Confirmed reports: Indonesian security forces prepare to attack Congress 3 gathering to disperse participants

Confirmed reports: Indonesian security forces prepare to attack Congress 3 gathering to disperse participants


October 18, 2011 1045 Jayapura time.

Credible local stringers for West Papua Media have sent urgent messages reporting that several hundred fully armed Indonesian police and military are taking up offensive positions outside the offices of the DPRD, The Papuan People’s Provincial Assembly. Two Indonesian Army Pansers with .50 calibre machineguns, one company of soldiers from the TNI and 1 SSK (Strategic Company – 150) of Brimob paramilitary police in full combat gear are making manoeuvres to attempt to dissolve the gathering of the Third Papuan Peoples‘ Congress, which has attracted up to 20,000 delegates from all over Papua.
see from last night:

Please stay tuned for further information and reports


West Papua Media has been provided with phone numbers for the head of Police in Abepura, who is responsible for ordering his troops not to attack the Congress gathering.  Please call  Polsek Abe +62967581230/+62967581110 and tell them that they will be held to account for all of their actions.

Please demand the police immediately return their troops to barracks, and take their heavy weapons off the streets; and allow West Papuan delegates to return home safely.

TPN/OPM on border rejects Third Papuan Congress; Journalists meet OPM commander

Bntang Papua, 14 October 2011TPN/OPM along border rejects Third Papuan Congress

On the eve of the Third Papuan Congress,  there are differences of opinion between those who support it and those who are opposed. The commander of the TPN/OPM – National Liberation Army/Papuan Independence Movement, Lambert Pekikir has strongly rejected the congress.

According to Pekikir, the congress will not solve the problem. The TPN/OPM only supports secession from the Indonesian Republic. Speaking frankly in an interview with Bintang Papua, Lambert Pekikir said that the two previous congresses had not produced any results. ‘The first congress produced nothing while the second congress also produced nothing and was later followed by the law on special autonomy. So what’s the use of having a third congress?’ he said.

When Lambert Pekikir was approached by Bintang Papua, he was holding a ceremony with about fifty members of his army, all of them bearing arms. He said that the TPN/OPM was involved in a tireless struggle  during which much blood has been shed and many lives have been lost. He said that this struggle would continue and described the congress as a mistake. ‘What the people want,’ he said, ‘is independence. Participation in the congress is a mistake.’

According to Pekikir, ‘Independence is the answer to the deaths, the blood and tears shed  up until now . We have suffered for a very long time, the situation has been very difficult for us,  so dont try to deceive us with cheap tricks. Our struggle will lead to freedom and the congress cannot answer this.’

He said that the OPM and its military forces reject all offers made by the Indonesian NKRI government in any efforts to solve the political conflict in the land of West Papua.


In a separate article, Bintang Papuan describes its meeting with Lambert Pekikir as follows:

Following the news that the Third Papuan Congress would be held, those who are living in the jungle at the TPN/OPM headquarers and along the border invited Bintang Papua  to visit them in the jungle.

In this connection, I along with two other journalists met Pekikir  to hear his views regarding the congress.

The following is a description of the journey we took to meet him.

/By Bento Maduban/.

The name of Lambert Pekikir is well-known to people in Jayapura and throughout Papua, and in particular to the security forces. He is known for the series of actions he and his men have launched in Jayapura and along the RI-PNG border as well as in Keerom and in Serui although Pekikir denies some of this.

‘He’ a friendly guy,’ said a journalist colleague who met Pekikir some time ago.’It was several years ago so I dont know whether he has changed since then.’

We set off on our journey at crack of dawn. We first travelled in a vehicle and after two hours, we got down from the vehicle and entered an area by foot that I had never been to before. We walked through thick high grass – /imperata cylindrica -/ going uphill and through forests.

There were four men who we did not know walking ahead of us, guiding us through the thick forest and two armed men appeared behind us, keeping watch over the path we had taken.. ‘Please talk very softly,’ said one of the men in front. We walked on for about one more hour after which one of them said, ‘It’s only another kilometre.’

Walking with six men who I didn’t know, two of whom were armed  was scary, but our fears were overwhelmed by our desire to hear what Pekikir wanted to say to us. We had been invited to meet Pekikir who wanted to tell what he thought of the congress which was due to start on 16 October.

Soon we came face to face with a heavily bearded man, carrying a weapon by his side. ‘Welcome! I hope you have had a pleasant journey,’ he said as he shook our hands in a firm grip, smiling broadly. We were invited to continue to walk with the commnder of the Victoria command.  ‘You must be very tired after your journey,’ he said, laughing.

This fellow has a sense of humour, I thought after we introduced ourselves . ‘Let us have a smoke together,’ he said as he invited us to sit down. ‘We have often spoken by phone,’ I said. ‘I am from Bintang Papua and now at last I have been able to meet you, Uncle Lambert.’  He replied with a broad smile and nodded.

After a few minutes, he  shouted something that must have been in code for suddenly from behind the trees and grass surrounding us, emerged dozens of armed men. This came as a huge surprise to us as we had no idea there were so many armed men around. This was a very successful move .’They are on picket duty,’ said Lambert.

The fifty or so men marched in line before their commander as he stood taking the salute, with two men on each side, both bearing arms. Another man standing in the middle was holding aloft the Morning Star flag which was 2m x 3m in size and was tied to a pole that was four metres long.  Standing in front was a man who was the master of ceremony.

This meeting which is being held to explain the opinion of the OPM and its military wing  will start with a prayer,’ said the master of ceremony. The prayer was recited by Lambert Pekikir, after which our discussions began. As this was going on, I thought to myself: ‘What an amazing ceremony, deep in the forest.’

Then, Lambert Pekikir read out the following statement:

‘As fighters for an Independent Papua who have struggled for many years with our military force, we of the Tentara Pembebasan Nasional/ Papua Barat declare: the following: (1) We firmly reject any offers from the Indonesian government to resolve the political conflict in the land of West Papua, (2) We reject and do not recognise the Third Papuan Congress which will open on 16 October.’

Other things were then mentioned by Pekikir such as the recent shooting in Nafri and along Abe Coast. His further remarks will be reported in our next report.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Indonesian senior minister will not be attending Papuan Congress

Bintang  Papua, 17 October 2011Although Selpius Bobii, chairman of the Third Papuan People’s Congress recently announced that President Susilo Bambanf Yudhoyono had decided that the minister-coordinator for  political affairs and law would be representing the Indonesian government at the congress and would be the opening speaker and  that the government would provide financial assistance to the congress, it has now been announced that minister-coordinator Djoko Suyanto will not after all be attending the congress.

Journalists protest over reporter beaten up in Freeport mine clash

Tabloidjubi, with PMC

Leo WandagauLeo Wandagau … wounded in a separate Freeport mine clash when security forces opened fire. He died later in Timika District Hospital. Photo: Jubi

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By a special correspondent in Timika

Dozens of journalists have demonstrated in Manokwari to protest in solidarity with a colleague who was allegedly beaten up by workers of  Freeport-McMoran during a clash in Timika, Papua, as tension worsens at the giant Grasberg copper mine.

Duma Tato Sanda, a journalist working for Cahaya  Papua, suffered from bruises and swelling  in his cheeks, lips and his waist and was punched in the chest.

Sally Pelu, coordinator of the Papuan People’s Solidarity Action for Press Freedom, said:  “Journalists are continually being subjected to acts  of violence and there is no guarantee that we can do our work of  gathering information freely.”

The journalists condemned the violence used against their colleague and called on the DPR, the central legislative council, to support the right of journalists  to conduct their work freely.

The journalists met a member of the DPRP West Papua, Jaxat, who apologised for the fact that many members of the DPRP were absent, because they were involved in other activities.

According to reports, Duma also lost his camera, handphone and motor-bike which were all seized by Freeport workers.

“They beat me , grabbed my camera and took my motorbike,” said Duma.

Trucks burned
When he was attacked he was gathering information about the burning of three trucks belonging to Freeport which had been set on fire by Freeport workers.

The trouble occurred after people heard that three of  their colleagues had been shot dead during a demonstration.

“I said that I was a journalist but nevertheless they beat me and threw stones at me.  Luckily, someone came by on a motorbike otherwise I could have been killed from being beaten by so many people.”

He wadded that he was later chased by about ten people – “my sandals fell off while some people pelted me with stones”.

Johannes Samuel Nussy, the chairman of the Timika Community of  Journalists, also condemned the acts of violence against Duma and said that another journalist working from Radar Timika, Syahrul was also attacked by Freeport  workers in Gorong-Gorong, Timika and was bruised in his face.

“They beat me because they didn’t want journalists to be there.” he said.

Freeport ‘relationship’
According to  Nussy, some journalists in Timika have formed a relationship with Freeport.

“They [the protesting workers] see the work of journalists as  something threatening. They say we are defending Freeport, which is not true. We hope that the workers trade union can urge their colleagues
not to see journalists as a threat.”

The independent Papuan tabloid Jubi reported that Leo Wandagau, victim of a separate clash between security forces and Freeport workers in Gorong-gorong Terminal on October 10 died on Saturday in Timika. He was shot by security member during the riot.

Wandagau was shot in his back (see picture) and treated in Timika District Hospital. Beside Wandagau there are several others who were also wounded in that clash. They are Melkias Rumbiak (36), Ahmad Mustofa,  42; Yunus Nguvuluduan; Charry Suripto, 35; Philiton Kogoya, 34; Alios Komba, 26; and Rudolf Rumbino.

The Workers Union (PUK-SP-KEP-SPSI-PTFI) told Jubinews by email that the family of Wandagau had not given any approval for autopsy.

They said Wandagau looked alright and not in critical condition in the video shot when he was admitted to hospital.

There might be other causes on his death, the family stated which was quoted by the union in their email.

The Freeport mine management did not release any explanation over the shootings.

Spokesman Ramdani Sirait  said nothing about the incident until Jubi reported the news.  (Reported by Victor Mambor, translated for the PMC by Sony Ambudi)

Media freedom report
Meanwhile, Pacific Scoop editor David Robie, who is director of the Pacific Media Centre, today spoke to Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat about the threats to media in West Papua.

A new Pacific media freedom report by the centre’s Pacific Journalism Reviewsays repression in the province has now also reached the news media.

It adds that violence against journalists in West Papua has replaced censorship in Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region.

“We made a particular feature of West Papua, although, of course, there are major sections in the report that deal elsewhere with Fiji and Vanuatu, in particular, that are ongoing freedom concerns,” Dr Robie said.

The report was co-authored by Pacific Media Watch editor Alex Perrottet and Dr Robie with assistance by West Papua Media’s editor Nick Chesterfield and other journalists, including Giff Johnson, Bob Howarth and Nic Maclellan.

Source: The alternative Papuan tabloid and news portal Jubi.

Pacific media freedom report on West Papua

West Papua new Pacific media black spot

Journalists assaulted in Freeport mine strike

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