Tag Archives: Australia – Indonesia relationship

Jubi: Indonesian Youth May Launch Cyber Attack on Australia : Minister

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno

Jayapura, Jubi/Antara – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno remarked that Indonesian youths may launch a cyber attack on Australia in retaliation for the Tony Abbott government’s threat.

“Some time ago, Australians hit Indonesia through a cyber attack. Now, Indonesian youths might retaliate in the same way,” Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said while attending the 14th congress of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth (KNPI) here on Thursday (26/2/2015).

He delivered his statement in front of a thousand Indonesian youths who were attending the congress in Papua. He was explaining the government’s stance on foreign pressure to cancel the death penalty.

According to the minister, President Joko Widodo is committed to combating drug abuse and trafficking. The policy of death sentence for drug dealers is not negotiable.

“The President is not going to pardon drug offences,” he added.

Therefore, the Indonesian government is not afraid of threats related to the execution of foreign drug dealers. Australia, he noted, will issue four threats if the Indonesian government executes two Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. The four threats will be withdrawal of ambassadors, boycott of Indonesia’s tourism destinations, withdrawal of aid to Indonesia and its citizens overseas.

Last week, while making a plea for two Australian drug traffickers on death row, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott mentioned the country’s relief aid to Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami disaster.
“Abbott’s comments hurt Indonesia’s people,” he pointed out.

In response to Abbott’s comments, a group of people in Jakarta collected coins to raise funds to symbolically return Australia’s financial aid for the tsunami disaster in Aceh in 2004. The move was in protest against Abbott reminding Indonesia about his country’s humanitarian aid while he was making a plea for the lives of Andrew Chan and Sukumaran.

A similar action was launched by Muslim students in Aceh, saying they felt insulted by Abbott’s statement.

Earlier, an academic from the University of Pelangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Prof. Dr. HM Norsanie Darlan said the death penalty will serve as a deterrent.

Drug abuse causes death; therefore, drug dealers deserve death,” Prof. Darlan noted here on Sunday night.

“We hope that death sentence, in addition to serving as a deterrent, would be a lesson that will stop other people from smuggling drugs into the country,” he remarked.

He stressed Indonesia should not be bothered by protests from other countries, such as Australia and Brazil, and even the United Nations Secretary-General.

According to him, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statement, which reminded Indonesia about its humanitarian aid while attempting to save two Australians from execution, reflected his frustration.

“He (Abbott) is not aware that two of his people have caused much damage to the Indonesian people, mainly young boys and girls,” he pointed out.

Earlier, the Indonesian government stated that drugs claimed at least 50 Indonesians daily.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said he will turn down all clemency appeals from drug convicts.

According to the government, the country is in a state of emergency and that it has the third largest number of drug addicts in the world and has become a major centre of international drug syndicates.

The government’s decision to issue the harshest punishment to drug dealers has received wide support, including from religious organizations and parliament.

The General chairman of the country’s largest non-political Islamic organization Nahdatul Ulama, Said Aqil Siradj, stated, “we should not waste time listening to protests from other countries.” “We should execute drug criminals to save our 240 million people,” Aqil added.

A lawmaker from the Commission III, Asrukl Sani, observed that Abbott was capitalizing on the death sentence issue to prop up his declining popularity.

The Attorney General’s Office is preparing to execute 8 drug convicts and three prisoners convicted of premeditated murders whose appeals for clemency have been turned down by the President.

Besides Myuran Sukumaran and Andre Chan from Australia, the other convicts are from the Philippines, France, Ghana, Spain, Brazil, and Indonesia.

The three convicts facing execution for premeditated murders are all Indonesians.

Sukamaran and Chan were arrested in April 2006 for attempting to smuggle in 8.3 kilograms of heroin to Bali. (*)

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

 

What should be the role of the Australian government as a member of the UN Security Council ?

Opinion / Analysis
By Herman Wainggai
September 11, 2013

Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)
Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)

Knowing  the history of the Indonesian state’s Army and Police invasion of West Papua there is no surprise in the fresh news of increased Indonesian military troops to the region, who are growing rapidly on this Melanesian ground like fertile mushrooms.

The Freedom Flotilla sailboat is currently on its voyage from Australian waters to the land of West Papua , and it has been confirmed that it is due to arrive within the next few days. Throughout the land of West Papua citizens and activists have been holding a number of peaceful demonstrations as a signal to welcome this boat. Thousands of West Papuans have bravely taken to the streets, high in enthusiasm and taking with them a variety of traditional instruments used in West Papua – ukuleles , guitars , drums , flute drums. They are also wearing traditional dress, and along with raising banners of the Freedom Flotilla sailboat, they are also displaying the national symbols of West Papua – the Morning Star flag.

This represents a challenge to and hope for the Indonesian government, that it ‘opens up’; that Jakarta demonstrates that it possesses genuine democratic maturity to negotiate peacefully with the political leaders of West Papua.  The people of West Papua, moreover, sincerely look forward to the newly elected Australian Federal government, especially in its new role as one of the member states of the UN Security Council, to act as a  mediator and by standards of international law help resolve the long running political conflict between the Indonesian government and the people of West Papua.

Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)
Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)

Our hope is that the precise opposite does not happen – that the Australian Government merely lets the Indonesian government continue to unilaterally kill the political, human rights and democracy activists of West Papua. This has been their lot for over 50 years – arrests, kidnapping, detention, shooting, killing, raping, long imprisonments.

The people of West Papua also hope that the Australian government will not forget this tiny Freedom Flotilla who will be facing the storm of the Indonesian military whose numbers have been newly swelled in the border area. Whatever happens, Australia needs to be assured that the people of West Papua will maintain their struggle to govern themselves, and will fight for that freedom by non-violent means.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo

The history of Indonesian brutality in West Papua over decades must be stopped by the international community, which includes Australia in its significant roles in the UN and  the Asia-Pacific region.  The data has been clearly documented from year to year – how long must West Papuans continue to be slaughtered like animals? The question is very pertinent then – what will be Australia’s role, and the USA and the United Nations – in regards to West Papua?  This land of the Mambruk – the beautiful Crowned Pigeon and symbol of Papua – which we love, shall we close our eyes and stop our ears to the injustices?

In the same way that attention is currently being given to the political situation in Syria, so must attention be given to the little Freedom Flotilla, and to the suffering people of West Papua, who have struggled for freedom and justice under the brutal regime of the military of the Indonesian state