Daily Archives: October 19, 2013

Bobii: Australian PM’s Words Hurt the People of Papua

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii in Abepura State Prison

 14 October 2013

“People seeking to grandstand against Indonesia, please, don’t look to do it in Australia, you are not welcome. ………. The situation in West Papua is getting better, not worse” were the words of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 7 October 2013 after three Papuan citizens scaled the wall and entered the Australian Consulate in Bali(1)

These words of the Prime Minister of Australia are extremely hurtful to the people of the nation of Papua as they are the precise opposite to the truth of the situation in Papua, where things are getting progressively worse for the indigenous population.   Even Lukas Enembe, the Governor of Papua stated that the Province was experiencing a decline in a lot of key areas such as health, education and local economics(2).  Lukas Enembe also witnessed to the well known fact that “Papuans are an increasing minority in their own land. Papuans have been overpowered by other peoples who are not from this land.” (3)

Space for even some minimal semblance of democracy in Papua has been absolutely closed whilst the State of Indonesia continues to commit one after another atrocity against the indigenous people of Papua.  Alpius Mote for instance, aged 17 years, was shot dead by the Indonesian Special Police Unit BRIMOB on 23 September in Waghete, District of Tigi, when a number of locals voiced objection to arbitrary arrests and most insulting ‘over-the’top’ sweeping by armed forces targeting males with long beards and hair. Then there’s the brutal military operations that have been continuing relentlessly for months in Puncak Jaya and also in Paniai to chase those suspected of being part of the TPN/OPM. Operations which have only led to the innocent civilians becoming victims (such as 12 year old Arlince Tabuni who was shot dead on 1 July 2013 in the village of Popumo, Lani Jaya). There has also of late been an escalation in Papua in the level of intimidation and terrorising acts towards the indigenous people of the land and even more so  against Papuan activists (6).

In just these last days the bodies of yet 7 more civilians have been found  – including a 4 year old and 11 year old child – after their vehicle left Sarmi to head towards the city of Sentani near Jayapura but they never arrived (4). All 7 bodies were found in their upturned vehicle and it is believed they had been abducted.  It was reported that they were killed by what has become a common term now in Papua, ‘unknown assailant/s’(5).

In order to hide the many forms of tyrannic oppression in Papua, RI has until this time denied access to both international journalists and international human rights (HAM) workers to visit Papua. Indeed ever since Papua was annexed into the Republic of Indonesia (RI) on 1 May 1963, it has been isolated and closed to these international groups. Indigenous Papuans have been forced to live in this state of being terrorised and yet isolated from the reach of the outside world, experiencing violence and a state of upheaval in their lives. Such that for Papuans it’s like existing in the ‘living hell’ of Indonesia.

The Australian Prime Minister has never experienced the forms of brutal and tyrannic oppression that indigenous Papuans are forced to live under; neither has he seen first-hand the real -life conditions  that indigenous Papuans have been suffering for over 50 years now under the Indonesian Republic. If one has never experienced such oppression and has never seen first-hand the real life conditions of indigenous Papuans but there have been constant reports of brutality and severe oppression for 50 years, then would it not be right that Australia as the current Chair of the United Nations (UN) Security Council should together with other members of the UN Security Council organise for a UN Special Representative to carry out investigation into the alleged human rights violations and the political status of West Papua? Such as was requested formally by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu in his historical speech at the recent 68th session of the annual debate of the U.N General Assembly in New York on 28 September 2013.

The people of Papua can only think that Tony Abbott’s words “The situation in West- Papua is getting better, not worse” must be the result of influence from propaganda and provocation by the Indonesian Government recently when  he firstly visited Jakarta on 30 September and then when he returned again to Bali to attend the APEC Conference in early October. Indeed of late the State of Indonesia has lifted its level of diplomacy with the use of propaganda and provocation towards the international community and in particular key leaders around the world – of which the Australian Prime Minister is one – in their efforts of working to undermine any possibility of sympathy arising towards the problems of Papua. To achieve that end Indonesia has employed no small level of resources and staff.

From the perspective of Papuans the new Australian Prime Minister is not all that different from those in the position before him regarding the issue of Papua. Of course Papuans totally appreciate the importance of the position and interests between the governments of Australia and Indonesia. Furthermore,  Papuans truly understand the Australian Prime Minister’s attitude towards Papua must be one of caution in order to protect bilateral relations between Australia and Indonesia. However Australia as a member of the U.N and what more in the trusted position as the current chair of the UN Security Council, has both a legal and moral obligation to uphold and respect human rights around the world and particularly in those particular regions which there is known to be serious concerns such as Papua. Australia cannot avoid its responsibilities to protect and respect the dignity of humanity where freedoms and the very right to life is being threatened such as is the present threat to the indigenous peoples of Papua who are now known to be heading towards annihilation of their race due to a slow moving genocide.

The Australian Government has been in the frontline recently  in regards to the matter of Papua.  On 24 September 2013 seven indigenous Papuans who landed as refugees at Boigi Island in the Torres Strait (including one woman who was pregnant and a 10 year old child) were transferred to Horn Island.  After being interviewed by authorities they were given no choice of staying in Australia and were forced to choose between being sent back to Indonesia or going to PNG. They very swiftly transferred to PNG (7). Then on 6 October 2013 three young Papuan males scaled the wall of the Australian Consulate in Bali and entered the compound so as to seek Australia’s help for Papua. They then also sought refuge for themselves.  Despite the risk they then faced from Indonesia, in the early hours of that same morning before 0700 hours the 3 had been immediately asked to leave the compound with the threat that the police would be called. In being forced to leave the compound after pleading for help for Papua, of course they were terrified about their safety as their lives were then much more at risk, as they well knew the ramifications could mean torture or leading to them ‘disappearing’ as a result of actions by the Indonesian armed forces.  The Australian Senator Richard Di Natale immediately called on the Australian Government to request they be given protection but without response (8). The nation of Papua finds the actions of the Australian Consulate in Bali absolutely unacceptable as the 3 young people had in fact entered the Consulate to seek safety and protection (9).

The Australian Prime Minister subsequently  stated that the Australian Government is going to suppress any activism in Australia that opposes Indonesia in support of West Papua. Abbott’s statement was immediately criticised by Vanuatu’s first and former Prime Minister Ati George Sokomanu who demanded Tony Abbott explained his statement to the leaders of the Pacific (10). Sokomanu stressed that whilst immigration issues could be dealt with by the courts, that Australia must be prepared to discuss questions of human rights. He stated that due to the fact that Australia and New Zealand are the closest neighbours,  “ I think for the sake of the people of West Papua with their rights, that Australia and New Zealand should broaden their view to provide support and do whatever they can to help the people of Papua to achieve their independence”(11).

The Australian and international communities that are concerned about the suffering of indigenous Papuans, are following the political direction of the new Australian cabinet under PM Tony Abbott.  We are yet to see whether as Papua’s closest neighbour, the Australian government will follow a foreign policy that shows some special care in handling cases of human rights violations in Papua and the political status of the land of Papua? Or whether the Australian Government will merely guard its bilateral relations with Indonesia and allow the Republic of Indonesia to continue to act in such ways that it creates marginalisation, discrimination, making a people a minority in their own lands and carries acts of humanitarian evils through its armed forces against the indigenous people of Papua? Actions that together are leading to the annihilation of the ethnic West Papuan race.

Footnotes
1. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claim-of-australian-threat-to-west-papuans-in-bali-consulate- protest-20131007-2v4cg.html

2.(Indonesian version) www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/12/banyak-kemunduran-di-papua/

3.(Indonesian version) www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/12/gubernur-papua-oap-jadi-minoritas/

4. Details of the victims are as follows Bartolomeus Fere (aged 53 years), Agustina Fere (38), Yan Marthen Fere (30), Boas Hawase (35), Elisabet Felle (40), Melinda Felle (11), dan Avia Hawase (4).    (Indonesian version) (www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/7-warga-sentani-papua-diculik-orang-tak-   dikenal.html).

 5. Cenderawasih Post, Edition Monday, 14 October 2013.

 6. Such as for example that experienced by the 4 activists in Fak-Fak on 29 September 2013 Abner Hegemur, Yanto Hindom, Morten Kabes, dan Kaleb Hegemur. The activists were riding home on motor bikes on the main road leading to the town of Fak-Fak after visiting some children alleged to have experienced violence by the armed forces at the Tetar village in the Patipi District outside of Fak-Fak. They were followed throughout their journey home by the Special Forces Unit Densus 88 (the anti-terrorist forces now operating throughout Papua against civilians) accompanied by another 4 armed forces vehicles. A number of the vehicles then located themselves in front of the activist’s motorbikes whilst the remainder followed from behind. Those in front kept changing positions with those behind adding to the terrorizing effect on the 4 riders. This continued throughout their journey until they reached the borders of town of Fak-Fak at which time the vehicles drove off.

(Indonesian version) http://www.majalahselangkah.com/content/teror-dan-intimidasi-terhadap-aktivis-papua-masih-berlanjut

 7. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/11/west-papuans-refugee-camp-border

 8. Rofinus Yanggam, Yuvensius Goo and Markus Yerewon

9. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claim-of-australian-threat-to-west-papuans-in-bali-consulate-protest-20131007-2v4cg.html

 10. https://vanuatudaily.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/vanuatu-daily-news-digest-9-october-2013/

 11. http://thevoiceofwestpapua.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/abbott-requested-explain-of-he-statement-to-pacific-countries/

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura Prison, Jayapura

 

‘OTSUS Plus’ a further blurring of Papuan History

Opinion / Analysis

By  Selpius Bobii in Abepura Prison,

11 October 2013

“ All leaders have notes of their mark in history, so I figure this forms mine in the history of Papua.” These were the words of the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe to journalists following the acceptance of the draft Papuan  ‘Special Autonomy (OTSUS) Plus’ legislation.  The draft legislation was a result of work by the Cenderawasih University (UnCen) Academic Assistance Team together with the Papuan Provincial Government. The ceremony for the handing over of the draft OTSUS legislation (referred to as the ‘Papuan Governance Legislation’) took place at the Aston Hotel in Jayapura on 9 October 2013. (www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/10/draf-uu-otsus-plus-terus-digodok/).

To look more closely at the Governor’s comment, was he speaking out of some ambition to make a mark in history for the period he was governor in Papua whilst SBY was still President of Indonesia? Being noted as the governor present at the time the Otsus Plus legislation was forced onto the Papuan indigenous community. If we look back at what the indigenous Papuan community has had to endure we see the evidence that under leader after leader both at the national level and the Papuan regional level, that there has been nothing but a ‘blurring’ of history in Papua. The Otsus Plus legislation that is about to be applied in Papua will but add to that blurring of Papua’s history.

Until this time all policies in Papua have been set from Jakarta and the reins have always been held from Jakarta. Those in official positions within the provincial and kabupaten (regency) levels of government in Papua have acted as ‘bridges’ to enable the Central Government’s projects to be a ‘success’, in line with their ends of marginalisation, discrimination and making Papuans a minority.   Which on the broader scale have amounted to a process of annihilation of the ethnic Papuan race.

No matter who holds the power at the provincial level, they will never liberate the people of Papua from the discrimination, marginalisation, being made a minority and the annihilation of the ethnic Papuan people, which has been planned and carried out by the Republic of Indonesia (RI) constantly until now.  Since the time Papua was annexed by Indonesia, the efforts of Indonesia to this end have been nicely ‘wrapped’ so that they are systematic and ‘tidy’, but make no mistake they are planned and measured by the Central Government taking place through a number of strategies and tactics.

Governor Enembe has stated to journalists that all Papuans want “major changes” and one can only think that he perceives this draft legislation is the solution to awaken Papua and bring about those ‘major changes’.  However what if the Otsus Plus legislation does NOT bring about those expected major positive changes or in fact any changes that lead to a better situation for indigenous Papuans? The Otsus Plus legislation is not only NOT the solution to bring an end to the problems in Papua but in fact will clearly have the opposite effect and bring nothing but calamity and disaster for the indigenous peoples of Papua.

The legislation is intended to protect the rights of and empower the indigenous people of Papua, however all agree that the application of OTSUS this last 12 years by Indonesia (2001-2013) has been a total failure, and that it has neither protected or respected the basic rights of indigenous Papuans (including even the most basic right to life or their basic political rights).  The efforts of Indonesia to revise the Papuan Special Autonomy legislation so as to become the Papuan Special Autonomy Plus legislation is bound to meet exactly the same fate as the Special Autonomy legislation and completely fail!

Governor Enembe’s statement that the draft Otsus Plus legislation is the “desire and aspiration” of the Papuan community and “something to be struggled for”  brings much shame on Papua and is in fact a public lie.  As the Papuan community never wanted the Otsus Plus package that is now being forced on Papua and it has never been the ‘aspiration’ of the indigenous Papuan community.  The revision of Otsus to become Otsus Plus is rather the desire and aspirations of the political elite in Jakarta and in particular of SBY’s Cabinet. These efforts are being driven by SBY due to both Otsus and then the UP4B program (the Accelerated Development Unit in Papua and West Papua) having previously failed.

The results of the work carried out by the Uncen Academic Assistance team as follow-up to the draft Otsus Plus legislation – the initial document of which was prepared by President SBY through Feliks Wanggai – simply cannot be claimed to be something of the desires and aspirations of the Papuan people.  As the Uncen team is but part of the hands and feet of the Republic of Indonesia and has intentions to defend the oppression in Papua by RI and by so doing to extend the suffering of the indigenous people of Papua.

Having Uncen University involved in this way to give some false legitimacy to the legislation, was also practised by Indonesia in 1999 in order to force another of Jakarta’s projects onto Papua.  It was at that time that the Uncen Assistance Team was formed by RI to be involved in the initial draft Special Autonomy legislation.  Yet when the draft legislation was provided to the Central Government in Jakarta it was then cut right back. The final draft which was then totally according to Jakarta’s agenda was approved by the national Legislative Assembly and it was then applied under the order of the President in the year 2000 against firm opposition from the indigenous Papuan community becoming operative in 2001.

The draft legislation in this instance as prepared by the Academic Assistance Team together with the Papuan Provincial Government is merely intended to deceive the public, local, national and international. As the final draft legislation that will be presented for approval will actually be that prepared by President SBY’s Cabinet and in particular by the President’s Special Staff person in the area of Regional Autonomy Fileks Wanggai.
Sadly those lecturers at the Cenderawasih University who have been involved in the project have allowed themselves to be used as a ‘bridge’ to enable Jakarta’s project to pass through the system.  The draft Papuan Otsus Plus legislation has been handed to the Papuan Governor by the University rector Professor Dr Karel Sesa. From the time Papua was initially annexed into the Republic of Indonesia on 1 May 1963 the Uncen University has always played a role of securing and legitimising programs from Jakarta. They managed to destroy all their important records that were a part of the regime of the colonising Indonesia and in so doing to bring much suffering on Papuans. This role of legitimising Jakarta’s agendas was in fact from the start one of Indonesia’s  intentions in establishing Uncen University.

It is most ironic that despite the wave of rejection by the Papuan indigenous community of Otsus Plus, that the Uncen Assisting Team has been working together with the Papuan Provincial Government to ensure ‘success’ of Jakarta’s political package. In so doing they have pawned their very self-worth for positions of importance and wealth.  Their consciences have become blinded by their passion for wealth and positions of influence. Their expert knowledge has been used to support the colonial domination of Indonesia rather that to rescue the nation of Papua from the crisis of this era under RI’s colonial power. This is a matter of great shame and which brings much sadness.

The fate of the Papuan nation”s community is being played with by these persons politically prostituting themselves for the sake of personal gain. The strength of the nation of Papua to resist the destructive effects of RI’s ways and means has been weakened with the support of certain Papuans themselves working both within and outside the Indonesian government systems.  People working merely to chase personal importance and the interests of their own factions.  The consequence being that the indigenous Papuan community has become the victim of their conspiracies of interests at the local, national and international level.

This oppression must be bought to an end! The entire Papuan community must be aware of these realities and commit to walk together so as to realise the goal together.  Papuan activists in all locations need to consolidate and act as one, uniting agendas and stepping forward together. In particular youth and students in all locations need to strictly head only towards the struggle for the liberation of the nation of Papua. Whilst the international community in solidarity is asked to continue all efforts with actions, campaigns and diplomatic efforts to liberate Papua as their supportive efforts are so badly needed towards the end of upholding justice and the human dignity of Papua above all other interests.

To the Republic of Indonesia it is demanded that continuing discussion of the unilaterally prepared draft Otsus Plus legislation (referred to as the Papuan Governance legislation) stops  immediately. The unilateral application of political packages of any kind by Jakarta will never bring an end to the problems in the land of Papua. Rather RI needs to enter into dignified dialogue and non-conditional consultations between RI and the nation of Papua, facilities by a neutral third party and held in a neutral location so as to find a dignified solution to the problems.

There is no word for ‘give-up’ in the dictionary of the revolution of liberation; and neither is there a term ‘too late’ in the field of struggle. There is still time. The people of Papua have strength, have faith, have hope and have the Lord. We must be strong and stay able. We must rise up and go forward. We must oppose all forms of tyranny and oppression and be firm in our convictions that we will eventually be victorious. That will indeed be a most glorious moment when the times comes..

‘ Unity without limits! Struggle until victorious!’
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA &  is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura
 

 

POLICE AGAIN OPEN FIRE, BEAT AND ARREST PROTESTERS IN PAPUA-WIDE CRACKDOWN ON KNPB DEMOS

BY WEST PAPUA MEDIA TEAM

October 18, 2013

In several centres across West Papua on October 16, Indonesian police and army (TNI) have again cracked down violently on peaceful political demonstrations held by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), resulting in the injuries of several participants, with unconfirmed reports of police opening fire in related incidents against KNPB members in Kaimana.

The demonstrations, called for October 15 by the KNPB to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, were delayed for a day out of respect for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.   The rallies were also highlighting the historic speech made by Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Kalosil Carcasses to the United Nations General Assembly in late September, calling for the international community to take action on West Papua.

Despite formal permission being sought from the Indonesian police in Papua to conduct acts of free expression, Papua Police Chief Tito Karnavian rejected the permit due to the political and “separatist” nature of the rallies, according to KNPB spokesman Wim Medlama.  Karnavian, the former commander of Australia-funded anti-terror police unit Detachment 88, authorised the deployment of thousands of heavily armed police and military to prevent the commemorations from occurring, according to local human rights sources.

Police banned rallies from going ahead in Jayapura, Waena, Sentani, Boven Digul, Merauke, Biak, Kaimana, Nabire and Timika, however participants were allowed eventually to hold prayer sessions under tight military and police surveillance and a show of force in Biak and Nabire, according to KNPB sources.  In Timika, according to West Papua Media sources, several thousand people ignored the police ban and show of force and joined the KNPB event at Jayanti field in Timika.

Credible human rights sources have also reported that in several centres across Papua, combined Indonesian security forces of the Army (TNI), Brimob paramilitary police, and plain clothes members of Detachment 88 physically blockaded and prevented demonstrations from going ahead with dispersals and beatings in several centres.   In Merauke, police and undercover personnel said by credible sources to be members of Detachment 88, were conducting heavy surveillance of local people whilst blockading roads to prevent people from accessing the commemorations at the KNPB Merauke office.

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The demonstration in Waena just prior to the dispersal by Indonesian Security Forces. (Photos: KNPB)

In Jayapura, rally participants met anyway from 5 am at the gravesite of Theys Eluay, where they began music, prayers and political speeches before dawn under the rising morning star, the celestial inspiration for the banned Papuan freedom flag.  KNPB Secretary-General Ones Suhuniap told WPM stringers, “The Jayapura police began violently dispersing them at 6:30am with full force and weapons, with members of the TNI. The violent dissolution by the police also involved confiscation of KNPB member’s valuables, such as a camera and all the KNPB’s flags.”

While this peaceful demonstration was dispersed, another gathering at the Highland people’s housing complex Perumnas III in Waena, was blockaded by police under the command of Jayapura Police Chief Commissioner Alfred Papare.  This gathering was then surrounded by the police and army and were forced out of the area, according to the KNPB and confirmed by WPM stringers.

Suhuniap explained “Until the afternoon the demonstrators were violently dispersed by the combined police and army forces and assisted by the Papuan police’s special operations forces,” referring to uniformed members of the Australian trained counter-terror unit Detachment 88.

KNPB activists told WPM that they observed the army and police were prepared to suppress KNPB members with force, heavy weapons, assault vehicles and armoured vehicles. Over 200 police, including 50 fully armed Brimob paramilitary police and a platoon of TNI soldiers, and scores of plain clothes intelligence – said by KNPB to be members of Detachment 88 – participated in the dispersal and blockading the peaceful demonstrators of KNPB.

West Papua Media has been unable to confirm independently if any people in Jayapura were injured during the dispersal.

Meanwhile in Boven Digul, KNPB sources reported that Indonesian police took to local radio stations to announce the prohibition of freedom of expression, telling local people not to participate in KNPB actions.  All local people were stopped and searched, with police allegedly confiscating cameras from citizen journalists.

In Kaimana, on the south west coast of Papua, Tabloid Jubi has reported that rally organisers decided to hold a prayer service instead to commemorate the IPWP anniversary.  However, police banned that too and came to arrest organisers.

A night of terror and shootings was reportedly unleashed by Indonesian security forces against KNPB members’ families after the commemorations in Kaimana.  Police Special Forces raided the KNPB Kaimana offices three times during the night of October 16, with the first raid occurring at 2130.  Six shots were fired into the house from Police rifles during the first raid.  Three residents, Barias Wesfete, Demianus (Luter) Baunu and Jesse Irini were severely beaten and arrested by police.

However, according to KNPB spokesman Medlama when interviewed by WPM partner Tabloid Jubi,  Police returned twice more during the night, with at least ten bullets shot by Police to the house at different times throughout.  “The first shooting at 9:30 pm, was 6 times (shots.) The second shooting at 2 o’clock at night up to 2 times, and the third time at 4 am as much as 2 times,” Medlama told Jubi.

The three Kaimana arrestees returned home the morning after, however no information has been received of their charges, if any.

Jubi reports that the KNPB assessed that police are just looking for an excuse to put extreme psychological pressure on Papuan people, in ways that make no sense. “We are not concerned with their efforts to pressure us. We only know one word – LAWAN”.

WestPapuaMedia, with local sources, Tabloid Jubi, and KNPB sources