Tag Archives: Indonesian Institute of Sciences

AWPA: Increasing tension in West Papua

Press Release

26 October 2011

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation in West Papua AWPA has again written to the Foreign minister (letter below) urging him to use his good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists.

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.

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Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

26 October 2011

Dear Mr Rudd,

I am writing to you concerning the increasing tension in West Papua. I wrote to you on the 20 October concerning the crackdown by Indonesian security forces on delegates who were attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress which was held between the 17 and 19 October. Reports now indicate that the casualties were more numerous than first thought. Six people have been confirmed killed and six charged with treason. A large number of West Papuans received serious injuries as they were beaten by the security forces with batons, bamboo poles and the butts of rifles during the arrest of up to 300 delegates. There may be more casualties as many of those attending the congress fled into the bush in fear of their lives from the security forces.

In other recent incidents around the giant Freeport copper and gold mine, three miners were ambushed by unknown gunmen and two other miners killed in a clash with police. The Mulia Police chief was also shot by unknown gunmen at Mulia Airport in Puncak Jaya regency on Monday and an unidentified group also set fire to the Mulia food resilience office. As a result of these incidents and in an effort to tighten security and to conduct military operations for those responsible for the killing of the police chief, up to 300 members of the security are being sent to West Papua.

AWPA believes that this deployment of extra security will only increase fear amongst the West Papuan people who are already traumatised by numerous military operations that have taken place particularly in the Puncak Jaya region.

A report in the Jakarta Globe (25 October) said that human rights groups believed that there were “strong indications” that security forces committed rights abuses during last week’s deadly crackdown on a pro-independence rally in Abepura, Papua. An extract from the Jakarta Globe article
Ridha Saleh, deputy chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said it appeared likely that officers assaulted and fired at participants at the Papuan People’s Congress, which took place last week. A day after the incident, the bodies of six participants were found near the local military headquarters, reportedly with gunshot wounds. “The participants did not put up any kind of resistance, yet they were taken down, beaten and shot at,” Ridha said. “That this resulted in fatalities clearly makes this a serious rights violation.”

The security forces always try to blame the OPM for many of the incidents that occur in West Papua. However, Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, a researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said on Tuesday that it was difficult to pinpoint the cause of the recent spike in violence, but that there were only three elements influential enough to trigger the turmoil: the separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM), the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the police. “But we can’t really tell which one of them actually started the whole thing because the information coming out of Papua is limited and sketchy,” he said, adding that reports from security forces were also unreliable. In one scenario he points out that “But if it’s the TNI or National Police manipulating events to try to get more troops and supplies posted to Papua, then that’s even more worrying.” 
He added that the tactic of boosting the security presence there by creating unrest was “not a new practice,” having been carried out frequently under the New Order regime. Earlier this year, the military said there was a need to increase the TNI’s presence in Papua, citing the province’s huge energy and mineral riches and increasing potential for secession.

AWPA points out that 300 security forces have just being deployed to West Papua.

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation we urge you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

CC. Indonesian Embassy, Canberra

Australian Embassy, Jakarta

various human rights organisations and the media

Decisions of Peace Conference still awaiting the OPM, says Tebay

(SOURCE UNDEFINED – Received via Tapol)
(NOTE: West Papua Media has serious concerns with the process and conduct of the alleged peace process run by Tebay and LIPI.  Due to Indonesian state human rights violations ongoing whilst this conference was talking up the “genuine  intentions” of the military participants of the meetings, we have been unable to give it the attention it requires.  Major reporting and analysis of the process, including detailed interviews with both participants and boycotters, will be soon forthcoming).

STILL AWAITING OPM

On recommendations regarding Jakarta-Papua dialogue Following the Papua Peace Conference which was held last week, Father Dr Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papua Peace Network which was responsible for convening the conference, the results of the conference were not yet final.

He said that there were other groups of Papuans who would also play an important role in the success of the recommendations made by the conference. These were Papuans who are based abroad and Papuans living in the mountains, the TPN/OPM.

‘This [the conference] was only the beginning. A final decision about who would represent us at the dialogue is not yet final. These are suggestions made by Papuans who are in Indonesia.’ He said that a resolution of the problems in Papua would have to involve three groups, those living in Indonesia, those now living abroad, and those in the mountains.’

He said that the conference had agreed on the criteria of Papua, a Land of Peace. ‘The indicators were in the political, economic, and environmental spheres, as well as in the field of law, human rights and social-cultural spheres.’

‘The drafting committee formulated the criteria according to inputs from the various sources on the first day, in particular the results of the discussions which took place in the commissions,’ he said.

A political observer from La Keda Institute, Lamadi de Lamato said that the proposals agreed by the conference were somewhat idealistic. ‘It would seem to me that adjustments are needed to ensure that what is being proposed is realisable,’ he told Bintang Papua.

He said that components from a number of districts in Papua and West Papua had been invited, and pointed out that members of the ‘DPRP – provincial legislative assembly – were acknowledged as being representatives of the people and they have been very vocal in expressing views to the government.’

He felt that nevertheless, the results of the conference were acceptable, both scientifically as well as beng representative of the indigenous Papuan people, ‘because the participants had come from most of the regions in Papua and West Papua.’

PDP leader on dialogue: Don’t forget the OPM

[Slightly abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Bintang Papua, 27 March 2011

Jayapura: Thaha Alhamid, secretary general of  Papuan Presidium Council, (PDP),has welcomed the initiative taken by the Papuan Peace Network, the JDP, to seek to solve the Papuan problem by means of a Jakarta-Papua dialogue, and says this should include all the leaders of the struggle for Papuan independence, here in the Land of Papua as well as abroad. He was responding to a report in Saturday’s issue of Bintang Papua’s report regarding the initiative taken by Pastor Neles Tebay regarding dialogue.

But he said that the failure to include representatives of TPN/OPM in the JDP was a serious matter, bearing in mind that the OPM is still struggling in the forests of Papua. ‘I realise that there are problems of communication but that doesn’t mean that they should not be represented in the JDP.’ He said he was sure that the JDP would deal with this, bearing in  mind the fact that the TPN/OPM was present at the Grand Papuan Congress in 2001.

He said that the TPN/OPM consists of a considerable number  of groups but this does not mean that it should be excluded. Moreover there was once a UN resolution which made the point that geographical problems should not result in the exclusion of any communities. ‘I am sure that by means of a process of communication, the TPN/OPM will be represented in the  dialogue.’

He said that all sides should understand that dialogue or peaceful struggle has been the agreed platform of the Papuan people since the time of the IInd Papuan Congress when it was  decided that the Papuan struggle must be pursued by peaceful means and this means prioritising dialogue.

‘What we should focus on is not war but dialogue or peaceful struggle,’ he said.

He said that he welcomed the network, the communications, the role of civil society and the good initiative taken by LIPI, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, to press for  dialogue He also recognised that it will not be easy.

In the first place, there needs to  be an internal Papuan dialogue, which should include all Papuans, including those  who are in the forssts, those who are living abroad or wherever they may be, for they are all entitled to have their say regarding the question of dialogue.

Secondly, for all those Papuans here in the Land of  Papua, there’s no need to consider what their background is because all Papuans have the right to say what they think the dialogue should discuss.

In the third place, the JDP has entered into communication with various groups at home as well as abroad in order to start preparing for the dialogue process, and  have agreed to a joint approach towards the central government in Jakarta.

‘If we intend to move towards the process of dialogue, bridges will need to be built  even if this brings in voices of people who are in favour or against, as all this must be part of the discussion. I am convinced that the JDP is not in any way subordinated to the central government; they are all leaders of civil society who are trying to find a middle way. Dialogue with those everywhere in the world is something that all of us should appreciate,’ he said.

JUBI: New unit (UP4B) to be set up in Papua

JUBI, 9 February 2011

New unit (UP4B) to be set up in Papua

A new unit, UP4B -Unit Percepatan Pembangunan Papua dan Papua Barat – a Unit to Accelerate Development in Papua and West Papua – is to be set up in March this year for the purpose of handling a number of political and human rights problems as well as development which is still virtually stagnant.

‘As members of the Papuan Peace Network – JDP – we have decided to help the government in setting set up this body,’ said Muridan Widjojo of LIPI., the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

Muridan said that LIPI had decided to get involved in this and help the
government, in the hope that this new body will not confine itself to
dealing only with social and economic issues such as development projects but will also prioritise the issue of human rights violations
and the political situation throughout West Papua so that these issues can be properly addressed.

‘We hope that the establishment of this body will be supported by all
those involved, so as to ensure that it does not confine itself only to
social issues but will also deal with the issue of human rights which
also needs to be prioritised.’

Muridan also said that the JDP hopes that the UP4B will be able to
advance the process of dialogue between the indigenous Papuan people (OAP) and the Indonesian government, mediated by a neutral international party, in order to get to the root of the problem. These problems should not be allowed to go on festering without end which can only mean that stability and the welfare of the Papuan people will continue to be disturbed.

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[Another JUBI article reports that Muridan has called on the Indonesian president to deal seriously with the issue of dialogue between Indonesian and Papua, and will set up a special team for this purpose. We hope to post the item in full soon. TAPOL]