Monthly Archives: May 2010

Lake Sentani festival to attract tourists

Themed “Loving Culture for Our Future,” Lake Sentani Festival (LSF) from June 19 to 23, 2010, will try to attract as many domestic and foreign tourists as possible.

Jayapura district head Habel Melkias Suwae said here on Sunday that preparations had been made for this annual cultural festivity.

He said this year`s event would be the third since its first one held in 2008, and will serve as a year-long gateway for the tourism industry in the Indonesia easternmost province, Papua.

In 2008, the Papua Tourism Office organized the first Lake Sentani Festival from July 16 to 19 that year to support the annual Lembah Baliem Festival in Jayawijaya district.

Since then, the LSF was held as an effort to protect the culture of Jayapura district, especially at the areas around Lake Sentani.

Located some 75 meters above sea level and surrounded by beautiful hills, the 3.63-hectare Lake Sentani is a perfect place for fishing, swimming, canoing, skiing, and other kinds of water sports.

“No wonder, Lake Sentani Festival will serve as a year-long gateway for the tourism industry in Jayapura district specifically and in Papua province in general,” Habel Melkias Suwae said.

It means, he said, that in this case tourism will strengthen the identity of the people of Papua, preserve their traditional and cultural values, step up their economy.

Therefore, Habel added that the Jayapura district administration would make every effort to develop the attractive villages around Lake Sentani to constantly attract as many tourists as possible.

“This year`s Lake Sentani Festival is themed `Loving Culture for Our Future` because whoever loves and preserves traditional and cultural values, will also prepare the future of the future generation,” Habel said.

Source: Antara News

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Military post in Papua attacked, two wounded

Two military officers were wounded when a group of armed people of Free Papua Movement (OPM) attacked their post in Yambi, Puncak Jaya district, Papua, at 8 am on May 21st.

The source said that the military post in Yambi which is 80 km from Mulia, district capital of Puncak Jaya, was attacked by an armed group affiliated to OPM.

One of the the two wounded military personnel is the Yambi Military Post Commandant Second Lieut. Agung, while the other one was not yet identified.

The two victims would be flown to Jayapura by a military helicopter midday on Saturday.

Puncak Jaya District Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Alek Korwa confirmed the incident when contacted on Saturday.He said that security condition in Mulia city remained conducive, however.

Source: Antara

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EU Not Support Free Papua Movement

The mass media in Europe have never paid huge attention toward the issue as well.

None of the countries in the European Union supports the Papuan independence. On the contrary, the EU stands behind the implementation of the special autonomy in the easternmost province of Indonesia.

“Europe really sides with the fact that Papua is still part of the Republic of Indonesia. It also believes that the special autonomy has been best implemented in the province to improve the life of indigenous people,” Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium, Nadjib Riphat Koesoema told reporters in Jayapura today, May 18.

Nadjib further mentioned that the claims made by the International Law for West Papua (ILPW) and the International Parliament of West Papua (IPWP) saying that European countries agree with the struggle on independent Papua are not true.

In fact, the mass media in Europe have never paid huge attention toward the issue as well.

“Only two out of 736 members of European Parliament were present during the launch of ILWP and IPWP in Brussel, Belgium, on January 26. How could the representatives reflect the parliament’s support [toward the issue]?” he said.

Meanwhile, former OPM Foreign Affairs Minister, Nicolas Messet, said that the ILPW and IPWP are of mediocre levels. “Some people want to exaggerate ILPW and IPWP,” he said.

“I’ve been fighting for the Free Papua since I was young and didn’t make it. Then I changed my view. Papua may develop by implementing the special autonomy,” he said.

UK-based Papuan organization of separatists, the International Lawyers for West Papua, helmed by Benny Wenda continues its struggle to free Papua from Indonesia.

Source: VIVA News

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Indonesian police kill rebel suspect in Papua

Indonesian police shot dead a separatist rebel during a raid Monday in the country’s easternmost province of Papua.

The raid, launched by the police, was on a rebel hideout in Puncak Jaya district.

Papua police spokesman Agus Rianto was quoted as saying that the suspect, a member of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) who was identified only by his initials WT, was shot during the raid. He said police also seized a number of bullets.

Rianto said the dead man was responsible for a recent attack against workers in the region that killed three.

The OPM, a group of separatist rebels, has been waging a rebellion in Papua since the early 1960s.

Papua is a former Dutch colony that became an Indonesian province in 1964, after a vote involving tribal leaders.

Source: Earth Times

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Solomons learn from PNG/Indonesia border management

A high level delegation from the Solomon Islands has returned from a fact finding mission to the Papua New Guinea/Indonesia border.

Crime, including drugs running and people smuggling, is always a major concern for law enforcement officials manning the border.

Solomon Islands is hoping to see how Port Moresby and Jakarta deal with these sorts of issues – and it’s hoped this will help Solomon Islands in its management of its own border with Papua New Guinea on Bougainville.

The Solomon Islands delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, George Hiele.

He was joined by High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Bernard Bata’anisia and other senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s office.

Source: Radio Australia

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Govt may free political prisoners in Papua

Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar said Sunday he planned to release a number of Papuan political activists jailed for campaigning for separation from Indonesia.

The minister said during his visit to Papua that he would discuss the plan with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Widodo AS. The policy, he explained, aimed at stabilizing the restive province.

“We will see whether they were involved in major crimes such as murder or whether they were only participating in a rally,” he said in Sentani Airports in Jayapura.

Human rights groups have criticized the Indonesian government for jailing Papuans for joining separatist rallies, hoisting the flag of the Free Papua Movement or campaigning for separatism.

The day before, a leading figure from the outlawed Free Papua Movement (OPM), Nicholas Jouwe, received his Indonesian citizenship documents in Jayapura on Saturday from Patrialis.

“It’s impossible for Papua to separate from Indonesia and Indonesia can’t be apart from Papua. We’re part of the country,” said the 87-year-old man, who was returning to the country after living in the Netherlands for 42 years.

He said he had returned to live in Papua and help the government develop Papua and improve welfare there.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Papuan separatist leader becomes Indonesian citizen

A leader of the Free Papua movement, Nicholas Jouwe, has become an Indonesian citizen after living in exile in the Netherlands for 50 years.

He received his certificate of citizenship from Minister of Law and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar in Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura on Saturday.

“Nicholas Jouwe has come home and received his citizenship from the minister in the presence of Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono,” the ministry’s spokesman Martua Batubara said.

“Jouwe appealed to all Papuan exiles to follow in his footsteps because Papua is internationally recognized as an integral part of Indonesia”.

Jouwe reportedly first discussed his intentions to return home with Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands JE Habibie late last year.

The Free Papua Movement has been waging low-level armed secessionist movement since the UN recognized the territory as part of Indonesia in 1963.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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