Daily Archives: October 8, 2010

HMI: Flash Flood in the Land of Papua: President Must Declare As a National Disaster

Abridged in Translation

Press Release
Executive Board of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI PB)

Flash Flood in the Land of Papua: President Must Declare As a National Disaster

The Flash flood that swept Wasior City, Teluk Wondama, West Papua, on Monday (4 / 10) has killed more than 90 people. Meanwhile, according to a report from the Metro TV (7 / 9), there were 837 injured and 66 people remain missing. We believe that the number of victims will certainly continue to grow.

Observing the scale of the disaster and the number of victims, this disaster is not a normal disaster. Flooding in Wasior is not just a local disaster, but a national disaster. Anyone who feels a part of the Indonesian nation must be concerned with the suffering that is suffered by our sisters and brothers in Papua.  “Much less us as the Indonesian nation, the American people  located far away also expressed their concern through their Foreign Ministry (sic) statement by Hillary Clinton,” said General Chairman of PB HMI, M Chozin Amir.

“Unfortunately, the government now seems less serious and less responsive to respond to the disaster.” The government is too busy with its elite politics as well as for projects from the foreign debt fund, so that when their people affected far-away there, they were just ignored . Moreover, President SBY is too preoccupied with his image, so he forget the things that are substantial, such as helping allay the disaster that befell his people, “said Chozin further.

Even so well with the media, while they so aggressively report politics of the situation in the capital, they forget (or purposely forget) to report the disaster that occurred in the eastern tip of Indonesia. Yet when these disasters strike outside Papua, the media usually also heavily preach.

Because of the lack of response and weakness from government, especially the (national) news media, the Executive Board of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI PB) hereby declare:

1. Request for the President on behalf of the government to announce that Wasior flooding disaster as a national disaster, so that all elements of this nation is concerned specifically and able to give a helping hand.
2. Asking the media to proclaim extensively the scope of the disaster crisis, so that people will open their conscience to help our brothers and sisters at there place.
3. Call on all elements of society to set aside part of condolences to give sustenance to help the flood victims. Papuan Society is part of the Indonesian nation, then it becomes our collective responsibility to help alleviate their burden.

Herewith we submit that the PB and also officially HMI will send aid to flood victims.
Distribution of aid will be delivered by representatives of HMI in Papua, namely HMI Cenderawasi Coordinating Board in collaboration with HMI Branch of Jayapura, Manokwari, and  Sorong.

Currently PB HMI also continues to actively raise funds for distribution to victims. If you are interested in sending aid, you can send donations to be channelled through us in our account at:

Bank Mandiri
Account Number: 124 000 569 9807
On behalf  of  Y PB HMI

So we convey this news with concern and hope that eventually we are all moved to help our brothers and sisters who are victims of flooding in Papua.

Billahittaufiq walhidayah
Jakarta, October 8, 2010

MAJOR ISSUE MANAGEMENT
ISLAMIC STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (HMI)

M Chozin Amirullah
GENERAL CHAIRMAN

CP: 081213881128

SECRETARY PB HMI
Jl. Saharjo Gg. Swadaya I RT 12 RW 09 No 10 kelurahan Manggarai , Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12850

Al-Jazeera: Papua floods may fuel tensions

NOTE: Westpapuamedia.info apologize for lack of sourced original coverage, we have been working directly with international news agencies to assist in their coverage.  We are still trying to get West Papuan voices to tell their own story.  If you have any local coverage, please contact us info<at>westpapuamedia.info

Repost of http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/10/2010106124332102360.html

Papua floods may fuel tensions

Disaster in West Papua could add to local grievances as aid workers struggle to reach the affected areas.
Yasmine Ryan Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 18:03 GMT
Displaced Papuans from Wasior who, like hundreds of others, have sought shelter in Manokwari [AFP]

Relief workers say they are struggling to reach West Papuans hit by heavy flooding in the Indonesian province.

Criticisms over tardy relief effort are already beginning to emerge from the region, where relations between the indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian state have long been difficult.

There are fears that a failure to address the humanitarian crisis could add to tensions over the recent killings of indigenous Papuan protesters by the Indonesian security forces in the towns of Wamena and Manokwari.

Denny Yomaki, a humanitarian NGO worker, told Radio New Zealand International on Thursday that some of the flood’s victims felt the state was not doing enough to assist them.

Aid workers told Al Jazeera the damage from the landslides has made it hard to reach the worst hit areas.

Hundreds have fled or been evacuated from the devastated seaside town of Wasior to seek shelter in Manokwari, the province’s capital. Most are staying with extended family or in makeshift shelters on a military base, Ridwan, a member of the disaster management team for the PMI (Indonesian Red Cross), told Al Jazeera.

“The current situation is very difficult, it’s very difficult to reach Waisor,” Ridwan said.

Red Cross barred

Ridwan said that the conflict was not affecting his organisation’s relief efforts in West Papua, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is restricted from working in the province, even in the aftermath of the recent disaster.

It was forced to close its West Papua branch in April 2009, but is providing funding to the PMI’s response to the flooding.

“We are not actively present in the area for the present,” Patrick Megevand, the spokesperson for the ICRC’s Indonesia delegation, told Al Jazeera.

The government told A Jazeera it had dedicated 200 million rupiah ($22,000) to the relief efforts following the flooding, which left at least 91 people dead and and more than 800 others injured, many of them suffering broken bones.

Maman, an officer at the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), said the government had sent tents, food and medical supplies to Wondama Bay, along with army, police, technicians and medical workers. A navy boat and three cargo ships have already set off for the area.

The flooding comes at a time when calls for independence for West Papua and Papua are growing, especially in the wake of heightened US interest in the provinces. Indigenous Papuan leaders say that the “special autonomy” status granted by Indonesia in 2001 has been a farce.

Nick Chesterfield of West Papua Media told Al Jazeera that if the aid were felt to be insufficeint by those living in the stricken villages there is a risk it would enflame the tensions between the indigenous Melanesian populations and Indonesian security forces.

West Papua has already been hit by two major earthquakes this year and the government-led relief efforts were “very slow,” Chesterfield said.

He also warned that the aid effort could be compromised by anger over two separate incidents in which the police have killed local residents in recent weeks.

Police killings

The latest alleged killing was in Wamena, a town in West Papua’s highlands, just days ago.

Local authorities there have established the unarmed peacekeeping force, known as Balim Petapa, “to keep away the Indonesian police, their proxies and militias,” Chesterfield explained.

Violence broke out after a group of people from the force confronted police at the Wamena North airport to demand an explanation for the seizure of a box of berets – their uniforms – along with 40 million Rupiah ($4,468) in cash.

In the other incident, a priest, his wife and son were shot by Indonesian police in the city of Manokwari, which is close to the flooded areas.

Reverend Naftali Kuan, his wife Antomina Kuan and their 23-year-old son Setinus were shot by police on September 15 as locals protested a hit-and-run road accident by a member of the security forces, who fled to police headquarters after accidently running down an elderly Papuan woman on his motorbike.

In the days after the shootings, thousands of protestors took to the streets. Indonesian soldiers were sent in to quell the demonstrations.

“Manokawri has been one of the hotbeds for independence for years,” Chesterfield said. “If the Indonesian army doesn’t put down its guns and pick up its shovels, there’s going to be a lot of tensions there.”

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Related
At least 75 people have been killed and many are missing after flash floods and mudslides hit mountainous villages. ( 06-Oct-2010 )

Forkorus and friends receive heroes' welcome

Forkorus and friends receive heroes’ welcome

(Bintang Papua)The chairman of DAP, the Papuan Traditional Assembly, Forkorus Yaboisembut, and five others who recently attended the public hearing at the US Congress arrived back on Papuan soil yesterday at Sentani Airport to a heroes’ welcome as if returning from the battle-field. On their
arrival, Forkorus and his group were welcomed  by the Boy Eluay, the son
of Theys Eluay.

Troops from the Petapa  security forces maintained a tight guard along
the way taken by Forkorus and the others. As they entered the airport
arrivals area, they were invited to step on a large china plate and
nokens [string bags] were draped round their necks [a ceremonial welcome
for special people] while the woman in the group had her head half
covered with a jilbab. The Petapa guard was closely maintained from the
arrivals area to the cars waiting outside. A group of musicians was also
there to welcome Forkorus and his colleagues. They then drove for 45
minutes to a specially constructed pendopo .

After prayers were said, Forkorus said that they had visited the US at
the invitation of the US Congress to attend a public hearing at the
Congress. He said that this was evidence that the US regards the Papuan
with respect and wants to build a new friendly relationship in order to
help the  Papuan people.

Responding to negative remarks  made by the US ambassador  who said that
Papua is  part of  NKRI, he said that this was just a political
statement whereas all the arrangements for the group’s departure to the
US had been handled by the US embassy in Jakarta.

Herman Awom who also particiated in the visit to the US said that during
their  presence at the congressional hearing,  two other Papuans were
deliberately  included by Indonesia,  Franzalbert Yoku and Nikko Messet,
whose words describing Papuans as stupid and lazy were described as
regrettable by Eni Faleomavaega. a member of the US Congress.

Eni Faleomavaega said it was regrettable that Nikko Messet had said of
his own people that they were lazy and stupid.

It was also reported that Forkorus and his colleagues will repeat their
testimonies on the following day at the graveside of Theys Eluay.

MRP waiting for decision from interior minister about its future

MRP waiting for decision from interior minister about its future

(Bintang Papua) The current term of the MRP – the Papua People’s Assembly – is due to  expire on 31 October. According to the chairman, Agus Alua, it depends
on a decision by  the minister of the interior whether the term will be
extended.

Agus Alua said that he had written to the governor to remind him  that
the term of the present MRP is almost at an end. If the term is
extended, he said, and the MRP goes on using state funds, that will
create problems. He explained that according to the mechanisms of the
law, the MRP cannot raise matters with ministers in Jakarta but they can
only raise it in writing with the governor while it is up to the
governor to take the matter forward to the minister.

According to Agus Alua, a draft regulation – raperdasus – on the matter
was now being discussed by the provincial assembly, the DPRP. but there
were apparently two versions of the regulation. One version was drafted
by the governor and the other version was being discussed at UNCEN but
there were differences between the two drafts.in particular with regard
to the number of members of the MRP.

The governor’s version states that size of the body should be two thirds
the size of the  DPRP plus the DPR West Papua which together consist of
100 members. This would mean that the MRP should consist of 75 members
[this is more than two thirds of 100] whereas the other version
provides for a smaller number of members.

Asked whether there would now be two MRPs, one for each of the two
provinces of West Papua, Alua said that according to information he had
heard from the governor, there would only be one MRP for the two provinces.

MRP waiting for decision from interior minister about its future

The current term of the MRP – the Papua People’s Assembly – is due to
expire on 31 October. According to the chairman, Agus Alua, it depends
on a decision by  the minister of the interior whether the term will be
extended.

Agus Alua said that he had written to the governor to remind him  that
the term of the present MRP is almost at an end. If the term is
extended, he said, and the MRP goes on using state funds, that will
create problems. He explained that according to the mechanisms of the
law, the MRP cannot raise matters with ministers in Jakarta but they can
only raise it in writing with the governor while it is up to the
governor to take the matter forward to the minister.

According to Agus Alua, a draft regulation – raperdasus – on the matter
was now being discussed by the provincial assembly, the DPRP. but there
were apparently two versions of the regulation. One version was drafted
by the governor and the other version was being discussed at UNCEN but
there were differences between the two drafts.in particular with regard
to the number of members of the MRP.

The governor’s version states that size of the body should be two thirds
the size of the  DPRP plus the DPR West Papua which together consist of
100 members. This would mean that the MRP should consist of 75 members
[this is more than two thirds of 100] whereas the other version
provides for a smaller number of members.

Asked whether there would now be two MRPs, one for each of the two
provinces of West Papua, Alua said that according to information he had
heard from the governor, there would only be one MRP for the two provinces.

UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

JUBI 7 October 2010

UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

Malaria is still the major health problem in Papua and causes widespread
damage, with 17 percent of the population affected in 2009, according to
the UNICEF representative, William Hawley who, together with the US
ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Merciel, held a meeting with midwives at
the local clinic  in Abepura.

With such a high percentage of the incidence of malaria in 2009, the
financial cost was at leasst Rp 20.5 billion for the year. 'Malaria not
only affects the health of pregnant women but also the foetus being
carried by the women as well as the baby.'

He said that it causes anaemia, infection of the placenta, malaria
complications and can even be fatal. As a result, babies are often born
underweight or prematurely and are stillborn or underweight babies which
can result in their death.'

Jana Fitria who is the UNICEF representative in Papua said she hoped
these problems would be tackled as quickly  as possible with the help of
experienced midwives. Combating malaria  has been part of the USAID -
UNICEF programme in Papua since 2006, with a total investment so far of
US$4 million.