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Freeport is secretly producing uranium

Via Tapol

News items from Bintang Papua, abridged in translation

Bintang Papua 13 July, 2010

Freeport is secretly producing uranium

Jayapura: Shocking news has been received about Freeport-Indonesia, namely that this company which operates one of the largest copper mines in the world has for the past eight months been secretly producing and exporting the most sought after mineral, uranium, which is the basic requirement for nuclear reactors and for the production of nuclear weapons.

This is in breach of its contract of work, which covers the mining of copper, whereas the mining of other minerals such as the mining of gold, coal and non-petroleum products was made public during the 1990s.

'This is clearly a case of theft because the mining of uranium is not mentioned in the contract of work,' Yan Mandenas, chairman of the Pikiran Rakyat group in the Papuan provincial legislative council, DPRP. told Bintang Papua.

'We are closely following the mining of uranium with the help of informants within the Freeport company as well as in the district administration, and from NGOs and the general public,' said Mandenas.

Mandenas said that since Freeport is located within the territory of the province of Papua, the government of West Papua and the DPRP cannot take any action against this massive company.

'It is very difficult for us to enter the area because of the highly complex bureaucracy, while the products are transported through pipes.' Nevertheless, the DPRP is using all resources as its disposal to keep an eye on the company.

It should be recalled that the conflict between Iran and America which is now before the UN Security Council is focused on Iran's possession of uranium. As is known there are two functions for uranium, one for peaceful purposes and one for the production of nuclear bombs.

Attempts to contact the manager for corporate communications of Freeport, Budiman Moerdijat were not successful.

Central Govt suspects the Papuan people are being provoked

Minister-Coordinator for Politics, Law and Security, Djoko Suyanto said that the demand being made by the Papuan people for a referendum will be evaluated by the DPRP. 'There are eleven points of aspiration which will be evaluated by the DPRP to see which of the points can be accepted.

According to the minister, the Papuan people are only calling for better living conditions. He denied that communications between the central government and the authorities in Papua are not running smoothly.The central government has held two meetings with the MRP and the DPRP, which were held at the Kartini Centre and at the Ministry for Politics, Law and Security in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Human Rights and Law, Patrialis Akbar, said he is aware of the fact that efforts are being made by certain elements who are trying to provoke the Papuan people into seceding from Indonesia. He insisted that the Papuan people are the kith and kin of the Indonesian nation. When asked why they were calling for a referendum, he said that this was probably connected with the question of welfare. 'That is what they are demanding,' he said.

The DPRP responded to the demands of the Papuan people by setting up a drafting team to deal with the failings of the Special Autonomy Law for the past eight years. It was this team that gave birth to the demand for a referendum after the DPRP met a number of groups of Papuan people at the DPRP office on 11 July.

The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, Ruben Magai told journalists that the demand for a referendum made by the MRP and the demand for self-determination cannot be handled by the DPRP.

However, the meeting resulted in a decision to closely study the failings of OTSUS in Papua and it was agreed that this would be followed up in three weeks time.

'We only focused on the failings of OTSUS and did not discuss the other points,' said Ruben. 'The results of the evaluation will be submitted to the central government for further action,' he went on.

Responding to the impression that the DPRP had been evading the mass action that took place on 8 July, Ruben denied that he had been evading anything but it so happens that at that time, he had been summoned to meet the President. 'I insist that I was not evading anything, but that I had been summoned by the president.' However, because the president's programme was very tight, they had met the Coordinating Minister instead to discuss the latest developments in Papua.

He said that back in 2005, OTSUS had been handed back by the Papuan people but there had been no evaluation, as a result of which the demand for a referendum or independence had emerged.

In order to ensure that OTSUS meets with the hopes of the people, the system of governance in Papua needs to be overhauled because it is now governed by two laws, both of which are recognised nationally, the 2001 law and Law 32/ 2004 used by the provincial government, which has resulted in dualism in Papua.

'We as members of the DPRP cannot force the central government to adopt certain decisions because that is within its authority. The DPRP can only function as the extension of the voice of the Papuan people. What is needed is for the systemof government to be overhauled,' he said.

ENDS

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