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Jayapura bishop: PGGP demo is not against ‘Papua Merdeka’



Papua legislator is greeting the Jayapura Bishop Mgr. Leo Laba Ladjar, OFM (right) after a protest action in front of Papua People Representative building – Jubi-Abeth You

Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Bishop, Mgr. Leo Laba Ladjar, OFM leads a thousand Christians under the Alliance of Papuan Churches (PGGP) to conduct a peaceful action, Monday (May 15) in the Office of Papuan People’s Legislative Assembly (DPRP) and Governor of Papua Office.

Three from eight demands of the action are support for Pancasila, NKRI and Bhineka Tunggal Ika and the dissolution of the reactionary organization such as Hizbuth Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Ichwanul Muslimin. They also asked for Ahok, Jakarta governor charged with blaspemy, to be released.

Criticism against the bishop

The day before the action was held, a number of activists, church leaders and youth who are also Catholics criticized the attitude of Bishop Leo and PGGP. They consider the bishop to see a distant problem but turn a blind eye to the reality before him. The bishop is seen as not taking sides with his people in Papua and reducing the struggle against discrimination and racism to the struggle of state ideology.

John Djonga, Pastor and human rights activist in Papua said the PGGP action led by the bishop only disappointed the Papuans. “If the action only to save the Unitary State of Indonesia Republic (NKRI) in Papua, so what about the victims of human rights violations?” said John Djongga.

Jayapura Bishop as chairman of PGGP was considered to keep silent about the social problems facing Papuans.

Catholic youth, Soleman Itlay said there are still many other things that the church must strive for, for example, education and health issues of Papuans.

“As a bishop, he never spoke when Papuan got cruel treatment from the security forces. As chairman of PGGP of Papua he never speak for defending people in Papua who had been experience state violence, including education and health issues of his people,” he said.

Bishop Leo after reading the statement stressed that churches participation to ‘save Indonesia and save Pancasila’ in order to fight radicalism that already exist in the land of Papua.

According to Bishop Leo, the demonstration was a mirror of consolidation against those who wanted to change the country ideology.

“Precisely at the moment there is a radical group in Papua, that is why we held a demo, to loud the voice. To make people aware the radicalism is in Papua. So the point is, we are not against the struggle of Papua Merdeka (Papua freedom). But we call attention again that we are almost endangered by radicalism,” Bishop Leo said.

Meanwhile, Yunika, a resident of Jayapura City who participated in the demo said her participation was moved by Ahok figure, which is free from corruption and a churchgoer.

“I like Ahok because he is a churchgoer and anti-corruption. Ahok did no wrong but imprisoned,” she said.(*)

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Freeport’s one percent fund cannot guarantee Kamoro’s future




Mathea Mamayou, a native Kamoro woman whose tribe affected tailings produced by PT Freeport Indonesia. – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The Secretary for the Government, Politics, Law and Human Rights Commission of the Papua House of Representatives Mathea Mamoyao, who is also a Kamoro native, said ‘one percent fund’, 1% of Freeport’s gross revenues go to the local tribes, does not guarantee the sustainable future of those tribes.

“I don’t know whether this compensation is still there or not. I don’t want certain people took advantages on it, while people are still living under the poverty,” she told Jubi on Wednesday (18/7/2018).

Further, she said what she wants is a guarantee for the Kamoro tribe to live in a better condition in the future. But the fact is the education and health services in the Kamoro region is still poor. “For all the times, I’ll keep talking about it, because as a native, I don’t want the young generation of my tribe not to survive in the future,” she said.

Meanwhile, the board of Meepago Customary Council John NR Gobai said indigenous peoples as the tenure landowners collect the promise of the Indonesian Government on the bargain involved Freeport, the Central Government and the landowners on 4 September 2017.

“At that time, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignatius Jonan agreed to accommodate the request of Amungme tribe asking Freeport to give a reimbursement of 1% fund which they received as the Corporate Social Responsibly funds into larger value shares,” he said. (*)


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Military could only arise trauma among locals




Student activists from BEM Uncen and PMKRI speak during press releases. -Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Student Executive Board of the Cenderawasih University (BEM UNCEN) Paskalis Boma asks Papua Police to withdraw officers from Nduga District to prevent people from trauma.

He said the attack by the police officers occurred in Langguru and Kenyam on 11 July 2018 was very violent. “Nduga is part of Indonesia. If the police want to attack the National Liberation Army and Free Papua Movement (TPN/OPM), they shouldn’t harm the civilians,” he told Jubi on Wednesday (19/7/2018).

Further, he said the military’s attack in Nduga District was excessive as they attacked unarmed people whereas they were well-equipped. “People don’t carry weapons; they can’t fight back. They can’t do it because they are the citizens of Indonesia. This incident remains a scar and is rooted in the hearth of the local Nduga community. It only arises a fear.”

Meanwhile, Benediktus Bame, the Chairman of the Catholic Students Association of Indonesia (PMKRI) St Efrem Jayapura, the government could apply some human approaches towards the TPN/OPM. “The action taken by the government officials was very excessive. It would only arise a fear among the local people,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papuan Liberation Movement wants dialogue




Members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua at a Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in 2013: Paula Makabori, Dr John Ondawame, Rex Rumakiek. – RNZ / Johnny Blades

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua supports the idea of dialogue with Indonesia as long as it is mediated internationally, the movement’s secretary says.

Indonesia’s government of Joko Widodo has recently made overtures to West Papuan customary and civil society leaders for dialogue over a range of issues in Papua region.

Secretary Rex Rumakiek said the push for dialogue was not a bad thing.

“But dialogue internationally, not Indonesian type of dialogue that resulted in 1969’s Act of Free Choice. That’s the type of dialogue Indonesia wants. We are not going to go back to that approach,” Mr Rumakiek said.

“We want an international dialogue and the best place to dialogue is the United Nations general assembly. Let us vote on the issue.”

The movement hoped to have questions over the legitimacy of the self-determination act under which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia debated by the UN General Assembly in the next year or two, Mr Rumakiek said.

Since being admitted to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in 2015 with observer status in the regional grouping, the movement has had more opportunities to engage with Indonesia, which enjoys associate member status in the MSG.

The dynamic between the two parties, however, is clearly strained, as Indonesia’s government has characterised the movement as a separatist group that does not represent Papuans.

The full MSG members – Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s Kanaks – have been working to facilitate dialogue between the movement and Indonesia

“We can talk direct to them with the MSG members as witnesses. That is what we call a third party” Mr Rumakiek explained.

“We cannot talk direct to Indonesia by ourselves, but with the MSG facilitating. We try to avoid other people speaking on our behalf. The MSG is trying to arrange for meetings (between the West Papuans and Indonesia’s government).”

Meanwhile, the Australia-based Mr Rumakiek said the movement was disturbed by the reports from Papua’s remote Nduga regency that Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army had exchanged gunfire in recent weeks.

Three people were killed in an attack on police at the local airport two weeks ago during regional elections. A faction of the Liberation Army – which is not directly linked to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua – claimed responsibility.

Following the attack, about a thousand extra police and military personnel deployed to Nduga as part of a joint operation.

They have been conducting an aerial campaign over the Alguru area in pursuit of the Liberation Army, with unconfirmed reports saying at least two Papuans have been shot dead and others injured in recent days.

The Indonesian aerial operations over Alguru echoed previous military operations in the area, which devastated the livelihoods of Papuan villagers, Mr Rumakiek said.

“They are applying the same strategy that they bomb villages and chasing the people who live in the bush, so the after effects are much more serious than the actual destruction itself,” he said.

“Those people, when they come back to their village there will be nothing left for them to return to because the schools and clinics are destroyed and the churches are destroyed.”

But in a statement, Indonesia’s military said reports that security forces were conducting airstrikes or dropping bombs in Nduga were a hoax.

Military forces were working with police in “law enforcement activities” in Alguru, it said. (*)



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