Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pacific Scoop: Sir Michael Somare calls on MSG to be ‘inventive’ over West Papuan future

Pacific.scoop.co.nz  – republished with permission

June 21, 2013

Melanesian Spearhead Group

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By PACNEWS editor Makereta Komai in Noumea

One of the founding fathers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, says granting West Papuan membership of the sub-regional bloc must be done on the basis that it is a Melanesian community and not because it is a sovereign independent state.

“A not too dissimilar arrangement can be found in the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) where Taiwan and Hong Kong, regarded by many as part of China, participate in development with independent sovereign states.

“The point here is that MSG has to be inventive,” said Sir Michael.

If, West Papua eventually becomes a “member” of the MSG, it will serve as the venue for both Indonesia and West Papua to dialogue and regularly brief MSG countries on developments in West Papua, said the longest serving Papua New Guinea Prime Minister.

Speaking at the MSG Silver Jubilee celebration in Noumea yesterday, Sir Michael had a few words of advice for West Papuan pro-independence activists.

“You need to learn to sit down and talk about your issues with Indonesia. Your leaders, chiefs and activists must discuss ways to find solutions to your problem. Your problem is an internal one and our countries have no right to interfere into sovereign issues of Indonesia.

“You should not bring your problem from your side to us because, like PNG, we have diplomatic relations with Indonesia and we share a common border, said the Grand Chief.

‘Willing to understand’
Sir Michael said during his days in government, Indonesia indicated that it was willing to understand and solve the problems in West Papua.

“Indonesia has appointed West Papuans as administrators and other leadership positions as it tries to explore ways to assimilate West Papuans into their society.

The head of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Dr Otto Ondawame responded, saying every attempt had been to hold dialogue with the Indonesians.

“We already tried in 2011 to talk with Indonesia, we wrote letters to start a peaceful dialogue but still nothing. The problem is not on our side but with the Indonesian government and its military,” said Dr Ondawame.

Dr Ondawame said any peaceful dialogue with Indonesia must be made with a third party.

On what the MSG should do, even before it admits West Papua as a member, Sir Michael said MSG should invite West Papua to cultural events, sporting activities and technical skills exchange.

“West Papua after all has a significant Melanesian community,” said Sir Michael.

MSG Leaders will consider the application for West Papua membership today.

Source: PACNEWS [2]


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Anti-apartheid leader dedicates award to the people of West Papua

June 22, 2013

by Jason MacLeod for West Papua Media

This week in Boston the Rev. James Lawson, the civil rights leader who worked alongside Martin Luther King, presented awards to leaders of four civil resisters. The awardees are leaders of movements for environmental protection, defending indigenous people, political rights, and the end of racial oppression.  One of this year’s winners is Mkuseli (Khusta) Jack, the strategist who led consumer boycotts in South Africa during the darkest days of apartheid.  In his acceptance speech Khusta said “I dedicate this award, which is lodged deep in my heart, to the people of West Papua.”

“People all round the world have to turn their lens to the abuses committed by the Indonesian authorities in West Papua” said Khusta. “They have to hear the cries of the West Papuan people for self-determination.”

Deploring the fact that West Papuan people have been denied the right to a free and fair vote about their political future Khusta remarked that “in this day and age there is no room for any form of colonization or encroachment on a people. This discrimination is even worse when it is based on racism” he added.

South African civil resistance leader Mkuseli (Khusta) Jack with West Papuan campaigner Benny Wenda after dedicating his award to the West Papuan struggle. (Photo: J. MacLeod for West Papua Media)
South African civil resistance leader Mkuseli (Khusta) Jack with West Papuan campaigner Benny Wenda after dedicating his award to the West Papuan struggle. (Photo: J. MacLeod for West Papua Media)

Turning directly to Benny Wenda, the West Papuan leader who was present at the awards ceremony, Khusta said “you must continue to fight for your right. You shall be free; it is only a matter of time.”

As leader of the United Democratic Front, a coalition of over 500 civilian based resistance groups aligned with the African National Congress, Mkuseli Jack demonstrated how the costs of apartheid could be transferred from the people of black townships to the commercial business community on which the support and revenue of the government partly depended. It was this strategy of withdrawing people’s buying power that alongside strikes by black workers and external sanctions by foreign governments, created the context for negotiations between Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk that finally brought the edifice of apartheid tumbling down.

Rev. James Lawson and Benny Wenda. (Photo: J. MacLeod for West Papua Media
Rev. James Lawson and Benny Wenda. (Photo: J. MacLeod for West Papua Media

Rev. Lawson also had some advice for the West Papuans. The key to any successful civil resistance struggle is fierce discipline, rigorous planning and strategy. Exhibiting the qualities of the respected pastor he is, Rev. Lawson took Wenda by the hands and told him that “the power of life in you that makes you strong is the power of God, the power of truth. Be strong. Be courageous. Organise the struggle. You are on the side of history and truth.”

UK based West Papuan campaigner Benny Wenda meeting with Rev, James Lawson (25;00).  Video from ICNC.

In the late 1950s Martin Luther King Jnr. asked Rev. Lawson to travel to the South to help led the nonviolent struggle for basic rights that were then denied by the United States government. Rev. Lawson trained students from Nashville in the strategy and tactics of civil resistance. Lawson and the students successfully desegregated lunch-counters in the downtown area through determined nonviolent action. They then went on to organise other campaigns of the civil rights struggle.

After receiving the awards Rev. Lawson spent the remainder of the evening talking with Papuans about their struggle for freedom. Wenda said that it was a dream come true meeting Rev. Lawson and Mkuseli Jack. “The civil rights struggle in the United States and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa are beacons of hope for me and my people” said Wenda. “I know that one day we will be free.”

The awards speeches in full, including the section from Mkuseli Jack dedicating his award to West Papua (at 25:00)- with thanks to ICNC for the video

Besides Mkuseli Jack the other three winners of the James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice of Nonviolent Conflict are:

  • Evgenia Chirikova, the young Russian woman who co-founded Defend Khimki Forest, which has fought a long and so far successful campaign in the last ten years to prevent the destruction of an ancient-growth forest near Moscow.
  • Oscar Olivera, one of the key leaders of the campaign in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the 1990’s that prevented the privatization of water resources and helped spark broad popular participation in Bolivia’s democratic transition in the ensuing years.
  • Jenni Williams, the co-founder of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, who braved 52 arrests and gaolings due to ongoing protests for genuine political rights for all of the people of her country.

The Lawson Awards are presented annually by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict at The Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University during the Fletcher Summer Institute. It is awarded to practitioners, scholars and journalists whose work serves as a model for how nonviolent change can be developed, understood and explained.

Contention between representatives of West Papua and Indonesia at the 19th MSG Summit

 

OPINION

By Selpius Bobii

Abepura Prison, 18 June 2013

“ I Baltazar Kambuanya on behalf of both myself and my family most sincerely apologise to the wider Papuan A3 family (of Aitinyo, Ayamaru and Aifat tribes) in the Jayapura area for my involvement in the Indonesian delegation to block West Papua becoming a member of the MSG”  stated the former Rector of the Cenderawasih University (Uncen), who is presently the Indonesian Minister for the Living Environment.  Professor Dr Baltazar Kambuanya M.BA sent this brief message to the wider Papuan family in the Jayapura region on 13 June 2013 to express his apologies for his involvement as a Papuan in the said Indonesian delegation to the 19th Summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) being held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 17 – 23 June 2013. (The theme of the 19th Summit being ‘Melanesian Identity’.)

Can such an apology in this instance be accepted by family, his tribal group and the wider Papuan community generally?  It is not appropriate or proper to expect an apology of this kind at this time to be accepted by the Papuan community that has tried so very hard to look for support and solidarity from our wider Melanesian family in neighbouring Melanesian countries.

There are a number of reasons such an apology in the present circumstances is unacceptable.  Firstly as those Papuans who were asked by the State of Indonesia to join the MSG Summit fully understand and are aware that the nation of Papua has struggled for 50 years for our full independence.  That Papua has been trying so very hard to receive acceptance as a full member of the MSG such that MSG might be a vehicle by which we might head towards accessing the mechanisms of the United Nations (U.N). Yet despite this full awareness they have gone as part of the Indonesian Delegation to the MSG Summit to block the efforts of West Papua to become a full member of the MSG.

Secondly, those individuals concerned joined the Indonesian Delegation to the MSG Summit being of full understanding and awareness that the community of the people of Papua has for 50 years been under the colonial domination of the Republic of Indonesia.  Endless Papuans have been killed, have suffered, have been arrested and imprisoned or have been forced to flee for their lives to the jungle or to other villages or even other nations looking for a safe place as a result of being chased by the Indonesian armed forces.  Those Papuan Indonesian delegates well know that so many Papuan women have been raped, that the Papuan people have been treated so oppressively and have been made a minority in our own lands, discriminated against and marginalised.  Such that we are now heading towards the extinction of our ethnic race as a result.  Even though those delegates know all these things full well, nevertheless they have gone as part of the Indonesian Delegation to block the efforts of the Papuan nation to bring an end to the colonial domination of Papua by Indonesia through a step that would open a door to the official channel of the U.N.

This is the first time in history that the nation of Papua has been invited to an MSG forum officially, with six (6) West Papuans having been formally invited to attend the 19th Summit by the host member country.  Yet this golden opportunity has met with this obstruction from a small number of Papuans themselves who have become the feet and hands of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), the ‘mistress’ of the State of Indonesia.  How very saddening indeed!

The third reason this offered apology cannot be easily accepted is that these persons know that they themselves are Papuans.. They are dark skinned, curly haired, indigenous to the island of Papua and ethnically from the Melanesian group.  They were carried in the womb of and born of Papuan mothers. They grew up with the fruits of the mother earth of Papua.  Yet with full awareness they have gone to the MSG Summit carrying the red and white flag of Indonesia to block the noble efforts of the entire Papuan nation to break the chains of oppression of the Republic of Indonesia by opening a door through the MSG.

The question begs why would these delegates want to obstruct the efforts of West Papua to become a member of the MSG?   There could be a number of reasons behind this including firstly that they have succumbed to the temptation of positions of power, wealth and other comforts offered to them by the State of Indonesia.  Financial wealth and the power of position together with the comforts they bring are indeed bargaining tools with an almost magical power.  They have mortgaged their self-worth for cheap offers that bring but worldly comforts.  They have been blinded by the worldly comforts offered to them, carried away by the current of earthly comforts and enjoyment such that in full awareness they have pawned their very self-worth and at the same time pawned the nation of Papua.

Go ahead and gather your earthly riches as much as you possibly can!  Go ahead and be appointed to whatever positions you like in the Indonesian system!  That is your human right and we will not stop you.  But do not again and again sell-out the noble struggle of the nation of Papua for such riches, positions of power and other comforts!  Do not again and again insult and humiliate the Struggle of the people of Papua with actions so vile.  Countless Papuans have died for this Struggle for freedom and have suffered in the depths of the jungles, in the valleys, in the coastal areas, in the mountains, in the prisons and by fleeing the land of their ancestors to foreign lands.

How ironic that the cleverness of those who have been well-educated and have become prominent intellectuals of Papua has been turned around and used to reinforce the colonial domination of their own families, their own tribal groups and their people by defending the Indonesian oppression.  They have been carried in the womb and born to mothers of Papua, have been raised and financially supported to bring about good for their families, tribes and nation and those around them.  Yet they have forgotten and do not know who they are.  They have allowed the colonizing state of Indonesia to lead them blindly by the hand and have prostituted themselves to RI and in so doing have prolonged the oppression towards their family, their tribes and the nation of West Papua.

They have in fact become a part of the very colonial systems of RI that has continually until the present time dominated and oppressed the nation of Papua.  Or are the actions of these Papuan Indonesian delegates to the MSG Summit caused by them feeling forced to do something that is in fact in conflict with their very consciences.  Indeed at times there are appointments of people to certain positions who are asked to take an oath to be faithful to the Republic of Indonesia, then as proof of their loyalty to RI they are required to do whatever is instructed of them by their superior.   If this was the case with these Papuans then it is nevertheless again a pawning of their self-worth in return for positions of power and the ideology of their people has been ‘sold-out’ for the ideology of a foreign nation.  This amounts to a betrayal of and a  traitorous act against the noble Struggle of the nation of Papua.

How deeply distressing that at the very same time the entire West Papuan community is struggling to find a way out from the colonial domination by the Republic of Indonesia, that there are some Papuans who are dancing upon the blood and tears of the entire West Papuan people!  Papuans who are obstructing the very road that leads to the liberation of the Papuan nation.  That at the same time Papuans are struggling so hard to bring an end to the oppression by RI in the land of Papua that there are certain Papuans that are in fact defending the colonial domination.  Papuans who are saying nothing against the oppression and who take no interest in uncovering the truth of what is going on.

These actions to obstruct the efforts of West Papua to become a member of the MSG are not done because of some defect or because of some lack of knowledge or understanding; rather these actions are taken with full awareness and comprehension of the problems faced by the Papuan people. These persons concerned clearly do not know who they really are, they do not know Papuan customary law and decency and do not know religious teachings. It is appropriate that they be called ‘traitors’.

It has been made publicly known that six (6) West Papuans led by Dr John Otto Onawame, had been invited to attend the MSG Summit being held from 17 – 23 June 2013 by the Host member.  This delegation includes Dr John Otto Onawame, Reck Rumaikiek, Andi Ayamiseba, Paula Makabori, and former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barack Sope as an advisor and one other delegate.  These persons representing Papua have been given an opportunity to convey the struggle of the nation of Papua and our longing to see an end to the colonial domination of our land and people by Indonesia; and to convey our longing to become an official member of the MSG as a first step in West Papua moving towards accessing  the mechanisms of the U.N. However at the very moment these representatives of Papua will be facing the challenge in the MSG forum, they will also be faced with those Papuans – the ‘mistress’ of the State of Indonesia – who have been officially sent by the State of Indonesia.  A delegation led by the Indonesian Ambassador responsible for travelling around visiting nations in the Pacific  Maikel Manufandu and Prof. Dr Baltazar Kambuaya  (In fact there have been a number of delegations sent by Indonesia to Noumea, New Caledonia in Indonesia’s efforts to obstruct West Papua being accepted as a member of the MSG).  Just imagine, within a highly respected MSG Summit gathering there being two groups of indigenous Papuans present, each with a different viewpoint and with goals that are vastly different! With one viewpoint being conveyed by the representatives of the nation of Papua and another by representatives of the State of Indonesia!

Within the MSG Summit the Papuan Representatives will convey the struggle of the people of Papua against the oppression of Indonesia and its allies and convey the importance of Papua coming out from that colonial domination and having full independence recognised. Yet at the very same time those Papuan representatives will be faced with a totally different viewpoint by the representatives of the State of Indonesia, that conveys the need for the Republic of Indonesia to continue its oppression of the indigenous peoples of Papua through their various strategies. The latter will argue how they must defend its colony of Papua in the interests of RI and its allies through ‘security’ approaches, social/cultural programs, law and welfare development programs, programs all that are all but shams. All with the aim of defending the land of Papua within the framework of the Republic of Indonesia. The leaders of the Melanesian nations at the MSG Summit will be considering the situation from these two opposing viewpoints heard.

Contention between these two representative delegations – from the Papuan nation and Indonesia – will reach its peak at the time of the final decision from the forum of the 19th MSG Summit.  There are but two possible outcomes from the MSG Forum.  The first with the Indonesian State Representatives successfully convincing certain leaders of the MSG of  Indonesia’s case and in so doing defeating the efforts of West Papua to become a full MSG member and thereby bringing victory to the State of Indonesia and its allies.  A victory that would not be noble, not be dignified or reflective of democracy; rather which would be a victory that is ‘dirty’ which has been engineered and which is based only on the economic and political interests of RI and its allies.  If this occurs it will mean that certain Melanesian countries will have been either influenced by a range of cheap offers or perhaps influenced by the viewpoint of the State of Indonesia which is but mere rhetoric.  If this is the outcome it will mean that the nations of Melanesia in fact have chosen to see West Papua continue to be sacrificed; have chosen to see the demands of the community of Papua ignored,  the solidarity of Melanesians neglected and the goal of the MSG Forum to make a stand in fact violated. It will mean that the nations of Melanesia do not recognise the people of West Papua as part of the wider Melanesian family.

However if it eventuates that this is the outcome, then let us be optimistic as there is still time in the years to come and we still have the Lord Almighty. Together with the Lord and in solidarity with the international community we will continue to struggle to face this terrible wind and storm regardless, as a united strong force heading towards the harbour of total freedom.

The second possible outcome from the MSG Forum is that the Papuan Delegation will be successful in convincing the MSG leaders of the Papuan nation’s case, with the result that West Papua will be received as a full member of the MSG. If this is the outcome it will mean that the victory will lie with the nation of Papua and that will indeed be a victory of faith in God, a victory of the truth and of justice and a  victory for international solidarity.  This outcome will mean that the Melanesian nations have heard the cries and hopes of the people of Papua for this last 50 years under the colonial domination of Indonesia and that MSG has recognised the people of West Papua ethnically as part of the Melanesian group.  With such an outcome we will step forward led by the Lord and together with the wider family of Melanesia and with international solidarity we will pass through this terrible wind and storm and head towards the harbour of total liberation.

At this time from behind iron bars in the Abepura State Prison the Writer calls for:

  1. Those concerned to STOP SELLING-OUT THE NATION OF PAPUA;
  2. Each individual that has prostituted themself in the politics of Indonesia and has ‘sold-out’ or obstructed the Struggle of the nation of Papua, to immediately wake up to what you have done/are doing and to be regretful of your actions and repent;
  3. To every Papuan person if you know of any member of your family or clan that has ‘sold-out’ the Struggle of the nation of Papua, that they be warned strictly whether orally or in writing;
  4. To the honourable leaders of the MSG to receive West Papua as a full member of the MSG Forum

Let us unite our ranks and step forward together to break the chains of the oppression of the Republic of Indonesia and its allies and to head towards the harbour of total freedom, which so long ago became the longing of the people of Papua and of those who stand in sympathy with us. Amen!

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of  Front PEPERA West Papua, and is a Papuan Freedom Political Prisoner in the Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua. 

This article was submitted directly by Bobii to West Papua Media and published as part of our commitment to amplify the opinions of civil resistance movement leaders inside Papua.

Greens: Foreign Minister more hollow than parody on West Papua

Media Release

Dr Richard Di Natale – Greens Senator for Victoria

June 6, 2013

 Australian Greens Senator, Dr Richard Di Natale, has condemned the Australian Foreign Minister’s comments in Senate Estimates where he blamed the escalating tensions in West Papua on the international human rights movement.

“Senator Carr’s comments are a clear acknowledgement that human rights abuses, killings and incarceration of political prisoners in the province of West Papua are escalating but rather than show leadership he has blamed people like me who are campaigning for an end to the violence,” said Senator Di Natale

“To imply that I am in some way responsible for the atrocities inflicted on the West Papuan people and to label my advocacy for the West Papuan people as the ‘Greens latest cause de jour’ and ‘a cruel deceit by self-indulgent people’ is both offensive and patronising.

“It is patronising to the people of West Papua, who are not taking their cues from me but are actively engaged in a local movement for self-determination. It also makes me wonder what Minister Carr thinks about the many Australians who campaigned for an end to violence in East Timor or for Nelson Mandela to be freed from prison.

“Filep Karma is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence simply for flying the West Papuan Morning Star flag but according to Minister Carr, any foreigner who flies a flag as a way of highlighting this injustice is ‘planting in the minds of people who actually live in the place, the notion that this campaign has some sort of international resonance’.

“Uncannily, an old episode of the show Hollowmen aired last night on ABC and it focused on Australia’s response to human rights abuses in West Papua. Surprisingly, even though it is supposed to be a parody demonstrating how best to give the impression of action while doing nothing, the response on the show was stronger than what we’ve actually seen from Labor.

“The time has come for Australia to step up and ensure that the continued Australian funding of the Indonesian defence forces only continues if we see an end to the human rights abuses in the region.”

Footage of Senator Di Natale’s questions to the Foreign Minister and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be viewed here:

 

Media Contact:         Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

Deforestation of the Nabire Region continues from HPH to the oil palm plantation (Part 1)

by Sin Nombre (Mongabay-Indonesia),  

May 29, 2013

https://i0.wp.com/www.mongabay.co.id/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hutan-hutan-keramat-Nabire-yang-dibongkar.jpg
Nabire sacred forests are dismantled (photo: Mongabay Indonesia)

Approximately 55 kilometres on the West of Nabire region of Papua Province unfolds a large amount of forest that is owned by a large tribe called the Yerisiam. This tribe has 4 (four) sub tribes namely Wauha, Akaba, Karoba and Sarakwari. The area with tens of thousands hectares is situated at the shoreline of Cenderawasih Bay.

Apart from the sea, the forest has been the source of life for these four tribes from which they obtain sago, traditional medicine and it’s their hunting ground. There is also a sacred place believe to be the resting place of the spirits of their forefathers.

The situation changed since 1990-1991 when HPH (Forest Concession) Company, PT Sesco entered Wanggar and Yaro districts and took bars of Merbau wood. The chairperson of the Cooperative Society, Yunus Kegou, said that the company ended its operation in 2000 and left many broken promises.

“At that time, the company hadn’t paid Rp.40 million which is approximately A$3900 with the count of Rp.1000 per cubic meter with is equivalent to A$0.95. The request from the local which are 4 motors, 4 chainsaws and 1 vehicle for the locals to use hasn’t been paid till present,” said Kegou.

In 2003, three companies entered and established in this area, namely PT. Pakartioga, PT. Junindo and PT. Kalimanis (PT Jati Dharma Indah).  Allegedly, these companies changed their names from PT. Sesco to PT. Pakartioga, and the HPH (forest concession holder) to the name PT. Junindo, and PT Jati Dharma Indah (JDI) to the the name PT. Kalimanis.  In the HPH permit, the operating period of JDI ends on 2017, with the permit of operation on the West and East of the Nabire Region  – a huge part of Cenderawasih Bay.

The presence of all these companies left many opaque stories. Their social responsibilities are negative, labourers were imported, and the experiences with transmigrant and the outsiders created conflicts not only with in the civilians but with the companies as well.

Erens Rumbobiar, the Chief of Makimi village situated on the eastern side of Nabire town, said that the conflicts with the locals occurred several times, and were the logging companies fault at that time.  One of the cases that stimulated conflict was when Jordan and Paulus Ha’o permitted logging company PT. Barito to chop down the trees and turn them into logs, not knowing that the area is a customary land of Sefnat Monei.  The conflict almost ended up in physical attacks (according to Customary Law) so the matter was taken to Didimus Warai’s residence,  who as the Chief of Wate’s tribe, solved it. People that were present at that time represented their clan which were Utrech Inggeruhi, Simon Hanebora as a witness for Sefnat Monei, Nikanor Monei and Jordan Ha’o.

In 2007, JDI that had been permitted to operate till 2017 invited PT Harvest Raya Company from Korea to start the oil palm plantation in the region. The locals refused PT Harvest Raya because it is thought to be threatening their future and future of their generations. However, this refusal produced polemic within the Monei clan whereby Sefnat Monei as the owner of the customary land refused, but his children allowed the exploitation of the land to be carried out.

This time, PT. Nabire Baru (NB), another oil palm company entered and settled in two of the villages in Yaur District of Nabire Region namely Sima and Wami village. This concession is located with the Northern side bordered by the ocean of Cenderawasih Bay, and the Southern side bordered by the JDI production forest and Wami village.  The western side borders the road connecting Nabire – Wasior and also PT. Sariwarna Adiperkasa HPH, and the Eastern side of the area borders the production forest, Jaya Mukti village, and Wanggar River.

The company is said by local villagers to be building communication with the local people in the area which led up to a thanksgiving at the early 2010. Traditional prayer was carried out as a start of the business and the compensation of the land was agreed as Rp.6, 000,000,000 which is equivalent to A$600,000. This agreement is said to be completed without the involvement of JDI.

Afterwards, several individuals persuaded Nabire Regional Government to issue new permits.  After the thanksgiving, the people demanded the government solve the HPH land issue so it doesn’t interfere with the oil palm plantation. Eventually local people were driven by few individuals sign a petition on a piece of white cloth, and took it to the Parliament office in Nabire with the hopes that the issue of the location is solved.

The reason was that JDI has long left the area and there was no communication with the indigenous people even though the permit HPH is still valid.  At that time, Benyamin Karet the Setda (Regional Secretariat) for Nabire Region, said that the status of the area of 17,000 hectares was problematic because it’s still owned by PHP JDI.  That area itself had not been plotted for oil palm plantation, but driven by the persuasion of the indigenous people, Nabire Regional Government issued a permit in the form of the Regent’s decision.  The principle of the cultivation permit is that the funding is issued by an Investor’s Agency on 21 of September 2010.

Nabire Regent Isaias Douw, said the indigenous people admitted that the location is safe and can be used NB.  “There had been a conversation between the company and the indigenous people and had been an agreement with the locals. Therefore, we issued a permit to the investor because the locals demanded,” he said.

However, the Regional Government knew there would be a problem with JDI, they therefore asked the locals and NB to solve the problematic location with the companies PHP. At that time, the activists blamed NB and JDI as if they deliberately stirred up the conflict in deceiving the locals of taking merbau wood from their area.

NB Consultant, PT Widya Cipta Buana, led by Iwan Setyawan, at the public consultation analysis in regards to the environmental impact (AMDAL) in early May 2013, explained in Sima Village that the company “is based on the Environmental Act, Government’s rules and policies, and even the rules and policies of the Minister of Environment Number 16 and 17 of 2012 concerning the Guidelines for community involvement in the EIA (Environment Impact Assessment), and an environment permit process. “From the legal perspective, the company has feasibility to carry out the activities”.

NB started the business in 2011 and recruited more than 1250 labours. In 2012, the company applied for the extension of the permit (which was granted via the) Regent’s decree number 71 2012 dated 24th of July 2012 about extending the location permit. The trees were then chopped down and turn into logs, and were taken out of Nabire, when the owner of the land protested.

The data collected by Mongabay, shows from the permit of 17,000 hectares, the area that was cultivated were 12.438,77 hectares including the conduit and the path in the garden and the cultivated area of 10.758.00 hectares. The rest include 1.851.88 hectares of the beach, 1.957.38 hectares of the river, 688,32 hectares of hills and the sacred places, 63,69 hectares of sago plantation and the nursery of 224,82 hectares. In 2013, the plan to cultivate is approximately 2.500 hectares, 4.500 hectares will be in 2014 and around 3.428 hectares will be in 2015. The factory will be built around 2015 with the processing capacity of 90 tonnes an hour.

Mr Kim, the owner of the company, claimed that he has been given the permit for 200,000 hectares of land and 20 other companies in Nabire Region and the surroundings, including several gold companies in Topo and Batu Bara area at the Eastern part of Nabire. Kim didn’t mention the details of all the companies that he owns.

To Be Continued…

 Translated by West Papua Media