Tag Archives: transmigration

Investigation Report: The Tolikara Arson and Shootings Incident

by JPIC, GKI-TP*
January 19, 2016

(apologies for the delay in publication due to verification issues)


On Friday, July 17, 2015, 10 youths from the GIDI (Evangelical Christian Church in Indonesia) suffered gunshot wound, and 1 died from mortal wounds inflicted by Indonesian military and police.

Closeup of Incident Location next to the Tolikara airstrip (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Closeup of Incident Location next to the Tolikara airstrip (photo: JPIC/WPM)

After the shooting, the demonstrators became mad and burned gasoline outlets and the other outlets, with the fire spreading into the surrounding kiosk stalls, including a mosque. 62 citizens suffered material losses as the result of the fire.

Chronology
On Friday, July 17, 2015, at 08.30am, approximately 15 young members of the GIDI Church (Evangelical Church in Indonesia) gathered at the GIDI complex, located at the end of the of the airfield of Karubaga township to continue a seminar and Christian Youth outdoor worship (KKR) on its third day. They went to meet the Muslim community, which had gathered at the office of the Karubaga Military Sub-District Command (KORAMIL) to conduct the morning prayer. The young GIDI members wanted to make a visit with peaceful intent, and wanted to convey that the Idulfitri prayer should take place inside the local small mosque, without the utilization of loudspeakers (Toa), due to the short distance of 300 meters between the mosque and the worship location. The young church members’ request was in line with a previous letter from July 15, 2015, with the number 90/SP/GIDI-WT/VII/2015 by the executive board of the GIDI church in Tolikara region stating that “1) The Lebaran opening prayer on July 17, 2015 is welcomed to take place in Karubaga, Tolikara regency; 2) it would be better if the prayer would not be carried out at an open field, but inside the mosque and its surrounding yard”.

Evidence for the use of fire arms by the by Muslim community praying at the  big field in Tolikara 2
Evidence of firearm use by alleged intelligence officer amongst Muslim community prayers at Tolikara big field. (Photo JPIC/WPM)

The Agreement to not using loudspeakers accompanying or initiating prayer of Muslim Community in Karubaga had already been agreed since 2010. On the 30th of July 2015 prior to the Seminar and Youth Worship occurring, the Regent had repeatedly instructed the Chief of Tolikara Regional Police via telephone, and also directly informed Muslim Cleric (Ustad) about the agreement. Despite this, the persons in charge used loudspeakers during the Idulfitri prayer at the Karubaga Military District Command, which caused the protest of the youth seminar participants and finally let to the Tolikara incident.

Incident Location next to the airstrip of Tolikara from distance (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Incident Location next to the airstrip of Tolikara from distance (photo: JPIC/WPM)

As all the seminar participants went to express their aspirations and protest in front of the military district command office, one youth was suddenly shot down by gunfire from the Koramil office.

Evidence of of firearms use by Muslim community praying at the  big field in Tolikara (Photo: JPIC/WPM) - Note: Firearms are Indonesian army intelligence service issue)
Evidence of firearms use by Muslim community praying at the big field in Tolikara (Photo: JPIC/WPM) – Note: Firearms are Indonesian army intelligence service issue)

Subsequently the security forces released shots, causing injuries to 11 of GIDI Youth. 1 youth died, named Endi Wanimbo (15 years old). As the result of the shootings, the mass of people released their anger over the incident and burned several small stores (kiosks) in the market area to the ground. The fire expanded and finally caused the burning of the mosque.

 

Names of Shooting Victims

Tollikara shooting victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Tollikara shooting victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)

All of the 11 victims received medical treatment in the public hospitals RSUD Wamena and RSUD Dok 2 Jayapura.

  1. Endi Wanimbo (15 years) died after bullet pierced his lower back and exited the stomach
  2. Amatin Sibolim, bullet wound in the leg
  3. Enembe Mus Jikwa, bullet wound in the right thigh
  4. Geradadus Kogoya, bullet wound in the right calf
  5. Yulianus Lambe, bullet wound in the left thigh
  6. Dasiduli Jikwa, bullet wound in the buttocks
  7. Atlelu Wenda, bulllet wound in the left thigh
  8. Ares Kogoya, bullet wound in the left knee
  9. Alesi, bullet wound in the left thigh
  10. Ciliben, bullet wound in the left thigh
  11. Edison Pagawak, bullet wound in the left leg

    List of injured tolikara victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
    List of injured tolikara victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
List of Citizens that were material/property Fire Victims in Karubaga, Tolikara, July 17 2015
No. Name From Religion
1 Nandina Karubaga Christian
2 H. Colleng South Sulawesi Muslim
3 Albetina Karubaga Christian
4 Bindo Yikwa Karubaga Christian
5 Ferianto South Sulawesi Muslim
6 Ilang Karubaga Christian
7 Nasiore Karubaga Christian
8 Merika Karubaga Christian
9 H. Suparman South Sulawesi Muslim
10 Mappe South Sulawesi Muslim
11 Zainal Abidin South Sulawesi Muslim
12 Andi Madda South Sulawesi Muslim
13 Andi Madda 1 South Sulawesi Muslim
14 Baharuddin Linta South Sulawesi Muslim
15 Baharuddin Linta South Sulawesi Muslim
16 Bastian Sulawesi Barat Christian
17 Yulius Ruru South Sulawesi Christian
18 Yoland South Sulawesi Christian
19 Agus South Sulawesi Muslim
20 Robert South Sulawesi Christian
21 Pak Sarno Center Java Muslim
22 Sudirman South Sulawesi Muslim
23 Silvi South Sulawesi Muslim
24 Mama Febi South Sulawesi Christian
25 Ali Usman Center Java Muslim
26 Ali Muktar East Java Muslim
27 Kondalina Karubaga Christian
28 Syamsul South Sulawesi Muslim
29 Hastang South Sulawesi Muslim
30 Ismail South Sulawesi Muslim
31 Ridwan South Sulawesi Muslim
32 Ansar South Sulawesi Muslim
33 Faizal South Sulawesi Muslim
34 Ali South Sulawesi Muslim
35 Mustafa South Sulawesi Muslim
36 Taslim South Sulawesi Muslim
37 Munta South Sulawesi Muslim
38 Mustaqim South Sulawesi Muslim
39 Madong South Sulawesi Muslim
40 Abu South Sulawesi Muslim
41 H. Darwis South Sulawesi Muslim
42 Sultan South Sulawesi Muslim
43 Udin South Sulawesi Muslim
44 Sudirman South Sulawesi Muslim
45 Mansyur South Sulawesi Muslim
46 Syukur South Sulawesi Muslim
47 Unding South Sulawesi Muslim
48 Asdar South Sulawesi Muslim
49 Iccang South Sulawesi Muslim
50 Madi South Sulawesi Muslim
51 Tagiling South Sulawesi Muslim
52 Bustam South Sulawesi Muslim
53 Darman South Sulawesi Muslim
54 Yusuf South Sulawesi Muslim
55 Mansyur South Sulawesi Muslim
56 Nurmin South Sulawesi Muslim
57 Massara South Sulawesi Muslim
58 Timombi Karubaga Christian
59 Billiar Karubaga Christian
60 UST. Junaidi Karubaga Christian
61 Mama Ari Karubaga Christian
62 Mosque

 Post Incident Mediation and Legal Process
Together with the legal process undertaken by Police Regency ,POLDA against GIDI leadership, the GIDI take the initiative to negotiate with the Muslims, in this case the national Islamic Ulama’s Council, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and encourage these cases to be solved through indigenous Papuan methods. On 27-28 July 2015 meeting between the two sides, which were mediated by the Rev. Benny Giay, representing Papuan ecumenical church leaders, and Toni Wanggai of NU Papua province. The leader of GIDI in Papua then communicated with Ustad Ali of Tolikara, and on July 29 reached an agreement which put forward the peaceful settlement and legal proceedings be lifted. Despite this agreement, the peace and reconciliation effort was ignored by the state, and the legal process is still running. Until the publication of this report, state prosecutions are still underway, and are currently at the stage of witness testimony.

Photo Evidence is presented within the report.

 *Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Desk (Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan (KPKC) Bidang), Evangelical Christian Church in Papua (Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua (GKI))

New supermarket in Jayapura triggers complaints about goods on offer and price differentials

Bintang Papua, 9 and 10 July 2012

[Comment: This report reveals the continuing tendency to promote businesses from outside Papua while failing to advance the interests of local Papuan producers. TAPOL]

Many complaints about price differentials at newly open supermarket in Jayapura

Although the supermarket  Hypermart Jayapura has only recently open its doors to the general public, many people who have purchased goods have complained that there has been a huge differential  between the prices marked on the shelves and the prices of the goods when they reach the cashier to pay for their purchases. As a result people who have been shopping at the new store are being advised to take care about their purchases to avoid losing a lot of money.

One shopper who spoke to Bintang Papua said  that she was charged at the cashier for something costing Rp 91,000 although she hadn’t even purchased the product. Other shoppers made similar complaints. In once instance, the shopper was charged  Rp. 105,000 for cooking  oil while the oil normally costs only Rp. 29,000. Other shoppers complained of striking differences in the prices they were charged.

In most cases, the shoppers were able to get refunds from the store after complaining. A store manager said that they would give refunds to anyone complaining about price differentials.

In a subsequent article, Bintang Papua reported that demands were being made by many people for the supermarket’s licence to trade to be revoked, because the terms of the licence which had been agreed in Jakarta with the business had been violated.

Some people complained that many of the vegetables and fruit that were offered for sale had been imported from outside West Papua or even from abroad. Indigenous Papuans who were able to produce these products in large quantities had not been able to compete with the many products on offer at the store. Another complaint was that the store was selling alcohol

The Indonesian Consumers Association said that there was no need for foodstuffs to be imported from outside Papua or from abroad because they were readily available in the Land of Papua and would enable local producers to compete in the local market. Taking supplies from local producers would also help to improve the level of welfare of the Papuan people

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

“The Indonesian Government Occupies, Colonises and Marginalises Indigenous Papuans”

by Socratez Sofyan Yoman

translation by WestPapuaMedia from SuaraPapua.com

April 3, 2012

OPINION

(“…thousands of young Papuans that scream against the impartiality, hope the regional government must be aware that the Special Autonomy Law is present for whom? That the Law was created for what? Because of the demands for Independence “to free themselves from The Republic of Indonesia” for the people of Papua.” (Dr. “HC” Herman A. T. Yoku, SIP, Cenderwasih Post and Papua Star, Friday 30/3/2012).

Noble and respected Opinion readers, in my Opinion piece on the topic ‘The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans’, that was published in the Pacific Post, Tuesday 20th March 2012, and in the Papua Star, Thursday 22nd March, 2012, I quoted the promise and commitment by the Government of Indonesia for indigenous Papuans when Papua was forcibly integrated into Indonesia in 1969 with the engineering of the 1969 Referendum.

The quote is as follows: “Interior Minister stated …. the government of Indonesia, is willing and able to protect the welfare of the people of West Irian, therefore, there is no other choice but to live with the Republic of Indonesia” (Source: United Nations Official Records: 1812th Plenary Meeting of the UN Assembly, agenda item 98.19 November 1969, paragraph 18, P.2). After 31 years from 1969 to 2000, the Government of Indonesia made a promise and commitment that is almost the same, in Act No. 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy, for: pemberdayaan (empowerment), perlindungan (protection) and keberpihakan (affirmative action) for the original inhabitants of Papua and the Papuan People that have been forced to live within the Republic of Indonesia.

But the reality is that the people of Papua, Indigenous Papuans and the owners of this land and country, are treated inhumanely and are slaughtered like animals in the name of Indonesia. A concrete example: Three Indigenous Papuans were shot dead by security forces on 19th October 2011 at Zakheus field, the shooters were only given disciplinary punishment. This betrayal of human dignity cannot be tolerated in a context of humanity. There is no reason to kill people. It is the toughest crime committed by the state.

Examples of other facts such as the Cenderwasih Post reported: at the Offical Echelon Inauguration at Keerom District, Community Leader from the Indonesia-PNG border, Keerom, Dr. (HC), Herman A.T.Yoku, S.IP, said: “Many young Indigenous Papuans are treated like step-children in the appointment into the echelons. From 117 new Echelon II, III and IV officials inaugurated a few days ago, if carefully calculated, the number of local young people inaugurated is less than 10, from all of those sworn in. I had hoped that affirmative policy that was mandated in Act No. 21, Year 2001 would necessarily be considered by the local government…’ (Cenderawasih Post, Friday, March 30, 2012, p. 14). “As young Papuans the Governor should be aware that the Special Autonomy Act is for who? At the Echelon Inauguration yesterday (Thursday, 29/3/2012) I have not seen one Papuan child sworn in, let alone one Indigenous Keerom child from this country. I am very sorry as a community leader who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area? If for only one interest I requested this position, it is that this region can be considered safe because young indigenous Papuans say themselves it is safe.” (Papua Star, on Friday, March 30 2012, p 5).

In my opinion columns about The Special Autonomy Act No. 21, Year 2001, I continually, frankly and openly present the topic (1) “Special Autonomy has failed in Papua”: Papua Star, Thursday, 09/02/2012, p.5; (2) “It’s Time: Papua People Stand Alone”: in The Pacific Post, March 13, 2012 and Papua star, March 16, 2012; (3) “The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans” in the Pacific Post, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and Papua Star, Thursday , March 22, 2012.
“Special Autonomy is a political solution or a political bargaining between the peoples of Papua and Indonesia, in order that Papuans remain in Indonesia with a guarantee to protect the people of Papua, the empowerment of indigenous Papuans, and affirmative action for indigenous Papuans. However, “in reality, the Special Autonomy has truly failed. Special Autonomy has truly become a killing machine of God’s people in Papua and a destroyer of a future Papuan society and nation.”

Special Autonomy has really become a potent tool for the process of ethnic cleansing in Papua that is safer, quicker, more systematic and does not raise the suspicions of the international community that cares about humanity. Special Autonomy is an institution that prolongs the agony, drops and flow of tears of Indigenous Papuans. Special Autonomy is a solution and political decision about Papua’s political status within Indonesia that has already failed. Special Autonomy is a destroying machine that really marginalises Indigenous Papuans from every aspect. Special Autonomy is second volume of the 1969 Referendum that has already failed and become a new problem.”

Herman Yoku says: “… i am very sorry as a public figure who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area?” From this statement it seems evident that many Indigenous Papuan Officials do not have the critical ability in relation to the strategies and traps set by the Indonesian Government around the expansion of districts and provinces over the land of Papua. I regret very much, the way of looking and thinking of young Indigenous Papuan officials that the expansion of districts, cities and provinces are the result of hard work and struggle. It really is not like that.

The real background of the hectic expansion of districts, cities and provinces over the land of West Papua that is wild and uncontrollable, is purely political, economic, security, and a structural and systematic process of ethnic cleansing of Melanesians. And all the political policies of the Indonesian Government are not interested in progressing, advancing and increasing the welfare of Indigenous Papuans. In my opinion, the key clause in the expansion of districts and provinces is the military operation and new style Transmigration operation for the hastening of the ethic cleansing of Melanesians. I have written in an Opinion Column in the Pacific Post, 25th September 2009, with the topic: ‘district/City and Province Expansion in West Papua is a Military and New-style Transmigration Operation’. Special Autonomy Act No.21, Year 2001, has FAILED.

Expansion of Districts, Cities and Provinces that is not balanced with Indigenous Papuans forms chains of occupation, colonisation, and marginalisation. Indigenous Papuans are now being encouraged to take shelter behind the slogan of national development. “Political pitting (the politics of divide and conquer) such as applied by colonizers in Apartheid South Africa in 1978. Pieter W. Bother became Prime Minister and splintered the unity of South African society by setting up puppet states: The Puppet State of Transkei, Puppet State of Tswana, Puppet State of Venda, Puppet State of Ciskei. In the Papuan context, the Colonial Government of Indonesia has formed many puppet districts and also puppet provinces in order to break up the wholeness and unity of Indigenous Papuans.” (Yoman: p. Destruction of Ethnic Melanesia, Breaking the Silence of the History of Violence in West Papua, 2007: p. 224).

The Author himself has documentary evidence writing about military operations. If readers read my book entitled: ‘The Gate to Free Papua’ (Socratez Sofyan Yoman; 2000. Page. 78-86), it is very clearly found in this book, highly confidential documents released by the interior department Director General of the Office of National Unity and Community Protection (DITJEN KESBANG dan LINMAS) in official notes number: 578/ND/KESBANG/DIV/VI/2000, 9th June 2000 by radiogram Governor (Caretaker) head level 1 Irian Jaya, No. BB.091/POM/060200, dated june 2000, and No: 190/1671/SET/ dated 3rd June 2000. The primary goal is a plan and operation of regional conditioning, development of communication networks and the establishment of provinces and districts in Iran Jaya (Papua).

Implementing this operation of conditioning and expansion is the Interior Department, Department of Defence and Security, Department of Foreign Affairs, especially for diplomatic operations, Indonesian Police, Indonesian Military (TNI), the State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Bakin), Strategic National Intelligence Agency (BAIS ), SPAM, AD Hearquarters, ASTER, KASTER TNI, SINTEL Headquarters, National Police (POLRI), Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), and Special Forces Command (KOPASSUS), Regional Leaders Forum Iran Jaya (Paupa) Province and other provinces.

Another document is a document from the National Security Council Secretary General, Jakarta, May 27 and May 28, 2003 on ‘Strategy for Conflict Resolution with separatist contexts in Papua Province through a political approach to security’ (this document can be seen in my book: “Voice for the Voiceless” Dumma Socratez Sofyan Yoman: 2009; pg. 117-118).

These two documents show the face and militaristic character of the Indonesian Government that annexed and occupies West Papua, and colonises Indigenous occupants, Melanesian people through political engineering since May 1st, 1963, the 1969 Referendum, and legislation Act 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy to this day. After annexation, to this date West Papua is seen by the Indonesian Government without an interest in the principles of justice and humanity along with the future survival of the people – the owners, heirs to the country and land of West Papua. The Indonesian Government administers West Papua as a problematic region and conflict area that needs to be resolved by a security approach. Although a security approach is evidently a total failure and the cause of human rights violations that are ruthless and grieve the heart of God’s people.

The expansion of districts / cities and provinces on a large scale if viewed from requirements such as: population, territory, natural resources and human resources; from all of these requirements in relation to total population and the readiness of human resources it is very ironic. Because the total population of Indigenous Papuans is only 1.5 million that does not need many districts/cities and provinces throughout Papua. Many districts/cities and provinces also need human resources that can fulfil the rank and stratification to occupy positions – both structural and functional positions.

Consequences of the large-scale expansion of districts/cities and provinces in West Papua are:

  1. The sending of officials from outside Papua to occupy important and strategic positions when Indigenous people cannot yet fulfil the criteria of rank, skill, experience, level of education.
  2. The sending and coming of people from outside to take economic opportunities in the regional expansion and the marginalisation and destruction of Indigenous people. Mr Juan Mendez, UN Secretary General Special Adviser in the field of Prevention of Genocide, stated: “West Papua is one area that is very alarming because the indigenous population is in danger of annihilation”. Yale University, USA, and the University of Sydney released a report that in Papua there is ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Papuans occurring.
  3. Construction of military and police bases for reasons of national security along with security and safety of settlers.
  4. Dispossession of the people for reasons of building government offices.
  5. Appropriation of community land for the purpose of building large shops, malls, supermarkets, mega-hotels and restaurants.
  6. The destruction of mountains and hills of the people.
  7. Destruction of sago and palm trees as a resource for income and peoples’ lives.
  8. Destruction and pollution of water owned by original inhabitants.

The Indonesian government and security forces have failed to build and instil the ideologies of Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, The Unitary Republic of Indonesia, Unity in Diversity into Papua’s original inhabitants. On the contrary, the Government and the Indonesian security forces have been successfully built and strengthened ideology of West Papuan Independence by nurturing separatist stigma, rebellion and OPM. This is a fatal mistake made by the Government and security forces over the years. The approach of the Government and Security forces which does not respect human dignity, to this day has alienated the people’s hearts from Indonesia. The Indonesian government and security forces with violence have only managed to integrate (Papua) economically and politically into Indonesia. The Indonesian government really occupies, colonises and marginalises Papua’s original inhabitants.

Due to the failure of the Indonesian Government in Papua, Dr George Junus Aditjondro said: “The problems in Papua have been very difficult to resolve. Therefore, there is no other option but to follow the passionate demands of the people of Papua who want a referendum. And the Indonesian Government must immediately withdraw from Papua. Only a referendum can determine whether the Papuans still want to be part of Indonesia or not “(George’s Commentary at the launch of a book entitled:” West Papua: International Issues “, in the Kontras Office, Jakarta, Thursday, 11/3/2011).

“It’s only a matter if time, if we like it or not, want it or not, we will lose Papua because we have failed to capture the hearts of Papuans and this has been the problem from the beginning.” (Dr.Adnan Buyung Nasution, S.H. : source: Detiknews, Thursday, 16 December 2011).

“I know, I understand and also I’m aware that which I devote here. Therefore, if you are certain or not, believe or not, like or not, are happy or not, sooner or later West Papuans will gain independence and stand alone as one people and nation sovereign over their ancestor’s land. In this confidence and spirit, whatever the risk of people’s opinions and commentary, with firm believe and determination of conscience, I dedicate my knowledge to writing books of cultural history and every occurrence upon this land. So that the children and grandchildren of this nation, into the future, will learn that this nation has experienced a long history and long, bitter and unspeakable suffering perpetrated by the Indonesian Government.” (Ita Wakhu Purom, Numbay (Jayapura), West Papua, Thursday, June 9, 2011, 21:17 WP). This statement of faith has been immortalized in my 13th book entitled: “West Papua: An International Problem” (Yoman: 2011, p.4).

“Upon this rock I place the civilisation of Papuan people, although people possess high intelligence, reason and Marifa, they cannot lead this nation, this nation will rise up and lead itself” (Wasior, Manokwari, October 25, 1925, Rev.. IS Kijne ).

*Author: Chairman of the Board of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua.

JUBI: Conditions in Keerom very bad

JUBI, 1 August 2011

Conditions in Keerom are very bad

The Coalition for Justice, the Rule of Law, Human Rights and Public Service (K2PH2P2) has expressed its concern about conditions in the district of Keerom during the first months of this year.

It said that the governing body is far from being capable, responsive and accommodative. Government workers are largely incapable and unresponsive and lacking in discipline in their work. In a press release issued on 1 August in Abepura, a group of leaders including church leaders, civil society leaders and human rights activists expressed their fear that development in the district which was intended for transmigrants is stagnant.

‘Discipline in the civil service is very bad. They live in Jayapura, arrive in their offices at 9am and go home soon afterwards, which means that the service they provide is very bad,’ said Bonefasius A. Muenda of the Keerom Social Institution. Most of them live in Jayapura and arrive in their offices quite late in the morning. Even worse, some of the civil servants only go to their offices twice or three times a week. For the rest of the time, they stay at home.

But there are other problems as well, according to the Coalition. In education for example, Pastor John Jonga, a leader of the Catholic Church in Keerom, said that hundreds of children receive no attention at all because there are no teachers. He said this was more likely to be thousands of children, not hundreds. Ironically, billions of rupiahs are allocated to education but the children are waiting for their teachers.

‘In Towe Hitam, 36 members of the armed forces are paid for by the government but there are no teachers. This is a crime,’ said Pastor Jonga who is a recipient of the Yap Thien (Hien) award.

But that is not all. Medical facilities are worryingly poor in this new district that was set up just a few years ago. Another pastor, Eddy Togotly was of the opinion that there is no serious intention on the part of the government to develop Keerom. ‘People dont come to Keerom to help with development. On the contrary.’

Meanwhile, the chairman of commission A of the provincial legislative assembly, Yosep Turot, said that some officials are so far from adequate that they should be sacked from their jobs. He said that there are a number of reasons for this, including the purchase and sale of certificates among officials which has an impact on the performance of the government.

In view of all this, the Coalition is calling for the appointment of a new local government chief who should be credible, intelligent, creative and concerned about the conditions of the people.   And they say that the new chief should pay full attention to the performance of his staff so as to ensure that they work for the development of Keerom and not for their personal interests.’

More capital assistance for Papuan women, officials promise

Financial help to Papuan businesswomen seriously lacking

The press in Papua has recently reported extensively on the allocation
of OTSUS funds to assist Papuans in their business operations, in
particular Papuan women referred to as ‘mama-mama’

On 11 June 2011, the JUBI tabloid newspaper reported that most of the
allocation of OTSUS funds is concentrated on public infrastructure and
government assets but insufficient attention is being paid to local
Papuan traders, including ‘mama-mama.’ The problem was raised in
particular by the head of the Oadate Major Clan, in the district of
Yapen-Waropen, Yulinus Kowela.

He said that OTSUS funds were being allocated almost entirely to
government officials, the government elite, as he called them.
‘Meanwhile, local Papuan traders and indigenous Papuan women continue to
be impoverished and on the margins, because of the nature of the
development according to OTSUS,’ said Yulinus.

‘For many years, we have been saying that OTSUS funds should be used to
combat poverty and improve the living conditions of indigenous Papuans.
But up to the present day, this hasn’t happened, people are asking about
this, including people living in the interior.’

He said that the allocaton of OTSUS funds should take account of the
fate of indigenous Papuan traders and not just focus on building
infrastructure such as road-building and building bridges in all the
districts. ‘The allocation of OTSIS money should be fairer and be used
to improve the conditions of women traders. They need help to be able to
obtain better facilities for their business activities,’ he said.

On 22 June, JUBI reported that the district chief of Merauke, Romanus
Mbaraka spoke of the need to pay attention to the little people and pay
greater attention to their need for capital. He said that the government
was planning to provide capital to groups of businesses, amounting to Rp
500,000 for each group.

At a ceremony in Gedung Negara, he symbolically handed over the money to
one group of traders. He said that the money was being allocated to
groups of businesses because past experience had shown that this was
better than allocating it to individuals. ‘In this way,’ he said, ‘the
monitoring process can be more easily managed.’

He said that the money was not being allocated for free but the groups
would be expected to repay the money but in this way, the groups would
have greater motivation to run their businesses well.’

‘If a business is successful, its earnings will increase, which means
that the government will be willing to help them again. He also said
that teams will be set up to monitor the businesses run by the women
such as those selling crabs or vegetables. This would motivate the
mama-mama to run their businesses well,’ he said.

[COMMENT: It remains to be seen whether this grand promise will bear
fruit in terms of promoting the economic interests of indigenous Papuans
in their never-ending difficulties to compete with the business acumen
of the thousands of Indonesians who flood into Papua and set up
businesses. TAPOL]