Social-Political Analysis -The Continuing Violence in Papua PDF Afdrukken

Social-Political Analysis -The Continuing Violence in Papua
(Paper from the Papua NGOs Cooperation Forum. Contact person J. Septer Manufandu  Executive Secretary).
Papua Context 
Recently Observed Condition
Until mid of 2009, the political and violence cases in Papua still show an increase and tend to escalate. This tension is well documented and observed prior to, during and after the general election to elect members of parliament and president. The violence not only occur in one place but has spread almost all over Papua. For example, the conflict and violence which are documented  and reported are the incident of ambush of police station in Abepura on 9 April 2009, the hosting of Morning star flag in Mamberamo, Wamena and some spots in Papua, the attack against police in Yapen and Mulia, incident and rally in Nabire, attack on Freeport staffs in Timika, and the attack against Freeport security and employees in Timika. Both of civilians and security apparatus become the victims of all of these incidents.  These incidents certainly have big impact on people and deteriorate human rights conditions. Police and security appratus arbitrarily arrest people claiming as suspected groups and individuals without proper evidence showing their involvement. Moreover, there are some people and groups who justify their violent acts and more prefer violence than peaceful way to realize their goals.

Stigmatisation of Separatist for Immutable NKRI
In the past, only TPN and OPM are stigmatized separatists but in recent years, there is a phenomena where not only TPN and OPM are called separatists but also religion institutions, NGOs and local institutions.[1]  This means that any efforts done by religious leaders, Papuan elites, and activists to promote democracy, justice and human rights will be suspected as efforts for separation by central government. The Slogan ‘immutable NKRI (unitary state of Indonesia) and stigmatization of separation are effective weapons used by government and military to silence aspiration and demand for justice and human rights recognition. Consequently, any acts and aspiration potentially and suspected as against the NKRI should be seriously responded and those who involved in the acts should be brought to court as it is against prevailing law.
In the mind of Papuans, living under military oppression and stigmatization is the most bitter and saddest experience that will never be forgotten by Papuans. Under this oppression, Papuans are treated not as human having dignity but as object of the military operation.[2]  Stigmatization of separatist preserved by central government and military will certainly preserve injustice to Papuans.
Subversion Allegation: Criminalize Democracy and Human Rights Defenders
There have been a number of cases where democracy activists are arrested, intimidated and face police raid. Some are even brought to court. These democracy activists are said to have been against state emergency law and subversion  articles. This is certainly an obvious contradiction with Law No. 9/1998 In its explanotary articles the law states that the state grants legal protection including guarantee security to its citizen and those who express their opinion publicly. Buchtar Tabuni case[3]  and Nabire case[4]  are obvious example showing how freedom of expression and democracy are still restricted to Papuans.
Red & White (Merah Putih) Militia in West Papua
This militia is clearly organized by professional party and have existed in some areas in Papua such as in manokwari, Wamena, Fak-fak, merauke, Jayapura, Biak, Nabire, Timika, Serui, Sorong district. Their existence potentially create horizontal conflicts not only among them (militia groups) but also with those who fight and propose for Papua independence.
Security Approach Still Preferred 
Security approach is still used with the establishment of district military command/Kodim, batallion, resort military command/Korem and military posts. Even through the status of military operation zone was officially lifted in 1998, the teritorial military command remains embedded in the whole papua. Currently, papua hosts six army regular battalion, four non-regular battalions in the border areas, excluding the intelligent units, the navy and the airforce.
The emergence of violent and separatist actions trigger the application of the prefered military and security approach in Papua. This approach is preferred to destroy any resistant and separatist movement. This policy has been preserved since Papua integration and implemented in the the red regions which have resistant groups and armed forces as in Papua.
During the past four months, there have been incidents where the perpetrators are obviously security appratus (military and police). For example, a civilian, Agus Ohee, was shot in May 2009 by a police in Sentani.[5]  Other incidents such as the shooting of Isak Psakor by military in June 2009,[6]  the shooting of Melkias Agapa by military in Nabire in June 2009. These incidents shows that security apparatus prioritizes defending NKRI more than defending the values of democracy and human rights. Military head (Pangdam) XVII Cenderawasih, Nasution, admits that many people still observe military prefer represive approach than persuasive approach.[7]
Special autonomy.
Huge amount of money from special autonomy is distributed by central government and managed by provincial government and district government but after seven years of its implementation, Papuans still live in poverty. In other words, no significant changes in Papuans lives. In fact, the poverty in Papua exceeds 81,50%.
HIV and AIDS in Papua
Compared to the rest of Indonesia, Papua has the highest  HIV-AIDS case rate totaling of 5555  and its distribution rate shows a tendency to become an epidemic.  Papua’s Provincial Health Board in 2009 estimates 14.392 people in Papua have been infected with HIV-AIDS; 68% are Papuans,  22% are non-Papuans, and 10% are from high-risk groups that is sex-workers and their customers. With the presence of mining industry, timber  companies and lots of military troops has made Papua a profitable area for the development of sex industry.
Marginalization and Discrimination:
Given the fundamental change of demography in Papua, the landscape has changed dramatically. The proportion of the indigenous Papuans and the migrants are 52 % and 48% respectively according to the 2003 National Goverment census. In reality, the migrant occupy most of the key positions in the governance, political parties, economy and trade and others sectors of the society.
Investment and the rights of indigenous people.
In the last five years, the Govt encourages more extractive industries to increase the national revenue, including mining, logging, fisheries, palm oil plantation and petroleum industries. The policy of 6 million hectar of palm oilplantation expansion in Papua, for example, has threatened the livelihood of many papuan landowners and thus, impoverish them. The recent research by Peace and Justice Catholic office (SKP) in Jayapura, West Papua on the impact of the  of the 25 year-palm oil plantation in Arso (Keerom District) demonstrates that thefarmers only earns IDR 300,000 – 500,000 per month, the indigenous population constitutes only 1/3 of the population.
The commitment to solve Papua problems and remove the roots of problems should be explicitly made in a regulation and law. It can be said that as long as the commitment and political policy to solve Papua problems is not formulated comprehensively in law instruments along with accountability procedure, the political policy and commitment will fail to function as solution and bring no expected result. On the contrary, it will create new problems.   
Dialog between government and Papuans should be initiated. This dialog is important to break the circle of violence in Papua. As long as no commitment to hold dialog, violence and stigmatization will be persistently sustained and mantained and automatically it will cause a bleak relationship between Jakarta and Papua  and suspection between these two parties is going to remain.
Protection and recognition of human rights for Papuans is the main conditions (Prerequisite) for creating peaceful Papua. Therefore, good political will from government and all Parties to realise this principle is needed. Improving economy and social-political lives will be meaningful and brings more impact if it is done through the recognition of human rights and recognition of indigenous papuan’s basic rights.
600 Army Officers Deployed to Guard Papua Freeport Mine
Jakarta Globe August 31, 2009
At least 600 army officers will help secure the working areas of the PT Freeport Indonesia mine in Timika, Papua, starting on September 2, following a number of armed attacks on the site. Papua Regional Military Commander Maj. Gen. Ahmad Yani Nasution said that the National Police Chief had requested the military to deploy the army officers to the Freeport mine to secure the area. He said that the officers anticipated security threats from separatist groups. Nasution said the officers will be posted at the mine until the situation is “totally secure.” But Nasution said the current security situation in Papua was fine. “The situation is Papua and West Papua is secure and under control,” he said. Amid a spate of roadside ambushes from gunmen at the site of the world’s largest copper and gold mine over the last few months, employees of have started wearing flak jackets and helmets amid other safety measures, the company’s spokesman said on Friday. Antara, JG
Australian Senate calls for Indonesia to allow Red Cross back into  Papua
RNZI 24 August, 2009
An Australia-based Papua human rights activist has praised the Australian Senate’s motion urging the Indonesian Government to allow the Red Cross unfettered access to the troubled region. The Red Cross was forced to shut its office and leave Papua in April after its representatives visited Papuan prisoners there. However an Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman on Friday said that the ICRC would not be allowed to re-open a branch office in Papua. But activisit Nick Chesterfield says Indonesia has obligations under the Geneva Convention to allow the Red Cross to conduct its humanitarian operations. “’We’re not sure whether or not this breaches international law but it’s cetrainly an issue that the Indonesian government’s got to show some more maturity on. The ICRC were carrying out their mandated operations and the Indonesian government was saying that by caring for human rights they are supporting separatism and that’s just not the case.” Nick Chesterfield
Call to push Indonesia to let ICRC reopen in West Papua
RNZI 2 September, 2009
The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has written to New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully urging him to ask the Indonesian Government to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to reopen its office in Papua.
The Red Cross was forced to shut its office and leave Papua earlier this year after its staff members visited prisoners in jail. The Committee’s spokesperson Maire Leadbeater says she’s deeply concerned the Indonesian authorities now say the Red Cross has no mandate to re-open a branch office in the province.
Ms Leadbeater says in recent months there has been an alarming escalation in human rights violation in Papua, including killings and displacement of communities.
The Committee is also urging Mr McCully to prevail on the Indonesian government to ensure medical treatment is given to one of Papua’s most high-profile political prisoners, Filep Karma, who was jailed for 15 years in 2004 for his involvement in a flag-raising event. She says there are reports Mr Karma has been very ill but medical treatment to him has been delayed.
Red Cross believes negotiations are continuing with Jakarta over its operations in Papua. (
RNZI 24 August, 2009)
The Jakarta office of the International Committee of the Red Cross says as far as it knows negotiations are ongoing over the agreement under which it operates in Indonesia, covering its activities in the Papua region. However an Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman on Friday said that the ICRC would not be allowed to re-open a branch office in Papua. The Red Cross was forced to shut its office and leave Papua in April after its representatives visited prisoners there, including alleged separatist rebels. Although unwilling to comment on the negotiations, the ICRC’s spokesperson, Layla Berlemont, says the ICRC has been allowed to continue its Papua programme for cataracts treatment. “Even when we were closing down the office we could conduct our cataract surgery operations for some residents of Papua in Papua. The programme was ongoing, it was not disturbed. It was in Jayapura, it was in Timika, it was in different places in Papua.” Layla Berlemont
Dozen of Yahukimo residents starve to death
Nethy Dharma Somba ,  The Jakarta Post  Wed, 09/02/2009 4
Dozens of Yahukimo residents have died due to famine striking the area from May until August this year. Yuliat Iksamon, head of regency's disaster handling quick reaction team, said that 60 people in Walma district alone had starved to death. “I have yet to receive reports on how many residents died in other districts,” Yuliat said, referring to Suntamon, Langda, Bomela, Seredala, Pronggoli and Heryekpini. He added that the heavy rain that had been pouring down the region since May had caused residents’ failure to harvest.“Due to the starvation, residents may easily suffer from diseases, like diarrhea and malaria.” Daniel Rendeng, the regency's deputy regent, said he was coordinating with some related institutions to deploy a special team to the affected areas. 
No famine but food shortage in Yahukimo: Govt
Nethy Darma Somba ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jayapura, Papua   09/04/2009
The Yahukimo government denied on Friday widespread media reports of famine causing 100 deaths in four districts in the Papua highland regency. Regional secretary Roby Lungkutoy said the poverty-stricken districts were experiencing food shortages due to a bad harvest. ”Famine means people do not eat for a long time. What happened there was a declining food supply as people could not harvest their crops. They actually had something to eat, however,” Roby said. A Christian foundation said it found 92 people had died of starvation in seven districts, including Anggruk, Pronggoli, Ubahak and Seredala, between January and August. The same situation occurred in 2005. Roby said the foundation’s report was inaccurate. A government medical team sent to Seredala found that only two people had died, compared with 17 deaths reported by the foundation. ”The two residents died of diseases, not starvation,” Roby said. He recalled that none of the village chiefs who had gathered for an annual meeting with Regent Ones Pabahol at the end of July had reported cases of starvation. ”We have not yet planned to file a  report with the governor as we have not collected accurate data conerning the food shortage,” Roby said.
Independence aspirations persist despite autonomy
Nethy Dharma Somba ,  The Jakarta Post ,Jayapura  22/8/2009
The granting of special autonomy to the Papua region has not proven sufficient enough to quell the ongoing internal struggle of its people for independence and separation from Indonesia. "The root of the problem is Papua's political status, which is not recognized by Indonesia or the world. This in turn means Papua is not recognized as a sovereign country, so we will continue to demand independence at all costs," said Zadrak Taime, secretary of the Sentani-Sarmi traditional organization.
Zadrak was representing the organization at a meeting between the Papua Traditional Council (DAP) and the Keerom community with the Home Ministry's Sociopolitical Affairs Director General, Ahmad Tanribali Lamo, deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Maj. Gen. Karseno, and director of conflict mitigation at the Sociopolitical Affairs Directorate General, Sr. Comr. Widiyanto, in Jayapura on Thursday.
Apart from political issues, the participants at the meeting discussed the growing social gap between state officials and people at a grassroots level since the implementation of special autonomy. "Special autonomy funds have been distributed to Papuans, but officials are the only ones who have benefited from them. We don't know where the funds have gone to, but we can see that officials are getting richer, their homes are becoming more lavish and some own three private cars," said Zone V DAP head, Hubertus Kwambrey. "We demand the government stop stigmatizing the Papuans who desire independence as separatists. Please stop using that term and look at the root of the problem," said Markus Haluk, who spoke for DAP head Forkorus Yoboisembut. Forkorus was ill and could not attend the meeting. Tanribali said such comments should be directed to the Home Minister. He said the government had paid serious attention to development in Papua.
Residents Near Papua Airport Protest For Compensation
Friday, 28 August, 2009
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Resident near Sentani Airport, in Jayapura briefly occuped the main airport in the seat of Papua in protest to demand compensation for their land used to expand the airport. The protest started lasted for about two hours on Friday morning affecting flights from and to the airport. A Garuda Indonesia flight from Jakata had to divert to Biak, a Lion Air flight was late for about three hours and Merpati planes could not left the airport. Spokesman for the locals Carlos Sokoy said they demanded compensation for their 5,028 square meters tribal land used to expand the airport's runway. A source from the airport told Tempo that compensation had been made in 2003. CUNDING LEVI
Military Personnel Attacked in Papua
Thursday, 27 August, 2009 | 20:17 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Another attack in Papua injured a military personnel on Thursday as unidentified group seized a firearm from the injured personnel. The attack occurred at a military post in Kolame Village in Tingginambut district, the scene of similar attack on police Mobile Brigade unit in April and June, which killed one personnel in each attack.  Second Private Suliswanto reportedly suffered fatal slash injuries on his cheek and neck and had his Indonesian made SS1 assault rifle taken. He was flown to a hospital in Jayapura from Puncak Jaya Regency for further treatment.  The Commander of Cendrawasih XVII Regional Command Major General A Y Nasution said his soldier from the 756th Infantry Battalion in Wimanesili in Wamena was in critical condition. Speaking in Jayapura on Thursday noon Nasution suspected that the attack was launched by a local separatist group led by Goliath Tabuni. CUNDING LEVI
Freeport employees return to work
 August 27, 2009
Timika (ANTARA News) - More than one thousand employees of PT Freeport Indonesia and its contractors returned to work in Tembagapura on Thursday after being absent for two weeks following a shooting incident. The employees aboard 23 buses departed from Gorong-gorong terminal in Timika in groups from 8am to 12.00 hours, escorted by two police-military joint platoons. At the same time their fellow workers left Tembagapura aboard 15 buses to Timika for a day-off.  Unknown persons fired their bus on August 16 at Mile 45 between Timika and Tembagapura.
One of the employees, Gunawan, admitted he felt uncomfortable due to current security situation in the area. "We have been forced to stay at home for two weeks due to shooting incidents. We hope situation will recover immediately," he said.
His fellow, Buyung Sikoway, said the employees had been worried about their safety due to several shooting incidents between July and August. "We do not know why the large number of security personnel in place could not unveil and arrest the actors," Buyung said. He also wondered why the identities of the victims were not yet disclosed. "We condemn the shooters. If they have problems with the government or the company they should have talked about them in a good manner. Do not sacrifice us as we only work to make a living," he said. Following the shooting incidents that had claimed the lives of Australian Drew Nicholas Grant and local resident Markus Rate Alo as well as police second brigadier Marson Patipelohi on July 11, the Papua regional police in cooperation with the 17th Regional Military Command have deployed more than 1,000 personnel to secure the Freeprot area. The joint military and police force, grouped in the Timika Amole Task force, was supposed to complete their task on August 18 but because shootings still continued their duty had been extended until situation was conducive again.(*)
Police identify suppliers of ammunition used in Freeport attacks
The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Wed, 08/19/2009
Papua police have identified a group suspected of supplying the ammunition used in a number of armed attacks against US-based gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia in the past month, an officer says. Spokesman for the police, Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, said Wednesday that investigators had also identified those allegedly responsible for the shooting incidents, which left three people dead. “We have traced the supply line of the ammunition and identified the groups involved. Let’s wait and see,” Agus said to Through investigations the police have concluded that the gunmen fired bullets produced by the Army-run arms producer PT Pindad in Bandung in the attacks. “We have listed several individuals who are suspected of masterminding these acts of violence and we will hunt them down,” Agus said. The gunmen launched their latest attack Sunday, targeting a convoy of buses carrying Freeport employees. Five employees were injured by shattered glass.
Press releases reports etc.
 Open Letter To President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Australia West Papua Association, Sydney
22 August 2009
Re: Concern for the health of Filep Karma
Dear President Yudhoyono,
I am writing to you concerning the case of Filep Karma, a West Papuan man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for  simply being part of a  rally where the West Papuan national flag, the Morning Star was raised and for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
Filep Karma who is serving his sentence in the Abepura Prison is now in the intensive care ward at the Dok Dua Hospital in Jayapura. We are very concerned about the health of Filep Karma who has been ill since the  6 August and although he reported this fact to prison medical authorities he received no attention from the prison director or the medical personnel.
Senate supports Greens’ call  for Red Cross  access in West Papua
Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young
Thursday 20th August 2009, 3:17pm
The Senate has supported the Greens’ call for the International Red Cross to be granted full access to West Papua. A motion moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young this morning, calling for the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian Government to allow the International Red Cross into West Papua, was supported by the Senate. “It is of great concern to the Greens that the International Red Cross cannot fully access West Papua,” said Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson for Human Rights.“Australia must not ignore the reports coming out of this community in our region, citing human rights violations, and bans on media and the Red Cross. “The Greens will continue to raise these issues in the parliament, and hope the Australian Government can play a role in assisting Indonesia and West Papua to come to a peaceful resolution.” The motion, carried on the voices, read:The Senate calls on the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian Government to allow the International Red Cross full and unfettered access into West Papua.’-call-red-cross-access-west-papua
AWPA letter in SMH
Justice and human rights
Your editorial suggesting Amnesty ''set aside'' its call for a UN tribunal and prosecution of those responsible for the atrocities in East Timor is disappointing (''East Timor's sad 10th anniversary'', August 31). Some of the same military that operated in East Timor are now operating in West Papua, where there are reports of the Indonesian military committing human rights abuses.
Unfortunately, the only deterrent to any potential abusers is the fact that one day they could face a war crimes tribunal.
Joe Collins Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Concert brings West Papua issue close to home
The Standard 31/08/2009 4:00:00 AM
SOUTH-WEST favourite David Bridie and West Papuan artists treated music lovers to a special Warrnambool performance to raise awareness of a cause close to their hearts. The six-time ARIA winner performed in Warrnambool as part of a special fund-rasing concert to support the campaign to free West Papua.
Concert organiser and member of the south-west Victorian branch of the Australia West Papua Association Don Stewart said about 120 people came to the Cafe Lava performance to support the cause. ``It was really good. We couldn't have fitted any more people in,'' he said. ``We've had David come here before. He's been involved with West Papua for a long time now. ``The main focus of the night was to get people there and tell them about what's happening in West Papua.''The concert also featured West Papuan artists Heine Arumisore, Ronnie Kareni and Leah Rumwaropen who performed songs from their homeland. Mr Stewart said he hoped the night helped make south-west Victorians more aware about the plight of West Papuans. ``West Papua doesn't get into the media much and we're just trying to keep people informed about what's happening over there with environment and human rights issues.''

Correction re ALP national conference motion
Below is the motion that was actually passed at the ALP National conference . The one originally posted was the proposed motion .

Resolution 148R-Chapter 10
Mover: Meredith Burgmann -Seconder: Jackie Trad
Recognising the importance to Australia of our relationship with Indonesia and stability in Indonesia; recognising also Indonesia's achievements over the past decade in its transition to democracy; Labor:
1. expresses its concern about periodic violent incidents in West Papua and Papua;

2. urges the Australian Government to raise human rights concerns in West Papua and Papua with the Indonesian Government , including during Ministerial visits to Indonesia; and   
 3. urges the Australian Government to encourage the Indonesian Government to effectively implement special autonomy and respect for human rights in West Papua and Papua. 

[1]  In a meeting in Jakarta to launch the book, “Papua Road Map, written by LIPI, vice governor of Papua, Alex Hesegem, who was also the speaker, said local government is also suspected as separatist.

[2]  Benny Giyai, Menuju Papua Baru: Beberapa pikiran sekitar Emansipasi Orang Papua (New Papua Is Underway: Some thoughts on Emancipation of Papuans) Elsham-Dieyai, 2000. Pp. 8-9.

[3]  Buchtar Tabuni is convicted 3 years sentence as against article 106 criminal code. Initially, prosecutor charged Buchtar using article 106 but judge decided that Buchtar act is more provocative so he is charged with article 160.
[4]  Advocacy team for legal and human rights enforcement is providing legal assistance to 16 activists in Nabire as they are charged with subversion (against article 106 criminal code). The 16 activists are brought to court as they do rally in favor of the launch of IPLWP in London, UK.

[5] Cenderawasih Post ” Warga Kampung Harapan Blokir Jalan Raya“ (Harapan Villagers Block The Road), 6 May 2009. This case also can accessed from national media

[6]   Cenderawasih Post,  “Di Arso Seorang remaja Tertembak”, ( One Civilian Shot in Arso village), 22 June 2009. This case also can accessed from national media.  

[7]  Pangdam XVII Cenderawasih this statment in a meeting with NGOd in Jayapur,  20 April 2009