Tag Archives: Papuan marginalisation

Papuan mama-mama should attend the Papua Expo in Jakarta

JUBI,
2 March 2013
The director of the Ecology Papua Instutute, Titus Christoforus announced that a Papuan exhibition will be held at the Convention Centre in Jakarta from 3 April. He said that it should give priority to ensuring the attendance of Papuan mama-mama who use the noken (traditional string bag).He said: ‘I hope that the Papuan Provincial Government will give priority to the mama-mama and their noken at this exhibition.’

He went on to say that the exhibition would involve the Regional Work Units and Event Organisers from Jakarta. This means that in the weeks before the exhibition, special attention should be given to the involvement of the mama-mama.

He also said that this OTSUS exhibition should pay special attention  to the workmanship of people like the mama-mama who lack capital but are very eager to produce their handicrafts. He pointed out that the noken was identified by UNESCO.as a cultural object at a meeting in Paris on 4 December 2012. ‘This makes it all the more important that the mama-mama together with their noken should be involved in the exhibition,’ he said.

Such handiwork depends greatly on how we encourage it, which means that the mama-mama should be involved in the exhibition in Jakarta, he said.

He also said that the noken has become much better known and popular, and it should be presented to the public as a symbol of the identity of the Papuan people.

In conclusion he said: ‘I hope that this exhibition will provide the mama-mama with the maximum motivation and that they should be provided with the necessary facilities for the advancement of their craft.’

[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]

MIFEE: Latest News Reports

via AWASMifee

January 7, 2013

Representatives of the Lembaga Masyarakat Adat (Customary People’s Association), together with other people affected by the MIFEE mega-agriculture project, made a visit to Papuan provincial capital Jayapura just before Christmas. In meetings with Papuan media, they explained the new problems local communities in the Merauke Area are facing as different companies rush to develop oil palm and sugar cane plantations.

Here is a selection of articles published in local media Tabloid Jubi and Alliance for Democracy In Papua(ALDP).  Amongst the issues the delegation raises are the companies’ broken promises about the facilities they said they would provide or the compensation for the land, pollution, lack of information about the legal status of the land and coercive behaviour from the military that back up the companies.
When they have accepted work in exchange for giving up their forests, wages have been too low to provide for daily needs. They also ask for all company permits to be revoked, as local people have not been involved in decisions about development.

Company’s promise to build education facilities were lies.

Source: http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=8009

A company’s promise to build health and education facilities for local land owners around its investment site in Muting, Elkobel and Ulilin districts in Merauke Regency, has still not come to fruition.  “It was all lies, we’ve waited until now but there has been no answer. Blueprints have been drawn up, but they remain no more than sketches,” said the head of the Malind Bian Customary People’s Association (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat LMA), Sebastianus Ndiken in Jayapura last Friday.

According to him, when the company was informing the indigenous clans that own the land in Muting District of its plans some time ago, they had promised employment and also to improve education, including giving scholarships to local youth. “We have already asked when this will be, but the company has said not yet, we have no idea when it will actually happen, but they have been operating on our land for some time,” he said.

Mr. Ndiken related that one of the companies operating in Muting is PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (ACP) After about four months of operation, we are starting to see logging of the people’s forests in the area. “Look, here’s the plans I’ve brought with me. It shows plans for a school. The plans are well-drawn, but the school has never materialised,” he repeated.

Amongst the big companies that are developing oil-palm plantations in Merauke are PT Korindo Tunas Sawaerma, PT Bio Inti Agrindo, PT Berkat Cipta Abadi and PT Papua Agro Lestari.

When they move in, the companies say they are only borrowing the land on a 35 year contract, and after that it will return to its owners. “We believed that. But now we have found out that one oil palm company, PT Bio Inti Agrindo, has already obtained a permit for commercial use (HGU). We realised that in principle, HGU rights mean that after 35 years of commercial use the land will be returned to the state. To us this means that the company has failed to settle the issue of our customary rights as the true owners of the land”, he explained.

He is asking for the company to immediately fulfil it’s promises. “We don’t want problems, don’t let what happened in Mesuji occur in the land of Malind Anim. [awasMIFEE note: at least nine farmers, maybe more, have been killed in clashes with oil palm companies in the Mesuji area of Sumatra in the last two years]. We want progress, but progress that doesn’t deceive the people”, he concluded.

The most recent data from the Merauke government was that 10 of the 46 companies with investment plans were actively pursuing their operations in early 2012.

The project location is the local indigenous people’s only source of wood, animals and staple foods. Merauke Regency covers 4.7 million hectares, of which 95.3 percent is classified as forest.

Customary People’s Association wants big companies out of Merauke.
Source: http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=8004

The Malind Bian Customary People’s Association (LMA) has requested the government to revoke and cancel all location permits of companies in the plantation sector in Merauke Regency, including oil palm.

“We have witnessed ourselves how companies are felling our customary forests that we have always protected and looked after. Destroying the forest has also caused the loss of several varieties of traditional medicine,” said the head of the Malind Bian LMA Sebastianus Ndiken on Friday.

He told of how it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find sago, animals to hunt, materials for traditional clothing and other traditional items that had previously been found easily in the forest. For them, the damage to the customary forest is also the loss of the Malind Anim culture.

“Companies come to the village but never give us full, clear and true information. The company also doesn’t involve indigenous people and landowners from the outset. Similarly, information about regulations and permits is not given openly,  clearly and in detail, including information about the potential impacts to our  customary land that could arise from those company permits”, he said.

There has never been full involvement of all clans in the process of informing about plans, consultation and verification of which clans own which land, Mr. Ndiken continued. The company only talks to the clan chiefs and community leaders, including district government officials, so the customary lands can be evicted and destroyed. The kind of involvement the LMA would like to see would include attending the process of compiling environmental impact assessments, and consultations and evaluations about those environmental impact assessments.

“The LMA which is comprised of representatives of indigenous communities, has frankly not been involved. Neither have landowners whose land has not yet been evicted and destroyed. This means that not all our desires and aspirations have been properly conveyed”, he said.

According to him, the government, which should have a duty and obligation to protect, respect and advance the people’s rights, is not on the side of the indigenous landowners.

Amongst the large companies operating in the oil palm sector in Merauke are PT Korindo Tunas Sawaerma, PT Bio Inti Agrindo, PT Berkat Cipta Abadi and PT Papua Agro Lestari.

When the companies moved in, the government said that customary land would only be borrowed for 35 years and then returned to its owners. “We believed that. But now we have been told that one oil palm company operating on our land, PT Bio Inti Agrindo, has obtained a permit giving the company commercial use rights (HGU). We realised that in principle, HGU rights mean that land is returned to the state after 35 years of commercial use. To us this means that the company has failed to settle the issue of our customary rights as the true owners of the land”, he
explained.

He also said that this means that the company has deliberately deceived and disregarded the people and erased their customary rights by gaining agreement for commercial use rights. “So we must make clear that if the company wishes to continue using customary land then it must ask for our agreement as landowners and must ensure that the land will be returned to the clans that are the customary landowners once the company’s tenure is finished”, Mr Ndiken said.

He said that the LMA is also demanding the immediate cancellation of all location permits on customary land. The companies must also take responsibility for restoring the forest and giving compensation to people along the Bian river as far as Kaptel. “The government also needs to take action and start tackling the disruption and environmental pollution that the company’s activities have caused.

Yeinan People Reject Oil Palm Company
Source: http://tabloidjubi.com/?p=7652

The Yeinan ethnic group in Merauke Regency, Papua, reject the oil palm company which wishes to operate in their area. This oil palm company is part of the Wilmar Group.

A Yeinan man, David Dagjiay, said to reporters in Abepura on Friday (21/12) that he was currently negotiating with PT Wilmar Group that are trying to start an oil palm plantation in the Yeinan area. “We are still trying to agree some trade-off where we could agree to the company’s presence. On the whole people reject oil palm companies”, he said.

PT. Wilmar Group plans to plant 40,000 hectares with oil palm. However, until now they have not commenced clearing because local landowners have not agreed to surrender their lands. According to David, the Yeinan people inhabit six villages: Poo, Torai, Erambu, Kweel, Bupul and Tanas.  “Out of these six villages, two have agreed to release their land to the company. The other four have not yet agreed”, he stated.

The people don’t want to be lied to. The Malind people have learnt from the  experience of oil palm companies already operating on Malind Anim lands in Merauke. Now they (the Malind Anim people, which includes the Yeinan), are suffering as a consequence of oil palm. They have lost their livelihoods. It is difficult to hunt deer in a forest when the trees have all been cut down by the company. People can also not consume river water nearby because it is contaminated by waste from the oil palm company.

David stated that there was already one company operating in Yeinan, PT Hardaya, which is planting sugarcane. “For us, one company is enough, no need for any more. We accepted the sugar cane company because sugar cane does not need a long time to grow. Oil palm on the other hand, needs a long time. Then it depletes the land leaving it barren and dry”, he said.

State Security Forces are still backing up companies in Merauke.
Source: http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=8037

To secure logging areas in Merauke Regency, several companies are using the services of Indonesian state security forces.

“And that’s been kept secret, and we want to let people know that. They are involved from the moment when plans are first presented to the people right up until the development starts in the field”, said Paustinus Ndiken, the Secretary of Malind Bian Customary People’s Association in Jayapura.

According to him, the involvement of security forces personnel has meant that it has been easier for the companies to persuade people to surrender their land. “There have been times when they have also been there asking the people to give their land over to the companies, a prominent community member was once even beaten up while the company was presenting its plans. The situation was tense at that moment, I don’t know why, and then a customary leader was suddenly struck by a member of the security forces”, he stated.

He added that the people didn’t agree with police or military intervention in the process of discussions to transfer land rights. “If they want to keep the area secure, fair enough, but don’t get involved in this process – that’s the business of  customary landowners, the government and the companies and no-one else”, he said.

The head of the Malind Bian LMA, Sebastianus Ndiken said that the companies had contracted their land at low prices. In 2007, land was released for 50,000 rupiah per hectare ($6), later it rose to 70,000 Rupiah ($8) and is now 350,000 rupiah per hectare ($40). “We are being very strongly affected. We demand the price rise to 5,000,000 rupiah per hectare ($600). But the company doesn’t agree”, he related.

He also said that the companies had promised to build health and education facilities. “But these agreements have not been met, promises are still just promises”, he said.

David Dagijay, a Yeinan man from Merauke, said that the Malind Anim people do not want to be lied to. “We doubt that the company will ever build a school. Meanwhile, the land contract lasts for 35 years. Don’t let it become the company’s property after that”, he concluded.

The Yeinan area includes Toray, Poo, Erambu, Tanas and Kweel villages.  Yeinan is part of the larger Malind Anim ethnic group.

Workers Frustrated because wages are insufficient.
Source: http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=8047

Hundreds of employees of PT Berkat Cipta Abadi in Merauke are frustrated because the company is not paying a fair wage for the work they are doing.  Employees are working for a daily wage of 62,000 Rupiah ($6.40).

“That is extremely low, while we are working in the heat. We ask for wages to rise to 80,000 or 100,000 rupiah a day”, said Melkias Masik-Basik, an employee of Berkat Cipta Abadi, in Jayapura.

He said that he has been working in the tree nursery for six months, without being absent a single day. “But it’s physical work. Yeah, this is money we would use for our daily needs”, said the 27-year-old man.

According to him, the company should pay the wages that have been established by law. Only receiving 60,000 a day means that Melkias gets on average 1.8 Million Rupiah a month ($190). If compared with what the company management recieves, it is far less. “That’s what is so frustrating for us, we want a raise”, he said.

PT Berkat Cipta Abadi (BCA) is involved in the oil palm plantation business. Apart from BCA, PT Korindo Tunas Sawaerma, PT Bio Inti Agrindo and PT Papua Agro Lestari are also operational. For Example PT Korindo puts thousands of people to work on oil palm plantations covering tens of thousands of hectares. Korindo is a joint venture between Korea and Indonesia which controls land between Boven Digoel and Merauke Regencies [awasMIFEE note: PT Berkat Cipta Abadi is also a subsidiary company of Korindo].

Neles Tuwong, an activist with the Justice and Peace Secretariat of Merauke Diocese adds that it is the company’s responsibility to provide security for its workers. “This on its own is a problem which must be overcome. I believe that landowners should be getting a bigger share”.

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

Papuan education - Jakarta style (photo: KNPBNews)

No primary schools in over a thousand kampungs in Papua

JUBI,

28 November 2012

Jayapura: The head of  the Education, Youth and Sports Service in the province of Papua, James Modouw, said that there are at least one thousand kampungs (villages) spread across the province where there is no primary school.

‘Of the more than four thousand kampungs in Papua,’ he said, ‘ it is thought that around 1,047 do not have a primary school. It is also the case that throughout the district of Suru-Suru in the Regency of Asmat, there are eight kampungs, none of which has a primary school. This does not include the regency of Yahukimo about which no data has yet been received.’

He said that the kampungs without a primary school are mainly in the mountainous regions of Papua. ‘In the whole of the Bintang Highland Regency, there is not a single primary school,’ he said. The same is true throughout the regencies of Lany Jaya, Puncak Jaya and Nduga. ‘This is a matter that requires the attention of the local governments in these areas,’ he said.

He said that the problem of the lack of availability of primary education in Papua should be resolved. ‘We call on the local and municipal  administrations to  insist that adequate funds are made available for primary schools everywhere in the 2013 budget.so as to deal with the lack of schools and the widespread illiteracy among the Papuan people. He said that is calculated that thirty percent of Papuan children get no education at all.

[Translated by TAPOL]

[COMMENT: Over the years, we have read so many reports about the non-availability of teachers as well as healthcare workers in so many parts of West Papua. This is clearly an extremely serious matter indeed, a situation that clearly has not improved since the enactment of the Special  Autonomy Law in 2001, more than eleven years ago. No wonder Papuans are being thrust aside as more and more better-educated migrants from other parts of the country outnumber Papuans and take control of the territory’s economy and administration. As is so often the case, Papuans are frequently described as being ‘terbelakang’ or ‘backward’. So whose fault is that?! TAPOL]

 

KNPB pleads for international security (force) to prevent ongoing conflict in Timika

October 8, 2012

Timika Conflict Report by Steven Itlay [Chair KNPB Mimika]

Analysis – edited by West Papua Media

Since the civil war broke out on June 2, 2012 in Timika,West Papua the number of victims among the indigenous people continues to grow. Freeport Indonesia Pty Ltd, the army, police and Government of Indonesia have not been able to resolve this insignificant dispute. They have allowed and indeed fostered this civil war.

As a result, at the time of this report (5/10), scores of lives have been lost and many (people) wounded. According to monitoring, the majority of the victims were hit by arrows; however a number were also shot dead by Indonesian Police. Yet others have disappeared as the result of “lightning” (speedy) killings by certain criminal elements. The Government of Indonesia and Freeport have not been able to resolve the conflict; therefore the (local) people are demanding an international security force to protect their lives.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Mimika has been monitoring this situation, and has come to the conclusion that the civil war between clans has been allowed (to occur) by the Indonesian government and Freeport. The situation is trending towards genocide, and the Indonesian authorities – with the American corporation which is established on the Amungsa land – are deliberately permitting genocide in Timika, West Papua.

Chronology of the civil war

The civil war began from a misunderstanding which occurred since May 20, 2012 in Timika, Papua. In the beginning an incident occurred between Ronny Ongomang and Aroki Komangal. (Ronny Onggomang was the son of Hosea Onggomang and Aroki Komangal was the son of Atimus Komangal). At 4.00 p.m. Aroki called Ronny at his house and invited him to go for an evening ride, and .took the streets in the afternoon. The two went out, each using his own motorcycle heading along Old Freeport Street, next to Timika Airport. They sat down and began drinking (liquor).

Not long after that, a youth named Oni Kerembo who had just finished bathing at the side of Old Freeport Street was starting up his motor cycle, was suddenly hit by Ronny Ongomang who was crossing the road with his friend Mickieto while giving a ride on the back of his bike at high speed, despite being affected by alcohol.

After the collision with Oni, Ronny could still stand, and panicking, mounted his motorcycle and sped off about 1 kilometre, stopping at the side of a ditch by the road. According to police information, Ronny fell (from his bike) there and died suddenly (from his injuries). At the same time Oni Kerembo suffered broken bones and was rushed to Mitara Community Hospital RSMM Karitas for treatment.

The following day (21 May 2012), around 8.00 a.m, a citizen discovered the body of Ronny Onggomang in the ditch at the side of the road where he had fallen. The citizen immediately contacted the police, Polantas (traffic) section, and the body was removed to the District of Mimika General Hospital (RSUD Mimika). His parents were notified and identified Ronny Onggomang’s body at RSUD.

On 22 May 2012, his body was buried at the house of his father Hosea Ongomang at Kwamki Narama, Mimika.

On 24-26 May 2012 in Mimika, the victim’s family together with police from Polantas carried out an investigation into Ronny’s death. The police from Polantas said that it was clearly an accident, but the victim’s family did not accept this because there were no signs of scratches or lacerations on the body.

On 29 May 2012, the family of the victim (who) were making accusations everywhere, invited all the elders (including) the father of Aroki Komangal to go at once to the Police, Polantas Section and request clear information on the case. Polantas stated that from their viewpoint it was clearly an accident and there was no perpetrator. However the family of the victim were not satisfied with the police explanation. As a result of this dissatisfaction the family accused Aroki Komangal as the murderer without evidence.

Atimus Komangal and Benyamin Kiwak head of the large Damal clan apologised to the victim’s family but they rejected the apology from the side of the accused, and they wanted to “seek proof in the field” with a traditional physical confrontation or war between the clans, according to traditional custom.

In this small case the police let things be and did not complete the handling of the matter in order that a civil war did not occur. But (by failing to intervene with conflict resolution before violence broke out) it was as if the police provided an opportunity for this war to happen in Timika.

On 2 June 2012 in Mimika Papua, a civil war broke out, The clan of Hosea Ongomang fought against the clan of Atimus Komangal. Finally there was a victim on the Hosea Ongomang side, identified as Deminus Ongomang.

On 5 October 2012, around 8.24 a.m., community leaders, church leaders and womens’ leaders, forcibly chased away the Indonesian police because the police only watched and deliberately encouraged the conflict in Kwamki Narama, even though victims were dying. One Amungme community leader said, “The government of Indonesia, and TNI/POLRI only come to show off in the in an area of conflict like this, because of the political and economic interests of their office. They never truly resolve problems in Papua, especially in the gold mine region of Timika.”

At 09.00 a.m. local time, all the police who were serving in the war area left that war area in shame. All members of community organisations, church groups NGOs and elders regard the Indonesian government army and police (TNI/POLRI) as being incapable, and have failed totally to calm the civil war in Timika.

To the present moment the war is continuing. The Indonesian police have not yet succeeded in calming the civil war. In fact the police are just busy providing security for Freeport Indonesia. They carry out arrests of KNPB activists in the streets. This war which has been encouraged prevents the people from engaging in (peaceful and legitimate free expression) activism. The citizens are afraid to oppose the arbitrary activities of the police.

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Above: Images from the horizontal conflict of 2012 in Mimika (Courtesy KNPB Mimika)
List of names of the victims (of the war) from 20 May to 5 October 2012
A. From the side of Hosea Onggomang
1. Roni Onggomang (16), died in ditch at side of the road, after motorcycle collision with Oni Kerombo .
2. Deminus Onggomang (30). Killed by an arrow, fired mistakenly by one of his friends.
3. Dominus Ongomang (32) shot dead by police officer in Mimika. Perpetrator: Brimob AKBP Denny Siregar S.IK of Batak descent.
4. Doni Onggomang (28). Shot dead by police. Doni had just seen his older brother Dominus shot by Kapolres (Police). Doni was angry and wanted to attack the Kapolres but he was also shot, by Adjutant Kapolres Abram, native of Jayapura.
5. Antelius Ongomang (24), Killed by arrow.
6. Aroki Tabuni (29). Killed by an arrow.
7. Pak Enos Murib (35). Killed by an arrow
8. Ibu (Mrs) Medina Wenda (24). Killed by an arrow in a plantation outside the battlefield.
9. Seki Tabuni (36). Killed by an arrow.
10. Kamoro Tabuni (30). Killed by an arrow.
11. Herry Tabuni (25). Chased and killed in the street.

B. Victims from Atimus Komanggal’s side
1. Parael Alom
2. Yanuarius Misimbo, killed in a plantation.
3. Nike Misimbo (10). killed in a plantation.
4. Ince Komangal (15). killed in a car.
5. Eterikus Beanal. Killed in a car.
6. Jhon Beanal (29). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown
7. Frans Beanal, (30). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown.
8. Pdt. (Reverend) Barnabas Komangal (57). Killed in family fight.
9. People seriously wounded; 12 men and 2 women, names not yet known.
10. Filemon Hagabal, (35). seriously wounded by an arrow.
11. Head of the Dama clan, Victim of bashing carried out by member of the police force, is now left with paralysis in his left leg and has broken ribs. At present still in detention in Polres Mimika Mil 32.
12. Other victims outside the warring clans, Bapak Tom Yarangga (45 years), Yaranggawas burned in a car (fire) carried out by a specially trained group. (Kelompok yang di lati Khusus?), up to now the murderer has not been identified by the police.
Bapak Nasyum killed by a specially trained person. To date police have not identified the murderer.

(WPM Comment: The “Specially Trained Group” or Orang Terlatih Khusus is a euphemism for terror squads of the Indonesian special forces Kopassus, who are believed to responsible for a massive campaign of shootings, stabbings, muggings and bombings against a variety of targets, blamed on highland Papuans, and engineered by design to discredit the civil resistance movement in Papua. Indonesia, and Kopassus, have used proxy militia and jihadist groupsthis as their standard operating procedure since the bloodbaths of the 1965 Coup.)