Tag Archives: Keerom

Papua-Wide meeting calls for 10 year Moratorium on Plantation and Forestry Industries

From our partners at AwasMifee

Between 4th-7th November 2014, representatives of indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights defenders from every corner of West Papua met in Jayapura to discuss problems linked to the forestry and large-scale plantation industries, which in recent years have been expanding rapidly throughout the island.

This was an important meeting, as the difficulties and expense of travel around Papua means that communities are frequently isolated to face the companies alone, even though the problems they face are remarkably similar.

With many more plantation companies set to start operations within the next few years, and timber companies still keen to harvest high-value logs, it is also vital to share the (often bitter) experiences of communities which have already seen how these industries operate, and also to formulate some common platform of demands with which to confront government and policy makers.

Participants at the event heard about the long-term injustices connected with plantations in Jayapura, Keerom and Boven Digoel, where land was taken with military backing during the Suharto dictatorship causing problems which are still not resolved. In Papua’s deep south, participants told of how they have been marginalised by plantations connected to the MIFEE agribusiness development. Others from Sorong, Nabire and Mimika, told of how they were unprepared for the problems which started unfolding as the companies moved in. Delegates from Bintuni and Wondama Bays explained how the effects of the timber industry on communities are no less destructive.

In many of these cases, the same problems could be seen to emerge time and time again: intimidation from military and police officers supporting the companies, loss of livelihood as the forest is destroyed, companies’ broken promises to bring development to communities, environmental problems such as pollution, flooding and loss of water sources. Taking all this into account, the participants agreed to call on all agencies involved in allowing these industries to address these problems.

Top of the list was a call for a 10 year moratorium into for large-scale plantation and forestry investment, during which time part violations should be resolved, and the challenge of finding a way that these industries could exist on indigenous land without disadvantaging indigenous people. Hopefully we will translate some of the testimony on this site soon, in the meantime here is the full list of recommendations:

Organisations involved in organising the event were: Yaysan Pusaka, Greenpeace Papua, SKP Jayapura, Jerat Papua, Foker LSM Papua and Jasoil Papua. A copy of this declaration in Indonesian together with a list of participants can be found at: http://pusaka.or.id/demo/assets/REKOMENDASI-TEMU-RAKYAT-ADAT-KORBAN-PAPUA-Nov-2014.pdf


Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries.

Dialogue on Building a Green Economy and Sustainable Development

Today, Friday the seventh of November two thousand and fourteen, in the Maranatha Convent, Waena, Jayapura,

After hearing and discussing Reports of Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries from throughout the land of Papua, and also discussing various developments in development policy, we as representatives of indigenous communities from twelve Regencies or cities throughout the land of Papua, want to hereby make clear that the state has violated and ignored our human rights, by not protecting, respecting and advancing the rights of indigenous communities throughout the land of Papua, including: acts of discrimination, repression and expropriation of what rightfully belongs to indigenous people throughout Papua. These human rights violations, which have occurred between 1982 and 2014, have caused great loss for indigenous people, as their social and cultural fabric and their natural environment disappear. Because of this, we as representatives of indigenous people who have suffered because of the forestry and large-scale plantation industries, coming from twelve regencies and cities, hereby state the following:

1. To the President of the Republic of Indonesia, to issue a ten-year moratorium on forestry and large-scale plantation development throughout the land of Papua. During the moratorium period, the government would resolve the different problems and violations of indigenous communities’ rights that have already occurred, and amend policies and legislation currently in force in the land of Papua.

2. To the Governors of Papua and West Papua Provinces, to reconsider all policies concerning the granting of permits for the forestry and large-scale plantation industries which disadvantage indigenous people across the land of Papua.

3 To the Commander of Military District XVII Cenderawasih Command and the Papuan Police Chief, to discipline and take action against any members of the military and police forces who openly participate in pressurising and intimidating indigenous people that wish to defend their rights throughout the land of Papua. Also to take action against members of the forces who are either directly engaged in illegal business involving forest products, or back-up and protect others in such businessses.

4. To Bupatis and city mayors throughout the land of Papua, to end the practice of unconditionally giving out permits and recommendations in the forestry and large-scale plantation sector.

5 To the honourable members of the Papuan and West Papua People’s Assemblies (MRP), to hold a Special Dialogue with the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, and the Environment and Forestry Ministry, concerning making changes in policy and regulations related to forestry and large-scale plantation investment in the land of Papua, both ongoing and in the future, which would be based on indigenous peoples’ rights and the spirit of Papuan Special Autonomy.

6 To the Provincial Legislative Councils in Papua and West Papua, to form a Special Committee to conduct investigations into the violations of indigenous communities’ human rights in the land of Papua, which are a result of policies and investment activities in the forestry and large-scale plantation sector.

7 To Customary Tribal Councils throughout the land of Papua, to organise reconciliation and customary assemblies in each area to map the customary lands of each tribe/ethnic group and follow up the findings of this Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries.

8 http://pusaka.or.id/demo/assets/REKOMENDASI-TEMU-RAKYAT-ADAT-KORBAN-PAPUA-Nov-2014.pdf, to take an active role in reporting violations in human rights and environmental problems so they can be brought to the attention of wider society and institutions that are actively attempting to protect, respect and advance human rights at the Papuan, national and international levels.

9. Participants of the Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries – Dialogue on Building a Green Economy and Sustainable Development hereby declare the foundation of the Indigenous People’s Environmental Council in the Land of Papua (Dewan Lingkungan Masyarakat Adat di Tanah Papua).

These are the recommendations which have been made and agreed together, and we hope they will be heeded and implemented. May our ancestors and the Creator be with us all.

PT Victory will likely destroy Keerom’s Golden Triangle

from our partners at AwasMifee

“We call it the Golden Triangle because it is the land we have always lived from, until now.  We can use the wood, go fishing in the river, and there are also sacred places there,” said Cleman Nouyagir, in a meeting in the Arso deanery. (06/05/2014)

The meeting discussed the Keerom Regency head’s Decision Document SK 93/2013 dated 5th September 2013 which awarded PT Victory Cemerlang Indonesia Wood Industries a location permit for a 4885 hectare oil palm plantation in East Arso district, Keerom Regency.

“All of our forest has been destroyed, we have handed it all over. There’s just a little bit left for our grandchildren, so I would put my life on the line for it”, he stated firmly.

Clemen and the other participants in the meeting were agreed that land that had previously been taken and turned into oil palm plantations had not brought any positive impacts for the people of Keerom.

He continued, “When we talk about Keerom we are not only talking about Arso City, but also people in Workwana and Wambes, all of them should be aware and protect what is left of our land”.

According to him, the people in Workwana and Wambes should be wary of being talked into accepting outside investors’ plantation plans because they would lose their main source of livelihood.

The term ‘Golden Triangle’ emerged in a mapping exercise which was originally conceived in 1992 an eventually finished in 2004 when a mutually-agreed map was produced. This map became a reference when designing the map of Keerom regency, which decided that the area should be designated protected forest. The land is owned by the indigenous people of Workwana, Wambes and Arso City.

“I was involved in making that map before and that land is protected forest and the source of our livelihood. The government should know this already, which means they shouldn’t be giving out permits,” he said.

Source: ALDP

38 Papuans flee TNI/Polri security sweeps in Keerom

ELSHAM News Service

November 2, 2012

Investigations and monitoring conducted by Elsham Papua in Keerom between Saturday (27 Oct.) and Sunday (28 Oct.) have revealed that at least thirty-ight (38) indigenous Papuans have had to leave their villages and have fled into the forest and stayed there for more than five (5) months.

During these five months, they have had to move from one place to another, and they have had to settle in huts around the Bagia hills, west of the tow of Arso.

The locals evacuated their villages because they were afraid of becoming victims of ongoing sweeps conducted by  joint army/police forces in the area, who are hunting indigenous Papuans who would allegedly be members of the separatist armed struggle (TPN-OPM); another alleged motive behind these sweeps is the search to find the killer of the head of the village of Sawyatami, who was shot on 1 July.
The names of the indigenous Papuans who fled to the forest, and who are now internally displaced persons (IDPs) are as follows:
Name of IDPs from the village of Sawyatami:
1. Hironimus Yaboy (45)
2. Alea Kwambre (28)
3. Afra Kwambre (27)
4. Carles Yaboy (10)
5. Ardila Yaboy (8)
6. Desi Yaboy (4)
7. Lefira Yaboy (1)
8. Markus Kuyi (17)
9. Yustus Kuyi (16)
10. Timotius Kuyi (15)
11. Samuel Kuyi (13)
Name of IDPs from the village of Workwana:
1. Lukas Minigir (68)
2. Rosalina Minigir (36)
3. Hanas Pikikir (21)
4. Naomi Giryapon (19)
5. Krisantus Pikikir (12)
6. Penina Pekikir (3)
7. Habel Minigir (33)
8. Agustina Minigir (21)
9. Adrianus Minigir (2)
Name of IDPs from PIR III Bagia:
1. Agustina Bagiasi (35)
2. Mikael Kimber (18)
3. Jhon Kimber (14)
4. Kristiani Kimber (11)
5. Serfina Kimber (8)
6. David Kimber (2)
7. Fabianus Kuyi (50)
8. Martha Tekam (38)
9. Marselina Kuyi (23)
10. Fitalius Kuyi (20)
11. Margaretha Ibe (19)
12. Jubelina Kuyi (19)
13. Kristianus Kuyi (17)
14. Frins Alfons Kuyi (15)
15. Emilianus Kuyi (11)
16. Maria Yuliana Kuyi (8)
17. Moses Hubertus Kuyi (5)
18. Rati Kimber (1)
Out of the total displaced people, eight (8) are children who were attending school. Their names are:
1. Yubelina Kuyi, high school students at Negeri 1 Swakarsa Arso
2. Kristianus Kuyi, junior high school student at Negeri 1 Arso
3. Frins Kuyi, elementary school student at Inpres PIR III Bagia
4. Emilianus Kuyi, elementary school student at Inpres PIR III Bagia
5. Charles Yaboy, elementary school student at Inpres Sawyatami
6. Nike Ardila Yaboy Sanggwa, elementary school student at Inpres Sawyatami
7. Kristian Pekeukir, elementary school student at YPPK Dununmamoy Arso
8. Yohana Kimber, elementary school student at Inpres Sawyatami

These children have not attended school from 2 July 2012 until the date of this report. YK, whom Elsham found in the camp, explained that she no longer went to school because she was afraid of the TNI/police. “I am scared that the soldiers will shoot me. My father is also fighting for an independent Papua so I am afraid to go to school,” said YK in a plain tone.
During the decade covering the period 1970 to 1980, Keerom was a Military Operations Area. Many local residents have undergone cruel and arbitrary treatment at the hands of the Indonesian security forces, as they were accused of alleged involvement in the separatist movement. Today, residents are still feeling the trauma of living in a military operation area. And up to the date of this report, the IDPs are still afraid to return to their villages.



Father John Dhonga: ‘Level of violence in Papua is getting worse’


Bintang Papua, 24 August, 2012
Father John Djonga has been living and working in the district of Keerom  and is now leaving West Papua and is handing over hist post to Father Ronnie Guntur.On his departure, he reflected on the situation in West Papua where he has been living and working for twelve years.. He spoke about the links he had made during his stay – with the government, with the  military, with the traditional leaders, with the religious leaders and with the people, and spoke warmly about the  support he had received.

He spoke about some development projects that are under way and said that basic problems  continue to exist. He said that in many parts of the territory and particularly in the interior where the indigenous people live, the situation with regard to education and health is very  worrying indeed.

‘These are matters of crucial importance for the dignity and welfare of the people. The issues of justice and equality also are very pressing indeed. ‘These are matters for which the government is responsible,’ he said.

With regard to economic problems, he said that people are losing their means of  livelihood. The forests are being cut down whereas agricultural activities have not  developed which means that the local people are not involved in any productive activities and all the productive work there is benefiting  a small group of people who have been responsible for cutting down the forests and selling off the  land of the people.

He also expressed his concern about the level of violence that is occurring and said that far from this declining it has increased. ‘Both sides, the government apparatus and the people resort to violence to resolve their problems. This never solves anything,’ he said. ‘On the contrary, it only complicates things.’

The people living in Keerom live in a constant state of fear and anxiety . There is no trust at all between the two sides, and the people live in a state of trauma  because of the presence of the Indonesian military in every kampung. ‘This does nothing to  improve relations; on the contrary, it only makes things worse.’

He said that traditional customs were declining and the availability of spiritual support is getting less and less. There are growing discrepancies and injustices between people of the different communities and this represents  a great challenge  to the need for mutual harmony and respect between the communities.

[Translated by TAPOL]


OPM condemns shooting of Papuan in Keerom

Bintang Papua, 22 August 2011The Papuan National Liberation Army, the military wing of the OPM has condemned the shooting dead in Arso 14, district of Keerom of a Papuan named Dasnum Komba which occurred on 17 August. According to the TPN/OPM Komba died after being shot by members of the 330 infantry brigade (Yonif 330) which is based in the area.[See our translation of a report by ELSHAM about the failure of Komba to return home from his garden which we posted yesterday.]

‘We strongly condemn this killing and call on President Susilo Bambang  Yudhoyono to take action to solve the Papuan issue,’ said Lambert Pekikir, general co-ordinator of the TPN/OPM in the area..

He called on the police in the area as well as the military commander of the Cenderawasih Military Command, Major-General Erfi Triassunu to arrest the perpetrator of this crime and deal with the case in accordance with the law. ‘The military commander and the police must take responsibility for this case. He was apparently shot because he was suspected of being a member of an armed unit. ‘The shooting happened while the victim was working in his garden which is not far from Arso 14.’

Suddenly a large group of soldiers arrived at the spot and started asking him questions. Because he could not speak Indonesian very well, they started to beat him. ‘Then the victim was shot, his body was put into a sack and buried nearby. Some people who happened to be nearby saw the incident  but were afraid to do anything because it would have meant confronting a member of the military, so they went to informed Komba’s family.’

‘Since this happened on 17 August, Indonesia’s independence day, it was not reported (in the press). ‘The incident has been covered  up but the fact is that he was shot in the chest. Lambert did not see the incident himself but received a report from some of his subordinates and also heard about it from a local inhabitant. ‘We dont want any more incidents like this. It must stop,’ said Lambert.

He said that the president, SBY, should understand that this is not just a trivial incident, and should realise that Papua has now become a matter of international concern.

Major-General Erfi Triassunu later confirmed that shots were fired by a member of the TNI- the Indonesian army – because they alleged that Komba was preparing to attack his men. He said he was not clear about what happened but claimed that Komba had tried to seize a weapon from his men who were on patrol in the area. According to Triassunu, his men could not possibly have shot someone at random. He said that the TNI has a ‘noble duty’ in Papua  and would not do such things, still less would they do it during Ramadan, the fasting month.

According to Bintang Papua, an autopsy confirmed that there weere fragments of ammunition in Komba’s body but the calibre of the bullets is not known. Witnesses said that Komba had been told  to go home by three soldiers, but just as he turned round, intending to return home, they heard two gunshots. His body was not found until Sunday, two days after the shooting.