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    2) A thousand candles for earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea from West Papua
    3) Rainbow Warrior takes on fresh eco mission to Papua, Indonesia
    4) Australia-Indonesia border tensions resurface
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    http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/west-papua-solidarity-png-launched/
    1) West Papua Solidarity for PNG launched 
    admin


    Candles Action and West Papua Solidarity for the victims of the earthquake in PNG launched in Lingkaran Abepura. – Jubi/Dok.


    Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Solidarity for the earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea has been launched on Monday, 12 March 2018 in Lingkaran Abepura, Jayapura City, Papua.
    “Starting today, we are in solidarity,” the Coordinator of West Papua Solidarity Sem Awom read his statement in front of hundreds of students and youth activists in Abepura.
    He said the act of solidarity is aimed to express sympathy for their brothers in PNG who were died, injured or traumatized in the recent earthquake. He also said the victims certainly need supports from the people of Papua, Melanesia and the world as well. “This solidarity has to break all boundaries,” said Awom.
    Another Papuan activist Nelius Wenda said the earthquake that stroked Papua New Guinea has reminded him of the solidarity and ties of Papuan brotherhood. “We actually have a common ancestor, but separated by State border,” he said.
    When the earthquake happened, he said, Papuans grieved for the victims who died and injured. “We will do our best,” said Wenda.
    Separately, the Secretary of West Papua Solidarity Kristianus Dogopia said fund raising to help the victims would continue until the end of the month. “We will come to houses and student dormitories to collect the funds. We will also speak to the church leaders to get involved in this fund raising,” he said. (*)
     
    Reporter: Benny Mawel
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/thousand-candles-earthquake-victims-papua-new-guinea-west-papua/
    2) A thousand candles for earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea from West Papua
    admin
    Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Solidarity conducted a thousand candles action in Abepura, Jayapura City on Sunday (11/3/2018) to express deep condolence towards the earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea.
    “West Papuan people expressed their condolences for their brothers in Papua New Guinea who get struck by a natural disaster,” said the Bureau Chief of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Sem Awom.
    This event also marked the launching the West Papua Solidarity for the earthquake victims in PNG. “Starting today, we will disseminate information on the solidarity act for the earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea,” said Awom.
    Moreover, he said it would not close the possibility for other supporters in different regions in Papua to join in the act, including West Papuan people who live in Papua New Guinea. In addition, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua also calls the international community to build a solidarity team because the number of victims has reached seventeen thousand people and they need help and supports.
    The 7.5 Richter scale earthquake was reportedly hit the mountainous area of the Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, on February 26, 2018. It damaged houses and roads and killed more than 100 people, while 500 were reportedly injured.
    Papuan human right activist Markus Haluk expected all Papuan people could help the victims by directly engaging in the act of solidarity. According to him, participating in the event was evidence that people have the bond of brotherhood with the victims. “I hope this act resonates throughout the Papuan regions,” he said. (*)
    Reporter: Benny Mawel
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/03/13/rainbow-warrior-takes-on-fresh-eco-mission-to-indonesia/
    3) Rainbow Warrior takes on fresh eco mission to Papua, Indonesia
      
    By Astari Pinasthika Sarosa in Jakarta
    The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior is sailing throughout Indonesia – including West Papua – as a vehicle for environmental campaigns.
    Rainbow Warrior has often sailed to remote areas to directly see the environmental issues in the region and immediately act against its destruction.
    Recently in the Philippines, this is the first visit to Indonesia since 2013. The Rainbow Warrior will be sailing in the archipelago from this week until next month.
    The visit themed Jelajah Harmoni Nusantara will be the longest tour of the Rainbow Warrior.
    Its first destination is Papua to witness the natural beauty of Papuan rainforest. The ship’s crew will also see the underwater life of Raja Ampat.
    After leaving Papua, the Rainbow Warrior will head to Bali, sampling a rich culture which holds local wisdom, and its beliefs that the best source of energy comes from nature.
    The last destination is Jakarta. As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta has many issues including pollution and waste.
    ‘Eco-friendly’ city goal
    The Rainbow Warrior aims to help Jakarta to be a more comfortable and eco-friendly city.
    “The main point of this tour is to create harmony in protecting the Indonesian environment,” Greenpeace said in a press release.
    The name Rainbow Warrior was based on the prophecy of a native American tribe Cree in saying, “When the earth becomes sick and dying, there will come a day when people from all over the world will rise up as the Rainbow Warrior.”
    The Rainbow Warrior is the third-generation version of the campaign ship.
    The first generation vessel was destroyed by limpet mines. On 10 July 1985, French secret agents planted two bombs and sank the Rainbow Warrior, killing photojournalist Fernando Pereira.
    After the bombing, the original Rainbow Warrior ship was towed to Matauri Bay, in New Zealand’s Cavalli Islands, and was submerged as an “alive reef” attracted marine life and recreational divers.
    The second Rainbow Warrior sailed for 22 years until 2011 when she was replaced with the third generation Rainbow Warrior.
    Like its predecessor, this ship carries out green and peaceful campaigns for the future of the planet.
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    http://www.atimes.com/article/australia-indonesia-border-tensions-resurface/


    4) Australia-Indonesia border tensions resurface

    By ALAN BOYD MARCH 13, 2018 5:37 PM (UTC+8)

    Canberra's settlement with Timor Leste on the Greater Sunrise gas field is making waves for other maritime boundary disputes

    Indonesia’s long-held resentment over Australia’s sprawling maritime claims along their ill-defined border have spilled into the diplomatic arena following a recent settlement of a parallel dispute in neighboring Timor Leste, also known as East Timor.
    Jakarta contends that the Timor agreement, which affects the jurisdiction of energy reserves worth billions of dollars in the Greater Sunrise gas fields, will nullify a 1997 treaty demarcating the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Indonesia and Australia.

    Foreign ministry director-general of legal affairs and international treaties Damos Agusman said the Perth Treaty, which Indonesia has never ratified, “cannot enter into force as it stands now as it, inter alia, covers area that now belongs to TL [Timor Leste], and is the object of the conciliation.”

    Precise details of the Timor Leste deal have not yet been released, but it is thought to have redrawn the border with Australia midway between the countries instead of relying on a Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) that had left the best of the Greater Sunrise’s gas fields mostly in Australian hands. It is believed to hold at least US$31.5 billion of energy reserves.
    About 80% of Greater Sunrise will remain in Australian territory if the border is simply moved an equal distance between the countries, as the field is outside the JPDA.
    For Timor Leste to benefit, the JPDA would also need to be shifted east, taking it into Indonesian waters. Timor Leste and Indonesia have an equidistance agreement on their own territories in the eastern region.
    Indonesia has responded as one would expect: it now wants to negotiate an equidistance agreement with Australia that would move their border further to the south and thus give Indonesia an 80% share of Sunrise. The coveted field is already closer to Indonesian territory than to Australia.
    The existing border, based on a complicated series of 1972 compromises, is both east and west of the expected new Timor Leste-Australia boundary.
    Like the original Timor agreement, it resulted from the inability of the new countries to agree on a demarcation; a series of fruitless negotiations was set aside in the 1980s and the de facto border became the edges of a JPDA, where royalties from oil and gas explorations would be shared.
    Operating from a position of strength while Indonesia was rebuilding from the tumultuous Sukarno era, Australia took advantage of now-discredited international laws on marine boundaries that allowed signatories to use continental shelves as a basis for delineation.
    Indonesia’s borders were pushed well north of the midway point, creating inevitable acrimony.


    In 1997, Canberra sought a similar treaty on maritime resources above the seabed, but was unsuccessful because a proposed zone extending 370 kilometers from Australian shores would have created overlapping. As is customary in such cases, a border was declared midway between the two countries.
    With separate agreements for the upper and lower seabed, Australia has continental possessions that are a short distance from Indonesia, yet cannot prevent Indonesian fishermen from sailing past these islands into the midway point of the maritime border much further to the south.
    The islands of Ashmore and Cartier are only 170 kilometers below the island of Roti, which Indonesia claims through its West Timor territory; yet they are 320 kilometers from Australia, which has claimed the islands since 1933. Moving the border to a midway point would make them part of Indonesia.
    Uninhabited and mostly visited by Indonesian fishermen, their loss would not be felt much in Canberra. But there are bigger concerns over the fate of Christmas Island and the Cocos island group, both closer to Indonesia than to Australia, which play a vital role in Canberra’s forward defense strategies.
    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop quickly moved to dampen calls for the negotiation of a permanent border, but nationalist feelings are running so high in Indonesia that Jakarta’s hands may be tied. There is particular anger over the disputed status of Ashmore and Cartier, which some Indonesian academics say was controlled by the Dutch, Indonesia’s colonial masters.
    Indonesia would technically have the upper hand if the issue went to arbitration, as the equidistance rule is now standard practice under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
    However, Australia withdrew from the UNCLOS tribunal and maritime jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice to halt Timor Leste’s claims in the 1990s.
    The re-negotiation of Timor’s agreement was overseen by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, an inter-governmental organization that oversees the UNCLOS and the International Court of Justice. The PCA will hear disputes in special tribunals if either party rejects these covenants.
    Canberra kept Timor Leste at bay for decades and could do the same to Jakarta. But this may be only the start of Australia’s problems, as there is a fourth country that wants a share of the oil and gas riches in the Timor Sea.
    Papua New Guinea is now keen to overturn laws dating back to the 1870s that handed many of its maritime resources to the state government of Queensland in the era before the British colony became part of an Australian federation.
    A new treaty was negotiated in 1978, but many inshore islands remained Australian territory in exchange for a deal granting Papua New Guinea extended fishing rights. One of these islands, Kussa, is just 200 meters from Papua New Guinea’s shores at low tide, which has apparently become too close for comfort.
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    2) Katile and katilol: the traditional conservation of Fafanlap community
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    1) Momuna tribe: Faith and the way of living     
    admin


                                            Momuna people in Yahukimo District. -Jubi/Piter Lokon


    Momuna tribe, who live in the lowland of Dekai City, has in common with Korowai tribe, a tribe who spreads in the three administrative areas of Boven Digoel, Mappi and Asmat. The most common between these two tribes is the shape of their traditional house, which is built on a tree. Momuna people call their tree house buku subu.
    However, it has changed as the time flies. Currently, Momuna people are rarely living in the tree house. They live in regular houses that were provided by the government of Yahukimo District as part of their social development program. Yet, people still build the buku subu in order to attract some local and domestic tourists to visit their village in Dekai.
    Regarding to faith, Momuna tribe always own their belief about creation since long time ago. “We don’t believe in trees or rivers. We believe that there is the One who creates us,” the Momuna tribe chief Ismail Keikera recently told Jubi in his house.
    Momuna people believe in the existence of the Creator, and it must have its own place. Therefore, there are some places that regarded as the sacred ones. “In the past, there are some sacred places or prohibitions from our ancestors. These are still believed until now by this generation,” said Keikera.
    He made an example. There is a prohibition from the elders for not cutting down or even touching the redwood or in Momuna language is called koweni. Once it is touched, people who have done it could lose their mind. “Many patients that we’ve seen in the hospital were thrashing like crazy, a madman. It is because they touched the koweni tree. If it happened to us (Momuna tribe), there is no need to be taken to the hospital, just give it a blow for a while. They must be cured,” he said.
    Given to this fact, however, Momuna tribe has never worshipped trees, stones or rivers. “We only worship the Potmadito (God the Creator) who rules the heaven and the earth. It’s almost similar to the story in the Bible. So, we believe in the existence of God the Creator.”
    Gathering and hunting for food
    Momuna people do fishing or in their language it calls ci, ploughing sago or mbi, and collecting wild yams or mate for survival. In addition, they also hunt for a living that usually for wild boar, cassowary, crocodile, turtle and so on.
    Ismail said sago and yams have always become their staple food. “Not eating sago makes people weak. Rice is just coming recently.”
    According to him, only certain people are allowed to cutting down the sago trees. As it is Momuna’s staple food, cutting down the sago trees is clearly to killing Momuna people. “Anyone who’ve caught out cutting down the sago tree could be fined up to Rp 50 million. So, don’t dare to mess with our sago trees because it’s our staple food. Cutting down the sago trees is equal to killing one life,” he said.
    However, he did not deny that the government has distributed rice under the rice for poor or rice for prosperous programs, which was a direct assistance of Yahukimo District Government, through PD Irian Bakti to village apparatus.
    Since long time ago, Ismail said, their ancestors were always moving around. When the source of food was run out, they had to move to other location for opening a new planting field.
    Anthropologists say there are three kinds of nomadic lifestyle, namely hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads.  Hunter-gatherer, according to experts, is the longest survival method in human history. They move to other places to follow the season of the wild plantation and hunting animals. The rotation of swidden cultivation will last for 20 years, and people will always return to their original location for gardening because the land is already fertile.
    Shifting cultivation actually fit with real conditions in the field. If soil fertility begins to diminish, people will leave the land in order to improve the cycle of fertility. It is much different to what has been applied in permanent cultivation because the tropical lands are not always fertile if not fertilized.
    Indonesian anthropologist Prof. Dr. Subur Budi Santoso stated in his research that the work ethic of the hunter-gatherer people is very strong in a way to achieve the best possible results without destroying the environment. It is an example of the patterns of human adaptation.  (*)
     
    Reporter: Piter Lokon
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    2) Katile and katilol: the traditional conservation of Fafanlap community
    admin

    Many prohibitions for some people in Papua are actually to protect their natural resources from any threats.
    These bans can have various names, such as Samson for Matbat ethnic of Misool Island, or sasisen for Biak people, or rajaha for Maya people of Salawati Island, and Tepera people of Tablanusu village call it tiaitiki. Even though they have many different names, it contains the same meaning and purpose that is not to let people utilizing the natural resources within a certain time. This is to provide opportunities for certain flora and fauna to renew and duplicate as well as to maintain and multiply the population of their surrounding natural resources.
    Fafanlap Village, which is located in Misool Island, Raja Ampat, recognizes a prohibition law or katilol in their local language. Katilol is closely related to the prohibitions applied in the sea and the land. Further, the application of this rule cannot be separated from the role of the customary leaders of kings who have authority in Misool Island, especially Fafanlap Village.
    Katilol, according to customary leaders –as quoted by Jubi from Sasi Katilol Masyarakat Kampung Fafanlap Distrik Misool Selatan by Windy Hapsari et.al, Papua Cultural Value Preservation Office, the Education and Cultural Ministry—told firstly, is regarded as people tradition. Secondly, it is regarded as customary law, and the third, it is regarded as an order or a prohibition from a leader or a king.
    Especially for Matbal tribe, who are the majority of Fafanlap villagers, this law has been descended from their ancestors and present generation continues to defend it to preserve the environment. The prohibition is applied to both areas of sea and land. To separate it, they call it katilol and katile for the rules who apply in these areas respectively.
    These prohibitions are usually determined on an arrangement, but interestingly, it can also be done unintentionally. The first is usually done based on necessity, for instance by considering the decrease of sea or plant harvesting. While the latter is done because of external factors such as climate or seasonal calendar applied by villagers.
    If sawi or east wind season comes, there are usually big waves and windy. As a result, fishermen are fear to going fishing. They have to wait until the weather turns friendly, then they go to the sea. This season occurs for almost six months before altering with moropat or west wind season that also endures for the same period. However, the climate and season could be different in some villages. It depends on the geographical location of each area.
    Katilol and katile are included in the seasonal calendar of Fafanlap villagers by considering the presence of natural phenomena, especially for katilol, which related to the prohibition in the sea. Sea phenomenon can be seen through low tide or in local language meti and tidal or mos.
    There are several types of prohibition laws, including religious and customary laws. Religious prohibition law is usually applied to religious need. For example, people are prohibited to harvest coconut trees. It will be ended for religious event or construction of worship building. Meanwhile, customary law has been rarely to apply since 2001. However, each clan still applies it according to their customary areas.
    Currently, the implementation of sea law has been decreased for several reasons. The first reason is the role of the customary government is decline. Another is a conflict between these leaders. However, the sea law prohibition is still applied in Fafanlap Village that led by a kapitlaKapitla is actually the abbreviation from kapitan laut or sea commander.
    kapitla of Fafanlap village comes from Soltif clan. As a traditional leader, he is assisted by sgajimarin, and sawoMarin is a messenger who is responsible to deliver an order from kapitla. marin in Fafanlap village comes from Wainsaf clan. (*)
     
    Reporter: Dominggus Mampioper
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    https://www.islandsbusiness.com/component/k2/item/2022-at-the-dawn-of-a-new-day-full-story.html


    Islands Business Magazine Published in 2018 March

    by Nic Maclellan


    ‘At the dawn of a new day’

    FLNKS Congress calls for “full sovereignty”

    AS New Caledonia’s FLNKS independence movement met in congress last month near the northern town of Poum, the theme highlighted the importance of the coming year: “Yet Tim Men Ta Yabwat” (At the dawn of a new day). After decades of campaigning, a decision on New Caledonia’s political status is looming.
    The exact date is still to be announced, but New Caledonia’s referendum on self-determination must be held before the end of the year, after a 20-year transition established by the 1998 Noumea Accord. Opponents of independence believe that they will win the vote and retain their current status within the French Republic. After generations of settlement and migration, the indigenous Kanak people are a minority in their own country, so mobilising independence supporters in the lead up to the referendum is all the more important. The 36th Congress of the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) met at Arama on 3-4 February.
    The meeting provided a crucial opportunity for delegates and activists to build common understanding on issues that have long been debated within the broad independence coalition. For many years, there have been internal tensions over leadership, how to negotiate with conservative pro-French parties and the best path for a transition to a new political status. But with only months remaining until the referendum, there is a need to promote unity amongst the four political parties that comprise the FLNKS: Union Calédonienne (UC); Parti de Libération Kanak (Palika); Rassemblement Démocratique Océanien (RDO); and Union Progressiste Mélanésien (UPM). The first President of the FLNKS, JeanMarie Tjibaou, was assassinated in 1989 and the position was later filled by Palika’s Paul Neaoutyine and UC’s Roch Wamytan. But since 2001, the independence coalition has been unable to agree on a President.
    To avoid potentially divisive debates over leadership, the Arama Congress decided to leave the position vacant and instead appointed UC President Daniel Goa as its official spokesperson within New Caledonia, the region and internationally. Debating the path forward As the largest and oldest member of the independence movement, UC has long called for the adoption of full, sovereign political independence.
    The other FLNKS members have been more open to variations of political status. Palika President Paul Neaoutyine has declared his party is open to discussing “l’indépendance avec partenariat” (independence with partnership), which would establish New Caledonia as an independent nation but with an ongoing relationship with France. Despite these differences, the FLNKS congress “reaffirmed its objective to have the country accede to full sovereignty in the referendum scheduled for this year 2018.”
    If New Caledonia’s Congress cannot agree on a date for the referendum by May this year, the French State must hold the referendum at least six months before next Congressional elections in May 2019. For this reason, everyone is gearing up for a referendum in late October or November, preparing for a public campaign in the months before the vote. One of the central concerns for independence supporters has been to meet the legal requirement that potential referendum voters must be registered on the general electoral roll.
    The Congress called on independence activists appointed to the Special Administrative Committees which register voters “to maintain the greatest possible vigilance during the forthcoming work to update the special lists and especially those for the referendum.” The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation is expected to send a mission to New Caledonia this month, to monitor the work of these Special Administrative Committees, as they finalise the voting roll that will be released publically in August. The FLNKS Congress reaffirmed its call for automatic registration of all indigenous Kanaks of voting age, echoing a central concern of the Rassemblement des indépendantistes et nationalistes (RIN).
    The RIN is a loose network outside the FLNKS that includes more radical proindependence groups like the Parti Travailliste (PT), Dynamique Unitaire Sud (DUS), the USTKE trade union confederation and individual activists. UC President Daniel Goa has floated the idea of re-incorporating all pro-independence forces - including political parties, trade unions and churches - within the FLNKS. However this idea was not accepted by Palika and UPM at the Arama congress. Instead, the congress resolution called on “independence supporters, progressives and nationalists to support the planned accession to full sovereignty and to re-join the structures created by the FLNKS to undertake a campaign at local level.”
    This aims to reinforce the “Comités Nationalistes et Citoyens” (CNC), a network of local action groups in tribes and towns across the country. The CNC were created in 2016 as a structure for independence supporters to campaign together at the grassroots, regardless of political affiliation. Young people share their vision This spirit of cooperation was evident amongst young Kanaks at the Arama meeting. A key feature of the congress was the strong presence and coordination of young people, who have not been involved in longstanding political jousting amongst their elders, often dating back to the 1970s. Each of the FLNKS member parties has a separate youth wing, but younger delegates caucused together and issued a joint statement from the congress.
    The youth declaration called for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia, as a multicultural, secular, democratic and united republic.” The united youth network will organise a series of cultural and sporting events during 2018, so that “young New Caledonians, whoever they may be, can join the movement for national unity so our country can access full sovereignty.” New Caledonian leaders across the political spectrum will meet with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other representatives in March for the next Committee of Signatories to the Noumea Accord.
    This meeting, one of the last before the referendum, will address outstanding issues over the referendum process, as well as the transfer of the remaining “Article 27” powers from Paris to Noumea (including control of the university, TV and radio, as well as the ADRAF land reform agency currently managed by the French State). To continue the momentum towards the vote, the FLNKS will hold a national convention in April.
    This meeting will see the formal launch of the independence movement’s campaign, in the lead up to a scheduled visit by French President Emmanuel Macron. Since last year, the FLNKS has been developing a proposal for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia,” with ideas for economic, political and cultural reform that will be the centrepiece of the referendum campaign. Beyond its mobilisation on the ground, the FLNKS congress resolutions highlighted the importance of international solidarity, including the “historic and ongoing support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group,” support from the Non-Aligned Movement as well as churches, NGOs and trade unions (a notable omission from the list is the Pacific Islands Forum, given the rapprochement between France and key Forum member states like Australia). To mobilise international support during 2018, the FLNKS will soon name overseas representatives as official spokespeople in Europe and the Pacific islands.
    The movement will also send a team to build support for independence and sovereignty in French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna (key constituencies, given the large Tahitian and Wallisian populations living in New Caledonia). Soon after the congress, FLNKS delegates travelled to Port Moresby for the MSG summit. As a signal to the host government, the Arama congress “reaffirmed its unshakeable support for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) in its combat for human rights and the right to self-determination in West Papua.” The FLNKS congress also resolved to support nationalist movements in Corsica, Catalonia and French Polynesia – signalling their support for allies in the debate over autonomy, decentralisation and independence that is raging around the globe, from Spain to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, from old Caledonia to New Caledonia.
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    Indonesian polls may delay Freeport settlement
    US mining giant's planned divestment in world's largest gold and second largest copper mine threatens to become ensnared in election politics
     JAKARTA, MARCH 15, 2018 2:43 PM (UTC+8)

    If the difficult talks between the Indonesian government and American-owned Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold over the future of Papua’s Grasberg mine drag on beyond mid-year, they might well be postponed until after next year’s legislative and presidential elections. Analysts believe that as much as he wants to reach an overall settlement in the next two months, President Joko Widodo will not be keen for the negotiations on such key issues as valuation and managerial control to become a distraction ahead of or during the campaign period, which formally begins in mid-September.
    Government sources say the president’s main concern is to secure funding commitments for the majority stake Freeport agreed to divest in its Indonesian subsidiary so he can show that progress is being made in implementing the framework agreement the two sides signed six months ago.

    That means the pressure is on Budi Gunadi Sadikin, chief executive of state-owned holding company PT Inalum, to come up with the offshore bank loans needed to cover the cost of the acquisition, even if the valuation of the Grasberg has yet to be agreed. The Grasberg is the largest gold and second largest copper mine in the world.
    It is widely believed Widodo will effectively turn over much of the running of the government to Vice President Jusuf Kalla in August or September, leaving some of the outstanding issues to be resolved after the simultaneous elections are held in April 2019.

    Characterized as a “love-hate” relationship by one government official, the two leaders appear to have come to an accommodation in the year since Kalla openly opposed the re-election of former Jakarta governor Basuki Purnama, a Widodo ally who lost the race and is now serving a jail term for blasphemy.
    The president is clearly intent on making progress on other fronts now that it is clear his government’s restrictive policies across a range of business sectors are proving to be a barrier to the foreign investment needed to boost the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth beyond 5%.
    Widodo wants Kalla to take charge of improving the long-criticized work permit system, preparing a package of tax incentives for foreign investors and reviewing the so-called ‘Negative List’ that closes several sectors of the economy to outside investment.
    Given the already low percentage of foreigners in the Indonesian labor force, the tighter work permit rules imposed in the early days of Widodo’s rule have seemed to be more about populist protectionism than preserving jobs for domestic workers.
    Kalla will also seek to delay the implementation of a potentially disastrous law, passed in the final days of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration, that requires Islamic law compliant halal certification for everything from foodstuffs to cosmetics to pharmaceuticals to clothing to even car-seat covers.
    Widodo has reportedly vowed not to sign the implementing presidential decree while government legal experts work on a revision to the law, which the Health Ministry and businessmen alike say isn’t workable and an invitation to rampant corruption.

    The government is seeking to put a similar brake on proposed Islamic law influenced changes to the Criminal Code that would impose a sweeping ban on same-sex relations, pre-marital sex, cohabitation among couples, sex education and condom distribution.
    If the Freeport impasse is shuffled into the “too hard to resolve” basket, it would still hang over any new administration given the strength of the country’s nationalist lobby and the way the issue has become a test case for Widodo’s value-added policy.
    How the government treats the much-maligned company, often regarded by Indonesians as ‘corporate enemy No 1’ despite being the country’s top taxpayer, is also under scrutiny from foreign investors already nervous about over-regulation and legal uncertainties.
    Valuation, management control and a financial stability agreement remain the main obstacles as Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson shuttles between Phoenix and Jakarta for meetings with senior Indonesian officials led by Mines and Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan.

    The two sides are far apart on a fair market value of the Grasberg, though the gap might be closing. The government is offering US$3 to US$4 billion for the rest of a controlling stake, while Freeport has countered with a figure that leaves about US$1.5 to US$2 billion outstanding.
    Currently the owner of 9.36% of Freeport Indonesia, the government is looking to acquire another 41.64% in a scheme involving Freeport’s Anglo-Australian partner, Rio Tinto, which has options on 40% of the Grasberg after 2022. That stake would potentially be converted to shares through a rights issue.
    While there is agreement Freeport will continue to run the mine’s operations until 2041, the government insists that as the majority shareholder it should take over management control after Freeport’s current contract expires in 2021.
    Freeport and Rio Tinto have so far spent about US$7 billion on an underground expansion of the mine because the open pit is running out, but another US$20 billion investment is still required, including US$2.2 billion to pay for a new smelter under Jakarta’s value-added policy.
    For all that, however, industry sources claim the smelter could cost as much as US$8 to US$10 billion in lost revenues and subsidies over the remaining life of the mine, with treatment charges expected to double to 60-65 US cents a pound.
    It is still not clear whether the smelter will be built in East Java, close to an existing Mitsubishi-run facility, or whether it will be moved to Sumbawa as part of a shared venture with Indonesian-owned Amman Mineral, which operates the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine.
    The harder ore encountered underground, along with hundreds of kilometers of electric railway, will also require an additional 130 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power generation, boosting the Grasberg’s overall capacity to more than 500MW.
    The government has shelved a planned 300MW hydro-electric plant, 100 kilometers west of the Grasberg, which would have served both the mine and the coastal logistics center of Timika, whose 200,000-strong population is starved for electricity.
    Freeport estimates the Grasberg’s open pit will be exhausted of the last of its high-grade copper and gold ore within the next 12 months. While the transition to a purely underground mine will happen by early next year, it is expected to bring a significant fall in revenues.
    ----------------------------


    0 0


    2) Soekarnopura proposed as official name of Papua’s Holtekamp Bridge
    ------------------------------------------------


    THURSDAY, 15 MARCH, 2018 | 19:30 WIB
    1) Fadli Zon Meets Freeport Officials in Timika, Papua

    TEMPO.COTimika - House of Representatives (DPR) deputy speaker Fadli Zon and ten members of the House visited Timika, Papua on Thursday, March 15, regarding the implementation of Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law. He is scheduled to meet officials of Freeport Indonesia.
    "It is related to the implementation of the Otsus Law, and also related to supervision in other areas including with everything in Papua," said Fadli Zon, who is also the Otsus Chairman of the Supervisor and Implementation Team of Papua, Aceh, and Yogyakarta.
    Fadli said his visit to Timika this time is to see the situation, to receive people's aspirations and also to directly monitoring the condition in the field including the Freeport.
    According to Fadli, he and the other members of the House have received many reports, including labor issues. He said, his presence in Freeport mine area is to solve problems, not to create one.
    Fadli Zon hopes that his visit will gain many inputs from all parties. He also hopes he can give input about the required policy.

    2) Soekarnopura proposed as official name of Papua’s Holtekamp Bridge
    Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
    Jayapura, Papua | Thu, March 15, 2018 | 08:01 pm

    The people and government of Jayapura are hoping that the under construction Holtekamp Bridge is officially named Soekarnopura, the name of the provincial capital of Irian Jaya before it was changed to Jayapura. 
    “This name [Soekarnopura] is historical,” said Jayapura Mayor Rustan Saru on the sidelines of an event at the Holtekamp Bridge in Jayapura on Thursday.
    With the second lifting on Thursday, the construction of the bridge conducted by state-owned construction firm PT Pembangunan Perumahan (PP) is more than 90 percent complete.
    “The first lifting was completed on Feb.21. With the second lifting, only 5 percent of the construction activities are left,” PP infrastructure director M.Toha Fauzia said.
    Toha said construction would be completed in June, two months before its deadline in September. The installation of the bridge’s lifting span center took four to six hours.
    Iwan Zarkasi, director of the bridge division at the Public Works and Housing Ministry’s Bina Marga Directorate General, hoped the Papua provincial administration and the Jayapura administration could work together to complete the project.
    “It is hoped the Papua and Jayapura administrations can immediately complete their parts so that this bridge can function in 2019,” said Iwan.
    In regard to the name of the 732-meter-long bridge, Iwan said he would convey all input to Minister Basuki Hadimuljono. (sha/ebf)
    -----------------------------

    0 0



    Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

    Media release 16 March 2018


    Will PM Turnbull and Julie Bishop raise the human rights situation in West Papua with Jokowi at ASEAN Summit?





    The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is taking place in Sydney on the 17-18 March. 



    According to reports Australia will press its Southeast Asian neighbours about serious human rights concerns at the summit.  


    Julie Bishop said on ABC radio earlier this week "I would certainly be encouraging Aung San Suu Kyi to attend the summit so that we can raise directly with her the concerns that we have." 


    Will she raise the human rights situation in West Papua with Jokiwi?


    Joe Collins of AWPA said “its unfortunate but West Papua will probably be the elephant in the room yet again and the issues discussed at the summit will be the usual talkfest of trade, defence, security and terrorism."


    Prime Minister Turnbull and Julie Bishop should support the leaders of the other regional organisation, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in pressing Jokiwi to allow a fact finding mission to West Papua as was requested by the PIF leaders at the PIF Summit in Port Moresby in 2015.

    Ends.
    -----------

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    2) Library provides educational, recreational resources for children in Papua
    3) Letting Indonesia join MSG was a mistake - academic
    -----------------------------------------------------



    1) Australia–Indonesia: strangers next door
    BY Tim Lindsey
    16 March 2018
    10:27 AEDT

    At the weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet with President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on the margins of the Australia-ASEAN Special Summit. Although Turnbull seems to have built the positive personal relationship with Jokowi that eluded Tony Abbott, managing the bilateral relationship won’t be any easier for Turnbull than his predecessor.
    The fate of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) illustrates the difficulties Turnbull faces. The signing of this agreement, under negotiation for almost a decade, was originally expected to provide the fresh “announceable” development that such meetings between leaders demand.
    Although the signing may still happen, its likelihood has been descreasing for some months, all the more so as senior Indonesian ministers told the press on Tuesday that talks remain deadlocked.
    Even if a deal is finally signed off, implementing it will be just as hard as its negotiation – maybe even more so. For all Jokowi’s repeated rhetoric of Indonesia being “open for business”, in reality his country remains strongly protectionist.
    In part this is due to a tradition of populist mistrust of foreign capital, stoked by increased nationalism since the presidential elections of 2014. It is also partly because of a too-often corrupt and obstructionist bureaucracy, and a result of wealthy oligarchs’ capturing much of the political process and a good slice of the media too.
    Jokowi’s promises count for little if these oligarchs choose to stymie deregulatory reform. The gap between his reformist policy announcements and the wicked problems foreign investors still face on the ground remains enormous.
    Of course, the difficulty of developing bilateral economic ties cannot solely be attributed to Indonesia’s challenging business environment. Australia’s business underperformance in Indonesia is also a result of the persistent popular misunderstandings of the country that led Australians to ignore our shared geography and miss out on the benefits of Indonesia’s 5% growth and much-predicted boom.
    This creates a vicious circle. As Dave McRae and Diane Zhang argue in their contribution to our newly published volume on Australia–Indonesia relations, Strangers Next Door?Indonesia and Australia in the Asian CenturyAustralia’s shallow economic ties with Indonesia leave nothing to counterbalance popular security fears about Indonesia. The Indonesian diaspora in Australia is surprisingly tiny given their home country’s enormous size and close proximity.
    Popular anxiety about Indonesia in Australia was also aggravated by the rise of racial and religious identity politics evident in the Jakarta gubernatorial election last year, which saw the Christian ethnic Chinese incumbent Ahok imprisoned for blasphemy.
    In fact, Indonesian Islam’s growing social and moral conservativism could become even more problematic for our relations with Indonesia. Having finally managed to legalise same-sex marriage, Australians will react badly if the Indonesian legislature’s current plans to amend its Criminal Code to criminalise homosexuality are successful. This has the potential to trigger an international tide of criticism against Indonesia, which will probably only strengthen anti-foreigner sentiment.
    Fear and anxiety works both ways. Australia’s popular reputation in Indonesia is also often poor. A persistent perception of Australia as firmly “white” feeds nationalist suspicions of its supposed neocolonial motivations in dealing with Indonesia.
    Papua will therefore continue to be a major fault line in the relationship, sitting at the intersection of powerful and often conflicting ideas about human rights and national sovereignty in the two countries. Many Australian activists who lobbied for democracy in Indonesia and self-determination for East Timor now see Papuan independence as a similar cause, infuriating Indonesian leaders.
    Indonesian suspicions about Australian ambitions also dovetail neatly with nationalist scepticism of Australia’s significance to Indonesia, given the latter’s economic and geopolitical “rise”. This is manifest in the frequent comments of Indonesian opinion-makers to Australians that, “You need us more than we need you,” or, as Indonesia rises, “You need to show us why you matter.” As then DFAT secretary Dennis Richardson wrote in 2012, a wealthier and more confident neighbour makes it “increasingly difficult for Australia to gain the attention of Indonesian decision-makers, to the extent that we think our interests might warrant”.
    There are plenty of other human rights and criminal law issues on which Australians and Indonesians frequently do not see eye to eye, including the death penalty and drugs sentencing. Asylum-seeker policy is another obvious fault line.
    Amid this turbulence, bilateral ties have grown incrementally broader and, in a range of respects, warmer, since Indonesia democratised in 1998. Turnbull’s regular meetings with Jokowi and the annual “2+2” defence and foreign ministers meeting, which will accompany the ASEAN summit this weekend, are each part of the wide range of government cooperation has developed. Nevertheless, the two-way tensions, fears, and misunderstandings signal that bilateral ties face a bumpy ride ahead.
    In fact, there is a real risk that as the Asian Century rolls on, Australia and Indonesia may find themselves largely going their separate ways.  
    Preventing this from happening, and deriving some benefit for Australia from Indonesia’s fast-moving transformation, will be a huge challenge for Turnbull, regardless of his personal rapport with Joko Widodo. IA-CEPA would be a nice start, but don’t hold your breath.
    Tim Lindsey and Dave McRae are the editors of Strangers Next Door?: Indonesia and Australia in the Asian Century, published by Hart Publishing in February.


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


    2) Library provides educational, recreational resources for children in Papua

    Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
    Jayapura, Papua | Fri, March 16, 2018 | 03:00 pm
    The new library at state elementary school SD Negeri Inpres Komba in Kampung Yobe, Sentani, Papua, has become an oasis for students.
    The 361 students and 21 teachers could not hide their gratitude. They sang and danced while some released colorful balloons into the sky to celebrate the library’s inauguration on March 1.
    “We have long dreamed of a reading house or a library and now it has been realized,” said principal Agustina Sokoy.
    She thanked Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), an advocacy group committed to the well-being of children, and multinational insurance company Prudential Indonesia for making their dreams a reality.
    “We hope this library can increase our children’s interest in reading,” said Agustina.
    SDN Inpres Komba is one of two schools, including SD YPK Babrongko in Sentani Lake, which received libraries.
    WVI chairman Doseba Tua Sinay said the libraries also provided active joy and effective learning method training and financial literacy activities.
    “With support from Prudential, 480 children will benefit from the improved learning facilities at their schools. More than 1,800 children will also benefit from the literacy training program we have provided to 27 teachers in Jayapura regency,” added Doseba. (ebf)



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


    3) Letting Indonesia join MSG was a mistake - academic
    4:26 pm today 
    A Solomon Islands academic says the leaders of Melanesian Spearhead Group member states made a mistake in granting Indonesia associate member status in the group.
    The five full members of the MSG are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS Kanaks Movement of New Caledonia.
    Tarcisius Kabutaulaka's comments come as another rift surfaces within the sub-regional group this time between the leaders of Fiji and Solomon Islands over the Indonesia issue.

    The latest spat began with comments from Solomon Islands deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare saying Fiji should not have forced other countries to accept Indonesia.
    Fiji's defence minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola rubbished the claims, and pointed out that it was at a summit in Honiara in 2015 when Mr Sogavare was prime minister and chair of the MSG that Indonesia gained its current status.
    Mr Kabutaulaka, who is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, said since its inclusion Indonesia had not been shy about pushing its main agenda in the MSG.
    In particular, he said Jakarta was suppressing the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which had observer status in the MSG and is seeking independence for the indigenous people of Papua from Indonesia.
    Mr Kabutaulaka said despite Indonesia's claims to the contrary, it is not a Melanesian country.
    "They should have denied Indonesia that membership. One of Indonesia's arguments is that it has the largest Melanesian population."
    "In fact the Melanesian population in Indonesia is very small. First and secondly it is the most oppressed and is often not represented by the Indonesian government in the way that Jakarta is implying," he said.
    --------------------------------

    0 0


    2) Maritime security discussed at ASEAN-Australia Summit

    3) Asia Pacific Human Rights – Will PM Turnbull and Julie Bishop raise the human rights situation

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

    1) PM must address human rights crimes - West Papua Action Auckland 

    West Papua Action Auckland has urged the Prime Minister to raise human rights and the suffering of the people of Indonesian ruled West Papua when she meets with President Widodo on Monday. Our Melanesian neighbours in West Papua are suffering grievously and must not be overlooked for the sake of ‘good relations’ or markets for our goods.
    For 55 years West Papuan people have been seeking freedom from repressive military rule, imposed on them in a scandalously unfair process. The loss of life is estimated to be at least 100,000. Even though the struggle is now mainly about peaceful protest, petitions and diplomacy - there is no let up in security force crack-downs.. In the last three years the police have adopted a strategy of arresting demonstrators en masse, and thanks to Police Chief edict organisations deemed ‘separatist’ are denied the opportunity to hold any kind of gathering. This is a blatant breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Indonesia is a signatory.
    Yanto Awerkion, a young activist who was promoting an petition calling for the UN decolonisation committee to become involved, has now spent over 9 months in jail on a treason charge. He will be released shortly - thanks to international pressure.
    Last year the International Coalition for Papua documented ten cases of extrajudicial killings, when the victims were either shot dead during security force operations or tortured to death in custody. West Papuans say that they are experiencing ‘slow genocide’ and this refers to the impact on their lives of marginalisation and environmental exploitation as well as to shockingly low standards of health and education. In the remote Asmat area in the last few months there has been a devastating outbreak of measles which, coupled with malnutrition, took the lives of dozens of children.
    There are a growing number of Pacific nations who are taking a stand in support for West Papuan self-determination. So far New Zealand has not supported their initiatives in regional forums and at the United Nations. So this meeting with the President will be a timely opportunity for Prime Minister Ardern and her Ministers to demonstrate that New Zealand does support fundamental rights and freedoms, and that principle and compassion have not been forgotten.



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

    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115000/maritime-security-discussed-at-asean-australia-summit

    2) Maritime security discussed at ASEAN-Australia Summit

    Reporter: 19 minutes ago

    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne discussed maritime security issues during the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit 2018 in Sydney, Australia, on Friday.

    "Maritime security for Indonesia is an implementation of the agenda set by President Joko Widodo, to build Indonesia as the world`s maritime axis," Ryamizard said in a statement on Friday.

    As part of reaching the goal, he said the Indonesian Navy should be strengthened to protect trade routes that boosted the national economy. It includes routes within as well as outside the country`s jurisdiction, affecting national interest.

    "Maritime security in Asia Pacific is crucial, as the world`s economy currently depends on maritime route for trade as well as communication lines," Ryamizard added.

    Maritime security development has been closely linked to the existence of radical groups affiliated with ISIS, leading Indonesia to consider cooperating with Malaysia and the Philippines to deal with the terrorist groups along with piracy and crime at sea.

    In addition to maritime security issues, the meeting included discussions on Indo-Pacific ties, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and human trafficking.

    Reported by Agita Tarigan
    (S022/INE)
    (T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/A014) 
    3) Asia Pacific Human Rights – Will PM Turnbull and Julie Bishop raise the human rights situation in West Papua with Jokowi at ASEAN Summit?
    Source: Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
    The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is taking place in Sydney on the 17-18 March. 
    According to reports Australia will press its Southeast Asian neighbours about serious human rights concerns at the summit.  
    Julie Bishop said on ABC radio earlier this week “I would certainly be encouraging Aung San Suu Kyi to attend the summit so that we can raise directly with her the concerns that we have.” 
    Will she raise the human rights situation in West Papua with Jokiwi?
    Joe Collins of AWPA said “its unfortunate but West Papua will probably be the elephant in the room yet again and the issues discussed at the summit will be the usual talkfest of trade, defence, security and terrorism.”
    Prime Minister Turnbull and Julie Bishop should support the leaders of the other regional organisation, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in pressing Jokiwi to allow a fact finding mission to West Papua as was requested by the PIF leaders at the PIF Summit in Port Moresby in 2015.
    -------------------------

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    Photos of ASEAN protests at Sydney Town Hall and Rohingya Community rally in Hyde Park

    Raising the issues the ASEAN leaders should be talking about



    Town Hall Sydney 17 March



























































    Rohingya Community in Hyde Park











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


















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    1) Open letter to PM Ardern: Raise Papua human rights crimes with Jokowi

    2) Indonesia, Australia foster economic ties
    3) Jokowi, Turnbull hold bilateral meeting
    -----------------------------------------


    https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/03/17/open-letter-to-pm-ardern-raise-papua-human-rights-with-jokowi/

    1) Open letter to PM Ardern: Raise Papua human rights crimes with Jokowi

      
    An advocacy group, West Papua Action Auckland, has urged Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to raise human rights and the “suffering of the people” of Indonesian-ruled West Papua when she meets with President Widodo on Monday.
    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the leader of the largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with two-way trade worth NZ$1.76 billion last year, will arrive in New Zealand tomorrow for a two-day visit.
    The West Papua action group says in a statement released by spokeswoman Maire Leadbeater:
    Our Melanesian neighbours in West Papua are suffering grievously and must not be overlooked for the sake of “good relations” or markets for our goods.
    For 55 years West Papuan people have been seeking freedom from repressive military rule, imposed on them in a scandalously unfair process. The loss of life is estimated to be at least 100,000.
    Even though the struggle is now mainly about peaceful protest, petitions and diplomacy – there is no let up in security force crack-downs.
    In the last three years the police have adopted a strategy of arresting demonstrators en masse, and thanks to a police chief edict, organisations deemed “separatist” are denied the opportunity to hold any kind of gathering.
    Blatant breach
    This is a blatant breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Indonesia is a signatory.
    Yanto Awerkion, a young activist who was promoting an petition calling for the UN decolonisation committee to become involved, has now spent over 9 months in jail on a treason charge. He will be released shortly – thanks to international pressure.
    Last year the International Coalition for Papua documented 10 cases of extrajudicial killings, when the victims were either shot dead during security force operations or tortured to death in custody.
    West Papuans say that they are experiencing “slow genocide” and this refers to the impact on their lives of marginalisation and environmental exploitation as well as to shockingly low standards of health and education.
    In the remote Asmat area in the last few months there has been a devastating outbreak of measles which, coupled with malnutrition, took the lives of dozens of children.
    There are a growing number of Pacific nations who are taking a stand in support for West Papuan self-determination.
    So far New Zealand has not supported their initiatives in regional forums and at the United Nations.
    So this meeting with President Widodo will be a timely opportunity for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her ministers to demonstrate that New Zealand does support fundamental rights and freedoms, and that principle and compassion have not been forgotten.


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



    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115008/indonesia-australia-foster-economic-ties
    2) Indonesia, Australia foster economic ties

    Reporter:  

    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia continued to foster their economic ties in the face of shifting of the economic center from the Atlantic to the Pacific region.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who is on a visit to Sydney to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit 2018, used the opportunity to have a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday.

    On the sidelines of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the Indonesian president addressed a CEO forum at the International Convention Center, Sydney, which was also attended by Turnbull.

    At the bilateral meeting, Jokowi and Turnbull discussed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). The last negotiation on IA-CEPA was conducted on March 6 and 7.

    "There is progress, but it has not yet been fully achieved; the final result of the negotiations should ensure benefits for the two countries not only from the commercial aspect but also with emphasis on partnership and cooperation," Jokowi remarked.

    The president also expected Australia to respond positively to various proposals for cooperation. "The cooperation includes work and holiday visas; higher education and vocational training; professional standards; industrial and agricultural development, including livestock; as well as apprenticeship programs for both students and professionals," he added.

    The third bilateral issue discussed was the follow-up of the "Indonesia-Australia Digital Conference."

    The follow-ups include improving the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups in developing digital innovations; developing Next Indonesia Unicorn; increasing digital literacy; and smart government initiatives to improve public services.

    The meeting, which started at around 11:00 local time, discussed a number of issues, which are results of a 2 + 2 meeting held on Friday (March 16) between ministers of foreign affairs and defense ministers of both countries.

    "I hope the signing of a maritime cooperation action plan can be implemented soon, and the two foreign ministers have also exchanged ideas on the concept of Indo-Pacific region architecture," the president stated.

    After all, according to Jokowi, the global economic center has shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific region. "All of us know that currently the gravitation center has shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific region. The highest trade value is in the Asia Pacific region," Jokowi revealed, addressing a group of business leader at the International Convention Center, Sydney, on Saturday.

    "Who are they in the Asia Pacific? Certainly, there are Asia and India, and other South Asian countries; Middle East to the west of US; China, Korea, and Japan in the north; and Australia in the south. There are 10 member countries of ASEAN blessed with geographical position right in the middle of the gravitation," the Indonesian president revealed.

    In the meantime, Turnbull praised Jokowi as an important role model. Turnbull heaped praises on the visiting Indonesian leader as a role model in guarding the spirit of diversity.

    "Jokowi has succeeded in developing multi-culturalism, and this is also being developed in Australia. We are united by political values, democratic freedom, and mutual respect," Turnbull stated.

    He asserted that in the past 40 years, the Pacific region has recorded economic growth, and there were no signs of slowing down."The IMF predicted that in five years, six of ASEAN members would grow faster than China, and all ASEAN members would grow faster than the United States and the European Union," he explained.

    Turnbull and Jokowi were businessmen before becoming politicians; therefore, they could see the importance of companies, and the government could adopt a policy and issue regulation to support business expansion.

    Moreover, according to Jokowi, amid the shifting of the economic center to the Pacific region, the number of middle-class people in the region is also on the rise. "There is significant growth in the middle class in Asia and Asia Pacific. For the time being, we must ignore the number of political issues carried in the front pages of newspapers, because the most important fundamental and historic development currently happening in the world is the growth of the middle class, which is continuing to increase in Southeast Asia," he revealed.

    Jokowi underlined the growth of the middle class in Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia as the economic power in the regions.

    "The middle class and the youngsters are more interested in experiencing adventure rather than luxury goods. That is what has made tourism industry grow," he remarked.

    Quoting Bloomberg data, he stated that the world`s economy only grows three percent a year, but the tourism industry has grown seven percent. Bloomberg predicts one of the four new jobs in the next 10 years to come from the tourism industry.

    "Again, 25 percent of new jobs in the world will come from the tourism sector. This is an extraordinary opportunity for ASEAN and Australia to not only promote tourist destinations for the middle-class people in China and India but also to develop it as a big market for domestic tourism industry," he revealed.

    Jokowi arrived in Sydney on Friday to attend the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, which will be held from March 16 to 18.

    (A014/INE)
    (T.A014/A/KR-BSR/S012) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto

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


    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115007/jokowi-turnbull-hold-bilateral-meeting

    3) Jokowi, Turnbull hold bilateral meeting
    Reporter:   21 hours ago
    Sydney (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) held a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit 2018.

    The meeting started at around 11:00 local time and discussed a number of issues, which are results of a 2 + 2 meeting held on Friday (March 16) between ministers of foreign affairs and defense ministers of both countries.

    "I hope the signing of a maritime cooperation action plan can be implemented soon, and the two foreign ministers have also exchanged ideas on the concept of Indo-Pacific region architecture," the president stated.

    He expressed hope that consultations on the Indo-Pacific region would continue for the creation of stability, peace, and prosperity.

    Widodo further discussed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economy Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). The last negotiation on IA-CEPA was conducted on March 6 and 7.

    "There is progress, but it has not yet been fully achieved; the final result of the negotiations should ensure benefits for the two countries not only from the commercial aspect but also with emphasis on partnership and cooperation," he continued.

    The president also expected Australia to respond positively to various proposals for cooperation.

    "The cooperation includes work and holiday visas; higher education and vocational training; professional standards; industrial and agricultural development, including livestock; as well as apprenticeship programs for both students and professionals," Widodo added.

    The third bilateral issue discussed was the follow-up of the "Indonesia-Australia Digital Conference."

    The follow-ups include improving the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups in developing digital innovations; developing Next Indonesia Unicorn; increasing digital literacy; and smart government initiatives to improve public services.

    In the bilateral meeting, the president was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto; Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi; Minister/State Secretary Pratikno; Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu; Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita; Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Head Thomas Lembong; Indonesian Ambassador to Australia John Legowo; and Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa Ministry of Foreign Affairs Desra Percaya. Turnbull was accompanied by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

    (a014/INE)
    (T.A014/A/KR-BSR/F001) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
    ------------------


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    2) Government to continue building road along PNG border in Papua
    3) President Jokowi departs for New Zealand
    ---------------------------------------------


    1) UGM students sent to Asmat
    Yogyakarta | Sun, March 18, 2018 | 09:50 pm

    Sri Wahyuni The Jakarta Post



    A Papuan woman and their children wait for medical treatment at local clinic at Ayam village in Asmat district in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province on Jan. 26, 2018. (AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

    As many as 12 students from Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM) have been sent to complete a community service work program, known as KKN, in Asmat regency, Papua, to help the regency deal with the recent health crisis that has seen an extraordinary occurrence (KLB) status be declared for measles and malnutrition.
    The students were the first KKN students ever deployed to Asmat, UGM’s community service director Irfan Dwidya Prijambada said. The group would be stationed in the regency’s capital of Agats for 45 days.
    During their stay, the students will be tasked with initiating a health promotion program as well as a community empowerment program focused on the sectors of education, the economy and environment.
    For the first batch of students ever sent to the area, their main task would be to build trust with the community, Irfan told the students during the official departure ceremony at the university’s campus in Yogyakarta recently.
    Trust was pivotal to the long term success of the program, which would be continued for at least three consecutive years with different batches of students, he said.
    Irfan added that the program in Asmat was held in response to the recent measles and malnutrition outbreak that had claimed the lives of at least 72 children in the regency as of February 2018. 
    Of the 12 participating students, 10 are students of UGM’s school of medicine. The other two are from the school of geography and the school of economy and business.
    “Hopefully our students’ contribution in Asmat will be just the beginning of a change in the people’s mindset and behavior so that another KLB will not occur again and other unwanted occurrences can be prevented as well,” Irfan said. (rin)

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

    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115017/government-to-continue-building-road-along-png-border-in-papua
    2) Government to continue building road along PNG border in Papua

    Reporter:  

    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will continue building a road along the border between the country and Papua New Guinea in Papua, a cabinet minister has said.

    Until the end of 2017, around 891 kilometers of the total length of 1,098 kilometers were already completed, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.

    "In 2019, all border roads between Merauke in the south and Jayapura in the north would be connected," Basuki said in a news release received here on Saturday.

    Basuki issued the statement on his way to inspect the condition of a 424 kilometer part of road between Merauke and Boven Digul.

    The condition of road, which largely unpaved, is relatively good although there are around 58 kilometers need repairs.

    The Minister said he would send a special team from Jakarta to speed up work for the road repair.

    He said the border road had given concrete results for the border people.

    "Normally in the past, it took weeks to cover the distance, but now it needs only 8 hours and when the condition is better it would take only 6 hours," he said.

    District Head of Boven Digul Benediktus Tambonot, who accompanied the minister in the inspection said the condition of the road between Merauke and Bouven Digul had improved gradually.

    "I thank the government for the serious attention that in three to four months the repairs would be finished," Benediktus said.

    He said the road has greatly facilitated transport of goods and people and the impact is a decline in the prices of goods needed by the people in interior areas.

    Previously when the roads were badly damaged and were not yet connected the prices were high , but now the prices of essential goods, building materials are much cheaper, he said.

    The repair of the road between Merauke-Boven Digul were difficult because of the swamp area and soft soil. It needs much of land filling. (AS)

    (T.SYS/B/H-ASG/F001) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto

    ——————————————————————————


    3) President Jokowi departs for New Zealand
    Reporter:  

    Sydney (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana left here, Sunday, for New Zealand for a two-day state visit.

    Members of the presidential entourage joining the visit to New Zealand included Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi.

    His agenda in Wellington will include a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a visit to New Zealand`s Parliament, and a dialog with Indonesian community living in that country.

    President Jokowi attended the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held in Sydney on March 16-18, 2018.

    Themed "Enhancing Regional Security and Prosperity", the three-day summit discussed issues related to regional security, economic relations as well as counter-terrorism measures so as to further tighten the relationship between Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    On Sunday, he was present in the summit`s plenary session and retreat meeting held at the Admiralty House in Kirribilli.

    During the retreat meeting, the Indonesian Head of State conveyed three proposals on ASEAN-Australia cooperation.

    "First, ASEAN-Australia must make contribution in creating a new economic growth hub in the Indian Ocean," Jokowi said.

    Second, ASEAN and Australia need to develop an effective mechanism including with countries in the Indian Ocean in the fields of security, maritime safety, search and rescue (SAR), and protection of marine natural resources, President Jokowi stated.

    The third proposal is cooperation in strengthening the centrality of ASEAN, including in developing the regional architecture.

    "The centrality of ASEAN has never become a threat to anyone. The centrality of ASEAN will in fact nourish the habit of having dialogs and cooperation," the President said.

    President Jokowi expressed his hope that cooperation in the Indian Ocean region could be integrated with the Pacific region, so it could lead to an Indo-Pacific regional architecture, which is open, inclusive, transparent, and upholding the international law.

    reported by Desca Lidya Natalia
    (T.SYS/A/F001/F001) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
    ---------------------------------

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    Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

    Media release 19 March 2018

    No real condemnation of human rights abuses committed by governments in Sydney Declaration

    For all the talk of about security, terrorism and sharing " a strong commitment to regional peace and security as well as peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, the exercise of self-restraint, without resorting to the threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law”,


    there was no condemnation of the human rights abuses committed by governments of the region in  The Sydney Declaration from the ASEAN Summit. 

    https://aseanaustralia.pmc.gov.au/Declaration

    Joe Collins of AWPA said, of concern also is the statement in PM Turnbull’s media release (18 March) that,


    "Australia and ASEAN will build greater links between our defence forces through new defence scholarships”. https://www.pm.gov.au/media/enhancing-regional-collaboration-strengthen-our-security-and-prosperity

    The Australia military already helps train the Myanmar and Indonesian security forces who commit human rights abuses. The editorial in the Sun-Herald (18 March) said its time to cut ties with the Myanmar military. AWPA also believes its time to stop aiding the Indonesian military who commit abuses against the West Papuan people.



    When Australia’s Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, met with Indonesia’s Minister for Defence Ryamizard Ryacudu in Sydney for the annual Indonesia-Australia Defence Ministers’ meeting (17 March), 


    did she remember that it was Ryamizard Ryacudu who praised a group of soldiers who had been jailed for killing West Papuan leader Chief Theys Eluay as heroes? He said at the time, “I don’t know, people say they did wrong, they broke the law. What law? OK, we are a state based on the rule of law, so they have been punished. But for me, they are heroes because the person they killed was a rebel leader.” https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-releases/meeting-indonesian-defence-minister

    Congratulations to the local civil society groups who came out to protest about the human rights abuses being committed in the region and also to the media who reported on the issues of concern.



    Hyde Park March 17


















    Town Hall Sydney 17 March


















    ends

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


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    2) Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Pukeahu National War Memorial
    3) PM Jacinda Ardern to talk trade with Indonesian President Joko Widodo

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




    https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/352869/small-west-papua-protest-during-jokowi-visit-to-nz-parliament

    1) Small West Papua protest during Jokowi visit to NZ parliament

    6:43 pm today 
    Indonesia's president was greeted by protestors calling for West Papuan independence when he arrived at New Zealand's parliament this afternoon.





    A sing-off on the steps of the New Zealand parliament between protestors and Indonesians during president Joko Widodo's visit to Wellington. 19 March 2018 Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades
    But the protestors were vying for airspace with a group of Indonesians who were there to cheer Joko Widodo in his flying visit.
    It turned into a sing-off on the steps of New Zealand's parliament.

    Video footage
    Dozens of Indonesians, buoyed on by a handful of officials, singing nationalist themes with great vigour as they awaited their president, known as Jokowi.
    Alongside them, outnumbered but not diminished, around twenty people calling for an end to human rights abuses in West Papua.
    Things became rowdy, but as the official Indonesian motorcade arrived, the protestors barely had time to make their point as Jokowi stepped out of his car and disappeared up the steps to parliament.

    Indonesia's president Joko Widodo disappearing up the steps and into parliament, as his foreign minister Retno Marsudi waves out. 19 March 2018 Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades
    Today he has met with New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern and other leading officials.
    Papua was not expected to feature in discussions and, at the Indonesian government's behest, media opportunities to ask Jokowi questions were kept to a bare minimum.
    Photo: Pool / Marty Melville

    —————————————————————
    2) Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Pukeahu National War Memorial
    By: Derek Cheng 19 Mar, 2018 12:16pm
    Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been officially welcomed to New Zealand and has given a light-hearted speech, joking about New Zealanders' love of coffee and its sheep.
    Widodo had lunch with dignitaries including Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in which he gave a speech thanking them for the warm welcome and joking about "coffee diplomacy".
    He said he noticed New Zealanders' love of coffee during his brief time in Wellington.
    "Indonesia needs to export more coffee to New Zealand. Indonesia is one of the top coffee producers in the world," he said, before going through a number of regional coffees produced in Indonesia.
    "Each of these coffees have a unique taste ... Don't forget, when you drink coffee, drink Indonesian coffee."
    He also quipped: "I am very happy to visit this beautiful country with all its sheep."
    Reddy said she was honoured to welcome Widodo and his delegation.
    "Indonesia is one of New Zealand's oldest and closest partners in South East Asia. This year we celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations."
    Earlier Widodo paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Pukeahu National War Memorial, where a lone protester was heard repeatedly yelling "Free West Papua".
    Ardern has been urged to raise the issue of West Papua, which had been fighting for independence from Indonesia, in her bilateral meeting with Widodo this afternoon.
    "West Papuan people have been seeking freedom from repressive military rule. The loss of life is estimated to be at least 100,000," West Papua Action Auckland said in a statement.
    "Our Melanesian neighbours in West Papua are suffering grievously and must not be overlooked for the sake of 'good relations', or markets for our goods."
    Widodo and his wife, Iriana Joko Widodo, were greeted at Pukeahu by Defence Minister Ron Mark, former chief of navy Rear Admiral David Ledson, Chief of Army Major General Peter Kelly and Air Vice-Marshall Robin Klitscher.
    Widodo laid a wreath on the sanctuary steps in the Hall of Memories.
    A minute's silence was held, following a reading of the Ode of Remembrance.
    Widodo, his wife and Mark then laid a fern on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
    Widodo is the head of the country with the world's largest Muslim population, and the largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). It is a major market for New Zealand meat, dairy and agriculture exports, with total two-way goods trade of $1.76 billion in 2017.
    He arrived in Wellington last night to a rousing welcome from local Indonesians, after attending an Asean meeting in Australia at the weekend. It is his first visit to New Zealand, and he is accompanied by his wife, ministers and a business delegation.
    The delegation was officially welcomed to New Zealand in a ceremony at Government House in Wellington this morning. He was met on the grounds by kaumatua Professor Piri Sciascia and kuia Hiria Hape, before accepting the wero (challenge) from the NZ Defence Force Maori Cultural Group.
    This was followed by a rousing haka from 50 students from Wellington College, led by students Geordie Bean and Sean Howe.
    Reddy then greeted the delegation and accompanied them as they met students from Scots College Preparatory School and Newlands College, and then inspected the 100-strong tri-service Guard of Honour.
    Members of the diplomatic corps were also on hand to meet Widodo and his delegation.
    Widodo first met Ardern at the East Asia Summit last year and will have a bilateral meeting with her this afternoon.
    It is customary for visiting heads of state to hold a press conference after meeting with the Prime Minister, but it is understood Widodo requested that no press conference be held.
    It will mean he will not be opened up to questions from media, including about West Papua.
    Widodo is also meeting with Opposition leader Simon Bridges.
    Trade is expected to be high on the agenda; a booming population and consumer class make Indonesia an important market for New Zealand.
    New Zealand and Indonesia have free trade through New Zealand's trade agreement with Asean, but in 2013 New Zealand took Indonesia to the World Trade Organisation over 18 agricultural trade barriers.
    According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the barriers are estimated to have cost the New Zealand beef sector up to $1b, and have also affected horticultural exports.
    Indonesia appealed a decision in New Zealand's favour in 2016, and the WTO upheld its ruling in November last year that the 18 barriers were inconsistent with global trade rules.
    Trade Minister David Parker said at the time of the ruling that it would open the way for further export growth to Indonesia.​

    —————————————
    3) PM Jacinda Ardern to talk trade with Indonesian President Joko Widodo
    By: Derek Cheng 18 Mar, 2018 3:35pm
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will welcome Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, in Wellington tomorrow to celebrate 60 years of NZ-Indonesia relations and discuss trade - but he is expected to be shielded from questions from the media.
    Meanwhile West Papua Action Auckland is calling for Ardern to raise human rights issues with Widodo over the Indonesian province that has been fighting for independence for decades.
    Widodo is the head of the world's largest Muslim country and the largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). It is a major market for New Zealand meat, dairy and agriculture exports, with total two-way goods trade of NZ$1.76 billion in 2017.
    This will be Widodo's first visit to New Zealand, and he will accompanied by his wife, ministers and a business delegation.

    It is customary for visiting heads of state to hold a press conference after meeting with the Prime Minister, but it is understood Widodo requested that no press conference be held.
    It will mean he will not be opened up to questions from media, including about West Papua.
    In a statement, West Papua Action Auckland urged Ardern to raise human rights and the "suffering of the people of Indonesian-ruled West Papua" with Widodo.
    "West Papuan people have been seeking freedom from repressive military rule. The loss of life is estimated to be at least 100,000.
    "Our Melanesian neighbours in West Papua are suffering grievously and must not be overlooked for the sake of 'good relations', or markets for our goods."
    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, who met with Ardern on Tuesday, also did not hold a press conference with Ardern.
    Widodo has been at an Asean meeting in Australia and first met Ardern at the East Asia Summit last year.
    He will be welcomed at Government House on Monday before having lunch with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.
    He will then meet with Ardern, and afterwards with Opposition leader Simon Bridges.
    Trade is expected to be high on the agenda; a booming population and consumer class make Indonesia an important market for New Zealand.
    New Zealand and Indonesia have free trade through New Zealand's trade agreement with Asean, but in 2013 New Zealand took Indonesia to the World Trade Organisation over 18 agricultural trade barriers.
    According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the barriers are estimated to have cost the New Zealand beef sector up to a billion dollars, and have also affected horticultural exports.
    Indonesia appealed a decision in New Zealand's favour in 2016, and the WTO upheld its ruling in November last year that the 18 barriers were inconsistent with global trade rules.
    Trade Minister David Parker said at the time of the ruling that it would open the way for further export growth to Indonesia.

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    2) Consensus should resolve objection against Papua mosque tower: Minister
    3) Police, officials call for calm over minaret row in Jayapura
    ---------------------------------


    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115033/president-jokowi-meets-indonesian-citizens-in-new-zealand

    1) President Jokowi meets Indonesian citizens in New Zealand
    Reporter:  


    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) told the country`s citizens living in New Zealand about Papua and the diaspora in a meeting with them at Amopura Gathering, Te Papa Museum in Wellington on Monday.

    The president also told the Indonesian citizens about his experience when carrying out working visits to various underdeveloped regions in Indonesia, according to Bey Machmudin, head of the presidential press bureau, in a statement received by ANTARA on Monday.

    A number of Indonesian citizens in the meeting, asked questions ranging from Papua to diaspora issues.

    "Bapak (Mr) President, what is your motivation that makes you so often come to Papua?" The question was raised by Fransiscus Orlando, one of the citizens of Papua origin who lives in New Zealand.

    The president, who was accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo and Foreign Minister Marsudi, responded that being a leader, he wanted to see directly about condition of society and infrastructure there. According to him, eastern Indonesia has been too long forgotten and overlooked.

    "One and a half months after being sworn in, I immediately flew to Papua. To date, I have come to Papua seven times and it is the province I visit most often. Whereas from Jakarta to Papua takes six hours. But this is the territory of the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia that should draw attention," he said.

    The President also shared his stories and experiences regarding his working visits to various disadvantaged regions in Indonesia. One of them was about his visit to Nduga District in Papua.

    Reported by Agus Salim
    (TZ.SYS/B/B003/S012) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
    ——————————————


    2) Consensus should resolve objection against Papua mosque tower: Minister
    Reporter:  
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has called for a consensus to resolve the objection against a mosque`s tower constructed in Sentani, Papua Province.

    "Resolve it through a consensus. We will support the steps taken by prominent religious and traditional figures as well as officials of the local administration to arrive at a common consensus," Saifuddin noted in a press statement, here, Monday.

    The Association of Churches in Jayapura has demanded the demolition of a tower of Al Aqsha Mosque located in Sentani, Jayapura, as it is higher than the church buildings in the area.

    The minister said he had contacted several religious leaders in Papua and supported a plan to hold a productive dialog involving the concerned parties.

    "I have communicated with Papua`s prominent Muslim figures, the chairman of the Indonesian Churches Association, and the Inter-Faith Harmony Forum in Papua to help solve the problem," the minister stated.

    The unity of the nation should be prioritized in dealing with the issue, he added.

    The minister has instructed his personnel in Papua to help facilitate the dialog and negotiation processes to deal with the problem.

    Reported by Anom Prihantoro
    (f001/INE)
    (T.SYS/B/KR-BSR/B/H-YH) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
    ———————————————————

    2) Police, officials call for calm over minaret row in Jayapura
    Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
    Jayapura | Mon, March 19, 2018 | 07:37 pm

    The Jayapura Police said Monday that security in the regency and in Papua in general was under control after the Jayapura Churches Association protested via letter the height of the Al-Aqsa Mosque minaret in Sentani, Jayapura regency.
    The minaret row did not affect the security there, the police said.
    “People carried on with their activities as usual, unfazed by the letter,” Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Victor Dean Mackbon told The Jakarta Post on Monday. The regency administration, the police and the interfaith forum in Jayapura have been in talks to resolve the conflict.
    The executive head of Nahdlatul Ulama in Papua, Toni Wanggai, called for everyone, especially Muslims, to keep calm and not let the protest provoke them. He said his organization was in talks with the church association and the Jayapura administration.
    “We are sure we can find a good solution. Papua has a good track record of communicating and finding solutions to problems,” Toni said Monday.
    He said the letter was likely issued after a communication impasse.
    John Gobay, a Papuan councillor, said the protest from the church did not damage interfaith relations in Papua. “I think it is about some miscommunication,” he said. “We hope this is not going to be like in other provinces, where groups reject the construction of worship places of other religions."
    Aman Hasibuan, a Sentani resident, said he went on with his regular activities as normal and believed others did the same.
    Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said Sunday that the protest could be followed up with dialogue. The ministry’s press release stated that the letter included a demand to dismantle the minaret because it was higher than the churches in the area. In the letter, the association said it wanted the minaret to be lower.
    “I have communicated with Muslim figures in Papua, the head of Indonesian Communion of Churches and the Papua Interfaith Forum to settle the matter,” he said.
    He said in settling the matter, everyone must follow prevailing laws, customary laws and local values.
    Signed by the head of the Jayapura Churches Association, Robbi Depondoye, the association gave a 14-day deadline to the regency administration, or else they would take their own action.
    In July 2015, there was a dispute between Christians and Muslims during Idul Fitri in Tolikara regency, Papua. Following the arrival of the police, a number of warning shots were fired and the situation deteriorated into a riot. A number of kiosks and houses and a small prayer room were burned down in the incident. One victim was killed and 11 others were reportedly injured by gunfire. (evi)
    --------------

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    2) Freeport has cost $13 billion losses in environmental damage, says BPK
    3) MUI regrets churches association`s refusal for mosque construction in Jayapura
    ---------------------------------------------------
    1) Indonesia not in MSG to undermine West Papua freedom push
    7:48 am today 
    Indonesia says it is not in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to undermine a push for self-determination in its Papua region.
    A war of words between Fiji and Solomon Islands has broken out over Indonesia's admission, as an associate member, to the sub-regional group in 2015.
    The Solomon Islands deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare accused Fiji of forcing other MSG countries to accept Indonesia.
    But Fiji's defence minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has said this is not true.
    A Solomon Islands' academic Tarcisius Kabutaulaka said letting Indonesia in was a mistake because it's openly trying to undermine the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which applied to join the MSG as a full member.
    But an Indonesia's embassy spokesman in Australia Sade Bimantara said this is not why Indonesia joined the MSG.
    "You know since the 1960s in Indonesia, we have been contributing towards peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and so all we have been doing in the Pacific is just expanding that sort of architecture and norm setting into the South Pacific region as well and working with Australia and working with New Zealand and other countries in the South Pacific region."
    Sade Bimantara said the Papua region has full political and democratic freedom.
    He said the United Liberation Movement for West Papua only represents the aspirations of exiled Papuans.

    ————————————————————
    2) Freeport has cost $13 billion losses in environmental damage, says BPK
    Jakarta | Tue, March 20, 2018 | 01:17 pm
    The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has said that ecological damage resulting from PT Freeport Indonesia's (PTFI) mining operations in Papua had caused Rp 185 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in state losses.
    “Based on the calculations of experts at IPB [the Bogor Institute of Agriculture], the environmental damage caused by Freeport’s mining waste reached Rp 185 trillion,” BPK commissioner Rizal Djalil said in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
    He added that the mining company dumped its waste into forests, rivers and estuaries.
    Rizal said the BPK had received data on the scale of the damage from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan). He added that Freeport Indonesia also utilized 4,536 hectares of protected forest for their operations in direct violation of Law No. 19/2004 on Forestry.
    “It has been 333 days since we issued the report, but it has not been followed up,” said Rizal, adding that the BPK had recommended sanctions for the company to the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
    Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company had followed up on two BPK reports on violating the license on the use of protected forests and its environmental impact.
    Riza said the ministry had imposed administrative sanctions on Freeport in October 2017 for violating the terms of the environment permit. (bbn)
    —————————
    3) MUI regrets churches association`s refusal for mosque construction in Jayapura
    Reporter:  
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) has expressed regret over the statement by the Association of Churches in Jayapura District (PGGJ) rejecting the construction of mosques which are taller than other buildings.

    In its statement, PGGJ has also rejected the use of loudspeakers for adzan (call to prayer) and the construction of mushollas (praying rooms) and mosques at public facilities. It has also banned female students of state schools from wearing religious attire and preachers from conducting Islamic propagation in Jayapura district.

    "MUI regrets the statement as it goes beyond the spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, togetherness, and kinship, MUI Deputy Chairman Zainut Tauhid Saadi stated here on Tuesday.

    The statement may threaten the unity and cohesion of the Indonesian people who live together in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia based on the state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, Saadi added.

    The Indonesian independence was the fruit of the nation`s joint efforts. Therefore, no group of people could claim to be more entitled or special than the others, because the claim could ruin and hurt the values of national brotherhood, which must be highly respected and upheld, he remarked.

    "MUI is of the view that unity in diversity is God`s mercy that we must thank rather than deny. It is our obligation to guard and preserve it by co-existing peacefully, lending mutual help, and working together to develop Indonesia into an independent, united, sovereign, just, and prosperous nation," Saadi explained.

    Adhering to a religion is the most intrinsic order from God, and every citizen has the freedom to adhere to a religion and perform religious services according to his religion or faith, he noted.

    No individual or group of individuals could ban other people from exercising their religious teachings, because the act is against the constitution and human rights, he pointed out.

    Reported by Anom Prihantoro
    EDITED BY INE
    (T.S012/A/KR-BSR/B003) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
    --------------------------

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    2) Indonesia's Inalum expects to line up Freeport sale bank financing soon 
    -----------------------------------------
    https://en.antaranews.com/news/115071/minister-asks-freeport-to-help-overcome-plastic-waste

    1) Minister asks Freeport to help overcome plastic waste
    Reporter:  

    Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has asked PT Freeport Indonesia to help overcome the plastic waste in the area of Mimika District, Papua Province.

    "We have a problem with plastic. I read in a book that (plastic) basket for crab cultivation can be used for about four years. Well, after four years, what can we do with it after it becomes waste," Pudjiastuti stated, while launching PT Freeport Indonesia`s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in Timika, on Tuesday.

    According to the minister, Indonesia has become the second largest contributor of plastic waste in the world after China. Therefore, after being used for crab cultivation in the community economic development program, the plastic basket should not be discarded into the sea.

    "We are now throwing almost 160 million tons of plastic waste into the sea. One day, the Indonesian sea will contain more plastic than fish. This is my concern, because after traveling around Merauke, I see many canals filled with used mineral water bottles. I am sure it is the same around the villages in Mimika," she remarked.

    "Maybe, in addition to this program, PT. Freeport, together with other relevant parties, can also support the environmental hygiene program; of course, plastic waste is not a matter of society," the minister added.

    According to Pudjiastuti, in addition to reducing the beauty of the city, plastic waste has caused the emergence of puddles everywhere.

    The plastic waste issue can become a time bomb for the Indonesian people if they do not immediately handle the waste in the gullies and waters which are filled with plastic.

    "A campaign to reduce the use of plastics is also very important. Therefore, the waste from this crab farming program must not be thrown into the sea; otherwise, it becomes garbage again," she explained.


    (A014/INE)
    EDITED BY INE/H-YH
    (T.A014/A/KR-BSR/A/H-YH)
    Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja

    ————————————

    2) Indonesia's Inalum expects to line up Freeport sale bank financing soon 

    MARCH 21, 2018 / 10:36 PM / UPDATED 7 HOURS AGO Reuters Staff

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s state mining holding company, PT Inalum, expects to reach an agreement soon on bank financing to buy a controlling stake in the local unit of Freeport McMoran Inc (FCX.N), the holding company’s chief executive said on Wednesday. 

    Indonesia and Freeport have agreed in principle that the U.S. miner would divest 51 percent of its local unit with funding provided by Inalum for the purchase of the rights to the Grasberg mine in Papua, the world’s second-biggest copper mine. 

     
    Asked about Inalum’s progress on raising finance, Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a meeting of the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club that banks had been lined up and there should be an agreement “very, very soon”. 

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo has instructed his administration to complete negotiations by the end of April, Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan said earlier this month.

     
    The government, through Inalum, planned to buy the stake at “a reasonable price”, including the purchase of Rio Tinto’s participating interest and converting it into shares, Jonan said. 

    Rio (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) has a 40 percent interest in Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg contract, which entitles it to a 40 percent share of all production after 2022. Rio has held talks with Indonesia about a possible exit from the venture. 

    Freeport pledged to divest its majority stake to the government last August in exchange for long-term operating rights. The government currently owns a less-than-10 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia. 

    Sadikin denied a report that Inalum had offered $550 million for Rio’s participating interest in the mine.

     
     

    The Kontan daily, citing a source and documents, said the offer was based on a valuation calculated by Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Danareksa. 

    “The price won’t be too far from the market price,” Sadikin told reporters at a separate mining event. 

    “This is a negotiation, we are bargaining, but the range of the price has been set,” he said. 

     
    In a research note issued on Feb. 13, Deutsche Bank estimated a reasonable sale outcome for Rio, given country risks, would be above $3.3 billion.

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

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    2) Infrastructures to improve Asmat`s quality of life

    3) How the son of a tailor rose to power in Indonesia’s palm oil heartland
    -----------------------------------------


    1) EDITORIAL: Defuse Sentani tension
    EDITORIAL The Jakarta Post
    Jakarta | Thu, March 22, 2018 | 08:14 am



                                  The mesmerizing view of Lake Sentani in Jayapura, Papua. (Shutterstock/File)

    Authorities in the Papua regency of Jayapura should act fast to defuse the sectarian tension building up in the wake of local Christian church leaders’ objections to the ‘’overly tall’’ minaret of a new mosque in Sentani. It is good to hear local government, police and Muslim authorities’ assurances that there is nothing to worry about because all parties are working on finding a solution. However, the undercurrents remain unknown.
    The Christian-majority township showed signs of religious tension last week after the Jayapura Churches Association gave the regency administration until the end of the month to have the minaret of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is under construction, shortened to the average height of churches in the area. In a petition filed with the local government on March 15, they threatened to take their own action unless the authorities met their demands.
    Apparently, the mosque project is only a symptom of simmering conflict between mostly Christian indigenous people and generally better off and more skilled Muslim migrants. In their letter, church leaders also conveyed the complaint that the Muslim community had built the mosque without prior consultation with their neighbors — a mandatory procedure under a joint ministerial decree on construction of places of worship. They also expressed disappointment that their long-standing objections to the blaring call to prayer, the adzan, from mosque loudspeakers have gone unheeded.
    Any sign of sectarian conflict in restive Papua, especially, should be handled swiftly yet carefully because of its extremely high sensitivity. The minaret row is only the latest in a string of conflicts fueled by complex social, economic and political problems in the resource-rich territory long beset by secessionist issues.
    The influx of migrants that started in 1974 under the state-sponsored transmigration program, and which continues as individual migration, has helped the local economy. But their rising numbers coupled with heavy military presence have caused fear among indigenous people that they are being “colonized”, outnumbered and their culture is being threatened.
    That is why in Papua any religiously or ethnically charged conflict has immense incendiary potential. The present ripples recall the ramifications of the 2015 Muslim-Christian clash in Tolikara, southern Papua in which an indigenous resident was allegedly shot dead by police. It triggered retaliatory attacks on churches in Java and exacerbated Papuans’ distrust of the police, whom they suspected of pandering to the migrants.
    Christian and Muslim leaders in both Jakarta and Papua should refrain from issuing provocative statements that will only inflame the already tense situation. Influential religious organizations like the Indonesian Ulema Council, Nahdlatul Ulama, the Indonesian Communion of Churches and the government should work hand-inhand in finding a peaceful settlement.
    We hope that the government and religious leaders will soon be able to resolve the brewing conflict amicably. If not, the tension could escalate and provide grounds for militants from both religious groups to take the law into their own hands. The police, notoriously trigger-happy when handling rowdy crowds in Papua, should be particularly careful so as not repeat the mistakes of Tolikara.

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    2) Infrastructures to improve Asmat`s quality of life
    Reporter:  
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The willingness of Indonesian government to develop a number of border, outermost and remote areas in the country is implemented through building basic infrastructure needs to improve the quality of life of the local people.

    Current issues of development challenges that should be tackled immediately by the government in Papua are malnutrition and measles that have affected children of Asmat tribe.

    It is not about the viral issues, nor building image of the Indonesian government. The most important issue is the development of humanity and equity to the people in Papua.

    The adequate infrastructures are considered to be one of the key development in rural areas to upgrade the locals` living quality.

    The Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, said during his visit to Asmat District of Papua on March 15, 2018 that the availability of accessible clean water is an essential requirement to improve the environment quality of Asmat District.

    The Ministry has the matrix data of the development activities in Asmat District for short to middle terms, such as clean water channel, sanitation, bridges, access road improvement, and houses repairmen, as well as new developed residential complex.

    "Most of the region is swamp area. We need to treat the water to make it drinkable. We already have a water reservoir of 1.000 m3. We still need more water, thus we will construct 9 more reservoirs with bigger capacities. Besides, we will also build artesian wells," said Minister.

    The people in Asmat District has utilized an artesian well. The ministry will build five more wells with 150-200 meters of depths measured at Rp6 billions of budget.

    The drilling equipment has been assembled and ready to be shipped in a whole package.

    The visit of Hadimuljono to Asmat District was held by the order of President Joko Widodo, who has asked for the update of the problems in the remote area.

    The President is scheduled to visit Asmat when the project was started.

    Additionally, the Asmat Head District, Elisa Kambu, explained the extraordinary incidents of measles and malnutrition in Asmat have been resolved.

    He expressed his gratitude towards the President for his attention, particularly in the sustainable development of basic needs infrastructure such as clean water, sanitation, waste management, transportation, and houses.

    "By better infrastructure availability, I hope no more extraordinary incidents occurred in Asmat," he said.

    When visiting the Asmat community, Hadimuljono asked the people to pay more attention to the waste management by not throwing gargabes under the stage houses and put them in the particular place to avoid polluting beaches.

    The waste can be managed by implementing 3R system which are consist of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" to make more healthy environment.

    In order to support the cleaner living management, the drinking water piping system will be also developed by the government and Non-Governmental Organization.

    The City of Agats in Asmat district already has a Drinking Water Supply System (SPAM) with 10 liters/Sec capacity to provide 230 houses which would be optimized in 2018.

    Other SPAMs will also be built in Atsy and Sawaerma Sub-districts, which have the capacities of 5 liters/Sec with the operating expense budget around Rp2 billion and Agats city`s SPAM for 10 liters/Sec with Rp5 billion of budget.

    Besides, an additional 24 units of SPAM with 1 liter/Sec capacity will be built with an estimated operating budget around Rp39, 7 billion through the Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Based on Community activity or "Pamsimas".

    The Non-Government Organization, National Amil Zakat Board or "Baznas", shared their attention along with the government by constructing the drinking water installation development for Asmat people.

    The installation of the drinking water sterilization of Baznas has been built in An-Nur Mosque in Agats Sub-District of Asmat District and was officially operated.

    The Distribution Director of Baznas, Mohd Nasir Tajang, said the installation system was funded by the institution and donors.

    As an initial stage, a water installation will also be constructed in Asmat Regional Hospital for the community with a cheaper payment system and "barter" program that exhange the waste of drinking water plastic bottles.

    The agency hopes Agats Sub-district can be more beautiful, clean and healthier.

    The lack of access to clean water has caused many diseases like diarrhea, as well as skin iritating as problems. The issues also triggered the recent extraordinary incidents of measles and malnutrition in Asmat District.

    In all this time, people of Asmat have to buy bottled mineral water for their daily need of clean water for cooking in a higher price.

    After visiting Kaye Village, Basuki crossed the river to view the construction site of 114 units of special houses that have been built since 2016 at a cost of Rp19.9 billion located in villages of Amanamkai and Syuru, of Agats Sub-district.

    The government in 2018 plans to build 100 units of houses in four villages such as 34 units in Priend Village of Fayid Sub-district, 33 units in Ass Village and Atat Village of Pulau Tiga Sub-District, and 33 units in Warkai Village of Betsbamu Sub-district.

    The government will also repair houses that are not suitable for habitation by a program of 1,000 self-help houses.

    To support the daily activity of Asmat people, the government will also build four suspension bridges with a budget of Rp46 billion located in Baru Syuru Village of Agats Sub-district (72 meters of length), Yerfum Village of Der Koumor Sub-district (84 meters of length), Hainam Village of Kasuari Beach Sub-district (120 meters of length), and Sawaerma Village (150 meters of length).

    The construction of infrastructures such as water sterilization, waste management system, adequate houses and bridges is hoped to improve the life quality of people and eliminate the malnutrition cases in Asmat.

    (T.B019/B/KR-BSR/B012) 
    Editor: Heru Purwanto
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    3) How the son of a tailor rose to power in Indonesia’s palm oil heartland
    by  on 22 March 2018

    In the leadup to the release of the second installment of Indonesia for Sale, our series examining the corruption behind Indonesia’s deforestation and land-rights crisis, we are republishing the first article in the series, “The Palm Oil Fiefdom.” 
    This is the second part of that article. The first part described a secret deal between the son of Darwan Ali, head of Indonesia’s Seruyan district, and Arif Rachmat, CEO of one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil companies. The article can be read in full here.
    Indonesia for Sale is co-produced with The Gecko Project, an initiative of the UK-based investigations house Earthsight.

    Darwan Ali’s son Ahmad Ruswandi was a 21-year-old university student when thousands of protesters occupied the Indonesian parliament in 1998, demanding the resignation of the aging president Suharto. A regional financial crisis had sent the rupiah into freefall, depriving the dictator of his ability to paper over deep inequalities. Economic growth, as well as a willingness to use the army to impose violent control, had served as the bedrock of his regime. But as the economy collapsed, food supplies dissipated and rioters filled the streets nationwide, he was abandoned by his allies, and finally stood down.
    For three decades Suharto had placed whole sectors of the economy in the hands of his relatives and cronies. He was formally charged with embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds via a network of charities, although he successfully claimed to be too ill to stand trial. A Time magazine investigation estimated that the family had amassed a fortune of $15 billion. Transparency International ranked him as the world’s most corrupt leader.

    In the leadership vacuum that followed his resignation, the country threatened to break apart. An implausible nation-state composed of a multitude of ethnically and linguistically diverse people, living across thousands of islands, Indonesia had been held together by military-enforced, highly centralized rule. The bureaucracy had been dominated by Javanese, people from the densely populated island that provided the state with its de facto cultural identity. As their dominance was eroded, long-suppressed identities reemerged as potent forces. Without the heavy center of gravity Suharto had provided in Jakarta, the regions began to spin out of its orbit of control.
    The jockeying to replace the authority of the Suharto regime catalyzed sectarian violence across the archipelago. Separatist insurgencies gained steam in Aceh and Papua. Christians and Muslims slaughtered each other in the Maluku Islands. In Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, the notion that indigenous Dayaks had been trodden upon was used to foment violence against migrants in the town of Sampit. Everywhere, the goal was control of resources.
    The prize in view for those who could clamber their way to the top was a share in the spoils of Indonesia’s immense natural wealth. Its islands sat atop precious metals and fossil fuels, and were coated in tropical rainforests replete with valuable timber. For three decades, everyone had looked on, powerless, as the revenues from exploiting these resources flowed out of the islands, to Jakarta and the personal accounts of Suharto’s family and cronies. Now they were up for grabs.
    It was in this turbulent environment that Darwan Ali emerged as a political force. Darwan had grown up in a staunchly Muslim village on the banks of Sembuluh, a sprawling lake at the heart of East Kotawaringin district, in Central Kalimantan, the largest province in Indonesian Borneo. His origins remain mysterious even to those who have studied the area, but an elder man from the same community told us he was born in the early 1950s into an ordinary family. His parents were tailors who also farmed a small plot of rubber, and named their other boys Dardi, Darlen, Darhod and Darwis. By the 1990s Darwan was operating in the district capital, Sampit, at a time when the local economy was overwhelmingly dependent on logging. Precious hardwoods were extracted from jungles that once cloaked the entire island. The timber was floated downstream into Sampit to be processed and exported.

    The logging expanded far beyond what could legally or sustainably be harvested. A shadow economy flourished, predicated on hard cash flushing in from a timber trade unlicensed  —  but tacitly endorsed  —  by the local government. Darwan moved in this world, first as a building contractor for infrastructure projects, then as a lobbyist for industry, and finally as a prominent local member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDIP.
    Darwan’s occasional appearances in local newspapers at the time chart his rise as a representative of the business community, pushing back against any efforts to regulate it or curb its worst excesses. He protests the banning of companies from bidding for government projects due to corruption; he earns controversy for gaining an untendered contract to supply schools with furniture; he complains about taxes imposed on the forestry sector, intended to prevent illegal logging. “The overall impression is of a typical Borneo frontier businessman who makes a lot of money in the black economy,” Gerry van Klinken, a University of Amsterdam professor who follows Kalimantan politics closely, told us.
    As Jakarta’s hegemony receded, and the grip of Suharto’s circle on natural resources dissipated, the shadow economy and the characters who controlled it came to the fore. A timber mafia coursed into protected areas. Tanjung Puting National Park, a mostly swampy forest teeming with orangutans, leopards and crocodiles, was heavily targeted for its ramin and ironwood trees. One local government agency that attempted to stem the flow of logs had its office burned to the ground. When a journalist reported on the illegal logging of the park, he was soon after jumped upon, hacked with machetes and left for dead in a ditch. He narrowly survived, crippled and disfigured.
    Beginning in 1999, Indonesia embarked on an ambitious program of decentralization, transferring a wide range of powers from Jakarta to local bureaucracies in the hope of both heading off separatist urges and making government more accountable. District heads, the bupatis, were granted the authority to enact their own regulations, provided they did not conflict with existing laws. They exercised this authority liberally. One of the first decisions of the East Kotawaringin administration was to begin taxing shipments of illegal logs, tacitly endorsing the shadow economy instead of confronting it.
    In 2002 Seruyan, named for the river that flowed through it, was carved out of East Kotawaringin as a new district. The following year Darwan, who was by then the head of the PDIP party in East Kotawaringin, became Seruyan’s first bupati. His jurisdiction stretched some 300 kilometers north from the Java Sea into remote jungles populated sparsely by indigenous Dayaks. Its western edge encompassed part of Tanjung Puting National Park. It was dominated by the lowlands between the park and Sampit, with Lake Sembuluh at its heart. At the turn of the millennium, more than two thirds of the district remained covered in forest. Though it was thinned out by logging, it harboured a wealth of wildlife that could rival most landscapes on earth.

    The first generation of empowered bupatis were selected by members of the district parliament. Darwan’s ascent surprised some observers, who saw him as a political novice. He was said to have declared that any bureaucrat who backed his candidacy would rise in rank from echelon one to two, or echelon two to three, and so on, failing to grasp that this would actually constitute a demotion. But he was also viewed as a putra daerah, a “son of the soil,” who would fight for his people. He was awarded a five-year term, half a decade to transform the fortunes of his homeland, before facing his constituents at the ballot box.
    By 2003 the district economy was stagnating. The log trade was collapsing under the burden of its own excesses. Lake Sembuluh had been a shipbuilding center that attracted craftspeople from other islands at its height. But the vessels were made from hardwood and for transporting it, and the industry died as the commercial timber dried up. With the most valuable trees already stripped from the forest, Darwan was taking the reins of a district whose heyday as a timber hub, its main source of income, was coming to a close.
    Plantations, specifically for oil palm, were the most obvious replacement. The fruit of the oil palm tree yielded an edible fat used in everything from chocolate to laundry detergent and biofuel. The commodity was in increasing demand globally, and the region south of Lake Sembuluh was seen as having great potential for large-scale development of the cash crop. Though it lacked infrastructure, it was close to the port towns of Pangkalanbun and Sampit. District officials imagined the latter as a vibrant transit town, for laborers coming in to work the plantations and palm oil leaving for global markets. Darwan announced plans to invite investors from Hong Kong and Malaysia. He promised a new harbor to facilitate exports and an easing of regulations.
    Marianto Sumarto, a local sawmill owner who had joined Darwan’s campaign team in 2003, said the assumption of power by a son of the soil generated hope. “It made people proud,” he told us. “They didn’t know that behind the scenes, he was playing a bigger game.”
    Read the entire the story here. And then follow Mongabay and The Gecko Project on Facebook (here and here in English; here and here in Indonesian) for updates on Indonesia for Sale. You can also visit The Gecko Project’s own site, in English or Indonesian. Read the article introducing the series here.
    Article published by 
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    2) Jayapura Regent: Minaret is not an extraordinary case
    3) Proposed name of Soekarnopura for the current Holtekamp Bridge is protested

    4) Papuan political prisoner sentenced to 10 months
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    Mongabay Series: 

    1) Company outed for fires in Indonesian palm lease still clearing forests in timber concession, NGO finds
    by  on 22 March 2018


    • Agribusiness conglomerate Korindo has since 2017 implemented a moratorium on forest clearing in its oil palm concessions, after it was found to be burning forests in Indonesia’s Papua province.
    • A new report indicates that since then, the company may have degraded more than 30 square kilometers of pristine forest to build logging roads in one of its timber concessions — an area excluded from the self-imposed moratorium.
    • The NGO Mighty Earth has called on the company to extend both the forest clearing moratorium and a high carbon stock approach, which it employs on its oil palm concessions, to its timber operations.
    JAKARTA — An environmental watchdog has accused a palm oil company in Indonesia of failing to extend a sustainable forestry pledge to a timber concession that it also operates.
    In a recent report, the NGO Mighty Earth alleged that Korindo, a South Korean-Indonesian joint venture, had degraded an area of more than 30 square kilometers (12 square miles) of rainforest in the easternmost province of Papua. The area is part of a logging concession spanning 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) operated by a subsidiary of Korindo, PT Inocin Abadi.
    “Korindo is continuing to destroy pristine rainforest in Papua on its logging concession, PT Inocin Abadi, with clear expansion into intact forest landscape underway, even as it is proclaiming it is committed to forest conservation and sustainability,” Mighty Earth campaign director Deborah Lapidus told Mongabay.
    The NGO says Korindo degraded the area to make way for logging roads, based on satellite imagery from November 2017 to January 2018, and that it continues to extend the road network into new areas of rainforest. In total, Korindo has built logging roads through more than 150 square kilometers (58 square miles) of rainforest since it started developing the concession in 2014, Mighty Earth says.
    “This makes it clear that Korindo is continuing to open up new logging areas on its 100,000 hectare concession,” Lapidus said.
    Maps show the logging concession in question sits adjacent to an oil palm concession also operated by a Korindo subsidiary, PT Papua Agro Lestari, where it stopped clearing forest in 2017. It announced a moratorium on forest clearing in all its oil palm concessions in the wake of a 2016 Mighty Earth investigation, titled “Burning Paradise,” that alleged Korindo had caused 300 square kilometers (116 square miles) of deforestation and an estimated 894 fire hotspots since 2013.


    Location and concession boundary of PT Inocin Abadi, as well as other Korindo Group logging concessions (in red) and oil palm concessions (in orange). Image courtesy of Mighty Earth.
    Logging roads
    Korindo refuted the latest allegations in a response on its website, saying the location shown in Mighty Earth’s report was an area that had been logged by the previous owner of the concession, from whom Korindo acquired the lease in 2011. Korindo did not disclose the identity of the earlier concession holder.
    It also denied having built a major network of logging roads, saying again that most of the forest roads shown in the report were built by the previous concession holder. The company said it had maintained these roads and expanded only when necessary.
    “Even for this purpose, the company has always reported and obtained permission from the government in advance, before any forest road development,” Korindo said.
    Lapidus challenged that statement, saying the satellite imagery obtained by Mighty Earth clearly showed that new roads were being built in 2017, well into Korindo’s tenure as the concession holder.
    She said that Korindo had punched a large logging road straight through an area of intact forest landscape inside the concession, which now connects that concession with the adjacent oil palm concession.




    An animated map of PT Inocin Abadi’s logging concession in Papua, Indonesia, from February 2017 to January 2018. Image courtesy of Mighty Earth



    “You can see the appearance of new roads throughout the year,” Lapidus said, referring to the above animated image.
    Korindo also said it had complied with all regulations for logging concession by carrying out “selective cutting,” felling only trees with a diameter of 40 centimeters (16 inches) or more and of certain species in limited areas.
    “Moreover, the company has always carried out reforestation programs after the selective cutting process is finished,” Korindo said. It said this had allowed it to maintain most of the forests in its logging concession “as dense forest.”
    Mighty Earth disputed this, however, saying in its report that Korindo “has refused to restore forests and ecosystems it has destroyed or resolve its grievances with local communities.”
    A map from Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) alerts also indicated tree cover loss inside Korindo’s logging concession from November through December last year. GLAD is a satellite-based alert system that can detect fine-scale deforestation in near-real time.
    “The attached chart of GLAD alerts from November and December 2017 also reflect a burst of logging activity,” Lapidus said.

    Signpost for PT Inocin Abadi. Photo courtesy of Mighty Earth.
    ‘Missing the forest for the trees’
    Mighty Earth’s 2016 report on fires in Korindo’s oil palm concessions prompted investigations by the Indonesian government and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), one of the world’s most influential sustainable forestry certification bodies. It also pushed Samsung, which had initially explored partnerships with Korindo, to cut business ties with the company.
    And while it led to Korindo announcing a moratorium on forest clearing, Lapidus said the problem was that this policy applied only to its oil palm concessions, and not its logging areas.
    “So they are clearly missing the forest for the trees (mind the pun) when it comes to the ultimate intent being to stop destroying pristine rainforest, whether for palm oil or for logging,” Lapidus said.
    She said Korindo had also excluded its logging concessions from a similar pledge to implement the high carbon stock approach (HSCA) methodology for its oil palm operations.
    HCSA is regarded as the industry standard for distinguishing forest areas from degraded land. To be in compliance, participating companies must use credible assessors, make their assessments available to the public, and seek independent verification of compliance.
    “Korindo’s HCSA commitment only applies to palm oil, whereas we are asking that Korindo adopt a group-level commitment that covers both its palm oil and wood products operations,” Lapidus said. “In addition, Korindo should seek Forest Stewardship Council certification for PT Inocin Abadi and the rest of its non-certified logging concessions.”
    In its response, Korindo sidestepped that issue, confirming only that its HCSA pledge applied to its oil palm concessions. “[W]e would like to underline that we have conducted HCSA studies for all of our palm oil plantations, and at the moment we have entered into the Peer Review process,” Korindo said.
    As for certification, it said it had been verified for the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) scheme and the corresponding Indonesian standard, the Sustainable Production Forest Management (PHPL) scheme.
    For Mighty Earth, those arguments fall short.
    “No matter how much green it puts on its website,” the NGO said in its report, “Korindo remains a high-risk supplier of both palm oil and wood products.”
     
    Banner image: Heavy machinery and logs block access to Korindo’s PT Inocin Abadi logging concession in Papua, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Mighty Earth.

    Article published by 
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    2) Jayapura Regent: Minaret is not an extraordinary case
    admin


    Sentani, Jubi –Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw stated the issue on the minaret that fussed in social media is not extraordinary.
    He admitted that it was a sensitive issue, but many ways can be done to resolve it.
    “People’s aspiration is also important, but the building has been constructed before I was elected. Therefore, people shouldn’t be overreacted in addressing it. We will sit together and discuss the best solution,” he explained in his office on Wednesday (14/3/2018).
    The regent asked all parties to do their activity as usual and do not being affecting with such an issue that might be led to a dispute among the community. “We will review all permits on the construction of buildings in this area. Because it could not be simply done, but there are some regulations behind it,” he said.
    The Chairman of the Interfaith Forum (FKUB) of Jayapura Regency Hosea Taupudu said in regards to the construction of minaret of the Al-Aqsha Mosque that becoming viral in social media, the forum has sent a letter to the Papuan People’s Assembaly and Papua Police Chief.
    “There will be a meeting between the local government, the FKUB and mosque officials on next Friday. For us, whatever is stated by the local government, it becomes the important points to be considered. Agitation or provocation in the community should be stopped,” he said.
    The construction of the Al-Aqsha Mosque’s minaret in Sentani has been viral in the social media. A number of netizens protested about the height of the minaret.
    The mosques management has met the Government of Jayapura Regency as well as the local House of Representative in order to find the best solution on this matter. (*)
     
    Reporter: Engel Wally
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    3) Proposed name of Soekarnopura for the current Holtekamp Bridge is protested

    admin

    Jayapura, Jubi – The Secretary of Papua Indigenous Empowerment Institute (LPMAP) Darius Wetaiwa questioned on the suggestion to rename the Holtekamp Bridge to the Soekarnopura Bridge.
    “Is there no other name? Since the eras of the Old Order, the New Order until the current reform era, names of rivers, mountains and streets in Papua have taken names of people from outside of Papua,” Wetauwa told Jubi on Saturday (17/3/2018).
    According to him, the proper name should have a connection with Port Numbay (another name for Jayapura City) or Tabi customary area. “For instance, the name of Port Numbay’s leader or ancestor. It is necessary for making the Port Numbay people have a sense of belonging,” he said. He firmly rejected the name of Soekarnopura. It’s to convey his attitude towards the native of Port Numbay. “Use a local word, such Port Numbay Bridge or Tabi Bridge,” he said.
    The President of Papuan Baptist Churches Duma Socratez Sofyan Yoman supports the government to give a name that can represent the Papuan customary area. “I propose Tabi Bridge as the name, which means the Bridge of Sunrise. Soekarnopura is not a good idea. Here is not Blitar, East Java,” Yoman told Jubi in Abepura, Jayapura City on Thursday (15/3/2018). (*)
     
    Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    4) Papuan political prisoner sentenced to 10 months
    admin
    Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura, Jubi – Mimika State Court passed a verdict of 10 months in prison for Papuan political prisoner Yanto Awerkion on Monday (12/3/2018).
    Awerkion detained in May 2017 when he was doing a worship service with a number of activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in fundraising event by KNPB Bomberai region in Timika. His detention has extended in September 2017, including 20 days in Mimika Police’s prison from 25 September to 14 October 2017.
    During his trial, 27 years old Awerkion was detained for nearly eight months without any charges. He came to the first trial that was scheduled for 9 January 2018 but then cancelled due to the absence of the judge.
    “Arwekion was charged for incitement and sentenced to 10 months. He initially was accused of treason for leading the worship in his secretariat,” said Veronica Koman, a human right activist on Friday, (16/3/2018).
    He was previously detained in Mimika in July 2016 when distributing pamphlets to support the ULMWP as the full member of the MSG conducted in Honiara. (*)
     
    Reporter: Victor Mambor
    Editor: Pipit Maizier
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    2) Indonesia: Teen’s Death Underscores Impunity in West Papua, Activists Say


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    1) Opposition denounces Fiji First govt's support for Indonesia

    12:42 pm on 23 March 2018 

    Fiji's Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it is deeply disturbed about allegations that the Fiji First Government acted forcibly to have Indonesia admitted as an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
    In a statement today, the shadow minister of foreign affairs and defence Mosese Bulitavu has urged other Melanesian countries to stay true to the decolonisation vision of the MSG.
    Mr Bulitavu said Fiji First leaders have already tampered with indigenous rights in Fiji and are now venturing on a path to compromise the rights of the people of Melanesian origin to help the interests of non- Melanesian nations.
    Mosese Bulitavu's comments come in the wake of a war of words between Fiji and Solomon Islands over Indonesia's associate member status in the MSG.
    An opposition MP in Solomon Islands Matthew Wale has called for Indonesia to either be kicked out of the sub-regional group or for the MSG to be dismantled altogether.
    He said Indonesia is not Melanesian and in fact is the oppressor of Melanesian peoples under its jurisdictions in West Papua.
    Mosese Bulitavu said his party leader Major General Sitiveni Rabuka was one of the founding leaders of the MSG and SODELPA is committed to the founding ideals and principles of the regional organization.
    Mr Bulitavu called for the reconsideration of the admission of Indonesia as an associate member of the MSG and for further discussion on the admission of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
    He said Fiji First has no right to hold Melanesia and its future to ransom.
    ------------------------------------
    2) Indonesia: Teen’s Death Underscores Impunity in West Papua, Activists Say
    Victor Mambor Jayapura, Indonesia 2018-03-22

    High school student Riko Ayomi was already dying when police brought him home in Sorong, a city on the western tip of West Papua province, an eyewitness said.
    His life was soon added to the roster of what local people view as unexplained and unpunished deaths of indigenous Papuans in the remote region, and which authorities often pin on traffic accidents or alcohol abuse.
    Police said they took Riko into custody after a mob beat him following an alleged theft, according to reports. About 24 hours later, before dawn on March 13, police officers brought the 17-year-old home, according to a person present at the time, who asked not to be named.
    “Riko was dying. He could not stand, could not talk, parts of his body were bruised, like his neck and his chest. He had blood coming out of his mouth. His jaw was broken, and his body was covered with scrapes. Riko died around 5 a.m.,” the eyewitness said.
    West Papua police spokesman Hary Supriyono said Riko was unconscious the whole time he was in police custody. When officers took him to the hospital, they were told Riko was drunk, he added.
    Results of an autopsy conducted by police doctors have not been released, according to the Associated Press, which said police also released a photo of the dead teenager with a bottle of alcohol next to his body.
    Police also cited a long-running dispute between two tribal groups in the area as a factor in the alleged mob beating.
    But local people had little expectation of clear answers or justice in such cases, according to Gustaf Kawer, a prominent Papuan human rights lawyer.
    “The government of Indonesia has failed to implement an effective legal process to punish the perpetrators of such killings,” he told BenarNews on Wednesday.
    ‘What kind of justice is that?’
    Gustaf cited a shooting in August 2017 in the Pomako Port in Mimika regency that left one fisherman dead and others injured. Earlier this week, a military court sentenced a soldier, Yusuf Salasar, to eight months in jail in connection with the shooting.
    “The sentence and the verdict are very far from a sense of justice. The maximum sentence is eight years. But prosecutors only asked for one year and three months,” Gustaf Kawer said.
    In addition, the trial was held hundreds of kilometers from where the shooting took place, making it impossible for relatives and witnesses to attend, he said.
    Another case was a police shooting at a protest on Aug. 1, 2017 against a company constructing a bridge in remote and mountainous Deiyai regency.
    The shooting killed a civilian, Yulius Pigai, and injured at least seven others, according to a Human Rights Watch statement at the time.
    “The perpetrators were sentenced to apologize and were transferred. What kind of justice is that? The only punishment for taking a life is an apology?” said John Gobay, a member of the provincial House of Representatives.
    A police ethics panel probe into the shooting ruled four police officers were guilty of “improper conduct” but did not need to face criminal prosecution, only demotions and public apologies, a Human Rights Watch statement said.
    Foreign media access is restricted in Papua and West Papua, Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces, which make up about one-fifth of Indonesia’s land mass.
    The region is one of Indonesia’s poorest, with low literacy rates and high rates of infant and maternal mortality. Migrants from other parts of Indonesia make up about half the population and dominate commercial activity, according to reports.
    The region has been home to a low-level armed separatist movement, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM), for decades. The OPM and Indonesian security forces are both guilty of human rights abuses, rights groups say.
    Christmas pledge
    Frits Ramandey, the representative of the National Commission on Human Rights in Papua, said security forces use excessive force against the local population because protests and resistance are often branded as acts of treason.
    “Government security measures to maintain order in Papua often lead to various forms of violence,” he told BenarNews.
    President Joko Widodo has not lived up to his pledge to Papuans in December 2014 to resolve such incidents and prevent them from happening again, he added.
    “I empathize with the families of victims of violence,” Jokowi said during Christmas celebrations in a stadium in Jayapura, the capital of Papua, on Dec. 27 of that year.
    “I want this case to be resolved as soon as possible so as not to happen again in the future. We want the land of Papua to be a peaceful land,” he said.
    He was referring to the fatal shooting of five protesters by security forces in Paniai regency on Dec. 8, 2014. The shooting occurred after about 800 people gathered outside a military and police compound to demand an explanation for the alleged beating by soldiers of a 12-year-old boy the night, Human Rights Watch said.
    “Despite three separate official investigations into the shootings, bolstered by Jokowi’s December 2014 pledge to thoroughly investigate and punish security forces implicated in those deaths, there has been zero accountability,” it said in an August 2017 statement.

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    ‘Time to Choose’ rally Sydney 24th  March -demanding  a fresh focus on renewable energy by the state government.
    Guardian report on rally

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/24/we-want-to-repower-nsw-thousands-rally-against-coal-in-sydney


























































































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