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WEST PAPUA – THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE

February 14, 2017

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/West-Papua-the-forgotten-people-481450

WEST PAPUA – THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE

BYADAM PERRY FEBRUARY 13, 2017 22:02

Papuans are among the most vulnerable members of the human race, some whose only encounter with “foreigners” has been marked with violence, oppression and hatred.

As a Jew living in the UK, I have always been frustrated but also curious as to this country’s disproportionate treatment and coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. My moment of “enlightenment” was during the civil war in Sri Lanka at the turn of the century. Thousands of Tamils were being tortured and killed by the Singhalese government. I recall watching a demonstration outside the Sri Lankan embassy on TV. There could not have been more than 50 people there (mainly ex-pats). The next day I was walking around the West End of London and came upon an anti-Israel demonstration. There were tens of thousands (a mix of all races and faiths) protesting a recent Israeli retaliatory bombing mission that destroyed some houses and killed three people.

I started researching other global conflicts and human rights concerns that were being marginalized and ignored due to the power politics in the United Nations and the media’s infatuation with Israel. Partly due to this as well, during a stint living in Australia I became involved in the movement for self-determination for the people of West Papua.

One of the most brutal ongoing genocides barely registers a blip on the global radar. How many have even heard of the West Papuan plea for freedom?

West Papua covers the western half of the island of New Guinea just 250 km. north of Australia (the independent nation of Papua New Guinea covering the eastern half). Colonized for hundreds of years, in 1961, West Papua was promised independence by its former Dutch colonists. The international community handed administration to the UN and signed the New York Agreement in 1962 promising to provide a referendum allowing Papuans to determine whether they wanted independence or union with Indonesia.

However, in 1963 West Papua was taken over militarily by Indonesia and illegally occupied.

During the so called “Act of Free Choice” in 1969, the Indonesian government claimed that West Papuans were too “primitive” to cope with democracy and handpicked just 1,026 West Papuan elders and forced them at gunpoint to vote in favor of integration with Indonesia.

The West looked away even though the UN observers conceded that the individuals were placed under duress and forced to vote yes to annexation.

It was the time of the Cold War, with Indonesia tilting toward the Soviets, and it was deemed that appeasing Indonesia was more important than self-determination for the people of West Papua. There was and still is the matter of the rich natural resources in the region, including one of the biggest gold mines in the world which is still subject to an extremely profitable partnership between the West and Indonesia.

Since 1963, an estimated 500,000 West Papuans have died at the hands of the brutal Indonesian occupying forces, accounting for more than 25% of the population. These numbers have been ratified by several studies and human rights groups (including The International Association of Genocide Scholars and Yale Law School). Daily killing, torture and imprisonment without trial by the Indonesian military and police carries on with no consequences and little condemnation.

While the Indonesian government continues to brutalize and persecute any West Papuan that calls for freedom, many bravely continue to do so. Despite this, little is reported by the press or appears in the international media.

Unfortunately, for Papuans, their oppression sits at the heart of international power politics, which Israel can also claim to be a victim of.

Indonesia is an important member of the powerful 57 country-strong Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a nation strategically important for the West and one which the British government claims shares “common interests and values.”

Indonesia is a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights and refuses to recognize the State of Israel. The hypocrisy is preposterous.

The leader of the Free West Papua Organization, Benny Wenda (currently living in exile in the UK), says, “How can Indonesia support Palestine’s independence and sovereignty, while the Papuan People are still colonized by Indonesia? How can Indonesia actively be involved in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question at the UN, while it is rejecting any form of peaceful settlement of the political status of West Papua?”

Papuans are among the most vulnerable members of the human race, some whose only encounter with “foreigners” has been marked with violence, oppression and hatred.

When considering the number of Papuan victims of the Indonesian regime, is it right and just that the people of West Papua are being ignored as their cause is not politically convenient, doesn’t sell papers or wins votes (as clearly the Israel-Palestine conflict does and will)?

All that is left is for good people to say enough is enough and call on international bodies, human rights organizations and politicians place it on the global agenda.

To find out more, please visit www.freewestpapua.org.

og.png Free West Papua
www.freewestpapua.org
Campaign for a free and independent West Papua

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http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/109409/jayapura-police-intensify-security-ahead-of-regional-head-elections

Jayapura police intensify security ahead of regional head elections
www.antaranews.com
Jayapura Police have intensified security measures to prevent crimes and traffic accidents ahead of the simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) scheduled on February 15, 2017. The police have urged bars, night clubs, massage parlors, and liquor shops to remain closed during the …

2) Jayapura police intensify security ahead of regional head elections

4 hours ago | 679 Views

, Papua (ANTARA News) – Jayapura Police have intensified security measures to prevent crimes and traffic accidents ahead of the simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) scheduled on February 15, 2017.

The police have urged bars, night clubs, massage parlors, and liquor shops to remain closed during the elections, Head of the Jayapura City Police Resort Adjunct Senior Commissioner Tober Sirait remarked here, Monday.

Besides this, safety should be prioritized, and hence, vehicle worthiness should always be checked, he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Chief Papua Provincial Police Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw has made assurance that the situation in Papua is safe and under control ahead of Pilkada.

"Overall, the security and public order situation is safe and under control. Hopefully, such a situation would be maintained," he noted.

In Papua Province, the regional head elections will be held simultaneously in Jayapura City and Jayapura District, Mappi, Sarmi, Tolikara, Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak Jaya, Lanny Jaya, Dogiai, and Yapen Islands District.

As many as 4,872 security personnel, comprising police and military officers, have been deployed to guard pilkada.

Logistics for pilkada have been distributed since Feb 6 in Papua and West Papua by helicopters rented by the National Regional Elections, among other things.

Earlier, acting governor of West Papua Province Eko Sorong had quoted President Joko Widodo as saying that the upcoming pilkada in the province would hopefully run peacefully and smoothly.

"Some 101 regions across Indonesia, including four in West Papau, will hold pilkada. The president hopes that it would be implemented smoothly and peacefully," Eko Subomo said in Sorong on Friday (Feb 10).

Pilkada will be implemented in Maybrat, Tambrauw, Sorong City, and Sorong District in West Papua on Feb 15.

He called on the inhabitants of West Papua to maintain unity during the democratic event.

"I really hope for the support of the West Papua people to make pilkada a success," he added.(*)
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HTTPS://EN.TEMPO.CO/READ/NEWS/2017/02/14/056846504/FREEPORT-INDONESIA-HALTS-PRODUCTION
TUESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 20:24 WIB
3) Freeport Indonesia Halts Production

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has decided to stop production activities starting February 10, 2017, as a direct result of failing to acquire the copper concentrate export permit and the protest that is taking place at PT Smelting, a smelter operator company.

PTFI Spokesperson, Riza Pratama, explained that PT Smelting’s 1 million ton smelter facility is capable of purifying 40 percent of PTFI’s total production. But operations were halted caused by protests are taking place at the facility.

On the other hand, 60 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia’s production cannot be exported because the company failed to acquire the required permit while its warehouse located in Papua is already in its full capacity.

"Since last Friday the mill [where the ore is processed into concentrates] has stopped production," Riza said on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

Riza explained that the production halt has affected employees working at PTFI. A number of contractors have been sent packing. Therefore, Riza hoped that state officials would grant their copper concentrate export permit since as regulated in the previous contract of work (CoW), which states that the export permit can be extended until 2021.

BISNIS.COM

jadwal-siaran-langsung-piala-thomas-piala-uber-indonesia.jpg?w=640&h=140 Bisnis.com Berita Terbaru Bisnis, Ekonomi, Investasi Indonesia
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Berita terbaru seputar bisnis, ekonomi finansial dan investasi di Indonesia dilengkapi dengan informasi terkini nasional, politik, olahraga, bola dan lifestyle

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http://www.pina.com.fj/?p=pacnews&m=read&o=197030621458a125521915c00524c5
4) Forum Election Teams in Indonesia and Nauru This Week

9:17 pm GMT+12, 12/02/2017, Fiji

In keeping with its ongoing commitment to good governance and free and fair elections in the region, the Pacific Islands Forum will be participating in election related missions to Indonesia and Nauru this week.

Indonesian Regional Head Elections

The Forum has received an invitation from the Chairman of Indonesia’s General Elections Commission to take part in the Election Visit Programme for the 2017 Indonesian Regional Head Elections, which take place on Wednesday 15 February.

The elections will see over one hundred regions within seven provinces across the country go to the polls. The Forum team will observe electoral activity in Jayapura and Manokwari in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands, Dame Meg Taylor accepted the invitation saying “The Pacific region and Indonesia share a belief in the principles of good governance and fair and free elections. I’m sure there is much we can learn from the third largest democracy in the world.”

The Forum team will comprise Acting Director-General for Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Sambue Antas, and Fetogi Vaai of the Samoan Electoral Commission, with support from the Forum Secretariat.

Nauru Post 2016 Election Workshop

At the invitation of Nauru’s Electoral Commission, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth Secretariat will undertake a joint mission to Nauru to support the Electoral Commission’s ‘Post 2016 Election Workshop’ on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th February.

This Forum mission will be led by Gail Owen, who was a member of last year’s Observer Team for the Nauru election. Owen will be supported by staff from the Forum Secretariat.

Secretary General Taylor welcomed the invitation from the Electoral Commission, saying “this demonstrates a commitment from Nauru to be open and transparent about their electoral processes. It also shows that they are interested in further improving their systems into the future.”

In addition to supporting the Electoral Commission with the workshop, the Forum team will discuss the report and recommendations that they submitted to the Commission following the 2016 poll.

The Forum’s post-election visit to Nauru is consistent with the recommendation of the 2016 Forum Regional Security Committee meeting which encouraged the Secretariat to undertake post-election visits.

The Pacific Islands Forum has undertaken 21 election observer missions in the region since 2001.

SOURCE: PIFS/PACNEWS
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