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Summary of events in West Papua for March

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Summary of events in West Papua for March

The 2nd April was an International day of action to free West Papuan political prisoners. At a rally organized by TAPOL, Survival International and Amnesty International outside the Indonesian Embassy in London, at least 100 protesters called for the immediate release of 76 political prisoners in West Papua. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/04/03/intl-protesters-demand-democratic-rights-papuan-prisoners.html Rallies also took place in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. In a RNZI report, Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty, said the New Zealand government must do more to free the prisoners."The very least New Zealand could do is call on Indonesia to set these prisoners free, they are not criminals, they are political prisoners who should be set free, and New Zealand should stop funding the training programme for the police in West Papua instead of which, where they should be calling on Indonesia to stop the human rights abuses" http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/region-international-day-action-free-west-papuan-prisoners-8538 AWPA letter to Indonesian President at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/media-release-free-all-west-papuan.html
In West Papua the security forces crackdown on a peaceful rally called by students from various colleges in Jayapura. The students were calling for the release of the 76 Papuan Prisoners in a prison in West Papua. The police forcibly dispersed the students firing a number of shots and arresting two. In a report in Jubi the students said they were beaten before they were released. “We were beaten like animals. Our bodies were covered with blood. The Police doctor visited us at midnight to clean us and examine the wounds.” A google translate of an Elshan report on the arrests at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/police-catch-hold-and-torturing-two.html

Two urgent actions were released which people can respond to. On the 2 April The Asian Human Rights Commission released a u/a concerning the assault on three Papuans by Police officers in Nabire. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the attack by members of the Mobile Brigade of the Nabire District Police on three Papuans in Nabire. The Papuans were attacked following a petty dispute between them and the officers at Kalibobo futsal pitch. One of the Papuans was stabbed in his back with a bayonet whereas two others were taken to the police station. One of them was stabbed with a bayonet in his left eyebrow. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-047-2014

On the 26 March AI released a u/a concerning seven Papuan activists imprisoned Sorong. Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of seven Papuan activists in Sorong district, West Papua province in Indonesia, imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/008/2014/en

The Region
The newly appointed Vanuatu Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Odo Tevi, has vowed that he will continue to pursue the issues of West Papua and the human rights, Matthew and Hunter Islands, the climate change and other Vanuatu agenda with the UN once he takes up his position in New York. http://www.dailypost.vu/content/tevi-i-will-give-un-no-rest
Vanuatu also marked the 26th anniversary of the signing of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Cooperation Agreement. In his keynote address to mark the March 14th date, Prime Minister Moana Carcasses quoted the country's first Prime Minister, the late Father Walter Lini, who said Vanuatu is still not free if all Melanesia is not free. Mr Carcasses quoted Father Lini on the very spot where the founding Fathers of MSG signed the MSG Cooperation Agreement 26 years ago. He reminded the MSG that it is their duty to stand together to support the decolonization processes for self-determination for New Caledonia, West Papua as well as Tahiti until all of them are free of colonial rule. (RNZI)

The Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae says said the church has remained silent for too long and therefore played a part in the victimisation of Papuans. He was speaking at the launch of the single Rise Morning Star - Freedom for West Papua by well known Fijian musician Seru Serevi. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/pacific-churches-asked-to-speak-about-papua/1276876 An Indonesian delegation which included a number of Papuans visited Fiji early in March. The Papuan members of the delegation gave a public lecture at the University on the Special Autonomy in Papua and were questioned vigorously by the students.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says any self-determination efforts in Indonesia's Papua region must be made in conjunction with Jakarta. Gordon Darcy Lilo and other leaders in the Melanesian Spearhead Group are considering a bid for membership by the indigenous Melanesians of Papua region. Mr Lilo, who says Jakarta has taken heed of his call for an end to abuses by security forces in Papua, describes Indonesia's legitimacy over the region as unquestionable. He says the choice by West Papuans to join Indonesia was made with the 1969 Act of Free Choice, although the referendum is widely regarded as having been stage-managed. "They've done that. And it was done under the auspices of the United Nations. We need to respect that process. We need to work within that legitimate authority that they've made a decision on and make a point where we can find a way for that legitimate authority to make a decision whether or not the choice of autonomy or the choice of an independent autonomy will be the path that both parties will agree to put an agenda on to work towards into the future." Gordon Darcy Lilo (RNZI21 March 2014)


Shootings/Incidents
A joint police and military patrol killed a suspected separatist and arrested four others on the 15 March in Puncak Jaya. The military and police were on a joint patrol heading to Kota Mulia when the officers encountered a group of armed men who started shooting at the patrol. One of the men was wounded in the encounter and died en route to a local hospital Two of four arrested had also been injured but had received treatment at hospital. The Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe said the attack on the security patrol was purely criminal. “They are not fighting for independence. This group’s action is purely criminal,” In a report in Jubi the governor said that The Yambi group has always engaged in extortion and all that stuf

An army soldier and a police officer were injured in a clash with an armed group on the PNG border on the 5 April in the Skouw-Wutung area. Approximately 40 people were involved in the incident at the border post. The group blocked the road and lowered the Indonesian flag and raised the West Papuan and UN flags. They also lighted a fire. The firefight continued for sometime and according to a local resident it was Mathias Wenda’s group involved in the incident. The group eventually fled across the border into PNG. Cendrawasih District Military Command (Kodam) chief Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua said during a visit to Skouw-Wutung on Sunday that the border crossing has been temporarily closed. Aside from maintaining security ahead of the legislative election and on Election Day itself, the closure is also aimed at securing the area after a shoot-out between security officers and armed civilians,”

News in Brief
Scholar says Papuans should lead local response to HIV/AIDS
RNZI Updated at 4:44 pm on 3 April 2014 An Australian researcher says NGOs led by indigenous Papuans should play a bigger role in the response to HIV/AIDS in the Indonesian province. Jenny Munro is a cultural anthropologist at the Australian National University, and been involved in recent studies on HIV/AIDS in West Papua. She says government studies have shown HIV affects about 2.5 percent of the indigenous population, although some scholars believe it could be much worse. That compares to about 1.8 percent of the migrant Indonesian population.Ms Munro says one of the factors is that most Papuans tend to live in rural areas. "There really are very limited HIV information and testing and treatment services outside major cities, another big issue is that sort of the Indonesian perspective and international models often put forward by donors are still setting the agenda so to speak." Jenny Munro says Papuan NGOs have the community links and cultural expertise to deliver more effective prevention and treatment programmes.


Buchtar Tabuni asks for protection from international community
Jayapura, (23/3) Jubi – Buchtar Tabuni, who is on a Papua police wanted list, asked the international community to provide protection and security for him in accordance with the international humanitarian law. “Buchtar Tabuni sent this message from his hiding place. He needs international advocacy because he has become the most wanted person by the Police and Indonesian Military for leading a peaceful demonstration to declare a referendum for West Papua. He has been hiding in the jungle of Papua for five months” Victor Yeimo told to Jubi on Sunday (23/3) via a text message. Yeimo who is a political prisoner in Abepura Prison said Tabuni has moved from from one place to another while on the run and had difficulties in getting food and medicines. After the peaceful demonstration on 26 November 2013 that led to clashes between the National Committee for West Papua with security forces, the Police Chief of Jayapura City, the Adjunct Commissionaire Senior Alfred Papare asked Tabuni as the person in charge to come to the Police Office to provide information. “We ask Buchtar Tabuni to come to the Papua Police in order to provide information related to the protest,” Papare said at that time. One week later police put him on the wanted list for ignoring the summons. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/rom) (Jubi 24 March)

Gold mine in Digeuwo practice high prostitution, parliament member says
Jubi March 29, 2014
Jayapura, 28/3 ( Jubi ) – Member of Papua Legislative Council, Charles Simaremare is concerned about the adverse effects of mining in Degeuwo people, Paniai Regency, Papua since the practice of prostitution in the gold mining region is quite high. ” Moreover, the circulation and consumption of alcoholic beverages in that location can be harmful such as the transmission of HIV / AIDS. We only take small aircraft because the region is isolated,” Simare- mare said on Friday (28/3). The communities who live in the area confirmed that gold mining existence has been improving the economy of local residents. “Yes, people told me that their economic condition is increasing although the goods prices are more expensive. The location was in the middle of the forest yet there is electricity and telephone networks, ” he said. He further said that the livelihoods of local communities is a traditional mining by perforating the mountains to search gold” Why the government is not monitoring it, if it is ignored, the spread of HIV / AIDS will be increasing rapidly, ” he said. Previously, secretary of the Department of Mines and Energy of Papua province Fred Boray, said Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe has instructed Degeuwo gold mine to shutdown because it does not benefit local community. ” At this location, there is rampant prostitution used for exchange payment with gold. Actually, the region must be interfered because until now there are over 10 thousands miners, ” he said. He added mostly all gold mines do not have a license while the gold continued to be dredged. “The government must handle it seriously because it is governor’s instruction, ” he said. ( Jubi / Arjuna/ Tina) http://tabloidjubi.com/en/?p=1828


SICK YAHUKIMO RESIDENTS UNTREATED DUE TO HEALTH WORKERS SHORTAGE
Jayapura, 20/3 (Jubi) – Because of a shortage of health workers in Walma district in Yahukimo, many sick people have been left untreated and died, said a local student. Urbanus Iksomon, a student from Yahukimo told reporters in Jayapura Thursday (20/3) he and other students conducted a survey for four months there and found that many nurses and doctors avoided work and preferred to live in Wamena and Jayapura. “The Department of Health should monitor all the nurses and doctors who do not work well and refuse to treat sick patients, while they still get paid,” Iksomon said. As a result, some people who were sick died without getting medical treatment, he said. He said in some villages, there was no single health worker. As many as 51 district heads hardly showed up for work and failed to take an action on public complaints about issues such as education, health and infrastructure, the student said. Dr Raflus Doranggi, member of Aids Control Commission in Jayapura, said the maternal and child health condition in Papua is very alarming. “The health issue in Papua is not only at the technical level but a lack of an effective regulatory framework by the legislature,” Raflus told tabloidjubi.com. (Jubi / Aprila/ Tina)


Crops damaged, Sabonm People face starvation.
Merauke, 10/3 ( Jubi ) – Residents of Sabon village in Merauke regency are facing a possible famine after their tuber and banana crops were damaged by seawater. Sabon village head Petrus Buniawi said seawater entered villagers’ farms at a height of approximately one meter. “The houses are safe because they are generally stilt houses,”he told tabloidjubi.com at Pangkat hall in Kelapa Lima, Merauke, Papua on Monday (10/3) . However, Buniawi said, crops such as tubers, vegetables and bananas which were ready for harvest were destroyed. “Frankly, the people just let it go and are not able to do much. We hope that the government can help us,” Buniawi said. A member of the Merauke Representatives Council, Dominikus Ulukyanan such the incident in Sabon happened almost every year and the government must come up with the right solution to prevent similar disasters in the future. Merauke regent, Romanus Mbaraka said the government has distributed aid including 60 tons of rice and other basic necessities to Waan district for the last few weeks. “I have received the report and instructed officials to deliver assistance so the people can have their daily meals” said Romanus. ( Jubi / Frans L Kobun/ Tina ) (Jubi 11 March)


Benny Wenda has called for a boycott of the Indonesian election. Benny’s statement at http://freewestpapua.org/2014/03/16/benny-wendas-statement-on-boycotting-the-indoensian-elections/ Victor Yeimo of the KNPB also urged the people of Papua from Sorong to Merauke not to vote in legislative elections (Pileg) and presidential elections (presidential) in 2014. " I say to all members of KNPB wherever you are and all over West Papuan civilians to boycott the colonial Indonesia, " said Victor to majalahaselangkah.com, Sunday ( 06 / 04 ) " Because the fate of the nation of Papua will be determined through a referendum later. KNPB This is an official stance, " he explained.

Transmigration program no longer implemented in Papua
Jayapura, 1/3 ( Jubi ) – The Department of Labor and Demography in Papua province said that there will be no transmigration program in Indonesia ‘s easternmost region. ” The other provincial governments in Indonesia still consider implementing the transmigration program, but not for the Province of Papua,” department head Yan Piet Rawar said in Jayapura on Thursday (3/4) . To control the population in Papua, the provincial government already has a provincial regulation (Perdasi) No. 11 of 2013. “The population of Papua should reach 20 million before a new transmigration program can be implemented, ” he explained. When asked about the impact of the influx of people from outside Papua, he acknowledged the number increased every year but was under control.“We’ve socialized Perdasi No. 11 of 2013 to the regencies and cities in Papua as people from outside who came to Papua is growing each year. One of the reasons is employment opportunities, ” he said. He hopes that this regulation can be implemented well if there is cooperation and coordination between the regencies and cities in Papua. ” Yes, the people who enter Papua can not be easily recorded and hopefully the implementation of e-ID card can collect accurate population data, ” he said. While, the Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe said, currently Papuans do not need new provinces but more welfare in all sectors.“So far, about 60 percent of Papuans are not ready for new provinces. If we force the split, it will create new problems,” said Luke. ( Jubi / Alex/ Tina) (Jubi 4 April)

Papuans welcome Jokowi
Sita W Dewi and Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Sat, April 05 2014
Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is spending the last weekend of the open campaign period visiting the easternmost island of Papua, showing his commitment to native Papuans. The Jakarta governor first stopped in Sorong, West Papua, to refuel his chartered airplane and visited a traditional market in the city. He later continued onto Jayapura, Papua, and went straight to Youtefa market in Abepura to meet with the locals. As usual, Jokowi was welcomed like a celebrity. “I saw it with my very own eyes, Jokowi is willing to meet with the people at traditional markets, unlike any other president. Papuans want him,” Linda Sanyi, a local resident, said. Another native Papuan shared the sentiment. “I want him to become president. He goes to traditional markets so he understands people like us,” Berlin Wadi, a vendor, said. Jokowi, who was heavily guarded by dozens of police, took his time talking to the vendors and also brought home vegetables and smoked fish. He later spoke before thousands of PDI-P supporters at the PTC field. “No presidential candidate has come here before, but I did, because the sun rises in the east, in Papua,” said Jokowi, to a cheering audience. He also promised Papuans that he would make Papua his priority once he was elected president. “I understand that Papua’s problems should be solved with heart, with real work. I’m not going to promise you too many things, but Papua’s resources should be used for Papuans’ own well-being,” Jokowi said. He also expressed his optimism that the PDI-P would seize a landslide victory in Papua.

Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.
Editorial: What Papua Needs Is More Transparency
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/editorial-papua-needs-transparency/

Papua’s Endless Cycle of Strife And Poverty
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/papuas-endless-cycle-strife-poverty/

Is a UN resolution on Papua impossible?
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/21/is-a-un-resolution-papua-impossible.html

Who stands for Papua?
http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/03/27/who-stands-for-papua/

Bemused Spectators and Political Animals at the Tolikara Trough
http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/04/04/bemused-spectators-and-political-animals-at-the-tolikara-trough/

Conflict in Indonesia’s Papua Region
http://www.irinnews.org/report/99856/conflict-in-indonesia-s-papua-region

‘Otsus Plus’ for Papua: What’s the point?
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/07/otsus-plus-papua-what-s-point.html


MIFEE during Romanus’s Term of Office: New Permits and Deforestation Threats.

Ends

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