Thursday, September 5, 2019

1) Wiranto discloses conspiracy involving separatist leader Benny Wenda

 2) A Fair Deal with Papua
 3) Prabowo, Ex Intelligence Chief to Discuss Papua Issues 
4) Provocation to cause anarchy continues in Papua: Wiranto 
5) Protesters in Papua want independence, but will it be another East Timor or Aceh?
6) NZ 'deeply concerned' by West Papua violence 
7)  Tensions in Papua and hyper-nationalism in Indonesia  

1) Wiranto discloses conspiracy involving separatist leader Benny Wenda
3 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto has accused West Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda of being involved in a conspiracy during the protests that turned violent in Papua and West Papua. "Based on our observation, and information that we received, such a conspiracy does exist, on the mutual relations between Wenda and two organizations," Wiranto said in a press conference here Thursday.

The two organizations are The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) led by Wenda and The National Committee of West Papua (KNPB).

The conspiracy ignited anarchy during the protests in the easternmost provinces, the minister remarked.

"It exists, we have not made it up. The police chief has reported this to me. So, it is clear there was foreign and local intervention," he reiterated.

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

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

The government had the evidence but it could not disclose all information regarding the operations in Papua, Wiranto noted.

"Entrust this to the security personnel and they will give their best to secure the public interest and secure people's normal life in Papua and West Papua," Wiranto said.

On Wenda's citizenship, Wiranto said that he lost his citizenship after he could not submit a report to the authority of his five years in exile in the United Kingdom.

"After we checked it, he lost his status as an Indonesian citizen. It is under the law, as he lived abroad for more than five years without submitting any report," he noted.

Wenda was awarded the Freedom of the City of Oxford in July.

Wenda had received permanent residency in the United Kingdom, Wiranto said. "He was awarded honorary citizenship from Oxford. It was not from the UK government but from Oxford."

Previously, the Indonesian Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian accused Wenda, ULMWP and KNPB of igniting the anarchic protests in Papua and outside the province.

Therefore, Karnavian cautioned the public to not be provoked by any parties who wanted to create unrest in the province.

"ULMWP and KNPB are responsible for many maneuvers. We will initiate legal action against them," Karnavian said.  

Related news: Socio-cultural dialog needed to resolve Papua problems: MUI

Related news: No foreign assistance sought to placate tensions in Papua: Wiranto

Reporter: Zuhdiar Laeis, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution

2) A Fair Deal with Papua

5 September 2019 16:10 WIB

Papuan students staged a protest in front of Indonesia Army headquarters in Jakarta, August 22, 2019. Hundreds of Papuans staged a peaceful protest in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday, August 22, 2019, demanding self-determination for West-Papua after the detention of Papuan students in East Java stoked accusations of racism. TEMPO/Subekti
TEMPO.COJakarta - If the government had been quicker to take the right steps to calm the situation, the disturbances in Papua would not have spread. But exactly the opposite happened: protests spread giving the impression they could not be stopped.
Having started with the racial abuse and persecution of students in a dormitory for Papuans in Surabaya, East Java a day before Independence Day, demonstrations have spread across Papua in the last two weeks. It is regrettable that the East Java police, led by Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan, failed to anticipate the potential for disturbances. This is unfortunate because Luki is a senior officer with a career in intelligence behind him.
The demonstrations led to violence in Manokwari and Sorong, West Papua. There was also rioting in Deiyai Regency, Papua on Wednesday, August 28 that is thought to have resulted in the deaths of three people – one of them a member of the Indonesia Military (TNI). A day later, buildings were set alight in Jayapura, the Papuan capital.

It should not have been difficult for intelligence officers to detect signs of impending violence in Papua, which is often the scene of social conflict. The impact of racism would have been easy to foresee if the intelligence service and the authorities had not underestimated the size of the problem. The intelligence personnel scattered around Papua should have been able to detect the movements of elements within Papua such as students, activists and ordinary people, who protested and demanded a referendum to decide on independence for the province. Police intelligence officers, the army and the State Intelligence Agency failed to read the signs, despite the fact that the West Papua Police chief, Brig. Gen. Herry Rudolf Nahak is a senior officer who has had considerable experience in anti-terrorism.
It is highly likely that the disturbances could have been minimized if the police had moved quickly to investigate the racism directed towards the Papuan students. But East Java police only named one suspect, a former Surabaya City legislative candidate from the Gerindra Party, Tri Susanti, 12 days after the incident. Meanwhile, the TNI only announced the discharge of its personnel who were involved in the racism a week afterward.
Instead of resolving the issue, the government and security forces made a series of blunders. In Bandung, West Java, the police fanned the flames by giving Papuan students alcoholic drinks. This idiotic move went viral and further angered Papuans, who refuse to be identified as drunks.
The government also acted recklessly and gave the impression of panicking in its response to the conflict. Claiming it was to hasten the restoration of order, the Communications and Information Ministry blocked Internet access in Papua, despite there not being an emergency requiring restrictions to access to information. The government added to the discrimination and isolation of the Papuans and deprived them of access to information. Instead of limiting the spread of fake news, the block made it difficult to verify that rumors were hoaxes.
The government and the security forces should know the locations and movements of conflict in the region particularly the people behind them. In the past, protests depended on tribal and traditional leaders. Nowadays, young people are at the vanguard calling for the rights for the Papuan people as a whole not just their own tribes.
At the start of his administration, President Joko Widodo demonstrated his concern for the people of Papua by his frequent visits there. During the 2014 election campaign, he went there for the first time even though the region does not have many voters. But during his first administration, there was the impression that the government simplified the problem by believing Papua’s difficulties could be overcome simply by building infrastructure.
It is time the government took another look at the studies about Papua that have been carried out by universities and academics. The problem is not just a matter of transportation links between regencies, but also inequality, injustice and the lack of respect towards the Papuans as human beings. The president must ensure that the people of Papua are not treated like second class citizens.
As well as apologizing, Jokowi should move quickly to resolve the human rights abuses that have happened there. The guilty must be punished. The government, together with the police and the TNI must prioritize dialog and stop taking repressive measures against civilians. Without a solution that addresses the roots of the problem, the conflict in Papua will never end.
Read the Complete Story in this Week's Edition of Tempo English Magazine


3) Prabowo, Ex Intelligence Chief to Discuss Papua Issues

Laila Afifa

TEMPO.COJakarta - A meeting is reportedly scheduled to take place between Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto and former Indonesian Intelligence Agency (BIN) Chief  A.M. Hendropriyono tonight.
This rumor has been confirmed by the Gerindra Chairman's spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak; “That is true, Pak Prabowo is set to meet Pak Hendropriyono.”
However, Dahnil did not reveal any details regarding the meeting, mainly what would be discussed in the meeting that will be held at Hendropriyono’s house in the Senayan, South Jakarta.
According to Hendropriyono, they will mainly discuss issues regarding Papua and West Papua and how the nation should unite to face the problem collectively.
“No more criticism, check and balances, that’s acceptable in a normal situation. This is no longer a normal situation and everyone must unite,” said Hendropriyono to journalists in South Jakarta today, September 5.


4) Provocation to cause anarchy continues in Papua: Wiranto

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said some parties are still trying to provoke people in Papua and West Papua to continue their anarchic actions in the regions.

"There is still provocation, incitement of the people to create anarchy," Wiranto said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Related news: Jokowi has lunch with Papuan village chiefs, youths

Related news: Paratroopers jump drill in Papua observed by military, police chiefs

The military and police conducted a meeting with local leaders and some elements of the society in Biak Numfor, Papua, on Wednesday (September 4), where all the parties agreed to prevent provocation by certain parties to commit violence.

"So, if you have heard about plans of anarchic actions, that is part of the provocation," he added.

However, he continued saying that security personnel and the local governments have called on people to maintain restraint from such actions.

The situation in Papua and West Papua has been under control and people have returned to their daily activities.

Related news: Minister confirms schools in Papua, West Papua opening on Sept 5

"Yesterday, I said that shops and traditional markets, offices, gas stations have all reopened, telecommunication, electricity have returned to normal, although we have to distribute water to some areas," he said.

Schools have resumed activities and Internet access has been recovered, Wiranto said.

 Related news: Pertamina guarantees secure supply of LPG for Jayapura
Reporter: Zuhdiar Laeis, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution

5) Protesters in Papua want independence, but will it be another East Timor or Aceh?


While foreign news headlines in Singapore have been dominated by developments in Hong Kong in recent weeks, there is another protest close to home that bears watching.

Since August 16, demonstrations have taken place in many Papuan towns and other towns throughout Indonesia, in the largest and most sustained manifestations of discontent among Papuans regarding their situation in the country.

The protests and critical statements by the Papuans against the Indonesian authorities have been festering for several years now.

What sparked the current wave of protests that is still ongoing was a viral mobile phone video recording of police using the racial slur “monkeys” during an incident outside a Papuan student hostel in Surabaya, East Java.

Almost all of these demonstrations called for an act of self-determination or independence for Papua.

The Indonesian government has responded with an apology for the racial slur and action against the police officers concerned, combined with a hardening of its stance against calls for self-determination or independence.

More police and troops have been sent to Papua. The Internet has been closed down there. The police have been told to consider expressions of support for separating from Indonesia as illegal.

Activists, who used the West Papuan flag in a demonstration outside the Presidential palace in Jakarta, have been arrested and charged with political offences that carry severe prison sentences. The government has said it is open to dialogue, but has ruled out any discussion of a referendum.

Over the last 20 years, Indonesia has twice faced situations where regions have indicated they wanted to break away. In 1999, after 24 years of military occupation in East Timor against a prolonged struggle for independence, a majority of Timorese voted in a referendum for independence from Indonesia.

Today, Timor Leste as East Timor is also known, is a sovereign country with 1.3 million citizens.

In Aceh, after a similarly long period where there was a guerrilla struggle against Indonesia, there were also calls for a referendum on the question of independence.

Most notably, almost half of the whole population of Aceh took part in a demonstration in 1999 calling for such a referendum.

That however did not happen. Instead, negotiations took place, mediated by a third party, the government of Finland. The talks led to a settlement where Aceh remained within Indonesia, but obtained very significant concessions for its autonomy.

The local government has power over all areas of governance except defence, foreign relations and fiscal policy. The agreement also allowed for the establishment of local political parties.

Can the situation in Papua be compared with East Timor or Aceh? Which is more likely: an East Timor outcome or an Aceh outcome or indeed something new?

There are key differences, of course, among these three cases. The history of East Timor, including four centuries of colonisation by Portugal, meant that the Timorese population’s sense of community came out of a separate experience which began long before the integration into Indonesia following annexation in 1975.

The Timorese character as a national community was built on a different linguistic experience, with most people with schooling taught in Portuguese; with different political resources, drawing from Portuguese and African right-wing and left-wing ideologies. 

They had almost zero overlap with the Indonesian national experience. On the other hand, Aceh had been an enthusiastic supporter of the establishment of Indonesia. In Papua, the common experience of ethnic Papuans has been mainly generated under Indonesian authority, communicated in Indonesian language.

One thing the Timorese had in common with Indonesia but not with Aceh or Papua, was that the Timorese nation was not ethnically defined. Timorese nationalists could be from a Timor ethnic group, or Chinese or Arabic. This was similar to Indonesia.

Acehnese and Papuan nationalism has on the other hand been tied more closely to ethnicity. In Aceh, this was never a major problem, but in Papua ethnic nationalism raised serious, but not irresolvable, questions about the place of non-Melanesian migrant residents of Papua in any Papuan national community.

Timor’s international situation was also very different. Both before and after 1975, all members of the United Nations recognised East Timor as a Portuguese colony and expected a properly organised decolonisation process to take place.

UN member countries — except for one, Australia, which needed Jakarta’s agreement to access oil and gas in the Timor Sea — did not ever recognise the Indonesian incorporation of East Timor.

A representative of East Timor was given official status at the United Nations in 1975. The Portuguese government consistently and seriously campaigned on behalf of an act of self-determination. Papuan nationalists only have the support of the small Pacific Island countries and no government from within the western bloc.

Within the UN, no major country, including the former colonial power, the Netherlands, has questioned West Papua’s integration within Indonesia since 1969.

In Aceh’s case, its outcome was a result of compromise and negotiation. One feature of Mr Widodo’s political style has been pragmatic coalition building, even more recently reaching out to his opponent in the elections, Prabowo Subianto.

The question now regarding Papua is whether the same pragmatic reach-out approach will be used for dialogue, similar to what happened with Aceh, or will it be abandoned for the 1999 Timor approach?

Much needs to happen before the answers to these questions become clear. In the meantime, the issue is unlikely to impact more widely on South-east Asia, except if support for Papuans spreads to neighbouring regions and becomes a public issue. This is most likely if there is a serious top-down militarisation of the situation.



Max Lane is aVisiting Senior Fellow at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute.


6) NZ 'deeply concerned' by West Papua violence

7:21 am today 
New Zealand's government says it's "deeply concerned" by recent violence in Indonesia's West Papua during protests which have rocked the country.

At least 10 people have been killed in separate clashes between Papuan demonstrators, security forces and vigilante mobs.
Dozens of protestors and activists have been arrested by Indonesian police, which have deployed thousands of extra personnel to the region.
New Zealand's Foreign Ministry said it was closely monitoring the security situation and has raised concerns with Indonesian authorities.
It said it has encouraged Indonesia to facilitate a visit to Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reiterating a call from the Pacific Islands Forum.
"We have urged Indonesia to respect and protect the human rights of all its citizens," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said.
"New Zealand recognises Papua as part of Indonesia's sovereign territory. We continue to encourage Indonesia to promote peaceful social and economic development in Papua."

West Papua vows to tighten supervision of students
 2 hours ago

Manokwari, Papua (ANTARA) - The West Papua provincial government has vowed to tighten its supervision on the province's students currently studying at various universities across Indonesia under the central and regional governments' scholarship schemes.

"Our students are spread across Indonesia. We want them to be serious in their studies," Head of the Education Department at the West Papua Provincial Government Barnabas Dowansiba said in Manokwari Thursday. To ensure that the West Papuan students currently studying in Aceh are safe and secure, Dowansiba said he recently visited the province.

"There are some 23 West Papuan students in Aceh. They are the recipients of the central government's affirmative scholarship program," he said, adding that he asked them to focus on their studies, and not to be provoked by the situation in West Papua.

However, this year, the Education Department officials could not visit all cities where the students reside due to financial constraints, Dowansiba said.

Next year, budget allocation is expected for a meeting with the students and observing the condition of their dormitories to ensure they finish their studies and return home with their certificates.

He would work with the university authorities to enable the West Papua Education Department's authorities to receive a progress report on the students’ education, he said.

Related news: Papuan students stage peaceful rally in Bali against Surabaya incident
Related news: East Java Police avers no Papuan students faced racism


Groups of Papuan students in Java Island have frequently staged rallies. On August 15, 2019, for instance, the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) staged a rally in Malang city, East Java.

Malang Deputy Mayor Sofyan Edi Jarwoko was caught in the spotlight after native Papuans in the provinces of Papua and West Papua accused him of threatening to send the Papuan students in Malang back home.

However, Jarwoko had not made any statement containing a threat to the Papuan students.

Instead, he had just responded to local journalists’ queries on whether he would opt to send the Papuan students home as had been done in 2016.

Jarwoko was quoted by Kompas TV as saying August 21 that he had never made any such statement.

He just said that returning the Papuan students was an option, but the impact of their rally needed to be assessed further before coming up with the option.

Related news: Provocation to cause anarchy continues in Papua: Wiranto
Related news: Socio-cultural dialog needed to resolve Papua problems: MUI

Reporter: Toyiban, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati


7)  Tensions in Papua and hyper-nationalism in Indonesia  
Author: Ariel Heryanto  
Date 9/5/2019 5:17:14 AM
(MENAFN - The Conversation) Recent conflicts in Papua have intensified with the death ofat least seven peopleas anti-government protests turned violent in Indonesia's easternmost region.
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's administration hasrushedto end weeks-long unrest in two provinces in Papua Island – in Papua and West Papua provinces – triggered byracial abuseagainst Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 17, 2019.
The unrest brought to fore, once again, a set of old and unresolved issues of Papua. They range from political disputes on Papua's integration into Indonesia, recurring violence, unfair distribution of wealth in the region, and environmental degradation from resource exploitation.
The recent incidents give us another opportunity to reexamine Indonesian nationalism, which has long transformed into a kind of hyper-nationalism.

Reexamining nationalism
Hyper-nationalismis a deadly, serious kind of nationalism. It suffers from a self-delusion of being authentically native. 
Tinged with fascism, this nationalism adores or cherishes symbols, emblems, rituals and uniforms. At times the latter appear to have acquired a status of quasi-religious sacredness. 
Any signs of threats or perceived lack of disrespect to these nationalistic symbols can easily provoke aggressive responses from state apparatus and ordinary citizens alike.
The Surabaya incident illustrates this clearly. In the incident, security personnel and members of mass organisations launched physical and verbalattackson Papuan students living in a dormitory. 
The angry mob arrived at the dormitory after they there were rumours about a discarded Indonesian flag near the building. The reaction to the rumours vividly demonstrated the deep-running hyper-nationalism embedded in public life.
For the same reasons, the Papuans' demand for secession from Indonesia is utterly hurtful to many Indonesians, regardless of their plights that led to such demand. 
More puzzling and painful to many Indonesians is to witness the unprecedented scope of support and solidarity from non-Papuan Indonesians to such demand.

Betraying nationalism
This combative and masculinist nationalism gives the impression that Indonesia has returned to, or been stuck in, colonial and anti-colonial state of mind. 
But, it is a mistake to assume this hyper-nationalism is just remnants of the 1945 revolution. It is not even legacy of 32-year-long New Order militarist dictatorship that ended in 1998. 
The seed for hyper-nationalism was visible from the 1950s triggered in the late 1940s by two Dutch military aggressions following a long period of humiliation and oppression under the colonial occupation.
Strangely, after the fall of the New Order, hyper-nationalism has become more intense. 
The nationalist song 'Maju Tak Gentar' (Striding Forward) from the days of the revolution war remains hugely popular today. 
Speakers in public gathering often raised their fist and yell 'Merdeka!' (Freedom!), mimicking the general practice in the 1940s, and ignoring the fact that the country has gained its independence well over 70 years. 
The slogan 'NKRI Harga Mati' ('Non-negotiable Sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia') dates from decolonisation in the 1940s.But it has gained an unprecedented level of prominence in recent years.

Beyond the state
It is also important to note that hyper-nationalism is not confined in state ceremonies and propaganda. It found expressions in private moments of leisure and entertainment. 
During much of the New Order rule, soft-pornography, supernaturalism, violence, and thrillers dominated the film industry. 
But starting in the 2000s, nationalist films came in abundance. These films glorify the magic power of the national flag (Red and White) and the national coat of arms (the giant mythical bird Garuda).
A series of biopics of officially designated 'national heroes' were also produced in the recent decade. All these heroes belong to the so-called 'native' Indonesians. In fact they are all ethnically Javanese. 
This is so despite the fact that the early nationalist movements saw the pioneering roles of non-natives – about which no film has been made. With extremely few exceptions, all white characters in those semi-historical films are invariably bad Dutch oppressors or their accomplices.
Of late, singing the national anthem has also become the norm during commercial screenings of nationalist films or the opening of academic conferences. 
In April 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture required schools to commence and conclude teaching days with singing the national anthem. 
In July the same year, the same ministry proposed that all the original and lengthier version of the national anthem should be chosen when sung.
The prevailing hyper-nationalism betrays the modern and cosmopolitan idea of nationhood, which inspired the Indonesian nationalist movement a century ago. 
It was a nationalism that is inseparable from internationalism, and the idea of human equality and dignity, as already enshrined in the preamble of the Indonesian constitution.
Fahri Nur Muharom berkontribusi pada penerbitan tulisan ini.
Tensions in Papua and hyper-nationalism in Indonesia

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