Daily Archives: March 29, 2012

Structural discrimination against Papuans in many districts of Papua

[A very revealing report about how indigenous Papuans are being denied access to something as basic as education, thus maintaining their position as the underdog – TAPOL]JUBI, 23 March 2012

 

The author of the book, Paradoks Papua, The Papuan Paradox. said that there is systematic discrimination against the indigenous Papuan people in Keerom in all fields of endeavour.

Cipry  Jehan, the author, was speaking at a seminar on Just Development which was convened by the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Keerom.

‘There is structural social injustice in the district of Keerom and it is structured around peoples’ clans and religions.’

He said that this discrimination is apparent in all facets of life and is because the government concentrates all its development activities in the districts of Arso and Skamto.

‘Both these districts are populated by transmigrants (newcomers from outside Papua) whereas indigenous Papuans live mostly in Waris and Towe and they are not catered for in all this development.’

He said that discrimination in the field of education is evident from the nursery school level  right up to secondary school level. For example, in this district [Keerom], nursery schools [taman kanak-kanak] are spread right across  the districts whereas in the districts of Waris and Towe Hitam which is where the majority of the population are indigenous Papuans, there are no educational facilities at all. ‘Education facilities for the  Papuans  are very disappointing indeed.’

The author who is himself from the island of Flores.said he feels very sorry for the indigenous people in Keerom who are not getting their right to education. ‘This is after all one of the most important of all peoples rights. The government  pays no attention to this important matter.

‘The government is much more consistent about sending troops to this area than sending teachers.and doctors,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL

POLICE SEIZE FUEL, OWN GAS STATIONS IN NABIRE, PAPUA

by John Pakage for West Papua Media

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Opinion

PROTESTS AGAINST FUEL PRICES INCREASE SWEEP INDONESIA AND PAPUA

In Nabire, Papua, there are gas stations owned by active Police officers, and rumours are circulating that security forces are manipulating subsidized fuel stocks in Papua. While in Papua Police officers own gas stations, elsewhere Police officers are seizing fuel belonging to civilians. Take for example the case in Tuban, East Java: on March 22, 17 drums of diesel fuel were found by police during sweeping raids to counter fuel hoarding in anticipation of the Indonesian government’s increases to fuel prices which come into effect April 1 2012.

Besides this, Police Inspector-General Saud Usman Nasution, Division Head/Community Relations, also stated that there have been no fewer than 266 charges laid in 232 cases of fuel hoarding in Kalimantan, with a further 11 cases still under investigation. If Police are empowered to seize people’s fuel, then who can tackle the Police’s control of fuel stocks in Papua?

Meanwhile though the price of fuel has yet to increase officially, in Papua and especially in the areas of the interior, fuel prices have already skyrocketed up to Rp. 20 000-30 000 ($2.15-3.25 USD) per litre, leaving one to wonder: just how high will prices rise after April 1?

To oppose the program of the SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono)-Boediono government to raise fuel prices from Rp. 5000 to 6500 ($0.55 to $0.70 USD), mass protests have spread throughout Indonesia. With students and workers leading the way, it is not simply party cadres demonstrating, but even housewives are taking to the streets and refusing to accept the government’s policy.

Regrettably, at the time of these massive demonstrations, President SBY, who was selected by the Indonesian people, has not even been present in Indonesia. Will the President answer the demands of the people, meet with them and comment on their aspirations? Until now no such word has been uttered by the President.

Many parties judge fuel prices increase to be unrelated to world fuel price fluctuations but rather intended simply to increase net revenues, as suggested by Hendrawan Supratikno, member of Committee 5 of the People’s Legislative Assembly (DPR), Tuesday March 27.

Of course, the increase to fuel prices is felt directly by the people, such that a coalition of Papuan students from different Universities in Jayapura have demonstrated in front of the Papua People’s Legislative Assembly (DPRP), Tuesday March 27.

Alas, the government seems unwilling to alter its fuel increase policy even facing masses of thousands organizing actions all over Indonesia.

Still, the efforts to pressure the Indonesian government continue. These actions have brought victims: the protest in Jakarta left 15 people injured after a clash with police at Gambir, Central Jakarta; the victims were taken to Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM).

Here are the names of those hospitalized, as posted at RSCM Emergency Department:

1. Fajar, student from Univertas Pamulang (UNPAM)

2. Makmun, student from UNPAM

3. Pungky, student from UNPAM

4. Erwin, student from Palu, South Sulawesi

5. Fariz, from Lenteng Agung

6. Ahmad Sofyan, student from UNPAM

7. Okki, student at IISIP

8. Alif al hafidi from Bogor

9. Alan Fitnur from Cirebon

10. Moch Taufik

11. Moh. Imam, student from BSI

12. Idris Syahrian, PDIP officer, Bekasi

13. Ahmad Bagja from Komplek Depag, Tangerang

14. Bribtu Dhany, from Mako Den B, Pelopor Cipinang

15. Zein, student from Sulawesi

Besides this, in Makassar as well, Metro TV has reported on the beating of a student by Police. The student’s condition is of course cause for serious concern.

Meanwhile, President SBY continues to sojourn overseas. To counter the mass demonstrations, SBY has deployed thousands of Military (TNI) troops as well as fully armed Police units. Not only this, but Interior Minister Gamawan Fauzi asserted that if the legislation confirming the fuel price increase is made law then local and regional officials known to participate in protest actions will be fired.

The increasing authoritarian and undemocratic character of the State is becoming more visible, as laws guaranteeing freedom of public expression are being pushed aside.

The Interior Minister’s pressure has not succeeded in reducing the number of state officials joining in voicing the people’s aspirations. In East Java, Mayor of Surabaya Bambang Dwi Hartono, who is also a cadre of PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle Faction), joined the protests rejecting the President’s policy.

Responding to the grave threat from the Interior Minister towards the Mayor of Surabaya, Bambang Dwi Hartono stated that he was chosen by the people of East Java therefore the Minister may go ahead and fire him.

The Mayor’s weighty decision is an example worthy of emulation: putting one’s position on the line for the good of many.

# John Pakage/westpapuamedia