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Papua’s deadly measles outbreak shows years of neglect

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Map of Asmat Regency – IST

Asmat, Jubi – Indonesia’s battle to stem a deadly measles outbreak striking malnourished children in Papua is doomed to be repeated unless the government helps lift the isolated region out of grinding poverty, observers said.

AFP reporters obtained rare access to an overwhelmed hospital in Agats, one of the worst-affected communities, witnessed rail-thin children with exposed rib cages lying on rickety beds or wandering foul-smelling hallways.

One malnourished girl, hooked up to an IV drip, was seen lying on the floor of an under-equipped hospital.

The disease has proven especially deadly here as malnutrition makes children more susceptible, weakening their immune systems.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered military and medical teams to bring supplies to remote villages in the far-flung province.

Observers blame the crisis on a complex mix of government inaction, lack of jobs, logistical hurdles in reaching remote communities and resettlement efforts that pose a serious threat to traditional hunting-based lifestyles.

Many Papuans live a semi-nomadic life in hard-to-reach areas of the jungle with almost no proper medical care, schools or other services, including access to clean water.

In the village of Ayam, a ten-hour boat ride from the nearest major city, a tiny clinic lacked almost everything – including doctors – as its few nurses struggled to treat more than two dozen measles cases.

Some locals worry what will happen when the medics leave.

“What we really need is medicine and food so our children here can be healthy again,” said 28-year-old father Yunus Komenemar, whose one-year-old son has measles.

“The government is paying more attention, aid is coming in and there are (positive) changes, but we want it to last.”(AFP)

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Dozens of students arrested following the 10 hours tensions at Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya

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Dozens of students of Kamasan III Dormitory Surabaya who arrested in Surabaya Police Headquarter – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan students dormitory ‘Kamasan III’ in Surabaya was damaged by groups of the organisation called ‘Ormas Sekber Benteng NKRI & Pemuda Pancasila’. The incident occurred after two group members asked students to raise the Indonesian flag at their dormitory.

Public attorney from Surabaya Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Sahura told the tension between the crowd and students started at around 12.30 (local time) when some members of the group forced to enter the dormitory where located in Jalan Kalasan No. 10, Surabaya. “They forcibly entered the dormitory to raise the flag. When asked by the students who live there, there was a fight,” Sahura explained the cause of the riot which led to the destruction on Wednesday night (15/8/2018).

During the riot, a member of the organisation fell and was injured. At the same time, a student brought a machete to frighten the crowd who forced to come into the dormitory. The injured person then told the police that he was attacked by a student. Shortly after, the police arrived in the location.

“He claimed to be injured because in an attack, but it’s not true. Nevertheless, the students agreed to give the machete after negotiating with the police. Then the police left the scene,” said Sahura.

But then, Surabaya Police Chief the Senior Police Commissioner Rudi Setiawan ordered his subordinates to bring all students to the police headquarter. At first, dozens of these dorm residents refused to go, but then they got into the police truck.

During the scene investigation, military and police officers who mostly wore black clothes and slayers kept watching around the dormitory. According to the students, the tension occurred at around 12:30 at the local time when Pemuda Pancasila, Ormas Sekber Benteng NKRI and military and police officers invaded to their dormitory. They broke the fences and the door, then forced the students to raise the Indonesian in the dormitory.

Later, in the evening, at around 8:30 at local time, the joint security forces and members of the two organisations returned to the dormitory carrying a search warrant to arrest a student with the initial E.Y as a suspect. Thirty minutes later, the authority can break in the door and together with the members of the two organisation they seized the dormitory. At 22:00 the Papuan students were transported to Surabaya Police Headquarter by the police truck.

Surabaya Police Chief the Senior Police Commissioner Rudi Setiawan said there are about 25 Papuan students arrested for being question-related to persecution based on the video about the riots that showed there was a student brought a machete. He said the evacuation of the dormitory is to facilitate the process of the scene investigation.

“It has been regulated in the Indonesian law. So the police have a right to examine someone or carry out an investigation on the scene,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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Freeport, the entrance to evaluates all investments in Papua

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Demonstration held by Papua Community Solidarity Forum Freeport (FMPPF) in Papua House of Representatives Office, Thursday, 9 August 2018. – Jubi / Arjuna Pademme

Jayapura, Jubi – Second Deputy Chairperson of Papua House of Representatives Fernando Yansen A Tinal said PT Freeport Indonesia is the entrance to evaluate all companies that invest in Papua.

“I have captured the points that there is a need to be open and involved the indigenous Papuans as the landowners in every investment in Papua,” he said after the meeting with Papua Community Solidarity Forum (FMPPF) who held a rally in the parking of Papua House of Representative on Thursday (9 / 8/2018).

So far, he added, every negotiation with PTFI has almost not involved the indigenous people.

In the rally which coincided with the commemoration of the International Indigenous Day, the FMPPF chairman Samuel Tabuni and the field coordinator Yusak Andato read 12 points of statements in public. One of the points is requesting the Papua House of Representative and the Papua People’s Assembly to establish a special commission to evaluate all national and international investment operating in the land of Papua, particularly PT Freeport Indonesia in Timika and British Petroleum in Sorong, West Papua Province. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Authority close the Illegal mine site in Korowai

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A helicopter for transporting goods and miners sealed by Papua Police. – Jubi / IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Acting Papua Governor Soedarmo confirmed that as of 10 August 2018, the illegal mine sites that had been operating in Korowai area had closed.

This closure was carried out by the acting governor himself who came to the mine sites accompanied by Papua Police Chief the Inspector General Boya Rafly and Cenderawasih Military Commander Major General George E. Supit on Friday morning (08/10/2018).

“That’s right,” he replied when being asked for confirmation about the closure of the illegal mine sites in Korowai on Friday afternoon. Further, he said Papua Police also sealed the helicopters which had been used to transport the miners and goods.

The closure of this illegal mine got an appreciation from a member of the Papuan House of Representatives John Gobay. He said this is a good step, but he reminded of the possibility of such mine sites in Korowai or Deguwo to re-operate. (*)

 

Reporter: Alexander Loen

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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