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Summary of events in West Papua for August

September 6, 2013

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 20

Summary of events in West Papua for August (beginning September) 2013

A number of shootings occurred in West Papua in the past month.

A soldier from Task Force 753 Infantry Battalion was killed while patrolling in the Tingginambut area in Puncak Jaya on Saturday the 31 August. Tabuni of the TPN/OPM claimed responsibility for the shooting but said the army fired first and his group were responding to the attack. In response to the attack members of Task Force 753 conducted searches causing some of the local people to flee to the forest. The military said there were no sweeps but they were only focusing on routine activities such as helping the community.

On the 8 August Irwan Wenda (elsewhere reported as Irwan Yanenga) was shot to death by a police officer in front of a cyber cafe on Ahmad Yani Street, 15 meters away from Jayapura Sub-District Police Station. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an urgent action concerning the incident which people can respond too. Two people who witnessed the shooting were beaten up and detained at a police station.

On Sunday the 11 August a man was wounded after being shot at when trying to grab a weapon from a patrolling police officer in Timika. According to authorities the incident occurred after patrolling police asked a group of four men who were consuming alcoholic late that night to stop and told them to go home. 

However, after the police returned from their patrol their way was blocked by a larger group of local people, Papua police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gede Sumerta Jaya said. 

A police officer came out of the car and walked toward the people, but the people attacked him trying to grab his weapon which fired wounding one of the local people.

In relation to the attack on an ambulance in the Puncak Jaya region on the 31 July which killed one passenger and injured two others, the authorities blamed an armed civilian group. However, activists have blamed the Indonesian military pointing out the attack occurred close to a military post. An activist said the military post responded very slowly to the shots which are further proof they were responsible for the incident.

Soldiers damage St Mary Magdalene Parish Church

Indonesian security forces broke down the front door of St Mary Magdalene Parish Church in Paniai Regency, Papua, a province in eastern Indonesia that is rich in oil and minerals. The desecration of the sacred place took place at the end of a Sunday Mass as part of a joint national police-army operation against arms trafficking involving a local separatist group. According to local activists, early on Sunday 4 August, soldiers surprised the local Catholic community by ordering them to feed some pigs, not unusual among native Papuans who traditionally breed pigs. Meanwhile, the security forces inspected the parish church but came up empty handed. An officer ordered a parishioner to open the doors to the sacristy, where vestments and other sacred objects are kept. However, because finding the key was taking its time, one of the soldiers decided to kick down the door. Nothing was found in the building’s attic and basement, no weapons, ammunitions or explosives. The soldiers eventually went away, leaving parishioners under shock, bewildered and angry for the damages caused to their place of worship

New York Agreement

Although the police banned a number of protests and cultural parades to protest the signing of the New York Agreement on the 15 August 1962, the protests were held and went of relatively peacefully except in Fak Fak where dozens of people including women and children were arrested on the 14th as they arrive to attend the cultural parade. Police later apologized to those arrested. A member of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Paula Makabory said that the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement is a timely reminder that the international community has an obligation to address the issue of West Papua. Under the US-brokered agreement, the former colony of Dutch New Guinea was effectively ceded to Indonesian control without consultations with West Papuans themselves.

Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo visited Indonesia to strengthen ties between the two island nations. Prime Minister Lilo has faced strong criticism from civil society groups and others for not giving reasons for the trip, which he says Indonesia has funded. The interim head of the Joint Civil Society Group said the Solomon Islands has no formalised bilateral agreement with Indonesia but his group has documents showing Mr Lilo has issued invitations to Indonesian investors. Barnabas Henson says it appears Indonesia is trying to buy support for its stance on West Papua. The secretary-general of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation Rex Rumakiek says Indonesia is now dictating to MSG leaders what they should do. He says during the MSG summit in New Caledonia, it was agreed that all foreign ministers visit Indonesia and West Papua to see the situation themselves. Mr Rumakiek says now Indonesia is inviting the MSG leaders one by one. He says the Solomon Islands Prime Minister was the first MSG leader to visit Indonesia this month. Mr Rumakiek says dealing with leaders individually creates a risk of bribery, and it’s another tactic by Indonesia to divide the MSG and impose its agenda. The new chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group also called on member countries to closely monitor the political development in New Caledonia and West Papua and to support the return to democratic parliament in Fiji. Victor Tutugoro, who is chair of the MSG on behalf of New Caledonia’s Front de Liberation National Kanak et Socialiste, or FLNKS, made the call in Vanuatu where he has travelled to meet with key leaders.

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)

The 44th PIF was held in Majuro, The Republic of the Marshall Islands at the beginning of September. Unlike at the MSG Forum in June, the PIF leaders did not raise concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua in their Forum communiqué, as it has done in the past. Although in a report in Islands Business the PNG Prime Minister said: “We are generally encouraged by the response that we are getting from the Indonesian government – especially the President – where he has stated to us very clearly that he wanted to engage with us to resolve issues in West Papua, so there is a level of autonomy for the people of West Papua.” AWPA wrote an open letter to PIF leaders at

The Freedom Flotilla

As the Freedom Flotilla continues its journey to West Papua the Minister for Foreign affairs Bob Carr said members of the Flotilla would receive no consular assistance whatsoever if they are jailed. Senator Carr said the group had received numerous warnings not to proceed with their plans. Senator Carr said a formal letter had been sent to the organisation informing them that local laws and penalties would apply in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The members of the group could face up to five years in prison for immigration and other offences if they entered Indonesian waters without approval. "We’ve given them this warning. Therefore, should they end up in prison as a result of breaching the law of Indonesia or Papua New Guinea we’ve got no obligation to give them consular support," Senator Carr said. The flotilla is receiving wide publicity on its journey. Sen Di Natale wrote to Julie Bishop to express concern about her public comments on the flotilla. "This peaceful protest does not pose any threat to Indonesia and to imply otherwise has the potential to put Australian lives in danger," he wrote. "Your comments run the very real risk of inflaming an already tense situation given the threatening language already used by senior members of the Indonesian security forces." He told Guardian Australia: "I’m concerned that Julie Bishop, who looks likely to be the new foreign minister after Saturday, is inflaming tensions and seems to be inciting the Indonesian military to act in a way that is completely disproportionate to what’s being done – which is basically a peaceful protest in Indonesian waters."The language that was used by Julie Bishop was not befitting somebody who is likely to become the next foreign minister." Bishop said last month that Indonesia was "entitled to use whatever means it wishes" to repel the flotilla. A number of community groups and individuals signed a support letter re Concern for the Safety of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua at

Arrests. Amnesty International has called on Indonesia to drop the charges against four Papuan activists who were arrested last week for their peaceful political activism. The arrests were made after about 2,000 people attended a gathering in Sorong to mark the boat trip of Australian activists towards Papua who want to highlight the human rights situation in Papua. Amnesty says the charges highlight the ongoing failure of the Indonesian government to make a distinction between violent armed groups and peaceful activists, and between peaceful expression of opinion and acts of physical violence. The event was organised in solidarity with the planned visit of the “Freedom Flotilla”.

OPM office opened in the Netherlands

The Free West Papua Campaigns (FWPC) said that an official Free Papua Organization (OPM) was opened in the Netherlands on August 15, exactly 51 years after west Papua was annexed by the Indonesian Republic from the Dutch colonies based on an agreement signed in New York. “The office in Netherland will be stationed in De Hague,” FWPC coordinator Oridek Ap said. Ap said that the OPM planned to give more information regarding the situations in Papua to the youth in the Netherlands. “With the establishment of the office, we can give full explanations to all interested stakeholders in the Netherlands on why we think that Papua needs to be fully independent,” Ap said.

Some 650 military personnel deployed along RI-PNG border

Mon, August 12 2013. Semarang (ANTARA News) – Some 650 military personnel of Infantry Battalion (Yonif) 410/Aloguro left Tanjung Emas Seaport at Semerang, Central Java, for Papua on Monday to strengthen Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border security. Yonif 410 will be replacing Infantry Battalion 310/Kidang Kencana, which has completed its assignments at the border. Military personnel of Yonif 410 will be stationed at the border for six months. Spokesman for Regional Military Command IV/Diponegora Col. Ramses L. Tobing said Yonif 410 personnel have been given a number of tasks to tighten security along the border. "Besides, the army has organised various programs to improve the welfare of locals in Papua," he added. In the next six months, the officers will build a total of 24 posts. "Eighteen security posts and six command posts will be built," he added. (Uu.A014/INE/KR-BSR/F001) Editor: Priyambodo RH

Local media

The Governor of Papua, Luke Enembe accused the local paper Jubi of being a mouthpiece for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) while visiting Abepura prison. Victor Mambor of Jubi said the Governor ‘s words prove that the Jubi is performing its duties and functions of the press.

Groups Condemn Sale of Deadly Attack Helicopters to Indonesia

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) condemned the U.S. government’s decision to approve the sale of deadly Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia. The sale demonstrates that U.S. concern for greater respect for human rights and justice in Indonesia are nothing more than hollow rhetoric. The sale, announced during the visit of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Jakarta, ignores the appalling record of human rights violations by the Indonesian military (TNI), which will operate this deadly weapons system. The helicopters are offensive weapons often used in counter-insurgency campaigns.

A report in the Jakarta Post details other military purchases "RI aims to have strongest military in Southeast Asia"

NZ police training programme in Indonesia’s Papua region on track.

RNZI Posted 06 September, 2013 The New Zealand government says the next planned programme of community policing training by New Zealand police in Indonesia’s eastern region of Papua is still on track. The government says the Eastern Indonesia Community Policing Programme is likely to commence early next year. New Zealand ran similar training programmes in Papua region between 2008 and 2010. The overall design and scope of the programme being planned is yet to be finalised, but will incorporate findings from the design scoping mission undertaken last October. The programme’s base location is to be the Papua provincial capital Jayapura, and it will work across Papua, West Papua and Maluku provinces.

Hundreds of Paniai and Nabire Threatened Famine

Continous heavy rain in the Paniai regency caused lake Paniai to overflow resulting in gardens and homes been flooded. Although there were no fatalities some families reported malaria and diarrheal disease due to consumption of contaminated water. In Nabire, hundreds of residents in Kampung transmigration SP 4 Lagari Manunggal Jaya, District Makimi Nasif also experienced flooding. They were threatened with starvation because of the garden and livestock pens, including their homes were flooded.

A google translate of posting on KNPB webpage. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa at

Mysterious murders occurred in Papua Continues

September 6, 2013 By: admin Category: Regional KNPB. Nabire, KNPBnews – the mysterious murder of the Papuan people never seem deserted. KNPB shoves reported during the last 2 months there were 11 people killed in Sorong. Last night, around 00:55 bear, Marten Gobay mysteriously murdered in Kali Cement, Nabire. Marten Gobay, a civil servant in the Intan Jaya beaten to death after a police escorted him. His body was found at 3:00 am and rushed to hospitals mysterious Nabire.Pembunuhan also occurred in South Sorong 2 Weeks ago. A boy was found dead. Families of victims who want to enlist the help of the police investigation Police Police Sorsel just got beat. (xander)

A google translate of posting on KNPB webpage. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa at

Campaign "Sorong Samarai" To Papua Merdeka Will Dluncurkan in PNG

September 5, 2013 By: admin Category: International, News. Boroko, KNPBnews – On 9 September, the Governor of NCD (Port Moresby) PNG, Powes Parkop will officially launch the campaign in PNG group named "Sorong to Samarai" to support West Papua membership at MSG for self-determination. The launch will take place at the Waigani Campus University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), in the Main Lecture Theater, at 06 o’clock in the afternoon until 8:30 at night. Iven is coordinated by Melanesian Unified Front for West Papuan self-determination (Unity Group Melanesia to the right of self-determination for West Papua) and West Papuan Student Association at the UPNG (West Papuan Student Association at UPNG). This event is done with the thought that PNG and West Papua is an island that is not independent of the other, from the tip of Sorong to Samarai West Papua PNG, or with people one soul one slogan. Powes Parkob repeatedly said that if independent Melanesian West Papuans yet still colonized. Meanwhile, the chairman of MSG, Victor Tutukoro on a visit last week urged leaders to encourage independence Melanesian West Papua and Kanaky. (CIA)

pieces/ articles/reports etc.

Just some of the large number of articles and reports in the media from the past month

"From the theatre of torture to the theatre of peace: The politics of torture and re-imagining peace building in Papua, Indonesia"

Budi Hernawan’s phd thesis is available online through ANU library at

Peace hopes rise for West Papua


The Australian August 06, 2013

Papua New Guinea has now launched an initiative aimed at defusing the standoff over West Papua, raising hopes of a breakthrough in one of the most intractable rows in the Asia-Pacific region.

A number of articles on the The Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) below. People can follow the latest on MIFEE at

Malind Women’s views about Companies Operating in Kampung Baad, Animha District, Merauke.

Since 2011, three sugar cane companies have been going around Kampung Baad, Animha district and Kampung Tambat, Tanah Miring district, talking about their plans and trying to win over community leaders. The companies involved are PT Anugerah Rejeki Nusantara (ARN) owned by the Wilmar International Group, and PT Papua Daya Bio Energy and PT Tebu Wahana Kreasi, owned by Medco Agro Group.

Raja Ampat: Yenbekaki Villagers Oppose PT Anugerah Surya Pratama’s Nickel Mine

Indigenous people in Kampung Yenbekaki, Waigeo Timur district, Raja Ampat, and the group “Solidarity with Yenbekaki” are firmly opposed to PT Anugerah Surya Pratama’s nickel mining operations in Sarembon, Kampung Yenbekaki. In a press release sent to Majalah Selangkah, Solidarity with Yenbekaki explains the reasons for their opposition.

Notes from a gold rush in Timika

Veronika Kusumaryati, Contributor, Timika, West Papua | Feature | Wed, August 14 2013, 1:14 PM

Lives endangered

Three stories of people with HIV/AIDS in the central highlands of Papua show that both the government and community have a long way to go in confronting this major epidemic. Carole Reckinger and Antoine Lemaire

Photo-essay: Positive is negative

HIV/AIDS is posing an ever greater threat to the health and welfare of people in the highlands of Papua. Carole Reckinger and Antoine Lemaire

MJA. Medical Journal of Australia

Human rights trauma and the mental health of West Papuan refugees resettled in Australia Susan Rees, Derrick M Silove, Kuowei Tay and Moses Kareth

Speaking softly means Australia’s voice will not be heard on human rights

August 28, 2013 Elaine Pearson

It seems to have taken an apparent chemical weapons attack killing hundreds in Syria to bring human rights into the foreign policy debate of the Australian elections.

Indonesia warns it may use force against West Papuan Freedom Flotilla

West Papuan political prisoners reject pardon deal

Papua governor offered Selpius Bobii and other jailed activists pardon for renunciation of independence struggle

West Papuans arrested at prayer session for Freedom Flotilla

Indonesian police charge four with treason after pro-independence ‘morning star’ flag is raised

New Pacific islands development bloc takes on Australian dominance

PIF Communique at

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