Its writer, Michael Bachelard, took a look at how the Melanesian people themselves are often responsible for the failings of the system.
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- 02/09/15--00:10: _1) PNG clarifies po...
- 02/09/15--02:30: _PNG govt signals ba...
- 02/09/15--12:31: _1) Energy Minister ...
- 02/09/15--23:13: _1) KNPB: Military, ...
- 02/10/15--12:27: _1) Campaigning for ...
- 02/11/15--12:40: _1) West Papuans lob...
- 02/12/15--00:39: _1) Vanuatu open to ...
- 02/12/15--11:52: _1) Police Officers ...
- 02/12/15--23:56: _1) 5 soldiers suspe...
- 02/13/15--23:36: _1) Papuans urged to...
- 02/14/15--11:51: _Human Rights Watchd...
- 02/14/15--23:22: _1) view point : Lab...
- 02/15/15--12:22: _1) 14 Caught Rasia ...
- 02/15/15--23:38: _1) Indonesian Polic...
- 02/16/15--12:31: _1) Smelter for Papu...
- 02/16/15--23:33: _1) Malnourished Chi...
- 02/17/15--12:33: _1) Papuan smelter c...
- 02/18/15--00:51: _1) Jokowi’s Papuan ...
- 02/18/15--13:10: _1) Protection for L...
- 02/19/15--13:26: _1) West Papuan Soli...
- 02/09/15--00:10: 1) PNG clarifies position on West Papua
- 02/09/15--02:30: PNG govt signals backtrack on West Papua call
- 02/09/15--12:31: 1) Energy Minister Tells Freeport to 'Change Their View' About Papua
- 02/09/15--23:13: 1) KNPB: Military, Police Behind Attacks in Papua
- 02/11/15--12:40: 1) West Papuans lobby Fiji support for MSG bid
- 02/12/15--00:39: 1) Vanuatu open to West Papua talks
- 02/13/15--23:36: 1) Papuans urged to be prioritized as policemen
- 02/14/15--11:51: Human Rights Watchdog Deploys to Interview Paniai Massacre Survivors
- 02/14/15--23:22: 1) view point : Labora standoff makes mockery of our law enforcement
- 02/15/15--12:22: 1) 14 Caught Rasia KNPB activists in Port Nabire
- 02/16/15--12:31: 1) Smelter for Papua, but Not Freeport Indonesia’s
1) PNG clarifies position on West Papua
Its writer, Michael Bachelard, took a look at how the Melanesian people themselves are often responsible for the failings of the system.
PNG govt signals backtrack on West Papua call
Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Monday 9 February 2015
PETER O'NEILL: Sometimes we forget our own families, our own brothers, especially those in West Papua. I think as a country, the time has come for us to speak about the oppression of our people there.
PETER O'NEILL: Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on the social media, and yet we take no notice. We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded.
SAM BASIL: The Prime Minister's call was being forced upon by many Papua New Guineans taking up the issue on social media and even on the media. And I give a word of thanks to the Prime Minister for taking the issue on but it's a little bit late. But it's good that now the Papua New Guinean government has a position on the issue of West Papuan atrocities and the issue of independence in West Papua.
RIMBINK PATO: Papua New Guinea's policy is and has always been that Papua and West Papua provinces are an integral part of the republic of Indonesia. Any efforts towards membership of MSG are a matter which can be acquired in consultation or with the support of the government of the republic of Indonesia.
Papua New Guinea today is a respected regional leader. After 40 years of undisturbed democracy, we are in a unique position to lead mature discussions on issues affecting our people in the region.Our leading role in encouraging Fiji to return to a democratically elected government and voicing our concerns about the plight of our people in New Caledonia are examples of our growing influence. We have also participated in the restoration of democracy and law and order in countries like Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.But sometimes we forgot our family, our brothers and sisters, especially those in West Papua.I think as a country the time has come for us to speak about oppression our people. Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on social media and yet we take no notice. We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded. Again, Papua New Guinea, as a regional leader, we must lead these discussions with our friends in a mature and engaging manner.
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Inggamer: It was after my first visit to my homeland in 1998 that things started to get clear for me. Seeing, experiencing the real life in West Papua. After going to West Papua in 1998, something broke inside. That trip changed my whole perspective. Seeing is believing. I saw my family, I saw my people, their struggle, their life.
Inggamer: I lived in West Papua from April 2004 till July 2008. I was deported (by the Indonesian authorities) and declared persona non grata. Indonesian intelligence observed me at various political gatherings, one of which was at the Kongres National in 2006. By that time I worked as a media consultant for Metro Papua TV.
Inggamer: People saw me as a bule (“foreigner” in Bahasa Indonesia). Saya orang Papua asli. (I am an indigenous Papuan). Not a foreigner. I own a stretch of land on Auki island (Padaido Islands) near Biak. I am a customary land owner, but to Indonesians I am a bule.
Inggamer: Yes. That is true. Every week there are PELNI ships arriving in Sorong, Manokwari, Nabire, Biak and Jayapura with thousands of migrants from Java.
Inggamer: Joko is Suhartoism without Suharto. [Suharto was Indonesia's leader and dictator who ruled for three decades until he was ousted from power in 1998]. Joko is a puppet. The military still and will always dictate.
Inggamer: The United Liberation Movement West Papua will submit an application for FULL membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Indonesia is just an observer in this body. If West Papua gets full membership like FLNKS (Kanak Independence Movement, New Caledonia) then the whole situation, the whole spectrum changes.The next step after the MSG will be the United Nations.
Inggamer: Regional support is important. Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji are on the side of Indonesia but things are changing in PNG. The people of PNG are more aware about the threat that is Indonesia.Vanuatu has been the only country in the world which gives West Papua a political platform and support. The Vanuatu Support is a bill that was unanimously adopted by Vanuatu parliament in 2010. It was derived from a peoples petition tabled in parliament. Its purpose was to express Vanuatu's recognition of West Papua's independence from Indonesia. And to commit Vanuatu to actively seek full membership for West Papua in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Island Forum. The bill was supported by the then Prime Minister Edward Natapei and opposition leader Korman.
Inggammer: I believe in the power of unity. I know how divided Papuans were but now we are united and we fully use of Vanuatu as a platform for our struggle. Momentum is building. Step by step we will get what is needed. First the MSG. Next the UN. Freedom is at the end of the tunnel. Indonesia has tunnel vision. With Papuans being united there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Inggamer: International reaction on West Papua has always been like this: Don't talk about massacres, human rights abuses, simply don't mention anything about West Papua to Jakarta. The world still supports Indonesia's annexation of West Papua. The question is how long. Wait what happens when we as united Papuans submit our application to the MSG. We believe in unity. Unity brings the people of Melanesia together. Together we are strong. Together as one for West Papua.
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1) West Papuans lobby Fiji support for MSG bid
Updated at 9:15 pm on 11 February 2015
In meetings with activist Octavianus Mote yesterday, Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa showed willingness to support West Papua's bid.
"I am very pleased with the reception to the visit and look forward to further talks with our Fijian friends in March," Mote said.
"The CSO community and the Methodist Church in Fiji have been very gracious in offering to write to the MSG Secretariat in support of our request for membership."
The MSG will meet in March to discuss an application from the new joint West Papua Liberation movement formed in December 2014.
Mote's meetings with stakeholders in Fiji were facilitated by the Pacific Conference of Churches Secretariat.
Mote indicated that support for the application was clear from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
"We are quite certain that PNG will support us as they were behind the move for the West Papua opposition parties to unify before applying for MSG membership," Mote said.
"And Fiji in 2013 had told us that we should apply for full membership of the MSG so we hope they will support our application."
Mote returned to the United States today.
The former journalist fled Indonesia in 1999 and lives in exile in the US.
3) Vanuatu buoyed by PNG's West Papua call
The decision by the Papuan people through the intermediary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to apply for membership of
the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) should win the broad support of all those who are campaigning to support the political rights of the Papuan people.
The application was registered with the Secretariat of the MSG on 5 February this year and is due to be discussed in July this year. With
strong support, this could help secure success for this move which has been under way for a long time. The struggle for the basic political rights of the Papuan people
which is based on their experiences in the Land of Cenderawasih, has been going on for more than fifty years during which time they have
been subjected to numerous destructive measures taken by the Republic of Indonesia. These measures were perpetrated by the security forces
and the government against the civilian population in a many forms, physical as well as psychological.
Those measures are totally against basic human rights, against the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia as well as against Law
39/1999 on Human Rights Courts, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and various international covenants on economic,social and
cultural rights. The application to join the MSG is in accord with a number of international covenants and is also in line with a statement made
several years ago by Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, when he said that this problem should be discussed by the UN
Decolonisation Commission which is based in New York. This also means that the application that was recently made by the
Papuan people through the United Movement for the Liberation of Papua is closely associated with the objectives of DAP - the Council of
Indigenous People - as well as other Papuan organisations which have reached agreement on this matter. It is also supported by the
Indigenous People's Council of Vanuatu.
In my opinion, the application should be reinforced by Papuan people everywhere and their leaders, by every means possible. DAP should do everything possible to stand firmly against all kinds of intervention from anywhere around the world. DAP would be the very
first institution that takes action in accordance with its legal position as the protector of the basic rights of the Indigenous Papuan
people. If DAP takes a firm stand on this matter, it will win respect from the central government and from people throughout Indonesia as the
institution that works with determination to protect the rights of the indigenous people.
Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH - Manokwari.
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]
Updated at 11:45 am todayhttp://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/265940/vanuatu-open-to-west-papua-talks
1) Vanuatu open to West Papua talks
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Jakarta. It was supposed to be a simple matter: The court sends a convicted criminal to jail, and there he stays, until his sentence ends. But for Labora Sitorus, a police officer in West Papua sentenced to 15 years in 2014 for money laundering, there seem to be many ways to avoid imprisonment, all the while flaunting his freedom in the faces of law enforcement agencies.
Labora, a low-ranking officer in a police station in the remote Raja Ampat islands of West Papua, grabbed national media headlines in 2013 after he was found to have laundered Rp 1.5 trillion ($118 million) through his personal bank accounts, apparently from his illegal logging and fuel hoarding businesses.
West Papua’s Sorong District Court sentenced him to two years in prison and fined him Rp 50 million in that same year, before the Papua High Court extended the sentence to eight years upon appeal. A further appeal, to the Supreme Court in September last year, saw the sentence stretched even further, to 15 years, with a Rp 5 billion fine.
However, in October, when a team of prosecutors came to pick him up from his temporary detention, they found that Labora had not been there for some time. In fact, since getting approval for a request to seek treatment by the penitentiary’s chief warden in March, Labora had never returned to jail.
This situation could be understood if Labora had been able to flout imprisonment by fleeing abroad, as is often the case with many Indonesian graft fugitives. But what is mind-boggling is that Labora has, in fact, never left Sorong. He has been ensconced in his home in the coastal city located near Raja Ampat, on the beak of the Bird’s Head peninsula of West Papua province, the whole time.
When several reporters interviewed him last week, Labora was in his house, located within a residential complex owned by his timber company, Rotua, which was at the center of the illegal logging case. Dozens of his employees-turned-guards stood around the complex, making sure that no one could come in.
This marked the first time Labora had been willing to speak to the press after the whole debacle had made media headlines.
Labora, 53, said he was aware he had been put in prosecutors’ list of fugitives, but added he was confused as to why they had done that. In the mean time, the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office and Justice Ministry’s Directorate General of Corrections have been passing around the blame for the fiasco.
“Let me stress that the three institutions — the police, the prosecutors and prison department — have made public lies,” Labora said, according to Kompas daily. “I’ve been at home all this time. I’m confused to as to why the prosecutors put me on their list of fugitives, when senior officials from those three institutions have been visiting me at home for silaturahmi [friendly relations].”
Labora maintained that his release was lawful due to a letter from the Sorong penitentiary authorizing it, and dismissed Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly’s statement that the letter was invalid.
“Prosecutors are yet to send me a letter that extends my imprisonment. [The penitentiary] officials themselves delivered their letter [that authorized the release] to my house. If anything is wrong with the letter, they’re the ones who should be charged for forging a document,” he said.
Labora further argued his release was lawful because the Supreme Court’s verdict was flawed. He said he was just a “pawn” in a game involving senior officials with the Papua Police and the National Police headquarters in Jakarta, although he stopped short of naming anyone.
“If I’m guilty, why do the police and prosecutors stick to persuasive means [to make me return to prison]? Logically, a fugitive must be immediately arrested or shot [if he resists arrest],” Labora said.
Still on police payroll
Adding to the strangeness of the whole issue, Labora added the police had rejected his resignation and continued to send him his monthly pay.
“I will reveal all the games behind this case,” he said, but added a condition: “I’m asking for help from the Witness and Victim Protection Agency [LPSK] and the National Commission on Human Rights [Komnas HAM] — please come here.”
Labora denied hiring his employees and local residents to shield him from the authorities, claiming he had never resisted any arrest because there had never been any attempt to do take him into custody.
Roughly 1,000 people claim to be his supporters, including Rotua employees and hundreds of local residents who on Monday staged a rally in front of the Sorong Prosecutors Office and the City Council, demanding President Joko Widodo form an independent fact-finding team to investigate allegations of the conspiracy.
In Jakarta, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo said prosecutors would keep trying to persuade Labora to surrender.
“We still hope that [he will surrender] peacefully. If he has no good intention… then we will go with Plan B, which is asking for the police to help,” Prasetyo said. He added there was no deadline for the “persuasive approach,” although he raised allegations that Labora had “protectors.”
“At least he must be hiding behind people around him, reportedly his employees. Labora has a lot of money… he is employing people to defend him,” Prasetyo told news portal Tribunnews.com.
An official with the Sorong Prosecutors Office, Danang, similarly said there was no deadline for the “persuasive approach,” arguing that if a deadline was set, Labora would attempt to flee.
Danang said local prosecutors had actually handed over the matter to police.
“We wish we could just use repressive means, because this has been going on for too long already. But we’ve handed over the matter to police and we will see the outcome of their persuasive approach,” Danang said. “The public may think this should have been easy. But it really is difficult; the situation in the field is not like you imagine.”
Wait and see
An official with the West Papua Police indicated police would only use force to arrest Labora if requested by prosecutors, and that has not been done, he said.
The official, who asked not to be named, spoke after a closed-door meeting in Sorong on Wednesday where the issue was discussed, with West Papua Police Chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, Papua chief prosecutor Herman Dasilva and the Justice Ministry’s provincial representative, Agus Soekono, all in attendance.
“The meeting discussed how to put L.S. in jail,” the official told Liputan6.com. “Our office [West Papua Police] is ready, but we’re not the executors. Only if there’s an order from prosecutors can we make an arrest.”
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie last week announced that police, prosecutors and the corrections department were forming a joint coordination team to deal with the matter. “Currently we’re still trying to arrest Labora,” Ronny said.
Paulus, meanwhile, said he had assigned several police officers in Sorong to “communicate” with Labora, stopping short of mentioning the outcome from their efforts so far.
He denied accusations that police were purposefully stalling on arresting Labora.
“Let’s just wait and see. There are steps to take. We hope there will good developments and that Labora will surrender himself peacefully,” Paulus said.
He noted, “We could hasten the process, but victims may fall. So let’s just follow procedure.”
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2) Papua Police Reenact Shootings of Two Officers
Jakarta. The National Commission on Human Rights, or Komnas HAM, is intensifying its investigation of alleged human rights violations in security forces’ deadly shooting of unarmed residents, including women and children, in Paniai, Papua.
“We are going to interview locals, victims, Papuan public figures and security officers from February 18 to 20,” Maneger Nasution, who is leading the human rights watchdog’s investigative team for the Paniai incident, said on Friday.
“Our focus is on the witnesses and victims. In addition, there will be also be an event re-enactment to clarify the information we gathered earlier regarding the shooting,” Maneger said.
Commissioner Natalius Pigai said the team would also attempt to collect additional evidence of alleged human rights violations in Papua. The team will leave for Papua on Monday.
“For now, we have indications of four human rights being violated in Paniai: the right to life, children’s rights, women’s rights and the right not to be tortured,” he said. “But we’re not going to stop there. We’re also going to collect evidence of whether there were more severe human rights violations. Should there be any indications of such, the possibility of forming an ad hoc team is there.”
The team plans to probe for evidence that the shooting was premeditated.
On Dec. 8, security forces opened fire on 800 reportedly non-violent protestors demonstrating against alleged abuse by authorities in an altercation between police officers and local teenagers the previous day.
Five protesters were killed and at least 17, including elementary school students, were injured, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
“The Papua inquiry has been stymied because civilian investigators can’t interview the soldiers who were at the scene,” Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at the organization, said last December.
“A joint probe with police, military, and human rights investigators is crucial to ensure that all information is collected and that the findings will be taken seriously.”
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