Warinussy on importance of ILWP meeting in August

[Readers please note that TAPOL decided not to waste time on the item
that appeared in Bintang Papua on 4 August because of its many
inaccuracies. See below. We guessed to the time that this was the result
of TNI intervention, to block accurate reporting about an important
event for Papua in the UK. Readers should also note that the three-hour
meeting in Oxford on 2 August is constantly being reported in the
Indonesian press as a KTT, Konferensi Tingkat Tinggi, a Summit
Conference, an expression normally reserved for meetings of heads of
state, which of course was not appropriate for the meeting held in
Oxford, which was a meeting attended by academics and activists. ]

Bintang Papua, 5 August 2011

Yan Christian Warinussy, a human rights activist and law practitioner,
has expressed his appreciation of the demonstrations organised by Papuan
activists in Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura and Biak which highlighted the
principle of peace.

He said it was important for all organisations, especially the Dewan
Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council), to gather together documents and
visual material about the ILWP conference that was held in the UK in
August. These documents need to be analysed and circulated widely to
the Papuan people and district governments, including the security
forces of the Indonesian armed forces and police, to ensure that
everyone has the same understanding about these activities as well as
their impacts on the future of the Papuan people.

‘Whether or not the idea of a referendum has the support of many
components is a matter for the future because it needs a response from
many groups, including those who are for and those who are against the
idea of self-determination for the Papuan people.

‘We need to remember that the right to self-determination is a right
for all the people on earth, including the indigenous Papuan people, as
stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.’ Warinussy also
said that the achievements of the Papuan people in organising the Papuan
Peace Conference on 5 – 7 July this year was an extraordinarily
important event which no one had ever predicted. It was at this peace
conference that all the problems that the Papuan people have been
wrestling with for the past ten years were studied and analysed by
various groups and reported on scientifically. There were thoroughgoing
discussions which led to conclusions and recommendations that were
drawn up by representatives of the Papuan people who participated in the

The Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council ) should speedily
consolidate their networks in the Land of Papua and take action
together with all components of the Papuan people to prepare concrete
measures for the achievement of a Papua-Indonesia dialogue in 2011.

Meanwhile, a news item published by Bintang Papua the headline of which
was ‘ILWP conference failed to reach agreement on its agenda’ described
it as ‘breaking news from the BBC but it was of questionable origin.
According to the editor of Bintang Papua, they realised that they had
not been careful enough in confirming that the BBC was the source of the
item; as a result, on the following day action was taken against the
person who had contributed the item, according to a statement by the
Bintang Papua editor.

According to the editor-in-chief of Bintang Papua, Walhamri Wahid, the
contributor admitted that the source of the item was an SMS which was
widely circulated by a senior officer of the Cenderawasih military
command, based on an SMS from a former OPM member who subsequently
defected and who was in London when the conference was taking place.

The SMS commenced with the words BREAKING NEWS BBC LONDON (written in
capital letters) which was sent by Frans Albert Joku in a report to a
senior officer at the Cenderawasih military command which was then
forwarded to Bintang Papua. ‘We did not clarify where the information
had come from, there was no check and counter check on its accuracy and
it was published as if it had been sent by BBC-London, said Walhamri

Bintang Papua abides by the Journalists’ Code of Ethics but on that
occasion, the journalist was in a race against time, facing a deadline
and relied solely on the journalist who had sent the item from the
field. ‘Our conclusion for the time being is that this news item was
untruthful, using another news agency as the source.’ It was decided on
the following day that they would confirm (this mistake) and apologise
if it turned out to be true that this report was not from the BBC. We
have received no denial from the BBC. ‘When I was later browsing on the
internet, I found no such breaking news in any of the reports from the
BBC, said the editor in chief.

At the time it was early in the morning, at 2am on 3 August, and this
was a news item that people in Papua were eagerly awaiting. This was
seen as an important day when the conference was adopting decisions
about the future of the Papuan people. According to the Bintang Papua
editor, their journalist (in the UK) was having difficulty reporting the
matter from the location of the meeting, and the impression was that it
was deliberately blocked so as to ensure that the news would not be

The rest of this article regurgitates the erroneous information that was
contained in the BP report on 4 August.

[Reminder: Readers of this list may recall that we posted the following
statement on 4 August:

Note: The report in Bintang Papua today about the ILWP meeting in
Oxford on 2 August was so full of inaccuracies that it was a waste of
time to translate it. Suffice it to say that it described the meeting
as ‘a failure’.

Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL

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