Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Contact seosamh20@hotmail.com

older | 1 | .... | 111 | 112 | (Page 113) | 114 | 115 | .... | 160 | newer

    0 0


    2) Freeport Explains Refusal on Mining Permit
    3) Freeport gives government four months to negotiate 
    new settlement
    4) Compromise Amid Potential Massive Layoffs
    ----------
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/20/indonesia-ready-for-freeport-tribunal.html
    1) Indonesia ready for Freeport tribunal
    Linda Yulisman
    The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Mon, February 20, 2017 | 06:24 am

    In its latest move to settle a dispute over mining policy, the government has challenged United States mining giant Freeport McMoran to go to an international arbitration tribunal for a fair result.
    Recently, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry granted approval to PT Freeport Indonesia, the local subsidiary of the politically connected gold and copper miner, to convert its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK). In so doing, the government will require the company to divest 51 percent of its shares and build a smelter within five years. As compensation, the government will allow Freeport to continue exporting copper concentrate.
    Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan asserted that resorting to arbitration was a legal right. However, he said the government did not expect to face Freeport at an international tribunal because such a move would negatively impact their partnership.
    “Nevertheless, it is a better measure than exploiting employee layoffs as a means to push the government,” Jonan said in a statement on Saturday.
    Jonan also called on Freeport, the country’s largest taxpayer and oldest foreign investor, not to be “allergic” to the idea of divesting 51 percent of its CoW and the newly issued Government Regulation No. 1/2017. So far, the company has divested 9.36 percent of its shares.
    The government on Friday issued a recommendation for Freeport, allowing the shipment of 1.1 million tons of copper concentrate until Feb. 16, 2018. Freeport operates Grasberg mine, the world’s second-largest copper mine, in Timika, Papua.
    The recommendation was given after a five-week halt on exports. The halt in operations caused a reduction in working times, affecting some 33,000 workers. The government and Freeport have divergent views on divestment and investment guarantees and this is causing friction between the two.
    Freeport has consistently stated it will only agree to the contract conversion if it secures a guarantee from the government on the firm’s long-term investment stability, including fiscal and legal certainty, as already stipulated in the CoW signed in 1991.
    “PT Freeport Indonesia will keep protecting its rights under the contract of work while cooperating with the government to achieve a substitute agreement that can satisfy both parties,” Freeport spokesperson Riza Pratama said via a text message to The Jakarta Post on Sunday. Riza, however, declined to comment on any possible future moves to take the case to arbitration.
    Apart from the divestment issue, the possibility of Freeport taking the case to arbitration has been stirred by a ruling from a tax court stipulating that the firm pay US$469 million in water taxes and penalties to the Papua provincial administration for the use of water between 2011 and 2015.
    An internal shake-up that caused Chappy Hakim to resign from the post of president director on Saturday has also raised speculation over an arbitrationmediated dispute settlement.
    Chappy, a retired air chief marshal who took the top position only three months ago, allegedly opposed the option of going to arbitration.
    Kurtubi, a legislator from House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy and mining, said it would be better for Freeport to avoid a direct confrontation with the government through an arbitration process as the company had largely benefitted from the CoW system over the past 40 years.
    “It [the government] has a big chance [of winning the dispute] because the [2009] Mining Law still acknowledges the CoW until it expires,” Kurtubi told the over the phone. “Freeport’s CoW will terminate in 2021 and after that there will be no CoWs in Indonesia, whoever the president will be. So Freeport’s demand to continue its current CoW is not realistic.”
    Hikmahanto Juwono, an expert in international law at the University of Indonesia, emphasized the government’s favorable position should it meet with Freeport at a tribunal.
    “If this case is taken to arbitration, the government is in a strong position because it never discriminated against Freeport. It has provided the company with alternatives, including allowing an extension of the contract of work,” Hikmahanto said. The expert suggested that the government pay attention to the desire of the Indonesian people to gain a greater degree of control over Freeport.
    Despite the sizeable costs of going to arbitration, the current government should proceed because breaching the law could end in impeachment, he added.
    According to a government source, the damage claim proposed by Freeport could amount to at least $8.3 billion.
    ------------------
    https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/20/056848470/Freeport-Explains-Refusal-on-Mining-Permit
    MONDAY, 20 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 21:20 WIB
    2) Freeport Explains Refusal on Mining Permit
    TEMPO.COJakarta - PT Freeport Indonesia is consistently reluctant in changing their operations from the previous Contract of Work (CoW) into a special mining business permit (IUPK).
    "For a number of reasons, we cannot accept the condition," said President and CEO of Freeport-McMoran Inc. Richard C. Adkerson on Monday, February 20, 2017.
    According to Adkerson, the Indonesian government has already provided an export permit which requires PT Freeport to switch operations into an IUPK. The changes to an IUPK, Adkerson said, does not provide a sense of guarantee for the company's business operation. This is the reason why he demanded a legal and fiscal guarantee for Freeport.
    Adkerson referred to Law No. 4 of 2009, regarding Mineral and Coal Mining that states that the CoW can continue to be valid. Although Freeport did not object with the IUPK, the company would like to continue operating under the original CoW in parallel with the IUPK.
    PT Freeport has sent a letter to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources on Friday, February 17, 2017. The letter explains the differences in opinions between the company and the Indonesian government.
    VINDRY FLORENTIN
    ---------
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/20/freeport-gives-government-four-months-to-negotiate-new-settlement.html
    3) Freeport gives government four months to negotiate new settlement
    Jakarta | Mon, February 20, 2017 | 03:13 pm
    Richard C. Adkerson, the president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan, has said his company will give the Indonesian government four months to negotiate a new settlement with the company in relation to a dispute over Freeport’s contract to operate the Grasberg mine in Papua.
    If the negotiations fail, the company will go to an international arbitration tribunal to seek a resolution to the dispute, he added.
    Adkerson said Freeport had told the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Jan. 17 that the government had violated its contract of work (CoW) when it effectively terminated the contract, initially signed in 1991, and demanded that Freeport convert to a special mining license (IUPK).
    “There are 120 days for the government and Freeport to resolve these differences and if they cannot be resolved, we will go through an arbitration process,” said Adkerson as reported by tribunnews.comon Monday.
    The dispute started when the government issued a regulation stipulating that mining companies that wanted to continue exporting cooper concentrates must alter their agreements from CoWs into IUPKs.
    Adkerson, however, claims that the 2009 Mineral and Coal Mining Law clearly states that Freeport’s CoW is still valid. As a consequence of this, Adkerson argues that the government does not have the right to demand that Freeport alter its contract.
    “We cannot just give up our rights that have been given to us in the CoW,” Adkerson said in a press statement received by The Jakarta Post on Monday. (bbn)
    ------------
    4) Compromise Amid Potential Massive Layoffs
    Jakarta. US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan hopes to reach a compromise with the Indonesian government in renegotiations of its mining contract to stave off potential massive layoffs, a top executive said on Monday (20/02).
    Freeport Indonesia, the mining giant's local unit, laid off about 10 percent of its expatriate workers on Friday and will continue to let go of its contract workers this week, Freeport-McMoRan president and chief executive Richard Adkerson said in a press conference in Jakarta.
    "I sincerely hope we can find a compromise," he said.
    Freeport Indonesia's fact sheet shows that the company employs 32,416 workers, with 12,085 of them full-time and the rest as contractors. Of its employees, 152 are expatriates, 4,321 Papuans and 7,612 non-Papuans.
    The dispute follows the government's ban on copper concentrate exports, which came into effect on Jan. 12. The ban is aimed at boosting the country's smelting industry, but Freeport argues that it would reduce output from its Grasberg mine by around 70 million pounds of copper per month.
    Freeport and the government have been negotiating the terms of the company's special mining permit to replace the previous contract, following the implementation of the new mining regulation.
    "The government says that we can export if we forfeit our contract. Freeport's position is that we cannot give up [the] contract. So, today, we're at [an] impasse," Adkerson said.
    He said Freeport-McMoRan, which owns more than 90 percent of Freeport Indonesia, has not received dividends from its Indonesian unit for the past five years and will reduce its costs.
    Freeport's annual capital expenditure amounts to about $1 billion, and operating expenses to around $2 billion, the chief executive said.
    "We had to shut down significant parts of our operations because there's no place to store or ship the concentrate," he said.
    The only option for Freeport Indonesia to comply with the regulation is to ship concentrate to its smelter in Gresik, East Java, which can only take about 40 percent of the company's normal output.
    Adkerson said the company reserved the right to start arbitration against the government.
    However, taking the dispute to arbitration could harm Freeport's relationship with the government, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Saturday, as quoted by Reuters.
    But Jonan said "it would be a much better step rather than always using the issue of firing workers as a tool to pressure the government."
    -----

    0 0
  • 02/21/17--00:49: Article 1


  • Copper price turns higher again – Grasberg gashed
     | 




    Freeport's iconic Grasberg mine in Papua produced more than 500,000 tonnes of copper and over 1m ounces of gold in 2016.
    In New York on Monday copper for delivery in March jumped 1.6% to $2.7515 per pound or $6,066 a tonne after listed copper miner Freeport McMoRan said negotiations with the Indonesian government to restart exports from its Grasberg mine in Papua province has stalled. Copper is trading at levels last seen late May 2015 with year-to-date gains of just under 9%.
    Phoenix-Arizona-based Freeport said in an update as a result its operating subsidiary in the country PT-FI "is proceeding with its plan to suspend investments in Papua, reduce its production by approximately 60 percent from normal levels and implement cost savings plans involving significant reductions in its work force and spending levels with local suppliers."
    Freeport said its 25%-owned smelter in the Asian nation which has been hit by a strike expects to resume operations in March, but warned that its first quarter production has taken a substantial hit:
    Assuming resumption of PT Smelting’s operations in March and a continuation of the ban on exports, FCX estimates its first quarter sales will be reduced, resulting in deferrals of approximately 170 million pounds and 270,000 ounces, representing a reduction of approximately 17 percent for copper and 59 percent for gold of its consolidated first quarter sales.
    Freeport Indonesia is proceeding with its plan to suspend investments in Papua and reduce its production by approximately 60 percent from normal levels
    In January Freeport said for each month of delay in obtaining approval to export, the Indonesian subsidiary's share of production is projected to be reduced by approximately 32,000 tonnes of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold.
    Freeport also said consolidated sales volumes from Indonesia mining operations assuming normal operations, including the resumption of concentrate exports in February 2017 and the renewal of its smelters export license are expected to total 590,000 tonnes of copper and 2.2 million ounces of gold for the year 2017.

    Force majeure at Escondida

    The copper price is also being kept on the boil after BHP Billiton declared force majeure at its Escondida mine in Chile ten days ago saying it could no longer meet contractual obligations on metals shipments from the mine, the world's largest copper operation by a wide margin.
    The union representing some 2,500 striking workers at Escondida last week agreed to participate in government mediation, and according to a Reuters report BHP will be attending a meeting on Monday if blockades of non-striking workers and contractors are lifted.
    BHP operates and majority owns the mine with fellow Melbourne diversified giant Rio Tinto. The previous labour deal was signed four years ago when copper was trading around $3.40 a pound.
    In its recent financial results BHP expected full-year production at Escondida of 1.07 million tonnes, which gives the mine a nearly 5% shares of global primary copper production. BHP also cut full year guidance by 40,000 tonnes to 1.62m tonnes.
    After a relatively quiet year in 2016 for supply disruptions (there is around a 6% production swing factor in global production of over 20 million tonnes) due to bad weather, labour action and other unforeseen events, 2017 is already off to a bad start.
    -------------------------

    0 0


    2) Minister Expresses Confidence in Dispute Against Freeport
    3) PNG, Indodesia sign agreement on Indonesian Bahasa Language training  
    ————————————————————-


    TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 21:48 WIB
    1) Freeport’s Threat Is Not New, Jatam Says  

    TEMPO.COJakarta - Melky Nahar, Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) Campaign Leader said that Freeport Indonesia's attempt to settle the dispute between the mining company and the government at an international arbitration was not a new move. According to Melky, there are three issues frequently brought up by Freeport.
    "The issues are layoffs, supports from local ethnics for Freeport's operation, and settling disputes in the international arbitration," Melky said in a discussion held in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
    Melky pointed out that the issues had been frequently brought up to pressure the government. As a result, Melky added, the government had always fulfilled Freeport's demand.
    "I think this is a huge challenge for our government," Melky added.
    Melky believed that Freeport has a full understanding of the government regulation on the mining license. However, Melky viewed that the US-based mining company refused to comply with the laws and regulations.
    Melky hoped that the government would not give in to Freeport, although the government would have to face a lawsuit.
    "These natural resources are for our children. Don't let Freeport dictate [how the government] manage the resources," Melky said.
    DESTRIANITA

    ————————————————————
    TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 22:10 WIB
    2) Minister Expresses Confidence in Dispute Against Freeport

    TEMPO.COJakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said that the government has taken steps to face PT Freeport Indonesia's lawsuit. Luhut said that the options provided by the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister did not violate any laws.
    However, Luhut said that the government is ready to face the lawsuit if Freeport insisted on bringing the dispute to the international arbitration.
    "It's fine. We're ready. We will serve them well," Luhut said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
    Luhut believes that the Indonesian government has an opportunity to win the dispute. Under Law No. 4/2009 on mineral and coal mining, Luhut said that Freeport should have fulfilled its obligations since 2009. Included in the obligations are the requirements to divest 51 percent of its shares and construct a smelter.
    "Freeport has not built a smelter and divested [its shares]. So, what else?" Luhut revealed.
    Compared to other foreign companies in Indonesia, such as Chevron, Luhut said that Freeport should have been professional. Luhut viewed that laying off its employees was an unprofessional move.
    Luhut explained that the dispute with Freeport was a business-to-business issue. Luhut asserted that as a sovereign country, Indonesia cannot be dictated. Therefore, Freeport Indonesia is expected to be professional in addressing existing issues.
    On Monday, February 20, 2017, Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson said that his company gave a 120-day period to Indonesia to consider the dispute between the government and Freeport.
    Adkerson said that Freeport would bring the dispute to the international arbitration if the government failed to meet Freeport's demands.
    ADITYA BUDIMAN


    ————————————————


    3) PNG, Indodesia sign agreement on Indonesian Bahasa Language training  
    By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
    The Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Indonesian Course Training.

    The MOU was signed by His Excellency Ronald Josef PariamanManik, Ambassador of the republic of Indonesia and Mr. William Dihm, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

    Twenty Foreign Service Officers from the Department and Five from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and Department of Defence will participate in the Bahasa language training for three months with an aims in building capacity for Foreign Service Officers and to equip officers to communicate effectively.

    The MOU will bring Indonesia and PNG together more closely, to promote people to people exchanges and cultural exchanges as agreed to by both countries in the 2013 PNG- Indonesia Plan of Actions. Participants will not only learn the Indonesia Bashasa language but also deepen their understanding and appreciation of the relations between PNG and Indonesia and thus contribute to better management of issues of mutual interest and of border management activity and security cooperation.
    ---------------------------------------------

    0 0


    2) Wanted: a Win-Win Agreement with Freeport
    3) Amnesty International State of the World Report 2016/2017
    ————————————————————-



    WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 07:16 WIB


    An aerial view shows the site of the Grassberg Mine, operated by the U.S.-based Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold, in Indonesia's Papua province. REUTERS/Muhammad Yamin/Files


    1) FREEPORT`S GOLD MINE IN PAPUA LARGEST IN THE WORLD
    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - U.S.-based mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. has threatened to take Indonesia to international arbitration over mining permit dispute wherein its subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia, the operator of Grasberg gold and copper mining complex in Papua, refuses to switch over its Contract of Work (CoW) to a special mining permit (IUPK).
    Freeport-McMoRan president director Richard C. Adkerson said that negotiation with the Indonesian government is underway. Freeport has sent a letter to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan on Friday last week explaining the dispute. Either party may take the dispute to international arbitration if no agreement was reached 120 days after the letter was sent.
    Freeport-McMoran Inc. financial report as of December 2016 shows that the company has 26.9 billion pounds of copper and 25.8 million ounces of gold in reserve in Papua.
    Freeport copper reserve in Indonesia is the third largest in the world after that of North and South America. Freeport’s gold reserve in Indonesia is its world’s biggest since it only has two mines i.e. in Indonesia and North America, which only has 0.3 million ounces of gold in reserve.
    Grasberg is the world’s largest gold mine by production. Investingnews.com on December 1, 2016, ranked world’s 10 largest gold mines by production after analyzing the data from Thomas Reuters GFMS Gold Mine Economics. Below is the list the world’s largest mines.
    1. Grasberg, Papua, Indonesia.
    - Gold production: 1.23 million ounces.
    2. Goldstrike, Nevada, United States.
    - Gold production: 1.05 million ounces.
    3. Cortez, Nevada, United States
    - Gold production: 999,000 ounces.

     4. Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic.
    - Gold production: 953,000 ounces.
    5. Yanacocha, Cajamarca, Peru.
    - Gold production: 918,000 ounces.
     6. Carlin, Nevada, United States.
    - Gold production: 886,000 ounces.
     7. Lihir, Papua New Guinea.
    - Gold production: 805,000 ounces.
     8. Boddington, Australia.
    - Gold production: 794,000 ounces.
     9. Olimpiada, Russia.
    - Gold production: 760,100 ounces.
     10. Kalgoorlie Super Pit, Australia.
    - Gold production: 640,000 ounces.
    ABDUL MALIK | VINDRY FLORENTIN
    —————————————-


    WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 14:26 WIB
    2) Wanted: a Win-Win Agreement with Freeport

    TEMPO.COJakarta - The government and Freeport Indonesia must reach an agreement soon on the alternation from a contract of work into a special mining business permit (IUPK). Negotiations do not have to be so protracted, let alone end up at the international arbitration court as Freeport has threatened.
    The never-ending talks will cost both sides. There is still room for negotiation because Government Regulation No. 1/2017 covers this type of status change. The government and Freeport must be flexible, and not try for an all-out victory. They must both seek a cooperative formula that benefits both, but that is in line with the rules. This is needed not only to ensure that both benefit, but also to avoid legal problems at a later stage.
    In accordance with the new regulation, a mining company holding a work contract must change it into an IUPK in order to export concentrate unrefined minerals. A company holding an IUPK is also obliged to divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesia, in stages. Because it is only a permit, the government can revoke it at any time. This is different from a work contract, which cannot be cancelled until the end of the contract period.
    Freeport has not directly agreed with this change of status. The US company has proposed a condition, namely that there is an investment stability agreement with the same standing for fiscal and legal certainty as a work contract. According to Freeport, this is very important for their long-term investment plan.
    They also do not want to change the taxation principles in line with the regulation. In a work contract, the amount of tax and royalties is fixed until the end of the contract known as a nail-down, while under an IUPK, they would adhere to prevailing regulations. The government insists that Freeport comply with the regulation. Agreement could not be reached. As a result, since January 12, Freeport has not been able to export concentrate. Freeport subsequently laid off a number of employees and reduced their production of concentrate. But in the middle of the negotiations, last Friday the government reissued a permit to export concentrate for another year.
    Renegotiation of an agreement is normal in business. It usually takes place if one or both parties discover something unfair in the existing agreement. And there are usually new offers to ensure the continuation of the cooperation. For example, in 1991 the New Order government asked for improvements to the first work contract that had been signed in 1967 despite the fact the 30-year agreement had not ended.
    In order to reach a solution beneficial to both sides, Freeport should not use double standards in discharging its obligations. It should not choose a different regulation if it feels that one provision in the work contract is not to its advantage. Conversely, if there is a new rule seen as disadvantageous, Freeport should not return to the old work contract.
    Whatever agreement is reached in the negotiations, the government's main consideration should be the principle contained in the Constitution, of bringing about the maximum benefit for the people. If the negotiations reach a dead end, neither the government including the local administration and the people of Papua nor Freeport will enjoy any rewards. Therefore, negotiations with the US mining giant must end with a mutually beneficial agreement. (*)
    Read the full story in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine

    ———————————————-
    3) Amnesty International State of the World Report 2016/2017

    COUNTRY REPORT INDONESIA 2016/2017

    Broad and vaguely worded laws were used to arbitrarily restrict the rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association. Despite the authorities’ commitments to resolve past cases of human rights violations, millions of victims and their families were still denied truth, justice and reparation. There were reports of human rights violations by security forces, including unlawful killings and the use of excessive or unnecessary force. At least 38 prisoners of conscience remained in detention. Four people were executed.
    ———————————————

    0 0


    2) Minister Sri Mulyani warns Freeport not to stop production
    3) West Papuan claims Australia deported him to PNG
    4) TNI, U.S. Military Discuss Intelligence
    ———————————————————————-
    1) Indonesia allows Freeport to carry out exports for one year
    1 hour ago | 268 Views 
    Pewarta: Andi Abdussalam

                                          (ANTARA)

    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has given PT Freeport a chance to carry out concentrate exports for one year, although it is still negotiating the continuation of the US-based companys license to operate in Indonesia.

    The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has issued a recommendation for PT Freeport to export raw minerals for a period of one year. However, according to the Ministry of Trade, PT Freeport has yet to submit application for the export agreement letter (SPE).

    Based on the recommendation, Freeport is allowed to export 1,113,105 wet metric tons of copper concentrates. The permit allows it to carry out exports from Feb 17, 2017 to Feb 16, 2018.

    According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, the reluctance of Freeport to carry out the export of copper concentrates when it is offered an option could have negative impact on its performance in the long run.

    "Freeport is a public company; if it stops (exports), its stocks will fall. So, in this case, no party will lose or win," Mulyani stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    The Indonesian government is still continuing its negotiation process with Freeport to seek the best solution for the national economy and for the continuation of Freeports investment in Indonesia.

    "We can mutually look at facts contained in the Work of Contract (WoC) and those in the mining law. Since it is difficult to agree to it, the best option indeed is to safeguard our common interest," Mulyani added.

    PT Freeport Indonesias parent company Freeport McMoRan Inc, said it would continue to operate in the country despite disagreement on its contract status with the government of Indonesia.

    "We are committed to staying in Indonesia. This is an important resources for Freeport, also an important object for the government of Indonesia and Papua," says President and CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson in Jakarta on Monday.

    PT Freeport Indonesia has large copper and gold mines in the countrys easternmost regions of Papua, but now , the company has stopped operation as it is not allowed to continue export its copper concentrate over contract disagreement.

    In 2009, the government had taken a decision to ban the export of raw minerals and made it mandatory for mining companies to build smelters. It decided to ban the export of unprocessed mineral ores as of January 2014 in a bid to encourage miners to process ore domestically.

    However, after protest from the industry, the implementation of the ban was pushed back to January 11, 2017, to give an opportunity to mining companies to build smelters.

    Recently, the government issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 1 of 2017 necessitates mining companies to change their contract of work (CoW) status to a special mining business license (IUPK), if they want to continue exporting concentrates. But they are given a five year deadline to build smelters.

    Freeport has called for applying old regulations that were used when it was operating under a CoW status. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan however noted that if it changes the status into an IUPK, several provisions (of the CoW) will also be altered.

    "If (the status of a company) is changed into an IUPK, it will have many provisions. Let the finance minister review which old regulations can be used as this falls under the domain of the tax law similar to the regional government laws, levies, and others," Minister Ignatius Jonan remarked.

    It was previously reported that Freeport claimed it had not yet reached a common ground with the government on the change of status from CoW to an IUPK. "We are awaiting a temporary IUPK to carry out exports (of raw minerals), but the government has not yet issued a permit to us," Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama stated after a hearing with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Thursday (Feb 9).

    According to CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson, the U.S. mining giant had invested US$12 billion and is investing US$15 billion in Indonesia providing jobs for 32,000 Indonesians.

    The government of Indonesia also had earned 60 percent of financial benefit directly as a result of the operation of Freeport. Taxes, royalty and dividends paid to the government since 1991 have exceeded US$16.5 billion and Freeport McMoRan had received US$108 billion in dividend, he added.  

    "The taxes, royalty and dividend to be paid to the government in the future until 2041 is estimated to exceed US$40 billion," he said.

    The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said that Freeport contributed to more than 90 percent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP) of Mimika District and about 37 percent of Papua Provinces GDP.

    Therefore, Deputy Chairman of Kadin for eastern Indonesia affairs Andi Rukman Karumpa asked to manage the Freeport issues well, so that it would not become counterproductive.

    "The issue of PT Freeport should be properly managed, in a measured manner, and with a clear target," Karumpa said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    According to him, the turmoil between countries and some major corporations such as Freeport is a common one, such as the dispute between Aramco and the Saudi Arabian government in the past.

    As a result, Aramco fell into the hands of the Saudi government, he stated.

    "Contract dispute with multinational companies is common, but there should be measurable goals. The volatility is managed, so that it can be more productive in the long run or short term," he noted.

    He remarked that Kadin supports the governments firmness against PT Freeport, because the enterprise is considered to have continued stalling its obligation to build smelters in the country.

    Freeport also left the impression that it always tried to dictate its will on the government. "It (Freeport) met stubborn Minister Jonan who does not want to be dictated," he remarked.

    However, Karumpa reminded that this issue would be managed well, because it affects the economy in Papua as well.

    (A014/INE)
    EDITED BY INE
    (A014/KR-BSR/A014)
    ———————————————-
    2) Minister Sri Mulyani warns Freeport not to stop production
    Jakarta | Wed, February 22, 2017 | 04:06 pm
    Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has warned gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia that if it ceased production its share prices would be sharply affected.
    “Freeport is a public company. If it stops production, its shares will fall,” said Sri Mulyani in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by kontan.co, adding that there would be no winner in the dispute.
    The company has reportedly stopped producing concentrate at its mining site in Papua following a dispute with the government over the requirement that it convert its contract of work (CoW) to a special mining license (IUPK).
    Previously, Freeport McMoRan president and CEO Richard C. Adkerson said the 2009 Mineral and Coal Mining Law stipulated that the CoW signed in 1991 was still valid, but the government had requested that Freeport convert the contract.
    The company, which insists that the government has to respect the CoW, has reportedly stopped production, claiming that its storage space is full of concentrate after it failed to obtain an export license.
    Sri Mulyani expressed the hope that Freeport would cooperate with the government. “We have continuously told Freeport that any regulation [contract] would maintain the stability of its economic activities. But at the same time, we [the government] have to uphold prevailing laws,” said Sri Mulyani.
    The government has given the company six months to adjust to the new contract, as per the law. (bbn)
    ————————————————————
    3) West Papuan claims Australia deported him to PNG
    6 minutes ago 
    A West Papuan English teacher, who escaped persecution to an Australian island in the Torres Strait, claims he was deported to Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby.
    The man, who wants to keep his identity a secret, said he fled the West Papuan regency of Merauke, where he was trying to help a group of Papua New Guineans detained by Indonesian police.
    In 2006, Indonesia withdrew its ambassador from Australia after it refused to extradite a group of West Papuan asylum seekers.
    The man said Australian authorities agreed to deport him to PNG.
    "I said to them I don't want to go back. Not only is my life in danger, but my friends, my family. Everyone close to me is in danger. If they found out me everyone will be in danger," he said.
    The man said he was currently in a refugee camp in Port Moresby where he was waiting for PNG authorities to determine his refugee status.

    —————————————————————
    WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 15:22 WIB
    4) TNI, U.S. Military Discuss Intelligence

    TEMPO.COJakarta - The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, accepted the Commanding General of the United States Army Pacific, General Robert Brown, in an official visitation to strengthen the military partnership between Indonesia and the United States.
    General Gatot mentioned the importance of sharing intelligence possessed by both countries. 
    “TNI must work together with the U.S. regarding terrorism, especially since ISIS groups have expanded outside of their region which includes the Southeast Asian region,” Gatot said on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
    According to him, there are currently two crucial trading routes that are prone to terrorist attacks, which are the Malacca Strait and Makassar Strait. These are the regions where the exchange in intelligence would be most essential.
    General Gatot also discussed the partnerships in the education sector, which also acts as a military strengthening tool for both countries. “There would be more TNI personnel exchanges to participate in the training, either in the military or with other U.S. institutions,” he said.
    There are other military exchanges that can be conducted between both countries, such as the Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE).
    Chief Staff of the Indonesian Army, General Mulyono, has purchased a U.S' Black Hawk as a tactical transport helicopter due to Indonesia’s experience in utilizing a number of U.S. weapons system. He also appreciates U.S. army's support at the other weaponry systems, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and Apache AH-64 chopper, that have been given to Indonesia.
    Brown assures that the procurement of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters for Indonesia will meet no challenges since it has been approved by the U.S. “I am certain that the support will be a useful partnership for both sides,” he stated.
    General Brown views that the meeting is useful in strengthening the stability and safety of the Pacific region.
    He claims that the U.S views Indonesia as something special and also says that the military partnership with the Indonesian Army, Navy, and Air Force will continue in the future. “[Our] highest praise and appreciation for TNI’s support in a number of [activities] and the Garuda Shield joint exercise.”
    YOHANES PASKALIS
    ————————

    0 0



    Jokowi threatens to take action if Freeport are ‘difficult’

    Anton Hermansyah The Jakarta Post
    Jakarta | Thu, February 23, 2017 | 12:26 pm


    2016_12_20_18047_1482194274._large.jpeg
    Dig deeper – A heavy vehicle passes an open pit mining site at gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia’s open pit facility in Grasberg, Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)


    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he would take action if prolonged negotiations with US mining giant Freeport McMoran faced difficulties.
    "I want a win-win solution because this is a business matter. Currently, I’m leaving the negotiations to the ministers. However, if they [Freeport] are difficult, then I will take action," he said after launching the non-cash food subsidy card in Cibubur, East Jakarta, on Thursday.
    The company has refused to accept the demand from the government that it convert its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK). The company argues that this would effectively annul its CoW signed in 1991.
    Freeport does not want to give up the rights listed in its present CoW, including the protections to its long-term investments. Under the government’s new regulation, Freeport is required to divest up to 51 percent of its shares gradually and to develop smelters.
    "We cannot just give up our rights that have been given to the CoW,” Freeport McMoRan president and CEO Richard C. Adkerson said in a press statement received by The Jakarta Post on Monday.
    Adkerson said Indonesian law had to reflect legal principles that could be accepted internationally. He said a contract constituted the law for the parties in the contract and this law could not be changed or arbitrarily terminated by one party. (bbn)
    -----------------------------

    0 0


    2) Indonesia seeks to strengthen cooperation with Australia

    3) Freeport`s threat evokes a sense of nationalism: Hikmahanto

    4) How Freeport Finds Deadlock with Indonesian Government
    5) Jokowi to raise joint patrols in South China Sea
    6) Gov’t Offers Three Options over Dispute to Freeport  
    7) Airlangga University Supports Freeport’s Nationalization  
    8) Jokowi’s visit to Australia ‘special’: Foreign Ministry


    —————————————————-
    Vale Eni Faleomavaega, a good support of West Papua
    ——
    1) Long-serving American Samoa congressman dies
    8:16 pm on 23 February 2017
    Jamie Tahana, RNZI Journalist
    Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, American Samoa's former long-serving representative to the United States Congress, has died in Utah, aged 73.

    Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin died on Thursday in the US State of Utah. He was American Samoa's congressman from 1988-2015. Photo: AFP

    His death was confirmed by his sister-in-law, Theresa Hunkin, who said he died peacefully at his home in Provo, surrounded by family and a few close friends.
    Born in Vailoatai Village in American Samoa, Faleomavaega grew up in Hawaii, where he went on to study a Bachelor's degree in political science, before studying law on the United States mainland.
    He then joined the United States Army, where he fought in the Vietnam War, eventually rising to the rank of captain. While in Vietnam, he said was exposed to the toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, which he claimed had contributed to health issues he experienced later in life.
    After leaving the army in 1969, Faleomavaega served as the administrative assistant to American Samoa's delegate to Washington before returning to the islands of his birth in 1981, where he briefly became the territory's attorney-general before deciding to pursue a career in politics.
    He was elected the territory's lieutenant governor in 1985, under the governorship of Aifili Paulo Lutali, before running for the territory's sole seat in Washington in 1988. Running on the Democratic Party ticket, he narrowly won that election against independent Lia Tufele with 51 percent of the vote.
    But once he reached Washington, he became an established leader who went on to grow his support and hold the seat until his ouster by Aumua Amata in 2014.
    RNZ International's correspondent in American Samoa's capital Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, said that with 26 years in congress, Faleomavaega was a hugely popular leader, who won elections with large majorities.
    "He was a strong leader," she said. "Not just as a political leader, but with the Fa'a Samoa (the Samoan way) because he holds that chiefly title, and despite the fact that he's in Washington most of the time he still was able to speak that Samoan language in fluently addressing in the cultural way and speak from one traditional leader to another. He had a lot of respect."
    American Samoa is the only territory of the United States where its people are considered residents, not citizens. But, like other territories, American Samoans are also unable to vote for president and its sole representative in Congress is unable to vote on legislation.
    That limited his efficiency and ability to get things done in Congress, but Ms Sagapolutele said that only made him more committed to the fight. In his 26 years in Washington, Faleomavaega served as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources, which have jurisdiction over the US territories.
    In terms of legislation, Faleomavaega successfully pushed for more funding for the territory - particularly for roads, schools and other infrastructure - and opposed deals that would have threatened American Samoa's tuna industry.
    He also fought, unsuccessfully, for greater rights for American Samoa. In Congress, he proposed legislation that would have allowed residents of territories to vote in presidential elections if they were active members of the military, and, towards the end of his tenure, for the people of American Samoa to consider a push towards greater autonomy, if not independence from the United States.
    Faleomavaega also became somewhat of a representative for the other countries of the Pacific in Washington, Ms Sagapolutele said. During his tenure he spoke on issues such as climate change, the West Papua independence movement, and other issues affecting the region.
    "One big example was in 1996 when he boycotted an address by the French president at the time before Congress due to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific," she said.
    However, as health problems began to present themselves in the early 2010s, Faleomavaega's popularity began to wane. In 2014, he was ousted by the current congresswoman Aumua Amata. In an interview with KHJ News at the time, he said his loss had come as a surprise, and that despite the result, he had no intention to retire from politics.
    At his farewell speech in Washington, he said he never expected the people of American Samoa to support him for so long: "I go forward ... knowing that the best is yet to come and hoping I will be remembered for trying my best. For the times I fell short I ask for forgiveness. And to each of my colleagues, and to you, Mr Speaker, I extend my kindest and highest regard."
    Ms Sagapolutele said Faleomavaega's health had been a concern in recent years, with a couple of high profile medical evacuations to Hawaii which he had attributed to Agent Orange poisoning. She said that despite promising to stay involved in politics, he had been relatively low profile since 2015, apparently writing a book.
    Ms Sagapolutele said funeral arrangements were yet to be announced, including whether Faleomavaega's body would be returned to American Samoa for burial. The territory's governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, and Ms Aumata were expected to release statements in the coming day.
    Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is survived by his wife, Hinanui, five children, and 10 grandchildren.


    ——————————————-

    2) Indonesia seeks to strengthen cooperation with Australia

    4 hours ago | 535 Views
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is seeking to enhance its cooperation with Australia during President Joko Widodos state visit to the neighboring country on Feb 25-26 over the weekend.

    "This will be an important visit, as it is a visit to a close neighbor," spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arrmanatha Nasir noted during a press briefing here on Thursday.

    President Widodo is scheduled to have a state dinner with Prime Minister Malcom Turbull accompanied by their spouses during the visit to Australia, Nasir stated.

    President Widodo will discuss several issues and areas of cooperation, such as the acceleration of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the expansion of cooperation in the education, tourism, cybersecurity, maritime, and investment sectors.

    Moreover, Indonesia will promote its sustainable products, such as timber, palm oil, and pulp and paper, in the Australian market.

    In terms of people-to-people cooperation, Indonesia will inaugurate three Indonesian language centers in Canberra, Perth, and Melbourne.

    President Widodo will also meet Australian businessmen and enterprises as well as Indonesian citizens residing in Australia, Nasir revealed.

    The suspended military cooperation between the two countries is also expected to continue. 

    "It depends on the investigation result delivered to the TNI," Nasir noted.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi is scheduled to accompany the president along with several high-ranking Indonesian officials.

    President Widodo had earlier postponed his plan to visit Australia in November after a protest in Jakarta turned violent.

    The volatile situation on the domestic front had required the president to stay in Indonesia.(*)



    —————————————————————

    http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/109620/freeports-threat-evokes-a-sense-of-nationalism-hikmahanto

    3) Freeport`s threat evokes a sense of nationalism: Hikmahanto

    4 hours ago | 405 Views
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Freeports threat to bring its legal dispute with the government to the International Court of Arbitration will evoke a sense of nationalism, an international law professor of the University of Indonesia, Hikmahanto Juwana stated.

    "The legal measure planned by Freeport against the Indonesian government will have a boomerang effect on the company. The public will support the government of Indonesia," Juwana noted here on Thursday.

    Juwana remarked that Indonesian society would recall its history lesson on the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The VOC was able to conquer kingdoms in the archipelago. 

    "Freeport will be perceived equally by the Indonesian public as a VOC in the digital age. Freeport cannot use threat to lay off employees as a tool to apply pressure on the government. The company also cannot toy with Papuas issues," he affirmed.

    Juwana pointed out that the government of Indonesia has offered a way out for Freeport by issuing Government Regulation No. 1 of 2017 on the fourth amendment to Government Regulation No. 23 of 2010 on the implementation of coal and mineral mining business activities.

    "The government does not violate the working contract (KK). In fact, Freeport ignores article 170 of Law Number 4 of 2009 on coal and mineral mining," Juwana noted.

    State Regulation No. 4 of 2009 changes the status of KK into a special mining business permit.

    The Indonesian government headed by President Joko Widodo, who has a business background, will prioritize Indonesias interests.

    "Freeport cannot use its government to apply pressure, as its position is not very strong. Other coal and mineral mining companies, who hold working contracts, abide by the regulations that have been applied," Juwana emphasized.

    Member of the House Representatives Commission VII Adian Napitupulu had earlier called on coal and mineral mining companies to abide by the regulations that have been applied, including large corporations, such as Freeport.

    The governments courage and consistency in enforcing Regulation No. 4 of 2009 that includes divesting 51 percent shares, changing the KK status, increasing the use of domestic products in production processes, developing smelters, and taxation and negotiation access with investors is still within a mutually beneficial framework, Napitupulu added.

    The regulation will demonstrate the governments control over Indonesias natural resources and the country, Napitupulu stated.

    Indonesia is not against foreign investors, but much like other nations in the world, the country should also get a fair share, Napitupulu remarked.

    "If Freeport refuses to accept the governments guidelines and wants to merely continue operating with special benefits that the company has enjoyed in Indonesia for 48 years, then it is reasonable for the government to take a firm stance," he added.(*)
    ——————————————————————————

    4) How Freeport Finds Deadlock with Indonesian Government
    Thursday, 23 February 2017 | 09:36 WIB
    JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Indonesian government has given PT Freeport a chance to carry out concentrate exports for one year, although it is still negotiating the continuation of the US-based company's license to operate in Indonesia.
    The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has issued a recommendation for PT Freeport to export raw minerals for a period of one year. However, according to the Ministry of Trade, PT Freeport has yet to submit application for the export agreement letter (SPE).
    Based on the recommendation, Freeport is allowed to export 1,113,105 wet metric tons of copper concentrates. The permit allows it to carry out exports from Feb 17, 2017 to Feb 16, 2018. According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, the reluctance of Freeport to carry out the export of copper concentrates when it is offered an option could have negative impact on its performance in the long run.
    "Freeport is a public company; if it stops (exports), its stocks will fall. So, in this case, no party will lose or win," Mulyani stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.
    The Indonesian government is still continuing its negotiation process with Freeport to seek the best solution for the national economy and for the continuation of Freeport's investment in Indonesia.
    "We can mutually look at facts contained in the Work of Contract (WoC) and those in the mining law. Since it is difficult to agree to it, the best option indeed is to safeguard our common interest," Mulyani added.
    PT Freeport Indonesia's parent company Freeport McMoRan Inc, said it would continue to operate in the country despite disagreement on its contract status with the government of Indonesia. "We are committed to staying in Indonesia. This is an important resources for Freeport, also an important object for the government of Indonesia and Papua," says President and CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson in Jakarta on Monday.
    PT Freeport Indonesia has large copper and gold mines in the country's easternmost regions of Papua, but now , the company has stopped operation as it is not allowed to continue export its copper concentrate over contract disagreement.
    In 2009, the government had taken a decision to ban the export of raw minerals and made it mandatory for mining companies to build smelters. It decided to ban the export of unprocessed mineral ores as of January 2014 in a bid to encourage miners to process ore domestically. However, after protest from the industry, the implementation of the ban was pushed back to January 11, 2017, to give an opportunity to mining companies to build smelters.
    Recently, the government issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 1 of 2017 necessitates mining companies to change their contract of work (CoW) status to a special mining business license (IUPK), if they want to continue exporting concentrates. But they are given a five year deadline to build smelters.
    Freeport has called for applying old regulations that were used when it was operating under a CoW status. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan however noted that if it changes the status into an IUPK, several provisions (of the CoW) will also be altered.
    "If (the status of a company) is changed into an IUPK, it will have many provisions. Let the finance minister review which old regulations can be used as this falls under the domain of the tax law similar to the regional government laws, levies, and others," Minister Ignatius Jonan remarked.
    It was previously reported that Freeport claimed it had not yet reached a common ground with the government on the change of status from CoW to an IUPK. "We are awaiting a temporary IUPK to carry out exports (of raw minerals), but the government has not yet issued a permit to us," Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama stated after a hearing with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Feb 9.
    According to CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Adkerson, the U.S. mining giant had invested US$12 billion and is investing US$15 billion in Indonesia providing jobs for 32,000 Indonesians.
    The government of Indonesia also had earned 60 percent of financial benefit directly as a result of the operation of Freeport. Taxes, royalty and dividends paid to the government since 1991 have exceeded US$16.5 billion and Freeport McMoRan had received US$108 billion in dividend, he added. "The taxes, royalty and dividend to be paid to the government in the future until 2041 is estimated to exceed US$40 billion." 
    The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said that Freeport contributed to more than 90 percent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP) of Mimika District and about 37 percent of Papua Province's GDP. Therefore, Deputy Chairman of Kadin for eastern Indonesia affairs Andi Rukman Karumpa asked to manage the Freeport issues well, so that it would not become counterproductive.
    "The issue of PT Freeport should be properly managed, in a measured manner, and with a clear target," Karumpa said in Jakarta on Wednesday. According to him, the turmoil between countries and some major corporations such as Freeport is a common one, such as the dispute between Aramco and the Saudi Arabian government in the past.
    As a result, Aramco fell into the hands of the Saudi government, he stated. "Contract dispute with multinational companies is common, but there should be measurable goals. The volatility is managed, so that it can be more productive in the long run or short term."
    He remarked that Kadin supports the government's firmness against PT Freeport, because the enterprise is considered to have continued stalling its obligation to build smelters in the country.
    Freeport also left the impression that it always tried to dictate its will on the government. "It (Freeport) met 'stubborn' Minister Jonan who does not want to be dictated." However, Karumpa reminded that this issue would be managed well, because it affects the economy in Papua as well.
    —————————————————-


    5) Jokowi to raise joint patrols in South China Sea
    • The Australian


    Indonesian President Joko Widodo has opened the door to joint Indonesian-Australian patrols of the South China Sea, telling The Australian in an exclusive interview ahead of his first state visit tomorrow that he will discuss the issue with Malcolm Turnbull.
    Mr Joko also hinted that a part suspension of military ties, impose­d last month by his defence­ chief, would be lifted following the annual leaders’ talks.
    And he moved to reassure Australians that Indonesia’s toler­ant, pluralist traditions were etched “in our DNA”, notwithstanding a polarising Jakarta election fought along race and religio­us lines and the concurrent trial of the city’s ethnic Chinese, Christian governor on what many see as political-motivated blasphemy charges.
    The Indonesian leader known popularly as Jokowi said he saw joint Australian-Indonesian patrol­s in the South China Sea, potentially around Indonesia’s own Natuna Islands at the southern edge of the waters, as “very important” — as long as they did not raise tensions in the region.
    “It depends. If there is tension like last year it’s difficult to decide this program,” he said.
    “But if there is no tension I think it’s very important to have the patrols together. We will discuss this with PM Turnbull.”
    Indonesian naval vessels clashed at least three times with Chinese poachers fishing in the resource-rich waters around its Natuna Islands last year. While Beijing makes no claims over the Natuna Islands it does insist the waters surrounding them are part of historical Chinese fishing grounds, as marked in its “nine-dash line’’ map, which claims about 90 per cent of the South China Sea.
    An agreement between Australia and Indonesia to conduct joint patrols through the disputed waters of one of the world’s busiest and most valuable shipping lanes — one critical to Australian trade — would be a huge coup for the federal government, which has been lobbying Jakarta over the issue as it seeks closer defence co-operation with Indonesia.
    It would also be emphatic evidence that defence relations between­ the two neighbours sustained­ no permanent damage from last month’s defence stoush.
    Indonesia’s ultra-nationalist military chief Gatot Nurmantyo suspended a language training course over concerns at teaching materials, said to have included an essay question asking students to discuss whether West Papua should be an independent state.
    The incident tapped deep-seated resentment within some quarters of the Indonesian milit­ary at Australia’s support for East Timor’s independence, and linger­ing fears it might one day also support a long-running liberation movement in West Papua.
    General Gatot accepted a personal apology this month from Australian Army chief Angus Campbell but has not yet lifted the suspension. Mr Jokowi said the issue underlined Australia and Indonesia’s ability to work through their differences. Asked if the suspension would be lifted before his visit tomorrow he replied; “I think after I discuss (it) with PM Turnbull …. I believe that we can build mutual trust and understanding.”
    He repeatedly emphasised his warm friendship with Mr Turnbull, whose November 2015 visit to Jakarta is seen to have reset a relationship battered by successive knocks over the executions earlier that year of Bali Nine leaders Andre­w Chan and Myuran Sukamaran, Tony Abbott’s 2014 boat turn-back policy, and the 2013 WikiLeaks revelations that Australia spied on former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and senior ministers.
    “You know, we understand each other. We come from the same background, business,” Mr Jokowi said of Mr Turnbull.
    “We want to achieve concrete things with PM Turnbull; not only trade, but trade, investment and tourism. We must work harder to strengthen (the economic relationship) because investment from Australia is still very low if we compare with the other countries.”
    Indonesia currently lags as Australia’s 13th-largest trading partner, with Australian direct investm­ent in Indonesia of just $5.5 billion in 2015-16.
    Improving trade and investment would help the relationship, Mr Jokowi said.
    He added that he was confident the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement could be concluded by December. But he was lukewarm on Australian attempts to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership multi-lateral trade deal after US President Donald Trump scrapped it.
    This weekend’s trip will be a truncated version of the previous schedule. He will meet with Mr Turnbull and senior ministers, business leaders and Indonesian students, and have lunch with the Governor-General on Sunday before flying home.
    Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said yesterday it would be a “special­” visit, marked with a priv­ate dinner at Mr Turnbull’s Point Piper mansion.
    “The visit will be special. Unlike other state visits, the President has been invited by Prime Minister Turnbull for a private dinner at his residence. So there will only be the President, the first lady, the Prime Minister and his spouse. This shows how close the two leaders are,” Mr Nasir said.
    —————————————————-

    THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 22:50 WIB
    6) Gov’t Offers Three Options over Dispute to Freeport  

    TEMPO.COSurabaya - The central government has not yet reached an agreement with PT Freeport following the issuance of a new bill. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan offered three options to the US-based mining company.
    "We gave [Freeport] six months for negotiations," Jonan said after giving a public lecture at Airlangga University in Surabaya on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
    The first option is to urge Freeport to comply with existing regulations while sitting in negotiations on investment stability. The second option is to amend the Law on Mineral and Coal. The last one is to settle the dispute in an international arbitration.
    However, Freeport refused the options, as they viewed that the shift from the contract of works (KK) to special mining license (IUPK) would threaten their business sustainability. Freeport planned to file a lawsuit against the government with arbitration if the solution to the dispute remains deadlocked.
    In response to the threat, Jonan insisted on the three options.
    "There were three options at that time. If they don’t like them, they are welcomed to discuss them with the parliament or us to discuss an amendment to the Law on Mineral and Coal. Or, they can take it to arbitration," Jonan said.
    Jonan added that the government is ready to face the lawsuit.
    "We're not only ready, but we can also take this case to arbitration," Jonan added.
    Jonan asserted that the shift from the contract of works to the special mining license is not an obligation. Contract holders are allowed to maintain their contracts provided that they comply with Law No. 4/2009 on mineral and coal mining.
    "We don't force [miners to shift to the IUPK]. For instance, PT Vale remains a contract of works holder, but they follow the rules," Jonan explained.
    Contract holders are required to build smelters within five years as mandated in Article 170 of the Law on Mineral and Coal.
    "It's already been three years. If there's still time, [miners] must immediately shift from contract of works to special mining license,” Jonan said. ARTIKA RACHMI FARMITA
    —————————————

    THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 22:42 WIB
    7) Airlangga University Supports Freeport’s Nationalization  

    TEMPO.COSurabaya - Hundreds of students of graduate and doctorate programs at the Airlangga University in Surabaya declared their supports for the government in addressing the issue with PT Freeport Indonesia.
    The declaration of supports was set forth on a banner signed by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan on the sidelines of a public lecture held at the university on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
    The white banner contains a red colored writing that says, "Freeport, land and water in Indonesia shall be used for the greatest benefit of the Indonesian people, not for foreign countries!"
    "There's nothing wrong with the declaration. It's set forth in Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution," Jonan said in response to a question related to the declaration. 
    Jonan added that there is no law that is not based on the 1945 Constitution. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Jonan added, welcomes investment from foreign and domestic investors.
    Jonan revealed that the central government expects the economy to grow, because it would be impossible to depend on the State Budget without private sector’s participation.
    Airlangga University rector Mohammad Nasih said that the university supports the government and Jonan in addressing the dispute with Freeport.
    "In accordance with Article 33 paragraph 3 of the 1945 Constitution, natural resources, including mineral and coal shall be under the powers of the state and shall be used to the greatest benefit of the people," Nasih reiterated.
    ARTIKA RACHMI FARMITA
    ————————————————

    8) Jokowi's visit to Australia 'special': Foreign Ministry
    Liza Sani The Jakarta Post
    Jakarta | Thu, February 23, 2017 | 10:39 pm
    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set for his first state visit to Australia on Feb. 25 to 26, with an emphasis on strengthening trade and maritime cooperation.

    The neighboring countries aim to strengthen bilateral relations that are "mutually beneficial and respectful", the Indonesian Foreign Ministry says. 

    Ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told a press briefing on Thursday that Jokowi's visit was "special", saying that unlike usual state visits, the two heads of states were set to have a private dinner. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and wife Lucy Turnbull would host a dinner for Jokowi and First Lady Iriana Widodo.

    "This shows a closeness between the two leaders," Arrmanatha said. 

    The visit is set to focus on boosting economic relations between the two countries, especially to push the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that Jakarta expects to conclude this year. 

    Indonesia also aimed to expand market access on sustainable products, Arrmanatha said, noting the example of export of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)-licensed timber, which guaranteed that the timber had been harvested, processed and exported in accordance with national laws.

    Three memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were also currently in the final stages of discussion, namely in maritime cooperation, maritime security and the creative industry, he added.  

    Other areas of focus between the two countries would include cyber security training, investment, tourism, as well as Indonesian language education. The President is set to inaugurate a language center during his visit. (evi)
    -------------------------------



    0 0



    2) Jokowi warns Freeport
    3) Blue Abadi Fund raises US$ 23 million to sustain Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape
    4) SOE Holding Ready to Take-in Freeport Shares
    ————————————————————


    1) Freeport Indonesian Workers Face Layoffs
    Friday, 24 February 2017 | 05:51 WIB



                        Workers are mining in the underground tunnels of PT Freeport Indonesia. (PT Freeport Indonesia)

    JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Over 19 thousand workers of PT Freeport Indonesia and its affiliated contractor and privatized companies face the threat of losing their jobs if the US-based copper and gold mining firm halts its production and exports.
    It was reported at least 20 expatriate workers have returned to their countries, and over 300 workers have been laid off as a result of the contract crisis between the government and PT Freeport Indonesia, which operates in Mimika District, Papua Province.
    Mimika District head Eltinus Omaleng admitted that PT Preeport and a number of affiliated privatized/contractor companies had started to send their workers home, including expatriate workers from various countries.
    "In a report of the Mimika Manpower Service, the number of employees who are already laid off has reached over 300 persons. Workers of PT Freeport were sent home. Those who are on leave are ordered not to return to Timika (district capital of Mimika), until the company's operations return to normal.
    Every day about 30 to 500 workers are sent home; possibly now they would have reached over one thousand," Omaleng told Antara after receiving thousands of workers who held a rally in front of his office on Feb 17.
    The Immigration Office of Tembagapura in Mimika said more than 20 expatriate employees who work with PT Freeport Indonesia's contractor companies had left Timika, Papua, for their countries.
    Head of the Immigration Office Jesaja Samuel Enock said in Timika on Feb 19 that some of the expatriate workers were affected by the worker streamlining policy of their companies.
    "Some of them have their work contract expired, but some others were affected directly by the crisis which befell PT Freeport. All of them are from the contractor and privatization companies of PT Freeport Indonesia," Enock stated. Expatriate workers who work with PT Freeport were mostly from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and the Philippines.
    According to the Timika Express online media, there are over 32 thousand workers with PT Freeport Indonesia and other privatization/contractor companies. Some 60 percent of these workers or more than 19 thousand are facing layoffs.
    The Manpower and Population Service (MPS) of Papua Province has therefore asked PT Freeport Indonesia to report its plan to lay off thousands of its workers. The Papua MPS Head, Yan Piet Rawar, said on Monday (Feb 20) that in a recent meeting, PT Freeport promised to report its plan to severe work relations with their workers.
    "The Papua provincial government has not yet received a report that PT Freeport will lay off some of its workers," Rawar noted.
    The Papua manpower chief official said the layoff process should be based on Law No. 13 Year of 2003 on Manpower and the law on the settlement of industrial relations dispute.
    "Thus, PT Freeport Indonesia could not lay off its workers all of a sudden, because layoff can only be carried out with a clear reason, whether the company is losing or other reasons. But until now, we are yet to receive an official report from PT Freeport," he remarked.
    If PT Freeport has reported its reason to carry out the layoff, the Papua Manpower Service will study the report. The plan to lay off the workers will have impact on the economic conditions of Papua in general and Mimika in particular. Therefore, Rawar hoped that PT Freeport would reconsider its plan carefully.
    Papua Regional Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw called on the managements of PT Freeport and a number of its contractors not to arbitrarily lay off their workers.
    "It is admitted that it is the company's responsibility to take efficient measures, but it may not be arbitrarily in taking a decision (layoff). It should coordinate with the government well. It is feared to create various undesired perceptions if not done unilaterally," Paulus noted Waterpauw in Timika last Friday.
    It was earlier reported that PT Freeport Indonesia had stopped its production activities with effect from Feb 10, this year, following the government's objective to have greater control on raw mineral resources. The government has proposed that the Special Mining Operations Permit (IUPK) should be used in place of the existing Contract of Work (CoW).
    PT Freeport is reluctant to agree to the Indonesian government's proposal, especially since IUPK holders are obliged to divest up to 51 percent of the shares, which means they will no longer be in full control of the company. Furthermore, Freeport is planning to sue the government in the International Court of Arbitration.
    Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan had remarked on Feb 18 that PT Freeport's plan to bring up the dispute in the International Court of Arbitration is legitimate, adding that the arbitration measure is far better as compared to raising issues on dismissal of employees as a tool to apply pressure on the government.
    "Global corporations always treat their employees as valuable assets rather than as mere tools to gain profits," Jonan remarked. Meanwhile, Freeport McMoRan Inc, the parent company of PT Freeport Indonesia, stated that the Indonesian government had stopped the CoW, signed in 1991, unilaterally and changed the status into an IUPK.
    President and CEO of Freeport McMoRan Inc Richard C. Anderson stated at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday that his party cannot simply foregot the legal rights included in the CoW. Based on the company's records, Freeport had invested US$12 billion and is currently generating $15 billion and has absorbed 32 thousand Indonesian workers.
    He further stated that the government had received 60 percent of the direct financial gains from Freeport's operations. Taxes, royalties, and dividends paid to the government since 1991 have reached $16.5 billion, while Freeport McMoRan had received $108 billion in dividends.
    ————————————————————————


    2) Jokowi warns Freeport



    Anton Hermansyah, Viriya P. Singgih and Farida Susanty

    Jakarta | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 06:46 am
    As tension between the government and United States-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) continues, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has made his first comment on the matter, indicating that he would take firm action if necessary.
    Freeport, Indonesia’s oldest foreign investor, has been in a deadlock over its future operations in Indonesia, as the government requires the company’s local subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia to convert a contract of work (CoW) signed in 1991 into a special mining license (IUPK) in return for an export permit extension.
    Freeport Indonesia has repeatedly rejected the idea of contract conversion and stated that if the dispute was prolonged, it may take the case to international arbitration, a move that many deem would be costly for both parties.
    “We want to reach a win-win solution, because this is a business matter,” Jokowi said on Thursday. “Now, I will leave this matter to the ministers. However, if [Freeport management] are really difficult to deal with, I will take action.”
    On Feb. 17, Freeport Indonesia sent a notification letter to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry describing areas of dispute between the two parties.
    The issues included the obligation for miners to divest a 51-percent stake within a decade of production, the government’s role in determining base selling prices for minerals, and the contract conversion requirement, all ruled under the new Government Regulation No. 1/2017.
    Freeport Indonesia has stated it would be possible to commence international arbitration if no settlement was reached within 120 days of it sending the letter.
    Article 21 of Freeport’s CoW states that the government and Freeport Indonesia can settle disputes by arbitration in accordance with the 1976 Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) if they cannot reach an amicable settlement within 120 days.
    “One of the advantages of using arbitration over litigation is that the process is quicker, as a binding ruling can be determined within around three to six months. Nonetheless, the greater the complexity of the case, the longer it takes to conclude,” Hanafiah Ponggawa and Partners managing partner Constant Marino Ponggawa said.
    He explained that the appointment of a presiding arbitrator could take months, as the arbitrators of both the petitioner and the defendant were often involved in a debate over the ideal person to act as presiding arbitrator. According to Marino, fees for an arbitrator could reach millions of US dollars, depending on the reputation of the appointed person.
    He said the arbitral tribunal would typically choose a neutral country to host the hearings.
    “Then, whatever the decision made by the end of the arbitration process, it has to be followed by the losing side,” Marino said. “Moreover, UNCITRAL is the legal body of the United Nations system. Hence, it can make international lobbies to ensure the compliance of its ruling.”
    Earlier this week, Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson said the company expected to find a win-win solution during the dispute settlement period as the Grasberg mine was too important for either party to neglect.
    “It’s an important asset for the company. It’s an important, vital, natural resource for the Republic of Indonesia. […] But we have to find a way to work together, and Freeport is committed to trying to do that,” he said.
    Under the CoW, Freeport Indonesia was initially required to sell 51 percent of its stake to Indonesian entities by 2011, or 45 percent if it had sold a minimum of 20 percent in the local stock market. Freeport owns 90.64 percent of Freeport Indonesia, while 9.36 percent is owned by the Indonesian government.
    In response to the case, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government was undertaking “transitional negotiations” to tweak the management of the mining industry for the sake of investment and national interests, such as job creation, exports and state revenues.
    “There will not be private, murky negotiations any longer. We just want to abide by the law and try to be better in explaining this situation to the investors.”
    Since commencing operations more than five decades ago, Freeport is synonymous domestically with gold, not copper, and is usually perceived with suspicions. All affairs related to the company have always been political, with many Indonesian politicians and activists referring to it as a symbol of US economic imperialism in Indonesia.

    ——————————————————————————

    3) Blue Abadi Fund raises US$ 23 million to sustain Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape

    India Blooms News Service

    Bali, Indonesia: Feb 24 (Just Earth News)– At the World Ocean Summit Friday, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and the Indonesian government announced US$23 million in support for the Blue Abadi Fund, which is on track to be the world’s largest marine conservation trust.

    The Fund is uniquely designed to support local community stewardship of the protected areas of the world’s most biodiverse reefs, Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape.
    The announcement comes just five months after the Fund initiative was announced.  Once the Fund is fully capitalized, the Seascape will contain Indonesia’s first sustainably financed marine protected area network (MPAs).
    Located in West Papua, the Bird's Head Seascape encompasses more than 2,500 islands and reefs and supports thousands of species -- including 70 that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
    The Blue Abadi Fund will help secure the long-term financial sustainability of the Bird’s Head Seascape by providing grants to local communities and agencies so they can sustainably manage their marine resources into the future. 
    The Fund is a powerful example of how local leadership combined with coordinated global support can deliver sustained conservation goals.  Founding supporters include: the  Walton Family Foundation, USAID, MacArthur Foundation, Global Environment Facility and others.


    “These protected areas exist thanks to the support and involvement of local communities and fishermen,” said Rob Walton of the Walton Family Foundation, which has been working in the Bird’s Head region for more than a decade.
    “Of course it is not enough to create marine protected areas, you have to have long-term management and enforcement. That is what the Blue Abadi fund is all about.”
    The Bird’s Head Seascape coalition was launched in 2004 by Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund and now includes 30 conservation partners, including local and national governments, international and local NGOs, and academic institutions. Its mission is to ensure sustainable management of the Bird’s Head Seascape’s resources in a way that empowers local indigenous communities while enhancing their food security and livelihoods.
    “The future of our planet depends upon the wisdom of communities,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman and CEO of Conservation International. “Through the Blue Abadi Fund the global community joins with local communities to secure the long-term health of the Bird's Head seascape, arguably the most diverse marine region of Planet Earth.”
    Since the launch of the Coalition 12 years ago, the MPA Network in the Bird’s Head Seascape has grown include 3.6 million hectares of MPAs or approximately 20% of all MPAs in Indonesia.  Locally managed by communities and government, the MPA Network prioritizes biodiversity conservation and sustainable local fisheries. Working together, they have reduced overfishing by outside poachers by 90 percent while enjoying growth in sustainable fisheries, food security and tourism.

    Overall, the Coalition effort has engaged 30 partner organizations — including Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund — and 70 donors, both local and global. The governments of Indonesia and the West Papua Province, along with local communities, have played fundamental roles in managing the MPA network and local fisheries.

    The Bird’s Head Seascape Coalition will complete a full transfer of MPA management responsibilities to local communities and the government by June 2017, who will then co-manage them into the future. Local funding sources will provide 70 percent of the financing needed for the seascape, with the Indonesian government being the largest source of funding, and the Blue Abadi Fund providing the remaining 30 percent.
    In a demonstration of their commitment to the MPA network and as a match to the Blue Abadi Fund, the West Papuan government has committed to provide a minimum of Rp. 7.215.000.000 (US$555,000) per year to the management of the MPA network starting in 2018. Budget allocations from the National government as well as revenues generated from tourism user fees will also contribute to the MPA costs.
    “As a conservation province, our natural resources are of strategic value and importance for West Papua. To ensure that we continue to benefit from conservation, we need to work together to ensure that our MPAs are sufficiently and sustainably funded,” said Drs. Nathaniel D. Mandacan, M.Si, the Secretary General of the West Papua Provincial Government.
    Local communities and agencies will use the funds to implement comprehensive management plans for the 12 MPAs that support activities such as effective patrol systems, community outreach and development, and ecological and social monitoring so management activities can be adapted over time. Funds will also be available to Papuan civil society for innovative community conservation and fishing projects, and more.
    ————————————————————-

    FRIDAY, 24 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 10:30 WIB
    4) SOE Holding Ready to Take-in Freeport Shares
    TEMPO.COJakarta - The State-owned Enterprises (SOE) Ministry prepares to purchase some of Freeport Indonesia's divested shares. The shares will be taken by the holding company of mining SOEs.
    The ministry's special staff and chief of the Freeport Divestment Team, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said on Thursday that the the US miner will likely divest 10.64 percent of their shares.
    Budi said the government's 9.36-percent stake in Freeport will also be allocated to the Mining SOEs Holding, which is led by Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum).
    The members of the holding are Aneka Tambang or Antam, PT Timah, and Bukit Asam. The companies will be merged in the process.
    Government Regulation No. 1/2017 requires Freeport Indonesia (IDX: FTPI) to divest 51 percent of its stake to the state. Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan said the shares must first be offered to the central government.
    Freeport has so far refused the obligatory divestment, saying that 51 percent is too much and said that their contract (KK) only mandates 30 percent.
    There is no agreement share price either. Freeport wants to sell 10.64 percent stake for US$1.7 billion while the Energy Ministry claims that their calculations show a price of just US$630 million.
    The ministry's director general for coal and mineral Gatot Ariyono said Freeport's offered price is too high as it includes copper reserves until 2041. Price offers, he said, should only take replacement costs into calculations.
    The US-based miner has not agreed to change its contract to a special mining license (IUPK) either.
    "We have already developed underground mines," Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama said last week.
    FAJAR PEBRIANTO | ARTIKA RACHMI | ROBBY IRFANY
    ———————————————————-

    0 0

    A chance for people this weekend to get letter/opinion pieces/comments in the media around Jowiki’s visit.
    Rally Sunday
    Indonesian President Joko Widodo will be visiting Australia on the 26th of February 2017 
     West Papua supporters in Sydney will be marching to protest what Indonesia has been committing in West Papua , The Lombok Treaty, and also to raise awareness to the Australian people in Australia.  The march wll begin Sunday morning at channel seven Martin Place to coincide with channel seven's morning broadcast of Weekend Sunrise from 7am-10am then we will proceed to DFAT New South Wales State Office and then through the malls and onto Town Hall where we will disperse.  We hope to see all supporters there!  PS: Permit has been authorised by City Police for this march to take place. 


    ——————- 
    1)  Australia must work on a stronger relationship with Indonesia
    2) Jokowi and Turnbull to focus on economic, strategic links

    3) Police beef up security in Intan Jaya
    4) Joko Widodo, Malcolm Turnbull mending fences
    5) Indonesia’s huge Papua mine run by Freeport long a source of friction 

    6) President Jokowi leaves for Australia

    ———————————————————


    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/australia-must-work-on-a-stronger-relationship-with-indonesia-20170224-gukhxg.html

    1)  Australia must work on a stronger relationship with Indonesia
    In November 2015, President Joko Widodo invited me to join him on one of his famous blusukan – or impromptu visits – through a bustling garment market in Central Jakarta. As local traders and shoppers crowded about us, I felt the energy, enthusiasm and excitement of a country with a dynamic future.
    Indonesia's potential represents a golden opportunity for Australia. As I said on the day, the prospects for our two countries to work together – to grow our economies – have never been better. This weekend, Lucy and I will host President Widodo and First Lady Iriana Widodo during their first state visit to Australia.

    I look forward to picking up where we left off in the markets of Jakarta by discussing ways to grow our 21st-century partnership.
    Indonesia is a nation of extraordinary significance to Australia. We share a commitment to values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Indonesia should be proud of its transformation over recent decades into a diverse and democratic nation, proving, as the President often says, that democracy, Islam and moderation are compatible.
    And the co-operation between our two nations grows stronger by the day. This has helped to advance common interests across our region, from defence exercises to disaster relief and combating human trafficking and people smuggling. Our defence and security co-operation is built on the bedrock of the Lombok Treaty. We are absolutely committed to the treaty and resolutely support Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
    Our countries are also partners in the fight against terror. President Widodo's unqualified rejection of extremism is not only significant for the future of his country, it enhances regional security and the safety of Australians. As the democratically elected leader of the largest Muslim-majority nation on earth, President Widodo disproves the view held by some that Islam and democracy are incompatible.

    Australia values the important role Indonesia has played, as a founding member of ASEAN, in bringing our region closer together. ASEAN is helping to build a rules-based order that promotes a common vision of peace and stability in our region.
    Australia will host an ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018. This will allow Australia to deepen our economic and strategic links with south-east Asia. It is critical that we continue to work with our nearest neighbours to shape the future of our region.

    Our relationship with Indonesia is growing deeper by the day but it has not yet reached its full potential. For example, Australia trades more with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand than with our much larger northern neighbour.
    The opportunities for Australian businesses are immense. Consider the following: Indonesia makes up more than a third of ASEAN's gross domestic product. It is on track to be one of the seven largest economies in the world by 2030 and its consumer class is expected to grow to as many as 135 million people. Indonesia is also our No.1 holiday destination, with more than 1 million Aussies travelling to Bali alone last year.
    The potential for Australia and Indonesia to expand our economic relationship is clear. That's why President Widodo and I want to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement later this year. This agreement will benefit Indonesians and Australians alike, promoting business and boosting investment ties.
    We will also discuss the importance of working together on infrastructure development, and our mutual commitment to co-operating on agriculture and food security. We have already made progress on building a transparent and integrated supply chain in cattle and beef.
    And we will emphasise our growing people-to-people ties, which underpin our ambitious economic and security agenda. While there is still much more to do, we should be proud that when Indonesians head overseas to study, more choose to come to Australia than anywhere else. For our part, Indonesia is already the most popular New Colombo Plan destination, with more than 3000 Australian undergraduates working and studying there between 2014-17. This deepens our understanding of each other's country and culture.
    Australia is proud to stand alongside a united, democratic and increasingly prosperous Indonesia. I look forward to working with President Widodo in the months and years ahead to build an even closer bilateral relationship – a relationship anchored in our shared values, underpinned by mutual interests and delivering real benefits for our people.


    ————————————————————-
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/24/jokowi-and-turnbull-to-focus-on-economic-strategic-links.html

    2) Jokowi and Turnbull to focus on economic, strategic links
    Jakarta | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 09:11 pm
    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement on Friday that he looked forward to welcoming Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to Australia this weekend, saying the visit would highlight “Australia’s deepening economic and strategic links with Indonesia”.
    Jokowi and First Lady Iriana are scheduled to spend the weekend in Australia to discuss several things with Turnbull. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has said the visit will, among other issues, push the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that Jakarta expects to conclude this year.
    Turnbull confirmed in his statement that the IA-CEPA would be included in the discussion.
    “The bilateral relationship with Indonesia is vitally important to both countries and has never been stronger,” Turnbull said in the statement.
    “As close friends and neighbors, Australia and Indonesia have a long, shared history. And as multicultural democracies, our countries have developed a strong 21st century partnership spanning broad areas of cooperation, including trade, tourism, counterterrorism, education and disaster relief,” the prime minister went on.
    “I look forward to my talks with President Widodo and returning the warm hospitality I enjoyed during my visit to Jakarta in 2015,” Turnbull said.
    Jokowi was slated to return the visit on Nov. 6-8 last year but because of the domestic political situation with a huge rally of Muslim protesters on Nov. 4, the palace decided to cancel the visit. (evi)


    ——————————————————
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/24/police-beef-up-security-in-intan-jaya.html
    3) Police beef up security in Intan Jaya
    Jayapura, Papua | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 10:27 pm
    Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
    Jayapura, Papua | Fri, February 24, 2017 | 10:27 pm
    The Papua Police deployed additional personnel from its Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit to Sugapa, the main town in Intan Jaya regency, on Friday to strengthen security following clashes between supporters of election candidates that left one person dead. 
    “The 81 deployed officers are in addition to the current 400 personnel on duty there [in Sugapa],” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said in Jayapura on Friday.
    Besides sending the 81 Brimob officers the Papua Police also received backup of 200 personnel from the National Police headquarters, who will be sent to regions that are conducting plenary meetings on the regional elections results.
    The extra backup followed a clash on Thursday during the plenary meeting of 2017 Intan Jaya regional election. The plenary decided not to consider the votes from eight polling stations from Wandai and Agisiga districts as the local officials were still completing the count and had not yet delivered the ballots to the Intan Jaya Regional Elections Commission (KPUD). The counting should have been completed before the KPUD started the plenary meeting on Feb. 22.
    Several people objected and called for the plenary to be delayed.
    “The arguments led to a clash that claimed the life of one man, Kolengan Wenda, 45,” Waterpauw added.
    The clash continued the next day as eight houses of campaign workers of one candidate were set on fire on Friday morning.
    The police are looking for one suspect who is reported to have incited the mob to start the blaze.
    Four pairs of candidates ran in the Intan Jaya regional election during the simultaneous regional elections in 101 regions nationwide on Feb. 15. The pairs running for the regent post were Bartolomius Mirip - Deny Miagoni, Yulius Yapugau - Yunus Kalabetme, Natalis Tabuni - Yan Robert Kobogoyauw and Thobisa Zonggonauw - Hermanus Miagoni.
    No precise information has been provided on which candidates’ supporters were involved in the clashes.
    Intan Jaya was among 11 regencies and municipalities in Papua that held regional elections this year. Waterpauw said that apart from the incident in Intan Jaya, the local elections in Papua ran smoothly and safely. (rin)



    ———————————————————-


    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/joko-widodo-malcolm-turnbull-mending-fences/news-story/b8d62990136bd3fe5b274da6ecd14e51
    4) Joko Widodo, Malcolm Turnbull mending fences
    • The Australian

    AMANDA HODGE South East Asia correspondentJakarta 
    Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first state visit to Australia had been scheduled to occur in the middle of a rare purple patch in relations with ­Indonesia, a neighbour whose friendship and trust we have long coveted even as we have taken the occasional peek over the fence. 
    Instead the Indonesian President, who was forced to cancel his November trip amid trouble at home, arrives in Sydney this morning as both countries are dusting themselves off from yet another scrap.
    That a relationship historically characterised by volatility should hit a road bump is not surprising, even if it was between the two defence forces whose ties are considered one of the great strengths of the broader partnership.
    What is more noteworthy is the speed with which the nations have recovered and that even a recent part suspension of military ties, over allegedly offensive training materials at Perth’s Campbell barracks has proven no obstacle to an expansion of the relationship.
    In an exclusive interview ahead of his two-day visit this weekend, Widodo tells Inquirer what Canberra has long been waiting to hear: that Indonesia is ready and prepared to conduct joint patrols with Australia through the contested waters of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest and most valuable shipping lanes.
    Widodo sees joint Australian-Indonesian patrols in the South China Sea, potentially around Indonesia’s Natuna Islands where its navy had several skirmishes last year with Chinese poachers, as “very important”, as long as they do not raise tensions in the region.
    “If there is tension like last year, it is difficult to decide this program, but if there is no tension I think it’s very important to have the patrols together,” he says.
    “We will discuss this with PM Turnbull.”
    This is a significant step forward for the relationship, as it is for Indonesia, which has long resisted abandoning neutrality over regional maritime disputes even as it has faced its own issues with ­Beijing. China claims ownership of more than 90 per cent of the resource-rich waters and shipping lanes of the South China Sea, under its Nine-Dash Line map, which includes waters around Indonesia’s gas-rich ­Natuna Islands, but not the islands themselves.
    Senior Indonesian government ministers were quick to wind back on Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu’s revelations late last year that he had discussed possible joint patrols with Australia’s foreign and defence ministers.
    But things have changed since then. While China has long been working to lure Asian countries from Washington’s orbit and shift the regional balance of power in its favour, what is new is the more antagonistic rhetoric coming from the Trump administration.
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a confirmation hearing last month the US would not allow China access to its artificial islands, and that its control and militarisation of those islands in waters claimed by neighbouring countries was “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea”. Former Australian defence chief Angus Houston warned this week against supporting any US-led blockade that could trigger open conflict, advising the best way forward would be for Australia to concentrate on building regional alliances.
    Widodo would not be drawn on Tillerson’s comments but tells ­Inquirer he, too, sees diplomacy as the only way to resolve the ongoing territorial disputes, and that Indonesia will work through ASEAN to “pursue a code of conduct to govern the waters”.
    “We understand it is in everyone’s interests for there to be peace and stability in our region. It is very, very important. And our countries should avoid increasing tension over the South China Sea, for whatever reason,” he says.
    Australia conducts joint exercises in the South China Sea with India and the US, as well as regular maritime patrol surveillance flights out of Malaysia’s Butterworth air base with the Royal ­Malaysian Air Force.
    But naval patrols with ­Indonesia would be a coup, enhancing our relationship with a country we see as a critical intermediary with southeast Asia.
    Says John Blaxland, senior fellow at ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre: “We have to recognise that China has what it wants pretty much. There is no point fighting them over what they have now.
    “The question is whether we put up a fuss about them going any further, and that is where we are keen to work with Indonesia. Because we just don’t know what’s around the corner. We don’t want the South China Sea to become a closed Chinese lake.”
    Joint patrols would also handily refresh defence and security ties forged out of the carnage of the 2002 Bali bombs and 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, ties Blaxland says have since atrophied as Indonesia’s security forces, including Australian-trained counter-terrorism units, have come of age.
    “We need to add strings to this relationship because the ones we have are frayed. The whole thing with (Indonesian defence chief) Gatot Nurmantyo suspending military ties was symptomatic of a relationship that is still too fragile.”
    There is little consensus among Indonesia-watchers over Australia’s relative importance to Jakarta. Those who would paint Australia as a somewhat unrequited suitor say we are too small, both in military and in economic terms, to figure heavily in Indonesia’s foreign priorities.
    Marcus ­Mietzner, an Indonesia expert at ANU’s College of Asia and the ­Pacific, says the key obstacle to a closer relationship is that Indonesia does not see Australia as a middle power to be reckoned with.
    “Australia is not a big enough market for Indonesia to target as a primary export destination; doesn’t produce anything the country would be particularly interested in with the exception of cattle; and doesn’t have a big enough military to count as one of the significant players in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mietzner says.
    “(Widodo’s) priorities are China, Japan, the US and Germany, which he views as places of technological innovation and economic power. Australia doesn’t register in this regard.”
    Yet there is undeniable warmth between Widodo and Malcolm Turnbull, as the Indonesian President was at pains to emphasise this week, along with the recognition that the relationship has unrealised potential. Turnbull’s November 2015 visit is widely credited with having reset the relationship.
    Amity between leaders is in contrast to the relationship under Tony Abbott, whose tenure coincided with revelations Australia spied on former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; the executions of Bali Nine leaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; and Abbott’s asylum boat turn-back policy. Jakarta made no secret of its dislike for Australia’s hardline solution to the flow of asylum-seeker boats from Indonesia, but Turnbull has been a beneficiary of the policy, which has shifted a former key irritant in the relationship to a relative side issue.
    The issue is unlikely to feature prominently in talks this weekend beyond Indonesia’s standing request that Australia accept some of the 14,000 refugees it now hosts.
    But Widodo confirms he will raise that with Turnbull.
    “You know, we understand each other,” he tells Inquirer of his relationship with Turnbull. “We come from the same background, business. I know PM Turnbull was a businessman before, and me also. We want to achieve concrete things with PM Turnbull.”
    Both leaders see economic engagement as the linchpin of the relationship and aim to conclude the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, a broad deal designed to remove barriers to trade and investment and to better integrate the region’s two largest economies to increase trade.
    Australia will seek to shore up its $1 billion-a-year live cattle trade to Indonesia, under threat from Jakarta’s push for self-reliance through its own breeding program, and Widodo has listed trade, investment and tourism as key areas for stronger engagement.
    But Turnbull may be disappointed if he has been counting on Indonesia backing Australia’s ­efforts to revive the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    Widodo says Indonesia had intended to join the trade deal, but “now President Trump said he wants to scrap the TPP”.
    In those changed circumstances, a bilateral trade deal with Australia must come first, “because we need to increase trade between Indonesia and Australia”.
    “We must work harder to strengthen (that) because investment from Australia is still very low if we compare with the other countries.”
    Indonesia is Australia’s 13th largest trading partner. Two-way annual trade of goods and services is valued at $15 billion and Australian direct investment in Indonesia was just $5.5bn in 2015-16.
    Widodo wants more investment in infrastructure, mining, education and tourism. He has made the expansion of ­Indonesia’s tourist industry a key plank of his economic revival plan, alongside infrastructure, to ease reliance on raw commodities.
    He wants Australia to help design and manage the expansion of Indonesia’s tourist infrastructure beyond Bali, which attracts a million Australians each year.
    He says: “You must explore my country, like Raja Ampat (a chain of islands off the West Papuan coast); we have Labuan Bajo (gateway to ­Komodo); we have Borobudur (Buddhist temple in central Java); we have Toba Lake (Indonesia’s biggest) and Ambon, which is also close to Australia.”
    A fault line in the relationship has been a lack of understanding of each other’s histories and cultures, as seen again last month when Gatot suspended military ties over materials used in an officer exchange language course.
    The material was believed to have included a pejorative reference to Indonesia’s five founding principles, known as Pancasila, as well as an essay question asking students to discuss whether West Papua should be an independent state. For the ultranationalist Gatot, who has expressed suspicions that Australia uses the military exchange program to “recruit” its best officers, it was a flashing red line. There are still deep resentments within the Indonesian army in particular over Australia’s support for East Timorese independence.
    Australia has since signed the 2006 Lombok Treaty, recognising Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.
    For a day or two at least it looked like last month’s spat was to have broader implications for the relationship. That it did not says much about the commitment on both sides to maintain ties, and a mutual ­acknowledgment that the two countries are too close not to get along, says Dave McRae, a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute.
    “For a president who by all accounts has no special interest in Australia and has been accused of being too distant from broader issues of foreign policy, I think this visit underlines not that Australia necessarily has become a burning issue for Indonesia, but that there is a commitment to maintain constructive ties,’’ McRae says.
    McRae says the emergence of Islamic State has injected “fresh impetus” into the relationship by underlining the importance to both countries of intelligence-sharing and counter-terrorism co-operation. Both are grappling with how to deal with the recruitment and possible return of terrorist fighters from Islamic State battlefields in the Middle East.
    That is undoubtedly true, says Yohanes Sulaiman, a former Indonesian government security adviser and now lecturer at Indonesia’s General Achmad Yani University. “But for Indonesia, the biggest problem is not foreign policy but domestic politics, which is why ­Jokowi decided to postpone his visit to Australia last November,” says Sulaiman.
    And it is the same motivation behind the rescheduling of the ­Indonesian leader’s trip at the earliest window after the Jakarta elections. “He wants to reciprocate Malcolm Turnbull’s visit,” says ­Sulaiman. “But at the same time I think he really wants to show that he now has everything under control in Indonesia. Maybe you could call it a mini victory lap.”
    Widodo’s November trip was postponed after mass protests by conservative Islamists and political opposition groups demanding the jailing for blasphemy of Jakarta’s incumbent governor, a key political ally, turned violent.
    A subsequent prayer rally in December attracted an astonishing half-million people to the centre of Jakarta, where they prayed for Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s incarceration.
    Ahok, the city’s first Christian, ethnic Chinese governor in half a century, now faces trial for blasphemy, even as he prepares to contest a second-round election after failing to secure an outright majority last week.
    Ahok’s trial is said to have exposed not only the rising influence of conservative Islam in Indonesia but the weakness of its democratic institutions in the face of mob pressure. Widodo insists Indonesia will remain tolerant and pluralistic because — with more than 700 ethnicities and 1100 local languages — “it is in our DNA and nothing is going to change that”.
    Whether the country should abolish its blasphemy laws, however, is for the Indonesian people to decide.
    “I will ask my people,” he says when asked about the two laws. “I always go to the ground. I listen to my people. I ask them what they need, what they want.”

    ———————————————————-



    5) Indonesia’s huge Papua mine run by Freeport long a source of friction 

    By Reuters PUBLISHED: 21:24 +11:00, 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 21:24 +11:00, 24 February 2017   

    By Fergus Jensen
    Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned this week it could take the Indonesian government to arbitration and seek damages over a contractual dispute that has halted operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine.
    Freeport's Grasberg mine holds more gold and copper reserves than any other in the world, but has frequently been a source of controversy over the revenue share Indonesia and Papua get from the mine and the impact of its tailings on local water systems.
    Here are some facts on the Grasberg mine in Papua: GRASBERG MINE Freeport-McMoRan began mining in Papua in 1967, the first company to sign for mineral resource rights under a foreign investment law put in place by former President Suharto. Open-pit copper and gold mining at Grasberg began in 1990.
    Mining at the open pit, which is visible from space, is due to cease in late 2018, when underground mining will become the main source of copper ore.
    An estimated 94 percent of the mine's remaining reserves are recoverable only underground. As of December 2015, Grasberg accounted for 28 percent of Freeport's total recoverable proven and probable copper reserves of 99.5 billion pounds.
    In 2017, the mine is expected to account for 1.3 billion pounds of Freeport's global copper sales of 4.1 billion pounds. LABOUR AND SAFETY Freeport employs more than 32,000 in Indonesia, including 12,000 employees and 20,000 contractors. Around 97 percent of its workers are Indonesian nationals, many of them Papuan.

    The mine area suffers regular earthquakes, and torrential rainfall can trigger landslides. Its position on top of a mountain also means workers can suffer altitude sickness, and visibility is often poor due to thick mists.
    At least partly because of these factors, safety at the mine has been a longstanding source of friction with unions. A tunnel collapse that killed 28 workers in 2013 raised worries about Freeport's plans to ramp up its underground mining operation.
    Workers also staged a strike for three months in 2011, seeking a bigger slice of the revenue from record copper prices. SECURITY AND TAXES Security at Grasberg has been volatile with pro-independence rebels in Papua waging a low-level conflict for decades. Analyst have also linked violence at or near the mine to conflicts between the police and military over security arrangements and related business ventures.
    Between 2009 and 2015, shootings within the mine project area killed 20 and wounded 59. To protect workers and infrastructure, Freeport contributed $21 million toward government-provided security in 2015.
    Freeport Indonesia is one of the largest taxpayers in Indonesia, with more than $16 billion paid to the government in royalties, taxes and dividends between 1992 and 2015.
    The Freeport unit is currently in a dispute over $469 million in water taxes and penalties claimed by Papua province that date back to 2011.
    The mine was at the centre of a scandal in 2015 after Indonesia's parliament speaker was accused of attempting to extort shares worth $1.8 billion from Freeport.
    Setya Novanto denied the allegations but resigned amid the scandal in December 2015. He was reinstated in November last year after an investigation was dropped. ECONOMIC IMPACT Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto - which is entitled to a share of Grasberg output via a joint venture signed in 1995 - have been targeted by campaign groups over alleged human rights and environmental issues at Grasberg.
    Rio Tinto has said it is considering exiting its interest in the mine, which has yielded no benefit for it since 2014, when exports were suspended for six months while Freeport negotiated mining and tax rules with Indonesia.
    On Sept. 9, 2008 one of Rio Tinto's major shareholders, Norway's sovereign wealth fund, sold its entire $850 million stake in the company citing environmental damage at Grasberg.
    Freeport was excluded by the Norwegian fund in June 2006 for the same reason. Sources: Reuters, FCX.com
    (Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue)
    ———————————————————————-

    6) President Jokowi leaves for Australia

    3 hours ago
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his entourage left for Australia for a state visit from the Bali international airport on Friday. The visit will last until February 26.

    Improving relations between Indonesia and Australia, both neighboring countries, will be the key agenda of the presidents February 25-26 visit, Bey Machmudin, chief of the Press Bureau, Media and Information Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat, said in his press statement here.

    The president will visit Sydney, Australia, and will meet with Prime Minister Turnbull.

    The President and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, along with the entourage, left from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Bali airport by the Presidential Aircraft Indonesia-1 at around 10.00 p.m. Central Indonesia Standard Time (WITA).

    The entourage is expected to arrive at the Kingsford-Smith Sydney Airport on Saturday morning (February 25).

    President Jokowi plans to discuss bilateral ties with Prime Minister Turnbull for mutual benefit and respect. 

    As for economic issues, Jokowi and Turnbull will talk about the importance of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IACEPA).

    Additionally, the two leaders will also discuss cooperation in investment, tourism and education sectors.

    Regarding the presidents agenda, Bey Machmudin informed that on Saturday afternoon (Feb 25), the head of state will attend a meeting in Sydney with Australian entrepreneurs and will attend a Gala Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Turnbull at his private residence.

    On the second day of the visit, the president will attend a bilateral meeting with PM Turnbull, and will also meet the Australian Governor General, Lady Cosgrove, before returning home in the afternoon.

    During the visit, the president will be accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung, head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong, and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who has been in Sydney since Friday, Feb 24.

    (Reported by Hanni Sofia Soepardi/Uu.B003/INE/KR-BSR)
    ———————————————————






    0 0

    Rally Sunday now starts at 8am.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo will be visiting Australia on the 26th of February 2017 
     West Papua supporters in Sydney will be marching to protest what Indonesia has been committing in West Papua , The Lombok Treaty, and also to raise awareness to the Australian people in Australia.  The march wll begin Sunday morning at channel seven Martin Place to coincide with channel seven's morning broadcast of Weekend Sunrise from 8am,  then we will proceed to DFAT New South Wales State Office and then through the malls and onto Town Hall where we will disperse
    -------------------------------------

    0 0


    2) Factbox: Indonesia’s Huge Papua Mine Run by Freeport Long a Source of Friction
    ————————————————

    1) Jokowi meets Australian CEOs, shares confidence about Indonesia’s economy

    Ina Parlina The Jakarta Post
    Sydney | Sat, February 25, 2017 | 05:07 pm


    Close friends: President Joko Widodo (second left) participates in a meeting with Australian business leaders in Sydney on Saturday. The President is on a two-day visit to Australia. (AP/Jason Reed)

    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo kicked off his two-day trip to Sydney on Saturday noon by meeting with CEOs of Australian multinational companies, during which he assured them about Indonesia’s supportive investment climate despite global and domestic challenges.
    At the beginning of the meeting, Jokowi cracked a joke to break the ice, saying "I don't know how it is in Australia. But, in Indonesia, we sometimes work at weekends".
    Citing upgraded outlooks recently released by various international rating agencies such as Moody's Investor Services, Jokowi assured the top executives, such as those from mining private equity firm EMR Capital, Marina Industrial Development and livestock exporter Austrex, that Indonesia is currently "enjoying very good investor sentiment”.
    Earlier this month, Moody's revised the outlook on its ratings of Indonesian government debt from "stable" to "positive". Indonesia has also climbed 15 places to 91 in the World Bank's 2017 Ease of Doing Business index, from the previous rank of 106.
    But, Jokowi also told the participants that the conditions related to the recent regional elections posed a challenge to the economy, particularly when a religion-driven massive rally occurred late last year against the backdrop of the Jakarta gubernatorial poll. The rally turned violent, forcing Jokowi to postpone his visit to Australia initially scheduled for November.
    In the meeting, which later continued behind closed doors, the Australian businesspeople expressed confidence in “continuing their expansion in Indonesia", said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
    Australia’s investment in Indonesia reached US$168 million in 2015, with most going to mining and tourism sectors.

    Retno also played down any concerns about domestic politics, saying that having regional elections run peacefully in 101 regions was an achievement for Indonesian democracy. "So, there is nothing to worry [about]," she added.

    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is set to welcome Jokowi and First Lady Iriana in a private dinner at his residence on Saturday evening. (hwa)


    ———————————————————————-

    2) Factbox: Indonesia’s Huge Papua Mine Run by Freeport Long a Source of Friction
    By : Fergus Jensen | on 8:14 PM February 25, 2017



    Freeport's Grasberg mine holds more gold and copper reserves than any other in the world, but has frequently been a source of controversy over the revenue share Indonesia and Papua get from the mine and the impact of its tailing on local water systems. (SP Photo/Primus Dorimulu)

    US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan warned this week it could take the Indonesian government to arbitration and seek damages over a contractual dispute that has halted operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine.
    Freeport's Grasberg mine holds more gold and copper reserves than any other in the world, but has frequently been a source of controversy over the revenue share Indonesia and Papua get from the mine and the impact of its tailings on local water systems.

    Here are some facts on the Grasberg mine in Papua:
    Grasberg mine
    Freeport-McMoRan began mining in Papua in 1967, the first company to sign for mineral resource rights under a foreign investment law put in place by former President Suharto. Open-pit copper and gold mining at Grasberg began in 1990.
    Mining at the open pit, which is visible from space, is due to cease in late 2018, when underground mining will become the main source of copper ore.
    An estimated 94 percent of the mine's remaining reserves are recoverable only underground. As of December 2015, Grasberg accounted for 28 percent of Freeport's total recoverable proven and probable copper reserves of 99.5 billion pounds.
    In 2017, the mine is expected to account for 1.3 billion pounds of Freeport's global copper sales of 4.1 billion pounds.

    Labor and safety
    Freeport employs more than 32,000 in Indonesia, including 12,000 employees and 20,000 contractors. Around 97 percent of its workers are Indonesian nationals, many of them Papuan.
    The mine area suffers regular earthquakes, and torrential rainfall can trigger landslides. Its position on top of a mountain also means workers can suffer altitude sickness, and visibility is often poor due to thick mists.
    At least partly because of these factors, safety at the mine has been a longstanding source of friction with unions. A tunnel collapse that killed 28 workers in 2013 raised worries about Freeport's plans to ramp up its underground mining operation.
    Workers also staged a strike for three months in 2011, seeking a bigger slice of the revenue from record copper prices.

    Security and taxes
    Security at Grasberg has been volatile with pro-independence rebels in Papua waging a low-level conflict for decades. Analyst have also linked violence at or near the mine to conflicts between the police and military over security arrangements and related business ventures.
    Between 2009 and 2015, shootings within the mine project area killed 20 and wounded 59. To protect workers and infrastructure, Freeport contributed $21 million toward government-provided security in 2015.
    Freeport Indonesia is one of the largest taxpayers in Indonesia, with more than $16 billion paid to the government in royalties, taxes and dividends between 1992 and 2015.
    The Freeport unit is currently in a dispute over $469 million in water taxes and penalties claimed by Papua province that date back to 2011.
    The mine was at the centre of a scandal in 2015 after Indonesia's parliament speaker was accused of attempting to extort shares worth $1.8 billion from Freeport.
    Setya Novanto denied the allegations but resigned amid the scandal in December 2015. He was reinstated in November last year after an investigation was dropped.

    Economic impact 
    Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto —which is entitled to a share of Grasberg output via a joint venture signed in 1995 — have been targeted by campaign groups over alleged human rights and environmental issues at Grasberg.
    Rio Tinto has said it is considering exiting its interest in the mine, which has yielded no benefit for it since 2014, when exports were suspended for six months while Freeport negotiated mining and tax rules with Indonesia.
    On Sept. 9, 2008 one of Rio Tinto's major shareholders, Norway's sovereign wealth fund, sold its entire $850 million stake in the company citing environmental damage at Grasberg.
    Freeport was excluded by the Norwegian fund in June 2006 for the same reason.
    Reuters

    0 0


    West Papuan supporters in Sydney protest durning Jokiwi’s visit to Sydney (26 February).





    Gathering outside the Channel 7 studies in Martin Place, supporters then marched to the Sydney DFAT offices and on to the Sydney Town Hall.

    Speakers including West Papuan representative Lewis Prai spoke out about the Lombok Treaty, the military and the plundering of the resources of West Papua. 



    Malcolm Turnbull wrote   in an opinion piece  in the SMH on Saturday about Australias special  relationship with Indonesia.
    In the article he said 

    "Indonesia is a nation of extraordinary significance to Australia. 
    We share a commitment to values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law”. 

    Our West Papuan  friends would not agree with Malcolm Turnbull’s opinion that  Indonesian is now a democracy as the suffer from ongoing human rights abuses with thousands arrested in the past year simply for taking part in peaceful rallies.  These arrests go against the principles laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


    It is time that Australian governments dropped the mantra of “Indonesia is now a democracy and human rights abuses are a thing of the past”. The mass arrests of peaceful activists throughout the year proves otherwise. 

    Australia should follow the lead of the 7 Pacific leaders who raised the issue of West Papua at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2016.  Support the call by the Pacific Islands Forum for a PIF fact finding mission to West Papua and stop training the Indonesian military










































































































    --------------------------

    More photos from GLW Facebook page
    Protesters says: Remember West Papua!
    38 PhotosUpdated 41 minutes ago
    While Indonesian President Joko Widodo began his state visit to Australia protesters took to Sydney streets on Feb 26 to put the ongoing human rights abuses and denial of self-determination in West Papua on the public agenda. PM Malcolm Turnbull was expected to sweep this important issue under the carpet.

     Photos by Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle for Green Left Weekly.
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/greenleftweekly/photos/?tab=album&album_id=991131521018707




















    0 0

    2) Police alerted over possible unrest linked to freeport workers` layoff

    3) Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesia’s Joko Widodo patch up differences
    4) Australian and Indonesian leaders boost relations
    5) Jokowi, Australia PM Agree to Continue Military Cooperation

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/26/jokowi-turnbull-start-day-with-relaxed-morning-walk-around-royal-botanical-gardens.html

    1) Jokowi, Turnbull start day with relaxed morning walk around Royal Botanical Gardens

    Ina Parlina The Jakarta Post

    Sydney | Sun, February 26, 2017 | 10:21 am


    Good relations: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have a short walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. (Courtesy of the Presidential Office/File)

    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for a short walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday morning as the two leaders prepare to get into more serious business during a bilateral meeting around lunch time.
    About a year ago, President Jokowi took the Australian leader to Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta for a blusukan (impromptu visit).
    Just like any other Sunday, people were seen walking and jogging through the park, which borders the waters across the famous Sydney Opera House. Jokowi and Turnbull walked together without any apparent excessive security.
    In a relaxed ambience, Jokowi was introduced to some passersby, including a young Australian father carrying his infant in a baby-strap on his chest.
    "This is an example of a good father," said Turnbull when he and Jokowi chatted with the man.
    After wrapping up the morning walk, the two leaders will engage in a one-on-one meeting to discuss efforts to improve bilateral ties amid recent tensions in military training cooperation.
    Following the row, Jokowi reportedly suggested allowing Canberra to take part in joint patrols in the South China Sea, an issue that has sparked concerns from various elements at home.
    Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi refused to confirm whether the matter would be discussed during the meeting.
    Jokowi’s two-day visit to Australia is set to focus on strengthening trade and investment and maritime cooperation. Jakarta will push for the finalization of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). It is expected that the IA-CEPA will be concluded this year.
    Jakarta and Canberra are also set to sign two memorandums of understanding on cooperation in maritime affairs and the creative economy. (ebf)


    ————————————————

    http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/109628/police-alerted-over-possible-unrest-linked-to-freeport-workers-layoff

    2) Police alerted over possible unrest linked to freeport workers` layoff

    24th February 2017 | 1.306 Views
    Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Mimika Resort Police and other security officers are taking necessary steps to anticipate possible unrest as a result of massive layoffs of workers at PT Freeport and its affiliated privatization and contractor companies.

    Mimika Resort Police Chief Adj. Sr Comr victor Dean Mackbon said here on Thursday that the sending home and layoffs of workers by PT Freeport and its privatization and contractor companies have impact on the security and order in Mimika in general.

    "This needs serious attention as the impact of the crisis at PT Freeport has led to many employees to be sent home and to be laid off," Mackbon said.

    He said that the halt of PT Freeports concentrate exports since January 12 and stoppage of mining production activities since February 10, 2017 created social and economic impacts for workers and their families.

    Even, the conditions in Freeport could have wide impact on the political situation in the region. 

    "We will continue to provide calls and open communication center which we have agreed together with the regional governments and other stakeholders to provide solutions to the problem that is being faced now," Mackbon said.

    On Wednesday morning, the Mimika Resort Police held a special roll-call to check the readiness of personnel in anticipating the emergence of security and order disturbance after the layoff of workers at PT Freeport Indonesia.Out of the Shadows: Manila's Meth Dealers Back on the Streets as Cops Pull Back

    Based on the latest data, PT Freeport Indoinesia and its privatization and contractor companies have sent home and laid off over 1,000 workers in the last one week.

    It was earlier reported that PT Freeport Indonesia had stopped its production activities with effect from Feb 10, this year, following the governments objective to have greater control on raw mineral resources. 

    The government has proposed that the Special Mining Operations Permit (IUPK) should be used in place of the existing Contract of Work (CoW). 

    PT Freeport is reluctant to agree to the Indonesian governments proposal, especially since IUPK holders are obliged to divest up to 51 percent of the shares, which means they will no longer be in full control of the company. 

    (A014/H-YH)
    (T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/A/H-YH) 



    ————————————————-
    3) Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesia’s Joko Widodo patch up differences
    PRIMROSE RIORDANThe Australian12:00AM February 27, 2017 
    Indonesia and Australia have patched up their defence relationship after a dramatic public spat, on Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s long-awaited visit to Sydney, as the countries consider how to lower tension in the South China Sea.
    Indonesia also agreed to lower sugar tariffs for Australian export­ers from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, while Australia will cut tariffs for pesticides and herbicides coming into the country from Indonesian suppliers.
    Indonesia will also give Australian live cattle exporters more certainty by introducing longer, one-year permits and increasing export weight limits. Along with an increase in the age limit, the weight limit will increase from 350kg to 450kg for live feeder cattle.
    “The potential for us to expand our economic relationship is very clear,” Mr Turnbull said yesterday.
    Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the sugar and beef deals were significant wins ­because they enabled Australian sugar farmers to compete with other ASEAN countries on a more level playing field.
    Trade with Indonesia is worth $15 billion a year but compared with other nations, Indonesia is only the 11th largest trading partner with Australia.
    After Mr Widodo told The Australian last week he would raise the issue of joint Australian-Indonesian patrols in the South China Sea on the visit, foreign policy­ ­experts and Indonesian officials­ dampened expectations such a move would occur.
    “Indonesia is very wary of being seen to be aligned with a US ally on this particular issue.” Lowy Institute research fellow Aaron Connelly said.
    An Australian government source said the two governments were considering “co-ordinated’’ rather than joint patrols, which could involve intelligence sharing or staggered missions.
    One Indonesian government source said these co-ordinated ­patrols could occur in the Sulu Sea, off The Philippines, rather than in the South China Sea.
    The Indonesian military announced in January that it would suspend defence ties after offensive material was found at a Perth base where both countries’ special force­s conduct joint training.
    The head of Indonesia’s armed forces, General Gatot Nurmantyo, said the reason he made the decision to suspend military co-operation was “hurtful” teaching materials saying that West Papua, which Australia recognises as part of Indonesia, should be independent and other materials mocking Indonesia’s founding principles, the Pancasila.
    The suspension was then downgraded so it applied only to language courses partaken by ­Indonesian special forces.
    Malcolm Turnbull said these classes would now resume and full co-operati­on was restored.
    The leaders issued a joint statement and were careful to avoid ­direct criticism of China.
    The statement called on all countries to abide by the inter­national court ruling against Chin­ese-constructed islands in the contested waters.
    The leaders also signed a maritime co-operation agreement focused­ on “maritime border protection” and illegal fishing. Asked about the possibility of South China Sea patrols, Defence Minister Marise Payne simply pointed to the co-operation agreement.
    In a sign of the sensitivity of the West Papua issue, Mr Widodo began his statement by saying the Australian government had agreed not to interfere in Indon­esia’s domestic affairs.
    The Prime Minister reiterated Australia’s commitment to the Lombok Treaty, where Australia agreed to respect Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.
    “The bedrock of (the Australia/Indonesia relationship) is the Lombok Treaty and our absolute respect for, support for, solidarity with Indonesia, its territorial integr­ity,” Mr Turnbull said.
    The leaders said they expect to finish negotiations for the Indon­esia-Australia Comprehen­sive Economic Partnership Agreement by the end of the year. Mr Widodo said Indonesia would push for lower tariffs and restrictions on paper and palm oil.
    His comments came after the head of Indonesian investment policy, Thomas Lembong, said Australia imported too much palm oil from Malaysia. Meanwhile, Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission has been probing ­alleged dumping of A4 paper into the market by Indonesian firms.
    Australia will open new consul­ates in Surabaya, and Indon­esia is set to open three more Bahasa language institutes in Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney.
    Mr Widodo and his wife, ­Iriana, left Australia last night.
    —————————————

    4) Australian and Indonesian leaders boost relations
    February 26, 2017 11:30 pm JST
    From trade to military relations, the two neighbors are moving closer
    SIMON ROUGHNEEN, Asia regional correspondent
    JAKARTA -- Two neighbors with a fractious history sought to put recent disputes behind them as Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed at the weekend to restore military cooperation and reduce restrictions on some exports ahead of a possible free trade deal later this year.
    "Great result for Australian farmers. It will now be easier to export more sugar and beef to Indonesia," Turnbull tweeted on Sunday, referring to Indonesia's agreement to reduce tariffs on Australian sugar to 5% and allow more live cattle exports from Australia to the country of 250 million people.
    Widodo's Feb. 25-26 visit to Sydney was his second trip to Australia since he took office in 2014, and the first since he personally showed Turnbull around Jakarta in November 2015. That meeting came shortly after the Australian prime minister took power in Canberra, on the back of an internal Liberal Party coup against incumbent Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
    Just as Widodo took Turnbull on a meet-and-greet walk through some Jakarta street markets back then -- reprising his electoral campaign walkabouts known as blusukan -- Turnbull on Sunday took Widodo for an early morning amble through a downtown Sydney park, where the two leaders stopped to shake hands and make small-talk with joggers. In an earlier display of renewed bilateral bonhomie, the two former businessmen struck a cordial pose outside Turnbull's private residence in Sydney's eastern suburbs before a Saturday night dinner, posing with their wives in photos later posted on Widodo's official Twitter account.
    In a Sunday morning press conference, Widodo alluded to a litany of recent disputes between the neighbors, saying that a "robust" bilateral relationship "can be established when both countries have respect for each other's territorial integrity, noninterference into the domestic affairs of each other and the ability to develop a mutually beneficial partnership."
    Military diplomacy
    Ahead of the weekend announcement that the two countries had restored military cooperation, Australia apologized after Indonesia's defense forces complained about Australian army training material that allegedly insulted pancasila, Indonesia's official political philosophy. The Australian training manual also questioned Indonesia's governance of its territory on the island of Papua, the eastern half of which was controlled by Australia prior to Papua New Guinea's independence in 1975.
    That row that came more than a year after Canberra unsuccessfully sought to prevent the execution of Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were executed by firing squad in April 2015 after spending more than a decade in Indonesian jails on drug trafficking charges. Australian efforts to have the two men spared were dismissed by Jakarta as unwarranted interference in Indonesia's domestic judicial affairs.
    "There are plenty of serious problems that the two countries share and about which they differ," said Ariel Heryanto, lecturer in Indonesian studies at Australia's Monash University. "Neighbors sometimes have to live with the fact that some recurrent tensions will stay. Keeping them under control is what they can do."
    Widodo's two-day visit to Australia was a rescheduling of a four-day trip that had been planned for November 2016 but was postponed after Islamist groups staged mass demonstrations in Jakarta against the city's Christian governor, a Chinese-Indonesian ally of Widodo's. That resurgence of political Islam in Indonesia has caused disquiet in Australia, while Indonesia, for its part, has expressed "concern" over the revived prominence of the nativist One Nation party, along with party leader Pauline Hanson's recent calls for Australia to stop Muslim immigration and install surveillance cameras in mosques.
    ————————————————————————

    SUNDAY, 26 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 16:36 WIB
    5) Jokowi, Australia PM Agree to Continue Military Cooperation

    TEMPO.COJakarta - Indonesian government and Australia have agreed to respect each others` sovereignty.
    In a bilateral talk held in Kiribilli House, Sydney, on Sunday (26/2), both leaders will continue to maintain good relationship.
    President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said that good relationship can be attained if both countries respect each others’ territory.
    "We must not interfere in others’ domestic affairs and we must develop mutually beneficial relationship," Jokowi explained.
    In the meantime, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed that Australia will recognize and respect Indonesia’s sovereignity. He added that commitment towards 2006 Lombok Treaty has laid a foundation for strategic relationship and the securityof both countries.
    "Australia is fully committed to recognizing Indonesia’s sovereignity and territory," he said.
    Furthermore, both countries have also agreed to hold cooperation in several sectors. In defense and security, both countries agreed to continue a cooperation in military training.
    In the economic sector, both countries are committed to complete the proces of Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IACEPA) at the end of 2017. Perticularly in trade, President Jokowi expects the aolishment of tariff and non-tariff fee for Indonesian products such as paper and coconut oil.
    "In politics, I welcome a cooperation in terrorrism eradication and trans-national organize crime," President Jokowi added.
    Lastly, President jokowi and PM Turnbull witnessed the signing of memorandum of understanding in the filed of maritime.
    ADITYA BUDIMAN
    ——————————————

    0 0

    2 ) President Jokowi Concludes Visit to Australia
    3) Papua’s Bird of Paradise under threat, says WWF
    4) Jokowi warns investment board to keep rivalry mindset, speed
    ————————————————————————-


    1) Indonesia prepares company to manage Freeport
    Jakarta | Mon, February 27, 2017 | 02:08 pm
    The Indonesian government is now preparing state-owned aluminum producer PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) to manage a gold and copper mining site in Papua if the government can finally take over the mining site from PT Freeport Indonesia.
    “We can manage [Freeport]. We have Inalum. It is up to the state-owned enterprises ministry, but we are ready,” said Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan in Jakarta on Monday as reported by tempo.co.
    The government will take over of the mining site if it wins in the international arbitration tribunal.
    Previously, Freeport McMoRan president and CEO Richard C. Adkerson said the 2009 Mineral and Coal Mining Law stipulated that the CoW signed in 1991 was still valid, but the government had requested that Freeport convert the contract into a special mining license (IUPK).
    The company gave the government three months for negotiation and threatened to take the case to the international arbitration if the negotiation fails.
    Inalum, a company in Asahan, North Sumatra, is now prepared to lead mining companies in an effort to set up state-owned mining company holding, Luhut said.
    The minister stressed that the company has the capability to manage Freeport, the world largest copper and gold mining company.
    The government's plans to appoint Inalum to manage Freeport were supported by a member of the House of Representatives’ energy commission, Gus Irawan Pasaribu, who said the company had good performance in managing the aluminum producer, which was established in cooperation with the Indonesian government and Nippon Asahan Aluminium Co in 1976. (bbn)


    ———————————————-


    MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 09:50 WIB
    2 ) President Jokowi Concludes Visit to Australia

    TEMPO.COJakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo arrived in Indonesia on Sunday evening, February 26, after a two-day visit to Australia.
    Presidential secretariat spokesman Bey Machmudin said that the state visit and meetings have resulted in concrete results which include cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, politics, legal and security and improved people to people relations.
     
    In the field of economy, President Jokowi and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have agreed to conclude the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) by late 2017.
    Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said that Indonesia has gained access to herbicide and pesticide market. Australia’s imports of the two commodities are worth US$1.3-1.5billion.
    “[At present], Indonesia can only import US$50 million due to tariff barriers,” Enggartiasto said.
    The Indonesian government will adopt the same import duty set by ASEAN on sugar from Australia. “Indonesia will only shift [the source of import]. We will still import [sugar] but now some may be imported from Thailand, some may also be imported from Australia,” Enggartiasto said.
    On relaxed regulations on cattle, the government has set new a maximum weight of cattle of 440 kilograms from 350 kilograms. As such, cattle price will reduce by 1 US dollar per kilogram.
    As for paper exports to Australia, Foreign Minister Retno believes that Indonesia will not face any difficulty since it is the first Asian country to obtain a license under the Forest Law Enforcement Governance license and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA).
    In the field of politics, law, and security, the two countries have stepped up cooperation, such is in tackling transnational crimes and terrorism.
     
    In investment, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong said that Australian firms will invest Rp39 trillion in the next 3-5 years.
    Australian investments in Indonesia will cover a wide range of sectors, such as mining, marine tourism, infrastructure, water facilities and digital economy.
    To improve people to people relations, President Jokowi has launched 3 language centers in Perth, Melbourne, and Canberra. “The language centers are established to internationalize the Indonesian language,” Retno said.
    Australia currently hosts 20,000 Indonesian students while Indonesia is a favorite destination for Australian students in a program called New Colombo Plan.
    ANTARA
    ————————————————-

    3) Papua’s Bird of Paradise under threat, says WWF
    12:06 pm today


    Environmental group World Wildlife Fund is warning that the Bird of Paradise is at threat, particularly in Indonesia's Papua province.
    The group says the bird is considered sacred by Papuan tribes but it is increasingly becoming the target of illegal trading, taxidermy and poaching.
    It is advocating an eco-tourism approach, including bird watching, to help conserve the bird's population and provide value ot local communities.
    WWF spokesperson in Papua, Andhiani Kumalasari, said efforts must be made to save the bird before it's too late.
    "We must conserve the birds of paradise so the next generation - your children, your grandchildren, can still look directly [at] or find the birds of paradise in the forest - not in a book or on the internet or a picture - or just a story from their parents or grandparents or something like that."
    Andhiani Kumalasari says the bird's habitat, native forests, must also be protected if it is to survive.



    —————————————-


    4) Jokowi warns investment board to keep rivalry mindset, speed
    Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post

    Nusa Dua, Bali | Sat, February 25, 2017 | 04:29 pm

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has warned investment agencies not to lose against other countries in luring global investments, amid tight competition in the globalization era.
    The former businessman repeated the message five times in his speech in front of Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and 531 regional investment agencies’ (DPM PTSP) representatives during BKPM national coordination meeting in Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on Friday.
    “We live in a very tight regional and global competition era, when investors have many choices. It’s true we’re one an ASEAN member nation, and we hold hands when we meet, but I also think they are our rivals. If we don’t have that kind of [rivalry] sense, we may lose out,” he said.
    Besides the need to maintain a rivalry mindset, the President also warned them to optimize technology to accelerate the investment process. Unifying vision, standards and good coordination with the central government are also essential, according to Jokowi.
    “If we are not quick enough to adapt with the ever-changing technology, and if you don’t immediately adopt a unifying vision, standards and regulations with the central government, we could lose out,” he said. “Today, it’s not big countries beating the small ones or the strong beating the weak. It’s the fast beating the slow ones,” he remarked. (ags)

    0 0

    2) Papua religious leaders calls on government to consider locals` interest
    3) Showdown in Indonesia Brings World’s Biggest Gold Mine to Standstill
    4) PNG group unfairly held by Indonesia last year
    5) Minister: Gov’t Discusses to Take Over Freeport Mines  
    ——————————————————————



    1) Freeport needs to stand up to Indonesia over the CoW issue

    Will Hickey Associate professor for the School of Government and Public Policy in Jakarta
    Jakarta | Mon, February 27, 2017 | 05:28 pm


    A copy of draft revision to Government Regulation No. 23/2010 on the management of mineral and coal businesses obtained by The Jakarta Post late on Thursday. (The Jakarta Post/Rendi A. Witular)
    Normally, a 50-year mining project like Freeport’s Grassberg mine would deign it high time to turn its operations over to the local government, which would also be expedient politically.
    However, in this case, Freeport is correct to stand its ground against Indonesia in insisting its contract of work (CoW) be honored, extended and not converted into a licensing agreement that has the potential to seriously disrupt operations.
    Vincent Lingga in his Feb. 23 commentary in The Jakarta Post is wrong to paint this as an “arbitration ploy” by Freeport to block mining reform. Indonesia mining will certainly not reform with local owners bereft of legal enforcement. Why is this? Freeport is actually doing quite a good job with its localization initiatives in Papua, compared to that alternative, no localization. In other words, the operation is benefitting Indonesia not just with taxes, but also with human resource development.
    It is commonly held knowledge in the Indonesian mining industry that Freeport and Theiss have the best mining training programs in Indonesia, followed by Newmont and BUMI Resources (courtesy of their legacy Rio Tinto and BHP operations). Western standards do in fact matter.
    Freeport employs 32,000 people, many of them are well trained in best-practice mining standards and techniques, with good safety inculcated in their processes. This situation could/should be replicated in all Indonesian mining activities, not just Papua.
    The real fear is that if this mine is nationalized (effectively what the divestment is), training and localization in Papua will suffer inversely. Localized owners will not carry the same safety and training mandates that Freeport does. They will also probably want to cut any “non-essential” (read: safety and environmental) staff to the bone.
    If a licensing agreement (IUPK) is forced, local partners, via divestment, may insist on another avenue of production, with a lower environmental and safety risk profile, you can bet on that!
    Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is wrong to interject in this that a “management tweaking” is necessary. After her many run in with the Bakrie company she should know the reality.
    These potential suitors (namely insider oligarchs favored by the Indonesian government) are playing the Indonesian nationalization card. That is simply a means to an end for them to gain control of operations either directly (Freeport divestment) or indirectly (licensing regime).
    Once control is gained, any environmental promises or social obligations will quickly fly out the window because the Indonesian regulatory framework has weak enforcement power.
    One needs only look further than substandard mining operations in Kalimantan that have cratered the earth with black, water filled holes for coal, or strip mined vast areas of pristine jungle for iron ore strip mining, in both cases, driving out many native and endangered species.
    It is real and it has happened and will probably happen again. Freeport, as a US company, simply cannot play this game. If someone gets hurt, or standards are violated, they first of all will have to answer to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for any mal-activity that impacts shareholders.
    Second, they would be subject to proceedings in a US court for personal injury, where awards damages may be unlimited.
    An Indonesian company will be under no such qualms. The legal system on its own is far weaker here. If any doubt, consider the issue of uncontrolled peat burning in Sumatra, despite all the “laws” the all powerful palm oil industries continue to create haze unabated each year. Similarly, there will be no oversight authority looking out for the long-term welfare of Papuans.
    Building a smelter is critical, but the focus cannot be based on hardware alone. Freeport is obviously opposed to building a smelter as the Indonesian government has proven wishy-washy on this critical investment issue for political, not economic, necessity, by allowing some concentrate to be exported.
    If Indonesia is serious they need to have educational incentives in place that will enhance local know-how to actually run the smelter, lest they become giant turnkeys ran by foreign operators, mostly Chinese.
    Ores or concentrate or finished product? What’s it going to be presents a “moving target”. Only the Chinese via their non-capitalism driven state-owned companies can afford to play this game of potentially unrealized “pseudo-investment” of smelter building. Of the 32 new smelters built in Indonesia since 2012, most are Chinese made.
    Western companies that are responsible for quarterly profit statements to shareholders cannot take this risk.
    Therefore, equating Chinese state-owned companies that operate on a realpolitik level, and not a “profit statement” like Western ones, is comparing apples to oranges. Chinese are interested in long-term resource access and they will give and take as is politically expedient.
    Localization is the real key to the development of Papua, not more gimmicks like cheap fuel or cash transfers to locals.
    Those things can be manipulated by insiders and rent seeking government officials, however a strong jobs program can turn the outlaid rupiah up to seven times in a community. That is what is really needed for this country.
    By the time this goes to press it is unknown if Freeport will have either caved into Indonesia’s licensing demand and forfeit their longstanding contract or not. The Indonesian government should lay off Freeport until they in fact can offer a better jobs program for Papua locals than Freeport can. Right now, they can’t.
    The Indonesia companies, if they gain control, that want a piece of this divestment, will not feel obligated, environmentally or socially for this same ideal in Papua, but rather in spiriting profits out as quickly as possible. Papuans will suffer with local ownership and no enforceable regulatory regime in place. That’s the bottom line.
    ***
    The writer is associate professor at the School of Government and Public Policy, Jakarta and the author of Energy and Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Towards Effective Localization, Macmillan, 2017.

    ——————————————————

    2) Papua religious leaders calls on government to consider locals` interest


    6 hours ago
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Papua religious leaders have called on the government not to put aside the interest of the local community, amidst the dispute with the US mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia (FI).

    "We have called for Papuans rights to be placed as significant as the current controversy between the government and PT Freeport and the minister has agreed on that," Timika bishop John Philip Saklil said, after meeting Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan to discuss the issue here, on Monday.

    He has also called on the company to stop laying-off its workers.

    "Whether it would continue the operation or not, the environment should be recovered. In addition, other rights, such as the fund for local community, were still unclear," John stated.

    Negotiations between the government and Freeport are yet to create a positive impact to local people, he pointed out.

    Previously, activists from the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) had called on the government and PT Freeport to consider the environmental impact for Papua rather than its business contract.

    "Billions of tons of waste are spilled by PT Freeport into Papuas rivers. The environment around the mining has been deteriorated. There should be a special attention here," Melky Nahar noted.

    Melky also noted that the ministerial decree on mining export would also harm local Papuans.

    "I think the situation of Papuans living here is not considered seriously," he added.

    Freeport has often used issues such as lay-off, refusal to close mining operation from tribal chiefs, and threats to bring the case to international arbitration.

    However, the parent company Freeport McMoran Inc. has asserted that it would continue its operation in Indonesia despite possible failure to reach agreement on the contractual dispute with the government.

    (Reported by Afut Syafril/Uu.S022/INE/KR-BSR/A014)
    ————————————————————

    3) Showdown in Indonesia Brings World’s Biggest Gold Mine to Standstill

    Last Updated: February 27, 2017 10:00 AM
     Krithika Varagur
    JAKARTA-The American mining company Freeport-McMoRan has brought the world’s biggest gold mine, in the Indonesian province of West Papua, to a standstill. The corporation is butting heads with the Indonesian government over protectionist mining regulations. And now that Freeport has started to dismiss tens of thousands of workers, the local economy is poised to take a huge hit. In Mimika Regency, the West Papua province containing the Grasberg gold mine, 91 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is attributed to Freeport.
    Freeport Indonesia abruptly stopped production on February 10 and laid off 10 percent of its foreign workers. It employs 32,000 people in Indonesia, about 12,000 of whom are full-time employees. The freeze was a reaction to a shakeup in Freeport’s 30-year contract with the Indonesian government, signed in 1991. Indonesia has tried to levy additional obligations from Freeport in an attempt to increase domestic revenue from its natural resources. Freeport retaliated last week by threatening to pursue arbitration and sue the government for damages.
    The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources could not be reached for comment on the issue.
    Observers on the ground in Papua and from afar in Jakarta worry the shakeup will decimate the local economy and lead to violence in the historically unstable region. West Papua has long been a troubled territory in Indonesia and its independence movement has long been met with brutal military action.
    Activist concerns
    “I don’t think the government comprehended the social impact of the Freeport freeze in Mimika,” said Octovianus Danunan, editor of the Radar Timika, a local newspaper. “Freeport runs two hospitals here, gives hundreds of scholarships to local students, and of course, provides jobs to thousands of Papuans. With these layoffs, people are extremely worried; their lines of credit are vanishing as we speak.”
    “These layoffs have eliminated the livelihoods of a lot of people,” said John Gobai, a member of the Papua parliament. “We have heard from indigenous people here in Timika [the site of Freeport facilities] that people are becoming sick from stress. They are falling into an abyss of stress.”
    According to an internal Freeport report from 2015, about 36 percent of its full-time employees are native Papuans.
    “I suspect that, because they may lose their jobs, many employees will want to stage demonstrations… but then, ironically, they will be laid off because that’s the state policy. I think this whole situation is a human rights violation,” said Gobai.
    “Violence is a very big possibility,” said Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch researcher. “Timika is the wild, wild east of West Papua. It's the location of more than 3,500 security officers stationed along the 90-mile mining road, not to say Papuan guerrillas and hundreds of military deserters, all looking for a slice of the gold and copper mine. Shooting along the road is a regularity rather than an irregularity. I cannot imagine the situation if Freeport goes ahead with dismissing all 30,000 mining workers there.”
    Gobai said there have already been some protests on Freeport headquarters and he expects there will be more going forward.
    Freeport’s CEO Richard Adkerson told Reuters that the company was committed to staying in Indonesia, not least because about one-third of West Papua’s economy comes from the Grasberg mine.
    Freeport’s history in Indonesia
    On February 12, Adkerson issued a hard 120-day ultimatum to the Indonesian government to back down on its new demands or else face arbitration from the mining giant.
    Freeport’s involvement in Indonesia dates back to the Suharto military dictatorship, which signed over 250,000 acres of West Papuan territory in 1967.
    Freeport was the first foreign company to sign a contract with the new Indonesian government and, due in part to this history, it is now the single largest employer in all of Indonesia.
    The company enjoyed a complicated special relationship as a “quasi-state organization for Jakarta,” as Inside Indonesia details, throughout the Suharto era, but the relationship has cooled under subsequent, democratically elected presidents.

    The friction that led to this month’s impasse is a 2009 mining law that would require Freeport to build a $2.9 billion smelter (in order to move resource exports higher up in the value chain from just raw materials) and divest the majority of its shares to Indonesian ownership within 10 years.
    Freeport maintains that, since its current contract runs through 2021, it doesn’t need to act on the regulations yet. But Indonesian officials, led by Mines and Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan, have ramped up pressure for Freeport to convert its contract per the 2009 law to a “Special Business License,” which precipitated today’s standoff.
    Situation in flux
    Both Indonesia and Freeport are likely to see monetary losses from the clash, but Indonesia seems committed to asserting its terms for collaboration. The global commodities market for ore and other natural resources has also dipped in the last year, with a particular slowdown from China.
    The ground situation is likely to be in constant flux over the coming months as the Indonesian government gears up for a fight. On Monday, the government announced it is grooming a state-owned aluminum enterprise to take over the Grasberg mine if it wins arbitration with Freeport.
    “What the government really needs to think about is what compensation they can give to layoff victims in the present,” said Gobai. “These people are employees, but they are also citizens.”
    ———————————————-


    4) PNG group unfairly held by Indonesia last year

    A Papua New Guinea man says he and several countrymen were subject to unfair incarceration in West Papua by Indonesian authorities.
    23 minutes ago 
    The incident occurred early last year when a small group from PNG's Western Province travelled by boat to the Indonesian port of Merauke to sell traditional items to a local buyer.
    He said as was usual procedure, they first checked in with Indonesian soldiers manning the border post at Torassi, before sailing on to Merauke.
    Here they were arrested by intelligence officers, questioned and then kept under house arrest for two months, while their boat and products remained confiscated.
    One of the group, going by the name David John, said that among other spurious claims, they were charged with failing to get border clearance.
    "But we told them, no this is all lies. Big fat lies. We've never done that. We've proved it. I've all the photos here. I took shots at the Torassi border post, of the soldiers checking our outboard motor and dinghy, clearing us to leave for Merauke."
    While he and most of the group who had been held up by Indonesian authorities in Merauke were eventually able to return to PNG, without charge, they never retrieved their boat and goods.
    The leader of their group however remained incarcerated in Indonesia until this month - they are hoping he can return home soon.
    David John said they hadn't been compensated for their losses, adding that their families back home were very worried, not knowing what had happened to them.
    He said while PNG citizens crossing the border are routinely expected to provide permits, border authorities appear to turn a blind eye to the many Indonesian traders hawking their wares in PNG coastal villages.
    ———————————————————
    MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 15:10 WIB
    5) Minister: Gov’t Discusses to Take Over Freeport Mines  
    TEMPO.COJakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said that the proposal to have state-owned enterprises manage Freeport Indonesia's mines was delivered by State-Owned Minister Rini Soemarno. However, Luhut said that the government is currently discussing the mechanism to take over the mines.
    "That was the proposal of the State-Owned Minister, we’ll see in the future," Luhut said on Monday, February 27, 2017.
    Luhut explained that there is a possibility where state-owned enterprises would establish cooperation with the private sector to operate Freeport's mines. Luhut added that the issue is still open for many possibilities. "Well we could [pair] PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium [Inalum] with PT Aneka Tambang [Antam], or it could be Inalum, Antam, and the private sector," Luhut explained.
    Luhut however, cannot explain whether the government will decide to take over the mines by purchasing the company's divested shares, or wait until its contract of work expires.
    "We'll see what's best, the options are clear, there are regulations, and there are agreements," Luhut stated.
    Nevertheless, Luhut said that the government will continue to attempt to conduct negotiations with Freeport Indonesia in an attempt to find a win-win solution, without neglecting national interests.
    Luhut argued that the government will strive to find the best solution to avoid international arbitration. "No one should went to international arbitration, it would be a zero sum game," Luhut stated.
    DIKO OKTARA
    ——————————————

    0 0

    MSG Actions Disgrace to Melanesia: Tarimanu
    •  

    One of the Vanuatu former Senior Public Servant, Politician, customary chief and civil society leader, George Tarimanu, has come out publicly to express his views on the recent article on Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) carried by the Daily Post on February 24.
    The article was about the MSG Secretariat being sued.
    “It is a total disgrace to the Melanesian People and clearly shows that the MSG Leaders are no longer cooperating nor working together for the good name of the people of the Melanesian countries that the MSG is supposed to stand up for.
    “This is not the way the founders fathers of the MSG would have liked to see this happen.
    “Not only it has become a disgrace to the people of Melanesia, but it has also tarnished the good name of the MSG abroad and internationally,” says the man who, not only, has held many public and political post before, during and after independence, but is also a graduate from the Public Administration Institute in London, UK and was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth, towards the end of the British and the French rule in the late 1970s.
    “The MSG is a Melanesian institution which is highly regarded by the people of Melanesia as well as foreign governments around the world.
    “But the latest internal developments within the Secretariat, especially the alleged treatment of the staff employment conditions, is an indication of the failure on the part of the MSG leaders in keeping close professional monitoring in the internal operations of the MSG.
    “This is a total disgrace and a slap on the face of the MSG leaders,” says Tarimanu.
    He alleged that in his views, the MSG Leaders have failed to cooperate in the way the Melanesian leaders should, and instead, the past months have shown that the MSG leaders are divided on certain issues, giving example of the West Papua issue and application for full membership into the Melanesian Spearhead Group as well as the appointment of the Director General, which according to George Tarimanu, was a clear indication of divisions between the MSG Leaders.
    “It is high time the MSG leaders set their differences behind, if there are such differences within the MSG leadership.
    Member countries should step out into the Melanesian Nasara (public ground) and show the people of Melanesia and the world that they hold fast the vision founded by the fathers of the MSG,” he said.
    He calls on the MSG Secretariat to get its house in order.
    --------------------------

    0 0


    • 2) PT Agriprima Cipta Persada clears the Mahuze Kewamese Clan’s Ancestral Forest.


    • 3) Local administrations in Papua to get Freeport shares
    • ————————————————————————



    28 February 2017 / John C. Cannon

    • The emerging field of the environmental humanities provides researchers with the tools and frameworks to understand the interplay of environmental change, justice and power. Mongabay spoke with one of its leading practitioners.


    • The environmental humanities pull together the tools of the anthropologist and the biologist.
    • Anthropologist Eben Kirksey has studied the impact of mining, logging and infrastructure development on the Mee people of West Papua, Indonesia, revealing the inequalities that often underpins who benefits and who suffers as a result of natural resource extraction.
    • Kirksey reports that West Papuans are nurturing a new form of nationalism that might help bring some equality to environmental change.

    Indonesia’s West Papua holds some of the largest remnants of old-growth tropical forest on the planet. Yet the region faces increasing pressure to share its riches with the rest of the world. Mining companies have dug for gold and copper, leaving scars visible from space. Loggers have razed rainforest and built highways into previously remote areas. And with Indonesia as a whole producing half the world’s palm oil, the hunt for new plantation sites threatens to fragment what’s left of the region’s standing forest.
    These development projects have taken place as Indonesia has divided the territory, splitting the western half of the island of New Guinea into West Papua and Papua in the 2000s.
    Indonesia’s West Papua holds some of the largest remnants of old-growth tropical forest on the planet. Yet the region faces increasing pressure to share its riches with the rest of the world. Mining companies have dug for gold and copper, leaving scars visible from space. Loggers have razed rainforest and built highways into previously remote areas. And with Indonesia as a whole producing half the world’s palm oil, the hunt for new plantation sites threatens to fragment what’s left of the region’s standing forest.
    These development projects have taken place as Indonesia has divided the territory, splitting the western half of the island of New Guinea into West Papua and Papua in the 2000s.


    Map of the region of West Papua (in red) on the island of New Guinea. Map courtesy of Eben Kirksey
    Eben Kirksey, an anthropologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has spent nearly two decades investigating what the push for natural resources has meant for the people of West Papua. His own discipline has left him uniquely positioned to dig deeper into the crossroads of changes to the ecological environment and to our ways of life.
    “Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences, and the most scientific of the humanities,” Kirksey said, quoting cultural anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber.
    But Kirksey is also a leader in the emerging discipline known as the environmental humanities, drawing from the tools of both anthropologists and biologists.
    Mongabay spoke with Kirksey to discuss his recent article, published in the journal South Atlantic Quarterly, which looks how the balance of power metes out – often inequitably – the consequences and benefits of harvesting natural resources and of the ensuing changes to the environment. In his essay, he explores how the Mee people of the village of Unipo adapt to clear-cutting of the forest that had been their home for centuries, and the ways in which the construction of a road, originally intended to shuttle timber from the hinterlands, set different parts of society on a collision course.
    During the conversation, Kirksey also delves into current politics and how a more constructive, nascent form of nationalism arising in West Papuan communities might bring some equality to the sharing of nature’s largesse.

    Mongabay: Can you explain what environmental humanities is and how it’s emerging as a discipline right now?
    Eben Kirksey: Basically, biologists used to study the domain of nature, and anthropologists, which is my own discipline, used to study culture. Folks in the environmental humanities are interested in the intersection of the two, where nature and culture meet. People are studying the dynamics of power, how political and economic systems influence that nature-culture dynamic, and asking this question of who benefits when species meet. We are thinking about who lives and dies amidst encounters amongst humans and other kinds of life – how clear cutting a rainforest or having an industrial project impinges upon particular communities.
    Mongabay: In your essay, you talk about how these dynamics affect individuals’ lives but then also the global balance of power.
    Eben Kirksey: Yeah, it’s a really exciting moment because a lot of people are using these new tools to follow global assemblages [and] be really specific in tracing how a commodity moves, for example, through pipelines or through transnational shipping systems [and how they] change people and ecological communities all along the way. A lot of folks are also looking at chemicals on a global scale that are in the atmosphere, like carbon, that are changing the very possibilities of life on Earth.
    I think we’re getting increasingly specific in terms of how we link things up. What sorts of lives and deaths matter in this world that I inhabit? What sorts of chemicals impinge upon my existence? What sort of consumer choices do I make that are shaping this world that I’m creating here but also the global assemblages that let my life exist in this particular moment?
    Mongabay: You talk about the differences you observed between your first arrival in the late 1990s and your return in 2015. What was most striking?
    Eben Kirksey: I’ve been back a number of times since the late ’90s. I think one different thing was just a real sense of hope and possibility [then]. On the heels of the resignation of this dictator, President Suharto, who had been in office for 32 years, there was this real sense of political possibility. He left office in May ’98, and I got there a couple of weeks later.
    Within Indonesia, this archipelago of some 12,000 islands, there was a sense that a democratic reform project could be actualized. In 1999, East Timor got independence. West Papua had high hopes that they would get independence with momentum building toward the year 2000, the new millennium, as a new president took office in Indonesia.
    I was visiting rural places – spaces by the side of the road that had only emerged recently in the last few years as a logging company clear cut the forest and built a road connecting the lowlands with the highlands. A lot of extraction projects were going on, and there was also a sense of hope and possibility with development projects, even as people were in vulnerable and precarious situations.
    Over the next couple of decades, the vulnerabilities and precarities that people were experiencing intensified at the same time that this sense of political possibility started to evaporate. As those hopes were dashed, people started to still hold onto dreams of getting liberated from this military occupation, amidst the everyday violence, amidst targeted killings of leaders, but also just everyday killings like the one that I describe in the article – teenagers basically getting assaulted by the police with very little pretext.
    Against the backdrop of that ongoing violence, I think that hope for a change that resolves all of this politically, the possibility of that political outcome, is increasingly elusive.


    Oge Bage Mee children washing sweet potatoes. Photo by Eben Kirksey
    Mongabay: In the essay, you talk about the fragility of happiness in a touching story about the young people you spent time with there. Later, you talk about the fragility of that moment. Was that a way of capturing that sense of possibility and then what’s happened since?
    Eben Kirksey: I spent many of my days just foraging for edible insects with children who learned that in clear-cut rainforests, you have a proliferation of these delightfully tasty treats. This was a sort of happiness amidst tragedy, right? Yeah, I did find, as with a lot of forms of happiness, it was fragile, and this space of hope was destroyed in the coming years.
    Mongabay: When you returned, you found that several of those kids died of malaria. That’s a poignant example of how those changes to ways of life and to the environment around us affect us.
    Eben Kirksey: When I came back a few years later, a lot of these young children were dead. Many people had just fled. Often, when there’s a disease outbreak, people just disperse. In fact, [the strategy that] let these people live with malaria was being constantly on the move. Depending on the mosquito species, from the time they bite someone infected with malaria to re-infecting a new person, that’s usually about 30 or 60 days. If you’re constantly on the move, if you’re living in these bivouacs in the forest and shifting your location, you’re not going to get exposed to malaria epidemics.
    This local tragedy is situated in a national context where Indonesia has used public health measures to protect certain people from malaria and while letting other people die. If you travel to Bali, for example, an international tourist destination, or if you travel to Jakarta, you’re going to be protected from malaria.

    Mongabay: In the essay, you discuss the construction of the Trans-Papua Highway and about how it brings different social groups together. Can you talk about the story you used to illustrate that?
    Eben Kirksey: Basically, a young man was shot dead by the side of the road – Yoteni Agapa, whose dog was killed by a speeding car. This group of boys got mad when the dog was killed and the driver sped away, so they instituted an impromptu road block and started asking other cars for money. [The Trans-Papua Highway] was built by a logging company across indigenous land that didn’t formally pay any of these people for that right to cross their land.
    This acute incident of a dog getting killed, coupled with longstanding senses of social inequality [and] economic injustice connected to this road, made the boys start stopping cars and saying, ‘Hey, our dog was killed. We’re mad. Give us five bucks.’ The amount of money they asked for was basically the equivalent of a local meal at a nearby food stall.
    Those drivers got mad. They went back to local security forces and told [them] what was going on, that there was this roadblock happening, and the security forces came back and started shooting the children. A number of the children sustained wounds and managed to run away. Yoteni Agapa was shot repeatedly and then his body was mutilated after he was killed.
    Mongabay: When you and your colleagues reported the incident to the UN, “Power continued to function predictably,” you write. What did you mean by that?
    Eben Kirksey: I studied this incident in collaboration with some regional human rights defenders. We wrote up a short allegation to the United Nations [and] filed this with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. And it was filed away. It exists in an archive somewhere, and nothing happened.
    There are decisions being made that certain kinds of people don’t matter as much as others. The fact that a young black boy can get shot dead by the side of the road in West Papua, or in Ferguson, [Missouri,] or in many other sites in Africa or Europe, the fact that these killings are happening all the time – there aren’t adequate international legal institutions for dealing with this. I think it’s something that needs to be interrogated on a global level.
    Mongabay: Can you relate that to what you’ve seen in West Papua, Indonesia, and perhaps the difference between the nationalism you talk about in your first book, Freedom in Entangled Worlds, and the nationalism we’re seeing globally now?
    Eben Kirksey: Yeah, I think there’s a return to a certain form of nationalism that is dangerous in the United States right now. In contrast, my first book, about West Papua, is all about rediscovering the promise of nationalism.
    If you look at the long history of colonization, the nations of early modern Europe were formed through the exploitation of India, Africa, Southeast Asia, [and] the Americas. We are at a moment where people in the United States could reclaim the positive aspects of nationalism. In the case of West Papua, I found people harboring these dreams, not of this return to the tribe, this return to a place where it would just be Papuans and all the outsiders would just be killed or expelled, but a post-colonial situation where they’re learning to live more responsibly with their global entanglements.
    Mongabay: How is that playing out in West Papua?
    Eben Kirksey: There’s this big U.S. gold mine there called Freeport McMoRan. To paint it with a very broad brush, they’re basically stealing the natural resources of West Papua. The largest gold deposit known is in West Papua, and that wealth is being taken away, channeled to the Indonesian government in the form of taxes, to this U.S. corporation, which is making profits and distributing the gold around the world so that we have wires in our cellphones and computers as well as wedding rings.


    A picture of the open-pit Freeport McMoRan mine, taken by an astronaut in June 2005 at an elevation of 353.7 kilometers (191 nautical miles). The hole is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. Photo ISS011-E-9620 courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory
    The West Papuans [are] not envisioning a world where they’re going to claim all that wealth for themselves and say that nobody else deserves to have a share. Papuans want to channel the theft of that natural resource into a gift, with all the obligations that gift giving entails. When you give someone a gift, very often, especially in a place like Melanesia, certain things are expected in return.
    When the U.S. has a USAID program or the Soviet aid programs in the Middle East or Afghanistan, this is shaping foreign policy. Papuans want to give away their gold as a gift. They want to make sure that the people of Indonesia are fed. They’re imagining a new ethical world order where nationalism isn’t done away with, but very clear ethical principles inform how this excess wealth, how the valuable things on their land, might be redistributed.
    Mongabay: Is there anything else you would like to add?
    Eben Kirksey: In concluding about West Papua, I would like to say it’s an incredibly vibrant, beautiful, amazingly dynamic place. As people often hear about the ongoing genocide, the political problems, that fact is lost. There are all sorts of surprising encounters you can have there. It is still, outside of the Amazon, one of the largest undisturbed tracts of rainforest in the world. This is very quickly getting destroyed by oil palm plantations.
    I’d just like to draw people’s attention to this remarkably beautiful, dynamic and surprising part of the world.

    CITATIONS:

    • Kirksey, E. (2017). Lively Multispecies Communities, Deadly Racial Assemblages, and the Promise of Justice. South Atlantic Quarterly, 116(1), 195-206.
    • Kirksey, E. (2012). Freedom in entangled worlds: West Papua and the architecture of global power. Duke University Press.
    Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
    FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.
    —————————————————

    https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1493

    2) PT Agriprima Cipta Persada clears the Mahuze Kewamese Clan’s Ancestral Forest.

    Titus Mahuze, a resident of Afkab Makmur village in Muting District, Merauke Regency, has complained about how oil palm company PT Agriprima Cipta Persada has cleared land and ancestral forest belonging to the Mahuze Kewamese, without meeting with the community first and obtaining their agreement.
    In 2015, PT ACP started to conduct a survey of land potential and concession boundaries within the ancestral land of the Mahuze Kewamese and Basik-Basik Alizan clans. The company carried out this work without holding a meeting to reach a consensus or waiting for the Mahuze Kewamese clan to reach their decision. In April 2016, PT ACP followed this up by clearing the ancestral forest and bulldozing the land which has now been planted with oil palm.
    The people did not resist and made no effort to stop the company’s work. “Our clan-members could only watch and accept submissively, there was nothing we could do”, said Titus Mahuze, the leader of the Mahuze Kewamese clan.
    There had once been an invitation to engage in negotiations over its use of the land, in the presence of the Mahuzes as well as other clans that own land in the area in 2014. That meeting was attended by the village head, members of the military and Titus Mahuze, but PT ACP was not present and nor were other clan members.
    “The meeting was a failure and we erected markers as a customary prohibition against using land, forest and sago groves belonging to the Mahuze Kewamese clan, but then the company cleared our forest anyway”, Titus Mahuze said.
    PT ACP promised it would give compensation money for the clan’s land which would be cleared and turned into an oil palm plantation. However the Mahuze Kewamese clan has still not received this money and does not even know how much it is supposed to be, and no agreement has been reached about the use of this land – even though the trees have already been felled and the land planted with oil palm.
    This entry was posted in Merauke News and tagged  . Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.



    ———————————————————-
    3) Local administrations in Papua to get Freeport shares
    Jakarta | Tue, February 28, 2017 | 04:34 pm
    Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan has said local administrations in Papua will get shares from PT Freeport Indonesia when the company divests its 51 percent shares, as required by a new regulation.
    “Yes, they [the administration] will get [the shares]. The percentage of shares will be discussed later,” Luhut said after meeting with Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng in Jakarta on Tuesday as reported by tempo.co.
    Luhut said the central government would also discuss with relevant parties the mechanism for which the shares would be transferred to local administrations.  
    Meanwhile, after the meeting, Eltinus said Luhut mentioned the figure would be between 10 percent and 20 percent, which Luhut said had been demanded by the regent. 
    Eltinus said the shares for Papuans would be distributed to the Papua administration, Timika administration and the people holding rights to customary communal land near the copper and gold mining site.
    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed on Jan. 11 Government Regulation (PP) No. 1/2017, a revision to PP No. 23/2010 on the implementation of the mineral and coal mining business.
    Under the regulation, mining companies are required to construct a smelter as a precondition for them to export the concentrates.
    The companies, including Freeport, are also required to change contracts of work (CoW) to a special mining license (IUPK). With the IUPK, foreign companies are also required to divest 51 percent of their shares. (bbn)

    0 0


    2) Malalilis oh Malalilis, what fate has befallen you?
    ————————————————————-

    1) Mimika regent wants Freeport to construct smelter in regency
    Jakarta | Wed, March 1, 2017 | 08:12 am
    Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng has urged PT Freeport Indonesia to develop a smelter in the Papuan regency rather than constructing the facility outside of Papua.

    “The President and Pak Luhut had given their support to our wish for the smelter to be in Timika,” said Eltinus, referring to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as reported by tempo.co on Tuesday.

    Previously, there was plans to develop the smelter outside of Papua because of power shortages in the province.

    Speaking to the press after meeting with Luhut in the latter’s office, Eltinus said his administration had prepared 300 hectare plots of land in Timika, the capital of Mimika regency, to show to Freeport the area was suitable for the smelter’s location.

    Eltinus said the construction of the smelter would create employment for Papuan people, many of whom had finished their university studies and needed jobs.

    “We have to create jobs in various ways,” said Eltinus, adding that Freeport needed to do more to help the Papuan people.

    On Jan. 11, Jokowi signed Government Regulation No. 1/2017, the fourth amendment to a previous 2010 regulation on the implementation of mineral and coal mining businesses.

    Under the regulation, mining companies have to construct smelters as a precondition for them to be allowed to export mineral concentrates out of the country. (bbn)

    ————————————————
    This entry was posted in Around West Papua and tagged  . Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

    2) Malalilis oh Malalilis, what fate has befallen you?

    Malalilis is a village belonging to the Moi people in Sorong Regency, Papua Barat Province. The village is located quite far from the main road and with few inhabitants, but with an immense forest. What is it like now? Maybe it was because the forest was so vast and the inhabitants sparse that outsiders considered that the forest had no owner, and so cleared 40,000 hectares and planted an oil palm plantation. This area used to be part of a logging concession,but has now been converted into a lease title for cultivation. Now the Moi people in this place live a precarious live in the middle of an oil palm plantation owned by PT Henrison Inti Persada (HIP) What follows are the stories of the inhabitants, recorded when participants in the Conference for Indigenous Communities affected by Investment in the Land of Papua visited on Sunday, 4th December 2016. How sad it was….!
    “We’re not against development, but as we understand it, development has to benefit us too. But what has been happening? They tear down our forest, they don’t respect us, their behaviour towards us is as if we weren’t the landowners. Some of the ways they treat us include: We’re not allowed to walk around the plantation in search of food during the daytime, they say if we want to look for food, go ahead, but just do it at night-time; 2) We are not able to keep livestock at home. They go from house to house and kill our animals, especially dogs, but those are the dogs we use to go hunting and find food”
    “There’s a lot more we have to put up with. We’ve shouted about this all over the place, but it seems that all the doors are closed for us. Our young people who fight for our rights are just arrested by the police and put in prison. And then the men or women who work as labourers on the plantation, they have been fired without a reason and without severance payments. And at the same time, we no longer have the forest with which to sustain ourselves.”
    “Even more cruelly, we used to work for the company when it first started, and when we were thirsty and asked for water to drink, they just said to us to drink the water from the ditch. Before the forest was felled we could drink water from pools, swamps, rivers, and even without boiling it we never got sick. Now they use so many chemical sprays and then tell us to drink the water. Where do you come from? Who are you anyway? Why are we being told to drink ditch-water full of chemical sprays?”
    “They have cleared land for smallholdings [a contractual obligation to provide a new livelihood for local people- tr]. They’ve felled our forest down to the bare earth, and you can see for yourself the weeds and thick undergrowth over there. We don’t know if there’s any government looking after us or not, because it seems that they’re just leaving us on a road to obliteration. The women that work have to leave for work at 4.00am, and what about the children they leave at home, our future generation? Are they deliberately trying to wipe us out? Are we citizens or aren’t we? If a woman is suffering from period pains and wants medicine from the clinic, she has to show sanitary pads as proof before they will attend to her.”
    “Now it is as if we are living in prison. If we want to leave to the city we need to report to the security post and it’s the same when we arrive back home. Being treated like this drives us to oppose the planting of oil palm trees on the smallholding land. Just leave the cleared forest, leave it alone, eventually the forest wil grow back”
    This village’s position, in the interior, far from the main road, means that such improper treatment can take hold more freely. In a more crowded place which people could get to more easily, then we would see that the people who do these things would be more cautious. The situation is similar in Merauke (southern Papua), where a subsidiary of a large palm oil company has taken up position near the mouth of the Digoel River, which is diffucult for many people to get to, and a local indigenous landowner has reported that injustice, intimidation and land grabbing are all established practices. If this sort of thing is happening, then who is actually breaking the law in this country? Is it them or us? Be aware that the people who are destroying us – and indeed this country – is not us, it is them. Let’s hope that this destiny is not a curse on us, God help us.
    By Pastor Felix Amias, SKP Merauke Archdiocese, December 2016.
    -------------------------

    0 0

    Vanuatu, High-Level Segment - 8th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council 
    1 Mar 2017 - H.E. Mr. Ronald Kay Warsal, Minister of Justice and Community Services of Vanuatu    

    —————

    His statement below on ULMWP webpage 

    https://www.ulmwp.org/vanuatu-minister-justice-addresses-un-human-rights-council-behalf-seven-pacific-nations
    Vanuatu Minister of Justice addresses UN Human Rights Council on behalf of seven Pacific nations
    Statement delivered by the Hon. RONALD K WARSAL (MP) 
    MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
    34TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
    1ST MARCH 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND


    Mr. President
    Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates Ladies and Gentlemen.
    The Republic of Vanuatu is very pleased to address this meeting.
    Today, I am speaking on behalf of both Vanuatu and six other nations of our Pacific region: Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands
    Mr. President, we seven have come together today – and in a separate written joint statement – in order to draw the attention of the distinguished members of the UN Human Rights Council to the grave situation in West Papua.
    Mr. President, specifically, we focus your attention on a number of recent pronouncements by mandate holders of this Council about serious Indonesian violations of the human rights of indigenous Papuans:
    • The recent joint letter issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
    • The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
    • The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples;
    • The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;
    • And the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    We also draw attention to other accounts of Indonesian state violence in West Papua, including:
    • communications from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, referring to killings and arrests of Papuans;
    • numerous well-documented reports of extrajudicial executions of activists and the arrests, beatings and fatal shootings of peaceful demonstrators, including high school students;
    • and reports of persistent violence against Papuan women.
    We note that in the last fifteen years the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights has collected evidence of gross human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in three principal areas of West Papua: Wasior, Wamena, and Paniai. The Commission has described the sets of cases in the first two places as crimes against humanity, which are punishable under Indonesian and international laws.
    We want further to highlight another broad aspect of human rights violations – the Indonesian government policy over many decades and continuing until today of the migration of non-indigenous Papuans to West Papua, leading to a dramatic decline in the percentage of the indigenous Papuan population.
    Mr. President, to date, the government of Indonesia has, however, not been able to curtail or halt these various and widespread violations. Neither has that government been able to deliver justice for the victims. Nor has there been any noticeable action to address these violations by the Indonesian government, which has, of course, immediate responsibility and primary accountability.
    Furthermore, the Indonesian government has consistently been unable to submit the required periodic human right reports and reviews, which are an essential international norm by which the United Nations secretariat and member states monitor human rights around the world. These written assessments are critical to identifying and eradicating torture, racial discrimination and human rights violations generally.
    Mr. President, in light of these violations and the Indonesian government’s inaction, we call on the UN Human Rights Council to request the High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce a consolidated report on the actual situation in West Papua.
    The High Commissioner’s report needs to take account of the information in existing Treaties, Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review, as well as reports from other international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations.
    The report should also detail the various rights under the International Bill of Human Rights and the related conventions, including the right to self-determination.
    And the report must make recommendations for immediate action to halt the pattern of human rights violations as attested to by the numerous Special Procedures and other bodies noted earlier.
    Finally, we ask for full and unreserved cooperation with the High Commissioner in the fulfilment of this mandate, including provision by Indonesian authorities of complete access to any persons in West Papua deemed appropriate to meet in the compilation of this report.
    Mr. President, as I close, we believe that challenges of West Papua must be brought back to the agenda of the United Nations.
    Thank you once again for the opportunity to express my views in this forum. Long God Yumi  Stanap. In God we stand. Thank you.

    0 0














older | 1 | .... | 111 | 112 | (Page 113) | 114 | 115 | .... | 160 | newer