Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs’ letter to the Dutch Parliament

Dear Chairman,

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri RosenthalAs promised during the general discussions on Papua on December 22nd 2011 I herewith send you further information on the situation in Papua with a focus on the events that happened in Paniai.

This letter is based on inquiries with the Indonesian authorities, other embassies in Jakarta, among which the EDEO-representative and human rights organisations.

Interlocutors share their concern about incidental violence by the security forces in Papua, such as after the ending of the Third Papuan Congress early October.

I will continue to insist with the Indonesian authorities to respect human rights in Papua, to restraint actions of security forces during peaceful demonstrations and to a free admission of diplomats, press and NGO’s to the area.

The Netherlands will continue to support Indonesia with an improved implementation of the Special Autonomy Law 2001.

Here we join up with initiatives conducted by the Indonesian authorities themselves, such as the recently founded special development unit for Papua, called UP4B.

It is the task of UP4B to support the coordination, synchronisation and planning of the development programs in both provinces of Papua. The unit even has the authority to inspect the development and execution of the programs in order to guarantee an effective implementation.

On determining the powers of UP4B the Special Autonomy Law was taken into account, giving authority and responsibility to the local administration to conduct and plan programs for both provinces.

UP4B will report on a regular basis to a Steering Committee, which is presided by vice-president Boediono. Together with several ministers the governors of Papua and West Papua are also member of this committee.

In this respect I would like to mention that the Indonesian president Yudhoyono repeatedly voted for a dialogue between all parties in Papua in order to achieve a sustainable and peaceful solution.

As I mentioned during the budget debates in the House of Representatives a special envoy has been appointed fort his dialogue. This concerns dr. Farid Husein who was closely involved in the peace negotiations in Aceh and is a man with the right experience.

During a meeting with the chief editors of the Indonesian media on January 12th vice president Boediono indicated the the government aims at regaining the trust of the people with the new approach of Hearts and Minds. He acknowledged that safety and justice are just as important as investments in the social and economic development of the province.

Taken the aforementioned into account, president Yudhoyono and members of his government conducted talks on December 16th with church leaders in Papua. Also present during these talks were the chief commander of the armed forces and the chief commander of the police force.

During these talks the church leaders criticized the discrimination of the local people, human rights violations in the province together with the institution of the special development unit UP4B by Jakarta, which has been founded without support of the Papuans. In a declaration held after the talks the church leaders welcomed the president’s willingness to find a solution for the problems in Papua. It was agreed upon to continue the talks in the course of 2012.

The Indonesian government has confirmed to investigate the brutal actions of the security forces at the end of the Third Papuan Congress at the beginning of October, organised by the indigenous movement West Papua’s People’s National Reconciliation Team. It was stressed that police officers and soldiers who have broken the law, will be prosecuted and will be punished.

As far as the actions of the security forces at Paniai are concerned on December 13th, it is difficult to verify all that has happened.

The national police force indicated that this was an operation by Brimob (mobile police brigade) against freedom fighters of the independence movement Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM). The armed branch of OPM strives for an independent Papua with violent means.

There are no indications that the anti-terrorism unit Densus 88 was involved in the action at Paniai. It proved to be impossible to confirm any deadly casualties. The only report so far stems from the independence movement OPM, reporting 14 fighters killed in action. The OPM-information is also mentioned by Human Rights Watch, but has not been verified by this organisation. The Indonesian police force confirmed one wounded officer but does not report any deadly casualties. Since the 13th of December the area is supposed to be quiet.

The local representative of the official human rights committee in Papua (Komnas HAM Papua) reported to see no special reason to conduct an investigation on the events of the 13th of December 2011.

Enquiries revealed that no helicopters were used from Australian companies.

Following the exchange of thoughts in The House of Representatives about the Australian opinion on the matters concerned I contacted my Australian counterpart.

He reported that indeed there was a clash between the OPM and the security forces. He also mentioned the fact that the OPM not only strives for independence with violent means in Papua, but is also a part of intercommunal conflicts in the area.

I will see to it that also in the European Union attention will be given to the situation in Papua.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dr. U. Rosenthal

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TNI conducts health care program in Papua

TNI's Health Care Progam in Papua

The Indonesia’s National Defense Forces (TNI) conducted health care program in Kampung Kalipay, Waris District, recently.

“It shows that TNI’s presence in Papua is to help and empower the villagers. And Papuans are very welcome with the program,” said Information Officer Lieutenant W. Nadeak on Monday (30/01).

The Papuans who came for having a treatment were not only from Kalipay, but also from neighborhood villages.

“Based on the data we get, type of diseases suffered by some peoples are malaria, cough and influenza, and respiratory tract infections,” he added.

Source: Cenderawasih Pos

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OPM Kill Policeman in Papua

Armed rebels shot a policeman dead at point-blank range on Saturday (28/01) when they ambushed a paramilitary patrol in Indonesia’s the most-eastern province of Papua.

The group, which believed as Free Papua Organization (OPM), opened fire on 12 paramilitary police who were conducting a routine patrol in Puncak Jaya highland in central Papua, provincial police spokesman Wachyono said.

“One police member was shot in the head. Our personnel are still chasing down the attackers,” he said, in the latest spasm of violence in the highland district, believed to be a hub of Papuan separatists.

Four policemen had been killed there in separate ambushes since October 2011.

Attackers also shot and killed a food vendor last week in the district, where hundreds of paramilitary reinforcements were sent in October.(*wpnn)

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Govt allocating US$ 399 M for Trans-Papua road

The Public Works Ministry is allocating US$399 million (Rp 3.6 trillion) to build the Trans-Papua Highway.

Iqbal Pane, national road construction development director of the ministry’s Bina Marga (Highway) Directorate General, said that the budget to build roads and bridges in the Papua and West Papua provinces was among the largest of all provinces.

He said that Bina Marga had a Rp. 30 trillion budget to construct roads and bridges throughout the country.

Iqbal said that the aim of the Trans-Papua Highway was to connect isolated areas in Papua’s central highlands to Wamena, Habema, Kenyam, Batas Batu, as well as the Asmat regency on the south coast.

He added that there were also two road projects in Papua which have been included in the Master Plan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI). The roads are those linking Timika, in the Mimika regency, and Enarotali, in the Paniai regency, and those linking Merauke with Tanah Merah in the Bouven Digoel regency.

“We are prioritizing the highway and the other two roads, which are included in the MP3EI,” Iqbal said Thursday (26/01).

He said that the government aims to build 70 percent of a total of 3,100 kilometers of national road in Papua and West Papua by 2014.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Kopassus in Papua to safeguard sovereignty

Army Special Force (Kopassus) Commander Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya said the force`s presence in Papua was to carry out part of the Army`s main tasks in safeguarding and upholding the country`s sovereignty.

“We carry out our task and play our role proportionately,” he explained about the sidelines of distributing 20,000 saplings to people here on Saturday (14/01).

He said “our presence in Papua is the same as in other regions namely carrying out our main task of safeguarding our sovereignty in addition to conducting exercises and to reach out to the people through various activities.

He said in general security situation and conditions in Papua are relatively stable and conducive. “Relatively secure and conducive,” he said.

The House of Representatives Commission I estimated there are 250 intelligence personnel in Papua from the police force and three branches of the defense forces (TNI) including 176 from Kopassus.

On a separate occasion the chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Lt Gen Marciano Norman said the development in Papua was very dynamic.

He said in dealing with Papua problems the government always sought the best solution.

Marciano said the government does not want to see Papua to secede like East Timor. “But we must also make the Papuans to enjoy welfare. That is what we have to think together,” he said.

He called on the media to help monitor the work of the government and security forces in the region.

“If violations are committed the commander of the TNI and the national police chief would never hesitate to act against them. Control by the media is very tight and it would not want to see violations to happen there,” he said.

Marciano also asked the media not to hesitate to criticize BIN. “Criticize us and give us constructive inputs,” he said.

Source: ANTARA NEws

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Papua – a land of bountiful riches

Papua spans 42 million hectares, with 40 million hectares of forest and 1.6 million hectares of water.

With a population of 2.8 million, Papua is rich in culture and biodiversity.

For example, Lake Sentani is the largest volcanic lake in Jayapura province with an area of 9,360 hectares. Located 70 to 90 meters above sea level with an average depth of 25 meters and right on the slopes of the Cyclops Mountains, the lake lies between the city of Jayapura and Jayapura regency, deriving its water from 14 large and small rivers.

The lake is the habitat of several freshwater fish species and has potential for fish farming and tourism. Besides diving, tourist activities that can be boosted are swimming, boating, fishing and waterskiing.

No wonder Papua program director for WWF Indonesia, Benja Victor Mambai, said “Sumatra is the past and Kalimantan is the present, while Papua is the future of Indonesia.”

Forests, seas, rivers, lakes and mountains are important to the life of communities in Papua.

Approximately 256 ethnic groups depend on nature for their daily sustenance through hunting and farming.

With the local community’s wisdom and values regarding biodiversity, conservation and development, the soil of Papua has so far been maintained.

People in Papua have been directly involved in spatial layout mapping and zonal divisions of the province along with the government and NGOs.

The challenge to be faced in the days, months and years ahead is the improvement of living standards without causing environmental damage in serving the interests of development and investment.

“Build Papua with our hearts, not with our desires,” seems just the right motto for the future of the land of Papua.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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PTDI to produce 15 aircraft for Papua

State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) will produce 15 light N-219 aircraft that will be used for pioneer routes across Papua Island.

“The development of N-219 aircraft has begun and [we] expect to finish the prototype in 2014,” PTDI director for development and technology Andi Alisjahbana said in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday (12/01).

He said that the company would need around US$60 million to fund the project because because around $4 million was needed for each of the 19-seater aircraft.

Andi said that the company had submitted a budget proposal to the government.

He added he had gained support from the Research and Technology Ministry, the Industrial Ministry and the Transportation Ministry for the development of the 15 N-219 aircraft.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Filed under Development, Papua