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AWPA Summary of events in West Papua for March-11 April 2017

April 12, 2017

AWPA Summary of events in West Papua for March-11 April 2017
(For all the talk from Jokowi that West Papua is now open to journalists, the banning of Journalists wanting to visit West Papua continues).

Timika immigration office deports two French nationals
18 March. Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) – The Tembagapura Immigration Office in Papua province deported two French nationals on Friday for violating their Indonesian visa. The two French citizens, identified as Frank Jean Piere Escudie and Basile Marie Longchamp, violated their visa to make a documentary film under the project “The Explorers” in several places in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua, Head of the Tembagapura Immigration Office Jesaja Samuel Enock said here on Friday………………….
http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/summary-of-events-in-west-papua-for.html

Freeport-protest-Tempo-680wide.jpg Summary of events in West Papua for March -11 April 2017
awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Summary of events in West Papua for March-11 April 2017. (Fo…

Indonesia Permits Rare Papua Access to UN Health Rights Expert

April 7, 2017

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/07/indonesia-permits-rare-papua-access-un-health-rights-expert

Indonesia Permits Rare Papua Access to UN Health Rights Expert

Visit Shines Light on Government Policy Failures

Andreas Harsono Indonesia Researcher

The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health did something remarkable last week: he traveled to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Dainius Puras’ two-day trip to Papua, part of a two-week official visit, was notable for the simple fact the Indonesian government allowed it to happen. Given the government’s long history of blocking scrutiny of conditions in Papua by foreign media and international observers, including UN experts, this development may indicate a change in policy.

In 2013, the government rejected the proposed visit of Frank La Rue, then-UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, because he insisted on travelling to Papua. The government has justified limiting international observers’ access to Papua on security grounds, but the reality is the government and the security forces are just unwilling to face criticism from nongovernmental organizations and the foreign media.Puras’ observations about health conditions in Papua are a searing indictment of the government’s failings on public health. He singled-out the fact that ethnic Papuans “are two times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than the rest of the population and new infections are on the rise.” He called for the development of “culturally sensitive”

HIV/AIDS treatment in the region.Other statistics are equally alarming: Papua has the lowest life expectancy in Indonesia and the country’s highest infant, child, and maternal mortality rates. Despite Papua’s glaring health service deficiencies, the government severely restricts access of international NGOs, including those that provide much-needed healthcare services. In August 2010, the government banned from Papua the Dutch international aid organization Cordaid. The government asserted the organization had assisted Papua pro-independence activists, an allegation Cordaid denied.

Puras’ concerns about health rights in Papua should be a wakeup call to the government that its current policies on health in Papua are seriously inadequate. The government should recognize that international NGOs – and allowing media to freely report in Papua – can play a crucial role in supporting official efforts to fill gaps in public health delivery systems. Permitting Puras’ visit will hopefully open the door to wider international access to Papua, so that the government can get support to address the appallingly poor health indicators of ethnic Papuans.
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http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1450567/uganda-parliament-pledges-support-west-papua-independence

2) Uganda parliament pledges support for West Papua independence
By John Masaba

Added 7th April 2017 06:38 PM




Federal Republic of West Papua’s Jacob Rumbiak (left) hands over a the country’s flag to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah , during a courtesy visit to Parliament on April 7, 2017. Photo by Kennedy Oryema

Parliament of Uganda has pledged to support West Papua, a province of Indonesia fighting for independence to realise its dream.

This is after its leader petitioned parliament and presented heartrending accounts of sufferings under the rule of the island nation.

In a petition presented to the Parliament deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya on Friday, Jacob Rumbiak, the leader of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) said they want Uganda to influence other countries in the region to support their bid for independence at the United Nations.

He told Saturday Vision that he believes Uganda’s strength at African Union (AU) can galvanize the African vote in New York and help them clinch independence by 2019.

Saturday Vision has learnt that besides Parliament, the group also wants to meet President Yoweri Museveni over their bid.

Formerly under Dutch rule, West Papua is fighting to shake off the firm rule of Indonesia, under which it was placed courtesy of a UN–backed treaty in 1969. The island maintains that Indonesia’s rule over it is illegal because the UN-sanctioned ballot — ‘the Act of Free Choice’, which legitimized West Papua as a province of Indonesia in 1969, was fraudulent. Under the act, 1000 people, who were chosen to vote on behalf of the island, were coerced by Indonesian military to vote against the independence bid.

With a land size of 162, 371 square miles, West Papua is nearly twice the size of Uganda. However, Uganda boasts of a population eight times bigger and has better human development indicators than the island’s four million people according to online sources.

Rumbiak blames the above on an orchestrated genocide and the brutal rule they have suffered under Indonesia since 1969.

He claimed there is a systemic agenda by Indonesia — a Muslim dominated country — to destroy their way of life, and exterminate the Papuans, a black people of African descent. – See more at:
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http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/110353/floods-hit-mimika-district-in-papua

3) Floods hit Mimika district in Papua

5 hours ago | 356 Views

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) – Two days of incessant rains in Mimika District, Papua Province, resulted in several rivers overflowing and floodwaters submerging Karang Senang, Kuala Kencana, and Kwamki Narama areas and hundreds of houses.

The floods, caused by the overflowing of several rivers in the areas, have inundated numerous villages and hundreds of houses, with floodwaters reaching a height of up to 50 centimeters, spokesman of the Mimika district government Ausilius stated.

"Many houses were built right near the rivers, and thus, the floods inundated those houses easily," he noted here on Friday.

Ausilius remarked that the residents whose homes were flooded on Friday were still waiting for the floodwaters to recede, but they did not evacuate to safer places.

The local government is yet to take strategic steps to deploy heavy equipment, such as excavators, in order to normalize the flow of the rivers.

Flooding in the Karang Senang Village also inundated an elementary school and forced the students to skip their studies.(*)

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HEALTH: INDIGENOUS PAPUANS ARE STILL DISCRIMINATED

April 5, 2017

http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/un-special-rapporteur-health-indigenous-papuans-still-discriminated/

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HEALTH: INDIGENOUS PAPUANS ARE STILL DISCRIMINATED

AdminApr 05, 2017

UN Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras when having a meeting with civil society in Jayapura, Friday (31/3/2017) – Jubi/Benny Mawel

Jayapura, Jubi – United Nations Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras said distrust has make health problem in Papua become even more complicated.

In a press conference, Monday (03/04/2017) in Jakarta, Puras explained that health problems in Papua as a serious complexity. He cited the Family Planning (KB) clearly showing there is distrust between Papuan native (OAP) and the Indonesian government.

“Even if the family planning program is run ethically and well, the Papuan people still think that KB aims to reduce the number of indigenous people,” said Puras, as quoted in satuharapan.com.

Puras understood the difficulty, but he can ensure the family planning program is actually a good program. However, if executed by force, it violates human rights.

“But if implemented in a good way, through responsible information, for not having a child every year, it’s good. However, in environments that have no trust to each other, it becomes a complication. So there must be a solution, “said Puras.

Puras also recognize there is still stigma and discrimination on health services perceived by Papuan indigenous.

“There are serious concerns on the health of Papuan indigenous. Not only the high prevalence of HIV-AIDS, but also the level of infant and maternal mortality, and children malnutrition,” said Puras.

In a meeting with civil society in Jayapura, Friday (31/3/2017) a hospital attendant in Abepura hospital told him that the hospital limiting births of Papuans by way of terrorizing families of mother with a ‘death threat’.

“Actually, she could have a normal birth, but sometimes the doctor demand an operation or else it would cost live of the mother or child. The family then forced to sign an operation,” said her.

While a midwife from Yakuhimo said restrictions on reproductive rights is also an entrance for violence against women. In Yakuhimo the practice of family planning programs that are not informative has caused many women experienced domestic violence.(*)

Report contributors: Benny Mawel and Victor Mambor

Editor : Zely Ariane

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http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/lng-tangguh-accused-abandoning-papuan-indigenous/

LNG TANGGUH IS ACCUSED OF ABANDONING PAPUAN INDIGENOUS

AdminApr 05, 2017

A campaign banner from BP, said “Who are eligible to work for construction project Tangguh Train 3?” – bp.com

Sorong, Jubi – Three cran projects planned to build by British Petroleum (BP) Indonesia and Tangguh LNG in Bintuni Bay, West Papua Province is said of having involves no Papuan native labors and contractors.

Elect ILO (member of the International Labor Organization), Jan Waromi told Jubi in Sorong, Sunday (2/4/2017), that contractors and workers on the project are brought in from outside Papua.

According to Jan Waromi there several local contractors who want to invest in LNG cran 3 construction but do not involve Papuan indigenous set a bad precedent for BP Indonesia and Tangguh.

“The statement delivered by the director of BP said that they have empowered indigenous Papuans is only an empty statement,” he said.
He suspects the company brought thousands of workers and several contractor to Papua through Ambon, Maluku Province.

“Why is it for cutting grass, tree, welding and manual labor they brought labor power from outside Papua?” he said.

BP Indonesia Media Officer, Wigra as confirmed by Jubi said they can not leave a comment. They will release official statement in response to ILO statement and will be addressed in discussions with management.(*)

Reporter : Niko MB
Editor : Zely Ariane

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http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/2017-papua-will-build-fuel-filling-stations-10-sites/
3) 2017, PAPUA WILL BUILD FUEL FILLING STATIONS IN 10 SITES
AdminApr 05, 2017

Jayapura, Jubi – Manager Fuel Retail Pertamina Marketing Operation Region (MOR) VIII Maluku Papua Zibali Hisbul says there will be 10 new Fuel Filling General Station (gas stations) in Papua this year to support the One Price policy of fuel of premium and diesel in archipelago of Indonesia.

The construction of 10 gas stations is part of 148 gas stations development program across Indonesia.

The construction sites based on the decision of Oil and Gas Director General of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said Zibali. Those are Arui Islands District, Supiori; Waropen Bawah District –Waropen; West Paniai District-Paniai; Bolakme Disrict-Jayawijaya; Mindiptama District-Boven Digoel; Senggi District-Keerom, Ilu District-Puncak Jaya; Bokondini District-Tolikara; Pirime District-Lanny Jaya, and Abenalu District-Yalimo.

“In all those districts the current prices of fuel range between Rp15 thousand to Rp 50 thousand per liter, we try to get them the same price as in other parts of Indonesia, Rp6.450 per liter of gasoline and Rp5.150 per liter for diesel,” he told Jubi Sunday (2/4/2017).

Zibali expected that in early April 2017 will launch the opening of gas stations in Arui Islands District, Supiori and West Paniai District, Paniai.

He acknowledges constraints in the establishment. There is no investor in five regions to be channel institution because it considered less economical.

The decision to give permit to ten sites, said Zibali, based on input from local governments, Pertamina and BP Migas based on roads infrastructures and airports condition.
“In MOR VIII there are 900 districts without channel institutions while only 150 districts have it,” he said.

Quoted from the official website of Director General of Oil and Gas, the Director General of Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja said the government has drawn up plans to build 108 infrastructure of fuel official distribution until 2019.(*)

Reporter : Sindung Sukoco
Editor : Zely Ariane

Freeport accepts govt terms

April 3, 2017

via APSN

Freeport accepts govt terms

Jakarta Post – March 31, 2017

Fedina S. Sundaryani, Jakarta — In a move that is likely to reduce tensions over its future operations, major mining company PT Freeport Indonesia has agreed to convert its contract, paving the way to a resolution in its prolonged dispute with the government.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan claims that in a change to months of resistance, Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United States-based gold and copper mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), has agreed to allow its contract of work (CoW) to be converted into a special mining permit (IUPK).

"In principle, they have already agreed to convert to an IUPK. Hopefully, they do not change their mind," Jonan said during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission VII on Thursday.

The conflict between the two parties built up after the mineral export ban took effect in mid-January in compliance with Government Regulation (PP) No. 1/2017.

Freeport Indonesia, the operator of the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine in Grasberg, Papua, is required to divest 51 percent of its shares, build a smelter within five years and convert its contract in exchange for a permit to export copper concentrate.

Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama separately confirmed that the firm had agreed to convert its CoW into an IUPK, though it was still negotiating the terms with the government.

"Freeport Indonesia is willing to convert its CoW to an IUPK so long as it is granted investment stability, entailing legal and fiscal certainty, equal to the certainties outlined in our [current] CoW," he told The Jakarta Post.

Although Riza declined to disclose its proposed terms, Jonan revealed that the firm had asked to pay the fixed tax as stipulated in its CoW although it is higher than the prevailing tax. Furthermore, it also wants to continue talks on levies imposed in Papua, he added.

The firm’s acquiescence marks a milestone after weeks of tough negotiations to settle the dispute out of court after both Freeport and the government have pledged to bring the dispute to the United Nation’s arbitration tribunal.

The progress in the negotiations comes just before US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Indonesia next month. Indonesian officials have said the Freeport dispute is likely to be high on the vice president’s agenda

FCX is known to be politically connected as US billionaire Carl Icahn, special adviser on regulatory reform to US President Donald Trump, is the third major FCX shareholder.

Previously, with strong support from its parent company, Freeport Indonesia had consistently rejected the government’s requirements, which the company argued had violated the investment certainty provided by the present CoW dating back to 1991.

As a result of the standstill, the miner had been unable to sell its copper concentrates overseas, leading to a large pile up that put a brake on its mining operations.

Earlier this month, Freeport Indonesia, Indonesia’s biggest oldest foreign investor, resumed production at 40 percent of its normal rate after securing an export permit for anode slime, a byproduct of copper processing.

During the hearing, Jonan also told legislators that the government might allow the miner to ship its copper concentrate while negotiations on the other terms continued so long as the latter officially agreed to the contract conversion.

"As they have technically agreed to an IUPK, they will be able to export so long as they submit a proposal to build a smelter within the next five years following government regulation [PP] No. 1/2017. The government must be firm [in this case]. The company must own an IUPK," Jonan said.

House Commission VII, meanwhile, called on the central government to seek input from the Papuan people before making any future policy about the miner.

"We ask the energy and mineral resources minister to involve Papuan locals in any decision-making process pertaining to Freeport Indonesia in order to comply with the Regional Autonomy Law," chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu said.

Separately, a coalition of civil societies officially submitted a proposal to the Supreme Court to review PP No. 1/2017 and its subsequent regulations, claiming that they violated the 2009 Mining Law and offered excessive leeway for miners to continue selling raw and semi-processed minerals abroad.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/31/freeport-accepts-govt-terms.html

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Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN)
Email : apsn
Web : http://www.asia-pacific-solidarity.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/asiapacificsolidaritynet

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West Papuan people in Timika rally to support global petition and Swim for West Papua

April 2, 2017

West Papuan people in Timika rally to support global petition and Swim for West Papua

APRIL 1, 2017

Today in Timika, West Papua, over a thousand people gathered in a rally to show their support for the Global Petition for West Papua and the Swim for West Papua team that will carry it to the United Nations in August 2017.

All participants held up hand-signed posters, reading “We support #BackTheSwim #LetWestPapuaVote INTERNATIONALLY SUPERVISED VOTE FOR WEST PAPUA”

https://www.freewestpapua.org/2017/04/01/west-papuan-people-in-timika-rally-to-support-global-petition-and-swim-for-west-papua/

timika-1st-april2-150x150.jpg Free West Papua – West Papuan people in Timika rally to support global petition and Swim for West Papua
www.freewestpapua.org
Today in Timika, West Papua, over a thousand people gathered in a rally to show their support for the Global Petition for West Papua and…

The commercialisation of ancestral forest

March 29, 2017

Source: Pusaka http://pusaka.or.id/komersialisasi-hutan-adat/
English Translation: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1511

In late 2016, President Joko Widodo signed a decree to officially grant
legal status to the customarily-owned forest of nine indigenous
communities in different parts of Indonesia, covering a total area of
13,100 hectares. This amount of land is insignificant in comparison to
the millions of hectares of forest and other land which Jokowi had
promised to acknowledge or give to people around Indonesia during the
two years he has been in office.

The objective of establishing this customary forest is in general
predominantly for conservation and President Jokowi stressed that this
customary forest cannot be bought and sold, either now or in generations
to come. This stipulation not to commercialise customary forest and keep
it for conservation is in line with the perception that regulation is
necessary and that indigenous people need protection from the threats
and pressures of the power of capital.

The reality on the ground is that indigenous communities hold over their
customary land is continually being gnawed away at by the power of
capital through various means which result in the exclusion of
indigenous communities, which can even lose their access to their land
and customary forest entirely. According to Derek Hall et al (2011),
there are four interconnected powers which exclude people from their
land – Regulation, connected either with state laws or other forms of
regulation within society; market through economic relationships which
exclude the people, legitimation through government claims to make
administrative decisions based on economic and political reasons or
moral justifications, and force, which includes state military power or
violence from non-state actors.

The majority of indigenous people, possessing low social capital, do not
manage to avoid capitalist snares which over many years forcibly gnaw
away at community social and economic systems, changing value systems
concerning land. Concepts of land and ancestral forest, which once
prioritised their social value and function, change to regard forests as
sources of commercial commodities and disputes over claims of ownership
between groups or individuals emerge. Being trapped into dependence on
the market for their families’ subsistence needs forces them into
deciding to sell commercially assets such as land, ancestral forest and
other commercial property to which capital-rich investors assign a sale
value.

This kind of commercialisation of customary forest which leads to the
exclusion of indigenous communities has been experienced by Papuans
living in Arso, Keerom Regency. In October 2011, timber company PT
Victory Cemerlang Indonesia Wood Industry was able to obtain a statement
of agreement to release rights over customary land from five clan
leaders who owned the land. PT VCIWI plans to convert around 6000
hectares of natural forest along the Begonggi River to an oil palm
plantation. The heads of the village administration, the Arso
sub-district administration, the customary council and the customary
chief are also all aware of this letter. The commercialisation of
ancestral forest enabled by these letters of agreement to release land
rights is being used as a justification to issue permits, including a
location permit in 2013 and a plantation business licence in 2015.

PT VCIWI has been in the commercial timber business in the area for many
years. The company has created a dependency in the community on capital
resources under the company’s control. This dependency and a desire for
envisaged profits have captured the local indigenous elite and persuaded
them to release the land, making their ancestral forest commercially
available to the company. Aside from this, the company has used
techniques of deception accompanied by promises of welfare.

The head of the Keerom Customary Council, Servo Tuamis, said “The
Victory company says it will us the land adjoining existing oil palm
plantations PTPN II and PT Tandan Sawita Papua, in fact it is taking the
customary forest that makes up the Arso people’s golden triangle”,
lamenting the company’s dishonesty and that the community leaders had
already signed the document.

This time round, the company didn’t need to use violence from state
forces, as had been the case in the past when state-owned company PTPN
II started work in the area in 1983. The new company is using non-state
power, the legitimation of the clan leaders’ decision and that of
traditional and local government leaders to obtain rights over the land
and permits to use the land, forest and the commercial timber. The
position of the elite assuming exclusive power, and the power of the
company in a relationship of production has already excluded the
interests of many people, including that of the indigenous people of
Arso over their ancestral forest.

Having obtained the approval of indigenous hierarchy and the state, the
company uses this to tear down ancestral forest, felling and harvesting
commercial timber. The ancestral forest which has been taken over by PT
VCIWI represents remnants of forest, sago groves, the Beuyend pools and
the sites of ancient villages Yatmi and Yamboria, which belong to the
Marap and Abrap peoples. The area also contains high value commercial
timber species, each log worth millions of Rupiah, which it is why it
was a target for companies and now lies within easy reach of PT VCIWI’s
timber business.

The community has been promised that they will benefit from a profit
sharing scheme, which would mean 30%, with reductions for the costs of
harvesting and transportation, while the remaining 70% would go to the
plantation owner. This sort of profit sharing scheme does not produce
benefits which are comparable with the use value of the forest, or the
losses they suffer when it is gone.

In July 2016 representatives of the Arso indigenous people, from the
Abrap, Marap and Manem groups organised in the Ngkawa Yimnawai Gir held
a blockade action and stopped PT VCIWI felling trees and clearing their
ancestral forest, and also blockaded a palm oil mill belonging to the
PTPN II company which operates in the Arso area. The organisation was
also asking the government to give the land and forest back to the Arso
indigenous people.

Jonatan Bate, the head of Yamara village in Manam sub-district, Keerom,
said “We want our ancestral forest given back to the indigenous people.
We oppose the letter of agreement signed by the Ondoafi which released
the rights over the land without the consent of the community.”

The company’s work was stopped, but it is possibly continuing at a new
location, moving into new villages and forests to reap and multiply its
profits. The people of Arso continue to give voice to and fight for
their aim of getting back their lands and forests.

Freeport: Student solidarity for change.

March 28, 2017

Source: Fransiskan Papua:
http://www.fransiskanpapua.net/2017/03/1697/solidaritas-mahasiswa-untuk-sebuah-perubahan.php
English Translation: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1505

[awasMIFEE note: after a month where the giant Freeport mine became a
topic for national debate across Indonesia once again, focussed as
always on whether or not the US company should be obliged to hand over a
controlling stake to the Indonesian Government, Papuan students have
been asking why no-one ever talks about the mine’s destructive impact on
Papua amidst this outpouring of Indonesian economic nationalism. On 20th
March, students demonstrated in Jayapura and Timika in Papua and in
cities across Indonesia where Papuan students were joined by Indonesian
supporters from the solidarity network “FRI West Papua”. The text below
is a statement from the organisers of the demo in Jayapura, which
reportedly attracted 500 people.]

Student solidarity for change.

United Student Front to shut Freeport [FPM-TF]

Shut Freeport and all foreign companies, which are the mastermind of
crimes against humanity and environmental destruction in Papua.

“Allow freedom and the right to self-determination as the democratic
solution for the Papuan people”

On Monday, 20th March 2017, a peaceful demonstration tookk place,
co-ordinated by students. This action took place in several areas
simultaneously, including Jayapura city, Timika, Jogjakarta, Bandung,
Manado, Bogor, Palu and Jakarta. The demands of the actions were to
close the Freeport mine and to allow freedom and the right to
self-determination.

The following is a reflection and statement of opinion written by the
United Student Front to Shut Freeport in Jayapura City.

Whether or not Freeport should divest its stake in PT Freeport
Indonesia, as legislated for in Presidential Regulation no 1/2017, is
now becoming a hot topic for debate within Papuan society, ranging from
Governor Lukas Enembe who supports Indonesian policy to institutions
which have related interests, and also the Papuan bureaucracy. However,
all those who support the plan to divest 51% or an extension of the
contract of work, whether they are Papuans or from elsewhere, are
drawing naive conclusions.

The squabble that divides the Indonesian Governent and Freeport, whether
the company should divest a 51% stake or not, whether Freeport’s legal
status in Indonesia should be changed to a special mining liscence
(IUPK) or remain a Contract of Work, is a polemic played out between the
vested interests of capital and bureaucrats claiming to speak on behalf
of the people. In particular, it does not reflect the interests of the
people of Papua.

This chaotic situation has already created many victims amongst the
casual workers employed by PT Freeport Indonesia. They have been
dismissed without their need for a livelihood having been taken into
account(ie severance pay). It is very clear that it is a principle of
capitalism that workers are needed in times of capital expansion and
accumulation. In times of crisis, they are not troubled to think about
the fate of workers.

The same is true for the social situation of the West Papuan people. PT
Freeport Indonesia is known internationally as one of the biggest mining
companies in the world. But what do the Papuan people get from this?
Poverty, human rights violations, genocide, colonialism, and its nature
destroyed by a capitalist system that produces more and more without
consideration of the laws of nature and the effects on human life.

As we already know, Freeport didn’t just show up suddenly and
spontaneously in the country we know today. Moreover, their plan to
manage Papua’s natural resources together with a small elite that have
become owners parasitically is totally unacceptable. Western
civilisation has invaded the time and space of indigenous Papuans
accompanied by global imperialist interests.

The drive behind Freeport in fact started many years ago. In August
1959, Forbes Wilson, who was a director of Freeport at the time, met
with the operational director of the East Borneo Company, Jan van
Gruisen. In that meeting Gruisen said that he had discovered a study
into the Ersberg countains (Copper Mountain) in West Irian (Papua),
written by Jean Jacques Dozy in 1936.

The history of Papua is a history of manipulation by the economic and
political interests of US Imperialism, which eventually pushed Indonesia
to annex Papua and conspire to produce the Act of Free Choice. Two years
before the Act of Free Choice took place, on 7th April 1967, Freeport, a
mining company from the imperial American state, signed an investment
contract with the Indonesian Government. While there were 809,337
Papuans with the right to participate in this act of self-determination,
in the end they were represented by just 1025 people who were
quarantined beforehand and only 175 people could give their opinion.
They held a meeting to reach agreement and this provided the legitimacy
behind Indonesia’s Act of Free Choice: it was undemocratic, and full of
terror, intimidation and manipulation, as well as gross human rights
violations. During the 32 years Papua was under the control of
Soeharto’s militaristic regime, many human rights violations tool place
in Papua under the auspices of various military operations. This has
continued even after the reformasi period in Indonesia started in 1998.

There have been a series of new governemnts until Jokowi and Jusuf
Kalla’s regime and each successive administration discusses whether to
renew the Contract of Work or replace it with a special mining licence,
but this has not been accompanied by a fundamental change to the system
in Indonesia. Human rights violations by the Indonesian Military
continue to occur, as in the case of the uncontrolled shooting of five
students in Enarotali in Paniai Regency on 8th December 2014, or the
[2015] sweeping operation in Utikini village. There are many more cases
of crimes against humanity that take place at the hands of the Indonesia
Military, an innumerable number. Put simply, amidst the chaotic polemic
around Freeport, what has been happening in Papua? Just before the
Freeport debate started there was a military operation in Dogiai, and
just afterwards, the conflict in Intan Jaya which caused the deaths of
six people and left another 600 with severe injuries.

This has already led to confusion and blindness in how people regard the
social situation in Papua, which is driven by the desire for capital
accumulation. This is a characteristic of capitalism. Capitalism does
not take the side of oppressed groups. The democratic state is just an
illusion created by corrupt officials, high-ranking officers,
parliamentarians and ministers, and the capitalists who make their moves
behind the scenes. What we see amidst all this complexity, all the
problems facing Papua at this time, is that the Papuan people’s
democratic rights are no longer recognised and there is sense of
responsibility over the impacts of this.

PT Freeport, a product of US Imperialism, is the puppetmaster behind
crimes against the Papuan people. The United Student Front to Shut
Freeport wishes to make this statement of opinion to the Joko Widodo and
Jusuf Kalla Regime to take action NOW to:

Get out of Papua and Shut Freeport! Along with all exploitative
actions of Multination Corporations from Imperialist Nations: BP
Tangguh, Medco, Korindo and other companies operating in the Land of Papua.

Make an audit of Freeport’s wealth and give it back, also giving
severance pay to workers.

Conduct an audit of mine reserves and environmental damage

Withdraw all organic and non-organic military and police units from
the Land of Papua

Allow “the right to self-determination” as a democratic solution for
the people of the Papuan nation.

Track down, arrest, bring to justice and imprison the perpetratoris
of human rights violations during the period of Freeport’s operations in
Papua.

Let the Papuan people determine the future for Freeports mine in Papua.

Freeport should be obliged to rehabilitate the environmental damage
caused by mine exploitation.

Stop all activities in the MP3EI program throughout the land of
Papua and stop building military bases.

Source: Fransiskan Papua:
http://www.fransiskanpapua.net/2017/03/1697/solidaritas-mahasiswa-untuk-sebuah-perubahan.php