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Enembe – the Papuan traditional chief Indonesia regards as ‘dangerous’

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AS mass “save our governor” demonstration in front of the provincial government’s office. -Image: Jubi

By Yamin Kogoya in Canberra

In the days leading up to Christmas, 16 Indonesian construction workers were killed in Nduga by the West Papuan National Liberation Army.

Lukas Enembe, Governor of Papua, declared through media: “I am asking President Jokowi to withdraw all the troops in Nduga.”

In response, Colonel Muhammad Aidi, the military spokesman in Papua, said: “If governor Lukas Enembe supports the Free Papua Movement struggle and rejects the national strategic programme policy, he has violated state law and should be prosecuted.”

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December is a sacred month for Papuans. The first day of the month is when Papuans throughout Indonesia commemorate their national day – the day when the banned independence flag was freely flown alongside the Dutch flag.

And on 25 December, the majority Christian Papuans celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Unfortunately, December is also full of tragedy.

During this month many Papuans in the Indonesian archipelago face brutality, arrest and imprisonment by Indonesian security forces. And on 1 December 2018, more than 300 Papuan students and Indonesian sympathisers were arrested.

Workers killed

A few days later, WPNLA militants killed the Indonesian construction workers in Nduga.

Predictably, this led to further hatred, racism and demonisation of Papuans by Indonesia’s military, police and media. Indonesian media outlet DetikNews reported: “Chase the criminal group in Papua and catch them dead or alive.”.

It was a comment designed to break the spirit of the Papuan people, who are rightly terrified of the Indonesian military, police and their bullets.

But they are just as terrified of the dehumanising views and beliefs held by Indonesia’s ruling elite, whose hatred towards Papuans has blinded them to the fact that these people are citizens.

The Indonesian security forces have accused Governor Lukas Enembe of corruption and of being a pro-independence Papuan sympathiser.

Why a “separatist sympathiser”? Because following the December crisis, the governor asked that the people of Nduga be allowed to celebrate a peaceful Christmas without a heavy military presence in their villages.

As a tribal chief from the Papuan highlands, Lukas Enembe, knows that Christmas is an important day for Papuans. However, the military saw his response as protecting those responsible for shooting the 16 construction workers.

Thus he was accused of violating state law and there were demands for his “execution”.

Ignorance revealed

The allegations showed Indonesia’s ignorance of the significant role that Papuan tribal leaders (chiefs) play in their communities. It’s also important to note that these accusations were unfounded.

Meanwhile, the governor continues to face threats from Indonesian security forces even as he, along with other Papuan leaders, continue to ask President Joko Widodo i to withdraw the military presence from Nduga.

Governor Enembe says that the Nduga communities have been traumatised by decades of indiscriminate military operations. The villages have been bombed, people have been killed, many have fled, others are missing and the terror continues.

As the tribal chief and governor, Lukas Enembe has every right to express his opinion on the welfare of Indonesian citizens under his care.

But, ignoring his request for withdrawal, the military and police continue to threaten and intimidate him and their own Papuan people.

So why is Governor Enembe seen as a threat to Indonesia’s elite?

As the saying goes, “a Papuan hero loved by Papuans is more dangerous than a Papuan hero loved by Indonesia.”

Honest, humble

Enembe is dangerous to Indonesia because he is consistent, honest, humble – and he is loved by Papuans.

When he was elected governor in 2013, he gained the trust of his indigenous Papuan people. To demonstrate this further, Papuans re-elected him for a second term in 2018.

He tells the truth of the real hardships faced by Papuans under the yoke of Indonesian military rule.

Telling the truth in West Papua, or anywhere in Indonesia, is increasingly becoming an act of treason. This governor has fallen victim to this reasoning and this is what makes the authorities consider him to be a dangerous person in Indonesia.

Even after 60 years, Indonesian security forces do not understand Papuan customs and cultural values.

In Enembe’s first term in office, his achievements were many and he emerged as a generous leader who was able to touch ordinary lives and bring everything into public view.

He is a typical Melanesian “big man”, whose job is to look after his people, feed them, guide them and lead them.

Education, empowerment

It must be said that Lukas Enembe has done nothing against the Indonesian government. To the contrary, he takes care of the Indonesian citizens in Papua and wants them to be educated, empowered, hardworking, and self-reliant.

It is such attributes that make him dangerous to the Indonesian military, police and nationalist groups. Indonesian leaders are typically paranoid and hostile towards brave and smart Papuan leaders, who are immediately seen as a threat.

Clever leaders are a nightmare for the Indonesian military regime. It is a paranoid outlook that needs to change.

Indonesia must understand that the world is changing rapidly and, if it is to compete in the global markets, technology and science, it needs clever and truthful leaders. Enembe will not be intimidated by threats and bullets and these things will not create a great Indonesia.

In fact, Governor Lukas Enembe is the embodiment of Indonesian state values. But if Indonesian security forces continue to see him as a threat, the direction of this great nation will be lost.

It is this truth that makes Enembe the most misunderstood and dangerous governor in Indonesia. (Asian Pasific Report)

Yamin Kogoya is a West Papuan academic who has a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University. From the Lani tribe in the Papuan Highlands, he is currently living in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

 

Source: asiapacificreport.nz

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Meeting postponed, ‘exodus’ students still wait to see Papua Governor

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The Chairperson of Papuan People’s Assembly Matius Murib during a dialogue with the exodus students’ group at his office’s lawn, Jayapura, Thursday (9/1/2020). -Jubi/Courtesy Papuan People’s Assembly

Jayapura, Jubi – The exodus students’ goal to meet and have a dialogue with Papua Governor and the Chairs of Papuan House of Representatives and Papuan People’s Assembly on Thursday (16/1/2020) had not yet materialized. The Chairperson of Papuan People’s Assembly Timotius Murib, who set up the meeting, announced it has to postpone.

“Last week the students asked [to meet the governor and the House of Representative’s chairperson on] Thursday. But we asked them to wait for the governor to schedule the meeting,” Murib told Jubi in Jayapura on Thursday.

Following the mob’s persecution and racism taunt towards Papuan students in Surabaya on respective 16 and 17 August 2019, thousands of Papuan students studying in various Indonesian regions, have returned home to Papua in exodus wave. The seizure and persecution by security forces and local mobs to their boarding houses and accommodation drove the feeling of unsecured amongst the Papuan students. Therefore, many of them decided to discontinue their study and return home to Papua.

The Papua Police Chief estimated that the number of exodus students coming from various tertiary institutions from external Papua reaches three thousand. By contrast, the Central Post of Exodus Students in Jayapura said their current number is six thousand.

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On January 2020, 146 people identified themselves as members of the Central Post of Exodus Students came to the office of Papua’s People Assembly asking the Chairperson Timotius Murib to schedule a meeting with the governor Lukas Enembe and the chairperson of Papuan House of Representative Jhony Banua Row. They said that they wanted to convey their statement regarding the issue of racism towards Papuans through this setup.

The meeting previously scheduled for taking place on Thursday this week, but Murib said it had to postpone due to further acknowledgement from the governor. Furthermore, he said his office (Papuan People’s Assembly) would notify the students if the Papuan Governor is already in Papua because the Governor Enembe also wants to meet the exodus students. Even the governor has tried several times to meet the exodus students but continued to reject by the students.

“In 2019, [when the case of] racism increased, the governor came to Surabaya to meet the students but failed [to meet. After the governor] arrived in Papua, he [had] invited [the exodus students in a meeting], but the students rejected it,” said Murib.

Now, the representatives of the Central Post of Exodus Students asked for a meeting with the Papuan Governor. Personally, Murib said he hopes the meeting would immediately happen. He said it is crucial because it contains the issue of the future of these students, those who expected to become the foundation of Papua’s future.

“Education is more important, because [education will become an investment] of their future and this nation. Therefore, we are waiting for the governor to set up the meeting with the students,” said Murib.

In the meantime, Kaitanus Ikinia from the Central Post of Exodus Students confirmed that the students already received notification about this postponement. “Today is cancelled. [We knew] after communicating with the Papuan People’s Assembly,” Ikinia texted Jubi on Thursday. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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The court should avoid labelled of Indonesian colonialism tool

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Illustration, Goddess of Justice. – pixabay.com

Jayapura, Jubi – The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans hopes the panel of judges would be objective and fair in examining the facts during the trial of a mass rampage on 29 August 2019. They said it is crucial acts to avoid perceptions that the Jayapura District Court is only an instrument of Indonesian colonialism against Papuans.

The statement revealed in the press release by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans as the legal councillor team of the mass rampage’s defendants. In the hearing held on Wednesday (15/1/2020), the advocate team presented a West Papuan activist for independence Filep Karma as a witness to defend their four clients.

In the press release issued on Thursday (16/1/2010), the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans declared that Karma’s testimony in the hearing held on Wednesday (15/1/2020) would strengthen the suspicion that the peaceful anti-racism rally on 29 August 2019 turned into a rampage after a group of people provoke the crowds’ mobilisation. They further asked the Jayapura District Court to explore the facts of the trial before convicting the defendants.

“The witness Filep Karma presented by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans in the trial against the defendants YL, EH, PK, and DK, revealed new facts [which] confirmed the statements of previous witnesses that the tragedy of arson and riots in Jayapura allegedly carried out by a mobilized group. When the riot occurred at around 3 p.m. Papua time, Filep Karma was on the location of the peace rally, at the intersection of Jayapura City and Dok II,” wrote the Advocate Team in the press release.

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In the trial chaired by Judge Maria M Sitanggang, Karma testified that he witnessed a group of people riding motorcycles who seemed to provoke other people by roaring the noise of their motorbikes. Those riders passed a group of students and masses who participated in the peaceful rally.

The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans also said the witness Karma further stated that he also saw another group riding motorcycles. In this group, he recognized the Deputy Chair of Barisan Merah Putih (Red-and-White Front) Abisai Rolo whom Karma said greeted him.

The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuan then underlined that Karma testified about the alleged scenario for steering the pacifist student demonstration into a rampage. Therefore, in his opinion, the students who suspected, in this case, are only the scapegoats. Karma also asserted that the rally held peacefully. The demonstrators were obedient, and even amongst the demonstrators were women.

As a Papuan native, Filep Karma also hopes that the Jayapura District Court will be fair to Papuan students and youth, so it can grow trustiness amongst Papuans that the court is not a colonialized instrument of Indonesia.

In their press release, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans also stated that during a series of hearing against their clients, it revealed that the docket of case prepared under intimidation and violence. In the hearing of case dossiers against the defendants DK and FE, the witnesses presented by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans stated investigators had intimidated and even tortured the defendants during the investigation.

In addition to being tortured during the investigation, some defendants also experienced violence by the authorities before being investigated. Regarding the torture, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans said their clients were abused in various ways including kicked on their ribs, spine, ears and knees, slapped on the cheeks, beaten while being handcuffed which caused injuries and pain.

“Based on these facts, the Advocate for Indigenous Papuans expressed their statement and called for the Panel of Judges to consider facts during the trial objectively to prevent assumption that the Jayapura District Court is a tool of Indonesian colonialism against indigenous Papuans.”

Moreover, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans urged the Panel of Judges to fully and comprehensively consider the facts of the trial. “From the testimonies of several witnesses, there is a matching fact that the burning had a greater impact, but the police did not reveal this legal fact,” stated the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans in the press release. (*)

 

Reporter: Aryo Wisanggeni

Editor: Pipit Maizer

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Papua Police trace firearms trafficking around local landfill site

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Caption: Local crowds in Wamena Airport, Jayawijaya, Papua, Friday (9/27/2019) – Jubi / Courtesy ANTARA

Papua, Jubi – Papua Regional Police are still investigating some cases of firearms and ammunition trafficking from abroad into the region. It follows up the increase of shooting terrors against military and police officers by unidentified groups in various areas of Papua.

“Indeed, we have information that firearms trafficking is not only from domestic sellers but also from abroad. There are indications that it comes through the border area, and from the Philippines via North Maluku, Sorong, West Papua Province into Papua. This route what we are tracking now,” he said in Timika as reported by Antara on Monday (13/1).

Furthermore, General Waterpauw asked the local community to provide support and assistance to notify the authorities if they have information related to the transaction of firearms and ammunition. Therefore, the authorities could stop the trading and at the same time be aware of the syndication network and take the perpetrators to the court.

Meanwhile, Mimika Police’s Special Force and Battalion B of Police’s Mobile Brigade have investigated some witnesses for information. Some of them are the local garbage truck drivers who are suspected transporting ammunitions with household waste to be disposed at the Waste Disposal Site at Iwaka Sub-district and heavy vehicle operators on duty at the Iwaka landfill site.

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Dozens of ammunition with the active launcher were first discovered by Hendra (17), a heavy equipment operator at the Iwaka landfill site on Tuesday (12/31/2019).

Based on Hendra’s information as reported by Darjo, a fellow operator at the Iwaka landfill, the ammunition wrapped in a plastic bag and transported to the landfill by a regional government garbage truck with hull number 10 with plate number DS 9593 MA.

Once opened, it is known that the plastic package contains ammunition of 10 grains of 5.56.5 TJ.

Then on Wednesday (1/1) at the same location, two GLM launchers and 50.56.5 calibre AMM ammunition were also found. The findings were then handed over to the Papua Police Regional Battalion Brimob B officers.

Currently, three civilians involved in the transaction of 600 ammunitions are undergoing trial in Timika District Court and have been pronounced for six years and five years sentence respectively.

While two Indonesian soldiers who involve in the case underwent hearing in the Jayapura Military Court but one suspect was found dead in his detention at Military Detention Center in Waena, Jayapura on Monday (6/1/2020)

Regarding the case, the Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissionaire I Gusti Era Adhinata said dozens of active ammunitions and throwers found belonged to Indonesian military and police.

“Where did it come from, this is what we are currently investigating. From there, it will reveal the culprits who pulled those ammunitions and throwers from arsenals,” he said.

No mercy

Regarding firearms trafficking involved military members and police officer, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw reminded his subordinates in Papua to not involve in the illegal firearms and ammunition trading. He stressed that there would be no mercy for those who catch in the act involving in the trafficking.

“I hope our members do not take advantage of this space for involving in ammunition trading, so on and so forth. In principle, for those who are indicated and proven to be involved, there would be no mercy for them. We will surely fire them disrespectfully and take them to the court,” he launched his statement in Timika on Monday.

However, the chief believes that most police officers serving in Papua have high integrity and loyalty. But, according to him, an individual member also can commit such a deviant act. (*)

Source: Antara

Editor: Jean Bisay

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