Tag Archives: Jayapura

Nicolaas Jouwe: Netherlands Created OPM To Oppose Indonesia

Nicolaas Jouwe

Nicolaas Jouwe

A Papuan community leader, Nicolaas Jouwe, said the Netherlands officers created the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in 1965, to oppose Indonesia and disturb the security of eastern Indonesias territory.

“I am a leader of the National Liberation Council of West Papua. I am not OPMs member. In fact, OPM was created by Netherlands officers in 1965 to coincide with the crackdown on the Indonesian Communist Party,” Jouwe said on Monday (12/5) in Jakarta.

In the lunch that was held for a journalist of Australian TV SBS, Mark Davis, Jouwe said the Netherlands officers trained the Papuan youths to become volunteers in fighting Indonesia.

“The Papuan youth who had been trained were then asked by the Netherlands to establish the OPM,” Jouwe noted.

Jouwe, born in Jayapura on November 24, 1923 and who had designed the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) Flag, also explained conditions in Papua after more than 50 years of integration with the Unitary State of Indonesia, since the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) handed over the governance of West Papua (used to be called Irian Jaya) to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.

Jouwe underlined that the Papuan peoples state of minds cannot be separated from the Netherlands treatment, who had isolated and banned them from attending schools since the Orange Kingdom colonized the land in 1828 until independence was proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on August 17, 1945.

“During the 117 years, we the people of Papua practically lived in the Stone Age,” he said.

The obsession of Jouwe with the struggle for Papuas development was captured in a book titled “Nicolaas Jouwe Back to Indonesia: Step, Thought and Desire” that will be published in 2014.

On Jouwes book, the figure who used to oppose Indonesia, said he had come back to the Unitary State of Indonesia marked by his visit to Jayapura, Papua, in 2009, to support Papuas development, after tens of years of living in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, during his stay in Indonesia, Mark Davis will organize an investigative report in Jayapura between May 6 and May 11, 2014.

Source: ANTARA News

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Indonesia serious about advancing prosperity in Papua

The Government of Indonesia is fully aware of the problems existing in its easternmost province of Papua and has taken steps to reduce the gap and eliminate the feelings of injustice felt by the residents of the province.

The scarcely populated regions in the province do not seem to be at par with the rest of the country in terms of economic and social development, but the government is serious about advancing prosperity there.

During a joint press conference held with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Merdeka Palace on Monday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that the government was sincere and serious about advancing prosperity in Papua.

“To the Australian Prime Minister, I say that the Indonesian policy to manage Papua is very clear, for we take the approach of welfare, justice and democracy,” the President said.

The head of state further pointed out that Papua was the region to which the highest development funds had been allocated in Indonesia, although there were local and structural problems that had to be managed well.

“Indonesia is a democratic country, and the problems in Papua are part of democracy because the region is an integral part of Indonesia. Indonesia`s sovereignty covers Papua as well,” Yudhoyono noted.

On the occasion, Yudhoyono also extended his gratitude for the Australian government`s statement regarding the country`s respect for Indonesia`s sovereignty.

“One thing is clear that Indonesia will take full responsibility to overcome the problems in Papua properly and wisely,” he went on.

Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister also appeased Indonesian sensitivities by taking an unusually tough line against protesters in Australia agitating for independence of the Indonesian territory of Papua.

“The government of Australia takes a very dim view… of anyone seeking to use our country as a platform for grandstanding against Indonesia. We will do everything that we possibly can to discourage this and prevent this,” Abbott said.

He also the admired Indonesian Government`s efforts to improve the autonomy and life of the people of West Papua.

The Australian Prime Minister stated that he believed that the people in West Papua could lead a better life and have a better future as an integral part of Indonesian nation.

The people of Papua were yet to enjoy the fruits of development and therefore felt isolated, Velix Wanggai, President Yudhoyono`s special aide for regional development and autonomy had said in August.

He added that the feeling of injustice with regards to economic and social gaps had been further exploited by the outlawed Free Papua Organisation (OPM), which had incited a fight for independence.

According to Wanggai, backwardness, disappointment, and dissatisfaction of the people of Papua had served as ammunition to incite resistance against the government.

However, Marinus Yaung, an international law and political observer at the Cenderawasih University (Uncen) opined that a peaceful dialogue between Papua and Jakarta was the best possible solution for the problems of Papua.

“We agree that Papua-Jakarta Dialogue will help solve the problem in Papua,” Yaung said in Jayapura recently.

He noted that the problem in Papua was not limited to economic and social development; but was a political problem that had to be solved through peaceful dialogue with Jakarta.

Meanwhile, a hearing of the People`s Assemblies of Papua`s two provinces–Papua and West Papua–at the end of July had indicated that the majority of people in Papua were in favor of a dialogue.

Therefore, the Director of the Democracy Alliance for Papua (ALDP) Latifah Anum Siregar said that all stakeholders in the region should support the Papua People`s Assembly (MRP) in recommending a Papua-Jakarta dialogue immediately.

“The regional administrations of Papua and West Papua, the regional legislative assemblies, and people of the two provinces should support MRP`s recommendations,” added Siregar.

Meanwhile, Manokwari-based Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) Director Yan Christian Warinussy had noted in August that the Papuan people had repeatedly urged Jakarta to open a peaceful, neutral and transparent dialog, facilitated by a third party in a neutral place.

Such a dialog had long been called for, but the Papua People`s Council (MRP) and West Papua People`s Council (MRPB) had only shown appreciation for the call and given their recommendations now, he said.

“Therefore, LP3BH of Manokwari, which serves as an advocate for human rights in Papua, had urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono not to close the door for a proposed Papua-Jakarta dialog in 2013,” Warinussy stated.

He said the proposed dialog should be held immediately, adding there was no reason for a delay.

Warinussy further stated that so far no response or appreciation had been shown despite the offer to facilitate a dialog with a system universally acceptable by the Papua Peace Networks.

As a result of the hearings held by official institutions, such as the MRP and MRPB, Jakarta was expected to react favorably to a proposed Papua-Jakarta dialog before the general elections in 2014, he added.

“A Papua-Jakarta dialog should be held to honor the aspirations of the 99 percent majority of the Papuan people,” he pointed out.

The MRP-MRPB hearing, which evaluated the implementation of the Law on Special Autonomy in the two provinces, had issued a number of recommendations including the holding of a Papua-Jakarta Dialog.

Supporters of the move are being drawn from youth organizations in Papua for immediate implementation of the proposed dialog.

Source: ANTARA News

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UNODC and Norway: Working with Indonesia to protect Jayapura’s Cyclops Mountains

Indonesia is home to the world’s third largest tropical rain forest and 10 percent of global forest cover. This has enabled Indonesia to become a key timber supplier for the legal world market.

Norway's Ambassador,  Stig Traavik visited PapuaMr. Stig Traavik, Norway’s Ambassador to Indonesia, recently visited Papua as part of the final evaluation of the project X14, “Countering Illegal Logging and the linkage between Forest Crime and Corruption in Indonesia”.

Funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the project focuses on law enforcement. It uses specialized training, performance standards and the development of a coordination network to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and judicial officers. It also engages civil society to lend valuable local support to law enforcement efforts.

Accompanied by Mr. Troels Vester, UNODC Indonesia Country Manager, Mr. Traavik met Mr. Yeri F. Dien, Jayapura District Secretary, who explained why the Norwegian government’s attention to the management and protection of the Cyclops Mountains’ Nature Reserve, the X14 pilot project area, mattered.

“Norway’s support of this UNODC forest environmental protection project is very important for the people of Papua because Cyclops Nature Reserve is our main source of water and is also home to a wide variety of rare and unusual flora and fauna,” explained Mr. Dien.

The “Countering Illegal Logging” project successfully assisted the local government to finalize its Local Regulations of Jayapura District on Protection and Management of Cyclops.

The local government also formed a state budget-funded civilian task force to protect the Cyclops Conservation Area. In addition, the project successfully established a strong coordination network among the law enforcement agencies and judicial officers. It also engaged civil society to lend valuable local support to law enforcement efforts.

With the conclusion of the “Countering Illegal Logging” project, Mr. Vester explained UNODC’s next steps to preserve Indonesia’s forests and biodiversity: “UNODC in Indonesia is responding in several ways to assist Indonesia in preserving its forests. We are committed to a new regime to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), and preparing for a fair, equitable and transparent REDD+ architecture.”

Source: UNODC

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A Remote Education Plan in Papua

The Lippo Group has established a partnership with JSAT, Japan’s largest telecommunication satellite company, to build telecommunication networks in Papua in hopes of giving residents in the province’s remote areas better access to Internet and educational television programs.

Lippo Group chief executive James T. Riady said that education was the core solution to the various issues faced by the people of Papua and that the telecommunication network built by the partnership would provide basic infrastructure needed to boost access to education in the region.

“Indonesia has been independent for more than 65 years, yet there remains plenty of places that have yet to be touched by our national development efforts. As we can see, regions in Papua, especially remote areas such as Mamit and others, need infrastructure and attention in education,” James said during a visit to the Sekolah Lentera Harapan (SLH) in Sentani, Papua, last Tuesday.

JSAT has 16 satellites in Asia and has been in partnership with the Lippo Group previously. Lippo Star is the product of this partnership.

“They are willing to help in Papua, especially in the installation of VSAT [very small aperture terminals] in schools in remote areas, so that they would become connected. They provide Internet as well as the best educational programs in the world for students here to watch,” James said.

Three schools in Papua have been selected to be part of the pilot project in the partnership, namely SLH in Kampung Harapan, Kecamatan Sentani, Sekolah Papua Harapan (SPH) in the Doyo Baru village of Jayapura, as well as the SLH in Mamit Village in the Tolikara district.

In the future, the program will be aimed at other schools in remote areas, mainly those located in mountainous regions.

“The VSAT will be installed in one or two months, not just in Sentani but also in Mamit. The models will be found in two school in Sentani and one in Mamit, if the concept goes well,” James said.

Shinji Takada, chief executive of JSAT, said that they had put initial efforts to improve the quality of education and the school’s facility prior to constructing the connectivity network.

“We have sent teachers with a new concept, where education is not only offered through knowledge but also the learning process. Our teachers here are graduates of UPH [Universitas Pelita Harapan], and they have come from different parts of Indonesia to teach, with the support of local government,” Takada said.

Paul Wetipo, principal of SPH said the installation of a telecommunication network would be useful to teachers.

“This [VSAT] will open up access to the outside world, especially because education is something that continuously evolves. Accessing the internet will offer teachers more knowledge and they will also be able to guide students more effectively,” he said.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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Breakthrough imminent in Indonesia: O’Neill’s plan to defuse standoff over West Papua

By Rowan Callick === A breakthrough may be on the way for one of the most intractable conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. Relations between Indonesia and the Melanesian nations, led by Papua New Guinea, have remained awkward ever since the Dutch withdrew from “Netherlands New Guinea,” and the Pacific islands became independent states.

The plight of “West Papua” as it is often called, has prevented Indonesia, the biggest and closest country in South-East Asia, from building the links that might otherwise have been expected, with the island countries to its east—even since it became a liberal democracy 15 years ago.

But, the PNG government, led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has recently launched an initiative aimed at defusing the stand-off over West Papua, building the economy of the centre of New Guinea island, and gaining diplomatic spin-offs.

The western half of New Guinea island comprises two Indonesian provinces: Papua, whose capital is Jayapura, and West Papua, whose capital is Manokwari. It has a 750-km mostly mountainous and often in the past fraught and dangerous border with PNG.

In 2001, the area now covered by the two provinces was declared autonomous with 80 percent of its tax receipts to be retained for local use. But this process has remained only partially complete compared with the more successful governance situation in Aceh, at the other end of the Indonesian archipelago.

O’Neill, who led a delegation to Jakarta for talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said: “West Papua has been a sticky issue for PNG and the western Pacific for quite some time. Our role is to open up discussions.

Genuine desire
“We feel the government of Indonesia has a genuine desire to ensure issues relating to West Papua are managed in a mutually beneficial manner. For the first time in our bilateral discussions, we were able to discuss this openly with the Indonesian government,” said PM O’Neill.

He said he is convinced that Yudhoyono now wishes to withdraw military presence from West Papua, and allow for more autonomy through economic empowerment of the people.

“We feel this is a good opening for us to engage with the Indonesian government so we can participate in the improvement of the lives of Melanesian people there and of our own people along the border. Our officials are now engaged meaningfully in establishing the cooperation we agreed,” he said.

PNG’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato elaborated on the deal that was informally struck: “The Indonesian president will adopt a softer approach to West Papuan issues, allowing them greater autonomy.”

As an indicator of this, official representatives will participate in the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture to be hosted by PNG next year.

He said Indonesia would allow Papua New Guinea communities near the border to draw on its excess hydro power capacity with state-owned enterprise PNG Power buying electricity for its grid from Indonesia, and that the two countries would jointly explore for oil and gas in highly prospective targets that straddle the border.

Indonesia, Pato said, would fund an ambitious paved highway from Merauke on its side of the border in the south, to PNG’s Wewak on the northern coast.

The countries’ leaders signed a total of 11 MOUs during O’Neill’s visit, after which Pato and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa began to chart an implementation course.

Extradition treaty
They agreed on an extradition treaty—which may ensure that Indonesian businessman fugitive Joko Chandra—wanted for corruption and who obtained PNG citizenship under a process that is being challenged legally—returns to face charges.

Another agreement under final negotiation, will permit planes to fly from Nadi, Fiji, through Honiara in Solomon Islands, then Port Moresby, and on to Bali.

One goal of the warming of relations, Pato said, was to prevent any resurgence of asylum-seekers from the Indonesian side of the border. About 8,000 refugees remain in PNG, living in camps in Western province run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees following earlier conflicts, many of them seeking refuge more than 25 years ago.

The discussions between PNG and Indonesia have led to the latter inviting the foreign ministers of the four Melanesian states — Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, as well as PNG, who form the “Melanesian Spearhead Group” (MSG) — to visit its Papua and West Papua provinces.

O’Neill flew for talks with Yudhoyono instead of attending an MSG leaders’ meeting held at the same time in New Caledonia.

While PNG is helping to usher its fellow Melanesians in towards better relations with Indonesia, Indonesia in return is backing Port Moresby’s membership of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN has 10 members at present — and PNG feels it is entitled to join it because it has such a long land border with the group’s largest state.

Indonesia is also backing PNG’s bid to host the 2018 summit of the APEC forum — which would bring the American and Russian presidents, among other leaders, to Port Moresby — which will be decided at the next summit in Bali in October.

“It’s important for us to have such a relationship with Indonesia,” said Pato — who points out that in previous years, tensions not only unresolved but not even fully discussed about West Papua had prevented the full development of positive, mutually beneficial arrangements between the countries.

Now a joint committee of ministers from the countries has been formed to tackle the details and ensure the MOUs are implemented, he said — starting with the joint economic projects.

Source: Islands Business

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PNG promotes engagement with Indonesia over West Papua

PNG's PM Peter O'Neill

PNG’s PM Peter O’Neill

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called for engagement with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the way forward for the issue of West Papua.

Attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Majuro this week, the PNG Prime Minister said: “We are generally encouraged by the response that we are getting from the Indonesian government – especially the President – where he has stated to us very clearly that he wanted to engage with us to resolve issues in West Papua, so there is a level of autonomy for the people of West Papua.”

The issue of West Papua was high on the agenda at the June 2013 summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in New Caledonia, where delegations from the Indonesian government and the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) both addressed the summit plenary.

However the topic of West Papua was not on the Forum agenda in Majuro and there was no mention of human rights concerns in the final Forum communique.

At the time of the MSG Summit, Prime Minister O’Neill and PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato were leading a major delegation to Indonesia.

This week, O’Neill stressed the importance of engagement with Indonesia, given their opposition to independence for the western half of the island of New Guinea, which Jakarta administers as the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

“I want to make it very clear again that any resolutions we may have to come to in respect of West Papua will always include Indonesia,” O’Neill said. “It pays for us to stay engaged with Indonesia.”

The major focus of O’Neill’s June visit to Jakarta was trade and investment, but security issues and border relations were discussed.

“We look forward to working closely with them and also developing joint economic areas with the border area,” O’Neill said. “Some of the vast natural resources we have around the border area we can develop together.”

The PNG Prime Minister said that over time there has been improved dialogue on the issue: “I’m encouraged by the events that are taking place, including the Melanesian Spearhead Group ministers are going to have a tour to West Papua. But I’m also happy that the Indonesian government has asked us, the Papua New Guineans, to resolve some of the issues in West Papua.

As yet, details of the proposed MSG Ministerial Mission to Jakarta and Jayapura have not been finalised. In Majuro, Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei confirmed to Islands Business that no dates have yet been set for the visit.

For the Vanuatu government led by Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil, the MSG’s engagement with Jakarta must be conducted together.

The leader of Vanuatu’s delegation in Majuro, Deputy Prime Minister Natapei told Islands Business: “We believe that the MSG should conduct this ministerial mission together, with all of us intact.”

Last month, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo made a state visit to Indonesia – the first Solomon Islands leader to visit the South East Asian nation.

In a statement after the visit, the Solomon Islands government said: “Prime Minister Lilo’s recent trip not only produced greater technical cooperation, trade commitments and people-to-people relations, but has been hailed by Indonesia for the country’s ongoing active role in multilateral forums such as the Coral Triangle Initiative, the G7 Plus and also APEC.”

Source: Islands Business

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NZ police training programme in Indonesia’s Papua region on track

The New Zealand government says the next planned programme of community policing training by New Zealand police in Indonesia’s eastern region of Papua is still on track.

The government says the Eastern Indonesia Community Policing Program is likely to commence early next year.

New Zealand ran similar training programs in Papua region between 2008 and 2010.

The overall design and scope of the program being planned is yet to be finalised, but will incorporate findings from the design scoping mission undertaken last October.

The program’s base location is to be the Papua provincial capital Jayapura, and it will work across Papua, West Papua and Maluku provinces.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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