Tag Archives: President of Indonesia

Tapol: Britain and Indonesia – Too close for comfort?

TAPOL Press release
President’s visit prompts fresh concerns about arms sales and training of anti-terror police

30 October 201

British-funded training of Indonesia’s anti-terror police, Special Detachment 88, should be reviewed in the light of serious concerns about the unit’s human rights record and its operations in Papua, says TAPOL ahead of a state visit to London by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from 31 October to 2 November 2012.

In the run-up to the visit TAPOL, which promotes human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia, is also appealing for an immediate ban on the sale to Indonesia of any military equipment that may be used for internal repression.

“While British businesses are no doubt eagerly anticipating the President’s visit, victims of human rights abuses will derive little comfort from the prospect of increased arms sales and ongoing training of Indonesian security forces,” says Paul Barber, Coordinator of TAPOL.

As the UK government prepares a state welcome for President Yudhoyono, rights groups from the UK and beyond are organizing an alternative welcome at a demonstration on behalf of the victims of human rights abuses outside Downing Street from 13:00 to 14:30 on Wednesday 31 October.

While Indonesia has made substantial progress in its transition from dictatorship to democracy since the downfall of former President Suharto in May 1998, serious human rights concerns remain.

“The news that the President is to receive a prestigious honour from the Queen is a gross affront to those who have suffered violations at the hands of successive Indonesian governments,” said Barber [1].

Special Detachment 88, known as ‘Densus 88’ was formed after the Bali bombings in 2002 to combat terrorism, but is reportedly being deployed to tackle other issues, such as alleged separatism in Indonesia’s conflict-affected provinces. Local civil society monitors say Densus 88 is being used to crack down on the Papuan independence movement, and the unit has been implicated in the assassination of its leaders, such as Mako Tabuni who was shot dead in June this year.

The unit is trained at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, JCLEC, which received a minimum of £400,000 in funding from Britain in the financial year 2011/12, as well as training provided by British officers. These include the UK’s South East Asia Counter Terrorism & Extremism Liaison Officer Detective Superintendent Phil Tucker; former Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Milton, and David Gray, an officer from the Counter Terrorism Command at New Scotland Yard who sits on JCLEC’s Board of Supervisors and has been teaching on the course since August 2009.

In July this year, leading Indonesian human rights NGO, KontraS, published research which stated that Densus 88 operations commonly involved arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, physical abuse and injury causing death [2].

Indonesia has been identified by the UK as a priority market for defence sales, with Prime Minister David Cameron boosting the export effort when he visited Jakarta with arms company executives in April 2012. The value of approved arms export licences has risen dramatically under the coalition government. The use of British equipment such as Hawk jets, armoured personnel carriers and water cannon for internal repression has been widely documented over the years and was acknowledged by the British Government in the 1990s. UK Tactica vehicles have been used to crush protest on the streets of Jakarta as recently as March this year, and are used by Indonesia’s notorious paramilitary police unit Brimob.

During the President’s visit, groups including TAPOL, Down to Earth, Survival International, Progressio and Christian Solidarity Worldwide will be highlighting these and other key issues, including Human Rights in Papua; The Need for Dialogue in Papua; Freedom of Expression; Rights, Livelihoods and Climate Justice; Religious Intolerance; and Timor-Leste and Impunity.

Information on these issues is set out in a briefing available here.

ENDS

Contact: Paul Barber on 01420 80153 / 07747 301 739 or Esther Cann on 07503 400 308.

Notes:

1. President Yudhoyono will reportedly be awarded the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Bath by the Queen during his visit.

2. KontraS report on Densus 88 available from TAPOL on request

Forkorus calls for two flags to be flown side by side

JUBI,
15 October 2012

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua, the President, Forkorus Yaboisembut has sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia calling on him to take a step of guidance towards the restoration of the Federation in accordance with the determination declared at  the IIIrd Papuan People’s Congress.

Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians during the brutal crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011 (West Papua Media video still)

‘We will peacefully report this and also seek support as we celebrate the first anniversary of Papuan independence with the Federal Republic of  West Papua, which will take place on 19 October this year’ said the President. which was the first point in his letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, copies of which were handed out to journalists during a press conference.

The second point he made was  to compile material for negotiation which would include an act of recognition of the Federal Republic of West Papua. ‘We willconvey the conditions for dialogue between the Papuan people and the Republic of Indonesia, for recognition and the transfer of administrative powers from the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of West Papua.’

He said that the Indonesian government should convey its willingness to hold peaceful negotiations by unfurling the Morning Star flag alongside the red-and-white flag of Indonesia. ‘The two flags should be flown alongside each other as from 19 October 2012 at seven places,’ he said.

In addition to making these points, Forkorus invited a representative of the Indonesian government to attend the celebration of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua on 19 October.

He also proposed that pre-negotiations and negotiations should occur from August 2012 (sic) until 1 May 2013, bringing to an end the annexation of West Papua.’

[Translated by TAPOL]

Video Documentary about the Third Papuan Congress (West Papua Media)

 

First anniversary of Third Papuan Congress to be celebrated

Bintang Papua
15 October 2012 [Abridged in translation]

Jayapura: A group called the Federated State of West Papua, known by its Indonesian initials as the NFRPB plans to mark the first anniversary of the Third Papua  Conference on 19 October held last year. It was at the third conference that the Papuan people declared the restoration of their independence.

Chairman of the organising committee, the Rev. Ketty Yabansabra, said the celebration will take the form of joint worship and dialogue. and will proceed peacefully. The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been invited to attend. The event will proceed peacefully  because the theme of the event is all about the preservation of peace in  Papua.

The organising team which has been acknowledged by the president of the NFRPB, Forkorus Yaboisembut , has conveyed messages to the President of Indonesia and a number of Indonesian state dignitaries  including the military commander, the governor of West Papua province and the Indonesian police. These letters have been acknowledged.

In view of the above, said  the organisers of the event, ‘we are confident that we will be able to hold communal worship, having sent the necessary notification to the Indonesian police.’

All sections of society in West Papua, including the many Indonesians now living in Papua, who have throughout behaved with decorum, have also been invited to attend the event.

Furthermore, with regard to the plan to hold dialogue with the Indonesian president, invitations to the aforesaid were sent earlier this month. It is doubtful whether  any dialogue will happen on this occasion, because a similar request was made ten years ago, to which there was no response.

However, the NFRPB formally declared its independence  on the occasion of the conference, for which a struggle has been waged  since 1961.

‘We are continuing with our efforts to obtain recognition from the Republic of Indonesia,’ a spokesman for the organising committee declared.

The chief of security of the NFRPB, Elias Ayakading said that they sincerely hoped that the tragic events which occurred last year (when several people were killed and many injured) will not be repeated this year.  He therefore called on the security forces in the land of Papua to ensure that the event is allowed to proceed peacefully.

The organisers urged all sides to avoid raising unnecessary issues so as to ensure that the event proceeds peacefully, because this will take in the form of worship, praying for a peaceful atmosphere and assurances that security will be safeguarded.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

AWPA letter to Foreign Minister re crackdown by security forces in West Papua

Press Release   West Papua
The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
 
AWPA letter to Foreign Minister re crackdown by security forces in West Papua
20 October 2011
AWPA has written  to the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd re crackdown by the security forces on delegates at the Papuan People’s Congress.
Joe Collins of AWPA said “ the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd should urgently raise the matter with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging the release of all those arrested for simply holding a meeting which is their democratic right” .

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

Ph/fax 61.2.99601698  email: bunyip@bigpond.net.au

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600
 
20 October 2011
Dear Mr Rudd,
I am writing to you concerning the dangerously deteriorating situation in West Papua. Yesterday, the Indonesian security forces fired on delegates who were attending a peaceful Papuan People’s Congress which was between  the 17 and 19 October. West Papua’s military commander, Major-General Erfi Triassunu, confirmed the shooting although claimed they were only warning shots. However, it is difficult at this stage to know if there are casualties but one person is believed to have been killed with others injured. Reports also indicate that hundreds have been arrested including representatives from various civil society organizations including church groups.
Panic was caused amongst the delegates when hundreds of members of the security forces, accompanied by armored vehicles   surrounded the participants at the Congress. As well as live ammunition delegates reported that the security forces also used tear gas and rifle butts on the participants during the arrests.
We urge you to urgently raise the matter with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging the release of all those arrested for simply holding a meeting which is their democratic right.
Yours sincerely
Joe Collins
Secretary
AWPA (Sydney)
cc.Various human rights organisations
.

Third Grand Papua Congress to be held this year

Bintang Papua, 22 August 2011

A national reconciliation team of the West Papuan people consisting of a number of organisations that have been outspoken in their views about the problems of the indigenous Papuan people as well as the policies of the government in Papua have announced that they will be convening the Third Grand Papuan Congress.

Speaking at a press conference at the office of Dewan Adat Papua, DAP,the Papuan Customary Council, Selpius Bobii, chairman of the team, accompanied by Forkorus Yaboisembut., the chairman of DAP, said that they were making
preparations to hold the Congress from 16 – 19 October 2011.

The theme of the Congress will be: ‘Affirming the basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people for the present and the future’. The Congress will to seek to take the Papuan people forward towards turning the Land of Papua into a paradise on earth, such as the Papuan people experienced before coming into contact with outsiders.

As part of the preparations of the Congress, the organising committee plan to meet the Indonesian President ‘This meeting is planned in order to officially inform him of plans to hold the Third Papuan People’s Congress.’ The DPRP, the Provincial Papuan Assembly will also attend this meeting, as representatives of the Papuan people. Selpius stressed that they would be meeting the President only to inform him of their plans. ‘Whatever attitude the government adopts, the Congress will go ahead,’ said Forkorus.

The Congress is the most senior body entitled to take decisions for the indigenous people. ‘All organisations of whatever kind, customary councils, ethnic groups as well as other organisations will be able to present their own agendas.’ The KNPB, the National Committee of the Papuan People, said that they plan to bring about changes that take will them forward to a Free Papua – Papua Merdeka.

The committee also urged the Indonesian government to implement the decisions of the grand meeting of the MRP – the Majelis Rakyat Papua – together with the indigenous Papuan people held on 9-10 June 2010 and to implement the pledge of the DPRP with regard to the Special Autonomy Law, involving the communities living in the Land of Papua as well as the provincial, regional and district assemblies.