Daily Archives: August 1, 2013

US embassy official for political affairs visits FOKER – Papua

Bintang Papua,
30 July 2013
Jayapura: The Second Secretary for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Jakarta, James P. Feldmeyer, declared that he will pay close attention to any information or complaints, however small he receives from Papuan people.He urged NGOs in Papua not to despair and to continue to provide information to his embassy about developments in Papua. He said that  any information he received from NGOs in Papua would be passed on to officials of the US Government.

He was speaking at the office of Foker (Co-Ordinating Forum) of NGOs in Papua when he made this comment.

According to information obtained by Bintang Papua, the US diplomat held a private meeting at the Foker office, when he was accompanied by a female colleague. From there, they visited the office of ELSHAM – Papua.

The Executive Secretary of a Papuan NGO, Lienche F. Maloali said that the aim of the meeting had been to urge NGOs in Papua not to stop providing information to the US Embassy about the situation in Papua including information about various human rights violations  that continue to occur in Papua.

Mr Feldmeyer made it clear that they are always keen  to get the most up-to-date information from those who are members of various Papuan organisations which could be sent to senior officials at the embassy or to members of the House of Representatives or the Senate. Such information would also be made available to members of the US Congress and possibly also to the President of the USA.

Lienche, as Malioli is known to his friends,  said that they felt very frustrated  because they continue to send information about the latest situation in Papua, but they had never received any serious response.

‘Initially we felt frustrated because information about human rights violations, however great or small,  has been sent to people abroad. Now we are being told not to feel frustraated and to continue to provide information about the latest events in Papua.’

One member of Foker – Papua, Bas Wamafma said that the US Government should urge the Indonesian Government to provide the space for democracy in Papua  and to allow foreign journalists to have the freedom to carry out their journalistic activities  in the Land of Papua.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Statement by LP3BH on the Need for Dialogue between Papua and Indonesia

Statement by the Executive Director of LP3BH
31 July, 2013LP3BH-Manokwari, an organisation which advocates human rights for the people of the Land of Papua, strongly supports the move which has been taken by the MRP (Papuan People’s Council)  to call for peaceful dialogue between Papua and Indonesia.

This move is very much in accord with Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua which grants full powers to  the MRP  as the cultural representative of the indigenous Papuan people.

It is crucially important for the dialogue to take place in 2013 because this is the best way  to secure a peaceful and dignified solution to the conflict and the many substantial problems in the Land of Papua.

A number of leaders of countries such as the UK,  the USA, New Zealand, Australia and several European countries, as well as the United Nations, have also called on the Government  of Indonesia to agree to a peaceful dialogue as the way to resolve the problems in Papua. Bearing all this in mind, the LP3BH believes that  there are strong reasons for the Government  of Indonesia under the leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to  provide the space for such a dialogue to take place.

Moreover, it is unconstitutional for the Ministry of the Interior and other government ministries in Jakarta to press for an evaluation of of the Special Autonomy Law as this is in violation of Articles 77 and 78 on the evaluation or amendment of the law.

The LP3BH once again  expresses full support for the moves by the MRP for Papua and West Papua  for the holding of a dialogue between Papua and Indonesia  and various people’s representative bodies bodies such  the DPR-Papua and the DPR-West Papua to support such a move.

Peace

Yan Christian Warinussy,

Executive Director of the LP3BH

[Translated by TAPOL]

Oil Palm Plantations in Nabire Ignore Indigenous Rights

Tabloid Jubi

(Translation by awasmifee: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=443)

July 30, 2013

The Yerisiam people living in Kampung Sima, Nabire Regency, Papua are still waiting for oil palm plantation companies PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri to give clarification and compensation to local indigenous people.

This was the message of a press release written by Simon Petrus Hanebora, a Yerisiam tribal leader, which was received by tabloidjubi.com on Tuesday (30/7) morning.  “Thousands of commercially-valuable trees from 32,000 hectares of the Yerisiam indigenous people’s ancestral land have been logged by the oil palm company,” it reads.

Hanebora continues to explain the various attempts he has taken to resolve this issue.  He wrote to the forestry service on 31st July 2012, to ask for clarification of how many cubic meters of wood were contained on PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri’s plantation concession.  He also wrote to the Nabire Regency Environment Agency on 31st July 2012 requesting a deferral of PT Nabire Baru’s plan to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Simon also wrote to the Papuan police chief on 03 June 2013 to complain about the wood and rattan on PT Nabire Baru’s oil palm concession. “The way PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri ignore the Yerisiam indigenous peoples rights is not compatible with legal provisions and violates national and international law on indigenous people’s rights”, he said.

According to Simon, the meeting to discuss the Environmental Impact Assessment involved relevant government bodies and the company (PT Nabire Baru) but not one member of the Yerisiam indigenous community from the two affected villages was involved. “None of the Yerisiam people have ever been involved in any of the meetings between the Environmental Impact Assessment commission and PT Nabire Baru. What makes it worse is that the people feel the harassment even more strongly as they have no protection whatsoever,” he explained.

Simon sincerely hopes that all community leaders, NGOs, indigenous and religious leaders, can make a positive contribution through advocacy or investigation of how PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggul Mandiri have ignored the Yerisiam indigenous people’s rights. “I hope all competent institutions can give advocacy or investigate this problem,” he said.

{AwasMIFEE note: PT Nabire Baru is owned by Goodhope Holdings, a Singapore-based subsidiary of Sri Lankan company Carson Cumberbatch. A longer investigation (in Indonesian) was published in May 2013 by Mongabay Indonesia:
http://www.mongabay.co.id/2013/05/30/sawit-masuk-nabire-dari-hutan-sagu-sampai-hutan-keramat-dibabat-bagian-2/ }

West Papuans force release of abused political prisoners in Yapen

by Alex Rayfield

July 31, 2013 (Edited)

 

(Yapen)  In dramatic scenes outside a remote West Papuan prison in Serui, Yapen island, local community leaders on Monday forced the Indonesian police to release two independence activists jailed on charges of rebellion.

Earlier in the day the two activists, Edison Kendi (37) and Yan Piet Maniamboy (35) were sentenced to 2 years and 18 months respectively in a Yapen Island court house on trumped up charges of rebellion, an antiquated law used extensively by the Suharto regime to repress dissent in Indonesia. Although Suharto was overthrown in May 1998, the legislation remains on the statute books, and is regularly employed by Indonesian police to repress dissent.

According to West Papua Media’s local stringer Kendi was abused and dragged naked into the court room by police and three members of Kopassus, Indonesia’s notorious Special Forces. Kendi told West Papua Media that the Kopassus commander went by the name of Mr.  Baskoro. “He did not treat me well or respect my human rights” Kendi told West Papua Media via an intermediary.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scenes from Kendi’s and Maniamboy’s trial, and demonstrations that forced their release in Yapen on Monday (Photos: West Papua Media)

Over a thousand people from Serui, other villages on Yapen, Biak Island and other places were present at the trial. Some arrived by boats decked out in large Morning Star flags, the banned symbol of West Papuan independence. Scores more waved Morning Star flags in the crowd or wore clothes with the flag on it, while the police appeared unable or unwilling to do anything.

Both Kendi and Maniamboy said they were denied legal representation despite requesting it. As the two men were taken back to prison, a large crowd gathered outside the jail and demanded the men’s release. After intense negotiations between the men’s lawyers, police in charge of the prison, and protest organiser George Ayorbaba, Kendi and Maniamboy were released to a jubilant crowd pending their appeal.  Ayorbaba later told West Papua Media that “Papuans need freedom, just like other people struggling for their right to self-determination.”

Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboy were originally detained by Indonesian police on 9 August 2012. The two activists were arrested for organising a nonviolent march in support of the United Nations International Day of Indigenous People.  Kendi and Maniamboy were part of a large protest group from the West Papua National Authority, a mass-based pro-independence group allied with the Federal Republic of West Papua.

Their case will be heard in absentia in the Jayapura court on Friday 2 August. Depending on the decision of the court on Friday the two men will either be free or a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Maniamboy was reportedly appointed chief of Yawama Regency and Kendi Governor by the Federal Republic of West Papua, after that group declared the restoration of independence at the Third Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011.

According to Papuans Behind Bars, who profile Kendi and Maniamboy on their website, at the end of June 2013, 57 Papuan political prisoners were in jail for nonviolently expressing their political opinions.

Australian Aboriginal Elder, Kevin Buzzacott from the Arabunna nation in South Australia, together with Jacob Rumbiak, Foreign Affairs Minister for the Federal Republic of West Papua and a large group of West Papuans and Australian supporters are currently travelling by land and sea to West Papua where they plan to meet pro-independence activists.

Activists from the West Papua National Authority are planning a welcoming ceremony. Both Buzzacott and Rumbiak say the Freedom Flotilla is part of a plan to revitalise ancient cultural ties between Australia and West Papua. “We have a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters from across the water” said Buzzacott.

The Indonesian government has not yet made a public statement about whether the Freedom Flotilla will be allowed to enter West Papua.