1) Papua asks for 10 percent in Freeport divestment
Fedina S. Sundaryani The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, March 22, 2017 | 06:09 pm
The Papua administration has requested a 10 percent share of divested shares of copper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia if the company abides by a requirement to sell 51 percent of its shares to national entities.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe met President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday to discuss the standoff between Freeport Indonesia and the government and how it would affect the province.
A similar request has also been made by Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng.
"This is our country and we must maintain our sovereignty. This is why 51 percent of its shares must be divested to us and we [in Papua] want 10 percent of them," Lukas said.
"The President completely agreed with our stance on Freeport. Papua and Jakarta are fighting for the same thing."
Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport McMoRan, has refused to accept a government demand that it convert its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK). The company argues that an IUPK would effectively annul its CoW, signed in 1991.
Freeport says it does not want to give up the rights listed in its present CoW, including protection of its long-term investment. It has threatened to take the case to international arbitration if a mutual agreement is not met in the next few months.
Freeport is required to divest 51 percent of its shares to national entities and, as stipulated in a new regulation, develop smelters alone or with other companies. (bbn)
2) Caledonian Sky destroyed more than 18,000 m2 of pristine Raja Ampat reefs, survey concludes
Jakarta | Wed, March 22, 2017| 07:10 am
Survey teams from the government and the insurance company for the British-owned MV Caledonian Sky, which ran aground on coral reefs in West Papua’s famous Raja Ampat, have reached a conclusion regarding the area damaged by the cruise ship.
“The two teams have agreed that the ship damaged 18,882 square meters and both teams have signed an official letter together,” the deputy for maritime sovereignty at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said in press statement on Tuesday.
The damaged area has been divided into two categories. Some 13,270 square meters were heavily damaged while 5,612 square meters suffered medium damage. Still, the reefs damaged to a medium extent had only a 50 percent chance of survival, Havas said.
“If the medium-damaged coral reefs die then the area will be counted as total damage,” he said, adding that it would impact the valuation of the losses in parallel with the compensation claim.
Furthermore, the two survey teams had agreed to conduct a follow-up analysis, Havas said. The teams will meet in Jakarta to discuss the final survey results in the first week of April.
Jakarta. Palm oil is an important commodity for Indonesia's economy, contributing $17.8 billion, or about 12 percent, to its export revenue.
While this year the production of crude palm oil is likely to increase 16 percent, to up to 33 million tons, with expected conducive weather conditions, environmental issues and social conflicts continue to overshadow the sector's future in the world's biggest palm-oil producing country.
Just earlier this month, the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) approved a set of recommendations to the European Commission, which will phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biodiesel by 2020 and require exporters to prove responsible cultivation practices on their plantations.
A report prepared by the European Commission says that as the demand for palm oil is estimated to double by 2050, it poses severe environmental damages to oil-producing countries such Indonesia, Malaysia and others in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Palm oil industry has been accused of causing deforestation, environmental degradation, and human rights violations ranging from land disputes to child labor.
The report is due for a vote in the European Parliament on April 3-6.
In response to the report, Indonesian experts, executives of an organization seeking to promote sustainable development, and a former government official, have started to defend the industry that employs millions.
"This is a real black campaign, involving conflicts of interests, and deriving from trade competitors," said Bayu Krisnamurthi, former deputy minister of trade and agriculture in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's cabinet.
Bayu is now the chairman of the Indonesian Society of Agricultural Economics, which provides expertise to the agricultural sector.
In November 2013, the EU set duties of 8.8 percent to 20.5 percent for Indonesian palm oil producers to apply for five years. It argued that by imposing duty on the raw products, an advantage will be given to domestic producers.
The Indonesian government's is going to file a complaint to the World Trade Organization against the duties.
Petrus Gunarso, a member of the Indonesian Forestry Scholars Association (Persaki), rebutted the claim that Indonesia's palm oil industry is the main contributor to the country's deforestation, claiming that most of the palm oil plantations, which currently cover about 11 million hectares, were previously rubber plantations.
Petrus said that many farmers had converted their plantations as the price of rubber has been declining and palm oil cultivation is more profitable.
"That's why the sizes of our rubber plantations have shrunk," he said, adding that plantations are also established on degraded forests, which the government classifies as non-forest estates.
"By Indonesian law, that's not deforestation," Petrus said.
While palm oil producers may need to work more on convincing Europeans to buy their products, at home they have to deal with social conflicts, especially regarding land disputes.
The Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development, IBCSD, has commissioned a team to study the costs of these conflicts.
Using 2016 data from five plantations in Kalimantan and Sumatra, the team concluded, in a report titled "The Cost of Conflict in Oil Palm in Indonesia," that the tangible costs of social conflicts ranged from $70,000 to $2.5 million. The biggest direct costs were income losses due to disrupted operations.
The intangible costs, according to the report, ranged from $600,000 to $9 million, and were due to reputational losses, casualties and property damage.
The reputational losses, according to the study, affect the companies' ability to obtain loans, decrease the demand for their products and their stock market value.
"Conflicts are going to exist in all industries, it's our homework now to find the most feasible solutions for the companies and communities," said Aisyah Sileuw, president director of consulting firm Daemeter, which published the report.
As the infamous commodity makes the industry the most favorite one to bash on, Aisyah believes it is "impossible to get rid of it," not only because of the huge export revenue it generates, but also since 40 percent of the country's smallholders depend on palm oil.
Petition seeks NZ govt stand on abuses in West Papua
18 minutes ago
New Zealand’s parliament has been presented with a public petition urging government action on the human rights situation in West Papua.
Maire Leadbeater presents her petition asking urging the government to address the ongoing human rights situation in West Papua. Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate - Cox
Activist Maire Leadbeater and Murray Short, who was representing the Religious Society of Friends (or Quakers), presented their petition, with 729 signatures on it, to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committee.
This petition focuses on continued abuses of the right to freedom of expression and assembly in Indonesian-ruled Papua, citing thousands of arrests of people taking part in peaceful demonstrations last year.
Earlier this month in Geneva, seven Pacific nations called on the UN Human Rights Council to request that the High Commissioner for Human Rights produce a consolidated report on "the actual situation in West Papua".
Ms Leadbeater said their petition simply asked government to recognise the abuses and to take a strong stand on them.
“And we've suggested specific things, like calling for the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression to go to West Papua, and we've suggested that they take this up at the Pacific Islands Forum, and get them to support this, and also at the United Nations."
Maire Leadbeater (right) and Murray Short (left) present a petition to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee urging the government to address human rights issues in West Papua. Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate - Cox
"We obviously put this petition forward in the context of serious concerns about grave and ongoing rights abuses," Ms Leadbetter explained.
"But we have to go step by step. An important first step would be to make it possible for there to be much freer access to West Papua, and for the Indonesians to have to take note of the fact that the rest of the world won't accept that they just go on arresting people who do nothing more than peacefully protest."
The committee thanked Ms Leadbetter for her presentation, with several MPs expressing appreciation at gaining a slightly better understanding of the situation in Papua, which remained a blindspot for many New Zealanders.
Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee Todd Muller hears from petitioners asking the government to address human rights issues in West Papua. Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate - Cox
Indonesia's Joko Widodo-led government has made tentative moves towards opening up West Papua to outside access by foreign journalists.
But extensive restrictions remain for media in Papua, as well as international humanitiarian groups and NGOs, which are almost totally barred.
Jakarta is sensitive to what it sees as interference in its own domestic affairs.
A Papuan pro-independence demonstrator is arrested by police in Jakarta, December 2015. Photo: ROMEO GACAD / AFP
However Ms Leadbetter said Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua should not override legitimate concerns about protecting an indigenous people systematically under threat.
She cited the research of Jim Elmslie, an Australian scholar who has studied the marginalisation of West Papuan people, amid demographic patterns in Indonesia's eastern region.
Dr Elmslie's research into the situation in Papua uncovered a marginalisation so serious that it meets the stringent criteria under the Genocide Convention.
"That's a strong thing to say but his academic research backs that up carefully," Ms Leadbetter explained.
"So he says this is genocide and as far as he is concerned nothing trumps genocide, not even territorial integrity. And I think we have to make that loud and clear. It’s all very well saying sovereignty and territorial integrity, but not in the face of genocide - that's absurd."
Indonesian security forces detain hundreds of West Papuans at the Brigade Mobile headquarters in Kotaraja, 2 May 2016. Photo: Tabloid Jubi
1) Man fined $500 for West Papua protest at Indonesian consulate
Jane Lee MARCH 23 2017 - 3:18PM
A man is refusing to pay a $500 fine for trespassing at an Indonesian consulate to protest against its presence in West Papua, saying Australia has sold him out.
Tyrone Gibb, 42, climbed the fence at the Indonesian consulate in Melbourne, and up to the building's first-floor balcony on January 6. He waved a separatist "Morning Star" flag for the Indonesian province of West Papua, which is banned in Indonesia.
Gibb pleaded guilty to trespassing on a protected property at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.
He was arrested and charged after the Indonesian government criticised Australian authorities for not doing so, almost a month after the protest was filmed and distributed on Facebook.
2) Indonesia urged to settle dispute amid Freeport workers’ outcry
Jakarta | Thu, March 23, 2017 | 03:05 pm
Viriya P. Singgih The Jakarta Post
The demobilization process of workers of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of the United States-based mining giant Freeport McMoRan, that operates the Grasberg mine in Papua, the world's biggest gold mine and second-largest copper mine. (Courtesy of/The All Indonesia Labor Union’s (SPSI) local unit for PT Freeport Indonesia)
Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) employees have urged the government once again to immediately settle its dispute with the company as the number of laid-off workers has kept increasing from one day to another.
As of March 14, the company had laid off 2,102 contract workers, while giving long leave and offering voluntary resignation to 291 permanent staffers, according to the All Indonesia Labor Union’s (SPSI) local unit for PTFI, which represents around 12,000 PTFI workers.
The union also claims PTFI aims to dismiss 782 permanent staffers in the first phase of its efficiency measures.
“The company should discuss its efficiency measures together with the union so that both parties can reach a win-win solution,” Tri Puspital, an advocacy division member at the SPSI for PTFI, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Hence, he called on PTFI to stop such measures, while urging the government to immediately settle the dispute with the company.
PTFI was banned from exporting its copper concentrates on Jan. 12, when the government fully imposed the mineral export ban, as initially mandated in the 2009 Mining Law.
Under the new policy, PTFI can only process its export permit if it shows a commitment to converting its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK), divests 51 percent of its shares to local entities and build a new smelter alone or together with other companies. (bbn)
3) Indonesia Wants Control of Freeport’s Grasberg Within Two Years
by Yoga Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini
The dispute engulfing the world’s second-biggest copper mine deepened as Indonesia’s government said it planned to take a majority stake in the local unit of owner Freeport-McMoRan Inc. within two years while workers at the pit threatened to go on strike.
The state enterprises ministry has cleared a government-run company to buy a majority stake in PT Freeport Indonesia, the local unit that runs the massive Grasberg mine in Papua province, according to Fajar Harry Sampurno, the deputy minister for mining, media and strategic industries. Freeport-McMoran would have to divest its share to a state-owned entity under a new contract that the Phoenix-based miner is yet to sign.
“We’re ready,” Sampurno said at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. A local aluminum producer, PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, will be turned into a holding company to purchase the stake, he said. “Once the holding company is formed, they will immediately work on it.”
The preparations for state-ownership suggest Jakarta is refusing to budge in a dispute that’s curtailed mining at Grasberg and prompted Freeport to lay off thousands of workers. Under new rules announced in January, the government said companies that want to export semi-processed metals including copper concentrate must convert their contract of work to a special mining license, build smelters and add local investors. Freeport has refused to do so until it gets guarantees protecting its investment.
The rules stipulate foreign miners must begin selling shares to local entities five years after starting production and must reach 51 percent local ownership by the 10th year. Freeport must immediately divest its stake after converting its contract, because the firm has been mining in the country for more than a decade, Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar said in January. At present, Indonesia holds 9.36 percent of Freeport Indonesia.
The government last month issued a special mining license, or IUPK, to Freeport, but the company vowed to hold out for investment safeguards that provide the same level of fiscal and legal certainty as its current contract of work. The miner served a noticeto Indonesia’s energy ministry in February over the areas of dispute, and said it has the right to begin arbitration if they aren’t settled within 120 days.
Freeport Indonesia continues talks with the Indonesian government, spokesman Riza Pratama said by text message on Wednesday. A senior government official said in early March that the administration wanted to resolve the standoff in two weeks.
Last month, Freeport Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson outlined the company’s concerns, decrying both the process for converting the contract to a license as well as the divestment requirement. “These forms of regulations are in effect a form of expropriation of our assets, and we are resisting it aggressively,” he said at a conference.
Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, known as Inalum, will be turned into a mining holding company to purchase the stake in Freeport’s unit, according to a presentation by the state enterprises ministry on Wednesday. Local miners PT Aneka Tambang, PT Bukit Asam and PT Timah will become units of Inalum.
Aneka Tambang, the state-owned nickel miner known as Antam, is ready to participate in the Freeport purchase, according to President Director Tedy Badrujaman.
“Antam, because of its expertise, will probably be assigned to monitor mining operations at Grasberg, especially during the transition period, if the stake purchase went through,” Badrujaman told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The Grasberg labor union is adding pressure on both sides to resolve the dispute and resume mining that’s been reduced to about 10 percent of capacity and resulted in about 2,100 workers to be laid off.
Workers will protest in seven days if the government and Freeport fail to respond positively to demands outlined in a March 21 notice, Tri Puspital, the industrial relations officer at Freeport Indonesia’s labor union, said by phone.
The union wants the government to form a tripartite body to protect workers’ rights and find a resolution that ensures future operations at the mine, he said. Freeport should stop laying off workers, according to Puspital.
“Workers will protest with a rally, and won’t rule out the possibility of a strike if there’s still no response,” he said.
The Indonesian government wants to take a majority stake in Freeport Indonesia in 2 years.
Papua administration also wants its piece of the pie.
Freeport-McMoRan should find a way to completely exit Indonesia with minimal damage.
The flow of news from Indonesia, where Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) fights for its contractual rights with the local government, intensifies. This is typically a sign that we may hear some concrete information soon. Volatility in Freeport-McMoRan's shares may increase, providing opportunities for both longer-term investing and trading.
I previously covered this story, so in case you did not see it, you may find it useful to read previous articles (here and here) to learn more about the context. Without further ado, let's evaluate the recent news from Indonesia and what they might mean for the company and for the stock.
Bloomberg reported that the Indonesian government wanted to take a majority stake in Freeport Indonesia in two years. Preparations for this action have already begun by turning aluminium producer PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium into a holding company.
At the same time, the administration of Papua, where Grasberg is situated, expressed its desire to get a 10% share of divested shares of Freeport Indonesia. Papua officials commented that Indonesian president "completely agreed with our stance on Freeport" and that Papua and Jakarta were fighting for the same thing.
As I previously commented, this time Indonesia is serious about getting its hands on Grasberg. In this light, all that Freeport-McMoRan can do is to maximize the value of its exit from Indonesia.
When the new part of the Indonesia story began, I was thinking that Freeport-McMoRan should find a way to minimize the damage and to continue operations at Grasberg. Now, it looks like the exit from Grasberg is almost inevitable and the only question is the price.
The reason for this is that Freeport-McMoRan cannot stay with a minority stake in the project as this will be a strategic suicide. The Indonesian government has already shown its inclination to change rules on the fly.
Photos of West Papuan supporters at "March in March" rally
MARCH IN MARCH - STAND UP AUSTRALIA - 25 MARCH, 2017 Protesters came out in Sydney today (25 March) to send Malcolm Turnbull the people's message on all the issues of concern they have. West Papuan supporters also joined in to fly the Morning Star flag and to raise awareness of the issue.
1) Papua to get 5 percent, Luhut says on Freeport divestment
Jakarta | Sat, March 25, 2017| 07:50 am
Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said Papua will get 5 percent from the divestment of cooper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia, which is required by law to release 51 percent of their shares to the Indonesian entities.
Freeport divestment is part of what is being discussed by representatives of the government and Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United States-based Freeport McMoRan, in connection with the conversion of the contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK).
“With the divestment, we will have 51 percent of shares, while Freeport will have 49 percent, with 5 percent of shares for local administrations and for local tribes. With [the dividend from] the shares, Papua will improve its education, agriculture and livestock businesses,” Luhut said as reported bytempo.coon Friday.
He said the shares for Papuan people would never be tampered with and Freeport would pay the dividends to Papua. “It is part of the protection of our people in Papua,” he added.
When meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe demanded 10 percent shares of Freeport.
Freeport Indonesia has refused to accept a government demand, and it converted its CoW into a special mining license (IUPK). The company argues that IUPK would effectively annul its CoW, signed in 1991. It has threatened to take the case to international arbitration if a mutual agreement is not met in the next few months. (bbn)
2) WHO appreciates Papua KPA for taking part in socializing prepex
15 hours ago
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed appreciation to the Papuas HIV/AIDS Eradication Commission (KPA) for being active in socializing adoption of circumcision using prepex in the province.
Prepex is the Worlds Only Non-Surgical Male Circumcision Device.
Technical advisor of the Male Circumcision Innovation Group of WHO, Timothy Hargreave, said here on Saturday he came to Jayapura mainly to learn and see the use of Prepex in circumcision in a bid to prevent HIV.
"Papua is the first area in Asia adopting circumcision with prepex after Africa. Certainly there is difference . That is what we want to learn and know," Hargreave said.
There must be differences in circumcision with prepex in Africa and Papua because of the need to adjust to situation and condition in each area, he added.
"That is why we are here to learn and see. Hopefully the circumsion is safe for all both the patients, the officers and other involved," he said.
He said he also appreciated the active participation of the local authorities in taking part in socializing circumcision with prepex in this province.
He said, however, that circumcision does not guarantee that the the province would be 100 percent free from the HIV virus, therefore, he advised man to use condoms in having sex with prostitutes to minimize the spread of the HIV virus.(*)
When young writer Bonnie Etherington showed one of her Massey University classmates a short story she'd written, the last thing she expected was to be told she was seriously disturbed and in need of help.
Etherington, now 27 but back then just 18, had written about a plane crash and described, matter-of-factly, what happens when a body decomposes in the jungle. Having spent her formative years in West Papua, Indonesia, she was simply telling it like it was. Or is.
She says death is all around in a developing nation where there's extremely limited access to clean water and basic sanitation, reliable food supplies, medicines and health services, structurally sound housing and, indeed, all the other municipal services we take for granted.
Etherington talks straightforwardly about having nothing but green beans to eat for days or watching as her mother, Pip, a nurse, cut gangrene away from the leg of a woman who'd rolled into a fire while sleeping one night.
"Burns are quite common and often go untreated so gangrene becomes a massive problem. Mum was cutting it away from this woman's leg and putting it into a bowl. Later, Dad washed the bowl out and put peanuts in it. We were traumatised to learn we'd been eating peanuts out of the gangrene bowl. "
Given the abundance of material, it's no surprise that Etherington, already an accomplished short story and award-winning travel writer, draws on childhood experiences in West Papua for her first novel.
The Earth Cries Out is about a Nelson family struggling with grief and guilt following a tragedy. To heal and atone, 8-year-old Ruth's father moves his family to Irian Jaya (the Indonesian province now known as West Papua) to build a hospital in a remote mountain village. Her dad's distracted and her mum doesn't want to be there so Ruth does what all children do and tries to adapt and make friends.
Etherington says the family is nothing like her own. Born in New Zealand, she moved with her mum, dad Paul, and sisters to Bandung, Java when she was 2 then on to West Papua. Every three or so years, her family would return to New Zealand for an extended stay of up to six months to rest and recuperate. They once lived in Darwin for three years when Pip got so sick that they needed a longer break.
Culture shock was as much a feature of Etherington's childhood as bouts of malaria or dengue fever. Her primary schooling was patchy; intermediate constant and secondary schooling at an international school of Papua's coast, where she met her husband, Josh Eastwood.
Although the family is different from Etherington's own the poverty, unrest and death shot through the book are real. But it's not a grisly story - if anything, it's more visceral because of her understated but graceful style. Ruth's story is told sensitively and alternates with vignettes about Papua's flora and fauna.
Each is organised around a specific plant, such as an orchid or a breadfruit tree, accompanied by a short story. It's a skilful way of including information about the region's politics, history and peoples without putting far too grown-up words and thoughts into Ruth's mouth and brain.
The book's title comes from Romans 8:22: "We know that everything on the earth cries out with pain the same as a woman giving birth to a child." Acutely interested in environmental issues, Etherington says the novel is partly about relationships between women, especially mothers and their daughters, and the shades of loss and pain as well as love that can colour those relationships.
"I wanted to combine these themes and show that even through pain, there is hope. The novel also suggests that the earth itself, our environment, can feel and express pain."
West Papua has been occupied by Indonesia since the 1960s.
"It's our neighbour and we really should be more aware of it and it's not enough to know about where it is but we should be aware of what life is like there. The vignettes were my way of trying to get more stories of West Papua's people in, to show the multiplicities and go beyond the usual narratives of primitivism and cannibalism we usually read, because it's not like that at all."
Short-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2016, Etherington studied for a Master of Creative Writing at Massey University in Palmerston North. She credits senior lecturer and fellow author Dr Thom Conroy for encouraging her to include the vignettes about West Papua in the story.
Like most of her stories, The Earth Cries Out started when a character - in this case, Ruth - came to mind and wouldn't leave, but originally Etherington didn't plan to include as much about West Papua.
"I wanted to be a New Zealand writer so I thought I would have to have the story set mainly in New Zealand which, I suppose, was a bit ignorant of me. Thom Conroy encouraged me to keep those chapters. He said the story really came alive in West Papua."
Etherington is now Chicago-based, working towards a PhD at Northwestern University, focusing on tropical ecologies in Southeast Asian and Oceania literatures. She regards both New Zealand and West Papua as home but is reluctant to go into too much detail about the latter's political situation.
"I support dignity and justice for the people of West Papua and their lands. How that should best come about is not my place to say. It is the place of Papuans to say, whether that takes the shape of full political autonomy from Indonesia or some other configuration of reconciliation and reparations. I hope that their voices will be heard and respected."
The Earth Cries Out by Bonnie Etherington (Vintage, $38)
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Police have shot dead an armed law fugitive on the island of Yapen, Papua, after resisting arrest.
Maikel Marani, leader of a gang of armed criminals was killed after exchanges of fires in the village of Konti Unai in Yapen, Papua on Monday morning, police spokesman sr. comm Ahmad Kamal said by phone here.
Police came to pick up Maikel Marani from his hidden place in the house of his parent in law.
"Maikel resisted and police have to shoot him," he said, adding,
Maikel has been in the police list of "wanted men".
Police found an old weapon and ammunition and the Bintang Kejora flag of the Papua separatists .
Papua is still a hot spot for Indonesia with separatist rebels hiding in the mountain jungles of the countrys easternmost and backward province.(*)
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a but erratic.
Jayapura, Jubi - Monday (3/27/2017) morning, around 01:00 local time, Mikael Merani, a resident of Kampung Kontinuai, Angkaisera District, Yapen island district was shot dead by police officers Police Yapen. Mikael dead in-law's house.
Head of Public Relations (Head of Public Relations) Papua Regional Police, Police Commissioner Ahmad Kamal acknowledged the shooting. Mikael named by police as a group leader who is often called an armed criminal (KKB). Area of operations in the northern coastal region (north coast) and Yawakukat, Yapen Islands. Mikael is also mentioned on the wanted list (DPO) of the police.
"Had a clash in Konti Unai killing led KKB Maikel Marani," said Head of Public Relations quoted by Antara news agency.
This clash led Yapen Islands Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Suwandito Darma.
The police claimed to successfully mengamanankan evidence of the long-barreled senpi shoots types SS1, SS1 nine magazine, bayonet, vests, the Morning Star flag, 13 rounds of ammunition, a revolver, 10 rounds of ammunition caliber 5,56,229 rubber granules, 5.56 caliber ammunition, one bud wind guns and some money in the incident.
However, this statement is contradicted by the victim's family. According to the victim's family's initials MM-though circulated photographs holding a gun when his brother's body had fallen tertembak- brother was unarmed when the incident happened.
"Mikael is DPO. He was not armed when shot. He was at home in-law, were rounded up in the house, were taken out and shot. Cooking he kept weapons and other items in-law's house? "Said MM.
MM said, Mikael become DPO since three years ago for allegedly killing a policeman. However, the allegations could not be proven.
"During the DPO, he lived in Kontinuai. Why not arrested? He did not go anywhere, "said MM.
MM suspect, this has to do with the shooting of a conflict elections are taking place in Yapen.
"It was no conflict elections. There is already a victim of society. Yesterday also KPU office on fire. I suspect this has something to do with the conflict elections, "said MM. (*)
3) Solomon Islands police to partner with Indonesia
3:43 pm on 27 March 2017
According to the police minister of Solomon Islands, the country's police force is looking to enter a co-operation agreement with the Indonesian National Police.
Peter Shanel and other police ministers of Melanesian Spearhead Group member countries had a conference in Jakarta this month, following meetings of MSG police commissioners.
Melanesian Spearhead Group police ministers and police commissioners meeting in Jakarta, March 2017 Photo: Supplied
Mr Shanel told the Solomon Star that a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and the Indonesian National Police was expected to be signed soon.
The draft MoU was focused on co-operation to prevent and combat transnational crimes and building international police capacity.
Mr Shanel signalled it would be timely for his country's police force, given that the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands draws down its operations in July.
He said the Indonesian police will go back to their Foreign Ministry for approval before the signing will take place.
The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Matthew Varley chaired the MSG Police Commissioners' Conference in Jakarta.
He said the meeting was good for Solomon Islands to "again demonstrate how important it is to co-operate on the international stage".
He said he met with counterparts from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Indonesia.
“We had meetings with those senior officers but were also able to discuss how we might speed up co-operation across the region on transnational crime, drugs, trafficking and things like terrorism as well as smuggling."
Melanesian Spearhead Group police ministers and police commissioners being feted in Jakarta. Photo: Supplied
He also said that part of the MOU that Solomons would negotiate with the Indonesian National Police would focus on how the two countries could exchange and swap intelligence and expertises.
Mr Varley said Indonesia had over the past 15 years been at the forefront of counter-terrorism in the South Pacific region.
"And indeed they have a lot of expertises in identifying and investigating terrorism and although we are safe here in Solomon Islands at the moment from that we still have a lot to learn from our friends in Indonesia and around MSG.
"I think we can benefit from their expertise," Mr Varley said.
He said these MoUs give them the flexibility to exchange intelligence on a particular group of terrorist or a particular crime type.
"It is not in any way giving permission for any other country to send police officers here to do operation policing business," Mr Varley explained.
The prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, is yet to confirm the move to sign a MoU with Indonesia over police co-operation.
A release from his office on Friday said the meeting of MSG police heads agreed on the formation of a Working Group to develop a Regional Security Strategy.
Melanesian Spearhead Group police ministers and police commissioners pose for a photograph, surrounded by Indonesian police. Photo: Supplied
"This is in acknowledgement of the ever changing security landscape in the MSG region and the understanding that crime is the common enemy to police and law enforcement institutions in a 'borderless' environment.
“The meeting also acknowledged that in order to effectively address crime, policing has to be separated from politics to ensure policing activities operate in an 'unrestricted environment'."
Note. It would appear from information received that the below story was a set up by the authorities and they were not OPM at all.
Not unusual for similiar stories once or twice a year.
4) Over 150 rebels surrender to Indonesian government in Papua
Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/24 20:39:57
A total of 154 guerrilla fighters in Papua province have surrendered to the Indonesian government, the Indonesian army said in a statement on Friday.
The fighters were members of the Free Papua Movement which has long engaged in rebellion and sought diplomatic ways to separate from Indonesia.
The surrender happened following a humanitarian approach undertaken by the Indonesia army.
"Finally, the humanitarian approach has successfully led 154 members of the Free Papua Movement give up their insurgency," the statement said.
In a ceremony in Puncak district, head of the district Wilem Wandik handed Indonesia's red-and-white flag to a representative of the rebels as a symbol of their return, it said.
President Joko Widodo's administration has been trying to create equality in development across the archipelago country, including creating a uniform price for fuel and cement, building toll roads in Papua province to help spur economic growth.
The Free Papua Movement frequently targeted civilians, soldiers and staff of a US mining company in the province, leaving dozens of casualties.
1) Foreign Journalist Blacklisted by Indonesian Immigration
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A freelance journalist who works for a number of well-known international news outlets, Jack Hewson, has recently been blacklisted by Indonesian immigration office. Hewson, who used to be based in Jakarta, was informed about the news as he was leaving for the Philippines.
“I have been blacklisted from Indonesia for reasons that are yet to be established,” said Hewson through his twitter account on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
An activist of Human Rights Watch, Andreas Harsono, explained that Hewson informed him regarding his blacklist before he departed for the Philippines on Monday evening, March 27, 2017. According to Andreas, immigration officers at Terminal II Cengkareng talked to Hewson for roughly 30 minutes and asked Hewson what he had done that infuriated the Indonesian government.
“I told them that I don’t know and the only thing I had in mind was sending a letter to the Presidential Staff headquarters (Chief Presidential Staff Teten Masduki and Presidential Spokesperson Johan Budi) to clarify of my trip to Papua,” Hewson said to Andreas on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Hewson had already consulted with Andreas regarding his plan to covering news on Freeport in Timika, Papua. “I suggested him to follow what President Jokowi repeatedly said: Just go!” Andreas said.
Unfortunately, after leaving Indonesia last night, Hewson was not allowed to return to Indonesia. Andreas assured that the Human Rights Watch will firmly protest the incident, which seems to be a form of harassment against a foreign journalist living in Indonesia.
Head of Public Relations and General Directorate of Immigration, Agung Sampurno, said that the blacklist against Hewson was based on a request from the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). TNI sent the request to immigration office on February 9, 2017. The blacklist will take effect for the next six months.
Agung explained that Hewson has allegedly violated Article 75 (1) of Immigration Law. This Article states that immigration officials have the right to conduct administrative actions against a foreigner living in Indonesia who conducts a dangerous activity for the security and public order or fails to respect or disobeys the laws.
“The person involved was provided an explanation by immigration officers before his departure [from Indonesia], that he will be rejected once he comes back to Indonesia,” Agung explained.
Agung denied the notion that it is a form of deportation since Hewson’s acted on his own will to leave Indonesia.
[awasMIFEE note: after a month where the giant Freeport mine became a topic for national debate across Indonesia once again, focussed as always on whether or not the US company should be obliged to hand over a controlling stake to the Indonesian Government, Papuan students have been asking why no-one ever talks about the mine’s destructive impact on Papua amidst this outpouring of Indonesian economic nationalism. On 20th March, students demonstrated in Jayapura and Timika in Papua and in cities across Indonesia where Papuan students were joined by Indonesian supporters from the solidarity network “FRI West Papua”. The text below is a statement from the organisers of the demo in Jayapura, which reportedly attracted 500 people.]
Student solidarity for change.
United Student Front to shut Freeport [FPM-TF]
Shut Freeport and all foreign companies, which are the mastermind of crimes against humanity and environmental destruction in Papua.
“Allow freedom and the right to self-determination as the democratic solution for the Papuan people”
On Monday, 20th March 2017, a peaceful demonstration tookk place, co-ordinated by students. This action took place in several areas simultaneously, including Jayapura city, Timika, Jogjakarta, Bandung, Manado, Bogor, Palu and Jakarta. The demands of the actions were to close the Freeport mine and to allow freedom and the right to self-determination.
The following is a reflection and statement of opinion written by the United Student Front to Shut Freeport in Jayapura City.
Whether or not Freeport should divest its stake in PT Freeport Indonesia, as legislated for in Presidential Regulation no 1/2017, is now becoming a hot topic for debate within Papuan society, ranging from Governor Lukas Enembe who supports Indonesian policy to institutions which have related interests, and also the Papuan bureaucracy. However, all those who support the plan to divest 51% or an extension of the contract of work, whether they are Papuans or from elsewhere, are drawing naive conclusions.
The squabble that divides the Indonesian Governent and Freeport, whether the company should divest a 51% stake or not, whether Freeport’s legal status in Indonesia should be changed to a special mining liscence (IUPK) or remain a Contract of Work, is a polemic played out between the vested interests of capital and bureaucrats claiming to speak on behalf of the people. In particular, it does not reflect the interests of the people of Papua.
This chaotic situation has already created many victims amongst the casual workers employed by PT Freeport Indonesia. They have been dismissed without their need for a livelihood having been taken into account(ie severance pay). It is very clear that it is a principle of capitalism that workers are needed in times of capital expansion and accumulation. In times of crisis, they are not troubled to think about the fate of workers.
The same is true for the social situation of the West Papuan people. PT Freeport Indonesia is known internationally as one of the biggest mining companies in the world. But what do the Papuan people get from this? Poverty, human rights violations, genocide, colonialism, and its nature destroyed by a capitalist system that produces more and more without consideration of the laws of nature and the effects on human life.
As we already know, Freeport didn’t just show up suddenly and spontaneously in the country we know today. Moreover, their plan to manage Papua’s natural resources together with a small elite that have become owners parasitically is totally unacceptable. Western civilisation has invaded the time and space of indigenous Papuans accompanied by global imperialist interests.
The drive behind Freeport in fact started many years ago. In August 1959, Forbes Wilson, who was a director of Freeport at the time, met with the operational director of the East Borneo Company, Jan van Gruisen. In that meeting Gruisen said that he had discovered a study into the Ersberg countains (Copper Mountain) in West Irian (Papua), written by Jean Jacques Dozy in 1936.
The history of Papua is a history of manipulation by the economic and political interests of US Imperialism, which eventually pushed Indonesia to annex Papua and conspire to produce the Act of Free Choice. Two years before the Act of Free Choice took place, on 7th April 1967, Freeport, a mining company from the imperial American state, signed an investment contract with the Indonesian Government. While there were 809,337 Papuans with the right to participate in this act of self-determination, in the end they were represented by just 1025 people who were quarantined beforehand and only 175 people could give their opinion. They held a meeting to reach agreement and this provided the legitimacy behind Indonesia’s Act of Free Choice: it was undemocratic, and full of terror, intimidation and manipulation, as well as gross human rights violations. During the 32 years Papua was under the control of Soeharto’s militaristic regime, many human rights violations tool place in Papua under the auspices of various military operations. This has continued even after the reformasi period in Indonesia started in 1998.
There have been a series of new governemnts until Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla’s regime and each successive administration discusses whether to renew the Contract of Work or replace it with a special mining licence, but this has not been accompanied by a fundamental change to the system in Indonesia. Human rights violations by the Indonesian Military continue to occur, as in the case of the uncontrolled shooting of five students in Enarotali in Paniai Regency on 8th December 2014, or the  sweeping operation in Utikini village. There are many more cases of crimes against humanity that take place at the hands of the Indonesia Military, an innumerable number. Put simply, amidst the chaotic polemic around Freeport, what has been happening in Papua? Just before the Freeport debate started there was a military operation in Dogiai, and just afterwards, the conflict in Intan Jaya which caused the deaths of six people and left another 600 with severe injuries.
This has already led to confusion and blindness in how people regard the social situation in Papua, which is driven by the desire for capital accumulation. This is a characteristic of capitalism. Capitalism does not take the side of oppressed groups. The democratic state is just an illusion created by corrupt officials, high-ranking officers, parliamentarians and ministers, and the capitalists who make their moves behind the scenes. What we see amidst all this complexity, all the problems facing Papua at this time, is that the Papuan people’s democratic rights are no longer recognised and there is sense of responsibility over the impacts of this.
PT Freeport, a product of US Imperialism, is the puppetmaster behind crimes against the Papuan people. The United Student Front to Shut Freeport wishes to make this statement of opinion to the Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla Regime to take action NOW to:
Get out of Papua and Shut Freeport! Along with all exploitative actions of Multination Corporations from Imperialist Nations: BP Tangguh, Medco, Korindo and other companies operating in the Land of Papua.
Make an audit of Freeport’s wealth and give it back, also giving severance pay to workers.
Conduct an audit of mine reserves and environmental damage
Withdraw all organic and non-organic military and police units from the Land of Papua
Allow “the right to self-determination” as a democratic solution for the people of the Papuan nation.
Track down, arrest, bring to justice and imprison the perpetratoris of human rights violations during the period of Freeport’s operations in Papua.
Let the Papuan people determine the future for Freeports mine in Papua.
Freeport should be obliged to rehabilitate the environmental damage caused by mine exploitation.
Stop all activities in the MP3EI program throughout the land of Papua and stop building military bases.
The Asmat of Papua Province. The provinces are ethnically distinct from the rest of Indonesia.
The unstable Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua are experiencing interesting times.
While human rights, media coverage and protests are muzzled as the provinces demand independence and closer ties with their Melanesian brothers throughout the South Pacific, Jakarta’s dispute with mining giant Freeport has created a common enemy.
As the Jakarta government moves to extract a greater slice of Freeport’s copper and gold profits from Papua, it has taken common cause with the indigenous community, which points to the environmental impact of the world’s second-largest mine and its uneven distribution of wealth.
As is often the case where human rights are curtailed, protests are far more likely to be tolerated if they target foreigners rather than the central government.
But French journalists Jean Frank Pierre and Basille Marie Longhamp were jailed last week as the Indonesian authorities again demonstrated their contempt for media freedom in the Papuan provinces.
The police detained and deported the two reporters, who were filming a documentary for Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines. They allegedly lacked the “necessary documents from related institutions”.
The immigration department said the journalists had ordinary visas without the necessary documents.
They were barred from returning to Indonesia for at least six months to deter others from following them.
Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo speaks about opening up Papua to the foreign media but NGOs and journalists have very little access to the troubled eastern provinces. In May 2015, the president said he would lift the 25-year unofficial ban on foreign media access to Papua, where permits were refused and journalists were left in limbo, always vulnerable to deportation.
Two international television reporters were detained in 2014 for tourist-visa violations and were sentenced to two and a half months in jail for reporting in Papua. In 2010, two journalists were deported after filming a students’ human rights rally.
Human Rights Watch argues: “[Abuse] of media freedom for foreign journalists in Papua, along with visa denial and blacklisting of reporters who challenge the official chokehold on Papua access, has continued unabated. That’s mainly because Jokowi has singularly failed to issue a formal written directive instructing Indonesia’s bureaucracy and security forces to lift these restrictions. But it’s also due to the deeply rooted perception among many government and security agency officials that foreign media access to Papua is a recipe for instability in a region already troubled by widespread public dissatisfaction with Jakarta, and a small but persistent armed independence movement.”
International development agencies, UN representatives and foreign academics were also denied access, HRW reported.
“The government needs to understand that blocking media access on over-broad security grounds doesn’t just deter foreign news reporting about Papua, it raises troubling questions about what the government might be hiding there,” the rights NGO argued.
By contrast, in the Freeport dispute protesters have been allowed to gather to express their unhappiness with the vast mining operation in the province.
Papuans across Indonesia held demonstrations on Monday over the contract dispute with the government which halted digging.
Protest coordinator Samsi Mahmud said hundreds of members of the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua and the Alliance of Papuan Students held protests in 16 cities, including at the Freeport offices in Jakarta and the US Consulate in Bali.
“Our demand is only one, Freeport should be closed down and leave Papua,” Mahmud said.
He described the signing of the first contract between Jakarta and Freeport in 1967 as an “illegal act” as regional conflict between Indonesia and the former Dutch colonial masters persisted.
Mahmud said Freeport continued to illegally exploit mines and seize Papuan land.
Papuans consider Freeport-McMoRan to be closely linked to the military occupation of the mineral-rich region since 1967.
“It has caused violence that resulted in misery and suffering to the people of Papua,” Mahmud said.
The firm’s subsidiary in the archipelago, PT Freeport Indonesia, halted operations at its Grasberg mine last month due to the contract dispute with Jakarta, which is seeking to convert the existing contract so Freeport hands over a 51-per-cent stake within a decade and gives the central government control of the base selling price for minerals.
Freeport Indonesia has rejected any contract changes and is talking about taking the case to international arbitration.
And for now the authorities let Papuans protest, presumably as it sees demonstrations as a means to increase pressure on Freeport.
An estimated 400 student protesters in the Papuan capital Jayapura demanded Jakarta close Grasberg.
The students carried banners reading “Close Freeport” and said Papuans had not benefited from 50 years of digging by the US-based firm.
“Close Freeport. Freeport has caused extensive damage to the environment in Papua,” a student said.
Residents said there had been a series of preceding protests.
Vinsen Oniyoma, a spokesman for the protesting Independent Traditional Community, said Papuans had never been involved with the mines and their interests were not considered by Freeport. The rights of the major tribal communities, Amungme and Kamoro, over land used by Freeport, had never been respected, he said.
Last week around 300 protesters joined a similar rally organised by the Association of Indonesian Miners and the Indonesian Islam Student Movement.
If Freeport wanted to continue to operate in the giant province, which accounts for about 25 per cent of Indonesia’s landmass, it should build a smelter in Papua, pay more tax and comply with Jakarta’s new share divestment regulation, spokesman Oktovianus Wally said.
After 50 years of brutal exploration by Jakarta, the Papuans are now being used as a bargaining chip in the dispute with Freeport.
If it sheds some light on this intriguing corner of the archipelago, it might have been worthwhile.
2) Jayapura regent reported to home minister over election funds
Jakarta | Wed, March 29, 2017| 12:08 pm
The Papua General Elections Commission (KPU) has reported Jayapura Regent Matius Awoitauw to Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo for his alleged failure to provide funds for revotes in several districts in the regency.
The commission said Matius had not yet provided the Rp 5.7 billion (US$ 427,928.07) it needed to hold revotes in 17 districts.
KPU Papua member Tarwinto confirmed on Wednesday that the commission had sent a letter reporting budget problems that had hampered revotes in 17 districts in Jayapura, to KPU headquarters in Jakarta on March 23.
“KPU headquarters received the letter, which was later forwarded to the home minister on March 25,” he said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
In its letter, KPU Papua also attached a copy of a letter from the Jayapura regent clarifying why the funds had not been disbursed.
In his letter, Matius asked KPU Jayapura to first submit a financial report on the use of the funds previously disbursed by the regency administration.
“We are still waiting for the minister’s response regarding this problem,” said Tarwinto.
Matius said previously that his administration was still waiting for a financial report on Rp 38 billion it had given to KPU Jayapura to organize the election on Feb. 15. The funds provided by the Jayapura regional budget were disbursed last year.
“KPU headquarters and the Jayapura administration’s inspectorate found that KPU Jayapura had not yet provided a report for around Rp 12 billion out of the total Rp 38 billion it had used,” said Matius. (ebf)
Police shot dead the suspected leader of a separatist group in Papua during a raid that quickly turned into a gunfight on Tuesday (28/03), a police spokesman said. (Antara Photo/Oky Lukmansyah)
Jakarta. Police shot dead the suspected leader of a separatist group in Papua during a raid that quickly turned into a gunfight on Tuesday (28/03), a police spokesman said.
The incident on Monday appeared to be the latest in a string of violent clashes in Papua, where decades-old insurgencies showed no signs of abating.
Police identified the killed Papuan man as Maikel Merani, who they said has long been on their most-wanted list.
Maikel reportedly hid in his family's home in Yapen and resisted arrest before being shot dead, Papua Police spokesman Chief Comr. Ahmad Kamal said.
"Our officers were involved in a shootout in Konti Unai village which resulted in the death of group leader Maikel Merani," Ahmad told state news agency Antara on Monday.
The police seized an assault rifle, nine ammunition magazines, 13 rounds of revolver bullets, 230 rounds of 5.56-caliber ammunition, a bayonet, a vest and cash during the raid.
Police also confiscated the banned Morning Star flag, the symbol of the Papuan independence movement.
Police said Maikel's body has been taken to Serui hospital in Yapen, but did not give details on the fate of other group members.
Maikel was with two other Papuans when police raided his home, United Liberation Movement for West Papua spokesman Benny Wenda said in a statement on Monday.
Officers reportedly told the men — one of them believed to be Maikel's father — to put their hands over their heads and crouch down. According to a ULMWP witness, police then shot Maikel several times and tortured the other two men.
Officers also harassed other family members at the house, according to the witness. Police then reportedly took the man believed to be Maikel's father to their office for interrogation.
Calling the incident "same old story," Benny said, "Police stigmatize every Papuan as criminal or separatist as justification for killing them and for their illegal occupation of our country."
Papuan nationalists have long protested against a UN-backed referendum in 1969 that saw the province become part of Indonesia, arguing it was rigged.
They have been mounting an insurgency since then, complaining that the Indonesian government has been giving resource-rich Papua an unfair share of the state's wealth.
This has led to allegedly rampant human rights abuses, and Papuan activists have been pleading for support for independence from the Melanesian community in the Pacific.
"We desperately need the international community to look at the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua," Benny said.
"Everyday, West Papua is becoming a killing field."
In late 2016, President Joko Widodo signed a decree to officially grant legal status to the customarily-owned forest of nine indigenous communities in different parts of Indonesia, covering a total area of 13,100 hectares. This amount of land is insignificant in comparison to the millions of hectares of forest and other land which Jokowi had promised to acknowledge or give to people around Indonesia during the two years he has been in office.
The objective of establishing this customary forest is in general predominantly for conservation and President Jokowi stressed that this customary forest cannot be bought and sold, either now or in generations to come. This stipulation not to commercialise customary forest and keep it for conservation is in line with the perception that regulation is necessary and that indigenous people need protection from the threats and pressures of the power of capital.
The reality on the ground is that indigenous communities hold over their customary land is continually being gnawed away at by the power of capital through various means which result in the exclusion of indigenous communities, which can even lose their access to their land and customary forest entirely. According to Derek Hall et al (2011), there are four interconnected powers which exclude people from their land – Regulation, connected either with state laws or other forms of regulation within society; market through economic relationships which exclude the people, legitimation through government claims to make administrative decisons based on economic and political reasons or moral justifications, and force, which includes state military power or violence from non-state actors.
The majority of indigenous people, possessing low social capital, do not manage to avoid capitalist snares which over many years forcibly gnaw away at community social and economic systems, changing value systems concerning land. Concepts of land and ancestral forest, which once prioritised their social value and function, change to regard forests as sources of commercial commodities and disputes over claims of ownership between groups or individuals emerge. Being trapped into dependence on the market for their families’ subsistence needs forces them into deciding to sell commercially assets such as land, ancestral forest and other commercial property to which capital-rich investors assign a sale value.
This kind of commercialisation of customary forest which leads to the exclusion of indigenous communities has been experienced by Papuans living in Arso, Keerom Regency. In October 2011, timber company PT Victory Cemerlang Indonesia Wood Industry was able to obtain a statement of agreement to release rights over customary land from five clan leaders who owned the land. PT VCIWI plans to convert around 6000 hectares of natural forest along the Begonggi River to an oil palm plantation. The heads of the village administration, the Arso sub-district administration, the customary council and the customary chief are also all aware of this letter. The commercialisation of ancestral forest enabled by these letters of agreement to release land rights is being used as a justification to issue permits, including a location permit in 2013 and a plantation business licence in 2015.
PT VCIWI has been in the commercial timber business in the area for many years. The company has created a dependency in the community on capital resources under the company’s control. This dependency and a desire for envisaged profits have captured the local indigenous elite and persuaded them to release the land, making their ancestral forest commercially available to the company. Aside from this, the company has used techniques of deception accompanied by promises of welfare.
The head of the Keerom Customary Council, Servo Tuamis, said “The Victory company says it will us the land adjoining existing oil palm plantations PTPN II and PT Tandan Sawita Papua, in fact it is taking the customary forest that makes up the Arso people’s golden triangle”, lamenting the company’s dishonesty and that the community leaders had already signed the document.
This time round, the company didn’t need to use violence from state forces, as had been the case in the past when state-owned company PTPN II started work in the area in 1983. The new company is using non-state power, the legitimation of the clan leaders’ decision and that of traditional and local government leaders to obtain rights over the land and permits to use the land, forest and the commercial timber. The position of the elite assuming exclusive power, and the power of the company in a relationship of production has already excluded the interests of many people, including that of the indigenous people of Arso over their ancestral forest.
Having obtained the approval of indigenous hierarchy and the state, the company uses this to tear down ancestral forest, felling and harvesting commercial timber. The ancestral forest which has been taken over by PT VCIWI represents remnants of forest, sago groves, the Beuyend pools and the sites of ancient villages Yatmi and Yamboria, which belong to the Marap and Abrap peoples. The area also contains high value commercial timber species, each log worth millions of Rupiah, which it is why it was a target for companies and now lies within easy reach of PT VCIWI’s timber business.
The community has been promised that they will benefit from a profit sharing scheme, which would mean 30%, with reductions for the costs of harvesting and transportation, while the remaining 70% would go to the plantation owner. This sort of profit sharing scheme does not produce benefits which are comparable with the use value of the forest, or the losses they suffer when it is gone.
In July 2016 representatives of the Arso indigenous people, from the Abrap, Marap and Manem groups organised in the Ngkawa Yimnawai Gir held a blockade action and stopped PT VCIWI felling trees and clearing their ancestral forest, and also blockaded a palm oil mill belonging to the PTPN II company which operates in the Arso area. The organisation was also asking the government to give the land and forest back to the Arso indigenous people.
Jonatan Bate, the head of Yamara village in Manam sub-district, Keerom, said “We want our ancestral forest given back to the indigenous people. We oppose the letter of agreement signed by the Ondoafi which released the rights over the land without the consent of the community.”
The company’s work was stopped, but it is possibly continuing at a new location, moving into new villages and forests to reap and multiply its profits. The people of Arso continue to give voice to and fight for their aim of getting back their lands and forests.
In 7 years, 64 people died as a result Koroway no health care
Rabu, 29 Maret 2017
| News Portal Papua No. 1,
Korowai care student demonstration in front of the Provincial Health Department of Papua, Jayapura, on Wednesday (29/03/2017) - Jubi / Benny Mawel
Jayapura, Jubi - Movement of the students in the Health Care Team Rimba Papua say 64 people Koroway in Seradala district, Yahukimo had died because of the lack of adequate health care.
"They died as a result there is no health care in the period 2011-2017 in the village of Sift, Brukmakot and Woma," said Soleman Itlay secretary Rimba Papua Health Care Team in a speech when a student demonstration in front of the Provincial Health Department of Papua, Jayapura, on Wednesday (03/29/2017).
He said, the number of 64 people that comprised 18 women, 46 men. With details of 2 infants, toddlers 5 people, 1 children, five teenagers and 51 adults.
"This amount does not include any other village or hamlet or Koroway as a whole," said the man from Baliem, this Jayawijaya district.
Akobiarik Yan, chairman of the Remote Area Community Humanitarian Care (KOPKEDAT) Papua said record Koroway death rates is not easy. Due to geographical condition was very heavy region.
"The area is forest. We can not move faster than the best use, "he said seriously. Therefore, it focused on Seradala district since KOPKEDAT in shape and into Seradala in 2015 and then
Doctors Silvanus Sumule, Secretary of the Papua Provincial Health Department, said the agency could not confirm the death rate of people Koroway. Because, reports from district health office that oversees the region Koroway not provide detailed data.
"There was a report but did not mention Koroway. They call the district alone, "he said after receiving the student demonstrators Rimba Papua Health Care in the yard office in King City, the city of Jayapura.
He said, although there are no data in detail, it is never silent for health services in Papua. Department continues to make efforts toward health care of citizens in Papua.
"In 2015 we started to form Task Force Bare Feet. We recruit personnel to reach areas that are not affordable, "he said
For a specific response to the health services in Koroway, said Sumule, in the month of April will be a team. The team will immediately get down to Koroway region with a number of priority programs.
"Because we are the difficulties of doctors, we train nurses and midwives do a simple treatment although it was within the rules should not be," he said.
He said, it will also build coordination with the district and build cooperation with all parties. Cooperation with churches and students who have a concern for the Koroway.
"We can not settle the problem Koroway own. We need cooperation, "please Sumule. (*)
1) Negotiation with Freeport Shows Progress: Minister Luhut
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that Freeport Indonesia will soon divest its shares following a development in negotiations between the government and the mining company.
“There has been a progress, as reported by [Energy and Mineral Resources] Minister Jonan,” Luhut said at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency in Jakarta on Friday, March 31, 2017.
Earlier, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said that the negotiation with Freeport has reached the final stage. However, Freeport asked the government to extend the negotiation to October 2017.
Freeport previously gave 120 days, starting from February 2017, for the Indonesian government to negotiate the terms and threatened to bring the issue to an international arbitration.
In a move that is likely to reduce tensions over its future operations, major mining company PT Freeport Indonesia has agreed to convert its contract, paving the way to a resolution in its prolonged dispute with the government.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan claims that in a change to months of resistance, Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United Statesbased gold and copper mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), has agreed to allow its contract of work (CoW) to be converted into a special mining permit (IUPK).
“In principle, they have already agreed to convert to an IUPK. Hopefully, they do not change their mind,” Jonan said during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission VII on Thursday.
The conflict between the two parties built up after the mineral export ban took effect in mid-January in compliance with Government Regulation (PP) No. 1/2017.
Freeport Indonesia, the operator of the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine in Grasberg, Papua, is required to divest 51 percent of its shares, build a smelter within five years and convert its contract in exchange for a permit to export copper concentrate.
Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama separately confirmed that the firm had agreed to convert its CoW into an IUPK, though it was still negotiating the terms with the government.
“Freeport Indonesia is willing to convert its CoW to an IUPK so long as it is granted investment stability, entailing legal and fiscal certainty, equal to the certainties outlined in our [current] CoW,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Although Riza declined to disclose its proposed terms, Jonan revealed that the firm had asked to pay the fixed tax as stipulated in its CoW although it is higher than the prevailing tax. Furthermore, it also wants to continue talks on levies imposed in Papua, he added.
The firm’s acquiescence marks a milestone after weeks of tough negotiations to settle the dispute out of court after both Freeport and the government have pledged to bring the dispute to the United Nation’s arbitration tribunal.
The progress in the negotiations comes just before US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Indonesia next month. Indonesian officials have said the Freeport dispute is likely to be high on the vice president’s agenda
FCX is known to be politically connected as US billionaire Carl Icahn, special adviser on regulatory reform to US President Donald Trump, is the third major FCX shareholder.
Previously, with strong support from its parent company, Freeport Indonesia had consistently rejected the government’s requirements, which the company argued had violated the investment certainty provided by the present CoW dating back to 1991.
As a result of the standstill, the miner had been unable to sell its copper concentrates overseas, leading to a large pile up that put a brake on its mining operations.
Earlier this month, Freeport Indonesia, Indonesia’s biggest oldest foreign investor, resumed production at 40 percent of its normal rate after securing an export permit for anode slime, a byproduct of copper processing.
During the hearing, Jonan also told legislators that the government might allow the miner to ship its copper concentrate while negotiations on the other terms continued so long as the latter officially agreed to the contract conversion.
“As they have technically agreed to an IUPK, they will be able to export so long as they submit a proposal to build a smelter within the next five years following government regulation [PP] No. 1/2017. The government must be firm [in this case]. The company must own an IUPK,” Jonan said.
House Commission VII, meanwhile, called on the central government to seek input from the Papuan people before making any future policy about the miner.
“We ask the energy and mineral resources minister to involve Papuan locals in any decision-making process pertaining to Freeport Indonesia in order to comply with the Regional Autonomy Law,” chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu said.
Separately, a coalition of civil societies officially submitted a proposal to the Supreme Court to review PP No. 1/2017 and its subsequent regulations, claiming that they violated the 2009 Mining Law and offered excessive leeway for miners to continue selling raw and semi-processed minerals abroad.
Later that evening, Rudiantara, the Minister of Information and Communication called Asep Komarudin from LBH Pers, promising that the ban would be lifted the next day.
On 21 December, Suara Papua could be accessed again, but not for those using Telkomsel – the largest telecommunications service provider in Indonesia. In Papua, Telkomsel is the main player and controls more than 65 per cent of the market for mobile phone services users. When I recently published an article with Suara Papua, dozens of people told me that they could not read it due to the Kominfo block.
When Jokowi announced the opening of Papua to foreign journalists and monitors in 2015, it was met with strong resistance from senior government and security forces officials. The promise was never realised because Jokowi provide any specific written directives after the announcement. This opened space for non-compliance by state agencies and security forces opposed to loosening restrictions on foreign observers’ access to Papua.
As of 10 March, Suara Papua is online once again. But, despite the grand proclamations from government ministries and Presidential pledges for press freedom, it is no surprise that an increasingly intolerant Indonesia continues to block West Papua from the truth.
Andre Barahamin is researcher of PUSAKA Foundation, and member of Papua Itu Kita (Jakarta-based solidarity campaign for Papua). He is also serving as editor for IndoPROGRESS, an online platform connecting progressive scholars and activists.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/328113/solomons-govt-defends-police-initiative-with-indonesia Solomons govt defends police initiative with Indonesia
about 1 hour ago The Solomon Islands government says its strong stance on issues relating to West Papua are separate from proposed policing co-operation with Indonesia.
Along with Vanuatu, Solomon Islands has been a strong proponent for indigenous West Papuan's rights to self-determination and an end to human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papuan provinces.
Indonesia has associate member status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and is opposing a bid for full membership in the group by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which already has observer status.
The membership issue has caused divisions within the group with the governments of Papua New Guinea and Fiji siding with Indonesia, while Solomon Islands and Vanuatu support the ULMWP.
Support for West Papuan representation in the MSG is based on strong regional concern about ongoing reports of human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region by police and military forces.
However a recent announcement by the Solomon Islands police minister that local police were seeking to strengthen co-operation with the Indonesian police has raised questions about the country's position on West Papua.
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka however said any co-operation arrangement with Indonesia comes under existing bilateral relations and does not compromise the country's stance on West Papua.
"We are at liberty to maintain our good relationship with any country."
"Therefore in terms of policing if the ministry of police and corrections see that this is in line with our policy and it is best for our Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that should be quite acceptable," he said.
Jayapura (ANTARA News) - Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Rob Swartbol visited Papua Province on Tuesday to discuss important issues related to politics and development in the "Land of Cenderawasih."
"The visit to Papua this time is the first of its kind, and we want to discuss issues related to democracy and the simultaneous regional elections," Swartbol remarked here on Tuesday.
The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia said he was keen to know the extent of cooperation between the Dutch government and Papua Police related to the establishment of the Community Police in the Land of Cenderawasih.
"Our cooperation aims to bring the community closer to the police, especially in Papua," he affirmed.
Swartbol explained that in principle, the Dutch government has always given attention to Indonesia, including Papua.
"We are very interested in the policies implemented by the Government of Indonesia in Papua, and so far, everything is going well," he said, adding that based on the information obtained, President Joko Widodo has given ample time for Papua.
In the meantime, Papua provincial secretary Hery Dosinaen said that besides highlighting political issues, the Dutch ambassador to Indonesia also discussed developments related to improving the peoples economy in Papua. (Uu.O001/INE/KR-BSR/F001)
2) Freeport obtains eight-month special mining permit
Fedina S. Sundaryani
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Tue, April 4, 2017| 06:32 pm
Copper and gold mining giant Freeport Indonesia has obtained a special mining permit (IUPK), which will be effective for eight months, starting on Feb. 10, while the firm continues to negotiate with the government.
“With the eight-month IUPK in place, Freeport Indonesia will be able to export its [copper] concentrates and pay export duties. While the IUPK has been issued, we will also still respect their contract of work [CoW],” said Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry secretary-general Teguh Pamudji at a press conference on Tuesday.
Freeport Indonesia will be allowed to export 1.11 million wet metric tons (wmt) of copper concentrate for a year. It will be evaluated after the first six months, taking into account the progress of smelter construction in Gresik, East Java.
During the next few months, the government and Freeport Indonesia will discuss investment stability, future operations, divestment and the company’s plans to build a smelter, Teguh said.
The miner will be allowed to return to its CoW if a mutual agreement between Freeport Indonesia and the government cannot be made by October. However, it will not be allowed to export any copper concentrates.
Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport McMoRan, has refused to accept the demand from the government that it must convert its CoW into an IUPK. The company argues that an IUPK would effectively annul its CoW signed in 1991.
Freeport previously said it did not want to give up the rights listed in its present CoW. (bbn)
UN Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras when having a meeting with civil society in Jayapura, Friday (31/3/2017) – Jubi/Benny Mawel
Jayapura, Jubi – United Nations Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras said distrust has make health problem in Papua become even more complicated.
In a press conference, Monday (03/04/2017) in Jakarta, Puras explained that health problems in Papua as a serious complexity. He cited the Family Planning (KB) clearly showing there is distrust between Papuan native (OAP) and the Indonesian government.
“Even if the family planning program is run ethically and well, the Papuan people still think that KB aims to reduce the number of indigenous people,” said Puras, as quoted in satuharapan.com.
Puras understood the difficulty, but he can ensure the family planning program is actually a good program. However, if executed by force, it violates human rights.
“But if implemented in a good way, through responsible information, for not having a child every year, it’s good. However, in environments that have no trust to each other, it becomes a complication. So there must be a solution, “said Puras.
Puras also recognize there is still stigma and discrimination on health services perceived by Papuan indigenous.
“There are serious concerns on the health of Papuan indigenous. Not only the high prevalence of HIV-AIDS, but also the level of infant and maternal mortality, and children malnutrition,” said Puras.
In a meeting with civil society in Jayapura, Friday (31/3/2017) a hospital attendant in Abepura hospital told him that the hospital limiting births of Papuans by way of terrorizing families of mother with a ‘death threat’.
“Actually, she could have a normal birth, but sometimes the doctor demand an operation or else it would cost live of the mother or child. The family then forced to sign an operation,” said her.
While a midwife from Yakuhimo said restrictions on reproductive rights is also an entrance for violence against women. In Yakuhimo the practice of family planning programs that are not informative has caused many women experienced domestic violence.(*)
Report contributors: Benny Mawel and Victor Mambor
A campaign banner from BP, said “Who are eligible to work for construction project Tangguh Train 3?” – bp.com
Sorong, Jubi – Three cran projects planned to build by British Petroleum (BP) Indonesia and Tangguh LNG in Bintuni Bay, West Papua Province is said of having involves no Papuan native labors and contractors.
Elect ILO (member of the International Labor Organization), Jan Waromi told Jubi in Sorong, Sunday (2/4/2017), that contractors and workers on the project are brought in from outside Papua.
According to Jan Waromi there several local contractors who want to invest in LNG cran 3 construction but do not involve Papuan indigenous set a bad precedent for BP Indonesia and Tangguh.
“The statement delivered by the director of BP said that they have empowered indigenous Papuans is only an empty statement,” he said. He suspects the company brought thousands of workers and several contractor to Papua through Ambon, Maluku Province.
“Why is it for cutting grass, tree, welding and manual labor they brought labor power from outside Papua?” he said.
BP Indonesia Media Officer, Wigra as confirmed by Jubi said they can not leave a comment. They will release official statement in response to ILO statement and will be addressed in discussions with management.(*)
Jayapura, Jubi– Manager Fuel Retail Pertamina Marketing Operation Region (MOR) VIII Maluku Papua Zibali Hisbul says there will be 10 new Fuel Filling General Station (gas stations) in Papua this year to support the One Price policy of fuel of premium and diesel in archipelago of Indonesia.
The construction of 10 gas stations is part of 148 gas stations development program across Indonesia.
The construction sites based on the decision of Oil and Gas Director General of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said Zibali. Those are Arui Islands District, Supiori; Waropen Bawah District –Waropen; West Paniai District-Paniai; Bolakme Disrict-Jayawijaya; Mindiptama District-Boven Digoel; Senggi District-Keerom, Ilu District-Puncak Jaya; Bokondini District-Tolikara; Pirime District-Lanny Jaya, and Abenalu District-Yalimo.
“In all those districts the current prices of fuel range between Rp15 thousand to Rp 50 thousand per liter, we try to get them the same price as in other parts of Indonesia, Rp6.450 per liter of gasoline and Rp5.150 per liter for diesel,” he told Jubi Sunday (2/4/2017).
Zibali expected that in early April 2017 will launch the opening of gas stations in Arui Islands District, Supiori and West Paniai District, Paniai.
He acknowledges constraints in the establishment. There is no investor in five regions to be channel institution because it considered less economical.
The decision to give permit to ten sites, said Zibali, based on input from local governments, Pertamina and BP Migas based on roads infrastructures and airports condition. “In MOR VIII there are 900 districts without channel institutions while only 150 districts have it,” he said.
Quoted from the official website of Director General of Oil and Gas, the Director General of Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja said the government has drawn up plans to build 108 infrastructure of fuel official distribution until 2019.(*)
People dressed thugs allegedly photographing intel appear in the court of the Franciscan SKPKC Office - Doc. SKPKC
Jayapura, Jubi - Director of the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (SKPKC) Franciscan, Yuliana Langowuyo criticized the performance of the security forces who he said is very disturbing meetings between activists of Human Rights (HAM) Papua with the Dutch ambassador to Indonesia in the Office SKPKC Franciscan, City Sentani , Jayapura district, Tuesday (04/04/2017).
Yuliana to Jubi said Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia, Rob Swartbol during a visit to the office of the Franciscan SKPKC Papua, not only escorted by police with formal clothes (according to the procedure) but also people in civilian clothing who enter the office area SKPKC and do "gerakan- motion "unnecessary.
"Many people in plainclothes, we thought it was intel, come in. We felt uncomfortable, because the meeting was closed. They were in the back and side of the secretariat, also sat in the hall," said Juliana.
According to Juliana, people suspected of intelligence is the area around the office, trying to get out of the door that had been closed, photographing and come to the office again at night time.
"When they come at night, they wondered at the guard office. They asked what the meeting was about, ask your email address and contact number of activists who met with the ambassador as well," said Juliana.
Yuliana, although do not know the people in plainclothes that where, argues, in ways such as professional intelligence work and should not be criticized.
"It's unprofessional and should be criticized. Because there are police who mengkawal ambassador. We did not know they were from a unit where, whether police, military or State Intelligence Agency (BIN) but they were in plainclothes. They are willing to enter joined the meeting for what ? ' Yuliana asked.
Earlier, the Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia visited the Office of the Parliament of Papua and Papua legislators met some of them, Ferinando A.Y. Tinal, Laurenzus Kadepa, Elvis Tabuni, Mathea Mamoyaow, Orwan Tolli Wone, Deerd Tabuni, Syamsunar Rasyid, Emus Gwijangge, Wie Tan Long, Sinut Busup, Ignatius W Mimi, Nathan Pahabol and Yakoba Lokbere.
After the meeting, said the arrival Rot Tinal Ferinando Papua into a routine visit. The goal is to monitor the program and help given the Dutch government in economic development, strengthening the rights of women, water and agriculture.
"Members of the council also have to convey the aspirations. Among the violations of human rights, freedom of expression and a few other things," said Ferindando Tinal. (*)
2) Solomon Islands Seeks Balance in Relations With Indonesia and West Papua
With the end of the RAMSI intervention and restoration of full sovereignty comes more difficult diplomatic balancing.
By Grant Wyeth April 05, 2017
Preparations are being made in the Solomon Islands for the mid-year transfer of power from the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) intervention force, which has policed the islands since 2003 after the country’s civil unrest, to the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF).
Part of this restoration of full sovereignty in the Solomon Islands involves reestablishing international security cooperation to combat criminal activity, and the country is presently in the process of organizing an agreement with Indonesia. A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) and the Indonesian National Police was discussed at recent meetings within the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) structure, and it is expected to be signed soon.
The MoU involves cooperation in preventing, detecting, and combating trafficking of illicit drugs, smuggling, trafficking in persons, money laundering, arms smuggling, cyber crime, international and economic crime, and corruption. There are also plans for Indonesian police to be involved in the continued training of the RSIPF.
However, this cooperation between the Solomon Islands and Indonesia has not come without some controversy. The Solomon Islands is a staunch supporter of the West Papuan movement for self-determination and a consistent critic of human rights abuses by Indonesian police and military in the region, and cooperation with the Indonesian National Police, particularly in regards to training, may be seen to be in conflict with these positions.
Presently the tensions between the Melanesian states and Indonesia over West Papua are playing out within the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The MSG was established in 1988 as a forum to cooperate on issues of regional importance to the Melanesian states and peoples. The membership of the MSG consists of the four Melanesian sovereign states — Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu — as well as the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), a political party in New Caledonia that seeks independence from France. Alongside these full members Indonesia has associate membership status, and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has observer status.
Indonesia’s participation in the group rests not only on West Papua’s status as a Melanesian region, but several other Indonesian islands in the area that Jakarta claims have inhabitants of Melanesian ethnicity. There is some debate among anthropologists and linguists over this assessment.
In 2013 ULMWP applied to the MSG for full membership status, seeing their situation as similar to that of FLNKS. However, Indonesia has opposed this recognition of the organization, not wishing to give the group greater international credibility. The issue has caused divisions within the forum, with PNG and Fiji siding with Indonesia, and Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and FLNKS supporting ULMWP’s bid. The presence of Indonesia and ULMWP within the MSG seems to have had a disruptive effect on its mission of developing common positions on areas of regional interest.
Although Indonesia seeks to prevent greater recognition of ULMWP, the participation of both parties within the MSG makes it the only forum where Indonesia and the West Papuan independence movement are able to engage in any kind of dialogue, providing an opportunity for the two parties to engage in contact that would not be possible within Indonesia’s domestic structures.
Despite concerns that enhanced cooperation between Indonesian and the Solomon Island police would compromise their position on West Papua independence, Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka has stated that the forthcoming MoU would fall under the existing bilateral relations with Indonesia and not undermine its stance. Tozaka has been keen to stress that the Solomon Islands maintains a good relationship with Indonesia, despite its position on West Papua. “We are at liberty to maintain our good relationship with any country,” he said. “Therefore in terms of policing, if the ministry of police and corrections see that this is in line with our policy and it is best for our Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that should be quite acceptable.”
The transition of the security forces back to the Solomon Islands’ government after 14 years will complete the normalization of the country. While RAMSI’s scheduled mid-year withdrawal indicates a confidence that the government will be able to maintain its internal security, some suspicion still remains within the country as to whether the government has the capacity to do so. However, alongside internal security, the Solomon Islands will also need to build its capacity to be able to cooperate on issues of security with its neighbors. This will mean that its relations with large regional states like Indonesia will need to be solid, and a balance will need to be struck between this reality and the Solomon Islands’ solidarity with West Papua.
The Solomon Islands claims there is no relation between its support for West Papua (pictured) and its proposed policing co-operation with Indonesia. Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have been strong advocates of indigenous West Papuan rights to self-determination and an end to human rights abuses in the Indonesian Papuan provinces. Indonesia is an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and is opposing a bid for full membership in the group by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), which currently has observer status.
The membership issue has caused divisions within the group with Papua New Guinea and Fiji siding with Jakarta, while the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu back the ULMWP’s bid. Support for Papuan representation in the MSG is based on strong regional concern about reports of rights abuses by the Indonesian police and military. However, a recent announcement by the Solomon Islands police minister that the force was seeking to strengthen co-operation with counterparts in Indonesia has raised questions about solidarity with Papua.
The Solomons’ foreign minister Milner Tozaka said any co-operation with Indonesia came under existing bilateral relations and did not compromise the stance on the provinces of West Papua and Papua. “We are at liberty to maintain our good relationship with any country. Therefore in terms of policing if the ministry of police and corrections see that this is in line with our policy and it is best for our Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that should be quite acceptable,” Tozaka said. The vast, resource-rich provinces make up around a quarter of Indonesia’s landmass but only a tiny fraction of the archipelago’s population. West Papua has a population below 900,000 and Papua province around 3.5 million. Last week Indonesia’s police shot dead a Papuan man they described as an armed separatist leader. In Papua Province’s Yapen district, Maikel Merani was killed after reportedly exchanging fire with police. The Indonesian media claimed the shooting broke out during a police raid on Merani’s house. The authorities claimed to have been hunting Merani for a prolonged period. The authorities, regarded as imperial occupiers by many Papuans, released pictures of the corpse, his alleged weapons and other criminal paraphernalia discovered during the raid. There was a rifle, ammunition, knives, cash and the illegal Papuan Morning Star Flag. The Jakarta Globe reported that a witness claimed the police subsequently tortured Merani’s relatives. Merani’s father was supposedly taken in for questioning. Picture credit: Flickr
4) Freeport smelter to be built on 100 hectares of land in Gresik
Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, April 5, 2017 | 07:07 pm
While copper and gold mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia and the government are conducting negotiations over the conversion of the company's contract, Freeport has earmarked 100 hectares of land on which to construct a smelter in Gresik, East Java.
The land is located in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (JIIPE) in Gresik.
“We need to wait for Freeport’s decision because it just converted its business permit to an IUPK [special mining license]. We are in constant communication because the MoU was signed in 2015,” JIIPE head of marketing and tenant relations Sianny Indrawati told reporters on Tuesday.
JIIPE covers 1,761 hectares of industrial park developed in 2013. Its first block is rented by five tenants. Two more blocks are expected to be fully occupied by 2019.
The industrial park is integrated with a 499-hectare seaport and a 800-hectare housing estate. Of the planned 3,060 ha of land, 60 percent has been procured by JIIPE. The remaining 40 percent is in process of being acquired.
Freeport on Tuesday obtained a special mining permit (IUPK), which is effective for eight months as from Feb. 10. The company will be allowed to export 1.11 million wet metric tons of copper concentrate per year. It will be evaluated after the first six months, taking into account the progress of construction of the smelter. (bbn)
5) Way forward found in Freeport dispute with Jakarta
10:37 am on 5 April 2017
The mining giant Freeport has agreed on a way forward to a resolution in its prolonged dispute with the Indonesian government over its Papua operations.
After months of strained negotiations over the renewal of Freeport's contract to mine the large Grasberg gold and copper deposit in Papua, it appears the miner may be willing to divest some of its majority share to Indonesia.
The Jakarta Post reported Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan as saying the parent company Freeport-McMoRan had agreed to allow its contract of work to be converted into a special mining permit.
Relations between the two parties became tense after a mineral export ban took effect in January under a government order.
Freeport Indonesia has been pressed by Jakarta to divest 51 percent of its shares, build a smelter within five years and convert its contract in exchange for a permit to export copper concentrate.
Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company was still negotiating the terms with the government.
As a result of the export ban, Freeport had been unable to sell its copper concentrates overseas, leading to a large pile-up that halted its mining operations.
Earlier this month, Freeport resumed production at 40 percent of its normal rate after securing an export permit for anode slime, a by-product of copper processing.
Meanwhile, some Indonesian lawmakers called on the central government to seek input from the Papuan people before making any future policy about the miner.
"We ask the energy and mineral resources minister to involve Papuan locals in any decision-making process pertaining to Freeport Indonesia in order to comply with the Regional Autonomy Law," chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu said.
6) Jokowi urged to honor promise to free up media access to West Papua
4:28 pm on 5 April 2017
The international media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has called on the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to keep his election promise to allow local and international journalists to operate in West Papua without obstruction or surveillance.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo Photo: supplied
Tabloid Jubi reported this call came after the expulsion of French journalists Franck Escudie and Basile Longchamp on visa violations last month.
RSF’s Benjamin Ismail said the Indonesian president had undertaken to scrap the restrictions that obstruct the work of foreign journalists in West Papua.
Indonesian police clamp down on West Papuan pro-independence demonstrators. Photo: Tabloid Jubi
But he said Jakarta's repeated refusals to issue press visas and the growing number of journalists on its blacklist, shows it falls far short of qualifying as a country that supports freedom of expression and media freedom.
During his campaign for election as president in July 2014, Joko Widodo said he would allow journalists to visit West Papua freely, and raised hopes media freedom would be revived in the region.
no cpation Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins
Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.
A statement by Dainius Pūras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, on his visit to Indonesia
Jakarta, Jubi – Indonesia is on the right track to develop an equitable and sustainable healthcare system based on universal health coverage, said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, at the end of his first official visit to the country, Tuesday (4/4/2017).
But he felt concerned on HIV/AIDS prevalence among ethnic Papuans.
Indonesia has a relatively low prevalence of HIV/AIDS but new infections are in the rise amongst certain key affected populations who still face stigma and discrimination, including in healthcare settings.
“I am concerned about the health status of ethnic Papuans, who are two times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than the rest of the population, and new infections are in the rise,” he noted calling for special attention and efforts from all stakeholders to build trust amongst service providers and users, and enhance access to treatment and services in a culturally-sensitive manner.
He also warned, “Ambitious goals can be reached only if challenges are addressed.”
“Despite commendable efforts, availability, access to and quality of health services remains a challenge in a country where population is spread throughout thousands of islands and remote areas,” he said urging the Indonesian authorities to address such challenges “with the highest level of political commitment so that health system guarantees all core elements of the right to health.”
“There are real opportunities and genuine commitment to achieve the progressive realization of right to health in Indonesia, but public authorities need to step up efforts to address structural and systemic issues, both in law and practice, to make sure that they are not tempted by the ‘lower hanging fruit’ and none is left behind,” the expert said.
Mr. Pūras stressed that “from poor and near-poor to middle-class and wealthy users of services, public and private providers, and civil society, health professionals, and all levels of public authorities, they all need to gain and generate trust in the universal health insurance system, which is based on the principle of solidarity.”
The UN Special Rapporteur, who visited Indonesia from 22 March to 3 April 2017, called on the Government to increase national budget allocations for health. “However,” he said, “increased investments in healthcare only make sense if the system is efficient, transparent, accountable, and responsive to those who use it.”
The expert pointed out that important barriers persist, in law and practice, for the realization of sexual and reproductive health rights, consequently women and other key populations are exposed to different forms of violence and discrimination.
“I was discouraged to hear that planning and delivery of these services and sexuality education is being influenced by certain groups who continue to oppose policies, instruments and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health rights,” he said.
“Cultural and religious norms need to be taken into account in all contexts,” Mr. Pūras said. “However, when their interpretation is such that it generates discrimination on different grounds and reinforces harmful practices, such as early marriage and female genital mutilation, it seriously undermines the effective realization of the right to health and it is not acceptable.”
Mr. Pūras also noted that the approach to drug policy remains excessively punitive undermining the right to health of people who use drugs and public health efforts. “Criminalization of drug use only fuels discrimination, violence and exclusion driving people away from the health services they need and seriously undermining public health efforts,” he underscored.
“Mental health is an emerging issue but it needs additional commitment and resources to develop a system that promotes the mental health of everyone and effectively treats and prevents common mental health conditions at the community level and respects the rights of persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities, the expert explained.
The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on his visit to Indonesia to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018.(*)
2) Three points not open to negotiation with Freeport, official says
Jakarta | Thu, April 6, 2017| 12:15 pm
Indonesia will never give in to copper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia over three specific points during negotiations with the firm, namely conversion of the contract of work (CoW) to a special mining license (IUPK), smelter construction and 51 percent divestment, an official has said.
“What can be negotiated is how to implement them,” said Hadi M. Djuraid, a special staff member of the energy and mineral resources minister, in a statement on Thursday.
He responded to criticism about the government agreement to provide Freeport with an eight-month concentrate export license, although the negotiations were still taking place.
He said during a press conference on Feb. 10 that Freeport CEO McMoran Richard Adkerson had rejected the conversion of the CoW into an IUPK, paying export tariffs on concentrate and divesting 51 percent of its shares to Indonesian entities, but Adkerson agreed to negotiate it in 120 days.
Hadi stressed that the negotiations began with the conversion of the CoW into an IUPK because it made social and economic impacts on the people in Papua, following the end of the mining operation in the province.
“During the negotiations, Freeport agreed to accept an IUPK, but demanded the extension of the negotiations from six to eight months [since February],” said Hadi.
The remaining six months would be used to negotiate over investment stability as demanded by Freeport, Freeport operational continuity and the divestment, he said, adding that the smelter construction will be evaluated within six months and if the progress was insignificant the export recommendation would be revoked. (bbn)
Jayapura, Jubi – Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia, Rot Swartbol visited Papua Parliament Building and has a close meeting with parliament members on Monday April 3rd 2017.
He is welcomed in the parliament by Deputy Chair II, Ferinando A.Y. Tinal with several legislators, among others, Laurenzus Kadepa, Elvis Tabuni, Mathea Mamoyaow, Orwan Tolli Wone, Deerd Tabuni, Syamsunar Rasyid, Emus Gwijangge, Tan Wie Long, Sinut Busup, Ignasius W Mimin, Natan Pahabol and Yakoba Lokbere.
After the meeting, Ferinando Tinal said the arrival of Swartbol in Papua is a routine visit. The goal is to monitor support program by the Dutch government in economic development, strengthening the rights of women, water and agriculture.
“Members of parliament also conveyed aspirations. Among these are violations of human rights issues, freedom of expression and a few other things,” said Ferindando Tinal.
He said, Swartbol are listening carefully and make notes.
“He listened to a variety of inputs. But he could not give a decision. The council members also requested that in the future, the board notified when there is assistance to Papua so they can be monitored,” he said.
Based on antaranews report on Tuesday (4/4/2017) Swartbol also discuss important issues related to politics and development in Papua. “The visit to Papua this time is the first of its kind, and we want to discuss issues related to democracy and the simultaneous regional elections,” Swartbol remarked.
The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia said he was keen to know the extent of cooperation between the Dutch government and Papua Police related to the establishment of the Community Police in the Land of Cenderawasih.
“Our cooperation aims to bring the community closer to the police, especially in Papua,” he affirmed.
Swartbol explained that in principle, the Dutch government has always given attention to Indonesia, including Papua.
However, this visit is welcomed skeptically by Natan Pahabol, another Papua parliamentary member.
“There should be a follow-up. Not only a visit. Support programs are for NGOs and churches, they have to be involved, not only the government. The government is only to administer. Not to mention that the Papuans had historical problems with the Netherlands. There is an element of distrust in it because of the long history of Papua,” Pahabol.(*)
1) TNI to Build Missile Detachment in Bintuni Bay, West Papua
Aerial shot of Bintuni Bay, West Papua.[TEMPO/ Arif Fadillah]
TEMPO.CO, Bintuni - Commander of Military District (Kodam) XVIII Kasuari of the National Armed Forces (TNI), Major General Joppie Onesimus Wayangkau mentioned about the missile detachment that is set to be established in Bintuni Bay, West Papua.
The detachment, which will be equipped with radar monitors, is included in Kodam’s new strategic territorial plan to secure vital state assets in West Papua. One of them is the oil and gas refinery operated by SKK Migas and BP Tangguh.
“We’ll establish one missile detachment under Kodam XVIII Kasuari to secure vital state assets such as the oil and gas mine that are located here,” Wayangkau said on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
Wayangkau also said that they are responding to reports coming in from the local residents regarding drone activities in the area. According to the reports, drone activities have been spying and troubling the people living in the vicinity of Bintuni Bay and the people working at the mining companies.
“We have received information about the mysterious spy drone, but we’re having difficulty in detecting it since Papua only has two tracking radars that are located in Biak and Sorong,” Wayangkau said.
Bintuni Bay Regent, Petrus Kasihiu, fully supports the plan of establishing a missile detachment in his region. His administration will provide the land needed for the construction.
“We will definitely prepare the land, Bintuni Bay regional government welcomes Kodam XVIII Kasuari for the unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI),” Kasihiu said.
2) Dates for 48th PIF and Related Meetings Confirmed
Thursday 6th April 2017
Samoa will host the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting from 4th to 8th September 2017.
In preparation for the 48th Forum Leaders Meeting, the Forum Officials Committee Meeting, the governing council of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, will meet in Suva on 8 and 9 August preceded by the Smaller Island States Officials Meeting and the Pacific ACP Officials Meeting on 7 August, 20167. A meeting of the Forum Foreign Ministers will also be held on 11 August 2017 in Suva.
The schedule for the 48th Pacific Islands Forum and related meetings to be held in Apia, Samoa will be as follows:
Monday, 4 September
Smaller Islands States Leaders Meeting
Tuesday, 5 September
Pacific ACP Leaders Meeting
Tuesday, 5 September
Official Opening of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum
Wednesday, 6 September
Forum Leaders Dialogue with Civil Society Organisations and Private Sector
Thursday, 7 September
48th Pacific Islands Forum Plenary Sessions with Associate Member and Forum Observers and Post Forum Dialogue Partners
The government has said PT Freeport Indonesia will not bring it to the international arbitration tribunal as both parties are in the process of negotiation to seek solutions to their differences.
"No, they will not do it," Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's mineral and coal director general Bambang Gatot Ariyono told The Jakarta Post in Jakarta on Thursday.
Bambang’s statement was confirmed by Freeport McMoRan Inc. chief executive officer Richard Adkerson, who said, as reported by Bloomberg, that “the arbitration wouldn’t happen if talks are proceeding well”.
Bambang said the government had issued a special mining license (IUPK) to Freeport, which automatically allowed the company to export concentrates.
However, he added, Freeport had eight months to adapt itself to the IUPK requirements, if not, it would have to revert back to a contract of work (CoW).
"It is not a 'temporary contract', we’ve already issued the IUPK for Freeport, but it has eight months to adapt, if it fails it must to go back to a CoW and cannot export concentrates," he said.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said if Freeport chose to revert to a CoW, it would still be allowed to sell to the domestic market. "It will be allowed to revert to the CoW, but with consequences of not exporting anymore," he said. (bbn)
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The blacklisting of Jack Hewson, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera shows the government's paranoia towards foreign journalists. The government should allow the foreign press to cover Papua. Preventing journalists from reporting the facts there is not a good testament on the claim of press freedom in Indonesia.
Hewson, who is based in Jakarta, planned to report on the Freeport issue from Timika in Papua. But after leaving for the Philippines last Monday, he learned that he has been banned from returning to Indonesia for no clear reason. It transpires that the request for the ban came from the Indonesian Military (TNI). According to the Immigration DirectorateGeneral, Hewson is suspected of dangerous activities endangering security and public order.
What did Hewson do that was deemed to have endangered security? Was he not simply covering and writing reports about Indonesia like other journalists? Was it linked with his plan to cover Freeport? Whatever the problem, blacklisting a foreign journalist without a reason or sufficient evidence is a serious violation of press freedom.
Before the Hewson case, there were similar bans on foreign journalists wanting to report on Papua. French journalist Cyril Payen is still barred from entering Indonesia following his documentary film, The Forgotten War in Papua, which detailed human rights violations in Indonesia's easternmost province. Two other French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Louise Marie Valentine Bourrat, were jailed for more than two months for covering Wamena while on tourist visas.
The government's attitude towards foreign journalists damages the claim to press freedom in our country. In the 2016 Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders, Indonesia is ranked 130 out of 180 nations, below Cambodia and TimorLeste.
Officials from the TNI and the Interior Ministry are too suspicious of foreign journalists. They seem not to understand the function and the role of the press, including the foreign media. Papua has been closed to the outside world for almost a quarter of a century. No foreign journalists have been able to travel there. Therefore, it is not surprising that many reporters from around the world want to take a look, especially since there are many problems there, from the Free Papua Movement to the Freeport debacle.
In 2015, President Joko Widodo said that Papua was open to foreign journalists. Clearly, state institutions and ministries should support the president by facilitating journalists' access to that region. Preventing them from going there is inconsistent with the president's policy.
The government has no reason to ban foreign reporters because Papua is not a military emergency region. Closing it off from the outside world will only make matters worse. Rumors and fake reports will spread faster and be more credible if there are no professional journalists who can explain the truth about the province.
There is no need for the government to react angrily when foreign journalists report negatively, as long as their reports are factual. We no longer live in the New Order period, when the mass media was under the full control of the authorities. The government should understand that negative or positive reports on Papua depends on whether the government can bring about prosperity and justice over there. (*)
Read the full story in this week's edition ofTempo English Magazine
2) Freeport to Divest 51 Percent Stake, Minister Claims
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan expressed his confidence that Freeport will agree to divest 51 percent of its shares as a requirement to secure a special mining business permit (IUPK). Luhut told the media that the mining company has hinted at agreeing with the deal.
"The process is ongoing, pending the negotiation of the 51 percent," Luhut said after meeting President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace on Thursday evening, April 6, 2017.
Freeport has recently obtained the IUPK, albeit with a temporary export permit as the company and the Indonesian government continue to negotiate on its tax scheme and 51 percent divestment.
Luhut went on to say that the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan will try to his best to make it happen. Luhut said that negotiation on divestment will be carried out in stages.
"It's been negotiated by Pak Jonan. An agreement is likely, why wouldn't [Freeport] agree?" Luhut said convincingly.
Minister Jonan yesterday said that negotiation with Freeport in connection with IUPK will take six months. During which, Freeport will hold an IUPK with an eight-month temporary permit for concentrate export starting February.
"The negotiation has run for over two months. Give [Freeport] six months; a temporary export permit has been given. Every three months, we will send an independent verifier to examine the situation on the ground," Jonan concluded.