Tag Archives: mediation

President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan; DPRP's reaction

Bintang Papua, 31 August 2010

President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan

Responding to the political dynamics in West Papua where attention has been given to the Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS) for failing to improve the living conditions of the Papuan people, the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has begun to show that he has registered these developments.He has now said that he would soon make an evaluation of OTSUS in both Papua and West Papua. This will happen after the end of the fasting month, Ramadhan (which ends on 10 September).

During a one-hour meeting with members of the president’s special staff, they were told that the President had expressed his concern that, despite to large sums of money that have been allocated to Papua every year, the quality of life has not improved. The president believes that there is a need for a ‘Grand Design’ to deal comprehensively with the problems in West Papua.

He has said that the focus will be on improving the supply of foodstuffs, educational and health facilities and introducing an
affirmative policy to promote the role of the Papuan people.

As the first move, he would seek to improve communications between the central government and the DPRP, the DPRD, and the MRP.

The Grand Design would focus on a grand strategy, for the coming twenty years to develop several main sectors such as education, health and the people’s economy.

During the first five-year period they would investigate how many
Papuans had reached certain levels of education, how many hospitals had been built with OTSUS funds, how many doctors were working in the hospitals and so on.

Papua has been provided with plenty of money, which now amounts to Rp 28 trillion (approx. $2,800,000,000) which is far higher that the money allocated to other provinces. OTSUS money has risen from 1.9 trillion in 2002 to 3.5 trillion in 2008, then to 4.1 trillion in 2009, and even more in 2010.

Nevertheless, there have been many demands from the Papuan people to ‘return OTSUS to the central government’. There had been demonstrations in 2008, and now in 2010, people are calling for a referendum.

All this has drawn the attention of the president who has now decided to carry out an evaluation of OTSUS, in order to see whether this situation can be improved.

[This item is heavily abridged and is full of what I can only call
‘management speak’ about the government’s intentions.]
——————————–

Bintang Papua, 1 September 2010

The chairman of the DPRP, John Ibo and the chairman of the MRP, Agus Alua have said that the decision of the president to conduct an
evaluation of OTSUS is far too late. They pointed out that the OTSUS
law provides for the need to conduct an evaluation every three months.
Although an evaluation was undertaken by the DPRP in 2005, no one from the central government bothered to attend, even though they had been invited.

Nevertheless, an evaluation was very necessary. Whether the government was still keen to implement OTSUS would be discussed by the main executive bodies of the two provinces and the MRP at a meeting to be held in the third week of October.

According to Ibo, during the past nine years since the OTSUS law was
passed, he and others had been the subject of political suspicion and
stigmas, and accusations about the OPM. He himself has also been the
butt of criticism from the people about the implementation of
OTSUS. ‘Stigmatising people as OPM is an old yarn,’ he said. ‘We need a serious political discussion, in accord with the development of
democracy,’ he said

MRP chairman Agus Alua said that it is clear that OTSUS has failed in
four critical areas, health, education, the economy and the
infrastructure. But what is also important is that the dignity of the
Papuan people has been increasingly thwarted with Papuans being pushed aside or their very existence being threatened in their own land. He said that all this has nothing to do with money, but with their very right to life, their empowerment, the need for government to ‘side with’ he people, all of which the central government has failed to
understand. It’s not a question of money but the very right to life,
where Papuans are empowered in all aspects of political life. ‘This is
what we mean,’ he said.

‘But if the president now wants an evaluation of OTSUS, the people must be involved, without third party intervention. It is just between the people and the government, while the role of academics will be very important,’ he said.

The dean of the politics faculty of the Cenderawasih University, Derk
Vebluum said that he felt it was not too late to conduct the valuation.
As regard the four areas of concern, the economy, education, health and the infrastructure, there are no indicators available to measure
implementation. An example is about economic achievement, with Papuan women (‘mama-mama) not having a decent place for them to carry out their business. This has still not been attended to.

He said that the evaluation should involve the universities, the
executive, the provincial legislative assemblies , the MPR and the people.

AIIA ACCESS 'West Papua's Search for Self-Determination' – Dr Scott Burchill and Herman Wainggai

Enjoy the viewing of parts 1 & 2 of the AIIA ACCESS ‘West Papua’s Search for Self-Determination’

Many thanks again to Dr Scott Burchill and Herman Wainggai for speaking, and of course the AIIA Victoria for hosting this event amid the diplomatic controversy.


Dr Scott Burchill


Herman Wainggai, WPNA

Part 1 | Part 2
At this Australian Institute of International Affairs event – which Indonesian Government officials tried to stop – political commentator and academic Dr Scott Burchill and West Papuan organiser Herman Wanggai talk about West Papua’s fight for self-determination.
The Indonesian province of West Papua has witnessed a struggle between Indonesian security forces and West Papuan resistance fighters since the 1960s. Tensions remain high today because of the cultural distinctiveness of the Melanesian Papuans, repression by the Indonesian military which observers have likened to the force once used against the East Timorese, and the richness of the province’s resources base. Burchill argues that Australia’s lack of concern is an ongoing effect of the Jakarta lobby’s discredited argument about the fragility of Indonesian territorial integrity, which continues to trump human rights concerns.
Melbourne, August 2010

Vanuatu's sellout to Indonesia disappoints West Papua at PIF

Opinion

August 17, 2010

Peter Woods

The conclusion of the Pacific Islands Forum has left a great sense of disappointment. There was every reason to think that Vanuatu would be the prominent voice in the forum for the West Papuan demand for a seat at the table. As recent as June 19 the Vanuatu Parliament passed a motion to bring the matter of West Papua to the UN this year.

All the public reports leading up to the forum, and the private assurances to the lobbying being done by the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association even up to the Prime Minister, gave every indication that West Papua  would be high on the agenda, and even that the representative West Papua delegates would at least be given observer status.

In his opening speech, incoming forum chairman Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Nipake Natapei, said: ‘‘We need to be talking much more about how we can bring hope to the Pacific citizens who are struggling to find employment; who are without political freedom . . .’’

What happened? Nothing. Silence. No delegate raised any matter publicly concerning West Papua. All the talk was that politically, the matter of Fiji dominated, and that this shut down any further debate about West Papua. Three questions arise from this: Is this the real reason why West Papua was not promoted? If not what was the reason? Does this failure mean that Vanuatu’s sponsorship is now a lost cause for the West Papuan independence movement?

The real reason West Papua became the elephant in the room at the forum is that Natapei is obviously under great pressure from foreign powers — especially Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Australia continues to advocate the territorial integrity of the Indonesian republic and the necessity of Special Autonomy working for West Papua. Australia is also the major development donor for the country, and that must come with some loyalty tag.

PNG, together with Solomon Islands, supports Fiji, contrary to Vanuatu who is taking the Australian/New Zealand stance. Indonesia, for its part, is increasingly muscling into the Pacific – it just supplied Vanuatu with new uniforms for its police force, and increased its presence from the usual six to 48 members at the most recent forum. These came in two waves, on August 1 and August 5, the last delegation including a West Papuan, Dr Felix Wainggai, an adviser to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang  Yudhoyono on development on East Indonesia.

This probably proved too much fire-power for the Vanuatu PM, who afterwards on radio claimed that his silence on West Papua was due to procedural matters to do with the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Another angle on Vanuatu’s silence may have to do with the internal or external manifestations of the West Papuan independence groups themselves. A delegate to the PIF told Jacob Rumbiak, foreign affairs spokesman for the West Papuan National Authority (WPNA) and myself that the perception from inside the Vanuatu Foreign Office is that the West Papuan independence movement is still divided.

The reality on the ground, however, is that there is a growing consensus from among the majority of activist groups, and more importantly between the Presidium and the WPNA — the transitional government increasingly recognised across West Papua as a credible political next-step to the current frameworks within West Papua.

The ire has been raised, however, of the pro-West Papua council of chiefs and various members of the coalition. They see this as a cave-in and Natapei and his government may not last.

All may not be lost then regarding Vanuatu’s advocacy role for its Melanesian fellow countrymen in West Papua. PIF 2010 may prove a Pyrhhic victory for the countries leaning on Vanuatu. The groundswell of opposition is rising within Vanuatu.  This will either galvanise the Natapei government or replace it with a coalition really dedicated to proceed on the West Papuan issue. Vanuatu’s reluctant neighbours could indeed end up with a little mouse that is roaring in the Pacific.

Peter Woods spent five years in West Papua from 1978 to 1983.

West Papua is Indonesia’s Palestine.

West Papua is Indonesia’s Palestine.

Opinion
August 16, 2010

John Ondawame is right. West Papua is on the verge of a “total intifada” (Ben Bohane, ‘West Papua warns of intifada against Jakarta’, Sydney Morning Herald, August 7 2010). Intifada means to “shake off” in Arabic. It has become a word used to describe the desire by Palestinians to free themselves from foreign occupation. The question is what kind of intifada is and will take place in West Papua? Will it be like the recent Palestinian intifada, led by a resurgent Hamas? An uprising of fury waged through political terror. Or will it be like the 1987 Palestinian intifada, a largely unarmed insurrection?

West Papua is the Indonesia’s Palestine. Papuans consider that their land has been occupied without their consent. Freedom of expression is prohibited, foreign journalists banned, migrants continue to pour into the country, and the police and military keep a repressive lid on boiling Papuan anger. It is also a modern day Avatar. Papuans are defending their land form the exploitative practices of resource extractive industries. For the Papuans theirs is a struggle for survival.

However, unlike Palestine and the film Avatar, resistance to the Indonesian government’s rule has overwhelmingly been through civilian based movements. Only last month, for instance, 20,000 plus people – students, women, young people, religious leaders, NGO activists, traditional chiefs, farmers and even members of the Majelis Rakyat Papua, West Papua’s indigenous senate – all converged on the capital and occupied the provincial parliament for two days to pressure the Papuan political elite to hand back Special Autonomy, a package or policy, finance, and legislation designed to give Papuans a measure of self-rule. After ten years of broken promises and still born hopes, Papuans concluded Special Autonomy had failed. It is a news story that should have been covered by every major media outlet. But here in Australia we heard next to nothing.

Now, as Bohane writes, Papuans are feeling abandoned by their Melanesian kin. At the recent Pacific Island Forum, Vanuatu tried to raise the West Papua issue but Papua New Guinea’s political leaders blocked the discussion. Again. The Australia and New Zealand governments also failed to raise their voice for on behalf of Papuan rights. Again.

Some Papuan leaders are now talking about making the territory ungovernable through mass civilian based non-cooperation with Jakarta. How long civil resistance continues depends not only on the tactical and strategic choices made by Papuan leaders. In part it also depends on whether solidarity movements in the region, including inside Indonesia, can raise the political and economic costs so that political leaders and foreign companies feel compelled to agree to what Papuans have been demanding for years: political dialogue with Jakarta and the international community about their grievances.

Will the international community support the Papuan’s right to rise up for freedom? Or will they send the same message they sent to the Kosovo Albanians? That international intervention and the goal of independence will only come about when there is armed struggle and mass violence. Surely we can all do better than that.

Jason MacLeod

(The writer lectures in political science at the University of Queensland.)

West Papua Report August 2010

West Papua Report
August 2010

This is the 74th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the
non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. Beginning with this edition the West Papua Report will include a Bahasa Indonesia translation of the summary and subject titles. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm

Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at edmcw@msn.com.

Summary:
Fifty members of the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of House Foreign Affairs sub-committee chairs Faleomavaega and
Payne, have written to President Obama to express their deep concern about West Papua, noting indications of Indonesian
“slow-motion genocide” against Papuans. The Representatives strongly urged President Obama to give West Papua a high
priority in U.S. policy towards Indonesia and also called on him to meet with Papuans in his scheduled November visit to
Indonesia. The Obama Administration has announced it will open contact with the infamous Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus), notwithstanding a decade old Congressional consensus against ties with that group unless and until that unit undergoes fundamental reforms. Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma told international media that U.S. support for Kopassus would only increase that units capacity to repress Papuans. An International Court of Justice opinion granting Kosovo the right to declare its independence would appear to have implications for Papuans pursuit of self-determination. Indonesian analysts assess that Indonesian central government unwillingness to dialogue with Papuans inevitably leads Jakarta to resort to its repressive “security approach.” Reports of abuse of Papuan prisoners in Indonesian prisons by their Indonesian guards continue. The Indonesian Seafarers Association has revealed Navy and Fisheries Ministry collusion with foreign fishing vessels illegally fishing in Papuan waters. The report also notes the role of foreign fishermen in the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Papuan ports of call.

Contents

• Fifty Members of U.S. Congress Write to President Obama over “Strong Indications” of Indonesian Genocide in West Papua

• U.S. Government Resumes Collaboration with Military Unit Long Associated with Human Rights Abuse in West Papua

• International Court of Justice Ruling of Kosovo Independence May Have Relevance for West Papua

• Jakarta’s Unwillingness to Dialogue with Papuans Endangers Peaceful Resolution of Papuan Claims

• More Reports of Prisoner Abuse in West Papua

• Indonesian Navy and Fisheries Ministry Collude with Illegal Foreign Fishing Vessels

Fifty Members of U.S. Congress Write to President Obama over “Strong Indications” of Indonesian Genocide in West Papua

The Chairs of the U.S. Congressional Subcommittees on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, and Chairman Donald M. Payne of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health have spearheaded an effort in Congress calling upon President Obama to “make West Papua one of the highest priorities of the Administration.”

As a result of their efforts, 50 members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to the President stating that there is strong
indication that the Indonesian government is committing genocide against Papuans. Many of those who signed the letter are members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The signatories include men and women who fought for civil rights in America in the 1960s. In addition to the Congressional Black Caucus, many others who are long-time advocates of human rights joined this request to the President of the United States, including members of the Hispanic Caucus. The last remaining member of the Kennedy family in Congress, Rep. Patrick Kennedy from Rhode Island, also joined the letter to President Obama.

An August 1 press release from Representative Faleomavaega’s office notes that the letter to the President “suggests that slow motion genocide has been taking place in West Papua and reviews findings by human rights organizations and scholars who have conducted extensive research about crimes against humanity and genocide by Indonesian security forces.”

The press release also observes that “according to international agreements, other nations are legally obligated to intervene
when a genocide is in process and Members of Congress remain hopeful that President Obama and the U.S. State Department will hold Indonesia accountable.”

Members concluded their letter by encouraging the President to meet with the Team of 100 from West Papua during his upcoming visit, noting that President Obama has the opportunity to bring lasting change to this part of the world. While Papuan leaders have repeatedly tried to engage in dialogue with the Indonesian government, dialogues have failed to produce concrete results and Papuan leaders are now calling for an International Dialogue. In this context, signatories of the letter have asked President Obama to meet with the people of West Papua during his upcoming trip to Indonesia in November.

U.S. Government Resumes Collaboration with Military Unit Long Associated with Human Rights Abuse in West Papua

The U.S. government announced that it is resuming contact withthe Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus). U.S. Secretary of
Gates, visiting Jakarta July 22, announced the decision with
caveats, noting that the resumption of contact would proceed “in
accordance with U.S. law, only on the basis of future reforms
within Kopassus.” Specifically, Gates told media that the U.S.
would undertake a “gradual, limited program of security
cooperation activities,” conditioned on “continued reform” (sic)
within Kopassus and the TNI. According to Gates, the engagement
“may be initially limited to including Kopassus officials in
“conferences and events involving non-lethal subjects like rule
of law, human rights and the military decision-making process.”

According to the 2001 Leahy Law, the the U.S. Administration can
not proceed beyond contact/consultations to actually resuming
training and weapons funding for Kopassus absent Indonesian
government action to ensure justice in any cases of “gross
violations of human rights” involving Kopassus personnel (past,
current or future). In the language of the law, “If the
Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has
committed gross violations” the U.S. Government is disallowed
from expending funds unless “the Secretary determines and
reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the government
of such country is taking effective measures to bring the
responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”

Sign the petition opposing U.S. cooperation with Kopassus

The career fates of a number of prominent and not so prominent
Kopassus officers with credible claims of human rights
violations in their records have been and continue to be the
focus of much debate in Washington regarding U.S. aid to
Kopassus. In recent months the U.S. has quietly pressed for the
Indonesian government to scrub abusive officers from Kopassus’s
rolls.

One of the Kopassus officers upon the policy debate has focused
is Lt. Col, Tri Hartomo who was convicted in 2003 of the
“torture murder” of Papuan political leader Theys Eluay. Hartomo
was sentenced to 42 months in prison. That sentence, and even
shorter sentences handed down against the other six Kopassus
personnel convicted in the case, pale beside those handed out to
Papuans for nonviolent crimes such as displaying the Papuan
“morningstar flag.” Moreover, Hartomo upon release returned to
Kopassus ranks. General Sjafried Sjamsuddin, appointed deputy
Defense Minister earlier this year, is a Kopassus officer
similarly charged with egregious human rights abuses, notably in
East Timor. The U.S. administration’s casual claim that the
general was “only implicated’ and not “convicted” of numerous
human rights abuses begs the broader reality that Sjamsuddin,
like so many other senior Kopassus and TNI officers, has managed
to evade any trial for his behavior in Indonesia’s flawed
justice system. The U.S. administration’s willingness to look
the other way regarding Sjamsuddin contrasts with its decision
in September 2009 to deny Sjamsuddin a visa to visit the U.S.

The U.S. Administration’s decision to move forward to resume
ties to Kopassus notwithstanding its insubstantial reforms has
particular relevance for West Papua. Twenty percent of
Kopassus’s 5,000 personnel are stationed in West Papua. Human
Rights Watch, in a June 2009 report, documented continued
Kopassus human rights abuse targeting Papuans in the Merauke
area. Political Prisoner Filep Karma, convicted of non-violent
protest in 2001 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, told
media in late July that U.S. assistance to Kopassus would simply
increase the capacity of that unit to torture and kill Papuans.

see

• ETAN Condemns U.S. Plan to Get Back in Bed with Indonesia’s
Kopassus Killers

• WPAT: Statement Regarding the U.S. Government’s Decision to
Resume Cooperation with Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus)

International Court of Justice Ruling of Kosovo Independence May
Have Relevance for West Papua

The International Court of Justice ruled, July 22, 2010, that
the Kosovo 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia did not
violate international law. The decision flowed from the
submission of a question by the government of Serbia to the ICJ
which won the support of 77 members of the UN General Assembly
(including Indonesia). That initiative sought (unsuccessfully)
to secure an ICJ ruling that the Kosovo declaration was illegal
under international law.

The ICJ decision has drawn broad international comment, much of
it arising from the prospect that other cases involving
secessionist movements might be advanced by this “Kosovo
precedent.” The Kosovo case was the first case of unilateral
secession to be brought before the ICJ.

Thus far, there has been no systematic attempt to apply the ICJ
decision to the case of West Papua. Nevertheless, several
principles established within the ICJ decision may apply to the
call by some Papuan organizations and individuals for a Papuan
“right to self-determination.” These include the ICJ’s
acceptance of the presumption in international law that civil
and human rights, including the rights of minorities, should be
protected. A Dutch government submission to the ICJ in the
Kosovo case, for example, would appear to be relevant to the
West Papua circumstance: “The people of Kosovo had the right to
self-determination and secession from Serbia because the
Belgrade authorities systematically violated civil and human
rights of Albanians for years. International law thus allows the
proclamation of Kosovo’s independence.” The violation of Papuan
civil and human rights is well-established including by reports
of UN special rapporteurs, various governments (including annual
reports by the U.S. State Department) and respected
international NGOs and journalists.

A second principle established by the July 22 ICJ ruling of
possible relevance to West Papua addresses the “right to
self-determination” itself which the ICJ earlier found in the
case of East Timor to be jus cogens, a fundamental principle of
law accepted by the international community, and that this right
extends to all peoples, not only those emerging from a colonial
context. The right is also enshrined in Article 1 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Indonesian is a party to both covenants.

Jakarta’s Unwillingness to Dialogue with Papuans Endangers
Peaceful Resolution of Papuan Claims

The Jakarta media in July reported on the deteriorating
prospects for peaceful settlement of a rising tide of Papuan
discontent over the failure of “special autonomy” in West Papua.
The July 29 Jakarta Post carried a report by Max Sijabat which
emphasized that efforts to address “long-standing problems” were
in “limbo” due to an absence of dialogue. Analysts cited in the
report drew special attention to the June 9-10 consultation in
Jayapura among 450 leading Papuans (see July 2010 West Papua
Report ) who urged among other things, formal rejection of
“Special Autonomy.” The report cited leading Papuan civil
society figure Benny Giay as noting that the consultation that
Special Autonomy funds “only enriched local elites, while most
indigenous people have been marginalized by immigrants or remain
isolated in the jungle.”

Statistics revealed by consultation participants underscored the
extent to which Papuans remain marginalized in their own lands:
Poverty among Papuans stands at over 81 percent while 70 percent
of residents with HIV/AIDS In West Papua are indigenous Papuans.
Underscoring Giay’s point regarding failure of special autonomy
to address Papuan needs, the consultation revealed that 95
percent of local budget funds “are spent outside Papua.”

According to the Jakarta Post, Agus Alua, spokesman for the
Papuan Peoples Consul (MRP), noted that Jakarta has declined to
draft regulations that would allow the Papuan MRP and the
provincial legislature to issue regulations, including
affirmative action for indigenous people and the settlement of
human rights abuses.

Muridan S. Widjojo of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences
(LIPI), who was assigned by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
in 2005 to identify the most serious problems in Papua, spoke
candidly about the current situation. He told the Jakarta Post
that the Indonesian Government “should learn from now
independent Timor-Leste and the peace talks ending the war with
separatists in Aceh. In Timor Leste, he said, “we relied too
much on the Indonesian Military and the National Intelligence
Agency.”

As in the Suharto era, Jakarta has relied heavily on the
“security approach” to address Papuan discontent and, also as in
the Suharto era, has sought to hide the resultant suffering of
the Papuans behind a a curtain of restrictions that impede or
bar journalists and others from covering developments in West
Papua.

A July 27 Jakarta Post article, authored by prominent Papuan
religious leader Father Neles Tebay, argued that the symbolic
action of handing back the Special Autonomy law would complicate
an already difficult situation for the government, specifically
in its diplomatic efforts to convince the international
community that the autonomy law is fully implemented and has
improved Papuan prosperity.

More Reports of Prisoner Abuse in West Papua

The Jakarta Globe on July 12 carried a detailed report of a July
11 prisoner “riot” in Abepura prison. The violence reportedly
erupted after prison guards beat another inmate and stole his
money.

The report comments that “Abepura Penitentiary has a wretched
security record, with mass breakouts occurring regularly at the
facility. In May, 18 inmates escaped during a protest by
correctional guards over the sacking of then chief warden
Antonius Ayorbaba.

In June, 26 prisoners broke out by scaling down a prison wall
using a rope strung together with bed sheets. Only two inmates
have been recaptured.

“Several correctional guards refuse to cooperate with the new
warden, leading to gross derelictions of duty that have left
security at the penitentiary in an appalling state,” Nazaruddin
said after the June breakout.

Separate reporting of prisoner beatings, failure to provide
adequate medical care are common. A UN Special Rapporteur in
2007 detailed systematic abuse of prisoners. More recent
reporting by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and
others have reconfirmed those findings.

A resolution addressing the detention of Papuan political
prisoners is currently gaining co-sponsors in the U.S. Congress.

Indonesian Navy and Fisheries Ministry Collude with Illegal
Foreign Fishing Vessels

Papuans and foreign observers have long been critical of the
Indonesian government for failing to protect Papuan forest
resources which have been exploited, often illegally, with no
attempt by security forces to protect those resources. There are
many well documented reports of security force collaboration
with those involved in the illegal exploitation.

Recent studies by the Indonesian Seafarers Association (KPI),
reported in the July 28 Jakarta Post, document security force
failure to protect Papuan sea resources as well. The KPI study
revealed that although the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Ministry had stopped issuing permits to foreign fishing vessels,
thousands were still freely operating. The foreign vessels,
mostly from the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, fish
illegally with impunity due to the failure of the Indonesian
Navy and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry ships to
protect Indonesian waters. Instead, “many Navy and Ministry
ships regularly patrol the waters – not to catch illegal fishing
vessels but to extort money from them,” according to KPI
chairman Hanafi Rustandi.

The Seafarers study also revealed that the government’s failure
to control the operation of foreign fishing vessels, contributed
to an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS in the country’s eastern
regions of Papua and Maluku. The KPI study revealed that the
highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases are in two fishing ports in
Maluku and in and Papua’s coastal regencies, including Merauke,
Mimika and Fakfak.

KPI Chairman Rustandi noted that foreign ships cost Indonesia
dearly in terms of fish, and have caused incalculable damage in
terms of facilitating the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region.