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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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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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Women protest the electricity cut off

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Indigenous women traders who barred the road in front of the market due to the electricity cut off by PLN. – Jubi / IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of indigenous women who are selling local products at the traditional market ‘Pasar Mama-Mama Papua’ blocked the road in front of the market on Friday afternoon (8/10/2018) to protest the National Electricity Company (PLN) for cutting off the electricity at the market for several hours due to late payment for the last four months amounted to Rp 60 million.

The coordinator for the Solidarity for indigenous Papuan traders (Solpap) Franky Warer said it just happened spontaneously because of their disappointment. “The electricity was cut off at around 11.00 Papua time when I was still at home, then someone called me. I then went to the market and called the mayor,” Warer told Jubi by phone on Friday evening (08/10/18).

After that, he said, the Municipal Government agreed to contact the PLN and the electricity in the market turned normal at around 18:00 Papua time.

Meanwhile, the Papuan legislator John NR Gobai commented that relevant parties should pay attention to this matter for not outsizing the traders. “This market is managed under the Trade and Industry Office of Jayapura Municipal Government. So the agency needs to find a solution immediately,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Police come to ULMWP Region Animha during regional meeting

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Act of 1969 – WANI Tabloid

Jayapura, Jubi – The local police came to the regional meeting of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Region Animha which attended by regional leaders and delegates that held in their office in Merauke on Saturday (7/29/2018).

According to Deputy Chairperson of the ULMWP Region Animha, Ms Pangkrasia Yeem in a statement received by Jubi on Friday (08/03/2018), Merauke Police leading by the Head of Regional Police Intelligence Budi Santoso had entered the ULMWP Office without permission when the meeting had just finished.

“They asked what the meeting was about,” told Yeem. Then she explained to the police that it was the first meeting after the ULMWP Region Animha declared on 14 July 2018. “And the ULMWP has been sitting together with Indonesia in the Melanesian Spearhead Group,” she said.

After the visit, the ULMWP Region Animha continued their discussion on Thursday (08/02/2018) and read a statement rejecting the results of the 1969 Act of Free Choice. The event was held in the ULMWP Region Animha office and run smoothly.

In her statement, the Deputy Chairperson of the ULMWP Region Animha Pangkrasia Yeem said that the Act of Free Choice occurred 49 years ago in Papua from 14 July to 20 August 1969 was not valid because of not in accordance the international mechanisms.

“Its implementation was also full of intimidation, terror and manipulation. In practice, Indonesia mobilized the troops on a large scale to Papua to overcome the Free Papua movement,” she said. (*)

Reporter: Zely Ariane

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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