Daily Archives: December 19, 2012

Sugar Company Rajawali’s Sweet Promises on MIFEE

Source: Pusaka
http://pusaka.or.id/2012/12/perusahaan-tebu-rajawali-manis-janjinya.html

December 13, 2012

The Malind indigenous people from Domande and Kaiburse villages are continuing to raise complaints and accusations against two subsidiaries of the Rajawali Group, PT Karyabumi Papua and PT Cenderawasih Jaya Mandiri, which are currently developing sugarcane plantations in Malind and Kurik districts, Merauke, West Papua.

The company has already been operating in Domande village since 2011, and has built a road and cut down the forest to develop their plantation and factory infrastructure.

“At the beginning, the company promised they would recruit local people as their labour force, but that turned out to be untrue. Many of the workers came from outside the village, which left local people feeling let down”, said Hubertus, a young person from Domande.

The company had made a list of ten promises which the people of Domande had agreed to, sweet-sounding promises about building facilities and infrastructure and recruiting local labour. But then when the people would demand their rights, the company would often refuse to meet those promises.

Tired of waiting for the company to give compensation for the trees they had already felled, villagers and holders of traditional land rights blockaded the road in November 2012. The company managed to reach an agreement with local community leaders that they would meet their demands and pay compensation for the trees at the beginning of December 2012, but there have still been no signs that the company will meet the obligations which it agreed to.

“The company just decieves us all the time”, said Hubertus, irritated.

In Kaiburze village, the head of the LMA (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat = Customary People’s Organisation), Ursus B. Samkakai, has sent letters to the government and the company, making clear that they did not consider as legitimate any permits or agreements with investors made without the knowledge or agreement of the local people and the LMA.

Paulus Samkakai, LMA’s secretary in Kaiburse, related how villagers from Kaiburse, together with the Malind LMA at the Merauke Regency level, have asked the Papua branch of the National Human Rights Commission to issue a letter of recommendation to the local government and the Rajawali company. They want them to conduct a meeting to discuss compensation and the opinion of the Domande people who reject investment plans in the Kaiburse area.

The Kaiburze people reject the company because they no longer have access to much land. Most of their customary land is now taken over by transmigrant villages, covering a area of 40,000 hectares.

The problem is that government and transmigrants, who have arrived from outside the area, often take over, use or sell this customary land, without the permission of the Kaiburse villagers or clans who hold the rights to that land. That includes giving it to the companies.

The people hope that through its policy and support the local government will protect the Malind people’s customary rights.

English version: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=297

ELSHAM: Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

PRESS RELEASE FROM ELSHAM PAPUA

December 19, 2012

ELSHAM PAPUA
Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Hak Asasi Manusia
(Institute for Human Ri ghts Study and Advocacy of Papua)

Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

There was a significant increase in the intensity of the conflicts and violence in Papua between August 2011 and December 2012. ELSHAM Papua reported on several incidents that had resulted in serious casualties and although the growing severity of the incidents was disturbing, these did not prompt the Government to react.  These events include the overwhelming offensive called “Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011”, terror actions and shootings by unidentified perpetrators (OTK), cases of internal displacements,  as well as cases of extrajudicial killing of civilians by the police.

“Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011” is the designation for an armed crime prevention operation that was set up in the areas of Puncak Jaya and Paniai. This operation was under direct command  of the Chief of Police, and was run by the Operations Task Force (Satgas Ops) through police telegram letter No. STR/687/VIII/2011 dated 27 August 2011.

The Operations Task Force for Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 was led by Drs. Leo Bona Lubis, the Commissioner of Police. During the execution of Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 in the Paniai Regency, a number of grave human rights violations were perpetrated, which include:

(a) the taking of the lives of two civilians, Salmon Yogi (20) and Yustinus Agapa (30) who died as a direct result of the armed conflict,
(b) the inflicting of injuries to at least four civilians: Yulian Kudiai (22), Melkias Yeimo (35), Yohanis Yogi (25) and Paskalis Kudiai (21), who became victim as a result of the armed conflict,
(c) great material loss due to the armed conflict in Eduda District which includes 78 houses that were burnt by the Operations Task Force; educational activities at 8 elementary school (SD) and 2 Junior High School (SMP) that had to be halted; religious and worship services could no longer be ensured in eight Catholic churches, seven Kingmi churches and four GKII churches; hundreds of machetes, knives, saws, hammers, bows and arrows were confiscated;
(d) villagers no longer felt secure in their own homes and they fled. As many as 37 people perished while in displacement: 13 toddlers, 5 children, 17 adults and 2 elders;
(e) communities from the Districts of Komopa, Keneugida, Bibida, East Paniai and Kebo have endured material loss due to their displacement.  The villagers were forbidden from going to their gardens by the members of the Operations Task Force. As a result, this primary source of livelihood for the communities was left neglected and unattended. Prior to the evacuation, 1581 heads of livestock were forcibly slaughtered, including  as many as 478 pigs, 3 cows, 11 goats, 132 rabbits, 381 ducks, and 576 chickens. After returning to their homes and villages, the residents experienced severe food shortage. Members of the Operations Task Force had also damaged the fences built by the residents, as they used those as firewood.

Violent acts committed by the security forces, both the military and the police, are still common and they are in flagrant violation of a number of international humanitarian standards and principles. Some of the cases that we note are as follows:

a. The heavy-handed assault carried out by the police against Persipura fans at Mandala Stadium on 13 May 2012, which led to 18 people suffering from respiratory problems due to tear gas that had been fired indiscriminately and six others being detained arbitrarily.
b. The shooting of four people in Degeuwo by the police on 15 May 2012, by which one person was killed and the other three were seriously wounded.
c. The assault against civilians in Honai Lama Wamena on 6 June 2012, by members of the Indonesian army (TNI) Battalion 756 Wimane Sili, which resulted in one person dead and 14 others seriously injured.
d. The arbitrary arrest and torture by the police of 10 people in the town of Serui, as they were commemorating the International Day for Indigenous People on 9 August 2012.
e. The forced disbanding by the police of a KNPB-led demonstration that was about to start in front of the campus of the State University of Papua in Manokwari on 23 October  2012. A total of 15 people were detained by the police, nine of them were tortured, and 2 others suffered gunshot wounds.

Summary executions by the police of pro-democracy activists who are active within the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) continue to occur. The extrajudicial shooting of Mako Tabuni (34), First Chairman of the KNPB on 14 June 2012, is clear evidence of acts of police brutality against civilians. A similar killing occurred in Wamena on 16 December 2012, when the police shot dead Hubertus Mabel (30), militant KNPB Chairman for the Baliem region.

Other violent acts such as terror acts and shootings by unknown assailants increased, both in 2011 and 2012. From 5 July to 6 September 2011, there were 28 shooting incidents where 13 people were killed and at least 32 people were wounded. Meanwhile, throughout 2012, there were 45 attacks by unknown assailants, killing 34 people, injuring 35 people and causing severe trauma to 2 people.

One of the worrisome events that received very little attention from the Government was the crisis which lasted from July to November 2012 in the Keerom where villagers fled their homes as they no longer felt secure because of activities conducted by the security forces. A joint effort between ELSHAM Papua and the Keerom Catholic Church enabled the return to their homes of 38 internally displaced people (IDPs) who had fled into the jungle.

Various cases of violence and human rights violations that occurred in Papua totally escaped the attention of the central Government and that of local Papuans. Conditions such as these indicate that the status of Papua as an autonomous region has turned into a status of “Special Operations Region”, similar to what was experienced in the decades between 1970 and 2000 when Papua was designated as a Military Operations Area (DOM). Legal impunity for the perpetrators of the violence becomes flagrantly visible as the perpetrators of such violence are practically never brought to justice, nor do they receive fitting sentences.

Prohibiting international humanitarian organizations, international journalists and foreign researchers from accessing the Papuan region inevitably gives way to the increasing acts of violence by security forces in that region. Elite units, such as Anti-Terror Special Detachment 88, are conducting activities that are contrary to their mandate as they themselves are the ones creating terror against activists of the pro-democracy movement in Papua.

Bearing in mind the socio-political conditions faced by Papuans today, ELSHAM Papua is calling for:

1. the Indonesian Government, to open access to international humanitarian agencies, international journalists and foreign researchers to the region so they can freely visit and monitor the human rights situation in Papua;
2. the police of the Republic of Indonesia, to immediately reveal to the public the identity of those responsible for the numerous attacks and mysterious shootings that have occurred lately in Papua;
3. the Indonesian Government and groups opposing the Government, to choose dialogue as a way to end the conflict and the ongoing violence in Papua;
4. the military and the police, to uphold and respect the universal principles of human rights that have been ratified by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.

 

KNPB: ‘When one is shot dead, a thousand will rise up!’

December 18, 2012
Bintang Papua
(see important editorial note below)

Jayapura: The fatal shooting of an activist of the KNPB, Hubertus Mabel, has been condemned by his family and by the KNPB – National Committee of West Papua – as unlawful. According to the law, if a person is deemed to be engaged in unlawful acts, he should be arrested and charged before a court of law but this did not happen in the case of Mabel and his colleague.

A spokesman for the KNPB, Wim Medlama, said that Hubertus had been immobilised by being shot in the legs. The security forces then pushed him into a police van where he was tortured and stabbed.

When he was arrested along with Natalis Alua, the two of them did nothing to resist arrest yet nevertheless they were shot.

‘We understand,’ said Medlama, ‘that Hubertus was severely beaten and stabbed in the chest. Natalis was also badly injured and is now being treated in hospital,’ said Medlama. He accused the security forces of acting without having any thought for the lives of their victims. ‘The security forces behaved like sadists and won’t even allow members of his family or his KNPB colleagues to see his body or demand an autopsy.’

Hubertus and his colleagues were not involved in the attack on Pirime Lanny Jaya. His activist colleagues believe that the police were feeling very frustrated and had opened fire on Hubertus and his colleague out of a sense of revenge for the deaths of three members of the police force who died during an attack on the Pirime police station.

‘The scenario was to convict Hubertus for showing resistance but this is simply not true.’ According to the law, a person should be taken into custody and brought before the court, not shot dead.’

‘When taking someone’s life, the police should be able produce powerful evidence before taking the law into their own hands like this,’ said Medlama.

If Hubertus did violate the law, he should be tried, not shot dead as happened to Mako Tabuni.

‘What the security forces are trying to do is to stamp out the issue of Papua Merdeka but the way they behave is having precisely the opposite effect, making Papuans more determined than ever to achieve an independent Papua.’

‘For every single Papuan who is murdered, a thousand Papuans will rise up and struggle for their freedom,’ said Medlama

‘They have accused us of being terrorists but we don’t have any bombs yet the allegations still persist. We have no idea what other tricks the security forces have up their sleeves in order to discredit us and the people of Papua, he said.

[Translated by TAPOL]

(West Papua Media Note: despite WPMs article yesterday on the fake journalism (allegedly done by a staff member with connections to Indonesian intelligence agencies) that made it through Bintang Papua’s editorial process, WPM can verify each and every statement made in this report is accurately reported, as we have received independent statements from the KNPB that verify this, and of course WPM broke the original story.  All our syndicated articles from Papuan media outlets must go through the same verification standards as our other sources, and we must take the time to point out that the majority of reporters at Bintang Papua are professional journalists and are not Indonesian intelligence agents.  We do believe there needs to be a tightening of their editorial process however to eliminate fake journalism – same as any media outlet.)

 

IRIN: West Papuan refugees hope for citizenship in PNG

 Article

humanitarian news and analysis

a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Dan Hanasbey was born in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY, 17 December 2012 (IRIN) – Access to citizenship could prove the best hope yet for thousands of West Papuan refugees living in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

“I want citizenship. I’ve been here 28 years and want to get on with my life,” said Donatus Karuri, a 57-year-old father of six, outside the shelter he shares with five other families at the Hohola refugee settlement. It is one of four settlements for West Papuan refugees in the capital Port Moresby.

Like most West Papuan refugees, he is unable to work legally and has only limited access to public services.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are more than 9,000 West Papuan refugees in PNG today, many of whom have been in the Pacific island nation for over three decades.

Others know no other home and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“I was born here. This is the only country I know,” said Dan Hanasbey, 27, another refugee wanting citizenship.

Flight from Indonesia

Between 1984 and 1986, more than 11,000 West Papuans fled east into PNG from the western, Indonesian half of New Guinea Island to escape political turmoil and economic discontent; the area’s longstanding secessionist sentiments towards Jakarta continue to simmer today.

West Province, a former Dutch colony rich in natural resources, was later divided into two separate provinces – Papua and West Papua – however, indigenous West Papuans continue to refer to the entire Indonesian area as West Papua.

At the time the refugees arrived, the PNG government was not yet a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. It granted the West Papuans prima facie refugee status shortly after accession to the convention in 1986 – but with seven reservations, including Article 34 on naturalization.

Of the close to 9,300 West Papuan refugees in PNG today, almost half live along the border area with Indonesia.

Another 2,435 live in urban areas, while 2,290 live in East Awin, the only officially sanctioned area for West Papuan refugees to settle. There, regular assistance is available and access to 6,000 hectares of government land is provided – about 120km away from the Indonesian border. The site was established in an effort to resettle the refugees away from the border areas to avoid possible political problems with the Indonesian government.

Those who resettle in the area for six months are provided permissive residency permits (PRPs), which allow them certain rights, including the right to work and travel internally (excluding border areas), and gives them access to health and education services.

Few refugees, however, wish to resettle in East Awin, preferring instead to stay close to the border area and their land and families on the other side. Others frown upon its remote jungle location and inaccessibility.

The government estimates only 40 percent of West Papuan refugees hold PRPs. As a result, most survive on subsistence farming – particularly in the border area. Those in urban settings live on private or government land, under constant risk of eviction, and often work illegally.


Photo: David Swanson/IRIN
Like many West Papuan refugees, Donatus Karuri would like to stay

The cost of citizenship

Despite these challenges, many West Papuans – who share a similar Melanesian ancestry to Papua New Guineans – have integrated well in this nation of 7.3 million and would like to stay.

“Local integration with the opportunity to be granted PNG citizenship is the best solution for many West Papuan refugees under the current circumstances,” Walpurga Englbrecht, UNHCR country representative for PNG, told IRIN.

“The problem, however, is the application fee is too high.”

Under PNG law, any foreigner – including refugees – wishing to apply to citizenship and who has fulfilled eight years of residency must pay a 10,000 kina (US$5,000) application fee.

“We can’t afford that. It’s impossible,” Freddy Warome, 58, a West Papuan community leader, complained.

Under Article 34 of the Refugee Convention, signatory states should facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees, and make every effort to expedite naturalization and reduce the costs as far as possible.

To date, the PNG government appears mindful of this responsibility, but it remains unclear when they might act upon it.

Speaking at a 2011 ministerial meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, Moses Manwau, PNG’s former vice minister for foreign affairs and immigration, confirmed the government’s commitment to withdrawing its earlier reservations to the Convention, and to waiving all fees or introducing nominal fees for refugees seeking naturalization.

“We are determined to give refugees the kind of life, liberty, peace and prosperity they deserve so that they can hold their own against any other citizens in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

UNHCR believes there should be a path to citizenship for those who desire it, while those West Papuans lacking PRPs who would like to remain in the country should be provided PRPs without having to relocate to East Awin, Englbrecht said.

ds/rz
Theme(s): Refugees/IDPs,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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