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Papuans Will Survive without Freeport, says Papua Governor

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Freeport mining area in Timika - energytoday.com

Freeport mining area in Timika – energytoday.com

Jayapura, Jubi/BenarNews – During his visit the United States this week to attract more investment, President Joko Widodo, his ministers and officials in the field of economy were scheduled to officially meet with executives of US companies.

However, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno L.P. Marsudi denied the president would meet representatives from Freeport, which has an interest in obtaining a contract extension after 2021.
“Rumors in media that the president had a schedule to have breakfast with Freeport are not true,” said Retno was quoted in Solopos.

The US Company that operates the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Papua, is enforcing the Indonesian Government to extend their Contract of Work while refer to the Indonesian regulation the extension could be approve two years prior the last contract was terminated. However, before his departure to the US, Jokowi gave a signal to Freeport could obtain the extension after the end of contract, it means in 2019.

No Intention to Develop Papua
In between the crowded debates and controversy about the contract extension for PT. Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Mimika, the voices from Papua are rarely heard.

But for Papuans, this issue of contract extension is not only a matter of time. The Papua Governor Lukas Enembe was doubt the intention of PTFI to develop Papua.
“We submitted 17 points of Government’s Proposal consist of 11 points of Papua Government and 6 points of the Central Government in order to renegotiate with Freeport, including the Freeport’s involvement to build infrastructure in Papua, the increment of royalty and tax payment to the Provincial Government, share divestment, environmental issue and prioritizing Papuans to be employees. That’s our priorities,” Enembe told BeritaBenar on 17 October 2015.

He accused Freeport to have no intention to Papua’s development. He took Timika City as an example, that until now the city is lacking of feasible infrastructures. “Freeport has been operating since 1967, but what about Timika and how’s Papuan condition right now? Infrastructures in Timika are still underdeveloped. The number of indigenous Papuan workers in Freeport is not equal with the number of non-Papuan workers. If it continues like this, Freeport is better leaving. Without it, Papuans will still survive,” said the Governor Enembe.

The local authority estimates there are only 30 percent of the company’s employees are Papuans, while the rest are recruited from outside of Papua.

Further Enembe refers to the attitude of PTFI that according to him hindering the water surface tax payment. Each year, Freeport should pay 360 billion rupiahs for the water surface tax, but the fact is up to now PTFI only paid approximately 1.5 billion for each year.
“Freeport took many advantages of the government’s rotation every five years, and violated the commitment made between the government and Freeport. And the government just ignored this fact. But it is clear, Freeport has to pay 360 billion rupiahs each year,” he said.

The Governor Enembe said the Provincial Government also support the policy taken by the Mimika Regional Government charging PTFI to pay a penalty amounted USD 3.6 billion or Rp 481 trillion to the indigenous tribes living in the surrounded mining area.
“It’s the people’s demand because Freeport has exploited the mountain and its materials since being operated, but never given the in kind benefits to the local community,” said Enembe.

It’s a Political Treaty, Not Business Agreement
Musa Sombuk, Lecturer at Papua State University and doctoral candidate at Australia National Community thought the tax issue, profit sharing, and other issues that endured for years as consequences of PTFI’s contract of work is a “political agreement” rather an economic agreement between the company and the Indonesian Government.
“At first time doing operation, it was clear that Indonesia need a cash. Now, the Freeport’s contract is not transparent, unequal and the profit sharing is not fair. Freeport also did any means in order to gain land ownership,” said Sombuk.

When confirmed by BeritaBenar, PTFI spokesperson Riza Pratama declined to give comments on the renegotiation process with the Central Government, but he denied PTFI did the cunning ways in obtaining the land. He said the customary community at the PTFI mining area has gave their permission and tenure rights since PTFI started their operation for the first time. According to Reza, the company also has paid the penalty and is continuing the development program for indigenous communities at the surrounded the mining area.

Sombuk, who admitted his involvement in the audit of PTFI in 1997, said the company is not only taking the copper and gold, but also the tailing –sand waste containing the iron ore, that could reach 30 billion tons. Several grams of tailing, according to him, could result 1 gram of 23 carat gold. “Now there’s 30 billion tons of tailing and it must be gold-contained. Where will the gold from tailing go?” said Sombuk.
“Just imagine, Freeport should use the dump truck to dispose the tailing, but they just drain it to the Ajikwa River that slightly bearing the risk and impact to the people’s health and environment,” said Sombuk.

According to Sombuk, PTFI could survive until now because it gained support and facilities from the government, both regional and provincial. The vague regulation and the attitude of both government and company for not being transparent making the law enforcement is risk with the corrupt practice.
“We never know whether the local permits have any cost consequences. If it has, such as the charge on waste draining in Ajikwa River, we don’t know to whom it should pay and how much?” asked Sombuk. (Victor Mambor/rom)

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Provincial health team takes more rest than work, says Kopkedat

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GIDI church missionaries, pastor and Kopkedat Papua provide public health services in Okmakot Village, Seradala Sub-district, Yahukimo District. – Jubi/Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Humanitarian Care Community for Remote Areas Papua (Kopkedat) Yan Akobiarek states despite education, public health services in Papua’s remote areas are still an issue.

Although the provincial health office has provided services to remote areas through several health programs such as Satgas Kaki Telanjang, Save Korowai and Nusantara Sehat, these programs have not well implemented.

“I think sending teams to remote areas is a good idea, but I get the impression that some team members only come for vacation, to work less and get more rest,” said Akobiarek told Jubi by phone on Tuesday (10/7/2018). For instance, he pointed out the team of Satgas Kaki Telanjang who are supposed to provide health service to villagers in Korowai. After the Ied al-Ftir break, their members are still not returning to their duty station.

Meanwhile, Maria Duwitau, the Vice Chairman of the Commission V on education and health of the Papuan House of Representative said doing health services in Papua, in particularly remote areas, is always connecting with a commitment. “No matter how greater of the offer, but without willingness and commitment, I think it’s useless,” Duwitau told Jubi not long ago. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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SKP HAM urges the government to open democratic space for Papuan students

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SKP HAM in a press conference in LBH Papua office. – Jubi/LBH Surabaya.Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation (SKP HAM) Papua urge the Indonesian Government to open democratic space for Papuan students and conduct a thorough investigation on sexual harassment by a police officer at Papuan dormitory in Surabaya on last Friday (6/7/2018).

The Coordinator of SKP HAM Peneas Lokbere said the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of1945 in the Article 28E Paragraph 3 and the Law No. 39 of1999 on Human Rights Article 24 Paragraph 1 state, “Each person has the right to associate, assemble and express his opinions peacefully” but what have been occurred to the Alliance of Papuan Students is a violation against the constitution.

“The police and military officers and members of the civil service police unit came to student dormitory trying to stop the weekly discussion. The students also witnessed the security forces carrying long-barrier guns. It was such an ironic,” Lokbere stated in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (11/8/2018).

Further, he stated that according to the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Surabaya, the incident occurred when the Tambaksari Sub-district Chief accompanied by the police, military and civil service police unit of Surabaya Municipality came to the dormitory in the inspection of civil registration. “However, when students and public attorney from LBH Surabaya asked for an official letter, the sub-district chief was not able to show it.”

Meanwhile, the Director of LBH Papua Simon Pattirajawane said what have done by the security forces, in this case, is a violation against the human rights. “The Human Rights Commission should immediately form an investigation team to investigate this alleged case of intimidation, terror and racism against Papuan students in several cities in Java, including Surabaya, Malang and Yogyakarta.” (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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West Papua activists stopped by Solomons police

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Ben Didiomea displays the West Papuan flag as Indonesian staff try to usher him away. – Photo: Facebook/ Ben Didiomea

Solomon, Jubi – Solomon Islands police says they confiscated a West Papuan flag at the Melanesian Arts Festival to stop any provocation aimed at the Indonesian delegation.

Ben Didiomea had his flag taken by police over the weekend after he held it up in front of Indonesia’s festival stall to protest its inclusion at the event.

A video on Facebook shows Mr Didiomea – who was part of a group of demonstrators – holding up West Papua’s Morning Star flag as Indonesian officials tried to move him away from the stall.

He was then approached by Solomon Islands Police who confiscated the flag.

Mr Didiomea said he had been standing in solidarity with fellow Melanesian people of Indonesia’s Papua region, where the Morning Star is banned.

He said the Melanesian Arts Festival, which Honiara hosted over the last ten days, was not intended as an Asian festival.

Police issued a statement saying the flag was removed to prevent provocation of the Indonesians, reminding the demonstrators that it was not a political event.

Mr Didiomea, who along with two other demonstrators was questioned by police, said the inclusion of Indonesia at the Arts Festival was a political move by the Solomons government.

“Because it was a festival of Melanesia, Indonesia is not part of Melanesia. So why does it need an Indonesia stall at the arts festival? It’s a Melanesian festival, so what are Indonesia coming to arts festival?”

Changing relationship

According to Mr Didiomea, the police action was a sign that the country was forming a closer relationship with Indonesia.

The Solomon Islands government under prime minister Rick Hou has recently shown signs that it was pursuing a different policy regarding West Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

However after he was replaced by Mr Hou late last year, the Solomons government has been notably less vocal about West Papua human rights issues in international fora.

A visit in April by a Solomons delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta was billed as having added “balance” to the government’s view on West Papuan issues.

The Solomons government told RNZ Pacific in May that it was consulting with the provinces as it formulated an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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