Thursday, June 22, 2017

1) Financing spotlight: Blue Abadi, a $38-million trust fund to support MPAs in the Bird’s Head region of Indonesia

2) Freeport Indonesia workers to extend strike for a month: union


1) Financing spotlight: Blue Abadi, a $38-million trust fund to support MPAs in the Bird’s Head region of Indonesia

Posted on June 22, 2017 - 12:36pm, by MPA News staff

In September 2016, several institutions — Conservation International (CI), The Walton Family Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — announced a joint effort to support long-term protection of Indonesia's Bird's Head region, a highly diverse marine area in West Papua, Indonesia. The centerpiece of the effort is a new trust fund called Blue Abadi, for the Indonesian word for “forever”.
Once fully capitalized with a target of US $38 million, the fund will be among the largest dedicated marine conservation funds in the world. Its goal is to provide self-sustained financing for the region’s MPA network, which covers 36,000 km2 of locally managed sites. The first money is already arriving. In February of this year, CI, TNC, WWF, and the Indonesian government announced their initial capitalization of the fund with $23 million.
For insights on how the fund is structured and what drove its development, MPA News speaks with Laure Katz, director of the Seascapes Program at CI. 
MPA News: Some conservation funds are designed to provide financing in perpetuity, while others spend down their money (or capital) over time. Which model does the Blue Abadi Fund use?
Laure Katz: The Blue Abadi Fund is a multi-account fund, with both a sinking component and an endowment component. The sinking portion will be spent during the initial 3-5 years of fund operation, allowing the endowment capital to grow. Revenues generated from investing the Blue Abadi endowment capital on a yearly basis will be disbursed to local grantees to ensure adequate protection of the Bird’s Head Seascape in perpetuity. 
What drove the development of the fund, aside from wanting to sustain MPAs in the Bird’s Head region?
Katz: For several years, the primary anchor donor for the Bird’s Head Seascape has been the Walton Family Foundation. After 12 years of extremely generous support for MPAs in the Bird’s Head Seascape, the foundation has embarked on an exciting new strategy for Indonesia that focuses on fisheries reform. The establishment of the Blue Abadi Fund was motivated in part by this anticipated transition and to incentivize other long-term sustainable funding sources for the seascape so as to not be reliant on international philanthropy forever.
Who will be in charge of managing the Fund?
Katz: The Blue Abadi Fund will be governed by a multi-stakeholder governance committee, with representation from local and national government, local indigenous communities, conservation NGOs, donors, the private sector, and the finance sector. In turn, the governance committee will be supported by three expert committees, including a science and conservation technical advisory committee, a Papua advisory committee, and a financial advisory committee.
The day-to-day administration of the fund will be led by the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI). KEHATI brings over 20 years of experience administering conservation trust funds in Indonesia and is excited to work on its first ocean project.
Grants from the Fund will be available to Bird's Head communities and agencies to support local stewardship of protected areas. When will communities and agencies be able to apply for such grants, and how should they do that?
Katz: The Blue Abadi Fund will have two granting tracks — a primary granting facility and INOVASI, a small grants facility — to support smaller local Papuan organizations actively participating in the conservation and sustainable development of the seascape. For the primary granting facility, KEHATI will issue requests for proposals on an annual basis to targeted local agencies and organizations filling core functions within the seascape, such as MPA management, monitoring and science, or environmental education. The first round of requests for proposals was in April 2017. For the INOVASI small grants facility, KEHATI will issue an open call on an annual basis. The first open call for proposals is expected to be in September 2017 for grants starting in January 2018. 
For more information: 
Kipp Lanham, communications, Conservation International, 


2) Freeport Indonesia workers to extend strike for a month: union

Reuters Fransiska Nangoy
Jakarta | Thu, June 22, 2017 | 07:09 pm

Thousands of Freeport Indonesia workers and contractors hold a rally in Timika, Papua, on May 1. (Antara/Wahyu Putro A)

Thousands of mine workers at the Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc will extend their strike for another month to protest against layoffs, a union official said on Wednesday.
Up to 6,000 workers will remain on strike, Freeport Indonesia union industrial relations officer Tri Puspital told Reuters, putting Freeport's plan to ramp up output at risk.
Workers started a strike in May after Freeport laid off around 10 percent of its workforce, while the miner negotiates a new mining permit with the government. (ags)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


                                              Ophir energy acreage in Indonesia – IST
Wamena, Jubi – A police officer in Wamena, Jayawijaya allegedly mistreated a minor, Friday afternoon, June 16, 2017.
As a result the victim named Albert Nawipa (15) had to be treated at Emergency Installation (IGD) RSUD Wamena.
Yance Tenoye from Jayawijaya Institute for Law and Human Rights Studies and Advocacy said that Albert was beaten by police officers who served in Pasar Potikelek. After got beaten the victim was also told to clean up the post in the market.

“When the family saw and took the child out of the post, saying that the police post was not his place of work and took him out, he was brought home. Arriving at home, the family saw the bleeding from victim’s nose and finally took him to Wamena hospitals,” he said.
Tenoye regretted the actions of police officers, especially because the victim is under age. He and the families of victims did not understand what cause of the child persecution.
Jayawijaya Police Chief, AKBP Yan Pieter Reba confirmed to have received a report related to the alleged persecution.
“I have not been able to give response, since Friday I am preparing for the visit of Kapolda to Wamena,” said Kapolres.
Separately, Chairman of Advocacy Network of Law and Human Rights of the Middle Mountains, Theo Hesegem asserted that the police was not professional. Moreover, the victims of abuse are minors and persecuted in Pasar Potikelek.
According to him, the officer/police post should be a place to serve and protect the community. (*)

Jayapura, Jubi – Member of House Commission I Papua, Laurenzus Kadepa hopes the Police Chief of Papua, Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar did not break his promise and would investigate the alleged violence case against Albert Nawipa (15) allegedly committed by police officer of  Jayawijaya, Papua, Friday (June 16).
Kadepa claimed to have communicated with the Papua Police Chief and that he would prosecute his members if it were true.
“The police chief regretted the incident, saying that the police officer is now being questioned by the police chief, hoping that the victim will recover immediately,” he said to Jubi on Tuesday (June 20).

According to him, the settlement of this case is entirely on the Papua Police to sanction individual members who allegedly carried out violence if it was proven.
“I deeply regret that a 15-year-old boy is allegedly beaten by a police officer, I get this information from the victim’s family and the victim’s parents want the perpetrator to be processed, I ask the Police to resolve the case,” he said.
The promise must be kept in order for the victims and their kinship to get justice. “The police chief has promised so he has to keep it, to resolve the case thoroughly,” he said.
Separately, Head of Public Relations of Papua Police, Senior Commissioner (Pol) AM. Kamal said the police did not remain silent. After getting the information, the Papua Police Chief directly ordered the Head of Propam to proceed to Wamena, Jayawijaya and conducting an investigation. If the information is true and the results of an investigation indicate there are unscrupulous police officers, will certainly be dealt with according to the rules.
“We got the information last night and Kapolres did not know about it yet, but this morning (June 20), the Chief of Police ordered Head of Propam to proceed to Wamena for investigation,” said Kombes (Pol) AM. Kamal.
According to him, the Papua Police has taken steps to find out the truth of the information. If it proves that a police officer conducted violence, there will be a step taken by the institution.
“We do not tolerate our members who have committed violations, we have been informed by Kontras friends in Jakarta, DPR RI and others,” he said. (*)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


3) Investors Curve Natural Wealth While Making Human Rights Violations
Eunike Ohee, lcal crafters sell Papuan traditional Noken in FDS exhibition – Jubi/Engel Wally
Sentani, Jubi – Since the holding of Lake Sentani Festival (FDS) in 2007 the people of Jayapura Regency expect on villages local cultural content to be prioritized in FDS.
Local community figures, Alfredo Suebu said FDS has not realized the wishes of local communities. This festival is considered merely ceremonial.
“This FDS still features company products that are clearly not prioritizing cultural and local wisdom. The question is whether it is really a cultural festival or a development exhibition?
Things which should be shown here is cultural and traditions of local Sentani society,” said Alfredo FDS are at Beach Kalkote Tour, East Sentani District, Sunday (June 18).
Therefore, he said in the FDS X event on 19-23 June 2017 it is expected that local villages can show their cultural potentials.
Papuan women figure, Kori Ohee also argued that this time the Government has not prepared a decent place for local economic business actors during the FDS exhibition.
“Whose benefit is FDS? Which place is good for our local economic actors? It was a pity for local traders who came to sell food but did not get a good place during the exhibitions,” she said. (*)

Jayapura, Jubi – Imagine being in captivity for more 48 years when you were granted freedom by the World’s powerful Assembly.
Think about witnessing all kinds of atrocities being committed against the would-be independent state. Well you can hardly believe, but that is the situation the people of West Papua who have lived in close to 50 years after a vote that disfranchised the majority of West Papuans-just to be conducted by just 1,026 on behalf of the entire population of 800,000 at the time.
The voting on its own was the right thing to do being a culmination of United Nations Resolution 1514 adopted in 1960 amid the pressure of global anti-imperial movements and colonial territories
The results of a vote that was viewed to be far from free or fair, gave Indonesia powers to rule over the people whom they forced to vote in colonizer’s favour.
During his visit to Uganda, Jacob Rumbiak, the Foreign Affairs representative for the Federal Republic of West Papua, narrated a disturbing tale of native West Papuans live with at the hands of Indonesian government that has gripped onto the people.
Flanked by Neddy Byrne, Rumbiak also visited Jacob Oulanyah, the deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament. He told the Deputy speaker about the many years of human rights abuses that stretch to killings of whoever dares to resist Indonesia’s rule.
“There is no doubt, there is genocide in West Papua similar to that genocide of Rwanda,”said Rumbiak “a minimum of 500,000 people have been killed so far. So, the atrocities that have been committed against West Papuans need to stop and it’s unfortunate, the situations are even getting worse now.”
“The West Papuan population is reducing. It was 800,000 at a point, but due to genocide, it keeps on diminishing day by day. So, the numbers of deaths speak volumes.” He added.
He said that West Papua, has got huge depositories of natural resources ranging from Oil, copper-to gold, an issues he said that is the precursor for the un-ending Indonesian’s gun rule, ignored by Western Countries-especially the US which they accused of turning a blind eye just because of some vested interests.
“We have copper, Gold mines, Oil and we are victims of a cold war just because the super power countries have got interest in our natural resources,” said Rumbiak.
According to Rumbiak’s account, Indonesians own and run most of the businesses in all major cities and thus controlling most of the money in the West Papua, leaving the indigenous people to just involve in petty jobs in their own country.
“We can’t seat back and watch people being killed one after the other. There is a time limit which is not about 2-3 years, the Papuans should be free,” vowed Rumbiak, but optimistic that one day, “West Papua will get its independence.”
Uganda supports West Papuans
On listening to the West Papuans ordeal, Jacob Oulanyah said that the Ugandan Parliament is ready to support the West Papuan cause through use of its connections with international Parliaments.
“We will do whatever our parliament and the nation can to ensure that by end of June this year, that the resolutions is heard and discussed in the UN,” said Oulanyah.
He further said that Ugandan Parliament could also identify MPs to propose the motion, support and debate it in the house. We can send the resolutions to other East African Parliaments including the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa countries.”
Oulanyah, however, advised the delegation to use organized youths back home so that the World bodies can get cause for supporting the cause by the natives.
Prodded on why Uganda other than other Countries, Rumbiak said that “African continent, Uganda in particular, speaks and make things move and I feel Uganda is a country whose spirit in rescuing others is alive thus our plea to have Uganda involved in this fight through supporting our petition in international forums such as African Union and UN.”
According to Rumbiak, the West Papuan population which is united internally is renewing its fight for freedom for self-determination.
The Federal Republic of West Papua “(NFRPB) is set to make its case for West Papua’s independence before ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly 33rd Session scheduled to take place at St. Julian’s, Malta between 19-21 June 2017.
*Written by Deo Walusimbi
Editor: Zely Ariane
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

3) Investors Curve Natural Wealth While Making Human Rights Violations

The location of gold mining on the river Mosairo, Kampung Nifasi, Makimi District, Nabire District, Papua. (Dock SuN)

JAYAPURA, - There have been many cases of human rights violations committed in Tanah Papua since the annexation process in 1963. The presence of investors has also added to the long list of human rights violations. Indigenous peoples who own natural resources are always in the ranks of investment victims.

John NR Gobai, the board of Indigenous Council of Papua, said that indigenous peoples have been feeling the sacrifice of investors present in the Land of Papua not only because of the actions of security actors, but also the absence of a positive impact as the operation of a corporation, whether forestry corporations, Plantation and mining and others.

“The presence of businesses in Papua spans human rights violations against indigenous peoples whose customary territories are managed by natural resources by corporations," he said in a written bribery received by on Monday (19/06/2017).
Cases of human rights violations resulting from the exploitation of Natural Resources (SDA) in Papua by corporations are difficult to avoid. The latest fact, bebernya, community Wate Tribe in Kampung Nifasi, Makimi District, Nabire District, Papua, is experiencing this.

Read also: Komnas HAM RI Asked to Urge TNI Commander to Take Strict Action on TNI in Mosairo River Location

Two companies that enter to manage the Mosairo River, namely PT. Kristalin Eka Lestari (PT KEL) and PT. Pacific Mining Jaya (PT PMJ) is said to have no consent from Wate's indigenous people. Ironically, the company uses TNI elements from Battalion 753 / AVT Nabire and High Officers from the TNI Headquarters Headquarters (Mabes) covering its illegal activities on the banks of the Mosairo river. They even set up TNI posts in Nifasi to secure the activities of PT. KEL.

Robertino Hanebora from Solidaritas Untuk Nifasi (SUN) stated that it is very potential to strike the indigenous people who reject the presence of PT. KEL. Even several times the problem and have been voiced to various related parties, only until now has not been taken seriously.

Read also: LP3BH Manokwari Supports Wate Community Agreement in Nabire

Allegations that the presence of investment or business in Papua have an impact on human rights violations, due to the process of obtaining permits either from the owners of ulayat rights until the government is not procedural, also without the permission or collective consent of the community ulayat rights owners. The acquisition of unprocessed licenses resulted in unhealthy investments and led to conflicts of confiscation, land tenure and the creation of inter-community conflicts resulting from pro-contra.

Worse yet illegal business is commonly involves unscrupulous security forces to smother and smooth the intention of mastering and depleting the natural potential that is pursued by the businessmen. Another illegal impact is detrimental to the state in the state tax obligations.

The land of Papua is famous for the potential of natural resources that is very promising both land and sea, so far business space is growing rapidly, but not infrequently tails the violation of human rights is very high. Surprisingly, local governments, especially the province of Papua, the region and also the guards Kamtibmas (Polri) in Papua are not active in seeing, resolving and managing the problems that occur due to business presence in various sectors.

SUN noted that the government in Papua is openly indicated to clothe businesses that do not respect the rights of the community which are regulated in various regulations in protecting the rights of indigenous peoples in Indonesia, especially in Papua after the birth of Law Number 21 Year 2001, concerning Otsus for Papua Province and Other regulations for the protection of OAP (Orang Asli Papua).

The facts at the Mosairo River proved this, because according to him, the Wate Tribe community, Kampung Nifasi, Makimi District, Nabire, suffered neglect, indigenous land grabs, intimidation and violation of indigenous rights by mining businesses. The granting of IUP (Mining Business Licenses) over their ulayat by the Provincial Government of Papua took place without the collective knowledge of the Nifasi community, as well as the basis of customary release as an absolute requirement in legitimizing the licensing of the mines business of those companies is completely unknown to the Nifasi community.

"The situation has made many conflicts happen there. Various parties should pay serious attention to resolving the conflict in the Mosairo River, "he hopes to continue the voice of Wate society.

With the launch of Indonesia's National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights in Jakarta recently, Solidarity for Nifasi felt this was a positive opportunity and a positive breakthrough by the state mainly referring to the second part of the company's responsibility to respect human rights, which means not violating human rights Internationally recognized human by avoiding, reducing, or preventing negative effects of corporate operations.

The launch was held Komnas HAM RI and ELSHAM held at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel Jakarta, Friday (16/06/2017). It refers to the mandate of the United Nations Human Rights Council which adopted the "United Nations Framework on Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: Protection, Respect and Recovery", also known as the Ruggie Principles, in June 2011. The Principles consist of Three pillars known for protection, respect and recovery. First, the state's obligation to protect human rights, in which the government must protect individuals from human rights violations by third parties, including businesses.

Second, the company's responsibility to respect human rights, which means it does not violate internationally recognized human rights by avoiding, reducing, or preventing negative impacts of corporate operations. Thirdly, the need to expand access for victims has had an effective remedy, both through both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms.


Pewarta: CR-3 / SP

Editor: Arnold Belau

1) BP’s ‘Close Association’ with Countries Accused of Human Rights Abuses Puts Gallery Sponsorship at Risk

2) Papua to host Biak Munara Wampasi Festival in July
3) Sadness as President Lies in State
1) BP’s ‘Close Association’ with Countries Accused of Human Rights Abuses Puts Gallery Sponsorship at Risk
By Mat Hope • Monday, June 19, 2017 - 17:01
BP’s relationship with the National Portrait Gallery is under scrutiny as the museum prepares to today announce the winner of an annual award sponsored by the oil giant.
Many fossil fuel companies operate in notoriously volatile states that hold an abundance of oil and gas. Campaigners Culture Unstained have lodged a 19-page complaint with the gallery, alleging that BP is an unfit sponsor due to the company’s “close association” with regimes “known or suspected to be in violation of human rights”.
The group said BP’s sponsorship of exhibitions and its annual portrait award violates the gallery’s “ethical fundraising policy”, obtained by Culture Unstained through a Freedom of Information request.
Culture Unstained promised to escalate its complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which can issue notices forcing organisations to review such deals, if the National Portrait Gallery failed to sufficiently respond to its concerns.

Human Rights

Culture Unstained’s complaint is accompanied by a new report outlining BP’s association with a number of regimes suspected of human rights abuses.
In particular, the report focuses on the company’s operations in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia and Mexico.
The National Portrait Gallery’s fundraising policy explicitly states that it “considers each gift and sponsorship carefully, and recognises that there may be occasions when it would not be in the Gallery’s best interests to accept funding”.
This includes “where the supporting source is known or suspected to be closely associated with a regime known or suspected to be in violation of human rights”.
BP has a controlling stake in the Shah Deniz gas fields in the Caspian Sea, off the coast of Azerbaijan. In its annual report, Amnesty International noted that in Azerbaijan, “torture and other ill-treatment was widely reported”.
In March 2017, Azerbaijan asked to be removed from a list of countries participating in an industry accountability project, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, after its board earlier expressed concern over the country’s restrictions on civil society.
On its websiteBP said that the company aspires “to be a valued, trusted and long-term partner in the development of Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon resources” as it celebrates 25 years of working in the country.
BP is also a major player in Egypt, currently producing around 15 percent of the the country’s oil and 30 percent of its gas. BPworks directly with the Egyptian government on joint ventures through the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO).
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both criticised Egypt’s clamp-down on civil protest since its regime change in 2011.
Amnesty International said that last year, Egypt’s authorities “used mass arbitrary arrests to suppress demonstrations and dissent, detaining journalists, human rights defenders and protesters, and restricted the activities of human rights organizations”.
Despite this, at the company’s 2017 annual general meeting, BP’s CEO Bob Dudley said he was “comfortable with the level of risk in Egypt”, NGO ShareAction reports.
BP also has operations in Mexico.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2015 said that “reports of disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture, as well as the situation of insecurity for women, children, migrants, human rights defenders, and journalists, who are victims of murder, disappearance, kidnapping, torture, harassment, and threats” in Mexico were of “particular concern”.
Amnesty International noted that in Mexico last year, “human rights defenders and independent observers were subjected to intense smear campaigns; journalists continued to be killed and threatened for their work”.
CEO Bob Dudley recently told an industry audience that he hopes to continue “‘strengthening long-term relationships with [state-owned company] Pemex and with the Mexican Government”.
BP also operates a large liquefied natural gas plant in West Papua, over which Indonesia claims sovereignty.
Last year, at least 2,200 Papuan activists were arrested after participating in peaceful demonstrations across a number of provinces, Amnesty International reports, highlighting “the ongoing repressive environment for political activists in the Papua region”.
In a press release accompanying the Culture Unstained report, Benny Wenda, West Papuan Independence Leader, said:
BP have never recognised that they operate in the middle of a genocide. They only call it a ‘complex situation’. Is it complex that every day my people are shot by Indonesian security forces, that every day they are tortured? BP never talks about human rights, never recognises how it helps support an illegal occupation of Papuans' land.
This British company has a responsibility to tell the truth about what is happening in West Papua — but they just want to make quick money.”
Culture Unstained’s report also looks at BP’s activities in Algeria, Angola, and Colombia, all of which are accused of restricting or violating human rights.
Lead author of the report, Chris Garrard, told DeSmog UK that it isn’t hard to find evidence of BP’s involvement with such regimes, and that if the National Portrait Gallery has overlooked such activities it is “a significant ethical issue.”
It’s all well and good having it in the policy but unless you can reinforce it, it doesn’t amount to much”, he said.
A spokesperson for BP told DeSmog UK that the company makes efforts to ensure its activities respect human rights. They said:
BP strives to conduct its business in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of all people and we take seriously our responsibility to respect human rights. Indeed, we have a long history of doing so: we are a founding member of the UN Global Compact and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and we have established a number of independent Advisory Panels globally to assess and advise on our management of project impacts, including human rights.
We respect internationally recognized human rights, including the rights of our workforce and those living in communities affected by our activities.”
A spokesperson for the National Portrait Gallery told DeSmog UK that when it formally receives Culture Unstained's complaint it “will review and respond in accordance with the Gallery’s Complaints Policy.”
They added that “the National Portrait Gallery, while significantly supported by grant-in-aid from government, is pleased to work with a wide range of companies in support of its exhibitions and displays. The sponsorship of the annual Portrait Award by BP is now in its 28th year and this support directly encourages the work of talented artists and helps gain wider recognition for them”.

Social License

Fossil fuel companies have long used sponsorship opportunities to try and launder their reputation — pushing a positive image of a brand to pre-empt opposition to their activities.
DeSmog UK previously revealed Shell’s cosy relationship with the National Gallery. And BP has come under fire before for sponsoring exhibitions at the British Museum and Tate gallery.
But Garrard said that activities like those highlighted in Culture Unstained’s report mean “BP should be seen as beyond an ethical red line for cultural sponsorship along with arms companies and tobacco companies.”
Because the evidence for climate change is so overwhelming, they should be beyond that red line.”
What BP is engaged in isn’t a form of philanthropy”, he said.
They are using it in order to impress key audiences, policymakers. So it amounts to a form of cheap advertising. And when it comes to the human rights dimension, it’s putting a sheen on it”.


2) Papua to host Biak Munara Wampasi Festival in July
Jakarta | Tue, June 20, 2017 | 03:05 pm

The people of Biak, Papua will mark the beginning of July with the Biak Munara Wampasi (BMW) Cultural Festival that will be held for four days from July 1 to 4.
The festival will feature plenty of activities such as fishing, apen byaren(walking on hot rocks) cultural attractions, a traditional Waimansusu boat competition, an underwater photo competition and a tour to the Padaido Islands.
Thirty-nine people have already signed up for the underwater photo competition that will be conducted for five days, which means the participants will get to go diving five times to capture the best underwater photos.
Locations for the competition will be from Catalina Wreck, Wundi Island , Small Rurbas Island, Barracuda Point to Owi Island.
“Not only that, participants will join the Land Tour to three tourist attractions that we’ve already prepared: Japanese Cave, the World War II Monument and Five Chambers Cave,” said Biak tourism department head Turbey Ony Dangeubun.
Runners can also take part in the festival by joining the Biak 10k International race. “The track is very challengin;, at one point they will pass through the cross-border area of Papua Nugini,” Dangeubun added
Biak Numfor regency has a story of its own. In the beginning, the Sultanate of Tidore ruled over the place, then it became a battlefield during World War II. On May 29, 1944, United States military bombarded the place and in 2005 the Russian government wanted to make Biak the location for rocket launches because of its strategic location. (asw)


3) Sadness as President Lies in State

Heavy hearts and tearful eyes predominated at the State House yesterday as President Baldwin Lonsdale’s body lies in State.
It was conveyed from the Hospital Saturday afternoon.  Over the weekend, family members and fellow Torba province natives paid their last respects.
Monday was the turn of the Speaker of Parliament and Acting Head of State, Esmon Saimon.He was followed by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, who covered himself in a kastom red mat as he entered the State House Nakamal, where the President’s body lay. This mark of high respect was one of countless gestures, large and small, demonstrating the universally high regard in which Mr Baldwin was held. More than one senior official emerged from the Nakamal in tears. Mr Salwai was followed by Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, Minister of Finance Gaetan Pikioune, Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Leingkone, Internal Affairs Minister Alfred Maoh, Education Minister Jean Pierre Nirua, Health Minister Jerome Ludvaune, Justice Minister Ronald Warsal, Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah, Climate Change Minister Ham Lini, Infrastructure and Public Utilities Minister Jotham Napat, Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Opposition Leader Ishmael Kalsakau, and their respective staffs. The cabinet members were followed by the remaining members of Parliament, the Lord Mayor of Port Vila, and the heads of the country’s statutory bodies.
The President’s body will continue to lie in state today, and will be conveyed in an early morning procession to the rotunda of Parliament for a funeral service on Wednesday.