TANTOWI YAHYA: We understand the perceptions that hangs around in connection with Papua. For that reason our police and military have been doing their job very carefully. So they have been informed and very well trained not to do anything that can abuse human rights. They are very careful. But then the news that spreads to the world is the other way around.
JOHNNY BLADES: Alright, well the thing is, the Indonesian human rights body KONTRAS (Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence) last year was saying that it had about 1,200 reports from Papua of people who suffered from harassment, killings, torture and other ill-treatment - suggesting maybe that's just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the abuses are by security forces against Papuans who are just trying to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. That seems to be the persistent area of abuses.
TY: Well, we have to see this issue very, very clearly. I mean, why it happens. For police and for military men working in Papua, it's not a safe place, it's not really a safe place...
TY: Because the way, I can say that the police and the military men in the army, they have been perceived as the representatives of the government of Jakarta, and many times they become the target. That's why in some areas, they don't feel safe. But then - because I have been there many times too - they are still working under the ethic of not doing anything that can abuse human rights. So like I said earlier, they have been doing their jobs very carefully, very carefully. But then what can you do if they are attacked? They have to defend themselves. In the defence, sometimes there is something bad (that) happens. This is the kind of thing which is reported to the world as a kind of a torture; torture from the police or the army towards their fellow Papuans. So what happens in fact is the other way around. I can say this because I've been to Papua, to see in front of my very eyes what happens actually.
JB: It's interesting what you're saying, because wouldn't there be a reason why people attack security forces? It doesn't just happen for no reason does it?
TY: Well if you ask me frankly, who wants freedoms? I mean, the people of Papua majority, they love being with Indonesia. They are happy with what we have been doing so far. I mean, the development is clear, is now taking place. And after the reformation back in 1998 and in 2001 we introduced special autonomy to both of the Papua provinces (Papua and West Papua). And the meaning of special autonomy is that it's no longer the people outside Papua who govern the two provinces. Since the special autonomy applied, the two provinces of Papua are governed by ethnic Papuans, okay; 40 regencies and cities are all governed by ethnic Papuans, okay; and also the members of the parliament. It didn't happen in the past. I mean, if you talk about freedom, they get their freedom now, so to speak.
JB: Governor (Lukas) Enembe, the governor of Papua province, obviously he's an ethnic Papuan. One of the things he's really worried about is transmigration, and it's something that we hear concerns about from a lot of Papuans. You know, I understand the formal process of transmigration isn't necessarily in place but there is still a huge influx of people from other parts of the republic and it's changing the fabric of Papuan society, isn't it. And they worry that they're being marginalised, so I guess my question is why does the government allow that to happen?
TY: We cannot stop the Indonesians who live outside of Papua from moving into Papua, because Papua is an integral part of Indonesia. I mean, the Indonesians are free to live and work anywhere they want, and because Papua is part of Indonesia, they can go there. So there is no way government can stop people from moving in. But you know what happens today, it's the other way around. It's the people from outside Papua who are marginalised, they cannot become leaders of the regencies up to the province, there is no way they can do that. And also, some of the jobs are provided for the ethnic Papuans. One of the few occupations and jobs that the people outside Papua can do are purely on business level, so they become merchants, they become traders.
JB: But the migrants seem to dominate business in Papua, don't they?
TY: Well, business is something new for Papua people, so they need to learn. This is a kind of transfer of knowledge from the migrants to the ethnic Papuans. They need to learn that from the migrants. And I think sooner rather than later most of the ethnic Papuan people will become businessmen too. So this is the beauty of inviting migrants to live, to work, because at the same time they transfer their knowledge and skill to the local people.
JB: But it is an area of concern for them. So too is of course the self-determination issue. Would you agree that the process by which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia remains a sore point for Papuans? It's behind their calls for a referendum essentially, isn't it?
TY: Well, this is the kind of notion which was forced by those who want freedom for Papua. But the people themselves, the majority of people living in those two provinces, again I'm telling you, they're happy with Indonesia. So the issue does no longer exist, except by those who have an agenda for... Free Papua Movement as such. we don't see any issue any more in regards to the Pepera, or Act of Free Choice. Everything was done properly, everything was done and conducted under the supervisions. Nothing was unclear when the Act of Free Choice (1969) was exercised. And why it was done in such a way, not one man one vote, (is) because those days it was not possible to make each and every one to use his or her constitutional voice to get the vote. And the system, I think, due to the terrains and due to the geographical location is also taking place in other parts of the world. The result of the Pepera was then brought to the UN General Assembly and it was approved. During the General Assembly of the United Nations, none of the members of the United Nations said no to the process that was happening in the Pepera.
JB: If there was enough of a groundswell for a referendum, isn't that democracy, to give people a voice about how they want their political status to be?
TY: Johnny, why should we talk about referendum? If you know the result of the last presidential elections, over sixty percent of the Papuan people voted for Jokowi (Indonesian president Joko Widodo). It means that he wants Jokowi to become the president and preside for the people of Papua. If you talk about a referendum, you're talking about yourselves. If it comes from your people, then probably it can be accepted by the government. But here the voice of referendum is not coming from the Papuans. They are Papuans who live abroad and they are no longer Indonesians.
Jayapura, Jubi – Lanny Jaya Regency is still lacking of general medical practitioners and specialists, especially dentists. This was said by Head of Lanny Jaya District Health Office Mecky Yigibalom to reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday (May 31).
“In Lanny Jaya, in particular, we are still lacking lot of dentists, there is only one doctor and only duty in the district capital, whereas ideally every Puskesmas should have one dentist,” he said.
In addition, he said, there is no general medical practitioner in some health centers located in the area he governs, there are only health workers such as nurses and midwives, and even then are very limited.
“There is only one Puskesmas which has two to five health workers,” he said.
For that Yigibalom hopes Provincial Health Office of Papua can see the problems experienced in his region. Related to the shortage of specialist and general doctors and also the lack of human resources, he has reported it to the Team Unit of Papua Health Development Acceleration (UP2KP).
Earlier, Papua Head Office of Provincial Health, Alysius Giyai said that now the Provincial Health Office of Papua encourages the formation of mobile medical teams in each district and city in the province.
International Coalition for West Papua, based on information from multiple local media outlets, has reported the deaths of 37 villagers between 1st January and 25th April 2017 in the Awena District of Lanny Jaya Regency, Papua Province.
The alleged reason for the deaths was an epidemic diarrhea outbreak in the villages Tinggira, Nambume, Eyumi, Uragabur, Yugimia and Indawa. At least four villagers had to be hospitalized in Tiom General Hospital, where they received medical treatment.
According to the secretary of Lanny Jaya health department Mrs Dolly Kogoya, the diarrhea epidemic occurred because the villagers had consumed water from a water reservoir which was contaminated with human and domestic animal excrements. The water had not been cooked prior to consumption.
The Lanny Jaya health department has responded by distributing pans to boil water and deploying two doctors and five nurses to the affected areas where they should provide medical treatment in the affected villages. However, responsible government institutions had not taken notice of the epidemic outbreak until April 2017.
During previous years similar incidents have repeatedly happened in other remote highland regencies of Papua Province. Insufficient equipment in rural health care institutions and a lack of adequate health monitoring and response mechanisms remained strikingly evident.
These shortcomings were highlighted when a pertussis epidemic broke out in the remote highland regency of Nduga, killing at least 51 children and three adults within a span of three months in late 2015. Malnutrition enabled the rapid spread of the epidemic.(*)
Jayapura, Jubi – Human Resource (HR) Survey Team for Health Development Unit of Papua (UP2KP) who came to Tolikara District some time ago said that health service in the region is very disappointing. In fact, the Chief Medical Officer was never in the duty.
This was said by the Chairman of the Human Resource Health Survey Team in Tolikara District, Kamilius Logo, who told reporters in Jayapura on May 30.
“The conditions that we found in the field were head of the department and his staff never in office, therefore we asked the local government to go down to conduct direct monitoring,” he said.
Kamilius Logo added, with the absence of the Head of Health Office in duty, basic services in every Health Centre (Puskesman) have been constrained and not running properly.
“We also found some heads of Puskesmas who came to the DHO office to claim their rights for not been paid for a year or so, this kind of problem will result in disruption of basic services in Puskesmas,” he said.
Head of Anawi Puskesmas, Anawi, Tolikara District Yoel Enembere when confirmed from Jayapura claimed to only see the Head of Health Service when inaugurated.
“I only see him when he was sworn in as Chief Medical Officer, the rest of this year he was never seen in the office,” he said.(*)
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe says everyone has the right to run for governor and governor deputy, as long as he is a Papuan indigenous. Nevertheless, he reminded all to keep using political “healthy” ways.
“We are entering the elections season, where various political parties will open registration for candidates, such as PDIP recently. So, everyone has the right to run,” Lukas Enembe told reporters in Jayapura few dasya ago.
For his candidacy, he added, it is clear that Democratic Party will support. But he invited and even opens himself if there are other parties who want to join.
“If any of other parties want to join, please do. Yesterday there are those who are willing to go forward for candidacy,but we do not know yet and also it is the right of citizens, it is everyone’s right to be a governor,” he said.
Enembe also explained that his relationship with the Vice Governor of Klemen Tinal went so well that if the Golkar Party joined the Democrats, they would continue into the second period.
“We are just waiting for the survey results from Golkar and Democrats, which we will then teams up to count, and possibly from June to August all this political parties process are over,” Enembe said.
Besides all that, Governor Lukas Enembe asked for the stability in Papua security. To that end, he again told the parties who want to run for governor and vice governor to do it in a dignified way. “Please do it in a more dignified way. Do not interfere that can be utilized by the one that have no rights, “said Enembe.
He added that since Papua has Special Autonomy status, the governor’s institution should not be disturbed by anyone.
“Do not disturb the governor’s institution, it belongs to the indigenous Papuans, while other institutions such the House of Representatives, Vice Regent may be immigrants, but the governor institution must be filled with Papuan, so no groups’ sould interfere or intervene,” he said.(*)