Tag Archives: transmigration

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]

DAP: Transmigration harmful to local people

JUBI,16 February 2011

Responding to a report that the government plans to send more
transmigrants to Papua, the chairman of DAP, Dewan Adat Papua, Forkorus Yoboisembut said this was a serious matter because it would turn the Papuan people into a minority, as well as triggering conflict.

‘As the representative of the adat (traditional) people in Papua, I
reject the transmigration programme which fails to safeguard the
position of the local people,’ he said. It is reported that the government has allocated Rp 600 billion to pay for the transmigration of people from Indonesia to a number of places in Indonesia regarded as being ‘under-populated’, including Papua.

‘I hope the central government will consider this matter carefully
because the transmigration programme to Papua has already resulted in the marginalisation of the indigenous people at a time when a lot of
development work is going on.’

Forkorus said that the location of transmigrants in many places in
Papua has made it difficult for the local communities to preserve
their own culture and lifestyles. Development of more luxurious
lifestyles intensifies the marginalisation of the little folk. In addition, with the government’s attention being focused on the transmigrants, feelings of envy emerge because the local people do not get the same degree of attention.

He also said that the transmigration programme under way in Papua
undermines Papuans’ sense of being masters in their own homeland because the vast majority of those now running the economy are non-Papuans. Papuans are not yet able to compete with the newcomers in economic affairs and this is something the government needs to give serious attention to.

Complaints about market space for Papuan women

Bintang Papua, 7 September 2010

[Abridged in translation]

Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) Port Numbay has called on
the Papuan provincial legislative council (DPRP) to pay proper attention
to the needs of Papuan women – mama-mama – traders who have not been
provided with suitable space in the market, Pasar Hamadi to sell their

In a demonstration to represent the aspirations of the women, they
complained that the Jayapura municipal administration has failed to
promote the interests of the women and the customary rights of the
Ireuuw people to a decent place for stalls in the market. They said that
there were still quite a lot of the women without decent locations to
conduct their business.

This was in breech of the Special Autonomy Law 21/2001 which stresses
the need to take sides with the indigenous Papuan people. This is a
matter that needs the special attention of the government, especially
the provincial administration, they said.

Solidaritas Perempuan itself consists of eleven mama-mama. It insists
that the traditional rights of the people must be respected.

The chairperson of the organisation, Yosephine Hamadi, together with the
local coordinator, met a member of the DPRP and wants to meet members of
Commissions A and B.

A representative of Commission A, Hein Ohee, said that he felt unable
to respond to the demands of Solidaritas Perempuan because they did not
appear to be united among themselves on the matter.

He also said that the market’s location was still problematic following
a recent fire, and since the reconstruction of the market after the
fire, complications had arisen over the traditional rights of the Ireuuw
people and the compensation payments, all of which needs further
discussion, and the risk that anything done in the location might lead
to further problems.

The complaint by Solidaritas Peremmpuan that the decision about the
location for the women revealed a lack of justice and understanding,
reflects concerns not only of the Ireuuw people but of Papuan women in
other parts of Papua. They said that they would have further meetings
with the trade department to try to resolve the issue.

Uranium exploration could harm indigenous population

Tabloid JUBI, 31 August 2010

Uranium exploration could harm indigenous population

The chairman of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP), Forkorus Yoboisembut is concerned that the explorations into uranium now being conducted by Freeport in the Timika region are failing to take the interests of the indigenous people into account and could result in having a negative impact on their welfare.

These explorations, which have already been under way for eight months are not transparent. ‘We have made strong representations to the company that these exploration can be harmful to the customary groups,’ he said.

To ensure that the local communities do not have any objections regarding the exploration of uranium, the investors and the government should co-ordinate with the traditional owners (of the land).’ There is a need for transparency by the investors about how long the explorations will be conducted and what the local communities will receive in payment,’ he said.

The amount of uranium thought to be present in the Freeport mine is far higher than the minimum rate of 83 ppm (parts per million), whereas the economically viable minimum universally accepted is 1,000 ppm

‘I think that the investors and the government need to be more open towards the local communities about the benefits and disadvantages of the exploration of uranium that is now under way,’ he said.


News from Papua: Filep Karma refuses offer of remission; Census time: huge increase in population of Papua

Articles from Bintang Papua, 17 August 2010
Abridged in translation

While prisoners everywhere will await anxiously for the moment when they
may receive remission of their sentence, this is not the case with a
prisoner charged with ‘makar’ (treason).

Filep Karma (who is serving a 15-year sentence) has once again rejected
the government’s offer of a remission. He made his decision known in a
two-page letter addressed to the minister for law and human rights,
Patrialis Akhar.

At a place in the prison where he was able to make contact with
journalists, he said that he rejects all offers of remission.

‘I consider that I am not guilty of anything. The mere expression of my
democratic rights is not allowed. Yet, in Jakarta, when someone sticks a
photo of the president on the backside of a buffalo, this is not
considered to be a crime.’

He said he would also refuse any offer of clemency.

In the opening paragraph of his letter copies of which are addressed to
26 other addressees including the Indonesian president and Amnesty
International, he said:

‘I, the undersigned, declare in full consciousness of what I am doing
and free from any pressure from any quarter, that I have rejected the
efforts by the government since 2005 to grant me remission by the
department of law and human rights and I shall do so into the
foreseeable future for as long as I continue to have the status of
political prisoner conferred by the Republic of Indonesia.’

He went on to say that this was being done as an act of protect against
all manner of actions by the authoritiesof the Republic of Indonesia in
violation of the Pancasila philosophy and the 1945 Constitution.

As is known, the national day 17 August is always an occasion for the
authorities to grant remission, and on this occasion, it included the
release of fourteen convicted prisoners being held in Abepura Prison
while 115 prisoners were granted remissions of between two and six months.

The remissions were granted in a ceremony led by the law and human
rights minister and the deputy governor of Papua, Alex Hasegam when the
remission letter was given to each of the prisoners in question.

On the same occasion, one prisoner, Filep Karma, who was neatly
dressed, managed to come forward holding a morning star flag in his
hand. But this had nothing to do with being granted remission; it was to
move a sack of garbage to a truck.


Huge increase in population of Papua

The population of the province of Papua has now reached 2,851,999, which
represents a far greater percentage increase than the national increase
of 1.49 percent.

[The report in BPapua refers throughout to the ‘province of Papua’,
presumably meaning this this does not include what is now the province
of West Papua.]

This was announced by the head of the Statistics Bureau of the province
of Papua who said that this was still a provisional announcement
because there would be further announcements about the composition of
the population including ethnicity, migration as well as the number of
births and deaths.

Another official of the bureau said that the huge increase was partly
due to having started from a low base, so the percentage increase
appears to be very high. In addition, he said, the census in 2000 was
far from being complete because the political situation at the time was
very tense, with on-going demands for a referendum and independence for
Papua, with the result that some districts were unable to carry out the

He said that the number of males was in excess of the number of females,
with a recorded difference of 13 percent.

The place with the greatest densisty is Jayapura with 278 persons per
square kilometre followed by Biak with 58 persons per square kilometre..
Mamberamo has the lowest density of all, with only one person per square

[Comment: We can only await the promise of more detailed information
about the ethnic composition of the population, bearing in mind the
reported regular arrival of in-migrants from other parts of Indonesia.
It could very well be that the point has been reached at which Papuans
now account for a minority of the inhabitants, a trend that can only
increase with the recent launch of the MIFEE project in Merauke. TAPOL]