took place in Jayapura, Papua. Police has already declared him a suspect.und 5.56 pm local time at the Cendrawasih University in Papua. During the arrest police seized four mobile phones, 5.5 million rupiah in cash, a flashdisk and the car being used by Italy.
Italy is alleged to have played a role in checking on regional KNPB branches, managing the activities of the Mimika KNPB, ordering the mobilisation of protesters, directing protesters from Sentani and sending instruction to KNPB leaders throughout Papua.
Prasetyo however was did not explain in detail which articles he has been charged under. Italy is still undergoing questioning. (gst/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Polisi Tangkap Ketua KNPB Mimika, Diduga Terkait Benny Wenda”.]
6) Freeport’s copper export quota triples to 700,000 tons
Norman Harsono The Jakarta Post
Jakarta / Fri, September 13, 2019/ 03:17 pm
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry decided this month to increase mining company Freeport Indonesia’s copper concentrate export quota to 700,000 wet metric tons (wmt), a more than threefold increase on the previous quota of 198,282 wmt.
The ministry's minerals director Yunus Saefulhak told reporters in Jakarta on Friday that the decision was a result of successful optimization schemes at the company’s Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua province.
“Some studies were conducted and we found that it is still possible to optimize and exploit available means of production,” he said.
He added that the increased copper export quota did not change the company’s overall copper production target of 1.3 million wmt for this year.
The higher quota is a revision of Freeport’s one-year copper export license that was renewed in March.

7) Indonesia, Australia conduct joint maritime patrol exercise in NTT
12th September 2019
Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Main Naval Base (Lantamal) VII in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is conducting a joint maritime patrol exercise called Cassoway Exercise Uasindo Corpart 2019in NTT waters with the Royal Australian Navy, Sept 10-16.

First Admiral IG Kompiang Aribawa, commander of the Lantamal VII in Kupang, remarked on Thursday that 30 officers of the Royal Australian Navy and 90 officers from the Indonesian Navy participated in the exercise.

"The joint exercise is being held for six days, starting from Tuesday (Sep 10), and it will end on September 16, next week," he remarked.

Related news: Indonesia, Britain, Australia discuss air cargo security

Related news: Indonesia, Australia hold bilateral talks to discuss trade

The drill also involves the three warships of HMAS Maryborough-95 from Australia and KRI Tongkol-813 and KRI-635 from the Indonesian Naval Fleet II based in Surabaya, East Java Province.

The joint patrol exercise is aimed at establishing sound communication while patrolling and prosecuting in the waters bordering both nations.

Naval Attaché of the Australian Embassy in Indonesia Captain Mathew Brown stated that the exercise was expected to bolster military cooperation, especially between the navies of both countries.

Related news: Indonesia, Australia intensify bilateral cooperation before COP25

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Reporter: Kornelis Kaha, Fardah
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti

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