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Flags of MSG countries (Jubi)

Flags of MSG countries (Jubi)

Jayapura, 11/1 ( Jubi ) – Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG ) declared their objection to engage in the Indonesian government invitation to visit Indonesia and West Papua, as this visit to Indonesia, including West Papua have swerved from the resolution of the leaders of MSG countries in Noumea, New Caledonia, last June.

Jubi’s informant at MSG secretariat said countries visit who are members of the MSG to Indonesia is Multilateral, not MSG’s visit as decision in a resolution MSG’s leaders in Noumea last year.
“The visit to Indonesia is to promote economic cooperation and development. It is more multilateral visit, not a visit entitled Melanesian Spearhead Group. The theme of this visit turns out from the resolution decided by the leader of MSG in Noumea last year,” a source informant said on Saturday (11 / 01 ).

Because of the different purpose and objective of the MSG’s resolution, the source added, MSG Secretariat has expressed their objections. MSG Secretariat also attended a technical meeting on this visit, which was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea , Solomon Islands and Fiji. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Vanuatu also did not attend this meeting . Vanuatu is only sending the Hon Joe Natuman ( Vanuatu special envoy for decolonisation ) to attend .

In contrast, based on previous information received from Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Minister, Joe Natuman said that the Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea , Solomon Islands and Fiji will also visit Papua province. The three countries is scheduled to meet the Governor of Papua and Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) on January 13 in Jayapura. However Natuman added this is just a visit to Papua to meet with the provincial government and the DPRP alone, not meeting with civil society such as the church, the Indigenous Peoples or Political Prisoners.
“Vanuatu is still waiting the final statement on the agenda in Papua from MSG chairman , Victor Tutugoro. If a meeting is only done with the government alone, Vanuatu likely will refuse to get involved,” Said Natuman to Jubi ( 11/1 ) .

The Head of West Papua Mission in Vanuatu, Andy Ayamiseba confirmed the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs from three Melanesian countries . According to Andy Ayamiseba, he has met with Government of Vanuatu and MSG Secretariat in Port Villa,Vanuatu on Friday.
“MSG secretariat rejects this visit because it does not conform with the spirit of the resolution of the MSG leaders meeting. They do not follow the MSG technical staff . Three Ministers of Foreign affairs will come with their team excepted the Foreign Affairs Minister of Vanuatu. The Minister of Vanuatu refused to attend the same reason .” Said Andy Ayamiseba.

Yet, according to Andy Ayamiseba, Vanuatu sent a Special Envoy for Decolonisation to come to the meeting . Vanuatu is also still waiting for a definitive answer to meet civil society, including political prisoners from MSG chairman, Victor Tutugoro . Andy Ayamiseba added that in this visit, the Government of Vanuatu objected to the offer of a Joint Statement prepared by Indonesia and the Government of Fiji and Papua New Guinea. One article in the Joint Statement mentioned in the Melanesian countries ( who are members of the MSG ) should not interfere Indonesia ‘s internal problems.

In accordance with invitation requests received MSG Secretariat, its schedule in Indonesia are as follows :
1. January 11, the delegations arrived in Jakarta
2 . January 12, the delegations meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and in the late afternoon the delegations will meet with Indonesia businessmen . 3 . January 13, the delegation arrived in Papua and will meet the Governor of Papua and the DPRP
4 . January 14, the delegations visit Ambon and meet the governor and the DPR
5 . January 15, the delegation meet with Indonesia President, SBY, then signing a Joint Statement that has been prepared by Jakarta with the collaboration of the Embassy of Fiji and PNG in Jakarta .

In June 2013, the leaders of the MSG countries have signed a Joint Communique which one of these statements is about the application of WPNCL as a representation of West Papua . Point 20 and 21 of this Communiqué have been decided that :
1 . The MSG leaders of countries noted roadmap in relation to the application of West Papua National Coalition of Liberation ( WPNCL ) for membership should be based on clear and measurable schedule .
2 .The leaders also recognize that human rights violations need to be highlighted, and to progress the application WPNCL, it is important to continuously engage with Indonesia .
3. The leaders agreed to establish a process of dialogue and consultation with Indonesia .
4. The leaders noted and welcomed the invitation from Indonesia to invite the Minister for Foreign Missions ( FMM ) which will be led by Fiji which is a confirmation of the mission time is still awaited .
5. Decisions on applications will be determined by the WPNCL / after reports of the mission FMM .

In this communiqué the leaders of the MSG countries have also decided :
( i ) AGREED that MSG fully supports the rights of the West Papua People to self-determination as set out in the preamble of the constitution of MSG ;
( ii ) AGGREED that the MSG concerns about human rights abuses and other forms relating to atrocities against West Papuans will be submitted along with the Indonesian government on a bilateral basis and as a group
( iii ) NOTED that the application of WPNCL to be a member of MSG has been accepted and the application will be reviewed after the filing of the report FMM , and
( iv ) AGREED roadmap as recommended by FMM include :
a) That the MSG mission sent foreign ministers at the level of the FMM led by the Foreign Minister of Fiji to Jakarta and then to West Papua in 2013 and received an invitation from the Indonesian government .
b) Foreign Minister ‘s mission will present its report to the leaders of the MSG at the first opportunity in the next six months .
c) WPNCL will be formally notified of the decision regarding the application of MSG leaders, and
d) Mission will be part of the process of determining the membership application WPNCL. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/Tina)


Activists fear Indian proposal for coal reserves in Indonesian-ruled Papua




Forest clearance and plantation development in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya (PT MJR) palm oil concession in Papua. The region is home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, but is facing intense pressure due to the logging, palm oil and mining industries. Image: Ulet Infansasti/Greenpeace

By Febriana Firdaus in Jakarta

As it seeks to diversify its sources of fuel, India is looking to get in on the ground floor of coal mining in previously unexploited deposits in Indonesian-ruled Papua.

In exchange for technical support and financing for geological surveys, officials say India is pushing for special privileges, including no-bid contracts on any resulting concessions a prospect that could run foul of Indonesia’s anti-corruption laws.

The details of an Indian mining project in Papua are still being negotiated, but Indonesia’s energy ministry welcomes the prospect as part of a greater drive to explore energy resources in the country’s easternmost provinces.

In future, the ministry hopes mining for coking coal will support the domestic steel industry, while also bringing economic benefits to locals.

Rights activists, however, fear the launch of a new mining industry could deepen tensions in a region where existing extractive projects have damaged the environment and inflamed a long-running armed conflict.

Indonesia’s new coal frontier

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Jakarta last month, joint efforts to extract and process Indonesia’s fossil fuels, including coal, were on the agenda.

India’s interest in investing in a new coking coal mining concession in Papua can be traced to 2017, when officials from the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR), both Indian government institutes, met with Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jakarta.

The bilateral plan was announced by then-ministry spokesman Sujatmiko after the first India Indonesia Energy Forum held in Jakarta in April 2017. “The focus is on new territories in Papua,” he said.

To follow up, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources sent a team to India in early May. The current energy ministry spokesman, Agung Pribadi, who was part of the delegation, told Mongabay that officials from state-owned energy giant Pertamina, major coal miner PT Adaro Energy, and state-owned electricity firm PLN also joined the meeting.

The Indonesian team presented research outlining the potential for mining high-caloric content coal in West Papua province, and lower-caloric coal in Papua province.

According to the team’s report, only 9.3 million tons of reserves have so far been identified. By contrast, Indonesia as a whole expects to export 371 million tons of coal this year. However, the true extent of coal deposits could be larger, said Rita Susilawati, who prepared the report presented during the meeting and is head of coal at the ministry’s Mineral, Coal and Geothermal Resources Centre. “Some areas in Papua are hard to reach due to the lack of infrastructure. We were unable to continue the research,” she explained.

During the visit, Indian and Indonesian officials discussed conducting a geological survey in Papua, Agung said. India would finance the survey using its national budget. With Indonesian President Joko Widodo prioritising infrastructure investment, the energy ministry has few resources to conduct such surveys.

Expected privileges

Indonesia also anticipates benefiting and learning from India’s experience in processing coking coal.

In exchange, India expected privileges from the Indonesian government, including the right to secure the project without a bidding process, Agung said.

Indonesia denied the request, and the talks were put on hold. Approving it would have been too risky, Agung said, since the bidding process is regulated in Indonesia. “We recommend they follow the bidding process or cooperate with a state-owned enterprise,” Agung said.

India’s ministry of coal did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Energy and mining law expert Bisman Bakhtiar said there was still a chance India could get the rights to develop any resulting coal concessions without having to go through an open bidding process. “It can proceed under the G-to-G (government-to-government) scheme by signing a bilateral agreement,” he said.

This form of agreement would supersede the ministerial regulations requiring competitive bidding, Bisman explained, although he said any such agreements should emphasise that any projects must be carried out according to local laws.

There is precedent in Indonesia for G-to-G schemes bypassing the open bidding process, Bisman said. For example, multiple projects have been carried out on the basis of cooperation agreements with the World Bank and Australia. In another instance, Indonesian media mogul Surya Paloh imported crude oil from Angola via a bilateral cooperation agreement with Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol.

Draft law

A draft law currently being discussed in the House of Representatives could also smooth the path for India. It says that if there is agreement between Indonesia and a foreign government to conduct geological studies, the country involved will get priority for the contract.

However, this would still require the country to meet market prices. “We called it ‘right to match.’ If there are other parties who offer lower prices, then they should follow that price,” Bisman said.

Another option would be for India to appoint one of its local companies to work with Indonesian private sector giant Adaro or state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam. Such a deal could be conducted as a business-to-business (B-to-B) agreement, and would be legal according to Indonesia’s Energy Law.

Or, Indonesia could assign a state-owned firm like Bukit Asam to work with India based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by both countries.

“But all these options have a potential risk,” Agung said. “They can be categorised as collusion by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).” He said a conventional bidding process should be prioritised.

Bisman said India needed to consider other risks, such as the social and political situation in Papua. The region is home to an armed pro-independence movement and has faced decades of conflict around the world’s largest and most profitable gold and copper mine, Grasberg, owned by US-based Freeport McMoRan.

‘Land grab’

Despite the presence of the mine, Papua remains Indonesia’s poorest province, with some of the worst literacy and infant mortality rates in Asia. Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), a state-funded body, has characterised Freeport’s concession as a “land grab,” for which the original stewards of the land, the Amungme and Kamoro indigenous people, were never properly consulted or compensated.

The Indonesian energy ministry’s own research says that any project must take into account the impact on Papua’s indigenous peoples, and must factor in specific local concepts of land ownership, leadership and livelihood.

Franky Samperante, executive director of rights advocacy group Yayasan Pusaka, said he was worried about the plan. “It is way too risky,” he said, pointing to the social and environmental fallout of the Grasberg mine.

“There should be communication between the mining company and indigenous Papuans,” he said, warning Jakarta to carefully calculate the social, environmental and national security impacts.

Local indigenous people need to be meaningfully involved in the decision-making process, he said, especially since the mining would occur in and near forests where indigenous people live and gather and hunt their food. (*)



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Eliezer Awom passed away, West Papuans drawn in sorrow




Eliezer Awom. – Jubi/Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The passing of Eliezer Awom when on the way from Bintuni to Kaimana on Friday (15/6/2018) has left deep sorrow to the land and people of West Papua, in particular, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

ULMPWP Spokesperson Jacob Rumbiak said the ULMWP express their condolences to the family and the people of West Papua. “His body arrived at his house in Manokwari on 16 June 2018. Most of his children and grandchildren departed from Papua New Guinea and already arrived in Jayapura, except his two children who are still on the way from PNG,” Rumbiak told Jubi on Sunday (17/6/2018).

Eliezer Awom was born on 4 July 1948 in Inasi Village of Numfor Island. His late education was the junior high school before he went to Mobile Brigade training at Deplat Lido Cigombong Bogor, West Java on 29 November 1965.

“His career in Indonesian Military began from 1965 – 1971 to serve at Mobile Brigade Headquarter in Kelapa 2 Jakarta. In 1971, he assigned to Regiment 12 West Irian (Papua), Vocational School of Battalion M Jayapura,” added Rumbiak.

Based on Decree No.17 IRJA Sprint/36/II/1982 issued by Papua Police Chief, continued Rumbiak, he was appointed as the sniper course instructor for Brimobdak Irja from 1981 to 1983. In 1984, he resigned from the Indonesian Army to join the West Papua National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (TPN-PN/OPM).

“He served as the Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army from 1984 to 1988. In 1989, he was shot and arrested by the Indonesian Army and underwent his life sentence in Indonesian Military Detention in Wamena before transferred to Kalisosok Detention Class I in Surabaya, East Java,” said Rumbiak.

Rumbiak further explained that in 2000, the Indonesian Government released him along with other West Papuan political prisoners. From 2002-2018, he served as the Chairman of West Papuan Ex-political Prisoners. “In 2002, he and the late John Simon Mambor represented the West Papuan Ex-political Prisoners as a member of the Papua Presidium Council in the Congress of Papuan People II. Further, in 2011, KRP III declared the Federal State of West Papua Republic (NFRPB) which he was appointed as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces cum the Minister of Defense until the end of his life.

“On 27 November – 6 December 2014, the name Eliezer Awom was noticed in the list of other greatest West Papuans to declare Saralana Declaration that born the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). For his tireless dedication, Mr Awom deserves the Best Guerrilla Star Award along with other heroes who have fought for the independence of West Papua,” he said.

Meanwhile, ULMWP Domestic Affair Working Team Markus Haluk said on Sunday, 17 June 2018, Awom’s brother and oldest son departed to Manokwari to decide whether the funeral would conduct in Manokwari or Jayapura.

“As we all know that the late Mr Awom has devoted his entire life for the independence and political sovereignty of the West Papuans. He became a role model and central figure to all of us. He was a true nationalist and great warrior of the Papuan people. Therefore let us pay him a tribute to conduct three days of national grief upon his funeral,” said Haluk. (*)


Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papua’s legislator suspects an intrigue behind foreigners’ deportation




Papua’s Legislator John Gobai – Jubi / Doc

Nabire, Jubi – Papua’s Legislator John Gobai suspects an intrigue behind deportation of foreigners in Nabire.

The statement followed the arrest of twelve foreign workers by Timika Immigration Authority at the bank of Musairo River, where located in the mining area of PT. Pacific Mining Jaya (PMJ).

According to Gobai, he has raised the issue about foreign workers in Nabire to the Papua Police but no prompt response. Papua Provincial Government gave a permit to PT. PMJ to take a mining sample, but the company conducts a gold mining operation.

Jubi has tried to contact the Head of Immigration Office of Tembagapura, Jesaja Samuel Enock, but no answer from the immigration authority until this news written. Based on the information obtained by Jubi, there are currently 22 foreigners in Nabire. (*)


Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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