Monthly Archives: February 2012

Australia supports Indonesia’s territorial integrity

Australia is fully committed to Indonesia’s territorial integrity and national unity, including its sovereignty over the Papua provinces.

This is a fundamental obligation of the Lombok Treaty between Australia and Indonesia.

The meeting being held by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua on Tuesday (28/02) in Canberra does not represent the views of the Australian Government.

In Australia’s system of government, foreign policy is determined by the Government. And in relation to Indonesia, the Lombok Treaty has the support of the largest parties in the Australian parliament.

Australia and Indonesia are strategic partners and our relations today are healthy and strong. As Indonesia continues its remarkable transformation, Australia is working to contribute towards the nation’s progress.

Source: The Australian Embassy in Jakarta

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Filed under Papua, Separatism

President Yudhoyono: No offensive operations in Papua

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reaffirmed that there has not been offensive military operations in Papua since 2005, and since then the government has taken an approach of raising the population`s welfare to aid in solving problems in the province.

“Indonesia has managed problems in Papua as well as possible. For Indonesia, the Papua issue is not about sovereignty but a political, social, justice and welfare issue. I thank all friends who have given full support to Indonesia`s sovereignty and integrity. Since 2005, several weeks after I rose to the presidency, I stopped the use of the security approach and chose a welfare and justice approach instead (to deal with problems there),” he said in a speech before 128 ambassadors and representatives from international organizations at a meeting here on Wednesday (15/02).

Since then, he said, Papua has been granted special autonomy and a special budget has been allocated for development in a number of sectors in which Papua was considered behind other regions.

“Based on the MP3EI, (the master plan for acceleration and expansion of Indonesian economic development), we have set up a Papua-Maluku corridor that is undergoing development acceleration with a concrete agenda and budget,” he said.

Regarding the presence of police and military forces there, President Yudhoyono said, as in other regions, they are assigned to maintain order, conduct law enforcement and, for the military, safeguard the country`s territorial integrity, since Papua borders another country.

He said “only four battalions are assigned to secure the border, in addition to a local unit, and there has not been any military operations so far. Indeed, separatist activities still happen in Papua, claiming lives of police officers, military members and local residents. It is legitimate for us to assign our soldiers and policemen there for law enforcement purposes.”

Regarding excesses such as inappropriate acts by police and military members, President Yudhoyono reaffirmed that the government and the military (TNI) leadership would take harsh actions against those found committing such offenses.

“To deal with excesses, such as inappropriate actions that violate the law and human rights, sanctions would be given and the law would be enforced. Those who are guilty will certainly be punished. There will be no impunity. So, just follow the judicial processes. We wish to be transparent, as in the trials of terrorists,” he said.

President Yudhoyono added, “If (you) have negative information please inform us, inform the TNI commander, or the national police chief and we will investigate it. No incident will be covered up.

Further, I myself and the government will continue working seriously to overcome problems in Papua and obstacles to development.

Source: ANTARA News

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Filed under Military, Papua, Separatism

Soldier killed in Wamena clash

A soldier was stabbed to death on Wednesday as hundreds of residents clashed in Wamena city in Jayapura, Papua.

Army Sgt. Maj. Bambang died from a stab wound to his head and an arrow injury, Col. Ibnu Tri Widodo, the commanding officer of the Praja Wirayakti Regional Military Command, told reporters on Wednesday (22/02).

Ibnu said that Bambang was attacked after he came to the scene of the riot at Sinagma market to find out what was happening. “The scene was close to his dormitory.”

Jayawijaya Deputy Regent John R. Banua and another soldier, Chief Sgt. Andi, were also injured during the clash, which Ibnu said was triggered by a clash between a motorcycle taxi driver and his passenger.

“The passenger refused to pay so the rider hit him. The passenger then incited his friends and relatives to take revenge,” Ibnu said.

Local police fired warning shots into the air, which further angered residents before the situation was brought under control.

Ibnu urged the police to investigate the incident and arrest the perpetrators.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Filed under Military, Papua

Political rivals in Indonesia’s Papua to face charges of inciting violence

Two candidates for local political posts in Puncak Papua in Indonesia’s Papua region have been named by police as suspects for allegedly inciting a political feud that has killed at least 30 people.

Supporters of Elvis Tabuni, the speaker of the Puncak Papua legislative council, and Simon Alom, who led the transitional administration when the district was established, have engaged in clashes since July over an election dispute.

13 people were killed in the first clash, while the others died in the sporadic outbreaks of violence that have followed.

The Papua police deputy chief, Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw, says these two political figures are behind the brawls and will be charged for inciting criminal acts.

Meanwhile police report four people were killed and almost 100 injured when e supporters of rival candidates for the Tolikara regency election clashed last week.

The violence ensued after one candidate’s campaign post was set on fire by rival supporters.

Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw says that fire resulted in 35 buildings being destroyed.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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Filed under Papua

“Flying Health Care” for Indonesia’s Papuans

Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih has announced the creation of the “Flying Health Care” program to improve access to health care services for the population in the Indonesia easternmost province of Papua.

“The improvement of access to health services through the Flying Health Care program is part of the Health Ministry’s 2012-2014 Plan of Action,” said Endang said Tuesday (21/02).

She pointed out that within the program’s Plan of Action was the implementation of the Health-care Guarantee and Improvement of Access to Health Services through Flying Health Care for Papuans, which begins in 2012.

The minister noted that the extensive land mass of Papua, with its population scattered throughout valleys and mountainous areas, made the Flying Health Care program necessary for delivering health care to the population.

“Geographic conditions makes it difficult for Papua province, with a population of only 2.8 million, to have adequate health services at clinics and hospitals, and therefore the Flying Health Care program is necessary for the people in the province,” Endang said.

She noted that besides the Flying Health Care program, the Ministry of Health had other new programs to improve the access to health services in the province in a bid to raise access to public health.

Endang admitted that maternal and infant mortality rates, and the prevalence of severe malnutrition, remained high in Papua.

“Although we have been providing medical services to the people of Papua for several decades, in reality we have to work even harder and smarter,” the minister noted.

To improve access to health services in Papua, Endang said the Ministry of Health has drafted the Plan of Action for 2012-2014 which is made up of various health-related activities.

She said some of the activities included the acceleration of reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), intensification of eradication of non-communicable and infectious diseases, and the operation of village malaria eradication centers.

Source: Kompas

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Filed under Development, Papua

UP4B to monitor Papua’ special autonomy

Spokesman for the Special Unit for Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) Amiruddin Al Rahab has said the unit will make sure that all programs in Papua are properly monitored and answer the people’s need.

The statement was made following the endorsement of Rp 3.8 trillion of special autonomy funds last week by the local parliament.

“We are now synchronizing every program, trying our best to avoid duplicating, let alone ineffective, programs. This has been part of the monitoring system,” told Amiruddin on Monday (20/02).

He also invited anti-graft NGOs like the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) and Transparency International’s Indonesian branch to monitor the program implementation.

“Whenever we spot indications of graft then we will invite the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in,” he said.

UP4B, which is led by Lt. Gen. Bambang Darmono, is tasked with providing necessary assistance to the provinces’ local administrations in distributing welfare to their people and avoiding conflict.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Filed under Development, Papua

Indonesia’s Papua councilors recommend revision in local election system

Politicians have called for elections in Papua to revert a parliamentarian system, out of fears that the current direct voting system, while more democratic, may trigger social violence.

“Many people have fallen as casualties in the lead-up to the elections in several regencies in Papua. I call from the respected [legislative] council for the violence to be brought to an end,” Papua Legislative Council Speaker John Ibo said while closing a council session on the budget in Jayapura on Friday (17/02).

“In order to prevent chaos in democracy, I appeal to the central government to consider revising the electoral system, both in the provinces and the regencies/municipalities,” John said.

Clashes among candidates’ supporters have been rife since July last year, killing 59 in Puncak regency, according to the police.

Violent clashes have also marred the build-up to the election in Tolikara regency, prompting a postponement of the poll from its originally scheduled date of Feb. 17.

The latest clash flared up on Friday, leaving one dead, tens of supporters from the opposing political camps injured, 30 buildings burned, two cars and a motorcycle vandalized. As many as 34 injured people were evacuated to hospitals in Jayapura and Wamena.

“One person was found dead, charred in one of the houses burned by the mob,” Papua Police deputy chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw told reporters.

The election features two candidate pairs John Tabo — H Edi Suyanto and Usman Wanimbo — Amos Jikwa.

Tensions mounted in the pre-election phase as the two pairs disputed the list of the District Election Committee membership released by the Papua General Election Commission (KPUD).

John Tabo said that the names would advantage his rival.

Yop Kagoya, the deputy speaker of Papua legislative council, called for restraint from the two sides.

“The election in Tolikara has been delayed for two years. If delayed further, development would be hampered and this would disadvantage the citizens,” he said.

He said realities on the ground did not yet match with the aspirations associated with a direct voting system, which sought to educate people in developing a mature democracy.

“The people are not mature yet, neither are the political elite. They are not ready to accept defeat, which results in them resorting to violence. Organizers of elections in the regencies are terrorized and intimidated. People are prone anarchic acts,” he said.

“The central government needs to reconsider the system of election used in Papua. It’s better to return it to the DPRD [regional legislative council]. While the cost is small, potential conflicts could be minimized,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Papua police have sent another 65 personnel from the Mobile Brigade Unit (Brimob) to help local police secure and maintain control over the situation in Tolikara.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Filed under Democracy, Papua