Monthly Archives: February 2013

Australia conveys condolences over soldiers shot dead in Papua

The Ambassador of Australia to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, has expressed condolences following the deaths of eight soldiers in shooting incidents in Papua on Thursday (21/2).

In a press release from the Australian Embassy on Friday, the Australian government said that the incident will only hurt Indonesia especially the people of Papua with regard to efforts to create a safe and prosperous Indonesia.

The attacks on eight soldiers occurred in two different locations namely in Tingginambut and Sinak. Meanwhile, four civilians had also been killed in the incidents.

An army helicopter was shot on Friday (2/22) morning leaving three crew members injured when it was to evacuate the bodies of the victims forcing it to return to the base.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono held a limited cabinet meeting on Friday (22/2) afternoon, to discuss the incidents suspected to be the acts of armed civilian groups of members of a separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM).

Source: ANTARA News

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Filed under Papua, Security, Separatism

Economic gap seen as cause of security problem in Papua

Economic and social gap is the root cause of persistent security problem in Papua, Velix Wanggai, a special staff of the president on regional autonomy, said.

The problem has to be sorted out through comprehensive approaches to create peace in the rebellious region, Velix said when accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on a working visit in this Central Java district on Thursday (21/2).

Velix made the statement when asked to comment on the incident earlier that day when eight soldiers were killed in Papua shot at by armed gangs of rebels.

He said feeling of injustice by local people over economic and social gap between Papua and the rest of the country was exploited by the rebels to incite the fight for independence led by the outlawed Free Papua Organization (OPM).

Papua has not enjoyed the fruit of development and felt being isolated from the rest of the country, he said.

Papua is known to be rich in natural resources with large mineral reserves of copper, gold, silver and oil.

Papua hold the country`s largest reserves of copper, gold and natural gas but ironically the scarcely populated region remains lagging behind the rest of the country in economic development.

“The backwardness, disappointment and dissatisfaction serve as an ammunition to incite resistance against the government,” Velix said.

The resistance movement is concentrated in isolated areas like Puncak Jaya regency, he added.

He said the government is fully aware of the problem and what has caused the problem, therefore, steps have been taken to remove the gap and reduce the feelings of injustice.

In the past 10 years, the government has tried to create more effective bureaucracy by splitting regencies such as Jaya Wijaya regency into 10 regencies, he pointed out.

The purpose is to get the district administrations closer to the people in the vast region, he said.

In addition, the government has built new infrastructure such as roads and airports to facilitate transport, he added.

He said the policy of naming local leaders having good knowledge of the areas and familiar with the local culture should be maintained.

Source: ANTARA News

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Filed under Economy, Papua, Security

Businessmen of Papua origin should increase competition

Businessmen of Papua origin have been asked to increase their competition with other businessmen who work on government projects in the province, Papua Young Businessmen Association (Hipmas) Chairman Yance Udam said here on Tuesday (26/2).

He noted that to increase their competitiveness in a healthy manner, the businessmen of Papua origin should not repress the regional leaders and force their way into winning the tender of government projects.

“Let alone expressing their disappointment through anarchic demonstration,” Udam said, adding that the most dignified way was that they should upgrade their managerial skills and business skills while working on existing projects with full responsibility.

“If they claim to be the the young businessmen of Papua origin, they must be more responsible for working on the projects entrusted to them,” he went on.

Udan then asked the regional government to control unregistered business organizations, and to give the opportunity to the registered ones to play their role in the government projects.

Source: ANTARA News

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Indonesia’s ambassador to Vanuatu describes West Papua as very unlawful

Indonesia’s new ambassador to Vanuatu has described West Papua as very unlawful and that his country is determined to bring calm there.

Nadjip Riphat Kesoema fielded questions about West Papua from Vanuatu journalists at a press conference after he had presented his credentials to Vanuatu’s President, Iolu Johnson Abil on Tuesday (26/2).

Mr Nadjip says he is deeply saddened by the latest violence in Papua, with Eight Indonesian soldiers and four civilians killed in two separate shooting incidents in the Highlands last week.

“Democratisation should be accompanied by rule of law. Right now, many demonstrations has ended with violence because they just try to calm down the demonstration but then the demonstration becoming wild,” said Mr Nadjip.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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OPM attacks Indonesian military chopper in Papua

The separatist group, Free Papua Organization (OPM), shots at an Indonesian military helicopter in the province of Papua on Friday (22/02) as the crew was trying to evacuate the bodies of eight soldiers killed in the OPM’s attacks the day before.

Three crew members were wounded in Friday’s attack on the Super Puma helicopter, which was forced to abort its mission and rush the injured to a hospital, said Lt. Col. Jansen Simanjuntak, an army spokesman.

Eight soldiers and four civilians were killed in two separate attacks in the area on Thursday. The area is a stronghold of separatists who have battled Indonesian rule in the region.

In the deadliest attack Thursday, about 20 assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked a group of soldiers walking to Ilaga Airport in Puncak district to collect communication equipment, killing seven, Simanjuntak said.

Col. Agus Rianto, a national police spokesman said Friday, that four civilians were killed.

About an hour before that attack, OPM gunmen stormed an army post in Tingginambut, a village in neighboring Puncak Jaya district, and fatally shot one soldier and injured another before fleeing into the jungle, Simanjuntak said.

Simanjuntak identified the assailants as members of a local separatist group led by Goliat Tabuni.

Senior Security Minister Djoko Suyanto said the incidents were “very irresponsible acts by the OPM armed groups in Papua,” adding that “the government very strongly condemns such brutal incidents.” He said the perpetrators would be captured and prosecuted.

The former Dutch colony of Papua in the western part of New Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

Source: Associated Press

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Indonesia, Netherlands pledge to further ties

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa met here with visiting Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, pledging to further promote bilateral relations between the two countries.

Speaking at a news conference with his counterpart Marty, Timmermans said both sides agreed to bring the bilateral relations to a higher level, as it deserves to be.

“Indonesia is increasingly a global player with global responsibilities, my ambition is for the Netherlands to be Indonesia’s gateway to Europe,” Timmermans said, adding that his country sees Indonesia as the country’s prime partner in Asia.

Marty said the two ministers had a fruitful and productive discussion on cooperation ranging from trade, investment, infrastructure development, water management, to agriculture and city planning.

However, bilateral ties between the two countries were believed to have been turned downward in recent years triggered by the abrupt postponement of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s state visit to the Netherlands in 2010 over a human rights trial in the host country which would lead to his arrest.

Last year, Dutch Media reported the majority of parties in the Netherlands parliament opposed the deal of selling 100 Leopard battle tanks to Indonesia because of Jakarta’s poor human rights record.

When asked about these issues’ repercussion in the development of bilateral relations, Marty said the tasks for the two ministers are to be able to observe, acknowledge and to be aware of these different dynamics within the two countries, yet at the same time able to see the broad picture.

“We recognize that our two countries have special ties in the past, we must move forward and make our relationship more contemporary,” Marty said, adding that the two countries should not be taken hostage by the past development.

The Netherlands, Indonesia’s colonial master for centuries until 1945, is Indonesia’s largest foreign direct investment source and one of the most important trade partners in Europe.

The Netherlands’ direct foreign investment in Indonesia totaled 966.5 million U.S. dollars last year, accounting for 38 percent of the total investment from Europe. The trade between the two countries reached 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters of 2012 amid weakening European economy.

Source: Xinhua

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Filed under Democracy, Development, Economy, International Relation

OPM kills 8 soldiers, 2 civilians in Indonesia

Free Papua Organization (OPM) killed eight soldiers and two civilians Thursday (21/02) in two separate attacks against the Indonesian army in the restive easternmost province of Papua, the military said.

About 20 assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked a group of nine soldiers walking to Ilaga Airport in Puncak district to collect communication equipment, killing seven, provincial army spokesman Lt. Col. Jansen Simanjuntak said.

He said two civilians working in a nearby farm were also killed in the attack.

About an hour earlier, gunmen stormed an army post in Tinggi Nambut, a village in neighboring Puncak Jaya district, and fatally shot one soldier and injured another before fleeing into the jungle, Simanjuntak said.

Indonesian military spokesman Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said the same group was responsible for both attacks in the area, a stronghold of separatists who have battled Indonesian rule.

“They are believed to be old players who always try to disturb the situation there,” Sitompul said in Jakarta, the capital.

Simanjuntak identified the assailants as a local separatist group led by Goliat Tabuni.

The former Dutch colony of Papua in the western part of New Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

Source: Associated Press

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Filed under Papua, Separatism