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Freeport Indonesia disregards Papua Manpower Office’s Decree

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Illustration of ex PTFI workers demonstration – tempo.co

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Workers, Students and Papuan People’s Coalition Yosepus Talakua accused PT. Freeport Indonesia neglects the Provincial Manpower Office’s decree.

“PT. Freeport is seeking for a way to smooth out their ‘furlough’ program because of the company has lost their profit even though it has not proven,” said Talakua when giving his statement at the Office of Papua Human Rights Advocates Association (PAHAM) on Monday (8/10/2018).

The decree No.560 / 1271 issued by the Provincial Manpower Office concerning the inspection of the Service Supervisory Team stated that the 18 months strike conducted by 8,300 Freeport workers were legal according to the Law No. 13 of 2003 about the employment.

Therefore, the termination of employment without the stipulation covered in article 151 is void,  whereas the mechanism of furlough determined by the Company not acknowledged by Law No, 13 of 2003.

Moreover, Talakua accused PT. Freeport’s statement about the loss was a defence to ignore the rights of thousands of workers who do strike to get justice for their fundamental rights, such as the right to live and to work as well as the right of association.

“We have attempted various efforts referring to the mechanism and the laws of the Republic of Indonesia by meeting with the government agencies and the House of Representatives for voicing the injustice committed by PT. Freeport Indonesia,” he said.

Meanwhile, to Antara, the Chairman of Department of Chemical, Energy and Mining Workers (SP-KEP) SPSI Aser Gobay said in the decree the Provincial Manpower Office also confirmed that the dispute of industrial relations between PT. Freeport Indonesia and the strike workers have no legal requirement.

On that basis, the Provincial Manpower Office believes that the Company is obliged to fulfil all the rights of the employee and provide them benefits and allowances from May 2017 to date.

“This is a step forward for the workers and their affiliation who do strikes in Mimika District. We have received a decree issued by the supervisory team of Papua Provincial Manpower Office in which concluded that a strike conducted since May 2017 legally acknowledged by the Indonesian Law,” said Gobay to Antara in Timika on Thursday (4/10/2018).

In line with that, the Papuan Student and Workers Coalition urge PT. Freeport Indonesia to Immediately comply with the Law No. 13 of 2003 and consider the fundamental rights of 8,300 workers that have been neglected by the company.

They also demanded the management of PT. Freeport to immediately provide the normative rights of employers and be responsible for 33 workers who died due to the termination of employment as a result of the strike.

Furthermore, the association asked the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration to take a prompt action to solve the protracted dispute between the workers and PT. Freeport Indonesia as well as urged the Papuan Parliament and the House of Representative to be assertive against PT. Freeport regarding a decree No. 560/1271 issued by the Provincial Manpower Office about addressing the termination of employment. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Economy

Indonesia loses Pacific asset in Franzalbert Joku

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Indonesian government consultant on West Papua-related issues, Franz Albert Joku. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia has lost a significant asset from in its Pacific diplomacy efforts with the recent passing of the West Papuan, Franzalbert Joku.

The prominent Sentani landowner was the international spokesman for the Papua Presidium Council which galvanised momentum in the independence struggle at the turn of the century.

But in his last decade, Mr Joku strongly advocated autonomy for Papua within Indonesia rather than independence. He often represented Indonesia at regional meetings of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Joku, who died at the age of 66 late last month in Jayapura, had fled from Indonesian rule in his homeland as a youth with his family in the early 1970s. For around three decades he lived in various parts of Papua New Guinea where Mr Joku worked as a journalist and a PNG government advisor who developed extensive links in the Pacific.

An expert in Indonesian history and politics, Richard Chauvel of the University of Melbourne, says Mr Joku’s career in PNG was significant.

“His great utility both in the early 2000s (for the Papua Presidium) and post 2007/8 for the Indonesian government has been his intimate knowledge of Papua New Guinea politics, through his role as a journalist and then as a political advisor or spokesman for (former PNG PM) Julius Chan and other senior PNG politicians,” Dr Chauvel said.

“I think it’s that knowledge of local PNG politics, and through networks into the Pacific, that made him such a formidable figure, both initially for the Presidium, in the lobbying of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum, and then subsequently for doing much the same thing, utilising the same skills and knowledge for the Indonesian government,” he explained.

As an effective envoy for Jakarta, Mr Joku had a forthright approach to his diplomacy, as evidenced last year by his instrumental role in pressing the Solomon Islands government to mollify its support for West Papuan self-determination aspirations:

Occupying both extremes of the Papuan political spectrum over time made Franzalbert Joku a polarising figure in the eyes of West Papuans.

“The way he executed those positions was remarkably the same – with great commitment, very articulate, he was obviously a bright guy… you could never accuse him of being nuanced,” Dr Chauvel said.

Dr Chauvel first met Franzalbert Joku when he was lobbying for the Presidium, the organisation which energised the independence struggle as democatic space opened up briefly in post-Suharto Indonesia around the time of the Papua People’s Congress in 2000 in Jayapura.

“He was just as vigorous and forthright in his advocacy of that position as he later became from 2007/8 onwards when he’d clearly joined the other side,” he said.

Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has a number of officials who have led delegations to MSG and Pacific Forum meetings over the past decade.

“They have acquired some of that background knowledge, but I don’t think that they can speak to their counterparts in Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and PNG from the same position as Franzalbert could, as a Pacific Islander,” Dr Chauvel said. (*)

 

Source: RNZI

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Eco-bricks, a solution to reduce plastic waste

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Amoye Youth Community participates in reducing plastic waste in Nabire – Jubi/Titus Ruban

Nabire, Jubi – It was a lovely Monday noon (April 14th, 2019) when a group of the youth was gathering in the front yard of Bentot Yatipai’s house. Chatting and laughing, these young people, who are members of Amoye Youth Community, were busy cleaning and cutting papers and plastic waste, then putting it into plastic bottles. They were making ‘eco-bricks’.

Amoye Youth Community was established in 2006 to support young people who are passionate about motorbike at that time. As time goes by, the group started to think about their contribution to their environment. So they began to go around cleaning and collecting plastic waste from some particular locations in town, encouraged local people to donate their plastic waste and initiate a recycling program.

This group’s initiative, said Amoye youth community leader Bentot Yatipai, is a response towards insufficient waste management by the local government. “We conduct social activities, environmental awareness and educational campaign. Waste management is our top priority. Total our members now are 200 coming from several motorcycle clubs,” he said.

According to Yatipai, despite the lack of waste management by the local government, people are also so aware of their surroundings. “Our neighbourhood is still messy. People still not aware about hygiene, healthy environment and its prevention. This is why we initiated the recycling program,” said Yatipai.

However, his group does not set a particular schedule of making eco-bricks due to their other activities. The community members could gather at any time, particularly on weekend or holiday.

“Almost every Sunday they come for gathering. They understood their task and already knew what to do. Collecting waste, wash it, cut it and put the cutting plastics into bottles,” he said.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, eco-bricks also have economic value, to produce chairs, tables or photo booths, for example. “We want to start this program by inviting residents to donate plastic waste and separate their garbage,” he said.

“We don’t know the exact number of plastic waste we received, but it is quite a lot, as many people in Nabire collect waste from other residents from other regencies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lukas Mote said he is interested in joining the Amoye Community because he thinks it has a useful contribution to the environment, health and education. “I am interested in joining because it offers many programs and accommodates members for sharing,” said Mote.

As a capital town of Nabire Regency, Nabire is geographically strategic as it becomes an entrance of the central highland area which consisting of many regencies. However, the demographic explosion has led this regency to a problem of waste disposal management.

From 2016 to 2018, it predicted that the town produced 350-400 m3 of waste per day and this number estimated continuously increases. Some locations such as Pasar Karang, Kalibobo and Terminal Oyehe are full of waste and dirty because it uses as the temporary waste terminal (TPS). Furthermore, people do not separate garbage and plastic waste.

A resident Handayani tells she often throws her domestic waste in a temporary disposal site located in the traditional market at night. According to her, Nabire is still dirty. Therefore, she asks the local government of Nabire to stipulate the regional regulation to regulate sanitation.

“If there are regulation and fine, Nabire must be clean and comfortable,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nabire Environment Office does not have a database about daily waste produced. Officers only pick up the garbage from the temporary disposal waste to the waste terminal (TPA)

In regards to this, the secretary of Nabire Environment Office Yohanis Ramandai said the office does not have a tool to estimate how much garbage produced per day. His office is only responsible for managing the garbage, including collecting, transporting and disposing of at the waste terminal.

In 2018, around IDR 100 million has been budgeted for waste management, including the cost for fuel, vehicle maintenance and meals for cleaning service officers. “Meanwhile, for 2019, IDR 1 billion budget has been submitted to regional working plan but not been approved yet,” said Ramandey.

In regards to Amoye Youth Community, Ramadey appreciates their action in reducing plastic waste. “I truly appreciate them. We might invite them to collaborate in reducing waste,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Accelerating rescue operations in flood-hit Sentani

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The aftermath of deadly flash flooding in Sentani, Papua. -Jubi/Kristianto Galuwo

Papua, Jubi Indonesia has been hit by at least two major floods during this current transitional period from the rainy to the dry season, as high precipitation still occurs in several regions.

Floods have been reported in the provinces of West Java, East Java, Lampung, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sumatra, and Papua, among others. But East Java and Papua have been the worst hit by major flooding over the last several weeks.

In East Java, on March 5, 2019, floods triggered by heavy rains and the overflowing of several rivers, had inundated 15 districts and displaced nearly 12.5 thousand people, mostly in Madiun. Despite the widespread inundation, there were no reports of casualties.

In Papua, however, deadly flooding devastated Sentani and several other sub-districts in Jayapura District, and killed at least 112 people and rendered 94 others missing on March 16, 2019.

The natural disasters caused serious injuries to 107 people and minor injuries to 808 others.

A total of 374 homes, four bridges, five places of worship, eight school buildings, 104 home-cum-shops, and a traditional market were damaged. Furthermore, the natural disasters led to the displacement of 11,556 people.

The Papua provincial government has declared an emergency response period from March 16 to 29, 2019.

The Government has deployed a joint team comprising military and police personnel, among others, to continue search and rescue operations for the victims of the floods in Jayapura. Tens of NGOs have also volunteered in helping the rescue operations.

“Since yesterday evening, our volunteers have helped carry out evacuation, assessment and mud clearance in Sentani,” ACT coordinator Kusmayadi said in a statement, one day after the disaster occurred.

They also distributed some 1,000 packets of cooked food for the flood victims, and set up an ACT humanitarian command post and a public kitchen in Sentani.

As 94 people were still missing one week after the flooding, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) held a coordination meeting to discuss efforts to expedite the handling of the impact of the flooding in the country’s eastern most province.

“This meeting aims to discuss and identify various issues concerning efforts to speed up handling and support for the rescue operations by the PMI during the emergency response period,” Sunarbowo Sandi, head of the PMI Headquarters, noted on March 23, 2019.

Arifin M. Hadi, head of the Disaster Mitigation Division of the PMI, remarked that the Red Cross had optimized services and endeavors during the rescue operations following the emergency response status.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the central and local PMI officers and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Meanwhile, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), noted in a statement in Jakarta on March 22 that the flooding was triggered by deforestation in the Cycloops area.

“Incessant heavy rains in the Cycloops mountainous area, whose condition had degraded, caused flash floods in Jayapura District and the surrounding areas,” he noted.

The local government in Papua has planned to relocate residents living in the Cycloop nature reserve area in a bid to avoid future flash floods.

Papua’s Governor Lukas Enembe had earlier stated that the residents affected by the natural disasters would be moved to Wamena, Jayapura.

“This plan had been approved by President Joko Widodo. We just have to determine the proper location,” he noted in Jayapura on Thursday.

According to the governor, Papua’s government will discuss building public service facilities, such as hospitals, schools, and housing for the resettled residents.

“This type of disaster has been repeatedly occurring over a period of time, so the residents must be relocated,” he added.

The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry in Jakarta, on March 19, however, denied that the disaster was caused by deforestation.

There was no illegal logging activity in the Sentani areas, according to IB Putera Parthama, the ministry’s Director General for River Basin Management.

There were no logs floating or swept away by flood waters in the area, he added.

“Branches and roots of the floating trees were intact. It shows that the trees were not a result of the illegal logging activity (suspected of having) caused the flash floods,” he told the press.

Sentani located in the Cycloop mountainous area is prone to flash floods and landslides during heavy rain because the area has a steep slope and an unstable river basin, he said, adding that the flooding was triggered by heavy rains that went on incessantly for six hours.

The forest conversion in Sentani was also not significant, as it covered a total area of 495.47 hectares or 3.3 percent during the 2012-2017 period.

“From 2012 to 2017, the forest area converted into non-forest area reached only 3.3 percent. So, it’s not strong enough to associate the disaster with the forest conversion,” he said.

According to the 2018 data, the forest coverage in the river basin area in Sentani was around 55 percent, meaning it was good enough.

The ministry, however, has sent a task force to investigate the cause of the flash floods, he remarked.

The task force is headed by M Saparis Sudaryanto, the ministry’s Director on Planning and Evaluation of River Basin Management

It will collect data and facts about the floods and landslides in Papua to study them for future solutions.

“I will collect facts as accurately as possible,” Sudaryanto said.

The ministry has also set up an information command post to update information on the flooding situation in Sentani.

Indonesia is prone to geological and hydrometeorological disasters. Last year, during the period from January to mid-December, of the 2,427 natural disasters had hit the tropical country, 2,350, or 96.9 percent, were hydrometeorological in nature, such as floods, landslides, and whirlwinds. (*)

 

Source: Antara

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