AWPA update. September 2009 PDF Afdrukken

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

AWPA update. September 2009
There were a number of new attacks around the Freeport mine in the past month. The latest attacks occurred soon after an additional 600 TNI personnel arrived to help guard the mine. The soldiers have joined more than 1,300 police already in the mine area . Papua police spokesman Senior Commissioner Agus Rianto said that the spate of shooting incidents in PT Freeport Indonesia`s concession area in Timika, was the work of criminal trouble-makers who were sent to Papua to disturb security in the region and not that of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

Chronology of events.

9 September. Amilitary vehicle belonging to the Tembagapura district military command was shot at by unknown gunmen near mile 41, on Wednesday morning . No one was reported injured in the incident.

Tempo Interactive also reported that unidentified gunmen attacked two security posts at mile 52 and 54 in the evening of the 9 September causing an exchange of gunfire between the attackers and security forces.

12 September . A group of gunmen opened fire at a company bus near the Freeport mine in Timika, on Saturday morning, injuring two men. Tempo Interactive reported that the bus was carrying 10 Freeport security guards and two cleaning service workers, as it passed along mile 42-43 of the road leading to the mine at around 8:50 a.m at local time.

16 September A soldier and a police officer were injured when a military vehicle was shot at by an unidentified man . The incident took place at Mile 38, Kali Kopi post, Nayaro, Mimika at 11.45 a.m. local time . A Lt. Col. Viktor Deny was reported wounded in an attack

Freeport employees ask rights body for protection
Markus Makur , The Jakarta Post , Timika | Thu, 09/10/2009
The All-Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI) of US mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia has submitted an official proposal to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) asking for protection following a series of shootings by unknown gunmen. Union secretary Ronny G. Kadrun gave the letter to commission member Nur Kholis in Tembagapura on Thursday. In its letter, the union wrote that the brutal shootings had caused anxiety among workers from Freeport and from other private companies. “The union has asked for the commission to guarantee the employees' safety and security so as the 21,000 workers can work as usual,” a union press release stated. Nur said the commission would immediately urge the government to resolve the matter. “I will review the case and conduct further investigations,” Nur said. Between July and August, there have been six shootings claiming at least three workers’ lives.

Indonesian police arrest Papuan leader on subversion charges
The spokesman for the military wing of the Papua separatist group, the West Papua National Liberation Army, has been arrested by Indonesian police on subversion charges. The arrest of Jonah Wenda has been reported by a local NGO. The Australian-based spokesperson for the West Papua Peace Working Group, Paula Makabory, says the arrest of Mr Wenda is a serious set-back to the push for a peaceful resolution to conflict in the region. She says Mr Wenda had been working to end hostilities between the Indonesian security forces and the indigenous people of Papua. (RNZI 14 September, 2009)

Schools in Mimika interior closed for months
September 22, 2009 Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Academic activity at schools in Mimika district`s interior have been at a standstill for the past few months because their teachers have become stuck in Timika city, one of the teachers said. The principal of Jila district`s junior high school (SMP), Natalis Nimbitkendik, said he and other teachers at his school were still in Timika because they had no transportation to return to Jila."We can not return to Jila, because there is no transportation to get there," he said.
He said the teachers usually travel to Jila from Timika by a PT Freeport Indonesia helicopter hired by the Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Foundation (LPMAK). Several villages in Jila district, such as Hoeya, Bela, Alama, Geselema and others are located 3,000 meters above sea level, and can only be reached by air transportation. But since the shooting incidents in the concession area of gold and copper mining company PT Freeport, the company`s helicopters no longer fly to Jila district nor to Keakwa in Central East Mimika district. Cantius Emereyauw, a Kamoro tribal community figure, said for the past three months YPPK`s Bona Ventura elementary school had totally stopped operating. The whereabouts of its teachers were also unknown.

"There has been no schooling activity in the past three months, because the teachers are not at their stations," he said. He said he was concerned about the pupils` future now that their schooling had been disrupted. Elementary schools in Mimika which were run by the Catholic Education and School Foundation (YPKK) of Timika were also only operating now and then with casual teachers. Meanwhile, the teachers with civil servant status were not around, and spending their time doing something else in the city, he said. Ironically, these teachers continued to receive their full salaries and allowances from the state. The School Operational Assistance (BOS) funds the schools were receiving from the central or local governments were also being embezzled by the school principals with impunity. "We urge Mimika`s local government through its relevant apparatus to pay serious attention to this situation," Cantius said. (*)

Mimika focuses on alleviating maternal mortality rate
Markus Makur , The Jakarta Post , Timika | Wed, 09/23/2009
The Mimika regency administration is focusing on alleviating the maternal mortality rate in their 12 districts through the local health office, in line with the program initiated by the provincial administration to provide good health care for people in rural areas of Papua, be they in the mountainous, hinterland or southern areas of Papua. The program will be implemented in every regency across the province by sending teams to provide counseling, medical checkups and food supplements for expectant mothers in rural areas.
The health office has posted medical workers in rural areas and in 13 community health clinics in the 12 districts of Mimika. Medical awareness among pregnant women in Mimika regency remains very low despite the medical services provided by the clinics, so much so that Mimika is often regarded as lacking decent medical services. Mimika Health Office head Erens Meokbun told reporters in Timika recently that medical workers often encountered obstacles in the field, such as from members of the community who refused to help themselves or those who were unaware of health care issues.

Meokbun said as well as the drive to alleviate the maternal mortality rate by conducting routine medical checkups at the clinics in the 12 districts, the health office would also provide examinations for those infected with tuberculosis, malaria counseling and information on HIV/AIDS mitigation to people in villages. "The teams from the health office are visiting villages and community health clinics to make the mobile clinic program across Papua a success by focusing on saving the lives of expectant mothers. The teams are currently working to provide medical checkups to pregnant women so their babies can grow and develop healthily," he said. The Health Ministry has allocated Rp 5 billion (about US$500,000) to pay for the mobile clinics across Papua including using assistance funds from the provincial and regency administrations. The provincial health office has proposed Rp 6 billion in supporting funds from the regency administration's budgetary team in 2010.
Meokbun said his office had distributed Jamkesmas health insurance cards to residents in rural areas. They will be exempted from paying medical bills when getting treatment in government-run hospitals and community health clinics.
When asked by reporters about the finding of malnutrition cases in Far East Mimika district, Meokbun confirmed five children in the Far East Mimika capital of Ayuka were suffering from malnutrition, and were currently being treated by a medical team.
Mimika's medium-term development program (2009-2013), approved by the local legislature a week ago, included a number of development plans, such as improving human resources in Mimika by providing equal access to education in rural areas; realizing free education in state-run, as well as private, schools; and providing good services to the public, such as good health care to the people in the villages. Mimika Regent Klemen Tinal said his office would exempt students in state-run schools in Mimika from paying school fees throughout the 2009 budget period. "If there are schools, from elementary to senior high school level, demanding school fees, they should return the money to parents because the government has exempted Papuan students from paying school fees."I am very serious about improving education here, by providing education to every Papuan child in the rural areas of Mimika," he said.

Govt to pay special attention to Papua`s development: Boediono
Monday, September 28, 2009 National |
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Development in Indonesia`s easternmost province of Papua will be given special attention by the central government in the 2009-2014 period, Vice President- elect Boediono said here on Monday. "I want to get first-hand information about the real conditions in Papua, especially in the Pegunungan Tengah and border areas, so that the central government can make the proper development plan for the province," Boediono told newsmen during a stop-over at Mozes Kilangin airport here.
Boediono admitted that he had never been to Papua before, especially to remote areas which are difficult to reach by overland transportation. The vice president elect said that to speed up development in Papua`s remote areas, road infrastructures linking one place to another should be built. Besides building road infrastructures, he said, the central government would also encourage district and municipal administrations in the province to give special attention to development in the health and education sectors. The former Bank Indonesia (central bank) governor is also scheduled to hold a meeting with nine district heads and Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu in the Jayawijaya district town of Wamena on Tuesday and Wednesday before proceeding to Tanah Merah in Boven Digoel district where he would dedicate the Sue seaport. Meanwhile, Puncak Jaya district head Lukas Enembe expressed hope that the central government would build a road from Yuguru to Abema in one of Papua`s mountainous regions.

The distance between Yuguru at the border of Mimika district and Asmat, and Abema in Jayawijaya district is about 140 kilometers, while the route between Jayapura and Wamena is about 500 kilometers. The road linking Jayapura and Wamena which has been under construction since the 1980s has yet to be completed because of treacherous and mountainous terrain. Lukas Enembe said the snail-paced development in the mountainous areas in Papua was due to lack of transportation facilities. (*)

Update report on health of Filep Karma, political prisoner in Abepura Prison
From Tapol .Received 10th September Abridged in translation

This is an update on the condition of a political prisoner, Filep Karam who entered the general hospital on 18-18 August and was treated in the intensive care unit. He has now been moved to Dok II Jayapura Hospital, where his condition has improved slightly as compared with his condition when he was on the critical list, able to do nothing more than lie on his bed, unable to eat, and he even had difficulty moving. He still finds it difficult to urinate, so the doctor has recommended that, starting today, 10 September, he should refrain from eating and drinking, in preparation for an x-ray and operation on 12 September. In hospital, no one is paying any attention to his condition. While in the general hospital, a security official was present. Now he is all alone in the hospital.

Filep Karma fell ill on 5 August when he had great difficulty urinating and was suffering acute pain. On 6 August, Filep Karma was able to inform a prison medic in Abepura Prison but was told that no medication was available for his condition, so he was advised to raise his legs, resting them on a wall, and massage them. He followed this advice, but his condition grew worse. Although it was the responsibility of the prison authorities to find the necessary medication, his condition was ignored. Mis-communication continued until 17 August when he was visited by a local journalist who interviewed him. As a result, a report appeared in public about his condition on 18 August. An accompanying photo of the victim, sent with the report, is not attached here.
Jayapura, 10 September, 2009
Peneas Lokbere,Unite for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran (BUK)

Dewan Adat Papua marks 3rd anniversary of Indigenous People's Day
From Tapol. Cenderawasih Pos, 14 September 2009 Abridged in translation

The Dewan Adat Papua (DAP) held a meeting to mark 13th September, the third anniversary of the International Day of Indigenous People established in 2007 by the UN. The chairman of DAP, Forkorus Yaboisembut spoke on the theme: Let Us Safeguard our Land and the Indigenous People of Papua. The presentation consisted of the following points, safeguarding Papuan land, safeguarding the survival of the Papuan people from creeping genocide, safeguarding Papuan natural resources, safeguarding the forests, safeguarding Papuan traditional villages, safeguarding Papuan people's future
He said that the future of the Papuan people lies in their own hands because they face the continual dangers of being shot, murdered, arrested, held in prison, dying of starvation, and dying of a variety of diseases. The population of West Papua before the Act of Free Choice in 1969 stood at 700,000 and had increased to 1.2 million in 2007, whereas the population of PNG which was 700,000 in 1975 when it became free, was around 7 million in 2007, showing a big discrepancy between population growth in the two territories. He said that the population in West Papua was facing a kind of 'creeping genocide' as the result of numerous operations by the military that occurred in the period from 1963 until 1998. Summary killings,shootings, abductions and psychological operations against separatists for rebellion (makar). Papuans had also died from alcoholism, poisoning, inadequate health care, the spread of HIV/AIDS, all of which have threatened the lives of the Papuan people.

He referred to a research paper in August 2007 by Dr Jim Elmslie of Sydney, Australia, which predicted that the non-Papuan people in West Papua would increase to 70.8 percent out of a total of 6.7 million in 2020. In 2030 the ratio would be 1:6.5. This meant that the indigenous people must themselves act to safeguard themselves from the dangers to their survival at a number of levels. He pointed to the exploitation of Papua's natural resources by capitalists, exploitation by the copper and gold mining giant Freeport and the liquefied gas exploitation by British Petroleum as well as the legal and illegal exploitation of Papua's forests. According to Papuan tradition, the land is the Mother of the people which gives them food, clothing and their children and grandchildren. Land also represents economic and religious significance for Papuan people.

Speaking as a press conference at DAP's office on 13 September, Forkorus spoke of the Christian beliefs of the Papuan people regarding their survival, urging Papuas not to sell off their land and to prevent it from being used for (other people's) housing, but only to contract land out. The basic economic interests of the Papuan people, he said, were being marginalised, urban centres were now controlled by migrants as a result of which the indigenous people were facing deteriorating living conditions. Traditional villages of the Papuan people were facing extinction with the authorities paying no attention to the rights of the indigenous people. He recalled the killing of Opinus Tabuni on 9 August 2008 in Wamena at the annual commemoration of International Indigenous People's Day and the abduction of Theys Eluay and his chauffeur Aristoteles Masoka in 2001 as well as many other serious human rights violations. He called on the indigenous people to unite, shoulder to shoulder to save themselves from a humanitarian crisis and the danger of extinction. He also referred to the recent shooting incidents in the vicinity of Freeport which were similar to what happened some years ago when two US citizens were killed, only the intensity of these incidents had recently greatly increased. These incidents were likely to have been the work of provocateurs, well trained snipers who had been able to cover their traces.

Dialogue vital to solve Papua conflicts: Rights activists
The Jakarta Post , Jakarta , 09/14/2009 9:48 AM | National
Human right activists are urging the government to initiate a dialogue with representatives of various groups in Papua to find a peaceful solution to violence and separatism in the resources-rich province. “A dialogue between the central government and the people of Papua would be a peaceful and effective way to stop violence and bloodshed in Papua,” Neles Tebay of the Jayapura Archdiocese said on Saturday. The calls came after repeated attacks targeting US-based gold mine operator PT Freeport Indonesia in Mimika regency. A group of gunmen opened fire on a company bus on Saturday morning, injuring two men. It was the latest incident since armed attacks on the mine claimed three lives in July. “The shooting incidents near Freeport gold mine I think have been perpetrated by a group of people who do not know how to address their problems,” Neles said, adding that frustration would easily trigger people to acts of violence.

A group of Papuan leaders, led by West Papua legislative council speaker Jimmy Demianus Ijie, asked Vice President Jusuf Kalla to mediate a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua to solve long-standing problems facing Papuan people. The Papuan figures deemed Kalla suited to the job, thanks to his key role in restoring peace in Maluku, Poso in Central Sulawesi and in Aceh. Neles said such a dialogue had been sought ever since Papuan leaders concluded in a congress in 2000 the need for a meeting between central government officials and Papuan representatives to cope with wide-ranging problems facing the local people. The government enacted a law on special autonomy for Papua in 2001, which many considered a breakthrough to silence demands for separation from Indonesia. Eight years on, however, the separatist movement is still active and poverty and illiteracy remain a cause 
for concern, despite the impressive Rp 30 trillion in special autonomy funds that has poured into the province. Neles said Papuan people insisted on a direct dialogue with the central government as they deemed the provincial government to represent Jakarta. “The governor does what the central government tells him,” he said.
Neles suggested that the separatist group OPM be invited to the dialogue in order to reach a true peace, similar to what happened in Aceh in 2005.

National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) member Yosep Stanley Adi Prasetyo said the rights body agreed to a plan to hold a national dialogue on Papua and would like to facilitate it. “Various Papuan society groups have asked the Komnas to facilitate a dialogue,” he said, adding the 
commission had lobbied the vice presidential office to arrange the dialogue. “But Jusuf Kalla will soon relinquish his post as the vice president and I heard the vice presidential office will be dissolved,” so he expressed pessimism on the prospects for dialogue. Stanley said the Papuan leaders demanded a direct dialogue with the central government because they were disappointed with the regional administration.
“No one doubts the capability and experience of Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu. Yet, he has not initiated a legal reform as mandated by the Special Autonomy Law,” he said. (mrs)

Press releases/reports etc.

Down to Earth Newsletter no 82
The full graphics PDF file is on the website at

Climate justice:
REDD concerns deepen
Interview: Indonesia’s Civil Society Forum for Climate Justice
AMAN calls for emissions reductions, FPIC in REDD projects
Palm oil:
Sawit Watch calls on EU to face up to responsibilities
Coastal communities:
Communities want rights upheld
West Papua / extractives:
NGOs accused of ‘crying wolf’ over Tangguh human rights risks
More copper and gold mines?
Law: Indonesia’s international treaty obligations

40th anniversary of West Papua's annexation on NZ Radio

Is genocide occurring in West Papua? A number of papers from Inside Indonesia discusses the issue
Papuan claims of genocide deserve to be taken seriously
Jim Elmslie
Inside Indonesia presents the first of two different views on the question of demographic change in Indonesian Papua. For many years, critics – both inside and outside Papua – have accused the Indonesian government of pursuing genocidal policies in the territory, in part by swamping it with migrants from other parts of Indonesia. We invited two writers to present their analyses of the situation. In this piece, Jim Elmslie argues that the accusations of genocide deserve serious consideration. For a very different take on the issue, see the article by Stuart Upton.

Migration has caused many problems in Papua, but it is not part of a genocidal master plan
Stuart Upton
In the second of two pieces on demographic change in Indonesian Papua, Inside Indonesia here presents an analysis by Stuart Upton that suggests – in contrast to the first piece written by Jim Elmslie –there is little hard evidence to support claims of genocide in Papua.

Genocide and demographic transformation in Papua
A response to Jim Elmslie and Stuart Upton
Richard Chauvel

Al Jazeera accused of censoring doco about West Papuan struggle
Pacific.Scoop Opinion – By Jason MacLeod
Recently, I watched Pride of Warriors, a documentary about resistance in West Papua. The filmmaker, Jono Van Hest, had asked me to comment on the film’s content as he prepared it for public broadcast on Al Jazeera’s English language channel.

New film breaks Indonesian media ban on images of OPM rebel camps
Pacific Press Release – Pacific Media Watch, 29 September 2009

SYDNEY (Radio Australia/Pacific Media Watch): A new film shows rarely-seen footage of separatist rebels in Indonesian-ruled Papua province, who have been fighting a low-level insurgency for more than 40 years.The military wing of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, has control over some remote parts of Papua.The international media and many NGOs are banned from Papua, but that did not stop young film-maker Dominic Brown from visiting and capturing rare video images of some OPM military camps.
Presenter: Jeff Waters
Speaker: Dominic Brown, film-maker; Professor Peter King, Convener, West
Papua Project, Peace and Conflict Centre, Sydney University

a link to a 7-minute version of a story on the “Forgotten Bird of Paradise.”

INDONESIA: Aid dispatched after hunger-related deaths in Papua
JAKARTA, 18 September 2009 (IRIN) - The Indonesian government said it will send a team to a poor district in eastern Papua Province after a rights group reported deaths from hunger and associated diseases there. 

Swadiatma, an ad

Date: 15 September 2009 PR No.10/09

West Papuan people are hopeful that the re-elected President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will fulfil his election promise to resolve the West Papuan issue. A promise, he did not fulfil in his fist tem in office. Stakeholders even pre-empt any Presidential initiative by proposing that the issue be resolved through peaceful dialogue. Leaders in the country are queuing in Jakarta with much anticipation. They even dare to hope that SBY will actually deliver despite his past failure. Members of the independence movement who are part of the WPNCL however, proposed that any genuine and credible negotiation must be facilitated through International mediation.

Meanwhile violence and suppression of activism continued. Individuals had been routinely picked up for interrogation because of mere suspicion. The latest to be detained is Mr. Jonah Wenda an activist of WPNCL who is also the Spokesperson for the Military Council of the Independence movement. The Secretary General of WPNCL, Mr. Rex Rumakiek viewed this as a serious challenge by Jakarta to the peace efforts promoted by the Coalition. Mr. Jonah Wenda was instrumental in making sure that the Military Council remains committed to the peaceful efforts promoted by WPNCL and Stakeholders of West Papua in general. It is a clear indication that Jakarta never wanted peace in West Papua. The removal of the Red Cross from West Papua recently gave the Military and its Militias a free hand to commit more violence in the Territory. What is happening in West Papua up until now is a very clear policy of Colonial occupation and subjugation. WPNCL will do every thing to expose it in the free world Mr. Rumakiek said. Mr. Rex Rumakiek appeals to the Australian government, New Zealand government and the other members of the Pacific Islands Forum to call on Indonesia to stop the violence; stop the intimidation and detention of human rights and peace activists. He also calls on President Elect, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to order a moratorium on Military activity in West Papua and take immediate steps to dialogue with West Papuan leaders to resolve this Decades long issue. Mr. Rumakiek stated that development should not be held hostage because of ultra pseudo nationalism. How could people who are already traumatised for years participate in development when they live in fear all the time? He further calls on the President Elect to conclude his first term in office and show his good will by releasing Political Prisoners in West Papua.

For more details, contact Rex Rumakiek, the Secretary General on +61 414247468 or the Vice Chairman of WPNCL, Dr. John Ondawame on +678 439759026 or Vanuatu Mission, Mr. Andy Ayamiseba on + 678 40808 or 60651.
For human rights issues in general please contact Ms. Paula Makabory, the International Representative of Papua Institute of Human Rights Study and Advocacy on, +61 402547517.

Large numbers are expected at rallies in Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura (West Papua) and Melbourne today calling on the Australian government, as a partner in the Lombok Treaty, to mediate a political settlement between the Indonesian government and West Papua Transitional Authority. “Australia and Indonesia’s national security interests on its border in Torres’ Strait and Casuarina Coast are best served by the structured development of peace” said Rev. Terrianus Yoku, Chairman of the National Congress of the West Papua National Authority. “Australia needs to be involved, needs to mediate a political settlement, because of its standing as the oldest democracy in the region” he added. “We can no longer tolerate Indonesian politices and practices in our homeland, our political prisoners must be released immediately”.

West Papuans and Australians rallying in Melbourne at Parliament House (10.30am) are also calling for the publication of an independent report by the Australian Federal Police into the political assasination of Drew Grant in the Freeport mine area in July. “The AFP recently launched an investigation into the assassination of Australian journalists in East Timor more than thirty years ago” said Jacob Rumbiak. “It would be good if the Grant family doesn’t have to suffer like the Balibo families had to. That was very cruel” the former political prisoner said.

Interviews: West Papua
Rev Terrianus Yoku, Chairman of National Congress, West Papua National Authority: +62 85244357673
Interviews: Australia
Herman Wainggai, Coordinator of 43 Papua’s Asylum Seeker base in Australia tel 0450393527
Jacob Rumbiak, Coordinator, Foreign Affairs West Papua National Authority tel 040 6606 966
WEST PAPUA NATIONAL AUTHORITY, JALAN IFA GUNUNG SENTANI, JAYAPURA, PAPUA TEL +62 85244 357 673; Dit e-mailadres is beschermd tegen spambots. U heeft Javascript nodig om het te kunnen zien.