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Papua is in the hands of a retired military officer




Papua Governor in Charge, Major General (Retired) Soedarmo (wearing a flower necklace) when he arrived at Sentani Airport in Jayapura, Tuesday, (27/2/2018) – Jubi/Arjuna.

Arrived at around 06.20 a.m. in Sentani Airport, Jayapura on Tuesday, 27 February 2018, Sudomo slowly stepped down from the airplane. A huge ceramic platter was laid in front of him. Accompanied by dance and the blow of tifa (Papua musical instrument), he received a flower necklace and noken (Papuan traditional bag) and crowned with cassowary feather crown. This procession was to welcoming him as the Governor in Charge while the Governor Lukas Enembe is on leave due to his intention to compete in the current election.

Hard Work for Papua

 An assumption that Papua is one of the risked conflict areas in regional election has required him to work hard. He should maintain the neutrality of government during the provincial election and a series of seven regional elections. He has to be neutral and acts as a mentor who has no hidden mission for the interest of any particular party.

“Welcome to Papua. As legislator, I hope the governor in charge could carry out of his duty very well, and support the implementation of the elections. He mustn’t out of this frame,” said Laurenzus Kadepa, member of the Government, Politics, Legal and Human Rights Commission of Papuan House of Representative on Tuesday (27/2/2018). So far, Kadepa, who’s also politician from National Democrat Party, believes that Sudarmo will do his task in good manner. He did not mind about Soedarmo’s background as former military general. In his opinion, whoever appointed for this position is still a representation of the central government in regions.

Meanwhile, the lecture of Public Administration of the Social and Political Science of the University of Cenderawasih, Dr. Yan Bonsapia, S.Sos, M.AP analyse this appointment must be well determined. The minister certainly had a careful consideration, and believed that Sudarmo has ability to replace the on-leave Governor Lukas Enembe to run the government. Even though, according to Regulation No. 74 2016 of the Minister of Domestic Affairs, the provincial government should propose a candidate of governor in charge. “So I think there is no problem. If we talk about the challenges, I think we should refer to what is he capable to observe the situation in Papua and to implement this task properly,” said Bonsapia to Jubi. He must really understand about the condition and culture of Papuans, especially in this current political situation. “But was this appointment already suitable with the mechanism? If yes, it means someone is already prepared and ready to do it. If there is a candidate for governor in the province, why not he be chosen as in charge? But if not, I think the minister already considered it,” he said.

Before Soedarmo was appointed as the governor in charge, there was a polemic in many parties in Papua. His background as a former high-rank military officer was the reason. However, the First Deputy of Papua People’s Assembly Jimmy Mabel said it was the central government’s decision. It was made to ensure the government would run well in Papua during the election. “It is a worry in regards to his status as a former military major general. It’s normal but we cannot inhibit the central government’s decision. Like or dislike, we must accept it.” said Mabel.

Sudarmo’s Track Records

Even though 

he was a military officer, referring to his track records, Soedarmo had a lot of experiences in government. He was the Aceh Governor in Charge. “We suggest that firstly the governor in charge should invite all customary, religious and community leaders to sit together. Then he talks to the Papua People’s Assembly and Papuan House of Representative about the real condition of Papua,” said Mabel. Furthermore, according to him, the governor in charge needs to conduct a bureaucratically approach with the regional leaders communication forum. He believes if this intercommunication were well established, the government and election in Papua would be well achieved.

Governor in Charge Soedarmo expects that all Papuan communities accept him. He is currently responsible for five tasks. Besides replacing the on-leave Governor Lukas Enembe, he must run the government by involving all stakeholders, such as Papua People’s Assembly, Papuan House of Representative and all members of the regional leaders communication forum.  He will also coordinate with all tribe chiefs in order to support the implementation of peaceful, safety and integrated election.

“The second task is to facilitate the current election, so it can be implemented peacefully and successfully. The third one is I have to able to prevent and maintain the regional security and people safety in Papua,” said Soedarmo when arrived in Sentani Airport. Another task is to fulfil the vacant position as soon as possible, but it must have permission from the Minister of Domestic Affairs. “My task is also including to determine the regional regulation if it’s necessary, in this case I have to work with Papuan House of Representative and have permission from the Minister of Domestic Affairs,” he said.

The Minister of Domestic Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo as launched by CNN Indonesia, on Monday (26/2/2018) has inaugurated the Major General (Retired) Sudarmo as Papua Governor in Charge at the minister office in Jakarta. “This appointment would be applied until 9 April 2018,” he said. The minister in particular asked Soedarmo to maintain the security in Papua during the simultaneously election. He also has been asked to synergise with all elements.

As quoted from, the Major General  (Retired) Sudarmo was born Tulung Agung, East Java on 28 September 1956. He was the Aceh Governor in Charge from 28 October 2016 to 11 February 2017. His career in government has been started when he was appointed as the Director General of Politics and Government of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs in mid 2015. Before appointed for this position, he altered his status as high-military officer to civil servant. His last position in military was an expert in the field of ideology and politics of the State’s Intelligent Body.

Sudarmo, who was graduated from the Academy of Indonesian Military in 1983, had greater experiences in the field of defence and intelligent. He served in the Army Intelligent Service (Pusintelad) and run the defence operations in Dilli, Timor Timur and Irian Jaya with General Gatot Nurmantyo, former Indonesian Military Commander, then appointed as a defence attaché for the Indonesian Embassy in Singapura from 1995 to 1997, and become a staff for Legal and Security of the Indonesian Embassy for Malaysia. He occupied the position of defence attaché for the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2003 to 2006.

After serving in the field of defence and security in many countries, Soedarmo finally joined the National Intelligent Body as the Director of Sumatera and Kalimantan, Second Deputy of National Intelligent Body before he was inaugurated as the National Intelligent Body Chief of East Kalimantan on 6 March 2012 and expert in the field of ideology and politics of the National Intelligent Body on 15 September 2014. Since 26 June 2016, he should ended his career in the National Intelligent Body and military because he was assigned for a new position as the Director General of Politics and Public Administration of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs. Now, less than a year he occupied the position in the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, he got lots of appreciation from many parties in regards to his performance, in particular concerning to the successful implementation of simultaneously election in 269 regions in Indonesia on 9 December 2015. (*)


Repoter : Arjuna Pademme

Editor : Pipit



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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