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Special Autonomy Seats Belong to Customary People

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Abepura, Jubi – Legislative seats reserved for the indigenous Papuans as regulated in the Papua Special Autonomy Law must be given to customary people.

Self-styled customary institutions such as Customary Law Institute (LMA) and Barisan Merah Putih (BMP/local nationalist force) are not allowed to compete for the seats under the customary law.

“Which one of these customary institutions represents Papuans? LMA was a product of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that we don’t know for what reason it was established, while Papuans already had DAP (the Papua Customary Law Council),” a board of the Papua Customary Law Council, Willem Rumasep told Jubi at DAP Office, Jayapura on Monday (26/1).

“And who was behind the BMP? BMP is not part of customary bodies,” he said.

This statement was not automatically denying the indigenous people who joined those categorized-customary institutions. He strongly recognized them as part of customary people, but their institutions were established to serve political interest despite of the interest of indigenous.

“DAP has law and regulation drawn up by the customary people. It was not being set by certain parties,” he said.

He said if the government has really reserved the seats for the customary people, DAP would not take it, but on the other hand it must give recommendations on who deserve them. Therefore, he further said the government should build a communication with DAP for participating in the process of recruitment, selection and inauguration.

Unfortunately, until now he said the government has not sent a letter to DAP. Event the Provincial Government of West Papua that has been succeed to appoint eleven indigenous people was never communicate with DAP, but it’s not a problem because the opportunity has given to the DAP members.

“I have not received any letter from the government, but it may directly contact the representatives of seven customary areas. If it is so, it would be a problem then. We will accept anyone who’ll be appointed, just like in West Papua Province. There were eight of eleven seats represented by DAP members. It would be a problem if the candidates were nominated by using the customary label,” he said.

Last week, the BMP Chairman, Ramses Ohee stated the customary figures of five customary areas recommended him to nominate persons who will represent Papuans in the parliament. “They officially gave me a mandate. They said I must do it for the safe of Papua,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of Commission I of the Papua Legislative Council, Elvis Tabuni said the main agenda of Commission I is to recruit, select and appoint 14 councilors representing the indigenous Papuans as regulated by Law No. 21/2001 on the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

He said it was just waiting for the governor’s letter about the registration and approval. Once it got the letter, the Papua Legislative Council will establish a Special Committee who will responsible to establish a Selection Committee to recruit 14 candidates from five customary areas, namely Mamta, Saireri, Lapago, Meepago and Anim Ha.

Earlier, the Regional Secretary of Papua Province told media the governor’s letter about 14 seats has been registered. However, a member of Commission I, Emus Gwijangge declined it. “Until now, the Commission I has not received the copy yet. We just found out from the media,” Gwijangge said.

According to him, like or not, the Special Regional Regulation on 14 seats must be implemented in accordance with the Papua Special Regulation Law to prevent the customary people, Papua’s Parliament and Papua People’s Assembly to blame each other because it was not well implemented. (Benny Mawell/Arjuna Pademme/Rom)

 

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Papua Customary Council: Indonesia and Papua Free Movement must sit together

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The funeral of Nduga residents who suspected killed by Indonesian military attack – Jubi/Ist

Jayapura, Jubi – The president of Papua Baptism Churches Dr Socrates Sofyan Yoman said the Indonesian Government’s reaction on the murder of 16 people in Nduga Regency on 2 December is truly explicit and unfair.

“We all disagree and condemn Papua Free Movement’s act that killed 16 Indonesians in Nduga on 1 December 2018,” Yoman told Jubi reporter on Friday, 14 December 2018 in Abepura, Jayapura City, Papua.

However, the Indonesian Military and Police shouldn’t take this as a reason to conduct a military operation in Nduga because it would only cause more causality among innocent people, he said.

Currently, the military operation has been carrying out and already took many lives of civilians.  However, the reaction over this killing is a paradox. Papuan people should question the policy of the Indonesian Government.

“Are there shouts and curses (from Indonesian Government) when their military and police massacred hundreds or even thousands of West Papuans for 54 years? Where is the justice? Where is the humanity?” asked Yoman.

Moreover, he said without justice and through the incident that killed 16 people in Nduga, the Indonesian Government has established their image before the eyes of the nation of West Papua, Indonesia and the international community that Indonesia is an imperialist who conquered and colonialized West Papua.

Meanwhile, Dominikus Surabut, the Chief of Papua Customary Council, said the Indonesian Government would never solve the problems in Papua through the task forces.

“Indonesia must sit together with the Free Papua Movement,” he affirmed.

According to him, both sides must take this conciliation seriously and have a mutual commitment to solving the problems in Papua.

Without conciliation, the violence will repeat. Therefore, Yoman appealed the West Papuans to fight for their primary rights peacefully. They no need to be provoked by the provocative actions of the Indonesian Government.

“In responding the state’s violence, I asked the West Papuans to keep fighting for their rights in peaceful, humane and dignified ways,” said Yoman.  (*)

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Thousands of people take refuge to the forest, says the Church authority

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Jayapura, Jubi – Thousands of residents of Mbua, Yall and Yigi sub-districts reportedly sought refuge in the forest following the raid conducted by the joint police and military forces towards the West Papua Liberation Army that claimed to be responsible for the shooting incidents of the workers of PT. Istaka Karya on 2 December 2018.

The residents are mostly the congregation of the Kingmi Papua Church. “We received reports from Yigi and Yall informed that about five presbyteries have taken refuge to the forest since the evacuation of shooting victims conducted,” the Rev. Dr Benny Giay told Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018).

Further, he described that the five presbyteries are including Yigi Barat presbytery of six congregations, Yigi presbytery of six congregations, Mbua presbytery of six congregations and Mbulmuyalma of eight congregations. Meanwhile, for Mugi presbytery, he doesn’t have detailed information yet about how many groups that fled to the forest.

“Each congregation is on average consisting of 30-50 heads of families. So, it estimated that the total of refugees is 780 householders. If each family consists of two family members, it means there are more than 1,500 refugees,” explained the Rev. Giay. The Kingmi Church, further said Father Giay, is Christian’s denomination that dominant in Nduga. They have approximately 60,000 followers in Nduga.

Moreover, he added that in the previous military raid between June and July 2018, there were fifty families in Alguru village where suspected the hiding place of the insurgent group had a refuge to the forest. Then, there were 150 people went to Timika, whereas 116 people exited Nduga to Agats, Asmat Regency regarding the incident occurred in Nduga within the last eight days.

Meanwhile, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (MPH-PGI) expressed their profound condolences and deplored the use of violent-approach either by civilians, insurgents or state apparatus in solving the problems in Papua.

“The violence, in any form, in our opinion, would never solve a problem, but create new scars and wounds which in turn will create another circle of violence,” wrote the Rev. Dr Henriette T.H. Lebang, the Chairperson of PGI in their pastoral message regarding the incident in Nduga.

Furthermore, PGI calls on all parties to stop all forms of violence and sit together to solve the existed problems with humanity and dignity. “Only through this way we can liberate Papua from its entangled problems,” she continued. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier 

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Four residents reportedly died, others run to forest following the evacuation of shooting victims in Nduga

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“Two died in Mbua, while two killed in Yigi. They are all my closed relatives. The military shot them while doing the evacuation. One of them is my uncle. He was a church board member named Yulianus Tabuni,” a Papuan youth figure Samuel Tabuni told Jubi by phone on Sunday morning.

He said that people on Mbua, Yall and Yigi sub-districts are currently moving to the forest. Therefore, he thinks this will possibly increase the number of dead victims due to lack of food and health problem during the refuge.

Further, he said he got the information about the death of four civilians in Mbua and Yigi from his family. So, he believes that it’s true. However, he cannot ensure other victims.

He also added that his family told him that the security forces had forced some priests to become their guide in the military operation against the West Papua Liberation Army that claimed behind the attack against the workers of PT. Istaka Karya. He also cannot confirm the recent rumours of military airstrikes.

“Both information and transportation accesses to Nduga are difficult now. So we cannot verify each information we received,” said Tabuni.

Meanwhile, as quoted by republika.co.id, the Public Affairs Chief of Cenderawasih XVII Military Command Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi asserted that the military did not use bombs and do airstrikes from plane or helicopter in chasing the insurgents in Nduga, Papua. The Indonesian Military, he further said, know and understand about the applied rule and procedure.

“No airstrikes occurred in this operation. It only involves the human resources, the soldiers who do the evacuation. No bombing,” said Aidi on Friday (7/12/2018).

By contrast, the Head of Nirkuri Sub-district Yosekat K. Kamarigi told VOA Indonesia that the shootings were targeted the residents’ shelters in the forest. The recent data affirmed that there are at least four people injured and two died because of the gunfire. The two dead victims were the civil servants from Wuridlak village and Kujondume village.

“We announced through radio asking the residents to meet in one location or to gather in the church’s yard. But they were scared because the police and soldiers shot their gun arbitrary.  So, I asked them to save the photographs, videos and so on for evidence, and they said they already kept some of it,” added Yosekat, quoted by VOA Indonesia.

A church board member confirmed dead

Separately, when confirmed by Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018), the Rev. Dr Benny Giay confirmed that the death of a member of Kingmi Church Board named Yulianus Tabuni.

“That’s right. Yulianus Tabuni is a church board member in Mbua, has no relation with the armed group. He used to take care of the church’s collection,” the Rev. Giay told Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018).

Moreover, according to the Rev. Giay, a member of the congregation of Kingmi Church reported that he was shot in the church by the security force while evacuation of the shooting victims in Nduga. However, the reason behind his shooting was still unclear.

Kingmi Church has approximately 60 thousand followers in Nduga

The residents of Nduga Regency is the majority members of Kingmi Church. Therefore, the Rev. Benny Giay asked President Joko Widodo to pay attention to the progress of the military operation conducted by the Indonesian Police and Military after the president’s order to chase the armed group.

“It’s near Christmas. Our followers want to have Christmas in quiet and peaceful. We also need to visit Nduga, because the majority of Nduga residents are the followers of Kingmi, but now we can’t. We only get a report from residents and the church board in Mbua, Yall and Yigi,” said the Rev. Giay.

He also hopes that the access to Nduga to be opened for independent parties for further investigation regarding the shooting incidents as well as the post-Nduga incident. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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