Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bobii: HAVING REACHED THE EDGE …….THE MSG COMMITMENT

January 12, 2014

Opinion/ Analysis

By Selpius Bobii

 The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an official forum to develop friendship, harmony and the sense of family between Melanesian nations, with a mind to develop peace and prosperity in the region.

The MSG Forum is in truth not only something of those Melanesian nations which already have independence, but rather it is also something of those Melanesian nations that have not yet had their sovereign independence recognised and which continue to struggle to that end.

Accordingly there exists an obligation by the members of the MSG to be ready to receive as members those Melanesian nations (peoples) that have not in the past not had that opportunity; and secondly an obligation to defend the call for independence for those Melanesian peoples struggling for recognition of their sovereignty.

This critical role of the MSG lies within the framework of upholding the commission of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights together with other international laws including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the opening sections of each of these covenants and declarations, the right to self-determination of all indigenous peoples of the world is referred to.

The preamble of the Constitution of the MSG states the obligation of the MSG member states  to defend the right to self-determination of all Melanesian peoples which have not yet received full independence.  International legal determinations together with the MSG’s legal foundation, together give legitimacy to the MSG forum to defend Melanesian peoples (nations) that are struggling for full independence.  Such legal determinations can on occasion however give rise to divisions within the MSG itself due to differing opinions of members and can even threaten to divide the MSG. This may arise when a non-Melanesian nation’s control and colonial domination over a certain Melanesian people is perceived to be at risk and that nation reacts accordingly, resulting in different responses from respective Melanesian nations.

There is of course a code of ethics for international association between nations (for instance the respect of another nation’s sovereignty), however notwithstanding there also needs to be a greater awareness worldwide that independence is the right of all nations of peoples on this earth. That is stated both at international law and within the very law that applies to the MSG and these laws create a legal obligation to that end.  How much more important in the case of  peoples whose very continued existence is threatened by the colonial power!  Such is the case for the people of Papua where colonial domination by the Republic of Indonesia is leading to annihilation of the indigenous people of the land.

In the interests of mutual rights, justice and human dignity, MSG and other nations of the earth together with UN have both the legal and moral obligation to give an opportunity to those  peoples (nations) in the world that have not yet received independence to have their sovereignty legally recognised. It is really urgent that the MSG, UN and other nations of the world act on this obligation such that the position of all nations of the world may be on a level plane with no one nation able to continue to colonise and dominate another. This is absolutely critical in enabling progress towards the end goal of peace and prosperity for all peoples in the world and not just for a privileged few.

It was on the basis of this international commitment and the preamble to the Constitution of the MSG, that the MSG leadership at its 19th Summit in Noumea from 17-21 June 2013 made a decision that was all important in terms of the political and humanitarian status of Papua. Their commitment in regards to the indigenous people of Papua was clearly stated in points 20/21 of the Communiqué of the MSG, which is itself a valid and legal document. That decision was binding on all members of the MSG without exception and it is the obligation of all members of the MSG to respect and act in accordance with that decision. It will give great hope and joy to not only the people of Papua but also countless others, if every leader of the MSG is able to maintain their attitude and actions such that they are in accordance with this decision of the MSG.  In-keeping with that decision, to defend Papua’s sovereignty through official channels of the UN, by mediation between Papua and Indonesia and through dialogue regarding the political and legal status of Papua together with other problems.

The commitment of the MSG leadership is so closely tied to the issue of Papua and is now at the very edge and being seriously tested. The realities seen to date are that:

  1. There are certain members of the MSG that have not wholeheartedly respected and implemented the decision of the MSG leadership on 21 June 2013.
  1. There has been observed a lack of consistence of certain members of the MSG in regards to their commitment to the decision in Noumea and in fact there has been observed since that date an increase in the extent to which those particular MSG members have been working together in partnership with the State of Indonesia.
  1. The state of (1-2) above are a direct result  of Indonesia playing its ‘two-way’ political games; of continuing to carry out a range of operations aimed at suppressing the movement and activities of the Papuan Independence Movement, whilst at the same time increasing its level of campaigning and diplomacy towards certain members of the MSG.  (With Indonesia’s efforts in diplomacy have also been supported by a range of other ‘attractive offers’).
  1. Indonesia has also requested support of governments of other nations in this regard including both Australia and New Zealand, appealing to them to influence members of the MSG against supporting Papua’s application to the MSG.
  1.  Indonesia did not facilitate the agreed-on visit to Jakarta and Papua by an MSG delegation of Foreign Ministers within the 6 months time deadline from 21 June 2013 in accordance with the MSG decision.
  1. With the 6 months limit requirement of the MSG decision now passed, Indonesia has now on 11 January 2014 facilitated the visit of a MSG foreign minister delegation to Jakarta.
  1. Efforts have been made by Indonesia to prevent this MSG Delegation from visiting Papua during its visit to Indonesia.
  1. If it eventuates that the MSG Delegation is finally allowed to visit Papua during this present visit, then it’s highly likely that the Delegation will be prevented by Indonesia from meeting with key Papuan leaders and the leaders of the different components of the Papuan Liberation Movement.
  1.  All of the Indonesia Government’s efforts referred to above, have been made with the aim of causing Papua’s application to the MSG to fail.

At this time all peoples throughout Melanesia together with those in international solidarity, are keenly watching to see what steps and political direction will be taken by the MSG. Will the MSG maintain its earlier commitment and attitude on the Papuan issue or back down? Will Indonesia allow the Delegation to visit Papua at this time and allow them access to the key figures of the Papuan Independence Struggle including those currently imprisoned or will Indonesia block that access? Why be afraid?  Is not God with us?

This article has been written from behind prison bars for the purpose of strengthening our hearts and our faith in regards to the MSG Forum.  Let us remain strong and perseverant faced with this test.

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

When will the autopsy of Danny Kogoya’s body take place?

From Papua Daily at Tabloid Jubi

January 2, 2014

Danny Kogoya (Jubi)

Danny Kogoya (Jubi)

Jayapura, 2/1 (Jubi) – The delayed autopsy toward Danny Kogoya’s body on demand of his family is still unclear. Papua Human Rights Defender activist, Matius Murib, states the negotiation between the family and the Government of Indonesia are still continuing.

“From our last negotiations with Kogoya’s family, the Consulate of Indonesia and the Office of Civil Security in Vanimo, PNG, dated 20 December 2013, it has resulted some points of agreements. One point is his family requested the autopsy of Danny Kogoya’s body to prove the cause of his death. However, it is not yet known when the autopsy is scheduled. The family asked that the autopsy should be conducted in the hospital in Vanimo. Thus, there is still a tug of war between the Kogoya’s family and the GoI (government of Indonesia),” said Matius Murib via his cellphone on Thursday (2/1).

According to him, the other point that resulted from the negotiation is the funeral procession will be carried out after the autopsy, agreed that both sides will keep the security situation peaceful.  All parties were asked to contribute in accelerating the handling process of this case, to combat the impression of ignoring it.

“We will continue to mediate the case in order to achieve the goal that is equally well received by the Governments of PNG and Indonesia, in particularly to fulfill the sense of justice and peace, especially for the family of the victim. May the spirit of a peaceful Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014, make us more wise and prudent, to observe and respect the human rights for all human beings,” said Murib.

However, differing from Murib’s statement, the autopsy plan according to the Consulate of Indonesia will be taken in 7 January 2014.   Jihar Gultom, the Head of Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, said to Jubi, Thursday (2/1) that the agreement to do the autopsy was decided in 23 December 2013.  At the time when this decision was made, was joined by the family of Danny Kogoya and the Governor of Sandaun, and a representative of the Government of Port Moresby (PNG).

“We met Kogoya’s family and the Government of Sandaun before Christmas. There are also 3 delegates from Port Moresby. In respect of the celebration of Christmas, the autopsy is scheduled to be conducted before 7 January 2014 by a doctor from Port Moresby in Vanimo,” said Jihar Gultom.

When contacted by Jubi, Jefrey Pagawak, representing Danny Kogoya’s family,  admitted that the family has met the Government of PNG and the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo to discuss the determination of the autopsy’s schedule.

“The Indonesian Consul in Vanimo at first did not agree about the autopsy. They wanted to send Danny’s body to Jayapura immediately for the result to be equally well received by both parties, that was their reason.  But, when the authority of PNG who represented by Moses Poi from Foreign Affairs Division of the Government of PNG came to Vanimo to discuss this situation, they finally agreed.  We, as representatives of the family, met Jihar Gultom, Head of Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, yesterday, Monday (23/12).  Previously, we met Mr.Moses Poi from the Foreign Affairs of the Government of PNG to agree that in respect to Christmas and New Year, Danny’s body will be autopsied after New Year’s celebrations, before 7 January,” explained Jefrey.

Danny Kogoya died in the early December 2013 in PNG. He was called as leader of the National Liberation Army of Free Papua Movement. He was detained in Mapolresta Jayapura in 2012, accused as being the mastermind behind a series of 2011 shootings in Jayapura and surrounding areas.  Kogoya sustained gunshot injuries in his legs during his arrest, and his legs were amputated without permission by surgeons allegedly acting under instruction from Jayapura police.

However he was released on Saturday, 11 May 2013 after charges were dropped. After his release, Danny Kogoya crossed to Papua New Guinea to live with his family but in early December 2013, he passed away, with the exact cause of his death unknown.

The representative of Indonesian Consulate claimed that the cause of Danny Kogoya’s death was the liver cancer.  Opposing this claim, the family representative in Vanimo said that Danny was killed gradually through a slow acting poison that was injected whilst undergoing surgery of leg amputation. (Jubi/Arjuna/P. Maizier)

With editing and additional reporting by West Papua Media

BOBII: PAPUA, A CHESSBOARD OF MASKED COLONISERS

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii, exclusive for West Papua Media

January 3, 2014

Throughout previous colonial periods and still today, colonising states in any location of the world have had the same basic attitude. That is of making the colonised peoples their subjects and seizing the area’s natural resources.  Their first focus on taking over a land is always to breakdown and destroy the systems of the culture, whilst at the same time terrorising the people to bring them to submission and killing many in the process.

As the culture of a people is a strength that endures, so it must be broken down to make a people submissive to colonial domination. Once the strength of the culture of the people is broken, then the coloniser can relatively easily master the land and its natural resources.  The coloniser then continues to ‘eradicate’ the people off the land by both overt and covert means, making it easily available for its own people to settle and exploit. The instinctive behaviour of the coloniser is aimed at ‘killing and plundering’ and they use whatever means necessary to annihilate the people so they can seize the land and its resources.

In this modern era colonial powers have the very same attitude but they have changed their face and their methods are now ‘tidily wrapped’ in bilateral or multicultural arrangements between nations. But make no mistake, the character of the colonising nations has not changed and they still aim to see peoples bought into submission by whatever means to enable a plundering of their resources and the overpowering of their land. Whilst not obvious to those who aren’t on the receiving end of colonial domination, this ‘tidy wrapping’ of colonial powers methods in modern times is primarily in the form of foreign investment.  Developing nations fall for the bait of colonisers’ offering working relationships that will supposedly help them develop.

The giving of humanitarian aid by colonisers to developing countries does not arise from a true humanitarian concern but rather is a ‘way in’. Such instances provide opportunities to the colonising powers to work with local governments, organisations and religions so the latter act as a bridge to persuade the people into surrendering their land and its resources. This they achieve of course through manipulation and trickery combined with the ‘convincing’ approach of violence.

The colonising nations will always seek to smooth the ground and create pre-conditions conducive to meeting their end goal of exploiting a region’s natural resources. They do this in the modern era commonly through donating grants or equipment, or through the provision of humanitarian aid, military training and equipment / grants or monetary loans.  We need to take a step back to recognise that colonising powers are not just giving hand-outs from the kindness of their hearts but rather are actually often intentionally creating crises as a way of manipulating developing nations. As in times of desperate need for assistance there arises a ‘way in’ that does not attract international criticism.. These ‘created crises’ have a range of forms including humanitarian crises, monetary crises, government control crises and so on. Alternatively the colonizing power may take advantage of a natural disaster to give aid thereby also providing a way in. Once they have a ‘foot in the door’ they can then set up unilateral or bilateral working relationships with the developing country that provide for foreign investment. (1)

Those types of investment that are potentially most destructive and which can lead to the loss of a people from the face of the earth are primarily investments in mining, large-scale plantations / agriculture and the timber industry.  With the most destructive being the mining industry, as the wastes of  mining can absolutely destroy the entire living environment and ecosystems. Entire forests are destroyed and with it villages that had relied on the forest to live.  This destruction of the living ecosystem indirectly creates an economic and humanitarian crisis that contributes towards annihilation of the local ethnic race.

The global wide investment market has no sense of justice or injustice. That which major investors and their peripheral supporters (eg regional governments) strive for is massive profits and they have eyes for nothing else. The local community at the location of the investment project become but victims and in locations of major works that last for many years as in Papua the list of victims is endless. The land is ransacked, ruined and can no longer yield produce for the people sufficient for their survival. The people in the process are terrorised, tortured, humiliated, raped and killed. Victim after victim without ceasing……..

The land of Papua has long been something akin to a chessboard for the playing out of the economic, political and security interests of the masked colonial powers. Indonesia has had no hesitation to allow many of those countries who are ex-imperialist powers to join the game where there was something to be gained by Indonesia in the process.  The massive largely USA owned gold and copper mine PT Freeport in Papua provides clear proof of the mutual ongoing  ‘repayment’  from Indonesia to the USA for the latter’s assistance in facilitating the annexation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia. It’s a fine example of how the game works with masked colonisers playing out their economic and security games. The dynamics that see PT Freeport continuing in Papua reveal the injustice, discrimination, marginalisation, human rights violations and humanitarian atrocities that ensure the continued profitability for those in power.  Dynamics that are leading to the destruction of the environment and entire ecosystem, which are leading to the annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

The colonising nations hidden behind the masks of investors, have the ideal platform to step up from in Papua. As the government together with certain organisations and religions in Papua  are acting as a bridge connecting investors to the local community. The investors real goals have not changed from colonising powers of previous eras, striving to seize the natural resources and the land and to ‘eradicate’ the people in the process by whatever means necessary, hidden or overt. Killing can be direct such as instances where those with customary rights to the land oppose investors and their allies moving in. Or indirect such as where the local community in the area of the mine is killed slowly by the effects of contamination from toxic wastes of their food and water supply; or perhaps through starvation from no longer being able to farm their traditional lands and hence the sicknesses that result when people lose their villages and forests which are the source of their basic necessities of life.

Many nations have for years worked together with the State of Indonesia solely in furtherance of their own economic, political and security interests, to exploit the natural resources of Papua and its people, and so the countless numbers of victims who have fallen in order for those investors and Indonesia to achieve their goals. Indonesia and its allies are all members of the United Nations (UN), but clearly when it comes to the issue of Papua the Declaration of Human Rights and the rule of international law just ‘don’t apply’.  It’s time that those nations of the world responsible for the Papua’s subjugation together with the UN, acknowledged their wrongs in the previous period and through to today and break through those wrongs by making a way that acknowledges the independent sovereignty of the nation of Papua at law.

There are independent nations of the world that many years ago successfully landed people on the moon and yet there are still nations such as Papua that have not been given the chance to stand up and walk alone.  The determination of the people of Papua to stand and walk alone is strong but they have been knocked down again and again.  The matter of bilateral and unilateral working partnerships with other nations that are mutually profitable will of course be organised once Papua becomes recognised as an independent state. What is needed at this time is recognition at law by the UN and other nations of the world of Papua’s sovereign independence. As it is through this recognition that all forms of colonial domination by Indonesia in Papua can be brought to an end.

It is said that every individual, every group and every organisation can be an ‘ambassador for peace’ where they value and protect the human rights of some other person, family, tribe, group or nation, so that all can fully exercise their rights and obligations. Let’s each one of us be as ambassadors to truly realise peace on this earth this New Year.

 Footnote:

  1. Apart from the colonising effect of foreign investment, there is also types of domestic investment with that colonising effect. The domestic coloniser may act alone or work in conjunction with foreign investors to bring about the same ends of plundering the land and its resources and wiping out the local people to achieve that end.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura, from where he regularly contributes articles to West Papua Media.

 

 

Catholic Church records many human rights violations in Wamena, Jayawijaya in 2013

From Papua Daily at Tabloid Jubi

January 1, 2014

The meeting between  church figures, police and community leaders (Jubi)
The meeting between church figures, police and community leaders (Jubi)

Wamena, 1/1 (Jubi) – During year 2013 there are many special alerts from community, traditional leaders and religious figures in Jayawijaya about conditions  of social, economics and politics in this district.

Father John Jonga, representative of the Catholic Church recognises the Catholic Church have recorded many violations of human rights during year 2013. Most violations are violations in the form of loss of rights to life, committed by the Armed Forces and the Police.

Father John said economic life has become increasingly difficult, because of economic programs that create dependence on government. Traditional economic life was destroyed as many gardens were abandoned.
“The price of basic necessities are very high and erratic (which is) a heavy burden on local peoples and disrupts the activities of the community.  For example before Christmas, gasoline rose to Rp100,000 (A$9) per litre, “said Father John to reporters at  Pilamo Cafe, Wamena, Tuesday (31/12).

In addition, Father John assessed the quality of health care in hospitals Wamena is still very bad. Local people complained about pharmaceutical quality, expensive price of pharmaceuticals, and even and clean water shortages. Some Public Health Centres even abandoned by health workers, and residents cannot be served.

The  increase in  HIV/AIDS cases was a record of the Catholic Church in Jayawijaya. The quality of education is very low.  Free educational programs do not run. Many schools outside the town of Wamena do not operate, resulting in many children dropping out of school and becoming street children in Wamena.

Julian Hisage, the Chief of Hubula’s, one tribe in Baliem Valley,  hopes that in 2014 the security forces can better appreciate the rights of civil society. Police also must act decisively against the perpetrators of crimes such as murder and suppliers of liquor.

“We also hope government  re-evaluates the programs, particularly the economic programs, so that more people can have economic independence, control the prices of goods and services in the town of Wamena, improve the quality of health care in hospitals and health centres in Wamena including the local health insurance programs, and improve the quality of education, “said Julian Hisage to reporters.

On the other hand, Jayawijaya Police Chief, AKBP. Johnny Eddizon ISIR, S.ik, who facilitated this meeting acknowledged that the input from community, traditional leaders and religious figures in the meeting should become a subject of evaluation for the police in order to better (their actions) in the coming years.

“Police cannot move without holding hands together to prevent conflicts that happen. So in the year 2014 it is expected any existing conflict potential can be prevented,” said Jayawijaya Police Chief. (Jubi/Islami/Victor Mambor)

Edited for clarity by WPM

Karnavian: 11 prominent security cases in West Papua for 2013

From Victor Mambor at  Tabloid Jubi

December 1, 2014

Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian (Jubi)
Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian (Jubi)

Jayapura, 1/1 (Jubi) – Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian said, during the year 2013, there were eleven prominent cases related to Security and Public Order.

“There were eleven prominent cases during the Year 2013. Such as attacks carried by unidentified peoples, fifteen cases, and assault in the area of ​​PT Freeport Indonesia, eleven cases,“ said Tito Karnavian to reporters on Tuesday (31/12) night.

The eleven prominent cases are :
1. Tribal warfare, 3 cases;
2. Shooting in the area of ​​PT. Freeport Indonesia, 11 cases;
3. Mass attacks against members of the police, 6 cases;
4. Attacks by Armed Civilian/The National Liberation Army of Free West Papua Movement, 15 cases;
5. Deprivation against foreigners, 1 case;
6. Plane crash, 0 cases;
7. Protests against Special Autonomy Law, 3 cases;
8. Possession of illegal weapons , 4 cases;
9. Shootings by police, 3 cases;
10. Anarchist demo, 3 cases;
11. Raising of the Morning Star, 5 cases.

In addition, Papua Police had eleven operation carried out in the year 2013.
Eleven of these operations include Operation Mantap Praja II,  Operasi Mantap Praja III, Operasi Sahabar Matoa, Operasi Simpatik Matoa, Operasi Dian, Operasi Patuh Matoa, Operasi Zebra Matoa, Operasi Lilin Matoa dan Operasi Aman Matoa III.

“To eradicate corruption, from ten activities with 122 existing cases in police report, the State suffered a loss of Rp. 58,166,994,730, – but money returned to the state was Rp. 15,066,951,566, – , ” said Tito Karnavian.

Papua Police have predict public order and security situation (Sitkamtibmas) for 2014 will still be dominated by mass demonstrations relating to the Legislative and Presidential Elections. (Jubi/Aprila Wayar/Victor Mambor)