Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Solomon’s repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua

Solomon’s repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua

2:47 pm today 
Solomon Islands has called on Indonesia to substantiate allegations that Pacific nations are fabricating information when citing human rights violations in West Papua.

The representative of the Republic of Indonesia, Nara Masista Rakhmatia, exercises her country’s right of reply during the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session.  Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak
Earlier Pacific leaders had expressed their concerns over West Papua at the UN General Assembly.
Indonesia responded by accusing the leaders of interfering in its domestic affairs. It said they were politically motivated and designed to support separatist groups who had incited public disorder and conducted terrorist attacks.

The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into West Papua. Photo: UN Video
The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into the province if it wanted to prove that Pacific concerns were invalid.
Mr Horoi said the issue needed collaborative attention.
"We realise that neither we, nor Indonesia can resolve this matter alone. We are of the position that this matter needs to be brought to the attention of the body of the United Nations and it needs to be done urgently as lives are being lost with all impunity. Mr President, all lives matter, West Papuan lives matter," said Rex Horoi.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

1) Commentary: Indonesia Rejects Pacific Leaders’ Statement on Human Rights Abuses in Papua

2) In restive Papua, incumbents may not pin hopes so high
3) Letter from Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu in Vanuatu Daily Post

4) Human rights activists remain prone to threats: Komnas HAM

1) Commentary: Indonesia Rejects Pacific Leaders’ Statement on Human Rights Abuses in Papua

By : Petrus Farneubun | on 7:32 PM September 27, 2016

In addition to discussing matters related to the early implementation of sustainable development goals and key global challenges, such as climate change and disarmament, during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York recently, it is important to highlight that the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua was raised by Pacific nations.
Statements by Pacific leaders regarding the issue were strongly rejected by the Indonesian government.
"We categorically reject the continuing insinuation in their statement," the Indonesian representative said during the session.

Pacific countries, notably the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshal Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga, expressed their deep concern during the meeting over continuing human rights violations in the Indonesian part of Papua Island and called on UN to take concrete measures to address the matter and urge the Indonesian government to solve the problems. They reiterated their positions that the humanitarian crisis in the West Papua region is serious and needs an immediate international response.
In his address to the General Assembly, Tongan Prime Minister Samiuela 'Akilisi Pōhiva, for example, highlighted several important issues regarding the human rights situation in Papua.
Tonga, along with other Pacific countries, also raised the issue during previous sessions of the General Assembly and they did it once more to show their solidarity with Papuans and to update the current progress of the human rights situation in West Papua.

First, the Tongan prime minister pointed out that there had been no change in the Indonesia government's handling of human rights abuses in West Papua. Second, that there is still a lack of knowledge about the actual human rights situation in West Papua due restricted access to information. Third, that the principle of being a Good Samaritan invokes a sense of humanity to help West Papuans to be free from abuse.
Therefore, Tonga and its neighbors that are part of the Pacific Islands Forum, have consistently called for open and constructive dialog with Indonesia to discuss the status and welfare of Papuans.
In response, Indonesia not only condemned the Pacific leaders' statements, but also said that it was disappointed over their countries' violation of the UN Charter and the principles of international law. Indonesia also explained that it has a fully functioning democracy in an effort to try and demonstrate its commitment to human rights.

The Indonesian representative expressed shock over the fact that the Pacific countries deliberately chose not to fully address the important issue of climate change, which she said affects them the most. Instead, they decided to interfere in the internal affairs of another country by raising the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua in the General Assembly.
According to Indonesia, the Pacific leaders' statements are based on false and fabricated information and constitutes a lack of understanding and knowledge about the history, current situation, and the developmental progress in West Papua. Indonesia called the move by the Pacific countries "unfriendly and rhetoric political maneuvers."
Indonesia also raised its concern over Pacific leaders' lack of respect and understanding of international law and the fundamental norms set out by the UN Charter.
According to Indonesia, the Pacific countries not only violated the purpose and objectives of the UN Charter, but also violated the principle of international law regarding relations between states, specifically regarding their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Indonesian representative said it constituted a violation of international legal instruments, because the Pacific nations interfered in her country's internal affairs and by doing that, they have misused the session of the General Assembly to promote their political interests and to demonstrate their support for separatism in West Papua. Indonesia went on to call the Pacific leaders' move "highly regrettable and dangerous."
In addition, Indonesia tried to make a comparison between its commitment to promote human rights and that of the Pacific countries. The Indonesian representative stated that of the nine core human rights instruments, the country has ratified eight and incorporated them into its national legal system. In contrast, Vanuatu has only ratified five.
The Indonesian representative also stated that her country was a founding member of the UN Human Rights Council and that it has a national human rights commission. This demonstrates Indonesia's efforts to protect human rights.
Further, Indonesia argued that it has a fully functioning democracy, which would make it impossible for human rights violations to go unreported.

Although on the one hand, while Indonesia's claims and its continuing defense that it is making progress on protecting human rights and supporting a fully function democracy can be justified, the human rights condition remains significantly unchanged.
Numerous reports published by international nongovernmental organizations and faith-based networks for example, have shown that human rights abuses in West Papua continue and that the authorities still fail to bring the perpetrators to justice.
A recently published report by the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane for example, highlights ongoing human rights violations in West Papua and states that the abuses have not declined and that there is no significant improvement in Papuans' welfare.
Similarly, a report on human rights conditions in West Papua between April 2013 and December 2014, published by the International Coalition for Papua in 2015, shows that there had been a deterioration in human rights conditions in West Papua compared to previous periods and that there was a sharp contrast between the living conditions of indigenous Papuans and that of migrants from other parts of Indonesia.
Therefore, it is important that Indonesia proves its commitment to the protection of human rights by enforcing the law to prosecute and punish those who are guilty of human rights violations.

The unresolved human rights violations that took place in Paniai district, Papua province, in December 2014, where several innocent students were shot by security officers, have to be taken seriously and this can be a step forward by the government to convince the international community of its commitment.
Otherwise, Indonesia's repeated defense in international forums and meetings, such as at the recent meeting of the General Assembly, that it fully promotes and protects human rights in West Papua, will continue to be questioned.
Petrus Farneubun is a lecturer at the Department of International Relations at Cenderawasih University in Jayapura, Papua, and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

2) In restive Papua, incumbents may not pin hopes so high
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post

Jayapura | Tue, September 27 2016 | 09:38 am
Following the steps of other regional heads, all incumbents in 11 regencies and cities in Papua will vie for reelection in February, but their chances may be slim because of the local dynamics in the country’s easternmost region. 

As many as 11 of the 80 tickets contesting the elections are incumbents. Among them are regents Henock Ibo of Puncak Jaya, Befa Jigibalom of Lanny Jaya, Matthew Awaitauw of Jayapura, Mesak Manibor of Sarmi, Toni Tesar of Yapen, Usman Wanimbo of Tolikara, Yairus Gwijangge of Nduga, Herman Aw of Dogiyai and Stephen Kaisma of Mappi and Jayapura Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano.

“All incumbents wish to be re-elected in the simultaneous pilkada [regional elections],” said Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD Papua) member Tarwinto.

The country will hold regional head elections in 101 regions on Feb. 15, including the 11 regions in Papua. 

Despite the strong chance for incumbents to be re-elected in other regions, incumbents in Papua may not be so lucky. 

In the first simultaneous elections in Papua last December, the other 11 regencies in Papua were included. 

The results were surprising, as out of nine incumbents, only two were re-elected, namely Nabire regent Isaias Douw and Yalimo regent Er Dabi, while the rest were crushed by their rivals.

Carolus Bolly, a Democratic Party politician in Papua, said he is optimistic that the incumbents who get his party’s support will be re-elected. 

“There are six incumbents who are also party branch board heads contesting the elections and we are sure to win the elections in Papua,” he said.

Security issues still become a major issue in Papua with frequent clashes among tribes and clashes between security officers and armed civilian groups. 

Political parties have struggled to maintain support from local members as well as from voters.

Papua is also the only region that is allowed to use a so-called noken system, a non-secret voting system in which voters place their ballots in one of several traditional bags, called noken. The number of bags corresponds to the number of candidates. Each candidate has his or her own bag to receive ballots and the bags are hung in the open for all to see.

The lack of secrecy means that village or customary leaders are able to pressurize their people to vote according to his choice, and if there is any defiance, people could end up fighting each other. 

The Papua Police have prepared 1,323 personnel and these are to be bolstered by 337 Indonesian Military personnel and 200 police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members from Kelapa Dua, Jakarta, to secure the elections.

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said four regions taking part in the elections were considered prone to conflict because of the presence of armed civilian groups and internal splits in party support for candidates.

The four regions are Lanny Jaya, Nduga and Tolikara regencies and Jayapura. 

“Political parties giving split support are found in the four regions, so they are prone to conflict, although prospective candidates can understand the party’s decision to not support him or her, we fear the presence of their supporters,” said Waterpauw.

The Papua Police, added Waterpauw, had planned the security starting from the registration of candidates until after the inauguration of the elected local leaders.

3) Letter from Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu in Vanuatu Daily Post

Indonesia and Vanuatu: Too different for a real partnership?
Dear Editor,
While Vanuatu is an island nation and Indonesia is an archipelagic country, the differences seem to be too great for a real partnership to work between the two countries. The difference in size is striking. From its westernmost part in Aceh to its easternmost part in Merauke, Papua, Indonesia stretches as wide as from Port Vila to Honolulu, Hawaii. For every person in Vanuatu, there are one thousand persons in Indonesia. Whereas Vanuatu’s population is primarily Melanesians, Indonesians are a mix of ethnicities: Javanese, Sumatrans, Malays, Melanesians, Chinese and so on. Differences could be unsettling. In both personal relations as well as international relations for instance, the world can be split into two. Those in the minority that delves in and are paralysed by the smallest of differences and the rest who respect differences but keep on chipping at them to bring the relations closer together. The second group realizes that the reward of working together, of having a strong partnership far outweigh the short-term gains of resentment.
There are a number of important similarities that Indonesia and Vanuatu can use to build our relationship on. Indonesia sits on the Pacific ring of fire making it prone to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. Likewise, Vanuatu is prone to tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Both Indonesia and Vanuatu have many small islands that are vulnerable to changes in the climate. Another parallel is that since early in their modern history, leaders of both countries understood that a secure and stable region is a condition for sustained economic growth and prosperity. Leaders understood that a secure and stable region depends on good international relations. Good international relations in turn depends on mutual respect of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is thus no coincidence that Indonesia and Vanuatu engages their respective immediate regions actively. Both capitals are respectively homes to the secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), in Port Vila and the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta. It is no accident moreover that both countries share many national and regional goals. Both countries aim for sustainable economic growth and development, better governance, a secure and stable region as well as a more prosperous population. The people of Vanuatu celebrated her 36th anniversary on 30 July. On behalf of the eleven million Melanesians living in Indonesia and all the citizens of Indonesia, let me again extend my warmest congratulations to the people and government of Vanuatu. Indonesia too, is celebrating. On last 17th of August, Indonesia commemorated our 71st anniversary. Anniversaries are usually a period for reflection. As both fellow vibrant democracies look into the future, in the next 15 years to 2030, Vanuatu, Indonesia and the region will not be quite the same. The combined region of Southeast Asia and MSG would be a formidable economic and cultural zone. With current annual growth, by the 2030s, Indonesia will be among the top ten biggest economies in the world. As member countries continue to focus on providing solutions to current financial and institutional challenges facing the MSG, by 2030 the region will be more economically integrated and dynamic. In the decades ahead, Vanuatu will perhaps have a larger tourism and services sector as well as agriculture and livestock farming complementing her more traditional export commodities of copra, coconuts, cocoa, fish and wood processing. Indonesia’s trade with and investment in Vanuatu is still relatively small, indicating a good growth potential. Indonesia’s 60-million strong middle and consuming-class is very much looking forward to establishing closer trade, investment and development links with Vanuatu and all the countries of the MSG.
A stronger Indonesia-Vanuatu partnership that centres on those national priorities will expand trade and investment and ultimately bring more jobs and income. Thus it is important for us to concentrate the partnership on developing the tourism and agriculture sectors, boosting programs on climate change, preparing the most vulnerable communities for adaptation and mitigation. It is also important to work together on programs of disaster preparedness and disaster risk management. The US$2 million in humanitarian aid dispatched by the Indonesian government to Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam and the many programs of technical cooperation delivered to Vanuatu over the years are good examples of such partnership. Indonesia is a member of a number of regional trading arrangements including within ASEAN as well intra-regionally such as ASEAN-China and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand. Indonesia is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the G20. In our experience, we found that expanding our international markets and partnerships creates more jobs, affordable products and services and boost competitiveness.
The eastern part of Indonesia, home to five Melanesian provinces of East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua is Asia’s natural entrance to the Pacific. Conversely, Indonesia is welcoming Vanuatu and MSG countries into the rewarding markets of Indonesia, Southeast Asia and beyond through this eastern region gateway. When we concentrate on issues that bring us closer while working to resolve differences, I am confident that in the future, the leaders of both countries will be remembered as those who brought stability, security, justice and prosperity to the nation and the region. Nadjib Riphat Kesoema
Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu

4) Human rights activists remain prone to threats: Komnas HAM
News Desk The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, September 27 2016 | 08:52 pm 

Threats and criminalization still plague human rights activists in recent years despite a guarantee of freedom of expression in the reform era, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said on Tuesday.
Human rights activists still receive threats while providing aid to people or for staging protests, Komnas HAM commissioner Siti Noor Laila said. There were at least three threats from 2012-2015 aimed at human rights activists, such as murder, death and kidnapping threats, according to data collected by Komnas HAM.
Even though Indonesia's democracy began after the fall of Soeharto's dictatorship in 1998, there has not been a significant improvement toward protection of human rights activists in the reform era, Siti said noting several cases of criminalization aimed at activists in recent years.
"In the democracy era, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution, crimes against human rights activists must never happen," Siti said at a press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.
She cited examples, such as Yogyakarta-based activist Raden Mas Aji Kusumo who spent three and a half months behind bars in 2015 for staging a  rally to reject the construction of an apartment in Kaliurang, Sleman regency of Yogyakarta believed to cause environmental degradation.
Two public lawyers from Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta)  Tigor Gempita Hutapea and Obed Sakti Andre Dominika have also been arrested for disobeying police orders when assisting laborers in a rally in front of the State Palace in October last year.
Samsul, known as Salim Kancil, was a farmer and anti-mining activist who was beaten to death in September last year for organizing a protest against invasive sand mining in his village in Lumajang, East Java. (wnd/rin)

1) Solomon Islands - First Right of Reply

3) Local Languages Included in Local Curriculum
4) 18 Young Papuans Reportedly Shot by Security Forces Since Paniai Incident
5) Papuan Work Force Can’t Keep up with Investment : BI
6) Classes Halted for Two Months as Two Schools Blocked in Nabire

1) Solomon Islands - First Right of Reply 

26 Sep 2016 - 1st Right of Reply by the Solomon Islands at the general debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016).

26-Sep-2016 00:01:22
2nd Right of Reply by Indonesia at general debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016).

3) Local Languages Included in Local Curriculum
26 September 2016
Sentani, Jubi – Local languages in Jayapura Regency will be included in the curriculum of local content initially for the third grade of the elementary school, junior and high schools.
The Head of Jayapura Regional Education Office Alpius Toam said the use of local languages is an important thing for today’s generation.
“In this modern era, there are a lot of positive and negative influences for our generation. As a consequence the local languages that are actually part of our culture and identity have been gradually forgotten, even it is hardly spoken in the daily conversation,” he said in Sentani on Sunday (25/9/2016).
Therefore, the education office would encourage the use of the local languages in the new curriculum for the elementary, junior and high schools, so that the local values of children would not disappear, he said.
“It certainly would also taught to non-Papuan students too,” he said.
Jayapura customary leader Teo Kere considered the local language is crucial to be taught to the generation today, because it is a human’s identity.
“If we don’t know about our own languages, so the question is where did we come from? Therefore, as part of the traditional community, I hope these cultural values must be protected and kept sustainable at anytime. Because the local languages are definitely reflecting the community’s social life at this present time,” he said.
Meanwhile Sentani Timur Sub-district Chief Steven Ohee admitted he already implemented the use of the local language in his sub-district, that is every first day of the month. The implementation of the use of the local languages is endorsed through the Sub-district Government and the Language Research Agency of Papua Province.
“This (local language) is an obligation,” he said.
Following that endorsement, he is active to socialize among his community about the importance of the use of the local languages. (*/rom)

4) 18 Young Papuans Reportedly Shot by Security Forces Since Paniai Incident
24 September 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Since the shooting incident in Karel Gobay Square, Enarotali, Paniai, that killed four students, security forces have shot 18 Papuans aged 14–19, eight of them fatally. It has become a new trend of violence in Papua.
The incident at Karel Gobay Square on 8 December 2014 killed Yulian Yeimo (17), Simon Degei (18), Alpius Gobay (18) and Alpius Youw (17).  Some civilians were also injured by bullets during the violence. The Police have not name any suspect even after though more than eight investigation teams have been involved in this case.
A teenager called Inter Segenil (16) also been shot by security personnel in Yahukimo on 21 March 2015 after the dissolution of fundraising event held by the West Papua National Committee.  Besides him, Isai Dapla (37), Salomon Pahabol (47), Titus Giban (39),Simson Giban (42) and Obang Sengenil (48) also hit by the bullets in this incident.

On Thursday, 25 June 2016, a teenager Yoseni Agapa (15) was dead and the rest of seven was injured when some ununiformed people opened fire towards eight civilians in Ugapuga, Kamu Timur, Dogiyai Sub-district. Five of seven injured victims are teenagers, namely Melianus Mote (16), Podepai Agapa (14), Yulius Agapa (17), Yunias Agapa (16), Feri Goo (15). Two other victims, Neles Douw and Menki Agapa were accused for being blocked the street that triggered the shooting.
On 17 July 2015, another incident occurred during the Ied praying at Karubaga, Tolikara when the Evangelist Church Youngster in Indonesia (GIDI) held the church event from 13 to 19 July in Karubaga intended to negotiate with the Muslims to not using the speakers during the Ied praying in the yard, have been shot by security forces that also in the scene for praying. As the result, Edi Wanimbo, 15 years old teenager was dead with the bullet hit on his stomach. Eight people were also wounded in this incident.
The shooting incident that murdered another teenager was occurred in Timika on 28 August 2015. Student Martinus Imaputa (17) was shot on the left chest, while Amalia Apoka (girl, 19) was shot on right foot by military personnel from Military District Command 1701 Timika. Two were dead in this incident that was occurred after the Kamoro tribe art festival in Koperapoka. Two dead victims are Imanuel Herman Mairimau (23) and Yulianus Okoware (23).
Kalep Zera Bagau (18) and Efrado I. S. Sabarofek (17), the students of Vocational High School (SMK) Petra, Timika and Efrando I.S.Sabarofek (17) are the next victims. The police shot both students on 28 September 2015 in Gorong-Gorong Timika. Kalep was dead. The Police said both students were involved in the attack on the house of Timika resident. But the family denied they were involved in the attack and burning of the resident’s house.
In 2016, Mobile Brigade personnel shot Otinus Sondegau (16) in Sugapa. He was killed in front of his own house on 27 August 2016 for the accusation being involved in a blockage in Sugapa traditional market. As the result of this shooting, his family was irritated and Sugapa people burned Sugapa Police Station.
Another incident happened in this September. On 14 September, two personnel of Water and Air Police (Polairud/Polair) beat Melky Balagaize (19) in Wanam Wogikel, Ilwayab Sub-district, Merauke Regency after return from the Karaoke Club with his friends. The Police said he was drunk and made noise as well as brought the sharp weapon to run after the local resident. But the family declined the police’s statement. Melky’s brother, Seimon Petrus Balagaize, said the officers who beat his brother were also drunk.
Of these cases mentioned above, only three cases that reportedly taken to the court for legal and ethics process by each institution of the perpetrators. The three cases are Koperapoka case that involved the military personnel, Gorong-Gorong case that involved the police officer, and Sugapa case that involved the Papua Mobile Brigade personnel. (*/rom)

5) Papuan Work Force Can’t Keep up with Investment : BI

26 September 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Chief Representative of Bank Indonesia Papua Province Joko Supratikto stated Papua’s rich natural wealth has not turned into more investment due to a lack of poor infrastructure and a low skilled work force.
Joko said a study by Bank Indonesia found many investors were interested in doing business in Papua,
“But it can only be materialized if the government improved the infrastructures including the facilities of transport and electricity, human resources development and security guarantee,” he said in the national seminar of Papua Banking Expo 2016 in Jayapura on last week.
According to him, the government could not count on the State Budget only, but should manage private investment for the achievement of the development.
“We can take the opportunity and improve it for the welfare of the Papuan community,” said Joko.
Deputy of Bank Papua Fauzan explained Papua economic growth fluctuated to suit the achievements of the mining sector with the average growth of 3.35 percent within the last 15 years. If compared with the economic growth without the mining sector, it is relatively high and stable with the average 8.76 percent in the last five years.
The challenge of investment, said Fauzan, depends on the natural resources commodities, the price of global commodity and the basic development capital that yet not optimized such as road quality, electrification, and low-quality human resources.
“Of 183 respondents consisting of the entrepreneurs, corporations and banks stated Papua must be achieved 31 percent to be considered for investment is the feasible infrastructure, local potencies, proper employers and security,” he said.
Economist David Samula urged all parties including the government and stakeholder to walk together in order to materialize the Papuan vision, Risen, Developed and Prosperous.
“To build Papua should be started from all sectors in every stages gradually,” he said. (*/rom)

6) Classes Halted for Two Months as Two Schools Blocked in Nabire
24 September 2016

Nabire, Jubi – Two schools in Siriwo Sub-district, Nabire Regency, have been forced to halt classes for almost two months because the buildings were blocked by a contract teacher.
Commission C members of the Nabire Regional Council was informed of the blockade on SDN I and SMPN I Siriwo on Friday (23/9/2016) during a visit there.
The councilors said they would summon the Head of the Education Office to resolve this case.
A contract teacher in SDN I and SMPN I Siriwo, Bertha Laiduma Alah, explained the schools were blocked by a teacher who’s not recruited as the civil servant.
“We’ll wait until she open it, so that classes can run as usual. We do not defend her or her demand,” Bertha told Jubi in Nabire on Thursday (22/9/2016).
Related to the action, Bertha explained that the contract teacher with initial KB is a woman who’s a pioneer teacher for the both schools. She started teaching in these schools since twelve years ago.
“However, up to now, she hasn’t yet recruited as civil servant because of her age. We don’t know whether she is still expecting to become a civil servant. The government should pay attention to her demand,” she said.
School Committee Chairman Samuel Tukayo said both schools have six teachers including the Principal. “Related to this blockage, we forcedly find a spare time to give the additional lessons to the children,” he explained.
The blockage was already opened three days ago but the keys are missing. “We strongly expect the government to pay attention and solve this problem for the sake of our children,” he said. (*/rom)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peter King, tireless campaigner for West Papua’s struggle for self-determination

PETER KING 1936 - 2016

Peter King, tireless campaigner for West Papua’s struggle for self-determination
It is rare that an Australian academic would be farewelled from this life by a salute from a West Papuan freedom fighter but such was the significance of Peter King's contribution to the international arena that it seemed the perfect gesture to those who attended his "living tribute" a few weeks ago.
Professor Peter King, of the department of government at the University of Sydney, who has died after a short illness, was a modern thinker, an internationalist dedicated to making world affairs intelligible to mid-20th century Australia.

Peter King with Benny Wenda, spokesman for United Liberation Movement of West Papua. Photo: Supplied

Peter King was born in 1936, the son of Philip Cardigan King, who fought and was gassed in the First World War and who later co-founded King and Heath Real Estate. His mother, Ada Emily Lilian King (nee Davey), was an amateur doubles tennis champion.
Peter King earned his bachelor of arts with honours in political science from Melbourne, where he was as admired for his prowess in the athletics team (as a sprinter) as for his eloquence in debate. 
With a PhD in international relations from the Australian National University, King took up a lectureship in government at Sydney University. It was 1965 and the government of Robert Menzies was coming under pressure to back a negotiated settlement to the growing crisis in Vietnam.

Peter King at his "living tribute" saluted by West Papua leader Rex Rumakiek. Photo: Supplied

It was at this point that King came into his own. Campuses across the country were seeing an increasingly radicalised student body opposing the war and King was one of the few lecturers who encouraged them. Among those who jostled for elbow room at his politics classes were many who went on to become luminaries of public life, including Meredith Burgmann, former president of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, who has recalled being "radicalised" by him. Others remember King as a "jaunty" figure, who attended anti-war demos in a proletarian cap – worn at a rakish angle.

Every chapter of his PHD thesis commenced with a quote from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which King assembled in such a way as to make Carroll's classic text seem to purposefully reflect the frightening climate of the Cold War nuclear arms race.
While on secondment from his Sydney post, King spent three formative years of the early 1980s as professor of political and administrative studies at the University of Papua New Guinea. It was here that he became engaged with West Papua's struggle for self-determination while under Indonesian rule. He saw the pressing need for the Australian community to develop a much clearer understanding of the issues in Papua; of our part in creating them, and our responsibility to foster progress towards a just peace.
On his return from Port Moresby, King helped found Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS), of which he became first president, then director, combining the role with his duties as a senior lecturer in government.
A short spell overseas followed, as professor of Australian studies at the University of Tokyo. King then came home to Australia to take up his final full-time post before retirement, as professor of politics at the University of Wollongong, before launching CPACS' West Papua Project, in 1999.
King's activist and scholarly fervour never wavered. His work on the Papuan question inspiring the occasional, but persistent thread of Australian journalism on the subject – ensuring that King's passing was marked by generous tributes from distinguished members of the Papuan émigré community. Indeed, during their final, emotional discussion Octo Mote – Secretary General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua – assured King that he would be "written into the history" on the day West Papua gains independence.
King's interest in nuclear disarmament also continued. A passionate pacifist, he was the first to propose the radical concept of total non-retaliation. More recently, King joined with others, including the veteran campaigner John Hallam, to launch a Human Survival Project at CPACS. Its latest eye-catching public initiative, a people's tribunal in which the leaders of nuclear-armed states were put "on trial", attracted international attention and participation, and dominated what turned out to be the final weeks of his life.
Michael Kirby, the former High Court judge, a former student of King's, recently paid tribute to his endeavours. King, he said, "never gave up the effort to open the eyes of today's generation to the fearsome dangers of nuclear proliferation. All of us should take inspiration from his efforts… This will be his legacy".
Peter King is survived by two sons, Daniel and Nick, from his first marriage to Inese, as well as his second wife, Xue, and their daughter Madeleine. 
Associate Professor Jake Lynch, director of the department of peace and conflict studies

1) Jokowi Opens New Flight School in Papua

2) Indonesia begins lobbying for UN Security Council seat 

MONDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER, 2016 | 21:32 WIB
1) Jokowi Opens New Flight School in Papua

TEMPO.COJakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo plans to open a flight school for the people of Biak, Papua, on October 2016. According to Lenis Kagoya, the Presidential Special Staff for Papua, the establishment of the flight school is the answer to the lack of educational progress in Papua.
"This flight school will be inaugurated on the second week of October 2016," Lenis said after a meeting with the President on Monday, September 26, 2016. Lenis added that infrastructures of the school have been built complete with its supporting facilities.
Currently, there are 30 Papuan pilot candidates who have received training in Cirebon. The candidates will return to Papua to continue their training with other candidates at the new flight school.
Lanis said that the President hoped that the flight school would allow Papuans to become pilots for Indonesian airlines, such as Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and other airlines.
"We built [the new flight school] in Papua, because in Papua there are many mountains and sea winds. We want [pilot candidates] to get used to these conditions," Lenis said.

2) Indonesia begins lobbying for UN Security Council seat 
Liza Josephine The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Mon, September 26 2016 | 09:24 pm 
Indonesia has begun lobbying for its bid for UN Security Council non-permanent membership for the term 2019-2020 as the country kicked off its campaign at the UN headquarters in New York over the weekend.
"Indonesia has received full support from ASEAN for its candidacy for UNSC 2019-2020," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement following an informal meeting between foreign ministers of the organization's 10 member countries on Saturday. 
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi also conveyed Indonesia's candidacy throughout a string of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's 71st session over the past week. 
On Thursday, Retno spoken to the UK's parliamentary undersecretary of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (minister for Asia and the Pacific), Alok Sharma, whose country is one of the five permanent members of the UNSC. The two also discussed strengthening bilateral relations in the fields of trade, infrastructure development, prevention of radicalism and promotion of tolerance.
Retno also conveyed hope that the bid would be supported by the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. During a meeting with Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák on Sept. 19, the two parties agreed to support each other, with Slovakia intending to bid for the 2028-2029 period.  (evi)

1) Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference

2) Pacific leaders raise West Papua at the UN
3) Indonesia responds to leaders of six Pacific countries on West Papua claims  
4) Two police and a civilian shot in Papua
1) Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference
5:08 pm today
Indonesia has accused a number of Pacific Islands countries of interfering in its domestic matters regarding West Papua at the United Nations.
The accusation during the UN General Assembly came after leaders from six Pacific countries - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu - expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.
Pacific leaders at the UN General Assembly expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua. Left to right: Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai; Solomon Islands Prime Minsister Manasseh Sogavare; Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva; Nauru President Baron Waqa; Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine; Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga  Photo: UN Photo
Calls for Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders during this 71st session of the general assembly debate.
"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin," said the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare.
"Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasise the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition."
In a call echoed by the other Pacific leaders, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine urged the UN Human Rights Council to initiate a credible investigation of violations in West Papua.
While Indonesia's Vice-President, Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, did not address Papua in his speech at the session, Jakarta's response to Pacific governments' criticism came from an official at Indonesia's permanent mission to the UN.
Nara Masista Rakhmatia said her government was shocked to hear the island countries' claims about Papua when discussion at the session should have been about sustainable development goals and the global response to climate change.
"The same leaders chose instead to violate the UN charter by interfering in other countries' sovereignty and violating its territorial integrity," she said.
She said her government categorically rejected accusations of rights abuses in Papua, and that they reflected an unfortunate misunderstanding of the history of Indonesia and its current progressive developments.

Ms Rakhmatia singled out Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in particular, suggesting other countries with human rights problems shouldn't point the finger at Indonesia.
"Their politically motivated statements were designed to support separatist groups in the said provinces [West Papua and Papua] who have consistently engaged in inciting public disorder and in conducting armed terrorist attacks."
The official reiterated Jakarta's stand that it had mechanisms in place to deal with human rights abuses in Papua.
"With such a vibrant national democracy, coupled with the highest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights at all levels, it would be nearly impossible for any human rights allegations to go un-noticed and un-scrutinised," she said.
Jakarta, however, maintains restrictions on access to Papua for leading international humanitarian and rights organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International.
Furthermore, Indonesian police chiefs in Papua region have taken a strict line on a series of large, peaceful demonstrations by Papuans calling for self-determination in recent months, resulting in mass arrests in some cases.
The prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, said that the UN could not and must not ignore the "deplorable situations" in Papua by hiding "behind the guise of the principles of non-interference and sovereignty".
“The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the indigenous peoples of West Papua," he said.
2) Pacific leaders raise West Papua at the UN
6:03 pm today
Leaders of six Pacific Island nations have highlighted concern about West Papua while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly.
At the general debate of the Assembly's 71st session, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu called for UN action on alleged human rights abuses in Papua.
Calls for West Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders.
Johnny Blades filed this report.


Human rights abuses in Papua region were linked by the Solomon Islands prime minister to the pursuit of self-determination by indigenous West Papuans. Manasseh Sogavare said there was a case to challenge the legality of the controversial, UN-sanctioned process by which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia.
"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin. Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasise the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition."
In a call echoed by the other Pacific leaders, the Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, pushed for the situation to be independently probed.
"Given the importance of human rights to my country, I request that the UN Human Rights Council initiate a credible and independent investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua."
Jakarta's response to the speeches came from an official at Indonesia's permanent mission to the UN. Nara Masista Rakhmatia said her government categorically rejected accusations of rights abuses in Papua, accusing the governments concerned of interfering in Indonesia's sovereignty. She singled out Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, suggesting other countries with human rights problems shouldn't point the finger at Indonesia.
"These countries are using the general Assembly to advance their domestic agenda, and for some countries to divert attention from political and social problems at home.The said countries are also using false and fabricated information as the basis of their statement. The conduct of these countries undermines the UN charter and are detrimental to the credibility of this assembly."
The official reiterated Jakarta's stand that it has mechanisms in place to deal with human rights abuses in Papua. Yet the prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga said that the UN must not ignore what is happening to Papua's indigenous Melanesians.
"It must not allow actions in the guise of principles of non-interference and sovereignty as reasons for inaction. The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the Indigenous Peoples of West Papua."
Nara Masista Rakhmatia said the Pacific leaders' statements on Papua were "politically motivated and designed to assist separatist groups which have violently attacked civilians". However, it's understood to be the first time so many governments have raised concern about West Papua at a General Assembly debate.
3) Indonesia responds to leaders of six Pacific countries on West Papua claims  
Published On:September 25, 2016Posted by PNG Today 
A representative of Indonesia attacked leaders of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga for what she claims was ‘lack of understanding on the history and progressive developments’ happening in these two provinces.’

She exhorted the Pacific Leaders to stick to discussing the impacts of climate change than ‘interfere in Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.’

“Indonesia is shocked to hear that at this august body where leaders are gathered to debate the early implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transformation of our collective actions and other global challenges such as climate change, of which the Pacific countries are affected the most, the said leaders chose instead to violate the UN charter by interfering in other country’s sovereignty and violating its territorial integrity.’

“We categorically reject the continuing insinuations in their statements. They clearly reflect an unfortunate lack of understanding of the history, current developments and on-going progressive developments in Indonesia including the provinces of Papua and West Papua.’

The Indonesian diplomat said the statements by the six Pacific Leaders were ‘politically motivated designed to support separatist groups in the two provinces who have consistently engaged inciting public disorder and conducting armed terrorist attacks on civilian and security personnel.’

“Evidently, the statements by those leaders clearly violates the purposes and objectives of the UN Charter and violates the principles of friendly nations amongst states as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

She claimed the Pacific states are using the General Assembly to advance their domestic agenda and for some countries to divert attention from political and social problems at home.

“These countries are using false and fabricated information as the basis of their statements. The conduct of these countries undermine the UN charter and are detrimental to the credibility of this assembly, said the Indonesian diplomat.

She maintains that Indonesia’s commitment to the protection of human rights is unquestionable. Indonesia is a founding member of the UN Human Rights Council and has sat as member of the council for three previous periods and is now serving its fourth term.

“Indonesia is among few countries who have a continued national action plan on Human Rights, active national and robust national commission on human rights since 1993, vibrant civil society and free media. We have a full fledge democracy in full function.

“It would be nearly impossible for any human rights allegations to go unnoticed and unscrutinised. We have domestic mechanisms in place at the national level and at provincial level in Papua and West Papua.”

She said Indonesia will continue to focus on the development of Papua and West Papua provinces in the best interest of all and ended with a well-known saying in the Asia Pacific region, ‘when one points the index finger to others, the thumb finger automatically points to one’s face.


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4) Two police and a civilian shot in Papua
27 minutes ago 
Three people were injured when a military truck was shot at in Indonesia’s Papua.
Tabloid Jubi reported the incident happened in Kota Mulia, Puncak Jaya, on Saturday.
A 25-year-old man, Winingga Tabuni, was shot in the chest, while two policemen were also shot.
The truck, belonging to the Puncak Jaya Military Command, was returning to base in Kota Mulia from Puncak Senyum after fetching timber that was to be used to build traditional Papuan houses.
The injured men were being treated while police searched for the attackers.
On September the 12th, a contract teacher, Ezra Patatang, 27, was shot dead in the same area.