Monthly Archives: July 2011

Alstom to equip West Papua mining railway

Mining company PT Freeport Indonesia has awarded Alstom a contract worth around €90m to supply railway systems and train control equipment for a mining railway in West Papua.

Alstom said on July 28 that it would supply track, catenary, electrical substations, signalling and telecoms equipment for the internal railway at PTFI’s Grasberg gold and iron ore mine. An initial 19 km single-track line is envisaged, of which 15 km would be underground.

Situated at an altitude of 4 000 m in a mountain range, Grasberg is already one of the world’s largest opencast mines, extracting 240 000 tonnes per day. Staff and materials are currently transported around the site by lorry, conveyor or cable car, but PTFI plans to expand by exploiting nearby underground seams.

The proposed railway would be used to move workers, mining equipment, explosives and rubble between three railheads beneath the mountain range and a logistics base on the surface. Alstom has been contracted to ensure the railway operates 24 h/day, seven days a week, with availability of 99% or better. Maximum line speed would be 40 km/h. Alstom’s Atlas communications-based train control equipment will provide interlocking, train location and train protection functions.

‘This is a first for Alstom Transport’, commented Dominique Pouliquen, Executive Director for Asia-Pacific at Alstom Transport. ‘We have never worked for a mine before in this region. We hope this project could become a standard-setter in Indonesia.’ The first trains are scheduled to run in July 2013.

Source: Railway Gazette

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Indonesia to Construct Ports in Papua

State port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) is scheduled to construct two new ports in Indonesia, one in Kalibaru of North Jakarta, and another in Sorong, Papua. Having signed a Rp 11 trillion loan with PT Bank Mandiri, the bank’s CEO Zulkifli Zaini confirmed on Tuesday (26/7) that this standby loan was scheduled to be used to finance the Kalibaru port project, should Pelindo win the rights to build the port.

Richard Joost Lino, CEO of Pelindo II, added that Pelindo II was also working toward plans to construct a Rp 1 trillion port in Sorong, Papua. He added that 30 percent of total investment value for the port in Papua would come from Pelindo, with the remainder coming in from private sectors. Pelindo II will put the project up for tendering process this year, and expects construction to begin in 2012. The state company has formed a consortium with major shippers to build this port – PT Pelayaran Tempuran Emas Tbk, PT Samudera Indonesia Tbk, PT Meratus Line, and PT Salam Pacific Indonesia Line (SPIL).

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Mustafa Abubakar said that the project construction would support the development of Indonesia’s eastern region. “The port is expected to be operational by 2013,” said Abubakar.

Source: Tempointeractive

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Papuan journalist gets AJI award

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) gave the SK Trimurti award to a radio journalist on Friday (8/7) for her service to Papua’s remote Yahukimo regency.

Kathe Vince Dimara, director of the Pikon Ane community radio station,was praised for, among other things, using radio to promote economic development in remote areas of the regency.

For example, the station would broadcast the standard price of commodities to its 70,000 listeners, allowing local residents to take better advantage of the market. Kathe also broadcast programming on public health, warning people about the risk of HIV/AIDS.

AJI chief Nezar Patria said he hoped the award, named after Indonesia’s first woman journalist, Soerastri Karma Trimurti, would inspire journalists to emulate Kathe and use the power of the press to improve the lives of the people.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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OPM Shoots Soldiers in Papua

Military wing of the Free Papua Movement, also knows as OPM, shot Indonesian soldiers in Kalome village, Tingginambut district, on Tuesday evening (5/7).

State news agency Antara reported that the attack occurred as a group of Indonesian Military (TNI) officers patrolled the village.

A number of OPM members reportedly appeared and attempted to prevent them from carrying out a routine patrol.

During the shoot-out, Private 2nd Class Kadek was shot in the right arm.

As reinforcements and medical assistance arrived some time later, the group of soldiers again came under fire, leaving another two soldiers, First Sgt. Deni and Private Fauzi, with wounds to their limbs.

The soldiers have been evacuated to Mulia General Hospital in Puncak Jaya before they were transferred to Jayapura Hospital for more specialized treatment.

The last such incident in Puncak Jaya took place on June 24, when a police officer from Puncak Jaya Police Headquarters Jayapura, First Brig. Muhammad Yasin, was shot by OPM.

Source: Antara

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Press Release: ‘Papua Peace Conference’ 5 – 7 July 2011, in Jayapura

July 5, 2011 – From 5–7 July 2011, the ‘Papua Peace Conference’ will be held in Jayapura (Papua province, Indonesia).

This high profile three-day event, organized by the Papua Peace Network (PPN) aims at clarifying the understanding of the long established concept “Papua Land of Peace”.

It also aims at discussing means and ways for Papuans and other important stakeholders to let “Papua Land of Peace” become a reality.

The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, will present the views of the Indonesian Government.

Other dignitaries are also expected to share their views at the opening of the Conference.

200 indigenous Papuans from all regencies in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, representing different religions, ethnic groups, women’s groups, youth, and local organizations are expected to attend the Conference as delegates.

They all are at the forefront of working towards a peaceful Papua. In addition, 350 observers from Papua and West Papua are expected to witness the Conference.

The ‘Papua Peace Conference’ will conclude with a declaration adopted by the delegates outlining important areas to be discussed with the central government, in order to progress towards further defining the concept “Papua Land of Peace”.

Most importantly, the declaration will highlight willingness for peaceful dialogue and suggest concrete and constructive ways forward.

Background information on the PPN
The Papuan Peace Network (PPN) was established in 2010. It is co-chaired by Father Neles Tebay, a Catholic priest and human rights activist from Papua province, Indonesia, and by Dr. Muridan S. Widjojo, editor of the Papua Road Map that was published by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

The PPN gathers 30 Papuan and non-Papuan leaders representing different groups in society. The PPN and its members are guided by the passionate belief in dialogue as an instrument to settle any existing differences between the central government and the Papua – / West Papua provinces.

Since its inception, it has organized a number of public consultations, through which it has managed to bring closer together large parts of the Papuan society. The PPN is committed to work towards dialogue as a means to bridge existing differences in Papua and beyond.

Source: Papua Peace Network

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‘Paradise’ Found in Wilds of Papua

For decades, the only foreign visitors to venture into Papua were gold-diggers, anthropologists, missionaries and soldiers fighting imperial wars.

But the vast, western half of New Guinea island is slowly opening its doors to tourists as a “hidden paradise,” a land of ancient tribal cultures, glittering reefs, soaring glaciers and teeming wildlife.

Recreational travelers number a few thousand a year at most: people like Sarah Gabel, a 29-year-old American who says she is “captivated by people who live in harmony with nature.”

That’s what she found in the Baliem Valley, the long-isolated home of the Dani tribe high in the Papuan central highlands, outside the town of Wamena.

“I made a one-week trek. I crossed rivers in the wild, slept in huts and met semi-naked men hunting wild boars with arrows,” she said.

This kind of “ethnic tourism” is growing in New Guinea, the largest island in Asia, where a thousand indigenous tribes are divided between the independent state of Papua New Guinea to the Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

“The clients come mostly from Europe and the US. They don’t look for five-star hotels but want to discover unknown territories and authenticity,” explained Iwanta Perangin-Angin, whose agency, Papua Adventure, offers stays in Baliem.

Packed with exotic wildlife, Papua also attracts nature buffs and ornithologists in search of birds of paradise and cockatoos. Environment group WWF last week announced the discovery of more than 1,000 new species on New Guinea, including a frog with fangs and a round-headed dolphin.

The Raja Ampat marine park has also earned a reputation as a diving mecca, with more and more live-aboard boats offering extended voyages around the area’s dozens of pristine reefs. “Papua is a hidden paradise. It’s a unique destination with a lot to offer, from wild beaches to high mountains and deep jungle, with a strong culture and beautiful art,” said Azril Azahari, a professor at Trisakti University Institute of Tourism,

“It’s a niche market because it’s very expensive and visitors need to be in good shape to support the climate, the hilly landscape and the very basic transport.”

Others warn against the worst outcomes of “ethnic tourism,” such as promoting tribal people as “primitive” when they are not. This is already happening in the form of reconstructions of tribal wars. When tourists arrive, the Dani men take off their shorts and T-shirts, paint their bodies and attach traditional penis gourds known as “kotekas.”

“Papuans are very proud of their traditions but they are weakened by the modern world,” said Yotam Yorgen Fonataba, organizer of an annual cultural festival at Sentani Lake, near the Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura.

“I’m still optimistic our culture is strong and we want to protect it. For this, we need to show the world our creativity.”

Launched four years ago, the festival brings together thousands of people from 24 communities scattered around the huge lake. To the rhythm of traditional drums known as “tibas,” warriors sing haunting tribal songs while dancers, clad in richly colored costumes, sway on boats that glide across the still lake.

Source: AFP

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Lest we forget – support for torture victims

By: Budi Hernawan. Sixty-six years ago the United Nations Charter was signed. Twenty-four years ago the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), which defined, condemned and criminalized torture as one of the cruelest forms of human rights abuses, came into effect.

Article 1 of CAT defines torture as “Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

“It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

It was not until Soeharto’s New Order collapsed that Indonesia ratified the UN convention by adopting Law No. 5/1998. However, the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) does not define “torture” (penyiksaan) and only recognizes the term “ill-treatment” (penganiyaan), thus does not criminalize it.

It is time to renew our commitment to ending torture. Many victims of torture in the history of our nation have not received any recognition, let alone reparation.

Their history stretches since the independence war in 1945 to the massive massacre of communists in 1965 to date, from Aceh, Papua and Timor Leste.

The majority of victims remain unknown and their voices have never been heard since the current legal framework is incapable to deal with torture, which is closely linked to the question of impunity.

Various recommendations from the UN Special Procedures to address these questions have remained unimplemented.

Essentially torture has branded the victims with the stigma as “the enemy of the state”. This label bears serious legal, political, social and economic consequences because victims are put beyond the boundaries of the state’s protection. Many victims live with the stigma eks-tapol (former political prisoners) sealed in their national ID cards and have been denied access to public services.

Other victims, particularly in Aceh and Papua, are labeled “separatists” or “rebels” and the government has deprived them of equality treatment before the law. Labor activists such as Marsinah or Wiji Thukul were branded musuh pembangunan (the enemy of development).

In daily life, many who survived excruciating pain and returned to their community continue to suffer from psychological and physical pain. Their disabilities have seriously and sometimes permanently, hampered their ability to work and earn a living.

This situation is often exacerbated by the social isolation they experience from their community, leading to both economic and social impoverishment.

This is the reality of most torture victims in our society. Without fair trial they are stigmatized, isolated, disabled and impoverished. They have become outcasts in our society. The general population turns away from them. To borrow the language of Julia Kristeva, a French philosopher, they become “the abject”, an object that provokes disgust.

The seriousness of torture as one of the most heinous forms of dehumanization laid the grounds for the UN member states to act to prevent torture. It is time for the Indonesian legislators and government to be true to the promise that they made in ratifying CAT.

They should act on harmonizing domestic law, particularly the Criminal Code, consistent with CAT and other UN human rights instruments. Moreover, these key institutions are responsible for implementing recommendations from the UN special rapporteur on torture following his visit to Indonesia few years ago.

The Indonesian government should recognize the victims of torture. There are many ways to express this recognition starting from hearing all pending dossiers of torture allegations in front of the human rights courts as stipulated by the 2000 Human Rights Court Law.

The government should seek reparation for torture victims by providing them with adequate assistance and services to rebuild their lives, such as free health treatment, counseling, housing and schooling.

Furthermore, the government at all levels should publicly condemn any allegations of torture and promptly act on them.

The administration should review the doctrine, the culture and the curriculum within the government institutions that prepare candidates for security services and public servants to be consistent with human rights standards. So many stories of violence and brutality occur inside these institutions with little prosecution and thus perpetuate the cycle of impunity.

Finally, the general population needs to continue their work to educate themselves to become an engaging population and a human rights aware society rather than bystanders. They need to raise their voices for those who have been silenced and outcast.

The writer, a Franciscan friar and former director of the Office for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church in Jayapura, Papua, currently is pursuing a PhD at the Regulatory Institutions Network, the Australian National University, Canberra.

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