Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Family Ties –Pacific Institute of Public Policy releases findings on first telephone poll

Family Ties – PiPP releases findings on first telephone poll

As leaders gather in Fiji this week for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP) has released its findings from the first ever telephone poll conducted across Melanesia.

Seven questions relating to the “Melanesian family” of nations were posed, including one asking which major “non Pacific island” nation was considered to be the best partner for individual nations in the region.

MSG leaders may be encouraged that a majority (74.9%) of respondents were aware of the regional body to represent Melanesians.

When asked who they considered part of the Melanesian family, a clear majority of respondents included the established members (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia) while 42% also included West Papua, 17.1% included Australia, 14.9% included Indonesia and 14.1% included Timor Leste.

Another question posed was “do you support independence for West Papua?” A clear majority of respondents across Melanesia said yes, with very high support in PNG (89.3%) and Vanuatu (88.2%). This suggests a disconnect between popular support and the position taken by governments in the region, except Vanuatu, which has long championed the West Papuan cause at the political level.

Asked to relate the relationship between their country and Australia, the majority of respondents said it was positive except those in Fiji. Australia is also considered to be the best external partner for PNG (40.5%) and the Solomons (40.4%), while for Vanuatu only 14.1% of respondents considered Australia best, whereas China scored 32.9%. Among respondents in Fiji there was a sense that it considered Australia, New Zealand, China and US as all roughly equal in importance.

In relation to engagement with Fiji, a majority of respondents including those in Fiji itself, opted for increased engagement or keeping the level of engagement as it is.

The views expressed by the respondents of this poll may assist MSG leaders as they deliberate on the future of this region. A copy of the poll findings can be downloaded here.

The Pacific Institute of Public Policy is the region’s leading independent think tank and exists to stimulate and support informed policy debate.

For further information please contact Talita on +678 29842 or ttuipulotu@pacificpolicy.org.

 

AWPA calls on MSG Prime Ministers to grant West Papua membership

AWPA calls on MSG Prime Ministers to grant West Papua membership

AWPA is encouraged by the statement from the Chairman of the MSG meeting ,  Ratu Inoke Kubuabol that “The Melanesia Spearhead Group feels for their brothers and sisters in West Papua” . Joe Collins of AWPA said “we urge the MSG to grant West Papua membership at the leaders summit. They would have the support of the Melanesian people across the region in granting West Papua membership”.

We note that in a poll by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP) that “42% also included West Papua” as part of the Melanesian family and that a clear majority of respondents across Melanesia said yes to the question do you support independence for West Papua?

From PiPP press release.
When asked who they considered part of the Melanesian family, a clear majority of respondents included the established members (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia) while 42% also included West Papua, 17.1% included Australia, 14.9% included Indonesia and 14.1% included Timor Leste.

Another question posed was “do you support independence for West Papua?” A clear majority of respondents across Melanesia said yes, with very high support in PNG (89.3%) and Vanuatu (88.2%). This suggests a disconnect between popular support and the position taken by governments in the region, except Vanuatu, which has long championed the West Papuan cause at the political level.

Joe Collins said ” we see that in the poll only 14.9% of respondents considered Indonesian to be part of the Melanesian family yet Indonesian has observer status but not West Papua. For the sake of the long term stability of the region we hope West Papua will be discussed at the leaders meeting.

PRP calls for release of nurses

JUBI, 29 March 2011

PRP calls for release of nurses

In a statement issued today, the Working People’s Association, the PRP, has called for the release of nurses arrested in Abepura, West Papua.

‘When working people demand a decent living, the neo-liberal regime
responds by arresting them.This is happening everywhere in Indonesia and on this occasion in Jayapura. Nurses working at DokII General Hospital have been under arrest for calling for the payment of incentives which they have been demanding since January 2010,’ said the PRP.

According to the PRP, this criminalisation of working people for demanding better living conditions is happening not only in Papua.
Working people elsewhere in Indonesia are also experiencing the same
thing. This is being done in order to silence the demands of the working people and to thwart the rights of working people to organise themselves.

It went on to say that union busting is happening on a grand scale
across the country, a sign that the the neo-liberal regime is scared
when working people organise themselves and demand their rights.
Measures to thwart the right of assembly and the right to organise or
even to organise demonstrations in happening in many parts of the
country, such as for example the district of Bintan.

The statement which is signed by the national chairman and the
secretary-general of the PRP makes the following demands:

1. Release the DokII nurses who have been arrested by the police because they organised a strike.Charging them with incitement is pure fantasy on the part of the police.

2. Working people throughout Indonesia should resist these efforts to
silence trade unions and organisations.

3. New forces need to be built by all sections of the working people in
Indonesia in opposition to the neo-liberal regime.

4. Capitalism and neo-liberalism have failed to improve the living
conditions of the people. Only socialism can bring prosperity to the people.

Unions call on Indonesia to release arrested nurses

ACTU MEDIA RELEASE :  

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Unions call on Indonesia to release arrested nurses


Australian unions have called on the Indonesian Government to respect international labour Conventions and human and trade union rights following the arrest of five nurses in West Papua.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said it was outrageous that the nurses had been detained for nine days and were reportedly subjected to long periods of police interrogation, simply because they had supported an industrial campaign to ensure they received their contracted entitlements.

“It is disturbing that at the same time as workers in North Africa are beginning to benefit from newfound democratic freedoms, repression of basic human rights including the freedom of association is taking place in our region,” Ms Kearney said.

“These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail.

“I am advised that more than 1500 nurses took spontaneous and unprecedented industrial action in response to an announcement that the Government of the province of West Papua had withdrawn industrial payments.

“We are told that in an attempt to intimidate the nurses and to force them back to work, five nurses were arrested.

“The intimidation has failed and the nurses and their community are more resolute than ever in their determination to secure the release of the five nurses and to win the industrial campaign.

“However it is simply outrageous that this type of intimidation and violation of human and workers’ rights is occurring.”

Ms Kearney said the arrests of the nurses, including two officials of the National Union of Indonesian Nurses, was a heavy-handed and excessive response to nurses pursing a legitimate industrial campaign in support of their contracted entitlements.

“This action is a clear breach of ILO Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise), which was ratified by Indonesia in June 1998.

“It violates the fundamental human and trade union rights enshrined in C87 and reflects poorly on the Indonesian authorities.

“The Indonesian Government should take immediate steps to release the nurses, to remove all charges and to enter a constructive dialogue with the National Union of Indonesian Nurses to resolve these issues.”

Media contact: Rebecca Tucker ph (03) 9664 7359 or 0408 031 269; rtucker@actu.org.au