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SBY Hands Down Legacy on Papua Issues to Jokowi



Former Indonesia President, Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono - Supplied

Former Indonesia President, Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yoedhoyono has passed three issues related to Papua to the President Joko Widodo, said the Deputy Chairman of the Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Tantowi Yahya, in the seminar titled “Following Up on the President Jokowi’s Policies for Papua the Land of Peace” held by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences on 27 January 2016 in Jakarta.

“The first is the reconstruction of the Law No. 21 on Special Autonomy to Special Autonomy Plus. Secondly, the conflict resolution in Papua, and the third is multi-sector developments in building both provinces of Papua and Papua Barat to become the prospective provinces,” said Tantowi in the forum.

He added it must be admitted that there is no Indonesian president who paid big attention towards Papua than Jokowi. His several visits to Papua have reflected his commitment in implementing these three ‘legacies’.

“Despites of the first point that is the reconstruction of the Law No. 21 on Special Autonomy, the two other points have been well implemented by the President Jojowi. He developed the infrastructures in Papua that during that time were only considered a dream. However, it then raises many simple questions of who’s going to get benefit from this development. We gathered those aspirations here in the House,” said Tantowi.

However, he thought the development in the economic sector must running along with development in other sectors, including the development of Defense, Security and Culture sectors.

“Disengage one of each sector would never get the concept (of conflict resolution in Papua) that we wanted,” he added.

In the same forum, the Directorate of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, said currently the government desires to build Indonesia from “the marginalized”. This definition of ‘marginalized’, according to him, not only refers to geographical, economical or political problems. The ‘marginalized’ problems must be brought into the ‘central’ communication that often determined the policy over the ‘marginalized’.

“Obviously the culture is the most important sphere in this conversation. And we hope this cultural sphere could be more expanded. That it is not only a “room” but also enters into the main room and to comprehensively affect the handling of Papua problems,” said Hilmar Farid.

He acknowledged during the course of Indonesian history, the cultural approach had often being ignored.

“But, if talking about the cultural approach, we cannot deny the long journey of Papuan history that recorded the tortures, violence and unpleasant things against Papuans. It is now becoming something that so-called by Papuans as a Memoria Pasionis (narrative of suffering),” he explained.

Further, he said this Memoria Pasionis is becoming a grave memory of Papuans that cannot be denied; it must get a place in the ‘central’ conversation. “It is certainly not easy, because many forms of dialogue have been created, but its boundaries were determined by the interest of defense as well as the political interest. If we want to seriously include the cultural element, therefore such a room (Memoria Pasionis) should be opened. And one of the tasks of the Directorate of Culture is about this history which has proved to be centralistic,” said Hilmar Farid. (Victor Mambor/rom)


West Papua visit lacked transparency says Solomons group




Downtown Jayapura – RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

There should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation’s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)


Source: Radio NZ

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Journalist turns tales of undercover Papuan reporting into love novel





Aprila Wayar poses with her latest novel Sentuh Papua which chronicles a Dutch journalist’s undercover reporting of Papua and is based on actual events – Bambang Muryanto/Jakarta Post

By Bambang Muryanto

A Dutch freelance journalist, Rohan (a pen name), had been interested in the political turmoil in Papua for years. In 2015, his application for a journalistic visa was denied. The 32-year-old then decided to embark on an undercover reporting assignment in the country’s easternmost province.

For 153 days, he observed the way local people lived, met with leaders of the pro-independence Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the jungle, enjoyed the beauty of Papua’s nature and met Aprila Russiana Amelia Wayar, or Emil, a local journalist who later became his girlfriend.

It was Emil who wrote about Rohan’s adventures in Papua and their love story in the novel Sentuh Papua, 1500 Miles, 153 Hari, Satu Cinta (Touch Papua, 1500 Miles, 153 Days, One Love).

In the novel, Rohan’s character said foreign media agencies in Jakarta refused to publish his report on Papua, worrying that the government would revoke the visas of their Jakarta correspondents.

Emil recently launched her 374-page novel in a discussion forum organised by the Alliance of Independent Journalists’ (AJI) Yogyakarta chapter and the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

Emil has been in Yogyakarta since early this year to publish the book. She chose Yogyakarta because she had spent time there as a student at Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW).

The 38-year-old author said she initially intended to write a journalistic piece that was rich in data and interviews. She used the character of Rohan to describe the lack of press freedom in Papua, human rights violations in the province and challenges to OPM’s quest for self-determination.

‘Easier to understand’

“I then chose [to write a] novel to make it easier for Papuans and Indonesians to understand the [province’s] issues,” she said.

Through the book, Emil, who used to work for independent media platform Tabloid Jubi, was determined to represent the other side of Papua’s story vis-a-vis mainstream reporting on the province, which she deemed mostly biased.

She said many journalists covering cases of human rights abuses in Papua only interviewed security personnel and neglected the victims.

“Journalists writing about Papua have to cover both sides,” she said.

However, she realised both the challenge and risks that come with reporting Papua as a journalist, as she herself often received threats and harassment while doing her job.

In her book, the characters Rohan and Amelia, who is based on herself, are chased by a group of people armed with machetes.

According to Reporters Sans Frontier’s (RSF) latest World Press Freedom Index, Indonesia ranks 124th out of 180 countries – the same position as last year.

Open access promise

The Paris-based group highlighted the restriction of media access to Papua and West Papua as a factor that has kept Southeast Asia’s largest democracy at the bottom of the list.

The condition prevails despite President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign promises to open access to Papua for foreign journalists.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Press Council categorised Papua and West Papua as “medium/relatively free” in its 2017 press freedom index.

Yogyakarta-based lawyer Emmanuel Gobay said Emil’s book, despite being published as fiction, was a good reference for those who want to understand Papua from both the local and professional perspective.

“This novel reflects the state of press freedom in Papua,” he said.

The novel, which Emil wrote in eight months, is her third after Mawar Hitam Tanpa Akar (Black Rose Without Its Stem) and Dua Perempuan (Two Women), both of which told stories about social issues in Papua.

Emil was the first indigenous Papuan novelist invited to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) in Bali in 2012. She plans to write a fourth book in the Netherlands, where she is currently undergoing medical treatment for a heart condition. (*)

Bambang Muryanto is a Jakarta Post journalist and an Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) advocate.



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Depapre road severely damaged after the president’s visit





Road to the capital of Depapre Sub-district – Jubi / Engel Wally

Sentani, Jubi – People in Depapre Sub-district are complaining about road infrastructure in their sub-districts that have still in severely damaged condition.

Instead of the Jayapura District Government should be responsible for the repair; however, it is the responsibility of the Papua Provincial Government.

The Provincial Highway Agency has started the repair, but the works stopped before it completed.

The current Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw said the local government unceasingly communicate and coordinate with the provincial government to be more aware of the condition of road infrastructure in his territory.

“The local government hopes that the problem of road infrastructure would be completely resolved by the provincial government because we have no authority over this,” said the regent at Sentani on Friday (4/5/2018).

He said the repair stopped because some culprits only consider their interests than the community. He figured the current job was on the halfway stage of completion, but somehow it suspended. “We hope the provincial government can fully complete the work of Depapre road this year,” he hoped.

Meanwhile Depapre Sub-district Chief said the impact of damaged roads results in frequent accidents in Depapre. “When the president was here last time, the road was very smooth, but then it has been badly damaged until now,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Engel Wally

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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