Monthly Archives: November 2012

FIVE MONTHS AS REFUGEES EATING ONLY SAGO WORMS AND WOOD WORMS

ELSHAM NEWS SERVICE

16 November 2012

Keerom, – It was early and the streets were not too crowded  when I started my journey from Abepura, Kota Baru District at 6.30 a.m. (Papuan time) to Arso, in Keerom which is a drive of about two hours and a half by two wheeler.

After arriving in Arso, I went on to the village of Kwor and arrived at about 9:16 a.m., and from the village of Kwor I continued the journey towards the bivouacs of the internally displaced people (IDPs) who had run into the forests, out of fear for their lives.

During the six-hour drive through the gardens, rivers and forest, I arrived at the bivouacs of the IDPs: the 38 people were scattered in four different bivouacs; they came from three villages, namely, Sawyatami (11 IDPs), Workwana (9 IDPs) and of PIR III Bagia (18 IDPs).

The group of IDPs who settled in the bivouacs in the middle of the forest, is composed of 20 men and 18 women. Among the IDPs, there are seven (7) children under the age of five (toddlers).  In addition to parents and toddlers, there are 15 students consisting of eight (8) elementary school students, four (4) junior high school students and three (3) high school students. These students have not attended school for the last five months.

In the camps, the IDPs could rely only on food collected from around the bivouacs likesago, sago worms, wood worms and wild boar. “We have stayed out here in the forest for five months, and in order to survive, the only thing we could eat were sago worms and wood worms and the only thing we could drink was water from the creek,” said LK (68yr), a traditional leaders who is also on the run.

The condition of the refugees is very deplorable: there are two pregnant women, namely the two-month pregnant Rosalina Minigir (36 yr), and the four-month pregnant Agustina Bagiasi (35 yr). Another woman, Aleda Kwambre (28 yr) gave birth to a baby girl at the shelter camp. At the present, two babies were found to be in very poor health conditions: Penina Pekikir (3 yr) and Ruth Kimber (1 yr), and if the situation persists they could turn critical.

“I am afraid of Kopassus [the Indonesian special forces]. I saw how they came with their guns, entered into the village of PIR III and started shooting. So I was afraid of going to school,” said CK (17) who ran away and stopped attending school because he did not feel safe anymore, after all the acts intimidation by the security forces.

NY (8yr) expressed the same fear as CK, as she says with a timid voice:”It’s been a long time since I attended school, I was afraid when I saw the soldiers flying over the village with their helicopters.”

MT (38yr) also expressed disappointment with the local government of the Keerom District, as it was unable to ensure safety and security for the indigenous Papuans in Keerom. “I am angry because these high officials, local government officials, regents, scholars, community leaders, traditional leaders and religious leaders,  do not care about us in this forest. I was scared when I saw these police officers, they went into the villages and they just started shooting. I was afraid so I had to run into the forest” she said, sobbing.

The refugees expressed the hope that ELSHAM Papua would return with international human rights institutions to mediate their return to their respective villages. “Christmas is near; we were not able to gather money for the celebrations. These children have not attended school for five months. So we really hope that ELSHAM can help us so we can return to our village,” said FK (50yr), filled with hope.

As reported earlier by ELSHAM, the 38 locals had fled from the three villages because they were afraid of ongoing sweeping operations conducted by the joint Indonesian military and police forces in Keerom, since the shooting of Yohanes Yanuprom, the head of the village of Sawyatami on 1 July 2012.

Up to the date of this report, the IDPs remain in the forest without proper food and adequate medicine.

Elsham News Service

 

Police in Papua claim to set up team to investigate terror incidents around Freeport

TITO KARNAVIAN
TITO KARNAVIAN (Photo credit: RubyGoes)

 

Bintang Papua,

 

 

9 November, 2012

 

Timika: The chief of police in Papua has announced that he will be setting up a special team to investigate recent acts of terror in the vicinity of the Freeport copper-and-gold mine which is located in the district of Mimika,

Inspector-General Tito Karnavian said that the special team will be charged with mapping the incidents and investigating each one so ensure that they are properly solved.

‘The team will be instructed to handle each case seriously. What happens at present that when an incident occurs, everyone talks about it  but then is disappears.’

The chief of police spent two days in the area with a number of officers and inspected the open pit mining (Grasberg) as well as the underground mines.

He stressed the need for the incidents to be handled seriously.  There have been a number of shootings in the Freeport area since 2009, but in most cases, the perpetrators have not been found.

During the past three years, he said, there have been ‘hundreds’ of shooting incidents leading to the death of twenty people which has included members of the police force, members of the company’s internal security force as well as local people who are involved in traditional mining.

As regards the general situation in Papua, the chief of police said that everything is quiet and under control.  He went on to say that there have been a number of terror incidents in Wamena which have been solved as well as  cases of the discovery of explosive material in Timika.  Six people who are thought to be involved in explosive material are currently in the custody of the police and are being interrogated. He said that the cases are being handled in accordance with legal procedures. ‘Anyone who is deemed to be guilty will be processed according to the law.’

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

(WPM Note: Bintang Papua has only reported what Karnavian has alleged.  However, the facts of the Wamena terror arrests, and also the facts surrounding the ongoing OTK shootings near Freeport have all pointed to the clear involvement of the security forces.  If this new Karnavian announcment is the pretext for another wave of crackdowns on local Papuan people instead of the perpetrators in the security forces who are making massive profit of protection rackets and illegal gold mining in Freeport, and in order to justify their security budget, then Karnavian must be aware that most of Papuan civil society knows this is just window dressing.  Karnavian knows full well the perpetrators of security incidents, he is just too afraid to go and arrest his big brothers in Kopassus.  This strategy is disingenuous, as arresting the wrong people will ensure that the OTK attacks continue, even after the alleged culprits have been extrajudicially executed by the Karnavian death squads of Detachment 88, funded, armed and trained by Australia, UK and the US.)

 

 

LP3BH-Manokwari calls for dialogue between Papua and Indonesia

COMMENT by Yan Christian Warinussy
Executive-Director of LP3BH, Manokwari
November 14, 2012In the concluding months of 2012, there have been many more acts of violence in Papua and West Papua which reflects very badly on the government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) at a time when development, good governance and security  are essential in the Land of Papua as an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). This is happening as a time when many countries  which are members of the UN Human Rights Council are closely watching the situation, following the  Universal Periodic Review  in May 2012, which made  180 recommendations, thirty of which were rejected by the Indonesian government.

One of the recommendations that was rejected was that arrests and detentions on the basis of Articles 106 and 110 for treason should stop. This means that the state will continue to take firm measures, possibly including the use of firearms, against peaceful actions by members of civil society who give expression to their opinions and political views which are opposed to the views of the government. Several activists of the  National Committee of West Papua (KNPB)  have been summoned and interrogated and are likely to be charged for treason. One of these activists is Alexander Nekenem, chairman of the DWP, the local parliament, who was recently summoned  by the police in Manokwari.

The Indonesian government has also rejected the recommendation regarding freedom of expression for persons who have been detained merely for taking peaceful actions, a recommendation that was made by the USA and Canada. What this means is that Filep Kara, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Sananay Karma and Dominikus Sorabut  will continue to be deprived of their lawful right to freedom of expression.

Another very bad thing for the Papuan people is that the Indonesian government has rejected the recommendation by the Japanese government which called on Indonesia to end all violation of  human rights  by the security forces (TNI and Polri, the army and the police), because the Indonesian government claims that this is not relevant for Papua because it is not in accord with the facts, whatever they mean by the facts. In my opinion, the Indonesian government’s rejection of this means that there will continue to be an intensification of violence and hence systematic abuses of basic human rights which will continue to occur into the future in the Land of Papua.

In view of all this, as Executive Director of the LP3BH and a defender of human rights in the Land of Papua, I urge the SBY government  to open up space for dialogue  between Papua and Indonesia before the end of 2012. The SBY government should appoint a team of people to meet Father Dr. Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papuan Peace Network, in order to discuss  the format of this dialogue. This would mean that by early 2013,  preparations could be started for a dialogue between the Indonesian government and the Papuan people.

In my opinion, dialogue is the best path to take, in the interests of justice, peace and dignity on both sides, as the way, according to universal standards, to resolve  the conflicting political views which have existed for such a long time, causing the deep frustration  that has borne down both on the Papuan people and the Indonesian government to this very day.

In this way, the Indonesian government would  win the respect of the international community for  having accepted that the political conflict that has lasted for such a long time should be resolved b means of dialogue.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Report on the US ambassador’s meetings with various government agencies and institutions

(via Tapol) The following is a summary of two lengthy reports in Bintang Papua on 7 and 8 November about the visit earlier this month of the US ambassador Scot Marciel, to West Papua:
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DPRP Meetings
During discussions with members of the Papuan Provincial Legislative Assembly (DPRP), the ambassador expressed strong support for the special autonomy law enacted eleven years ago and said that the US government recognises West Papua as a part of the Republic of Indonesia.He said that his main interest was in the development programme in West Papua and to discuss possible collaboration in this process.

The deputy head  of the DPRP, Yunus Wonda, said the ambassador was keen to know what the priorities were in development and said the ambassador  was particularly interested in education and health.

He also asked about the difficulties surrounding the election of the governor which resulted in the election being delayed for two years. Yunus explained that  the problems had emerged because of a dispute in the MK (This presumably refers to the Constitutional Court – Tapol).

With regard to education, the ambassador said that the US is willing to help by providing study opportunities to young Papuans in the US.

Yunus asked the ambassador how many indigenous Papuans were now studying in the US, adding that they were keen to know the names of these people, to see whether they were indeed indigenous Papuans.

The DPRP also called on the US  to support the idea of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. He said that they would not use this dialogue to press for independence  for Papua but were only interested in advancing the implementation of the special autonomy law.

——————

Talks with military personnel

Marciel said that the US was very impressed by the developments that had already been achieved and also with the reforms that had been made with regard to the TNI (the Indonesian army). These remarks were made during a meeting between the ambassador and senior officers of the provincial military command. On this occasion the ambassador met the chief of staff of the military command along with seven other senior officers.

In a press release issued by the US team, the ambassador referred to Freeport and asked for clarifications about the company and wanted to know whether there could be more collaboration (with the company) in education, culture and security.

The chief of staff explained that according  to Law 34/2004,  the military were now implementing ‘soft power’ in their territorial operations in Papua, and were keen to assist in speeding up development and human resources so as to ensure that West Papua would not continue to lag behind other parts of Indonesia.

In response to the ambassador’s question as to why the duties of the military command in West Papua were so much greater here than elsewhere and required a very different approach, the chief of staff said that the military were acting in accordance with their noble duties as ‘Noble Protectors of the People’  (Ksatria Pelindung  Rakyat).

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MRP Meeting

During a meeting with the first deputy chairman of the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Council) Hofni Simbiak, the ambassador said he wanted to know more about the election of the governor and to know more about governmental affairs in the Province of Papua. Hofni said that even a very large tree could be felled at any time.  Because of this, he said that he hoped that there would be more diplomatic visits to Papua so as to give guidance on leadership on the province.

He said that the ambassador’s visit was a good opportunity to discuss the gubernatorial problem, as well as the whole process of government. in the province.  He said that they were very interested in this matter so as to ensure the the common people would not be victims of this situation.

He explained that because of the continued absence of an elected governor, no budget had been produced and there was no one who could take responsibility (for finances).  This was having serious consequences for the people.  (Simbiak) said that they had urged the KPU (Electoral Commission) to discuss this matter with the provincial government and to take firm action on the matter.   He said it was extremely important for a governor to be elected because without this, the services provided by the governor were not available and this was leading to big problems for the people.

The ambassador said that the American people were aware of the difficulties regarding the governor and said: ‘We are having an election of our president in the US and face the same situation as you here in Papua because we are keen to provide help for the government here in the fields of education, health and forestry.’

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Meeting with Tito Karnavian

In a meeting with Inspector-General of the  Police Force, Tito Karnavian,  the ambassador expressed support for  the developments already achieved by the police.

The chief of police said that when they were confronted with acts of violence, they always act in accordance with the law and in a professional manner, keeping the use of violence to a minimum. He also spoke about their activities to combat corruption so as to ensure that the development budget could serve the interests of the people.

He said that the ambassador had stressed the importance of  transparency and in case of acts of abuse by the police, everything should be made public.  When he asked in what way the US could help, the chief of staff said that they could be given advice on how best to deal with demonstrations.   The second point he made was that for purposes of investigation, the difficulty is that there is no forensic laboratory in Papua.  His third point was about the need for working together especially with Bhayangkari (the organisation of wives of the military), in particular with regard to partnerships with the people.

In response, the ambassador expressed great enthusiasm and said he hoped that joint programmes would be conducted in the next four or five years.

Marciel also expressed support for the police pursuing a lenient approach and the need to avoid projecting an image of the police as being involved only in arresting and detaining people but should prioritise activities that bring them close to the people.

[Translated by TAPOL]

[COMMENT: There is no mention at all of the ambassador having met leaders of Papuan organisations such as DAP, the Council of Indigenous People, KontraS Papua, ELSHAM-Papua or other people’s organisations.]

 

On its 7th anniversary, the MRP keen to intensify its collaboration with other bodies

Bintang Papua
5 November 2012Jayapura: Timotius Murib, the chairman of the MRP – Majelis  Rakyat Papua, Papuan People’s Council –  said that the council is keen to have close relations with  all governmental organisations in Papua including the provicial administration, the legislative assembly and other possible partners.

He was speaking on the occasion of the council’s seventh anniversary, on 31 October.

‘I would like to say that these communications are very important. Sitting together with indigenous groups  can achieve a great deal in everyone’s interests, including the indigenous Papuan people, the Papuan community in general and Indonesia as a whole.’

He said that he recognises that collaboration with executive and legislative bodies  is a way for the executive to be made aware of the complaints of the indigenous group, the women’s group and the religious group in the MRP. The MRP had undertaken efforts of this nature with women’s group in 2012, when they advocated  the setting up of women’s groups in the districts of Timika and Keerom.

The religious group in the MRP held meetings and consultations with the department of religion in Papua in order to encourage better relations between the various religions in Papua.and to register the number of religious adherents among the indigenous Papuan people.

Murib said that  this was very important  as part of efforts to provide protection and advancement of the indigenous rights of the indigenous Papuan people among the various religious groups in Papua. But he also acknowledged that there were factors that impeded these efforts because some people believe that the MRP has no authority to get involved in  governmental affairs or in local government agencies.

This approach was regarded by some people as mistaken because it had had a major impact on  the work of the MRP during the recent period.  The person who made this criticism said that such an approach  had had an impact on the work of the MRP in its work to produce special regulations known as Perdasus, as part of the requirements of the special autonomy law (OTSUS) for Papua, including regulations regarding ways to implement its duties, its powers, its rights and its responsibilities.

But another view was also expressed, namely that the MRP  does not have legislative powers but does have the authority to submit ideas to the governor, the DPRP and the chiefs in the districts and municipalities. on matters related the the rights of the indigenous Papuan groups. According to this view, what the MRP had done  was quite correct.

[Translated by TAPOL]