The local administration in South Sorong, Papua, along with the police have destroyed a market run by Papuan women who are known as mama-mama. Their tables, chairs and the goods for sale were all destroyed . And then the mama-mama were forcibly removed These actions commenced on Friday 11 May and have continued until now,
This was reported by Sarce Safles, one of the women who is responsible for the trading activities of the mama-mama, in a message sent to Jubi.
She said that beforehand the local government had called a meeting with some of the traders, while others had not been invited.
She said that at the meeting which she had attended, the women who were present explained about what happened to them. ‘We said that the mama-mama should be allowed to continue with their trading business at the usual location because conditions there very busy and good for business.There are many people living in the area which means that there any many people who will purchase goods on sale. Besides this, the location is regarded as sacred.
The local government people ignored all these points made by the women, On 10 May, the assistant secretary of the local administration along with members of the local police descended on the location, smashed up everything and forced the women to leave. These acts of destruction continue on the following day and on then on Friday, other marketing places were smashed up and the traders were told to move to another location.
But there is no one is living at this new place, which means that there is no one there to buy anything, yet even so the local government continued their destructive activities.
To this day, these activities are still going on and traders are still being forced to find somewhere else. to carry on with their business.
However the mama-mama are determined to remain at their old place for three reasons. First of all, they have been trading there for a long time already., secondly it is a very convenient place for these activities and thirdly, it is a sacred location.
For all these reasons, the mama-mama have decided to stand their ground but the government’s response was to mobilise the police, destroy the market.and smash up their tables and chairs.
The women did try to returned to their old market in Ampera because the new location was a very great distance away, it was difficult to access and without anyone around who would buy anything. It is about three kms away and neither cycles nor motor cars cannot approach the new market place. Yet even so, the local government is forcing the women to move there.
An activist in Jayapura who confirmed all this information said: ‘The mama-mama traders have every right to insist on staying at that place and the local government should not behave in this way. They have no right to force the women to do anything.’ In her opinion, the local government should be facilitating the traders and should be responsible for providing profitable market places for the women.
Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL
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Rallies calling on Ban Ki-Moon to protect Papuans to be held across Papua and Australia, on March 19
Reprinting Press Release 19 March 2012 from FRWP spokesperson
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JUBI, 25 March 2011
Pastor Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papua Peace Network – JDP – who has been focusing on promoting dialogue between Jakarta and Papua said that the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua have not yet reached agreement about the agenda of such a dialogue.
‘They have not yet issued statements officially supporting Jakarta-Papua dialogue. Even though they have not yet reached agreement, we will continue to promote dialogue,’ he said.
He said that the governments have not yet adopted a position towards dialogue because it is seen as being a separatist move and in
opposition to what the Indonesian state is working for.
He said that he respects this viewpoint. Any individual who works for
the government who expresses support for the idea of a Jakarta-Papua dialogue is in danger of losing his job because he is likely to be seen as a separatist.
‘Anyone working for the government who expresses support for a dialogue places himself in danger and could lose his job,’ he said.
Even so, he said, the JDP which was created in order to promote the idea of dialogue will continue to popularise the idea in various parts of Papua.
The JDP was set up in January 2010 and has 32 members who come from a number of organisations and institutions in Papua. However, they are not representing their respective organisations. ‘They are each working on a personal basis and doing their work on the basis of their personal inclinations,’ he said.
JUBI, 25 March 2011
Jakarta-Papua Dialogue is not the solution
Many people seem to think that a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua will result in a solution to Papua’s problems, but the JDP does not see
dialogue as being the solution.
The co-ordinator of the JDP, Pastor Neles Tebay, said whilst it is not the solution, dialogue would bring together the two disputing sides, the Papuan people and the Indonesian government, to discuss the various problems that are being faced but have not been solved. The aim would be to discuss the problems and agree to the best possible solution.
”No solutions have yet been found to a number of problems and the aim of pushing for dialogue is to try to find solutions to these problems.’
Pastor Tebay said that so far, he has visited twelve districts in Papua
to hold consultations with people there. The districts he has visited so
far include Merauke, Biak, Enarotali, Timika, Wamena and Sorong.
He has also visited some other countries to discuss the question of
dialogue including PNG, Vanuatu and Australia where he met Papuans in a number of cities. Everywhere he went, he encountered a lot of enthusiasm over the idea of finding a peaceful solution by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
- Papuan churches call for dialogue mediated by third party (westpapuamedia.info)
- Churches push for Jakarta-Papua dialogue (westpapuamedia.info)
- DAP wants dialogue, not constructive communcations (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papuans Call For Dialogue With Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)