Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1) Bishops in Pacific region declare support for West Papua

2) Catholic bishops support for West Papuan people
1) Bishops in Pacific region declare support for West Papua
August 24, 2016

Support: Port Moresby Archbishop John Ribat, Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long, Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin, Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan, Noumea Archbishop Michel Calvet and Port Vila Bishop John Bosco.

CATHOLIC bishops from across the Pacific region have declared support for West Papua to have a greater international voice.
Dignity for West Papuans was a focus issue for the executive committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands meeting in Port Moresby. 
Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin and Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long represented Australia.
“They (West Papuans) seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations, and good neighbourly relations,” the Catholic bishops said in a statement.
“Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.”
The Melanesian Spearhead Group is an inter-governmental organisation composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia. 
Last year, Indonesia was recognised as an associate member, however West Papua’s independence movement has so far failed to be admitted to the group.
“… Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians,” the bishops said.
“For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding.”
The bishops have also spoken out about the treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.
“Callousness can never be the proper response to human tragedy,” the bishops said.
“We applaud PNG’s Supreme Court’s decision that the Manus Island detention centre is unconstitutional and illegal and we trust the Australian and other authorities will act swiftly in implementing a humane plan of rehabilitation for the detainees.”    

2) Catholic bishops support for West Papuan people
Catholic bishops support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. 
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, is currently in Papua New Guinea for the Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania.
Statement released by the federation on 22 August 2016 
The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, PNG/SI, CEPAC) is meeting in Port Moresby. We come from a multitude of island nation states spread throughout the Pacific.
We are delighted to be here in PNG and have enjoyed greatly the wonderful hospitality of this vibrant nation. It was an honour for us to meet with the Hon Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, and we all offered him congratulations and encouragement on the development of this city and his commitment to justice, integrity and service in civic leadership.
Though we come from diverse cultures and regions, as pastors and shepherds our hearts are united in the desire to seek what is best for the human family and the common good of any society. Indeed, following the example of Pope Francis, our faith ,prompts us to see the world not as a global market but as a universal home.
Last year we urged governments and businesses to support the Paris COP21 initiative addressing issues of climate change and sustainable development. We are. therefore. heartened to see that the PNG Government has recently passed a bill agreeing to implement the strategies of that initiative.
Responsible use of the environment and resources is a duty and task for everyone. The Clean Generation Campaign which we have come to know about here in PNG is an inspiring example of local initiative among the young. Also we have learned of those working to support coastal communities who wish to raise their voice against Seabed Mining. Far from being “anti-development” such communities wish to pursue sustainable development, including family friendly tourism, fisheries and agriculture. What kind of trade agreements permit foreign companies to engage in practices and processes which in their own country are illegal? The sea is a treasure for all and should never become a “playground of exploitation”.
A particular focus of our current gathering is the people of West Papua. They seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations, and good neighbourly relations. Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Therefore, we wish to support the 2003 joint interfaith declaration ‘Papua Land of Peace’. Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians. For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding. In that regard we wish also to acknowledge the assistance of Indonesian authorities in making possible a recent visit of PNG and Solomon Islands bishops to Jayapura in order to meet with their brother bishops in West Papua. Such visits are always for the cause of peace.
Finally, we once again echo the international outcry at what is happening to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. Callousness can never be the proper response to human tragedy. We applaud PNG’s Supreme Court’s decision that the Manus Island detention centre is unconstitutional and illegal and we trust the Australian and other authorities will act swiftly in implementing a humane plan of rehabilitation for the detainees.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1) Worker in Papua Shot Dead Allegedly by Separatists

2) Pieter Tan Opens Barista School for Children of Wamena Coffee Farmers

3) Legislator: Do Not Slander People as OPM

4) Ministry of Agriculture Gives Farming Tools in Nabire

1) Worker in Papua Shot Dead Allegedly by Separatists
By : Robert Isidorus | on 3:53 PM August 23, 2016
Jakarta. A 36-year-old man was shot dead by four assailants believed to be members of the separatist Free Papua Movement, or OPM, in the village of Kome near Malagaineri in the Lanny Jaya district, Papua, on Monday (22/08).
The OPM men arrived at the Popong factory at around 12.30 p.m., ordered all its workers to gather together and threatened to kill them.
"All of you will lose your heads today," the men said and fired SS2-V1 and AK-47 rifles randomly at the workers, killing one of them.
Papua Police spokesman Chief Comr. Patrice confirmed the incident to reporters later on Monday afternoon.
According to Lanny Jaya district head Befa Yigibalom, witnesses claimed the victim was killed by an OPM group led by Purom and Enden Wenda.
The Lanny Jaya administration will provide Rp 1 billion ($74,000) in compensation to the victim's family, whose body will be transported for burial to Toraja, South Sulawesi.

2) Pieter Tan Opens Barista School for Children of Wamena Coffee Farmers
22 August 2016

Mr. Maximus, a coffee farmer in Wamena –
Jayapura, Jubi – Coffee entrepreneur Pieter Tan has opened a barista school for the children of coffee farmers in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency.
“I am prioritizing the courses for the children of coffee farmers in Wamena. For them, it’s free and I have arranged the accommodation for them. So, only those who’ve been selected could be trained here,” he said in Jayapura on Sunday (21/8/2016).
He explained farmers in Wamena are currently in their fifties. So, he founded the school to arouse among young people the desire to become the coffee farmer. “I think if they were retired, then the young people are more interested to become civil servants or employees. Few want to be farmers,” he said.
“My goal with this school is to attract the young people from Wamena to be interested and learn about coffee, and find a lot of new things and have fun, and that they can make money from the coffee,” he added.
He said that the course is not running yet because in Wamena, they just finished the Baliem Valley Festival. “I am still not opening the registration because still waiting the boys from Wamena. I will open a class for the start; there would be six students. We will teach more information about coffee and how to extract it, either with machine or manually,” he said.
He said he would strictly select those who will go to his school, as it needs quite huge investment. “Frankly, what I’ve prepared is not cheap, but it’s all free. So I only want to train those who are really serious to know about coffee. They will learn for about a month and can practice their knowledge directly at Pit’s Corner,” said Tan.
According to him until now it’s difficult to find baristas in Papua, but he looked it as an opportunity to empower the indigenous Papuans. “If they have already met the standard, I will give recommendation to the hotels that have become our partner. Barista in Papua is still limited, most hotels have problem with it,” he said.
Wamena Coffee Production
The global demand for Wamena coffee is quite high, said Pieter Tan, who was born in Jayapura and owner of Kopi Garuda Jayapura.
“From overseas they ask for large quantities,” he said. He also said until know the production of Wamena coffee does not meet the market demand at both domestic and international market.
“I sell Papua coffee locally, even in Indonesia it’s not enough, so I keep prioritizing to supply the market in Indoensia. I will send it to overseas if there were overstocks,” he said. According to him it’s because the coffee plantation in Wamena is still applying the communal system, while the international buyers require a contract. With the limited production, he admitted not dare for taking the contract.
But Pieter said there is now an increase of total production of Wamena coffee, but he assumed it would be significantly increased in the couple next years.
“Total production in Papua is fluctuating. It’s quite good this year, but the harvesting is not completed yet, so we cannot get the fixed figures. Last year the production wasn’t up to 40 tones. Government is quite supportive by providing the technical assistance to the coffee farmers in Wamena. Now the plantation keeps ongoing, we expect the production could be improved within four to five years,” he said. (*/rom)


3) Legislator: Do Not Slander People as OPM

22 August 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua legislator Deerd Tabuni warned parties in the Papua highland area, in particular Puncak Jaya Regency, against manipulating the situation for their own political and financial benefit, including making claims that they have persuaded some members of Papua Free Movement (OPM) in the region to lay down their weapons.
He urged security forces to remain on alert and not to immediately trust officials who claim to be have been able to persuade the OPM members to come down.
“The commander must know to distinguish between false or real (OPM) members. Do not generalize all. For example, some time ago, media reported nine OPM members have come back and handed their weapons. Then they were taken to Jayapura and Jakarta. But the fact is they never gave the weapons,” said Deerd Tabuni on Sunday (21/8/2016).
According to him, on 6 August, two people namely Tidiman Enumbi, the reverence at Tinggi Neri and Terinus Enumbi, one of nine people who reportedly came down and forced to give the weapon. According Deerd Tabuni who claimed a nephew of OPM leader Goliat Tabuni, both Tidiman and Terinus were threatened to be arrested if they were not give the weapons while all weapons were at Goliat Tabuni’s headquarters.
“From the accurate date we received, there are 127 weapons of any kinds at Goliat’s headquarters. As a result of being forced, the two families were almost clashed. To avoid the conflict, Goliat Tabuni handed the pistol that seized by Terianus Enumbo from the security force to be returned,” he said.
He suspected the local officials have played a game for the sake of their position. This politician from Golkar Party asked the Puncak Jaya Regent Henock Ibo to not become exaggerated. “I hope the Regent Henock Ibo to not sell the people for his interest. Last time he said Rambo Wenda and Purom Wenda who were encouraged him to became a regent. But after he was elected as the regent, it was him. It’s the witness of Rambo and Purom. Do not get position with the wrong ways. I saw people was used for the position,” he said.
He said he does not restrict any OPM members to return. It’s good for them to return to the community. But do not generalize it. “Do not give label of OPM members to the highlanders only. Do not take profit and position with wrong ways. It’s a project. It is for personal profit and position. As a man from Papua highland area, I have to deal with it,” he added.
Another Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa said almost every year there is information saying dozens to hundreds of OPM members come down the mountain and return to the Republic of Indonesia. But until now the OPM is still existed. “It never ends. I don’t know who’s cheating. Who’ll get the benefit. It’s still old fashioned,” Kadepa said at that moment. (*/rom)
4) Ministry of Agriculture Gives Farming Tools in Nabire
23 August 2016
Nabire, Jubi – Director General of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Agriculture has distributed farming tools to paddy farmer groups in Nabire, Papua.
Further the Director General Risfaheri said it was expected to help the farmers in preparation, planting to harvesting; hence it could increase grain production.
“Earlier, the farmers merely rely on their own strength, now they could use those tools to help them in prepararing the ground until harvesting,” said Resfaheri in Nabire on last week.
He promised to keep paying attention to local farmers by providing assistance, especially indigenous Papuans, because some of them are among the farmers who manage the paddy field like other farmers. “Nabire must seek to increase its production and become a paddy barn for the neighboring regencies,” he said.
In the same place, the Head of Nabire Agriculture Office Viktor Sawo said the government expected the farming tools could bear the increase of paddy production for food self-sufficiency.
“I hope the farmers could use and maintain the tools well to be useful to increase the production,” he said.
The farming tools handed by the Government are including the hand tractors, rice transplanters, water jet pump, power thresher and other post harvesting tools. A quite successful indigenous paddy farmer, Yeri Adii told Jubi he was happy with the aid.
“Due to the tools, I don’t have to drain my self. So, for my brothers Papuan people, let us learn, do not just work because of the aid, and then stagnant,” he said.
Besides the farming tools, he also expected the government could provide the training to indigenous farmers, particularly on paddy planting. (*/rom)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Australia continues to be shamefully silent on Indonesia’s human rights abuses

Australia continues to be shamefully silent on Indonesia’s human rights abuses
August 22, 2016 7.30pm AEST
Prelim Kine Adjunct Professor, Roosevelt Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York
Phelim Kine is deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Here’s the glaring omission in Australian Attorney-General George Brandis’ list of issuesraised with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Jakarta this month: human rights.
Brandis touted their discussion on “counter-terrorism issues” and “information sharing between our law enforcement and intelligence agencies”. Human rights either wasn’t on the agenda or didn’t rate mention in Brandis’ trip report.
That omission was more than just a failure by Australia’s top judicial official to voice Australia’s support for universal rights and freedoms. It is a betrayal of Indonesian human rights victims in dire need of international support.
Australia has a solid record of protecting civil and political rights at home, with robust institutions and a vibrant press and civil society that act as a check on government power. However, the government’s failure to respect international standards for asylum seekers and refugees continues to take a heavy human toll.
Australia has also adopted extensive and overly broad counter-terrorism laws in response to the threat of “homegrown terrorism”, and has done too little to address Indigenous rights and disability rights.
Brandis' blind eye to human rights while in Indonesia is an unfortunate reflection of the Australian government’s tendency to rarely raise concerns publicly about human rights violations in countries with which it co-operates on border protection matters or has significant trade relationships.

A visit to Papua

Brandis didn’t lack an opportunity to raise human rights concerns. His visit began in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, where impunity for human rights abuses is routine.
In the past five years, Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of cases in which Indonesian security forces have used unnecessary or excessive force when dealing with Papuans exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and association. Authorities frequently arrest and prosecute Papuan protesters peacefully advocating independence or other political change.
A total of 37 Papuan activists are in prison on charges of treason for “crimes” including public display of the Papuan Morning Star flag, a symbol of the independence movement.
Indonesian authorities also continue to restrict access by foreign journalists and rights monitors to Papua. This raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to media freedom.
Brandis’ Papua trip report references visits to “border facilities and a traditional market” and reiterates Australia’s recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over Papua, but makes zero mention of human rights.

Guest of a controversial host

Brandis may have been reticent to raise human rights issues due to his status as “the guest”of the co-ordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Wiranto. The former general is Indonesia’s poster child for impunity for grave abuses.
Wiranto was chief of Indonesia’s armed forces in 1999 when the Indonesian army and military-backed militias carried out atrocities against the East Timorese after they voted for independence.
In February 2003, the United-Nations-sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court indicted him for crimes against humanity. The charges are so serious that in 2004 the US placed Wiranto and five others accused of crimes in East Timor on a visa watch list that could bar them from entering the country.
Brandis’ decision to engage with Wiranto as a credible representative of the Indonesian government rather than as a war crimes suspect makes his failure to raise rights issues even more reprehensible.
Brandis also failed to raise the issue of the Indonesian government’s commitment to an official accountability process for past gross human rights abuses. These include the government-orchestrated massacres of 1965-66 that resulted in up to one million deaths.
Jokowi had assigned Wiranto’s predecessor, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, to oversee that process. Jokowi’s move last month to replace Pandjaitan with Wiranto, for whom accountability for rights abuses constitutes an existential threat, raises doubts about the future of the accountability process.

Speak out against impunity

Brandis should have pressed Jokowi on the need for redress for past rights abuses as a means of justice for victims and their survivors, as well as to challenge the culture of impunityspawned by the lack of official accountability for those abuses.
Brandis should also have lent his voice in support of the rights of Indonesia’s increasingly beleaguered LGBT community, which has come under unprecedented attack in recent months from a government-led campaign.
That campaign has included a torrent of abuse and hateful rhetoric, discriminatory edicts and the police use of unnecessary force against peaceful protesters.
The day before Brandis’ August 12 meeting with Jokowi, the president’s spokesman, Johan Budi, responded to a Human Rights Watch report on these abuses by saying there was “no room” for LGBT rights activism in Indonesia.
There is no indication Brandis took exception to that unacceptable comment – or even raised the issue of LGBT rights with Jokowi.
Australian campaigners against Indonesia’s use of the death penalty might have been struck by Brandis’ silence on that issue. His visit was just three weeks after Indonesia executed four convicted drug traffickers, the first group of 30 death penalty prisoners who face execution in 2016.
That silence was particularly incongruous given the vociferous Australian government opposition to Indonesia’s execution of two Australian nationals in April 2015.
Brandis should have raised Australia’s opposition to the death penalty as part of a policy of consistent public and private diplomatic pressure to end this cruel practice, showing how the death penalty has failed to deter crime and been unjustly applied. There is no indication he did so.
Brandis squandered a valuable opportunity to engage meaningfully with the Indonesian government on key human rights issues. It’s up to those Australian officials who make official visits to Indonesia in future to ensure his failure is not repeated.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

1) Jayapura Hospital to Need Rp 300 Billion in 2017

2) Flying on Jet, Papua Governor Accused of Excess
3) Dozens of PNG Citizens Celebrate Indonesian Independence Day

1) Jayapura Hospital to Need Rp 300 Billion in 2017
19 August 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura Public Hospital (RSUD Jayapura) would require Rp300 billion in 2017 to meet their requirements for supporting equipment, the head of the Papua Provincial Health Office drg. Aloysius Giyai said.
He said the budget could be realised, barring unforeseen circumstances. The Director of RSUD Jayapura, he said, already presented the hospital’s requirements in front of Minister of Health Nila F Moeloek and then Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.“I also support this, now we are on going to realize it and if there’s no change everything would be realized in next year,” he told Jubi at his office.
However, said Giyai, Papua Health Office has budgeted Rp 143 billion for RSUD Jayapura to complete other facilities, including some to support medical specialists.
“Of course not all medical equipment could be provided in next year, but the most urgent is to provide the equipment to support the specialists first,” he said.
Assessing the performance of Josef Rinta, the new director of RSUD Jayapura, he said Rinta has made a breakthrough in improving the hospital that is currently becoming the national referral hospital.
“Honestly, we will evaluate the performance of the new director within next year, but looking at his performance at the beginning it’s quite good, because there are no complains like the previous years. It might be one or two complaints but it’s not as worse as the previous years,” he said.
Earlier, the Director of RSUD Jayapura, Josef Rinta said this hospital is the governmental agency under the Papua Provincial Government. Therefore, all the issues related to the procurement must be done through the Papua Provincial Government. He admitted to have communication with the governor and the equipment would be completed next year. (*/rom)

2) Flying on Jet, Papua Governor Accused of Excess
19 August 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – The Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura) faction of the Papua Legislative Council criticized Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and officials who rented a jet to fly from Jakarta to Jayapura on Tuesday (16/8/2016).
Reportedly the governor rented it because it is difficult to get a flight from Jakarta to Jayapura while its price is so expensive.
The Chairman of Hanura Fraction of Papua Legislative Council Yan Permenas Mandenas through short message to Jubi on Wednesday (17/8/2016) said the governor’s move was excessive.
He said it would be justified if it was urgent and the governor must be in Papua immediately.
“Whether it was rented or sponsored, I think it’s excessive. Now it is difficult for people in Papua to use air transportation because of high ticket prices. But the governor was on jet arriving in Papua,” he said.
According to him, it could be justified if the governor was on jet to attend the official visit. But when the Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto and the Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan came to Papua, the governor was not there.
“When the governor conducted a mission, the budget was clear. The regional officials, including legislators, if they conduct the mission, the travel budget could be allocated up to Rp 80 million. Well, to charter a jet flight, which budget it used? Whether it’s personal or what? It must be explained to the public to avoid the question,” he said.
He said a governor could not make the ticket price or availability as the reason to hire a jet, because there is an airways policy to prepare the spare seats for regional officials to anticipate the urgent situation.
Mandenas said the jet rent cost was not cheap. He pointed out, for the route from Halim Kusuma Jakarta Airport to Sentani Jayapura Airport, the cost is about USD 96.712 for jet Legacy 600 and USD 102.602,50 for jet Legacy 650, the price is including tax 10 percent for 8 passengers without luggage.
“In rupiah it would be around Rp 1 billion. If it used the regional budget, so it was a waste. The governor is only allowed to rent an airplane using the regional budget to visit the regions in Papua, not outside of Papua,” he said.
Meanwhile through email, the Chairman of Kesatuan Anak Adat Papua (Papua Customary Associate) Fransiskus Madai said recently the air ticket price to Papua is increased. But it couldn’t be an excuse to hire a jet. “A governor is supposed to show the simple gesture. He must be a model and example to his people. I regret it,” said Magai.
Further he questioned the performance of the governor’s domestic staff if it was true the governor was difficult to get a ticket. “If a governor wasn’t have access to ticket, so the performance of his staffs should be questioned,” he said.
On Tuesday, 16 August 2016, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and his officials arrived at Sentani Jayapura Airport with a jet flight. Reportedly it was rented.
Meanwhile Papua Governor Lukas Enembe admitted he was forced to rent the jet flight of Lion Group to fly back to Jayapura with his wife and staffs from Jakarta on Monday (15/8/2016) evening.
“It’s difficult for us to find the seat flight yesterday. We were late when arriving at the airport, so we must take a charter flight in Halim Perdana Kusuma airport, and we found the airplane belongs to Lion Group,” said Lukas Enembe to reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday (17/8/2016).
Concerning to Mandenas’ criticism, he said the provincial government is actually capable to buy a private jet, but didn’t do it, because people in Papua are still living under the poverty line.
This issue was raised when a social networking user uploaded a photo capturing the governor and his officials’ arrival at his account. Then it would be a trending topic in the social networking. (*/rom)
3) Dozens of PNG Citizens Celebrate Indonesian Independence Day
18 August 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of Papua New Guinea citizens participated in the commemoration of 71st Indonesian Independent Day at Stadion Mandala Jayapura on Wednesday (17/6/2016), an official said.
The Head of Border and Foreign Affairs Agency Suzana Wanggai said besides the PNG citizens, the Governor of NCD Port Moresby Hon Powes Parkop, the Sandaun Province Governor Hon Amkat Mai and Director of Mamase Covernor Council Secretariat HE Andrew were also there.
“They directly came to see the ceremony of the independent day,” she sai.
From the observation on the ground, dozens of PNG citizens looked very enthusiastic to watch the attractions after the raising flag ceremony in the commemoration of the 71st independent day in 2016. Event Papua Governor Lukas Enembe briefly shook hand with the guests from PNG at their seats.
 The commemoration of the Indonesian Independent Day in Papua Province was enlivened by attraction of sapu lidi dance performed by IKEMAL Papua and Kids Police of Papua Police. Furthermore, there were the attractions of Yosim Pancar dance performed by Ostari Dok VII Dance Studio, Eoromo Koteka Dance Group from Papua Highland area. The aubade group sang the marching songs with traditional flute music who played by the students of the elementary and junior high schools of Jayapura Municipality. (*/rom)

Friday, August 19, 2016


2) West Papua students welcomed
3) Morning Star Flag Raised at Two Schools in Yahukimo ahead of Indonesian Independent Day
18 August 2016
Solomon Islands has been given the leadership role in advocating on the issues of human rights violation and allegations in West Papua.
The leadership role was bestowed upon the country following last week’s Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers meeting in Suva,Fiji.
This will see Solomon Islands play a leading role in ensuring issues of West Papua remains active amongst Forum leaders.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Joseph Ma’ahanua told SIBC News, Solomon Islands should be pleased as this will allow West Papua issues to be sustained and maintained during foreign leaders meeting.
“We can be pleased by the fact that the issue will be sustained and maintained in the agenda that’s coming out from reports of the Forum official committee that will be presented to leaders.”
2) West Papua students welcomed
Aqela Susu Friday, August 19, 2016
THE Methodist Church in Fiji has opened its schools to students from West Papua.
This was among the many resolutions passed during the conference at the Centenary Church in Suva yesterday.
The church's secretary for communications and overseas mission, Reverend James Bhagwan, said the conference came up with the resolution following discussions on how the church could help the people of West Papua with the difficulties they faced.
He said the church held the issue of suffering of the West Papuan people very dear.
"We pray for West Papua and provide spaces for students to come and study here at our Methodist institutions. One is education and the resolution is that the education department of the church to prepare a project paper on this and with our ecumenical partners," Mr Bhagwan said.
He confirmed the communication department has already started on a similar initiative.
A journalist from West Papua is currently on a three-month attachment with the department. This was made possible through their work with the Pacific Conference of Churches.
3) Morning Star Flag Raised at Two Schools in Yahukimo ahead of Indonesian Independent Day

The Morning Star flag was raised for a few hours in the schoolyard in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The Morning Star flag was raised for a few hours in the schoolyard in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency before an Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday (17/8/2016), but it was not clear who did it.
“About 5 hours, I was called by a man who was jogging in the morning. He saw the morning star flag raised in the two schools, junior and high schools. So he called me to let me know. He knew that I am a journalist,” said Piter Lokon, a Jubi contributor in Yahukimo.

“Around six o’clock, I went to SMPN 1. I saw the morning star was flapped at the flagpole at the school. It’s not red-white flag but the morning star. It was still quiet; I just saw two people, they were wearing the regular clothes entering the schoolyard to take a picture. I was also captured,” he said.
Students of SMPN1 Dekai, Yahukimo were allowed to go home because they were afraid of the presence of police officers around their school.  He also said not far from SMPN 1 Dekai, the morning star flag was also raised at the schoolyard of SMAN 1 Dekai where located behind SMPN 1 Dekai. Only the iron fence separates the two schools. “Then I went to SMAN 1. The school gate was opened and there are many people watching it and taking the picture,” he said.
Then people were starting to come, junior and high school students as well as the police officers from the area. The distance of the two schools with Yahukimo Police station is less than 1 kilometer. “Almost at 7, I saw the flag has been lowered. I saw the police officers there,” he said.
SMPN 1 Dekai Principal Yan Makomirin said he received the information at midnight, but he didn’t know who called him.
While the students looked panicked after the police officers came to their schools. Until the report was sent to Jubi at 8.30, the Police were still guarding the scene and the streets. According to the principal, the officers at lowered the flag 7.15 Papua time. The students were allowed to go home while some of them were gathered at the schoolyard to be dropped to the regency office for the independent ceremony.
“Our students are panic, they are fear. Police officers are everywhere to check our school, so we allow them to go home. Meanwhile some teachers will go to represent the school to participate in the commemoration at the regent office. If the situation was secured and conducive, we could take our students to go there, but some already go home,” said the principal.
A teacher said he is preparing his students from SMAN 1 Dekai to go to the regent office. “We are waiting for pick up. If  many people want to joint, we will use the bus and police’s truck,” he said. (*/rom)

Foreign Ministers discuss human rights in West Papua

Foreign Ministers discuss human rights in West Papua
The Fiji Times
LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO Friday, August 19, 2016
Update: 11:57AM FOREIGN Ministers from the Pacific Islands have reiterated the importance of upholding human rights across the region and also the need for continued engagement with Indonesia in relation to the ongoing genocide in West Papua.
This was part of their discussions at the first standing meeting held at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Suva last week where they talked about the proposals tabled through the Specialist Sub Committee on Regionalism around West Papua.
Meanwhile, a key objective of the meeting was to build on the work already done by the Forum Officials Committee and the Specialist Sub Committee on Regionalism to present a streamlined and prioritised agenda for Forum Leaders that supports the objectives of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

1) President Jokowi sending 24 professors to develop Papua`s education, food sectors

2) RI views Oz positively, Oz views RI negatively: Study
3) Wiranto and low trust in Papua


1) President Jokowi sending 24 professors to develop Papua`s education, food sectors
Kamis, 18 Agustus 2016 20:39 WIB | 679 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is sending 24 professors, who are working in the United States, to Papua to assist in developing the region, especially its education and food sectors.

"I have urged 24 professors to strengthen the education sector in Papua and to build vocational schools," the president noted in a welcome speech at a hospitality event held in the State Palace in Jakarta, Thursday.

President Jokowi remarked that the 24 professors were part of the 74 Indonesians working in the United States as professors.

The plan to build vocational schools is still being discussed with the Cenderawasih University and the University of Papua.

Furthermore, the professors will be urged to develop a rice research center in Merauke, Papua.

"Not only the 24 professors but I would also like to get all 74 of them involved," he noted.

The president emphasized that it was time for the nation to give due recognition to talented individuals, who are willing to work hard and do not create a ruckus.

The head of state believes there could be more than 74 Indonesians, who now reside in the United States, as they had obtained their doctorate degree and were working there.

"They are all very talented and excel in their respective fields. The recorded figure in the United States is 74, and it does not include those in Japan, Korea, and Germany. There could be hundreds of them out there," he reiterated.

President Jokowi also affirmed that the large number of Indonesians working overseas could have been employed in the country. 

"In the United States, for instance, there are hundreds of Indonesian employees engaged in the center of the information technology industry, Silicon Valley," he remarked. 

Hence, the president has called on Indonesian nationals working overseas to harbor aspirations to return to the country and work here.

The president expressed keenness to retain talented Indonesians in the country instead of them moving to other countries or choosing to work overseas. 

President Jokowi welcomed hundreds of talented individuals from all over the country at the State Palace. Apart from holding a dialog, he also invited them for a luncheon.

They were also invited to attend the ceremony to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the countrys independence in the State Palace, Jakarta.

Among the guests were teachers, lecturers, doctors, science Olympiad winners, and athletes.

2) RI views Oz positively, Oz views RI negatively: Study
Tama Salim The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, August 18 2016 | 08:28 am
Indonesians generally view Australians in a positive light even though their neighbors Down Under might not feel the same way, a recent study has shown, giving weight to the widely-held perception of a “love-hate” relationship between the two countries.

A recent survey by the Australian government-sanctioned Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) shows that 87 percent of Indonesian respondents perceive Australia favorably, compared to the 43 percent of Australians who feel a similar way toward Indonesia.

According to the report, the majority of Australian respondents (47 percent) view Indonesia with a “subdued, if not pessimistic outlook,” due to the impact of negative coverage on Indonesian issues.

This view is further compounded by the indifference of Australians to their nearest geographical neighbor — only 19 percent of Australians feel they have a good understanding of Indonesia.

Jakarta and Canberra have endured a long and tumultuous relationship, which has in recent years been marked by trust-eroding incidents like last year’s execution of two jail-reformed Australian drug-ring leaders and a major spying row during the time of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) presidency.

Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Canberra in 2013 amid allegations that the Australian government had spied on then president SBY, his wife and other top state officials.

Both nations are also at loggerheads over the handling of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly with regard to Australia’s “turn-back-the-boats” policy, which has recently come back into the spotlight following revelations of child abuse at Australian-led offshore detention camps.

Several government changes later, both countries have tried to smooth things over in an effort to restore strained ties, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flying into Jakarta in November 2015 in his first state visit after ousting the out-of-favor Tony Abbott.

“We hope it kickstarts discussion about ways to improve the relationship,” AIC director Paul Ramadge told The Jakarta Post in a statement on Tuesday. “The AIC is setting out to create a knowledge base on Australia-Indonesia attitudes and perceptions that makes a positive and longlasting impact.”

The Indonesian Embassy in Australia declined to comment on the report.

The study, conducted by EY Sweeney on behalf of the AIC, aims to understand the awareness, perceptions and knowledge of the citizens of each country toward the other, as well as identify the influences and drivers of such attitudes.

Trade, education, health, security and cultural knowledge are seen as the “key drivers of a closer Australia-Indonesia relationship”, according to the findings of the research.

The study involved 2,103 face-to-face interviews in 11 of Indonesia’s 33 provinces and 2,008 online interviews in all Australian states and territories.

Separately, international relations expert Teuku Rezasyah said he was wary of the results, raising the possibility that the sample used by the AIC might not represent reality on the ground.

He urged Australia to seriously consider the profiles of the people who take the survey and place an emphasis on Indonesians who will influence bilateral ties in the future, such as private sector players, young civil servants and decorated law enforcers.

Rezasyah also reminded Australians that the level of education varies between the two countries.

Even so, the Padjadjaran University lecturer acknowledged Australia’s tendency not to share Indonesia’s comparatively buoyant and optimistic outlook.

“[Indonesia’s] stance has been to acknowledge Australia as a friendly ally, but Australia likes to meddle in our country’s domestic problems. That in itself is an unfriendly policy,” Rezasyah told the Post, while noting both countries’ interdependency with the other.

“We have never been the ones to be prejudiced [against Australians]. It is they who rate Indonesia negatively.”
3) Wiranto and low trust in Papua
Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge
Jakarta | Thu, August 18 2016 | 07:34 am

Trust is the most crucial factor for a state dealing with regional dissatisfactions that turn to conflict. And the absence of this vital prerequisite for constructive engagement is clear to see when there have been no truly genuine and consistent efforts to build it. 

Trust, or the lack thereof, is a significant challenge faced by the newly appointed coordinating political, 
legal and security affairs minister, Wiranto. 

Since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo selected the former New Order general Wiranto to replace another retired general, Luhut B. Pandjaitan, as chief security minister, one long overdue matter to 
be immediately addressed is the Papua problem. 

Two prominent issues so far are the internationalization of the Papua issue across the South Pacific under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG); and the unresolved human rights issues and serious underdevelopment in Papua. 

Those two issues were addressed by Luhut during the past two years, but there are no obvious signs that results have been forthcoming. A key concern is that Wiranto will take the same stance as his predecessor.

The Papuan international campaign has been massive in the last decade, particularly in the South Pacific. Nonetheless, for years the government has not adopted any comprehensive strategy to deal with the issue. In contrast to the South China Sea dispute, internationalization of the Papua issue has attracted little public discussion. 

During his short tenure as a coordinating minister, Luhut made certain efforts to deal with the internationalization of the Papua issue. 

His last visit to Papua and trips to England and Australia clearly sent a message not only for the central government and Papuans, but also for the international community. 

Yet such efforts have had little effect on Melanesian communities in the South Pacific, the main supporters of an independent “West Papua”. 

To contain the international campaign for Papua in the South Pacific, Luhut traveled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji, two proponents of Indonesia’s “internalization” of the Papuan issue. 

Using economic diplomacy, specifically ad hoc economic assistance and bilateral agreements, the primary objective was to defuse the Papua issue in the Pacific — particularly thanks to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), which was granted observer status in the MSG in 2015. 

In exchange for Jakarta’s support, PNG and Fiji successfully contained ULMWP’s lobbying to attain full membership status at the MSG meeting last month in Honiara, Solomon Islands, and they will make a similar effort at the MSG Meeting next month in Port Villa, PNG. The whole objective of such efforts is to keep the Papua issue on the sidelines in the South Pacific region.

The other three members of MSG, namely the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Kanak National Socialist Liberation Front, are in favor of the West Papua campaign. Melanesian communities tend to sympathize with the struggle of Papuans. 

Wiranto is unlikely to pursue a different path. As a former military commander who dealt with regional disputes in the early days of Reformasi, there is little chance for a breakthrough on the internationalization of the Papua issue. 

The defensive diplomacy of the past, and its concomitant denials of the human rights violations that brought Papua to international attention, will seemingly remain the prominent approach. 

Another prominent agenda item during Luhut’s short period was addressing human rights violations in Papua. Accordingly, he formed a special task group to discuss and find solutions to the issue. 

This group comprises officials, human rights activists and Papuan figures. Three cases have been categorized as human rights violations and received much attention: the Wasior incident in 2001, the Wamena incident in 2003 and the Paniai shooting in 2014. 

The inclusion of only these cases has drawn criticism from Papuans, since many past human rights cases have been overlooked. 

Among the incidents that have been deliberately ignored by the government are the massacres in the 1970s, including a military operation in 1977-1978 that cost many indigenous lives, and a dozen shootings in various cities in Papua. 

The Third Papuan’s People Congress in Jayapura in 2011 has also been off the government’s radar.

The three cases chosen by the task group have another shortcoming, which is the most important one: the lack of the perspective of the victims, particularly Papuans who have been treated unfairly by security forces. 

There is not sufficient room for victims’ families to counter the arguments of the security apparatus, which has often labeled Papuans as separatists simply because they expressed their political and cultural rights in public. 

This omission is amplified by the government’s resistance to holding a dialogue to discuss Papua’s issues more comprehensively, from historical to environmental problems. 

Furthermore, Wiranto with his negative reputation on human rights, such as the incidents in East Timor in 1999, will hamper his ministerial performance and programs to deal with gross human rights violations in Papua. 

Wiranto was closely related to the Biak Massacre in July 1998, which claimed over 100 Papuan lives, when he was the armed forces commander and defense minister. His reputation contrasts with the long-overdue spirit of reform needed to deal with human rights issues in Indonesia’s easternmost region. 

The appointment of Wiranto is another sign of the Jokowi administration’s unwillingness to comprehensively address the sensitive problems in Papua, rather than its standard sole reliance on development programs. 

The President’s unwillingness will be perceived as another half-hearted gesture by most Papuans and will exaggerate the problem of trust between Papuans and Jakarta.

The writer is a researcher at the Marthinus Academy, Jakarta