Tag Archives: NeoColonialism

JUBI: Papuans Will Survive without Freeport, says Papua Governor

Freeport mining area in Timika - energytoday.com

Jayapura, Jubi/BenarNews – During his visit the United States this week to attract more investment, President Joko Widodo, his ministers and officials in the field of economy were scheduled to officially meet with executives of US companies.

However, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno L.P. Marsudi denied the president would meet representatives from Freeport, which has an interest in obtaining a contract extension after 2021.
“Rumours in media that the president had a schedule to have breakfast with Freeport are not true,” said Retno was quoted in Solopos.

The US Company that operates the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Papua, is enforcing the Indonesian Government to extend their Contract of Work while refer to the Indonesian regulation the extension could be approved two years prior the last contract was terminated. However, before his departure to the US, Jokowi gave a signal to Freeport could obtain the extension after the end of contract, it means in 2019.

No Intention to Develop Papua
In between the crowded debates and controversy about the contract extension for PT. Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Mimika, the voices from Papua are rarely heard.

But for Papuans, this issue of contract extension is not only a matter of time. The Papua Governor Lukas Enembe was doubt the intention of PTFI to develop Papua.
“We submitted 17 points of Government’s Proposal consist of 11 points of Papua Government and 6 points of the Central Government in order to renegotiate with Freeport, including the Freeport’s involvement to build infrastructure in Papua, the increment of royalty and tax payment to the Provincial Government, share divestment, environmental issue and prioritizing Papuans to be employees. That’s our priorities,” Enembe told BeritaBenar on 17 October 2015.

He accused Freeport to have no intention to Papua’s development. He took Timika City as an example, that until now the city is lacking of feasible infrastructures. “Freeport has been operating since 1967, but what about Timika and how’s Papuan condition right now? Infrastructures in Timika are still underdeveloped. The number of indigenous Papuan workers in Freeport is not equal with the number of non-Papuan workers. If it continues like this, Freeport is better leaving. Without it, Papuans will still survive,” said the Governor Enembe.

The local authority estimates there are only 30 percent of the company’s employees are Papuans, while the rest are recruited from outside of Papua.

Further Enembe refers to the attitude of PTFI that according to him hindering the water surface tax payment.  Each year, Freeport should pay 360 billion rupiahs for the water surface tax, but the fact is up to now PTFI only paid approximately 1.5 billion for each year.
“Freeport took many advantages of the government’s rotation every five years, and violated the commitment made between the government and Freeport. And the government just ignored this fact. But it is clear, Freeport has to pay 360 billion rupiahs each year,” he said.

The Governor Enembe said the Provincial Government also support the policy taken by the Mimika Regional Government charging PTFI to pay a penalty amounted USD 3.6 billion or Rp 481 trillion to the indigenous tribes living in the surrounded mining area.
“It’s the people’s demand because Freeport has exploited the mountain and its materials since being operated, but never given the in kind benefits to the local community,” said Enembe.

It’s a Political Treaty, Not Business Agreement
Musa Sombuk, Lecturer at Papua State University and doctoral candidate at Australia National Univrsity thought the tax issue, profit sharing, and other issues that endured for years as consequences of PTFI’s contract of work is a “political agreement” rather an economic agreement between the company and the Indonesian Government.
“At first time doing operation, it was clear that Indonesia need a cash. Now, the Freeport’s contract is not transparent, unequal and the profit sharing is not fair. Freeport also did any means in order to gain land ownership,” said Sombuk.

When confirmed by BeritaBenar, PTFI spokesperson Riza Pratama declined to give comments on the renegotiation process with the Central Government, but he denied PTFI did the cunning ways in obtaining the land. He said the customary community at the PTFI mining area has gave their permission and tenure rights since PTFI started their operation for the first time. According to Reza, the company also has paid the penalty and is continuing the development program for indigenous communities at the surrounded the mining area.

Sombuk, who admitted his involvement in the audit of PTFI in 1997, said the company is not only taking the copper and gold, but also the tailing –sand waste containing the iron ore, that could reach 30 billion tons. Several grams of tailings, according to him, could result 1 gram of 23 carat gold. “Now there’s 30 billion tons of tailing and it must be gold-contained. Where will the gold from tailing go?” said Sombuk.
“Just imagine, Freeport should use the dump truck to dispose the tailing, but they just drain it to the Ajikwa River that is bearing the risk and impact to the people’s health and environment,” said Sombuk.

According to Sombuk, PTFI could survive until now because it gained support and facilities from the government, both regional and provincial. The vague regulation and the attitude of both government and company for not being transparent making the law enforcement is risk with the corrupt practice.

“We never know whether the local permits have any cost consequences. If it has, such as the charge on waste draining in Ajikwa River, we don’t know to whom it should pay and how much?” asked Sombuk. (Victor Mambor/rom)

PT Selaras Inti Semesta’s Unkept Promises to Senegi Villagers

Tabloid Jubi

by Ans K @ Tabloid Jubi

January 4, 2013

The leader of the Merauke District Legislative Council (DPRD), Leonardus Mahuze, says that PT Selaras Inti Semesta, a company logging forest owned by the people of Senegi village in Okaba district, has not fulfilled the promises it made when it started its operations there.

Chairman DPRD Merauke, Leonardus Mahuze (Jubi/Ans)

That was how Leo described the situation to tabloidjubi.com, on Thursday (3/1).  He said that the company’s promise to provide education for Senegi village’s children, including providing college places, has still not happened.  Similarly the company has not provided new houses, electricity supplies or clean water either. As a result, the local people who are the customary landowners in the area, feel they have been exploited.

Until now, Leo related, the only thing which PT Selaras Inti Semesta has completed building has been a church. In the meantime they are logging the forest every day. “Yes, of course the local people are the victims in this situation. The council has received many complaints”, he said.

Leo added that in the near future he will summon PT Selaras Inti Semesta and local people to a meeting at the District Legislative Council, and draw up a memorandum of understanding between the two parties, witnessed by representatives of the people. This is in order to uphold the people’s rights.

(English translation: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=308)

The Impact of MIFEE presence at Bian River and Maro River, West Papua

http://tabloidjubi.com/?p=7575

Press Release from Indigenous Peoples Organization of Bian Enim

Extent of MIFEE estate (via Tabloid Jubi)

Jayapura, (21/12)—“The Lord Allah has given new land to create human-being, they  (human-beings) are given legs and hands to cultivate the land. We do not refuse any development and companies on our land, but we  want to get fully involved in it (development)”

The presence of company and investment development on our customary land has caused several impacts, which we face direct and indirectly. One of the impact that clearly occurs is water contamination which is followed with phenomenon of dead fishes,  turtles and other water animals, which people believes that these are affected by company’s waste where is located on the edge of Bian River. Moreover, the water from river and swamp that we have been using and consuming for our daily needs, e.g drinking, cooking, bathing, and others, can no longer be used by us anymore. The kids who baths in the river and swamp has got health problems on the skin, digest problems, coughs and other health problems. In compensation, we have to walk miles and miles to get fresh and clean water.

The company’s activities, which we see by ourselves, has demolished our customary land that we have been protecting, nurturing, and taking care of. The deforestation of our customary forest has also deprived any of traditional medicines that we have been using for all this time. It is harder for us to look for Sago, hunted animals, traditional clothes materials, and customary equipment which are only available in the forest. For us, customary forest that is destroyed equals to damaged and the loss of our culture.

The company came to the village without any detail, clear, and proved information given. The company does not involve indigenous peoples and land owners since the first time of investment plan on our land. As well as things related to policy and permits was not informed openly, clearly, and detail to us, including the potential impact of the land permits that might occurs on our land.

In the process of socialization, consultation, verification of clan owners, and negotiation which was conducted by companies, they never get the clan owners fully involved. The companies only engaged the head of clan, the community leaders, including local government to get involved on the land that is grabbed and destroyed. The involvement mentioned is related to involvement in EIA Preparation Process, consultation, and EIA assessment. The indigenous community’s organization which represents the indigenous peoples was not even involved in this process. Meanhile, on the side of community, the land owners whose land is not grabbed and destroyed were not engaged to get involved. This matter resulted to today’s situation where our demands and aspirations are not expressed well.

We feel that government who shall has duty and obligation to protect, respect, and bring forward our rights as indigenous community, has clearly become the company’s men as they are on the company’s side, and not on the side of the indigenous community and the land owners.

When the companies came to our land, they and the government mentioned that the land was only borrowed or contracted for 35 years and afterward the land will be returned to the customary land owners, and we believe that we will get our land back. Nowadays, we got information that one of the palm oil companies, PT Bio Inti Agroindo (BIA) who conducting operation on ou land and customary area has got their Land Use Rights / HGU. We realize that the end of land use rights would refer to the land be returned to the state, after 35 years been used by the companies. For us, this situation means that the companies has failed to protect our indigenous rights as the real land owners. This also means that the company has intentionally committed fraud, negligence and removal of our indigenous rights without our approval on the concession. For that matter, we urge that if the company wish to continue using our customary land, thus the company is obliged to seek for our approval as land owners and we also have make sure that the land will be returned to us, the clan owners, after the usage.

Demands and Aspiration
Based on the circumstances and the facts above, we are very aware that many losses that we have experienced will be sustained and the impact on the loss of life, dignity and our rights as indigenous peoples as well as our constitutional rights. Therefore we demand and urged the government to take actions to:
1. Revoke and cancel location permits off of our customary land
2. The Land use rights must be removed from the land and customary land and  clan’s land, and also to ensure the lands will be returned to our customary land owners
3. The Company shall be responsible to, and conduct recovery as well as to give compensation to the communities who lived along the coast of Bian River up to Kaptel
4. The government should take action and control of disruption and environmental pollution caused by gold mining company’s activities in the border between Indonesia and PNG, which has threatened communities in Maro River – Bian River
5. The government shall conduct an investigation, field observations and research on the situation in the Coastal Mandob-Bian-Mill and should involve communities and civil society organizations.

Merauke, 18 December 2012
Sincerely Yours,

No. Name, Village, Position
1.    David Kabaljai, Baidub, Clan Member
2.    Bertila Mahuze, Boha, Clan Member
3.    Willem Mahuze, Boha, Head of Village
4.    Markus Dambujai, Bupul, Clan Member
5.    Petrus Mekiuw, Bupul, Clan Member
6.    Bibiana Kodaip, Erambu, Clan Member
7.    Elvas Kabujai, Erambu, Clan Member
8.    Polikarpa Basik-Basik, Kindiki, Clan Member
9.    Sebastianus Ndiken, Kindiki, Leader of BianEnim Indigenous Peoples Organization
10.    Simon Mahuze, Kindiki, Village Officer
11.    Chriz Ungkujai, Kweel, Clan Mekiuw Leader
12.    Klemes Mahuze, Muting, Clan Member
13.    Maurits A. Mahuze, Muting, Clan Member
14.    Paustinus Ndiken, Muting, Secretary of Indigenous Peoples Organization
15.    Silvester Ndiken, Muting, Clan Leader
16.    Yanuarius Wotos, Muting, Clan Member
17.    Melkias Basik-Basik, Pachas, Clan Member
18.    Simson A. Basik – Basik, Pachas, Clan Member
19.    Susana Mahuze, Pachas, Clan Member
20.    David Dagijai, Poo, Leader of Yeinan  Organization
21.    Siprianus Kodaip, Poo, Clan Member
22.    Abner Mugujai, Tanas, Leader of Tanas Organization
23.    Carolina Mandowen, Tanas, Clan Member

 

Take Care of Our Rivers and Give Us Back our Land

Sawit Watch / SKP KAMe

Press Release

December 20, 2012

West Papua’s natural resources are being exploited by extractive industries, especially around Merauke. When it was launched in August 2010, the MIFEE mega-project was described as an initiative to meet the world’s food needs, a response to the world food crisis. As well as this, there are the current global concerns that the diminishing reserves of fossil fuel globally are bringing about a energy crisis.

https://i1.wp.com/sawitwatch.or.id/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sawit-Papua.jpg

With an area of over 1.2 million hectare earmarked for the project, the Merauke Regency Government hoped to turn Merauke into a centre of urban agriculture, agribusiness and agrotourism. Many companies welcomed the government’s offer and saw it as a great opportunity to expand their operations in eastern Indonesia. Merauke Regency’s Investment Planning Board (Badan Perencanaan Investasi Daerah or BAPINDA) has recorded that 46 companes have obtained permits, and some of which have already commenced operations. (data from Bapinda, September 2012).

The extent of concessions for large-scale oil-palm plantations in Indonesia currently exceeds 11.5 million hectares (Sawit Watch, 2011), stretching over all of Indonesia’s island groups both large and small, from Sabang at the westernmost tip of Aceh, to Merauke in South-East Papua.  The first palm-oil plantation in Merauke was started in 1997 by Pt Tunas Sawa Erma, a subsidiary of the Korindo Group. There are currently six oil palm plantation companies which have begun operations on Malind Anim land in Merauke: PT Dongin Prabhawa (Korindo Group), PT Bio Inti Agrindo (Korindo Group) [awasMIFEE note: PT Bio Inti Agrindo was actually bought by Daewoo International in 2011, and still belongs
to that company as far as we know], PT Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM), PT Agriprima Cipta Persada, PT Hardaya Sawit Papua and PT Berkat Citra Abadi (Korindo Group). Hundreds of thousands of hectares of indigenous people’s land will be appropriated, the forest destroyed and replaced with large-scale oil palm plantations.

Oil-palm plantations along the shores of the Bian and Maro Rivers have already brought serious problems for the indigenous people and clans that live in the area and own the land.  Oil-palm companies have been clearing land by burning, which has polluted water in the rivers and swamps, damaged and wiped out cultural sites and caused irreplaceable damage to the natural environment.  This is aggravated by a lack of information about companies’ status and plans, wrongful identification
of which clans own or have rights over which land, insufficient payment of compensation and deception and manipulation of data.  As a result the clans and tribes living along the Maro and Bian rivers have been dispossessed of their customary lands.

On the 31st July2011, 13 civil society organisations signed and delivered a letter to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminaton (CERD), accusing the MIFEE Mega-Project of bringing about the destruction of indigenous societies in Papua and in Merauke in particular.  A response to this letter was received from Anwar Kemal, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimnation of Racial Discrimination, on the 2nd September 2011.  It requested that the Indonesian Government, which became a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 when it ratified Law number 29 of 1999, to give a swift response and clarification before 31st January 2012.   Until now, the government has still not given its response. The government is showing neglect and disregard and it’s not for the first time – previously in 2007 they had planned to fell the forest along the whole Indonesia-Malaysia border for oil palm plantations.

Seeing the conditions that indigenous communities in the villages along the Bian and Maro rivers are currently facing, with their land already allocated to large scale oil palm plantation concessions, we strongly advocate the following:

1. Companies must be responsible and make restorations, as well as giving compensation to people living along the Bian River as far as Kaptel and the Maro River for the environmental damage and pollution caused by oil palm plantation operations.

2. The government must carry out a review and evaluation of the permits which have been given to oil palm plantations on indigenous land belonging to the clans and tribes which live in Merauke Regency, revoke and cancel location permits and withdraw all commercial cultivation rights from customary lands in Merauke Regency.

3. The government must stop issuing new permits in Merauke Regency before all current problems are resolved, as well as repairing the damage that has already been done to the various communities.

4. As a party which has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 through Law number 29 of 1999, the government must immediately respond to the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Anwar Kemal’s letter dated 2nd  September 2011 (which was a response to the concerns raised to the UN CERD on 31st July 2011).

Source: Sawit Watch http://sawitwatch.or.id/2012/12/1047/
Translated and posted on awasMIFEE: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=302

KNPB pleads for international security (force) to prevent ongoing conflict in Timika

October 8, 2012

Timika Conflict Report by Steven Itlay [Chair KNPB Mimika]

Analysis – edited by West Papua Media

Since the civil war broke out on June 2, 2012 in Timika,West Papua the number of victims among the indigenous people continues to grow. Freeport Indonesia Pty Ltd, the army, police and Government of Indonesia have not been able to resolve this insignificant dispute. They have allowed and indeed fostered this civil war.

As a result, at the time of this report (5/10), scores of lives have been lost and many (people) wounded. According to monitoring, the majority of the victims were hit by arrows; however a number were also shot dead by Indonesian Police. Yet others have disappeared as the result of “lightning” (speedy) killings by certain criminal elements. The Government of Indonesia and Freeport have not been able to resolve the conflict; therefore the (local) people are demanding an international security force to protect their lives.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Mimika has been monitoring this situation, and has come to the conclusion that the civil war between clans has been allowed (to occur) by the Indonesian government and Freeport. The situation is trending towards genocide, and the Indonesian authorities – with the American corporation which is established on the Amungsa land – are deliberately permitting genocide in Timika, West Papua.

Chronology of the civil war

The civil war began from a misunderstanding which occurred since May 20, 2012 in Timika, Papua. In the beginning an incident occurred between Ronny Ongomang and Aroki Komangal. (Ronny Onggomang was the son of Hosea Onggomang and Aroki Komangal was the son of Atimus Komangal). At 4.00 p.m. Aroki called Ronny at his house and invited him to go for an evening ride, and .took the streets in the afternoon. The two went out, each using his own motorcycle heading along Old Freeport Street, next to Timika Airport. They sat down and began drinking (liquor).

Not long after that, a youth named Oni Kerembo who had just finished bathing at the side of Old Freeport Street was starting up his motor cycle, was suddenly hit by Ronny Ongomang who was crossing the road with his friend Mickieto while giving a ride on the back of his bike at high speed, despite being affected by alcohol.

After the collision with Oni, Ronny could still stand, and panicking, mounted his motorcycle and sped off about 1 kilometre, stopping at the side of a ditch by the road. According to police information, Ronny fell (from his bike) there and died suddenly (from his injuries). At the same time Oni Kerembo suffered broken bones and was rushed to Mitara Community Hospital RSMM Karitas for treatment.

The following day (21 May 2012), around 8.00 a.m, a citizen discovered the body of Ronny Onggomang in the ditch at the side of the road where he had fallen. The citizen immediately contacted the police, Polantas (traffic) section, and the body was removed to the District of Mimika General Hospital (RSUD Mimika). His parents were notified and identified Ronny Onggomang’s body at RSUD.

On 22 May 2012, his body was buried at the house of his father Hosea Ongomang at Kwamki Narama, Mimika.

On 24-26 May 2012 in Mimika, the victim’s family together with police from Polantas carried out an investigation into Ronny’s death. The police from Polantas said that it was clearly an accident, but the victim’s family did not accept this because there were no signs of scratches or lacerations on the body.

On 29 May 2012, the family of the victim (who) were making accusations everywhere, invited all the elders (including) the father of Aroki Komangal to go at once to the Police, Polantas Section and request clear information on the case. Polantas stated that from their viewpoint it was clearly an accident and there was no perpetrator. However the family of the victim were not satisfied with the police explanation. As a result of this dissatisfaction the family accused Aroki Komangal as the murderer without evidence.

Atimus Komangal and Benyamin Kiwak head of the large Damal clan apologised to the victim’s family but they rejected the apology from the side of the accused, and they wanted to “seek proof in the field” with a traditional physical confrontation or war between the clans, according to traditional custom.

In this small case the police let things be and did not complete the handling of the matter in order that a civil war did not occur. But (by failing to intervene with conflict resolution before violence broke out) it was as if the police provided an opportunity for this war to happen in Timika.

On 2 June 2012 in Mimika Papua, a civil war broke out, The clan of Hosea Ongomang fought against the clan of Atimus Komangal. Finally there was a victim on the Hosea Ongomang side, identified as Deminus Ongomang.

On 5 October 2012, around 8.24 a.m., community leaders, church leaders and womens’ leaders, forcibly chased away the Indonesian police because the police only watched and deliberately encouraged the conflict in Kwamki Narama, even though victims were dying. One Amungme community leader said, “The government of Indonesia, and TNI/POLRI only come to show off in the in an area of conflict like this, because of the political and economic interests of their office. They never truly resolve problems in Papua, especially in the gold mine region of Timika.”

At 09.00 a.m. local time, all the police who were serving in the war area left that war area in shame. All members of community organisations, church groups NGOs and elders regard the Indonesian government army and police (TNI/POLRI) as being incapable, and have failed totally to calm the civil war in Timika.

To the present moment the war is continuing. The Indonesian police have not yet succeeded in calming the civil war. In fact the police are just busy providing security for Freeport Indonesia. They carry out arrests of KNPB activists in the streets. This war which has been encouraged prevents the people from engaging in (peaceful and legitimate free expression) activism. The citizens are afraid to oppose the arbitrary activities of the police.

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Above: Images from the horizontal conflict of 2012 in Mimika (Courtesy KNPB Mimika)
List of names of the victims (of the war) from 20 May to 5 October 2012
A. From the side of Hosea Onggomang
1. Roni Onggomang (16), died in ditch at side of the road, after motorcycle collision with Oni Kerombo .
2. Deminus Onggomang (30). Killed by an arrow, fired mistakenly by one of his friends.
3. Dominus Ongomang (32) shot dead by police officer in Mimika. Perpetrator: Brimob AKBP Denny Siregar S.IK of Batak descent.
4. Doni Onggomang (28). Shot dead by police. Doni had just seen his older brother Dominus shot by Kapolres (Police). Doni was angry and wanted to attack the Kapolres but he was also shot, by Adjutant Kapolres Abram, native of Jayapura.
5. Antelius Ongomang (24), Killed by arrow.
6. Aroki Tabuni (29). Killed by an arrow.
7. Pak Enos Murib (35). Killed by an arrow
8. Ibu (Mrs) Medina Wenda (24). Killed by an arrow in a plantation outside the battlefield.
9. Seki Tabuni (36). Killed by an arrow.
10. Kamoro Tabuni (30). Killed by an arrow.
11. Herry Tabuni (25). Chased and killed in the street.

B. Victims from Atimus Komanggal’s side
1. Parael Alom
2. Yanuarius Misimbo, killed in a plantation.
3. Nike Misimbo (10). killed in a plantation.
4. Ince Komangal (15). killed in a car.
5. Eterikus Beanal. Killed in a car.
6. Jhon Beanal (29). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown
7. Frans Beanal, (30). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown.
8. Pdt. (Reverend) Barnabas Komangal (57). Killed in family fight.
9. People seriously wounded; 12 men and 2 women, names not yet known.
10. Filemon Hagabal, (35). seriously wounded by an arrow.
11. Head of the Dama clan, Victim of bashing carried out by member of the police force, is now left with paralysis in his left leg and has broken ribs. At present still in detention in Polres Mimika Mil 32.
12. Other victims outside the warring clans, Bapak Tom Yarangga (45 years), Yaranggawas burned in a car (fire) carried out by a specially trained group. (Kelompok yang di lati Khusus?), up to now the murderer has not been identified by the police.
Bapak Nasyum killed by a specially trained person. To date police have not identified the murderer.

(WPM Comment: The “Specially Trained Group” or Orang Terlatih Khusus is a euphemism for terror squads of the Indonesian special forces Kopassus, who are believed to responsible for a massive campaign of shootings, stabbings, muggings and bombings against a variety of targets, blamed on highland Papuans, and engineered by design to discredit the civil resistance movement in Papua. Indonesia, and Kopassus, have used proxy militia and jihadist groupsthis as their standard operating procedure since the bloodbaths of the 1965 Coup.)