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Indonesian Punk Band talks about West Papua issue in ASEAN countries

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Band members of Koteka Is The Reason, currently on a tour to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Photo: Tep Sony

Jayapura, Jubi – A good band gets you raving about their music but a brilliant band takes the discourse one notch higher. A striking name like Koteka Is The Reason is enough to get people wondering: “what the hell does that mean?” and that is exactly what its founder Anca was trying to do, he told Good Times2 during an interview on Monday.

Let’s not beat around the bush. Koteka, essentially, is a penis cover traditionally worn by some of the indigenous tribes in the Papua Island. Made out of dried-out gourd, it symbolises the Papuans’ struggle to protect their heritage against all sorts of exploitation.

“West Papua is a part of Indonesia too, but not many people are at all concerned about the situation there – with all the genocides, massacres and gold-minings that are still happening.

“Papua contributes well to the country’s economy with our rich natural resources but what do the people get in return? Nothing. No good education or healthcare. Literally nothing,” Anca said as he looked on the floor of Oscar’s on the Corner, his left hand mindlessly tucking his long, wavy hair behind his ear.

We were sitting at the smoking area outside, away from the rage-filled screams of Reign in Slumber, a local fave who opened the Punky Monday night at Oscar’s – the same gig where Anca’s band was headlining.

It was apparent that Anca was looking for just the right words to explain about West Papua, where he was born and raised for 16 years before moving to East Java. He took a small pause and added: “I figured if I gave the band a catchy name like Koteka, more people would be intrigued about West Papua and would like to learn more about it.”

Anca and his bandmates: Hasan (guitar), Sinyo (bass), Samson (guitar) and Dani (drum) were on a Southeast Asia tour called Sempoyongan (Indonesian for tottering or wobbling) where they played at venues in Thailand, Vietnam and several parts of Malaysia. After this, the boys were headed to the final leg of their tour in Singapore.

“The punk scene in Indonesia is huge. There are so many movements related to the scene too, like art exhibitions, free library initiatives and fundraising for disaster-stricken communities.

“It is exciting for us to check out the punk scene elsewhere, exchange music banters – that is always fun. Hopefully our presence will open the locals’ eyes to the bigger punk scene in the region. We also hope to go back to Indonesia and give the same exposure to Cambodian bands that we met,” he said.

On Monday, they played in Phnom Penh for the first time ever and their enthusiasm was evident during a 12-song set that lasted way, way too short.

I am going to say it: Koteka is the Reason is a big, fat tease. There was no way all five of them could fit on Oscar’s stage so Anca planted himself in the middle of the dancefloor, gripping his microphone hard on one hand, with only the side of his face visible to the crowd. That, to me, was an invitation to mosh.

“Hello Phnom Penh, we are from Indonesia. Thanks for having us,” Hasan the guitarist, taking his place on the left of the stage, said into the microphone, ever-so-sheepishly. He took us by surprise when he launched straight into heavy riffs right after, which riled up the entire pub.

The lads served up a mean hardcore-punk platter and the crowd just gobbled it all up.

Some fifty seconds into the first song, just as the adrenaline started to kick in and the patrons were just about to slamdance their sweaty bodies against each other, the song died abruptly with Hasan capping it with a “thank you” and a satisfied grin on his face.

Get this. Each of their song lasts just a little over one minute. The boys sure know how to leave the crowd hungry for more.

The ‘teasing’ continued with 11 Others including An Ounce of Gold, Ready to Shoot and In the Name of Mountain Gold. It is hard to tell if he was doing it on purpose, but Anca was pretty elusive with his movements when he performs. If you are lucky, you would catch a glimpse of his face for a good two seconds before the dimmed lighting swallows his silhouette again.

The boys completely ignored the many chants of “one more, one more” from the crowd and emptied up the stage within seconds for homegrown death metal act, Doch Chkae.

Commenting on his new Cambodian peers, after the show, Anca said: “They were really good.”

“I don’t know about others but punk has really shaped me up. Prior to this, I do not give a rat’s ass about politics or current affairs. Punk helped me to become more open minded and accepting to differences – skin colour, religion, ideas, sexuality – whatever they may be. Under the big punk umbrella, we unite as one,” he said. (*)

This article was appeared for first time in khmertimeskh.com

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The story of Nduga refugees: Mother died while giving birth to her child

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Refugees in Nduga – Jubi/Doc

Nduga, Jubi – On Wednesday (9/1/2019), the sixteen-years-old Inambo Tabuni just arrived in Wamena, and she told her story in a refugee camp. 

Soldiers came by helicopter; a bomb dropped into the village.

People fled to the forest to save their lives. Many parents were separated with their children, while those who’re in refugee camp feel grateful that they can run away,” she recounted the incident occurred in the mid-December 2018.

The refugees take shelter in provisional tents and caves in the forest. They have insufficient food to eat. Men took a risk walking dozens of kilometres to reach gardens. They gathered sweet potatoes and taros from the garden in the night.

It helped us to stand for two or three days. After that, men will return to the garden and come back in the night,” she said.

According to her refugees are distributed into small groups to a big group. “Each group contains at least ten people or more.”

She also revealed their suffering living in a refugee camp. “It seems that we are living in someone else’s place. We want to live safely in our village.”

When she arrived in Mbua from Dal, a pregnant woman Selfina Lokbere (32 years old) just came from a refugee camp, and last week Lokbere reportedly had a delivery complication. Both mother and child died.

Selfina Lokbere, who was the wife of Yakerena Umangge, reportedly gave birth to twins. Her first twin managed to be smoothly born, while the second got stuck during delivery.

The second child did not come out, so the mother tried to pull her baby out, but she couldn’t make it.”

Meanwhile, Elinaus Tabuni, a member of the health care team of Papua Province in Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency, confirmed the incident that occurred on 2 January 2019.  

This woman just arrived from the forest and gave birth. She had only a child who died with her during the delivery,” he said.

Further, the congregation of Imanuel Church of Mbua takes care of the funeral of Selfina Lokbere and her child, while the medical team checked the rest of her family. It turns out that she has other six children who are still alive. They are Esok Umangge (7), Londice Umangge (8), Ason Umangge (9), Jemison Umangge (3), and the twins Rinthi dan Rentha (2,6). Currently, the twins of the late Selfina Lokbere, Rinthi and Rentha then raised by Gelipa Tabuni, their mother’s relative.

In the meantime, locals said the cause of her death is because she didn’t eat and drink well while in the refugee camp, whereas the medical team thought it’s possibly because of her giving birth too often.

Meanwhile, related to Nduga refugees, the Secretary of Youth Church Solidarity Alfonsa Wayap said three children were reported dead in refugee camp due to malnutrition. The children Ubugina Unue (2), Bugun Unue (1) and Raina Kogoya (5) died in Yal Sub-district.

The local also said there are ten pregnant women among them. “Some already give births while some are waiting for the due date.” (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Current conditions of Nduga refugees: getting sick, trauma and injuries

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Women and children in Yigi Sub-district come to the central of sub-district from refugee camp to meet the evacuation team. – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Wamena, Jubi – The health care team of Province Papua assisted by the Health Office of Nduga Regency, which was deployed to provide health services in sub-districts affected by gun conflict in Nduga, has returned to Wamena after serving the community.

Based on three days health examination (from 8 to 10 January 2019) implemented in sub-districts of Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma, they found common diseases appeared among the refugees.

The health care team coordinator dr Beery I. S Wopari explained this happened due to lacking food supplies. “In our struggling to overcome the geographical challenge during the services, there are indeed some diseases that dominantly found among adults and children,” he told reporters in Wamena on Friday evening (11/1/2019).

He added that his team found many cases of joint and bone pain as well as the pain in the entire body and headache. There are also some cases of high blood pressure among men and women.

Meanwhile for children, infants and toddlers, the common diseases found in respiratory infectious diseases such as flu and cough as well as diarrhoea, intestinal worms and wounds. They also found some pregnant women among the refugees. 

Many children also have wounds in their body as a result of falling in the running.

Dr Wopari also revealed that there are three adults wounded by gunshot, but they didn’t come to treatment so that the team only gave medication to reduce pain.

Meanwhile, a member of health care team Elianus Tabuni admitted that the deployed team has 16 people consisting of specialists, medical practitioners, and nurses and assisted by a team from the Health Office of Nduga Regency. The three days services concentrated in three sub-districts, Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma, Nduga Regency plus Ilekma Sub-district, Jayawijaya Regency because many people fled to Wamena.

The team also planned to go to Yigi Sub-district in the third day, but due to an unfavourable situation, they returned to Wamena to continue their service there.

We communicated with the military regarding the update situation in Yigi. They suggested us not to come to the area because of gunshots arbitrary caught in this area. We assumed it was a bad sign for us to continue our journey to Yigi Sub-district,” said Elianus Tabuni.

He also admitted besides the geographical difficulties and cold weather, people who come for treatment didn’t trust them for the first time.

They might be traumatic thus they ever questioned us whether we came to help them, to provide health services or another else,” said Tabuni. (*)

 

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papuan youth church ministry held aid solidarity for Nduga

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Nduga residents forced to exile from their villages. – Jubi / IST

Nduga, Jubi – On 5 January 2019, the Catholic Youth and their young fellows of Papuan Baptist Church, GIDI and GKI formed a Youth Church Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity.

Everyone is responsible for representing their institutions for this solidarity,” said Alfonsa Wayap, the Secretary of the Youth Church Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity.

The Catholic Youth has sent letters to seven parishes under Jayapura deanery of Jayapura Diocese, that are the churches of Kristus Terang Dunia Waena, Kristus Juru Selamat Kotaraja, Santo Fransiskus Assisi APO, Gembala Baik Abepura, Santo Petrus and Santo Paulus Argapura.

The deanery of Jayapura preferred because it locates in the capital city of Papua Province, Jayapura, which known as the centre of education and economic development of Papua. Thus, these young people pinned their hopes to its residents to get involved for solidarity.

I wrote to the parish priest. We hope they will announce it to people in the Sunday mass on 6 January,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deacon David Wilil Pr, the assistant of Parish Priest of Kristus Terang Dunia Waena, confirmed received the letter from the Catholic Youth. “We already received the letter. I have submitted it to the board of the Parish Council. There the board will talk,” he said. 

About the aid, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity Yendinus Mabel who’s also the General Chairman of GIDI Youth said this solidarity is solely concerned about the humanity regardless of political interest.

Moreover, donations collected from seven parishes brought to the secretariat of aid solidarity in GIDI Headquarters located in Jl. PLN, Sentani of Jayapura Regency, 26 kilometres from Jayapura City to be transferred to Nduga.

Travelling from the capital city of Papua to Nduga Regency is not easy. People can only access it through Jayawijaya Regency which takes about 45 minutes by air plane flying from Jayapura. Then we should spend almost a day travel by car to reach Nduga and take more two days on the road to reach the location of refugees.

We hope this aid will go to the right persons,” he told Jubi.

In the meantime, Ester Haluk who represents her colleagues of KINGMI Papua said this aid is critical to help Nduga resident reducing their life burden and trauma against the military operation.

There is a trauma among the refugees. As a human being, we want to be comfortable, feeling safe, free to work to fulfil their basic needs.” (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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