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Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 208

AWPA update. February 2010

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 208

1) West Papuan rights lawyer calls for peaceful dialogue with Jakarta
2) Vanuatu government urged to restate Papua stance
3) SBY must woo `Pacific for Papua's sake'
4) Papua set to build ring road
5) Freeport has yet to help Papua: DPD
6) Calls for Free Papua and release of poliitical prisoners in Jayapura
7) National dialogue to decide area's fate
8) OPM Did Not Murder Officer: Papua Official
9) Freeport says it paid govt. $1.4b in 2009
10) Freeport Employees Concerned about Continued Shooting
11) KWI to fight for indigenous land rights
12) Press releases/reports etc

1) West Papuan rights lawyer calls for peaceful dialogue with Jakarta

RNZI 25 February, 2010

A prominent West Papuan human rights lawyer is using a speaking tour of Australia to promote the need for a peaceful solution to problems in Indonesia’s troubled Papua region. Yan Christian Warinussy, who is the winner of Canada’s John Humphrey Freedom Award in 2005 for his promotion of human rights and democracy, says the rights situation in Papua has been left to deteriorate far too long.

The Manokwari-based lawyer says the Special Autonomy status granted to Papua by Indonesia in 2001 has proven a failure while the heavy militarisation of the region has worsened the security situation. Mr Warinussy says dialogue between Jakarta and Papuan representatives must take place. “The human rights situation in West Papua is not good until now. The Special Autonomy, we cannot use that to solve the problem. We need to make peaceful dialogue between Indonesia and Papua - to think again, to plan again, to make sure.”

Yan Christian Warinussy

2) Vanuatu government urged to restate Papua stance
RNZI 01 March, 2010

The Vanuatu Free West Papua Association says the government needs to clarify its position on the independence of Papua. The Daily Post reports that the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement, following the cancellation of a peaceful march, saying that Vanuatu’s diplomatic relationship with Indonesia means that, legally, it accepts Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua. A spokesman for the Prime Minister says he is currently seeking advice on whether the Government should restate its posititon on Papua for clarity. But the Association’s Pastor, Alain Nafuki, says that is a change in stance from the government, and especially its leading party, the Vanua’aku Party. “And we the churches, and the chiefs of Vanuatu and the people in general think that is not right, we think we should come back to the original policy of the early government. Although we may respect the ties between Indonesia and Vanuatu we still support the struggle for self-determination.” Alain Nafuki says the planned protest will now go ahead on Friday, which is a public holiday in Vanuatu.

3) SBY must woo `Pacific for Papua's sake'

Lilian Budianto , The Jakarta Post ,02/25/2010
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should use his visit to Papua New Guinea next month to discuss ways to work with Pacific nations to solve the issue of Papuan separatism, say experts. "Foreign countries scrutinize Indonesia over how it could solve the insurgency problem because they regard Papua as an international concern. The more we shut down, the more suspicious they are and it doesn't help in efforts to embrace Papua," said Adriana Elisabeth, a researcher from the Indonesian Institute for Sciences (LIPI). She said Indonesia had to open up and cooperate with other countries to solve the Papuan issue because the nature of the problem partly arose from an international resolution. Then Western New Guinea became part of Indonesia based on the 1969 Act of Free Choice, which is not fully recognized by many Papuan people. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will visit Port Moresby from March 11-12 after visiting Australia from March 8-11.

LIPI has prepared a roadmap on how to solve the Papuan issue, including a plan to conduct an international conference, but it has not yet been implemented due to the government's resistance to internationalize the issue. The Foreign Ministry said that Papua was a domestic issue and should not see international interference.

A number of civil society groups in Papua New Guinea and other Pacific nations continue to support the Papuan independence movement because of common ethnic roots. Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the President would seek to enhance cooperation with Pacific countries during his visit to Papua New Guinea and Australia, although stopped short of saying what areas could be enhanced.

"Jakarta would seek to project its policy on the Southwest Pacific during the visit. because it has strategic value *for Jakarta* regarding separatism," said Marty during a visit to The Jakarta Post last Friday. Sociologist Tamrin Amal Tomagola said support for Papuan independence was still strong among Pacific Islands countries despite waning support elsewhere. Choirul Anam, deputy executive director for Human Rights Working Group, said Jakarta had to strengthen its diplomacy over the Papua issue because its freedom movement gained wide international support as when Timor Leste sought independence.

4) Papua set to build ring road

Wed, 02/24/2010 | The Archipelago
Papua province is set to build a 41-kilometer road connecting Jayapura with Sentani.
The project has been launched to anticipate a population boom in Jayapura city, whose growth reaches 5 percent annually. Jayapura city is currently inhabited by 350,000 people and the number is expected to rise to 450,000 by 2020. "Population density is followed by traffic congestion," Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu told reporters in Jayapura. "The ring road will shorten traveling time from Jayapura city to the Sentani Airport from between 45 and 60 minutes to 10 minutes." The first phase of the construction will be a 3.5-kilometer section from Hamadi to Skyland at an estimated Rp 500 billion (US$50 million) cost from a total of Rp 7 trillion. "The tender process is ongoing and the construction will com-mence this year," Papua Public Works Office chief Jansen Monim told The Jakarta Post in Jayapura. Monim said the Rp 7 trillion funds would be derived from the provincial and state budgets. The project is expected to be completed in three years' time. "The project will be carried out by Indonesians, such as the Jakarta-Bandung turnpike," he said.

The project has drawn both support and criticism. The Indonesian National Youth Committee (KNPI) Papua chapter welcomed the project as solution to Jayapura's development problem. "The ring road will help ease traffic congestion in Jayapura city," KNPI chief Rifai Darus said. Students associated with The Indonesian Youth and Students Movement have different views. "We don't see the urgency to build the road while some people are living in poverty in the middle of the city," movement coordinator Yulianus Dwaa said. - JP/Nethy Dharma Somba

5) Freeport has yet to help Papua: DPD
Markus Makur , The Jakarta Post , Timika |Wed, 02/24/2010 The Archipelago
PT Freeport Indonesia has not helped develop human resources in Papua, particularly in the Amungme and Kamoro tribes, a member of the Regional Representatives’ Council (DPD) says. During a meeting at the Mimika regent’s house, council member Mervin Sadipun Komber questioned if any members of the Amungme and Kamoro tribes, the traditional owners of the communal reserve land used for the company’s mining activities, had earned doctoral or master’s degrees. “If there were any, how many were there?” Mervin asked.

Freeport Indonesia (FI) had not helped develop human resources since it commenced operations in Papua, he said. No one from either the Amungme or Kamoro tribes held post graduate academic titles, Mervin said. Komber, a representative from West Papua, said the meeting was part of a tour of Papua undertaken by nine of the council’s members, aiming to accommodate aspirations from the provincial and Mimika regency administrations in three sectors minerals and coal, infrastructure and electricity. Council members questioned Freeport Indonesia’s corporate social responsibility programs, especially in providing education to members of the Amungme and Kamoro communities.

The entourage arrived in Jayapura to meet Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu and visited border areas between (Indonesian) Papua and Papua New Guinea. The group also met the Jayapura mayor. “Papua is deprived of infrastructure, especially road networks that are needed to open up isolated areas across the province. “Today, we visited Mimika to take in the aspirations and current issues in Mimika, for example in community development, corporate social responsibility [CSR] programs, mining and the environment, human rights in Mimika and Papua, and whether FI has made people around the mining area prosperous,” Bambang said. Mimika Regent Klemen Tinal said developing Papua was as simple as ending isolation, especially in the central mountainous region and southern Papua. To develop central Papua, Klemen said Mimika was a strategic regency, given that it could link the entire central mountainous region. However, so far Freeport had not contributed a cent to the development of Mimika, he said.

Royalties and taxes derived from the companies operations were regulated by law, but Mimika regency administration had never received direct assistance from it and its closure was not a problem for the administration, he said. Issues related to Freeport’s mining operations that needed immediate attention included the ecological and environmental damage it caused, as well as promised benefits from the mining that had not materialized in communities around mining concession areas, he said.

6) Calls for Free Papua and release of poliitical prisoners in Jayapura

Cenderawasih Pos, 23 February 2010 Abridged in translation by TAPOL
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Jayapura, calling for Papua Merdeka - Free Papua. The demonstration which took place yesterday outside the Papua Legislative Assembly building consisted of several groups who had come from different parts of the city.They called on the Papuan people to struggle for the rights of the Papuan people which continue to be violated. After initial attempts by the police, the demonstration was allowed to proceed. Demonstrators held aloft banners calling for the withdrawal of organic and non organic troops, for an end to the militarisation of Papua and demanded that the state accept responsibility for the many victims of rights in Papua.

They also handed out leaflets saying that the idea of Papua as a land of peace was an illusion. They opposed the creation of new kodam - military commands and an end to extra-judicial killings. The demonstrators then marched to Abepura. Police presence on the streets was high. Banners called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees and convicted prisoners. There were also calls for the shooting dead of Opinus Tabuni (in August 2008) to be resolved.

7) National dialogue to decide area's fate
JP Sun, 02/07/2010 3:10 PM |
One of the primary means that could emerge in bridging the differences between the aspirations of the Papuan people and Papua's inclusion in the Unitary Republic is a step-by-step approach of a national dialogue currently drafted under the aegis of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). "Before the national dialogue that will be attended by all stakeholders, including Papuans in diaspora, all parties in Papua and West Papua will hold dialogue scheduled by the end of this year so they can synchronize their own perceptions on the issue," Muridan S. Widjojo of the LIPI said.

"After that, we will facilitate a national dialogue featuring all elements in the government, the Papuan elite and those in exile, to approve the road map in a bid to address the problems permanently and in phases," he told The Jakarta Post in Mimika recently. LIPI representing the government, and Papuan religious leaders representing Papuan people, have formed the Papuan Peace Network (JDP) tasked with making an inventory of problems through public consultations. The Papuan People's Assembly will also be involved by contact and engaging with Papuans abroad, mainly those in Vanuatu, Australia, the Netherlands, the US and South Africa.

Rev. Neles Tebay said he was confident the JDP could facilitate the process, including the difficult task of accounting for the various aspirations that may need to be discussed in the pre-national dialogue meeting of Papuans. "In January, we held public consultation in Jayawijaya and Mimika and next, the same forum will be held in other regencies and municipalities with the main target of completing the public consultation in November, one month before the pre-dialogue meeting," he said.

Paskalis Kosay, a member of the parliament caucus for Papua, said both the national House of Representatives and the Regional Representatives Council in Jakarta had given a signal of support for the national dialogue with the caveat that the dialogue would be held with the understanding that Papua was an integral part of Indonesia.

Tom Beanal, chairman of the Papuan Council Presidium (PDP), said PDP and the West Papuan National Authority (WPNA) would seek the presence of the UN or US as mediator and witness in the dialogue, "because we don't trust in the central government which has frequently deceived us."

Legislator Yorrys Raweyai, a member of the commission on defense, information and foreign affairs at the House of Representatives, said his commission had asked the President to appoint a special envoy to help facilitate the national dialogue.
"We do not want the dialogue and its results to be rejected by the Indonesian Intelligence Agency *BIN*, the Indonesian Military *TNI* and the Home Ministry," he said. Asked on the targets of such a dialogue, Yorrys stressed that it should be an open-ended talk but must begin with special autonomy as its main topic.
"The most important thing is that all stake holders convene to dialogue to give constructive input for Papua. Therefore, the national dialogue is expected to focus on four root problems in Papua: education, health, infrastructure and prosperity."
Papuan groups have also called on the central government, the BIN and the TNI on the one side and the OPM on the other, to engage in a cease-fire as a prerequisite to the national dialogue, saying it was impossible to prepare dialogue while the military continued its operation in the two provinces.
Unresolved problems in Papua. 1.Controversy over Papuan People's Free Choice in 1969. 2 Controversy over the military operation in Papua 3. Human rights abuses during and after the New Order era . 4. Poor educational service. 5. Poor health service. 6. Poverty. 7. Migrants and social disparity. 8. Stagnant special autonomy. 9. Unfair fiscal balance. 10. Planned development of Papua into five provinces

8) OPM Did Not Murder Officer: Papua Official
An official of Puncak Jaya in Papua on Tuesday said he did not believe separatist rebels were involved in the recent killing of a police officer in his district. “The perpetrators were not from OPM [Free Papua Movement],” district head Lukas Enembe said. On Monday, Second Brig. Sahrul Mahulau, of the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) squad, was found dead in Mulia town. No group has claimed responsibility for the Sahrul’s death. Adj. Chief Comr. Alex Korwa, head of the Puncak Jaya Police, said four unidentified men attacked Sahrul at about 10:50 a.m. while the victim was patrolling a gas station. Police have ordered an autopsy on Sahrul’s body at a hospital in Jayapura. JG ARomanian convicted in absentia for defrauding more than 100,000 people in a massive Ponzi scheme is one step closer to being extradited from Indonesia, National Police said on Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Radja Erisman, the National Police chief detective for economic crimes, told the Jakarta Globe that Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar has given police the green light to hand Nicolae Popa to Romanian authorities. “Now we just need to wait for [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s] approval,” Radja said. Popa, according to the Romanian Times newspaper, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Bucharest court on charges of fraud in 2006. 

More suspects believed to have been involved in the operation of a factory in Banyumas, Central Java, which manufactures fake herbal medicine, have been arrested, a police official told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Suhardi Alius , the National Police’s special crimes director, said one of the suspects, identified only as W, could be the proprietor of the facility. “He could be the owner of the factory, which has produced fake herbal medicine sold for millions of rupiah,” Suhardi said. Suhardi led a raid on the factory and a warehouse this month in Tunjung village, Jatilawang district. The officers found the fake medicine, which was ready to be distributed to Kalimantan and Sumatra. JG
Police on Tuesday said they have arrested five alleged alcohol peddlers in the deaths of 16 people who drank liquor laced with poisonous methanol in Java. Police Maj. Saiful Anwar said the suspects were arrested for allegedly making a liquid that endangered life but that charges had not been filed yet. Anwar said the bodies of 16 people who had died would be exhumed in order to establish the causes of death. The deaths occurred between Feb. 6-14. Methanol can be used as a fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde, plastics and paints. Ethanol is the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks and is far less toxic than methanol, but it is heavily taxed in Indonesia. AP Four men on Tuesday were convicted by the Denpasar District Court for their involvement in the murder of Bali journalist Anak Agung Narendra Gusti Prabangsa last year. Nyoman Wiradnyana and Komang Gede Wardana were sentenced to 20 years in prison, while two others, Dewa Gede Mulia Antara and Sumbawa Wayan Suecita, are to serve eight years. Two more defendants are still waiting on a verdict. State prosecutors had demanded that the court impose the death sentence on Nyoman. JG

9) Freeport says it paid govt. $1.4b in 2009
The Jakarta Post , Jakarta 02/08/2010

PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, announced on Monday that it had paid its financial obligations to the government in 2009, a total of US$1.4 billion. The company said in a statement that out of the $1.4 billion, $1 billion was corporate income tax, employee income tax, regional taxes and other taxes and levies, $128 million was royalties, and $213 million was dividends. The 2009 amount is higher than the amount paid in the same period of 2008 which reached US$1.2 billion. "The amount of the payment fluctuates as a result of commodity prices, sales and metal production rates," the company said. Under its financial obligations as set out in the 1991 Contract of Work, from 1992 to 2009 Freeport Indonesia has paid the government a total of US$ 9.5 billion. This sum is made up of payments for corporate income tax, employee income tax, regional taxes, and other taxes and levies totaling US$ 7.6 billion, US$ 1 billion in royalties, and US$ 900 million in dividends. Freeport Indonesia operates one of the world’s biggest copper and gold mines in Papua.

10) Freeport Employees Concerned about Continued Shooting
Wednesday, 03 February, 2010
TEMPO Interactive, Timika:Concerned about the unsafe working condition, thousands of PT Freeport Indonesia’s employees held a prayer session at a soccer field in Tembagapura. “The employees are very concerned and worried about safety in the streets of Timika and Tembagapura,” said the spokesman of Freeport employees, Luther Kogoya, this morning. According to Luther, the central and provincial governments should immediately resolve this problem and find the people behind the shooting. Even today, Freeport employees go to work in fear. “Shooting still takes place, so the staff is very worried,” Luther said. In early 2010, another shooting incident took place at mile 60 – 62, injuring the Mobile Brigade troop and a few Freeport staff, including a Canadian, James Howard Lochard. Joint troops from the Indonesian Police and Armed Forces numbering over 1.600 personnel deployed to the area have yet to catch the perpetrators, which has been taking place since June 2009. Some employees who claimed to have seen the perpetrators suspect that some troops may be involved behind these terrorist acts. “The local people have always been blamed and accused of being involved in the shooting, but the troops have not been able to catch the perpetrators,” said a Freeport underground mining staff. Tjahjono EP

11) KWI to fight for indigenous land rights
Arghea Desafti Hapsari 02/01/2010
The Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) has undertaken a new program to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people. A public seminar was held Saturday to mark the beginning of KWI’s 6-month program aiming to advocate for the recovery of the people’s rights, particularly in Papua and Kalimantan. Other activities will include focus group discussions involving mass organizations, churches and indigenous people in the two areas. A national advocacy meeting is slated for June.

KWI chairman Mgr. Agustinus Agus said the national advocacy program aimed to improve public awareness of indigenous people’s true conditions. “We also want to invite national and international bodies to support the struggle for peace and justice, and to restore the people’s rights,” Agustinus said. The program would serve as a means to help the government solve ongoing problems in protecting the rights of indigenous people, Agustinus said. Social Services Ministry data shows that there are 229,479 households of indigenous people living in 2,650 locations in 30 provinces across Indonesia. The people of Kalimantan and Papua have witnessed the exploitation of the environments that support their livelihoods, Agustinus said.

West Kalimantan Dayakology Institute director John Bamba said the worst environmental exploitation in Kalimantan had been in its forests, where trees were cut down to be exported as logs and to make way for palm oil estates. “The Dayaks [the indigenous people of Kalimantan] have been deprived of their rights to their customary land, which has been turned into property of plantation and mining companies,” he said.

“The country needs to recognize that this is wrong. The least that [the government] can do is to stop the expansion and fix these problems first,” he said, adding that land issues could be seeds of conflicts. Neles Tebay of the Jayapura Archdiocese said the government needed to sit down with representatives of various groups in Papua to better understand the factors that have been threatening the livelihoods of Papuans, and to seek solutions to security and hunger problems that have been plaguing the resource-rich province. “A dialogue is needed between the central government and groups representing the people of Papua,” Neles said.

They are the two sides that have been fighting each other all this time, and they each have different interests: the government wants a united nation and the Papuans want freedom, he said. Giving Papua special autonomy could have been the right answer, Neles said. “But the autonomy Papua has now was not reached through a process of dialogue, or understanding with the central government. So, its implementation has become messy.” While autonomy has given the government a way to get money to the province, the government has not provided a legal framework to regulate what is done with it, Neles said. A law on special autonomy for Papua was enacted in 2001, and many saw this as a breakthrough that would appease the province’s demands for separation from Indonesia. However, after nine years the separatist movements remain active and the province continues to struggling with poverty and illiteracy, despite the Rp 30 trillion (US$3.2 billion) in special autonomy funds that have been spent on the area.

12) Press releases/reports etc
AWPA Calls Rudd To Raise West Papua With Indonesia
10:33 March 1, 2010 0 comments
Press Release – Australia West Papua Association
The Australia West Papua Association in Sydney has written an open letter to Prime Minister Rudd (below) asking that he raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President. Joe Collins of AWPA said “we understand that it is in the interests of the Australian Government to have good relations and friendship with Jakarta and to have a stable region to our north, but good relations with Jakarta should not be at the expense of the West Papuan people who are struggling for their right to self-determination”………….

Human Rights Watch urges Obama to lobby Indonesia over West Papua’s plight
10:38 March 1, 2010

Dear President Obama,

We write as you prepare to depart for Jakarta to launch the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. We urge you to seize this opportunity to reaffirm that human rights and the rule of law are essential pillars of US engagement in Indonesia. We ask that you do this by publicly calling for the Indonesian government to make critical human rights improvements and by implementing the Comprehensive Partnership in ways that will ensure that cooperation with the United States leads to improvements, rather than setbacks, in Indonesia’s human rights record………..

Autonomy and what lies ahead for West Papua
8:42 February 24, 2010

Pacific Scoop:
Opinion – The National in Port Moresby
When Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits Australia and Papua New Guinea in two weeks’ time, apart from the very many matters of mutual bilateral concerns, will PNG dare raise the matter of autonomy for the mostly Melanesian people of West Papua?……………….

Pride of warriors
By Jono van Hest
With strictly limited international media access to West Papua, Australian filmmaker Jono van Hest decided that he wanted to help West Papuans tell their own stories.The four remarkable stories that ensued provide unparalleled access and a strikingly personal insight into the West Papuan resistance filmed by the West Papuans themselves.

The villagers living in famine-affected areas in 2009 have still not received adequate food and medical aid…..
Source: Asian Human Rights Commission
Date: 28 Feb 2010
Hunger Alert Update: AHRC-HAU-001-2010
28 February 2010
[Re: INDONESIA: 113 villagers' hunger deaths caused by government neglect as well as harvest failure in Yahukimo, Papua]


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