Thursday, July 27, 2017

INDONESIA: Papuan human rights defender insulted and intimidated by military command


An U/A from AHRC below. They make it very easy too respond if you click on the link.
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INDONESIA: Papuan human rights defender insulted and intimidated by military command


July 27, 2017
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-096-2017

27 July 2017
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INDONESIA: Papuan human rights defender insulted and intimidated by military command
ISSUES: Human rights defenders; rule of law; impunity; military abuse 
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Dear Friends,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Theo Hesegem, a coordinator of Advocacy Network for Law Enforcement and Human Rights (JAPH-HAM) in Wamena, Papua, was intimidated and insulted by military officers of Jayawijaya regent, due to his advocacy efforts in the torture case of Mr. Niko Hisage. While there has been no military or police action to prosecute the military officers responsible for torturing Hisage, the military is now attempting to dissuade Mr. Hesegem for his efforts to seek justice for the victim. …………………
AHRC U/A at

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1) Papuan student jailed for resisting arrest in Yogyakart


2) CHILD POVERTY IS THE HIGHEST IN PAPUA AND WEST PAPUA
3) NDUGA REGENCY NEEDS MORE TEACHERS
4) THOUSANDS OF YPK SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVE NO CERTIFICATION
5) AGAIN, DOZENS OF TEACHERS DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS TO EDUCATION OFFICE

6) STT WALTER POST JAYAPURA: “FROM POST 7 TO THE WORLD”
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1) Papuan student jailed for resisting arrest in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta | Thu, July 27, 2017 | 06:00 pm

Dozens of Papuan students stage a rally in support of Obby Kogoya in front of the Yogyakarta District Court on July 27. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Obby Kogoya, 22, a Papuan student in Yogyakarta, has been sentenced to jail for resisting arrest by police officers during a protest in July last year.
Yogyakarta District Court sentenced Obby to four months’ imprisonment suspended for one year during a hearing on Thursday.
The judges said the Papuan activist was found guilty of committing violence against police officers, a violation Article 212 of the Criminal Code (KUHP).
“The defendant does not need to serve his four-month imprisonment but if he breaks the law during his one-year probation, he must serve his jail sentence,” presiding judge Wiwik Wisnuningdyah said.
Obby, deputy coordinator of the Tolikara Student Group in Yogyakarta, is now the first Papuan student in the City of Students to have received a prison sentence because of political activism.
Obby refused to obey police orders when they asked him to stop his motorcycle on his way to the Kamasan Papuan Student Boarding House compound on Jl. Kusumanegara, Yogyakarta, to attend a peaceful rally to celebrate the Papuan People’s Free Choice (Pepera) anniversary on July 15, 2016.
The sentence was lower than that demanded by prosecutors, who sought a six-month sentence suspended for one year for the Respati Yogyakarta University (Unriyo) student.
Obby, via his lawyer Emanuel Gobay from the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH), said he would first consider the sentence before deciding whether to file an appeal. (ebf)

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2) CHILD POVERTY IS THE HIGHEST IN PAPUA AND WEST PAPUA


Jakarta, Jubi – The highest child poverty rates is in the provinces of Papua, West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara, respectively 35.57 percent, 31.03 percent, and 26.42 percent. While the lowest rates were in the provinces of Bali, DKI Jakarta and South Kalimantan, respectively at 5.39 percent, 5.55 percent, and 6.06 percent.
This was revealed in the launching of Child Poverty Analysis Book and Deprivation of Basic Rights of Children in Indonesia by BPS (Central Bureau of Statistics) with The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Jakarta, Tuesday (July 25).

Head of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Suhariyanto emphasized the importance of database related to child poverty so that policies taken by the government can be effective to overcome the problem.
According to him, poverty is one of the root causes of children’s obstacles to grow and develop based to their maximum potential. Growing in poverty affects children’s health and nutrition, educational attainment and psychosocial well-being of children.

As of March 2016, the poor population in Indonesia reached 28.01 million people where 40.22 percent of them are children that is 11.26 million of people.
Based on the National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas) March 2016, nationally, the percentage of poor children in Indonesia is 13.31 percent. Almost half of poor children in Indonesia are in Java, which is 47.39 percent.
Demographics and household characteristics are also very influential with child poverty in Indonesia.

Children living in households with five or more household members are at a higher risk of becoming poor than those living in households with fewer than five households.
Child poverty is measured through a broader and mulitidimensional aspect, such as the difficulty of access to adequate housing, nutritionally adequate food, health and education services, and the right to receive birth registration.
Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Bambang Brodjonegoro, said that sustainable development should start with the children.
“This book is an important effort to gain a uniform understanding of child poverty, not only monetary but also multidimensional, so it is hoped that in the future the right policy direction can be formulated,” said Bambang.(*)


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3) NDUGA REGENCY NEEDS MORE TEACHERS

Wamena, Jubi – The Government of Nduga District currently is in desperate need of teachers for all levels of education, kindergarten to high school.
This was stated by Assistant I of Regional Secretary Nduga government, Namia Gwijangge to reporters after opening Technical Assistance (Bimtek) and debriefing for 17 new contract teachers in Wamena, Monday (July 24).
“In recent years we have been trying to open schools of kindergarten, elementary, junior high, high school and vocational school but we have teacher shortages,”said Namia Gwijangge.
He explained that by 2015, the government of Nduga has received 73 contract teachers and in 2017 as many as 17 people.

Currently, Namia explained, the Education and Culture Office of Nduga, through the special autonomy budget of 2017, has budgeted funds to contract kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high school teachers.
Namia explained, through the briefing of this contract teacher, they will be placed in Nduga for five years of service. He continued, although the needs of teachers are still on demand in Nduga, but the quota is only 20 people that will be placed into schools as needed.
“Each month we give them (teachers contract) a salary of Rp5 million. We will place them in all schools spread across 32 districts, which the education department also plans to receive contract teachers more in 2018, “he said.
Namia Gwijangge added, specifically for the education office, there is a quota of acceptance CPNS (civil servant candidates) 2013 as many as 47 people who allocated for education. However, the result of CPNS formation 2013 has not been announced so that the agency must look for contract teachers every year.

Secretary of Nduga District Education Office, Samuel Pabundu, admitted that up to now there are about 90 contract teachers and 200 teachers of public servant status in all education units in Nduga District.
The education office, Samuel explained, has also opened schools all the way to remote districts, but for elementary schools there are 29 schools that are still in dire need of teachers.
“Therefore, to meet this need we can not wait for the results of the announcement CPNS in 2013 which until now has not been announced, it is urgent, so we recruit the additional 17 teachers based on contract then around 73 so there will be 90 teachers, “said Samuel Pabundu.(*)

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4) THOUSANDS OF YPK SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVE NO CERTIFICATION

Jayapura, Jubi – Thousands of school teachers under the Christian Education Foundation (YPK) in Papua have not been certified.
Chairman of Christian Education Foundation (YPK) Papua Province, Nomensen Mambraku said from 8,539 teachers who are under YPK in Papua only 40 percent have been certified.
“60 percent (over 5 thousand-red) of them are uncertified, in the future we will try all teachers under the YPK will conduct certification exams,” he told Jubi.

According to Nomensen, teachers must have certification because they have to master the material of education to be submitted. But there is something more important, a teacher must master the method that determines the learning process. Teachers who master methods are better than teachers who only master the material.
“That means, all methods, media, references, etc. are meaningless if the teacher is not able to play the role properly, the teacher is very important in the world of education then must have good human resources, the absolute in the learning process,” he said.

It is said that as a professional, a teacher must have an educational standard that can be achieved by having academic qualifications, competence, and educator certificate.
“As professionals, of course there are consequences or feasibility standards that must be taken by a teacher, one must have a certified competency,” he said.
Previously, Head of Jayapura City Education Office, I Wayan Mudiyasa revealed, that in Jayapura city, teachers who have been certified only 40 percent.
“We hope that in the future all teachers are certified in accordance with the current curriculum of K-13,” he said. (*)

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5) AGAIN, DOZENS OF TEACHERS DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS TO EDUCATION OFFICE

Wamena, Jubi – After a peaceful demonstration in the education office last week, teachers have returned on Tuesday (July 25), questioned educational fund that has not been received until now.
The arrival of teachers from various educational units questioned the extent to which the education department’s communication promised to evaluate all the education funds that become the questions of the teachers.
Darius Yusuk, representative of Jayawijaya teacher said their previous aspirations had been conveyed through a rally on 18 July. However, there was no response up to this day, so the teachers returned to the education office to question their rights, namely certification and non-certification funds and social assistance funds.
He said, unfortunately they stil do not get any response. No single person, whether the head of department and related officials, is in place.
“The results of last week’s meeting did not fulfilled, and earlier (Tuesday) the secretary of the department said that they are waiting for the head of the office that is still out of town, then we were asked to comeback within a couple of days. They will make coordination and the result will be delivered to us,”he said.

Based on central government regulations, he said, teachers who have a Unique Number of Education and Education Personnel (NUPTK) must receive certification or non-certification funds and social assistance funds.
“But so far, only elementary and junior high school teachers got those funds, while highschool, vocational school do not, no matter we have NUPTK. That is one of our questions to the office,” he said.
The amount of non-certification funds per person for one quarter ranges from Rp712 thousand to Rp750 thousand.
“While the amount for this certification calculated all working period are between Rp40 million to Rp 47 million, while the social assistance fund is Rp60 million to Rp70 million per person.”

According to him, all teachers of elementary, junior high, and vocational school will also convey their complaints to the regent and vice regent of Jayawijaya.
While the Secretary of Education Office, Bambang Budiandoyo admitted that this has been discussed with the heads of the department, but unfortunately the person in charge is still out of office.
But Bambang acknowledges, this is actually just a matter of communication and socialization that does not work well in every field that regulates the rights of the teacher.
“We will make communication with regional secretary, especially the heads of the field to make evaluation, possibly on Thursday everything is gathered,” said Bambang. (*)


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6) STT WALTER POST JAYAPURA: “FROM POST 7 TO THE WORLD”

Sentani, Jubi – Doctoral program on the history of church and culture of Papua at STT (Theological College) Walter Post Jayapura held a seminar and book exhibition titled “From Post 7 to World” at Walter Post Hall Building Jayapura, Monday to Tuesday (July 24-25).
Chairman of the KINGMI Synod in Tanah Papua Pdt. Dr. Benny Giay to Jubi said, July became the month of education in the church and prioritize the education of the congregation.
“This July children return to school and college, so we choose this activity in July, parents who understand good education will build a good and healthy church,” said Giay, Monday (July 25).
He explained, many Papuan children’s books are on display, either from STT Walter Post, or other. Among them are books on church development, change, conflict, theoretical and church-focused violence.
“These books should open the eyes of the congregation in order to see the reality and who is behind, and continue the agenda that weakens us Papuans in all areas, so how can the church congregate, not just watch it, but can take control,” Benny said.

Among the authors of the book from the STT Walter Post are the doctoral candidates: Sofyan Yoman, Benny Magai, and Chairman of STT Walter Post Masmur Asso.
“This is something extraordinary because the spirit of writing is very high and we should be grateful, and I am proud of the launch of Wilem Boby’s book on Asmat held last July 22,” he said.
Three new Doctors
The Doctoral Program of STT Walter Post Jayapura also confirmed three new doctors in the STT WPJ campus building on Wednesday (July 26). The three doctors are Dr. Sofyan Yoman, Dr. Mazmur Asso, and Dr. Benny Pigay.
Chairman of the Synod of KINGMI in Papua Benny Giay said the giving of titles such as this started in the third and fourth centuries.
“The spirit of giving the title is to serve the community, not for its own sake, not for politics and power alone, but a doctorate in the church we say, to wash the feet of the congregation, the one who come down to the new congregation can get a doctorate,” he said .
He hopes that the three confirmed doctors can come down to people and understand the problems his parish faces, looking down the political, cultural, and human rights issues that affect the life behavior of the congregation.

“If he has come down and he can understand directly the family life and the lives of children,” he said.
Giay said, with the program means to multiply and encourage their own culture. What were problems in the past and what became the strength for church leaders in the 60s, 80s and could take lesson from the change happened in those days.
Dr. Benny advised the young Papuan generation to be diligent by learning and building a reading culture. Otherwise Papuans will be forever left behind.
Mean while Dr. Benny Pigay is grateful for his doctorate. He said there were three types of creature beings who were impoverished Papuans.
“The first creature is the government, the second creature who took refuge in the churches are immigrants, the third creature is Papuan people themselves who can do many things but only benefit the immigrants,” he explained. (*)
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1) Bags of Books on the Move in Papua


2) Rash of Diarrhea Cases Hits Indonesia’s Papua Province
3) Freeport yet to extend operating permit: Ministry
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THURSDAY, 27 JULY, 2017 | 15:00 WIB
1) Bags of Books on the Move in Papua

TEMPO.COJakarta - AGUS Mandowen spends his afternoons in the villages of Manokwari, West Papua, bringing along a large noken (Papuan traditional woven bag) filled with 20 to 30 books. He goes to several different villages, but always at the same time, after school hours.
If the area is close to where he lives, Agus would travel on foot. But to get to the more remote places, he would borrow a two-wheeler from a friend. "It can take two hours to get to Bakaro (village) from the city," he said.
The 24-year-old has volunteered for the Noken Pustaka Papua (Papuan Noken Library) since December 2015. The community gives children in Manokwari access to books by providing mobile libraries in villages surrounding the city.
At the time, Agus was working as a security guard at a school. The movement's founder, Misbah Surbakti, came to the school with books for the children. "I saw how excited they were because books are hard to get here. That motivated me," Agus said.
He immediately asked if he could volunteer for the movement. Agus, who is a weightlifting athlete, can only devote two days each week because he has to train the rest of the week. After graduating from high school, he decided to not continue studies and focus on his training.
In the early days of volunteering, Agus was not expecting the work to be difficult. First, he had to find out where the children would gather in each village, to let them know he had books for them. "But the first few times I came, they ran away. I don't know if they were afraid of me or of the books," he said, laughing.
But now the children, usually five to ten at a time, will approach him to read the books he is carrying. Apart from carrying a large noken, Agus also helps some of the children who still find it difficult to read. West Papua's literacy rate is still low, and a number of primary and middle school children are not yet fluent readers, he explained.
Agus hopes that with his help, Papuan children will develop a reading habit. "I want them to like books," he said. He believes that children can learn much from books. "We can't just learn in class. There's no limit to learning outside of school."
THE Noken Pustaka Papua was established in December 2015 by Misbah Surbakti, a middle school teacher at the SMP 19 (state middle school) in Manokwari. The North Sumatran native has taught in West Papua for 20 years. As a teacher, he saw that many middle school students still had poor reading competency. He thought the main cause was the lack of reading materials in the school.
But over the past few years, the number of students with below-average reading skills seemed to be growing. "Instead of blaming others, I decided to ask my colleagues to bring their own books to school," said Misbah.
He and his colleagues brought used books that belonged to their children and asked other parents to do the same. The books were kept at the school library. But Misbah noticed that not much was changing. Very few students made use of the library, nor borrowed books to bring home.
In early 2015, Misbah was sent to a middle school in the Banjarnegara Regency, Central Java, on a teaching assignment. He was amazed by the book collection and the library's atmosphere. "It was casual, colorful, there were places to sit and soft music was playing in the background," he said.
He discussed the situation at his school in Papua with a librarian in Banjarnegara and received several tips on how to improve the reading habit. When he returned to Manokwari, he asked his friend, Ali Sunarko, who was once a school librarian, to start a literacy movement in the regency, and not only at his school.
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2) Rash of Diarrhea Cases Hits Indonesia’s Papua Province
Victor Mambor Jayapura, Indonesia 2017-07-26

A woman carries her baby in Papua province, where dozens of people in several villages 
have died from diarrhea and other illnesses during the past few months, March 20, 2017.
Victor Mambor/BenarNew


About 50 residents of several villages in Papua – mostly children younger than 5 – have died from diarrhea and other illnesses since April, church and other officials said, in a case reflecting a stark lack of health services in Indonesia’s easternmost province.
Maria Duwitau, a member of Papua’s parliament, cast blame on poor health services provided by the provincial government.
“If they already know that diarrhea comes every year, they should have prevention efforts, instead of blaming the community for not having hygienic habits,” she told BenarNews. “The health department should promote a hygienic and healthy way of life to the community.”
Diarrhea-related deaths occur every year in Papua, a deeply impoverished province, officials said. But the rash of cases reported in a handful of villages in Tigi, a district of Deiyai regency, and elsewhere in the province has been more frequent than usual, they said. It has been caused by people drinking from unclean water sources.
Apart from at least 50 deadly cases, hundreds of people in affected villages have been stricken with diarrhea over the past three months, officials said.
People can die of dehydration brought about by diarrhea, which drains the body of vital fluids and salts. It is a common killer of children age 5 and younger worldwide, contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of boys and girls annually in Indonesia, according to UNICEF and NGOs working in public health.
Laurens Kadepa, another local parliamentarian, said four public health centers have been established across the western part of the district – where some of the deadly cases of diarrhea have occurred lately – but none are staffed with doctors. This, in turn, has discouraged residents of local villages from seeking medical services at those sites, he said.
“Since two years ago, there has been an attitude of public apathy toward the importance of health services,” Laurens told BenarNews.
Visits by doctors, church officials 
Cultural practices have also been a factor, officials pointed out. Instead of proceeding to health centers, villagers often stay at home, praying for recovery while using traditional herbs, which, they believe, have healing powers.
According to the chief of the provincial health office, Aloysius Giyai, a medical team of doctors and nurses visited five villages in Deiyai – Ayatei, Digikotu, Piyakedimi, Yinudoba and Epanai – where the rash of diarrheal cases was reported.
“The team formed by the Papua Province’s Health Development Acceleration Unit, has been there since a few days ago to handle the case,” Aloysius told BenarNews last week.
Church officials visited several villages in Tigi district, after receiving reports from local officials that 30 infants had died in the area over the past three months, said Santon Tekege, a representative of the Catholic Church who is based here.
“After we checked the area, there were 50 deaths, including adults,” Santon told BenarNews.
The victims, who died within four days after the onset of symptoms, had experienced high fever, diarrhea, sore mouth and red eyes, he said, quoting data gathered by church representatives.
“According to medical officers, local residents showed symptoms of having acute respiratory infections, measles, diarrhea and dysentery,” Santon added.
Since June, dozens of residents have been admitted to hospitals and clinics in Merauke, another regency in Papua, after complaining of diarrhea, officials said. About 200 children younger than 5 and several adults were believed to be afflicted, they said.
“The teams from Puskesmas [community health clinics] have served some of the villages we could reach, while areas in difficult locations have not been reached yet,” said Adolf Bolang, chief of Merauke’s Health Service. He said 461 people have so far complained of diarrhea in three villages. Four toddlers died after suffering from dehydration, he told BenarNews.
Drinking dirty water and the non-existence of toilets could have precipitated the cases, he said.
In previous diarrhea reports in Papuan villages, Indonesian health officials identified consumption of dirty water as the cause. They said villagers traditionally used natural water ponds as their sources of drinking water, but these had been contaminated by human and animal feces.
Lagging behind 
Aloysius Giyai, Papua’s health chief, acknowledged services in Deiyai had often performed poorly on the province’s annual health assessment.
Papua’s overall health status is the lowest in Indonesia, officials said.
Papua, which is bordered by the nation of Papua New Guinea to the east, and by West Papua province to the west, is one of the Indonesia’s poorest regions and was absorbed by the country in 1963.
The sparsely populated Papua and West Papua have 5.9 million residents, a majority of whom are Christians. The mineral-rich region – home to the world’s largest copper and gold mines – is also where a low-level armed separatist movement has simmered for decades.
Papua’s adult literacy rate is the lowest among all of Indonesia’s provinces, standing at 74 percent, according to the website GlobalSecurity.org.
“The region also has a disproportionately high number of HIV/AIDS cases compared with the rest of Indonesia and high rates of infant and maternal mortality,” the website reported.

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3) Freeport yet to extend operating permit: Ministry

Jakarta | Thu, July 27, 2017 | 12:53 pm

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has said that gold and copper mining operator PT Freeport Indonesia had yet to obtain an extension to their operating permit.
Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry secretary general Teguh Pamudji said on Wednesday that the extension of Freeport's operating permit, which would expire in 2021, was still being negotiated by government officials and company representatives.
"The validity and legal basis of (Freeport's) mining operation after 2021 will be the IUPK, which [Freeport] has not agreed to until now," Teguh said in Jakarta as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.
Read also: Freeport to issue new shares to meet divestment requirement
The IUPK, or the special mining permit, is set to replace the contract of work (CoW) scheme signed in 1991 by PT Freeport, a subsidiary of the American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
The extension would be granted if Freeport agreed to convert its contract from a CoW into the IUPK, said Teguh, adding that the company could apply to extend its operating permit until 2041, or by two decades.
"Under Government Regulation No. 1/2017, IUPK holders are eligible for a permit extension of 2 x 10 years,” he said.
Freeport Indonesia's corporate communications vice president Riza Pratama said an extension through 2041 would bee needed for the company to meet the requirements of the government regulation.
An IUPK requires the permit holder to construct a smelter, as well as to divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesian entities. (bbn)
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

1) Freeport still seeks contract extension to 2041


2) Freeport to Issue New shares for Divestment Requirements
3) Indonesia Environment Minister Wants Permanent Ban on Licences to Use Forest Land

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1) Freeport still seeks contract extension to 2041
Jakarta | Wed, July 26, 2017 | 05:33 pm



A vehicle passes through gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia’s mining area in Grasberg, Mimika, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)


Gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia is still seeking a contract extension to 2041 as its representatives are negotiating with the government about the conversion of its Contract of Work (CoW) agreement into a Special Mining License (IUPK).
Meanwhile, the government has offered Freeport an extension of its operational permit until 2031 as long as the company agrees to switch to the IUPK scheme.
Freeport Indonesia vice president corporate communications Riza Pratama said the contract extension until 2041 was needed so that Freeport could meet the requirements set by the government.
Read also: Indonesia, Freeport still differ on IUPK scheme
“[The extension is needed] so that we can invest US$15 billion for improving our underground mining and $2.3 billion for constructing the smelter as well as for a tradeoff of the divestment scheme,” said Riza in Jakarta on Wednesday, as reported by kompas.com.
Apart from being required to construct a smelter, the company is also required to divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesian entities.
Riza said Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United States-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, and the government were still negotiating.
“We are negotiating those issues with the government. All of the issues are negotiated as one package,” he stressed. (bbn)



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WEDNESDAY, 26 JULY, 2017 | 22:00 WIB
2) Freeport to Issue New shares for Divestment Requirements

TEMPO.COJakarta - Teguh Pamudji, secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said that giant mining company Freeport is set to issue new stocks in the process of complying with the government’s divestment rule.
A majority of Freeport’s divested stocks will be acquired by the Indonesian government.
“New stocks will be issued in purchasing Freeport’s stocks. So it doesn’t refer to Freeport’s existing stock,” said Teguh Pamudji today.
According to Teguh, the government currently owns 9.36 percent of Freeport’s shares. In order to own 51 percent of the company’s shares, the government needs to acquire 41 percent of Freeport’s shares.
Teguh revealed that 41 percent of the shares will be acquired by a state-owned company that will be appointed by an independent valuator. The independent valuator, according to Teguh, will be assigned to calculate Freeport’s share value based on the company’s market value. 
The government expects the negotiation with Freeport will be finalized before the end of October.
DIKO OKTARA

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3) Indonesia Environment Minister Wants Permanent Ban on Licences to Use Forest Land
By : REUTERS | on 3:30 PM July 24, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's environment minister said on Monday (24/07) she wants to make permanent a moratorium on issuing new licences to use land designated as primary forest and peatland.
The moratorium, part of an effort to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation, was extended by President Joko Widodo for a third time in May.
"So far its only been extended, and extended again. I want a permanent [moratorium]," said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar. "Our primary forest cannot be cleared out."
Indonesia is prone to outbreaks of forest fires during dry seasons, often blamed on the draining of peatland forests and land clearance for agriculture such as the cultivation of palm oil.
The resulting choking smoke from the world's biggest palm oil producer often blows across to neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia, slashing visibility and causing a health hazard.
Established in 2011, the moratorium covered an area of more than 66 million hectares by November 2016.
Reuters
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