Sunday, May 31, 2020

Four treason defendants in Papua jailed over anti-racism protests last year

Four treason defendants in Papua jailed over anti-racism protests last year

Tabloid JUBI – May 30, 2020

                            Sentencing hearing at Sorong District Court – May 30, 2020 (Papua Barat Pos)

Sorong – Four defendants charged with treason in Sorong City, West Papua province, were finally declared guilty and sentenced to eight months and 15 days jail at the Sorong District Court on Thursday May 28.
The four defendants, Yoseph Laurens Syufi alias Siway Bofit, Ethus Paulus Miwak Kareth, Manase Baho and Rianto Ruruk alias Herman Sabo, were indicted under Article 110 Paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 106 of the KUHP in conjunction with article 87 of the KUHP.

The four were arrested after being involved in an action which took place on September 18, 2019 in protest against the stand taken by 61 Papuan figures who met with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on September 10, 2019 following a series of anti-racist protests across the land of Papua.
Presiding judge Willem Marco Erari – who was assisted by Judges Donald Sopacua and Dedi I Sahusilawane – said that the four defendants had been proven guilty of the criminal act of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) which created public unrest.
“We think that this was the best verdict but it’s not yet certain if the four defendants consider it just. So we are giving an opportunity to their lawyers to ask the four defendants if they don’t accept [the verdict] so they can submit an appeal”, said Erari.

When asked by their lawyer and the public prosecutor, the four defendants stated that they accepted the verdict. “Starting this Thursday the verdict has final and conclusive legal force” added Erari.
Natalis Yewen, who had acted as the general coordinator of the “Monkeys Demand Justice” action in September, stated that personally and on behalf his comrades in arms that he is grateful to God, their ancestors and to West Papua’s national crusaders because his colleagues were sentenced to less than a year.
“I must also convey that they were detained not because they were guilty but that this represents a form of continuous criminalisation by police against activists who stand up to demand the rights of the Papuan nation”, he said.
“With this [verdict] we also ask that other tapols (political prisoners) who are still being detained also be given a sentence that is no more than nine months because if it’s more that that it will be an injustice and we will again take to the streets to demand justice for them and for the Papuan nation”, asserted Yewen. (Bastian/CR-3)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Papua – Empat Terdakwa Makar Di Sorong Divonis 8 Bulan,15 Hari Penjara”.]


Friday, May 29, 2020

1) Four defendants of treason in Sorong were sentenced to 8 months, 15 days in prison

2) Shooting of medical workers must be condemned: Papua police chief  
3) COVID-19 Outbreak among Inmates in Jayapura Detention Center 

4) Six Papuan Activists Convicted of Treason Freed  
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
1) Four defendants of treason in Sorong were sentenced to 8 months, 15 days in prison 
May 30, 2020  6:19 am   Reporter: Admin Jubi   
 Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi  Sorong, Jubi - 

                             Sidang Putusan empat Tapol di Pengadilan Negeri Sorong – Jubi/Bastian

Four defendants of treason article in Sorong City, West Papua were finally convicted and sentenced to eight months and 15 days in prison at the Sorong District Court on Thursday (5/28/2020). 
Four defendants on behalf of: Yoseph Laurens Syufi aka Siway Bofit, Ethus Paulus Miwak Kareth, Manase Baho, and Rianto Ruruk alias Herman Sabo were charged with alternative charges under article 110 paragraph (1) jo article 106 jo article 87 of the Criminal Code.  The four were arrested after being involved in an action that took place on 18 September 2019, addressing the aspirations of 61 Papuan leaders and meeting with the President on 10 September 2019, after an anti-racism action took place throughout the Land of Papua.  Chief Judge Willem Marco Erari, who was accompanied by two judges, members of Donald Sopacua and Dedi I Sahusilawane, said that the four defendants were found guilty of committing criminal offenses which disturbed the public.
"In our opinion, that is the best decision but it is also not necessarily fair for the four defendants. So we give legal counsel the opportunity to ask directly to the four defendants if they do not accept it, then an appeal can be made, "Willem said.  When asked by the legal advisors and the public prosecutor to the four defendants, the four of them stated that they accepted the verdict. "Starting this Thursday the decision has permanent legal force," added Willem.  Natalis Yewen as the general coordinator of the monkey action demanded justice said in person and represented solidarity friends thanking God, ancestors and West Papuan fighters because our friends could be sentenced to no more than a year.
“I also have to say that they were arrested not because they were guilty but this is a form of criminalization that is always carried out by the authorities to fellow activists who stand up to demand the rights of the Papuan people," he said.  iWith this we also request that the political prisoners who are still detained can be given a decision of no more than 9 months because if more than that then this is injustice and we will go back to the streets to demand their justice and for the people of Papua, said Natalis. 
(Bastian / CR-3 *)  Editor: Angela Flassy
(Note. OPM denies the allegation)

2) Shooting of medical workers must be condemned: Papua police chief  
12 hours ago

Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - The recent attack on two medical workers by Papuan armed rebels cannot be justified on any ground and needs to be strongly condemned, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, said on Friday.

"I have informed the central government about the incident, which needs to be strongly condemned. The shooting of the two medical workers who were on a humanitarian mission is really inhumane," he said in Timika, the capital of Mimika District.

On May 22, 2020, two medical workers — Almalek Bagau and Eunico Somou — from the Wandai Health Center in Intan Jaya District were reportedly shot by armed rebels while they were delivering drugs for COVID-19 patients.

According to police, Bagau and Somou were carrying walkie-talkie devices to communicate with the local COVID-19 post as there was no cellular network in the area. This led their attackers to mistake them for security personnel and open fire at them.

"If they (rebels) want to face military and police personnel, that's their business. But, they must not kill humanitarian workers. Instead of killing humanitarian workers, they must assist them and thank them," Waterpauw said.

The TNI and police have launched a hunt for the rebels who attacked the medical workers, he said, adding armed Papuan criminals have been carrying out acts of violence against security personnel and innocent civilians.

The security situation in Papua remains fragile due to acts of deadly violence attributed to Papuan separatists.

The rebels have engaged in frequent exchanges of fire with the Indonesian military and police personnel. The rebels have also launched deadly attacks on civilians over the past years, killing many of them.

As per Papua Police records, from early January to December 28, 2019, at least 23 shooting and criminal cases involving armed Papuan groups have claimed the lives of 10 members of the Indonesian police and military, as well as 10 civilians.

The armed groups mainly targeted the administrative areas of the districts of Puncak Jaya, Jayawijaya, Mimika, and Paniai in 2019, Waterpauw had remarked on December 28 last year. (INE)

Related news: Armed criminal group shoots medical workers in Papua

Related news: 34 medical workers in Papua exposed to COVID-19


Reporter: Evarianus S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

3) COVID-19 Outbreak among Inmates in Jayapura Detention Center 
Translator: Non Koresponden   
Editor: Laila Afifa 

29 May 2020 16:17 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - Chief of the Papuan Human Rights Lawyers Association, Gustaf Rudolf Kawer, reported that dozens of inmates in the Jayapura Precinct detention center are now suspected to have been infected with COVID-19, due to the lack of isolation procedures for suspected COVID-19 positive inmates.
"The latest information is about 60 people, swab tested," Gustaf said when contacted, on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Gustaf revealed that the potential COVID-19 outbreak in the Jayapura Precinct detention center began in late May, with one inmate showing COVID-19 symptoms. Although the inmate had been treated, he was returned to the detention center soon after. “They said it was TBC,” said Gustaf.
After that point, the outbreak started to happen in the detention center, which houses about 90 inmates. Initially, 11 inmates were showing COVID-19 symptoms. The number then increased to 43, and again to more than 60 inmates.
According to Gustaf, the Jayapura police and the Papua COVID-19 Task Force have actually visited the detention center. Due to the detention center being over-occupied, the Police then relocated inmates to other detention centers in Jayapura. Admittedly, Gustaf fears that the relocation of inmates will instead spark a COVID-19 outbreak in other detention centers.
A spokesperson for the Papua COVID-19 Task Force, Silwanus Sumule, did not answer phone calls and messages sent by Tempo regarding this news. Likewise, Jayapura Police Chief Adj. Sr. Commissioner Gustav Urbinas, have not responded.
M ROSSENO AJI | Translator: DIO SUHENDA (Intern)


4) Six Papuan Activists Convicted of Treason Freed  
  By Amanda Siddharta
 May 29, 2020 06:10 PM
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Six activists charged with treason in Jakarta for organizing a protest rally last August outside the presidential palace have been freed from prison.  
Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Ambrosius Mulait, Charles Kosay, and Dano Anes Tabuni, along with the only woman in the group, Arina Elopere, were freed this past week.
Issay Wenda, the sixth person, was released April 28. He had been sentenced to eight months in prison, a month less than the others. 
At the August 28 rally, a banned separatist flag was raised as activists protested an incident that occurred against Papuans earlier that month in Surabaya in East Java. The Morning Star flag is a symbol of independence for West Papua. 
Over 40 students taken
In mid-August, Indonesian authorities stormed a university dormitory in Surabaya, where Papuan students live, concerning allegations someone desecrated the Indonesian flag in the building and threw it into a sewer. Police fired tear gas and took 43 students into custody, while an angry mob that had gathered outside the dormitory chanted, “Kick out Papua” and used racial slurs to describe the students.
The incident triggered nationwide protests and galvanized the pro-independence movement. The Ministry of Communication and Information responded by blocking the internet in Papua. After that happened, some Papuans burned the office of Telkom Indonesia in Jayapura, the capital of Papua.  
Ginting, the spokesperson for the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), said their indictment was unfair.  
“None of us has the initiative; it never crossed our minds that we want to commit treason. We were only protesting; it was a standard rally to make a statement. The only difference there was that flag on August 28. I assumed it was the initiative from the people at the rally,” he told VOA.  
'No intentions of treason'
Michael Hilman, a member of the legal team representing the activists, said that the facts and evidence presented in court proved they were only protesting because of the incident in Surabaya.  
“There were no intentions of treason, or to attack the head of state, there was no violence whatsoever. But the judge’s decision did not take into account the facts,” he said in a statement.  
Five of the six were supposed to be released three weeks earlier under a new decree by the Indonesian Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. The decree initiated an assimilation program for prisoners who have served two-thirds of their prison sentences to be released early because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ginting said they signed the release documents on May 11 and had been tested for the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. At the last minute, they were told they could not be granted an early release because they were charged of treason.  
“We suspect political pressure or alleged abuse of power by the authorities,” Hilman said. The Directorate General of Corrections at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has not responded to VOA’s requests for comments. 
Repression in Papua 'getting worse' 
Indonesia annexed the region of West Papua in 1969, after some of the population was forced to vote in favor of joining Indonesia. Since then, the area has become a hot spot of conflict with the government’s crackdown of separatist movements.  
Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer, said violations and impunity still occur in Papua.  
“The repression in Papua is getting worse, because there’s a record of arrest in 2016. There were 5,136 arrests; that’s already during Jokowi’s regime,” she said, referring to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.   
Failed promises?
The president made a promise to prioritize infrastructure development in Papua. But the president has never addressed the alleged human rights violations. Koman said if the conflict in Papua is not resolved, it will be a ticking time bomb ahead of a violent uprising.  
“In a couple of years, there could be a (violent) incident. And then they’d ask, ‘Why did it happen?’ or ‘Who was the provocateur.’ Well, you’re making them (the Papuans) victims repeatedly and robbing them of their dignity,” she said.  
Meanwhile, Ginting said he would continue to speak out about the problems in Papua, but he acknowledged there is little he can do during the pandemic. He said the arrests have created momentum for people to start a discussion on Papua.  
“I think there are more people who are now curious. They want to find out what exactly is happening in Papua. A lot more people will be more open-minded,” he said. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

1) Egianus Kogoya claims to have captured the ammunition of the Indonesian National Police in Nduga

2) Papuan activists rejoice after completing prison sentences for treason
3) COVID-19 only kills 1% of people in remote Papuan village with limited resources
4) Viability of PNG cable project uncertain
5) Drones to help patrol PNG border

(A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic)Video footage
(Note Video footage in article)
1) Egianus Kogoya claims to have captured the ammunition of the Indonesian National Police in Nduga 
May 29, 2020 12:15 am  Reporter: Victor Mambor
Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi  

Egianus Kogoya's group shows ammunition and items seized during the attack on Alguru - Jubi / IST

Jayapura, Jubi - Egianus Kogoya, Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) Kodap Ndugama claimed to have attacked four TNI Polri Posts in Alguru, Nduga Regency. The attack carried out on May 23, said Egianus, succeeded in seizing the ammunition and equipment of the Indonesian security forces on duty at the four posts.

On 23 May 2020 our troops attacked 4 TNI-Polri Emergency Posts in Papua's Nduga Regency. Precisely in Alguru. We managed to seize several items belonging to the Indonesian National Police, "Egianus Kogoya told Jubi, Thursday (05/28/2020).  The items seized according to Egianus, among others, were 77 magazines and 2,310 bullets, 30 backpacks, 12 cellphones, 6 Handy Talkies, 2 satellite phones and 30 million cash, in addition to clothes, clothes, pants and tarpaulin there are at these posts.

Egianus added that until May 27, 4 helicopters landed at the Kenyenam airfield, the capital of Nduga Regency. This helicopter, according to him, carries around 100 members of the Indonesian National Police.  “They went straight to Alguru to look for four of their missing members on 23 May," Egianus explained.

Head of Papua Police Public Relations Kombes Pol Drs. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, SH, through a press release said there were no reports of attacks, as claimed by Egianus Kogoya. Even the group led by Egianus Kogoya according to the Head of Public Relations continued to provoke and spread news or information that caused panic among residents in Papua, especially in Nduga Regency. 

 "We have never received a report from the rank and file police related to the incident. What happened was the persecution and seizure of firearms belonging to members of the National Police who were at Poliai Pol 99 Police Station on Friday, 15 May 2020, "Kamal wrote.  Also read Five Bishops of the Land of Papua urged to voice Papuan human rights In addition to the seizure of 3 weapons at Pospol 99, the group referred to by the police as the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) also carried out actions in several areas namely the shooting of non-employees at Mile 61 Freeport Area in Mimika Regency on Thursday, May 21, 2020 and carried out the shooting of two medical officers in Intan Jaya on Friday, May 22, which caused one medical officer to die while carrying out humanitarian tasks in the Wandai District of Intan Jaya Regency.  But Egianus said he had evidence of the spoils from the four posts he attacked in the form of photos and videos.  Egianus also denied the statement of the Indonesian security forces who said he was terrorizing residents of the Nduga Regency community.  "We know the rules in conflict areas. Civilians have nothing to do with the armed conflict between the TPNPB and the Indonesian National Police, "Egianus said. (*)
2) Papuan activists rejoice after completing prison sentences for treason
Rizki Fachriansyah 
The Jakarta Post  Jakarta   /   Thu, May 28, 2020   /   07:22 pm
Five Papuan political activists who were convicted of treason for protesting in support of Papuan independence in Jakarta have been released from prison after serving nine-month sentences.
The activists – Surya Anta, Ambrosius Mulait, Dano Tabuni, Charles Kossay and Ariana Elopere – embraced each other after leaving prison and reaffirmed their commitment to voice the political aspirations of their fellow Papuans.
Ariana was released on Wednesday, while the other four activists left prison on Tuesday.
Mike Hilman, a member of the legal team representing the activists, said the five conveyed their moral support to the Papuan activists still serving prison time after being convicted of similar charges.
“The criminalization of Papuan activists for voicing their concerns over Papua by charging them under laws on treason, as well as the Electronic Information and Transactions Law [UU ITE], reflects a regression in democracy,” Hilman said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last month, the Central Jakarta District Court found the five activists, along with another activist named Isay Wenda, guilty of treason for holding a protest in support of Papuan independence in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta in August 2019.
The five activists were sentenced to nine months in prison. Isay was given eight months in prison. The court found them in violation of Article 110 in relation to Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) for conspiring to promote secession.
Hilman argued that the activists had staged the protest to voice their concerns about a racist attack against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java. The racial conflict resulted in the arrest of 57 Papuan political activists in seven cities across the country, according to Hilman.

Veronica Koman
on Wednesday
Inilah momen ketika Arina Elopere berkumpul dengan mantan tapol yang lain siang ini.
Setelah adanya keputusan politik untuk mencegah dibebaskannya para tapol Papua di Jakarta hampir tiga minggu yang lalu, akhirnya hari ini semua bebas.
Harus digarisbawahi:...See more

The government must immediately put an end to […] repressive and racist attitudes toward Papuans,” he said.
Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman noted in a Facebook post that 62 other activists similarly convicted of treason were still behind bars.
“It must be emphasized that [the five activists] were released after completing their prison sentences, not out of Jakarta’s concern,” she wrote in the post, alongside photos of the reunited activists.

3) COVID-19 only kills 1% of people in remote Papuan village with limited resources

By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.May 27 2020

A researcher from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and a tropical medicine expert who lives in Wamena, Indonesia have published a unique account of a village in the Papuan highlands of Indonesia that has experienced 
what was presumed to be an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
“A major caveat is that PCR testing for COVID-19 was not possible due to the lack of tests,” write the researchers.
The report describes the outbreak pattern of suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as it spread across the entire village over the course of five weeks.
A key finding of the study was that the overall death rate was only 1%, despite limited healthcare provision and a lack of mitigating measures.
The authors say the low death rate be attributable to the young age of the village’s population, which is an average of just 21.7 years, and that this may also be the case in similarly remote areas.
A pre-print version of the paper can be accessed in the server medRxiv* while the article undergoes peer review.

The challenges facing low- and middle-resource countries

Although the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to all countries, low- and middle-resource countries face even greater difficulties due to their often limited resources and lack of medical facilities, even under normal circumstances.
One example is Indonesia, with its compromised health infrastructure, making it difficult to approach the management of COVID-19 in remote rural areas, where the spread of SARS-CoV-2 had been expected to have a severe adverse health effect on communities.  
Now, Elco van Burg and colleague Wijnanda van Burg-Verhage have described the spread of what was presumed to be COVID-19 across a remote Papuan highlands village, referred to here as M20 for patient data protection purposes.

About the village

At an altitude of 6,700 feet, this isolated village is served only by small aircraft or people walking in from nearby villages. Around half of the population is aged under 12 years. The rest is comprised of four to six matriarchs, young adults, and adults aged 30 to 50 years. The nearest health facility takes about three hours to walk to, but no trained healthcare workers are usually present.

Study: Eruption of COVID-19 like illness in a remote village in Papua (Indonesia). Image Credit: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock
Instead, a daily basic medical health service is provided by lay healthcare workers. The current report was based on patient care records kept by these health workers before and after the outbreak and on the input of medical doctors who replied to online requests for help.
The researchers report that between 20th February and 31st March, the dense social structure of the village meant the rapidly spreading outbreak affected almost all (90 to 95%) of the 200 people estimated to be living in the village.
“Physical distancing and isolation measures were used, but probably implemented suboptimal and too late, and their effect on the illness course was unclear,” writes the team.

Timeline of disease spread

The first patient presenting with what was suspected to be COVID-19 sought care on 20th February. The researchers say this patient may have been the first to infect the village since he had visited a nearby area where similar symptoms had been reported.
Two weeks later, many villagers experienced a sore throat and stomach complaints, followed by fever and fatigue lasting up to five days.

Severe fever (above 40 °C), shortness of breath, and chest pain generally started after day five of illness.
Two men, aged over 40 years, who had an underlying chronic illness that was thought to be kidney-related, died on the 9th March, following two days of extreme shortness of breath.
The healthcare workers treated symptomatic people with paracetamol up to four times daily; measured temperatures daily and administered antibiotics and chloroquine to patients who seemed “very sick.”

What were the outcomes?

Overall, the healthcare workers treated 101 patients (approximately half the village).
Aside from the two men who died, all patients either recovered or were recovering at the time of the study.
Informal questioning across the population revealed that only about ten villagers did not report symptoms, giving a presumptive infection rate of 90 to 95%.
Twelve patients were aged older than 40 years, and aside from the two who died, another five were “very sick,” meaning 41% of this age group suffered a severe illness, and 17% died. The authors say this is roughly consistent with other reports.

The effect of age distribution

The overall death rate was only 1%, report the researchers, despite the lack of health facilities and mitigating measures.
“The relatively young population, with a majority of women, probably influenced the impact of the epidemic, resulting in only two deaths so far,” they write.
“This age distribution, common in Papuan highland villages, may reduce case fatality rate (CFR) in similarly remote areas since survival to old age is already very limited, and CFR among younger people is lower,” concludes the team.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.
Journal reference:

Written by

Sally Robertson

Sally has a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences (B.Sc.). She is a specialist in reviewing and summarising the latest findings across all areas of medicine covered in major, high-impact, world-leading international medical journals, international press conferences and bulletins from governmental agencies and regulatory bodies. At News-Medical, Sally generates daily news features, life science articles and interview coverage.


4) Viability of PNG cable project uncertain

From Dateline Pacific, 5:01 am on 28 May 2020 

A project to lay down a domestic submarine internet cable has been completed in Papua New Guinea.
The government took out a loan from China's Exim bank to complete the Kumul cable, and contracted Huawei to work with PNG Dataco Ltd to run the project.
Johnny Blades reports.


The submarine cable network will provide domestic connectivity across 14 main population center’s cities and international connectivity by a link to Jayapura in Indonesia.  Photo: Huawei Marine


Last week the contractor landed the cable at Arawa in Bougainville, the last of fifteen landing stations across the country.
Starting from Jayapura in Papua province of neighbouring Indonesia, the cable has landed at stations along PNG's north coast before linking up with towns in the Islands region.
State Enterprises Minister Sasindran Muthuvel says commercialising the asset is the big challenge now.
"Government has invested like 270-million dollars, which is like almost a billion kina. It's huge money to invest. And we want to make sure that asset, whichever time it has been initiated since 2015, becomes commercialised. Of course, if it is used correctly then definitely we should be able to monetise it."
But what rates will Papua New Guineans be charged to use the internet via this cable?
It's a country where people often face exorbitant costs for internet usage, mainly through their phones.
The minister says while Dataco manages the wholesale price, the price at which people buy their data is purely up to retailers.
With the state having borrowed heavily, the viability of the project is far from certain.
"It's not going to be easy for Dataco, as an organisation, it's not going to be that easy to say that they will be able to service the loan and all those things, which I have my own doubts. We definitely need for the national government to take it as one of the national infrastructure, rather than looking at commercial point of view."
The next phase will be to link the cable with the provincial network into PNG's Highlands.
But the project has wracked up hefty cost overruns, partly through disruptions such as damage from an earthquake in Morobe province last year.
Mr Muthuvel is weary about PNG being left to foot the entire bill after investing so much.
"And we want to see... how to repay the loan. The repay will cost maybe, I'm just saying approximately maybe 5000 million dollars or even more. Who will inherit that cost and how do we negotiate with that contractor to ensure that the costs are not passed on to us, and all those kind of challenges."
The minister says the government is still waiting on a report by the Australian government about the overall cost of the project, including the damages from the quake.

5) Drones to help patrol PNG border
5:06 am today 

Aerial drones will soon be helping the Papua New Guinea defence force with border surveillance.
PNG's 800 km border with Indonesia was closed three months ago to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but people are continuing to cross.
The newspaper, the National, reported PNG is procuring 28 Phantom drones through Australia's military.
Major-General Gilbert Toropo said the drones would be used by long range reconnaissance units and for border and maritime surveillance.
He said the drones were among recent improvements to PNG’s military made possible by partnership with Australia.

The border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is in a heavily forested region where illegal logging operations have persisted for years. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Chinese mechanic who secretly led a 40-year Melanesian revolution

The Chinese mechanic who secretly led a 40-year Melanesian revolution
1:32 pm today 

By Rohan Radheya *
In 1975 when Tan Sen Thay fled his native land Indonesia he arrived in the Netherlands with just two gulden and a traditionally woven West Papuan noken bag.

The Chinese Indonesian claimed to Dutch immigration authorities that he was a senior representative of The West Papuan government, a predominantly black elite from a Melanesian province in IndonesiaŹ¼s most Eastern federation.
Their government was on a critical stage waging a poorly equipped rebellion for independence.
"If we do not get Dutch assistance immediately, we will be wiped out," he warned.
Tan Sen insisted that the Dutch had a moral obligation to help West Papua. After the infamous Trikora incident between the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1961, the Dutch were forced to relinquish Papua under international pressure.
In 1969, West Papua was annexed by Indonesia in a highly criticised referendum known as theAct of Free Choice.
Some 1025 tribal leaders were rounded up to vote for the political status of a population of nearly one million native Papuans while Indonesian soldiers allegedly held entire villages at gunpoint. Only four Papuans voted against Indonesian control.
Serious allegations of human rights violations would follow, including claims of war crimes and genocide committed against indigenous Papuans. Tan Sen and his comrades swore they would not accept the result of the referendum, but would continue battling Indonesia for the fate of the resource-rich island……………