1) AT A PROTEST FOR TWO FRENCH JOURNALISTS JAILED IN WEST PAPUA
By Alison BevegeSep 24 2014
Protesters call for the release of two French journalists outside the Indonesian consulate
A face frowned through the glass at a bright banner waving on a fishing rod below the consulate window. 15 years in an Indonesian jail can be the penalty for flying the Morningstar flag, symbol of the West Papuan independence movement. But Jakarta’s little patch of Sydney lay 50 cm away, separated from Australian soil by a stern metal fence. There was nothing they could do.
A tiny pod of protesters had prisons in mind as they gathered on the Maroubra footpath outside the Indonesian consulate yesterday. They held up candles in glass lanterns for two French journalists who have been trapped in a West Papuan jail for more than 40 days. Depending on how things pan out they could face 20 years behind bars.
This reporter helped organise the vigil because Valentine Bourrat, 29, and Thomas Dandois, 40 have little prospect of seeing freedom any time soon unless the Indonesian Government relents and lets them go. The journalists went to the secretive region, annexed by Indonesia in 1969, to make a documentary for Arte TV in France. They wanted to report on the independence movement which began fighting after a disputed vote called the “Act of Free Choice” handed the fertile western half of New Guinea to Jakarta.
The lure of the story is strong for Western media. Some highland tribes have had little contact with the modern world. Remote areas are almost first contact regions.
A demographic genocide has unfurled since Indonesia took over according to the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which has reported that migrants outnumber native West Papuans after less than 50 years of occupation. Endangered tribes may vanish before their unique existence is even recorded.
Independence fighters hiding in caves have fought the Indonesian military with bows and arrows, and relic World War II rifles found in the forest. Over the years the military has responded with napalm, cluster bombs and aerial strafing.
Indonesia promises to bring greater economic development to the region which contains the world’s richest goldmine as well as valuable timber and agricultural land. But Jakarta is highly sensitive about any hints that West Papuans aspire to separate and has gone to great lengths to silence independence leaders - including putting an international arrest warrant out for Benny Wenda on bogus accusations of terrorism in 2011. Interpol dropped the red notice after finding it had been politically motivated.
ndependence leader Benny Wenda tuning his ukelele at the raising of the Morningstar flag in PNG in December. He was falsely accused of terrorism. Interpol dropped the red notice after finding the allegations were politically motivated.
This sensitivity makes interviewing the armed independence movement, the OPM, an extremely difficult task, not least because of the logistical difficulties of finding them and the expense of getting there.
It is a story coveted by journalists who are proud of their craft and are keen to tell the little-known stories of the region. Indonesia’s supporters have said it is easy to get a foreign journalist’s visa through the right channels, but reporters say that in practice they have found the reverse to be true. Gold Walkley-winning journalist Mark Davis was recently granted a pass to produce a Dateline story for Australian TV station SBS which aired on June 3. But he was openly followed through the streets by Indonesians who filmed him as he went. That kind of attention makes it difficult for reporters to do their jobs because West Papuans can be afraid to tell their stories even when a potential informer isn’t hovering.
Ms Bourrat and Mr Dandois did what others have done before them. They went in on a tourist visa, and they got caught. The usual penalty is to be deported, but Indonesian authorities have instead responded with a severity that has shocked the media industry.
Indonesian police told Fairfax Media reporter Michael Bachelard that the pair were being investigated for criminal subversion after communicating with independence leaders. If they are charged they could face 20 years in prison. The pair could get the maximum five years’ jail for the visa breach alone. The Immigration Office in Papua told Fairfax Media that they want the journalists to get the maximum penalty.
The International Federation of Journalists and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance have both called for Ms Bourrat and Mr Dandois to be freed. “MEAA condemns the ongoing detention of the pair and urges Indonesian authorities to free Dandois and Bourrat and drop all charges against them,” the journalist’s union said in a statement.
In New Zealand a lunchtime vigil was held at the central Auckland city church of St Matthews where Vicar Helen Jacobi prayed for the pair.
A rally was held in Wellington on the steps of Parliament calling on the NZ Government to help the journalists.
In Sydney, supporters held candles at the gates of the Indonesian consulate and gave flowers to passers-by before writing letters of support to send the journalists.
There were more police than protesters there, perhaps because the FaceBook event page registered 100 people as attending. Many without the ability to attend had registered their support from far-away places by clicking they were “going”.
Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo has said he wants to open up West Papua to foreign media, address corruption and improve human rights across the archipelago. Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said he will have to battle forces that don’t want change both in West Papua and in his own coalition. When asked how Australia can help, Mr Harsono said: “criticise”. When the rest of the world makes it clear that violating human rights is not acceptable it helps Jokowi to overcome opposition, he said.
His first test is now laid before him.
The Indonesian Embassy was contacted for a response. Police Attache Mr Nazluddin referred questions to police in Indonesia who have all the details of the case. Mr Nazluddin said that if people want to know how authorities respond in West Papua, then they should go themselves to the region and gather their own information.
2) Papua slaughters 50 pigs to celebrate Jokowi’s victory
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Wed, September 24 2014, 4:52 PM
Hundreds of Papuan indigenous people participated in the slaughter of 50 pigs at Trikora Field, Abepura, Jayapura, Papua, on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the victory of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate Jusuf Kalla in the 2014 presidential election.
“We thank God for the victory of the Jokowi-Kalla partnership. We are celebrating in the traditional way today by slaughtering 50 pigs,” said Maria, a representative of Papuan indigenous people, as quoted by kompas.com, adding that the ceremony was known as Baratem.
Maria said that the party, attended by some 500 people, also marked Papuan participation in the nation’s democratic journey.
According to Maria, all participants enjoyed themselves thoroughly during the Baratem.
She went on to say that all Papuans hoped that the former Surakarta mayor could provide better education and health services in the region, as well as develop Papua’s infrastructure.
Jokowi, for his part, enjoyed the celebrations from his office at City Hall via teleconference. The Jakarta governor said that Papua’s development was one of the priority programs for his Cabinet, and that he was committed to implementing said program immediately after his inauguration by the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Oct. 20. (alz/nfo)(++++)
1) SOUTH AFRICA: RAMPING UP TRADE RELATIONS, SOUTH AFRICA IGNORES INDONESIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN WEST PAPUA
By Anna Majavu
The visit by the South African government and 17 unnamed South African companies to Indonesia last week has thrown into stark relief the ANC government's hypocrisy in its international relations with countries that are guilty of human rights abuses.
Indonesia ended its brutal military occupation of East Timor in 2002 but continues an equally merciless military occupation of West Papua.
Somehow this doesn't appear to have pricked the consciences of our government officials or the companies who went on a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) business junket to Indonesia, even though South Africa, as a UN member state, has just adopted the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People flowing from the first ever United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples this week. West Papuans are, after all, an indigenous people in the Pacific whose human rights are being violated by Indonesia.
The declaration adopted by the UN this week calls for "control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources" and the "demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples". It also says that indigenous peoples should have the right to self-determination through self-governance.
But indigenous rights appear to be trumped by commercial imperatives. According to the DTI, South Africa is Indonesia's largest trade partner in Africa. The department of international relations and co-operation has previously listed some of the companies doing business with Indonesia as DigiCore, Murray & Roberts, Skyriders, Fresh World, Explochem, Denel, and AEL.
West Papua was colonised by the Netherlands in 1898 and eventually handed over in 1962 to the United Nations. While preparing for their independence following 160 years of colonisation, Indonesia invaded West Papua and later cut a deal with the United Nations. This deal involved a sham election in which only 1026 handpicked West Papuans - out of a population of one million - were allowed to vote for or against continued colonisation by Indonesia. After receiving death threats, all voted for colonisation.
Since 1962, Indonesia has banned all forms of freedom of expression and association in West Papua, as it did in East Timor before it was liberated. Since 1962, Indonesia has killed almost half a million West Papuans and driven thousands into exile.
The ANC government is aware of this, as it was of the history of East Timor (now Timor-Leste), which was colonized first by Portugal, then invaded by Japan, before being occupied by Indonesia's military dictator at the time, Suharto, who carried out a genocide until he lost power in 1998.
The mass killings, tortures and other atrocities carried out by the Indonesian military in East Timor prior to its liberation in 2002 were overlooked first by Nelson Mandela during his presidency, and then by president Thabo Mbeki.
Indonesia supported the struggle against apartheid, cutting diplomatic and commercial relations with South Africa and refusing to allow South African ships to dock at its ports from 1963. And so in 1997 when then Indonesian dictator Suharto visited parliament, not only did Mandela literally roll out the red carpet for him, but the few dozen officials from Cosatu-affiliated unions who hurriedly cobbled together a protest outside were arrested before Suharto could see them.
Mandela was said to have a "special affection for Indonesia", visiting the country four times between 1990 and 2002. This is particularly heinous given that Suharto, who took power in a coup and held onto power for 31 years, was Indonesia's unelected dictator for three of those visits.
Mbeki then kept up the good relationship, paying homage during a visit to Indonesia in 2005 to the Indonesians who had been forced into slavery by South Africa's colonisers in the seventeenth century.
Mbeki also waxed lyrical about a partnership between the Pretoria zoo and Indonesia's Surabaya zoo while failing even once to mention Indonesia's brutal genocide in West Papua. Also under Mbeki's presidency, a "strategic partnership joint declaration" was signed between Indonesia and South Africa, apparently "elevating the long-standing relations between the two countries to a new level".
Given that South Africa's indigenous people suffered similar genocidal massacres for hundreds of years, one would expect the ANC to stand with the people of West Papua. Instead, the ANC government appears to have no relations at all with West Papua, only with Indonesia - the colonial power - and neighbouring Papua New Guinea.
President Jacob Zuma is clearly following in the footsteps of his predecessors, favouring strong trade and diplomatic ties with Indonesia over freedom for the indigenous Black citizens of West Papua.
Ironically, the digital age and the advent of social media have led to greater exposure of the Indonesian killings in West Papua because of a macabre "trophy" practice by Indonesian soldiers and intelligence agents. They photograph the dead bodies of West Papuan activists after killing them, in order to win praise from their military superiors. These digital photographs and videos are circulated widely and quite quickly end up being publicly available on social media.
The brutality of Indonesia's colonisation is also currently in the world news because seven weeks ago, two high profile French journalists were arrested in West Papua for the crime of political reporting while travelling on tourists' visas.
Indonesia has effectively barred foreign journalists from reporting on human rights abuses in West Papua, insisting on a special "journalist visa" which is granted only to those pursuing anthropological stories. All story proposals must be submitted to Indonesian intelligence in Jakarta before the visa is granted, making it impossible for a human rights story to pass muster.
The French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, now face a five-year prison term for violating their visas. Their West Papuan contacts have not been so lucky.
West Papuan liberation movement regional leader, Martinus Yohame of the West Papua National Committee, was assassinated a few days after meeting with Dandois and Bourrat. And another liberation movement leader, Areki Wanimbo, was arrested a day after granting the journalists an interview and remains in prison.
With trade that has steadily risen over the years and which now stands at over US$ 2 billion per year, it is clear that the ANC is placing the business of local South African capital before justice for the indigenous West Papuans.
Indonesia has a new president, Joko Widodo, and this should present an opportunity for the ANC government to press for freedom for West Papua. West Papuan activist and exile, Paula Makabory made the point in a recent seminar that West Papua has vast resources of nickel, copper, oil, gas and timber and so Indonesia is not likely to grant West Papua its freedom without huge international pressure being brought to bear.
The ANC failed to support the people of Timor-Leste, but it is not too late for them to help bring about freedom for the people of West Papua.
Majavu is a writer concentrating on the rights of workers, oppressed people, the environment, anti-militarism and what makes a better world. She is currently studying for a Masters Degree in New Zealand.
2) Is the Scottish referendum anything we can learn from?
Syahrul Hidayat, Exeter, UK | Opinion | Wed, September 24 2014, 9:17 AM
After a two-year-long campaign, people in Scotland have decided not to break away from the United Kingdom. While Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland’s government, and his supporters could not hide their disappointment with the fact that only 45 percent of the voters said “yes” to independence, it is surely a huge relief for the central government in Westminster.
More than that, many leaders in Western Europe, especially Spain, woke up on Friday morning with big smiles. The torpedo — that is what they called the referendum — was in fact not the cause of fatalities and catastrophes. At last, the problem of central and regional relations did not end up in separation, as was also the case with Quebec in Canada.
As a country with problems between the center and the regions, Indonesia can surely learn a lot from this democratic process.
Despite the differences in practicing democracy, it is clear that Indonesia is a country that has chosen to adopt a democratic process as a replacement for an authoritarian governance under the New Order.
The first lesson is there was a tendency that those who supported independence in the Scottish referendum lived in a relatively deprived condition, especially economically. Glasgow and Dundee are the best example of urban people who expected a new situation in an independent Scotland after experiencing less fortunate living conditions during the ongoing economic crisis.
Aspirations for independence loomed on the grounds that Scots could possibly maximize their money from oil and gas from the North Sea. It was also assumed that elderly and rural people were more in favor of independence.
For Indonesia, it is clear that the idea of separation in certain regions mainly stems from an unfair distribution of revenues from natural resources.
Therefore, to win their hearts and minds the central government could find no other way than to formulate fairer policies that allow local people to profit from the natural resources.
In the case of the UK, the implementation of the welfare state decades ago has clearly been enjoyed by the people, who were then consequently afraid of the uncertainty that may have followed separation from London. It might have included them losing their right to use Sterling and their European Union membership.
That’s why the ‘no’ campaigners led by Alistair Darling offered a road map to give more power to the local government in Edinburgh to formulate better policies for the people. They proposed the tag of “Better Together” to capture the feeling of many.
The message in this case is to entrust local people to develop their capacities to manage the money and formulate policies. Some in Indonesia may be skeptical with this idea, but in fact this is part of the process of developing trust in and guidance from the central government.
As in the UK, welfare state principles are implemented nationally to include tax systems to pay for services in education, health, pensions and benefits.
The local governments receive budgets for infrastructure and a room to collect revenues for local services. As long as the people receive and enjoy benefits from the UK government the idea of separation can be challenged in a peaceful manner.
Second, it is important to maintain a democratic process as a mean of asking the public for approval. Of course, it is absolutely clear that Salmond and other supporters of independence believed in the idea of Scotland being better off without having any relations with London.
In fact, more than 50 percent of the people did not buy the idea.
Therefore, it was not because the idea was not brilliant, but democracy is about what people say and feel.
Although democracy is criticized as inefficient and lacking in details and technical discussions when dealing with the public, it still guarantees that political elites are always in consultation with the public. That is the essence of democracy.
In a mature democracy such as the UK’s, democracy still saves the political arena from the monopoly of a tiny group of politicians, who suspiciously tend to get corrupted if they are given absolute access to power.
The lesson of democracy can be learned from the way politicians responded to the outcome of the referendum. Although believing wholeheartedly that the Scots would choose independence, Salmond was humble enough to say that democracy was to be admired, which means the people’s voices have to be accepted. At the same time, Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his admiration of the ‘yes’ campaign and acknowledged their voice by offering a deliverable devolution agenda and a time table for its implementation.
Can we see the same harmonious situation just a day after the long battle that preceded the 2014 presidential elections in July? As a big country that has survived different regimes, we should share the same attitude of always taking the public’s preferences into account in the political process.
Following such a process, in the form of an election and a public consultation, political elites should respect people’s choices because this is, again, the essence of democracy.
In other words, democracy is not only about winning or losing.
The writer is a lecturer at the school of political science, University of Indonesia. He is currently an honorary research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK.
The day before Scotland voted in its independence referendum last week, West Papuan activist Benny Wenda addressed a Yes campaign crowd in Glasgow, saying that he hoped his people would one day get the same chance at self-determination.
'I hope the Indonesian government will allow my people to vote on their own future, like you here today,' he told the cheering crowd.
Wenda, who lives in exile in the UK, said he wanted to witness and take inspiration from Scotland's referendum. Of course, what he ended up witnessing was Scotland choosing to stay with the UK, with a 55-percent vote for No. The result will surely be taken as a blow to Wenda's 'Free West Papua' campaign, along with other independence movements around the world. However, it's not entirely discouraging for the cause of self-determination in West Papua and elsewhere.
The Jakarta Post noted in an editorial over the weekend that Scotland's peaceful referendum showed Indonesia that in a democracy, 'there are civilized ways of dealing with independence aspirations other than treating them as a security threat', such as respecting cultural differences, engaging in meaningful dialogue, and devolving certain powers to the regions to give them more direct control over their assets and development.
West Papuan aspirations for independence have been framed as a security threat since the territory was brought under Indonesian administration in 1963. A promised referendum on independence in 1969 turned into the widely criticised 'Act of Free Choice', which offered the vote to only 1026 selected local leaders, many of whom arereported to have been coerced into voting for Indonesian rule.
Since then, both armed and civil movements for West Papuan independence have been violently suppressed by Indonesian military and police. Despite being home to Indonesia's biggest gold and copper mine, the province still struggles with poor infrastructure and social support, as well as high rates of poverty. It has become a 'no-go zone'for foreign media wanting to report on political and human rights issues.
With a change in Indonesia's government this year, there is hope that the situation in West Papua will improve. Incoming president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has pledged to actively engage with West Papua and improve conditions there as a priority of his presidency. He has stopped short of promising discussions on independence for the province, telling local media that 'the most important thing is delivering prosperity to the people'.
Independence activists like Wenda may not agree that prosperity can quench the thirst for self-determination, a sentiment that Indonesians, as inheritors of a hard-fought battle against colonial rule, should be able to understand. However, as in Scotland, there are plenty of others who believe that Indonesia and West Papua are 'better together'. The Republic of Indonesia is founded on the 'Unity in Diversity' of 17,000 islands, 34 provinces and about 300 different ethnic groups. The 'civilized ways of dealing with independence aspirations' mentioned by the Jakarta Post apply equally to all provinces, regardless of whether they have intentions to separate from the state. Respect, dialogue and power-sharing will go a long way in keeping Indonesia intact.
One bargaining chip used by the Indonesian Government to keep dissenting regions from fracturing the unity of the state has been to grant various levels of autonomy. Since the end of the Suharto era, Indonesians have been able to directly elect their regional leaders, as part of a push for decentralisation of governance. However, a law now being discussed in the House of Representatives (DPR) threatens to put an end to that, by handing the authority from the people over to regional legislative councils (DPRDs), as in Suharto's time.
Departing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has finally put his weight behind Jokowi's coalition to oppose the bill, which is being pushed by the 'Red-and-White' coalition of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. Yudhoyono's party has nonetheless put forward a 10-point amendment addressing the major failings of the direct election system, such as widespread vote-buying, inefficient campaign funding and the emergence of 'little kings' in the regions.
In a time when Indonesia is still consolidating its democracy, backtracking on decentralisation reforms would be an unwise move. As the case of Scotland shows, sticking together involves a negotiation of identity, dialogue and power. Despite its flaws, the mechanism of direct regional elections in Indonesia is a platform for that negotiation. With strong institutions, it can also become a self-correcting process, supporting democratic reform from the centre to the regions.
Wenda and other independence activists around the world must surely be disappointed by the outcome of Scotland's referendum. But if there is a lesson to be found for Indonesia and elsewhere, it is that state unity is a constant process of negotiation that finds its strength in shared freedom, not oppression.
The West Papua conference that was expected to open in Vanuatu next week has been postponed.
The West Papua Reunification Committee's chairman, Pastor Alan Nafuki, says the meeting will now take place from October the 30th.
Pastor Nafuki explained that they have sent invitations to 80 West Papuan representatives, but so far, they have received only about 20 confirmations because of fundraising and visa problems.
"So we decided that it is best that we postpone the meeting to give chances to everyone to fundraise or to fix their visa up, or other problems that they're facing, because at the end of the day, we want to get everybody to this meeting in Vanuatu."
Pastor Alan Nafuki says the conference is to provide an avenue for the different groupings in West Papua to come to an agreement on a unified bid for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
A formal membership application by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation was knocked back by the MSG earlier this year, whose leaders called for a more representative bid.
A soldier was killed in an armed attack in Puncak Jaya Regency in Papua on Sept. 25. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)
Jayapura. An Indonesian soldier was killed following an armed attack at a market in Puncak Jaya Regency in Papua on Thursday.
Spokesman for the Papua military command Lt. Col. Rikas Hidayatullah told the Jakarta Globe that four members of theIndonesian Military (TNI) were ambushed at a traditional market in Ilaga on Sept. 25.
The soldiers, who were picking up supplies for the inauguration of Ilaga district’s new chief, were fired at by a group of 10 men, he said.
A soldier identified as Second Private Abraham was reportedly shot in the head. The attackers then snatched Abraham’s weapon before fleeing into the jungle. No other soldiers were injured.
The attack followed a similar incident in July, where three soldiers suffered gunshot injuries during an assault on a military outpost in the Tingginambut area of Puncak Jaya.
The men were reportedly on patrol near the post when a group of armed men attacked the post, leading to an exchange of fire that eventually forced the attackers back into a nearby forest.
Puncak Jaya has been the scene of a number of attacks on Indonesian military personnel. The Free Papua Organization (OPM), which has waged a decades-long fight for the independence of Papua and West Papua from Indonesia, is active in the area.
THE NGO Coalition of Human Rights said it would lobby the government to take a stand on our Pacific brothers from West Papua who are suffering human rights violations, discrimination and abuse.
Leading human rights activist Shamima Ali in an interview yesterday said it was important Fiji — being a Pacific brother took a role in the fight against torture and human rights violations in West Papua.
"We will lobby the government to make a stand on it.
"At the same time , we understand the relations Fiji and other Pacific Islands have with Indonesia and we respect that," Ms Ali said.
While campaigns for the past three months were well observed by many Fijians especially youths, Ms Ali said it was important that more awareness was carried out for the sake of our brothers and sisters who were victims of torture.
She added the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre was also carrying out research and documentation particularly on women and children in West Papua.
Meanwhile, the We Bleed Black and Red Free West Papua campaign continues for civil societies and NGOs in the country and they called on more Fijians to join in the fight against torture.
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch / The Fiji Times): The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) has called on Prime Minister John Key to pressure Indonesian President Joko Widodo to release two French journalists and a West Papuan indigenous leader from prison.
The NZCTU joined groups, including West Papua Action Auckland, representatives of the Melanesian community and the Green Party in demanding that the National Party government act on behalf of journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat and West Papuan indigenous leader Areki Wanimbo, who was arrested after giving Dandois and Bourrat an interview.
In an open letter to Key, the organisations said the NZ government must make "strong representations to the President of Indonesia and his government for their release".
"Indonesia imposes media censorship by barring all but a select few journalists from obtaining an official journalist permit to visit West Papua. Dandois and Bourrat are following the honourable path set by the brave journalists who took risks and broke rules to ensure we knew about the tragedy in East Timor under brutal Indonesian occupation," said NZCTU president Helen Kelly.
Kelly, and Nicky Spicer and Maire Leadbeater of West Papua Action Auckland said Key must "call upon Widodo to commit to genuine media freedom in West Papua including the right of local and international journalists to report on the political situation there without risk of imprisonment or harassment by the Indonesian state".
Meanwhile in Suva, Fiji's NGO Coalition of Human Rights said it would pressure the newly elected Bainimarama government to support West Papua.
"Leading human rights activist Shamima Ali in an interview yesterday said it was important [that] Fiji, being a Pacific brother, took a role in the fight against torture and human rights violations in West Papua", the Fiji Times reported.
Semen Indonesia is expanding, with a cement factory to y in Papua. (JG Photo/ Dhana Kencana)
Jakarta. Semen Indonesia, the country’s biggest cement maker, is seeking Rp 600 billion to Rp 840 billion ($50 million to $70 million) in bank loans to help finance construction of a new cement plant in Jayapura, Papua. Semen Indonesia, which is controlled by the government is developing a Rp 1.2 trillion cement plant in Papua. “For the Papua plant, we will seek external funds like from loans on top of equity [injection],” Semen Indonesia finance director Ahyanizzaman said recently. He said the cement maker is still looking for some suitable land, and the bank loans are expected to be secured next year. Construction, set to start in 2015, is estimated to take three years to complete. Semen Indonesia is completing the feasibility study for the project. According to its plan, the factory will have annual capacity of 600,000 to 1 million metric tons. Upon the factory’s completion, it will be the first cement plant in Papua. Being situated far from Java — the most populous island where the main industrial plants take place — prices of some commodities in Papua, including cement is more expensive than in Java. A sack of cement could be as much as Rp 1 million on the island, compared to around Rp 50,000 to Rp 65,000 in Java.
1) Indonesian government to construct road in Papua`s middle mountain area
Kamis, 25 September 2014 19:08 WIB | 466 Views
Photo document of Baliem valley communities in Jayawijaya, Wamena, Papua. (ANTARA/M. Agung Rajasa)
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Public Works Ministry is prioritizing the construction of a road in the middle mountain area of Papua Province giving the local people another option besides air transportation.
His institution is prioritizing the road development that connects several districts, Chief of the Tenth National Road Project Agency, Thomas Setiabudi, told ANTARA here Thursday. The roads will connect districts that are located in the mountain area with areas located on the coast, Thomas said. The ministry is developing a road that connects Wagete to Timika, and from there it will continue to Paniai, Nabire and Ilaga districts. They will also develop a road from Wamena-Habema-Kenyam that will continue to the Dekai-Oksibil-Iwur-Tanah Merah areas, Thomas said. The road will connect to other areas such as Yetti, Senggi, Usku and Mamberamo apart from Tenggon, Elelim and Wamena. The Papuan people can use several roads that have been connected including Wamena to Mulia, Wamena to Tiom and Nabire to Enarotali. "Even the road that connects Jayapura and Mamberamo can be used even though it is only connected by a bridge," Thomas said. Additionally, the ministry will also develop several roads that connect the coastal areas such as Jayapura-Sarmi and Serui-Menawi-Saubeba. "We hope none of the regions will be isolated after the increasing number of areas that will be connected through the roads," Thomas added. (Uu.B019/INE/KR-BSR/A014)
2) Statement by head of LP3BH for the President-elect
Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH
[Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid] issued on 22 September 2014 At this time as preparations are under way for Joko Widodo to take over as the President of Indonesia along with his deputy Yusuf Kalla, we have heard that the president-elect intends to visit West Papua a number of times and intends to meet people there from all walks of life. This is indeed very interesting and welcome and we very much hope that Indonesia's forthcoming president will succeed in acting in accordance with the Indonesian Constitution which means responding to the problems and sufferings of the people throughout Indonesia and in particular the people living in the Land of Papua. In this connection, it is our strong belief that the people of West Papua should submit their thoughts to the president-elect about the priorities that need to be dealt with in the coming five years. First and foremost, it is extremely important that the new president of Indonesia take steps to hold a dialogue between Papua and Indonesia. as the way to achieve a peaceful Papua. In this connection, we urge that the President and his subordinates take action to resolve the many basic human rights violations that have occurred during the past decades (1963-1983) as well as problems that have continued to occur up to and since 1998. All this would mean acting in accord with articles 44 and 45 of Law/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Province of West Papua as well as Law 26/2000 on setting up a Court of Human Rights based on universal rights and principles' To set up a Commission on Truth and Reconciliation for the provinces of Papua and West Papua. This would mean taking action against crimes perpetrated by members of the security forces especially in the Central Highlands as well as in Puncak Jaya, Lanny Jaya and other places. It is also necessary for a review to be conducted of the system of security under the Indonesian Army and Police Force which should be dealt with in accordance with military laws as well as civil laws, in accordance with the process of reformation which has been under way in Indonesia since 1998. In addition, one matter of extreme urgency is to conduct an evaluation of the implementation of Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for West Papua, based on the stipulations in Article 77. In all this, the role of the Provincial Governments of Papua and West Papua as well as administrators of the regions and municipalities and such agencies as the DPRP, DPR, MRP and MRP-PB is of great importance. With all these achievements, it will be possible to conduct an evaluation of the special laws regarding Special Autonomy for the Land of Papua. Doing all this it will make it possible to conduct an evaluation of all those measures and actions that have been the source of conflict between Papua and Jakarta for the past fifty years. If all this can be achieved, it will make a great contribution towards constructive efforts to ensure that the Land of Papua is a Land of Peace, in accordance with the social-political, social-cultural and social-economy reality for the people of Papua as an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia. ------- Signed by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH-Manokwari, recipient of the Humphrey Freedom Award 2005 in Canada, member of the Steering Committee of Foker LSM [Working Group of NGOs throughout the Land of Papua] and Secretary of the Human Rights Commission working in collaboration with The Council of the Evangelical Churches on Manokwari. Translated by Carmel Budiardjo
2) Call to lift restrictions on foreign journalists in Papua
Updated at 8:46 am today
The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club is calling on the incoming administration of Joko Widodo to immediately lift all restrictions on foreign journalists travelling to the Papua region.
It says it's concerned by the continued detention without charge of French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois.
The pair were arrested in August in Wamena, and remain detained in Jayapura by Indonesian police, accused of violating their visas.
The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club says indications that the pair could face a five-year prison sentence for a visa violation, or even a much more serious charge of sedition, are of particular concern.
It says the larger issue is the continuation of restrictive state policies on journalists reporting in the Papua region and wants all restrictions on foreign journalists travelling to the region lifted.
The club says these restrictions only harm Indonesia's international reputation as a country that values press freedom, and encourages inaccurate and simplistic reporting of the issues in the region.
Jakarta. The Blacksteel Group, a property developer, is developing three malls in Sorong regent, West Papua, at a total investment of Rp 600 billion ($50 million), the company’s chief operating officer said in Jakarta recently. “The first project is to build The Plaza Sorong [mall], which is targeted to be completed by end of 2014,” Isaac Bliss Tanihaha, the COO of Blacksteel Group, told Investor Daily. Isaac, who founded the Blacksteel Group, said that The Plaza Sorong will have the tallest high-rise building in Sorong, at 14 stories. The mall will be supported by Siloam Hospital, retailer Hypermart and a hotel. The second mall being built is Sorong City Center and another mall is also located in Sorong regent. The three malls had commenced construction in 2013, Isaac added. ”We are cooperating with the Lippo Group. We hope this project will stimulate the economy in the local area,” said Isaac, who is a brother-in-law of Michael Riady. Michael serves as chief executive of the Blacksteel Group, which is independent from the Lippo Group. In May Michael had said the company plans to build 17 malls in the next five years and is targeting its development in remote areas of Indonesia.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will have an opportunity to deliver on his election promise of ''more Jakarta, less Geneva'' by building rapport with Indonesia's president-elect, Jokowi Widodo, at the latter's inauguration on October 20. Mr Abbott's ambitions for the Indonesia relationship were famously interrupted by his uncompromising stance on asylum seeker boats and revelations that Australian agencies had been tapping the Indonesian first lady's phone.
But he was also, of course, making a broader commitment to focus on near neighbours and the Asia-Pacific region. On this score he has not delivered with Indonesia, or with smaller nations in the Pacific, including the crucial neighbour of Papua New Guinea. But he has succeeded in tightening ties with north-east Asia - where the weight of Australia's economic and strategic interests lie.
The high point was his April tour of Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing, where he managed to strengthen economic relations with all three nations without being damaged by the dangerous strategic conflicts between them.
Since then Mr Abbott's foreign policy compass has swung unavoidably towards the immediate threats to Australian lives posed by Russian-backed insurgents shooting down MH17 and the shock expansion of Islamic State (ISIS). But Mr Abbott's resolute and commendable international leadership on Ukraine, ISIS and ''foreign fighters'' does not alter the fact that the weight of Australian interests are much closer to home, where he has a chance of making an enduring, positive impact.
Participating in air raids in Iraq must not divert focus from bigger strategic challenges such as helping to co-ordinate a regional response to China's muscular behaviour, deepening economic relationships with south-east Asia, and stemming the breakdown of governance in Melanesia and especially Papua New Guinea.
In November, Mr Abbott will host the G20 summit of world leaders in Brisbane, as well as separate state visits by China's President, Xi Jinping, and, if all goes to plan, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. It is imperative Mr Abbott grasps these priceless opportunities to refocus on
Australia's long-term interests in this region.
The obvious place to resume the policy of ''more Jakarta, less Geneva'' is at Mr Widodo's inauguration. Mr Abbott needs to demonstrate that the relationship is ''extraordinarily important'', as he put it in his congratulatory message. He needs to rebuild the confidence that was dented by the ''turn back'' boats policy, phone-tapping and a long list of older issues, ranging from Schapelle Corby to Australia's banning of live cattle exports during the holy month of Ramadan.
The trust deficit was articulated by both candidates in the Indonesian presidential campaign debates. The unsuccessful candidate, Prabowo Subianto, said: ''Honestly, I think that the problem is not in Indonesia. Perhaps Australia holds some kind of suspicion towards Indonesia, a kind of phobia.'' And Mr Widodo said: ''There is a problem of trust, which is what led to the spying problem. We are regarded as a weak nation. It's a matter of national respect, a matter of integrity.''
That trust deficit is also evident here in Australia, where Indonesia ranks below China, India and Japan in the popularity stakes, according to a Lowy Institute public opinion poll.
With the rise of Islamist extremism, repeated setbacks to democracy, and economic growth slowing across most of the world, Mr Widodo's predominantly Muslim, rapidly growing and resiliently democratic nation deserves all the support Australia can provide.
2) Committee for West Papua Association in Vanuatu Clarification Conference Schedule
Author: Admin MS | Saturday, September 27, 2014 22:18 Viewed: 481 Comments: 0
Head of Mission at the Australian WPNCL, Paula Makabory (center) with a number of sympathizers. Photo: Ist
Jayapura, STEP MAGAZINE - Committee for West Papua Association in Vanuatu has clarified over error reports Radio New Zealand International, associated time delays implementation Papuan Peoples Conference.
Previously it was reported that the implementation will be postponed until the date of December 4, 2014.
However, the committee has clarified that the activities of the union will be held from November 30 to December 4, 2014.
Lecturer in Asian Studies at Australian National University
Ross Tapsell does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Australian government, by supporting a motion passed by the Senate, expressed concern over restrictions to press freedom in West Papua. AAP Image/Sue Wellwood
The Australian Senate passed a motion last week, with explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s restive province using tourist visas.
The motion notes that press freedom in West Papua, where a 50-year separatist movement exists, is “tightly restricted”. The Senate called for the Australian government to request Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat’s release.
The following is an interview with Ross Tapsell.
How will Australia’s comment about press freedom in West Papua affect Australia-Indonesia relations?
Unfortunately I doubt the comment will mean much at a time like this. Just last week we saw numerous Australian media practitioners dismayed that Parliament passed tougher national security laws, which will have implications for journalists and whistle-blowers.
One case that has been cited that would have been affected by these new laws is the reporting of Australian government tapping of the Indonesian president and his wife’s phone. Earlier this year, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the Australian government to stop suppressing details of a court case which involved him. Also, as others have already pointed out, Australia doesn’t allow journalists into Manus Island detention centre to talk to asylum seekers.
So while it is great that Australia stands up for greater access for foreign journalists in West Papua, we are hardly a beacon of light for media freedom at the moment. The Australian government has to practise what it preaches, otherwise it risks being seen as hypocritical.
What is the state of press freedom in West Papua for foreign journalists and how extraordinary is the case of Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat?
West Papua is the only region in Indonesia where journalists need a special permit and clearance from officials in Jakarta.
The Indonesian government has a long history of restricting foreign press as well as other researchers and aid workers from accessing the region since it took the territory in 1963. For example, in June 1969, the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club lodged a protest with the Ministry of Information on the restriction on travel and entry of foreign press into West Papua, claiming the measures would have grave consequences for Indonesia’s image abroad and lend substance to doubts about the government’s approach to the region. The current situation for foreign media is, sadly, not new.
Some selected foreign journalists have received permission from Jakarta to report from West Papua, and they are almost always followed by intelligence agencies in the region. By my rough count, around ten Australian journalists have received permission to travel to the region since 2006.
Today, it is possible to go to many areas of the Papua provinces as a tourist. As such, many foreign journalists have entered on a tourist visa and reported from the region, as Dandois and Bourrat allegedly did. If caught and found to be there on a wrong visa, they are usually evicted from the region or sent home to their country. So it is extraordinary that these French journalists have been in jail for this amount of time.
This is also very poor public relations management of the situation by the Indonesian government. The longer the journalists are in jail the more likely international attention will be drawn to this story and Indonesia’s image will continue to be tarnished.
How should the new Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, deal with this case?
The French journalists should be released from jail in Papua and sent home. This would be consistent with previous actions taken by the Indonesian government.
Joko Widodo has said that once he is president he will consult widely with Papuans who are looking to improve the situation in their region. Obviously all advocates of media freedom (including myself) would like to see more openness in the region, including for both foreign and local media.
It is important to remember that many local Papuan journalists face threats and intimidation from security forces on a regular basis simply for doing their job. It is difficult for them to report on issues involving local politicians, human rights and the role of security forces in the region. There are numerous stories that simply can’t be published in the local press. So let’s not forget local journalists, and more broadly the restrictions on freedom of expression in the Papua provinces.
Certainly, ending the visa restrictions for foreign journalists is a good place for Widodo to start.
2) Coalition Provide Surprise Support On West Papua Motion
By Amy McQuire
A motion calling for Indonesia to lift a press ban in West Papua has been passed by the Senate as two French journalists remain imprisoned without charge. Amy McQuire reports.
The Abbott government has backed a motion calling on Indonesia to dismantle its media ban in West Papua, home to widespread allegations of human rights abuses, but there is doubt this will signal any further change to Australia’s policy.
It is notoriously difficult for foreign journalists to gain access to the province, which has been under Indonesian control since the late 60s. Many foreign reporters enter the country on tourist visas, running the risk of deportation or jail.
The media ban and the reported intimidation of local journalists and sources has meant recurring allegations of human rights violations against the ethnically Melanesian Indigenous population are largely left off the international radar.
Earlier this year, two French journalists were arrested whilst filming a documentary, allegedly in the company of armed separatists.
The journalists – Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat from the French Arte channel – have been jailed without charge since August 6. There are concerns they will be charged with espionage, but formal charges will not be laid until they are brought before court.
A local fixer was arrested with the two, and there are concerns over the safety of local people who came into contact with them.
Mr Dandois and Ms Bourrat’s incarceration has been condemned by West Papuan activists, and the subject of protests around the world, but their case has failed to make headlines like that of Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was sentenced to seven years jail in Egypt.
Yesterday the Senate passed a motion proposed by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale calling on the Australian government to request the release of Ms Bourrat and Mr Dandois.
The motion passed following technical amendments from foreign minister Julie Bishop’s office.
“This motion goes to two specific issues,” Senator Di Natale told the upper house.
“One is the issue of journalism and journalism right around the world being under attack. We have recently seen the issue of the Australian journalist Peter Greste incarcerated in Egypt after a show trial but we cannot advocate for people like Peter Greste and stay silent on the issue of the arbitrary detention of journalists in West Papua like the two French journalists who were doing nothing wrong other than reporting the truth.”
Senator Di Natale told New Matilda it was a “huge shock” that the government had decided to back the motion. It had first gone to the Prime Minister’s office where there seemed to be “very active consideration of it”.
Senator Di Natale said there were a few technical amendments from Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop’s office.
“I had no expectation this government would support it so it was a big surprise…. This is the first time in my experience that any motion on the topic of West Papua has passed. And what makes it more interesting is that the motion calls on the Australian government to raise the issue with Indonesia,” Senator Di Natale told New Matilda.
“So effectively it’s supporting a motion calling on itself to discuss this issue either currently or is planning to engage in discussions with the new President.”
The Gillard government’s foreign affairs minister Bob Carr made several strong statements confirming Australia’s support of Indonesian sovereignty over the region whilst in government. In August Ms Bishop signed a significant agreement with Jakarta following a diplomatic fallout over revelations Australia had spied on the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The Sydney Morning Herald today reported the motion could “risk insulting Indonesia again”.
But while President Yudhoyono leaves office this year with a bad human rights record in the province – in fact, his visit to the province earlier this year coincided with the killing of West Papuan independence leader Martinus Yohame, whose body was found floating at sea in a sack near Sarong – the President Elect Joko Widodo has raised hope of change in West Papua.
Mr Widodo has made public statements saying he would open up the region to foreign media and he visited the province during his election campaign – one of the first presidential candidates to do so.
Senator Di Natale said it was hard to speculate the government’s rationale in supporting the motion and whether it represented a significant change in its policy towards the region.
“Hopefully this motion represents a very significant change in attitude towards West Papua and if it does I welcome it,” he told New Matilda.
But Nick Chesterfield, editor of West Papua Media, says while he was “happily surprised”, he was doubtful it would represent any change.
“It’s strange to see the government adopting something resembling a backbone but at the same time, while I am surprised there’s also a part of me that realises this is a statement that can’t really be resisted by anyone,” Mr Chesterfield told New Matilda.
“Freedom of the Press is a fundamental democratic principle to be observed. I’m gladdened by the motion but it’s a motherhood statement. It’s a transitional statement so it could be a good first step but I wouldn’t expect the government to take it further.”
Mr Chesterfield says Mr Widodo’s promise to remove the media ban would be difficult in the province because of the weight of the military.
“The President Elect has definitely indicated willingness to give some attention to the possibility of opening up Papua, but the reality on the ground is the police and the military run the show and by arresting journalists and their sources and going after West Papua media personnel, they are showing they don’t want the status quo to change.
“It’s doubtful the Indonesian government in Jakarta can actually change things without taking on the military and the police.”
“And it’s the same with the government in Australia. Unless they recognise the fact it’s the Indonesians and police who are behind the violations of press freedom and apply some sort of sanction, then it won’t change.”
He says the Australian government has to recognise the hypocrisy in advocating for press freedom in one region, whilst ignoring other areas.
“I think certainly people have been alerted to the hypocrisy going on here. The Australian government has to observe some sort of consistency in that – that’s a positive sign. But the issues are identical. You can’t condemn a military regime in Egypt arresting journalists and not another. These principles are valid right across the world.”
Wahyoe Boediwardhana, The Jakarta Post, PANGKEP, SOUTH SULAWESI | Business | Mon, October 06 2014, 10:35 AM
Cement manufacturer PT Semen Tonasa, a subsidiary of state-run publicly listed cement giant PT Semen Indonesia, is planning to build its first factory in West Papua, as the company seeks to meet increasing demand in the region and at the same time cut distribution costs to the nation’s eastern areas.
Semen Tonasa president director Andi Unggul Attas said the company would be investing Rp 3 trillion (US$246.3 million) in the construction of the plant, named “Unit VI”, as well as its private seaport to support distribution, which will be located in Sorong, West Papua.
Currently, the company’s fifth plant in Pangkep, South Sulawesi, and its sister company, PT Semen Gresik’s plant in Gresik, East Java, are helping their parent company to supply cement to the Papua and West Papuan markets.
Demand for cement has increased by 6 percent each year in the eastern part of the country, especially in Papua and West Papua, where distributors charge Rp 1.6 million for each sack of cement, according to Andi.
In order to meet the provinces’ demand, the company was running four of its five plants at production capacity of 5.98 million tons per year, with 6.7 million tons its target for the end of this year, he added.
“We expect to reach the target, as we had already produced 4.2 million tons of cement by the end of August,” Andi said.
Andi explained that distribution by air was the cause of cement being so expensive in Indonesia easternmost provinces, adding that demand in the region was rarely met, even though the company had established 10 packing plants in several cities in the eastern half of the country.
“The high price of cement [in eastern Indonesia] is because all cement must be delivered by air. Even if cement could be delivered by sea, vessels are reluctant to ship cement. This high distribution cost really affects [the company’s finances],” he added.
Therefore, the private seaport, which is to be developed together with Semen Tonasa’s first ever Papua plant, is also expected to tackle distribution costs and issues in supplying the eastern part of the country.
As demand increased, he said, the company planned to raise its current 45 percent market share in eastern Indonesia to 50 percent, which could increase its revenue to Rp 5.3 trillion by the end of the year, up from Rp 4.8 trillion in 2013.
Andi said the company aimed to reap Rp 1.6 trillion in next year’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), an increase from the expected Rp 1.4 trillion by the end of this year, which represents a 75 percent increase from its earnings of Rp 800 billion in 2010.
Plant will be firm’sfirst in Papua
Private seaport alsoin the pipeline
Demand increasing in Papua, but costs are high due to distribution by air
Meanwhile, three Asian cement manufacturers – Thailand’s Siam Cement Group, China’s Anhui, and Vietnam’s Chinfon Cement Corporation – are planning to build cement factories in Indonesia.
The Siam Cement Group is currently building a Rp 34 trillion plant, which will have a production capacity of 55 million tons of cement per year, while Anhui is preparing to build a 3-million ton capacity plant worth $500 million.
Chinfon is currently constructing a 4-million ton capacity plant worth $600 million on 500 hectares of land in Banten. Chinfon is the parent company of PT Cemindo Gemilang, which produces Merah Putih, a local cement brand.
Semen Tonasa’s new plant in Papua is also expected to strengthen the company’s grip in the region ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 that will create a single market in Southeast Asia and thus increase competition in the region. (gad)
1) W Papua activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Updated at 7:05 am today
The founder of the Free West Papua Campaign, Benny Wenda, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the second year in a row.
The annual award is given to the world's most prominent and well-known peace campaigners.
Mr Wenda was nominated by foreign dignitaries including Vanuatu's former Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, current Vanuatu MP, Ralph Regenvanu, New Zealand MP Catherine Delahunty and the Bishop of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Reverend John Pritchard.
West Papua has been the scene of a low-level independence war with Indonesia for close to 50 years.
The winner of the prize will be announced next Friday.
Freeport McMoran Inc resumed exports of copper concentrate from its mining operations in Indonesia last month. This ended a near seven-month suspension of exports of copper concentrate from the country for Freeport as a result of negotiations over regulatory changes governing mineral exports from the country. The resumption of normal operations in Indonesia was a major boost to Freeport as the company’s operations in the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia constitute a major component of the company’s plans to boost its copper production. In this article we take a closer look at Freeport’s mining operations in Indonesia.
Freeport’s copper and gold mining operations in Indonesia’s Grasberg minerals district are located in the remote highlands of the Sudirman Mountain Range in the province of Papua, which is on the western half of the island of New Guinea. It holds a 90.64% interest in these mining operations with the balance held by the Indonesian government. The Grasberg minerals district has three operating mines: the Grasberg open pit, the Deep Ore Zone underground mine and the Big Gossan underground mine. The open pit mining operations produce the bulk of the company’s output, with output from the underground mining operations gradually ramping up. However, the company will transition to underground mining from open pit mining in 2017, with the cessation of production from its open pit mines.
As on December 31, 2013, Freeport’s Indonesian operations accounted for around 27% and 95% of the company’s consolidated proven and probable copper and gold reserves, respectively. The company’s proven and probable reserves in Indonesia stood at 30 billion pounds of copper and 29.8 million ounces of gold.
The Indonesian operations are extremely profitable for the company. These accounted for roughly 20.5% of Freeport’s mining revenues in 2013, but nearly 27% of the operating income generated from mining operations. The high-grade ore bodies at the Freeport’s mines in Indonesia translate into low-cost mining operations. The company measures operating cash costs associated with its copper mining operations through the unit net cash cost metric. This metric stood at $1.12 per pound of copper for the Indonesian operations in 2013, as compared to $1.49 per pound of copper for the company as a whole.
The Indonesian operations were expected to account for around 24% and 94% of the company’s consolidated copper and gold shipments in 2014, respectively, at the time of the release of its 2013 annual results. As a result of the suspension of exports from Freeport’s Indonesian operations for close to seven months, Indonesia is now expected to account for roughly 17% and 85% of Freeport’s consolidated copper and gold shipments in 2014, respectively. However, with the ramp-up of underground mining operations at Freeport’s Indonesian operations, Indonesia is expected to contribute around 28% and 97% to Freeport’s copper and gold sales by 2016. This share is expected to decline in 2017, as the transition from open pit to underground mining is completed. However, the importance of the company’s Indonesian operations to Freeport, particularly in the near term is evident. Thus, the resumption of normal operation in Indonesia was a major boost to Freeport.
Resumption of Exports from Indonesia
Freeport recently resumed exports from Indonesia after a near seven-month hiatus as negotiations with the government over regulatory changes governing exports culminated in the signing of an MoU. The whole situation arose as a result of a law enacted in Indonesia in 2009, which banned exports of unprocessed minerals from the country starting January 12, 2014. The intent behind this law was to provide a boost to the development of the Indonesian mineral processing industry and simultaneously increase the value of the country’s commodity exports. However, last minute changes to the law deferred the ban on exports to 2017. Exports of copper concentrate were permitted, but under new rules. The government introduced new regulations in order to get an export permit and also imposed an export duty of 25%, which would have risen progressively to 60% by 2016. Freeport was of the view that the export tax violated the terms of its investment agreement, or contract of work, with the Indonesian government. The company subsequently halted its exports from Indonesia in January pending negotiations with the government over these regulatory changes.
Freeport recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian government under which the two parties will negotiate an amended COW to address various dimensions of the company’s operations in Indonesia. The negotiations over the amended COW are expected to be completed over a period of six months. Along with the signing of the MOU, Freeport has agreed to provide a $115 million assurance bond to support its commitment for smelter development in Indonesia and to pay higher royalties of 4.0% for copper and 3.75% for gold, up from the current rates of 3.5% and 1% respectively. Freeport will now pay a revised duty of 7.5% on its copper concentrate exports, which will decline to 5% when smelter development progress exceeds 7.5%, and 0% when development progress exceeds 30%. The negotiations for the amended COW will also address the sharing of costs between Freeport, the government and any other partners involved in the project for smelter development, the terms for continuation of Freeport’s operations post-2021 including legal and fiscal guarantees, as well as the divestment of up to a 30% stake in its Indonesian subsidiary to Indonesian nationals or the government.
Though these terms are unfavorable compared to the pre-existing ones governing Freeport’s mineral exports, given the importance of the company’s Indonesian operations to its overall plans to boost copper production in the near term, the company management would have been relieved with the resumption of normal operations in Indonesia.
Mangadar Situmorang, Bandung | Opinion | Tue, October 07 2014, 10:09 AM
In his presidential election campaign, president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo deemed the problems in Papua to be rooted in the misperceptions of the central government.
It is clear, therefore, that dialogue is the most appropriate way to correct them and to build a common perception to find a solution.
There are convincing arguments to justify the need for dialogue on Papua, including the tradition of musyawarah, or deliberation, one of the five principles of the Pancasila state ideology.
However, the central government is inconsistent in implementing it when it comes to the Papua issue, leaving the problem to protract.
While the government needs to be continuously reminded about its responsibility to address the issue of Papua, there are at least three reasons to encourage Jokowi to convene a dialogue about the region.
First, Jokowi is personally committed to resolving any problem with dignity. Known to have succeeded in dealing with complex social and economic quagmires when leading the city of Surakarta and the capital, Jokowi’s personal strategy was to ask disputing parties to talk and find a common solution.
This is a strategic approach proposed also by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which said “the process is not just about sitting around a table, but changing the way people talk, think and communicate with one another”. Recognition of differences and empathy toward one another are essential elements to generate a productive and constructive dialogue.
Adding to Jokowi’s commitment is his partner Jusuf Kalla, who has proven he was capable of bringing peace and reconciliation to the conflict zones of Poso, Central Sulawesi and Aceh. Apart from his personal political assets and access, Kalla has shown creativity in seeking a way out in the face of deadlock. He is known to offer rational choices for disputing parties to continue dialogue and produce agreements.
Second, Jokowi’s and Kalla’s victory in the last presidential election was officially confirmed by both the General Elections Commission (KPU) and the Constitutional Court (MK), which confirmed the victory of people who support democratic consolidation in Indonesia.
Although some voters were still influenced by money politics, mobilization or even intimidation, many more cast their votes for freedom, fairness and integrity.
Shortly, the Jokowi-Kalla victory must be perceived as indicative of a growing number of democratic constituencies.
This clearly means that, according to democratic principles, all kinds of disputes and difficulties should be better dealt with peacefully and with dignity.
Third, the problems in Papua also include historical questions and human rights violations in the past that could not be overcome merely by economic development.
To a large part of Papuans who show resistance and continuously rebel against the government, the historical problem is of primary and great importance.
The process of integrating the region into the unitary state was seen not only as unjust and unfair according to internationally accepted principles, but was also followed by a series of violent acts undertaken by Indonesian governments and security agencies against those who questioned and rejected the 1969 polling result (Pepera).
Besides economic programs, successive governments applied the security approach by deploying huge numbers of military forces that were beyond the control of the civilian government in Jakarta and Jayapura, or of other civil society organizations, including the press.
Challenges to dialogue in Papua may come from different corners. First, inner circles within successive governments have perceived that the historical question of Papuan integration has been settled and is thus unquestionable.
As such, any kind of dialogue is seen as useless or would be even viewed as jeopardizing Indonesia’s long-standing position and territorial integration. Such a view is totally incorrect and groundless. In contrast, a dialogue has to be seen as a way to strengthen the legality and legitimacy of Papuan integration.
Another more technical argument in questioning the significance of dialogue is due to the problem of representation within Papua’s widely diverse tribal, cultural and political associations that don’t have any single hierarchical leadership.
As shown in the case of Aceh, this adds to the reluctance and to a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of a dialogue on the part of the government.
But, the second and apparently most stiff resistance comes from the military. To many scholars the Indonesian Military (TNI), after having concluded military and security operations in Aceh, are now seeing Papua as their main battlefield — a region very rich with natural resources, but one that is claimed as presenting the most serious threat to national integration.
The TNI, to a certain degree, has been successful in keeping Aceh as an integral part of Indonesia. Their role in maintaining Papua is not in question, but it is very clear that their positive role should be included in the dialogue process.
In many parts of the world, like in Lebanon, Indonesia’s military has played a role in keeping, making and building peace by winning the hearts and minds of conflicting parties.
Dialogue in Papua is meant to win the hearts and minds of Papuans and the TNI is an indispensable party to the process and is necessary to make it fruitful.
The writer is the dean of the faculty of social and political sciences at the Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, and the coordinator for the Academic Forum for Peaceful Papua (Forum Akademisi untuk Papua Damai).
Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, October 07 2014, 7:33 AM
PT Freeport Indonesia hopes to sign a new mining contract before President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s term ends in two weeks.
R. Sukhyar, the director general for mineral and coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said the local subsidiary of US copper and gold mining company Freeport McMoran called for that the draft of the contract amendment to be completed quickly.
“The company [Freeport] expects to sign the amended CoW [contract of work] before the new government takes office,” Sukhyar said on Monday following a meeting with the company’s president director, Rozik Soetjipto.
Last July, Freeport signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that highlights principal agreement on several issues. The items agreed to will then be put in the new contract of work (CoW).
The government is currently working on contract renegotiations with 107 mineral and coal companies to conform with the 2009 Mining Law. There are six major issues under renegotiation, which are adjustment in royalty and tax, divestment, the mining area size, continuity of operations after contract expiry, obligation of domestic processing as well as the obligation to use local goods and services.
Besides Freeport, the mineral and coal directorate general has also inked MoUs with other big companies such as nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia and PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara. It has also secured principal agreement over amendments with major coal miners, such as PT Adaro Indonesia, PT Berau Coal, PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin Indonesia.
Sukhyar previously said that his office would likely complete the drafts of contract amendments of at least two companies, namely Vale Indonesia and Adaro Indonesia.
Sukhyar said he was optimistic that Adaro’s contract amendment would be completed as renegotiations with coal miners were relatively easy compared to those with mineral mining companies.
According to Sukhyar, Freeport’s draft contract amendment had reached 50 percent completion.
“Our team is working. Freeport has suggested that we prioritize the six issues under renegotiation. However, we also have to look at other issues. The amendment with Vale, for example, has concluded the six issues but there are several other issues. We also have to talk about force majeure or definition on the special mining permits,” Sukhyar said.
Freeport’s Rozik Soetjipto did not immediately respond to a comment request.
Out of 107 CoWs that need to be renegotiated, the mineral and coal office has signed MoUs with 78 firms, consisting of 21 mineral CoW holders and 57 coal contract of work (CCoW) holders.
MoUs with five more companies, consisting of one CoW holder and four CCoW holders, are expected to be signed on Tuesday.
The coal and mineral office has also pushed for principal agreement with seven coal miners that are subsidiaries of BHP Billiton.
Divestment of up to 51 percent of the parent company’s ownership is among the contentious issues being renegotiated with the companies, according to director for coal Bambang Tjahjono
Tuesday, 7 October 2014, 2:52 pm Press Release: AWPA
3) Australian help for West Papua
The Australia West Papua Association thanks the Australian government for endorsing a petition for greater journalistic access to the Papuan territory under Indonesian administration.
Australia's action is consistent with its legal obligations under Article 76 of the Charter of the United Nations for trust territories. We ask Prime Minister Abbott to fulfil Australia's obligation by asking Ban Ki-moon to put the United Nations issue of General Assembly Resolution 1752 on the agenda of the Trusteeship Council without further delay.
West Papua has been subjected to a foreign occupation since the General Assembly approved a Dutch request in 1962 for the United Nations to occupy and assume responsibility for West Papua as is allowed by articles 75 to 85 of the Charter of the United Nations. Despite objection by the Papuan community the United Nations has accepted an offer by Indonesia since 1963 to administrate the territory but has failed to monitor conditions in the territory as would be required by articles 85, 87, and 88 of the Charter of the United Nations if the international issue of General Assembly resolution 1752 were put on the agenda of the Trusteeship Council and acknowledged as an approval for trusteeship.
The celebrations were interrupted when three men, who had never been seen at any independence movement events, were seen recording the proceedings on smartphones.
The "foreign minister" of the FRWP, Jacob Rumbiak, confronted one of the men and was told they were there to gather information for the Indonesian government.
I think that the photos they took were sent to the Indonesian government by intelligence.
Jacob Rumbiak of the Federal Republic of West Papua.
"He's explained that he's studying a PHD at a Melbourne university and that also he works in the (Indonesian) department of foreign affairs. So he works in the government of Indonesia," Mr Rumbiak said.
He said the man explained he would be reporting back to Indonesian authorities.
"Another two also came and they took photos of this office. I think that the photos they took were sent to the Indonesian government by intelligence," Mr Rumbiak said.
The ABC has indentified and contacted one of the three Indonesian men who attended the opening of the office and asked for his version of events, but he has not responded.
The man is a post-graduate economics student at a university in Melbourne, and his Facebook page lists his employer as the Indonesian finance ministry.
The Indonesian embassy rejects the claims.
"The Indonesian Government does not assign its students studying in Australia, or anywhere, to collect/gather information from any sources," the embassy said in a statement.
"The possibility of Indonesian students' presence at open-to-public events, including Papua-related ones, might relate to their studies or personal interests."
Melbourne-based independence movement hacked and harassed
The West Papuan independence movement is strongest in Melbourne.
They said aside from low-level harassment, their office website has also been hacked twice. They claim they were able to trace the IP addresses of the computers threatening the website to addresses in Jakarta and Melbourne.
"We are faced with Jakarta. I do believe that's them and we also have a monitoring system so we can know from which county and the address," Mr Rumbiak said.
It's well known amongst the activist community that this does go on. It seems overt and not very subtle.
Reverend Peter Woods
The Indonesian Embassy in Canberra denied the attack originated from its foreign affairs offices.
"We can confirm that the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not involved in that website hacking incident, as the ministry does not have a policy nor intentions to hack other institutions."
Anglican minister Peter Woods, who has long campaigned for an independent West Papua, said incidents like this are becoming more frequent and blatant.
"It seems to be very blatant. It's well known amongst the activist community that this does go on," he said.
"It seems overt and not very subtle."
Australian security services aware of student spies: academic
At a talk Reverend Woods gave in Melbourne last month describing his most recent trip to West Papua, he asked two men of Javanese and Timorese origin to leave before he started as he believed they were there as informants.
"I was about to speak and we noticed that there were two non-Papuans there and we spoke to them and realised that they were agents doing surveillance. We asked them not to be there," he said.
Lateline has spoken to several academics who all believe it is not uncommon for Indonesian post-graduate students to also provide intelligence to their country's consulates or embassy.
"A number of students have been found to have been reporting to the consulate in Melbourne over the years," said Damien Kingsbury from Deakin University.
"As academics, we deal with these students and we know what they are doing. They often tell us what they're doing so we do know they report to their consulates. They do act as spies."
Mr Kingsbury was an adviser to the Free Aceh and Timorese independence movements, and said Australian agencies are aware of this sort of intelligence gathering, but overlooked it due to it proving a comparatively low threat to Australia's interests or security.
"The Australian security services see this as low level activity. They don't see this as more formal espionage and a lot of the information that's being picked up is open access anyway," he said.
However, he said he does believe boundaries are being crossed.
"They also report on private conversations, so that is of more concern," he said.
In the coming weeks a crucial meeting to garner support from Pacific nations for the West Papuan movement will be held in Vanuatu.
Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo has indicated he is not opposed to dialogue with the independence movement about their desire for more autonomy, but Jakarta remains firm that independence is off the table.
Watch the full report on Lateline at 10.30pm on ABC TV.
Jayapura, Jubi – Two French journalists held in Jayapura is likely to stand trial in Wamena Court, the Head of Papua Prosecutor’s Office, Maruli Hutagalung said on Monday (6/10).
However, a date for the trial has not been set.
Hutagalung said his office has received all the dossiers on the journalists from the Jayapura Immigration Office and will forward them to Wamena Prosecutor’s Office after examining them.
The head of the Jayapura Immigration Office, Gardu Tampubolon, said his office has submitted the dossiers and the Wamena Prosecutor’s Office will decide on a trial date. “We have submitted the documents for the first phase to the prosecutor’s office. Everything has been completed. They will examine its merit,” said Tampubolon.
He said the prosecutor’s office has seven working days to determine a trial date for Dandois and Bourrat. “We expect it could be decided by next week,” he added.
Papua Police arrested both journalists on 11 August, accusing them of violating Article 122 of the Immigration Law 2011 about the misuse of legal entry documents. The police seized their audio and video equipment along with the laptops and mobile phones. (Yuliana Lantipo/rom)
1) No surprises over alleged Indonesian spying of Papua activities in Australia: researcher
Updated 8 October 2014, 17:16 AEST
A leading researcher on West Papua says he's not surprised over allegations of Indonesian students spying on independence acvitists in Australia.
No surprises over alleged Indonesian spying of Papua activities in Australia: researcher (Credit: ABC)
The ABC's Lateline program has been told postgraduate students are providing information to Indonesian intelligence about Australian citizens and has obtained photos that are claimed to be of some of the student spies.
The pictures were taken in June when the self-proclaimed Federal Republic of West Papua, FRWP opened an office in Melbourne. The "foreign minister" of the FRWP, Jacob Rumbiak, confronted one of the men and was told they were there to gather information for the Indonesian government. Meantime, the Indonesian embassy in Canberra has denied the claims and says the government does not assign its students studying in Australia, or anywhere, to collect or gather information from any sources. Presenter: Bruce Hill Speaker: Andreas Harsono, Human Rights Watch, Jakarta
The press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders and journalists’ unions are calling for the release of Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, two French TV reporters who were arrested in the West Papua area of Indonesia two months ago.
Reporters Without Borders launched a petition on Monday October 6, calling for Dandois and Bourrat’s immediate release.
“The aim of this petition is to make the Indonesian authorities realise that it is absolutely unacceptable for them to continue detaining these journalists with the aim of deterring media coverage of Papua,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
The two journalists, who work for the independent production company Memento, were filming a report on living conditions and separatist claims in West Papua for the French-German TV channel Arte. Police arrested them on August 6 and have detained them in the provincial capital, Jayapura City.
The Indonesian government rarely issues visas to journalists requesting to cover West Papua, and the reporters entered Indonesia with a tourist visa. The authorities have accused them of breaking immigration law.
Offences punishable by five years in prison
“Bourrat and Dandois did not apply for press visas because such visas are rarely granted and would have resulted in restrictions on their ability to work freely,” Deloire said.
Journalists found to have entered the region illegally are usually deported, but Bourrat and Dandois are now facing accusations of illegal labour, which is punishable by five years in prison and a 500 million-rupee fine (32,000 euro). It is now up to the provincial prosecutor’s office to decide whether to press charges and put them on trial.
The journalists’ unions SNJ and SNJ-CGT, too, issued a joint call for the release of the two reporters on Monday.
“The Indonesian authorities obviously want to make an example in this case so as to ban all access to Papua - a region our two colleagues had the courage to travel to and report despite the difficulties caused by continuous guerilla operations,” they said in a statement.
AN INTERNATIONAL media organization has launched a petition for the immediate release of two of its correspondents detained in Indonesia for three months now.
Reporters Without Borders (RWB), along with its support committee in France, have decried the detention by the Indonesian government of French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois.
“The aim of this petition is to make the Indonesian authorities realize that it is absolutely unacceptable for them to continue detaining these journalists with the aim of deterring media coverage of Papua,” RWB Secretary General Christophe Deloire said in the petition.
Founded in Montpellier, France in 1985, RWB covers news in five continents through its network of over 150 correspondents. It is registered as a non-profit organization in France since 1995 and has a consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. It currently has 10 offices and sections worldwide.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SIGN THE PETITION AND PLEASE USE THE HASHTAG #FreeValentineThomasNow
THOMAS AND VALENTINE | Photo from RWB
Bourrat and Dandoi were arrested while preparing a report for the Franco-German TV station Arte. They have been accused of violating immigration regulations and are facing the possibility of a long trial and a sentence of up to five years in prison. The French journalists are currently detained in Jayapura, the capital of the eastern province of Papua on the island of New Guinea.
“(They) did not apply for press visas because such visas are rarely granted and would have resulted in restrictions on their ability to work freely,” Deloire said.
The petition—which focuses on “fundamental freedoms, including the freedom to inform, and concern the immense majority”—has already been signed by leading journalists such as Édith Bouvier, Claire Chazal, Laurent Delahousse, Guy Lagache, Jean-Pierre Pernaut, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, David Pujadas, Harry Roselmack, and Melissa Theuriaux. – Cong B. Corrales
September 2014: Culture of impunity in Papua threatens human rights and democracy
At the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails.
New reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. A public attack on Latifah Anum Siregar, a lawyer with the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) and the failure of Indonesian authorities to end legal intimidation towards Gustaf Kawer, as reported in our previous update, demonstrates the dangers faced by lawyers involved in politically sensitive cases.
Reports from the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM), based in Wamena, described police complicity in allowing violence to continue during a fight that broke out between two groups in Lanny Jaya. Two traditional honai houses belonging to tribal leader and political detainee Areki Wanimbo were burned down by an opposing group during the violence, whilst Jayawijaya Regional police reportedly watched and failed to stop the incident from occuring. Another incident involving police complicity in allowing violence reportedly took place in Youtefa Market in Abepura. David Boleba, an indigenous Papuan, was publically tortured, mutilated and murdered by a group of non-Papuan youths, reportedly in the presence of an Abepura District police officer. Again, the police officer took no action against the perpetrators.
There were several reports of random acts of police brutality against indigenous Papuans. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg three times by members of the police Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) for simply blocking their vehicle. In another case, a student of Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) and activist with the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) Rigo Wenda was publically tortured in Waena by Indonesian army officers with bayonet blades in a random act of violence.
Information received by ALDP detailed the torture and cruel and degrading treatment faced by 18 men arrested in Wamena in the Boycott Presidential Elections case. Despite the fact that they were initially arrested for peacefully calling for an election boycott, they were instead charged for reportedly making and using explosives. The criminalisation of the freedom to not participate in a democratic process is an undemocratic step backwards for Indonesia.
Indigenous Papuans from the highlands, such as areas like Wamena, are often automatically deemed to be separatists by Indonesian authorities. Because of this stigmatisation, security forces often take a heavy handed approach with highlanders and single them out for arrests, intimidation and torture. Reports received this month described continued violent reprisals against indigenous communities in Wamena. Security forces continued to burn down houses as they hunt for members of armed pro-independence movements.
Indonesian authorities have so far failed to investigate into the murder of KNPB Sorong leader Martinus Yohame. It remains to be seen if steps will be taken towards accountability and justice, or if like previous cases of murder of Papuan activists, it will go uninvestigated and unpunished. The entrenched culture of impunity that currently runs throughout police and military units in Papua poses a serious threat to human rights and democracy in Indonesia.
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, October 08 2014, 12:08 PM
Copper giant PT Freeport Indonesia has yet to recommence open-mining operations due to new workplace safety requirements imposed by government after a recent deadly accident.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s technical and environment director Bambang Susigit said Freeport could resume its open-pit mining activities on the condition the company first improves its operational procedures as recommended by the ministry.
“The company is not allowed to resume mining activities until it implements our recommendations. On Thursday, Freeport is scheduled to report to us and we will evaluate whether or not to let the company resume operations,” Bambang said on Tuesday.
On Sept. 27, Freeport reported a collision between an operational vehicle and a large-size haul truck en route to the Grasberg open-pit mine in Papua. The haul truck, which was 2.2 meters in height, inadvertently crushed the operational vehicle that was carrying eight passengers and a driver. Four persons died and five were injured in the accident.
Three of the five injured have been released from the hospital, Freeport Indonesia’s spokesperson Daisy Primayanti said earlier. Two others, however, remain in intensive care in Jakarta.
The ministry sent a team to investigate the accident and Freeport was asked to halt its open-pit mining activities for a week.
Following the investigation, the ministry recommended standar-dized operating procedures in the Grasberg mining area and those related to traffic; improved communication among mobile equipment; better coordination between supervisor and operator; and better risk identification and management of the parking area for mobile equipment.
The suspension of operations at Grasberg, one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines, is expected to further hamper Freeport’s business performance this year as open-pit mining is the biggest contributor to the firm’s output.
The company, which is a subsidiary of US-based giant Freeport McMoRan Inc., had just resumed exports last month after reaching an agreement with the government concerning the rule that mineral ore exports could only be exported by companies that built smelters and processed domestically.
The September accident reignited debate over safety in the Freeport mining area, where several incidents — including a landslide last year that killed 28 people — have occurred in recent years.
Several employees staged a protest last week, demanding the company pay more attention to safety. The employees blocked the access road to the Grasberg mine in Papua last week, but lifted the blockade after a discussion with Freeport officials.
According to government figures, nationwide there were 232 mining accidents last year and 216 in 2012. Out of the total 232 accidents in 2013, 46 people were killed; a significant increase from the 29 fatalities recorded in 2012. (ref)
4) Hope abounds for new RI leaders to take firm stance on HIV/AIDS
The Jakarta Post | Feature | Wed, October 08 2014, 12:24 PM
Under a scholarship from the International AIDS Society (IAS) and with support from the United Nations Joint Program on AIDS (UNAIDS), The Jakarta Post’s Rita A. Widiadana attended the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, to learn more about global progress in HIV/AIDS responses, including in Indonesia. The following are reports from the five-day conference.
The recent International AIDS conference, organized by the Geneva-based International AIDS Society and its partners including UNAIDS and the WHO, attracted 13,000 delegate members from around the world and ended with a global chorus of international figures, including former US president Bill Clinton and humanitarian activist and musician Bob Geldof, scientists and civil society groups hoping to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.
Such a task will not be easy, however, especially for developing nations like Indonesia, which is facing tremendous public health and social problems.
During the five-day conference, Indonesia was in the global spotlight for all the wrong reasons, being named one of the few countries where HIV infection has significantly increased in recent years.
HIV/AIDS constitutes a major challenge for Indonesia’s new leaders, as it is more than a health issue. For Indonesia, the scale of the societal and economic impact of HIV/AIDS could be disastrous, as the disease can reverse a country’s annual economic growth by 1 or 2 percent if it is not properly managed.
Economic wealth in the form of gross national product (GNP) could drop in some areas by as much as 40 percent by 2020. Translated to a country like Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia, this is a sum worth billions of dollars, according to a report from an Australian donor agency.
“While new infections continue to decrease globally, we unfortunately are seeing a very different pattern in several countries in our region, with increasing number of infections in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines in 2013,” explained Sharon Lewin, co-chair of the conference and one of the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) team of global researchers.
UNAIDS data show there were 35 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2013. Geographically, the majority of people living with HIV have been found in 20 countries, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa but also in larger middle-income countries such as China, Brazil, India, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia.
In the Asia and Pacific region, there were 4.8 million people living with HIV, including 350,000 new HIV infections in the region in 2013.
In Indonesia, where the first HIV/AIDS case was discovered in Bali in l987, the number of people living with HIV was estimated at 640,000 by UNAIDS data in 2013.
Demographically, in every region in the world, HIV/AIDS shows high prevalence among certain groups, including men having sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), sex workers and their clients, transgender people, prisoners, migrants, pregnant women and their babies.
Similarly, in Indonesia, a high incidence of HIV infection among men having sex with men is found in Jakarta (15 to 17 percent) and other big cities. The incidence among intravenous drug users (IDU) is 36.4 percent.
In Jayawijaya, Papua, HIV rates among female sex workers are as high as 25 percent, and 18 percent for male sex workers. Around 30.8 percent of waria (transgenders) people in Jakarta are HIV positive.
Steve Kraus, UNAIDS Asia and Pacific regional director, told The Jakarta Post: “The newly elected leaders of Indonesia must be briefed on the real situation of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, its current program and the mounting challenges Indonesia is now facing.”
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director, told the Post that Indonesia had been implementing beneficial and innovative programs in scaling up testing and treatment for people living with HIV in the last two years.
“The country has optimized all resources — in the fields of policy making, funding, investment and human resources — to give opportunities for people living with HIV to get health access, which has resulted in the identification of new HIV infections,” Sidibé added.
“Indonesia is taking dramatic steps to slow the rate of new infections. More recent initiatives aimed at increasing access to testing and treatment are leading the way,” added Kraus.
Under Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi, Indonesia has been taking progressive and bold action by greatly expanding HIV testing, counseling and treatment services.
Early initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) can now be offered to people living with HIV including pregnant women in 10 districts across the country’s 33 provinces. By the end of 2014, the program will be expanded to 72 districts.
Indonesia also plans to become one of several countries in the region to offer universal care by 2014, with HIV treatment included in health coverage.
“Expanding HIV treatment is part of the Indonesian government’s drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals and stamp out AIDS,” Mboi said.
Given Indonesia’s size and diffusion, a central challenge now will be ensuring that the ministry’s directives are implemented at local level.
HIV/AIDS activists are also hopeful that the new government will listen to them and work alongside them.
Vinolia Wakijo, a prominent defender of transgender people and sex workers in Yogyakarta, said that implementing the AIDS response without involving affected groups would be almost impossible.
“Bu Naf [Nafsiah Mboi] is a minister who has an open mind and heart as she has invited [transgender people and sex workers], as well as MSM and people injecting drugs, to be part of the solution,” Vinolia said.
Tono Permana, coordinator of a national network for men who have sex with men and transgender people, applauded the program.
Dede Oetomo, founder of Gaya Nusantara, a leading gay rights advocacy group, said he was hoping that president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would have an open mind and an innovative program.
“HIV is more than just a public health threat. It encompasses deep social, cultural and religious stigma and discrimination against the affected people. Jokowi seems willing to listen to people’s needs,” Dede said.
Merauke, Jubi- Water levels at Rawa Biru Village, which is the only water source for Merauke City and its surrounded area, have decreased due to the dry season for the past few months.
The director of PT. Wedu, Abdul Aziz, said there was not enough drinking water for residents. “We have checked the water condition at Rawa Biru. But it’s still enough to supply the drinking water for the local residents,” he said.
However, he said local residents could use several wells in the city areas to supply their water needs. “We also have seven water trucks which are ready to serve the residents. For those who need some help, they can come directly to our office. They also could become our customers, he said.
For the service, people must pay Rp 100,000 for 4 tons of water, and Rp 125,000 for 25 tons. “Once they ordered, they will get the service immediately. No need to wait for two or three days,” Aziz said.
Further Aziz said, the service is also ready for the periphery areas such as Semangga or Tanah Miring sub-districts, but for different prices. “We usually charge Rp 300,000 for a tanker of water,” he said. However, he explained they often encountered some difficulties when transporting the water.
“Our trucks broke down several times, because the road was badly damaged. In the future, we will take it into account our service cost,” he said.
A legislator of Merauke’s Parliament, Francis Ohoiwutun said he acknowledged that in the last few months, people have been struggling to get the drinking water. “We should admit that the drought has impacted the water levels in Rawa Biru for the last few months,” he said. (Frans L Kobun/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, citing a study, said Indonesians’ reading skills is still considered lowest among 30 countries.
The phenomenon shows reading is not yet a habit among elementary school-age children, he said. “This study also reveals the same result among junior high school students,” said Enembe in a speech read out by the Provincial 3rd Assistant, Rosina Upesy while announcing the winners of a reading and book review competition for high school students of Jayapura Municipality on Tuesday (7/10).
Yokbet Merauje, a student of SMP 4 Jayapura was announced as the First Winner of this competition.
Upesy further said this competition a good way to help improve the studentsí skills and competency. “A reading culture is an indicator of a nationís civilization. A developed community has made a reading as part of their basic needs among other physical and social requirements. There is a close relationship between the development of a nation and the reading culture growing in the community,” she said.
She also said the reading culture is part of learning process, because in general it also means a condition to the learning community and an effort to the character building since an early age.
“Today, the reading culture was only rooted in the certain groups of Indonesian community, namely the intellectuals, public and religious figures, and those who because of their positions and opportunities to develop their knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, this reading competition and other similar competitions are important to develop the childrenís interest in reading in Papua,” Upesy said.
Earlier, the Provincial 1st Assistant, Doren Wakerkwa asked the Regional Archiving and Library Body to accommodate the public needs on the books and other reading materials to support and improve their knowledge and reading skills. “We can’t deny the important role of library and reading for education and technology, from the primary schools to universities. It is part of the government’s vision and mission in developing the quality of human resources in Papua,” said Wakerkwa.
According to him, the library is part of the teaching and learning facilities. But on the other hand, it needs some technological innovations in order to provide best services to the library users as part of facilities. “The improvement of the role of library is very important, as stated in the Law No. 23/2007. Actually, it is to educate the nation. Therefore, the government have obligation to guarantee the availability of the library in each region of this country,” he said. (Alexander Loen/rom)
Timika, Jubi – Freeport workers from seven Mimika tribes blocked road access to Ridge Camp, mile 72 in a protest demanding PT Freeport Indonesia establish an organization representing its workers.
Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng said he hoped PT FI would meet the workersí demands. The blockage started on Wednesday (8/10) at around 01:00 Papua time.
Sitting on the ground, they set up shelters and parked heavy vehicles to block access to some mining areas.
The next morning, at around 09:00 Papua time, Omaleng visited the scene on a helicopter in order to meet and hear the workersí demand. After the meeting, the regent said the workers asked PT FI to pay attention to their welfare by setting up a special department to address their needs. “So, the point is they want to be rewarded. It means they have a representing organization. They asked the company for a legitimate organization. And they have waited for four years,” Omaleng told reporters.
Based on the conversation with the workers, Omaleng said PT FI Director Rozik Sucipto had promised a special department for the workers, but it never materialized.
After meeting the regent, the workers agreed to lift the blockade.
“We also want to take them to Jakarta, so they can voice their demands the Freeport board,” said the regent.
Omaleng said the workers asked for a meeting with the company on 10 October, and warned that if they get no response, they would hold a huge protest. “If it happened, Freeport would be closed. Because it’s the landowner’s children who speak. I hope Freeport will take it seriously. It’s not just a game,” the regent said.
Meanwhile, PT FI could not be reached for comment.
The seven tribes are Amungme, Kamoro, Dane, Mee, Damal, Nduga and Moni. (Eveerth/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – The Baliem Customary Council said it considered an agreement between the Police and the community of Lanny Jaya as a pretext to arrest people arbitarily.
The agreement states that if the armed group commits untowards acts in Lanny Jaya, the community will resist them, but if the people are unable to do so, the army and police will take action.
“It is a kind of a pretext to arrest people randomly, including human right activists or even journalists. That statement only is only for their own interests. The Papua Police is a respected institution, so, we must find another solution,” the Baliem Customary Council chief, Lemok Mabel, told Jubi on Wednesday (8/10).
He said he was not aware of the meeting between the police and the community of Lanny Jaya that was held recently. “If the meeting was real, then we from the Baliem Customary Council should be involved. So I think it was a lie,” he said.
He said if it was only the local government involved in the meeting, the agreement is considered invalid. “It’s not for one or two people, but it applies to the community of Lanny Jaya and its surrounding areas. The statement is superficial,” he said.
Earlier, some media outlets reported that the community of Lanny Jaya made a pledge to protect their area from the armed group in response to a recent shooting incident.
Pledge allegedly involved community leaders, religious leaders, women, youth and customary leaders, legislators, government officials, intellectual figures, sub-district and village chiefs and military and police officers.
Lanny Jaya Regent Befa Yigibalom told reporters that the pledge represented the entire community. “People should live in peace and safety, and struggle for their better lives day by day. We believe that people will realize their commitment, because security is their responsibility too,” the regent said.
He said all village chiefs should be proactive in informing security personnel and sub-district officials in the event of a security problem. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
3) Prevent new Military Discipline Law from leading to impunity
Bhatara Ibnu Reza, SYDNEY | Opinion | Mon, October 06 2014, 8:23 AM
Amid recent debates on the controversial Regional Elections Law, the House of Representatives passed the Military Discipline Law to replace the 1997 Discipline in the Indonesian Military (TNI) Law.
The government said the law was the right response to several cases of indiscipline, especially last year’s attack on a police detention center in Cebongan, Yogyakarta, by members of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus).
Instead of continuing to discuss amendments to the 1997 law regarding military courts, the government insists that discipline is the primary problem facing the TNI.
The bill on military tribunals should be deliberated again by the legislature, given the many problems of military members involved in crimes. The Cebongan case was just one example where the perpetrators should have been tried in a civilian court for premeditated murder, as their actions had nothing to do with military duty, let alone a combat situation.
The debate to amend the law on military courts was tough since the government was reluctant to accept the principle of civilian supremacy in legal justice, where TNI members who breach a general criminal law would be tried in the general justice system.
From 2005 to 2009, particularly during the deliberations on the military court bill at the legislature, the Defense Ministry continued to buy time to retain supremacy over the military court in the event of defendants being military members, including the mechanism of the connectivity court where the panel of judges trying military defendants for general crimes comprises military and civilian judges.
In the end, the House of Representatives’ special commission on the bill amending the military courts law failed.
The law on military discipline is thus a compromise. It should be followed by further rules on the acts categorized as breaching military discipline. What is also an urgent need is an enforcing mechanism, including procedures on punishment, complaints and reparations and internal and external supervision to enact the law.
It is a must that the armed forces be a disciplined institution. Their members are entitled to carry lethal weapons and also receive more specific training than anyone in civilian institutions.
But the borderline between merely breaking discipline and conducting crimes is unclear and this gray area often provides an exit strategy that saves military personnel from legal prosecution.
Military discipline emphasizes the conduct of military members and governs relations between superiors and subordinates — obedience forms the core of military discipline. Problems mostly arise when subordinates must carry out orders without the right to question the legality of those orders, while they cannot have immunity from crimes on the basis of following orders. If a superior’s order causes a crime, this would involve command responsibility.
There are two kinds of command responsibility, first de jure, which focuses on the formal executive structure or the authority creating the relevant policy. Secondly, de facto responsibility, which focuses on the commander’s ability and duty to have effective control over every act carried out by subordinates.
The commander thus must prevent or punish any breach involving subordinates.
Rule 153 of the Customary International Humanitarian Law also clearly states that in armed conflict, commanders and other superiors are criminally responsible for war crimes committed by their subordinates if they knew, or had reason to know, that the subordinates were about to commit or were committing such crimes and did not take all necessary and reasonable measures in their power to prevent the crimes and to punish the persons responsible. This customary law was already adopted by the Nuremberg Tribunals held to bring justice to Nazi war criminals and by today’s International Criminal Court.
Despite its limitations the procedural regulations of the military discipline law should maintain transparency and fairness, given that frequently punishments for both breaches of discipline and crimes are only issued to field commanders.
In the new law the superior officer has wide authority: first, to conduct or order an investigation into the conduct of a subordinate, second, to implement disciplinary sentences to each member under his or her command and third, to delay the implementation of a sanctioned disciplinary decision. Moreover, the superior can reduce punishments.
The principle of military necessity is often used to protect members, blurring the enforcement of discipline, which should be based on military necessity for the sake of state defense.
This principle is also recognized in international humanitarian law; it has mostly been invoked by military operators to justify violent measures deemed necessary to win a given conflict, a reasoning dismissed by critics as a typical military excuse to explain away shocking “collateral damage” in modern military operations.
The principle is a further rationale against legal investigation and punishment of military members to avoid the exposure that is claimed to endanger military secrecy or other military positions.
Furthermore, a superior can also delay investigation or punishment for a perpetrator whose ability is considered vital to military operations.
The new law has adopted an Advisory and Supervisory Council for Military Discipline, an ad hoc institution crucial to monitoring and supervising military discipline enforcement. The council should have equal composition of membership and leadership by military officers and civilians. Furthermore, this council should apply equal rights to both high ranking officers and non-commissioned personnel.
During the New Order, an officers’ honorary council was established to investigate high and middle ranking officers and to punish them with administrative measures, but ranks from field officers to non-commissioned personnel were tried in the military court.
The council was set up in the notorious case of the forced disappearances of 1998 that involved the army elite special forces, Tim Mawar (Rose Team).
The high ranking officers, notably the then Kopassus chief Prabowo Subianto, were never prosecuted and tried for their individual criminal responsibility before a court of law.
The new law on military discipline needs further monitoring to ensure the law fulfills its purpose, which is to build a disciplined and professional national defense force and prevent prolonged impunity.
The writer is a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia researching military politics and international humanitarian law. He is also a researcher for human rights watchdog Imparsial, an NGO that led the advocacy for the amendment of the military trial law.
Abepura, Jubi – Incoming President Joko Widodo and his vice president are expected to be able to resolve the Papua conflict peacefully, because both figures had good records in solving both small and major problems, said Papua Peace Network (JDP) coordinator Pastor Neles Tebay.
Pastor Tebay said Jokowi is responsive to the Papua issue. “He is the one who likes to go out to find solutions. He has proven this when he was the governor of DKI Jakarta,” he said in Abepura on Wednesday (8/10).
Neles said Vice President-elect Jusuf Kalla had some experience resolving conflicts in Ambon and Poso, and also contributed in the negotiation between Indonesia and the Aceh Free Movement (GAM).
Therefore he believes Kalla is fully aware of the importance of communication among conflicting parties to sit together for a solution. “Many parties have encouraged Jokowi-JK to endorse a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. JK fully understands the importance of dialogue. I believe he will support a dialogue,” Tebay said.
He said, a solution is possible because the president’s transition team include NGO activists, academics, and Papuans who favor a dialogue to promote trust.
“However, everything will be clear after the presidential inauguration. Whether the problem would be resolved through a dialogue or not, it depends on the President and his deputy. But most people suggested a dialogue,” said Tebay.
Pastor Tebay said he hoped Papuans will get involved in developing Papua as peaceful land. Papuans have identified the problems and offered solutions to such problems. “If a dialogue takes place, Papuans must be involved and feel responsible for their own problems. Because it would be difficult to ensure all parties that the problems belong to them,” he said.
Therefore, Pastor Neles Tebai said the Papua Peace Network (JDP) has opened the spaces of discussion that involved all related parties, including the Central Government, Pro-Independence Papuans, local government, local associations in Papua, Military, Police, foreign and domestic companies, West Papua Liberation Army, and Papuans who live abroad; and provide a peaceful concept in a dialogue Papua-Jakarta.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Papua Customary Council for Lapago Region, Lemok Mabel said a dialogue is not a new thing. Papuans have voiced it since 2000. Currently Papuans are waiting the response from the Central Government to solve the conflict in Papua through a dialogue. Therefore he expected the Widodo’s administrative to be opened for a dialogue with Papuans, because Papuans believed dialogue is the best way to find a best solution in conflict resolution. “Dialogue is the solution we expected. No dialogue means no solution. Because we say “peace” but in reality it is the land of conflict,” he told Jubi by phone on Thursday (9/10). (Benny Mawel/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – The Secretary General of the Empowerment Team for Seven Land Owner Tribes in the mining area of PT Freeport Indonesia, Menase Degey, said the group were demanding the establishment of the Department of Empowerment for Seven Tribes because they refuse to be spectators on their own land.
He said some particular groups have taken advantage of the tribes for their own interests.
Degey said his team had found five clauses on the status of the seven tribes in the basic guidelines issued by the Freeport headquarters in New Orleans. “They include the policy related to employment and promotion. But all this time, no specific department has been established to accommodate and response to our needs. Based on this, we ask the company to provide a special department for the seven tribes to support the operational continuity of PT. Freeport. We refuse to be a spectator on our land,” Degey told Jubi by phone on Thursday (9/10).
He said thousands of workers from seven tribes have joined the protest by interrupting the operating activities of PT Freeport since Tuesday night (7/10). And it will continue growing if the company doesn’t take prompt action to accommodate their demands, he said. “Our survey data since last July recorded there are 1,705 workers from seven tribes who employed in several work divisions. Moreover, we also gained supports from other employers to have our own department,” he said.
However, he admitted PT Freeport was actually doing something. It has done some efforts, but there are things still need to be improved in term of the competencies building for the workers and native people from seven tribes, namely carrier building, training and others. “This is our big challenge if we were employed in the industrial technology or other divisions. For the company, seven tribes is its challenge, and on the other hand, the industrial technology is our challenge. Therefore, we should work together to find the solution for this matter,” he said.
He further said until now many of native people don’t understand Bahasa Indonesia as well as the industrial technology. “If the Department of Empowerment for Seven Tribes was established, it could support the program of PT. Freeport. We only want the native people obtaining the better life in accordance with the Article 33 of Constitution. We want use the local wisdom to empower people. The purpose of the empowerment team is to fight against poverty, ignorance and isolation in relation with the national development context,” said Degey.
He also revealed the team has collaborated with the Empowerment Working Group of seven tribes established by the company in order to analysis the establishment of the Department of Empowerment for seven tribes. “We will continue our protest until our demand is fulfilled. Referred to the result of our collaborating work from 25 August to 2 September, the working group will set the representatives of seven tribes into the existing business units, and it means we scarify our workers who actually need to be help,” he said.
On Thursday morning (9/10), the Working Team together with the company’s representatives departed to Jakarta to meet Richard Ardkeson, the President CEO of PT Freeport Indonesia. The Mimika Regent facilitated the meeting. “The regent said this department should be materialized. He mediated the meeting to support our voice and commitment,” Degey said.
Earlier, a worker from Amungme tribe, Jack Amisim said the workers from seven tribes held a protest by sitting in the main road connecting the access road to several mining areas of PT. Freeport. “The company has not yet fulfilled our right. We are demanding what is suppose to be our right,” said Amisim. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura City Department of Education plans to pay professional stipends to elementary school teachers in the middle of October, its head said.
“A total of 466 eligible teachers is still waiting their professional stipends to be paid,” the department head, Robert Betaubun, told Jubi on Thursday afternoon (9/10).
The delay was due to the slowness of the online basic data entry system, causing the process to be done manually.
Previously, the head of the department’s Junior High school division, Abdul Majid, said 466 out of 1000 certified teachers for both Elementary and Secondary Schools will be receiving their allowances after a delay of three months. “Based on data, the number of certified teachers is fewer than 1000 including 71 retired and 10 teachers who had moved to other regions,” he said. (Sindung Sukoco/Tina)
Deiyai, Jubi – Despite a shortage of medical personnel and facilities, Pratama Hospital in Deiyai regency has started to operate and serve patients, its director, Yaruarius, said.
“We’ve been serving patients since last Monday. Thank God, there was no patient hospitalized so far “ Yanuarius said on Thursday ( 9/10). He said that the hospital will open 24 hours to provide medical services to the public.
“We don’t have enough medical personnel and equipment. Currently, there are 135 medical personnel ” he added.
The Deiyai regent, in a speech read out by the head of Public Relations Daniel Bunai, said he appreciated the hospital management’s effort and hope that it would provide good medical services for the community.
“Yes, Deiyai topography is very challenging and becomes an obstacle for the government to serve the community in various fields especially in the public health services,” he said.
“Hopefully in the future, medical personnel, construction of buildings and equipment can be completed as funds are available. However, the most important thing is our service to the people in the area,” he said. (Ones Madai/Tina)
Summary of events in West Papua for September 2014- 11 October
The Australia West Papua Association offers its condolences to the family and friends of John Ondawame who died in Port Vila on the 4 September from a heat attack. John had dedicated his life to the liberation of West Papua. He will be sorely missed. John was from the Amungme tribe in Mimika regency in the territory of West Papua. He was the vice-chairman of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL). After Indonesia's take over of the former Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea and seeing first hand Indonesia's brutal occupation, John eventually took to the bush and became a member of the OPM, the Free Papua Movement. After crossing the border into PNG to discuss an incident of hostage taking (by the OPM) with the PNG Government, he was arrested and eventually accepted by Sweden as a refugee, gaining Swedish nationality.
During his time in Australia he made many friends while campaigning to raise awareness about West Papua. He met his first wife Dolly Zonggonau while studying here. He obtained his PHD degree in political science from the ANU in Canberra in 2000, MSc degree from the University of Western Sydney in 1995, Graduate Diploma from the University of Sydney in 1994. He was one of the founding coordinators of the West Papua Project at the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and also one of the founding members (with Rex Rumakiek) of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney.His PhD resulted in his book, "One People One Soul" West Papuan Nationalism and the Organisasi Papua Meredka (2010)
In 2003 he gained residence in Vanuatu, one of the few countries supporting West Papua in international fora. He died on the 4th of September 2014 in Port Vila, Vanuatu from a massive heart attack. He leaves behind his second wife Leisani from FIJI and his young son Jacob. It says something of John’s stature that at his burial in Vila the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Joe Natuman, with other politicians attended the ceremony. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu also mentioned John in his statement delivered at the 691h Session of the United Nations General Assembly 29th September 2014, UN Headquarters, New York
“I cannot close this section of my speech without paying tribute to late Dr. John Ondowame, a Freedom fighter from West Papua who passed away last month while in exile in my country. He was laid to rest in my country as a hero who had fought for the rights to self-determination for the people of West Papua. He and other martyrs had a dream that one day the United Nations and all nations advocating and promoting the democratic principles will, hear their cries and deliver the promise of a self-determined future. At his funeral service, I stated that his struggle for freedom and justice will continue to be our struggle until colonialism is eradicated”.
Much of the media attention on West Papua in the past month focused on the arrest of the two French Journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison. Their case has now been handed over to Papua's chief prosecutor and it was reported that it will go to court within seven days. The media organisation Reporters Without Borders has launched a petition for the immediate release of the pair. Its Secretary General, Christophe Deloire, says they did not apply for press visas because they are rarely granted, and would have resulted in restrictions on their ability to report freely. http://pcij.org/blog/2014/10/08/free-the-frenchNumerous rallies have been held by solidarity groups calling for their release including in New Zealand and Australia. Photos of the Sydney rally athttp://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/photos-of-rally-for-french-journalists.html
On Monday 13 October a peaceful rally by Papuan Students will be held in Bandung in West Java calling for the release of journalists. In New Zealand Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has urged the returning government in New Zealand to make good on the recently passed parliament resolution to press for media freedom in West Papua. In Australia the Senate passed a motion by Greens senator Richard Di Natale with the explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s restive province using tourist visas. The Senate called for the Australian government to request Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat’s release. http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/genpdf/chamber/hansards/4630d1fc-e7c9-4b04-8c13-d1aa918c703f/0098/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf
Papuans behind bars
In its latest update Papuans behind bars reported that at the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails. It also noted that reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. Full report at http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=3044
Tapol released an appeal concerning the Intimidation of prominent Papuan lawyer and human rights defender Gustaf Kawer which has provoked a local, national and international outcry. Mr Kawer, who has provided legal defence for numerous cases involving peaceful political activity and indigenous land disputes, has bizarrely been summoned by Papua police as a witness in a case against himself. The case has been brought by a court judge after Mr Kawer criticized the judge for ignoring his request for the trial to be delayed, to allow himself and his client to be present at the hearing of a case involving an indigenous land dispute with the government. To date Mr Kawer has received two summonses from the police and is threatened with prosecution under Articles 211 and 212 of the Penal Code. If proceedings continue Mr Kawer could potentially face up to four years imprisonment.
OPM member killed. The Jakarta Globe reported that a member of the OPM was killed and several were wounded in a firefight with security officers at an airfield in Lanny Jaya district on the 17. The shootout is believed to have involved about 30 OPM fighters from a group led by Puron Wenda.
Soldier killed. A soldier was killed in an armed attack in Puncak Jaya Regency in Papua on Sept. 25.A spokesman for the Papua military command Lt. Col. Rikas Hidayatullah told the Jakarta Globe that four members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) were ambushed at a traditional market in Ilaga on Sept. 25.The soldiers, who were picking up supplies for the inauguration of Ilaga district’s new chief, were fired at by a group of 10 men, he said. A soldier identified as Second Private Abraham was reportedly shot in the head. The attackers then snatched Abraham’s weapon before fleeing into the jungle. No other soldiers were injured.
NZ Foreign Minister urges media access for Papua
RNZI 15 September. New Zealand's Foreign Minister has expressed hope that Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo will open up Papua region to international media. This comes as two French journalists remain detained in Jayapura following their arrests in Papua over a month ago for alleged visa violations. Johnny Blades reports. "During his recent campaign, Jokowi said there was no impediment to opening up Papua which is restricted for foreign journalists. New Zealand's Murray McCully says his government hopes that once in power, Jokowi will move to relax the rules related to media access and ensure that journalists have the opportunity to report on Papua. Mr McCully also voiced concern about recent Indonesian police mistreatment of two young West Papuans. Amnesty International says the pair, who had painted pro-independence signs in Manokwari, were tortured, beaten, forced to roll in a sewer filled with dirty water and to drink paint. One of them is facing an incitement charge."
Statements on Papua Delivered before Human Rights Council
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to India's Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people's rights, including the right to education..
For the second year in a row, Free West Papua Campaign founder Benny Wenda had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, an honour in itself.
Indonesian government to construct road in Papua`s middle mountain area
Kamis, 25 September 2014 1
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Public Works Ministry is prioritizing the construction of a road in the middle mountain area of Papua Province giving the local people another option besides air transportation. His institution is prioritizing the road development that connects several districts, Chief of the Tenth National Road Project Agency, Thomas Setiabudi, told ANTARA here Thursday. The roads will connect districts that are located in the mountain area with areas located on the coast, Thomas said. The ministry is developing a road that connects Wagete to Timika, and from there it will continue to Paniai, Nabire and Ilaga districts. They will also develop a road from Wamena-Habema-Kenyam that will continue to the Dekai-Oksibil-Iwur-Tanah Merah areas, Thomas said. The road will connect to other areas such as Yetti, Senggi, Usku and Mamberamo apart from Tenggon, Elelim and Wamena. The Papuan people can use several roads that have been connected including Wamena to Mulia, Wamena to Tiom and Nabire to Enarotali. "Even the road that connects Jayapura and Mamberamo can be used even though it is only connected by a bridge," Thomas said. Additionally, the ministry will also develop several roads that connect the coastal areas such as Jayapura-Sarmi and Serui-Menawi-Saubeba. "We hope none of the regions will be isolated after the increasing number of areas that will be connected through the roads," Thomas added. (Uu.B019/INE/KR-BSR/A014)
West Papua meeting confirmed for December
RNZI 26 September 2014. Vanuatu's West Papua Unification Committee has confirmed its conference in Port Vila will now be held from the 4th of December following the National Day and flag raising ceremony on the first. The chairman of the committee Pastor Allan Nafuki says the delay will allow the 80 invited West Papuan delegates to raise funds and prepare their travel documentation to ensure maximum attendance. He says the conference is to provide an avenue for the different groupings in West Papua to come to an agreement on a unified bid for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. A formal membership application by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation was knocked back by the MSG earlier this year, whose leaders called for a more representative bid.
The Jakarta Post, Merauke | Archipelago | Sat, October 11 2014, 8:34 AM
1) Papua military probes soldier’s death
A team from the Cenderawasih Military Command (Kodam) in Jayapura, Papua, is continuing to investigate the death of Second Corporal Nanan, a member of the 320 battalion, who was initially believed to have shot himself at the Makadi command post in Merauke on Wednesday.
Regiment 174 commander Brig. Gen. Supartodi told the Antara news agency in Merauke on Friday that the team, led by the Kodam’s Military Police chief, was trying to determine whether Nanan’s death was the result of suicide or other causes.
“The team has just left for the incident scene at the Makadi command post, so we have yet to know the outcome,” said Supartodi, adding that the investigative team would also be questioning personnel from Battalion 320 who were manning the post.
Besides waiting for the results of the investigation, he said his command was also waiting for the results of an autopsy conducted at a hospital outside Merauke.
Nanan’s body was sent to his home village in West Java on Wednesday. He had been found dead with two gunshot wounds, one of them to his head.
2) RI must be careful in renegotiating mining contracts: Stiglitz
Satria Sambijantoro, The Jakarta Post, Bali | Business | Sat, October 11 2014, 4:27 PM
Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz has warned Indonesia to manage its natural resources carefully, warning against exploitation by mining firms proposing “bad contracts” that would put the government at a disadvantage.
Stiglitz, who advised US leaders Barack Obama and Bill Clinton on economic policies, cautioned Indonesian policymakers against “asymmetry of information” during the renegotiation of mining contracts, with the government particularly susceptible to unfair dealings and excessive business exploitation.
The situation could happen because most developing economies tend to have a limited grasp of mining operations, said Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001 for his theory of markets with asymmetric information.
“For instance, a lot of the contracts say if the commodity prices go down, the country has to give a discount, but if the prices goes up, the company gets to keep all the profits,” he said in an economics seminar in Nusa Dua, Bali on Saturday.
“There’s an idea where many [mining] companies have to disclose all their financial dealings with emerging economies, and not all were surprised when many of the companies did not like that,” added Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia University.
Among the mining giants operating in Indonesia currently approaching the end of their contracts is Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold. Inc, which operates the world’s largest gold mine in Grasberg, Papua.
The work contract between Freeport and the Indonesian government will end in 2021, with negotiation on the contract’s extension to begin two years prior to the deadline, or in this case in 2019.
However, Freeport had lobbied the current administration to sign the amended contract before President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono leaves office on Oct. 20, Sukhyar, a director general for mineral and coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said this week.
Natural resources play an important role in the Indonesian economy so policymakers must consider the country's best interests when negotiating with the mining firms, said Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist who is known for an advocate of stronger government intervention in the economy.
“There are a lot of bad contracts signed in the past [by emerging economies],” warned Stiglitz. “There is this unfairness that is going on.”