Tag Archives: Indonesian intelligence games

MSG SNARED IN A SCENARIO OF DECEPTION

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii

January 27, 2014

(apologies for delay in publication)

In the case of Papua, the State of Indonesia allows all means to be used  – with nothing too extreme – to ensure their continued hold on Papua within the Republic.  The ‘deceptive approach’ together with military might are Indonesia’s two preferred methods, but there’s no end to the list of other means also systematically applied.  Indonesia continuously deceives the people of Papua with it’s words and through wrapping its lies in a range of political packets such as Special Autonomy, the so-called accelerated development program UP4B, the accelerated division into new provinces/city areas/ regencies and so forth. Indonesia also intentionally deceives the international community at every level, whether individuals, NGO’s or foreign governments. We have just seen again a scenario of deception  being played out at high levels internationally by the State of Indonesia, this time aimed at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

 In June 2013, Indonesia through its Minister for Coordinating Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto, invited the MSG to send a delegation to Papua to see and hear for themselves what the reality of the situation was in Papua. That invitation was extended by Suyanto to the then Chairperson of the MSG, the Prime Minister of Fiji whilst in Suva.  It then transpired that the MSG member Foreign Ministers made a joint recommendation at the time of determination of the MSG Summit Agenda on 16 June 2013, that discussion regarding Papua’s application to become a member of the MSG (that application being in the name of the WPNCL, the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation) be postponed. The matter was nevertheless discussed at the MSG Summit, with the outcome that a final decision on Papua’s application would await a visit by the MSG State Foreign Ministers to Indonesia.

In the MSG Summits results as recorded in the Communique at points 20 /21, it was noted that West Papua still had an opportunity to achieve self determination.  The Meeting also stated its serious concern regarding continuing human rights violations being committed by Indonesia against indigenous Papuans. A time-line was  provided at point 21 regarding Papua’s application for membership within the MSG, with a commitment for a decision on the matter being guaranteed no later than 6 months from the date of the Summit following receipt of a report from a visit to Indonesia by a MSG Foreign Minister delegation.

Indonesia was successful  in their efforts to have the determination regarding Papua’s application for MSG membership postponed at the Summit. Following which Indonesia then took advantage of the 6 months period and undertook a range of approaches to influence the outcome of the situation. Indonesia made certain invitations to each of the different MSG members individually which would open the way to be able to influence them and at the same time purposely worked to increase the level of bilateral work relations with each nation to also influence the outcome of Papua’s MSG application.

Although an invitation was made in June 2013 by the Indonesian Minister to the MSG Chairperson to send a visiting delegation to Indonesia, the follow up actions required by Indonesia to make that a reality didn’t occur within the 6 months time limit set by the MSG leadership. Shortly after that 6 months had expired the Government of Indonesia then in January 2014 provided the formal invitation required for a delegation to visit Indonesia including to Jakarta and the two areas in Indonesia inhabited by Melanesian peoples being Papua and Ambon.

Indonesia carefully planned a scenario to ensure the visiting MSG Foreign Ministers would only  be able to see and hear what Indonesia wanted them to.  The Vanuatu Prime Minister on reading the details of the proposed visit strongly voiced Vanuatu’s objection with fellow MSG members also wanting to respond to Indonesia’s invitation. Indonesia’s invitation was blatantly and totally designed to suit their own interests. As a result Vanuatu was unwilling to send its Foreign Minister with the group to Indonesia. The same response was taken by the Kanaky. Vanuatu and the Kanaky members therefore only sent persons to monitor the visit but not as delegation members. As a result there were only in fact 3 members of the group representing the MSG.

The MSG Foreign Minister Delegation arrived in Papua on 13 January 2014 at 5.20 a.m when the people of Papua were still asleep (with the correct time of arrival having been hidden from the community before their arrival). Such an hour of arrival for official State visitors is absolutely unheard of in Indonesia and is not in accordance with State Protocol.

The Delegation was met by the Head of Indonesian Police in Papua and the Head of the Jayapura Kabupaten (Regency). From that moment onwards the group was escorted under very tight control by the Indonesian Military, Police and National Intelligence. Throughout the entire visit to Papua the MSG Delegation was not allowed any access whatsoever to key Papuan figures and leaders of any of the components of the Papuan Struggle for liberation.   The Delegation was only permitted to meet with Indonesian Government Officials, at both the national and regional level and particular supporters of Indonesia.  Even the Papuan Legislative Assembly (DPRP) and the Papuan People’s Council (MRP)  – as official bodies under the Indonesian structures – were not invited to meet with the MSG Delegation. Indonesia instead invited a few hand-picked members of the MRP and DPRP to be involved, who had previously chosen to side with Indonesia (in terms of interests they represent). MRP and DPRP certainly voiced their objection at not being allowed to meet the MSG Delegation, but to no avail.
When the community realised that the Delegation had already arrived and a crowd gathered to show their concern in a peaceful demonstration, combined Indonesian Military and Police forces immediately forced the gathering to disperse. In so doing they arrested 46 indigenous Papuans for being part of a peaceful demonstration.  Following the Delegation flying out of Jayapura at 3.00pm,  the 46 persons were then released. That action was part of the Indonesia creating an impression for the international Delegation that all was just fine in Papua.  When the reality is that was is occurring inside Papua is a humanitarian emergency, intentionally hidden from the world. A situation that is horrifying indeed.

The MSG Delegation on arriving that same day at Ambon in the nearby Maluku Islands of Indonesia, were allowed to be welcomed in a way that was in accordance with the usual traditional welcome for State visitors of such stature. This was but another strategy by Indonesia to deceive the MSG representatives that those persons of Melanesian decent living in Indonesia were happy and well and that Indonesia had provided for their good welfare.

In the meeting between the representatives of the Provincial level of the Indonesian Government in Papua and the MSG delegation, the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe encouraged the meeting to join his government in forgetting the past in Papua. He said that now was the era of reformation and that an opportunity had been given to develop Papua through the Special Autonomy arrangement (which was presently being changed to become Special Autonomy Plus) as the solution to development in Papua (source: Broadcast RRI Jayapura 14 January 2014).

The MSG Delegates were indeed deceived by the scenario which Indonesia created for their arrival.  The Delegates themselves were recorded as stating that Special Autonomy in Papua had brought about good results (source: Broadcast RRI Jayapura 14 January 2014). How could Special Autonomy possibly have had ‘good results’ when it provided absolutely no partiality in favour of indigenous Papuans?  Where it has resulted in no change to the reality that indigenous Papuans have no protection from the State let alone any empowerment under the program!  Special Autonomy in Papua has born fruit but for Indonesia, not for Papua. it has ‘successfully’ created discrimination, marginalisation and injustice towards indigenous Papuans, leading further towards them being made a minority in their ancestors land, creating violence in the land and humanitarian atrocities against indigenous Papuans.  With the end consequence of moving things towards the annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

In accordance with their visit itinerary, on 15 January 2014 the 3 MSG delegates met with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to sign a number of agreements to work together.  The MSG Delegation will now proceed to prepare a report of their visit for the MSG leadership which will then enable their decision regarding Papua’s application for membership. If the application is upheld West Papua immediately will have official and permanent membership status within the MSG Forum. If on the other hand however it is not upheld, then Papua will  receive Observer status only within the MSG.
The MSG Delegates in their visit to Indonesia met only with the Government of Indonesia at its different levels and a few members of the community who were known to be in support of Indonesia’s continued occupation of Papua.  The Delegation did not meet with a single key figure or leader from the Papuan community who represented the mass movement for Papuan independence.  Accordingly the report that will be provided by the three MSG Delegates to the MSG Leadership will be unavoidably biased. Applying human logic alone it can be easily predicted that MSG’s decision is going to favour Indonesia, unless there is some miracle of God to prevent that.

Indonesia’s engineering of a number of scenarios intended to deceive, are aimed firstly at ensuring the application of Papua to become a member of the MSG fails; secondly, at ensuring Indonesia’s colonial domination and hold on Papua continued to be defended; thirdly at ensuring that the terrible suffering of the indigenous people of Papua was prolonged to bring about an end to the ethnic Papuan race so that Indonesia can be rid of any possible resistance once and for all; and though it might not be obvious to some,  to destroy oneness and good working partnerships between the respective nations of the Melanesia region whilst instead strengthening Indonesia’s partnerships with each of those respective nations individually.

According to the very well respected long-term Papuan political prisoner of conscience Filep J.S Karma (who presently continues to be detained in the Abepura State Prison), “ The Republic of Indonesia is as a virus within the MSG. That virus is destroying the good partnerships that have existed until this time within the MSG Forum.” It is Karma’s hope that the MSG Forum would act as quickly as possible to expel this Indonesian virus. He predicted that if they failed to, then the virus would succeed to destroy the solidarity that has existed until now between the nations of the Melanesian region.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA, and is a Political Prisoner.  This article is  Written from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia

BOBII: THE TRILOGY OF DECEPTION IN PAPUA

Opinion / Analysis

by Selpius Bobii

January 19, 2014

There’s no means outside what’s acceptable in terms of methods the Indonesian Government allows to be used to deal with the movement of the Struggle for Independence of the nation (people) of Papua.  One such means is the practice of deceit.  It’s not only through people’s words but rather deception is also seen through a range of government developmental policies.

The majority of officials at the various levels of government in Papua are themselves deceived by the cunning of Jakarta. But then the officials of the Papuan Provincial government in turn also imitate the style of intentional deception as practised by the Guru (Teacher) – the Central Indonesian Government – as the Papuan Provincial government deceives its own people, the indigenous people of Papua.  There is as it were, a continual chain of deception with Jakarta tricking Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papua tricking its own people.. A ‘trilogy of deception’.

The tactics of this  deception as being practised by the Indonesian central government towards Papua are being nicely wrapped of course, so it’s not blatantly obvious.  Consider for instance the present rapid expansion of new government administrative areas under the new package of special autonomy for the region.  An expansion that happens to be not even in accordance with the conditions under which special autonomy was formed in the first place!  As at mid 2013  there were 2 provinces in Papua and 41 regencies / city administrative areas. However by the end of 2013 on the instruction of the Indonesian President on 27 December 2013, there was approval for the creation of 3 new provinces and 26 new regencies / city areas formed, bringing the total of government administrative areas in Papua to 74 regencies and 5 provinces.

It’s interesting to compare that number to the formation of new regencies in all other areas from Sabang at the tip of Aceh to Ambon in the west – from one end of Indonesia to the other – throughout 2013. The combined total for all other areas totalled a mere 32 new regencies, compared to 26  in Papua alone! In spite of the fact that the population in Papua is a mere 4 million persons compared to  eastern, western and central Java where there are populations in each respective area of more than 50 million people. The political prisoner Agus Kraar commented in this regard “ That means the people of Papua are really and truly drowning in accordance with the words of Sendius Wonda and Reverend Socrates Yoman (of the Baptist Church) in their book entitled ‘The Drowning and Annihilation of Ethnic Melanesians’ (Tenggelamnya Rumpun Melanesia dan Pemusnahan Etnis Melanesia.)

Until this time Jakarta has continued to manipulate and deceive Papuans with so many promises and sweet offers, yet the reality when it turns out is bitter and has the effect of quietly killing the people and ensuring there will be no continuation of life for indigenous Papuans over time.  The Special Autonomy deal for example has now become like the logo for systemic humanitarian evil in Papua.  Interestingly it’s known of in Jakarta (NGO community) as ‘The Papuan Deceit’ (in Indonesian, ‘Jakarta Tipu Papua”).

There are sadly also some Papuans who chase after government positions which bring respect and wealth.  Some of which use the issue of Papuan Independence like a bargaining position to further their own, or perhaps their group’s, interests. In fact the Writer considers that if it were not for such persons, the rest of those in the Struggle for Papua would undoubtedly go on to in time achieve independence for Papua. Those persons using the issue of Papuan Independence for their own gain are not persons who have any determining influence on the Papuan Independence Struggle but rather mere ‘Political Prostitutes’.  Jakarta has been fooled into thinking that are persons of influence / decision-making power and in this way some Papuans are imitating the teacher and actually deceiving Jakarta.  This is the second level of deceit in the Trilogy.

Then there’s the third level in the picture, with Papuans deceiving Papuans. Shameful as it is indeed there are certain Papuans deceiving their fellow indigenous Papuans. Papuans themselves in some instances are campaigning that the opening up of new regencies or provinces will increase welfare for Papuans.  Yet the reality always proves different and quite the contrary, as the opening up of new administrative regions in Papua has been proven to act as a bridge opening the way for discrimination, the indigenous people being made a minority and human rights violations. All of which have contributed to the consequence of the slow but sure annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.

There are also certain Papuans deceiving fellow indigenous Papuans during election campaigns, whether for Head of regencies or Province, general elections for the Regional Legislative Assembly, or the national presidential election.  They campaign that their candidate will declare independence for Papua or will lift the level of welfare to the Papuan community.  Yet that never eventuates and promises are never fulfilled. Such  persons play a key role in becoming the hands and feet of the Republic of Indonesia in the Indonesia’s colonial domination of the indigenous people of Papua.

Deception has become the tradition of the State of Indonesia, like its ’hallmark’.  A glance at the history of Indonesia shows clearly that much of its history is a series of engineered situations that have involved in each instance high level deceit.  Indonesian deception was first applied against Papua in the 1960’s with the annexation of Papua into Indonesia and has continued unrelentlessly ever since.

In the 1960’s Indonesia succeeded to deceive a small number of Papuans into thinking the State was well-meaning , though post occupation by Indonesia brought the sudden realisation of the true character and demeanour of Indonesia.  Papuans have had over 50 years to learn about the character of Indonesia from its unlimited cruelty to the people of Papua. They have allowed, and in fact encouraged, constant violations of Papuans’ human rights, have robbed Papuans of their natural resources, have murdered and displayed enormous cruelty to the indigenous people of Papua.  Yet still to this day there are some Papuans who are fooled and who continue faithfully to echo the interests of the Republic of Indonesia.

Such is the Trilogy with Jakarta deceiving Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papuans deceiving Papuans. A ‘Trilogy of Deception!

A Trilogy that has its roots in Indonesian political practices.  Roots which are extremely complicated to pull out once they have taken hold, or even to lessen the impact thereof. (Unless of course there is a miracle from God.) Hence why until this time Papua remains under the colonial domination of Indonesia. There is simply no other way for Papua to escape from the tactics of the  Indonesian Government’s deception other than for  Papua to become independent.

The time has come when every indigenous person and every Papuan sympathiser wherever they may be, be they workers within the Indonesian system or outside those system, need to work to develop Papuan national unity’ Each needs to bring themselves back on-track so we are all heading together towards the total liberation and restoration of the nation of Papua.

Such deceptive practices are not the tradition of the ancestors of the people of Papua.  Rather that is the style and tradition of the Indonesian Government! Sadly at this time such a style is being inherited by some local government officials operating in Papua. To those Papuan Officials who have allowed themselves to become involved in this Trilogy of Deception, it is dearly hoped they will stop prostituting themselves in Indonesia’s dirty games.  May all be aware not to imitate this style of deception!  The tradition of Papuan ancestors is of honesty and where there are major problems they are to be taken to the traditional customary council for application of their wisdom so that goodness and peace can reign.

When will Indonesia stop the deception?  So that rather we can move together forward with dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party so as to bring an end to the problems of Papua peacefully.  In the interests of upholding the dignity of humanity in Papua above all other interests.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA, and is a Political Prisoner who has  written this article for West Papua Media from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua.

Planned MSG Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua lacks transparency

Exclusive investigation from West Papua Media team

October 12, 2013

(The Hague): As allegations surface of Indonesian military-linked businessmen providing envelopes of “hefty cash” to senior officials in the Solomon Island’s Prime Ministerial delegation during the recent APEC summit in Bali, a high level source inside the Melanesian Spearhead Group has raised concerns over Indonesia’s subversion of the agreed visit of Melanesian Foreign Ministers to West Papua, in an exclusive interview with West Papua Media.

An explosive but carefully worded article in the Solomon Star newspaper on October 11 has alleged that Indonesian officials provided members of Solomon Islands government with large amounts of cash contained in yellow envelopes, during an official dinner hosted in honour of the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his delegation.

According to the Solomon Star report, at least five members of the delegation have admitted to receiving the payments, amongst a total of 17 delegation members alleged to have received the envelopes.  The report, from interviews by journalist Alfred Sasako with a highly placed whistleblower in Honiara, alleged that at least two “names withheld” senior officials received USD$25, 000 each, three others received USD$10, 000  and a final two delegation members received USD$5, 000 each respectively.

“It seems the level of payment is based on seniority, the higher you are, the more you get,” the sources told the Solomon Star.

After the publication of the new allegations, West Papua Media spoke on Saturday to a well-respected customary figure in the Solomon Islands, who described the latest revelations as proof of long-standing suspicions “that Indonesia is involved in a corrupt subversion of Melanesian solidarity on the West Papua issue.  The source described the behaviour of Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in arranging unilateral visits to West Papua as “an affront to the Melanesian Way that is deliberately undermining the quality of what a properly constituted MSG Fact-finding mission can uncover in West Papua.”

“The Prime Minster is siding with Indonesia to cover up the crimes against the West Papuan people, by diluting the effectiveness of a multilateral fact-finding team to assess the real situation in West Papua.  What other deals is he doing for the Solomon Islands with these Indonesian military businessmen?  Are our islands going to be the next West Papua?” the source told WPM.   The customary source, who had no involvement with the Solomon Star revelations, declined to be identified for this article citing fears of being labelled as the whistleblower.

“This is not about me anyway, this about the questions for all Melanesian people about how far Indonesia is willing to bully or bribe Melanesians, and how some Melanesians like our Prime Minister are potentially having their pockets lined with blood money for turning their backs on the suffering of our Melanesian family in West Papua,” the source told WPM with some indignation.

Prior to the MSG meeting in Noumea in June 2013 the Indonesian and Fijian governments agreed to a multi-lateral visit to West Papua by MSG Foreign Ministers. The proposal was raised at the Noumea meeting by Fiji in part to defer a decision over whether West Papua would be granted membership into the MSG or not. The MSG Ministerial team has undertaken to write a report following their visit. This report will then help guide the MSG’s decision regarding West Papua’s membership. Since June, however, serious doubts have been raised as to how transparent the organising of the MSG Foreign Ministers is, or even whether it will happen at all.

A high-level source inside the MSG who was at the meeting in Noumea but asked not to be named told WPM  on condition of anonymity, that it was highly unlikely that the MSG will revoke Indonesia’s observer status, but that they could give West Papua ‘associative status’, which is a higher level of membership. However, the source then went on to say that it is now “not clear what is happening”.

The concerns are serious. First, no date has been set for the Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua. Second, neither the MSG Secretariat nor Melanesian nations are organising the visit. “The Foreign Ministers all rely on an invitation from the Indonesian government. It is not clear if such an invitation has been issued and it is not clear who will pay for it. My advice to member countries is that each Melanesian country pays for their own visit themselves” said the senior MSG bureaucrat. “That way the Foreign Ministers will not be beholden to the Indonesian government and that their status as independent advisors to the MSG is more likely to be guaranteed.”

Most concerning is that the idea of a multi-lateral visit could be abandoned. “It is possible” said the MSG official “that the foreign ministers could travel to West Papua separately and not as a group”.  This is the most likely possibility given the revelations in the Solomon Star.

Although privately many Melanesian politicians support independence for West Papua the official cautioned against false hopes. “West Papuans should not have high expectations from the forthcoming MSG foreign ministers support.”

At this stage it appears highly unlikely that the Melanesian foreign ministers report will reflect the political reality inside West Papua or the aspirations of the West Papuan people.  This view is reflected in the recent comments from Mr Gordon Lilo, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, who told Indonesia’s Antara state news agency that he is “impressed with the progress” the Indonesian government has made in West Papua.  Mannaseh Sogovare, the Solomon Islands opposition leader, criticised Lilo’s comments saying that he had “probably been overwhelmed by the reception of the hosts and obviously the Indonesians have gone out of their way to put on the wow factor to make sure that Lilo is wooed out of any views that he may have had in support of West Papuan membership of the MSG,” reported Radio New Zealand.

Comment about the corruption of the Fact-Finding process has also been repeatedly sought by West Papua Media from the office of Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, however the Prime Minister was unavailable to comment on the allegations.  However, Carcasses issued a historic and moral challenge to the international community at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in late September, by calling for the appointment of a Special Representative to investigate historical and ongoing of human rights abuses by Indonesia.

‘How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon of hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction, yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nations to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical errors,” Carcasses told the UN General Assembly.

These are the words that Melanesian leaders may well be reflecting on as they ponder the ramifications of accepting Indonesia’s subversion of the MSG Fact Finding Team process.

As well as sharing his concerns, the senior MSG official also had some practical advice for Papuan leaders. “All of us at the MSG are observing very closely developments inside West Papua. In order for us to assist the West Papuan application for membership Papuan leaders need to present a unified position that is backed up by strong support from civil society. The good news is that there is moral support from inside the MSG. Even senior leaders in the United Nations privately recognise that West Papua is an occupation.”

However, without unity of purpose from West Papuan leaders and strong grassroots support from inside Melanesian countries, the Indonesian government could out-manoeuver West Papua again.

WestPapuaMedia team

Ruben Magay : KNPB is not a terrorist group

Tabloid Jubi

December 20, 2012

Jayapura (20/12) – Ruben Magay, Chairman of Committee A of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP), strongly insisted that it is not correct for certain parties to link the activities of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) to terrorism.

“For quite some time now, some parties have referred to the KNPB as a terrorist organization but I wish to reiterate that KNPB is not a terrorist group.  On the contrary they are an organization which promotes democracy in Papua and that is part of the controlling function and the ability to evaluate the performance of the government in the region,” said Ruben Magay on Thursday (20/12).

According to him, if so far, for some reason, weapons, ammunition and explosives have been found in Papua, the task of the intelligence is to uncover and find out the origin and the source of this material.

“We question the efforts put into this matter by the intelligence. Where did they obtain those guns? It is really the task of the police and the intelligence to answer that question.  At the governmental and institutional levels we need to make sure that we clearly define the status of terrorist groups and prove with strong evidence how such groups plan and carry out their actions,” he said.

According to Chairman Ruben, enforcing anti-terrorism laws in Papua, as envisaged by the Indonesian National Police (Polri), is also unnecessary.

“I believe such measures should not be deemed as necessary. If it is said that there are terrorists in Papua, I think we should turn our attention to the level of performance of the security apparatus.  It would be wrong to address one issue with another issue.  There are terrorists that are known to be implicated in explosions. The question is now: to what extent is the police able to ascertain them and subsequently how many further threats can be identified. This is what is important,” he said.

He went on to say that it is not the people who talk about democracy that should be called terrorists; certainly not the people who were shot and whose actions were then put in such a scenario that later on it was stated that they were the terrorists. “No, that should absolutely not be the case.  For example, weapons and ammunition are being discovered in all kinds of places lately.  My question is: where did these guns come from?  It’s not as if we are talking about gold that can be panned by the local communities from underground.  So it would not be appropriate to apply these so-called anti-terrorism laws to Papua.  Let’s tackle this problem together in a responsible way and straighten out the issue of clarifying who the real owners are of these arms, ammunitions and explosives that were found in Papua.  It is obvious that the material was brought in from outside, so a first step would be to take measures to heighten the safety and tighten security checks at ports and airports.  That’s what is important,” said Ruben Magay. (Jubi/Arjuna/LT)

 

UK Embassy denies fake journalism in Bintang Papua article

West Papua Media EXCLUSIVE

December 18, 2012

An article – “UK ambassador visits Papua to counteract ‘false information’ spread by ‘certain groups’ in London” – that appeared in the usually accurate Bintang Papua outlet on December 14, contained much false reporting in the original Bahasa Indonesia version, according to both Papuan journalists and the spokesperson for the British Embassy in Jakarta.

The Bintang Papua article, written by journalist Makawaru Da Cunha, who uses only his initial “MDC,” reported that “The British Embassy to Indonesia has described the situation in Papua as ‘very peaceful and conducive’. It is quite different from the information being disseminated by certain groups to the British government.in London”.

However, according to the British embassy in Jakarta today, this statement was not made, nor was the staff officer identified in the article, Millie McDevitt, able to speak with the press.

West Papua Media has been in extensive contact today with the Media Unit at the UK Embassy in Jakarta to establish the veracity or otherwise of this reporting.  A spokesperson for the UK Embassy in Jakarta told West Papua Media exclusively on Tuesday night:

“Mrs Millie McDevitt, political officer at the British Embassy, visited Papua last week as part of the British Embassy’s regular programme of Provincial visits. While there, she met a range of political and security representatives as well as the NGO and religious communities.

This follows on from the Ambassador’s own visit to Papua in September, when he wasted no opportunity with government, local government, military and police interlocutors to emphasise our hope that Papua will soon enjoy the same peace and prosperity as other parts of Indonesia.”

The spokesperson also said that the article “was littered with inaccuracies”.

Sources for West Papua Media who declined to be identified have claimed that the article, appearing in an outlet that is usually known for accurate reportage, was allegedly written by an Indonesian journalist in the pay of the Indonesian police.  West Papua Media has not yet been able to check the veracity of this particular claim, however there has been extensive prior reporting on the involvement and interference of Indonesian security and intelligence agencies in newsrooms in West Papua.

Numerous Papuan journalists today have raised concerns that this level of misreporting could significantly harm relations between the UK and Papuan people.

West Papua Media

More to come on this story

Original Bintang Papua Article:

Bintang Papua, 14 December 2012 The British Embassy to Indonesia has described the situation in Papua as ‘very peaceful and conducive’. It is quite different from the information being disseminated by certain groups to the British government.in London, she said .

The Special Staff of the British Embassy’s political section, Millie McDevit made these comments during a visit to the chief of police in Jayapura, Police Inspector-General Tito Karnavian on 13 December.  Mrs McDevit said that she had made a special visit to the chief of police in order to get confirmation directly from him about information being spread by certain groups who allege that the situation in  Papua is far from peaceful.

She went on to say that such information was being spread every time Papuans suffered discrimination by the Indonesian government, especially by the TNI – the army – and Polri, the police force. She said that after  visiting a number of places especially in Jayapura, she could see that things were very different indeed from what is being conveyed to the British government.

‘It is nothing like what I expected to find when I first set foot in Papua,’ she said. ‘When people visit Northern Ireland, you can be questioned anywhere, but in Papua you can go out late at night without being disturbed in any way.’

She said that security and development are proceeding very well in Papua and she expressed support for what the police in Papua are doing to combat corruption because combating corruption is the best way to improve people’s welfare.

The police chief Tito Karnavian said that they had provided plenty of information to the Special Staff of the British Embassy’s political section in order to contradict all the negative information being spread about the situation in Papua. ‘She decided to come to Papua to check the information,’ he said.

Karnavian also said that they had asked the British government to provide the police in Papua with special equipment to check people’s DNA.  At present, the police have to identify people involved in violence  and shootings by checking the evidence outside Papua. ‘If we have the equipment to check people’s DNA, this will help to enhance the ‘supremacy of law’ here in Papua,; he said.

[Translated by TAPOL, corrected through WPM translators]