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UN General Assembly’s Papua Discussion Should Prompt Indonesia to Reflect

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Rev. Dr. Benny Giay is the head of Synod of Kingmi Church in West Papua - Jubi

Rev. Dr. Benny Giay is the head of Synod of Kingmi Church in West Papua – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The submission of Papua human rights and political issues to the UN General Assembly’s plenary meeting is a historical fact that can not be avoided and should be a self-reflection for the Government of Indonesia, said the Chairman of Evangelist Church Synod in Papua the Rev. Benny Giay on Sunday (18/9/2016) in response the widespread of Papua issues in Pacific and the enforcement of the Pacific coutries leaders to take the West Papua issue to the UN General Assembly.

“For me, when the issue of Papua get to the UN General Assembly by the Pacific countries leaders, it justifies the view that it is the time for change,” said Giay, who also argued that after 50 years Papua in the hands of Indonesia, it’s time to change history.

“I think the voices of struggle of Free Papua is finally get to the UN General Assembly Plenary Meeting is natural. It should be. Because we are in the church believe that every 50 years the history must be reflected, as well as the Indonesian Government to reflect their action and progress of their civilization for 50 years that not taken any goods in Papua,” said Giay.

Benny Giay felt optimistic that the expectation of Papuan people who fight for their self-determination is undergoing a revival, especially because it is driven by resurgence in Pacific.

“What is happening in Pacific is the revitalization of human awareness. In my mind, the solidarity for the political right (independence) could be done professionally. But the revival in the Pacific is beyond that,” said Giay who further said this revival was referred to a great concern that Papuan nation would be extinct.

“The awareness of the extinction of a human nation and civilization underlined the profound solidarity for humanity in Pacific. We are in the church support it,” he said.

Papua Becomes Issue of State

Meanwhile, director of Elsham Papua Ferry Marisan said the progress of advocacy in Papua today until the UN General Assembly depends on the party who conducted the advocacy, which is the State.

“If advocacy for Papua human rights issues in Geneva, Switzerland was conducted by civilians, now Vanuatu and Solomon and even Tonga did it, the advocacy has risen to New York by the hands of the State,” said Marisan.

When Papua issue submitted to the UN General Assembly in New York, it means, said Ferry, it could become a discussion among other countries in addition to the Pacific.

“It’s not the first time because in the previous meeting Vanuatu talked about Papua issue. But the different in this year is the representative from Fiji would become one of the leaders of the hearings in the meeting. So we expect it could affect another countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America.”

Fiji Ambassador for UN who recently appointed as the President of the General Assembly Plenary Meeting on Tuesday (12/9) open the 71st session of the plenary meeting attended by 193 countries.

“We wait the result, which countries that would give supports, not only to the human rights issue but also on Papua referendum and the agenda to register Papua to Committee 24 of Decolonization,” he said.

Separately Victor Yeimo, KNPB General Chairman and ULMWP Working Group, thought it’s time for the UN to take the responsibility concerning to Papua political right. “UN must take the responsibility to resolve the political status of West Papua. Because it is the people power in ULMWP, together with the Pacific countries in Pacific Coalition for West Papua, it would endorse this issue to the UN Decolonization Committee to be able facilitating the referendum,” he said.

He also added that through that process, Indonesia would also be urged to stop the crime against humanity that continuously occurred in West Papua.

However, Ferry Marisan also reminded that this is the long time process and could be taken years for persuading another countries to support Papua. “Nevertheless, this recent achievement has opened the way to get there,” he said.

Both Marisan and Reverend Giay were not worried about the long process. According to Giay, in this globalization era, it is the time to get bigger opportunity because many eyes would witness what is happening. “The revival of the current solidarity is a sign of the human awakening and it is happened in the globalization era that could be recognized by all people through social media. I welcome it with optimistic,” said Giay. (*/rom)

Analysis

Activists fear Indian proposal for coal reserves in Indonesian-ruled Papua

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Forest clearance and plantation development in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya (PT MJR) palm oil concession in Papua. The region is home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, but is facing intense pressure due to the logging, palm oil and mining industries. Image: Ulet Infansasti/Greenpeace

By Febriana Firdaus in Jakarta

As it seeks to diversify its sources of fuel, India is looking to get in on the ground floor of coal mining in previously unexploited deposits in Indonesian-ruled Papua.

In exchange for technical support and financing for geological surveys, officials say India is pushing for special privileges, including no-bid contracts on any resulting concessions a prospect that could run foul of Indonesia’s anti-corruption laws.

The details of an Indian mining project in Papua are still being negotiated, but Indonesia’s energy ministry welcomes the prospect as part of a greater drive to explore energy resources in the country’s easternmost provinces.

In future, the ministry hopes mining for coking coal will support the domestic steel industry, while also bringing economic benefits to locals.

Rights activists, however, fear the launch of a new mining industry could deepen tensions in a region where existing extractive projects have damaged the environment and inflamed a long-running armed conflict.

Indonesia’s new coal frontier

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Jakarta last month, joint efforts to extract and process Indonesia’s fossil fuels, including coal, were on the agenda.

India’s interest in investing in a new coking coal mining concession in Papua can be traced to 2017, when officials from the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR), both Indian government institutes, met with Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jakarta.

The bilateral plan was announced by then-ministry spokesman Sujatmiko after the first India Indonesia Energy Forum held in Jakarta in April 2017. “The focus is on new territories in Papua,” he said.

To follow up, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources sent a team to India in early May. The current energy ministry spokesman, Agung Pribadi, who was part of the delegation, told Mongabay that officials from state-owned energy giant Pertamina, major coal miner PT Adaro Energy, and state-owned electricity firm PLN also joined the meeting.

The Indonesian team presented research outlining the potential for mining high-caloric content coal in West Papua province, and lower-caloric coal in Papua province.

According to the team’s report, only 9.3 million tons of reserves have so far been identified. By contrast, Indonesia as a whole expects to export 371 million tons of coal this year. However, the true extent of coal deposits could be larger, said Rita Susilawati, who prepared the report presented during the meeting and is head of coal at the ministry’s Mineral, Coal and Geothermal Resources Centre. “Some areas in Papua are hard to reach due to the lack of infrastructure. We were unable to continue the research,” she explained.

During the visit, Indian and Indonesian officials discussed conducting a geological survey in Papua, Agung said. India would finance the survey using its national budget. With Indonesian President Joko Widodo prioritising infrastructure investment, the energy ministry has few resources to conduct such surveys.

Expected privileges

Indonesia also anticipates benefiting and learning from India’s experience in processing coking coal.

In exchange, India expected privileges from the Indonesian government, including the right to secure the project without a bidding process, Agung said.

Indonesia denied the request, and the talks were put on hold. Approving it would have been too risky, Agung said, since the bidding process is regulated in Indonesia. “We recommend they follow the bidding process or cooperate with a state-owned enterprise,” Agung said.

India’s ministry of coal did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Energy and mining law expert Bisman Bakhtiar said there was still a chance India could get the rights to develop any resulting coal concessions without having to go through an open bidding process. “It can proceed under the G-to-G (government-to-government) scheme by signing a bilateral agreement,” he said.

This form of agreement would supersede the ministerial regulations requiring competitive bidding, Bisman explained, although he said any such agreements should emphasise that any projects must be carried out according to local laws.

There is precedent in Indonesia for G-to-G schemes bypassing the open bidding process, Bisman said. For example, multiple projects have been carried out on the basis of cooperation agreements with the World Bank and Australia. In another instance, Indonesian media mogul Surya Paloh imported crude oil from Angola via a bilateral cooperation agreement with Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol.

Draft law

A draft law currently being discussed in the House of Representatives could also smooth the path for India. It says that if there is agreement between Indonesia and a foreign government to conduct geological studies, the country involved will get priority for the contract.

However, this would still require the country to meet market prices. “We called it ‘right to match.’ If there are other parties who offer lower prices, then they should follow that price,” Bisman said.

Another option would be for India to appoint one of its local companies to work with Indonesian private sector giant Adaro or state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam. Such a deal could be conducted as a business-to-business (B-to-B) agreement, and would be legal according to Indonesia’s Energy Law.

Or, Indonesia could assign a state-owned firm like Bukit Asam to work with India based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by both countries.

“But all these options have a potential risk,” Agung said. “They can be categorised as collusion by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).” He said a conventional bidding process should be prioritised.

Bisman said India needed to consider other risks, such as the social and political situation in Papua. The region is home to an armed pro-independence movement and has faced decades of conflict around the world’s largest and most profitable gold and copper mine, Grasberg, owned by US-based Freeport McMoRan.

‘Land grab’

Despite the presence of the mine, Papua remains Indonesia’s poorest province, with some of the worst literacy and infant mortality rates in Asia. Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), a state-funded body, has characterised Freeport’s concession as a “land grab,” for which the original stewards of the land, the Amungme and Kamoro indigenous people, were never properly consulted or compensated.

The Indonesian energy ministry’s own research says that any project must take into account the impact on Papua’s indigenous peoples, and must factor in specific local concepts of land ownership, leadership and livelihood.

Franky Samperante, executive director of rights advocacy group Yayasan Pusaka, said he was worried about the plan. “It is way too risky,” he said, pointing to the social and environmental fallout of the Grasberg mine.

“There should be communication between the mining company and indigenous Papuans,” he said, warning Jakarta to carefully calculate the social, environmental and national security impacts.

Local indigenous people need to be meaningfully involved in the decision-making process, he said, especially since the mining would occur in and near forests where indigenous people live and gather and hunt their food. (*)

 

Source: asiapacificreport.nz

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Eliezer Awom passed away, West Papuans drawn in sorrow

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Eliezer Awom. – Jubi/Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The passing of Eliezer Awom when on the way from Bintuni to Kaimana on Friday (15/6/2018) has left deep sorrow to the land and people of West Papua, in particular, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

ULMPWP Spokesperson Jacob Rumbiak said the ULMWP express their condolences to the family and the people of West Papua. “His body arrived at his house in Manokwari on 16 June 2018. Most of his children and grandchildren departed from Papua New Guinea and already arrived in Jayapura, except his two children who are still on the way from PNG,” Rumbiak told Jubi on Sunday (17/6/2018).

Eliezer Awom was born on 4 July 1948 in Inasi Village of Numfor Island. His late education was the junior high school before he went to Mobile Brigade training at Deplat Lido Cigombong Bogor, West Java on 29 November 1965.

“His career in Indonesian Military began from 1965 – 1971 to serve at Mobile Brigade Headquarter in Kelapa 2 Jakarta. In 1971, he assigned to Regiment 12 West Irian (Papua), Vocational School of Battalion M Jayapura,” added Rumbiak.

Based on Decree No.17 IRJA Sprint/36/II/1982 issued by Papua Police Chief, continued Rumbiak, he was appointed as the sniper course instructor for Brimobdak Irja from 1981 to 1983. In 1984, he resigned from the Indonesian Army to join the West Papua National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (TPN-PN/OPM).

“He served as the Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army from 1984 to 1988. In 1989, he was shot and arrested by the Indonesian Army and underwent his life sentence in Indonesian Military Detention in Wamena before transferred to Kalisosok Detention Class I in Surabaya, East Java,” said Rumbiak.

Rumbiak further explained that in 2000, the Indonesian Government released him along with other West Papuan political prisoners. From 2002-2018, he served as the Chairman of West Papuan Ex-political Prisoners. “In 2002, he and the late John Simon Mambor represented the West Papuan Ex-political Prisoners as a member of the Papua Presidium Council in the Congress of Papuan People II. Further, in 2011, KRP III declared the Federal State of West Papua Republic (NFRPB) which he was appointed as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces cum the Minister of Defense until the end of his life.

“On 27 November – 6 December 2014, the name Eliezer Awom was noticed in the list of other greatest West Papuans to declare Saralana Declaration that born the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). For his tireless dedication, Mr Awom deserves the Best Guerrilla Star Award along with other heroes who have fought for the independence of West Papua,” he said.

Meanwhile, ULMWP Domestic Affair Working Team Markus Haluk said on Sunday, 17 June 2018, Awom’s brother and oldest son departed to Manokwari to decide whether the funeral would conduct in Manokwari or Jayapura.

“As we all know that the late Mr Awom has devoted his entire life for the independence and political sovereignty of the West Papuans. He became a role model and central figure to all of us. He was a true nationalist and great warrior of the Papuan people. Therefore let us pay him a tribute to conduct three days of national grief upon his funeral,” said Haluk. (*)

 

Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papua’s legislator suspects an intrigue behind foreigners’ deportation

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Papua’s Legislator John Gobai – Jubi / Doc

Nabire, Jubi – Papua’s Legislator John Gobai suspects an intrigue behind deportation of foreigners in Nabire.

The statement followed the arrest of twelve foreign workers by Timika Immigration Authority at the bank of Musairo River, where located in the mining area of PT. Pacific Mining Jaya (PMJ).

According to Gobai, he has raised the issue about foreign workers in Nabire to the Papua Police but no prompt response. Papua Provincial Government gave a permit to PT. PMJ to take a mining sample, but the company conducts a gold mining operation.

Jubi has tried to contact the Head of Immigration Office of Tembagapura, Jesaja Samuel Enock, but no answer from the immigration authority until this news written. Based on the information obtained by Jubi, there are currently 22 foreigners in Nabire. (*)

 

Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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