DAP chairman says Third Congress decisions should be accepted by the government and UN members

Bintang Papua, 10 October 2011

According to Forkorus Yaboisembut, chairman of DAP, the Dewan Adat Papua, the forthcoming Third Papuan Congress will result in decisions that will express the true aspirations of the people of West Papua, in the provinces of both Papua and West Papua.

He said that the results of this Congress should be recognised and put into practice by the Indonesian government and should also be recognised by all the countries which are members of the United Nations.

He called upon the Indonesian government during this era of democracy to accommodate these decisions. ‘If we genuinely uphold the principles of democracy, whatever is decided by the Congress however painful they may be, must be accepted by the Indonesian government.’

He went on to say however that it was quite likely they would not be recognised or implemented by the Indonesian government nor by the members of the United Nations. He said was what normally happens. ‘Some may be pleased while others will not be pleased but we will continue to do everything that we can to convince them that these decisions are correct.’

Regarding the venue of the Congress, he said that UNCEN, the Cenderawasih University had be asked whether its auditorium could be used but they said that they needed the STTP (acknowledgement) from the police which should be forthcoming on 10 October as the chief of police had just arrived back in Jayapura.

Demonstration in support of ILWP fails to reach its destination

Bintang Papua, 11 October 2011

A demonstration organised by KNPB, the West Papua National Committee, in support of the ILWP, the International Lawyers for West Papua, was unable to reach its intended destination, the office of the DPRP, and the governor’s office. When the demonstrators marched from Expo, Waena and reached the Abepura junction, they intended to proceed to the office of the MRP [Majelis Rakyat Papua – Papuan People’s Assembly], but had to stop. It was already late afternoon which meant they would be unable to reach Jayapura in time so they halted their march.

While proceeding along the main Abepura road, they conducted some actions which ended with a communal prayer. From there, the demonstrators returned home peacefully. The action caused some congestion which lasted till early evening.

The chairman of the KNPB, Buchtar Tabuni, said that they had received the police acknowledgement of their notification about the demo too late, which was why they were unable to reach their destination before nightfall.

Despite this delay, they were determined to proceed with the demonstration, the purpose of which was to express support for the ILWP meeting in the UK in August this year.

According to the Bintang Papua journalist, the demonstration proceeded smoothly, but had to change its route because of the traffic congestion. A number of businesses along the route decided to close shop for a while.

In a press release received by this newspaper, Mako Tabuni said that the KNPB supports the statement made by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon in Auckland New Zealand for the West Papua issue to be submitted to the UN Decolonisation Committee [NB: this was subsequently corrected as Ban Ki-Moon had said no such thing].

The demonstrators shouted slogans supporting independence and a referendum for West Papua.

According to the Bintang Papua journalist, security forces from the Jayaura police as well as Brimob troops were guarding the route. Moreover, some Barakuda tanks were on guard at Imbi Square, to provide protection for the MRP office.

[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]

West Papua ‘biggest threat’ to Pacific media freedom, says Pacific Journalism Review report


13 October 2011

West Papua ‘biggest threat’ to Pacific media freedom, says PJR report

The killing and abduction of journalists in Indonesian-occupied West Papua has been highlighted in a special new report on Pacific media freedom over the past year by Pacific Journalism Review.


“By far the most serious case of media freedom violations in the Pacific is in West Papuafar from international scrutiny,” says the journal in an editorial.

The 39-page report on the state of media freedom in the Pacific in 2011 notes that in August, in particular, “sustained repression has also hit the news media and journalists”.

At least two journalists have been killed in West Papua, five abducted and 18 assaulted in the past year.

West Papua has replaced Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region, says the journal. The report has been published just as regional protests have been voiced over the brutal suppression of a strike at the giant Freeport copper mine in the past week in which at least one person was reported shot dead.

Ten West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura last week for being in possession of material that featured the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag of independence.

Poengky Indarti, executive director of the Indonesian human rightsmonitor Imparsial, said recently: “Freedoms of expression, association and assembly are routinely violated in Papua, which seriously fuels tensions. Besides, gross human rights abuses, such as acts of torture, remain unaccounted for.”

This free media research report, compiled by Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Alex Perrottet and Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie with a team of contributors, including West Papua Media editor Nick Chesterfield, is the most comprehensive and robust media freedom dossier on the region published in recent years

“The state of Pacific media freedom is fragile in the wake of serious setbacks, notably in Fiji, with sustained pressure from a military backed regime, and in Vanuatu, where blatant intimidation has continued with near impunity,” says the report.

“Apart from Fiji, which has a systemic and targeted regime of censorship, most other countries are attempting to free themselves from stifling restrictions on the press.

“Coupled with governments that are sluggish to introduce freedom of the information legislation and ensure region-wide constitutional rights to free speech are protected, there are limited media councils and advocacy bodies with few resources to effectively lobby their governments.

In New Zealand, another major threat to media freedom has been the consolidation of contemporary transnational corporate ownership patterns.

Researchers Merja Myllylahti and Dr Wayne Hope demonstrate in another special report on global capital and media communication ownership that NZ media corporations treat news as a commodity and news organisations as revenue generators.

This is the third in a series of media ownership papers published in PJR and initiated by Bill Rosenberg’s mapping of media ownership (2007, 2009). This ongoing project has now been adopted by AUT University.
The report authors point to the closure of the 20-year-old influential business and politics newspaper The Independent and the phasing out of the 130-year-old cooperative news agency New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) as key symptoms of the malaise: ‘Consequently, public media space is shrinking as the practice of journalism declines.’

This edition of PJR is themed on “Media, cultural diversity and community”, and includes articles on Australia’s Reporting Diversity Project, the Yumi Piksa community television project in Papua New Guinea, a study of the use of te reo Māori by Fairfax-owned Suburban Newspapers in New Zealand by the Te Rōpu Whariki research team, reporting of Islam in Australia, the Australian country press, and the development of a cross-cultural communications degree in Oman by a New Zealand university.

Book reviews include investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror.

This edition, published in partnership with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney is being published next week on October 20.

Edition editors: Professor Wendy Bacon, Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli and Associate Professor David Robie.
More information on the Pacific Media Centre website: www.pmc.aut.ac.nz


Contacts: Dr David Robie (Pacific Media Centre) + 64 9 921 9999 x7834

Alex Perrottet (Pacific Media Watch) + 64 9 921 9388

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