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Bishops want West Papuans to join inter-governmental body

August 27, 2016

Bishops want West Papuans to join inter-governmental body
August 26, 2016

Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic bishops from the Pacific region have voiced their support for the West Papuan people’s desire to participate in the inter-governmental Melanesian Spearhead Group.

"[The West Papuans] seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations and good neighborly relations," said the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania in a statement.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is made up of Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia.

Indonesia was recognized as an associate member of the MSG last year but West Papua’s independence movement has not been allowed to join the group. They have been granted observer status.

"Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group," said the bishops.

"Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians. For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding," they said.

Dignity for West Papuans was a focus issue for the executive committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands at meeting in Port Moresby this week meeting.Conferences of Oceania say West Papuans should be a part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group

Bishops in Pacific region declare support for West Papua

August 24, 2016

Bishops in Pacific region declare support for West Papua
August 24, 2016

Support: Port Moresby Archbishop John Ribat, Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long, Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin, Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan, Noumea Archbishop Michel Calvet and Port Vila Bishop John Bosco.

CATHOLIC bishops from across the Pacific region have declared support for West Papua to have a greater international voice.
Dignity for West Papuans was a focus issue for the executive committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands meeting in Port Moresby.
Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin and Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long represented Australia.
“They (West Papuans) seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations, and good neighbourly relations,” the Catholic bishops said in a statement.
“Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.”
The Melanesian Spearhead Group is an inter-governmental organisation composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia.
Last year, Indonesia was recognised as an associate member, however West Papua’s independence movement has so far failed to be admitted to the group.
“… Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians,” the bishops said.
“For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding.”
The bishops have also spoken out about the treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.
“Callousness can never be the proper response to human tragedy,” the bishops said.
“We applaud PNG’s Supreme Court’s decision that the Manus Island detention centre is unconstitutional and illegal and we trust the Australian and other authorities will act swiftly in implementing a humane plan of rehabilitation for the detainees.”

2) Catholic bishops support for West Papuan people
Catholic bishops support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, is currently in Papua New Guinea for the Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania.

Statement released by the federation on 22 August 2016

The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, PNG/SI, CEPAC) is meeting in Port Moresby. We come from a multitude of island nation states spread throughout the Pacific.

We are delighted to be here in PNG and have enjoyed greatly the wonderful hospitality of this vibrant nation. It was an honour for us to meet with the Hon Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, and we all offered him congratulations and encouragement on the development of this city and his commitment to justice, integrity and service in civic leadership.

Though we come from diverse cultures and regions, as pastors and shepherds our hearts are united in the desire to seek what is best for the human family and the common good of any society. Indeed, following the example of Pope Francis, our faith ,prompts us to see the world not as a global market but as a universal home.

Last year we urged governments and businesses to support the Paris COP21 initiative addressing issues of climate change and sustainable development. We are. therefore. heartened to see that the PNG Government has recently passed a bill agreeing to implement the strategies of that initiative.

Responsible use of the environment and resources is a duty and task for everyone. The Clean Generation Campaign which we have come to know about here in PNG is an inspiring example of local initiative among the young. Also we have learned of those working to support coastal communities who wish to raise their voice against Seabed Mining. Far from being “anti-development” such communities wish to pursue sustainable development, including family friendly tourism, fisheries and agriculture. What kind of trade agreements permit foreign companies to engage in practices and processes which in their own country are illegal? The sea is a treasure for all and should never become a “playground of exploitation”.

A particular focus of our current gathering is the people of West Papua. They seek what every family and culture seeks: respect of personal and communal dignity, free expression of one’s aspirations, and good neighbourly relations. Political boundaries can never contain or control ethnic relationships and so we urge governments to support the West Papuan people’s desire to participate fully in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Therefore, we wish to support the 2003 joint interfaith declaration ‘Papua Land of Peace’. Blocked participation in MSG is a wound in the side of all Melanesians. For West Papuans, the MSG is a natural place of collaboration and a potential source of deeper regional understanding. In that regard we wish also to acknowledge the assistance of Indonesian authorities in making possible a recent visit of PNG and Solomon Islands bishops to Jayapura in order to meet with their brother bishops in West Papua. Such visits are always for the cause of peace.

Finally, we once again echo the international outcry at what is happening to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. Callousness can never be the proper response to human tragedy. We applaud PNG’s Supreme Court’s decision that the Manus Island detention centre is unconstitutional and illegal and we trust the Australian and other authorities will act swiftly in implementing a humane plan of rehabilitation for the detainees.

Papuan self-determination fighters deny vandalism allegation

August 16, 2016

2016_08_16_9845_1471324355._large.jpg Papuan self-determination fighters deny vandalism allegation
National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), an organization campaigning for the right to self-determination for the people of Papua and West Papua provinces, denied allegations by Papua Police that supporters rallying on Monday had committed vandalism.

Papuan self-determination fighters deny vandalism allegation

Nether Dharma Somba and Evi Mariani The Jakarta Post
Jayapura/Jakarta | Tue, August 16 2016 | 01:26 pm

National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) activists and supporters stage a rally in Lingkaran Abepura, Jayapura, Papua, on Monday. The rally was organized to mark the signing of the New York Agreement on Aug. 15, 1962, which decided that Papua would join the Republic of Indonesia. The KNPB has campaigned for self-determination and says the New York Agreement was not made by Papuans.(The Jakarta Post/Nethy Dharma Somba)

National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), an organization campaigning for the right to self-determination for the people of Papua and West Papua provinces, denied allegations by Papua Police that supporters rallying on Monday had committed vandalism.

KNPB head Victor Yeimo told The Jakarta Post Monday evening that the KNPB believed in fighting without violence.

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said Monday they arrested two people during the KNPB rally in Jayapura.

“Both were arrested because they committed [violence], blocking the streets with wood, burning tires in the middle of the streets and damaging street vendors’ goods,” said Waterpauw.

The police reported KNPB staged a rally, marching 15 kilometers from Perumnas Tiga to the Papuan Council. Security apparatuses blocked them and Waterpauw said when the police blocked them, rally participants started throwing rocks at the police, burned tires and blocked the streets.

“They have staged rallies that disturbed public order several times,” Waterpauw said.

KNPB supporters staged a rally to mark the New York Agreement signed on Aug. 15, 1962, which decided that Papua would join the Republic of Indonesia. They said the agreement was made not by Papuans themselves.

Veronica Koman, a Jakarta lawyer from Papua Itu Kita, a solidarity movement for Papuans, said the KNPB had denied that the two people arrested were among their supporters. She said she had received reports from her Papuan contacts that about 100 KNPB supporters were rounded up in a police truck in Jayapura. They were subjected to police violence on the truck and later released.

Victor accused the police of violence. “They shot at us in Waena [Jayapura],” he said. Victor said five people were injured by rubber bullets.

Waterpauw said the police had to fire warning shots into the air during the rallies.

’There’s genocide in our neighbourhood’

Last updated 13:30 15/08/2016

New Zealanders take lot of pride in their national culture. And rightly so.

New Zealand is one of the few settler cultures lucky enough to have tangata whenua establish a treaty with it based on mutuality, reciprocity and respect. It’s a culture based on a strong sense of equality and "fair go", one that values humility and has that ethos of looking out for your neighbour.

But that doesn’t mean NZ always lives up to these values.

Just look at the ongoing Crown betrayals of te Tiriti, the endemic male violence, the deepening poverty and inequality and the Government’s inertia against grave crises we face today such as homelessness, housing, and runaway climate change.

But these values are a strong part of our history. They’re core to our culture.

The cultural history of strong women leaders and of being the first to give women the vote. Of young Pacific and pakeha people standing up against the dawn raids in the 1970s and 80s, against nuclear testing, and against apartheid in South Africa. Of leading the world in creating a welfare state that looked after the most vulnerable in society. And of political leaders in international arenas standing up for human rights.

* Pacific forum not perfect but better than not meeting at all – John Key
* John Key front page news in Papua New Guinea
* Looking for our real place in the South Pacific

But despite all this, NZ is largely silent about the crisis of West Papua.

Most politicians don’t mention it. Most mainstream media doesn’t talk about it. Most Kiwis don’t know about it. Yet it’s probably the greatest human rights atrocity in our region.

West Papua’s on the western side of New Guinea, bordering Papua New Guinea. Its indigenous people aren’t Asians, they’re Melanesians – just like their cousins in PNG and just like me. However, they’re not independent like PNG. They were once occupied by the Dutch and for the last 54 years they’ve been occupied by Indonesia.

West Papuans have always wanted independence, but when the Dutch pulled out Indonesia saw a chance to occupy West Papua to grab all the mineral wealth and natural resources it has. And it’s got a lot: gold, copper, tin – you name it. It’s so rich I call it “The Africa of the South Pacific”. So, when the Dutch finally pulled out, Indonesia – backed by the United States – saw its chance to invade West Papua in 1961, annexing it by force. And it’s been occupying West Papua ever since.

West Papuans have lost most of their land and seen more than 500,000 people killed. Women have been routinely abused and raped. People’s houses are burnt by militias and land is being poisoned, stripped and destroyed by extractive mining and industrial agriculture with entire villages being displaced.

They’re being reduced to a minority population in their own land through Indonesian trans-migration. And they’re being routinely killed, thrown in jail, tortured and abused just for speaking out, resisting the occupation, and fighting for their independence. They can’t fly their independence flag and they can’t talk about independence for fear of reprisal.

I believe all these developments meet the definition of genocide. There is genocide going on next door. That alone should be enough for Kiwis to be concerned.

But there’s another reason. One we ignore at our peril.

NZ’s silence about West Papua isn’t just about how we’re privileging our economic relationship with Indonesia over the human and indigenous rights of West Papuans (NZ exports some $800 million to Indonesia every year and that figure’s expected to grow).

There’s a deeper moral issue here too as there’s an inseparable connection between how we deal with issues overseas and how we deal with issues in NZ.

If we tolerate injustice abroad, we’ll inevitably also undermine our own capacity to deal with injustice at home. It goes the other way too: if we tolerate injustices here, we’ll have less capacity to speak out against them over there.

That’s how the moral universe works: As outside, so inside.

* Pacific leaders agree to disagree on climate change at leaders forum
* Key says human rights abuses in West Papua for Indonesia to address
* Indonesia’s history of brutality

Firstly, this means NZ’s silence over the genocide in West Papua is not unrelated to our collective inability to confront the ongoing realities of colonisation that Maori still experience here.

Secondly, if we don’t speak out about West Papua, one way or another it’ll undermine our ability to address the deepening social and ecological problems here.

These are problems like the corporate capture of mainstream media, increasing subordination of civil service to ministerial control, and the undermining of statutory bodies’ independence through threats of defunding.

The destruction of privacy through mass surveillance, passing a whole suite of acts post-9/11 that undermine the independence of the judiciary and breach the Bill of Rights, the long-standing corporate assault against unions, and the commodification of art and culture.

All of these are undermining the bulwarks of democracy in this country. All of which stem from the contradictions of colonisation here.

So speaking out about West Papua isn’t just an obligation we have to look out for our neighbours. It’s also a chance to save ourselves, save NZ’s liberal democracy, and to honour te Tiriti, which means to actually live up to those values that so many Kiwis hold dear.

* Pala Molisa is an accounting lecturer at Victoria University whose research focuses on how social practices such as accounting help to create the conditions for human rights atrocities and ecological crises. He is also a member of the Run It Straight Collective, which has released the short film, Run It Straight, on the crisis in West Papua.

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AUGUST 15, 2016 1:57PM EDT Dispatches

3) Indonesia President Jokowi’s Moment to Defy Impunity

Independence Day Speeches Need Clear Signal on Human Rights

Phelim Kine

Deputy Director, Asia Division

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has an opportunity this week to outline clear, unequivocal policies in support of human rights in his highly anticipated Independence Day speeches.

Jokowi will address the national parliament on Tuesday and follow up with an address at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, August 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day. The speeches come at a time when an unambiguous signal from the government in support of universal human rights and freedoms is sorely needed.

Jokowi should use the speeches to express his support for the rights of Indonesia’s increasingly beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, which has come under unprecedented attack in recent months from a government-led campaign. Jokowi has maintained silence amid a torrent of abuse that has included hateful rhetoric, discriminatory edicts, and the police use of unnecessary force against peaceful protesters. Last week, presidential spokesman Johan Budi responded to a Human Rights Watch report on these abuses by stating that there was “no room” for LGBT rights activism in Indonesia. Jokowi’s speeches should reject this discriminatory rhetoric and make clear that he will defend the rights of all Indonesians, including LGBT people.

Jokowi also needs to reaffirm that an official accountability process for past gross human rights abuses remains an important government priority. Those abuses included the government-orchestrated massacres of 1965-66 that resulted in up to one million deaths, and violations by government security forces in the restive provinces of Papua and West Papua. Jokowi had assigned his security minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, to oversee that process. But Jokowi’s move last month to replace Pandjaitan with former general Wiranto, who was indicted for crimes against humanity by a United Nations-sponsored tribunal, has fueled doubts about his government’s commitment to the accountability process.

Jokowi should demonstrate that despite Wiranto’s appointment – a slap in the face to Indonesians seeking accountability for past atrocities in Indonesia – his government remains committed to policies that support rather than undermine the rights of the Indonesian people.


4) I Didn’t Know About Our Ambassador’s Visit to Papua : Sogavare

15 August 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavere said he did not know if his ambassador to Indonesia recently visited Papua.

“Really? I don’t know. But it’s good though. I hope there’s a progress in the settlement of human rights cases,” said Sogavare, who’s also the Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Groups (MSG), told Jubi in Honiara.

In May, ambassador Salana Kalu visited Papua at the invitation of at the time Coordinating Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Luhut Pandjaitan.

The minister also invited Kalu along with the ambassadors of Fiji and Papua New Guinea to meet at his office to discuss the settlement of human rights cases in Papua.

According to the minister, his invitation was to show to the international community that Indonesia is serious about solving human rights cases.

Sogavare said he had sent a letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to discuss human rights issues in Papua but Joko had not yet responded.

“We have sent the letter to Jokowi. At first, it was to propose Indonesia and ULMWP to sit together to discuss about Papua issue in the MSG because now both are the associate member and observer. Secondly, to let me as the Chairman of the MSG to be able to talk with the President Indonesia for addressing the Papua issue together. But we don’t have any response so far,” said Sogavare. (*/rom)

5) Tough Ostenrik : Papua Has Been Colonised by Java
15 August 20-16

Jayapura, Jubi – A German-educated painter and sculptor, Teguh Ostenrik, is one of the best Indonesian fine artists. His paintings and sculptures have been bought by many collectors as well as reviewed by art curators from Indonesia and abroad.

But who knows if he had opinion about Papua and Papua indigenous people who occupied the western island of the island that used to known as Nueva Guinea. At his house that also used as studio, located at Cilandak Barat area, there’s a design of his three statues, which currently decorated the St. Yohannes Maria Vianney Church in Cilangkap. One of those statues is Corpus Christi statue, which he admitted to be inspired from Papuan.

“Jesus that I made is Jesus from Papua,” Teguh, who graduated from Fine Arts Hochschule der Kuenste, Berlin, Germany, told Tempo a year ago.

He ignored the typical of Jesus’ face that is common for people at the worldwide in making the statue of Corpus Christi. For him, Jesus shouldn’t necessary have nosed, sharp-chinned, curly hair and straight beard. To fight this idea, he made model from the face of Papuan.

The height of the phenomenal Jesus statue is up to 5.30 meters. The statue is using the basic material consisted of a ton of iron waste.

“It’s a figure of emancipator. Because Papuan has too long been colonialized by Java,” he explained to on last week. He added one of intimidations against Papuans is because of their darker skin. “While Papuans are more polite,” he said.

He also sure that Papuans are more civilized than what have been thought negatively by most of people.

“A football game played by Papuans is the real example,” he said. He explained, in the football game played by Papuans, the score was always the same. He heard this from his friend, a pastor in Papua. “They used to live together in peace. Even playing football they always try to get the equal score,” he said. (*)

6) Six PNG Students Studying at SMAN 3 Jayapura
16 August 2016

Jayapura Jubi – Six high school students from Papua New Guinea are currently studying at SMAN 3 Jayapura.

The school’s principal, Anton Joko Martono, said all arrangements related to visa, school registration and dormitory of the students managed by the Government of Papua New Guinea.

“There are three 10th grade student, two 11th grade student and one 12th grade student who finally registered to study in here,” said Anton on last week. He said the six students are currently learning Bahasa Indonesia, while the Papuan students are attempting to learn English for communication.

“There are benefits enjoyed by both sides. It was reflected from the last two weeks,” he said.

The students from PNG are obliged to pursue the religious, civics and history studies. They are also obliged to learn Bahasa Indonesia.

“To facilitate the communication in the class room, both English and Indonesian teachers would tutor them, our Indonesian teacher also speaks English fluently, so these children would always be accompanied. Even all teachers of other studies also help to teach them the Indonesian,” he explained.

The Head of Jayapura Municipal Education Office I Wayan Mudiasyra said the presence of six students from PNG is the follow up of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia through the Ministry of Education, as well as the MoU between the Papua Provincial Papua and Sandaun Province, PNG.
“I think during the time they don’t have any obstacles, they can also read in Bahasa Indonesia, the point it they can adapt to their friends,” said Mudiasyra to Jubi at Aula Soan Sor.
He said the six students came to study at SMAN 3 because the school has dormitory and use the latest curriculum, namely curriculum 2013.

“At SMAN 3, the teachers of physics, mathematic, English, understand English very well, so the learning process to these students could be delivered in English and Indonesian,” said Mudiasyra. (*/rom)
7) Nine Regencies Marked Red in Health Services
15 August 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Nine of twenty-nine regencies in Papua Province have bad records in health services, Papua’s health chief said.

The regencies are Dogiyai, Deiyai, Yahukimo, Pegunungan Bintang, Nduga, Puncak, Puncak Jaya, Mamberamo Raya and Waropen.

The Head of Papua Head Office Aloysius Giyai said 47 indicators were used to verify whether regencies deserved red, yellow or green marks for health services.

“For example, how to address the new cases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and some other diseases,” he told Jubi at his office on Saturday (13/8/2016).

He said the finding of diseases is an achievement because if more cases were found, it would be easier to administer treatment to prevent them from worsening.

For example, a patient infected of HIV could directly be given the ARV. Another appraisal is how many times the Health Office in the regions conduct the counseling about the benefit of KPS (Papua Health Insurance), the rights in accordance to the Governor Regulation No. 6/2014, what percentage of Special Autonomy Funds used for the regional health services and which ones who really conduct the health services up to 15 percent.

“We consider the regencies that did not make a report are bellow 15 percent,” he said.

The other indicator is also including the maternal and child health. How many women of the target set got the assistance from the medical staffs? The higher of rescue would get the higher rank. “There is a lot of factors that become a reference to determine a regency for getting a red mark, if so such regency must improve their health service in the future,” he said.

Jayapura City resident, Marinus Ulukyanan, said the assessment of the Papua Health Office is very positive. “It is not to strike down one region after another, but to encourage the regencies whose red mark to improve their health services,” he said. (*/rom)



August 15, 2016




  • AUGUST 15 2016 – 6:00PM

Attorney-General George Brandis went to the Indonesian province of Papua last week, boasting his trip was a first by an Australian minister. He may have intended to signal Australia’s willingness to help tackle what he called "social and economic challenges" in the troubled province, but any symbolism intended was regrettably hijacked by his choice of travel companion.

Senator Brandis was accompanied by Wiranto, the former Indonesian general indicted for alleged crimes against humanity committed during East Timor’s bloody 1999 vote for independence. The former general was recently appointed chief security minister by Joko Widodo, in the latest in a series of disappointing decisions by the Indonesian President. Mr Wiranto was commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces at a time the United Nations estimated a military-sponsored rampage cost the lives of 1400 East Timorese, yet has never faced the charges.

It may be a pragmatic need that guides Australia to engage with Mr Wiranto, given his new position. Australia and Indonesia must co-operate against common threats of Islamist extremism and broader regional problems. But it sends a callous message to allow a man such as Mr Wiranto to play tour guide in what has long been seen as Indonesia’s restive frontier.

The provinces once known as West Papua have campaigned and fought for independence since a flawed UN process in the 1960s saw the territory incorporated into Indonesia. There have been military crackdowns and human rights abuses, and while some claims are difficult to verify, there is ample reason for concern.

Australia has always insisted Indonesia has sovereignty over the territory, and Senator Brandis was at pains to emphasise this "longstanding and bipartisan policy" during his trip. Despite such assurances, an almost paranoid suspicion has persisted among some circles in Jakarta’s elite, perversely blaming Australia for East Timor’s independence and believing Canberra wishes to see Papua go the same way.

The government should not feel obliged to assuage Indonesia’s unwarranted fears by sweeping aside human rights concerns in Papua. If Senator Brandis felt it was appropriate to see conditions in the province firsthand, so be it. But inadvertently or not, by choosing to accompany Mr Wiranto on the trip, he also signalled Australia was willing to forget past sins – and that was the wrong message.

It was during the Howard years that Australia granted refugee status to 42 Papuans who fled the province. Unfortunately, Australia has since hopelessly compromised its moral standing on human rights questions with the wrong-headed insistence on offshore processing and the practice of turning back asylum seeker boats.

Australia finds itself regularly at odds with Indonesia in large part due to proximity, shown by controversy over espionage, cruelty in the live cattle trade, and recent executions. It became a regular cocktail party joke during the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to observe that unlike ties with Australia, Indonesia and Iceland had a perfect relationship because the two countries are so far apart they have nothing in common and nothing to argue about.

The difficulty between Indonesia and Australia was underlined this week in the results of an opinion poll by the Australia-Indonesia Centre, based at Monash University. It found almost half of Australians held an unfavourable view of Indonesia, compared with overwhelmingly positive views of Australia by Indonesians. Perhaps more than anything, such results reflect mutual ignorance. Leaders can talk about closeness, but true warmth will only be felt when neighbours speak frankly.

Ramos Horta: International World Must Help Papua and Indonesia

August 12, 2016

Ramos Horta: International World Must Help Papua and Indonesia

AUGUST 10, 2016 /

Ramos Horta, along with two Co-Chair APF, Fernando da Costa (right) and Jerald Joseph (left) – APF

Jayapura, Jubi – Ramos Horta admitted disapointed to the situation in Papua, especially the violation of Human Rights (HAM) that continue to occur.

Nobel Peace Laureate and former Prime Minister of East Timor, Jose Ramos Horta said human rights violations in Papua must be resolved and require special handling.

"Torture and intimidation in Papua should be resolved shortly. I am saddened by the human rights violations that continue to occur in Papua. The International community must help find a resolution and handling problems that occur in Papua, "said Ramos-Horta told reporters in Dili, after-hours Asian Peoples Solidarity Forum 2016, 2 Augustus ago.

He added that if the Indonesian government considers Papua is part of Indonesia, the Indonesian government should engage in dialogue with the Papuan people to resolve this problem.

In aval May, Ramos Horta said Indonesia could resolve human rights cases Papua alone, without the help of external agencies.

"Indonesia has a lot of agencies that deal with human rights, such as the National Human Rights Commission also NGOs. Government should also NGOs conducting an investigation on the issue of violence in Papua, "Ramos-Horta said at the time.

He said the Indonesian government should colossal also involve NGOs in Papua to see conditions there openly. Horta, get the opportunity to visit Papua.

But the handling of human rights issues in Papua has not shown significant progress to date. Indonesian government’s efforts through an integrated team handling HAM Papua formed by Luhut Panjaitan while serving Husum Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, mash has not touched the root of the problem, in addition to continually received criticism and pennlakan of the people of Papua.

Adriana Elisabeth, a researcher from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, who has been encouraging dialogue between Papua and Jakarta (Indonesia government) said pánanganan human rights issue undertaken by the government are still partial, although the government said the handler HAM Papua done partially.

"The government is beginning to open to hear suggestions from other parties, but in practice, these suggestions are rarely accommodated or not do any workarounds partial mash, yet holistically as the government said," said Adriana. (Xisto Magno)

Indonesian ministry recommends renewing Freeport export permit

August 10, 2016

Tue Aug 9, 2016 10:11am EDT

Indonesian ministry recommends renewing Freeport export permit


Indonesia’s mining ministry recommended on Tuesday that Freeport-McMoran Inc’s Indonesian unit be granted a new permit to export copper concentrates until Jan. 11, 2017, an official said.

The recommended extension was slightly shorter than the six months the U.S. mining giant had requested.

Bambang Gatot, the ministry’s director general of coal and minerals, did not explain why the recommendation was for a shorter period.

"The export volume (in the recommendation) is 1.4 million tonnes, as they requested .. but they might not be able to sell that much," Gatot told reporters, adding that all shipments are subject to a 5 percent export tax.

A Freeport spokesman said he had not yet been informed of the ministry’s recommendation.

Freeport, which produces about 220,000 tonnes of copper ore a day, still has to take the recommendation to Indonesia’s trade ministry to get the permit.

Typically once the trade ministry receives a recommendation from the mining ministry, the renewal of an export permit would be a formality.

Freeport’s previous permit expired on Monday.

Last February, shipments from Freeport’s giant Grasberg copper mine were halted for nearly two weeks before the government approved the now expired permit.

The Indonesian government announced in early 2014 that all copper concentrate shipments would be banned from January 2017, as part of efforts to transform the nation from being a supplier of raw materials into a producer of finished goods.

(Writing by Randy Fabi and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Richard Pullin, Christian Schmollinger and Adrian Croft)

World Bank Preparing To Scrap Protections For The Environment, Indigenous People

August 9, 2016

also Concern over World Bank proposals to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Moving news forward.
Jul 30, 20145 min read

World Bank Preparing To Scrap Protections For The Environment, Indigenous People

Activists protest plans to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam in India. CREDIT: AP IMAGES

By Will Freeman

A leaked document from the World Bank says that the international lending organization is about to scrap key safeguards that protect indigenous peoples and the environment in their project sites. The World Bank, which lends up to $50 billion a year to developing nations, instituted the protective policies after several high-profile development projects in the 1980s and ’90s led to grave human rights abuses and environmental degradation.

The draft policy would allow countries receiving World Bank loans to “opt-out” of abiding by the organization’s rules protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. In response, a coalition of NGOs, activists, and community groups issued a statement to the World Bank warning that the proposed change in policy “represents a profound dilution of the existing safeguards and an undercutting of international human rights standards and best practice.” Even some of the World Bank’s top leaders have expressed reservations about the plan.

If the World Bank presses ahead with the changes, we could see repeats of flagrant abuses from the past that alienate more people than they help, leading to fierce criticism of the international financing system from the left at the turn of the century. Here are three of the World Bank’s past blunders the current safeguards would have prevented that are definitely not worth repeating:

1. The Dam That Displaced 300,000 In India

In 1985, the World Bank made a $450 million loan to the Indian government to build a massive dam in the Narmada Valley of Gujarat state. While Indian authorities and World Bank officials argued that the dam would provide irrigation and drinking water to millions, indigenous peoples living in the protested that the huge reservoir created by the dam would flood their homes and displace hundreds of thousands.

Working with a coalition of activists from across India, the residents demanded that the World Bank stop funding the dam. After the activists’ hunger strikes and civil disobedience attracted the attention of human rights advocates worldwide, the World Bank finally buckled under pressure and allowed an unprecedented independent review in 1991. The review board, headed by a top U.N. official, found that the World Bank had repeatedly broken its own guidelines and legally-binding agreements with the Indian states and called on the Bank to radically overhaul its plan for the dam. But the Bank decided to completely ignored the findings of its own review board, prompting the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations to join the calls for an end to the project. Under pressure from governments and activists around the world, the Bank finally agreed to withdraw from the project in 1993. However, in 2000, the Indian Supreme Court approved continued construction. To date, the dam has displaced 300,000 people. The World Bank’s indigenous peoples policy, now under threat of rollback, was instituted as a direct result of international outcry caused by the dam.

2. Palm Oil Plantations That Uproot Millions In Indonesia

Since the 1980s, the World Bank has invested over $2 billion in promoting the global palm oil trade. In Indonesia, which produces half the world’s palm oil, the World Bank funded a massive expansion of palm oil plantations over the past few decades. Now, Indonesia has the highest deforestation rate in the world. According to a report commissioned by the Bank itself, 70 million Indonesians live on or near state forest land, but with palm oil plantations quadrupling in area since 1990, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has predicted that Indonesia’s natural rainforest will be wiped out by 2032.

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the World Bank supported worked with Dictator Suharto’s to deliver one third of all forests to logging companies and another third to palm oil plantations. Only after years of devastation to local communities did the Bank conduct an internal review, which found that poverty skyrocketed throughout the 1990s. Indonesians trapped in the path of the encroaching plantations have reported earning less than half their previous wages after deforestation forced them to take up work on the plantations. Floods, landslides, and droughts also plague regions where forest has quickly disappeared. In 2009, louder and louder criticism finally forced the World Bank to place a two-year moratorium on new lending for palm oil investments. If the World Bank ditches environmental and human rights safeguards, however, palm oil giants won’t face any obstacles going forward.

3. Paraguay’s $15 Billion “Monument To Corruption”

Between 1979 and 1988, the World Bank shelled out $210 million to help build another huge dam on the Argentina-Paraguay border. The Bank signed on with a plan devised by Paraguay’s then dictator, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, to turn the poor, landlocked nation into an “energy superpower” by building the huge hydroelectric dam. When construction began in 1983, however, demand for electricity lagged 25 percent behind the original forecast, calling into question if the dam should even be built. The World Bank forged ahead anyway. An internal audit concluded “the Bank did not act decisively when confronted with the facts” but instead “accepted repeated violations of major covenants.” The Bank lost nearly $11 billion on the project by 1996 and the dam only operated at 60 percent of its capacity a few years later. But the costs to the local population were even worse.

In the end, 100,000 poor and indigenous people on both sides of the border were displaced and fish populations were decimated, destroying many locals’ primary source of income and food. While the Bank promised to compensate the displaced, many have still not seen a cent. “Not a single business was created to give people real jobs, either on the Argentine side or on our side,” said Jorge Urusoff, a resident of Encarnacion. People living on the edges of the giant reservoir created by the dam are still haunted by sewage-contaminated water that has upped the risk of malaria and other diseases in the area. Argentina’s president throughout the ’90s, Carlos Menem, called the dam a “monument to corruption,” and today the name sticks.


If the World Bank drops basic safeguards, disasters like these are bound to repeat themselves. “The Bank’s policy review is an opportunity for the World Bank to finally make itself accountable on human rights,” said Jessica Evans, a researcher with Human Rights Watch. “If the Bank’s board allows the draft policy to go out without fixing these major flaws, it sends a message that respect for human rights remains discretionary at the Bank.” This is not what international development should look like.


Concern over World Bank proposals to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Dana MacLean/IRIN
BANGKOK, 3 September 2014

Activists warn of a harmful regression in the World Bank’s safeguard policies, claiming that proposed changes being considered this autumn could weaken the rights of indigenous people, and others in danger of displacement and abuse as a result of Bank-funded development projects.

"This [version of the safeguards] will be dangerous backsliding into their bad legacy of treatment against indigenous people if it is approved," said Joan Carling, secretary-general of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), a network that operates in 14 Asian countries.

According to the World Bank, "the proposed Environmental and Social Framework builds on the decades-old safeguard policies and aims to consolidate them into a more modern, unified framework that is more efficient and effective to apply and implement."

However, campaigners say the current draft dilutes the protective promise of the safeguards and fails to include indigenous rights considerations in projects funded by the World Bank by obtaining "free, prior, and informed consent" for development interventions. The proposed changes, including an "opt out" policy, could leave development decisions solely at the discretion of governments.

"In order for grievance mechanisms to work, environmental and social standards need to be clear and prescriptive," said Kristen Genovese, a senior attorney with the Center for
International Environmental Law (CIEL), a Washington-based watchdog.

Other adjustments suggest a broader attempt to roll-back responsbilities: "The elimination of clear, predictable rules also appears to be a clear attempt by the Bank to avoid accountability for the negative impacts of projects that it funds," BIC said.

With more than US$50 billion in development aid at risk of being funnelled into projects that could forcibly evict, displace, or fail to adequately compensate communities for resource losses, pressure is mounting on the Bank as board meetings begin on 3 September.


The pending amendments retain the requirement for project-affected peoples’ "free, prior and informed consent" to relocate; proper compensation; labour rights of workers; and non-discriminatory development. However, the draft includes options for the Bank’s non-compliance, which leaves it for governments to decide how to proceed with projects – including by ignoring indigenous people.

"Allowing [governments] not to recognize groups [as indigenous] is incredibly problematic particularly when we know the history of government violating indigenous peoples’ rights," said Jessica Evans, senior researcher on international financial institutions at Human Rights Watch’s (HRW).

According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons ( UNDRIP), indigenous people are those who maintain historical continuity with pre-colonial groups, have strong relationships with natural resources and land as the basis of their cultural and physical survival, and self-identify themselves as indigenous as part of their belief systems which differ from the dominant society.

While UNDRIP has been adopted by 143 countries, domestic implementation has been limited. The draft safeguards give governments a loophole to escape recognition of indigenous persons when it comes to Bank-funded development interventions status if it causes conflict or goes against the constitution of the country.

According to a 30 July statement from the Bank about the proposed safeguards draft, indigenous status can be opted out of "in exceptional circumstances when there are risks of exacerbating ethnic tension or civil strife or where the identification of Indigenous Peoples is inconsistent with the constitution of the country…"

"Setting the standard is something an institution as powerful and influential as the World Bank should be considering as mandatory, rather than optional."

As the draft safeguards go under review by the Bank’s board, activists warn that without major reform to the draft, consultations with indigenous groups when designing and implementing development projects have little meaning.

"If they provide the opt out option for recognizing indigenous groups, indigenous people will suffer adverse impacts," warned AIPP’s Carling, adding that government refusal to acknowledge the indigenous status of many ethnic minorities can be a contributing factor to statelessness, poverty and forced relocation.

A history of abuses

A root concern about the proposed safeguards is that they shift the onus for environmental and social responsibility away from the Bank and onto borrowing governments, which means funds could go to states already notorious for land grabs, corruption and human rights violations.

In recent years researchers have documented cases of forced evictions in poor communities as a part of World Bank-funded projects.

For example, in East Badia, a community in Lagos, Nigeria, Amnesty International reported that 9,000 people had their homes razed to make way for luxury apartments. In Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, up to 135,000 families will be relocated in the next three years to make way for urban development, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Sri Lankan NGO, argues.

In East Badia, community protests against the razing of homes met all of the requirements to trigger the safeguards for a full World Bank investigation. However, the Bank’s eight-member board instead decided to institute a pilot project for resettlement which compensated communities one-third below the market rate for informal housing in Lagos.

"The compensation was so low it did not enable them to live anywhere else except another slum or precarious accommodation which will put them in danger of being forcibly evicted again," said Alessandra Masci, Amnesty International’s senior analyst for business and human rights, and lead advocate for the report on Lagos.

The Bank’s pilot, implemented in November 2013, was in line with the new direction of the bank (and the draft safeguards currently under consideration), in which vague language creates flexibility in decision-making for the Bank and the borrower government – leaving the poor to fend for themselves, analysts say.

"Banks and panels are standing back and leaving communities completely alone to deal with entities much more powerful than them," explained Masci.

In the case of Sri Lanka, the government, armed with US$213 million of World Bank loans, will forcibly relocate an estimated 300,000 people under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP), according to CPA.

A commitment to ending poverty?

Critics warn that without airtight safeguards for vulnerable people, the rights of indigenous groups will continue to be violated by development projects, and undermine the very target the Bank has set for itself: to end poverty.

While indigenous people comprise 5 percent of the global population, they make up 15 percent of all people living beneath national poverty lines globally, according to the UN.

"In order for grievance mechanisms to work, environmental and social standards need to be clear and prescriptive," said Kristen Genovese, a senior attorney with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), a Washington-based watchdog.

Some fear that growing competition in international lending – with the emergence of Chinese and Japanese development banks, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the BRICS bank – may stoke a fear of losing clients and trigger a race-to-the-bottom panic. Experts argue that the World Bank should see its safeguards as an opportunity to assert its position as a global leader.

"Competition is good. It means more finance for development," said HRW’s Evans. "The Bank could show other lenders best practices and be a model development bank."

Sophie Chao, a project officer with the Forest People’s Programme (FPP), a Netherlands-based indigenous and environmental rights organization, said: "Setting the standard is something an institution as powerful and influential as the World Bank should be considering as mandatory, rather than optional."

Carling asked: "If their main target is to address poverty – if not for the poor, who is development really for then?"


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