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Churches in Paniai Reject Circumcision to prevent HIV/AIDS

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Jayapura, Jubi – The Churches and residents of Paniai Regency, Papua remain opposed the idea of circumcision by health authorities.

Ilustration - Supplied

Ilustration – Supplied

“We have conducted a campaign on circumcision in Paniai, however, churches except for the Kingmi Church and Catholic Church rejected the invitation,” said Medical Services Chief of Paniai Public Hospital, Febur Mote in Jayapura on Wednesday (25/11/2015).

According to him, while receiving the invitation letter, some Kemah Injil Church authorities instantly ripped it with the thought what had created properly by God shall not be changed, by God properly shall not be changed.

“In fact we gave this suggestion merely as prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other infectious deceases,” Mote said.

He further said not only the churches but also the Paniai residents also reject and do not want to accept the invitation to do circumcision. The hospital authority has conducted a campain on circumcision, but changing their habit is a difficult challenge. People refused it for many reasons, in particular religious factor.

They thought the circumcision is the practice of Islam, while Christians do not practice it.

“It is difficult for us in the Paniai Hospital to change their understanding and habit, to change their mindset,” he said. But, he added, the hospital continues to conduct socialization to the level of local government’s offices, churches and schools in Paniai.

“Based on our recent activities, eventually there is 67 people accept and has been doing circumcision, most people reject it,” he said. (*/rom)

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Headlines

TAPOL and ETAN seek judicial review of 1969 ‘self-determination’ Papua vote

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“West Papuans refer to the 1969 referendum as the ‘Act of No Choice’. The referendum was by no means a legitimate exercise of self-determination. Image: Benny Wenda FB

Papua, Jubi – TAPOL and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) have applied for a judicial review of the “Act of Free Choice” by the Indonesian Constitutional Court.

Recently filed by human rights lawyers on behalf of West Papua customary leaders and churches, the submission states that the highly contested self-determination “referendum” held in 1969 must be deemed contrary to the rights granted under Indonesian constitution, including the rights to freedom of thought and conscience, right to life, right to feel safe, and the right to not be tortured.

The “Act of Free Choice” took place between July 14 and August 2, 1969.

It was implemented following the guidelines of the New York Agreement (Agreement Between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands Concerning West New Guinea (West Irian [West Papua])of August 16, 1962.

The New York Agreement set the terms of the self-determination process. The UN was to assist Indonesia in overseeing an exercise of free choice by the people of West Papua on their political status, choosing between independence or remaining under Indonesian control.

There was to be full participation by all adults in accordance with best international practice. However, there was no meaningful support from the United Nations to guarantee a freely-held vote.

Instead, note TAPOL and ETAN in their joint statement, Indonesia took control of the process and backed by threats from its military, hand-picked 1025 men and women and forced them to vote for annexation by Indonesia.

Strategic litigation

It is why West Papuans refer to the referendum as “Act of No Choice”. The referendum was by no means a legitimate exercise of self-determination.

“This strategic litigation reminds the international community about the root cause of the long-running conflict in West Papua,” the joint statement said.

“The right to self-determination is an erga omnes norm which means that every State has the obligation to ensure that everyone’s right to self-determination is fulfilled.

“This 50 years of injustice has cost the loss of hundreds of thousands of indigenous West Papuan lives.

“West Papuans today still suffer persecution for expressing their rights to self-determination. We encourage the Indonesian government to accept the submission and to acknowledge that the vote staged in 1969 was contrary to rights granted under the Indonesian Constitution.”

TAPOL and ETAN believe that the right to self-determination is fundamental and that the people of West Papua have not yet been given the freedom to exercise that right.

Both TAPOL and ETAN note that each organisation works to promote human rights, justice and democracy in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

“We join West Papuans in calling for an internationally-supervised referendum conducted according to international standards,” the joint statement said. (asiapacificreport.nz)

 

Source: Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

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NZ West Papua support group urges action on Papua crisis

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A volunteer doctor tends to a woman’s broken arm, Wamena, Papua. Photo: Team of Humanitarian Volunteers for Nduga

Papua, Jubi – A West Papua support group in New Zealand is urging the government to call for the withdrawal of Indonesian forces in Papua.

It comes after human rights advocates in Papua last week said more than 32,000 people had been displaced by armed conflict in Nduga regency.

West Papua Action Auckland wrote to New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters on Saturday, saying the situation had become “a grave humanitarian crisis”.

A spokesperson for the group, Maire Leadbeater, urged Mr Peters to step in and ask Indonesia to respect the rights of civilians and allow access to Papua for media and humanitarian groups. (*)

 

Source: RNZI

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Environment

Tracing the flooding trail in Kali Kemiri, Sentani

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Stenly Monim and his dog are among the ruin of his parent’s house which is only the foundation left and covered by stones. -Jubi/Kristianto Galuwo

A HOUND, totally wet, are walking around, scrapping over damp branches lying on the ground. Thirsty, it moves to a puddle for a sip of water. Doesn’t know what to do, it turns to sniff piles of stumps that just tumbled from trees. This little dog is surrounding by hundreds of logs, which some begin to decay, piles of stones that left over from a massive flood that stroked the most of Sentani City on Saturday night (16/3/19).

Running, it follows its master, Stenly Monim (31 years old). “Her name is Moli, quite old now. She has lived with us for ten years,” he told Jubi on Thursday (21/3/19) at Kali Kemiri, Hinekombe Village, Sentani Sub-district, Jayapura Regency, Papua Province.

Stenly survived from the flood. The place he used to live in the intersection of Kali Kemiri (a river’s name) now looks like a shadowy island of the size of a mini soccer field with some trees left. He met Moli on Wednesday (20/3/2019) midday when he was walking through the riverbank. “I was surprised and excited because I thought Moli is dead.”

When first met, said Stenly, Moli was exciting. She run and jumped to him, circled him around and licked his hand and woofed. She has some scratches on her back hit by the flood that similar to Stenly’s back.

After five minutes walking along the location that used to drain by the water from Kali Kemiri, he stops in front of the ruin of his house with Moli who’s still around him. He admits this is the first time he returns home after the flood hit this place.

Before visiting this place, he left his eleven years old daughter Risyelita Monim to his relative whose home is not far from his house. “This is my house. I am usually just watching from distant. I tell my daughter to not come here because she might still be traumatised. She is the only child I have who still alive now.”

Stenly couldn’t save her second daughter’s life. Martina Marice Monim (9 years) died and had just been buried on Wednesday (20/3/2019) at Kampung Sereh, while his youngest son Alberto Monim (1) is still missing.

“We just celebrated Alberto’s first birthday on last 7 March,” he said.

Meanwhile, his wife Lara Merlin (25) survived because she was visiting her relative at Ifar Gunung. Currently, Stenly and the rest of his family stay at his relative’s house.

A premonition being late interpreted

At that tragic night, Stenly was anxious because of the heavy rain lasted until the dark. He continuously went to the riverbank observing the stream. An hour later, the water massively flew till it eroded the edge of the ‘island’ where five houses stood.

Usually, Stenly said, no matter how heavy the rain was, it never creates such stream like that night.

“But, that night was strange. Our location is quite high, but the water filled it very fast. I never thought it could have happened. I took my children immediately to my parent’s house where my mother, siblings and other families live. Its location is higher than ours.

Stenly’s house is in the middle. When water and sandy mud flooded this area, he informed his two neighbours. Then, together they went to his parent’s house. He also asked the neighbour next to his parent’s house to join. “ Around twenty people were gathering at that night, plus my siblings and their children.”

Suddenly, we heard a crash, said Stenly, but we couldn’t go anywhere. The river has overflowed, and water covered the two sides of the banks. No bridge to cross over.

Then, we heard something heavy bumped on something. The water volume was very high, and we were all scattered,” said Stenly.

According to him, the flood just swept everything away once. But logs and stones continued rolling and scrolling pushed by the current. He slumped into the piles of logs which eventually became a shield for him.

He shouted calling the names of his children and relatives. Suddenly, he heard the voice of his older daughter Risyelita. He tried to get out of the logs and searched for his daughter.

Lita plays around her house with Moli. -Jubi/Kristianto Galuwo

“I found Lita was not far from me. She held a log. I immediately grabbed her and held her tight while holding on the branch.”

Pulling up his energy, he bumped against the stream while holding his daughter and trying to find his other children who separated from him. But he couldn’t get them.

After swimming dozens of meters to save his daughter’s life, three men who were running on the other side of the river saw him. They stopped and pulled him two fallen areca palms before going away.

“I told my daughter, ‘Hold my back tight. I’ll cross the river with this areca tree’. At first, she said she was afraid. But, I said, ‘I will save you. You must be brave’.”

When he tried to across her daughter while holding the areca tree, the current hit them. They fell over and drifted away. But they almost close to the bank. When he could stand on the ground, he runs along the riverbank screaming his daughter’s name.

“Up to hundreds of meters I run. From the other side, I saw Lita managed to reach the edge of the river,” he said.

When he’s telling this story, from a distance faintly heard Lita’s voice calling her father. The girl ran passing through the sandy mud and come closer to Stenly, who looks resigned. He calls his daughter. He said no word to order his daughter to leave this place. Instead, he greets her, now his only child whom he can embrace alive.

Grief after a disaster

Stenly’s second daughter, Martina, was found in a position embraced by her aunt on Sunday morning (3/17/2019), both of them dead.

“The rescue team came at around one o’clock in the evening. Their body found in the early morning. They were not far away from me that night when I was under a pile of wood. But I didn’t see them or hear their voice,” he said.

Meanwhile, His son, Alberto, reportedly washed away to Gajah Mada BTN. He obtained this information from his cousin who survived and is treated currently at Abepura Hospital, Jayapura City.

“My cousin, Rina Sokoy, held Alberto and they drifted to BTN Gajah Mada. It’s about two kilometres away from here. But, Alberto was detached when a log hit Rina. I hope someone can find him alive. I miss him, and I keep praying,” he said.

According to Stenly, his relatives and three neighbours also experience the same story. They lost several family members. Some are dead, while others are declared missing. But, there are those who survived and now treated in the hospital due to injuries and broken bones.

To get detail information about the number of residents living in Kali Kemiri, Jubi met the chief of neighbourhood (RW 7) Andreas Hikoyabi (44 years old). He said around 700 people living on the banks of Kali Kemiri.

“About more than two dozen bodies have been found. Six of them have been picked up by the family at Bhayangkara Hospital. Yesterday, the rescue team carried sniffer dogs to search another body here,” he said while monitoring the work of the Joint Search and Rescue Team on the riverbanks of Kali Kemiri on Thursday (03/21/2019).

Residents suspect that there are bodies that still buried under the mud because of flies flying on the scene. Then, Andreas points out to the ruins of the house covered by thick mud which the rescue team tried to exavagate.

“In that house, there are seven family members. The couple and their three children have not found yet, while two children safely found.”

A member of Jayapura SAR Team, Sangap S (35) said the team keep searching for victims in Kali Kemiri because it’s a location that most influenced by the flood. However, until late afternoon, the rescue team still find no casualties.

“First, we found a dead dog up there, but we didn’t bury it. After that, we went down, and smell a stinky odour. We thought there are bodies. We started to dig but found nothing. So, we buried the dog, and the smell disappeared. It turns out that the smell was coming from the dog body that blew by the wind,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Kristianto Galuwo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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