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Friday, 28 October 2011

Rudd called on to launch Indon inquiry

1) Rudd called on to launch Indon inquiry
2) Legislator Proposes Jusuf Kalla to Lead Papua Peace Process
3) House slams SBY over Papua violence; demand dialogue
4) Papuan activists lobbying Australian government
5) Australia criticised for Freeport inaction
6) Footage of violent Papuan crackdown emerges
7) Parliamentarians group says NZ should review its community
8) Officials deny Papua alert status
9) Solving ‘the Papuan problem’ or Papua’s problems?


1) Rudd called on to launch Indon inquiry
By Victoria Bruce
15:35 AEST Thu Oct 27 2011

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has been urged to launch an inquiry into Australian aid to Indonesia

, with several people killed at a peace rally in West Papua

About 5000 people attended the Papuan Peoples Congress earlier this month to discuss human rights issues and declare independence from Indonesian rule.


But Joe Collins, secretary of the Australia West Papua Association, said police and the Indonesian military used canes and batons to attack people.


He said six West Papuan people were killed in the incident and another six were charged with treason.

International news agencies are reporting that five people were killed but the Jakarta Globe newspaper also says six.

Mr Collins said the government should call on Indonesia to halt all military operations in West Papua to prevent further bloodshed.

"We also urge the government to hold an inquiry into how Australian aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the life of the West Papuan people," Mr Collins said.

He said the situation was deteriorating rapidly in the Indonesian-controlled province.

President of the Australian branch of the International Commission of Jurists, John Dowd, said Indonesia should stop denying West Papua its independence. 

"There is a limit to how far you can suppress the will of a people," Mr Dowd told reporter in Sydney on Thursday.

"The main problem with West Papua is suppression."

Mr Dowd said Australia needed to do more to pressure Indonesia to stop human rights abuses in West Papua.

He emphasised the need for a free press and media scrutiny of the region.

"If Indonesia has nothing to hide, then why suppress the press?" Mr Dowd said.


2) Legislator Proposes Jusuf Kalla to Lead Papua Peace Process

 Ezra Sihite | October 27, 2011

A legislator said that a national figure such as former Vice President Jusuf Kalla should lead the initiative to solve conflicts in Papua.

“We understand the problems in Papua are not ordinary crimes, there are many variables related to business, politics, separatism and public disappointment,” the head of the House of Representative’s Defense Commission, Mahfudz Siddiq said on Wednesday


Mahfudz, a Prosperous Justice Party politician, suggested that a national figure be assigned to initiate a conflict-settlement process just as Kalla did when he initiated the Aceh peace process.

“The dialog does not necessarily have to be conducted by the central government, but there must be a national-caliber figure who initiates the problem solving process,” he said, adding that Kalla still has what it takes to take charge.

“Based on his experience, competence and public acceptance, I think he will do,” he said.

Mahfudz said that a road map will enable security authorities to trace and arrest criminals who obstruct peace and security in the restive region.

“Without a road map, there will be security conflicts every month or even every day,” he said. 


3) House slams SBY over Papua violence; demand dialogue
Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/27/2011 4:03 PM
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Legislators threw staunch criticism at the government on Thursday, accusing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of turning a blind eye to escalating violence involving the populations of Papua and West Papua.

Effendy Choirie and Lily Chadidjah Wahid, both members of House of Representatives Commission I on information, defense and foreign affairs, warned the government that the mounting tension could lead to the two provinces’ separation from Indonesia.

The legislators also urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to go to Papua directly to hold a dialogue with Papuans to resolve the issue peacefully, rather than deploying security forces in efforts to crush separatist sentiment.

“The escalating tension is not only a security disturbance but and mainly a serious human rights violation with the killing of Mulia Police chief Dominggus Awes, a Papuan police officer fighting for a humane approach for the Papuan people,” Lily said.

She added that the government should not blame the Free Papua Movement (OPM) for the shooting but rather the security personnel in Papua, who have have received US$14 million from miner PT Freeport McMoran Indonesia to safeguard its assets in Timika.

Effendy suggested the President assign former vice president Jusuf Kalla, known for his track record in mediating conflicts in Poso and Aceh, to help mediate the issue in an effort to win back the Papuan people’s confidence in the government of the Republic of Indonesia.

Irene Mupui and Paskalis Kosai, two Golkar Party legislators from Papua, said Jakarta and the government in Papua should be held responsible for the mounting problems and for its failure to improve the Papuan people’s social welfare under its "special autonomy" or fix the widening social gap in the two provinces.

All legislators present at the session agreed that the government should end its military-operation approach, and that the President should hold a 
long-awaited dialogue to resolve Papua issues.


4) Papuan activists lobbying Australian government

Updated October 27, 2011 16:57:47
Supporters of the Papua independence movement claim a blockade by Indonesian authorities and the owners of the Freeport mine in the Indonesian Province of Papua is making it difficult for villagers to go about their daily lives.

The mine which has the largest reserves of copper and gold in the world was the scene of violence earlier this month when police and security forces clashed with striking mine workers leaving a number of people dead.

Octovianus Mote who was forced to leave the province in 1999 and now lives in the US where he works at Yale University is in Australia in an attempt to lobby the Australian government to take action over the violence.

Mr Mote is the former bureau chief in Papua for Kompas -- one of Indonesia's major newspapers.

Presenter: Michael Cavanagh 
Speaker: Octovianus Mote, Yale University's Southeast Asia Program and the International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School

5) Australia criticised for Freeport inaction

Last Updated: 
Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:58:00 +1100

Prominent Australian figures have criticised the government's lack of intervention into the recent violence at Indonesia's Freeport mine in the province of Papua.

Australia's International Commission of Jurists President John Dowd was among the speakers at a conference in 

 who was critical of the government's lack of action.

Another speaker, Octovianus Mote, who works at Yale University in the US, says Indonesian authorities are making it difficult for residents to go about their daily lives and that work is still halted in the province.

Mr Mote was forced to leave the province in 1999 whilst working as a journalist with the Indonesian newspaper, Kompas.

"Freeport was trying to get labour from a different company, which has experience in mining. But that was the one that created the violence in order to protest. As far as I understand, the mining is stopped," he said.


6) Footage of violent Papuan crackdown emerges

Updated October 27, 2011 16:57:44
More footage has emerged of a shooting in the Indonesian province of West Papua last week... that human rights campaigners say left at least seven people dead and dozens more injured.

Soldiers reportedly opened fire after thousands of people declared independence from Indonesia at the Papuan People's Congress.

Papuans in exile say that despite the crackdown their campaign for independence is growing - and they want the Indonesian Government to start negotiating.

Presenter: Liz Hobday
Speaker: Professor Peter King, University of Sydney


7) Parliamentarians group says NZ
 should review its community
RNZI Posted at 06:54 on 27 October, 2011
The convener of the New Zealand parliamentary support group for West Papua says the government should review its role training Indonesian police in community policing in Papua region.
The call comes after at least five Papuans died and many more were injured when Indonesian security forces broke up the Papuan Congress after it declared independence.
There have also been five shooting deaths around the ongoing strike at the Freeport mine in Timika.
A police commander has also been killed.
Catherine Delahunty has urged New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully to encourage Indonesia to curb the state killings, torture and other abuses of Papuans.
“And really if New Zealand wants to play a constructive role, we might like to participate in brokering a peace dialogue. I don’t think it’s a robust situation for us to be doing community policing. It would be far more useful if Murray McCully would talk to the President of the Indonesian state about their occupation in terms of a peace dialogue with West Papuan leaders.”
Catherine Delahunty

8) Officials deny Papua alert status
Arya Dipa and Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Thu, 10/27/2011 6:53 AM
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The Free Papua Movement (OPM) denied that the organization was behind the killing of Mulia Police chief Adj. Comr. Dominggus Oktavianus Awes.

OPM international spokesman John Otto Ondawame said Dominggus was one of “those who must take responsibility for the series of crimes against humanity in Puncak Jaya”.

In his email sent to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, the Vanuatu-based Ondawame accused the police and military of having been behind “increased human rights abuses, barbaric killings, tortures, intimidation and rapes against innocent civilians in the area”.

He also said the deployment of more troops to Papua would “create devastating effects on civilian lives”.

“Such a deployment will never destroy the true aspiration of the people of West Papua. Rather it will encourage their sentiment against Jakarta,” he said, adding that the leaders of the people of West Papua had always called on the Indonesian government to withdraw security forces from the region.

“We strongly believe that through peace talks we can find the best solution to the long-standing issue of West Papua. Is Jakarta ready to enter into new round-table peace talks?”

The situation in Papua has been tense for the past two weeks following a series of shootings that have claimed the lives of eight people, including Dominggus.

However, the government has revised a previous statement on the security status of Papua, saying there was no plan to send further Indonesian Military (TNI) and police troops to the troubled province despite rising tensions.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusginatoro denied a previous statement made by National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam that the status of Puncak Jaya had been elevated to “Alert 1”.

“The disorder only took place in Puncak Jaya. The third Papuan People’s Congress was held in Abepura. It is still within the police’s jurisdiction,” Purnomo told reporters in Bandung on Wednesday when accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his visit to PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

“Currently, none of our troops are from outside Papua. The situation is being handled by troops from the local garrison. There has been no reinforcement of combat troops in Papua,” said Purnomo.

Anton said on Tuesday that more than 170 officers of the police Mobile Brigade had been deployed to Papua while Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said 280 mobile brigade officers would be sent from Jakarta over the next few days. 

Papua interim governor Syamsul Arief Rivai urged the congregation of Gereja Kristen Injili (GKI) to turn Papua into a peaceful paradise.

“Let’s turn Papua into a little heaven, like the lyrics of the song; a piece of heaven on Earth,” he said at the opening of the Papua GKI synod congress in Sentani, Jayapura.

Papua GKI synod leader Rev. Yemima Krey Mirino called on the government to sit down with the Papuan people to discuss the current problems.

“The government must be willing to hear what is happening and then work together to seek a solution, so people can live in peace,” he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono emphasized the government’s stance on defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We love peace but we must defend the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia at all costs.”

Nethy D. Somba 
and Bagus BT Saragih contributed to this story


9) Solving ‘the Papuan problem’ or Papua’s problems?
Pierre Marthinus, Jakarta | Thu, 10/27/2011 7:32 AM
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A string of shooting incidents has plagued Papua and claimed lives since security forces dispersed the third Papuan People’s Congress under the justification of possible treason as well as a breach of the gathering’s permits when participants declared the formation of a Papuan Transitional Government in Abepura on Oct. 19.

Global media networks have circulated pictures and articles related to last week’s gathering, the arrest of 300 people that followed and indications of abuses by the security forces in response to the incident. 

Obviously, the government should be more concerned about its international notoriety in Papua instead of obsessing over the Cabinet reshuffle, domestic popularity and securing their finances for the 2014 elections. 

Undoubtedly, the timing of the congress was arranged to coincide with Jakarta’s preoccupation with its internal political rivalries and weak leadership. 

Indonesia urgently needs to shift its approach from seeing Papua as the problem and focus more on solving the issues perceived by the region as its main grievances. 

Located in the easternmost part of Indonesia, Papua has always been geographically, ethnically and culturally distinct from the rest, standing as the ultimate testament to Indonesia’s claim of unity in diversity. Unfortunately, unresolved grievances have made the region grow politically distant from Jakarta. 

Most peace initiatives have failed to address the main issues of (1) history and political identity, (2) continued marginalization of indigenous Papuans, (3) failure of development, (4) the increasingly limited room for Papuan social and cultural expression and (5) the sustained heavy presence of security forces and continued abuses in Papua. 

Policy makers in Jakarta should initially focus on one of the five problematic areas above instead of lumping them together simply as “the Papuan problem”. 

First, concessions on the issues of history and political identity will be extremely unfavorable for Jakarta at this point. The reach of national educational infrastructure, the key instrument in constructing the nation through history and national identity, is still very limited and of poor quality, especially in Papua. 

From 1945 to the mid-1960s, Papua was excluded from Indonesia’s “formative years of nation-building” while the Netherlands, until 1969, retained effective administrative control over Papua and contributed greatly to fostering a sense of Papuan history and political identity that is entirely separate from Indonesia. 

Reconciling history and political identity should not be done without first improving the educational and informational infrastructure that can accommodate a balanced and dignified representation of both identities. 

The families and children of Papuan combatants, driven deep into the forests and swamps of Papua’s interior, should also be granted access to Indonesia’s educational system because they will be the future makers — or breakers — of peace. 

The dangers of reconciling the issues of history and political identity should also be learned from Bosnia’s painful experience in which the education system failed to reconcile different identities and was instead utilized as an instrument of segregation, conflict and enmity-building between different groups.

Second, affirmative policy has been continuously interpreted merely as the redistribution of rights and resources – not responsibilities. Since the Special Autonomy in 2001, affirmative policy has become justified politically as “buying off Papuans” by giving them public positions as well as “autonomy” funds.

Experts concur that this approach has resulted in public positions being filled by individuals with inadequate skills, knowledge or capacity to perform their functions, further contributing to the image of an ineffective and dysfunctional Indonesian state in Papua. 

Local Papuan political elites are well known for boasting about the amount of financial resources available from Jakarta that they can misuse, squander, and waste — indicating a poor sense of responsibility and accountability in using the financial concessions made by Jakarta. Such misuse of rights and resources continues to be swept under the carpet by Jakarta, wrongly perceiving this as “accommodative”, “non-interventional” and respecting Papuan autonomy. 

Indonesia, as a democracy, necessitates a solid system of checks-and-balances, accountability, and transparency in which Papua should not — and should never be — an exception.

Affirmative policy should focus on equal opportunity and increased access to the public benefits provided by the state, such as security, education and health. It should empower Papuans to participate meaningfully in “the process” and should refrain from simply doling out “the goods” to Papuans without at the same time strengthening their sense of responsibility and accountability. Multiculturalism policies in Canada and New Zealand toward its indigenous population might serve as notable lessons for Indonesia.

Third, an economic-developmental approach to Papua should not overshadow the political goal of “ownership” of the development process itself. Local Papuan elites who are unable to implement sound economic policies should not be 
allowed to hold strategic public offices, squandering development funding and then blaming Jakarta once it fails. 

A discussion with Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, an expert on Indonesian internal politics, noted that it has become increasingly common to see local Papuan elites become fervent supporters of “M” (merdeka, or freedom) as soon as their term in office — along with the economic resources attached to it — can no longer be extended.

Fourth, limited room for Papuan social and cultural expression and recognition of their cultural distinction will continue to be a sensitive issue. 

Edy Prasetyono, an expert on Indonesian security, noted that some have suggested drawing Papua’s administrative borders according to its social and cultural boundaries to achieve better security and stability in the region. 

However, such an incorporation of Papua’s distinct customs and culture into its local political system can potentially backfire and be used as an instrument to argue that since Papuan politics are distinct, it should therefore be separate from the Indonesian political system. 

For this reason, cultural expression continues to be negatively perceived by Jakarta as a potential instrument of political consolidation and mobilization of secessionist aspirations. 

Lastly, efforts toward dialogue have failed due to the heavy militaristic approach in Papua — often but not always emanating from Jakarta — with numerous military and intelligence operations that cannot be justified to the Indonesian public. Recent unnecessary civilian casualties showed the gap between the peace rhetoric and the unchanged heavy-handed response in Papua. 

In the end, Indonesia will need to carefully and gradually address the region’s five main problematic issues one by one. The five issues are interlinked, but Jakarta can — and should — identify areas that will contribute meaningfully toward peace as well as areas that will only further distance and segregate 
Papua from the rest of Indonesia. 

Political concessions should only be made on the basis of such identification and also within Indonesia’s democratic corridors of accountability.

The writer is a program director of Pacivis at the University of Indonesia, Depok, West Java.

Posted via email from West Papua Merdeka News

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