Tag Archives: militia

JUBI: Governor and Council Speaker Accused of Orchestrating pro-Jakarta militia Protests

reprinted in full from our partners Tabloid Jubi

The recent arrests of nearly 1,500 protesters in Jayapura are part of a broader systematic oppression of Papuans by the Indonesian government - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and the Chairman of the Papua Legislative Council Yunus Wonda have been accused of orchestrating recent demonstrations.

The accusations were made by the alleged attackers of Mrs. Henderika Kowenip, who was hurt during a recent protest.

First Deputy of Regional Leadership Council of Democrat Party Papua (DPD PD Papua), Corolus Bolly, said he strongly condemned the attack against Kowenip, Coordinator Deputy of DPD PD Papua, on Thursday (2/6/2016) at around 09:00 Papua time near to Trikora Square, Abepura.  Kowenip suffered bruises and wounds on her back and face.

“The Public Hospital Dok II Jayapura, who conducted medical examination will further explain about Mrs. Kowenip’s health condition,” Corolus Bolly through a release on last week to Jubi in Jayapura.

Bolly said he asked both Papua Police and Jayapura Municipal Police to immediately investigate and arrest the perpetrators. “We really want the perpetrators would be punished on their crime in accordance to the Law,” he said.

Regarding to accusations levelled by Kowenip’s attackers against Enembe and Wonda, Bolly asserted as leaders, both persons must present among their people without disrespecting their ethnicity, religion, race or particular groups.

“As regional leaders, it is their obligation to pay attention, facilitate and serve all interest and dynamic of people living in the entire regions of Papua Province by continuing to keep stability and peace in people’s life.

Second Deputy Chairman of DPD PD Papua, Habel Rumbiak, similarly said about dynamic of politic that was occurred recently. He said both Lukas Enembe and Yunus Wonda always appealed to people to respect the Indonesian law and not being anarchy in doing demonstrations.

“People should respect any differences on political view. It shouldn’t become an instrument to divide and create conflict between one and another groups that at the end would lead to separation,” he said,

He added together we should maintain the unitary and integrity as well as lead to separation,” he said.

He added together we should maintain the unitary and integrity as well as stability, security and peace to create a conducive situation in working. “All of these are to materialize the movement towards Stand up, Independent and Prosperous Papua,” he said. (Alexander Loen/rom)

Leaked Letter Reveals Indon Army Scare Tactics

Exclusive Copies of the Scanned Letter are available for download at the end of this article. (Please note, any attempts to block access will result in significant multiplication across the internet)

at NewMatilda.Com

By Alex Rayfield

EXCLUSIVE: A leaked letter from an Army General reveals Indonesia’s attempts to disband a West Papuan church with threats of “assertive action”

From the outside looking in, the latest church conflict in West Papua might look like just another example of factional Protestant politics. A little sordid perhaps, but irrelevant to all but the parties involved.

Dig a little deeper, however, and one finds something far more disturbing.

A leaked letter from the head of the Indonesian Army in Papua obtained by New Matilda reveals that far from being an internal church matter, the conflict between Kingmi Indonesia, a Protestant church that has parishes across Indonesia, and the breakaway Kingmi Papua Church, goes to the heart of the Indonesian government’s attempt to repress movements for cultural pride and autonomy in the country’s restive Pacific periphery.

In a nutshell, the conflict turns on whether Kingmi Papua has the right to separate from Kingmi Indonesia and set up an autonomous synod, reverting to an arrangement that existed prior to 1982.

Major General Erfi Triassunu, TNI Chief, Kodam 17 (Papua) (photo discourtesy of TNI)

The question is this: why has the Indonesian Army become involved? Major-General Erfi Triassunu has waded into a conflict that he himself acknowledges is an internal church matter. In the letter (File Number: R/773/IV/2011) addressed to the Governor of Papua, Barnebus Suebu, dated 30 April 2011 and marked “secret”, Triassunu “respectfully requests” the Governor to arrange a meeting between Kingmi Indonesia and Kingmi Papua. The General also offers himself as a mediator.

The letter continues: “if the conflict cannot be resolved through discussion then assertive action must be taken”.

Let me translate “assertive action”. In East Timor when the Indonesian Army took “assertive action” against the Church, they murdered church workers, massacred parishioners, raped women and burnt churches to the ground. In West Papua too the Indonesian Army has a history of killing pastors from the Kingmi Papua Church, as well as other churches. This dates back to 1 May 1963 when the Indonesian government took administrative control of the territory and has continued up to the present.

Last October a video filmed on soldiers’ mobiles phones and circulated widely on the internet, showed several soldiers from Kostrad, the Indonesian Army’s Strategic Command — Triassunu’s own division — torturing a Papuan church worker by burning his genitals with a stick.

In the letter, Triassunu, who previously served in Aceh, makes a number of accusations. He accuses Kingmi Papua of trying to access as much money as they can from the government’s Special Autonomy programme in order to create new churches. However, the real purpose of building a network of churches, Triassunu insists, is “to strengthen Papuan civil society aspirations for freedom”. He then argues that the Kingmi Papua Church’s desire to be independent of the Indonesian Church is “just an excuse” for “the church to become a political vehicle” that supports Papuan independence.

Triassunu then goes on to make a number of recommendations. He specifically says that Kingmi Papua pastors should stick to Biblical “dogma” and not stray into politics. The General is on solid ground here, following in the footsteps of numerous dictators from Marcos to Pinochet, all notorious for their attempts to stifle meddlesome priests. Triassunu specifically names Reverends Benny Giay (the current moderator of the Kingmi Papua Church), Seblum Karubaba (the former moderator) and Noakh Nawipa (the Rector of the Pos 7 Theological College) as malcontents, mentioning several seminars organised by the trio where “Papua Merdeka” (freedom) was discussed.

All this has echoes of Suharto who systematically depoliticised (read: violently repressed and disbanded) all independent organisations, including religious ones, for fear they could become bases for organised opposition against the regime. Indonesian democrats may have overthrown Suharto but West Papua is not part of a new democratic Indonesia. What is deeply concerning is that in the Papuan context the label “separatist” is regularly applied to Papuan leaders as a pretext for justifying extra-judicial action by security forces.

This is where the plot thickens.

According to the letter, the General decided to become involved in the Kingmi conflict after a Kingmi Indonesia pastor, Reverend Karel Maniani, personally asked the Army to protect his parishioners. But Reverend Maniani himself was previously a member of “Group Nine” of the Papuan Freedom Movement (or OPM). In the 1980s Maniani was jailed for four years in the notorious Kalisosok Prison. What happened to Maniani on the journey from freedom fighter to Army petitioner?

To make things stranger, the conservative US-based evangelical Christian Missionary Association backs Maniani and Kingmi Indonesia against Kingmi Papua. At stake is not only valuable church property and access to Special Autonomy funds, it is also over influence of a broad Papua base. Kingmi Papua has half a million members. Virtually all of them are indigenous Papuans from the fractious Highlands, around a third of the entire Papuan population.

When I asked Benny Giay about all this his reply was revealing. For years he said he was part of a church that was more concerned with “saving souls” than the day-to-day oppression of the Papuans. “The Kingmi church has been complicit with the suffering of the Papuans. We need to confess our sins and follow the narrow path of Jesus. This Gospel is very clear; we must stand with the oppressed and work to alleviate their suffering. I hope we can cast off our fear and stay firm to this path.”

Giay has a vision for an independent Papuan church; a uniquely Papuan church that makes space for Papuans to begin to articulate their own theology, one that sees God present in Papuan history and culture. Giay and his colleagues are slowly building up a church that commits itself to solidarity with the poor and oppressed; one that is led by the Papuans themselves. That may not sound much to a reader unfamiliar with Papuan politics, but in West Papua it is a big deal.

Just ask the General.

SCAN OF ORIGINAL LETTER SIGNED BY MAJ-GEN ERFI TRIASSUNU



Large rally against torture held Serui; Police confiscate rally equipment, then apologise to organisers

by Nick Chesterfield, Ronny Kareni; local sources for West Papua Media team

Serui, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Indonesian police in Serui, off the north coast of West Papua, this morning have forcefully confiscated banners, Morning Star flags, amplifiers and other rally paraphernalia from West Papuan protestors, before allowing a major rally against torture to go ahead. Despite providing police with significant notice, organisers of today’s rallies have met with inconsistent police policy in allowing legitimate peaceful expression to occur.

The rallies are being held by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) to express opposition to institutionalised Indonesian security force torture and maltreatment of West Papuan people, and against the continuing criminalisation of legitimate peaceful dissent.  It is also to support efforts in Washington DC for West Papua by Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) including seminars, a Vigil to End Torture in front of the White House, and Congressional Briefings on Capitol Hill.  The rally had been planned to conduct a traditional long march or “jigjog” to the offices of the DPRD, the Papuan Provincial Parliament.

Police in Serui conducted security sweeps of the area from 8 to 10 pm last night.  “This is a usual sweeping that security forces do for security measures prior to an event”. said Pak Eddy, the head of intelligence for the police (KAINTEL POLRES) in Serui said via phone to West Papua Media.

At 8am this morning, rally organisers were visited by two uniformed Papuan police officers, who told WPNA Serui Governor David Abon to cancel the long march from Wombai Park to the DPRD office. Instead, they instructed Abon to drop people with trucks to the office, but stated firmly that Police “will not provide security for the protesters, nor guarantee their safety”.

Rally organisers expressed fears that this would be a prelude for police standing down in the face of militia or military violence, and were perturbed that the police would abrogate its State Responsibility for providing security for civilians engaging in legitimate peaceful expression.   The Indonesian police has a long and regular history of standing to one side while military or military controlled civilian groups conduct serious acts of violence against political or religious opposition, such as with East Timor, in West Papua, and more recently against the Ahmadiyah.  However, neither the WPNA nor Police have shared any specific intelligence about pro-Jakarta militia mobilisations, despite the local presence of both the Laskar Merah Putih, and the newly formed Euricio Guterres / Bas Suebu militia, ASWAIN.

Over 1000 people had begun to gather at Wombai Park, Serui, on Thursday morning in preparation for the long march and listen to speeches and music.  At 10:00am, as people were meeting to discuss security situation and day’s plans, one company (150 police) of local Police present at Wombai confiscated with force a truck, Morning Star flags and material (like bags and beanies), amplifiers, and four banners. Due to the speed and force used, people at the park were subject to mounting fear, and were uncertain for their safety.

KAINTEL Eddy told the crowd,  “Don’t bring flags or banners to the rally, but rally can still go ahead”.  This action was is contravention to the rights of people to engage in free cultural expression.

The crowd then dispersed peacefully from Wombai and made its way to the DPRD office.  Over 200 armed Gegana paramilitary motorbike police are in attendance, as are two companies of normal police.

WPNA Security is still on high alert against agents provocateur, and has clear line of communication open to prevent escalation with both Pak Eddy and the KAPOLRES (Regency level Chief of Police, currently in Jayapura).

In Mantembu at midday, prior to that march joining with the main rally, Police attempted to shut down the march, and again seized banners that displayed the Morning Star symbol.  An intense vocal confrontation between WPNA and Police ensued, but negotiations with Police successfully agreed the rally to be continued until 4pm.

” We will provide the safety and security of all the participants”, said Terrianus Israel Yoku, National Congress President of WPNA.   “We want to freely exercise our rights to freedom of assembly, and we ask for security forces to respect the rights of West Papuans to voice our concerns”, said Yoku.

“Even though the security forces stop trucks and confiscate morning star flags, banners and amplifiers, it wont stop us marching in peace” said David Abon, govenor of Yapen Waropen.

The Kapolres and KAINTEL POLRES apologised to Reverend Yoku, WPNA, for the confiscation of items and the force that was used against demonstrators this morning.

Participants from Wombai joined with the 500 Mantembu marchers, who then joined over 3000 people already gathered at DPRD.  Delegations also came from Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Fak Fak, Bintuni, Waropen, and Mamberamo.  Over 5000 people stayed upon the steps of the DPRD office listening to speeches and music.

“A Salute to everyone who made the decision to participate in this long march for peace and justice in West Papua. This is an act of working together in support of what is happening in Australia and Washington to speak out on the ongoing torture and issues towards indigenous West Papuans”,  said Jacob Rumbiak, WPNA Foreign Affairs Coordinator, in Australia.

“Today, the international advocates are monitoring the situation in West Papua, especially in Serui, and we ask the Indonesian security forces to respect the rally and allow every West Papuans to freely exercise their freedom of expression and freedom assembly”, said Terry Bukorpioper, WPNA’s designated spokesperson to the UN.

At time of writing,  close to 5000 people joined on the steps of DPRD in a closing prayer with Reverend Phil Ayeni to peacefully end the rally.

West Papua Media will continue to monitor the situation closely, and provide timely updates.