Tag Archives: failure of Special Autonomy

LP3BH’s Warinussy meets with US Ambassador on Manokwari visit

Briefing

January 19, 2016

by Yan Christian Warinussy

On Sunday 17th January 2016, I had the opportunity of meeting the United States Ambassador to Indonesia,  Robert Blake, during a visit
to Manokwari.

At the meeting which lasted about 45 minutes, Ambassador Blake
asked me about the views of my organisation, the LP3BH. Ambassador
Blake asked me about the general situation in West Papua and recent
developments as well as the human rights situation here in West Papua
and he also wanted to know about the policy of President Joko Widodo
towards Papua and West Papua.

I told the Ambassador that the situation here continues to be
highly unsatisfactory in view of the many cases of human rights
violations, none of which had been dealt with in a court of law.

I referred in particular to the various laws and regulations that
were now in force, such as Law on Human Rights 39/1999 and Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. In addition, I drew his attention to Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Province of West Papua, as amended by Law 35/2008.

I referred in particular to a number of cases of grave human rights
violations such as the Wasior Case (2001), the Wamena Case (2002), the
Paniai Case (8th December (2014), the Tolikara Case (2015) when eleven
civilians were shot and wounded, whereas none of these cases has been
dealt with in a law court.

Ambassador Blake was very concerned about all these incidents and
the failure up to the present day by the Government of Indonesia to
deal with any these cases.

Ambassador Blake said that his government would guarantee that all
those who had ben responsible for these violations would be excluded
from any its governmental programmes related to education and human rights.

Speaking as a lawyer and a Human Rights Defender, I submitted a
written report to Ambassador Robert Blake, hoping that this would be
handed over to the US Government.

I also told Ambassador Blake that these matters were now being
seriously considered by various governments which were members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and members of the Pacific Islands Forum.  I drew his attention to the fact that the United Liberation
Movement for West Papua had been granted observer status by the MSG
in June 2015.

The result of all this was that these various regional state groups
had pressed for a fact-finding human rights mission to be sent to
West Papua and Papua.

I also expressed the opinion that (examination of) all these serious cases should be considered by the Government of the USA as the only way to strengthen democracy and peace throughout the Land of Papua.

With regard to the security situation in the Land of Papua, I stressed that the security forces now based in the Land of Papua should be instructed not to used firearms to handle the situation in the Land of Papua.but to deal with these incidents with peaceful means, instead of using the force of arms.

. I also urged the US Government to exert pressure on the Government
of Indonesia, under President Joko Widodo to respond to the peaceful
moves that had been taken by Papuan NGOs to resolve the social
conflicts in the Land of Papua.

Peace

Yan Christian Warinussy is Executive Director of the LP3BH, the Institute for Research, Investigation and the Development of Legal Aid, and Recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award, 2005, Canada.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

Edited for clarity by West Papua Media

STOP DANCING ATOP OF SUFFERING OF THE PAPUAN COMMUNITY!

Opinion

By Rufinus Madai

February 28, 2013

For 13 years now  government officials in Papua have been enjoying the benefits of the millions of Indonesian rupiah that has come its way thanks to the Special Autonomy package given by the Indonesian Government; and it’s undeniable that government officials at the provincial level as well as at the regency (local) level of the bureaucracy have allowed themselves to be ‘bought’ by this money.

They have allowed themselves to be bought in the way they think, at the level of their conscience and in regards to their sensitivity to the reality of what’s going on around them.  As a result of their ‘selling-out’, in every instance it’s the Papuan community that ends up suffering the consequences, suffering the loss.  The little people.

One can’t help wondering why in this era of Special Autonomy with all the money it brings into Papua, are we still seeing the constant suffering of the indigenous Papuan community.  Why are there still the constant injustices, the mistruths, the inequalities of the legal system and the destructive conflict that’s dragging on forever?  In fact one starts to ask the question whether the Special Autonomy is actually playing a role in creating that suffering.

Strange that in this ‘Special Autonomy’ era and with all the money that flows through that program, that the government bureaucrats are sucking the life from the Papuan community by selling off the resources of the land on which the people totally depend for survival, and meanwhile they stand idly by watching  the endless violations of the indigenous Papuan’s human rights.

The people are repressed, treated with inhumane cruelty, objectified, detained, chased, labeled separatists and even killed.   In receiving  such wealth for their ‘services’ they have become like purchased puppets of the Indonesian government.   Is it any wonder with these realities so obvious that the Papuan community time and again shows its distrust of the bureaucrats of the Indonesian government in Papua?

Whilst they enjoy the luxuries that millions of rupiah from Special Autonomy bring, the basic rights of the people are not even being considered and their sufferings go on and on without end.  We are not referring here to one remote corner of Papua but rather this is going on throughout the entire land of Papua.

The systems, policies and laws which have been created together with the Central Government to date have not only failed to bring benefit, but in fact have brought great loss to the indigenous Papuan community.   Such loss, that the  community has become convinced that the laws and policies created  for application in Papua are intended to repress and eventually annihilate the indigenous Papuan community from the land.

The government bureaucrats at the Papuan level are involved up to their necks! It’s as if they have become enchained to the big money Special Autonomy brings and they can’t break free.  Bought by the system.  No matter what they do or what decision they make under these circumstances whether regarding laws, policies or other, that will always be determined according to these ties.  Their decisions and actions are not based on good conscience made to address the needs of the people. The consequence being that the little people become the victims.

Until this time there have been no positive changes whatsoever brought about by the development programs as implemented by the government in Papua.  How could there be as the reality is that these programs in whatever form they may be, are not based on a recognition of the basic rights of the Papuan indigenous community!

They are not programs that help with poor education, or which address structural poverty or people’s basic human rights.  The Papuan community is well aware of this and believes that programs being implemented in Papua are simply those intended to support the vision , goals and programs of the National Indonesian Government.  Programs which increasingly marginalize the Papuan indigenous population, creating colonial domination, structural poverty, overpowering of the local community and ultimately leading to the death of the Papuan indigenous community.

The Papuan community is also well aware  of the way the two Provincial Papuan Governments to date have been operating,  acting  always in ways that prioritises their own tax revenue income whilst trampling on the land of the little people. Yet at the same time taking no actions in those areas where the community needs social laws to protect the people such as regarding the abuse of alcohol and the provision of sexual services.

The Indonesian Government knows it has ‘bought’ these government officials and that they are now tied tightly to and dependent on the National Indonesian Government.  Money speaks and in the same way money effectively silences voices concerning the constant human rights violations that are taking place right across the land of Papua.

However in spite of their having allowed themselves to be bought by the Indonesian government, nevertheless the Papuan community continues to hope that those Papuan  Government officials referred to will turn back to the people. That in so doing that they will  stop ‘selling out on’  the little people  of Papua, stop dividing the land further which in so doing divides the people,  stop making decisions in the interests of their own power and wealth and  stop acting in ways that support the vision and programs of the National Government and extending the conflict in Papua yet further.

The Papuan community continues to hope that the Papuan Government leaders will reject Special Autonomy so that they may not be dependent and tied in such ways to Jakarta. Continues to hope that these leaders finally may have the courage to themselves assert what policies and concepts of development are needed that truly support and are able to bring about improvements in the welfare of the ordinary people.

Such that the Papuan community might determine its own future on its own land.  Such that the paradigm of Papuans as being primitive, ignorant people who need others to organize them may come to an end. The little people of Papua have waited faithfully so long and yet still the tears flow without ceasing.

“May they who have ears to hear listen, may they who have eyes see,  and may they who have hearts and minds consider carefully and arrive at those  decisions that are right and that is acceptable to all persons.”
The Writer is a post graduate student at the Catholic Seminary in Abepura, Papua.

Thousands of students rally to reject Otsus Plus and provincial division

By West Papua Media editors, with local stringers

November 5, 2013

Thousands of Papuan university and high school students led demonstrations in Jayapura on November 4, firmly rejecting attempts by Jakarta to impose the revived “new, improved” version of the failed Special Autonomy package, named “Otsus Plus”.

A coalition of student organizations, collectively known as ‘Students, Youth and People’s Movement’ (Gerakan Mahasiswa, Pemuda dan Rakyat Papua (GempaR Papua) –  the acronym GempaR literally translates as “Unarmed Insurrection” or “Uproar”), also called the actions to reject Jakarta’s latest plans to divide Papua into 33 districts and three further provinces.  The movement has been started by students from seven different high schools, technical colleges and universities in Jayapura, including Cenderawasih University, UMEL MANDIRI, STIKOM, STT GKI I.S.KIJNE and the opposition to the imposition of Special Autonomy Plus.  The rally was subject to several threats of violence from Indonesian security forces, who routinely deem all gatherings on peaceful Papuan aspirations as subversive and treasonous, according to rally sources.

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The planned administrative divisions of Papuan land and districts under Otsus Plus have been widely interpreted as a colonial act by most Papuan civil society groups, according to Papuan observers, and seen as a covert method of further increasing the massive militarisation of Papua.  Each new district automatically gains its own military and policy company (150 men for each), and each further province each gains their own battalions of Military (1500 men) and Police (1200 men), further adding to the estimated 45,000 troops in Papua, the most militarised area under Indonesian occupation.

“Special Autonomy ‘Plus’ will not change (the mind of) Papuans.  Special Autonomy Plus is not a solution for indigenous Papuans. We firmly reject the plan for Autonomy Plus in Papua and West Papua, we reject it, Autonomy Plus and the New Re-districting are the same (still) killing Papuan people, not the solution to prosperity ” said Hendrik Koroto, Demonstration Coordinator and student at the Faculty of Engineering.

As is standard with any demonstration in Papua, the Indonesian police attempted at least twice to violently prevent the students from peacefully continuing on the march, shadowing the gathering with several hundred heavily armed security personnel.  The notoriously hardline Jayapura Deputy Police Chief Kiki Kurnia, again confronted the marchers in an effort to disperse them, threatening the use of heavy force on the students with a display of hardware including heavily armed police, water cannon and Barrucuda armoured assault vehicles. Intense negotiations took place for almost 15-20 minutes between organisers and Senior Police However, Jayapura Police Chief Alfred Papare agreed to allow marchers to continue their march using one lane to allow traffic to pass.

Whilst one group was negotiating with police, a large number of students unexpectedly took to the road, and several waves of students began to march on the Governor’s office, holding hands and neighbours with a tight protective formation.    Police dragged barbed wire in front of the Governor’s office and blocked the main entrance with 5 police trucks, and several other vehicles, The student and civil society gathering then occupied the forecourt of the Governor’s office for over two hours, during which time Governor Enembe agreed to meet a delegation from the student representatives.  No arrests were reported but threats were allegedly made against keynote speakers and rally organisers, according to witnesses who spoke with West Papua Media stringers.

WestPapuaMedia

 

Papua, a Thorn in the Side of Indonesia

Opinion / Analysis

by Selpius Bobii in Abepura Prison

written 25 September 2013

“The Republic of Indonesia is quite capable of removing a thorn in the side of another nation but is not capable of removing the thorn in its own side” were the words of a certain Indonesian commenting on the State of Indonesia at this time.

For some time now Indonesia has been busily involving itself in finding solutions for problems of other nations, as if it had no domestic problems of its own.  Yet there are still many extremely serious problems within Indonesia that need the Indonesian Government’s urgent attention and Papua is one that’s most obvious.  For the last 50 years Papua has been a ‘thorn in the side’ of Indonesia . Indeed the Indonesian Government has tried to ‘fix’ the problem by applying a range of strategies and approaches, however all have been according to Indonesia’s agenda and so each has failed to remove the thorn. The reality is that as long as the thorn remains buried deep in Indonesia’s flesh that there will continue to be problems.

Indonesia has been using its charm in a number of both official and non-official forums held around the world, talking of its commitment to being involved in handling various issues of conflict currently being faced around the world. Problems such as that in Palestine, Egypt and the Moro Islamic tribal issue in the Philippines to name but a few. However the Indonesian Government is not ready to face up to addressing the situation in its own backyard when it is Indonesia that is under the spotlight by the international community.

Indonesia has continued until this time to accuse foreigners of meddling in the internal affairs of Indonesia, however Indonesia for some reason doesn’t seem to recognise that Indonesia itself has meanwhile continued to interfere in the affairs of another nations. The Indonesian Government has for instance had a hand in the affairs of Israel and Palestine with Indonesian having stepped forward to the front line to defend the acknowledgement of the world community regarding the independence of the Palestinians. Yet despite Indonesia giving attention to these various problems overseas it has not addressed the matter of that thorn in the side back home in Indonesia. Not only have the problems in Papua remain unaddressed, but in fact there has never even been any efforts made to find a solution to bring an end to the problems in Papua, such as through dignified unconditional dialogue between the nations of Indonesia and Papua.

Following the launch of the branch of the Free West Papun Campaign in Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK) for example, the Indonesian Government at both the legislative and executive level were infuriated. Even Indonesian civilians became involved with the upset and it was talked about at every level of society. The UK Government was criticised and even accused of meddling in the affairs of another nation. The Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Legislative Assembly (DPR) Priyo Budi Santoso  stated “ The Indonesian Government must officially convey its protest to the UK Foreign Affairs Minister with a copy to the Queen of England. There should be mutual respect.”(www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/dpr-inggris-terlalu-mencampuri-urusan-indonesia.html).

Then there was the most recent issue with the Freedom Flotilla from Australia entering Indonesia waters. An incident that attracted harsh and high level criticism from a number of parties within Indonesia. The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security was most concerned at the time of the Flotilla’s expected arrival and stated that the Indonesian Navy and Airforce were both on alert in anticipation of its arrival. Even the Indonesian President made a severe warning to other nations  at the time stating that other nations must not violate the sovereignty of Indonesia and in so doing create international friction (www.majalahselangkah.com). Through its Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa, Indonesia diplomatically sought the Australian Government’s assistance to interrupt the Flotilla’s journey. However as a democratic nation Australia could not interfere as no law had been broken and they were obliged to allow the allow freedom of expression and opinion and accordingly the convoy to continue. The Australian Government however through its Foreign Minister Bob Carr made quite clear that they would give no assistance to, and were in no way responsible for the Australian citizens on the Flotilla, if they entered Indonesian or PNG rterritory and were arrested by Indonesian or PNG armed forces and legally charged (www.republika.co.id/berita/internasional/). Tony Ervianto even made accusations that there was some foreign interests behind the Freedom Flotilla. (www.news.detik.com).

Internationally, Indonesia has always stressed that the problems in Papua are domestic business and not the business of foreign nations, however the circumstances are clearly proof that the Indonesian Government is not in fact capable of handling and bringing an end to that so called ‘domestic business’. In the Indonesian President’s state speech on 16 August 2011, he promised that the problems in Papua would be finalised through an approach of dignified dialogue. However until this time SBY’s promises have yet to be realised. Indeed fine words but words with no actions.

If Indonesia could bring a dignified end to the problems in Papua, then of course those in the international community who are concerned about Papua would not feel a need to interfere in the internal affairs of Indonesia. However as Indonesia is only capable of the talk and there is no realisation, whilst meanwhile human rights violations continue unceasingly, so that ‘thorn in the side’ of Indonesia will continue to  attract the international spotlight.

Until this time Indonesia has undertaken a range of strategies and means to stem the spread of support for Papuan independence aspirations, yet all their efforts have failed totally. One of those strategies was the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua but that also failed to achieve Indonesia’s objective of repressing Papuans independence aspirations. Special Autonomy was not something born out of the desires of the Papuan community but rather something was based on Jakarta’s agenda with the hidden goal of repressing Papuan’s desire for independence.

Following the failure of Special Autonomy in Papua, Indonesia is now in the process of planning to pass certain Papuan Governance legislation. The fact that the draft of that legislation is but a copy of the Aceh Governance legislation has attracted concern from a number of circles. The Executive Director of the Organisation for Research, Investigation and the Development of Legal Assistance (LP3BH), Yan Christian Warinussy, commented that the draft was the work of a few people around President SBY acting recklessly and unconstitutionally in allowing the draft Papuan Governance legislation to slip through. That this draft legislation is but a copy and paste of Aceh’s legislation is indeed an embarrassment and poor reflection of the Presidency(www.majalahselangkah.com).

Indonesia has also tried the welfare (illusion) approach in its efforts to face up the movement of the Struggle of the Papuan nation. Then there has been the security approach, the legal and then the social-cultural approaches.  Not one of these approaches however will ever be successful in removing that ‘Papuan thorn’ in Indonesia’s flesh.  Indonesia must change its paradigm and undertake an approach based on wisdom to handle and bring an end to the Papuan problem.  As long as Indonesia has an attitude that the issue of Papua was finalised back in 1969 with the ‘Act of Free Choice’ and continues to defend its hold on Papua through a number of approaches that are but one of the same, so the problems of Papua will continue without cease, like a thorn that irritates Indonesia.

To avoid the Papuan issue attracting the constant spotlight of the international community, Indonesia should have taken real steps before now to deal with the problems in Papua, one of which should have been the mechanism of dignified dialogue between the nations of Indonesia and Papua.  As long as Indonesia continues NOT to take real steps to bring an end to the problems in Papua, the international community in turn will continue to keep the spotlight on Papua.

Or is Indonesia is actually waiting for the international community to intervene to sort out the Papuan problem? If Indonesia is not capable of sorting out the Papuan problem, then Indonesia should be honest about that before the international community including the UN. So that others can handle and bring an end to the problems. Indonesia has not only allowed the problems in Papua to continue too long already without any real steps or solutions to make’ Papua a land of peace’ but in fact  Indonesia has continuously taken actions intended to delay the time when the problems in Papua will be brought to an end.  Allowing the problems in Papua to continue will only lengthen the list of victims; And not only loss of human lives but also the loss of earthly things, time, and endless thoughts and feelings as a consequence of the oppression.

The international community including the USA, have again and again requested Indonesia to bring an end to the problems in Papua through means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. However until this time Indonesia has constantly  ignored pressure from the international community. Perhaps because Indonesia considers the matter of Papua was already finalised back in 1969. However this perception is so very wrong! If the problem of Papua had already been finalised why are there still constantly people in Papua losing their lives? Why is there relentless marginalisation and discrimination? And why are Papuans intentionally being increasingly made a minority on their ancestor’s land? All of which are amounting to an annihilation of the ethnic Papuan race.

These things have continued without ceasing from the origin of this political conflict commencing with the annexation of the nation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia through a military and political invasion by Indonesia. It’s time that Indonesia left its longtime paradigm that closes the door on finding a solution and rather undertakes a democratic and dignified approach through dialogue and negotiations, to give rise to a dignified solution – as the first step towards bringing peace and prosperity to the land of Papua and its people.

 ‘Humans which value basic human rights are those who will protect and respect the rights of their fellow beings.’

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA West Papua & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee held in Abepura State Prison

 

MRP Recommendation on Jakarta-Papua Dialogue must be followed up

Bintang Papua
24 August 2013Jayapura: The Deputy Director of the Alliance of Democracy for Papua (ALDP), Yuman Corona, has called on all Papuans at home and abroad to press for the implementation of the recommendation by the Majelis Rakyat  Papua (Papuan People’s Council) that  the correct way to solve the Papuan problem is by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.

‘At a plenary session held on 12 August 2013, the MRP said that Special Autonomy for Papua (OTSUS) has  been a failure and there should be a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. ‘

As has already been reported, the MRP called on the President, the Governor of Papua and the Governor of West Papua to carry  this recommendation forward. The MRP recommendation stated that Dialogue should occur within the next sixty days.

In this connection, the ALDP, as part of civil society in Papua, made the following points:

1. The MRP which is the representative body of the Papuan people as stipulated in Law 21/2001, must be consistent and focus on the recommendation it adopted at its plenary sessions for a dialogue to take place.

2.  Fully supports the policy and  position adopted by the MRP which needs to be publicised to all the Papuan people.

The DPRP (Legislative Assembly of West Papua ) and the DPR PB (Legislative Assembly of Papua) ‘should both support the MRP recommendation  and keep in close communication with the MPR. and convene plenary sessions in order to set up a PANSUS (Special Committee) for the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue.

It  further called on the Governor of Papua and the Governor of West Papua to fully support the  recommendation of the MRP and maintain close communications with the MRP (Papua) and the MRPB (West Papua) in order to work out their strategy  and to make the question of Dialogue their top priority.

Furthermore, the President of the Republic of Indonesia should fully support  the recommendation of the MRP for Dialogue as the way to solve the problem of West Papua in accordance with what he said in his State Address on 16 August  2011 regarding the resolution of the question of Papua and should set up a special committee in preparation for the Jakarta-Papua Dialogue and hold talks with various elements in Papua and Jakarta.

Furthermore, the DPR RI (National Parliament ) and the DPD RI (Assembly of Regional  Representatives)  should express their full support for the recommendation of the MRP as the way to resolve the Papuan issue. Commission 1 of Parliament should discuss this matter with the various political groups and commissions  to declare their support for Jakarta-Papua Dialogue in order to resolve the Papuan issue.

Finally, he said: ‘Why do we (ALDP) support the idea of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua? Because this is the way to solve the problem without resorting to the use of violence. It is our vision to promote justice and a democratic process  in Papua  The MRP which is a legal institution  must act to find the best possible solution for Papua.’

[Translated by TAPOL]