JUBI: 27 June 2011
On his first visit to Merauke to see preparations for MIFEE, the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate, Marie Pangestu, the Minister of Industry and Trade said that the customary rights of the local community should be dealt with first, by issuing certificates, in connection with the MIFEE project that is being developed in the district of Merauke. The land which will be used for planting must be suitable for whatever crops are to be grown there.
The minister was speaking to journalists after flying over the land that will be used for the MIFEE project.
‘I have been closely following the discussions and reports about this projects which have been taking place at the centre. And now, I have come to see things for myself at close range and I have come to the conclusion that the land is very suitable indeed for agricultural production. ‘
He also said that he had received a short account from the Merauke governmental chief about the plans being made for the project, as well as measures for its implementation and land usage. Companies planning to invest can now go ahead to acquire the necessary licences and start planting their crops.
He went on to say that it was now necessary to build the necessary infrastructure, in particular harbours to support the project once it gets underway. For instance, he said, investors who intend to establish palm oil plantations will need harbours of their own.
[COMMENT: The central government will clearly be investing huge sums of money to promote the interests of companies planning to invest in MIFEE. Not at all clear what is meant by issuing certificates to the local communities whose customary rights to the land will be sacrificed as investors are invited to grab their land with little regard for the loss of their livelihoods based on hunting and fishing. No mention either about whether the rightful owners of the land will be granted any compensation for the loss of their land and the destruction of their livelihoods. TAPOL]
- PT Medco refuses to pay compensation for Papuan land used for three years (westpapuamedia.info)
- Local people reject PT Nutfa Malind-Papua in Okaba (westpapuamedia.info)
(Note: West Papua Media and illegal arms smuggling investigators have long raised this issue with the PNG and Australian governments, however, evidence collected from the ground has implicated INdonesian military sources, not West Papuan opposition sources. The reporting in this piece is disingenuous and misleading by lumping this together with Operation Sunset Merona, implying that West Papuan refugees were involved in weapons smuggling. This has never been the case. Widespread research has documented a pathway of Indonesian military officers exchanging weapons for Marijuana with Raskol gangs from the PNG highlands, and with Indonesian officials in PNG openly flooding the country with small arms via illegal logging networks. Please contact West Papua Media for more background).
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific
February 21, 2011
Papua New Guinea Raises Concerns Over Arms Smuggling At Indonesian Border
Text of report by Papua New Guinea newspaper The National website on 21
[Article by Isaac Nicholas: 'Weapons smuggling a concern']
Western law enforcement authorities have raised concerns about arms
smuggling into the province from Australia and Indonesia, saying it is
a threat to national security.
Provincial Police Commander Peter Philip said his men had confiscated
arms ranging from high-powered semi-automatic weapons to small arms
He also raised concerns that Operation Sunset Merona refugees had been flown into East Arwin refugee camp without consultations with
provincial authorities, adding that the flight of more than 50 refugees by the PNGDF Casa aircraft into Kiunga was causing further strain on the limited resources in the province.
Philip said the frequency of illegal gun smuggling was higher than
what was happening up at the West Sepik border.
Ningerum Prison acting Commander Wini Nemo also raised similar
concerns that the extra people on the ground would also put pressure
on the jail holding capacity of 30 inmates, adding that the jail was
Similar sentiments were conveyed to Correctional Services Minister
Tony Aimo during a visit to the North Fly township of Kiunga last
Provincial Magistrate Patrick Monouluk said arms smuggling was a
concern for authorities which lacked the capacity to police the vast
Last week, Monouluk sentenced a man to 18 months imprisonment for
smuggling arms and ammunition. Simon Somo Harquart from Mapos Village, Buang, in Morobe, was arrested by police when he attempted to move three firearms from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait into Daru.
Acting on a tip-off, police confiscated a .22 squibman rifle, 303
rifle, self-loading rifle and more than 150 rounds of ammunition.
Monouluk found him guilty and after sentencing, Harquart was
transferred to Bomana Jail outside Port Moresby.
Aimo admitted that arms smuggling and free movement of people across
the border of Indonesia and Australia was a major security concern and
he would raise the issue through reporting to the National Executive
Council to extend the operations from West Sepik to Western.
“We are sitting on a time bomb. There is exchange of guns and drugs
along this Western border which Waigani does not know about,” Aimo
“It is very fragile and a threat to our national security.”
Source: The National website, Port Moresby, in English 21 Feb 11
- RNZI: PNG soldiers storm home of suspended West Sepik Police Commander (westpapuamedia.info)
- PNG troops burn down border West Papua refugee camps as refugees flee to the jungle (westpapuamedia.info)
- Wikileaks – US Government blames Jakarta for unrest in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- AAP: PNG launches border security operation (westpapuamedia.info)
- Parkop Letter to Png Pm Somare: Halt to Police Operation in Sandaun Provinvce. (westpapuamedia.info)